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Updated: 2014-10-03T00:04:45.020-05:00


Demi Again


Nearly a year later...
A blurry photo is better than no photo at all. It turns out that a blurry photo is also much better than the effort required to take a better photo at 3am. Ergo...yes.

I decided to make the back plain because it would go more quickly and I found it more aesthetically pleasing. I hope to finish this piece in the next few days. (I actually put off knitting to redo my header and update all the various HTML issues with this blog. Now that I'm done, can I say: so gorgeous. I can't stop looking at it.) I want to finish the entire thing before I go to Paris. I have just over a month. Can I do it?

The color in this photo is much more accurate than in any of the previous photos.



I took a long break from any sort of fiber art because I had become bored with it all. It also didn't help that I had a really busy semester. Anyway, I spent a week at my parents' house in Seattle for Christmas. Idle hands being the devil's playthings and all, I came up with two hats:The Seattle BeanieA fabulous dirty mirror shot, complete with spur-of-the-moment lack of makeup and scraggly hair.Pattern: My own. Want to know it? Crochet a circle. Alternate rows of sc with popcorn stitch. Do some decreases. The end.Yarn: Wool Ease Chunky in charcoal, 1 skein. I ran out of that toward the end so I used Wool Ease Worsted in oxford grey for a row of sc and slip stitch.Hook: Oh, who the hell knows. J? I don't know. Whatever the Wool Ease label recommended, probably.Thoughts: Easy. It took a few hours. Both of my parents liked it. (My dad said I looked like Mary Tyler Moore.) The extreme thickness kept me very warm. Better pictures someday when I'm feeling glamorous.Thistle Earflap HatDidn't really feel like getting gussied up for this one either.Yeah, I didn't sew in the pink ends, and I probably won't ever. "Why? Don't wanna." --Stephen Colbert.Pattern: My own, influenced by several elements: the shape is based on Knitty's Cross Country; the thistle pattern is a modified version of the one seen here; the random white-and-grey pattern is taken from here.Yarn: Various acrylic from my mom's stash. I think Wool Ease and Red Heart were key players.Needles: US6? 5? Not sure. DPNs. Plastic. Nice.Thoughts: I was hoping the sc around the bottom edge would stop the curling, but it doesn't (though it doesn't curl too much when I'm wearing it). I didn't swatch; I just cast on the appropriate amount of stitches (108 I think; it seemed like a reasonable number, plus it worked with both the thistle and the white-and-grey pattern) and played it by ear. It ended up being kind of tight, but maybe it'll stretch over time. I don't really like the way I did the decreases for the top; I had no idea how those would turn out, and it just sticks up funny and looks kind of silly. Overall I think this is a pretty badass hat, but I'm just not a hat person. It's a shame, because they're so quick and allow for lots of variation.[...]




So now, nearly a year later, I'm finally getting around to wearing Aimee.



My love for Ze Frank's daily truth segments and my love for knitting collide!

FO Stands for Failed Operation


My life is apparently one giant stitch 'n botch.

More than a month after the fact, I present my failed Aimee:
I haven't even knit the collar or woven in the last few ends. I tried it on, and it makes my torso look even shorter and chunkier than it normally looks. That's why you're getting the hanger-only shot. Blah.
Pattern: Aimee from Rowan Vintage Style, designed by Kim Hargreaves
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Laceweight
Modifications: Lengthened the body. Eliminated the ribbon thing.
Thoughts: I really wish this fit. Maybe when I lose 10 more pounds. If I had thought about it, I would have done a unified edging thing: the bottom hem is picot, the sleeves have garter stitch, and the neck is reverse St st; I should have just done everything garter stitch, which would have eliminated that pain-in-the-ass hem.

And for Shedir:
Pattern: Shedir for Knitty, designed by Jenna Wilson.
Yarn: Rowan Cashsoft DK in Thunder, 1 ball + some more
Modifications: Knit on US5 DPNs; did 7 pattern repeats and 4 pattern row repeats.
Thoughts: This is a clever pattern, and I like clever patterns. As I mentioned in a previous post, I stupidly used the wrongest yarn that ever wronged for this pattern; my cables are too messy as a result. If I were to do it again, I'd twist the cable stitches for better definition. I guess the biggest thought I'm having now is how I'll never wear this hat, because of the point at the top. One person on Craftster said she made this hat using 7 body repeats, and she didn't say anything about a pointy top, so I figured it would be okay. It's not. This hat actually fits me, unlike Odessa, but the point. Yuck. Between Odessa and Shedir, I spent $19 on yarn for hats that I'll never wear. Maybe sometime I'll frog them and make a 3/4 sleeve OSW or something.

This is so disheartening, to have so many FOs that I'll never wear. Like I said before, I'm really hoping Demi will turn out nice so I'll have motivation to keep on knitting.

Shedir Grows


Thanks in part to a Christopher Guestfest, I am now a little more than 3" into my Shedir. My fingers hurt from knitting, so it's time for me to take a break. I'm using Rowan Cashsoft DK because I had it lying around, but I only had enough for a small project. As I said when I knit Odessa, I love this yarn. It's so soft. It's also really squishy, which unfortunately makes for yucky cables. I knew about this correlation long before I started this hat, but I didn't put 2 and 2 together (which is so often the case with me and just about everything). My cables kind of look like a textured mess right now (that's why there isn't a progress photo), but it doesn't really bother me. I love this yarn, and I'm determined to have a wearable hat made out of it. I hope this one'll be big enough for me. Cross your fingers.

Shut Up, Me


I started my Cash Iroha hat and got a few inches in before I decided I hated it. Initially I had a fibergasm over the Iroha, until I actually started knitting with it. The more I knit, the more it felt like that Lion Brand imitation mohair. Yuck. I also don't like thick & thin, and I also don't like singles. I designed a couple motifs to start over with, but nothing felt like I would like it long enough to knit it and then wear it next winter (because it's already too warm for a stranded Cash Iroha hat).

My last two posts have been about projects that I've given up on. I should really not mention any projects until I've gotten a significant amount done. I feel somewhat embarrassed, posting about stuff and then giving up.

So, completely ignoring that last sentence, I'm casting on for Knitty's Shedir, which I've wanted to knit for a long time. I'm using Rowan Cashsoft DK from the stash, in Thunder (you may remember me from such projects as Grumperina's Odessa). I'm using size US5 DPNs, since I don't want to buy size 3s. I'm going to eliminate a pattern repeat, so hopefully everything will work out well. Pleeeeeeease, let everything work out well. I want a new hat for Monday.



/Emily Litella

The last post was a picture of the materials I bought to make a seashell bag (like those popular hobo bags with the sequins and paillettes). I pre-strung all the seashells, but then I found that to be such a pain in the ass to knit with. The holes in the shells were just barely big enough to fit around the yarn (HPY laceweight in Thistle, by the way; I can't say enough good things about how beautiful their dye jobs are), so the yarn was getting all raggedy from the friction. The weight of all the shells was fairly heavy, and I was scared of the yarn breaking. I knit a few rows and gave up. I had originally wanted to do this and write up a pattern for the summer issue of Knitty, but I just gave up. Maybe I'll revisit it later this summer.

I did get a new project idea. For my birthday last year, I splurged on some Noro. I have four balls of Cash Iroha in colors that look decent together: 93, 94, 1, and 100. Originally I planned on integrating them into a shrug type of sweater, but I decided I didn't want stripes. Inspiration struck me last night, and I'm going to use 93 and 94 to make a hat. For my swatch last night (in the round, natch), I learned how to do the 2-handed stranded method and the Magic Loop method. I don't like Magic loop at all, but it's good to know it. I twist my stitches when knitting continental, so I have to get my buns over to Knitting Help to figure out what I'm doing wrong. The details of the hat will remain a secret until I'm finished.

I like keeping my design details secret, mostly because I'm scared someone will come along and knit whatever I've planned before I've even finished, and theirs will look 100x better than mine.

What's This?



Well, Poo


I sewed the sleeves on my Aimee and tried it on. I don't like it on me at all. I just don't like the lace alternating with stockinette on my body. Everything they say about horizontal stripes is true. I still like it on the model, I still like it on all the thin, long-waisted girls I've seen. I need to lose 10 lbs. before I can wear this (and possibly gain another 3" in height). I was going to stay up late tonight to do the collar and finish weaving in ends (not to mention reading 130 pages for class tomorrow), but I'm totally not motivated. This sweater is officially on hiatus.

I honestly fail at knitting. Out of Aimee, Odessa, Cathode, and the Ballet Tee, none of them look good on me. Gauge was only an issue on Odessa. The Ballet Tee, Cathode and Aimee just don't look good on my crummy torso. I'm too short and curvy. I enjoy knitting as a hobby, certainly, but it's depressing when I spend all this money on it and I don't end up with wearable items. I'm going to finish up Demi and see how that looks on me (hopefully the lengthwise cable pattern will elongate my torso). That'll be my final test. If it looks like crap, then I'm through knitting stuff for myself, and I'll stick to only afghans and other non-wearable items until my stash is used up.

I Can Almost Taste It


The 2nd sleeve to my Aimee is blocking. The body and first sleeve have been sewn up, and about half of the total ends have been woven in. I'm going to see if I can get the bottom hem sewn tonight (which, honestly, scares me as much as the set-in sleeves). Tomorrow I'm going to sew the sleeves to the body and knit the collar. If everything goes as planned, Aimee should make its public debut on Thursday.

Switch Hitter


Last night I was absentmindedly knitting away on Demi, proud of myself for having memorized the chart pattern. I realized that I forgot to do 2 bobbles, and now I have to rip out 2 rows in order to get them in there. I threw the knitting in a corner and I haven't looked at it since. Instead, I did this:


I had a crochet breakthrough today, thanks to the SNB book. I finally figured out how to crochet in the round. It was much easier than I had been making it. The red thing on the left is the Star Afghan. The two motifs on the right are from The Reader's Digest Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches. All are done in Lion Brand Microspun, because I happened to have a lot of it sitting around, leftover from Kate and some other never-realized projects. At first I didn't like Microspun because it's so splitty, but it's so incredibly soft and I love the colors. It's really grown on me.

I still need to learn how to weave in crochet ends.

Sick of Titles


Why did I decide to title every post on this blog? I don't bother on Prolix because I know I suck at titling. I always want a word or phrase that encompasses the entire content of the post (instead of one or two key points) while still being clever and maybe even a little erudite. Instead, my two choices are boring or trite. Blah for me!

Anyway, I originally started this post to voice my concern about having started the wrong size Demi. When I started this sweater, I chose the small size, designed for a 34" bust. I didn't think to look at the finished dimensions--Ms. Hargreaves gives 4" of ease. Is that a lot? I usually like my sweaters to be on the tighter side, although with the bulkiness of this one, I suppose it makes sense for it to be looser. I held what's done of the sleeve up to my arm, and it seemed to fit like I wanted it to, but I didn't pin it or anything, so I didn't trust that. My next step was to re-measure my gauge, hoping that it would give me a sweater a little smaller than the directions say. I found that my stitch count was indeed off, and I stupidly panicked. For about 5 minutes, I was bemoaning the fact that my gauge would produce a sweater even larger than 38", and that I would have to find someone to take my beautiful creation away from me (or else start over. I'm so dramatic that the first option was what plagued me more).

Then I had a revelation (And it's a revelation, it's a revelation, I thought you were a life-sized paper doll...). If I have more stitches per inch, that means that I have less total inches for the same number of stitches. Right? Right?! If I CO 61 stitches, my resulting work will be less wide than that of someone who got gauge spot-on. After thinking about this for many minutes, I have decided it's correct.

I anticipate finishing the sleeve tonight or tomorrow with the help of some Dogme 95 films (Italian for Beginners, Mifune's Last Song) and Thumbsucker, which I've wanted to see for quite some time. The latter appears to have the same quiet pretentiousness present in the Wes Anderson films I love so much, so hopefully I'll enjoy it.

The Burnout Continues


I'm in a knitting burnout in general. On Friday I got the yarn needed to finish up Aimee, but I haven't touched that project since the KO ended.

Here's what I'm currently working on:
A baby sweater. Remember how my mom was going to knit two baby sweaters for the KO? Why did I ever believe her? She much prefers her sewing machine to knitting needles, and I can see why. I'm knitting a sweater for something like 1/5 my size, and it's taken me a week to get to the armpits. Ugh.

My other frustrations:
  • I'm using Takhi Cotton Classic (2 rows of solid colorway, 2 rows of tweed colorway, with the button bands entirely solid). This is the least soft yarn ever. I should be knitting with burlap. How they can stock this in the baby section of the LYS, I'll never know. I would never have picked out this yarn; my mom bought it for the aforementioned sweater, and then gave it to me when she decided she didn't want to do it. Thanks, mom.
  • The pattern (Knitty's Daisy, designed by Stephanie Pearl McPhee) calls for 3 rows of seed stitch at the bottom. As I was doing it, I wondered if I shouldn't change that to 4 or 5 rows. I went with just the 3, and now I'm kicking myself. The stockinette totally causes it to fold. You can even see in the picture how badly it wants to fold. And, because it's cotton, blocking isn't going to do a whole lot of fixing. I'm thinking of sewing a matching grosgrain ribbon on the inside, to hopefully stabilize that part of the sweater.
  • I'm a selfish knitter. I don't like knitting for others. There are many sweaters I want to knit for myself, and not enough time. I'm going to be knitting wool sweaters in June.

That last bullet point brings me to the main reason why my knitting burnout has continued. Most of the patterns I'm attracted to call for small gauges and sport weight yarn. However, in my stash, I have mostly heavy worsted or bulky yarn. I can't buy any more yarn, since I have no job and consequently no money. I need to find good large-gauge stuff.

I also need to take it upon myself to design some garments that one can knit with only 400-700 yards of a heavy worsted/bulky yarn. I find it economical to purchase only that much, and then I'm left with yarn that I can't do anything with. The challenge for me will be to design garments appropriate for the weight--no one wants a short sleeve bulky-weight wool sweater. (Plus, I just don't like the idea of short-sleeved sweaters. I'm always freezing [thank you, thyroid], so I want something that will keep me warm.) I think I'll do something like this:
with my Manos. The bummer is that sweater is exclusive to Anthropologie's online store, which means I can't cheat by looking at its construction in any sort of 3-D close-up sense.

I've also revised my "Must Knit" list. You can now view it in the also-revised sidebar.

Happy Hooker Wannabe


I bought the SNB crochet book today. I'm not much of a crocheter, and I really didn't like the first two SNBs that much, but there were a couple sweaters in here that I really liked: the Prepster blazer with 3/4 sleeves, and the Go for Baroque bedjacket. This is odd, since I don't really care for crocheted garments; I find the resulting fabric is too stiff. I also don't like the vast majority of crochet lace patterns that I've seen. I'm picky. I haven't really looked through the instructional portions, but I'm hoping they'll really help me out.

I also bought the new IWK. I'm going to go read through the patterns now. This is how I spend my Saturday nights. Just let that sink in.

A Winner Is Me?


I went to the LYS today to get some yarn to finish my Aimee. I was chatting with one of the owners, and she pointed to my laceweight and asked, "And your goal was to finish? A sweater? In 16 days? In this?" I was so close to finishing, too! If I hadn't run out, I'd've finished by Sunday evening at the latest. The lady told me that if I needed anyone to vouch for the fact that I had quite a feat ahead of me, she'd be there.

As one may imagine, I'm kind of burned out on Aimee. I'll start knitting it probably when I get back to school after the weekend. I want to be able to wear my new sweater on (arbitrary decision time) Thursday.

A Loser Is Me


I ran out of yarn, so I can't finish the sleeve or the collar of Aimee. I would have been done, but unfortunately the LYS at school doesn't have the yarn I need. I have to wait until Thursday to get it. I'll have a new sweater for the weekend, though. Pictures when I finish.



At this point, I'm just working on the sweater because I'm sick of it and I want to be done. I don't even care about the medals. I'm still plugging away on the first sleeve, even though I've shortened it by 2". I'm really nervous that I'm going to run out of yarn, and I'm fairly sure the LYS doesn't carry this yarn. (The LYS at home does, but I won't be there until Thursday.)

Gah. Back to work.

ETA: I finally finished the sleeve. I'm blocking it while I reward myself with a shower and a nap. I have 1 day, 22 hours, and 14 minutes to finish the second sleeve, sew it all together, and do the collar. At this point, I'm more worried about running out of yarn than being able to finish in time.

Getting There


This is exactly how much sunlight my apartment gets. The front is on the right and the back is on the left.

This picture lets you see how textured it is. The lace parts form little hills. This is after this part has been blocked 4 times. I'm going to steam block it at some point, I think, to see if that helps any.



As I type this, 65% of the Knitting Olympics have elapsed. I've finally finished the front part of the sweater. I just have the two sleeves, weaving in ends, seaming, and the collar. I guess I should mention that this will be my first time seaming set-in sleeves. And I'm doing it in a lace pattern, no less. Gah.

I'm a little nervous.

Pictures tomorrow.

Project Runway: Chicks with Sticks


I'm way behind. I'm supposed to have the front finished tomorrow, according to my schedule, but I'm not even at the armhole shaping yet.

As I work, I've been watching a lot of TV. I'm getting into Project Runway, which is a very apropos show for this event. As a knitter, it astonishes me that they can complete an entire outfit, from design to runway, in just two or three days. Here I am, not even sure if I can complete a sweater in 17 days.

Gah. I've pulled too many late-nighters already this week. Time for bed.

Ô Mon Aimée



I took a much-needed break from homework today to finish the back. I still need to knit 5.25" on the front in order to stay on schedule, so we'll see how that goes.

Overall, though, I'm feeling pretty good about this project.

ETA: I knit about 4.5" on the front, which, really...not too shabby, considering I barely knit anything yesterday. I'm only .75" behind schedule. Unfortunately, tomorrow I have a full day of schoolwork scheduled (yet another paper, although this one is less despair-inducing). Fortunately, I have a four-day weekend during which I'm going to relax, knit, and see my sweetheart of a dog.





My progress today is restricted to 3 rows. 3 damn rows. I needed to knit around 4" to stay on schedule, but there's no way that's happening. My back hurts too much to knit. That's just as well, anyway, because I have a paper due at 10:30am which I need to finish.

I'm hoping that taking a break will reduce some of the pain, so I'll be able to knit like a fiend tomorrow. I'll need to do nearly 10" to stay on track. Luckily Tuesdays provide me with a lot of television accompaniment, and not so much in the schoolwork department.

I'm going home on Thursday, and I hope to take a picture of my mom's progress (she's knitting two Baby Einstein Jackets [from Sally Melville's The Knit Stitch] for my cousin's twins).

Now This is Just Getting Gratuitous


Every time I finish a block of knitting, I take a picture.

(The splotches are from where I sprayed it).

I thought this picture was important, though, to show that my underarm sections are not as wing-like as others. In the Craftster KAL, people had been worried that there would be too much fabric, and it would be bunchy. Mine looks normal, except for that waist. I'll have to borrow a corset from work in order to wear it.

I've been blocking (misting and pinning) this thing every single time I put it down. The lace pattern refuses to lay flat, so I'm going to have to beat it into submission. The good part is that the body grows a little bit every time I block it. I'm up to 13.5" from the fold line to the sleeve shaping. Definitely a good thing, although it'll be tricky to make sure the front part grows as much as the back has.

Tomorrow I'll need to knit 4.25" in order to stay on schedule. I also need to write my paper tomorrow. Oops.

I've Got to Admit, It's Getting Better


Getting better all the time.

(It can't get no worse!)


Yesterday I knit more after I posted, and today I knit a bunch (although not before doing some homework--I'm a good girl). I'm up to 15.5" on the back piece, meaning I've got most of my knitting for tomorrow done. I have so much more schoolwork to do tomorrow (a book, a film, and start two papers), so who knows how much time I'll actually have for knitting.

I've been contemplating waking up early to knit. Is that sad?