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Friday, January 14, 2005

the last, gasp, sleeve of Shazam…

Over here @ChicKnits Workshop, we’re celebrating TGIF like never before! NOT only is it the end of a harsh winter work week, it’s also an Honorary Hump Day, as in over it…

I have 28 rows to go on the sleeve cap of the last Shazam sleeve. It’s getting smaller and smaller and I am hating it less and less. Why was there more than a perfunctionary sneer on my lips as I knitted this beauty? A few days ago, I thought I found an error in my increasing towards the bottom of the sleeve itself so I ripped out 70 ROWS of cabling to fix it. As I put the stitches back on the needles to continue, and steam was coming out my ears at this point, I realized THERE WAS NO MISTAKE…

The Sleeve had Tricked Me.

It never wanted to be finished to begin with. Rather, it wanted, Sisyphus-like to just be knitted over and over and over again.

Well, I was having none of that, and because I’m so READY TO BE DONE with this project, I had to just stand up and show it Who’s the BOSS.

The Surprise Collar awaits…

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Zippety Doodah, the fun continues…

Last year, at the end of the winter season I picked up a chunky wool hand knit funnel-neck shell from Banana Republic. It was in my favorite colors! It was wild and variegated. It was $9.99!~

The Super Plan was to turn it into a Cardigan. That’s right, add sleeves, a zipper and a new improved Crew Neck. Here’s what it looked like to begin with:

I’ve opened the neck seams to get ready to frog the funnel down to the primary neck edge. I’ll use the yarn I harvest to finish off the bottom of the cardi with a few rows of ribbing.

Next comes the FUN part – STEEKING! This is where, after you mark the center of the piece, sew a couple of rows of stitches vertically down the *Ladders* between stitches or through the vertical center of stitches themselves. I used regular sewing thread and a machine to do this. After you’ve secured the center front, you CUT the piece open and VOILA – cardi galore!

here’s the shell after stitching and cutting…

WHOOT! This is almost as fun as felting! In the same naughty way, you are doing something On Purpose that you usually avoid, in this case, actually using a sharp instrument to CUT the yarn!

hey, now it’s a vest~

And NOW the FUN ramps up even more! One of ChicKnits Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions of 2005 is the edict to Wear More Color! Back away from the Black – get back On Track with some Bright, Cheerful, MODERN TONES!

How about a little BLUE?

read the Shell Notes HERE

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

stop me before I zip again, and again, and…

This weekend, driven by an Insane House Elf, I have started to honor my New Year’s Resolutions. ON the Playlist with a Bullet: Organize and Structure the Studio Workshop.

Here you’ll find my stash, worktables, knitting machine, supplies, tools, etc. Some are already in a eye-pleasing form because they are in a public area and I’ve recently had discriminating house guests. Others are in a flux of disorder and chaos because? Well, just because…

In my burrowing and winnowing, I found some sweaters I’ve made that were not being worn because they were either needing some work or some alterations.

NUMBER ONE: the Heather Cardigan from Fall/Winter 2002-2003 (click on the little picture for details and a nice picture).

I love this sweater! I do not wear this sweater! WHY? I put the buttonholes too far into the button band and it did not lay gracefully. It annoyed me. It cried out for a zipper!

And THUS: zip1.jpg

Heather has lost the buttons and gained a fab two-way zipper. I used the original yarn to sew the buttonholes shut and because I was crafty and put the holes in the purl valley of a 1×1 ribbed vertical band (my favorite HERE), they disappeared like magic… The original yarn was very *grabby* and hairy so it blended well with its neighbors.

I have to admit, lately, for all of my work clothes, I prefer zippers or large snaps.

They stay shut better, lay flatter and are, IMHO, easier to apply than BUTTONS!

Since once is not enough in the ChicKnits Workshop, and the House Elf was beating my brain in with a bat, I continued to

And THUS: zip2.jpg

This simple fringed pullover was knit as my Christmas outfit in November of 2001? I don’t even remember it was so long ago… I hardly wore it because, silly me, it was out of a chunky wool and a PULLOVER! Eeehgads, no temperature control. Now several of my knitting buddies and I have come to the conclusion that women prefer cardigans and men prefer pullovers. WHY? Temperature control! Women have the extra insulation of BOOBULAS on the Chestage and need to Regulate with mo’ better frequency. Men can get by with a placket opening at the neck and call it a day.

Not so MWAH! This sweater required remedial Steeking! And Steek I DID! This yarn was not as fuzzy as some so I carefully blanket stitched the facing down after I machine basted two rows of stitches on either side of a center mark on the front of the sweater. SAY THAT FAST! Lucy Neatby shows how here and I will show more in another installment as well…

And THUS: zip3.jpg

Here is the edge of the zipper, basted into the sweater ready to be sewn by machine. Why am I showing you this? Because I craftily preserved the Fringe on this sweater! The Fringed Angled Bottom is what is the Best Thing about this sweater and I removed the center fringes before I steeked, then replaced them after I knit on the front bands…


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