Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Made by magpies!

Icarus is progressing slowly but surely. I'm a few rows into the second repeat of rows 19-42. I must confess that this has been more of a learning process or test of patience than I'd bargained for. Here I think this is a nice simple pattern, and all of a sudden I realize that I've got an extra stitch at the end of the row before the YO. So I've had two or three major "rip out the triangle of stitches around this one" sessions, which has slowed my progress significantly. Still, I think I'm getting better at looking out for them and faster in between.

Only now do I remember that I'm the kind of person who needs constant reassurance and benchmarks to get motivated, even if they're self-imposed, and "do this thing five times" doesn't really cut the mustard. Moreover, when each of those five repeats gets wider and wider... yeah, this is another reason why I haven't done shawls. Still, it's moving along and I like the texture and look of it. I'm about 10% done. We'll see.

In other news, I decided to start looking in earnest for some ideas about my dad's sweater vest. I'm pretty excited about the prospect, but I'm having a hard time narrowing down my options.

My dad is a great guy who decided several years ago that his interpretation of a midlife crisis would involve purchasing fashionable clothing that a) is neon in color, b) is covered in blue flowers, c) is based on a venereal disease (such as his gonorrhea tie, viewable midway down the page) or d) uses a Coogi sweater as its centerpiece. (Yes, these are the Cosby sweaters on crack. The one he owns involves pretty much every color on a simple color wheel. He once offered it to my in-need-of-Homecoming-outfit boyfriend. Ouch.) In short, he enjoys clothing that is, as Mister Husband would describe it, "made by magpies." I have little problem with this, as he is generally properly dressed and seems comfortable.

Obviously, I could get away with something a little more complex. However, I keep leaning toward the more drab tweeds as a way to mute the effects of said bright-orange or deep purple oxford shirts. But I want to give it a bit of flair that would suit him well, and not just splatter a giant argyle strip across the chest. So here I am right now, trying to decide what direction I should take with the design. Ideally, I'd also like to put this into publishable form for something like MagKnits or Knitty, although I say that about all of my ideas and have yet to put anything actually into play. Still, it's nice to have a goal, even if it doesn't end up happening.

I want to make this of a slightly finer gauge yarn -- at least a dk. He can wear regular wool, but my mom assures me that he spills, so a washable drab color, probably heathered, would be ideal. I'm just debating what kind of allover pattern I might be able to get away with. He has some muted sort of diamond-pattern ones that I might like to replicate, but I have yet to really sit down and examine the necessary variables for that.

I really like Eunny's experiment with a subtle brocade. I don't know if I could go into that much detail, but it seems that if I used a fine enough yarn I could make a fabric that might still be fairly drapey but would have a neat pattern to it, especially if I used sort of a tone-on-tone effect.

On the simple end of the spectrum, I was thinking of doing something like an 8x3 rib with seed stitch in the "gutters" instead of just plain purls. But I can't help but think that, for my very special dad, that would be too plain. Something across the chest would be add more interest, but I don't want it looking too preppy or golf-shirty.

So many options... I just don't know. I'll have to go over to my parents' this weekend to peruse his closet again.


At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Squiddles said...

Ten percent finished? Wendy would have three of them done by now, and without all the whining about extra stitches at the YO (whatever that means).


At 3:28 PM, Anonymous bibliofile said...

You're lucky--at least your dad is presentable on some level. Mine's famous for his favorite outfit: greenish houndstooth-checked pants, a plaid shirt in a different color, and his burgundy golf sweater. His brother is just as bad but has limited himself to only solid shirts and getting a second opinion before leaving the house.

I wish I could recommend a vest pattern, but I deliberately avoid looking at too many patterns. Otherwise I'd end up with even *more* unfinished projects than I have now.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger froggy_dear said...

If I find that I'm a stitch off somewhere, I'm finally learned enough that I can usually track down the offending spot and either drop the extra one the row or two and hope blocking works its magic or pick up an extra stitch to create a yo.

I hate frogging.

I will cheat at (almost) all costs.


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