January One -- Almost Everyday

October 12, 2005

This is a Public Apology

to Vicki. I promise, the sheets and towels will be clean. The rest of the house, not so much. I started the bathrooms this morning and got rid of the mold (TILEX is the BOMB!) and used some goofy powder stuff that foams up in the toilets. But the floors? NO. The counters? NO. The kitchen? NO. Vaccuuming? NO. BUT....



And when I say finished, I mean FINISHED!
Ends woven in and everything!

Georgie was kind enough to take pictures of me in my nice shiny new cardie (which he proclaimed was so perfect it was scary - tried to tell me he didn't think I knit it - but I was like YOU WATCHED ME KNIT IT!) but before we get to that, let's have the details.

Yarn: Manos. I think the colorway is called FLAME. It's #115. I used US #7/8 Addis (7s for the ribbing and buttonbands.) Nine skeins. I actually bought two more because I was afraid that I was going to run out, but I didn't. So now I have two skeins to return.

Pattern: I started out with the Peace Fleece Everyday Cardigan pattern but quickly learned it has a lot of things wrong with it (I LOVE knitbloggers!) So I switched to the modified drop shoulder in Ann Budd's book. Did lots of calulations on my own (I HATE math!) since my gauge was about 4.5 stitches to the inch. I fudged the size somewhere between 40" and 44". I don't know how it all worked out, but the fit is PERFECT. It's nice and baggy which I wanted, but not too big at all. It fits fine buttoned up (no pulling across my boobs.) The shoulders are dropped, but not too dropped. The length is great in both the body and the arms. If I had to recreate this I don't know if I could. And I worried the whole time it wouldn't fit.

Lots of firsts for me with this sweater:

- I used the spit join method for incorporating new skeins, which was nice, although occasionally I wished I had a mint or something before hand. And it still seemed like I had a ton of ends. Go figure.

- I knit the back and fronts in the round and then split for the arms and shoulders. I will DEFINITELY do this again - in fact, I'll be doing it with my Guilt-A-Long Dad sweater if I ever get it charted. I like seaming though, so it's not that, but still.

- I did a modified 3-needle bind off that Margene was so kind to share with me. I love my shoulder seams and will forever do it this way. I didn't get to do short-row shoulder shaping, but I intend to very soon. No more stair-steps for me!

- I did my first button holes! I used Nancie Wiseman's revised one row buttonhole and I think it looks fantastic. She has you cast on an extra three stitches instead of one extra when casting back on. When you do the next row, you do a k2tog (or p2tog) and ssk (or ssp) with the extra stitches at both ends of the buttonhole. It tightened things up very nicely - I could tell since the first three times I did the button hole band I DIDN'T do it this way. Highly recommend it!

I think that's about it for the new stuff. A very, very satisfying project. It took me less than a month to do. Maybe 2.5 weeks? I have to go back and look. I got EXACTLY what I wanted. And I used STASH! Half the yarn for this sweater was bought in NJ and the other half in Boston almost a year ago. Yeah for clearing out some stash!

Here's the photo shoot - I let G use the GOOD camera and I think we were both a bit nervous. We were both getting into it towards the end (he liked the fast shutter) and he has a new appreciation for my work, since I had the flash and bracket on the camera and that sucker is HEAVY! Enjoy the pictures!

Love the perspective of this picture - my bookcases look so tall!
They do go to the ceiling, but my ceilings aren't that high.

G likes this picture the best.
Probably because my ass is facing the camera.

My boobs are NOT that saggy!
I mean, they're not passing any pencil tests, but still!

My attempt at Whack Dancing!
I look like a stoned nerd.

There you have it folks! Look for it at Rhinebeck. I don't care if it's ninety freakin' degrees. I'll have it on!

Posted by Cara at 12:17 AM | Comments (49)

October 10, 2005

Triangles. Two. Blue.

Look. I'm not a doctor. I don't even pretend to play one on this blog. And I don't know anything about tinctures or mother's with warts or garden remedies and such stuff like some people. All I know is that since Wednesday, when my wrist/hand was hurting really bad, I've eaten no less that three boxes of Junior Caramels. And today, well, today my wrist/arm feels good as new!!! I'm not saying that Junior Caramels are a miracle cure or anything. Maybe it was the box of Skittles gum I ate like candy because hello if it has the same consistency as regular Skittles how can you call it gum? It could have been the Twizzlers chews or the Entemman's Brownie things (can you say PMS?) but I'm sticking with the Junior Caramels. I believe! I believe!

So, yeah. I don't know what to think. Saturday I was all set to call the doctor and make an appointment for MRIs and stuff. A little bit of Advil. A little bit of Aspercreme. Some icing. And by yesterday afternoon I barely felt a thing. The last couple of nights I didn't sleep with the brace and today it feels no better or no worse than my right hand. Which is good. (Not great, but good.)

I did knit this weekend. Whatever. I did what I had to do. I finished the sleeve on the Almost Everyday Cardigan, as well as the neckline (twice) and the buttonband (four times.) I'm not entirely happy with it. I think it's got too much of a Nehru look to it. If I were to do it again (which I'm NOT) I would make the neckline a bit deeper. I also bought buttons, but I'm not sure about them either. After two hours at Tender Buttons on Saturday basically feeling like I'd never knit again, I left with some buttons. I started out with all these red buttons and then I asked the store clerk for advice and she told me absolutely not, stay away from red. So I went with a distressed brown black button. Opinions please. Just don't tell me the buttonband looks like it's all wrong. I started out with 74 stitches and ended up with 106. I have 143 rows to deal with - I may be one or two stitches short, but I used a calculator and I think it works now. Please, please don't tell me it doesn't.

I'm thinking it's not so boxy on. Opinions welcome. Honesty appreciated. The bloom's off the rose, so to speak.

BUT, there are better projects on the horizon!

Triangles. Two. Blue.

You may remember I ordered a bunch of Oat Couture blanket patterns after seeing Grumperina's Curlicue Blanket in action. Well, they came in the mail two weeks ago and when I saw the Prairie Blanket it was epiphany time. As some of you know, my good friend Jen is having a baby, a boy, around Thanksgiving. I've been thinking on what to do/get for her. We met on a fertility site, but our friendship quickly turned to knitting. So I wanted to do something knitterly for her. Or I could take pictures of her baby. But I figured I was probably going to do that anyway. And then I saw the pattern and I knew. It would be done in Zara. Of that I was certain. And I wouldn't tell her about it. It would be a secret!

I order the yarn (color #1481 - a denim heather) and I wait. I tell a couple of people about it, but I say nothing to Jen. I'm so excited. It's going to be perfect and she's going to love it.

And then she comes over to knit. She calls me to tell me she's coming and before we get off the phone she says, "Hey. Did you ever get those blanket patterns?" I panic. I'm an AWFUL liar. I stammer out a no, sure she knows. I rush around, hiding the patterns. I can't tell her. I'll ruin the surprise.

She walks in the door and even before she's through I'm saying, I lied, I lied, I have the patterns, but you can't use it because I'm surprising you! I am SO PATHETIC. She laughed of course and was very appreciative and the best part is that I can now blog about it.

How freaking beautiful is that? Such a wonderful pattern. I just started the center section so it's just knit knit knit on from here. I made another baby blanket with Zara and I've forgotten how completely luxurious this yarn is. I NEED to make a garment with it. I want to wrap myself in it and go to sleep. I hope you love it Jen! Mwah!

What's the second blue triangle you ask? Well, I started another shawl as well. I started this a couple of weeks ago and I'm up to row 34. There are 198 rows. I'm not rushing. ;-) But I like it!

The first picture shows the color better, the second shows the pattern better. This is Robert Powell's "Knitted Triangular Lace Shawl with Undulating Edgings Design 106," available as a kit from Catherine Knits. (Fabulous pattern title, don't you think? I'm calling it Powell 106 for the intrigue factor.) I'm using some more Twinkletoes Yarn (in Denim Multi) instead of the Jamieson & Smith that came in the kit. So far so good. It's a garter stitch shawl (knit the odd rows) which I'm a little unsure about, but I like the pattern. It looks really nice all stretched out. I haven't gotten to the big diamonds yet.

LOTS and lots of cleaning. And maybe a buttonhole band on the AEC. Anyone have any favorite buttonholes? Now's your chance to pipe in. Oh and I'm not promising anything, but today could very well be the day that I hit a nice big round number in my comments. A prize, a special prize from Rhinebeck, to the person who hits that number.

Posted by Cara at 10:44 AM | Comments (32)

October 05, 2005

The Dream Police

I can't get the Cheap Trick song out of my head. Ever since I told G about my dream this morning - it's been going round and round. So, in my dream, I'm in a play. I'm Tevye's wife. And people are coming from everywhere to see this play. It's at camp. Maybe. But it's outside and there are lots of cars and people are walking up a hill and it seems like camp and my sister's there and G maybe and this guy from high school who always shows up in my dreams. Anyway. I'm Tevye's wife in the play except no one gave me a script. And we're about to go on. And I keep trying to tell everyone that NO ONE GAVE ME A SCRIPT. And I think that maybe my character only has like one line (where she screams Tevye! Tevye! over and over) but no, she's got lots of lines and NO ONE GAVE ME A SCRIPT. So I'm going to fudge it, and it seems that my character sits down a lot so maybe she can be sitting at the table sewing (knitting?) and read the lines like that? The guy from high school hands me a script only it's been copied and reduced like a million times and I can barely read it and I'm running around looking for a highlighter because maybe if I highlight my lines I'll be able to read them. And then I woke up.

What do you think? Maybe I'm feeling a bit unprepared for class tonight? ;-)

(Hmmm. Interesting. I think I might have the connections here - I dreamed about Fiddler because it's the holidays and I thought I was Tevye's wife because on Gilmore Girls last night they kept playing the whole Rosie O'Donnell mentally challenged getting on the bus thing. Uck. I need to shut the TV off.)

My walk yesterday was very cathartic. I cried and cried but threw my regrets in the water with the crumbs. It's been a tough year, but I'm moving past things and hopefully becoming more emotionally prepared to make some tough decisions. Cryptic, no? Can't give away all my secrets! I got some good work done too so after a mid-morning panic I was feeling a bit better.

I did something to my left hand/wrist. I don't really think it's my wrist, well, mainly because my wrist doesn't hurt. My hand hurts, in the middle, but only when I drop my hand down - like if I keep my wrist straight and my hand is at a right angle. G thinks I might have strained a tendon or something. Which is weird because I'm very right dominant. And I'm a thrower. So maybe I was holding the needles too tight? Also, I do this weird thing (well, maybe not so weird, but Jen's pointed it out to me so maybe a little weird) where I push the left needle down with my first finger on my left hand when moving the stitch off. I don't know why I do it, but that's how I knit. Not every stitch, but most stitches. So yesterday I didn't knit at all (I'm not counting the 24 stitch shoulder bind offs) and the day before I barely knit. Today I probably won't knit. I'm going to go out and buy one of those wrist wraps because I need to knit. I need to knit now because I'm very, very anxious to finish....

The sleeve fits! And the body fits! And it FITS! (Excuse the cut off heads and the pajamas. I was going to show myself all fresh faced just out of bed but I don't have time for that much photoshopping right now. I'm vain. Sue me.) The sweater with only one arm even got the patented "that's your best yet!" from G-Love. (I swear he's worse than the mother of a teenage girl - "You look lovely honey! No one will notice that pimple and your butt does not look fat! You're beautiful!")

Here are some more detail pictures:

The sleeve join - you can see that it's a bit wonky at the armscye, but that's what you get with weird increases and a modified drop shoulder. (Read Cassie's entry today on why it's better to finish than be perfect.)

And the shoulder seams (thanks Margene! It looks good, no?)

And last but not least, the sleeve seam:

Overall, I'm VERY happy. But there's still a lot to do if I'm going to wear it next week. I told G is was going to be my Rhinebeck uniform so this way everyone would know me because they'd seen it on my blog. I think he actually thought that was cool, but again, he could be using the MOM trick. You never know with him. I think I need more yarn. And I need to finish an arm. And I need buttons. I've never done a button band before. I've also got a SHITLOAD of work to do. I have to go out of town next week. And I have to CLEAN my house (I mean clean in the sense of fumigate) for Vicki. Will I get it done?!?! I'm betting I will.

Posted by Cara at 09:18 AM | Comments (19)

October 03, 2005

What's the Story, Morning Glory?

Remember that scene in Bye, Bye Birdie? The one where everyone's on the phone trading gossip about Hugo and Kim? I was thinking about that song this weekend because it was a blogger phone fest! Ann, Wendy, Vicki, Jen! Great to gab with you girls! Can't wait to see you soon!

It was a good weekend overall. Saturday I made some good headway with my work and Saturday night we had a wonderful meal at Gigino's. It's a little Italian place in Tribeca - on Greenwhich Street - and we've never had a bad meal there. It's been consistently outstanding for a long time. A long time. I started with my favorite salad - sliced pears so thin you can see through them, some kind of parmaesan cheese, also sliced thin, arugula, walnuts, pomegranates all sprinkled with white balsamic. I LOVE it! Then I had a (large!) rack of lamp roasted in their brick oven with peppers and onions and string beans and roasted potatoes in a kind of au jus sauce. The potatoes were spectacularly crunchy on the outside and like mashed on the inside. Warm chocolate cake for dessert. To die for!

And then we went shopping for music - ends up Virgin Records at Union Square is open until 1 AM. I couldn't get over how busy it was outside. Okay, granted, we were in the Village near NYU on a Saturday night on a beautiful night in October - but it was packed! Craziness I tell you. We came away from Virgin with some Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash and some Ray Charles. Excellent!

Did anyone catch the Saturday Night Live season premiere? I thought it was pretty damn funny. I watched some of it before we went to bed (it was late! I taped it.) I was laughing my ass off. LOVED, loved the Morgan Stanely mock commercial. Please tell me you saw it!

Yesterday, we beached it!

Those pictures are straight out of the camera (the point and shoot.) The sky was the most amazing blue - it was a perfect day. I don't think I broke a sweat, but I was warm and cool (you get that right?) and I just love the beach in October. I hope we get to go back a couple times before it really is too cold. That's me knitting on a new shawl. Or at least knitting the first seven rows over and over and over and over again until I finally got the very strange 3 to 2 decrease that the author has developed. You know how that goes. And now that I've done about 26 rows, I'm not sure I want to do it on size 8 needles. I'm using the same Twinkletoes yarn (different color) I used for DFS, only the shawl is a garter stitch pattern (knit the odd rows). The pattern calls for Jamieson and Smith 2 ply jumper weight, which seems like a really loose ply, but still fingering weight - so the trade off should be okay. I may try it with size 7 needles and see if I like it better. I know, I could swatch, but WHATEVER! Where's the excitement in that?

Speaking of frustrating knits, what the fuck! You'd think a simple drop shoulder sleeve would be a no brainer. Does that mean I acutally have a brain because I can't get the damn thing to work? If you recall, I decided to do a modified drop shoulder on the Almost Everyday Cardigan. I bound off 8 stitches at each arm and continued straight to the shoulder. Well, when I increased the sleeve to 94 stitches (which matched the cast on for the back) I barely got to the bind off for the arm when I sewed it in really quickly. Back to the drawing board. Originally I had done 15 increases (one every end) every 4 rows and then 11 increases every six rows. I ripped back and ended up with 15 every 4 rows, 5 every 6 rows and then another 10 every 4 rows. I think. I've got it all written down. And I was smart - I did a knit into the front and back increase so I can see them really easily. Got me to 102 stitches. Just barely worked - I still needed it to be longer to get me all the way across the bind off. So I ripped again back half of the final every 4 row increases and did every other row increases. Same number of rows, but an extra ten stitches. I didn't sew it in yet, but it looks like it worked. How crazy is that? Please don't tell me I should rip and start the whole thing over. I think I can get it to work and it's supposed to be oversized and all. Damn though. This sweater should be done already. And to add insult to injury, I'm worried I won't have enough yarn. I think I need another hank.

Do you have a madeleine? I do. Last night I sent G to the store to pick up some Acne soap (my face is breaking out so bad!) and some candy. They didn't have these new Junior Mints - but they aren't mint - they're caramel inside and they may be the best candy ever! Junior Caramels! I told him instead to get me some gummy bears. So he brought home the CVS store brand kind. As soon as I saw the bag, I knew!

When I was a young girl - I don't know prepubescant - maybe 10 or 11 - I used to ride my bike to this Polish candy store. They sold gummy bears (the first time I'd ever seen them) in plastic sandwhich bags with a twist tie on the top. I'd bring the bag home and climb into bed and eat them while I read with my clock radio playing music. To this day whenever I hear certain songs I immediately remember a particular book. Back to the gummy bears - with the proliferation over the years of gummy candy (worms, aligators dinosaurs, you name it) the gummy bear has been basterdized in a lot of ways. Rarely can I find the exact bear I used to get at the Polish candy store. They're very chewy, almost hard, and after awhile your jaw hurts. They have a very subtle flavor too. But they are THE.MOST.SATISFYING. candy ever. Georgie brought them to me last night - the EXACT kind - and I swear I almost cried. My madeleine. What's yours?

I leave you (wow I was chatty today!) with the picture that greeted me when I awoke this morning. We're completely fogged in:

It seems like it's starting to lift and I'm going to go run a bit later. Some blocking today and maybe some seaming and I may or may not cast on for the second sleeve. My left wrist hurts a bit today so I may take a break. Or cast on for a second sock. Or find the first one (I lost the first sunshine sock. My house is such a mess.)

Have a great day!

PS - Here's what it looks like now - about two hours after the first picture:

Wild huh? I love weather.

Posted by Cara at 10:02 AM | Comments (11)

September 28, 2005

Fun with Stockinette

Ah the joys of size 8 needles and stockinette:

Behold I give you the finished back and fronts of the Almost Everyday Cardigan. I've got to say, I'm really enjoying photographing this sweater. Today's pictures, I think, accurately capture the color of the sweater, but oh my goodness is the carpet off. My carpet is brown. Not a bad crappy kind of brown, but a nice brown that can sometimes seem a little purple and hides stains fairly well. A good carpet, rendered some weird ashy gray by the camera. Funny how that works, huh?

Anyway, back to the cardi. The back and fronts, as I said, are finished and I pseudo tried it on last night by lacing some circulars through the shoulders and I think the fit is going to be spot on! In length and everything. (I'm saying I think because when it doesn't work out I can rescind.) One side of the crewneck cast off is a little weird, maybe because I bound off knitwise on the purl side? I may rip that and redo it, but otherwise, it's all good.

I have a couple questions for all you intrepid designers out there (Colleen, listen up!) I've been using Ann Budd's templates as a guide for my sweater. For instance, she has it that you should cast on 80 st for the back if you're getting 4 st/in and 100 st if you're getting 5 st/in - I cast on 94 st. And 44 (+1 selvedge for picking up the button bands - how smart am I!?) for each front. It's time for the sleeves. Ann says 40 for 4 st/in and 50 for 5 st/in increasing up to 80 and 100. She has this 40 st or 50 st start for the 40", 42" and 44" sizes. (I'm making somewhere between the 40" and 42") They all increase up to the original cast on number for the back. So - my question (if you're still following along because I'm so convoluted at explaining these knitty things) is should I cast on 42 st (so that my ribs match up) and increase up to 94 stitches, which is what I cast on for the back? I'm not really sure what the other options here would be - this seems to make the most sense. Thanks for any and all input on this.

Also, I should block it before I connect the shoulders, right? I'm thinking yes since it's so stockinette rolly.

I'd love to cast on both sleeves at the same time and really crank this sucker out, but I'm afraid it would become a tangled mess because of the alternating skein plan. It's worked so well with the body that I'd hate to stop now, and I think it would take twice the time to do two sleeves with four skeins since I'd be untangling more than I'd be knitting. Any input here would be great as well.

So, so far so good. I'm happy, today that is, with my knits.

Sorry if I offended anyone with the Guilt-Along KAL. You do know it's all in jest, yes? I'm not one for guilt in my life. Goes back to when I was an existentialist. I try VERY HARD to make choices in my life that leave little room for regret and guilt. Lately I've had a taste of what guilt can feel like and it's not very nice. It's not pleasant when it has to do with the big things in your life, and there's certainly no room for it in my fun time, i.e. knitting. I'm still encouraging you all to play along, tongues planted firmly in your cheeks!

PS - Like my new button?

I found the button via Creazativity. Thanks!

Posted by Cara at 08:33 AM | Comments (7)

September 26, 2005

Back On Track

When I wasn't taking pictures this weekend (birthday party on Saturday, portraits on Sunday), I was knitting.

I cast on Friday and split for the armholes last night. I've already got about 5.5 inches on the back, so I'll try to finish that today. Maybe. Because of the way the pattern (Ann Budd) is written, I won't be doing short rows for the shoulders (thanks Margene!) but instead will be keeping the stitches live and doing a three needle bind off. Still an new skill for me. Basically there is no need for short rows, because it's all just straight across. Modified drop-shoulder, remember? I'm still loving the yarn and the fabric it's creating. Red is SO HARD to photograph - it's so contrasty, and this yarn is no exception. When I knit at night I'm so surprised at how RED it looks because during the day it's filled with purples and pinks. They pretty much disappear as soon as the sun goes down. It's quite interesting. There are a couple of spots where the yarn gets really thin and overtwisted and pink and I feel like they stand out too much so I've been toying with the idea of doing a duplicate stitch over them, but I'm going to NOT think about it until it's finished. The more knitting I do, the spot gets smaller and smaller and I think it will end up being on the side, so I may not see it so much. The fit will be perfect (BITE YOUR TONGUE) - it's looking a bit loose and oversized and exactly what I wanted. The only place I'm a bit concerned about is length, but I'm not panicking yet.

Want to know one of the things I absolutely LOVE about knitblogs? All the new patterns you find! Today I was reading Grumperina, a fairly newish blog for me, and she had some links to Oat Couture baby blankets. I've never heard of Oat Couture, but the patterns are beautiful and challenging. There was a time when all I knit were baby blankets. I immediately ordered all of their blanket patterns. I think they're wonderful and you know, you can never have enough short rows that make you want to kill someone in your life. Thanks Grumperina!

Tonight I'm off to an Afghan Sew-Up! My first one! I'm a little nervous though, because I'm not sure I know how to sew up an Afghan, but my intrepid hostess assures me I will have no problems. I might bring a camera. Not THE camera, but a camera. I'm a little pictured out right now.

Oh and sock pal! I'm waiting anxiously!

Posted by Cara at 09:32 AM | Comments (14)

September 23, 2005

kissing in the car a real one*

For Sandy of the Skies:




All photos were taken from my balcony, looking west, out to the Hackensack River. I used the exif data to confirm picture times, but I think the clock in my camera is off. I'd like to think it's fast by about 30 seconds. ;-)

And since we're showing off sky pictures, I thought I'd pull out some of my favorites over the years. As I mentioned, my apartment faces due west and we get some of THE MOST SPECTACULAR sunsets you've ever seen. I think it's because of all the chemicals in the air. You know, New Joisey.

That last one is one of my absolute favorites. The city in the distance is Newark and the way the clouds and sun were it literally looked like the city was on fire. Amazing.

Okay. Now onto business. So I made a swatch. And guess what?

NOTHING HAPPENED! I ended up with the same exact stitch count I had before I blocked. 4.5 stitches to the inch or 18 stitches per 4 inches. Did I do something wrong? I wet the swatch pretty thoroughly and laid it in a towel, stomped around on it and laid it out to dry. Was I supposed to do something else? Anyway, whatever, I'm sick of this - the damn cardigan could've been finished by now and I want it for Rhinebeck, so today I'm ripping out what I have and starting over. I'm probably going to add about 10 stitches to everything. The directions for 4 st/in say cast on like 80+ stitches and 5 st/in 100+ stitches so 90+ it is! I still like the yarn though - it got much softer. A little fuzzy, but nice and soft.

*The title of this post is brought to you by a google search where I came up fifth on the first page. I thought it sounded poetic and oh so Bruce. I love kissing in cars too. G and I did a lot of that early on. Not so much anymore, but sometimes.

Posted by Cara at 09:52 AM | Comments (14)

September 21, 2005

Jinx, buy me some yarn!

STUPID! Stupid! Stupid! NEVER, never talk about your knitting and how good it's going. How much you LOVE it. How much you can't wait to knit and fondle and oogle your wonderful knits. It's a surefire way to FUCK everything up. Cockiness will get you NO WHERE.

So, I'm knitting along fabulously on my Almost Everyday Cardigan, sailing really, stopping every few rows to marvel at the wonder that is color and Manos and stockinette stitch. Every so often I take out the tape measure to see how much progress I'm making. I'm doing good. I'm thinking I will have the body finished TONIGHT! Only a few more inches to go.

And then I decide to check my gauge. M-I-S-T-A-K-E In my defence, Manos is hard to gauge because the yarn is so uneven. You'll get this really huge felted parts and these really small dental flossy parts and most of the time though you do get even stitches. When I measured the dreaded swatch/sleeve somehow I tried to convice myself I was getting about 4-4.5 stitches per inch on size 8s. Now I'm getting 4.5-5 stitches per inch on size 8s. I think the damn thing's too small.

I took it off the needles and laid it out to try and measure it. I'm doing both the fronts and the back remember so I thought if I laid it all out and everything I could just measure across the whole thing and get what I needed. Inconclusive. Sometimes I got like 38" and sometimes I seemed to get 42" (which is more like I want.) Was I stretching it out? Then I tried to try it on, wrapping it around my body. It's so hard to tell. How much do you allow for the buttonhole bands? The stockinette part seems like it will fit but the ribbing is pretty tight and I wanted this sweater to be loose - everyday loose - like a sweatshirt that you throw on and run out and just love. I'm thinking it WON'T be that loose. Can you say devastated?

And to top it off I wake up this morning with a dire warning from Johanna in the comments: "Don't end up with a manos sweater like Moth Heaven Julia! We want you to love your knits!" What does THAT mean?!?!

Oy. When will I learn to keep my big mouth shut?

I'm not sure what to do. Should I keep going and see what happens once I split for the shoulders and fronts? Should I cast on for a different body and go up about ten stitches in all areas? I do love the Ann Budd book for all the different sizes and shapes and such. I know it's fast - it only took me a couple days to do most of the body - but I want this for Rhinebeck! Even if Cassie says sweaters are so 20th Century! I'm a modern girl!

Pride goeth before a fall. If I EVER start to brag about my knitting again, please cover my mouth with your hand! Even if I start to gnaw at your fingers - DON'T LET ME SAY IT!

Class starts tonight. I'm nervous, as always. Wish me luck.

Posted by Cara at 08:07 AM | Comments (11)

September 19, 2005

Almost Everyday

Thank you all so much for your comments on my Diamond Fantasy Shawl! I so love it and I'm glad you all do too. In fact, I emailed Sivia to thank her for such a great pattern and I think she might link to my shawl on the description page. High praise indeed!

I took a page from Norma and started a sleeve. And just like Norma, my sleeve became a swatch.

Yup. I cast on my superfantastic red heart Manos (color #115 - the picture above is actually a bit more purple than the actual yarn - somewhere between today's picture and the link picture) for the Everyday Cardigan from Peace Fleece. And I was practically FINISHED the first sleeve when I started tooling around on the Internet looking for other people who have made this sweater. Seems like there are mucho problems with the pattern. For one thing, the sleeves are like teepees - too many increases too fast. And not enough stitches to start so the ribbing is like a tourniquet. And the k2p2 doesn't match up anywhere in the pattern. Now, I think I'm a fairly accomplished knitter. I can follow a pattern and get a good representation of what I'm supposed to get. One thing I'm lacking in is seeing the errors in patterns. I mean I think somewhere down deep I know that the sleeve is wrong, but I don't know enough to know why it's wrong and how to fix it. Thank god all of you do! After looking at the pattern and seeing that it probably needed to be a little bit longer in the body and that the shoulders seemed really complicated the way they wrote them and I was going to have to rip the sleeve anyway, I decided to make this an Almost Everyday Cardigan and I promptly took out my handy dandy Ann Budd book.

Since this sweater is stockinette with some ribbing, I've decided to use it as a learning piece. I'm going to try all these new things. For instance, I've never made a button band before - unless you count the finishing class I took. So I've made sure to cast on an extra garter stitch at the end of each front so to insure easy stitch pick up. I've decided to do the body as one piece until the arm holes - never done that before, but it sure is nice to know that two fronts and the back are getting done right quick! My plan is to split when I get to the arm hole shaping (I'm doing Ann Budd's modified drop shoulder - just a bit neater I think) and to try and do short rows shoulder shaping. I tried that stair step shit that Ann Budd has in the book and I didn't like it. So in the interest of learning, short rows it is! I think I'm going to seam the sleeves - I thought about doing them in the round by picking up the stitches at the armholes, but that seems a bit complicated after all the other new stuff, but I've got time to figure that out. I'm excited!

I love how the yarn is knitting up! It seems such a dark, wine red in the hank but wind it up and there is so much pink and purple and it's knitting up so lovely and dramatic! This is the perfect project to show off the yarn too. I've cast on for the body last night and should be into the stockinette today. I have a feeling this will go fast. I'm dreaming about the buttons too. They're going to be gorgeous buttons - whatever they are. Please, PLEASE, I beg of you, don't remind me of the unfinished short rows or the second sunshine sock I still have not cast on for and if you talk about the Retro Rib sock that needs a heel, well then, you aren't really my friend after all.

Speaking of friends, I met Ann! And got to see Kay again! Do you want to know why? Because they asked ME, little old photographer me, to take the AUTHOR photo for their BOOK!!! Can you believe it?!? How awesome is that? The two of them are so much fun - so comfortable, so lovely - together and apart - it's amazing they haven't known each other for a gazillion years. Maybe in another life. I'm pretty sure they're happy with the pictures (I can't tell you how nervous I was - I photograph children. And flowers. Not adults for their BOOK!) I can't wait to see it all finished up! March - where are you? (I had to sign in blood I would not reveal anything about the BOOK, but I think it's okay to say it's going to be fanFUCKINGtastic. Is that okay girls?) (Oh and special thanks go out to my baby sis, Samara, Stylist Extraordinaire!) Kay and Ann, I can't tell you how honored I am to have had a small part in this project. Really. Thank you for thinking of me!

Posted by Cara at 10:55 AM | Comments (12)