June 26, 2003
I made really good progress on this totally adorable pattern and was so excited to seam it and finish it. As is my habit, I didn't post any "in-progress" pictures because it would have meant putting down the needles while I was making good time.
When I finished, I eagerly seamed the sides and slipped it on to adjust the halter straps. I was excited, but much to my dismay, it looked stupid.
It was baggy in front around my waist, the back drooped and the halter straps were too wide. So I did what any 28-year-old with a garment problem would do... I took it home to my mom.
I tried it on and stood in front of a mirror while she pulled, pinned and stretched the tank. Then she delivered the bad news: if I wanted it to look right, I had to frog the whole thing, re-write the pattern to allow for my lack of a defined waist and freakishly narrow shoulders, and re-knit it.
We sat down with the pattern schematic and took out some increases, doubled some decreases and I started frogging. I've cast on again and am about half way up the back.
Here's hoping it works better this time!
June 13, 2003
The Yarn Store Made Me Do It
I went to my LYS the other day to pick up some yarn for a(nother) baby project and I was almost out the door with minimal damage to my bank account when they lured me back in.
One of them, who had just helped me pick out colors for the baby present, caught me admiring Francine. Somebody at the store had knit it up in Chocolate and put it on a mannequin right by the cash register. When she asked me if I liked it, I said that I did but that the halter style usually looks silly on me.
'Try it on!' she urged. I was done for. Two days later, this is where I am:
You'll notice that I'm doing it sans the Mirror FX yarn accents. This is the way that it was on the floor sample at the store, and I really liked the muted neutral brown color so I decided to skip the sequins.
Obviously, the top looked much better on me than I had anticipated, but there were still two problems. First, it was a little short. This was not surprise since I'm long-waisted. Second, it gapped in the back. On the advice of the (same persuasive) woman at the store, I added a half-inch to the ribbing for length. I'm also knitting the front panels first so that I can see if I need to make any size adjustments in the back to keep it from gapping.
Note: While I was taking the above picture, Sammie (Jason's cat) jumped up onto the counter to inspect the piece; you can see her little gray paw at the bottom of the frame. Next, she sniffed the knitting throughly, which piqued Boogie's interest. So he jumped up on the counter as well, which led Sammie to sit next to the knitting territorially. I rescued Francine just as the huffing and stalking began. Silly kitties.
June 8, 2003
One of the (many) things that I love about knitting is the opportunities for fanciful projects. My mother has been an absolute saint for, well, my entire life... but never so much as the last few months. I decided to knit her up something small in gratitude.
I went by my LYS, and they were having a trunk show of Cinnamons Dye Pot hand-painted yarn, including a large selection of their Shimmer yarn (scroll down). It's a beautiful, slinky yarn -- and knowing that my mother shares my love of all things whimsical, I grabbed two skeins in a pretty liac and blue blend. I did a moss stitch on size 13 needles -- I cast on 15 stitches and just knit until I ran out of yarn.
I had hoped that it would be even a little bit more "hole-y" than it turned out, ideally she would be able to wear it in the spring and summer, too. It's really stretchy yarn, though, so there's still hope. Here's a close-up of the moss stitch, you can see the colors and the sparkle a little bit better here:
June 6, 2003
R.'s Baby Blankets
Seriously, people have GOT to stop having babies.
I picked up the pattern book and the yarn from The Yarn Barn in San Antonio during Spring Break. (I should add here that The Yarn Barn is the closest thing to knitting nirvana that I have ever experienced. SO much yarn, and SO many nice and helpful people working there!) I decided to deviate from the pattern a bit and use all the different shades of blue that I could find Rowan Handknit DK Cotton instead of the ice-cream-y colors that they selected. (R. is expecting a boy.)
This pattern knits up really fast, so about halfway through it I figured I could do a second one in time for the baby shower. I used Bernat's LoveBug for this blanket, and stuck to just three different colored stripes (Glowworm White, Beetle Blue and Butterfly Ombre). Also, instead of stopping when the pattern said to stop I kept going until I ran out of yarn. It made for a longer blanket, obviously.
Finally, halfway through the second blanket I had an epiphany. I had just enough yarn left over from the Redskins' hats I had made for this baby and his father for Christmas to make... you guessed it, another blanket with this basic pattern. I stopped knitting the second blanket and cast on with Redskins' maroon and gold.*
By this point it should be pretty clear that I was delusional. And if it isn't clear, let this final twist make it so: About a third of the way through the Redskins' blanket, I decided that I could knit the word "Redskins" into one of the stripes. Never mind that I have no pattern and have never done anything like this before. I used Excel to devise a pattern, and after one false start, it worked. I was a little overexuberant with my tension though, and as a result there are some puckered spots around the lettering. No matter, it was still a big hit!
*I paid for my overzealousness, too. Only one of the blankets was knit and finished in time for the shower. The Redskins' blanket was knit, but not finished and the LoveBug blanket was still on the needles. They are finished and in R.'s hands now, though, and she's still got 6 weeks before baby comes so I think it worked out ok!