I got out my pink sweater pieces to seam last week and I saw the most horrific thing I could imagine. There was a purl stitch where there was supposed to be a knit stitch and it was right in the center of the front across the bust line. I would have to rip out a couple of inches of knitting to get where I could unbind the neckline and drop down to fix the stitch. I brought my anger and frustration to Twitter and got a lot of suggestions for how to fix it. Lots of people suggested duplicate stitching over the purl bump to make it less noticeable, but I was afraid that would draw more attention to the problem. Melissa suggested cutting it out and grafting the hole shut. It seemed like the best option so I set my sweater aside for a bit while I mentally prepared myself to cut into my knitting.
Finally ready to deal with the stitch, I turned my attention back to my sweater today. I got everything out, prepared to cut a hole open and then I realized my sweater was inside out. Ridiculous, right? You’d think that would be something I would have noticed earlier. What I really had in front of my was a knit stitch in a column of purls. That’s much less noticeable and bumpy and an easier fix.
I thought about leaving it along because it was hard to see, but I decided to use everyone’s advice and duplicate stitched over the knit stitch. It wasn’t easy to see in the first place, but now it’s pretty much invisible! I have to admit that I’m both relieved and disappointed that I didn’t have to cut into my knitting. It would have been an impressive fix if I had.
I think I’ve reached the point in my life where I need to invest in at least a swift. Maybe a ball winder, too.
I used to love to wind my balls by hand. It was extra contact time with my yarn. I got a good feel for what properties the yarn had and an understanding of how it would behave. I used to be a pretty slow knitter and the extra time it took to wind a ball of yarn didn’t matter much to me. I wouldn’t have to wind a ball very often so it was a nice occasional change of pace.
Balling yarn has recently become really obnoxious. I knit fairly quickly now and having to stop to wind a new ball of yarn is generally annoying. I have to strategically plan my winding. I stretch the skein across my knees so I have to be sure that I’ll have enough uninterrupted time to wind the whole thing before I start. I also have to plan ahead if I know I’m going to need to ball yarn when around other people. I have to remember to wear jeans!
Do you ball your yarn by hand? Is it fun for you? Are there any secret tips or tricks that I’m unaware of or is it really time to get a swift?
I had a creative assignment for my Herman Melville class. We had to creatively interpret a scene or theme from Moby Dick. I didn’t have enough time to knit something, but that wasn’t going to stop me from doing something crafty! Inspired by Checkout Girl, I made these companion applique pieces
I chose the scene where Pip gets knocked out of a whaling boat and left behind while the others pursue the whales. There are some academic explanations for why I picked this scene and laid it out on two hoops, but I’ll spare you because I need to write it in essay form later tonight.
Here’s Pip. I did this hoop first so I had a few struggles. Luckily I was working with fairly thick 100% wool felt so I could use some discrete needle felting to touch up on small details like Pip’s thumbs.
I’m really happy with the whaling boat. I drew it out on Illustrator and then printed it to use as a pattern to cut my felt. I embroidered the details. It’s not too shabby for my first real attempts at applique and embroidery
You might have noticed that it’s been a while since I shared any of my sketches. That’s because I didn’t do much of any in February. The Month of Craft Photos sort of took over my free time and I stopped sketching everyday. I started up again at the end of February, but I’ve stopped trying to draw everyday. My daily sketches had gotten pretty sad because I was just rushing to draw something instead of drawing when I had time for it. My new goal is to draw more often than I did prior to this year and draw more complex sketches than I was when I was doing one daily.
To give myself a challenge I’ve been using photos for reference. My favorite source of inspiration is the LIFE archive on Google. There are so many awesome old photos in there. And I still throw in the occasional sketch of something on my desk like my beloved measuring tape.
While I was knitting away on my current sweater, my brain started to wander to future sweaters and patch pockets. I was trying to think of a way to make patch pockets seamlessly and it occurred to me that I might be able to make that work with short rows and decreases. I grabbed the nearest yarn and free bit of knitting (my current sweater swatch), and gave my idea a try.
It’s not as pretty as I had hoped. I had to knit down one side to get to the bottom to start the shorts rows. The side I knit down stands out from the fabric and the side I didn’t knit across before the short rows has sloppy looking decreases. I don’t think the idea is completely without potential, but it’s definitely going to take a bit more work to get it right.
I was making space on the memory card for my camera when I found these pictures of Bean digging. I had completely forgotten about them, but they made me crack up when I started looking at them more closely. She tries to follow gopher holes around my parents’ back yard. Sometimes you can find her with her face stuffed down a hole. She tries to follow the path of the gopher hole or whatever it is that has dug a tunnel underground.
If she can’t dig through the root-bound soil with her stubby little paws, she bites out a big chunk of grass, dirt, and roots. She’ll keep doing that until she can dig with her paws again. It’s both gross and hilarious because she always looks so disgusted by the taste and never succeeds in catching any critters. Silly dog.
As soon as my needles were free from my pink sweater, I started swatching for my new one. I came up with the idea while watching Penelope last December and I got the yarn for Christmas, but I wanted to work my way through my other projects before I got started on this one. The sweater is vaguely inspired by one from the movie which you can see at about 36 seconds into the terrible trailer below.
I originally sketched the sweater based on memory and it’s evolved a lot from my inspiration. I sketched the color change as being straight across the front rather than curved. I decided that I missed the softness that the curve gave the original sweater, but I also liked what I came up. I compromised and made the edge of the color transition scalloped so the sharp line was broken up a bit.
Once I had my swatch sorted out, I did all the annoying math and cast on. I think it’s going to be a really cute sweater.
Short puff sleeves are kind of deceptive. You think they’ll be quick to knit because they’re short, but any time you save from the length is lost in the volume. I finished the first set of increases and the number of stitches wasn’t so bad, but then I read ahead. The sleeves get almost as big as the body of the sweater! I was working both sleeves at the same time so each row took a long time. Progress was slow.
But I wanted my stupid needles back so I kept going and eventually I had this lovely pile of pieces. I’m waiting to block all of the pieces before I sew everything together. I’m not looking forward to the seaming. I’m already not a huge fan of sewing seams, but I don’t usually mind it. This sweater is not going to be fun to seam. I have to gather the sleeve head and ease it in evenly so this isn’t going to be the easiest sewing job.
One of my professors has a sweater with cables on the sleeves and I kept finding myself distracted by it when she wore it. The cable narrowed and widened and I was fixated on how it was accomplished. I’ve been drawing it all over my notebooks and in my sketch book. I came up with my own solution using only cables. I finally got a close look at her sweater and was disappointed to see that her cables simply used increases and decreases. It wasn’t as clever as what I came up with in my not-so-humble opinion.
I finished knitting my cabled sweater in the middle of watching Thor and I didn’t want to run upstairs to get more knitting so I decided to swatch my little cable using leftover yarn. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with this cable when I was drawing it on everything, but now that I see it knit I definitely think it has potential. I’m currently thinking of knitting something a bit like Miette but with a v-neck and this cable instead of eyelets. It will have a to wait until I finish the two tone sweater I have planned, though.