March 22, 2010

So I finally finished that vest

 So I finally am totally done with the argyle!  After finishing the first vest and having it come out 4" too big in the chest, and doing it all again in a different color, I am very happy with the result.  Eli doesn't like having his picture taken but I explained it was the price he had to pay for hand-knits.  For what it's worth I think he's handsome but he loves to make put-out faces for the camera.  Here is a nice close up of the vest.

The crisscross lines on it are duplicate stitch embroidered after the knitting and sewing together and pretty much everything was done.  It was a bit of a slog, that last bit, I just SO wanted to be done with it!  And so I am.   I really think this was one of the nicer things I've made.  I did make a big modification to the pattern by making it 6 stitches smaller on the front and the back.  I basically followed the directions but just decreased the size.  The pattern was nicely done but I don't know why you'd  want a vest like this to have 4" of ease.  My vest of fail showed that clearly it isn't very attractive.  Who knows?  Do most men really like everything 2 sizes too big?  Anyway here are a few more photo's of Eli hamming it up.  


March 10, 2010

Busy busy!

So I've been obsessively reading the forums on Ravelry and ordered 4 books through inter-library loan and all of this has been about learning to be a designer.  I really want to beef up my skills on designing my own garments and learning to make the things I knit fit better.  The books I got from the library are Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop, Reader's Digest Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanley, The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe, Sweater Design in Plain English by Maggie Righetti, and The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt.

I spent the afternoon browsing these books and I think the most helpful one is going to be the Sweater Design in Plain English.  It seems like a really straightforward guide to making garments that fit and work the way you want.  The other books certainly have value (The principles of Knitting had 30 types of cast on) but turned out to be in short supply of the things I really wanted to know.  I used reviews on Amazon to decide what to get from the library because I think I'll likely want to buy the ones that seem most useful. 

The Principles of Knitting is out of print and very expensive to get so I feel lucky that another library was willing to send it here so I could take a look.  It was very talked up but it seems persnickety (she is convinced that there is only one right way to knit) and somewhat dated.  It has a lot of information but most of it I already know and or have for reference in other books.  I'm glad I didn't shell out for in all honesty. 

Of the books I got I think the Color knitting book is the most useless.  There is a little info in there but I think I'd much rather have a book of stranded/fair-isle designs.  A lot of what is in the book is god-awful ugly and will make me not want to use it.  To be fair it did give me the idea to use shaping to make intarsia patterns more than cross-stitch looking.  That was worth walking it home from the library anyway.

On other fronts I've finished the back of Eli's vest and have a few inches done on the front. 

I have a few ends to weave in on the back still and of course the argyle lines to embroider on but this vest is very much actually the right size this time.  I measured.  And measured.  The first one I made came out 4" too big and looked like a really ugly argyle sack on the poor man.  Maybe I'll feel ok enought about someday to take some funny pictures.  

The Alexander McQueen tribute is on a bit of a hold while I wait for more yarn to arrive.  I'm terrible at estimating yardage, but it usually works out ok because I work at the Yarn Exchange and live a block away so I just run and get a bit more.  This time though I bought all 3 skeins that we had of the Lanaloft Bulky in Cottage White so I'll have to wait until we get more in.  I did have to frog a bit of it because of an irredeemable and complicated-to-explain mistake so I took some pictures of my progress off the needles.  Its coming along just like I planned!  What a good feeling despite the mistake.  It was a bit fun to frog it on the floor like that. 

March 6, 2010


I had a fun moment of magical thinking the other night when the fan in my computer decided to stop working. I decided I would take it apart and see if I could see what was wrong. I finally got it apart (after taking out about 100 screws) and saw nothing wrong but dust and cat hair so I vacuumed it out and spun the fan around a bit and screwed it back together and then it worked fine. *shrug*. Who knows?? The power of randomly taking shit apart I suppose. It's out of warranty now so I figured I couldn't mess it up worse.

The object of irritation!

Location:Illinois 38,DeKalb,United States

March 3, 2010

Nifty Thrifty

So I went thrift shopping this afternoon and was rather productive. Uh well I spent a gob of money anyway. I got this lovely tea service with 6 cups and saucers for $15. The only thing missing is the lid to the sugar jar sadly, but I couldn't leave it. Its gorgeous and I didn't have a whole one. So mod. The mark is Melitta, Germany. I got this from Lavish Thrift where I'd been wanting it for nearly a year. It started out at $40 so I don't feel like I've done too badly.

I also went to the new consignment store 2 doors down from me. Its still pretty empty but they had a table full of fantastic jewelry really cheap. Oh I went I bit nuts. I promise I did leave some behind. First up is this lovely pair of gold plated filigree earrings with jade that were $6. I am currently wearing them. They are light and darling.

Next up is the lovely mid century modern sterling fish pin. This guy was sooooo cool. I think he's going to go on my pink cape. He was $7

This is a lovely brass enameled pin that looked really sharp on my green coat. $6

The the most awesome thing was this brass and pearl lapel chain. Oh jeez I saw one of these in a magazine a while back I wanted one bad. Now it is mine! 8$

Then I bought an assorted set of mid century mod drinking glasses and a carafe. They were too much but they make me happy. Plus we've broken a few glasses lately so I think we needed a few that weren't the ugly POM ones. $25 for the set.

March 2, 2010

Swatches swatches

I've been working pretty hard on getting everything ready to start the Idea. I've done my calculations wrote a chart for the stitch pattern and made some really large swatches.

The really large swatches were necessary to see how the worsted and bulky weight yarns handled the stitch pattern. I went through my stitch pattern book several times and found patterns that were close to what I wanted but I ended up writing one that was similar to others, but did exactly what I needed it to.

I've also completed the yoke portion. I don't know how happy I am about it. I'm not sure that portion is going to work, but I'm willing to sit on it until I get the skirt done. I just don't know how it is going to look when it gets sewn to the side. Also I need to frog a bit of the back and make it shorter as it somehow got too long.

I've made 30 lower portions of the leaf motif as a cast on for the skirt. I realized at some point yesterday that I was really going to need to buy a 60" circular. OMG. The poor thing is stuffed on it. Good thing it has to decrease pretty quickly. One round takes about an hour at this point so I think this thing will take longer than I was thinking. Also I'll probably need more yarn. Oi. I should have known this would get out of hand. :)