Sunday, June 03, 2007

Rant and Rave

Let's start with the rave:

The Surplice Lace Top is done!!!
It's perfect perfect perfect! I Love it!

Every bit of tinkering, modifying and frogging was well worth it.

Yay!! For more pics and my modifications, visit here.

As you can tell, I've recovered from my cold. Never too sick to knit, immediately after seaming Surplice on Friday, I cast on for the Josephine Top in the Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy from stash, but it didn't work, so I decided to save that as a Yarn Tour destination, and instead turned my attention to Sahara. The yarn is jeanne from Plymouth Yarns. It is so unbelievably soft and easy to knit with, and the fabric it makes feels exactly like an old, well-worn sweatshirt. The kind that you keep even when it starts to fall apart. The kind you put on after a hot day at the beach. I think I'm in love. So far I've joined the front and back at the underarm. I had a bit of trouble with casting on at the beginning of the rows to shape the armholes. At first, I used a knitted cast on, but when I joined the front and back, the stitches were really loopy, so I frogged all three sections back to the cast on rows and used a cable cast on instead. It's not perfect, but it's better.
I expect that it will improve after I pick up stitches for the sleeve, and I can aways use the tails to neaten things up a bit. I wasn't sure what size to knit this top (this is the beginning of rant #1). The pattern says that it's written with 3 inches of negative ease. My bust measurement is 34 and the 2 options are 29.5 or 33 (I've decided on the 29.5 with crossed fingers and the knowledge that I can add extra increases if I need to). I surfed around to see how other knitters chose their size and to see how they came out, but hardly anyone posted the size they knit or if they did, they didn't post their own measurements so I couldn't get a sense of the fit. So, I've decided to do something somewhat radical: I'm going to post my measurements and link to it in the sidebar. From now on, if you want to know how my finished knitting or sewing fits relative to a size, you will know. More on this subject to come. It's been the source of much panty twisting this weekend.

I know that some of you (lori lori lori) don't want to see any more crochet, so I buried it deep in the post so maybe you'll miss it, or can scroll through. I love making these blocks for Larger Than Life ("LTL") so much that I don't know if I'll be able to stop. Maybe I'll make a Larger Than Life Throw! I've been considering a Smaller Than Life version too - a small tote or purse, 'cause you know I need more bags (snick).
In order to continue making blocks, I had to go out to my LYS to buy some more Mission Falls 1824 in a few colors. Along the way, I stumbled. Actually I was overcome by infatuation and Sudafed and came home with a sumptuous skien of Blue Heron Rayon Metallic in Curry. Sometimes I even scare myself. I should not be allowed to go shopping alone. Why did I buy this, other than the fact that it bears an uncanny resemblance to the colors I am using for LTL? I've had this design idea on the back burner for a while now. As soon as I got home, I wound a lumpy cake (actually two lumpy cakes - rayon is a bitch on the ball winder), and then fell down a deep rabbit hole for 2 hours. This is what I have to show for it:
Impressive huh? I decided to put it back on the burner to simmer for a while. Not quite ready.

Today I fell down another rabbit hole. I made a cute little skirt with a contrasting polka dot waistband facing. Some people wear sexy underwear and feel like they have a secret all day; I like knowing that I have a contrasting waist band. Go figure. So about the skirt. It's cute. I really like it. There's only one problem: it's too big.
Rant #2:

The pattern (New Look 6595) says that these measurements:

Bust 34
Waist 26.5
Hips 36
are a size 12. Since my measurements are nearly the same, I made the size 12. Well. The FINISHED hip measurement for a size 12 is 41 inches. The pattern is designed with 5 inches of ease. That's a LOT of ease! That's not the only thing: the instructions for the zipper installation was wrong, referring to the left side of the zipper throughout - it was a typo. Fortunately, I know how to install a zipper. There's also something wonky about the lower contrasting band option, but I'm not even going there right now. This is why people try to sew and then quit because nothing ever fits! The sizing is whacked! I wear a US size 4. Usually when I sew tops, I make the size 6 or 8, depending on the finished size. When I make skirts, I've made the 10 and the 12 with varying degrees of success. Whacked I tell you! OK, I'm going to simmer down now and focus on something positive.

My Rhododendron is blooming. Mr. Strange calls it a "Beauty Bush". Is that a Southern thing? I don't care what you call it, it's just pretty.Our long term sharecropper, "The Fat Rascal" came out to chew on some grass today. She (??) is so tame now that I was able to get pretty close and it didn't phase her a bit (I wasn't as close as it appears, I used a macro). Munch munch munch. Isn't she cute? We don't have a vegetable garden, so we don't care. She's in groundhog heaven in our yard, with her own little compost condo in the corner and fences to keep all the neighborhood kids and dogs away. While I was taking pictures of her, I noticed a greyish heron-like bird with a red crest. Before I could take a photo, it flew away. I have no idea what it was! I've looked online at photos of Maine birds and the closest I could get was a type of woodpecker, but it had long legs. Strange. I also saw a pair of cardinals. I think they have a nest nearby. I love my yard.


loriticajane said...

The Surplice Lace Top- Love it, love it, LOVE it! Need I say more? =)

I like the design you have going, I'll keep my eye out for more updates on it. But no pressure. =)

We have chipmunks in our back yard that the dogs like to chase and I think are cute.

Have a great week! =)

Lisa said...

dont know where to start - you have amazing updates in this post!

love the sweater - sorry about the skirt...pretty crappy eh?

Octopus Knits said...

The surplice lace top really does fit you perfectly, and the color is really lovely! Great job!

Knitelly said...

Surplice looks eff-ay-bee and fits you like a dream. Love it.

Also love the crochet squares...

.... AND the sneaky little design thing....

... and the skirt? Inspired! [Shame about the sizing, boo, hiss.]


PS: I also have a thing for Mark H. Back in the last century, my impressionable teenage self even sent a letter across the ocean requesting a signed photo. The one and only time in my life I have done the "fan" thing. Thank you for reminding me and making me giggle. Now, where's that photo......

PPS: That was too much information, right?

Lisa said...

The lace top IS perfect! It looks wonderful on you. Bummer about the skirt pattern being so far off. Maybe you could give it to a bootylicious friend. ;)

Aimee said...

Hey! I just might be that bootylicious friend! ;-) Actually, my booty might even be a bit too "licious" even for that. C'est la guerre.....

My Surplice is TOTALLY done. I too, love it. I'm thinking about making another one.

Yarn Coffee said...

Your Surplice looks beautiful!!!!