Yay! I just finished sewing the pocket to the top of my right-hand mitten.
I am an idiot.
This just proves what I've known for a very long time: I need a vacation. Luckily, that's exactly what I'm about to do, and as a result this blog will be taking a short break. I have no plans to do any blogging while I'm lying on a beach somewhere warm.
Expect to see sundress photos upon my return.
I'm feeling indecisive about what I should write about today. I think it's time that I showed you an FO:
Simply put, I love this sweater! I love its simple looks, the soft yarn, and the warm turtleneck. Expect to see another one of these on my needles within the year.
Yarn: Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran in the Casket colorway, 134 (weird name, I know.) I used about 13 balls.
Needles: US9s for the ribbing, US8s for the body.
What I changed: Not much! I substituted yarns, but between needing a slightly longer sweater and getting a slightly bigger row gauge than Shannon's, I mostly knit the pattern as written. Leave it to Shannon to provide me with the pattern to do that.
What I would change next time: Not much! I'll use a different yarn next time (for variety's sake), and I'm going to knit this sweater in the round. I think that I would knit the turtleneck slightly longer, too (in fact, I plan to add a few inches to this one. Eight inches isn't enough for the turtleneck to comfortably fold over itself.
I'm off to see the Harlot--and maybe the knitting lab at FIT (if JetBlue is feeling cooperative, today).
During my recent travels, I spotted this behind some suitcases:
It looks like she's knitting a scarf. I forgot where she was traveling. Perhaps it was to a chilly clime, and she was racing to get it done before she landed.
And, would you believe that I'm a day away from traveling again myself? I'm headed back down to NYC tomorrow afternoon. Like every other knitter in the Northeast I'll try to get into FIT to see The Harlot on Thursday evening. [Just so you know, I didn't make special plans to fly to NY to do this; I need to be in NYC on Friday, and once I heard about this event, I decided to back up my plans by one day.] and Stephanie, true to form, not only decided to have a book launch, but to turn it into an all-day, city-wide event involving just about every knitter in the land. Unfortunately, due to when I'm traveling tomorrow, I'm going to miss everything: the Today Show representing, the sock-photo representing, and the yarn crawling (my checking account and yarn box are heaving huge sighs of relief). If 50 gazillion knitters arrive before me at FIT, I'll even miss Stephanie. That's okay. Instead of reserving a spot ahead, I decided to take my chances tomorrow afternoon. If I get in, great. If I don't, I know where else to go.
Or, rather, oh the places that my knitting will go.
I started another pair of CharlieCard Mittens this weekend. I'm still tweaking the pattern a bit, working out a kink here and there. I think that this time I have it.
Those of you who are long-time blog readers know that recent New York excursions have been sponsored by Greyhound. Greyhound's fares are so cheap that I can't imagine they're making any money from my custom. We're even, because I can't imagine paying any more for these bus rides than I do.
This time, however, I took advantage of a JetBlue sale and picked myself up a couple of fares to JFK. If this were a travel blog, and I had a leisurely morning before me I would write a long snark-ridden post about JetBlue, JFK Airport, and the idea that you're actually in New York once you land there. One is, and I know this. One is not, however, near anywhere that's useful for another 30 to 60 minutes--depending on the mode of transportation away from the airport. And here's where I begin to question whether or not flying to New York from Boston via JFK saves much time or money. Especially when one hangs around on the tarmac for 25 minutes because JetBlue issued two boarding passes for the same seat, and the bewildered flight attendants need to sort this out before we can leave Boston. Luckily I flew out the night before JetBlue voluntarily shut itself down to avoid another repeat of its Valentine's Day debacle, or I would have been on a Greyhound bus after all.
Did I just write that? That was a wee snarky. Glad to see that I haven't lost my touch.
What about the mittens? Oh yes, the mittens! I'm a total dork when it comes to a window seat. If I have one, I just about press my nose to the glass for the flight's duration, unless that is, I'm knitting something. Knitting helps me maintain a semblance of of non-dorkiness--half-dorkiness, if you will--although I am sure that my ultra-cool, ultra-tanned seatmates, who obviously just arrived from somewhere warm and sunny might have disagreed on that point. They ignored me by snuggling up to share both a blanket and an iPod headset (oh puke!) and I ignored them by focusing on my DPNs.
The mitten was excited about its window seat, too.
Last weekend the Knitsmiths had a yarn swap. I brought a few things, and had no intentions of coming back home with the same amount of yarn that I took out of there.
I didn't. I got only two things, and both are already designated for projects.
This Jaeger Albany in the most gorgeous gray/lilac colorway from Kris. I think that I might have intimidated my fellow 'smiths enough for them to leave this on the table when their turns came :-). This is destined to be a spring/summer cardigan. Do I hunt down a pattern or design something myself? I haven't decided that yet.
And, continuing the German theme or the gray theme, or both, I also got this:
It's some Regia sock yarn, which will be destined for (yup, you guessed it) socks. Pattern TBD.
And with that, peeps, I'm taking the weekend off. Spiders, I'll see you later!
All in all, things went smoothly on day one. I sewed the bodice and attached the lining, I attached it to the skirt (or vice versa, depending how you look at things). My goal for Saturday was to complete all steps up to the zipper. The zipper I would leave for when I was well-rested and fresh (Sunday).
After about four hours of sewing (not bad) I was ready to call it a day. Not only had I reached my sewing goal, I was also starting to feel slightly impatient. Impatience and sewing do not mix, and it was time to do something else.
A late lunch, a concert, a glass of wine, and a good night's sleep put me in a good position to confront this on Sunday morning:
Yup, you're seeing that correctly. The two backs of the bodice don't meet at the same height. WTF? How could I have sewn them so crookedly? Did I cut them wrong? Rip, rip, rip, and off came the bodice from the skirt.
It was only then that I discovered the real mistake. When I topstitched around the neck, I accidentally took in a bunch of fabric on one side of the right-hand neck edge (you can see it if you look carefully at the photo). That was easy to fix. I simply removed and replaced the topstitching along that side.
Removing the bodice also allowed me to realign it perfectly with skirt, and correct a slight (about 1/8th-inch) skewing where the seams met. I probably would not have done that otherwise. All in all, not a bad move.
Then I confronted my biggest sewing fear: the zipper. First, Ihough, I prepared. I read (twice) these instructions. I made sure that I understood them. I measured the allowance, pinned in my zipper, and checked it twice. Then I sewed. Let me tell you: this zipper foot is the bomb! It kept my stitches straight and close to the zipper teeth. [Wouldn't it be great if I had a picture of all this? Yeah, um, well, it wasn't my smartest bloggy move. Let me tell you, I was a woman on a mission with this zipper, and sometimes women on a mission can't stop to take photos.]
Then I did the same for the other side. Following the instructions exactly resulted in some wonkyness at the bottom of the zipper. I took out the seam, re-pinned the other side, and proceeded to sew it in the same fashion as I did the first time. Success!
One zipper: in and invisible!
I know what you're all beginning to think. Didn't Colleen have a lot of projects in the works?
She does! And one by one they're all coming to completion. I think that FO posts will need to wait until next week
Shannon's Very Necessary Sweater is quickly drawing to a conclusion. Only an inch or two more left on the turtleneck. I'll compare its length to another turtleneck to see if I'm anywhere near a realistic bind-off point.
Did you read the weather forecast for Boston tomorrow? It's starting off warm, and finishing with rain. Yuck-o! I'm thinking that this sweater will be perfect in place of a jacket tomorrow morning, and I can easily supplement it with a light coat tomorrow evening.
How many weeks (months?) have gone by without a subway knitter sighting? Well, okay, there was that woman I saw on a day that I was sans camera. But that must have been, what, early February?
Yesterday evening, I spotted this man across the aisle from me. Maybe the general thaw that we're experiencing in New England has caused some fellow knitters to think more kindly on the idea of taking one's knitting out for a walk. Whatever the cause, welcome back to the blog!
I participated in my very first podcast!
A few weeks prior to Presidents' Day Weekend Guido asked me if I was interested in chatting about what we all do--knitting and blogging.
So, on a sunny Saturday in February I met Guido and we chatted (Incessantly, it seems. That podcast is an hour long!) about five (of the many) blogs we read. I had a great time meeting Guido, checking out his recording setup, and gabbing about the State of the Knitblog, 2007. And that podcast didn't catch everything. Turns out that, in addition to the knitting, Guido and I have common professional backgrounds. We had lots to talk about. Someday Guido should do an outakes podcast. Now that would be something.
How do I sound? I ask because there's no way, for love or for money, that you're going to get me to listen to my own podcast. Why? Well, I have a little hang-up about listening to a recording of my own voice. I would rather not. At the time, I think that I did a relatively good job of not sounding completely stupid. But what if, with three more weeks of life experience under my belt, I now think that I sound ridiculous? I'll have to live with that for quite some time.
And, if you know me in real life, and if you decide to hear any or all of what I had to say, you may say only nice things.
Ah, who knew Subway Knitter was so sensitive?
Apparently I confused quite a few of you with my explanation of my placement of the raglan seam. Let me try something different.
The outermost rows of the raglan and upper sweater body are K, P (i.e. one row knit, next row purl). Originally I placed the seam in the outer rows, the knit rows of the body and arm edges. Because my outermost row of stitches is always uneven, this resulted in a very uneven seam as two uneven rows came together.
You can see the difference in this side-by-side photo. The first attempt is on the left. When I redid the seam, I placed it one row in (one row back, or one row behind, in the purl row. Thus, the knit rows of both pieces are hidden within the seam, resulting in a kind of "blank" raglan, or a raglan without that row (or rows) of knit stitches marching up the middle.
Hope this clears thing up.
Shannon's sweater doesn't have wonky raglan lines like mine:
Shannon's raglans are all purl stitches, meaning that she seamed behind the knit stitches. It looks much, much better.
Okay, kids, to the frog pond we go.
Subway frogging. If you think knitting attracts stares, you should see what unknitting does.
I'll admit to you all that my finishing on the Very Necessary Sweater isn't my best work. I don't know what's happening. Maybe it's the slightly nubbly Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran? Maybe it's that I'm seaming too close to the edge (poor planning meant that I didn't build in another selvage stitch (I usually like to have my seams placed between the first and second rows).
My raglan lines are especially uneven.
I don't know what to do about this. It's a result of the uneven edge stitches. I'm hoping that one will be so dazzled by the entire sweater that the slightly (okay, very) wonky raglan lines won't be noticed.
While seaming, I realized that the next time that I knit this sweater, I'm doing it in the round. Knitting it in pieces meant that I had a very portable project throughout the knitting phase, but for a sweater this nice, I think that it'll be worth the sacrifice of toting around a giant knitting bag on the train.
Meanwhile, my knitting challenges aside, put your hands together for fellow Knitsmith Gabriella whose Clessidra knee socks are in the latest edition of Knitty. Way to go Gabriella! Love it when a fellow Knitsmith does good!
As a rule, I don't mind finishing, once I get in the mood.
Sometimes, getting in the finishing mood can be a challenge. Every night last week I planned to begin seaming. This seemed (ha!) like a great idea when I left my office. But after I finished whatever activity I had planned (Home Depot run, gym, grocery shopping, dinner prep), picking up a yarn needle became less and less likely.
That's been the story of my evenings lately. But seriously, I need to get moving! I want to get the table cleared.
As a start toward the table clearing, I finished seamed the top of the sweater last night. I would have finished it at Knitsmiths on Sunday, if I hadn't managed to seam the sleeves together instead of seaming a sleeve to each side of the body pieces. Yes, that was a good 30 minutes down the tubes.
You know that my projects are piling up at home. What about my train knitting?
More mittens! As the proud owner of a new brown-ish tweedy coat, I need new CharlieCard Mittens to match, of course.
The first mitten took mere hours to knit. Four, to be exact, as I began the cuff at South Station (in Boston) and tucked the almost-finished mitten back in the bag on Fifth Avenue (in New York). I was less productive on the way back (by now, I should expect this because it always happens). In fact, it took most of last week to get as far as I did in one bus ride.
The Santa Cruz hat is on its blocking form.
Now, perhaps those of you who have had the pleasure of dining in the Subway Knitter household think that you recognize that form as one of my soup bowls. Don't be afraid. While this might look exactly like one of those bowls, please rest assured that this is my Special Hat Blocking Bowl. Nope, no soup bowls for my knitting.
The Santa Cruz hat is complete:
It's not blocked yet. There is a small mound of projects forming on my dining-room table. The fabric and pattern for the sundress require attention. The Very Necessary Sweater requires seaming. The Santa Cruz hat requires blocking. Something must be done about this soon, or I may never eat again.
I thought that I might escape blocking this hat, to preserve the lace's squishy look. No go. The hat is a touch short on my head when it's not blocked, and I noticed that it looks much better on me when it's pulled longer. I wore it to work one day this week and not only is it still much too cold for a hat like this, but the hat needs to come down below my earlobes. Sarah-Hope's pattern picture is accurate, but I guess that I like a hat that's a bit longer for myself. Live and learn.
Were I to knit this pattern again (and don't think for a second that I won't) I would add a few more rows of YO, K2Tog and K2Tog, YO in between the cables. That would add some length.