Chuck Norris knits sweaters. And by knits, I mean eats. And by sweaters, I mean children.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

wrapper's delight, or, why you should never buy cheap needles off the internets

Ms. Marigold is over 90% finished. All of her parts are completed, save the trim around the armholes, the neckbands, and the little fluttery things on the shoulders (or, "wings") so I'm pretty much on track for my August 30th finish date. You know, if my summer reading and biology paper don't get in the way. Ahem.

I had gathered some momentum for the tasks ahead during my second time binding off (1st attempt was too tight--btw, am I the only one who takes like four hours to undo each bound off stitch one by one?! never again) which you can see at right, although the color is pretty inaccurate. So what happened? Right. I know I lamented the picking-up neckband stitches in my last post, but really I was kind of looking forward with them today, and after I took a stab at it (ha ha PUN) with my beloved Denises, I figured I had a pretty good handle of it. Well, shucks, Denises don't come in sizes smaller than 5, and that's what I needed for this project, hence the unwise purchase of 4 no-name brand bamboo circulars from Hong Kong on ebay. When I got them in the mail I didn't open them up right away (why?!) but when I first tried using them--today--I noticed that the stitches were having a real hard time moving over the needles, almost as if the coating was uneven and catching on the yarn. AND the cords are plastic tubes GLUED ON. In other words, no matter how cheap I am, I am never buying shit-ass needles from ebay for $6 ever again. What have we learned today, kids? You get what you pay for!

So instead, I did THIS.
See that? That is my first crocheted thing EVER! I decided I couldn't live without an uneven wobbly square of crappy single crochet any longer, or I would just die. It was pretty exciting, and now I feel like a maverick of needle arts (snort.) Okay, so I can only chain and single crochet, but I'm getting there. Now I know enough to finish the armholes of Ms. Marigold (I guess I can do that while waiting to buy new #3's for the neckband) and, sometime in the future, I can work my way up to two of my favorite projects from The Happy Hooker: Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet...Short 'N Sweet and THE PREPSTER JACKET! (All hail the Prepster Jacket.)

Well, now I'm off to watch Project Runway (is there anyone who doesn't watch this show?)...hopefully the judges won't be as coked up as they were last week. I mean, SERIOUSLY. Vincent? Not even a kooky hat could save the dress you sent down the runway last week (can I even call it a dress? the model looked like she was wrapped in kindergarten art department barf.) Allison? I miss you. Robert? Design all my clothes, please? And Tim? Oh my dog. Tim Gunn...everyone needs Tim Gunn in their life. Period.

Friday, August 18, 2006

a whole neckband...?!

First off, let me offer up humble apologizes for the washed-out photo. I know in most cases an apology for such an offense would sound something like, "look, ya know, I don't mean to brag, but I actually have a pretty kickin' tan, you just can't see it because I'm standing next to a window facing the sun at high noon and I had a really crap photographer for this shot, and when I say really crap I mean really crap," but unfortunately the really crap photographer in this case is me, and actually I think this photo does a good job of making me look a little more tan than I actually am...which just made me so depressed I don't know if I can carry on with this post.

But wait, there is good news, besides the fact I will most likely not have wrinkly skin due to sun damage when I'm 40+, and that is that I really love Ms. Marigold thus far. The fit is perfect. I mean, this thing makes me look like I have a chest. C'mon. That would be considered alchemy for any knitting pattern, let alone one in I screwed up with the yarn substitution, buying a sport weight instead of DK because "the label said 5 stitches per inch, dammit" and so, to compensate, chose to knit the size 38 instead of the 34--almost completely arbitrarily, besides a few cock-eyed attempts at math which most likely do not check out. AND IT FITS. I'm still in disbelief.

Anyway, when I was trying this on and flouncing around the house, my mom saw me and remarked, "Wow, it looks like you're almost done," to which I first. But then, after putting down my hairbrush/microphone and pondering this for a few moments, I came to the disgusting realization that, even though the body was almost completed, I still had to finish the armholes, the ruffle, and THE ENORMOUS NECKBAND, which has put a damper on my enthusiasm. I dunno. I'm still chugging for an August 30th finish date.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

in which corset pullover gets shafted once again

My Corset Pullover is sad.

( See, it's supposed to be frowning...umm, yeah. It's sad.)

Corset Pullover is sad, see, because he is realizing at this moment that we don't have a steady relationship. We started out spending almost all of our time together, when I was so enthralled by how colorful and intriguing he was compared to my last serious relationship, the knit.1 plaid turtleneck. But soon my enthusiasm tapered off, and I started eyeing other projects. Like, seriously eyeing other projects. Even starting some other projects on the side. Only when this side-dating disappointed or frustrated me did I return to Corset Pullover's unfinished pieces, and even when I did, he began to disappoint and frustrate me too--the uneven knitting on the front piece, the short row shaping on the shoulders which has, so far, prevented me from finishing the back after about a month...the nagging, mostly. I dunno, it just seems, no matter how much we get done, there's always so much to go...whether it be sleeves, or...sleeves...whatever. He needs to realize that I have needs, and some of those needs include instant gratification. In other words, a project without sleeves.

Enter Ms. Marigold.

Look at how smiley!

First of all, the color is a nice change of pace for me, since I don't own a lot of reddish things, but I've found that now that I've branched out into the 'red' area I've become kind of obsessed: every potential project I see seems to scream "DAMN I'D BE HOT IN RED." Which is distracting. Nevertheless, progress on this top is steady and fairly quick--this photo is a week old or so, I'm down to past where the piece connects in the round now. Hopefully it will be done before school starts, as Becca has given me a Project Runway-esque deadline for her birthday aka the first day of eew. I might have an in-progress modeling shot tomorrow.

Monday, August 07, 2006

FO: knit.1 plaid turtleneck fall 2005

Pattern: #13 Plaid Turtleneck from Knit.1 Fall 2005.
Yarn: Lion-Brand Wool-Ease (80% acrylic, 20% wool): 4 skeins chocolate brown, less than 1 skein camel
Mods: Instead of using different colors for the ribbing, plaid background, and stripes, I used only two, keeping the ribbing and the plaid background the same color. I also shortened the sleeves to 3/4 length, figuring that I always roll up long sleeves anyway, and omitted the turtleneck, because I have this notion that wearing turtlenecks gives me a double-chin. The instructions for the plaid piece in the front say to knit the horizontal stripes in and single crochet the verticle ones in after the piece is finished. This sounded alright to me until I was ready to finish the sweater and realized that my crochet, well, IT IS NOT VERY GOOD. I had almost all the vertical stripes crocheted in using some bizarre combination of ch and sc (do I even have the abbreviations right? obviously accuracy is not my forte) before realizing just how terrible it looked, even though I had done it and redone it about 400 times each. Not only did it look wonky and not like stockinette stitch at all, but it also made the fabric around it pucker. UGH. Maybe crochet isn't the best way to do this, or maybe I don't know how to crochet. Which is HIGHLY possible. But still, at that point I had no idea what to do, on one hand being exasperated at being so close to finishing yet so far away, and on the other considering undoing all the seaming and reknitting the front so I could intarsia the vertical stripes. *Puts hand to forehead* Yeah right, get me my fainting couch and some lemon water. Anyway, I finally stumbled on a tutorial for chain-stitch embroidery, bless its soul, and finished the sweater up. AND HERE IT IS.

Knitty moment: Knitting this in the car on the way to see Franz Ferdinand in Boston, with mom in the driver's seat going, "Agganis Arena? Where the FRANZ* is Agganis Arena?" and my sister Kate giving me dirty looks because, well, Kate always gives me dirty looks.

This was my first sweater where I actually had to seam sleeve caps (shout out to my Hourglass Pullover, I <3 you)The verdict? It's alright. There's no shaping, so the fit is a little baggy, and while I like the look of the saddle-shoulders, it makes me look a wee bit like a linebacker. But I'll still wear it, although maybe not with something underneath. AND NOT WITHOUT MY CRAZY GOLD EARRINGS. That is all :-D