Just Like That

The very day that I posted about a lack of photographic evidence of the things I'm working on, I found something new to share after all.  The thing I needed was right there on the dining room table, and I had been walking past it for two days without seeing it.  Typical.  My dining room table erupts piles of mail at an alarming rate.  One day I'm gonna locate the continuum rift conducting these piles and plug it up for good.  Until that happens though, my strategy will be to manage the mail-hills by ignoring them until they become mountains.  Works a lot like the laundry heap, I notice:  Must come from the same quantum rift.

If I had opened the front cover of the latest Knit Picks catalog, I would have noticed that I had a photo for you the other day.  If I had remembered that I made a swell pattern for them due out in April, I might have visited the KP website and seen that there was a perfectly good show-and-tell opportunity right there:

This is the very same reverse-engineered pullover that I wrote about last November, finished in its proper yarn and pretty Dang Cute, if I do say so myself.  

{SOAPBOX ALERT:} I especially love that Knit Picks uses real humans to model their designs (isn't she lovely?) - I can imagine this on my sister, my neighbor, or any of the beautiful ladies in my life.  If you agree, let them know please - I'd love them to hear that showing designs on actual women instead of emaciated teenagers is appreciated by more than a few knitters. {END SOAPBOX}

I have to admit that I am still new enough to the design world that seeing something I dreamed up right there in the flesh is a real thrill.  I hope it will always feel like that.  It's not every day I get a horn of this nature to toot, so I'll just leave it like this:

Hope you like it too.

Peasant Under Glass

Peasant Under Glass.jpg

And here we rejoin the stealth peasant blouse, post-frog, and well on its way to completion.  For such a simple project, it sure has been a pain in the butt. 

So what did you learn, Dorothy?
1.  Row guage is not just a good idea, it's the law.  You really do need to get as close as possible when substituting one yarn for another, especially if your goal is to create something that is going to be re-created (hopefully often).
2.  Cascade Heritage is an affordable, sproingy, basic sock yarn.  I do think it's going to pill, but the jury's still out.  Some people will do anything for a good purple yarn (are you listening, Sandi Wisehart?), including  myself.
3.  When you make a top-down raglan whose neckline is way lower than the usual raglan, there may not be enough lengthwise knitting to get in all the increases you need.  Cast on some armpit stitches so the thing will fit around your arms, or live with the consequences.

In unrelated news, my publicist contacted me with two terrifying assignments: 

1.  Answer a scary boatload of essay questions that will assist the publisher in promoting the book without having to actually read any of it.  I suspect the volume of writing this generates will be greater than the actual manuscript.
1.  Procure a photograph of self for "promotional use".  I am thinking that this is the one they stick on the back of the book, among other places.  Is there a scarier thought in the world?  I made an appointment with a photographer.  I bought a top with an interesting neckline.  I am hoping with every fiber of my being that it won't look like a realtor's business card (why do they put their photos on those, anyway?) or worse, a senior yearbook photo.  Any advice from my loyal following on what to do or not do will be wholeheartedly appreciated.  We who are about to smile salute you.


Tug O' War

And here we join the cream-colored organic cotton peasant blouse in progress, still looking suspiciously like an aubergine wool peasant blouse.   The trouble with raglan shaping is that sure, you can try it on as you go, but who wants to move 800 stitches onto waste yarn to do so?  Okay, yes, I am aware that if you have 800 stitches, there are bigger problems at hand than moving them to waste yarn.  So that's why I finally did just that.  You'll notice the telltale safety pins marking the spots where the raglan shaping should really have ended.  At first I thought it was actually passable, but on closer inspection (shortly after I lost feeling in both my arms) I noticed that the sleeve bind-off was tourniquet-like, rather than perky.  Then I decided that the fullness over the bust was matronly, rather than mysterious.  And after that the sleeve length started to look more dumpy than dainty.  There was too much wrong and only one thing to do.  After a suitable period spent alternating feelings of denial, rage and disgust, I frogged the sucker.  Yanked back about 4 vertical inches, which was probably 10 horizontal inches of raglan fullness.  Stupid thing looked like an umbrella without ribs.  And a really big neck hole where the top should have been.  But it's okay; I can totally do this.  Really.  Now it looks like this:

Yeah.  I know.  Not appreciably different than it did before a whole day's worth of stolen moments knitting.  But I have faith that it is, in fact, different now.  For one thing, the sleeves are way less long, and way less miserably bound off.  In fact, I might even be enjoying this little process if it weren't for the fact that I would WAY rather be working on something else.  Notably the Faery Ring.
It is still only a pile of skeins on my living room table to the naked eye, but it's a fully-fleshed-out dream pattern in the wilds of my imagination.  It's yelling at me from across the room:  "Hey!  You with the stupid peasant blouse!  Put that thing down and come over here and feeeeeeel meeeeee......."  It's hypnotic.  I could just stand up and stretch.  It would be good for me.  I've been sitting here slaving away for like, seconds on end.  I'll just stand up, and stretch my legs, and if I happen to wander over there to where the Blackwater Abbey yarn is, well what's the harm?  And if I accidentally tripped and fell and one of those skeins inadvertently fell onto the swift, well, I would be duty-bound to wind it nicely into a ball, now wouldn't I?

These are the evil thoughts that will keep me from finishing the stealth peasant blouse.  Get thee behind me Blackwater!  I must finish the reknitting of the aubergine sock wool so I can write the pattern, and get paid, and live to knit another day.  Even though the sock yarn is kinda splitty.  And I think it might be starting to pill.  Abbey yarn would never act like that.  And what's with these size two needles, anyway?  Whose dumb idea was seed stitch edging in sock yarn on size two's for crying out loud?  Stupid designer.  What I need is some relief.  A little break.  I'd still be knitting, you understand; it's not as if I'm not working after all.  Lovely sticky worsted on some nice grippy size eights, that's what's wanted here.  Just for a minute.  I'll just cast on for the swatch.  I have to swatch, don't I?  Never mind I've made like a hundred things with this exact yarn.  Never mind that I know just what to expect of it in my hands and on my needles, and that's why I wanted to use it in the first place.  A responsible knitter swatches things; that's how it's done.  In fact, it could be said that frittering away my knitting time on this ill-behaving prototype is impeding my valuable swatch-making time...

Enough already!  I shall ignore the siren song of the tricksy Irish wool.  This pretend-cream-colored-organic-cotton-aubergine-sock-wool albatross is about to be removed from my neck by the sheer force of will required to complete it.  Must...finish...peasant....blouse......