April 30th, 2008
I am not sure why I am up at this hour. Possibly because I spent all day sleeping. I have to remember not to slip the 1st stitch on this sweater because it looks nicer .. and something else. My friend Irina said to make a blanket. She has valid point there. She said babies hate getting in and out of stuff. By babies she probably means Levka the ex-baby.
May 1st, 2008
Baby is here .. Eli Elan to be exact. I have to verify the spelling because I may have to put that on the sweater. My hairdresser is Eli. I am sure he will be thrilled to have this information.
May 3rd, 2008
I am actually following a pattern for the 1st time in my life. Well I will be following it all the way up until the point where it tells me to pick up stitches. I am not about to pick up anything although I did ask the instructor how to do it but it was just for fun. I have done something before with a printed pattern but I had to ask the instructor what to do every second. Plus the pattern was so over photocopied it was almost completely black. I am not kidding. The instructor can verify. I love the baby sweater. It's so cute and baby like. I am afraid I am making it too tight. I hope Eli's head can handle it. I took some pictures but the world has to wait two hours for the camera battery to charge before it can see. I kind of want to look this pattern up online to see what it looks like but I so love positive anticipation that I am not going to do that.
I just read the name of the author on this pattern and it says Lake Niagra. Whatever.
I am not sure what K1 row plain, bind off means. I have a feeling that's not what I did above. Also I bound off loosely and I feel like this is the only time I had to bind off tightly so the hood would stay on. I am assuming the pointy part is the top. Now I am depressed. Worried about the hood. I just really needed the #7s I was using for the shrug.
May 4th, 2008 11:39 PM
The instructor said this was fine. Sometimes I feel like I enjoy terrorizing her. This was not that important. I am looking at this and it's almost as if someone else made it. It's not perfect or anything but for some reason it feels like I am not responsible. I have not looked at it in person since Saturday. I keep clicking on the photo so I can see a closeup. I cannot believe I will not attempt to pick up stitches. I bet if the instructor was in my position she would have totally picked them up. OK. I am looking at the instructions and it says At the beginning of bind-off edge pick up 25 (27 29) It's like make up your mind before you write. 25, 27 or 29? I mean .. I guess the head is the cast on part. I thought it was the opposite. Well I went back and forth .. and finally settled on the idea that the triangular edge was the face opening.
OK. I tried picking them up. No big deal. Except I am not sure if I should start from the very edge and how to space them and which side to knit on. I know I have to go underneath that edge with knots I was complaining about on Saturday. I remember I asked the instructor to show me how to pick them up for my dad's sweater and she was like "I pick them up for everyone .. " and on Saturday she was like "This is what you do .. " Did someone say consistency. I swear if she, or anyone close to her ever sees this they will kill me and their actions may be justified.
I was just thinking since I cannot design my own clothes maybe I can try my hand in knitting sculpture like the ones in Not The Knitting You Know exhibit at Eleven Eleven Gallery in Washington DC. Just kidding. The zinc lozenges I have been eating instead of going to sleep are affecting my thinking process. I did not want put the link for the gallery in because I hate when people put links in blogs and then the links become invalid. It's the QA in me. If your curiosity happens to get to you you can Google it. This Blog is beginning to feel like an Ode. Give me a minute to look that up because I am not sure what I am saying.
1. type of lyric poem: a lyric poem, usually expressing exalted emotion in a complex scheme of rhyme and meter
May 7th, 2008
I killed the baby sweater yesterday. I am not sure what was wrong with me. I was not even knitting. I think I did 2 rows the entire time and the instructor had to redo them. I went too loosely after she picked up the stitches and I am not happy with that at all. It's messy and it's bothering me this morning.
Some notes on the sweater. After you pick up stitches you should have 29 and 29 on each half. I had 62 so I had to decrease 3 on one side and 1 on the other by knitting 2 together. Then you do something like knit 9, increase on 2 by knitting through the loop twice, then knit 22, increase on 2 and then you should have 9 left. Then for 3 1/2 inches you keep increasing where your stitch markers are except I cannot remember why I have 4 of them instead of the 2 like I described above since I paid no attention to what I was doing. I have to remember to return her stitch markers. I have a total of 5 so far that I took.
I've lost my ability to take good photographs. Note the line above the stitch holders that separates the ribbing. That's what I do not like. It's too loose and it could have been avoided 100%.
I am very upset about the loose stitches. Especially because going forward it's perfect once again. I really should have gone home last night. The entire night was like silly and useless. I really hope there are no setbacks or consequences. Only I know what that means.
I went to check on myself at dreaded ravelry.com I am 2504th .. what do you know. I thought with this award winning blog I should be moved toward the beginning of the line immediately but no such thing happened. I love this hood. It looks like Orco from He-Man. Well it looks like any ghost really .. anything with no face included. I just noticed that all the activity is here this week. I have completely forgotten the shrug and the pretty blue bubble sweater.
May 8th, 2008
Today is the day of Eli's Bris .. anyway. I finally understood why I am increasing and why by knitting through the same loop twice. We did this on the mitten. It forms a seam. That's all it is. Now I know what I am doing. Otherwise I could not tell if I was making a mistake on the increase other then counting stitches.
Not sure if I messed up. I have 15,17, middle, 17, 15. That would mean I'd have to make a mistake bilaterally. Am I really capable of something like that at this point? I will know on Saturday.
I finally paused long enough to take a photo. This is the seam I was talking about. I had another photo but it's dark outside today because of the rainy morning so the photo a little dark. This thing looks like a small tent. There is my imperfect ribbing in the center that I did on Tuesday and the loose pickup area I don't even want to talk about anymore.
I am going to post the washing instructions for Jen while I still have the tag.
Care Instructions verbatim .. with silly commentary from sweater creator and producer:
This yarn is shrink resistant. Turn sweater inside out and machine wash on gentle cycle in cold water (that should get all the stains out .. not) Do not bleach. Lay flat in shade (I like this in shade) to dry. Sounds like the yarn is on vacation.
I wrote "creator and producer" to be funny but I really am that. I looked up "producer" and the definition is noun: someone who finds financing for and supervises the making and presentation of a show (play or film or program or similar work) and I so did finance the making of this sweater!! Well I guess I am a co-producer .. the instructor is the other "co" .. She is actully a really big "co" I am just an apprentice at this point.
I am confused. This morning I had 15, 17 and now I have 21 and 31 unless I miscounted and I am not counting over. How did this happen? I totally do not get it. Wait .. I do get it but I never would have thought it would happen like that. Going to sleep.
May 9th, 2008
What I was trying to say last night was that the reason 15 went to 21 is because I increased on one side 6 times and the reason 17 went to 31 is because I increased on 2 sides 6 times .. and I am still missing 2 .. where did I get the 2?! Again I do not think I can make mistakes bilaterally but then I do not think I counted the other side. I am going to have to go home and count. Sigh .. I hate math related crafts. Uggh ..
Well I made a mistake as anticipated. I forgot to increase someplace. I got the 2 because if I did everything correctly it would have been 15+7 which is 22 and 17+7+7=31 but I had 21 so this is why I had 2 as extra. Coincidentally I am back to 15, 17 from 31, 21. I left a message for the knitting teacher but I always do whatever I want after the message anyhow. I am impressed with myself. I knew where to put the stitch markers after I undid 2 inches. Well the 15, 17 helped of course. I am also impressed that I was able to find the mistake in the 1st place. Should I mention that it is 1:03 AM. The knitting teacher did not call me back. I am forever worried that she is mad at me and that will affect her creativity when it comes to me. I hope she is not upset with me for Tuesday. I am back up to the 21, probably 29 so the next row should be 22 and 31 hopefully.
May 11th, 2008
I have to do 6 inches of stockinette. Boring. The instructor would not let me keep her stitch holders today .. after a brief verbal exchange she unwillingly let me keep one. The stockinette is not even and you can see little bumps where the stitches are different in size. I hate gauge. This sweater is totally boring. The hood was the most interesting thing. If Eli was Russian I would put Cheburashka on it but since he is not .. I don't know who to put on.
11:21 PM ...
I am actually past the point on the above photo. I bound off the bottom. I did it in pattern and I think I did the hood by knitting. I am not sure if I am correct since the bottom is loose and maybe if I knitted as I bound off then it would be more shrunk. I had to change the photo background because the sweater no longer fits comfortably in the chair. By comfortably I mean that the chair back and other parts end up in the photo along with the sweater. I am not even with this sweater. You can see it in the photo below. I am not sure how to achieve perfect tension. Somewhat annoyed at this but not hopeless about it.
May 12th, 2008
It is absurdly windy today.
I got into ravelry. My user name is 'Braided' This is so I do not forget tomorrow.
This is Cheburashka by the way ..
May 14, 2008
Almost done. Except I am knitting instead of the gym.
Someone not naming any names was painting buttons with orange nail polish last night and a little drop got on my baby sweater!! I scrubbed it off but there is still a tiny bit left. It's like on the side of one braid. I just unbound a sleeve and redid it for the 1st time. It's not so bad undoing the bound of edge. I just did not know how to handle it before. I bound off a little too loose I thought and redid it.
I still am not 100% sure how to pick up stitches. I completely forgot that you can pick up with a new yarn ball by just taking a piece of yarn a little from the edge and pulling the loop through. After briefly staring at the ball of yarn I promptly handed it over to my instructor just in case. She had to pick up a whole 2 stitches at the beginning and end of the 1st sleeve row. She asked me to get a zipper that did not separate and it took me 10 minutes to figure out what that was. I was like don't they all separate, isn't that why you have zippers so you can unzip them and remove yourself etc?
I signed the instructor up for ravelry. She seemed like someone who may appreciate that site. She was looking at something called 'noro' I am not even sure what that is yet.
I am tired. I did the cuff of the sleeve, then undid it because I thought it was uneven. I then decreased on the right side and was supposed to decrease on the wrong so undid again. I am finally done with the knitting part. Onward to the embroidery and zippers. The sweater is adorable .. as usual. My instructor will not have it any other way. Everything she participates in is always beautiful or adorable depending on the nature of the item. I am feeling quite complimentary this fine evening.
I don't love ravelry .. no one is looking at what I made.
May 17th, 2008
I sewed the sleeves today and I am ! crocheting the edge of the sweater back so I can put in the zipper. I finally was shown how to start sewing .. something I have been indirectly asking since I found out there was sewing involved in general and finally today was granted an answer. I don't know what caused that to happen.. really but I am glad it did. Up until now I was not able to sew on my own because I could never start. To start on the sleeve make sure your last binding off stitch does not look like a large disaster, then go under the seam on the opposite side of the opposite edge and then into the braid from the top on the side that you started with. I also want to say that you sew ribbing differently from the body for this sweater. I do not know if you treat all ribbing differently when you sew or just the K1, P1 but I hope some day to find out. On the ribbing we went underneath the purl after the seam I think and on the body we went underneath the bar in the braid as I refer to it. Did you see the "! crochet". I finally know what that is. I kept overhearing the instructor saying that she had to crochet the edge for something and I kept thinking on top of all this knitting and sewing there is also crochet. I did not even want to know about it but it's totally not bad. I think I get it better then the sewing.
The instructor sewed the armpits for me. I love it when she is nice to me. My entire issue with sewing is after you spent so much time knitting and trying to make everything look beautiful you damage it by sewing. There are also two parts to the damage, aesthetic and physical as in holes which my least favorite and heavily dreaded. I was going to do some photos of the sweater but I am not in a photographic mood at the moment. I have to go find a zipper. The instructor found me one but it's dark blue .. but it's better then the black metal one they were trying to sell me the other day at this fabric store I went to.
I got the zipper. It's almost almost the right color. Hopefully it's expensive enough to last. It was only $2.00 The store I went to had Noro so I got to pet it. It's good. I want it. I love color especially when all of it is in one yarn. But first I have to finish everything else I am working on and not working on. I understood crochet today and sewing all because the instructor showed me how to pick up stitches a few weeks ago. I did not actually pick them up but for the first time I saw that you do not just go anywhere to pick up stitches .. you have to go under the edge which is like going under the two parts of the braid. With crochet it's the same .. you go under the seam and with sewing you go in-between then seam. In conclusion the seam has become easier to identify because I saw it being accessed in three different ways. I have the same problem with knitting as I did identifying cells in my Biology class in college. If I saw one type of cell from one organism and then the same type of cell from another organism I had trouble identifying them although there were form the same pardon me small intestine and both had all the characteristics of pardon me once again .. same organ. It's the same thing with knitting. If the loop does not look perfectly perfect I think it's two loops, or half a loop .. or I think I am on the border on loop #2 but it's really the middle of loop #1 .. etc. This is why I still cannot sew.
I had to connect the yarn again today. The instructor did it for me at the store but then I came home and realized I had a little of the old yarn left so I pulled out what she did and did it myself. Again .. you have to make sure there is no break in the braid looking seam which is the same idea she showed me for the sleeve today. There. I have this all noted so I do not forget unless of course Google goes bankrupt.
I have to say even if I never knit again it was all more then worth it because I am now an expert at sewing on buttons. I must make a confession that initially the previous sentence read expert button sewer and something prompted me to check the dictionary about 45 minutes after I wrote it. This reminds me of the time my brother used a spell check on my Thesis in Nursing School and conveniently changed all the perineum(s) to perennials. I will also tell you that he changed all the bowel movements .. and there were quite a few in there .. to bowl movements which provided a few entertaining moments for my instructor Maria who requested an overview of the rough draft before I went ahead with the final.
Getting back to buttons my instructor showed me how to double the thread to make it like a forple and I just sewed a button onto this knitted sweater I have .. which I really should throw away but that's a whole other story. I have to say the buttons on my Project #4 are not as good as the one I did today. This one will most likely outlive the sweater. I really liked this Free People sweater but it was made out of synthetic crap and after a medium number of wear looks accordingly.
I can crochet edges if I need to put zippers in. Who would have thought .. Until today I thought it was a big nightmare. I should really try more new things in general. They may all be like crochet. The only thing is I have to leave the house now and I am worried I will forget what to do when I come back.
May 18th, 2008
I am having a bad crochet day or a loose tension day. Which ever you prefer. I am just realizing how thought through this tiny piece of knitted material is. The instructor told me that she wanted the sides tight in the very beginning and I was like yes .. whatever. How is this night different from any other? Only now when I am practically done I understand that the sides had to be tight so you could crochet them otherwise there would be holes. Back then I did not know what crochet was so I could not really comprehend what was being said to me.
Left my instructor a message to look for balloon string. I hope she will. Otherwise I am going to have green balloons on a blue sweater which is probably beautiful since she came up with it but I wanted more colors. I like that word .. comprehension. To grasp with the mind .. that reminds me .. I need to go look for mine.
I am over-crocheting and the sweater is suffering because of it. I don't even know how many times I re-crocheted the right side. I cannot remember if I have to skip a space or go into each space. I finally stopped on skipping a space because when I did every one space it came out very loose. I don't know what's wrong with me. It's like I get it when I do not analyze it. The split second I begin to think about what I am doing I forget what to do. I am this way with the piano. I can remember certain melodies from my childhood but the minute I think about what I am doing I can no longer play anything. I don't know if this makes any sense even to me because it's not as if I think about what to do next .. it's just paying attention to what you are doing. So if I do not pay attention I do very well.
May 19th, 2008
I just looked at my crochet job. No comment. I cannot tell if it's correct or incorrect which is disturbing.
May 20th, 2008 10:19 PM
I sewed the zipper all evening. I sewed it once and then again and again and again and again. You get the idea. It is still not done. The instructor was tired today. Seeing her like that made me think about her age and how this job at times may be hard on her. She did not even have the energy to be the real pain that I've known her to be and was just a slight one. She kept saying how she hates zippers and then finally was like .. I can do it for you but probably not before Monday. There was another woman there who kept talking about health problems. I really wanted her to just disappear so I could have some quiet time alone with my zipper but she remained in her seat for the duration of the evening. I asked the instructor why all of her scissors were completely dulled and she said that she cuts wire with them. This is like what not to do with scissors.
I do not even want to look at the sweater. It was so cute and I am totally killing it with the zipper and the uneven crochet job.
I hate zipper. I just got the thread stuck and I cannot undo this loose part that I did. I am going to bed and I hope when I wake up I am going to be able to pry this thread loose.
May 23rd, 2008
I do not have the words to express how I feel right now. The zipper is impossible. I am impossible. From now on I just want to make scarves. I am optimistic despite the previous two sentences but beyond worn out. Really .. I am exactly in this specified and specific condition.
My instructor had an episode last week where she sort of passed out in class. I completely understand now. I am about to have a stroke myself and not as in a verbal expression. I cannot even describe what has been happening for the past 2-3 hours of the zipper process. I am sitting here in shock .. seriously. I think that sewing is fun if one has never knitted before. Once you are exposed to knitting then sewing becomes a million times worse in comparison. This is how I feel anyhow. I am completely incapacitated and !! I am still not done. I think I am going to go knit some yellow square balloons. Don't ask.
I cannot knit either. I did 2 1/8th balloon squares in yellow.
May 25th, 2008
I kind of killed the sweater with the balloons. I cannot seem to figure out how to put them on. I was a pain in the ass at the store yesterday. Something I have not done in quite a while. I need a new term for pain in the ass. It's very un-adult sounding. The instructor wanted nothing to do with them and this type of behavior always upsets me because it's completely unfounded. She was just not in a balloon mood, Anna mood, sewing mood or maybe good mood. That's how it is with her. The balloons are improperly sewn on and look uneven and over puffy. They are sewn in too tight. There is even a small hole in one place. I could not figure out how to sew them on yesterday at all. Today I figured out how to do it but only the top parts. Sideways cannot figure out for the life of me. I am thinking about coming in Monday. I have some photos of the balloons before they were tortured. I will put them up later.
OK. I put them up now.
I hope one day I will learn how to sew knitting items. I am am doing such a bad job with these balloons. I cannot figure out how to sew anything other then stockinette to stockinette. If the braids are parallel I cannot sew at all. I am looking at the above ribbing job and I realized I completely forgot about the tension issue I am so overwhelmed with the sewing. The whole thing is so ridiculous. It's tiny yellow patches and they have given me so much grief. I feel like I just want to take them off. They look terrible. I cannot decide if I want to go knitting tomorrow or stay here. I feel like the instructor will be completely annoyed with me and the sweater and it will be a completely nonproductive experience. It's funny but I just washed my jeans and was looking at the way the seams were done. I am all about seams now. Not sure if I said this before but I find myself imitating the instructor's movements. I seem to be able to remember them. One is when I saw her fix dropped stitches without the crochet and the other is her sewing speed and precision. I don't know how I can remember that. I kind of always thought you followed dance motions but knitting related motions that's just plain odd. They stay with me.
Weaving in should go in opposite directions, if there is a seam use the seam and do not split the yarn, if there is no seam then split the yarn.
When doing the zipper stretch the yarn if the zipper is longer then the object to fit the zipper. Make sure the edges of the end of the zipper are folded underneath, they should not superimpose on the zipper, they should not stick out on the other side and the yarn hanging on the ends of the piece should be sewn under the zipper (as in I did not do this for this sweater above and have no idea what to do with it now)
When you sew in the zipper make sure the edges are even. The right edge on this sweater is is bigger then my left but I let it be. Both edges should completely cover the zipper.
When sewing the stitch should be in the middle, stay away from the edge of the zipper otherwise it will not open well.
You start the sewing by doing one vertical stitch with which you grab the bottom of the sweater.
Make sure the ribbing and any other pattern matches. Close the zipper in order to be able to see that.
The edges have to be sewn so they do not flap around but I did it weird.
I described how to start sewing in this blog. I cannot understand what I wrote but the moral of the story is you do not just start anyway you want. There is a specific way and if you do it correctly the edge structure is uninterrupted.
9. You can stick the needle under several places at once and then pull the yarn through. Also if the yarn is too short you can stick the needle under several loops and then thread it with the yarn and then pull. Also to thread the needle you can fold the yarn in half so it's easier. When sewing with thread the instructor doubles it and then threads the needle so you end up with double string. I just realized why she does this. Because this way you can adjust the thread. I was taught differently. Light bulb.
May 26th, 2008
Done. I did the last balloon more or less correctly. The instructor was good today. She showed me how to sew .. again. Apparently you do not have to go under the braid. You can go wherever as long as you go in the same place you came out of. Kind of works for everyday life as well. I am happy even though someone in the store mistook the balloons for fish!!
I can totally see how those look like fish. It took me all of 3 hours to realize that the tie end can also serve as a lovely tale on the fish. These balloons are so funny. They are so awful and cute at the same time.
Each time I look at the sweater it looks more adorable. Sometimes I love my knitting teacher for showing me how to do all this and sometimes I want to kill her. I wish things were more consistent but it's never like that with the creative types. I am the same way. By the way this is the 1st item we did not iron. Well the gloves and hat we did not either.
June 1st, 2008
I am not sure how Eli feels about this sweater. He was not as excited as I was and kept wiggling for the digital camera so this photo is fuzzy. His underwear is showing a little. Anyhow I think he looks great. The sleeves were a little too long and the body .. well it's sort of tight but the hood came out just perfect. The rest he can grow into.
June 11th, 2008
I came into the store yesterday and everyone was making this baby sweater. Someone even managed to make a sweater and a matching blanket. The knitting instructor did the finishing so her balloons look spectacuar and mine .. well no comment. My zipper also looks pretty bad compared to hers. I used a double thread to hold it in place and she a single and hers is practically invisible while mine is like very blantant. Had I seen all this before I would have had something to aim for but I had not. The only things that did look better were the edges. I don't know if the person crochet them or not but they looked pretty bumpy. I did not like the blanket so much. It has some kind of lines on it that did not look so great. I almost feel like the instructor is not into baby stuff for some reason. I can understand her not being into mittens, hats and socks .. but baby stuff I expected her to put more thought into. Maybe she did and I just did not notice since there is very little I notice lately.
Regrets a.k.a if there was a second chance ..
1. I would not sew the zipper with a double thread .. it looks gross
2. I would make sure the zipper was not hanging past the sweater
3. .. the balloons were round .. and maybe I would have knitted them like they were supposed to be .. round. Actually I would have done a design I wanted.
4. The neck to body part .. the 1st row I would have knitted firmer .. since I was knitting pick-up stitches.
5. I would have asked Jen what she wanted ..