Hey Knitters! HELP!

Yesterday, I cast off the neck edge for Ellette’s vest, held it up, and groaned.  The neck is not drapey – not at all.  It rolls and looks heavy and old-lady-ish.  Not at all what I had in mind for the birthday vest.  I want something flowy and fun and summery.

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I stretcehd the neck as much as possible, pulled it in toward the center, stared at it, asked the others in the house what they thought, wondered if I should wait until I see it on Ellette before I make any decision but decided that would sort of ruin the birthday surprise.

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The back, at least, turned out exactly the way I wanted it.  The diamond lace pattern is gorgeous.

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But the front?  No way! So, all of you knitters and crafters out there – what are your thoughts?  What would you do?  Should I steam block and hope the fibers relax?  Should I rip it out entirely and do a different stitch pattern?  Should I rip back only a few inches and add increases in key areas?

I have 3 days left!  HELP!

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5 Days And 2 Inches

Last night, I seamed the shoulders of Ellette’s vest, picked up all of the stitches for the neckline and started knitting.  These are really long rows now, and I want the neck to be very drapey, which means the band needs to be at least three inches, if not more.

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I am also not feeling too hot – sinuses and a little achy – so work has been slow all around.  I can’t seem to focus on any one thing, and found myself just staring at the needles at one point.  There is a lot of tea in my future.  At least the neck does not require lace or counting – nothing fancy for this one, which is good because I probably would have given up in fevered despair.

Beginning the Countdown

Ellette’s birthday is approaching faster than I would like to admit.  I still maintain that nothing makes you feel older than having children.  They grow so quickly, and surprise you all the time, that you don’t realize how much time has passed until it slaps you in the face with some witty remark by your offspring.

All Ellette asked for this year was a doorbell (for the apartment, not her room) and a puppy (which we do not have the space or finances for at this moment).  My response was to dig through my stash and start knitting.

 

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This is a flowy vest type thing that will have a drape neck to it once it’s completed.  For now, it has a beautiful diamond lace pattern on the back and solid fronts.  That front that looks mostly done – yeah, I have to rip it out because I am not satisfied with the rate of decrease I went with for the neck edge.

 

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It is getting difficult to work on at this point because she is getting wise to what I am making.  She doesn’t know this is for her, thankfully, but now I can only work on it after she goes to bed – which leaves me with a horrible sleep deficit.  I have the last bit of two fronts to do, then blocking, seaming, and picking up and knitting the collar.  I am not sure what to do to the bottom hem, if anything.  I want it to have a nice drape without being heavy, so maybe I will leave it alone.  Or a single crochet edge ro prevent rolling?  Thoughts?

Oh yeah – I have 10 days to finish.  Start the clock.

A Circus and Yarn

This past weekend was the Circus in Progress show.  I don’t have any pictures of it since I was in the green room most of the time, but as soon as pictures are made available I will share.  Being in the green room meant that most of the time, I was knitting (when I wasn’t stretching).  Call was one hour before house opened, and our act was in the middle of the show.  After the first show, we were given food and rested before the second show.  This meant I had hours of knitting time.  I knit up the fronts of the Leif pullover.

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And got through most of the back by Sunday evening.  Now, I have to finish the last inch and work on the hood.  I’m so excited to have it almost done.  I just want to wear it already!

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I was not alone, however.  My instructor – Jill – was also knitting when she wasn’t working.  This is us at the tech rehearsal on Friday.  It was awfully dark, but both of us were working away on our projects.  She was working on a beautiful fair isle sweater in super soft alpaca (rusty orange and mossy green).

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I was working on a rather interesting commission – a Lego head ski mask.  Unfortunately, I could not find the right color yellow, except for the Red Heart acrylic.  It doesn’t feel too icky, so I hope it will be alright.  I will share my notes when it is complete.

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My body is still recuperating from the trapeze beating.  I just want to lay down and sleep and knit and not think about anything.  Our house is a mess, and I just realized I mis-counted how many Farmer’s Markets I have left.  I have two more, not one more.  This elicited a hefty groan from me as soon as I realized my error.  I’m not done yet.

Update on a Sweater

Sweater vest, I suppose it’s technical name is.  I just added ball 3 of Lana Grande and reached the short cabling that marks the empire waist before separating for front and back armhole shaping.  Every moment I spend working on it, the more excited I am to finish and wear it.

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The knitting is relatively easy, and the cabling pattern isn’t complex by any means – just a little annoying.  It is a 6 stitch cable (3 stitches to each side) but there is a yarn over in the middle – as in, one side of the cable reads “knit one, yarn over, knit two together” so when it comes to actually crossing for the cable portion, my stitches get pulled really tight.  The crossed rows take forever because I am beating the woolly cables into submission. The effect is kind of cool – although I think I could have gotten the same effect by adding a seed stitch ribbing instead of the yarnover, seeing as how you can’t really tell there is lace within the cables anyway.  Maybe blocking will reveal the holes.

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So, here I am, about 60% complete – utterly neglecting all other responsibilities because I am simply too bored, exhausted, and/or fed-up with the world to do anything else.

The swatch from yesterday’s post was supposed to be the start of my holiday knitting, but the yarn on the needles I used did not match gauge for the sweater it was supposed to become.  I stretched out the swatch a little to get an idea of what the stitches would look like if I used a larger needle, and I hated it.  The yarn is supposed to be worsted, but it is so thin in comparison that I doubt the sweater would be warm – let alone look nice with the gaping holes between stitches.  So, it was decided that the 1500 yards of Knitpicks tweed would be used on a project for myself with smaller gauge requirements.  I am okay with this, since the way things are going right now, knitting that sweater would more than likely incur the wrath of the boyfriend sweater curse.  I have settled on socks.

I am also stuck on deciding what to make for Ellette.  She wanted this hat/scarf/mitten thing we saw at the Shedd Aquarium a couple of weeks ago.  The hat had a penguin face on it, and ear flaps that were actually scarves with mittens on the end.  But, she also wants a unicorn hat.  I am thinking about making the unicorn hat in the style of the penguin hat, and include matching legwarmers.  However – I promised her last spring that I would knit her a fairytale cape, and I have a really cute idea for a chunky cape using Cascade 128 Superwash and large fair isle motifs.

I also have a brilliant idea for my contribution to the White Elephant game this year, which does require knitting and I hope people fawn over (at least, I think Odin will).

So many ideas, yet it takes so long to knit sometimes!

A Finished Item

Due to the mundane activities of molding, wrapping, painting, and tying that is happening here at chez pixie, I have decided to show you the finish Cecilia Chemise.  Believe you  me, the groans, wire cuts, fights with tulle, and spills of paint are not something you want to hear about until I have the sense enough to laugh at my own poor scheduling skills.  Instead, I bid look.  It’s pretty.

Many thanks to my darling daughter for obliging her dear mother with photography.

She said she’s proud of herself because she’s getting the hang of it.

 

She only caught a bad face once or twice.

The pattern: Cecilia Chemise  (cropped version) by Stitch Diva Studios

The yarn: Firefly by Classic Elite, color is Hyacinth.  This yarn is a beautiful linen viscose blend with fantastic drape.  It was a bit splitty and I often pulled out bits of grass and hay that had been spun in, but the yarn feels nice and has a wonderful sheen.

This was such a quick project.  The body is knit in a rectangle, pretty much, with simple bust shaping that really works.  I think the line of the cropped version is very slimming, but you can adjust the length to suit your needs.  the lacy edging and sleeves are a nice, feminine touch, and the lace is not at all complicated.

The one problem that did crop up for me was those blasted straps.  I made them too long, got them sewn in before realizing this, and had to rip them out and remove several repeats.  Started sewing them back in again, only to realize I had sewn them in on the wrong side.  Before ripping them out, realized again that they were still too long anyway.  Ripped them out, ripped out several repeats more, and sewed them back in.

I wore this in DC, and the straps continued to stretch, and are again about an inch too long.  *whimper* I do not want to rip them out again.  I am thinking of giving this a warm bath, and once it is dry and the stitches are tight again, weaving a pretty satin ribbon through the straight edge of the strap and sewing it in place.  This project will have to wait until next week, since I have the Custer Street Fair to look forward to this weekend (and pull my hair out over throughout the next two evenings.)

Random Friday

  • I just witnessed my cat “marking her territory” by the back door.  But inside the house.  I wonder if there’s an animal that makes it onto our porch.  I did spot the massive raccoon hanging out on our steps when I left the pumpkin out…
  • Ellette and I spent the afternoon making a “gnome garden” which her friend Zoe gifted her on her birthday.  It’s adorable.
  • I finished two vests – well, mostly:

  • I don’t actually like the shaping on the bottom one or the color sequence of the top one – so I’m not sure what to do about them.
  • I will probably end up carrying them with me from show to show until someone takes them from me.
  • Or tells me they are hideous and burns them.
  • Until I tweak the shaping design, no pattern will be available.  I have two more balls of scraps to turn into vests, so hopefully in that venture we will see results.
  • If you want one of those vests let me know.
  • Last night, I made this:

Side A

Side B

  • I can’t decide how to make the scarf.  I have another hat similar to this and an additional scarf as well
  • But knitting is on hold.  I put a hole through my forefinger on my left hand.
  • I am almost done with March’s afghan square.
  • And April’s.
  • I leave for Denmark in 10 days!!
  • I leave for DENMARK in 10 days!!!

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