Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I've been mainly working on Lara from the Debbie Bliss Alpaca silk book lately. The construction of this sweater is fascinating. I had no idea how it was going to come together until I was 75% done. I was cruising and had pretty much finished in under two weeks when it was time to start the ribbing for the second sleeve. I thought I had the right number of rows to make the sleeves the same length, but they just didn't look the same. I counted very carefully and began the ribbing. Notice anything?

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It seems my gauge has perhaps changed a bit. I think I'll seam most of it tomorrow and then give the ribbing another shot with smaller or bamboo needles. Hopefully the sleeve size won't be too different. The gauge in stockinette looks basically the same. I'm afraid to measure it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I've been MIA since Mark got to come visit this weekend! It was really great. The weather was nice and sunny but not scorching, and we had very little that actually needed to get done. We read the copy of Harry Potter graciously lent by Marti (does anyone else sort of wish they had waited to read this so they wouldn't have to wait the ages for the next book?) (and does anyone else feel incredibly sad thinking about how the next one is the last?), and stuffed Mark full of fabulous food from arouond the world. I have a few finished objects but will need to get pictures taken of them tomorrow.

Oh *&%?*#!! Mark just called, and he hit a deer on the way back from the airport! He's okay, thank goodness, but my beautiful car! It still runs, but he sounded very wry when he said we should get our money's worth out of the insurance even after our deductible. We need some sort of educational effort to teach deer from fawns to look both ways...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Okay, I have no idea why my posts are being shoved way down to the bottom. I have read through the code several times and see no open tags. I have deleted code section by section and not found the part causing the problem. Of course I can't find the file where I saved my template when it was still working... help!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Jan 2nd: Happy new year and happy new sweater! I finish the knitting and sewing up of Ribby Cardi. All I have to do is put in the zipper, and I'm set.

April 12th: Back in MN where the sweater was finished, I actually go out and buy a zipper. Later that evening, I realize I have been so seduced by the promise of an "invisible zipper" that I failed to notice that it doesn't separate.

April 13th: I exchange the zipper, but must continue our progress in the move down south. No worries, as soon as I get back to Seattle in two weeks I can pop that sucker in. I'm prepared.

June 4th: Back in MN again, my mom asks incredulously if this is the same sweater. I actually baste the zipper in place, following Bonne Marie's excellent tutorial.

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June 6th: With an hour to spare before leaving to catch my flight I frantically pull out my mom's sewing machine, wind a bobbin, and am ready to go. This is it! The sweater will be complete! I turn the crank to raise the needle and discover it is broken. My mom is at work. I have no idea where she keeps her spare needles. I've never changed one before. It's possible I'm not entirely packed. I swear and shove the sweater back in the suitcase.

July 16th: I finally drag out my sewing machine and realize the bobbin I stole from my mom doesn't fit and I can't remember how to wind a bobbin on my machine. The manual is in Mississippi.

July 19th, 9:30am: Jessica comes bearing Sam for a little zipper party. I remember where to put the bobbin to wind it, but it doesn't work. I wind by hand. This time I'm serious.

9:45: I realize the two pieces of the crappy plastic zipper foot attachment I bought won't actually fit together. I want to stress that these were two pieces that came together. I began to hear a funeral dirge drifting in from somewhere.

10:00: After calling around we find a very serious sewing supply store that will sell me a zipper foot (though thinks I'm an idiot since the only thing I can tell them is the brand of my machine, and I was damn proud of finally remembering that). In very small words they told me to bring in one of the other feet from my machine and they would help. But wait! It sounds like the zipper foot from Jessica's machine clips in the same way, we can just use that! We pack up the machine and our sweaters and move out.

10:15: You didn't really think that was going to work, did you?

10:30: Once in the store we find out that I already own a zipper foot, it just looks really weird compared to others we'd seen.

10:45: I cannot. Get. The damn. Thing. On.

11:00: I love the internet. I found the manual for my Elna, and though it was actually pretty poor, it was good enough that I figured out how to attach the foot. In case you ever need to do it, here is what it is supposed to look like:

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Great! Now I just have to sew!

11:45: Shit. I have to sew.

11:50: That girl who was so good in Home Ec seems to have died. As I rip out my work, Jessica realizes that my model of sewing machine isn't a good one for her: there's a knob right where she wants to bang her head in frustration. After bonding with my seam ripper a few times, I decide that my basting is actually causing me some problems on one side (twisting my I-cord), so I just follow one row of knitting and hope for the best.

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12:00pm: Given that I didn't breathe the entire time I was sewing, and every muscle in my body was clenched, I'm surprised to find I can become even more tense as I remove the basting to inspect the damage.

12:10: It actually looks okay! I rush to try it on. Jessica finishes and does the same. I can't get my zipper to reconnect. She can't get hers to separate.

12:13: I finally get the crappy zipper back together (note: zipper and zipper foot set both came from Walmart before The Oath. I rest my case.) My sweater looks great! (Zipper-wise, anyway. I want to redo the sleeves, as the ribs are just not flattering on me.) Jessica realizes that her zipper is not a separating zipper. Impressively, she does not collapse into tears. We take celebration and solice, respectively, in an Indian lunch buffet.

9:50: The dang sweater refuses to photograph well. I tried on me in the mirror, on the bed, on a hanger... this is the best I could do. It's much cooler. Really.

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Monday, July 18, 2005

Well, it has reached that time of year again where it officially sucks that no one in Seattle has air conditioning. It is hot and humid, and the sun has been down for a while. I do not do well with hot and humid (as is evidenced by the fact that even knowing first hand that it is much worse in places like Minnesota for much longer I'm whining about Seattle summer. Screw it; in those other places they have air conditioning.) It's too hot to knit. It's too hot to take pictures and write a good blog entry. It is, in fact, too hot to even read blogs and I have left about a third on my bloglines list bold. It's too hot to link to bloglines. I'm going to bed. Because getting to sleep when I'm hot and sticky is easy...

I wish I had the new Harry Potter book. Then I could be happy I was laying in bed wide awake all night. Just 1183 people ahead of me on the library hold list.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I have finally finished the sheep dress and it is blocking as I type. My most recent modification to the pattern was to change the border (A question for Miss Bliss: what type of wire did you use in the border of your version? Because there is no way in hell that the one row of picots, which themselves curl in, stopped the curl of your dress). I began by doing a backward single crochet, chain stitch repeat along the edge which was very cute.

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I got to three rows of single crochets before realizing that having connected to only every other stitch was not going to be enough structure. I gave in and just did three boring rows of single crochet and then the picots. The edge still flares a bit but it's not too bad and I'm hoping blocking will straighten it out. If not, it's fine.

Now take a deep breath before I show you the finished project, because your going to need it for the long "aaawwwwwww"

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Is this not the cutest thing anywhere ever? I'm not bragging about the quality of the work (believe me, there are quality issues I wish weren't there); if chimps could make a vague representation of this dress it would be adorable.

The pattern is from Debbie Bliss: The Baby Knits Book. I of course only followed it in spirit. I knit it in the round (which made the sheep reeeeeeeeaaaaaally slow) and ommitted the sleeves and collar, adding the edging you see instead. I wanted to make it a bit more climate-versitle since who knows whatIn a bizzare twist of fate I had the actual yarn called for, and made it out of Debbie Bliss Wool Cotton (but in a much cuter color, not that blah grey in the book).

I think it's sweet enough for my new niece

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Oh, and it is destined to be unique. I will gouge my eyes out before weaving in all those ends again.

Friday, July 08, 2005

With the exception of missing Mark like crazy, I am so incredibly happy to be back in Seattle. The middle of nowhere can be nice to visit if it's pretty (Columbus isn't), but even then a person can't be expected to live like that. I'm back in a place with busses and businesses and people and reasonable temperatures and above all... decent food! I went to Trader Joes and almost cried at all of the wonderful food of all types that was there. I walked past the Tea House and smelled it's very unique and very foreign scent, and if I could have figured out a way I would have hugged it. When I thought of Seattle while I was in MS it was sort of this vision of restaurants as far as the eye could see of any type you could think of. I may never eat at home again. Yesterday I had Thai. Today I'm thinking Indian. Maybe Cuban. I also hadn't realized how very much I missed my friends. Knitting at Essential last night was just wonderful. I was able to catch up with everyone, drink good coffee, and completely relax. And they gave us all free fancy desserts! I love this city.

Oh yeah, and I finished my sock on the drive back to MS from St Louis where we spent the weekend of the fourth (Happy Anniversary to me!).

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Those sock blockers are amazing. It is blocked so perfectly you wouldn't even believe.