Behold! The fruits of my procrastinatory labors.
currently #1 on my shitlist? our camera’s self timer.
This dress was a long time coming. Once upon a time while perusing sewing blogs on the internet years ago, I saw a brief mention and screencap of one of Peggy’s dresses from Mad Men. I immediately became obsessed with the idea of the blue dress with the red pleats tucked in and sort of hidden away. When I gained more confidence with my sewing (and also bought Simplicity 1873) I realized that hey – I could maybe actually make that myself.
This was yet another project where I went to bed one night thinking everything was hunky-dory and then woke up the next morning with my first thought being “oh god I have made a terrible mistake.” I cut out the fabric for the bodice at 2 AM (dumb) and of course cut out the wrong bodice for the dress view (dumb dumb) I wanted to sew (pretty sure I’ve done this before and I just haven’t learned my lesson). In order to have enough for the skirt, I couldn’t re-cut the bodice so my dreams of a faithful replication of Peggy’s dress were out the window before I even really got started on the project. Womp. This turned out to be okay because the amount of fabric I had left for the skirt was not long enough to make it 1950′s appropriate. Double womp.
quality assurance cat
I cut a circle skirt out of the navy and then sliced out some chunks to make the red pleats. While we’re on the topic of the circle skirt, I have to say that I had my fair share of screwups with that part too. Embarrassingly, I went to a state-funded high school specially geared for the maths and sciences. Obviously the whole science thing worked out with me in medical school, but I frequently feel ashamed that taxpayer dollars funded my education in mathematics, which I apparently squandered to the extent that I do not know enough geometry to plan a circle skirt. Oops. Anyway, I eventually got it figured out enough to piece the thing together. I am not exactly pleased with the spacing and location of the pleats (I wish they were closer to the center), but I don’t think I’d be able to make it better so that’s that. The inside of the skirt is finished with French seams – not because I’m fancy, but because this awful fabric is just determined to fray.
Highly conveniently, I sewed about half this thing before I started following Julia Bobbin and realized she had a Mad Men sewing challenge going on right this second.
Sewing bloopers aside, I still finished this in time to wear it to the premiere party for a show David worked on – Chicagoland! It’s on CNN starting 6 March at 9p central time. WATCH IT. It’s so good (and I’m not just saying that because I like him).
David’s sweater is still the big WIP elephant sitting on my chest. I finished the re-do of my godawful mistake, and you know what? It went okay. Not perfect, but okay. This is technically my first adult sweater, I haven’t cried (yet) while knitting it (knitting an adult sized sweater without breaking into tears is one of my life goals) and if I made the thing perfect David probably wouldn’t be able to wear it until next January. I’m finally onto the sleeves (which, mercifully, I made the wise decision to knit both at once). I’m definitely suffering from ennusleeve. Saaaave me. Or I could just save myself by powering through this thing and getting it done. If people can poop themselves and still finish a marathon, then I can knit two sweater sleeves (without pooping myself, hopefully) and be okay.
Another thing I’ve been working on: the Spiral Cowl, which is serving as a really great reminder as to why I hate patterns with lots of YOs on DPNs. Why do I do these things to myself? Whine whine.
In other news, I am really ready to knit something that is NOT a neutral color. Except for my weird obsession with grey, I am not a neutral colors sort of gal. This is exacerbated by the whole totally-sick-of-winter attitude I’m rocking. I think my ginormous post boards/neutral gift knitting overload reward project will be the Clarity cardigan, in a nice bright green (I already have the yarn, courtesy of my very lovely seester). Mmmm, can’t wait.
Do you ever have that moment when you’re making something, and things seem way hunky dory and you feel just the teensiest bit (okay, maybe very) smug about yourself? And then is that moment swiftly followed up by the horrible catastrophic realization that you’ve made an enormous mistake?
So that was my Sunday night. I had finished the left front of David’s cardigan and I was about to start on the sleeves when I decided that I just had to see how all the pieces looked when they were arranged as if they had already been seamed. So I laid the fronts on top of the back and aligned the shoulder seams and cables, but for some reason the left front cable panel just would not match up with the back. Then it dawned on me. I had knitted the cable panel for the entire left front in the wrong place. I knitted it IN. THE. WRONG. PLACE. I wanted to set something on fire (read: myself. I wanted to set myself on fire, and not in a deep way like in the Stars song, but in a real, angry, orange-flames-y sort of way).
a beautiful, complete, WRONG left front
Because I couldn’t take the emotional trauma of knitting the whole fricking thing over again, I decided to try some sweater surgery and intentionally drop the 19 offending stitches all the way down to the end of the ribbing and knit them back up again, this time with the cables in the right place. I’m about six inches into the surgerizing process and things seem to be going…okay? It’s actually only slightly noticeable, and I think that after the first washing it will disappear entirely.
Obviously my Ravellenics goal for finishing the sweater by Friday is out the window (it was kind of out the window before I even noticed the error, but let’s just pin this all on the mistake so I don’t feel so guilty about not finishing), but I suppose there are worse things in the world than missing a self-imposed and completely artificial deadline.
This post serves as a PSA for all knitters who have not discovered the obvious excellence of blocking. Because I was one of them until very recently.
A while ago (like a year and a half ago), I knitted the Rib Lace Scarf/Cowl while TA’ing a class that involved a lot of sitting in the back of a lecture hall. (Also, it was summer and it was too hot to do anything except go into work early and leave late so I could sit in the air conditioning, and what else was I going to do but knit?) Anyway, I finished the thing probably in mid-July, and then immediately stashed it away because just looking at it made my palms get all sweaty. When I pulled it out again in the fall, I remember thinking, “Wait. I don’t like this. Why?!” I’m only a little embarrassed to admit that the answer (“because you didn’t block it, ya big dummy”) did not occur to me until three weeks ago. Dur. To celebrate me coming to my senses, as well as Chicago’s warmest day in the past two weeks (it was 19 F this morning and my face felt positively WARM), David snapped some pictures of me outside in the snow.
The good news? I am now obsessed with this and I want to wear it all the time. And I will never not block again.
Also shown: my most amazing super duper warm hat from my amazing big sib Phoebe. She knitted this with yarn from her dad’s alpacas. Yes, her dad owns alpacas. This is only one of the many reasons I like her so much.
But then I had an idea. An awful idea. A wonderful, awful idea. So if you know me in real life, and potentially even on the Internet, my humor tends to err on the side of the absolutely foul and completely bizarre (read: you’ve been warned – continue at your own risk). Case in point: one thing I find particularly amusing is cat buttholes (aka dirt stars, an attractive moniker my sister shared with me).
After David and I came home from our Valentine’s date (a matinee of the Lego movie, because we are simultaneously 65 and 5 years old), I started petting CeeCee on the floor and these cards just came to me in a flash. They may be belated (and disgusting), but hopefully everyone enjoys receiving their dirt stars (and associated cat butt puns) as much as I did making them.
The unthinkable (and probably inevitable) finally came to pass.
(wait for it)
I lost a hand-knit mitten on the bus. Guys. GUYS. Don’t all jump to comfort me at once. I’ll be okay. You should be heaping your sympathy on my right-hand mitten, whose fate will be to live out his treasured golden years all alone in a dark corner of my yarn stash (because I anthropomorphize everything and I am way too sentimental to throw out something I knit even if it no longer has any use).
While this could have been the coup de gras to the disintegrating dignity with which I am slogging through this winter, I chose to take this as a sign that I needed to knit myself a new pair of mittens. It will be some time before I actually have time (hello David’s sweater which I still haven’t finished) to make my own, but that hasn’t stopped me from making a shortlist from my bloated list of favorites on Ravelry. (All images are taken from their respective Ravelry pages.)
First up, we have the Catscan Mittens, I’m almost certain I’ll make even though I have gone through the pretense of making a list. As a medical student, cat aficionado, and lover of all puns, I am pretty sure I’m obligated to make these things. This will be motivation to keep knitting through my stash, so I can use up enough yarn to buy more for this project (thanks 3 out 1 in challenge).
Next up are the Mors du Cheval mittens, which are gorgeous, have a free pattern, and I already have stash yarn I could use (soooo sensible), but I guess I just love to make things difficult for myself and I’m not really feeling these guys. Alas/alack.
Finally – the INSULATE mittens. I love these for very obvious reasons. They would also unfortunately necessitate buying outside of stash (rats), but they are just so excellent and I love to take any opportunity to let my Doctor Who flag fly.
What do you think? Should I go with the Catscan mittens or take a chance with one of the others? And how do you cope with the tragic loss of knits?
People do crazy things when they are cooped up with crappy weather for long periods of time, myself included. Normally I cope by purchasing weather inappropriate clothing, but I’m on a self-imposed vow of clothing celibacy so that’s not an option. Instead, I’ve chosen to reject my soggy, slushy, and subzero reality and substitute it with springtime home decor. The Doctor Who snowflakes are stored away for the next time that I feel really excited about seeing snow (which definitely won’t be for another 10 months at least).
(Sorry for the terrible pictures; I’m just so overcome by wintertime inertia that even just the thought of lifting our big camera is enough to make me melodramatically sigh and flop down onto the couch.) I found the tutorial to make these guys here.