Saturday, April 23, 2011

Yarn Anxiety

Geezer Chic from No 50 was one of my favourite garments - I loved the shape, style and drape (and the name), but the yarn certainly didn’t stand up to any wear at all, even though it was quite expensive. I’ve kept wearing it, sort of privately, because I still like it - I wore it for my road trip to Indiana last week and it’s so comfy, but I finally realized that I do need to retire it. I had it on the other morning when I answered the door - it was early but not that early! The woman took one look and apologized for waking me up - heck, no make-up yet, but I didn’t think I looked that bad ! Then it dawned on me - she saw my ratty sweater and figured it was a bathrobe or something! Okay, I get the point!
The original was made with a 2/18 wool/silk blend used doubled - most of it is stockinette - so that’s pretty easy, but what really set it off was the bands - full needle rib for the hemline that added just the right weight to hold the stockinette fabric down and add swing to the A-line shape and the front band - a wee bit tricky, knit circular, with great vertical buttonholes - I have to say, the instructions are excellent!!
So, what to substitute?? I decided to go with a burgundy 2 ply cotton, Brittany by Yeoman Yarns - I had just used that yarn for Simple-icity and seeing as it was stockinette, double stranded, figured it was okay to shortcut the swatching process. (With the same stitch count, but more rows to the cotton because of shrinkage, 46 rows as opposed to 38 on the wool/silk, so adding the extra rows will require more yarn.) These cones have been on my shelf for some time - they are the older version of 350g/3000m cones which I always thought to be adequate. The newer put-up is 450g/3850m cones - the original stuff was pretty big cones with tons of yardage - the point is, I didn’t want to be wasting yarn on swatches if it wasn’t necessary.
I made a sleeve and weighted it - 74g. Okay, the back was 196g. It could be close, so no pockets - that will save a bit. All 5 pieces done, just the band left - I did need to make a swatch and wash and dry for the shrinkage factor and I have 40g left on each cone. It’s really hard to tell, but before I got this far, I was consoling myself that the new ‘geezer’ wouldn’t look bad with a black band. I've already taken those killer black leather old man buttons off the original to re-purpose them on this one and make it impossible for me to continue wearing the grey one...if it turns out, I'll wear it in Raleigh!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

just call me Miss Conception....

I’m home for a few days...boy, I have no idea how I used to manage seminars, magazine production, knitting and travelling, etc, etc!! I’m worn out!! But it’s all good!
Last week, on my way back from Westchester, NY, I had the day from hell - my flight from NY to Duluth, MN, via Detroit - the scheduled 3 hour layover in Detroit turned into 8 hours (weather delays was the rumour) and the airport was 90 degrees! It was awful - when I finally got to Duluth at 10 pm, no luggage - I still had to drive 200 miles home through rain, fog and deer. I had 2 days at home before driving 800 miles to Peru, Indiana, hoping that my luggage was waiting for me to pick up on the way - it was, fortunately, and this trip was relatively uneventful except for the seminar.
Charlene and her family (the Shafers own the Knit Knack Shop in Peru, IN) sure know how to put on a seminar. They are organized, friendly, knowledgeable and accomodating. It was a great show - thank you for inviting me!
The knitters told me they really missed KNITWORDS magazine; they didn’t know about my ‘Pattern of the Month’; they didn’t know about my blog; they didn’t know I was still knitting and teaching...gosh, there must be more rocks out there than I realized. So, they all promised to keep up with me by reading this (Hi!).
Anyway, I did tell them they should email me privately if they had a question they wanted an answer to - I have never replied to the comments people are allowed to put on this blog because I felt they are just that - comments, and, in my mind, do not require me to respond. The truth, I couldn't figure out how to! This morning I found a ‘comment’ from a lady who was at the seminar in Peru and she even put her name, address, email and phone number on here!!! I deleted it for her because she obviously did not know what she was doing - she didn’t say anything bad but I didn’t know how to edit out her personal information.
PLEASE, if you need to contact me and can't find my email address - it is at the top of any and all handouts I provide at seminars and workshops, go to and click the ‘contact’ button on the top menu and it will bring up an email form that will get to me privately and I will answer. OR, you can click on 'view my profile' here and get the same deal.
One lady told me she figured out why the magazine failed - our pictures were no good. She went on to say that every time she saw my garments she was amazed at the detail and quality of my work and this did not come across in the photos in the magazine. I’m glad I stopped doing that!
I did agree to reconsider the 'pattern of the month' thing, maybe for the Fall - please keep checking back! Thanks for reading! See you in Raleigh!