Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Not to Do Before You Have Coffee

I am making a cute little shrug for the Eldest Munchkin. Very simple raglan sweater. Loose gauge with aran yarn. I am adding sleeves. (Personally, I am not a fan of sleeveless shrugs. Though I have never worn a shrug as they would look terrible on me!)

I had finished the increases. Instead of binding off the sleeves as the pattern said, I put them on holders. All good.

Last night I discovered a whole in the back of the sweater. Not a missing stitch or anything. Have no idea what happened. It was too late to touch it without making a mess.

So I got up this morning. Feed the Little Guy. The Eldest Munchkin woke up so I got her up. DH was still sleeping. The Eldest Munchkin didn't want breakfast yet. So I figured she could hang out with LG and me in the living room. I decided to fix the hole.

I figured it would be simple enough to just drop the stitch to the row past the error. Then pick it up and move along. I realized I might also have to do that with the row next to the error to fix the problem. No biggie on simple stockinette. Or so I thought.

I did it once. Didn't look right. Watched a youtube video to confirm, yes, I did it correctly. So what was happening? Tried one more time. It looked far worse. With a sigh I resigned myself to ripping back the 6-7 rows to get past the error.

Rip, rip, rip. Back the hole. So time to get it back on the needles. Okay.

Did I forget to mention EM kept coming over asking "what are you doing?" and "can I hold that?". That being everything from the yarn to the project off the needles and in the process of being frogged to my notions holder to the Knitkit (which she wandered off with only to snap back the measuring tape causing more tears for the morning). The LG was fussing from time to time.

So it was about that time that DH woke up. He came out and EM of course says she is hungry. Much to his credit, DH scooped them up and took them out into the kitchen without complaint. Leaving me to try to sort out my knitting.

When I have ripped back, I try to put it back on the needles with a row of unknitting. Basically, I put each stitch on the needles and then pull the yarn out of the stitch so it doesn't cause a stitch to run. Works well...most of the time.

I am 3/4th of the way done with the row. Then I am struggling with one stitch. I am not sure why. Other than perhaps the lack of caffeine... I think I get it straightened out. All good. But now the yarn coming out of the side that is back on the needles. *blink* I am thinking it just must have been that last stitch. Right? Nope. Three more stitches. All in the wrong direction. *blink*

I sit there staring, trying to figure out what is happening.

Now a smarter or at least more caffeinated person than me would have put it down and walked away for some sanity. But I didn't. I tried pulling out the knitting needle only to have the cable pull out of the connector on my Knitpicks Options. *growl*

At this point I was so peeved that I just ripped out the entire thing. *sigh* Not sane. Not sensible. But it what I did.

I went out and had a nice breakfast with my wonderful family. DH listened to me complain about the knitting. He even said that perhaps I should get some knitting needles that are joined. I pointed out that the good ones cost about $10 a pop. So that wasn't gonna happen. I also said given how long I have had my Options that the fact that I have only broken about 3 cables is actually pretty good. Knitpicks is the economy version but overall they are pretty decent.

On KP, I also can't complain at all about them. I had trouble with their ball winder since day one. I finally managed to write them about it. They explained it shouldn't be functioning the way it did and immediately sent me a replacement! Given I purchased it from them at least a year ago, that was very kind of them.

So the lesson for today. No knitting repairs before coffee. Unless I really *want* an excuse to restart a project. *sigh*

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Want It!

Quickie post. I have been watching the videocast Round the Twist a lot recently. It is inspiring me to get off my tush and get my needles busy.

The woman who does it recently showed off some bags. I *want* the Starry Night Dr. Who bucket bag! The seller is all out of those bags. I really want to know where she gets the fabric.

The seller also has a box bag in Tardis fabric. I like that one too. But the Starry Night/Dr. Who combo is too wonderful. I actually just wish the Bucket bag had a drawstring or something. But otherwise it is a lovely bag.

I realize that it really does seem like one can never have too many project bags. *laugh* Mind you, most of mine are cheap bags I have gotten free at work or something. My current project bag came from my local health food store that was giving me one every time I shopped there. So I have about 5 of them. And they are super useful.

Back to work with me!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some People Just Do Not Get How Much Time Knitting Takes

Last year, one side of my DH family did a present swap. Everyone brought a present around $50. You got numbers and could take one of the presents there or go into the pile. I thought it worked well. I was actually a bit disappointed that we went with a Target gift card instead of the cooking book & dvd set I got to start. But since DH & I were in it together, it made sense to get something for both of us.

So DH asked his sister if they will be doing that again this year so we can plan. She said everyone is broke this year so she thinks everyone should make something. *blink*

Ummm. Great. It is 46 days until Christmas. 46. *sigh*

I really think some people don't understand how much time knitting takes. *sigh*

The plus side is that I knit 1 1/2 items already for people that did the swap last year. So that is good. The down side is that I would have 2 1/2 more items to go! And I have other Christmas knitting I would like to do this year. I really don't see any way to complete things in time. So either I finish the 1/2 of the one project and do something else for the other two. Or we do something else completely. So I need to find something cheap & quick. Not fun.

I am not fond of knitting under deadline. I know some people thrive on it. I am not one of them. If it is a chore, I just want to avoid it. And these days I am lucky if I get any knitting time in at all at home. Most of my knitting is done while we are in the car. And with the kids even that isn't reliably time to knit.

We will just have to see what happens.

On other Christmas knitting notes, Santa got me the measurements on the doll for E. So I was able to compare them with the American Girl measurements.

So here is how the Madame Alexander Favorite Friends measurements compare to the American Girl ones.

Bust: 11 1/4 to 11 1/2" (1/4"-1/2" larger)
Waist: 10" (1/2" smaller)
Hips: 11 1/4" (1/2" from old, 1" from new)

Leg: Inseam 7" - 7 1/8" (same to 1/8" larger)
Around 1 Thigh: 6 1/4" (3/8" larger)
Around 1 Calf: 5 1/4" (same)

Arms Shoulder to Wrist: 6 1/8" (3/4" longer)
Armpit to Wrist: 3 1/4" (1/4" shorter)

Waist to Ankle: 9" (same)

Around the Shoulders: 14 1/2" to 15 1/16" depending on where (AG 14 3/4")

Around Neck: 5 3/4" (1/4" more narrow)
Neck Height: 1/2" (1/4" shorter)

Around Head: 12" / 12 1/2" at ears (same)

Foot (L x W): 2 1/2" x 1 3/8" (same)

The article about measurements said that things like the sleeve length work out okay. Despite the differences between the MA & AG dolls, the sleeves work out. The piece is about a different model of the MA doll than Santa is bringing. However, the measurements seem close.

I am thinking it might be smartest to make sure whatever I make first has a fair bit of give to it. Probably safer.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Patterns & Laziness

Given how long between posts, I don't know if anyone actually reads this anymore. But I want to post.

Santa and I had a little chat. He is bringing Elanor a doll for Christmas. She is a Madame Alexander Favorite Friends doll. Very close in size to the American Girl dolls so the patterns & such from one should fit her. After a lot of research, I chose this one. The prices for the AG dolls are *insane*. The MA one is a third of the price. (Don't worry, DD can't read yet. So she won't learn anything she shouldn't about Santa's present.)

So, of course, I want to make something adorable for Elanor & the doll. Given knitting is my particular vice, I figured I would try to make them a matching set. I was surprised that there weren't a lot of matching sets for the girl & the doll.

I did find a pattern book with nine matching patterns. So I decided to buy that. It arrived today. I opened it up and nearly cried.

All the patterns are sweaters you have to piece together. UUUUUGGGHHHH! I *hate* that.

I know, I know. It is me being a lazy knitter. I really should just change my blog name to Confessions from a Lazy Knitter. (I just added it to my subtitle. *laugh*) I hate piece sweaters. And I don't understand why they are the norm other than they are easier on the designer. I really feel like a doll could do without seaming too!

So of course, being me, I am figuring that I should just use a basic pattern, scale it down for the doll. This way I can *skip* seaming work. I have a book of kid knits that are all seamless construction. So I could just work from there.

I know, I know. I should just get over it and do the work. *laugh* But I know myself. I am terrible about putting buttons on. What on earth makes me think I would actually deal with seaming!

I also figured I would get some sewing patterns. Sewing is significantly faster. And believe me, after looking at the prices on outfits for dolls, I *knew* I had to do something. (Honestly, I am not thrilled with the dress the doll comes in so I want her to have options.)

I was thrilled to find McCalls is having a pattern sale. Most of their patterns were only $1.49. The only downside it their shipping & handling was kinda crazy. But I ordered a bunch of doll patterns as well as some young girl patterns & three costume patterns for the kids next year Halloween and/or Ren Faire.

Maybe all of this doll stuff is just my own insanity. Or lack of sleep. *laugh* But I recall my mom making me and my Fisher Price Jenny doll matching shirts. It was kinda sweet. (Mind you I also remember it was 70s and they were polyester...which was fine for a doll, but not so fun for a kid...*winces*)

I really hope Elanor likes the doll. I am not sure honestly. But I am hoping. She likes the dolls she has so far though she hasn't taken a particular shine to any of them. But who knows. Only time will tell.

Ah well. I have a ton of work I need to finish! Conference starts in less than two weeks. *sigh*