Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Non-Schmoozy Actual Content Post

I'm such a dork. In my haste to come up with even mildly creative headings, I usually resort to terrifically bad song parodies. For the three of you out there who read this blog, I'll give a dollar to anyone who can figure out what I'm quoting. Okay, and I'll make you a userpic or blog button too. (The second one's a gimme.)

"The shawl creeps on apace... my guilty fingers cramping..."

First (and best): with the advent of rehearsal for my July show (Patience, with the Madison Savoyards… you should, like, totally come see it), I seem to have worked through my major issues with our friend Icarus. I’m finally into the middle of Chart 2 and though the rows are long and (mildly) more complex, it’s actually GOING.

I may reach the end of my second ball today, however, which brings me to my major issue. Can’t remember if I mentioned it before, but according to my handy-dandy shawl percentage calculator I am DANGEROUSLY close to running out every time I get near my target point. I’m something like right on or only a row off when I reach each third (I’ve got three balls).

So yes, the obvious issue is that I did not have enough wiggle room with my given yarn. It’s hand-dyed yarn from a secret pal, so it’s neither easily matched nor easily obtainable. I accept the fact that I am a doofus and should have planned better.

But what do I do at this point? Since I’m on the edging, do you think that I could move down a size in my needles to get just a “metric snad” (as my conductor calls it) more yarn? It’s an obvious transition point in the patterning anyway, so maybe it wouldn’t be such a big deal. And I’m trying to think about where I could lose a couple stitches in width or something.

Bad Madam. Must think more next time, even if it IS supposed to be a sort of random project.

(Currently in the middle of row 199, where I should finish row 200 if I am to get to 66.6%. Fingers crossed.)

"See my vest, see my vest!"

Every time I go to the Sow’s Ear I see another little hat, of all things, that inspires me for my dad’s sweater vest. I wish I had pictures, but for now you’ll have to just rely on my descriptions.

Both of these are Amy Anderson hats, and I think that she’s written the patterns to be knit in multiple shapes. (Yeah, I still like to use garment patterns to help me figure out how to knit stitch patterns. At least I’m buying locally…) The first is called Osmosis and involves what is either a slip stitch or just an alternating stitch pattern so that single-stitch vertical columns of a solid color (black in this case) alternate with single-stitch vertical columns of a handpainted yarn (in this case, a reddish/orange Koigu, doublestranded). I think that might be a nice nod to the Cosby sweater aspect of the project without getting too out of hand.

The second is her Mix and Match hat, which has… hmmm… Imagine alternating vertical columns (one or two stitches wide) of two solid colors. Imagine that near the middle of the hat, one column stops and the two columns on either side make 45 degree turns to form a little square “roof” on top. Then a square on its point, also with a smaller square of color inside, fits neatly into the space between the “roofs.” (I have got to work on my descriptive language. Either that or get some rudimentary painting program on this computer to make some highly technical diagrams.)

I was thinking, then, that the Mix and Match pattern would be great to add some detail to the chest area without looking all preppy. Two issues, though. If I used the solid-with-handpaint technique that I liked in Osmosis, the handpaint would then be the “main-color” yarn used across the yoke up to the neckline. That might lead to pooling and other tomfoolery. The other issue is the comparative weight and time needed if I were to use what is essentially two layers of yarn. I want the vest to have a nice supple hand, and I don’t think that’ll do it. It might not be too bad if I used a thinner yarn, like a single strand of Mountain Colors or the like, but that’d be even worse than ribbing a whole garment and most likely involve small needles. Oy.

My final query for the day involves a sleeve and shoulder dilemma. So many projects I see have great patterns and allover shaping that I like, yet I’m sure they’d look hideous on me because they have raglan sleeves. Some very simple raglan sweaters look okay on me, but I have such large shoulders that even regular old set-in sleeves look like raglans if they’re too tight. I’m huge, Tiny Elvis.

So if I see a pattern that I really like except for the raglan sleeves, I know that turning it into a pattern with any other kind of sleeve will dramatically change the way it is constructed. Are there any hard and fast rules for it? Can you say, “Okay, I’m going to chop the sleeve off here and that’s how long it goes because the shoulder will make up for it”? I will have to figure that out.


At 9:06 PM, Blogger froggy_dear said...

But they already did "See my Vest" on the Simpsons! (Be our guest) :P

At 5:02 PM, Blogger Alexandra said...

Raglan to set-in conversion shouldn't change anything about the sleeve below the cap. I mean, it doesn't have to. If you're going to recalculate the cap anyway, then you might as well change the bicep width or whatever at the same time, if you want to.

If you want a tutorial, I would rather do it in person with an ample supply of graph paper.


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