Thursday, April 30, 2009
Sewing up Blues
I know I've mentioned before that I despise sewing up knitted garments. For the record, I still despise it. I'm quite excited and impatient to finish (and wear) the Bustaroony cardi. None-the-less, I'm still not motivated to sew my fingers to the bone to see it done. It's been sitting on my couch for about a week now, and I sit and stitch up bits at a time. I haven't been allowing myself to knit at home, because if I did, I would never get it done. So it's heaped up on my couch, and whenever I sit there, I sew.
I've sewn in all the ends, which took literally hours, but wasn't particularly hard. I've sewn the shoulder seams. Piece of cake. But now, I'm attaching the sleeves to the body of the garment. This is where things are getting a bit tricky. When attaching sleeves, of course, you are attaching the top cast off edge (assuming you knit the sleeves from the cuff up) to the side edge of the garment. Normally, I do this using an amalgamation of mattress stitch (on the body) and fake grafting (on the sleeve), which makes a nice smooth seam. However, the textured patterning in this garment, when working on it from this angle, seems to go every which way, and there are few nice neat easy bits to stitch.
Terrible picture, but here is the sleeve lined up to the body for stitching. Maybe you will see what I mean.
As you stitch along, because of the patterning, particularly in the tree patterned bits, stitches are heading in diagnal directions right up to the edge of the fabric. I'm doing ok, a bit of wobbling around but nothing I can't live with. It's just a bit slow and tedious. The first sleeve is attached, and the seam looks fairly good. I just passed the halfway point on the second sleeve so I'm getting there. Just very slowly. Then come the long side seams, which will at least be fairly uniform for mattress stitch. I will finish this thing someday, I promise.
Im making another one of these as a gift, and when I do, I'm leaving a couple of stiches for seam allowance, no matter what the pattern says, or doesn't say.
Moving on, I've gotten a bit of knitterly things lately. I added a bit to my knitting library, getting the book "Knit Fix: Problem Solving for Knitters" by Lisa Kartus. To be perfectly honest, it hasn't told me much that I didn't already know, but does have a section on altering finished knitting which I might find helpful down the track. It would be a great book for a reasonably new knitter, and as problems arise, even as a more experienced knitter, I might find it more helpful than I did on the general read through. It's written with humour and, for a technical type book, is actually fairly entertaining.
I also bought the April09 issue of "Knit and Style" magazine, purely because I hadn't bought it before and liked some of the patterns at a glace through. It IS a very nice magazine, with very wearable patterns. You know, things normal people would wear. I think what I liked best was the photos of the finished items. They were great photos, and allowed you to see detail well. Which lead me to my favorite thing about the magazine. The modeled garments look like real knitters knitted them. I found the ever so slight imperfections very refreshing.
I dropped by Needlenook a while back to get some more of the plastic yarn sewing needles I like using (and breaking) and they happened to have their 5ply Heirloom easycare wool on sale, so I bought a couple of 50g skeins. The color is sort of a goldeny brown, and the final intention is to make some thick socks with them, probably for a gift. Hence the "Easy Care", as I've found many gift recipients don't appreciate the special washing handling regular wool often needs.
As mentioned earlier, I haven't allowed myself to knit at home in a few days so I could concentrate on the seaming. But I have gotten quite a bit finished on the Saloongirl stockings at work, and only like a half a dozen or so pattern repeats finishing the second sock. I have cast on the second glove, but have gotten no further than that. As soon as I finish the stocking, I'll dedicate my time to the glove. It will knit up fairly quickly at any rate.
I've been meaning to mention what I've been listening to lately. After running thru most of the books on Librovox that I was interested in, I decided for a change to check out some knitting podcasts. Of course, I'd done this before, but I must have picked the wrong two to try out. The sound quality was miserable, scratchy and rather more irritating than entertaining, so I hadn't really bothered with them in awhile, but not having anything interesting to listen to on my Ipod was getting a bit old. My trip to and from work seemed to be getting longer and longer every day. So I went on a search, looking specifically for Australian knitting podcasts this time, and ran across Sticks and Strings. It's done by a fellow named David Reidy who lives in the mountains outside of Sydney. The sound quality is great, his voice is perfect for "radio" and his topics, on the whole, are very interesting. Even better, he talks at least some of the time about Australian yarns and Australian events. I went back to show number 1, and I'm now at show number 63, which was recorded sometime last year. I'm really getting a kick out of listening, and would recommend the podcast highly.
I finished spinning up the merino I've been working on:
and finally got around to plying it:
I'm very happy with the result. I named it "Navidad" because it has a definate Christmassy look to it.
Sorry, the closeup is a bit blurry...
No plans for it yet. I'm just enjoying admiring it right now. It came out quite thin, and would be thin enough for some thickish socks I reckon, which was my original intention. One can never have to many socks.
That's it for today. Until next time when, hopefully, the Bustaroony cardi will be ready for display!