WIP Weds #3

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I continue with Delphine.

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Here she is, displayed on my more-pleasingly-shaped-than-myself-but-still-numerically-accurate dress form.

008 She’s looking a little roomy in the bust region. That being said, most stuff is a little roomy in the bust area on me. I’ve made my peace with that.

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I really have to tell you – Delphine has STUPID instructions for dividing the armholes and dividing the neck. Seriously STUPID. I looked at the pattern. I looked at the errata. I read the forums. I read the pattern comments. Seriously, the plan sucks.

For the set-up row one is supposed to work the back, divide for armhole and put the back stitches on a holder. We work to the middle front then attach a new ball and work the remainder of the front, since we’ve been working in the round this is all happening on the right side of the fabric.

This is the point where it gets ridiculous:

In order to maintain the integrity of the stitch pattern (so that the working of decreases and yarn overs are on the right side) we are supposed to begin the first row of the front ON THE RIGHT SIDE… essentially, we are supposed to cut BOTH of the balls of yarn and reattach rather than working a WS row as the first row of the front shaping. (I’m not sure I’m explaining this very well, but it is really hard to explain something that makes SO LITTLE SENSE! I mean, with one of these balls of yarn, we’ve only worked one row of half of the front!)

Since I also want to maintain the integrity of the stitch pattern and keep the increases and decreases on the right side of the work, but I really don’t want to have to cut and reattach the yarn, I am proceeding thusly:

  • Work the back, mark the armhole division.
  • Work the left side of the front, mark the neck division.
  • Work the right side of the front

Now watch closely, this here is where it gets fancy:

The back is worked on a different sized needle, so I’m working the first row of back stitches onto the new needles and leave them there (with little rubber bands on so the stitches don’t fall off).

Then I work the first row of the left front, attach a new ball at the neck division and work the right side with the new ball, bringing me to where the designer wants me to be at the end of the first row of front shaping without the cutting of yarns and all I’ve really done is gone ahead and worked the first row of the back ahead of schedule. I’m so tricky. I feel like I’ve really kicked this pattern’s arse.

Part of Tami’s Amis WIP Weds initiative

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Boredom is for the small-minded.

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As part of my Git ‘er Done, Son initiative, I put an entire 100g ball into Beth’s Little Star Afghan. One more ball and I’m calling it finished. I’m pretty excited about pinning that thing out and giving it a good steam, though I have no idea where the finished product will live. A star shaped blanket is not super practical, but I didn’t think that out before I started.

In other news, I’ve been catching up on over 600 blog posts that I missed and making a list of the interesting things I’d like to share. I enjoy having a backlog of content cos that’s how I roll.

I’ll mention Pippa’s Patchwork today, she has made an IRONING TABLE!! (Technically, it came from Martha Stewart but I can’t stand that smug beotch). I’m going to need to make me one of these, ironing boards are too flimsy and I never use them when I’m sewing because they annoy me. Also, how good would that be for blocking?!?!

I’ve finished the first draft of part one of my eBook project (do you like how I slip that in there like I’ve been talking about it for months when this is the first mention?) and I’m pretty happy with it. In a lot of ways I feel like I’m restating the obvious, but I’m hoping I do it more comprehensively than it’s been done before and in a more amusing way. I am here to entertain. Crossing fingers, Cast Offs and Cast Aways: How to Be a Frugal Tricoteuse will be available for download in April; if I don’t get carried away and expand its scope as I am wont to do (and have already done. Twice).

I’ve got a tutorial lined up, it has photos and just needs to be written. It is (again) one of those things that has been done before, but not in such a haphazard way as I have done it. So I figure at the least will give people the confidence to half-ass it and know it will turn out alright. I am mulling over an idea for ANOTHER tutorial, a new and different tutorial that I haven’t seen done before, but there is a lot of work in it so it will be a ways off.

Comments are open if you feel like telling me how awful/awesome your Monday has been; I want to hear all about it.

Git ‘er done, son.

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As per Monday’s post, having so many projects floating around is generally considered a “bad thing”. I know this in an intellectual way but it doesn’t make me any more motivated to git ‘er done, son. I’ve read many posts on many blogs that propound the wisdom of a general finishing up of projects, to de-clutter, clarify and freshen things up. It’s a very common New Year’s Resolution!

Zilredloh started Project CPR last year; an awesome idea to get all those niggling projects finished off. I KNOW I saw a similar idea on another blog, but I can’t find it for the life of me. Furthermore, knitting.about.com had an article about Knit Psycho‘s Finish or Frog 2008 initiative. The actual “finish or frog” pages seem to have vanished into the ether of the internets.

If you have the teensiest modicum of intuition you may be able to see where I am going with this.

Time frames and deadlines are so not my thing. In fact, giving myself a deadline is counterproductive. Procrastination is not my friend, and the extra pressure of knowing I need to finish at a certain time has the opposite of the intended effect and throws me into a paralysed state reminiscent of something small and furry in the glare of headlights.

None of these projects need to be finished up with any kind of urgency, but they linger indefinitely. So this is my plan, a modification of Project CPR and Finish or Frog, with a little bit of the idea from that other blog that I can’t find thrown in.

I usually get between 3 to 6 knitting hours a day, most days of the week. I knit when I watch TV, read a book, wait for dinner to cook (when I wait for anything), when I’m going places and NOT driving, I knit at the drop of a hat and anytime I can squeeze it into my day. Given how much knitting time I have, I should be able to divert some of that time into finishing stuff, right?

One day of the week, I will use my knitting time – be it half an hour or a whole day – to work on a sorely neglected project. I will rotate the projects so that each week a different project is getting it’s moment in the sun.

It needs a snappy name. I’ll have to mull on that. Go ahead and suggest something awesome in the comments or jump on my bandwagon and git ‘er done, son.

WIP Weds 3

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tami_wipI’ve cast on Delphine in Moda Vera Ambrosia for around the fourth time. This is the furthest I’ve gotten, and so far so good. But seriously people, the shaping is done by going down needle sizes, so you start out on a 3.5mm, go to a 3.0mm and finish on a 2.75mm (which seems REALLY small when you are working with sport weight yarn!!). When you are swatching, you are doing three of the sons of bitches. Add to this that your swatches are done in pattern repeats and measured afterwards, as in x pattern repeats by x rows should measure x by x cms THREE TIMES – point being, I didn’t do it. Nobody likes swatching and this kind of ridiculous level of swatching is never going to happen.

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Now, this is the way I figure it… Minimal shaping and fit required for the main body tube, so until we reach the bust we’re pretty cool as long as it’s big enough to go around me. I’m going to put the stitches on waste yarn and try the suckah on occasionally to assess how good the fit is. Yes, it probably wastes more time than swatching for gauge, but the fact of the matter is even when I have acheived gauge on a project, it has rarely lasted and i’ve ended up STILL being off, so I reckon I’m gonna try it this way.

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I’m totally a rebel like that.

now we return to our regularly scheduled programming

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Look, whilst I enjoyed having visitors and going off to visit my family, I gotta say, I’m pretty durn glad it’s over! No offense guise, but I need to get down to business – the business of knitting a wholeheckofalot! Since I’m such a busy and important person, I haven’t updated in a while – let’s recap what projects are currently languisihing shall we?

Our last update was Work In Progress Weds: 2 and there are a few things on that list that have moved no further forward:

  • The Beetle Cardigan has not been touched
  • The Fuzz Bunny Hooded Jacket is in the midst of an existential crisis i.e. I feel it shouldn’t exist. However, I can’t frog it cos the Shutterbug has developed an attachment.
  • The Never-ending dresing gown has had absolutely no work put into it. It will become a thing of legend, ballads and myths will spring up around it. Of course, I could be tending towards dramatic. That’s been known to happen.
  • Another project that has not seen the light of day in a rather long time is the Butterfly Dress. I still love you, precious, I’ll get to you soon.

I dragged out Beth’s Little Star Afghan last night and put in a few stitches. Actually, I managed to get a whole round done which is no mean feat at this size. I haven’t made enough progress to warrant a new photo, so if you are a visually inclined person you’ll just have to suck it.

The Forest Petals Shawl had annoyed me and got put in the naughty corner, even though it was clearly my fault for being ditzy and not joining rows properly (FIVE TIMES). I am no longer angry at it so maybe I’ll put some time in on it soon.

I mentioned that I was doing the Heirloom Rose Medallion Shawl MKAL. While the pattern has not ceased being really lovely there are three reasons why this is going to be a small wrap rather than a full shawl:

  1. the shine has rather worn off the pattern for me, it just doesn’t seem as pretty now as it did in the beginning.
  2. the medallions are getting a little repetitive
  3. I was way too optimistic vis a vis the yardage and I cannot find more of the same yarn

It remains to be seen whether I will start another one in different yarn to remain part of the KAL or if I’ll just finish off what I’ve got going on and call it good.

There is the Joule pullover, which has peeved me so much that I am NOT taking a photo. It does not deserve that kind of attention since it will only serve to reinforce it’s horrific behaviour. I’ve reknit it from the back neck shaping once already because it was too puckery and the SLEEVES DIDN’T FIT INTO THE ARMHOLES!! Now the sleeves still don’t fit, the back is still too puckery and I HATE IT WITH PASSIONATE FURY! So at the moment it is having time out while I decide whether it gets to live or is executed for it’s crimes against my sanity.

Also, my Ariel/Joy 18 or whatever is sitting sadly on it’s own. After trolling facebook for opinions, it has been decided that it needs a black or dark purple/blue border to finish it off nicely and I just don’t have that kind of yarn in a sock weight hanging around at the moment, *le sigh*.

I’m also working on the Delphine camisole, but since that is the one occupying the majority of my attention it gets a post of it’s own later on.

Please feel free to leave your own list of hibernating projects or a link to a post on your blog about projects-that-just-don’t-get-done!

The conquering hero returns

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It is SO GOOD to be home. Crazy good. It’s odd to come home and see what has and hasn’t been done by the Man whilst we were away. I’ve been tweeting things as I come across them. Boys are weird and they don’t think ahead.

Whilst holidaying I attended at Stitch’n’Bitch with my Yarn Sistah. Now, she knows that I’m not a big fan of going into unfamiliar social situations (though I cover it up well) and even though she acknowledged that it would be difficult for me, she told me I must do it anyway. Of course she was right (Yarn Sistah usually is). She KNEW that I would hit it off with the host, because we have all manner of odd and subversive interests in common. The ladies were AWESOME and I have new friends! Whodathunkit?

I was so encouraged by this success that I went to a gathering the next evening – which did not go so well and reinforced my tendency to avoid unfamiliar social situations. Therefore, I did not go to the New Year’s party that I was invited to attend. We did view some fireworks, the Shutterbug loves fireworks.  The goggie does not.

In knitting news:

I have joined the Rose Medallion Heirloom Shawl Mystery Knit  Along (that’s a mouthful). Fellow blogger Pauline is helping out in the running of it and it’s coming along quite nicely, though the middle of my medallions STILL look like nipples.

Due to Spotlight’s exceptional post-Xmas sales, I picked up some Noro knock-off yarn. It was a disappointment. It is such low twist that it tends to pull apart and there is NO chance of frogging – it’s as bad as mohair, which is dreadfully irritating when I’m pretty sure I am not going to like the outcome. However, the colour is awesome! It looks great knitted up.

I’m “interpreting” Noro Joy 18,also known as Ariel, a pattern I’ve wanted to make for a long time. I’ll be ready to knit on some borders soon, I’m considering a 2×2 rib in black.

In which our heroine abducts a Maltese terrier and acquires a lot of yarn

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Here is the story:

I dropped my Shutterbug (new blog-name for the daughter) off at her friend’s house for a sleepover, yay! As I was leaving, I happened to notice a dog wandering along the road – you see, I am the kind of person who notices things like this because I *love* my babydog with an intensity that people usually reserve for human offspring and I would be *devastated* to lose her. In fact, my general policy of noticing such things has led to being instrumental in several joyous reunions.

So, I’ve noticed wandering white fluffball dog and gone on my way. Then I get to the round-about at the end of the road and BEHOLD! A sign! Somebody has lost a white Maltese named Ella, with a red collar.

I turn around, as you do. This Maltese is uncollared – but she could have lost it, right? And this is a she, and she is wandering aimlessly. As chance would have it Pixie’s dog crate is in the back, so I bundle “Ella” into the crate and drive down to the round-about so I can ring the number on the sign.

The lovely lady and her daughter meet me, and… it’s not their dog. Their dog is actually a Bichon Frise, which most people couldn’t tell from a Maltese if their life was at stake. I was sad, because I feel for people who have lost their doggies. Ella has been gone a week, so things aren’t looking good for them.

However, I am now a dog-napper. I have abducted a dog that was happily minding it’s own business, trotting along the side of the road. Feeling guilty as hell, I return to the scene of the crime. Again, fate was on my side – the friends that Shutterbug is staying with happen to be walking down the road to visit the park as I turn up. Further conversation reveals that this dog is prone to patrolling the road. I let the dog out, she sniffs my feet and trots around wagging her tail in a friendly kind of way, then she toddles off up the road home.

Moral of the story: THAT’S what you get for doing the right thing *and* for Bob’s sake, people, keep your dogs fenced!

NOTE: I texted the lovely lady to let her know that this dog is often wandering the streets in that area, hoping that it might cut down on raised and dashed hopes for her.

In other news, Spotlight had a sale and I had a giftcard.

For those who aren’t familiar, Spotlight is the equivalent of Michael’s or Joanne’s or somesuch “big box” art and craft store. Most of that yarn is Moda Vera Signorina, I bought 10 balls of the beautifully gothy purple and black, 8 balls of black and 6 balls of red. They were $1 each – too good to pass by. There are two balls of Moda Vera Pure Wool, for my yarn sista who is making Cat Bordhi’s Jester Tentacle hat. Also, a short length 2.75mm needle for my current WIP. How much did all this cost me? $25. But wait! I hear you say, didn’t you get 24 balls at $1 each? How does that work?

It works when you catch sight of a magazine out of the corner of your eye, with a voucher for $10 off when you spend $20 or more. A magazine just sitting there next to the register, all innocent-like. If you pay $1 for that magazine, you get $10 off – and that’s how it’s done, ladies and gentlemen.