Weird Wool Wednesday: stung by the Sewing Bee

Sewing clothes is hot! Making a garment to your own measurements is so flattering! Knitters know all about that and applaud the sewers. Seamstresses (probably better)

As a knitter and beginner sewer I have one tip: sew garments without sleeves. Sleeves are the hardest things to sew. They don’t fit the armhole. They don’t fit your arm. They turn crooked. They lack ease. Their stripes run weird. They give you batwings.

pic by Michal Zacharzewski

MY TIP: Sew armless garments!

pic by Belovodchenko Anton

Then knit it a cardigan.

(Or a lace shawl)

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I have started another blog to keep track of my venture into sewing. I want to make a good pattern for a dress and than make a couple of them. I LOVE wearing funny dresses. Have look over at BumbleSews.wordpress.com

pushing yarn around

I hit a bit of a snag in non-knitting life and it’s affecting my knitting life. I can’t think! I can’t follow a chart.

Projects are lying all about, only needing a little bit of brain capacity to bring them to the finishline. Peabody Sweater only needs a little bit of upward knitting and a collar. But I’ve been pushing it around the room for weeks now, not able to muster up that little bit of brain power.

It usually lies on this chair.

Sometimes it lies on the other chair. There are days it is on the ground for a bit. It has been stuffed into a bag. It has been to the city and back. Twice. But is has not been knitted. I did dream of wearing it because it has been perfect Peabody weather.

The same with the orange mitts I am making. They are lying in wait. They have not traveled that much because they are not for me. They are in the cupboard and are looking at me from behind the glass.

Next to them is a skein of white wool. I agreed to make my neighbour a pair of mitts. She is making me a hand thrown mug. A wonderful exchange! I hope she doesn’t fire up the kiln any time soon because… well….the skein is in the cupboard.

In the mean time I started a fitted Summer Top in gorgeous Silk tweed in a vibrant greenblue:

Lang Seta Tweed in colour (804.00)78

Hours of lovely mindless stockinette stitch! Such a blessing when you cannot think straight.

But they have come to an end, those hours… now it only needs two little sleeve caps and a little bit of brainpower to figure those out. Here you see it hidden underneath two shawls I started instead. Shawls in simple stockinette. One in charcoal tencel and one in green.

But hey, I’ve got chocolate!

Weird Wool Wednesday: having your cake

these are called “cakes of yarn”:

pic by Sabrakro over at Ravelry

It’s not a ball of yarn, it’s not a skein. It is a cake. It has a flat top and a flat bottom and the yarn is wound up in a tidy manner. 100 grams of yarn makes a cake about 10 cm high and 10 to 15 cm wide. (10 cm = 4″). You can choose to pull the yarn from the outside but it is also good for knitting with the yarn from the center. Your yarn ball cake will not dance around the room. Usually you make one with a ball winder:

pic by DutchWoolDiva, an indie yarn dyer in the Netherlands.

why is it called a CAKE?????? It doesn’t look like any cake I know!

good cakes look nothing like it:

 

pic by Marcelo Terraza

pic by Michaela Kobyakov

taart

 pic by me. Yes, that’s a bumblebee with Pippi-hair. You surprised?

even bad cakes look nothing like it:

still tasting good!

pic by Michal Zacharzewski

cupcakes are way too small to be the inspiration for a cake of yarn:

makes one baby booty…

I have no explanation for why knitters call a ball-of-yarn-wound-up-a-certain-way a CAKE of yarn.

Must be that cake just goes so well with knitting and/or knitters.

Yum!

pic by Tanya Hall

Weird Wool Wednesday: wearing the wrong colours

I had a doctors appointment the other day and I wore my yellow cardi. A warm woolen to fortify me on the visit. It’s colour a warm sunny yellow to make my face as grey and hollow as possible. On purpose.

I chose this colour on purpose because the doctor needs reminding that I’m actually pretty ill.

While I sit there reading to him my symptoms and requests I’m all businesslike and strong and confident. But just because I planned my energy peak, my food and my pills so that I am coherent and efficient for precisely the ten minutes I meet him, there should not be traitorous coloured wools giving my face a healthy glow.

That and I love this colour yellow, it always makes me happy.

Weird Wool Wednesday: talking to Sudokus

I have ‘improved’ on pretty much every pattern I’ve ever knit.  I changed the number of stitches; the chosen cast on; the way to increase or decrease; inserted bust darts. It’s because I have my preferences, it’s because I have my body shape, it’s because I have very loose gauge, it’s because I think I know better.

Then why did I take it personally when people ‘improved’ upon my design for the blanket block?

perfect!

They had good reason too, to improve upon my design!

first: I made an error in the chart;

second: my gauge differs from theirs making it necessary for them to add extra length which emphasizes a build in difference in stitch count which might look wonky on a larger block;

knitting design intermezzo:

the stockinette block on the right has 17 stitches below ‘the window with the three stacked Coffee Bean balls’ and 16 stitches above it. This was necessary because its neighbouring block with the stack of five balls has a stitch (Prickly Pear) that keeps decreasing two stitches and making them. It ends with two stitches made which it needs because the Prickly Pear tightens width wise. Which means I have to decrease two stitches elsewhere. As the Coffee Bean is a very stretchy stitch, width wise, I chose to insert them there. One stitch difference doesn’t really matter on a 17 stitch stretch. Unless you add extra length, than you might see it… Anyway, this is part of the fun of designing. It really is like solving a puzzle. Only you feel satisfied for a longer time after you solve it. Because there’s knitting in your hand! A finished piece!

thirdly: of course, they have their own preferences and they think they know better.

I laughed at myself, for feeling so personal about the chart and how other people run with it. I do this myself all the time and it seldom means I don’t appreciate the design. More often it’s a conversation between the knitter and the designer while knitting her pattern. A conversation in the knitters head:

“what do you propose? Ah, I see…. I see what you’re aiming at. Interesting way of getting there! Hmm, I don’t understand how you solve…. o wait, there it is. Ah yes, I see, I see…… Now I wonder…. if a left leaning decrease wouldn’t balance the other decrease better. I might try it out. Hm. Hm. Interesting!”

So I reeled myself in, stopped taking it personal, tried to forgive myself for being stupid (the error and not designing a more robust block for different gauges) and joined the conversation with the knitters. It is fun!

Hey, psst! I like you, your mind and your wool!