Monday, December 10, 2007

An End, a Beginning

I'm officially down to my last two final essays. Well, three. Okay, four if you include the math project, which is essentially an essay with graphs. There's also the self-evaluation for my final art project (which I have yet to complete) so that's more like five. Finals are technically over with, or at least that's the impression I got from the half-assed eight question math "final" and series of "goodbye, good luck" well-wishes between Friday and today. If I choose to be lazy about this, I am guaranteed A grades in all of my classes, but my personal standards scream at me to finish everything regardless.

The real point here is not the things I have yet to finish: the point is that in just a few days I'll be moving to Portland for school and once I'm there, oh the things you'll see if I remember to update this thing on a regular basis with pictures and whatnot. I'd even show you some pictures of what I've accomplished this term but alas! They are submitted for grading at the moment. Until then, have a random picture from my digicam.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Time for Candor

One of the things I like most about myself is the fact that I'm honest at all times. This can sometimes get me into trouble, usually because people apparently don't want to hear the truth when they ask for it, but in the overall scheme of things it has served me well and simplified my life greatly. Without having to remember what I've said to which people I'm spared the worry of slipping up.

Unfortunately, it would seem that I've been less than honest with myself about my UFOs recently. Remember those two black, blocking sweaters? Well, after they had dried thoroughly I tried them both on to see what I had to work with. The lace one immediately went to the frog pond, being both too short and ridiculously boxy (also, the fucking armholes were too tight again), but the embellished v-neck went into my project basket with a mental note to restitch the armholes a bit looser and go ahead with the lace trims.

Eight hours and one very long, boring shift at work later, I've had plenty of time to let that almost-finished sweater simmer in the back of my brain and sometime today I realized that, honestly, I will not wear that sweater if I go ahead and finish it in its current state. The armholes are too short (MOTHERF&#%) and the deep v-neck that looked so structured and secretary-hot on the b-cup model is so deep that it slips open and towards my armholes, thanks to my irritatingly large d-cups. For future reference, v-necks that end near my navel and whose edges are supposed to lay across my nipples are a bad idea.


I'm still working on my third sweater-for-me, although the realization that I'm going to have to rip out the neckband, shoulder seams, and cap shaping of the finished sleeve in order to make the fucking armholes taller is less than encouraging. I'm not too concerned with finishing any of my socks-in-progress ( pairs of them) at the moment, which leaves three projects on my WIP list.

The first, a zip-apart colourblock pullover for Sarreyn, needs just one more zipper to be complete, but we figured out that he'd be more likely to wear it with the pieces joined directly to each other, rather than with all the zippers in place. I'm not up to ripping out tons of teeny black machine-stitched seams any time soon, so that's just going to stay where it is for now. The second, Colchique (for me), is waiting on me to translate the sleeves from French and then rewrite the pattern for them so that they can be knit from the shoulder downward. This is stalled for much the same reason as the first WIP. When I'm working six days a week the last thing I want to do is come home and do something I dislike even at the best of times.

The third, also for Sarreyn, is the irregular rib raglan from Loop-d-Loop. It's actually completely knit, but when he tried it on for a final fitting it was discovered that his upper arms had, well, gotten bigger. To get it to the point where he can wear it comfortably I have to rip out the collar, undo the underarm seams, rip back both sleeves to about the elbow, reknit them with added increases, and then reknit the ridiculously tall collar. And attach a toggle. This sounds much more feasible to me than with of the other WIPs, but I just don't feel like doing it right now. Chalk it up to laziness, but what I really want to do is knit one of the fantastically constructed patterns from the Domiknitrix's new book. I swatched for the Little Red Riding Hoodie, with limited success, but also have my eye on about five other patterns. If it so happens that I can't make anything without going yarn shopping (it's a distinct possibility. much of her stuff is in bulky weight.) I have a backup plan that involves the VK Winter 2006.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Note to Self:

Always, always, ALWAYS make the armholes of sweaters taller than you think they need to be. >_<

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Proof of Progress

Albeit very poorly shot proof.

That first one is based on the Lace Pullover (Pattern #1) from VK Winter 2006, but I'm sort of making it up as I go, so it could turn out to be a disaster. The second one is my fresh-out-of-surgery-and-a-bath Embellished V-Neck. The fit was a little off when I tried it on pre-blocking, so hopefully once it's dry it'll be more like I want it to be. That contrast thread you see in there is a guideline for the placement of the lace trims that I may end up omitting altogether.

We'll come back to those later. In the meantime, I have another past FO for you.

These are my first foray into the world of fair isle, and, while they do have some errors, I'm very pleased with how they turned out.

One of the most notable errors is that when I did a tubular cast-on I accidentally cast on 2 extra stitches. I of course didn't realize this until I started the first set of those neat little diamonds, at which point I had to stop for a few hours and agonizingly plot out a new motif to run down the front of the leg. It's still diamonds, and therefore not glaringly obvious, but it's different enough to stand out at a second glance. I call that creative license, damnit.

Pattern - Arched Shaped Stockings from VK Fall 2006 (do you get the feeling that I loved this particular issue?)

Yarn Source - Cervinia Calzetteria purchased at a ridiculously low price from I used almost 2 skeins each of Black and Naples, worked up on size 3 bamboo dpns.

Modifications - Well, other than license usage with the colourwork, I think I lengthened these a bit, used a tubular cast-on with elastic threaded through it instead of plain ribbing, and did some sort of creative license thing with the first repeat of the arch shaping.

Thoughts - I'm pleased with these in so many ways. They're a successful first fair isle, first tubular cast-on, and first pair of knee socks, they're incredibly squishy and warm, and they're machine washable. I can't even express how much the thought of handwash-only socks annoys me. Any other knit item, sure, but socks? Hell no. Those things get washed every time I wear them, and I'll be damned if they're going to get special treatment on every laundry day.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Bloody Hindsight

I've sort of forgotten what I finished after those four disasters, so instead of past FO reports you get current knitting progress. I'm not going to show you all of my WIPs, because that's a level of embarassment I'm saving for another entry, but you can see my current favourite project.

This is the Embellished V-Neck from VK Fall 2006. I've loved this pattern from first sight, as is usually the case with me, but was so busy with holiday gifts at the time that all I got to do was buy yarn for it (Wool-Ease. Nothing special.) and make a little swatch. A couple of weeks ago I fetl the urge to start it, so I quickly freed my US 7 circ from the potentially disastrous lace v-neck I'm also not quite done with and read through the pattern. It was somewhere around the sleeve instructions that I noticed the lack of a hem anywhere in the pattern. The entire thing is knit in St st from the cast-on upwards, with nothing whatsoever standing between the edge and a massive amount of curling. Looking at the pattern picture confirmed it, but luckily for me I had recently read something about tubular hems. An hour later, I had knit 12 St st rows with a purled turning ridge in their midst, folded up the bottom half of the hem, and k2togethered across the whole thing. Lovely!

It was only much later, after I'd done all four hems and started seaming things together, that I read something else about tubular hems. Apparently the rows of St st before the turning ridge are supposed to be worked with a smaller needle, and I immediately understood why.

You see how my hem flips up like that? If I'd knit the first six rows with a US5 instead of a US7 the slightly greater tension of the fabric would have held the hem flat, but as it stands now, the only way that's going to get fixed is if I painstakingly snip and unravel, stitch by stitch, my entire lovely hem and reknit it. Fortunately, because the portion I have to reknit won't be seen, I can knit it down from the turning ridge and it won't matter that it's obviously going the wrong way. Unfortunately, I am very, very bad at tacking down hems and am all sorts of worried that I'm going to end up with something inflexible and ugly in place of my almost-perfect expanse of cleverly joined stockinette.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Learning the Hardest Way

First of all, I think it's time for another FO report.

I'm sure everyone is familiar with this pattern by now. After all, Cookie A. does for socks what Eunny Jang does for, well, everything. Her patterns are simultaneously functional and cleverly beautiful, and the instructions are written so well that even someone who is knitting socks for the first time (me) can follow them.

Surprisingly, once I got halfway through the first pattern repeat, I could do the rest without even consulting the chart. The stitch pattern for these is one that truly looks a lot more difficult than it is.

Pattern - Pomatomus, available on knitty.
Yarn - Silja sock yarn, 2.5 skeins
Modifications - I made these taller than specified and used the 2 socks on one circ method, but wasn't comfortable with modifying my first pair of socks too much.
Thoughts - I used this same yarn to knit my first pair of gloves, but when I tossed them in the washing machine without thinking about it they came out completely destroyed. In hindsight, I would have made these out of a machine washable wool, because damnit, I don't really have time to handwash my socks. It is precisely for this reason that I have yet to wear these.


Have you ever come across a pattern and been completely and suddenly smitten with it?

Somewhere in the back of your brain a small voice tells you that it's a bad idea, even while you merrily go about the process of yarn selection and sizing math and swatching, even when you try it on halfway through knitting and think to yourself that it's going well.

It's only when you've completely finished it, blocked it, and stroked it in anticipation that you try it on again and realize with a sudden looming sense of horror that you should have never knit it because it looks horrendous on you.

Have you ever done that FOUR FUCKING TIMES IN A ROW?

Apparently, somewhere in the midst of knitting Butterfly, Butterfly, and Butterfly, I got the idea that knit camisoles would be good on me. It has now been made painfully clear to me that Butterfly, being a laceweight cobweb of a thing, is an exception to the rule. Knit camisoles are a very, very bad idea for me. I love the details of these, the construction, the yarn, everything except the way they look on me. The ballet tee at least I will definitely reknit, for it is comfortable and I love that it's just one continuous spiral, but the other three have taken up permanent residence in the frog pond. Some things were apparently just never meant to be, but at least I've learned my lesson.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I Feel Stupid

Soooo........apparently my blogger comment settings were set to, without my knowledge, "comment moderation on" and "do not notify me of new comments." This means that all this time I had no idea anyone was actually reading my blog, let alone leaving comments. Had I been aware of an audience I wouldn't have let this thing linger for so very very long, but now that I know, well, let's just say I went ahead and published the mass of comments waiting for moderation and am ready to update everyone on my knitting accomplishments over the last almost-year.

Oh, whoa. That's a lot more than I thought. Okay, we're going to do this in smaller chunks. I'll just pick up where I left off and make a point of updating every day or two.


When last we spoke I had just started the IK Prairie Tunic and had a few other things in progress. Since the Prairie Tunic is the only one of those things I have completed and photographed, it's the first thing you get to hear about.

Oh shit. I've forgotten the format for an FO report. O_O Yes, that sounds like a good starting point.

Pattern - Prairie Tunic from IK Spring 06
Yarn Source - Oh, hell if I know. I recycled it from something or other. It's just some random 4-ply black cotton.
Gauge - AHA! HAHAHAHAHA! Not what the pattern called for, clearly.
Modifications - Racerback changed to straight back, boob cups enlarged as much as I could without destroying the original look of them, extra waist shaping added.

Is that all I need to write about it? I think I'm supposed to say something about my thoughts or feelings regarding it, but I'll save that until after I have a shot of it on me. Remind me if I forgot anything else, you who may or may not still be checking in on this.