Thursday, January 27, 2022

the same but opposite...

I really did think I was being so smart. Last year, I made that awesome denim lace jean jacket – here was the plan -

As with a lot of my knitting lately, some of the issues -

Here’s what it looked like finished -

After wearing it a time or two, I decided that the sleeves were too long – they have a buttoned cuff, meant to sit at the wrist and, obviously without thinking it through, I made the sleeve length like I would my regular sleeve without cuff, that I’ve been pulling down over my hand to act as a glove, you know, for opening doors and stuff when you didn’t want to be in contact with whatever. Also, not sure if you noticed but the sleeves were a different colour. When I made it, I did have two different dye-lots of the denim, one being slightly darker than the other, but I figured it would all come out in the wash.

Well, it didn’t and when I was wearing the thing, as I glanced down, that lighter-shaded sleeve bugged me a bit. Add that to the sleeve length issue and I got my first brain wave! I could remove the sleeves, shorten them, over-dye ‘em and Bob’s your uncle! Yeah! (she later said to herself with an eye-roll.)

Brimming with self-confidence, I pulled the sleeves off. Unravelled them down to row 100, counting the rows down from the underarm (that I knew from my notes) as I reeled the wool winder, cleverly, I thought and, not breaking the yarn, re-knit back up to new desired length (20 rows less than original), reshaped the sleeve cap with shortrows as per usual. At the top of the shortrowing, I like to knit a full row to get rid of the wraps, then do an RTR (remove, turn, rehang) and knit another row, which creates a nice purl stitch ridge, then take off on the garter bar, to join into the sleeve opening. But, if you read back, this sleeve has to be inserted into the circular opening on the body so did the RTR, K1R thing and then knit  4 more rows of the sleeve yarn so there would be enough yarn to join the sleeve in the same over-dyed colour. Nifty, huh? Then knit 8 rows waste yarn and cast off – ya don’t want it unravelling in the dye job, right?

Did the dye thing, stove top method, so far so good. Rinsed and dried the sleeves. Removed the waste yarn and carefully unravelled the last four rows, down to the purl ridge. Still okay but prudently decided that new waste yarn was required. It’s still flat, easy to do. Got the sleeves attached, all done. Gosh, darn…sleeves are the perfect length but…

Friday, January 21, 2022

jibber jabber...

You’re probably thinking that after all those ‘mistakes’, I’d either abandon the rose hoodie or re-knit it. Now don’t get all judgy on me! I just kept on going, figuring that my impeccable finishing techniques would save the day.

Being extra careful, things went well. Bands, buttonholes, all the putting together, no problems. All was done! Thought it looked pretty fine. I was going to post it off to Dee without buttons – she said she had some, but I couldn’t resist. How could I tell just how good it really was without giving it a good try-on? ;)  I sewed on suitable buttons that I’ve had for eons - she can change if them if she doen't like 'em! Wow! looks pretty good, fits nice, and, as often happens, the colour has grown on me! After wearing it for the better part of an afternoon though, I decided the hem needed some extra attention. On the back especially, likely because of the shortrowed curve, it seemed to be curling up slightly. 

In Band Practise, there is a trim called Baton Rouge (#4) which I’ve used on several garments, both mid and standard gauge and, on the bottom of it there is a tip that says “Add this step any time to add extra weight to edge. Hanging the other way, adding another row and cast-off also counteracts curling edges.”

The hem used already was the same as I did on my original lace, button-front hoodie, just like on Me-Cozy, an ewrap, K1R, loose row and chain cast off.

What I did:  Purl side facing, hang the cast-off chain, picking up both sides of chain.

Manually knit very loose row (main stockinette tension here was already T9) – don’t break yarn - and chain off, taking last stitch to opposite end of needle bed.

Turn piece to hang knit side facing, again hanging both sides of the chain-off.

T9, K1R.  Manually knit very loose row and chain off, ending by pulling tail through last loop.

Beautiful! There is so much happening on the garment, with the complicated-looking large stitch pattern, the pockets, the front bands and hem, I defy anyone to say there’s anything wrong with this!


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

a comedy of errors...

Not really anything funny about it! Don’t know if you remember but I did say I’d like to re-knit that blue Floral Mesh, just for practise really and to use up the rose-coloured Bonita.

It’s not my colour and it’s not like I really need another button-front lace hoodie…my friend Dee jumped on it and said she even had the buttons! Well, why not? It would give me a chance to get my money’s worth out of charting out that 60 St X 60 Row stitch pattern!

bad sponge bar

As usual, started off with the sleeves, both knit up perfectly, not a dropped stitch in sight. I didn’t get back to it right away and everything sat for a week or two, more likely two. Got started on the Back and wouldn’t you know, it was like the jinx of the machine knitting gods was living in my room! I had kept track of my time on each piece with the blue one and, it’s sad to say, I used to know better than this! This Back, I spent twice as much time on – dropped stitches and mostly, not-transferred, therefore not lace, stitches! Now, back in the day, my usual advice, know when to cut your losses, know when to quit! But I persevered, got ‘er done! Three and a half hours!! instead of the one and a half for the blue one! I knew what was wrong, it was that freakin’ sponge bar. But the piece was done and off the machine.
Took another week off and guess who forgot all about it? You’re right! Now, on top of it all, ‘she’ forgot to re-position the N1 cam after the hem and knit the first front centred over 2-3 Left instead of 0! Oh man! I thought it was time to hang up my transfer tools!

Another week went by, made the second front with the same mistake. Kept saying to myself there was no way I was going to be able to give this thing away – the shame of it! But plodding on, and congratulating myself for my stick-to-itiveness, the next big dilemma, the pockets. Again, a brain fog took over, forgot all about the N1 thing and trying to match the pocket patterning to the front, made them correctly! Ar-r-r-r-g-g-h!

Things I learned on this one…check your blessed sponge bar! I added that to the top of my cheat sheet!

Thursday, January 6, 2022

it's 2022...

Omigosh! I’ve been having conversations with you, in my head, over the past couple of months. They’ve been full of excuses, apologies, promises and whys…I’m ashamed of myself and I’m sorry! So I ran out of yarn spray. So I couldn’t get any better buttons. So what if I can’t just drive down to Minnesota. Big freaking deal! My health is fine, my family’s pretty much okay too, so where do I get off feeling sorry for myself? Huh! I’ve given myself the proverbial kick in the butt and here I am, again, promising to do better.

I was knitting and trying to keep busy but feeling like I had nothing new and exciting to say, doubting whether I was still relevant and realized that was really based on, was I ever relevant? and you know what?  Been taking myself far too seriously! what the hay? If you don’t like what I’m talking about, you can just hit delete or whatever! I still have things to say, knit and share!

I left off with that blue ‘Mesh Floral’, in my continuing saga of the perfect, longer, button-front hoodie. From there, I knit it again in red Bonita, the same yarn as the blue, using the all-over lace mesh, very holey ;)! 

In my defense, I think it was still summer or at least early Fall when I started it. I got the pieces knit, relatively quickly, no real issues, until the putting together. Somehow I forgot just about everything I knew! I attached the hood to the neckline, without really thinking, saw that I had forgotten to do an e-wrap cast-on at the beginning of the hood. No big deal, but, not according to Hoyle, aka, MAO. Then, I saw that usually I like the joining seam to be on the outside so it doesn’t show when the hood is down. Also neglected to put the chain across the fold row of the band for the front of the hood and forgot to put that band on before attaching hood to neckline, necessitating the use of waste yarn for this operation instead of the quicker garter bar. 

Concentrating a little harder, managed to get the remaining parts done without messing up. A little deflated (my ego, that is), I knew that no one else would ever see or notice these glaring (in my mind) errors!

Made myself a cheat sheet!