Friday, July 18, 2003
I'm feeling better now...because of this:
Now that it's on the blocking board, I can reflect and share the small things that really helped me get Smooch made--and might help you too.
1. Give the pattern a good long read. Notice things that might give you trouble (for me it was all the shaping things that had to be done at the same time, and the fact that there were instructions that said: "do it again for the other side, reversing shapings".
2. I counted all my rows with a row counter. I don't normally do this with a plainish garment, but it really helped. I marked on the pattern what row the armhole shaping started, when decreases stopped, when the shoulder shaping started, etc. Then, when I did the front it was easier to know where I needed to do the shapings. It really, really helped me.
3. Frog when you gotta. I had to rip this baby back a few times but doing it right yields wonderful results.
4. Ask questions. Other Smoochers were very helpful when I didn't understand the pattern, or couldn't figure out what the writer's intention was (since the pattern isn't always clear).
5. Write it all down. When it came to the front neck/arm shapings I couldn't remember what to do when, so I wrote out the pattern row by row and just followed along. That way I knew I had to make on eyelet on row 121, decrease row 123 and so on (that was the other good reason to use the row counter). It also helped ensure both sides looked the same.
6. Don't let my previous post scare you off. It's not that hard in the grand scheme of knitting, just persnickety. The pattern could have explained things in more detail, and after having a frustrating patch, I needed to vent. It helped. I finished it
--well almost. I don't anticipate any seaming problems...
WARNING: I am going to bitch and rant for a moment. If you are sensitive about profanity please skip the following paragraph. But I know you're curious now...
The Smooch Pattern is making me nuts. How much more vague could it be. I have no problem doing three things at once--decreasing at the arm, decreasing at the neck and making eyelets--even when they occur in different intervals and on different rows, but it would have been nice if the fucking pattern could have been MORE CLEAR about when that was to occur. Now, I was smart and wrote out each row so that I could be sure that I did things when I was supposed to and the first side worked out fine. But then the pattern says: Keeping slip st edging and decreases correct as set by last 2 rows and eyelets as set by first of these rows, complete to match first side, reversing shapings!!!!!!!!! Like it was that easy. The shapings are different (k2tog tbl vs k2tog etc.) and some things happen on the purl side instead of the knit!!!!! I got out my note pad and wrote it out, but then it didn't looked the same. I ripped and tried again, but I'm not sure it's right. I guess Rowan couldn't spare the extra page to spell it out clearer!!!!!!! And to further insult me the photos of Smooch are so "artful" that I can't see the fucking details. The model's hair is in the way of one shoulder--why couldn't she just face the camera and show me the tank for fuck's sake!
I feel much better now. I think I have it right and I've just put it aside for a few minutes (or hours) so that I could vent my frustrations. Really though, the pattern could have been a wee bit clearer. It is coming along, and will be finished this weekend. Then I will be happy it's done and will wear it with pride, having improved as a knitter for the experience...ya, right...I'll just be happy to add it to my wardrobe.
Thursday, July 17, 2003
The Knit Meetup was fun. I got to meet some new knitters and see what people were doing. I also got to meet The Girl from Auntie who started Knitflame and is a knitter extraordinaire. She was making a beautiful aran-styled sweater with swirly cables. She was designing the pattern as she knit, in a group situation--I was rather impressed.
I humbly worked on Emma's sock. Gotta love small feet (besides the fact they're very cute--socks for them knit up fast!)
She's excited about me finishing them, so I ought to get going. Smooch is also coming along--that's what I really want to knit.
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
I'm going to my first Knit Meetup tonight. I didn't want to work on Smooch since I'm 5 rows away from starting the neck shaping and that will take some concentration. So, I casted on some socks for my daughter Emma using leftover Lang Jawoll Jaquard (colour 82.0159) I had in the stash. Sorry about the image, it's raining outside, so I can't take a good picture.
I'm using Wendy's generic sock pattern--my favourite. It's the best because I can always make short socks if I'm running low on wool--Emma's only four so I should have enough.
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Update: I guess ebay sellers read knitting blogs. A few weeks back I mentioned (see June 24) that a seller sent me the wrong item by mistake and didn't offer to pay shipping to return the item or apologize. Everything was fixed quickly, but I was miffed. Well, yesterday I received an email apologizing, refunding the extra shipping costs and offering a discount on my next purchase. It was a nice thing for her to do, and I appreciate it. Everything's better and I would buy from her again since she took the time to make sure I was happy.
I started the front part of Smooch and got past the eyelet part last night while watching Canadian Idol (I gotta rent a DVD tonight!) But ever in search of the next project I did some swatching with this weird rayon/cotton I bought on ebay a while ago.
Here's a closeup of the swatch. The bottom part is knit with one strand of each colour and the top half with two strands of the pinkish stuff.
It's not all that bad, but it's not what I want for either Cleo or Chickami. So back in the stash it goes. I then went to my closest (and least favourite) yarn shop and had a look--nothing. But, don't despair, I found the perfect stuff (at the right price) at Elann my favourite-ist yarn place. I bought Sonata in Claret for Cleo and Sapphire Hues for Chickami. These will be my cottage-week-away knitting projects. We leave in less than two weeks so I better get back to that thesis.
Monday, July 14, 2003
I had a great weekend. We went away to the cottage. The weather Saturday was cool, so we lazed about. Sunday was beautiful and we canoed, swam, hiked, played and enjoyed the best of summer. I also got to knit a bunch. I finished the back of Smooch and my second broadripple sock.
I love these socks. I was going to give them to my mom, but am thinking of keeping them for me. My only complaint is that they look so different. I prefer the one on the right because the colour pools less. It's weird how it did that.
I did order more fixation, so I could make another pair. And I plan to make them again with Koigu, now that Rob has done a sock-weight version. I have never made Koigu socks before but have some in the stash for just this purpose. I'm not sure I want to work with wool in the summer. I'll just have to see if the mood strikes me.
Today I'm swatching with some rayon/cotton handspun I bought from ebay a while back. I feel like I have to use this stuff, but I don't think I like it. I'll report back tomorrow. I could use it to make Cleo, but I think it looks like it should be used for a rag rug. Buyer beware I guess.