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FO: Child’s Placket-Neck Pullover

18 Sep

I’ve made this before, and, just like last time, I made it wrong. (Except right.) See, the original instructions in the book (which I have) resulted in an off-center placket. I knew that errata existed somewhere on the internet and I found what I thought was it–but, in fact, it was merely the original instructions, which I blithely followed.

Just like last time, I do not care. It’s a roomy pullover, perfect for a child who haaaates having things pulled over her head, likes to walk around with sweaters and shirts half on, and for our chilly almost-autumn weather.

This is local yarn from Purl’s Yarn Emporium in Asheville, acquired  in February when I was presenting a paper on a Hannah More novel. (I like to cheat on my current project with didactic fiction.) It’s delightfully sheepy. (The yarn.) Dear Purl’s Yarn Emporium: I’m sorry Abby dumped a pot of dirt on your floor.

BIG NEWS. Two and a half years later, and Chris and I are going on a honeymoon. He has a week off in October, which happily coincides with a month when my parents will be staying only a few hours away. They’re going to stay with Abby for two nights while we do it up right at Niagara Falls. It’ll be the first time we’ve been on vacation together since 2010.

Pattern: Child’s Placket Neck Pullover

Yarn: Something local to Asheville, NC. I am the worst about saving yarn bands.

Notes and Mods: If you make this, be sure you have the errata–unless you like asymmetry, which I kind of do. But this would need to be even more asymmetrical to look intentional. Luckily, neither I nor Abby cares.

Pavement scarf + camo tote + some cliches

26 Aug

Neither of these projects quite merits its own: I should wait to post the scarf pictures until I have modeled shots, but I was getting impatient. This thing has been on the needles since about March, and I am sick of it. First, the tote. I got this camo fabric with the intention of making C some manly tote bags. He was skeptical, arguing that there’s no such thing as a manly tote. And I’m sorry to say that I now think he’s correct. I went so far as to alter the proportions here so it wouldn’t be quite so long and narrow, but even a squat tote bag still reads as somewhat feminine. Still, more grocery/ library bags are always welcome and C is very secure in his masculinity anyway.

Very roomy and good for hiding!

Yesterday–after a fantastic week that began with the news that I’d been awarded a special surprise fellowship I didn’t even I was up for–I got a fairly devastating reader’s report on an article I’d sent out. Well, rejection is part of the academic process and I’m cool with that in theory, but the reality of reading an anonymous stranger’s undermining of your entire project is still a bit destabilizing.

Holy cat hair!

I had pinned and blocked this scarf (Jared Flood’s Pavement) the night before, and as I tearfully freed it last night while fixating on several choice phrases from that reader’s report, I started thinking about the process of blocking: taking something that looks a hot mess and coaxing it into shape, letting it bloom so you can appreciate all its hard-earned complexities. The metaphorical relationship of text/ textile is fairly well established and frankly a little old-fashioned, but it was still nice to think about, that really there’s not much different between writing an article and knitting a cabled scarf: both are complex, lengthy projects that get quite tedious by the end; both require deft manipulation of the source material; both require extensive post-production processing; and both make my carpal tunnel act up.

A lovely stack of wool. Now if only it would cool off below 90 degrees.

OK, although I can’t really see myself crying over a scarf.

FO: Candy Cane Cladonia

19 Aug

Something odd happened with this Cladonia: it’s too small. It’s supposed to be 52 inches across the top and 19 inches high, but mine is more like 45 x 17. Maybe I started the lace too early, or maybe the yarn didn’t grow as much as the pattern yarn, but it is definitely smaller than I expected. A good blocking helped, but not quite enough.

Blocking. I didn't pin out the edging, but I used wires and pinned at the top and botton of the lace section.

And it’s definitely long enough for wearing around the neck, which is pretty much the only way I wear shawls anyway. I decided not to pin the edging because I just didn’t like the way it looked, and stiff points, in my experience, do not last in this kind of humidity.

Love the lace pattern! Geometric and non-fussy.

Gee, it’s hard to take pictures of yourself!

This is the best picture I could take of myself. I should probably do something about my hair, hmm?

I really loved this pattern. The lace was simple to follow and the stripes de-fuss the whole thing. Yes, the looped picot edging sucked, but I powered through.

This was a quick, easy, satisfying knit. I haven’t had much knitting mojo lately, and finishing this project gave me a nice little boost.

Please ignore the basket of laundry in the background. It's clean.

Pattern: Kristin Kapur’s Cladonia [Rav link]

Yarn: The yarn is a combination of undyed koigu and some yarn that was dyed locally in Salt Lake, which I got from Three Wishes Fiber when we were visiting C’s family over Christmas.

Notes and mods: No mods except that I didn’t pin the edging during blocking. I still can’t quite figure out the sizing, but I’m really happy with this. I was afraid at first that it would turn out too Christmas-y, and, yeah, it is a little Christmas-y. But I like Christmas! It’s a great holiday, and now I have a scarf to celebrate it!

Would I make it again?: I would absolutely make this again. The stripes make it a good stash busting knit, and it would also be excellent travel knitting.

FO: Debbie Bliss Sun Dress

25 May

So, this is not actually my FO: it’s my mom’s, from this pattern (Rav link). And here she is, taking Abby for a walk in it:

Funny story. One day when I was sick, my mom taught me to crochet. I was about eight years old and obsessed with the nineteenth century, so I really took to it. Eventually she taught me to knit, too. For years and years, I clung to a narrative, that I believed she’d told me, in which her mom had taught her how to knit, and then she’d taught me to knit–you know, a real female tradition that I’d become a part of.

I told my mom that story once and she cracked up laughing. You see, she’d learned to knit from a book.

My fingers are crossed that Abby will want to learn, so when she tells people that same story it’ll be true.

Aidez disaster

23 May

As I was blocking the fronts of my Aidez cardigan yesterday, very excited to start sewing it up, I saw something dreadful. Do you see it?

For some reason, I decided to knit the ribbing of one front as 2×2 instead of 1×1. My options are:

1. Ignore it, sew it up, and figure only knitters will notice.

2. Reknit the entire front.

3. Perform advanced knitting surgery: snip off the cuff, pick up the stitches, and knit the ribbing downward.

1 is, obviously, out of the question. I’ve put too much work into this thing to resign myself to “homemade” now.

2 is not a terrible option. The knitting goes quickly, and I’ve got plenty of yarn.

But I think I’m going to go with 3. I don’t think it will affect the look of the whole bottom band appreciably–and if it goes horribly wrong, the worst that will happen is that I’ll have to reknit the front, right?

******

A fun, helpful note: The waste yarn that’s running through the pieces marks off 10- and 5-row increments. Much easier than trying to keep track any other way, and it helped me figure out that I had not, as I suspected in a moment of horror, actually knit the fronts three inches longer than the back. I read about the technique a long time ago over at Mason-Dixon knitting, but this is the first time I’ve actually used it. Great trick!

Almost FO: Blocking Aidez

16 May

Aidez blew up Ravelry a while ago. It has two design elements I usually can’t stand–raglan sleeves and aran-weight yarn–but I saw so many cute versions that I thought I’d give it a try. (Also, I’ve never knit seamed raglan sleeves; maybe they’ll be an improvement over seamless ones.) My knitting time is restricted to about an hour a day now, while Chris and I watch something in the precious time between Abby’s bedtime and my bedtime, so this has gone slooooowly. I have no idea if it’s going to fit or be wearable, but I loved knitting it and I think it looks awesome!

Blocking mats from KnitPicks.

Despite the many cables, the pattern memorized easily. I only made a few mistakes. Can you spot this one?

One of my Ears of Corn leans the wrong way.

I focused on opening up the ribbing when I blocked. My 1×1 ribbing tends to be a little wonky (whose doesn’t?), so I compensated by going down about 4 needle sizes. I think it looks so much better.

The ribbing isn't actually crooked; it's just my camera angle.

My pin-and-space shortage means that I won’t be able to block this all at once, so don’t look for the finished piece until next week or so. (The sewing up! Ack!) Now, on to something quick and seamless to recover.

Socks: Angee, Sock Innovation (Cookie A)

9 May

This is the second incarnation of this yarn. I knitted almost all of Damson before I realized that I was just never going to wear this color near my face. It’s a really bright, saturated green: not great for my generally subdued wardrobe or my coloring. Perfect, however, for socks.

I don’t have too much to say about the patten. It’s straightforward and easy to follow, even with multiple cable charts. What I particularly like about the socks is that they’ve got a long leg. A lot of knitted socks have a leg that falls at what I find to be an awkward length, somewhere below the calf. These are nice and long.

Here you can see that they've picked up a little dog hair from our floors.

I think the yarn might actually be Colinette Jitterbug. Fun fact: I bought this yarn from So Much Yarn in Seattle, the day after we found out I was pregnant.

And here you can see that they're really much too wide around the ankles.

Pattern: Angee, from Sock Innovation

Yarn: Unknown, possibly Colinette Jitterbug (the recommended yarn)

Mods and notes: I couldn’t find my size 0 DPNs, so I knit these on a size 2. I think that was a mistake, as they’re a little too wide. Still, they’re excellent house socks and I really enjoyed wearing them during the one month between the time I finished them and the first days that hit 90 degrees.