I woke up at 2:30 am last night unable to sleep. My brain was racing and I was tossing and turning for what seemed like forever. All the thoughts and to-do lists that I have been pushing out of my head during the last few days come flooding back in full force. I wanted to reach into my head, grab my brain and shake it into submission. STFU and go back to sleep, stupid brain! So smart, you’re stupid. I hate you!
But seeing as it’s mostly physically impossible to remove my own brain from my skull and perform any tasks at that point, I reluctantly turned on the light, grabbed a notebook and an orange marker and started writing down all the things that were racing through my head and keeping me awake…
It’s mostly a bunch of life planning stuff, if you couldn’t figure it out by that first line there. I filled out at least 5 pages with orange nonsense. I especially like the lines that end in “?!”. Clearly, I have some things to work out still. I was half tempted to start working on several line items last night, but I instead thought of Scarlett O’Hara’s favorite way to deal with things: I’ll think about that tomorrow…. I threw the book across the room, turned off the lights and tried to go back to sleep. I woke up again at 6am remembering about 10 other things that I should write down, but the notebook was all the way over there…
I glanced through it this morning and surprisingly, there weren’t a lot of knitting related things on there except to write up that cowl pattern and to finish these mitts. I haven’t even started writing up that cowl pattern, but I am making excellent progress on the mitts! I decided last night that I really wanted to line them. There are a lot of really long floats in this pattern and as much as I love how the wrong side of colorwork knitting looks, I want to ensure that I’m not snagging those floats every time I put them on. As chance would have it, I already owned the perfect yarn (the same I used for the cuff lining in my Peerie Flooer Mittens) for the lining. I’m at the point in the mitts where I’m going to rib the top opening, so before I start that, I placed those stitches onto spare needles so I can join the lining with it later. I picked up stitches on the inside of the mitten right after the ribbed cuff and just started knitting in the round. Can I just say how thrilled I am that I had the foresight a year ago to buy this yarn in a nice neutral tan color? I couldn’t have asked for a perfect match.
PS. Have you noticed that I didn’t tell you what type of yarn it is? That’s because I didn’t note it down when I recorded my PF Mittens on ravelry or my blog, and I lost the label somewhere in the mountain of yarn that I own. I should add “look for missing label” to the list. Maybe tomorrow…
PPS. Bonus points to you if you got my title reference. I’m reading Gone With the Wind right now and Ashley is super annoying. If you had the choice between Rhett and Ashley, who would you pick?
You know what cures sweater knitting? Mitting (mitten knitting). If it’s not a word, it should really be one. Mitting. You’re welcome.
I had to give up my job at the yarn store recently. It was a sad day for all of us (me especially, since I just gave up the best thing an obsessed knitter could ever have: an employee discount at their favorite LYS), but it was just one of things that had to be done. Before I left, they graciously let me go on one last shopping spree with my discount (which basically means I worked for free that day). And hoo boy! Did I ever go on a spree. I bought some Fibre Company in Canopy Fingering, which is splendidly soft and I want it all over my face and hands. I bought all the things that I’ve been wanting but never got before. Believe it or not, my self-control is rather strong and most days I come home after a hard day of yarn fluffing with no yarn for myself. I just don’t talk about those days. Probably because I’m in a dark needy mood for not having purchased yarn and also most likely because those stories aren’t any fun for anyone.
Wanna know what is fun?! Mitting. Mitting llamas! Llamas all in their neat little rows! Llamas laughing and prancing. Big llamas, little llamas, left llamas, right llamas! I’m crazy about llamas!!
Best thing ever about mitting: throw caution to the wind and forget your swatch! Ya I said it. The thing is if it works out, then perfect! You now have a mitten! If it doesn’t, well then sorry, but you’ll have to unravel that mitten cuff. But it’s tiny, so who cares?! Yes, this is seriously the delusional speech that I gave to myself when I started this project. No, I don’t regret my decision. I started mitting the left one, then I figured out what I really wanted and started the one on the right. Soon, there will be a row of big llamas over the little llamas and they will dance and sing together on my hands while I wave frantically at random people so they will be forced to look at my llamas.
Ask me if I’m also crazy enough to start knitting my second mitten from the same yarn balls as the first but from the opposite end because I didn’t want to break the yarn but I still wanted to see my big llamas. If you’re afraid of the answer, I will just reassure you and let you know that I got this. It’s going to be ok. The llamas said so.
Have you knit any llamas recently? If you had a llama, what would you name it? I would name mine Dolly. Haha, get it? Dolly Llama. We’d be best friends.
Linking with Tami and other WIPers.
I opened up my laptop, because I was supposed to be doing something. But I completely forgot what it was that I was supposed to do. I’m sure it’s something really important, because I only forget the important things. All those stupid little things I always remember, like how I always remember to get a bag of chips at the grocery store, but then forget the toilet paper. Why is it always the toilet paper? I’m stocked now, in case you’re wondering…
Well, since I’m here and since it’s 1am and I can’t sleep (because I am not a normal person) and I can’t remember what it was that I was supposed to be doing, I’m going to obsess over knitting stuff. I finished the sweater! A couple of weeks had gone by and my hands recovered mostly (I’m pretty sure I developed early onset arthritis in my thumbs), so I picked up the needles again to finish knitting the pockets. It really amazes me how often I underestimate the amount of work that needs to be done for something. I looked at this pattern and thought: yes, I can totally knit that in three weeks tops. It’s all stockinette, what can be so hard about that? I suppose I never really took into account the fact that I was going to be knitting on the tiniest needles imaginable for a sweater. Turns out it doesn’t take only 10 minutes to knit each pocket. I think I must have an extreme amount of blind optimism for knitting.
Knitting a sweater for someone was definitely a new experience. Knitting a sweater is no easy task and right now, I have nothing to show for it besides some really crappy pictures (thank you Seattle for another dark rainy day). It’s weird having knit something like that and not being able to fondle it with love and affection while wearing it. Maybe I’m suffering from withdrawals. I’m not sure. Maybe I need to buy more yarn to assuage my postpartum knitting depression. Something super bulky…. Don’t judge me.
Pattern: Clarity Cardigan by Gretchen Ronnevik
Yarn: MadelineTosh DK in Venetian and in Tern (pocket lining)
Needles: US 4 [3.5mm] Circulars
Modifications: Nothing too drastic: did a couple extra increases in the yoke because I felt it was too tight originally. I didn’t follow her decrease notes on the sleeves and just worked it myself. I thought hers made for really baggy sleeves (even if I didn’t do extra yoke increases).
Recommend to a friend: I would only recommend this pattern to experienced knitters. Although simple to knit, the pattern itself was a pain to follow. I had to rely on my intuition a lot as I found a few errors and inconsistencies with her writing. It’s a great design, but I think the pattern deserves another once over from a better tech editor.
Notes: See my notes on my Ravelry page. And think twice before you cast on for a sweater on size 4 needles.
PS. Sorry for my uber crappy photos. It’s always great to see a lifeless sweater limply styled on a plastic hanger. My friend is giving this to his mom on Sunday and he said he’d take a picture of her wearing it. I hope she likes it. If not, they better lie to me because I don’t think I’d be able to handle that sort of rejection.
At 2:30am this morning, I put down my needles. My hands were about to fall off, my eyes were bulging out of my head and a blister had started to form on my tensioning finger. I finished two sleeves, knit the collar and started one of the two pocket linings. Why, oh why, didn’t I listen to my better judgment and leave out the damn pockets? It was downright hopeless. Lest, of course, I wanted to pull my first all-nighter since college and live the rest of my life without hands… I had to pack it in. I cradled my hands like they were precious little babies as I slept last night.
I dreamt that I was blocking the sweater. But I was doing it all wrong. I was putting my iron directly on the dry fabric of the sweater. I burned it completely. The smell was horrible. 8am came too soon and oh ya, I hadn’t packed yet.
My friend was really understanding about me not finishing the sweater. He has a back up Christmas gift for his mom and I breathed a sigh of relief. There’s nothing like disappointing someone. Nothing. Except maybe disappointing two someones. So here I am at the airport, working on another gift.
Well, I use the term “working” lightly. What I’m really doing is staring at this project, trying to will my hands to do something other than shake uncontrollably and cursing myself for packing projects that are all on size 4 needles or smaller. I apparently do not have any foresight whatsoever.
It’s December 21st, in case you were wondering, and I’m flying out tomorrow to visit my folks in Reno for the holidays. I’m halfway through both sleeves of this sweater, still need to knit the collar and pockets, sew on buttons, weave in ends and block the damn thing before a reasonable enough hour tonight so that I can maybe get a couple hours of sleep in some sad effort to reboot my system out of this insane I-can-knit-a-sweater-for-someone-else-before-christmas illness. In other words: I’ve exited the realm of sort of crazy and entered the realm of bat shit, there’s no turning back now, crazy. Madness.
Last night, as I was staying up way too late on account of my mental problems, I decided to try on the sweater, because jeezus, it looks huge. I immediately freaked out because the thing is down past my ass and I could probably fit another one of my arms through the sleeves. Panic set in because I need to give this to my friend in about 36 hours and there was no way I could fix any of these issues. Then I remembered that I’m 4’10″ (4’11″ on a good day) and of course this wasn’t going to fit me. Seriously, you’re looking at a genius right here.
I’m still slightly panicking today because what if it doesn’t fit her either? What if she hates it? What if this was the worst idea ever and oh my god, is that a dropped stitch?!!? If you know me, I’m pretty much freaking out all the time about stupid things. I know I do it and I know that it’s completely irrational. But I won’t stop freaking out until someone can prove to me through scientific reasoning (bonus points if you bust out polynomial equations) that I’m freaking out for no reason. So I headed to the yarn store where I work, hoping someone there with more experience knitting sweaters for average sized people would talk some sense into me. And they did. The sweater fit one of the women (of similar size to the recipient) there and so now here I am, eating a grilled cheese sandwich, click clacking on the keyboard, and talking myself up some big game, like I’m a hot shot. I know what’s up. I knew I had it in the bag the whole time. I’ve got aaaaaaall night to knit this puppy up. ha. ha. ha? gulp.