slightly unravelled

Sunday, April 30, 2006


I've gone back to working on my Picovoli. I had set it aside at some point because I still couldn't decide if I liked the yarn for it. Then I decided that I really did like it, and I started knitting furiously on it. I thought I would keep going and finish it soon. The yarn was kind of striping a little (er, asymmetrically) and it was a nice effect.

When I started the decreases for the waist, though, of course the striping got messed up. There's some puddling going on. See the spot? I think of it as "the bruise." There's another bruise on the other side.

I tried it on, though, and I actually think it looks okay, at least so far. Who knows what weird things will happen when I do the increases, though. I might end up ripping it all out yet.

In the last few days I've gotten distracted away from the Picovoli again. I started this Artyarns diagonal tank, and I'm really excited about it. This is the front bottom triangle.

I'm having trouble getting a picture that really shows how pretty the colors are. But you can get the idea. I'm using Artyarns Regal Silk in color 123.

The colors are really nice, but since I've started it, I've been thinking that the pattern might look more dramatic with a colorway that has just two colors, instead of a range of about four colors like the 123. When I was picking my yarn, my first instinct was to go with the 101, but for some reason I shied away from it, thinking the 123 would be, I don't know, safer? Now I'm trying to stop myself from gazing at that picture of the 101 and pining away for it and instead focus on the fact that I do really like the 123 (living without regrets is the only way that makes sense, right?). I think the light green shade in the 123 stands out nicely and it's what really makes the yarn work with the pattern.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Blue Soup

Finally! My hourglass sweater is finished. I'm calling it Blue Soup because the blue bamboo yarn reminds me of the blue string Bridget Jones used to make the blue of the few things I liked in that movie.

I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I like the way it fits, and I'm glad I added a bit of length to the sweater and made the sleeves a little shorter. I think the pattern was a good one for me because it was easy enough for my skill level, but included new things to learn as I made it...this was my first project on circular needles, first raglan shaping, first sleeves. Really though, it didn't take me long to get bored with the endless stockinette stitch. And I don't like the bar increases because I think they're too visible. If I were to make another (which I won't!), I would use a different increase.

About the yarn: it's SWTC bamboo (color Electric Blue), and it gave me a lot of frustration. Each ball had several breaks in the yarn, so I ended up weaving in way more ends than I would have liked. There were also just some weak spots where it broke. And that stuff tangles if you just look at it wrong! It also doesn't knit up as soft as I'd thought, but I've read that it gets much softer with washing.
Oh, but this all doesn't mean that I won't be using the SWTC bamboo again...I've been considering it for an (eventual) Orangina. Maybe the new softer formulation of the yarn?

Alright, I know what you want to see. Click on the images for bigger pictures.
Print them out.
Post them on your wall.
Carry them in your wallet.
Swap them with your friends.

2006-04-22 018 2006-04-22 015 2006-04-22 014 2006-04-22 009 2006-04-22 016 2006-04-22 007 2006-04-22 029

While you're enjoying the pictures, I'll be unravelling a week's worth of work on my new project because I just tried it on and it's way too big.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


It's resting.

It's had a very tumultuous weekend.

Things were going so well. The sweater was great. When I divided for the yoke, I hadn't counted my stitches since the cast-on...but I was pleased and surprised to have the right number. Then both sleeves went well, again ending with the right number of stitches. I attached the sleeves -- something I had been very nervous about -- with no problems. I was knitting and knitting, and my raglan shaping looked great. I started thinking that maybe I was good at this. Maybe I'm no longer the mistake-prone novice who needs to count her stitches after every row because sometimes new ones appear mysteriously, while sometimes others disappear. Maybe I've developed some skill. Maybe all of my little experiments in knitting without looking had helped me acquire a feel for the process. Maybe it's not ridiculous that I'm having visions of soon attempting fair isle, entrelac, and lace.

I suppose it started to go downhill when I realized that I might run out of yarn. I started knitting faster and faster, eager to see what would happen. I guess I got a little sloppy. At one point I noticed I'd missed one decrease several rows back. I examined the area, and it wasn't the least bit noticeable. But with my new realization that perfection might be a possibility, I decided to "fix" it. I made my first attempt, with many more stitches coming undone than I'd planned. I struggled for awhile, but eventually got all the stitches worked out and back on the needles. I counted my stitches. I had too few. I'd done an extra decrease. I went back in, struggled, and managed to fix it. But then all the stitches in that area looked really bad. They were all too loose, showing evidence of all my fiddling around. So I kept trying to move the extra yarn to the tighter area to even out the tension, but it kept looking worse and worse. Many times I gave up, thinking it looked fine, and went back to the knitting. But I kept coming back to the botched area and trying more and more desperately to fix it, exacerbating the problem each time. I finished all the knitting and was even sewing down the neck (still stopping to go back and attack the loose stitches in the botched section every little bit). But then more disaster hit and a bunch of stitches fell of the needle and I couldn't get them back on right. Instead of ending up with a sweater that looked like it had been mauled by a vicious cat, I finally gave in and unravelled the last 15 rows or so...and managed to get them all back on the needles. (speaking of cat-mauling, there was an incident with some of the yarn earlier, which might actually be when the sweater started to veer off course)

I've got to set it aside for awhile, though. The sweater and I are both very tired from our wrestling match.

Turns out I didn't need to worry about running out of yarn. This is what I'll have left over after I finish the neck.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Curtain Blunder

I made my planned curtain this weekend. Let me start by explaining what it was replacing: this disgusting thin blue curtain that I've had for years that's intercepted many a cat claw (see the rips at the bottom?) and cat sneeze. It's also faded and so thin that it's easily moved aside by cats or a gentle breeze, leaving the window uncovered. I like to sit in front of the window, often not in any state in which I want the dwellers of the (very) nearby apartments with (close-range) facing windows to see. Oh, and that blue curtain? It was actually some sort of sarong or something on sale at Banana Republic (?) years ago, which I saw and thought "curtain." Actually, I think I saw it and first thought "tube top," but discovered it was too difficult to keep it tied securely, so quickly switched my thinking in the direction of a curtain. Anyway, the point? That blue piece of fabric has served me well (um, or at least it's served me, if not actually "well"), but it desperately needed to be replaced.

So I decided to make a curtain with some beautiful Japanese fabric. The fabric is a heavy cotton, and to make it even sturdier (and more cat-resistant), I backed it with another layer of heavy cotton.

But here's where it gets a little weird. I had looked at some fabric a week or so ago, and the fabric I liked best was a print that needed to be horizontal, so that it's only about 45 inches tall. I loved that fabric so much that I decided I would use that for the bottom half of the curtain, and another pretty fabric for the top half. Well I guess everyone really liked that fabric, because I went back to get it and the store was sold out. There were plenty of other great fabrics, so picking another wasn't a big deal. But by that point, I had the idea of using more than one fabric so set in my mind that I couldn't pick just one. So I decided to use one fabric for most of the curtain and put some sort of a border on in a different fabric. I knew this was weird and I risked ruining my curtain, but by that point I was convinced that using only one fabric was just too ordinary. So I added a few inches at the top in a contrasting print.

Yeah, I know. It's okay, but kind of busy and would look better if it were all in the main fabric. Oh well, it's still much better than the blue thing. And I think it looks better in person than in that picture.

Oh, but, do you notice anything? Maybe you need a closer look.

Yeah. That?

It's a bird. And? It's upside down. Sigh.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Why am I making sleeves?

One hourglass sleeve is done. The picture is as of last night; I've since finished that sleeve, attached it to the sweater, and started on the second sleeve. That sleeve took a lot longer than I thought it would. I started it on Friday, and I actually had visions of having both sleeves done by the end of last weekend.

Now that I think about it, sleeves seem silly. Sweaters don't need sleeves. In fact, I generally prefer them without. I think I'll keep the sleeve-making to a minimum in the future. I'll save my time and my yarn for more interesting endeavors (like a modified version of this, which I'll start as soon as the hourglass is done).

The sleeve did make for more portable knitting than the sweater, though. Someone saw me knitting it and asked if I was making something for my "daughter." That was just...weird.

The next sleeve may take even longer because I have another project I hope to complete this weekend. Curtain making!