Thursday, June 30, 2005

That Love Hate Relationship



I think we have all experienced that love hate relationship with a pattern at some point. For me it seems to more often than not to involve Rowan Patterns. I am always falling in love with their patterns. They look so fun and young. They involve interesting knitting and I love their yarns and colors. And yet, time and time again it seems I fall into the same relationship trap.

Example number one: Seville (Rowan #21)


I knit this back when chenille was all the rage. I liked the blockiness and cropped aspect of the sweater but most of all I liked the lace border.



This was the first time I realized that Rowan patterns are designed for people with no upper body. Look closely at those models. They are all stick figures with no chests at all. Look closer and you will realize that they are all legs and no torso. This means that even though I added 2 inches to the length of this sweater it is still at least 2 inches too short. If I lift my arms up, I am in danger of flashing the world.
Still I call this one a winner and wear it all the time.

Case number 2: Tillie from Rowan #25



I love Tillie. She was so much fun to knit. I love the way the lace in her sleeves is the same pattern made by the chenille in the body. I love the little picot border. She was fun to knit and I always got compliments on her when I wore her. But yup, you guessed it, she is too short. I even added a full repeat to her length.

Back when I knit her she was short. Back then she was wearable though because the waist of pants hit at what is now called the "natural waist" However, these days we wear low-riders which hit about 3" below the natural waist. So she is supper short. That combined with the fact that I have put on a lot of weight since I knit Tillie means she has been relegated to the closet for some time now.

Have I knit any other Rowan patterns? Yes

Were they also too short? Yes

Will I knit more Rowan patterns in the future? Probably. Have I learned my lesson? I would like to think so. But it seems even when I add a lot of length to these sweaters they still come out too short. I think I am just doomed to repeat this bad relationship.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Smurfette


La la la la la la la la la la . . .
Ah remember those happy little blue guys? Well in my hot off the needles "Oragnina" I feel all smurfy. It is the right color. I just need a white hat and I could pass.

Seriously though, I love this sweater. I got the pattern from fellow blogger Glampyre. The blog world seems to be full of orangina's right now.

I love the boat neck and the pretty lace and even the smurfy color. I did make some minor changes though.

The first is good news. I used way less yarn than the pattern called for (so now I get to take the unused yarn back and buy more yarn without spending more money!) I used just over 3 balls of Dale Stork color 24. I also swatched the lace and decided it was too open when knit on number 3 needles. So I switched to 1's. This meant I felt like I was knitting forever. Still I think it was worth it. I also switched to putting the whole thing on circular needles as soon as I had the armpits done (this sweater is knit from the top down) That way I didn't have to count rows and sew side seams.

Here is a close-up where you can see the pretty lace better. It is actually a very simple lace that comes off looking much more complicated than it really is. On the other hand, I had to constantly count stiches because it was somehow a very easy repeat to mess up.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

Thumbing my nose at charity


My knitting group is currently working on a charity project where we are collecting squares to join together in afghans which we will be donating. One of the members of our group collected a beautiful, nearly completed, wool granny square afghan. I said I would finish it off so that it could be donated.

So today I fussed with it, sewed in about million ends and suffered for it. Now when I say suffer I don't mean just from the tedium of sewing ends, but from all the dust. I didn't dare wash the afghan before the ends had all been taken care of, but this blanket was so dusty and reeks of mothballs. So finally was I able to put it in the tub for a good soak.

The water turned brown with dirt. (this is a grey afghan by the way) I changed the water about 5 times. It still smells pretty badly of mothballs too. I am hoping that leaving it to soak will help.

While the blanket is soaking and I wait for my allergy pill to kick in, tissue in hand. I keep saying over and over it is for a good cause.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Not the Knitting You Know

So my friend Ming (part of the MeetinDC crew) is a fiber artist. Now I know a lot of us consider ourselves "fiber artists" but when I talk about Ming being an artist, I really mean she is. To pay the rent she is an art teacher at an elementary school, but outside of that she is an artist. A lot of her work is crocheted and she has an exhibit on at a gallery space in DC this summer.

She invited me and the MiDC crew to the opening knight party. I have seen Ming's art before and was surprised to see that it had been edited. That's right, the gallery asked her to cover up her nudes because they were too explicit for the lawyers who work in the building. So Ming being the problem solver that she is gave all her people fig leafs to cover their bits. Too funny. The best part of this (and yes there can be a good part to censorship I guess) is that the Post decided to write and article about her work and censorship. Talk about exposure!

The exhibit is small, but there is some really amazing work on display.

For more info on the exhibit:
http://eleveneleven.50webs.com/index.html

For the article in the post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/22/AR2005062202302.html