Saturday, June 09, 2007

Friday, June 08, 2007

Yes I Ripped It!

But only after giving it a good, long time-out, and considering every other option (including cutting it at the line, ripping the one ball, reknitting, and kitchenering.) There were two reasons I decided on the old fashioned approach (ripping) versus the maverick approach, (reknitting only the section and kitchenering) which, you know, seriously appealed to me.

Because of the cable pattern, kitchenering would be very complicated (maybe impossible?) and the fact is, that I would have to knit the whole ball before I would find out if the kitchener was do-able or not.

Also, I had a shortage of yarn and needed to use that darker ball for the back. So, if I reknit the back, I could use the good ones in the middle, and blend the darker one in at the top (where it would be less noticeable) by knitting from alternate balls several rows before the ball change.

So, that’s what I did. And it was worth it. Finished photo soon, I promise.

An anonymous comment from yesterday made me laugh:

“Since we haven't heard from you since this posting I'm quite sure you must be ripping.(or are you dyeing more yarn for us?)"

It was the part about the yarn dyeing that made me laugh. It is true! Do I always get quiet right before a shop update? I probably do. I try not to, but it IS a lot of work!

So, can I make up for my lack of sweater photo with some yarn photos? Everything you see here will be available next Monday. (But can I ask you pretty please, do not e-mail me and ask me to save a skein for you--I can't do it for some and not others--thank you!)

I've got summery colors (Seashells, Hunky Lifeguard, I'd Like Mine with Extra Hot Sauce)

Flowery colors and pastels (Mermaid, Iris, Bouquet, Daffodils and Tulips)

Darks (Good Earth, Drama, He Saw Her Across the Smoky Bar, Antique)

And some of you organized folks are ready for your Christmas yarn. Here's the scoop. I said in my newsletter last month that I was going to do "Christmas Lights" by special order only. What was I thinking? On paper, it always seems like special orders might be easier--but in reality, when I am doing a special order, I am trying very hard to match the previous photo, which makes extra pressure. Also, with special orders, there is extra e-mailing back and forth getting things arranged. So, I've changed my mind and I'm going to list a large batch during my shop update on Monday instead of taking special orders. If there is more demand for it, I'll just do more in July. Thanks for understanding!

Oh, and FYI I will list the Christmas Lights first. 10am Central time. Merry Christmas!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Beautiful Belle

I am in love with this sweater. Belle. (From Mission Falls Quinte Scrapbook) that I started last summer after the Great Blankie Fix Up of '06, to refresh your memory. Working with the blankie rekindled my love of Mission Falls Cotton, and I had some pink (Cosmos #203) in stash just waiting for it's time.

Here’s what I love about this sweater:

1. It’s totally wearable. It does not require that I go out and buy a camisole like all the sweaters in Interweave Knits, or a certain color skirt, or wear my hair a certain way. It will look good with pants, jeans, capris, skirts, black, khaki, denim, short sleeve tee, long sleeve tee, or blouse.

Basically, my entire wardrobe that I already have, this will look great with. As I am knitting this, I can tell: This will be my GO-TO sweater.

2. It’s very pretty. Pretty color, pretty cables, a little lace. Love that.

3. It’s fun to knit. It’s way more interesting than stockinette, and yet it’s a completely memorizable pattern that I can tell what to do just by looking at the row below, and I can do it around the kids. Heck, I can do it while watching 24.

4. It’s kind of show-offy, in a quiet way. I mean, it’s no fancy fair isle wing-ding. But it’s definitely something that I would be proud to wear in a room full of knitters. Like Stitches, or a knit-in for charity, or a famous bloggers book signing: a "knitting soiree" kind of thing. And if you are a knitter, and you attend these knitting soiree events now and then, then this is a nice thing to have in the closet.

So, keeping all these things in mind, that this could very well be my knitting-soiree-go-to sweater, I decided that this would be the time to conquer my fear of short-rowing shoulders.

The instructions for this sweater have you do the stair step bind off shaped shoulders, and then seam the shoulders together. I have done this with many sweaters, and on the last one (Olympic sweater '06) I just wasn't happy with the resulting seam. The cable pattern didn't quite match up and I really wanted to do better.

One morning, fresh with coffee and armed with a little hand drawn diagram, I had a mind meld with shortrowing, and claimed victory:

Above you see the shoulder seam with 3 needle bindoff, pattern matching up nicely, and the back neck drop I added. The pattern had you bind-off the back straight across the neck. I think that feels tight against the neck, and adding the drop makes for a better fit.

I was very happy with myself, and I blocked it out on the handy dandy striped beach towel.

Then I stepped back to take a picture.

What the BLEEP?! Can you see it?

How about now?

Friends, we have not had a knitting disaster of this magnitude since the Great Ene’s Scalene Triangle of 2006. There would be no fancy laddering down to fix this situation. I would have to rip out the shoulder seam and re-knit nearly the entire back to fix this. You know I am seriously anti-rip. So I waited for it to dry and took it to several different lighting environments to assess the situation.

Dining room table, bright sunlight through the windows:

Seems ok.

Outside in super-bright direct sunlight.

Definitely ok.

Living room under incandescent light:

Definitely not ok.

How can this be my go-to-knitting-soiree sweater with a big dyelot stripe issue across the back?!?