July 2007


It was pretty miserable here for a while this week (just ask the yarn harlot), so the pictures I have of my sweater-in-progress are appropriately moodily lit:

wrap-ridges.jpg

I think the closeup looks like an alien landscape:

wrap-closeup.jpg

The ridges are created by the eyelet flowers, and they flatten out entirely after blocking.

Now a confession: Since these pictures were taken, I’ve…I’ve frogged the whole thing. It was just the body anyway. I thought it was going to be big enough, and kept trying it on as I went, but when I finished the armholes and basted it together to try it on, it…just…wasn’t. But I don’t mind doing that sort of thing, honestly; I am very decidedly a process knitter, and I’ve never learned anything by doing it perfectly the first time. Luckily, this is a quick, interesting knit, so although I frogged the whole thing about a week ago, I’ve since finished the entire (bigger) body AND learned how to pick up stitches (for the sleeves and the wrap bits) AND figured out how to use short rows to make a sleeve in the round *without losing the lace pattern* AND almost finished an entire sleeve. I’m ignoring the mistake I made on the first sleeve (note to self: your actual armpit isn’t *necessarily* at the opposite point to the top of your shoulder. You’ve learned that before) and I’m just going to leave it for now. I’ll start the second sleeve with the lessons learned from the first one, and if it looks so much better I can’t believe they’re done by the same person, I’ll frog the first one and redo it. But to be honest, I found doing the short rows somewhat tortuous (&$!#@ stitches kept falling off the &$!#@ needles!!@11!!), although the process might be improved by getting some more dpns (on today’s To Do list).

Which doesn’t sound very process-y, does it? Well, this sweater has a bit of a deadline: we’re going to Scotland on Tuesday for a couple of weeks to attend my sister-in-law’s wedding and to have a bit of a mini-moon in Ireland! And having lived in Scotland, I know how nippy July can be; I need this sweater! I want to get to the mindless flat-knit ties before we get on the plane on Tuesday night, I don’t want to be fussing with short rows and dpns and the like all jetlagged and shit. So if I don’t update again for awhile, it’s because I’m having too much fun! Next pics of the sweater will hopefully have Edinburgh Castle in the background!!

See you all later!

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Oh! I almost forgot!!

robots_big.jpg

This is the project I couldn’t reveal a few posts ago because it was a present for my long-lost friend (and the only boy I have ever actually gone out on a “date” with, in grade nine) Rob! He is something of an artist/crafter (/musician/computer genius), and as we got back in touch with each other around the same time he moved into a new apartment, I wanted to make him a cool, handmade housewarming present. He collects vintage robots, and takes awesome photographs of them hanging out and being in love and stuff. I adore them. So I wanted to make something robot-themed as an homage, but I didn’t think I had the skillz to, like, paint a picture of them or anything. So…

My first foray into felting!

I ordered a bunch of Knitpicks Wool of the Andes (hello cheap!) and got myself a set of 8mm circulars. Over the course of a few movies, I knitted the heads in the round (knitknitknitknitknitknit) until I thought they were probably long enough to deal with the vertical shrinking I knew would happen. I thought briefly about knitting the eyes etc into the cushion, but in the end decided it wasn’t worth the herculean effort necessary to try and figure out the exact shrinkage ratios for each element etc. and instead just knit up a pile of different-coloured single-colour washclothes, sized according to my anticipated needs, to be cut into the appropriate shapes and appliquéd on. And they worked out!

There are a lot of mods I would make for my next pair (step one: obtain knitting machine), but all in all I’m pretty proud of my first effort in felting, appliqué and cushion-making. I had only gotten to the (3-D) noses before it was time for out get-together, so I brought over my pre-cut pieces and we did most of the finishing together, which was so much fun. These robot cushions make me so happy, and my head was so swelled with Rob’s praise by the time I left I’m surprised I fit it in my little car to go home!

I have so many more ideas for cushion designs (and sweater designs, and beaded purse designs, and and and) but they will have to wait. The paper-that-must-not-be-mentioned is my final research paper for my MA (not a thesis, but still much bigger and more intense than anything I’ve ever written), and while it’s actually going quite well, it’s also going more slowly than I anticipated. Ironically, it’s going slowly because I’m honestly fascinated by my topic (“indie” music/scenes, rock journalism and Chart magazine — a Canadian music magazine that’s been around since the 90s) and I can’t seem to stop thinking and reading about and researching it. I keep uncovering new theories and sources and thinking, “how could I even THINK of writing my paper without referencing THAT!” To be fair, I’m moving at the same pace (or slightly faster) than most other grad student I know, but I’m feeling a lot of pressure to Finish This School Nonsense and get myself a Good, Steady Job. Mostly from myself. Ah well. It’ll be done when it’s done. And when it is, I’ll be a MASTER OF ROCK!! I just hope that it’s done soon, it’s really starting to interfere with my knitting. :p