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Archive for April, 2008

need fashion advice

I decided to knit the Gathered Cardi the moment that another shopgirl gave me permission. 🙂 Ok, maybe I sort of knew all along that I wanted to knit it. I really like the pattern, but since it’s so similar to the Patti cardigan I just finished a short time ago, I didn’t want to put my heart and soul into this one. So I grabbed some Lion Brand Cotton Ease (actually, I really enjoy knitting with this stuff) and my size 8’s and got to work on what I thought would be a quick, painless project.

I mentioned in my previous post that I made a slight modification to the sweater already. Not to the design, so much, but to the technique for creating the gathering. In the magazine photo, the bodice of the sweater seems to spread out where it meets the gathered portion of the body. I was definitely not digging this. So to create a nice, crisp line between the smooth portion of the cardigan and the gathered portion, I decided to bind off the stockinette stitches between the seed stitch borders (on the WS row right before the increase row) and then picked up AND increased the stitches at the same time to create the gathering on the RS row. It was indeed painful. It killed my hands. And it took forever. But it worked like a charm! I have what looks like a nice, neat seam and the gathering looks perfectly bunched. At this point, I strongly suspected that perhaps I was a genius. So off I went, knitting over the 300-some-odd stitches for the body. Heh, so much for quick. And so much for genius…

I also mentioned before that due to my laziness and arrogance (a lethal combination) I didn’t do a gauge swatch. Sure, I glanced at the measurements, and I know I always knit a little tightly, so I took that into consideration, but it’s not like this cardigan is fitted, by any means, and I did make sure to try it on after finishing the increases for the armholes. I mean, it’s knit top-down for crying out loud—what could possibly go wrong?!

Well. Even though I tried it on to make sure it fit (which it does), I was not paying attention to where the gathered seam hit on my body. In the magazine photo, it looks like it’s supposed to hit below the bust, although it’s hard to tell on that model, since the cardigan looks too big on her to begin with. But the gathering will hit me above that point, since I did the gathering right after connecting the armholes. I should have done some more stockinette at that point, but I didn’t. Instead, my brain (the non-genius part that’s full of yarn) said, “YAY the armholes are the right size let’s get going and knitknitknit so we can finish this thing and wear it nownownow!!”

I have seen garments which are seamed this way intentionally, and I even like the way they look, but I’m not sure how that style might look with a handknit garment. Or on me. And after the trauma of my little bind-off-then-pick-up-and-increase stunt, I do NOT want to rip back. Ideally, I would be able to achieve the correct measurements by blocking the heck out of this thing, but then I run the risk of getting the gathered seam almostbutnotquite in the right spot, which could look worse. (How much does cotton grow when you’re blocking? Do I have a prayer?) My other option is to do some deep yoga breathing and just make peace with the seam hitting across the upper chest rather than under the bust. I don’t know what to do. And I already have a fantastic button for this cardigan, too.

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spring break!

If you’re looking for sordid spring break tales of wet t-shirt contests, margaritas, white sandy beaches, or the like, you’re barking up the wrong blog. Maybe next time. This year, my spring break destination was New York City! I was lured to Brooklyn with the promise of cupcakes, a Broadway show, and deluxe air mattress accommodations, so how could I say no? (Hmm…if only the three could have occurred simultaneously…) But I did manage to get a sunburn, so that’s gotta count for something.

This time around, my favorite part of visiting Manhattan was the World Financial Center, with two art exhibits (“The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef” and “Amazonia Design, Fashion & Sustainable Economy”) which magically happened to be chock-full of my four favorite things: yarn, clothes, furniture, and jewelry—all with an environmentally-friendly message, to boot!

And I have to give Brooklyn props for the Botanic Gardens! I had never been there before and it was really beautiful. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, so that made it even better.

Tired feet left nothing to do but knit in the evenings, so I made some good progress on the Gathered Cardi. Yes, I decided to knit the Gathered Cardi from Knit.1. I also added my own crafty little modification to the pattern and I was all sorts of proud of my sly knitting ways, when I realized I may have miscalculated one of the measurements. And when I say I “miscalculated,” what I really mean is that I was too arrogant and lazy to do a gauge swatch in the first place and I am probably going to get exactly what I deserve…

But that’s another post.

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sweater dilemma

By the time I finished the Baby Cable Wrap, I already had two new projects on the needles. I found a beautiful skein of Malabrigo in the “brown berries” colorway, perfect for the Better Bucket hat. I love that folded under brim thing. And I have been itching to try the Pirate Mittens for such a long time, that I finally cast on for on those, as well. But 1×1 ribbing in two colors?? Argh. Wait—they’re pirate mittens—I mean, “Arrrrrgh!” …there we go.

I have somehow (over the past few years) gotten myself into a situation where I feel weird and antsy if I don’t have a sweater on the needles. And right now I don’t. And I feel weird. And antsy. But what do you knit when it’s 56 degrees out? (Come to think of it, what do you even wear when it’s 56 degrees out?) Do you go for a so-called “summer” knit in anticipation of warmer weather? Even though I never wear these warm weather knits, ever, I’m still very tempted to cast on for one of these: The “Yellow Top” from Rebecca 36, or the “Halter Swimsuit Style Vest” from Knitting Classic Style.

Or do you try to finish a “spring” knit in time to actually wear this spring? What if it’s the Gathered Cardigan from Knit.1 Summer 2008 and it looks just like the Patti Cardigan you just finished? 🙂

Or do you just do the right thing and start on the sweater for which you already have the yarn and pattern? I ordered some Silky Wool in color 09 especially for Marilyn’s Not-So-Shrunken Cardigan. I have both yarn and pattern in hand, so I could just get started on that.

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baby cable wrap

I thought I was going to be pressed for time with this project, as the recipient turns one year old this week, but knitting this little sweater actually went pretty quickly! Even picking up stitches and knitting the borders and ties was fairly painless. Of course, I procrastinated on seaming it up. And of course, it took no time at all…after I finally made myself sit down and do it. The pattern is from Baby Knits by Lois Daykin and I used 6 balls of Filatura Di Crosa Zara on size 3 and 6 needles for the 18-24 month size. I was so happy to find this pattern and I really love how it turned out. I wouldn’t be surprised if I knit this sweater again whenever another one-year-old baby girl crosses my path. However, this is the first baby pattern book I have actually purchased and it really is chock-full of cute stuff, so I might have to try some of the other patterns, first.

(There are a couple more photos on Flickr, which is no longer displaying en Espanol, by the way.)

I’ve already got new projects on the needles…somehow a hat got started the other night while I was procrastinating on seaming the baby sweater…and there may also be some mittens happening…and a box of Silky Wool just might have arrived on my doorstep this week, too. 🙂

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