This Week in Yarning.

 Remember that horrible raglan sweater I was working on?  Well, here it is! That's what it looked like a week ago, right after blocking, but with none of the ends sewn in, obvs.  It's Berroco's Moshup, and as you can start to see, it has some problems that took a week or so of contemplation.

  • The two stitch garter edging constantly rolls under.
  • There's absolutely no sense of how to wear this thing closed.  The sample picture uses what looks like a giant safety pin. 

  •  The sleeves are not so pretty.  They're big and chunky already, folding them up is going to make them thicker, and make them stop at the elbow instead of 3/4 length, which is Not An Attractive Length.
  • It looks scifi-ish, like something Jean Luc Picard would wear on leave, or Yoda's sweater in Star Wars.
After sewing in the ends and doing some more thinking, I have a few ideas about what to do with this thing.  One is to just wear it open, although it does look dangerously Art Teacher for my taste that way.  

 Another thought was to change it from a wrap sweater to one of those single-button-hang open numbers.

Of course, since I didn't think about this until the sweater was done, there's no buttonhole, so it would have to be a pin or a toggle, neither of which I'm crazy about.

I've also got some ideas about how to fix the sleeves and edges, but more on that another time.  Now I've got to get button shopping.


Four More Rows of Agony

One of the most fun, rewarding things to knit is the beginning of a top down raglan sweater.  You fly through the rows, amassing inches of back and the beginnings of sleeves, and get a little high off the excitement.  You think, I'll wear this to my friend Will's birthday party next week, and when people mention it, I'll casually say, Oh yes, I was bored and whipped up this little number over the weekend.  Then when you get about 25 rows in, the rows suddenly get longer and the frenetic energy you had wears out.  At the end of every two row repeat you count the rows, hoping to magically be ready to divide and work in smaller rows again.  How many inches could there possibly be between my neck and armpits anyway?  I'm making a sweater for a giraffe.  

But you keep working away at it, two rows at a time, taking breaks to distract yourself from what a torment this hobby has become.  Like take some photos and post them on your blog.  Oh, by the way, take a look at these pictures I took today.


This Week in Yarning.

Or, How to Pick a New Yarn Project.*

  • Wander around wishing you had a project to work on.

  • Briefly consider finishing one of the umpteen ongoing projects, abandon idea and eat a fudgecicle. 

  • Check out Ravelry patterns, queue, favorites. Remain uninspired.

  • Dig through yarn stash, feel guilty for having such a mess.

Image by BoldAsLoveVintage

  • See this yellow top on Etsy, find cheap yellow yarn and figure out the granny square pattern.

  • Granny Square until bored, and sick of cheap acrylic.  Put project aside.

  • Seriously, though.  I love that top and I want to come back to making something similar for myself.    

  • Pull some yarn out of the Shameful Stash and swatch for a sweater you've been meaning to make for an embarrassing number of years.

  • Carry the swatch around in your purse for five days.

  • Go back into the stash one more time.  Look for a long time at yarn you meant to use immediately, then lost the plot on what to do.

  • Search Ravelry to with a buddy until she finds a sweater to make for herself.

  • Eat another fudgecicle.

  • Wander around Ravelry some more until you stumble over something that uses the right amount of yardage/weight of that Regret Yarn, then immediately cast on without swatching before eating another fucking dessert or another episode of a Certain Victorian Doctor distracts you.  

  • Pictures to follow later in the week.

*Do not actually follow these steps.  


What I'm Watching

Bramwell.  Have you ever seen it?  It's on Netflix, and some kind soul has made it available here as well.   Go watch it now.

It's too sedate to be called a truly Sexy History, but I'm assuming it's the Sexy History of Elizabeth Blackwell, or some generic student of hers who studied at her medical school for women.

I love the straw hats and puffy sleeves.  But more than that, I love that she's so willing to tell the Big Doctor at the hospital that he's experimenting on people instead of treating them, that he's cutting parts out of them unnecessarily, and is willing to risk her job to try to save people's lives.  Not having lived in 18Whenever, I can't say that she's totally unlike a woman of her period could be, I wonder if some of that "Ooo, old fashioned ladies would never be unladylike like modern women, boo books and movies for portraying them more like normal humans would react rather than the delicate flowers we know they all were."  Have they read the Declaration of Sentiments?  It's a pretty kickass document. Or anything Abigail Adams wrote? How about Anne Bradstreet, or Anne Hutchinson?    But that said, she's a pretty progressive woman for someone born and raised in 18whenever.

Fine, be a doctor and a woman.  But you can't possibly ride a bicycle.  Who do you think you are?


If I Were Green I Would Die

This is a project at least a year in the making.  Because they didn't have more than a few balls of each, and most of the balls had been used to make samples or something, I got several skeins of Berroco Comfort Chunky for a steal.  There wasn't enough of any one color to make a sweater's worth, so I whipped up this ombre number.
Photo taken sometime long ago when I was willing to be outdoors with sleeves on

It's a Buttony sweater, and I'm happy enough with it.  I put it aside for months because the sleeves were a pain in the ass.  I had to take them out and redo them at least six times, and as you can see, they're still too wide.  The neckline is also a bit too wide, but that was a problem with me because I of course knew better than the pattern how many stitches to cast on.  But it was a nice thing to have around for the end of spring, and I'm sure sometime, months from now, it will cool off enough here to contemplate wearing it again.

On Ravelry here.


This Week in Yarning.

At this point it should really be This Year in Yarning, but whatever.  I'd like to have a weekly thing, where I sum up what I've been working on, with gorgeous pictures to go with it, but I haven't been working on much during 2011.  I finished an old sweater, and I made a triangle scarf for a friend out of yarn she'd dyed and spun.

But the last month or so, I've been working on this gorgeousness.

It's the Fragile Heart pattern with a few alterations.  The pattern called for the body to be knit in one big piece, but I split the repeats in half and grafted them together.

I think it looks pretty good.  I also added a few extra repeats to the edging.  The pattern called for 7 or 8 repeats and I did 12.  It's lovely, and I've been wearing it at work to cut the chill out of the air conditioning.  It's definitely not a wrap it twice around your neck sort of scarf, but I'm very happy with it.

A spider took over my favorite perch for a camera, so there's no self portraits, and it's too fucking hot to imagine taking this thing outside again, so here's another beauty shot.

My bullet points about this pattern

  • Swatch with big yarn before casting on in lace weight mohair
  • Only knit in the most powerfully air conditioned rooms
  • Wait until 7 repeats in before attempting to knit after a glass a wine
  • Be sure and count the dropped stitches every time you gather them up to make the heart pattern. If there aren't 5, you're doing it wrong
  • When working the backwards yarn overs on the edging, untwist them during the pearl row.  
  • The points on the edging are done in blocking- if you want them very defined, do some sort of picot edging.

That's all the wisdom I've got.  Everybody keep cool.


Yes, I Could Probably Use a Vacation

It baffles the other women in my office, but I've been using the calendars from the Curiosity Group at my desk.  Anybody who needs a little bit more whimsy should head over and sign up for their calendar of the month club.  I liked their current one so much I set up a little background for it too.

It would look better printed in color, of course, but since we don't have one at work I get by.