Shedir Grows

Thanks in part to a Christopher Guestfest, I am now a little more than 3" into my Shedir. My fingers hurt from knitting, so it's time for me to take a break. I'm using Rowan Cashsoft DK because I had it lying around, but I only had enough for a small project. As I said when I knit Odessa, I love this yarn. It's so soft. It's also really squishy, which unfortunately makes for yucky cables. I knew about this correlation long before I started this hat, but I didn't put 2 and 2 together (which is so often the case with me and just about everything). My cables kind of look like a textured mess right now (that's why there isn't a progress photo), but it doesn't really bother me. I love this yarn, and I'm determined to have a wearable hat made out of it. I hope this one'll be big enough for me. Cross your fingers.


Shut Up, Me

I started my Cash Iroha hat and got a few inches in before I decided I hated it. Initially I had a fibergasm over the Iroha, until I actually started knitting with it. The more I knit, the more it felt like that Lion Brand imitation mohair. Yuck. I also don't like thick & thin, and I also don't like singles. I designed a couple motifs to start over with, but nothing felt like I would like it long enough to knit it and then wear it next winter (because it's already too warm for a stranded Cash Iroha hat).

My last two posts have been about projects that I've given up on. I should really not mention any projects until I've gotten a significant amount done. I feel somewhat embarrassed, posting about stuff and then giving up.

So, completely ignoring that last sentence, I'm casting on for Knitty's Shedir, which I've wanted to knit for a long time. I'm using Rowan Cashsoft DK from the stash, in Thunder (you may remember me from such projects as Grumperina's Odessa). I'm using size US5 DPNs, since I don't want to buy size 3s. I'm going to eliminate a pattern repeat, so hopefully everything will work out well. Pleeeeeeease, let everything work out well. I want a new hat for Monday.



/Emily Litella

The last post was a picture of the materials I bought to make a seashell bag (like those popular hobo bags with the sequins and paillettes). I pre-strung all the seashells, but then I found that to be such a pain in the ass to knit with. The holes in the shells were just barely big enough to fit around the yarn (HPY laceweight in Thistle, by the way; I can't say enough good things about how beautiful their dye jobs are), so the yarn was getting all raggedy from the friction. The weight of all the shells was fairly heavy, and I was scared of the yarn breaking. I knit a few rows and gave up. I had originally wanted to do this and write up a pattern for the summer issue of Knitty, but I just gave up. Maybe I'll revisit it later this summer.

I did get a new project idea. For my birthday last year, I splurged on some Noro. I have four balls of Cash Iroha in colors that look decent together: 93, 94, 1, and 100. Originally I planned on integrating them into a shrug type of sweater, but I decided I didn't want stripes. Inspiration struck me last night, and I'm going to use 93 and 94 to make a hat. For my swatch last night (in the round, natch), I learned how to do the 2-handed stranded method and the Magic Loop method. I don't like Magic loop at all, but it's good to know it. I twist my stitches when knitting continental, so I have to get my buns over to Knitting Help to figure out what I'm doing wrong. The details of the hat will remain a secret until I'm finished.

I like keeping my design details secret, mostly because I'm scared someone will come along and knit whatever I've planned before I've even finished, and theirs will look 100x better than mine.


Well, Poo

I sewed the sleeves on my Aimee and tried it on. I don't like it on me at all. I just don't like the lace alternating with stockinette on my body. Everything they say about horizontal stripes is true. I still like it on the model, I still like it on all the thin, long-waisted girls I've seen. I need to lose 10 lbs. before I can wear this (and possibly gain another 3" in height). I was going to stay up late tonight to do the collar and finish weaving in ends (not to mention reading 130 pages for class tomorrow), but I'm totally not motivated. This sweater is officially on hiatus.

I honestly fail at knitting. Out of Aimee, Odessa, Cathode, and the Ballet Tee, none of them look good on me. Gauge was only an issue on Odessa. The Ballet Tee, Cathode and Aimee just don't look good on my crummy torso. I'm too short and curvy. I enjoy knitting as a hobby, certainly, but it's depressing when I spend all this money on it and I don't end up with wearable items. I'm going to finish up Demi and see how that looks on me (hopefully the lengthwise cable pattern will elongate my torso). That'll be my final test. If it looks like crap, then I'm through knitting stuff for myself, and I'll stick to only afghans and other non-wearable items until my stash is used up.


I Can Almost Taste It

The 2nd sleeve to my Aimee is blocking. The body and first sleeve have been sewn up, and about half of the total ends have been woven in. I'm going to see if I can get the bottom hem sewn tonight (which, honestly, scares me as much as the set-in sleeves). Tomorrow I'm going to sew the sleeves to the body and knit the collar. If everything goes as planned, Aimee should make its public debut on Thursday.


Switch Hitter

Last night I was absentmindedly knitting away on Demi, proud of myself for having memorized the chart pattern. I realized that I forgot to do 2 bobbles, and now I have to rip out 2 rows in order to get them in there. I threw the knitting in a corner and I haven't looked at it since. Instead, I did this:

I had a crochet breakthrough today, thanks to the SNB book. I finally figured out how to crochet in the round. It was much easier than I had been making it. The red thing on the left is the Star Afghan. The two motifs on the right are from The Reader's Digest Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches. All are done in Lion Brand Microspun, because I happened to have a lot of it sitting around, leftover from Kate and some other never-realized projects. At first I didn't like Microspun because it's so splitty, but it's so incredibly soft and I love the colors. It's really grown on me.

I still need to learn how to weave in crochet ends.


Sick of Titles

Why did I decide to title every post on this blog? I don't bother on Prolix because I know I suck at titling. I always want a word or phrase that encompasses the entire content of the post (instead of one or two key points) while still being clever and maybe even a little erudite. Instead, my two choices are boring or trite. Blah for me!

Anyway, I originally started this post to voice my concern about having started the wrong size Demi. When I started this sweater, I chose the small size, designed for a 34" bust. I didn't think to look at the finished dimensions--Ms. Hargreaves gives 4" of ease. Is that a lot? I usually like my sweaters to be on the tighter side, although with the bulkiness of this one, I suppose it makes sense for it to be looser. I held what's done of the sleeve up to my arm, and it seemed to fit like I wanted it to, but I didn't pin it or anything, so I didn't trust that. My next step was to re-measure my gauge, hoping that it would give me a sweater a little smaller than the directions say. I found that my stitch count was indeed off, and I stupidly panicked. For about 5 minutes, I was bemoaning the fact that my gauge would produce a sweater even larger than 38", and that I would have to find someone to take my beautiful creation away from me (or else start over. I'm so dramatic that the first option was what plagued me more).

Then I had a revelation (And it's a revelation, it's a revelation, I thought you were a life-sized paper doll...). If I have more stitches per inch, that means that I have less total inches for the same number of stitches. Right? Right?! If I CO 61 stitches, my resulting work will be less wide than that of someone who got gauge spot-on. After thinking about this for many minutes, I have decided it's correct.

I anticipate finishing the sleeve tonight or tomorrow with the help of some Dogme 95 films (Italian for Beginners, Mifune's Last Song) and Thumbsucker, which I've wanted to see for quite some time. The latter appears to have the same quiet pretentiousness present in the Wes Anderson films I love so much, so hopefully I'll enjoy it.


The Burnout Continues

I'm in a knitting burnout in general. On Friday I got the yarn needed to finish up Aimee, but I haven't touched that project since the KO ended.

Here's what I'm currently working on:

A baby sweater. Remember how my mom was going to knit two baby sweaters for the KO? Why did I ever believe her? She much prefers her sewing machine to knitting needles, and I can see why. I'm knitting a sweater for something like 1/5 my size, and it's taken me a week to get to the armpits. Ugh.

My other frustrations:
  • I'm using Takhi Cotton Classic (2 rows of solid colorway, 2 rows of tweed colorway, with the button bands entirely solid). This is the least soft yarn ever. I should be knitting with burlap. How they can stock this in the baby section of the LYS, I'll never know. I would never have picked out this yarn; my mom bought it for the aforementioned sweater, and then gave it to me when she decided she didn't want to do it. Thanks, mom.
  • The pattern (Knitty's Daisy, designed by Stephanie Pearl McPhee) calls for 3 rows of seed stitch at the bottom. As I was doing it, I wondered if I shouldn't change that to 4 or 5 rows. I went with just the 3, and now I'm kicking myself. The stockinette totally causes it to fold. You can even see in the picture how badly it wants to fold. And, because it's cotton, blocking isn't going to do a whole lot of fixing. I'm thinking of sewing a matching grosgrain ribbon on the inside, to hopefully stabilize that part of the sweater.
  • I'm a selfish knitter. I don't like knitting for others. There are many sweaters I want to knit for myself, and not enough time. I'm going to be knitting wool sweaters in June.

That last bullet point brings me to the main reason why my knitting burnout has continued. Most of the patterns I'm attracted to call for small gauges and sport weight yarn. However, in my stash, I have mostly heavy worsted or bulky yarn. I can't buy any more yarn, since I have no job and consequently no money. I need to find good large-gauge stuff.

I also need to take it upon myself to design some garments that one can knit with only 400-700 yards of a heavy worsted/bulky yarn. I find it economical to purchase only that much, and then I'm left with yarn that I can't do anything with. The challenge for me will be to design garments appropriate for the weight--no one wants a short sleeve bulky-weight wool sweater. (Plus, I just don't like the idea of short-sleeved sweaters. I'm always freezing [thank you, thyroid], so I want something that will keep me warm.) I think I'll do something like this:

with my Manos. The bummer is that sweater is exclusive to Anthropologie's online store, which means I can't cheat by looking at its construction in any sort of 3-D close-up sense.

I've also revised my "Must Knit" list. You can now view it in the also-revised sidebar.


Happy Hooker Wannabe

I bought the SNB crochet book today. I'm not much of a crocheter, and I really didn't like the first two SNBs that much, but there were a couple sweaters in here that I really liked: the Prepster blazer with 3/4 sleeves, and the Go for Baroque bedjacket. This is odd, since I don't really care for crocheted garments; I find the resulting fabric is too stiff. I also don't like the vast majority of crochet lace patterns that I've seen. I'm picky. I haven't really looked through the instructional portions, but I'm hoping they'll really help me out.

I also bought the new IWK. I'm going to go read through the patterns now. This is how I spend my Saturday nights. Just let that sink in.


A Winner Is Me?

I went to the LYS today to get some yarn to finish my Aimee. I was chatting with one of the owners, and she pointed to my laceweight and asked, "And your goal was to finish? A sweater? In 16 days? In this?" I was so close to finishing, too! If I hadn't run out, I'd've finished by Sunday evening at the latest. The lady told me that if I needed anyone to vouch for the fact that I had quite a feat ahead of me, she'd be there.

As one may imagine, I'm kind of burned out on Aimee. I'll start knitting it probably when I get back to school after the weekend. I want to be able to wear my new sweater on (arbitrary decision time) Thursday.