Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Houston we have a problem...

And that problem is... fit.
I know I saw it coming, I've been afraid for a while now that my Hey Teach was going to be too small. Over the weekend I finished the button bands (and bought buttons, more on that later). and started seaming. When I had both sleeves sewn up and one side seamed, I slipped it on and it fits as long as I wear nothing under it, which is of course a big problem with a lacy bodice. For me anyway.
The biggest problem was the sleeves, they are just too tight. The rest seems to fit fine, and make me glad I didn't make the bigger size which would have been huge on me.

I figure that if you've knit something too small for you, you have 5 choices:
1) you can throw it down in disgust
2) you can rip it out and knit the larger size
3) you can diet until it fits
4) you can gift it to someone smaller than you
5) you can figure out how to make it bigger

Obviously, the first four just aren't happening here. I love my ice cream an d this sweater and I'm going to wear it this summer. So how to make it bigger? Well, my Knitting answer book suggests that you knit a gusset to fit in the sleeve. The main problem that I ran into was, that this portion is also done in the lace pattern. I stewed over whether to knit a stockinette gusset or fiddle with the lace. after a while I figured that if I fiddled with the lace I'd be happiest. So, an hour or so later I had the seam in the second sleeve ripped out and a new gusset knit. I guess this will have to be a to be continued, because I have no idea if it will work. I plan to finish the seaming on that side and see if it fits better, then rip part of the seam out on the other side, and knit a gusset for that.

But who'd want to rip out such a nice seam?!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Work is ongoing on my Hey teach. Both sleeves are done but need to be blocked, and I have the shoulders seamed. Am picking up stitches for the neck and will start the button band probably later today. It occurs to me that I have no buttons for this project. Suppose I should get working on that--assuming that it will button when it is done.

The weather has gotten warmer here--finally and so I have started to think more and more about the next big project--sock dying. For Christmas, I was given a knit picks sock blank. The idea is that you can dye it into a pattern and then knit from the blank. The socks then will have the striping pattern you dyed. I asked for it because I decided that what I really really want is rainbow socks. And to that end, I did a bit of sketching:

sock blank

To try to decide if it should go ROYGBIVVIBGYOR or ROYGBIVROYGBIV. I think I like the latter the best. I have all the materials--now I just need to actually do it. Especially since it is warm and I could do the dying outside if I needed to.
Which do you like the one on the left or the one on the right?

Friday, May 15, 2009

hey teach... er librarian

I'm not done with Hey Teach but I thought this might be a good time to discuss some details about the project in part because I've had at least one comment about the project and because sometimes the excitement of finishing something overwhelms me and I forget details.

So ok, I decided that since my LSY doesn't carry second time cotton, the yarn called for in the project, I would search for some other yarn that might work. A worsted weight cotton blend was how I interpreted that and after much flopping around the LYS, I came away with 4 skeins of Cascade Sierra (color 42), which is a cotton and wool blend.
Then of course came the swatching and sizing issues.
I have a 36" bust and the small in this pattern measures at 35.5 which is .5 negative ease and the medium is 39 which is 3 inches positive ease. In all the ravelry pictures, the snugger the fit, the better the look, so I was really torn, then I swatched.
On size 6 (us) needles I got um not gauge. I can't remember exactly what it was. It was close. I made a math error and went up a needle size and was way off--should have gone down a size. Decided after doing some math with my gauge and the schematic that actually the gauge I was getting would make the 35.5 inch size a touch bigger--like a 36.5 so I decided that I'd stick with the size 6 (even though I wasn't completely in love with the look of the fabric) in part because my size 5's are wrapped up with some lace project that at the time I planned to actually work on. (Stitch holder being a non-issue thanks to interchangeable needles).

uh oh this is getting dull--cue pictures:
hey teach

So as you can see the back is done. And I was worried about the lace shaping, charted it out for the back and everything. But by the time I started the first sleeve, I could read that lace so well that I pretty much know what to do without looking too close to the chart.
You can also see I have re-purposed some of my kids former toys as a blockign board. I must confess that I stole the idea from something I saw in knit picks. Those blocks were headed to Goodwill too!

I finished both the front sections and blocked those too. Although I ran out of pins and had to unpin the back before I did the fronts.
Hey Teach

I decided to block differently than I normally do. Normally I soak everything then lay it out wet, but I did some reading and decided to give steam blocking a try. It seems to have worked out pretty well, but the fronts are still damp (well I only blocked them an hour a go so what do you expect).
So I have started on the first sleeve and am about half way done with it. I think I may sew the shoulder seams before I finish the sleeves, just because then I can work on the neck while the sleeves block. Or maybe not. We'll see what I feel like this weekend.
For the record, I'm still lightly worried about it fitting me. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Stuff I'm working on

So, I am still working on my version of Hey teach--I have the back and the left front done. I've moved pretty steadily through my usual worries about any sweater project i've ever had 1) is this a good color? 2) OMG I'm not going to have enough yarn! and finally 3) This isn't going to fit! I go through this with every single sweater I've ever knitted. I think I have enough yarn on this one--finally being convinced of this after getting within an inch of the top of the left front. I keep reminding myself that this sweater looks best with low amounts of ease, and surge forward.

I'm also still working on a quilt, although BLECH, it isn't coming out as I envisioned it. My mother-in-law has promised to help this weekend, which I think is gracious of her. She is under the impression that if I don't follow the instructions in the book that it will come out better--see where I get this urge to not follow the rules? Although she's probably right and in six months I'll stumble on errata that says so.

I also bought my mom some sock yarn for mother's day--sock yarn that I might add, I kind of want. but I have enough sock yarn, which leads me to:

Which I just started out of the need to have a sock going at all times. I don't have a special plan for it--so maybe 2X2 ribbing at the top? I love the yarn, which is knit picks Felici that I got for Christmas. And after these are done, I'm planning a foray into dyeing my own sock yarn--I have a knit picks sock blank, a skein of bare sock yarn and eight colors of frosting tint. Stay tuned.