Making Repairs

It takes a little longer for the cool weather to hit us here in Central California. I jealously watch as all my bloggy friends from around the country pull out their handknits and sport gorgeous sweaters, hats, and mittens in late September while I am still sweating my summer away. I yearn for Autumn’s chill long into the month of October as the sun still beats down upon me. But, now, finally, at last! The cooler weather arrived! It is only 79 degrees here this day! Out come all the gorgeous woolens! The handknit masterpieces of last winter and even winters before.

Alas, some things did not fare well over the summer. Remember this Wispy?


Oh, shoot! I knit this when I was cameraless, and all I have is this awful photo booth picture. Sorry!

Anywho – I wore that thing to death last winter, even though I have reservations about it’s flattering shape (or lack therof). I love this little shrug. It is absolutely delicious! Apparently the moths agree.

That is one shoulder. This is the other (the faint of heart should look away) –

I apologize for the ghastly imagery.

Imagine how my heart sank at the sight! I think I may have shed a tear or two (or three or four). There were also a few tiny holes along the ribbed edge.

It was quite a shock, and somewhat puzzling, too. This sweater was packed away in a box of woolen wonderfuls, yet it is the only item that shows moth damage. I guess they just love the Malabrigo (who can blame them, really?). There are a couple of sweaters that I would have just tossed out -it would have hurt a little, sure, but I don’t love everything that I have ever knit, not really (don’t tell that grey sweater, it would break her heart, but she really is quite expendable). But, this was one of the favorites, the one that my kids will think of when they remember me at my funeral – “I miss Mama already! She always wore that unflattering pink shrug, remember? She was so crazy about that bright, ugly thing!”

So, I pulled up my big girl undies and set out to save my beloved sweaterlette. The first step is always the hardest – I cut away some of the fabric to make a neater hole to mend. I may have held my breath and said a prayer or two while I snipped away at my knitting.

Then, following my darning procedure (explained here) I patched that ugly hole, taking care to catch any live loops and working well into good fabric to prevent any dropped stitches.

It isn’t that great of a patching job, but it makes it wearable and that is enough for me. I don’t really wear it out, anyway. And since I couldn’t get a good picture, here is another bad one –

The smaller holes were much easier, just duplicate stitched over the one or two stitches that had been munched away, again catching any live stitches. I can see them, but once they pill up like the rest of the sweater, they won’t be so noticeable.

So, all is well once again, but I will definitely be rethinking my method of summer storage for my winter lovelies.

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Drumroll, Please

At long last I am ready to show you my Wispy Cardi! (Please excuse the crappy pictures. If you remember, my camara go sand in it, so it’s Photo Booth pictures or nothing!)

Three things about this Cardigan:

1. It is so soft. I mean incredibly, wear it on bare skin, wrap your naked baby in it soft. I love how it feels. I used Malabrigo Lace Merino, and I am hooked!

2. It looks great…. from the back.

From the front, not so much….

I guess it is okay, but for some reason, I thought it would make me look like this. Nevertheless, I think I will still wear it. Fat girls are entitled to cute clothes, too.

3. I loved this knit, from the excellently concieved and written pattern, to the gorgeous yarn, to the speedy execution.

So, there you have it. The Wispy Cardi by Hannah Fettig in Malabrigo Lace Amoroso.

A Wispy Cardi, A Frantic Saturday and A Big Decision

We are packing up to leave for a week. I get to sit on the beach and knit and eat and watch my kids frolic on a beach with all my aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters and brothers, and nephew. I am so excited that I forgot to post my Friday picture yesterday! And I am a busy, busy bee trying to get everything packed and leave a clean house. But I do have three things, albeit no pictures, to say before I start this frantic day.

1. Wispy is finished! You will have to wait till next week for photos and details, though. I am not as excited as I thought I would be. I think this sweater was designed for a more “wispy” physique. It kind of looks like a frame for my ample bosom and pudge belly. But, it will be fine, paired with the right outfit. I can’t wait to show you!

2. Trying to decide what to knit on the beach is a tough one. Do I choose the practical route and knit dishcloths and diaper covers all week? Do I go super risky and take a Labyrinth? (A whole sweater in my lap and stressing about sand in the yarn?) Or, do I take a baby sweater, that is nice Malabrigo, but is small and manageable. And, once I decide what to take, how much do I take? What if I knit everything the first day, and have nothing to knit the rest of the time? What if I spend most of my time frolicking in the surf and cleaning sand out of the babys diaper and don’t even open the knitting bag? Oh, decisions, decisions….

3. The Man and I were discussing my body today. I have some ligament issues and need to give more time to exercise if I want to retain my ability to move painfree. I said something lame about how “I try to find time” and he said something very true. “If knitting were a cardio activity,” he said, “You would be in such excellent shape that you could run a marathon!”

Too true, Dear. Too true.

Arguing With Myself

Let me set the scene:

There I was, knitting away happily on my Wispy. Beautiful yarn was transforming into beautiful sweater in my capable hands. Only one problem. I was knitting a portion of the sweater that was numbing my brain. All the excitement of picking up stitches and establishing the rib pattern had vanished and I was left with an endless loop of K1, P1 until I achieved 3″ of ribbing. So, I dutifully sat, chanting “knit, purl, knit, purl, [sigh], knit, purl”, ’till at last I thought, “surely that is three inches!” But, upon rendering accurate measurement (with a tool that I had to search for, taking up fifteen minutes of my precious knitting time) I found that I only had two inches. Sigh

Knit. Purl. Knit. Purl. Knit Purl. Around and around. “Surely by now I am there!” Measure. Nope.

Knit. Purl. Knit. Purl. Knit Purl. Around and around. “That has got to be three inches.” Measure. Nope.

Knit. Purl. Knit. Purl. Knit Purl. Around and around. “Heavens to Betsy! This is endless!” Measure. Nope.

Now, this is about the time that I started arguing with myself. And the argument went something like this:

“Does it really have to be three inches? What difference could 1/2 inch make?” I asked myself.

To which I angelically replied, “If it is worth doing, then it is worth doing well.”

Disgusted, the impish side remarked, “But knitting is your hobby. Don’t you knit for fun? For cryin’ out loud! Your brain is turning to mush!”

“I am going to do all three inches. It just wouldn’t look right if I cut it short. Besides, I would have to write about the modifications in my blog and in my notes on Ravelry. How embarrassing that I couldn’t knit another half inch!”

“Nobody would have to know. You could just say that you did it all the way.”

I gasped in shock at this, “You want me to cheat and then lie about it?!?”

“Obviously,” I replied to myself in a bored tone. “Just think of all the interesting knitting ahead. Why, there are short rows! Your going to slog on for another half inch when there are short rows ahead!?!”

Okay, that was a low blow. We all know how I relish a challenge, and, as I have already stated, K1P1 rounds were dulling my senses. So, I did what any self respecting knitter would do. I put Wispy down and finished a different work in progress!

This was a smart move, let me tell you! Instant gratification – one strawberry takes about 20 minutes. I had a blast felting them. Plus, I finished a work in progress that was on my checklist a couple of weeks ago! (These are a gift to my Knitting Buddy’s daughter, who will turn two at the end of September. Her Daddy is building her a little kitchen, so my KB asked if anyone who wanted to give a gift would please make it something food related. This is my little contribution.)

Then, I went back to Wispy, to K1P1 for the remaining half inch. I am so glad I did!

You do believe me….. don’t you?

Imponderables

Some questions in life just don’t have any answers. Take these, for example:

Why is it that children, after bathing and donning clean pajamas, feel the need to roll around on the floor? My kids do this all the time. They have all day to slide across the floor on their bums, or slither like snakes, but they always wait until they are ready for bed. We live in the country (dirt) and have a concrete floor (dirty), so, as you can imagine, this does not please me. And now I realize that I have no photo to illustrate this point. I guess I was too busy saying, “Hey! Quit mopping the floor with your pajamas! You just got out of the bath, for cryin’ out loud!”

Why is it that the underwire in my bras eventually ends up working its way out of where it is supposed to be and burrowing into my chest? I pay good money for those puppies. I would understand if they were some cheapie off brand that I got at the thrift store, but I am talking about Victoria’s Secret. I expect better. No pictures for that one, either, I guess. What a boring post this is working out to be…

Why is it that when I finish a knitting project and have, say, 5 yards of yarn left over, I put that yarn back into the stash? I have a bowl of tiny little balls, all left over from projects long finished. I guess if I was planning to make some amazing, colorful creation like these folks… But I am not. I have no desire to ever use all these odds and ends, but I just can’t throw them away. It is inexplicable and pathetic. But, at least I have a picture for this one!

Will I really finish the Wispy Cardi or will it get set aside for some shiny new project that I have to cast on right now? Actually, I think I have the answer to this one. I have been a good girl and have not gotten side tracked all weekend. (I know you were thinking that I was going to stray over the weekend. Tee hee. Fooled ya!) Well, to be perfectly honest, I did work on the Labyrinth sweater on Saturday night, but that was only because I had come to a place in the Wispy that I had to pay attention, and I needed some mindless knitting while I watched Brian Regan with The Man. On Sunday, I came right back to it. Beka took this shot. I am holding what is left of the first ball of yarn (another useless end to go into the bowl, I guess):

The reason for this strange bout of monogamous knitting is another imponderable (I blame the malabrigo).