Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Snowdrop the bomb

I came to an interesting revelation the other day while helping a customer at work; Vogue Knitting magazine rates their knitting patterns by level of difficulty!

How novel! Yeah, I know. This is probably news to no one but me. Most knitting patterns have rating systems, I just choose to ignore them. I suppose that says something about me. I'm either A) so fantastic I don't care what challenge may unfold or B) have my head so far up my $#! I can't heed a simple warning when it's right in front of my face. My come-uppance has come uppeth!

See that? AT SAME TIME. Three little words that can strike fear into any knitter. In the James Coviello Snowdrop Jacket I'm knitting, it appears THREE TIMES in the "left front" instructions alone! I read it through. I took heed. I prepared!

Take that At-Same-time! I wrote it all out! Line by line!

... Alas, t'was not enough. I missed a set of increases. (Son of a %*&@$!!!) If you knew the extent of the convolution (is that even a word?) you wouldn't blame me. When I got to the point where the pattern states "When all shaping is complete, 39 sts rem.", I was left with a paltry 29.

Should I have been forewarned by the the "Experienced" rating on the knitting pattern? Essentially, this piece of knitting is just an oddly shaped bit of stockinette. Increases, decreases, knitting, purling... no big woop, right? Or maybe, I should have interpreted "experienced as "I have experienced the brevity of Vogue Knitting Magazine patterns" and will take extra care.

I understand that a print publication such as Vogue needs to cram a lot of knitting instruction into a small amount of space. Sometimes though, when information is edited down to it's bare minimum, the time it takes to decipher the information seems in direct opposition to the economy of the communication in the first place. Enter: my distaste for text messaging! (I swear to god, I'm turning into a grumpy old lady before my time. Before long I will only accept correspondence handwritten by quill on parchment.)

I guess at the end of the day I'm just frustrated I had to rip back three quarters of my knitting due to my inability to properly read a knitting pattern. Gaah! I suppose it happens to even the best of us. I invite you all to shake a fist at the sky in silent protest to confusingly written knitting patterns everywhere!

What's that they say about spring showers? (Or snowdrops?)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Hunch-back of Notre Hibou

The curse of the Alaska yarn has been lifted!

Patio pictures are back! Now if only I could take a self-timer
picture where I don't look vaguely pissed off.

I believe the gods were appeased with my penance of the sewing-on of forty-two buttons:

I think the button-sewing took longer than the sweater-knitting.

Pattern: What, you don't know? OWLS by Kate Davies. Do you live under a rock?
Yarn: Previously cursed Drops Alaska (colour #51 - dark olive)
Buttons: Vintage wooden things
Needles: 5 & 5.5mm addis
Notes/mods: Knit an XL size with finer gauge - a total gamble and it worked - whee!

This sweater's a winner except for the odd bunching I'm getting in the back. It's not quite clear in this picture, but I get a bit of a hunchback thing going on above the waist shaping. According to Ravelry I am not alone in this issue. If I were to knit it again I would definitely put the waist shaping at the sides. (Why are they at the back anyway? And how did other people avoid the hunch-back? Do I have an abnormal back?) I blocked it twice to try to remedy the situation but it's still a little poufy. I'd just wear it backwards if the neckline didn't dip in the front to give it away. I guess I'll have to learn to live with it. Or grow a hump... or back-breasts? Ew!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Simplicity is as Simplicity does


Yes, I've been cheating on my main squeeze Sir.Knit and had myself a little fling with Mr.Singer.

I'm not a big spring / summer knitter. That is, I knit during the summer, but I don't knit summer things in the summer, dig? Knit cotton tanks? No thanks. Once in a while I dust off the old Singer (that's a blatant lie, it has a dust cover) and bust out a garment. Of course, by bust out, I actually mean sew and re-sew seams that I messed up, curse when the the bobbin runs out of thread, burn myself on the iron and end up with a virtually unwearable, decidedly homemade looking, sad excuse for a garment.

Once in a while I get lucky.

Pattern: Simplicity 4077 (view D). I made view F last year
Fabric: Mystery silky synthetic from a craft swap. Thrift store buttons. In fact, I spent more money on the thread for this project than anything else.

***Skip this next part if you're not a sewer. You're eyes will be in danger of glazing over***

Mods/notes: Despite having sewn this for the second time, I kind of messed up the collar. I couldn't figure out how it was supposed to line up so I trimmed it. Oops! Now the gap at the top of the button band it a little big, but enh? We'll say it's my own personal twist on the mandarin collar. I did however learn from my last crack at this blouse that while it fit in the bust fine, it was a little looser than I liked around the waist. This time I cut the fabric to the same bust size, but graded the pieces to the next size down at the waist. It worked! Other mods - I flipped the sleeve cuffs up because they hit at a weird point at my elbow that drove me bananas. I also added a snap between the second and third buttons to prevent dreaded boob-gappage.

Yeah, that's right. I'm workin' a bit of a faux-hawk.

Whew! Okay that's it. Knitters - you still with me? I promise something woolly and wonderful is on it's way next post! Hoot!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I get around

If you're anything like me, you have a constant list of things you'll "get around to" some day. Do you find if you're a crafty individual, applying your craftular talents to own home proves exceedingly difficult? Par example, the lowly washcloth:

This sad state of affairs is the one and only washcloth I have knit for my own home. Really, it's a swatch, the result of my mosaic knitting curiosity. This poor little cloth has been used and abused for months as the primary dish wiper in my kitchen. It was time:

Why did it take me so long to get around to it? Because it was easy.

I'm having a passionate love affair with garter stitch these days.

Pattern: Made it up - garter stitch on the bias, throw in some YO's and stripes,... done.
Yarn: Mayflower cotton 8 held double
Needles: 5mm addi turbos

Another project finally underway: the recycled wine corkboard. I've been saving corks since the dawn of time for this project.

Turns out, if you've been saving corks since the dawn of time, you will still be left with exactly half the number of corks necessary to complete a cork-board. Oh well. Back to work!