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Archive for June, 2007

I present to you the culmination of my knitterly efforts…

Finally!*

I made it, it fits me, and it’s done! Three things that make me unspeakably happy.

And the back view*

Pattern: Ballet Camisole by Alexandra Virgiel
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport in Orchid
Needles: Knit Picks Options in US 5 & US 7
Time Spent: I started swatching on April 20th, and finally cast on on April 29th. I finished on the morning of June 26th. I’m late with pictures because I’m on vacation and therefore much more busy than I was when I was just working.
What I Learned: I learned more about shaping and directional decreases on this piece than I had before. I tried to outthink myself (sometimes it’s too easy) on the directional decreases and ended up with a kind of funky look, but I’m okay with it. It looks great and is finished. I also learned, thanks to Heather, that even though my cami looked huge when laid out flat on the table, it would still fit me because I am three-dimensional.
Thoughts: I made the 2nd smallest size, which calls for 5 balls of the KP Shine Sport, but I ended up knitting from 6 balls of yarn because you have to divide and work from two yarn sources for the straps. The cami is perfect — it does cover up my bra straps quite well, and is a nice length, and the gather at the bust gives it an extra kick. I like the pattern a whole lot and might knit it again.

I love this color of pink. One might say I love it too much — when I put the cami away in my closet, I counted FOUR other tops in that same color. Perhaps it’s time to move on to the navy of my upcoming Tomato top.

* Sorry about the craptacular pictures. I had to take the pictures after my last knitting class at the library, and the scenery leaves much to be desired.

See the whole story of the Ballet Cami…
Beginning
Middle
Other Middle
(This post being The End)

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This is the universe telling me to stop having so much fun, isn’t it?

I got the front straps done on the Ballet Cami yesterday (woohoo!) and thought I’d set it aside until today to do the three-needle bind off on both shoulder straps, because Nick and I had plans to go out with friends last night. Well. Nick came home and was exhausted and fell into bed for “a quick nap” before we had to leave. What am I going to do with an unfinished Ballet Cami on my kitchen table and half an hour to kill? Ignore it? Would you? I didn’t think so.

Yes, despite my previous declaration that I was done for the evening, I picked up the knitting and began my three-needle bind off. I’ve been using KnitPicks’ Options (love them!) combination of US 7 tips and a 24″ cable, and I grabbed one of my size 7 straights to serve as the third needle.

What a tangled web we weave

It was all moving along quite well, and I had plenty of time before I had to wake the sleeping husband (aside: I still get giddy when I use that word, husband). I had four stitches left on my front needle (the Options) when I looked at the back needle. Three stitches. Three? How did this happen? What? Three? (this was my thought process.) I looked back along the bound-off line and there it was.

The dropped stitch.

Still life with dropped stitch

I managed to pick it up with one of the many small crochet hooks I have in my notions bag (thankfully), and now it’s just sitting there, waiting for me to un-bind-off 6 stitches and put the rogue stitch back on the needle so it can serve its purpose in life.

Any suggestions on how to un-bind-off six stitches without breaking my spirit would be greatly appreciated. Gifts of hard liquor would not go amiss.

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That would be great.

My uncle died last Monday. He’d had brain cancer, but we were all thinking months, not this soon. He was my Mom’s youngest brother.

I would like it if the universe could stop crapping on my family. Three deaths in one year is a bit much. Thank you.

…..

So, June has been busy. In addition to the family crisis (and really, how am I going to follow that with my own personal busyness? I will find a way, apparently), I’ve got my own less important stuff to deal with.

    My good friends are getting married at the end of the month, and I’m helping out with that (a happy thing!);
    It’s the end of the fiscal year at work and we’re spending down the budget anywhere we can, which means I get to process more stuff in the same amount of time;
    People who use the library appear to be trying to play our DVDs with steel wool, so my repair log is overflowing;
    The music series at the library has been eating up a lot of my time, and it’s over after tomorrow night;
    and I’m closing in on the end of ELEVEN WEEKS of teaching knitting classes. I love it, I’m so happy I get to do it, but 11 weeks is a little insane. I taught 3 weeks of the basics (cast on, knit and purl, bind off), 3 weeks of more than the basics (k and p in the same row, inc & dec), 3 weeks of cables, and it’ll be 2 weeks of lace. I am tired.

I am so ready for my vacation, I can taste it.

Sadly, knitting hasn’t taken a high spot on the priority list lately. I did make some progress on the Ballet Cami before last week.

I got the straps on the back done…
Straps

…and I’m working on the front cups/straps/whateverthehell
Front

This is where I still am on the Cami. Anna and I decided to do our own two-person, in-town KAL on the Tomato from No Sheep For You. We got our yarn at the same time and I really really wanted to finish my Ballet Cami before I start another big-deal project. You can see how far this thinking has taken me.

I did swatch for Tomato at the visitation (my family was entirely fine with it — I knit a sock at my grandma’s visitation), but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I haven’t even had time to check the gauge. And does anyone know how KnitPicks’ Main Line yarn washes up? I have to figure that out. Anyway! I went out for drinks with the girls on Tuesday night, and what does Anna pull out of her knitting bag? A HALF-FINISHED TOMATO SWEATER. I swear that girl hires gnomes to knit for her at night. So yes, our little KAL has so far been Anna knitting a sweater by herself.

I’m so very ready for my vacation.

I did start a very summery sock (from the anniversary yarn!), to replace the autumnal ones.

With Fearsome DPNs!

Spotlight on...

Any guesses which sock pattern I’m knitting? Or how long it will take me to knit them up?

(Oh my god, I just realized that it’s Thursday and I haven’t yet ordered the stuff from Starbucks that I need for the concert at the library tomorrow night. Dammit!)

Vacation… so close!

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Don’t knit the fiddly bits of your tank top while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That part where it says “k21, attach second ball of yarn, BO 32, k to end”? This qualifies as fiddly, and if you get caught up in the emotion of the episode where Oz leaves Willow after being a total dog (Ha!), you will forget to attach the second ball of yarn.

Emails with the subject “Pox and gleet vendor” are rarely from someone with honest intentions.

When meeting your girlfriends for Knit in Public Day at the local park, wear some sunscreen or a hat so that you do not become painfully sunburned and add a new kind of cancer to your family’s already growing list.

When helping your mom out by doing some weeding, don’t assume that the lone shrub-like plant among the iris plants is an anomaly and does not belong. It does. Now you owe your mom a serviceberry bush. Whatever that is.

NASCAR cars get 4.2 miles to the gallon. Four point two. I hate NASCAR.

It is amazing fun to be able to drink wine while on the clock at work.

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Shelved

I’ve been in kind of a knitting funk the past few weeks. Although really, it’s more like an overall funk with many things conspiring to bring me down a bit. But the knitting funk makes things especially sucky, because for me (as it is with many of you, I suspect) knitting is a way out of the grumbly time, when I can shut out the crap and just focus on the damn lace section of my headband. Ideally.

When the knitting starts to feel like a chore, though … ugh. Then I start feeling all dutiful and start thinking “well, I should finish what I started even though I’m not having any fun any more” and other very adult and noble and martyr-ish thoughts.

I’ve been having those thoughts about these socks:

Socks, in larval stage

They are the socks I started back in February (I think… I’m not sure because it has been so freaking long), and I’m entirely uninterested in them. I think it might be the color (so autumny, so perfect to knit in September or October, but not now when I want bright flashy springy summery colors). It might also be that the socks are pretty boring. 2×2 rib all the way around the damn leg for a hundred more years. It might be that I’m such a slow knitter that my love for a project reaches its expiration date way before I finish it. This would explain the half-knit whatsits congregating at the bottom of my workbasket. Hmmm…

Whatever the case, after reading of Grumperina’s project defenestration, I’ve decided to just set these socks aside until I want them again. Because what is the point of knitting something that feels like a chore or drudgery? This is supposed to be my happy-fun-creative time, not my awful-crafting-burden time. (That should only be reserved for plastic canvas kleenex cozies.)

The socks, they are banished until the fall.

I am still working on the Ballet Camisole. Turns out my gauge is absolutely correct (I measured in four different places on the tank) and the bust is even measuring a little small (no big deal, I cast on for a size that’s about an inch bigger than me). So all the worry was for naught. (Except that I got to say “naught” which gives me more happiness than it should.)

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