Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Full of sweaters...

I have two sweaters on needles currently.  One for me, one for my husband.  The husband sweater was originally going to be a surprise (Facebook and Twitter peeps, this was the secret sweater), but I gave up so he knows about it now.  The me sweater is out of the yarn I got in exchange for the rabbit angora sweater I made, then realized I was allergic to.

The husband sweater has been in the works for quite some time now.  I started the me sweater about two weeks ago.

Guess which one looks like it's going to be finished first.  XD

Monday, September 19, 2011

The best sweater I've ever made...

...and I designed it!

You don’t need to knit to create a beautiful cabled pullover! This boatneck sweater has simple waist shaping to hug your curves, gorgeous cables, and (because it is crochet!) works up in a snap. Constructed in one piece from the top down.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Things I've Learned as a Designer

I haven't been doing this very long, but have already learned some significant (and mostly painful) lessons, which I thought I would share for everyone's edification.  Or for everyone to laugh at me.  You know, whatever.  So, in whatever order they occurred to me:
  1. When you're making a sample, count the stitches.  This is particularly useful in the joining row and the smallest/largest diameter of any shaping.  It is really, REALLY hard to count those stitches once the sample is done.
  2. Unless your stitch pattern is specifically designed to take advantage of pattered yarn, get a solid (or semi solid, at most).  Even tonal yarns can pool unexpectedly.
  3. Save your ball bands, especially on big projects.  By the time you're done, you may or may not remember how many you had to start with.
  4. Don't try to design something using a technique you're not super familiar with.  It doesn't matter if you can do the math and design aspects if the stitching makes you want to scream.
  5. The job is a lot of fun... unless you over schedule yourself.  Have fun!  :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Happy International Crochet Day!

I didn't find out about this until last night!  And isn't Crochet Month in March?  Hooray for crochet love!  At any rate, I'm celebrating by putting some finishing touches on an awesome sauce crochet sweater pattern.  And look, I have a teaser photo:

Yup, cables!  Hopefully I will have a pattern and more awesome pictures for y'all within the week! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Woe are my wrists!

So, remember when I jacked up my arm?  Well, it turns out that I don't just have a weather vane knee any more... I have a season-vane wrist.  Yes I just made up a word.  Basically, I'm getting pain now that we're making the transition to fall weather.  It's not enough to stop me, but that might be a problem in and of itself.  If I over do it, I'll just make things worse.  Other things that irritate my poor joints are typing, playing video games (especially the Wii), and pretty much any other fine motor activity.  I am clearly doomed.  Also, need to locate my wrist braces.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Allergies Blow

So, my last pregnancy completely changed my immune system.  Things that I am now quite violently allergic to now that I wasn't until the minute my sweet baby was born include such diverse items as avocados, pistachios, and rabbit angora.

The big problem with this (other than no more quacamole) is that while I was pregnant I made myself a most lovely sweater with a rabbit angora yarn, which you can see at right.  Doris freaking Chan even commented on my Ravelry project page.  I was able to wear it maybe six times before I had the baby.  Afterwards, I kind of figured it was just too hot to wear it.  Rabbit angora is after all one of the warmest fibers.  But even in the depths of Colorado winter, while I still loved the sweater, it made me want to tear the skin off of my arms.

I have fortunately been able to trade my lovely sweater for yarn to make a new sweater (thanks, Sarah!).  I wonder, sometimes, which of us came out ahead on that one... but not very often, because I'm busy trying to decide which pattern to make with the pretty, pretty yarn.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Why I Quilt

I've noticed something about quilting in the last couple of days.  It is, more than anything else, a craft of precision.  When the pattern says cut a two and seven eighths by seventeen and a quarter strip, three by seventeen and a quarter just won't work.  That eighth of an inch will throw you off.  In a way, it scratches the same itch that knit and crochet do.  Yarn is of course dramatically more forgiving than fabric... but it's still the same concept.  You take tiny, precise pieces and put them together into something new.

On the other hand, the nature of the difficulty levels are very different.  In yarn work, difficult things are generally complicated.  You k3togtbl and have to keep track of intricate lace or cable patterns, or do fancy shaping.  In quilting, on the other hand, the hard parts are so basic.  For example, sewing a scant quarter inch seam.  I still have not figured out what this is supposed to look like, because I am still working on just plain ol' sewing in a straight line for more than about three inches.  Or cutting a square to be exactly three inches on a side.  Simpler patterns are of course more forgiving of error than more complicated ones, and there are still advanced (and HARD!) techniques, like piecing curves, but for the most part the things that get screwed up on quilts are very simple.  But oh, so tricky to do just right.

But you know what?  Then I remembered how hard it was to maintain even tension when I first started to crochet.  And I realized that I just enjoy learning something new.