Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Enid Finis

Well, here she is. I have mixed feelings about this project. I learned so much through the process and gained a lot of confidence. I am interested in knitting more sweaters in the round, and trying steeking some more. However, I have a few disappointments as well.

The only way to wear this sweater is completely buttoned up. Otherwise it opens into some kind of unrecognizable, and unattractive flag. Sometimes I like to wear a cardi with just the top button fastened, but even that is impossible with this sweater.

If the whole point of steeking is to reduce the amount of seaming, the button band and buttonhole band negated that. What a pain! You can clearly see where the bands overlaps the wrong side of the sweater. The crochet edge is pretty when you put it on, but for me it's not really functional. It's difficult to tell just where the button HOLES are.

I was hoping the puckering would lay down after blocking, but it's still there. I swear I was carrying my floats loosely, but not loosely enough, apparently. Hopefully, with time, this will ease out.

I think there are places where the pattern is a little vague. Two examples: there is no mention of how to join the sleeve seams and there is no indication of exactly how many stitches the knitter should initially crochet across the button band. Strangely enough, it all works out in the end. It's comfortable to wear and fits better than expected and is pretty.

Would I ever make it again, or recommend it to someone? No way. Am I glad I made it? Absolutely. Things I'd do differently if I made it again:

No provisional cast on. I'd either let it roll or use some non-rolling stitch border.
More stitches in the steeking area. There was too little selvage for a beginner steeker like myself.
Different button holes.
Higher neckline.

And just to toot my own horn a little, it's my birthday! I'm twice 21, and I guess that's officially middle aged, if I make it to 84. For the first time I feel like I'm actually old enough to be my students' mom. That's really weird because my own kids are so young. I'm in a good place, and frankly I'm just grateful for my family, friends and health.

I hope everyone has a great day!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

International Make a Paper Airplane Day

OK, I just made that up. But we could start it, couldn't we?

I love this guy. I've made lots of his airplanes for my boys, and they all fly like a dream. Some of his planes have video tutorials, and some have written instructions with diagrams. All his videos look like this one, same background, no sound, his hands.

Here's a link to his site. Make a plane today and fly it.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Enid Pre-Steeking

It's been a rough week my knitterly friends. I came down with the crud last Friday and have been trying to get well ever since. I cancelled classes Tuesday, but got all cocky on Thursday, thinking I was well, and showed up only to immediately dismiss them. They were sympathetically amused. I think, THINK, I'm better today. We have out of town guests coming in tomorrow, so I'd better be well. The only good thing about being sick was I got a lot of knitting done.

I'm just about ready to steek Enid. I've knit the whole thing, run a thread down the steeking column, and double reinforced either side of the column. Now I need to steam block the steeking area and get out the magnifying glasses and the sharp little scissors.

Here she is. You can see the steeking column represented by the light blue dotted line. You can also see a little of the contrasting hem on the bottom peeking out. After steeking, I attach the button band and the button hole band (yet to be knitted), sew on the buttons (yet to be bought), block that bad girl, and it's done!

I thought I'd show you a close up of the yoke with the colorwork. I'm still hoping for some flattening out of the puckering once it's blocked. I have a good feeling about it. I was a little worried about my colors, as I didn't use the Reynolds Whiskey. I thought the fuschia might be a little much, and I was worried the purling might look amateurish. I actually think the 2 things take care of each other, or rather the purling softens up the color transitions and gives some dimension to the yoke. Once again, I think the blocking will help make it look less messy.

I hope ya'll have a great weekend. Maybe next time I see you, I'll have a finished Enid to show.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day, Ya'll!

You didn't think I could let this holiday pass without baking some cookies, did you?

Friday, February 09, 2007

To Tink or Not To Tink

Just popping in with a quick Enid update and some pictures, and some, well, griping, moaning, ranting, whatever you want to call it. Here's how Enid is looking:

The colorwork is all puckered even though I thought I was carrying my floats pretty loosely. The stitches move back and forth like an abacus, so I'm pretty sure the puckers will block out. At least I'm crossing my fingers and doing magic dances, hoping they will.

Last night while watching, you guessed it, Grey's Anatomy, and having my 2 glasses of wine (only 1/2 full each, so it's really like I only had 1 glass, yeah, yeah), I was knitting along having a great time, while DH put the kids down. Bless him. Anyway, I'd gotten to a point where the colorwork was feeling pretty relaxed, and I didn't mind untwisting every ten minutes or so. I knew I was going to finish the first motif, so I was excited and knitting pretty fast. When I got to the end of this section, I set my knitting down, and surveyed my work.

OH CRAP! The light green on the top of the bubbles is supposed to be purled! The chart shows a light green square with a diamond for knit and a light green square with a diamond with a dot in the middle for purl. A tiny little dot. I wasn't wearing my rhinestone studded reading glasses. UGH! So, the question remains, to tink or not to tink? Even before I made the mistake, I thought I might not like the purled rows mixed in the colorwork, and of course, I didn't swatch to find out, I just dove in head first. I need to think about it. Two and a half rows of 302 stitches each. I've done it before. Maybe I should knit that swatch, then decide.

OK. You can laugh now.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Totally Adorable

My sister-in-law just sent me this picture of my cutie-pie niece wearing the Piggle cap I made her:

I actually followed the directions completely with this one, down to using the recommended yarn, Jaeger Matchmaker. It was a quick knit and turned out really cute. It's fun knitting for girls.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Technical Difficulties

It's been a hellava day for knitting, photographing and posting. Where shall I begin? OK, knitting.

I've been working on the Enid Cardigan. Here's how it goes. First you make a big tube for the body, bind off 2 sets of 16 stitches for the underarm seam, then leave the stitches on the needles. Then you make 2 tubes for the sleeves, bind off 16 stitches on each to correspond to the body bind off, and leave those stitches on the needles. You knit the body and when you come to where the sleeve bind off is, you knit the stitches off the sleeve needles onto the body needles. With me so far?

All that was accomplished last night. The only hitch was the second sleeve stitches were on dpn's and the last needle slipped off the stitches while I was knitting. I replaced the stitches and continued. After the sleeves were joined I knit 3 rounds. By the end of the 3rd round, I noticed one of the sleeves had a row of 16 stitches that were creating a bumpy line on the inside of the sweater, which was not apparent on the outside. I figured it was how I replaced the fallen stitches. I set it aside and waited till the morning to decide what to do.

This morning I decided to tink those 3 rounds of 302 stitches each and fix the problem. I figured if I didn't I'd have some kind of Princess and the Pea reaction to the raised stitches. So I spent most of the day unknitting. When I got to what I thought was the problem area, I couldn't find a problem. I reknit the rounds and again, those same stitches were raised. Then I realized I was trying to fix the wrong sleeve. The problem wasn't with the second sleeve, it was with the first. Well, shit!

I got over my Princess and the Pea deal and decided to let it ride. But first I wanted to try the thing on and see if I could feel the stitches. So I had to run a thread through my stitches, cuz there was no way my ass or my chest was going to fit through the tiny little opening the circs allowed. Finally I got in the thing, and wanted to take a pic, but my camera batteries ran out. So I turned to Mr. Mac, my faithful photographer, and I had to press the button and jump back to get the shot, but with my arms tightly against my side, cuz otherwise, Enid would slip off. Here's the pic:

Enid appears too short for me. I can't tell for sure until I get the yoke finished. If it is too short, I can lengthen the bottom thanks to the provisional cast-on, but I'd rather not. Also, this pic really makes me see I need to shed some holiday cheer.

Anyway, I drafted out this post this morning, and when I came to actually enter it, the draft was nowhere to be found. So here I am re-writing it from damn scratch.

That's 2 cuss words in one post. Sorry, but this sweater, blogger, & camera, are driving me crazy!