Friday, June 23, 2006

i'm such a knit-tease

no, i haven't worked on the aran. or the dale ski sweater. or the sock. or the Starsky. or any spinning. The sudden onset of summer has made the thought of wool in my lap utterly disgusting.

Right now i'm on a sewing jag. While on the west coast for vacation, EVERY SINGLE clothing shop had really adorable summery sun dresses in the window. I really wanted to shop and try them on, but i resisted. In seattle i had a few discussions with a friend about sewing our own clothes and making skirts for the summer.

I decided that once i got finished with schoolwork and summer started i would initiate "Operation Sundress".

Step 1: finish re-arranging and cleaning craft room so that sewing machine is free and has a place to live. check.

Step 2: pick out cute sewing pattern. check. i've got some nice fabric for this already. but i reserve the right to change my mind and get new fabric.

Step 3: realize that i have 2 incomplete quilts already started. One is a baby quilt and all the squares are done, it just needs to be assembled and finished. Oh, i have a friend who is due in a few months, i should really finish this for her before starting a new dress....

Step 4: oh, hey look, i have a nice shirt pattern and fabric that i purchased several years ago. Its an easy pattern. I think i'll make that to "refresh my sewing skills". Its been nearly 10 years since i've sewn anything but quilt squares or knitting needle cases.

Right. so Operation Sundress has turned into Operation Unending Sewing Projects and Operation I'm Not Interested in Knitting Right Now and Operation Crafting with ADD!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

hurdles are hurdled, back to craft blather!

i have jumped through the final hoop of my first year at grad school. The "outside" (off-topic qualifying proposal) is done, finished, completed. I had the weekend to recover from the stress-collapse that followed. Now i can think about fun summer activities. I still work in the lab all summer, but there are no classes and teaching until the fall, so its less stressful than the rest of the year. That means time for crafting again!

Right, i need to get back to this aran fiasco that happened just before vacation. I finished all the pieces of the blue/green Beaverslide aran. I put them together. i knit the neck and triumphantly tried it on....

its HUGE. i mean really huge. i'm swimming in it. It can be worn off-should in an attempt at "Flashdance does Fisherman's Sweaters". my guage is wrong? Nope, its spot on. Have i knit the wrong size? It is designed to be 50" around, for a person with a 44.5" bust. I double checked: still my bust size, check. actual width of sweater, check.

Something is wrong with the ease of the sweater. Up to this point, i really thought i understood ease. i've been knitting sweaters for many years now. I know that 5" of ease is a lot, but i like my sweaters roomy. That's when i realized the fatal error:

The model in the photograph is not wearing a sweater with 5" of ease.
She is obviously wearing a sweater with MUCH less ease. The sweater on her is almost tight fitting, definitely not the baggy ease called for by the pattern designers. (according to this handy-dandy easement chart, a sweater of this size is going to be very baggy.) When i started knitting this sweater (3+ years ago) i had a pretty accurate idea of the size. And i wanted a very baggy sweater. People change, i am more comfortable wearing a tighter fit than i was a few years ago. And as time went on i began to picture the model in the booklet and thought i was making myself a sweater that would fit me in the same way. I completely forgot that i was making a larger sweater. UGH!

All is not lost. I need to rip out the collar and do it again on smaller needles. Then block the whole thing. And realize that its going to be a roomy sweater. And from now on i will be hypercritical of the sweater pictured and the model that's wearing it. (coming soon, my gripe about the super ridiculous ease guidelines on the new sweater i'm knitting!)

Friday, June 09, 2006

vacation knits

Don't we look relaxed? We were sitting at a cafe in Long Beach, CA with one of my best friends. Soaking up the sunset and people watching. joy.

But you want to read about the knitting, right? Lets start back in MA, the night before the trip. All swatching was done past midnight and we were leaving our house at 5 am! I know some people pack early, plan projects, and get a good night's sleep before they go somewhere. not me. I pack at the last minute and then stay up half the night swatching, tracking down the needles i need, frantically looking through pattern books, printing patterns from the internet. it happens every time i go anywhere.

That Debbie Bliss Aran is supposed to be 18 st to 4 inches, but it just didn't work for me. I started with 15 st on the called-for needles. I could squish it to 16 st/4 in on much smaller needles, but the fabric wasn't very nice. The other yarn (ZarOne) was the right gauge, but i didn't have the right needles for the patterns. Instead of forcing the 'aran' to be something it didn't want to be, i decided it would be just as nice as Starsky. I brought socks for the airplane since i suppose its not polite to be stabbing your neighbors with 10" straight needles for 6 hours.

what was accomplished while travelling? one (1) jaywalker sock and two (2) starsky sleeves. fun!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

movie references gone so, so bad.

coming soon to a knitting theater new you:
Socks on a Motherf#*%in' Plane!!!!