Monday, October 18, 2010

A Fine Frenzy

Ok, so can someone tell me what it is about autumn that brainwashes me into thinking that NOTHING is more important than knitting?
NOT that I'm complaining, mind you.  I just think it's a little creepy, on Nature's part - the whole mind meld thing.

If I say "out loud" that I am finally {FINALLY} starting to physically feel normal, for the first extended period since May, can I be assured that the Universe is not listening, waiting to prove that I'm so obviously not in charge of me?  You hear that, Universe?  I swear I'm not thumbing my nose at you!

I bring this up because my new-found comfort allowed me to churn out the bulk of the knitting I still had to do on my cardigan: 

Which has led me to ask a question.  This is perhaps one better suited to a designer (Tora and Chris, I'm looking at you, here - but anyone is invited to jump in with their two cents' worth): 

I find the neckline to be too small.  I'd like to create a cowl-y collar, a bit like this.  However, I knit this from the top down, with some ribbing in the sleeves.  Result: I can not rip back the neckline and pick up the stitches without making a mess of it... or can I?  How big do I want to make the neck opening, so that it sits right?  I've never knit a cowl neck before, but they usually look great on me, so I'd like to try it.  I just don't have a good example at home to measure.  Also, do I still want the neck hole to dip down in the front, or can I get away with a boat neck shape, instead?

Would it be easier to {gasp} sew the neck hole with my sewing machine and {gasp gasp} cut the fabric, pick up stitches and proceed up the cowl?  Sort of like a steek, I think...

Anyway, if you could help me out, I would really appreciate it.

Next up:

And with this latest venture, I think I can safely say that I have a lot to learn about garment design.  That's ok, it's not really something I aspire to.  I think it looks really weird laid out flat like this.  But, it was fun and a good learning experience.  I've got to make some revisions to the pattern but once I do that, I'll publish it in case anyone else is desperate trusting enough to knit it.  It's not a difficult pattern and I found that I was able to knit most of it up while watching movies on my iPod Touch.  And of course, it may look totally ok when displayed on a little human.  We'll have to wait and see, won't we?

Other than that, I spent the weekend puttering around my new "studio" space (photos to come).  I went through my needles and updated my Ravelry needle inventory sheet.  Did you know this was available? (check out item #4 in the list for more info - you can find yours under the "My Notebook" tab in the top-left corner of the screen)

What a fantastic idea!  You can log on anywhere and find out what you already have at home and avoid buying thirteen 4.5mm dpn's {AHEM, that doesn't sound like ANYONE WE KNOW, does it? *cough cough* Seriously, who DOES that?  Geez.  Pathetic.}.  You can even print it out in a small card format, to carry around in your wallet.  I haven't tried that yet, but only because my computer was out of commission and the printer is set up to use on my husband's laptop.

{By the way, my computer is back from the "hospital" and you know that scene in Forrest Gump, when Lieutenant Dan shows up at Forrest's wedding and shows Forrest his new prosthetic legs and Forrest says "Lieutenant Dan, you've got new legs.  New legs!!"?  That's how I felt about my iMac today, when I booted her up.  She's got new legs!  Not sure why I felt compelled to share that with you, but there you have it.}

Hey, speaking of Ravelry, have you been reading Wood's blog?  {Or maybe I should say Wood's blog being ghost-written by Jim?}  Did you see this most delicious little sweater she made for Juniper?  Yeah, I know.  Totally gorgeous.  Seriously.  Even the photography is lovely.  My point in sending you over there, besides shaming her into encouraging her to blog about her projects more, was to let you know about the group she has set up in Ravelry.  I totally snuck in and crashed the party {that's me, getting shitfaced and dancing on the table in the corner} and I must tell you, it's really FUN!  People are so enthusiastic to learn how to knit that it is quite contagious.  {FYI: you don't have to be a newbie to join - jump on in, the water's fine!}  We're going to start up a knit-along of this awesome cowl in a little bit, as soon as I can put together some instructional pages on cabling and provisional cast-ons.

If you'd like to knit (and/or learn) along, we'd be happy to have you!


  1. I like the looks of that cowl, she said, busily downloading the pattern.

    Also, that cardigan looks very promising, but tips on how to reformat the neck are rather beyond me, I'm afraid... Oh, and I completely, absolutely would not buy several sets of needles simply because I'd forgotten which ones I'd got. Oh, no. *cough cough* Move along - nothing to see here - move along...

  2. You call me, and I'm all yours :-)

    You can definitely rip from the top if you like. It requires a bit more work than from the other side, but isn't really a problem (at least not now, since you're in The Wonderful Autumn Knitting Mode).

    Do as follows:
    1. Find a cardigan with a cowly collar neck that you like (in a store or wherever), and measure the width/circumference of that neck.
    2. Find out which row on your cardi that has the perfect width. I can't see from the picture if you have short rows neck shaping. If you do, you should find a row below the starting point of short rows. Put all sts on that row on a needle a size smaller than the one you used for your knitting.
    3. When all the sts are in place (double check, please!), cut the neck opening a cm or so above that row. Then unravel the rest of the sts above your row. This takes some time and is a bit messy. Be patient!
    4. The sts on your needle are now ready to be worked. They are a bit off in comparison to the other sts, because the sts you've picked up are the sts in between the rest of the sts (because of working in the opposite direction), so you won't be able to make a cowl neck that lines up with the raglan increases. I don't think that would be a big problem, though.

    I would not worry about front dipping, I'd go for a boat neck. The cowl will cover your back neck anyway.

    Good luck!

  3. I can't help you with your knitting, but I can say it's beautiful! :)

    But I'm learning a lot more these days, even working with patterns! Maybe I can help soon! :)

  4. Thanks Tora!

    That is almost exactly what I was going to do yesterday, before I sent out the question. I just needed to hear someone tell me that it was the right thing to do, first. I do have short rows at the neck, but there aren't that many of them, so I think I'll be able to stay just below them and not have a gigantic neck opening. Which is good, because if I can get the right neck opening right away, I won't have to knit back up away from the bust and the ribbing won't look stupid!


    Thanks x 1000!

    To all the beginning knitters who read all of that and thought to themselves "WHA?", I will publish another entry explaining what I'm doing, so that you can see what Tora just explained.

  5. Sorry! I didn't realize you called (can't figure out how to get notified about that!) so I'm late to this, but I agree with what Tora says. Ripping the wrong way isn't fun, but just takes some patience. Boat neck is fine. I love all the ribbing!

  6. Hi Chris!

    No worries, dude. When Tora said I "called" her, she meant that I singled her out in the post. I didn't actually contact either one of you directly, I was just banking on you reading the post eventually.

    It was a test to see if you're really my friend. Guess what? You passed!


  7. Yah. But isn't there some way to know when someone's linked to you? Don't know. Thought other people knew how and I just didn't. I've been behind on my blog reading lately,too.