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December 05, 2005

Rain Forest

No one is more amazed than I that I have an honest-to-goodness finished sweater to show off: Rain Forest.

In typical fashion, it has taken me almost two years from start to finish. [You can see the whole sordid affair on this page of all the Rain Forest posts]. We can see that I started off quite well, made steady progress, and then ignored it for months at a time.

No matter, it's done now.



Below are two full-body shots. Which do you think I should put as the 'official' picture on the Completed Projects page? The drapey, hanger shot? or the flat, floor shot? [Click on the pictures below for the full-size views].


08:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (28)

February 04, 2005

Lack of discipline

Today is my extra day off. And yet, I am not knitting. I haven't picked up the needles in two days. And it's not as though I don't have good reason to.

This is sitting on the couch, waiting for me.

I'm waiting

I'm down to the last cuff of Rain Forest, and there it sits, watching me surf the web and play video games. I could be done with it by the end of today, if I'd just walk over there and work on it.

Then there's this:

Ooh, arty lens flare!

which is eventually supposed to turn into this. But not if I don't get started.

Oh well, I think I'll go take a nap and get rested up for the ensuing knit frenzy.

Yeah, right.

11:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

April 21, 2004

snip snip

I took Rain Forest to the Knitting Meetup tonight and cut the neck steeks.

wanna neck?

I did it partly to inform, partly to inspire, and partly to amaze. I'm still amazed enough by it myself that it's fun to do with other people watching.

In response to some recent comments:

Melissa asks, "Do you usually use a crochet steek? Do you ever use a sewing machine?"

It's hard for me to say I usually do anything with steeks; this is only the third time I've done a sweater with them and only the second time I've done a sweater in Shetland yarn. I crocheted the steeks on the first Fair Isle sweater I knit and was pleased with the results. I don't own a sewing machine; so I brought my Philospher's Wool sweater to a friend who sewed the steeks on her machine. I hand sewed around the neck opening.

Crocheting the steeks may not be necessary with nice sticky Shetland yarn, but it's not very difficult to do and contributes significantly to ones piece of mind when you don't have a lot of experience with cutting up your knitting.

Emma says, "Don't worry about the shoulders [on Rain Forest].Only really tall people will see,and I doubt they'd consider it worthy of remark !"

Well, I hope to occasionally sit down while wearing this sweater and that will throw me open to potential criticism from insensitive clods of all heights!

Seriously though, I am increasingly pleased with this sweater and when it's finished I think it will be quite worthy of remarks—all good ones. [hee]

08:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

April 18, 2004

Rain Forest grows

Boy, last week was a pathetic blog week. Let's see if the coming week will be any better.

Yesterday was another meeting of K2P2, and as always, it was enjoyable. I mostly worked on securing my steeks with a crochet chain stitch. Perhaps not necessary, but comforting just the same.



The pattern indicates that the last row at the shoulders should be worked in the background color only. However, when I did that, it was too noticeable, so I went back and redid it with both colors. I didn't take a picture before I ripped it out, but believe me, this looks better.

The sweater I saw made up in the store was a size larger. The flowers on the shoulders of that size met up perfectly. Too bad that this size doesn't do the same.


The next step: cutting the steeks.

07:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

April 02, 2004

Wherefore art thou, knit blogger?

I've spent the first four days of this week editing a manuscript at work. When I've come home, I haven't been in the mood for more time either writing or sitting in front of a computer. Hence, no new posts.

Apparently, the sustained mental exertion has steadily drained away my energy reserves because I have been heading to bed a couple of hours earlier every night. Hence, little knitting progress.

[excuses, excuses].

Happily, today was my extra day off and I spent it knitting, napping, and puttering around. I stayed away from the computer and tried to think as little as possible.

Hmm, knitting and not thinking. That sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Ah, but disaster was averted...I think.


I've set the neck steek and begun the neck shaping. Instead of using a stitch holder, I have the extra neck stitches on a piece of scrap yarn.

And although I lose an hour tomorrow night, I still have the entire weekend ahead of me.

05:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

March 18, 2004


I'm still here and probably not as upset as I may appear to be. Yes, yes, it is only knitting. But there is truth in knitting, isn't there? Hiding problems doesn't make them better in knitting or in life.

Hopefully though, it's not all problems. I'm not showing my little wound without hope that it can be healed. Quite the opposite.

I think it's necessary to show our problems, and also our solutions. I haven't completely solved the problem of CPS [Jo Sharp's Country Plaid Shirt] yet. When I do, I'll let you see. It's my hope that someone else can be encouraged by my small triumph over a roadblock.

Bonne Marie encourages me all the time when she bosses her knitting around. I'm always inspired by the way she solves her knitting quandaries. [Of course, she does it with humor and aplomb. I tend to be more dark and clinical (not to mention, cynical)].

And how about Alison's perseverance with the collar of Chickie, or Mary's chronicle of her emergency surgery on her Everyday Cardigan? Problems and solutions everywhere!

OK, I'll lighten up. [Well, I'll try].

First, thanks for the encouragement and suggestions.

Sarah even took the time to give me a very helpful and detailed answer with an illustration. [Thanks, Sarah!] With her permission, I'll share some of it with you.

I should have picked up at the arrows

In the picture, she's indicated with arrows where I could have picked up my collar stitches to avoid the gaps. If you compare her suggestions with what I actually did, you can see that changing just two of the pickup points would have helped considerably.

She writes,

"See that arrow in the corner (fourth from the left, fifth from the right)? If you pick up a stitch there (in that “V” on the fourth red row), that will help close up that corner."
How helpful is that!? I see exactly what she means. Genius!

Before I rip the collar out and start again, I'm going to do what several other people have suggested and just try and snug up the gapping stitches. If I'm not happy with that, I'll try again, following Sarah's advice.

Janine also had the very intriguing suggestion of a knit on I-cord to stabilize the shoulders and neck. Another excellent potential solution! [Put that in the bag of tricks].

So, even though I probably could have done without a bit of the melodrama, by presenting my problem, I have started on the road to solving it.

Hmm, I haven't gotten around to actually solving the problem though. I've been to two knitting gatherings in two nights, which makes for much knitting progress, but not much time to concentrate on fixing CPS. When I'm knitting in public I need something that doesn't require much concentration, like Rain Forest.

The rain keeps falling

08:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

March 11, 2004

Steek peek

OK, a few pictures.

A steek.


I prefer to do steeks with an odd number of stitches. At the start I had nine stitches, but I decided that I would be more comfortable with eleven. [See where I added them?] Although it's complete overkill, I feel better and that's what's important, right?

I purl both yarns together on the center stitch. This gives me a convenient little ditch that makes it very easy to see where to cut, especially from the back side.

cut here

I learned this technique from Tanya at a K2P2 meeting. K2P2 is coming up again next Saturday at Mayorga Coffee Factory.

In fact, we are coming up on all my knitting meetings.

  • There's a neighborhood meeting the third Tuesday. [Oddly enough, it's not even in my neighborhood. Hi, Ellen!]
  • I've started going to the Knitting Meetup the third Wednesday because it's been meeting at Mayorga too. [Yes, that's two nights in a row].
  • K2P2 is the third Saturday of the month. [Three times in one week].
  • Knitting-N-the-City is the fourth Tuesday.

    After four meetings in a week and a day, I'm ready to knit in solitude for another three weeks.

    inside Rain Forest

    [I ordered the yarn and the pattern for the Everyday Cardigan. It will be here in about two weeks. So, I have a fortnight to get some of these other projects out of the way. As if].

    07:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

    March 05, 2004

    the state of my knitting

    I'm just about ready to set the arm steeks for Rain Forest.


    Bark is the dark horse. At this point, I don't even have to think while knitting it anymore. If I weren't so enamored with Rain Forest, it would be done.


    CPS and I are still in couple's counselling.


    I think we may finally be making progress. We have plans to spend some time together this weekend.

    I have also been taking a look at some of the knitting relationship self-help books that Sharon recommended.

    1. Self Matters: Creating Your Sweater From the Inside Out
    2. Sweater Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters
    3. Relationship Rescue: A Seven-Step Strategy for Reconnecting With Your Sweater
    4. How to Know if a Sweater is Worth Pursuing in Two Dates or Less
    5. Learning to Live With the Sweater of Your Life: and Loving It

    Thanks, Sharon, I hope we are finally tuning the corner.

    [Have you noticed? I like some variety in my knitting. I've got stranded, textured, and intarsia represented. I should start a lace project; then I'd have all four of the major knitting food groups in my diet].

    05:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

    February 24, 2004

    disappointed, dejected, and disgusted

    Last night, I had a big fight with CPS. Today, we are not speaking to each other.

    I spent all night knitting the collar of CPS only to decide at 11pm that it wasn't working out very well—certainly not the way I had envisioned it. This is going to take some hard thought and negotiation before we get things ironed out. I am really trying not to hold a grudge.

    In the mean time, Rain Forest and I are still getting along nicely.

    currently well-behaved

    This is my new tape measure, Pukey Bear. [There's only one way this could be worse].

    I'm gonna hurl!

    02:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

    February 07, 2004

    Friday Fair Isle Fiasco

    Yesterday was my biweekly Friday off. It rained all day and hovered above freezing. Sidewalks and roads were treacherous so I stayed inside and spent most of the day knitting. I haven't been making much progress on anything lately, so I decided to make a real effort to get somewhere on Rain Forest.

    Near the end of the evening, I noticed I had used the wrong color for three rows about nine rows back. I've been trying to let a bit of the perfectionism go and have let a few small mishaps stay, but this was just too noticeable to let go.

    Right before I slunk off to bed, I ripped out nine rows and put everything back on the needles. Today I've been working to get back to where I was last night. [One advantage to ripping out all those rows: it did allow me to fix one of those little errors I would have let go otherwise].

    rainy day knitting

    I'm beyond my mistake point now and 5 inches from starting the steeks. Tomorrow I'm going to answer phones at the public radio pledge drive. I ought to be able to get another row or two done between calls.

    I saw today that Colonial House, coming to PBS in May. I've previously talked about how much I enjoyed the other programs in this genre like Manor House and Frontier House. I'm already looking forward to this one.

    07:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)