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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

when is Non-Progress, Progress?

When it’s a L.E.S.S.O.N.

Being that I am a charter student of the School of Hard Knocks, sometimes lesson becomes lessonS and it takes quite a few rounds, erm, rows before I get it.

My *Groovy Condo* shell is promising to be one of the most challenging lessons of all.

I picked it out of my pile of UFO’s for a couple of reasons — you all gave it quite a few votes of confidence in the Resurrection Poll a few weeks (!) ago and I really liked the design. It seemed very close to the finish line: a couple of inches of knitting on the Front; edging around the armholes; side seams; then a knitted band around the top.

It seemed the natural opposite/companion to the shawl project I’m working on: one is minute gauge; one is ginormous gauge. So we bit.

Here you can see the seaming went quite well — I was concerned about those wacky condo stitch areas — how the heck was that going to go together and not look ridiculous? My first choice was regular sewing thread and I was going to anchor Front-to-Back loops with some almost invisible thread loops.

But once I got going on the seam itself (regular old mattress stitch through the tubular cast-on areas and St st) ye olde light bulb poPPed!

All I had to do was use a length of my seaming ribbon (hmm, yarn) to make a singular bridge between the two St st sections. You know you have the right side of the piece facing you when you mattress stitch, but when I got to the condo areas, I stuck the needle in and flipped to the wrong side and made a small knot on the side of the seam. Then I smoothed out an equal amount of length with my seaming yarn to match the height of the condo stitch, held it flat with my finger and made another small knot on the top side of the stitch. This made an anchor between seaming areas (top and bottom of Condo Area #1). SMOOTH. Invisible. No extra work! Then I just continued mattress stitching to the next condo area and repeated.

So the sides of the piece are flexible and hang fluidly. Whew! To Inifinity And Beyond, people!

Got those armhole edgings done, check.

Got the Neckline Border done. Bleck!

Now came the fun part, but only if you are a process knitter! This design from Fatto a Mano #146 (using *Poesie* ribbon) calls for a ribbed neck finish. You work it sideways, then seam it on the piece. Ah, no. Thank. You.

I decided to knit it on as I went but the concept exploded because of the HUGENESS of the GAUGE! Ususally, I just get up to the edge in question with my band and SSK or K2TOG with a loop I pull through the body piece on every RS row. Approximately. After about 9 failed attempts, don’t ask me why this went on like a scratched and heaving record sometimes knitting is like that, I went and got another needle and picked up my neckline stitches (which should’ve been left *live* to begin with but were sadly, bound-off). Then it was a breeze to SSK or SSP with the last/first st on the band side and attach! QUE? Making those stitches with the working yarn made a messy edge; making the edge with the *3rd party* stitches make it smooth.


Monday, July 23, 2007

  Monday Morning Mirth  

Chicago, sometimes best known for its Wind, should instead, be known for its MUSIC!

Where else can one wander into a complete screaming party in the middle of a Sunday summer afternoon, in the middle of a small quiet park? The Old Town School of Music, up on Lincoln Ave. was behind a rousing tent-town and unleashed upon its citizens: The Polkaholics!

And, ladies and gentlemen, where there goes Polka, eventually there goes CHICKEN!

[DANCE that is...]

But this is not any old chicken, this is Punk Chicken, baby.

Don’t know how to make the dance? We teach you now.

You too, Miss Burns, no standing still, you slacker!

No person was unmoved by the POWER of the POLKA!


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Destination. Determination. Deliberation.

My ex-husband used to polish me off during an argument by commenting that everything I knew I’d learned from TV.

Perhaps.

These days, I’d have to say my Horizons are just a little more grand.

It is not unknown to stare fixedly at the Unknown, in these parts lately.

Just last night, right after I picked up my lace knitting from its basket, I was staring fixedly at a mess in my lap.

Maybe mess is too strong a word, but after several days of lanquishing, I’d started knitting the glorious Mystery Stole #3 again and immediately dropped a stitch. And then I stared. And stared. Hypmotized, to be sure. Stumped. Minutes ticking by.

And then I probed it with a hook. Hee. Nada.

And then I frogged real fast. It’s like closing your eyes and ripping off the bandaid from a hairy spot. Real Fast and its over. S-L-O-W and you suffer.

Fast and you’re on your way again in no time.

But the lesson learned? Don’t go too many days between knitting the MS#3 (or any other work-in-progress) because it might bite you.

And instead of getting to the end of Clue #2, like you’d been dreaming of, you are only on Row 137.

[hmm. a very good number. guess we'll do a little happy dance and visualize wearing this somewhere fab.]

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