Posts Tagged by finished object
|17 March 2014||Posted by Ness under Knitting|
Six skeins of luscious yarn + a fascinating pattern + an arbitrary deadline = a lot of fun.
I blocked the Event Horizon Pi Shawl the day after I finished it. Remember that it was only 40″ in diameter off the needles?
I knew it would grow, so Mike and I moved around a little furniture in the guest room, laid down a sheet, and hope there’d be enough room.
Then it was into the sink while I went for a walk, then back to drain, squeeze, roll, stomp, and then up to the guest room. I measured the centre at 3.5′ from the things I couldn’t move: the closet doors and the table with the loom on it. I figured I could go under the bed if I had to, and there was more room on the opposite side from the table.
I started with each 16th marker. If I’d been smart, I would have done them in four sets, so there would have been only four colours all the way around. It would have made checking the right-angles easier. It wasn’t difficult, per se, but I did spend a bit of time counting pins as I did the third and fourth sets to make sure I was measuring the right ones. I also just eyeballed the angle, rather than dig out a protractor to make sure it was 90 degrees. It took about an hour to get these sixteen pins right, but after that, it was easy sailing.
I blocked it hard. No word of a lie, even though I put the first pins in at an angle, some of them were pulled almost out by the time I got around to them when adding the pins in between. It dried under a lot of tension, and I admit to being a little worried, even though I knew the yarn could take it.
And it grew. From 40″ in diameter to almost 72″. Exactly what I’d hoped, and what I’d wanted when I ordered the sixth skein of yarn. I’m 6′ tall on a good day, and was sure that a 5′ diameter shawl just wouldn’t hang as well on my frame as a 6′ one. And…
Boy, was I ever right (and yes, you actually get to see my face for this one 😉 ). Special thanks to those at RCY South when I got there for figuring out how I should wear it, and loaning me the shawl pin, because that there, that’s got to be the best way to wear a circular shawl.
And don’t let anyone tell you a lace shawl can never be warm, because by the end of the class, I needed to take it off, I was getting too hot! Now with spring here (hopefully… oh, I hope so), maybe I can trade a jacket for the shawl on a nice day.
Final opinion on the Event Horizon Pi Shawl: I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the pattern for a beginner lace knitter, but someone who’s done a little bit of lace knitting shouldn’t have too many problems. Stitch markers are your friends. This yarn is amazing: great colour, and took that hard block like a pro. I would do something different with Lace Circle 5 if I were to knit it again. And would I knit this again? Yes, I actually think I would. It was that much fun.
|7 February 2014||Posted by Ness under Knitting, Life|
I was looking back through the blog posts the other week – I think it might have been when I was writing our Christmas letter, which would have made that late November, but don’t quote me on that – when I came across the post in which my hip issues started. I read it, feeling slightly baffled.
So it’s a really bummer that as I was doing my evening treadmill walk on Thursday night, that old air-bubble feeling in the ball-and-socket joint came back on the left side. Note to self: Avoid treadmill incline 5 and above… Ice and rest and anti-inflammatories this weekend, and then stretching. And no incline over 4 from now on. I was doing so well on the walking too, but I know I can’t push this one. It’s an overuse injury, and I need to bring the swelling down. And maybe go back for another spectacular set of bruises from ART if it doesn’t settle in short order. 🙂
Now, just shy of eleven months later, and I’m doing a massage a week to just maintain my current mobility, and have an appointment with a neurologist and after that, a rheumatologist. I feel like I was naive back then, but I wasn’t. Not really. I could never have predicted the… stubbornness of this particular round of difficulty.
But yes. Eleven months. And as those eleven months crawled by with their myriad appointments and recovery periods, the blogging part of the blog and podcast started to slow to a trickle. I regret that. I don’t think there was much of a choice, considering how beat up I was getting (am still getting), but I still regret it. And I continue to regret it. I feel like I have missed out on documenting the craziness of this round, and what I have done with my limited spare time to keep my mental health in as good a state as I can. I feel like I have not followed through on my commitment to rediscovering my voice, my written voice, that I put out in the first episode of the podcast.
But although I haven’t necessarily been posting as regularly as I wanted to, that hasn’t stopped me from planning posts. Lots of posts. Lots and lots and LOTS of posts. In my head. And with my camera, if I’m going to be completely honest. Something happens, I think, “Oh, that’d make a good blog post!”, I document it photographically, sketch it out in my head, and then it comes to the evening, and… Yeah.
You would love the posts in my head. Some of them are funny and witty, others are thoughtful, still others are interesting and filled with information and insights into fibre arts. I think they’re pretty good, anyway.
Of course, they’re all pretty dated now. You know, being months old and all… Heck, even this post, I’ve been writing in my head for well over two weeks. Go figure.
I’m not going to go all the way back through the posts in my head, but I’m going to try and get a few more of them out of my brain and onto the Interwebs, even if they’re shorter, or not as well illustrated with pictures, or even if they’re illustrated with iPhone or iPad pictures rather than nice camera pictures. Because I know now this is not a short-haul injury. This is a lifestyle change, a new reality, and darn it, I need to add the writing back in, if only because it’s a voice that needs to be heard.
So we’ll start with a short post-from-my-head, from Christmas time.
Do you all remember the OpArt? It didn’t stay completely square once I unpinned it, but it was still okay, and I decided to be happy with it, and trundled down to Calgary for Christmas with it in tow, as I didn’t get to it in time to mail it. So there I was Christmas Eve, and I asked my mother if she had any baby-themed wrapping paper and a card so I could get the blanket wrapped up and ready to give to the parents-to-be when I saw them Boxing Day. We ended up finding a nice blank card and some not-quite-Christmas paper that would work, and so I went out into the kitchen to wrap it up. I folded it into a nice size, and was just kind of petting it when I noticed a hair.
I have long hair, and darkish brown, and it tends to get everywhere, so I thought nothing of it at first. Just pick it off and throw it away, right? Right? But it resisted my efforts at removing it. And looking closer, I realized why.
It was knit in. Through knitting, washing, drying, pinning, blocking, ironing, all of it, I hadn’t noticed. I’d knit one of my hairs in, to a white section, of course. Now, I’m sure there’s all kinds of superstitions around such endeavours, maybe relating to gifts for possible lovers or some such, but all I could think when I saw it was, “In a WHITE section? SERIOUSLY????”
I couldn’t wrap the blanket up knowing it was there, right there, right on top. I tried to pull it out, but it had gotten itself all wrapped around the yarn and itself and wasn’t going to be so easy. So I grabbed myself a needle and picked it out, stitch by stitch.
The good news is that despite the errant hair, the blanket was well appreciated by the parents-to-be. The baby was born last month, and is doing well, hopefully often snuggled in a striped, swirly, garter-stitch blanket into which I’m sure is knit more than just the one long, curly, brown hair.
|16 December 2013||Posted by Ness under Knitting|
It was the best of intentions; it was the worst of intentions.
Handing her sweater back to my mom this weekend was a great feeling. Having it fit exactly as she wanted, and not having the fact that the two sleeve ends were knit differently be noticeable without looking too hard was also great. At some point in the future if it REALLY bothers me, I might fix it, but for now, she’s got her lovely colourwork Norwegian sweater back.
But sitting down today and looking for the photographs I took when she gave me that sweater to adjust was not a great feeling. Because she gave it to me last Christmas.
See up there in the corner? And on the tree to the left? Christmas decorations. Christmas decorations. Which means that this project has been kicking around since before I started the blog and podcast.
I am a horrible daughter.
I’ll grant you, there were a few stumbling blocks. First there was trying to find suitable substitute yarn, and realizing that I needed to keep the yarn from the cuffs to use because I wouldn’t be able to match the white, while the black I could. And it really has only been this year that I’ve started to get knitting construction, been able to finagle patterns and yarn to do what I want. And let’s not talk about the worst part of the whole thing: scissors.
I did try to unravel the sleeves from the cast-on edge up, a prospect that anyone who has tried it can tell you is a bit of a bear. But I would have kept at it, if the yarn hadn’t been split and knit at one point. There was no way around it. I was going to have to cut the darn cuff off and hope for the best. It was frightening. I knew that with steeks, you’re usually working with regular wool, and I knew that this was superwash, and I didn’t trust it. But I ended up catching the stitches, snipping, and unraveling, and the sweater didn’t spontaneously combust, or unravel, much to my surprise. After that, it was a relatively simple matter of reverse-engineering the colourwork pattern and knitting the cuff down from the black yarn I’d bought, and the white yarn I’d salvaged. In August, I had one sweater cuff.
I went back in the blog, trying to remind myself of the progression of this project. I had fully intended to whip up that last sleeve and have it back to my mom in August, when we were down for their anniversary. We test-fit the completed sleeve and it was the right length. After that, it’s a little hazy. But I do remember one thing: when I cut off the second cuff, the number of stitches in the second sleeve was different from the first. The sleeves had different stitch counts at the same point.
I expect this is why the sweater wasn’t finished that weekend in August. I expect that’s also why it lingered here in project purgatory, until I came up with a new plan. And yes, the second sleeve extension is knit from the cuff up and Kitchenered on. It was the simplest way I could think of to knit the same cuff pattern, yet make the stitch count match with the original sleeve. But it worked.
If you look real close at the right sleeve, you can see that there’s an extra row of white that there isn’t on the left. If you look even closer than you can in this photo, you can see that in that extra row of white, there are some twisted stitches. And if you look really really close, you can see that the stitch direction between the left and right cuff are reversed.
I’m enough of a perfectionist that it bothers me a little bit. I’m enough of a realist to know that I’m the only one looking for it (except all of you, but I’ve told you to look for it). And I’m enough of a pragmatist to know that it really doesn’t matter if there’s one extra row of white on one sleeve, with a few twisted stitches and opposite stitch directions.
The sleeves are long enough now, they’re warm, and even though it took me just shy of one full year to get it done, there’s still a whole bunch of winter left for that sweater to see some use. And because I’ve gone through the whole process – challenged myself, reverse-engineered, overcome my fear of scissors, and done a lot of Kitchener stitch – that sweater will now see more use than it has in the fifteen years since it was first knit. And next time I have to do something like this, it sure as heck won’t take me a year to do it. Thanks for the challenge, Mom! Enjoy your sweater.
|3 August 2013||Posted by Ness under Knitting|
Put a check mark in that to-do box, because Lighthouse is done.
I started off the week bringing Lighthouse to work and to this week’s knitting groups. I didn’t work on it exclusively, but I did put in quite a bit of time, and it just never seemed to go anywhere. By Wednesday, I swore I was still at 2/3 done and 1/3 to go, even though I knew that couldn’t be the case.
So Friday night, I sat down with it again, and knit and knit and knit, and still swore that I wasn’t getting anywhere, and then all of a sudden, I was.
So I brought it out to Enjoy Centre knitting today, and even though it took me about two hours, I finished off the last bit and kitchenered the border together.
We got back from errands around 4:30, so I didn’t waste any time. I don’t like leaving the wash-and-block part of a project too long. Yes, blocking takes quite a bit of time more often than not, but it’s better to do it on a project-by-project basis than let it pile up. (That’s also how I like to approach dishes, and I’m trying that approach with the weeds that are starting to poke through in the front bed again. I suppose it’s the whole ‘it’s easier to keep a house clean than it is to clean it’ mentality I grew up with…)
Before hitting the water, Lighthouse was 32″ diameter. You can see the pattern, but it lacks crispness, and the border is all kinds of frumpy. Add water, wires, pins, and over an hour’s work…
48″ across, and I could have probably stretched it a touch more, but this seemed to be okay. Can you imagine if I’d had enough yarn to do the full fourth section AND the larger border? We’d probably be talking 6′ in diameter! The patterns are now very crisp. I had to do a little finagling with the multi-wrap stitches in the fourth section, but I did get them all evened out. I’m just loving my Inspinknity flexible blocking wires. The Knitpicks ones are great for straights, but nothing does curves or fine work like these.
This is a very forgiving pattern. There are innumerable places in the fourth section where I completely messed up, but it still looks good. It looks like it ought. I’m happy with the way it turned out, and I hope the Wednesday night ladies are too. Not sure what we’re going to do with it, but I know whoever ends up with it will be very happy with it.