Monday, October 15, 2007


Don't be fooled

by this innocuous-looking knitted skirt in hand-dyed wool/viscose, which is now a FO and blocking. It's evil.

This is my first major project knit as a shop sample for the LYS where I work. Let me also point out that I wasn't drafted to make this; I volunteered. Little did I know that the pattern would be poorly written--do you read through the pattern before winding your 675-meter hank? Neither do I. I will from now on, though, so I don't ever again have one immense ball of yarn when I should have two, and alternate every round to avoid color pooling (which, as you can see, it pooled anyway.) Pretty hard to wind off half that ball when you grab your project stuff together and hop on a plane to Phoenix, which is what I did. You're in a strange city and can't just walk up to a LYS owner and say, "gee, can I use your winding equipment for yarn I didn't buy here?" So I tried knitting from the inside and outside end, and needless to say, I spent more time untangling yarn than knitting. Also, the pattern calls for a 1" elastic for the waistband. Nope, nada, no way. Never gonna happen. I spent several crazy-making hours trying to force that piece of elastic through the casing--using various implements as knitting needles, crochet hooks, pieces of wire, the dog (kidding about the last one) and bit the heads off of several innocent bystanders, before I finally admitted defeat and went back to Jo-Ann for a 3/4" elastic, which went through the casing like a dream.

End of rant.

Even though I had nothing but difficulties with the pattern, the yarn is irresistible--it's HandMaiden Ottawa. All the Handmaiden yarns are gorgeous, and there is no way I can fault them for the problems I had in making the garment. I had the opportunity to meet the Handmaidens a week ago. They came to our shop and brought bags and suitcases full of their wonderful yarn, (and the owner bought everything, so the other LYS's on the itinerary couldn't get it--neener neener neener!) I wanted to have the skirt finished and in the shop window in time for their visit, but they came a day early. Which was no big deal, the waistband was such a nightmare I wouldn't have had it done anyway. They offered helpful advice on the project and even gave me a skein of their gorgeous cashmere silk. Need I say that they are now my BFF's?

In conclusion, I'd just like to say that we carry the Penelope skirt kits at Dublin Bay. They come in long and short versions--impatient as ever, I opted to make the short version. It came off the needles looking a bit longer than a cheerleader skirt, but in the blocking it should come to just about knee length. If you buy one of the kits from us, just ask for me and I'll walk you through the pattern so you can avoid the pitfalls, as I took one for the team!

Newest Hand Dyed, and the story behind Grand Designs

This is "Closer to the Heart."

Now that I'm looking at it, the colorway looks suspiciously like the skirt above--well, maybe a little pinker. Pure co-inky-dinky, I assure you, as I planned my colorways a couple of months ago. Last post, I forgot to put up this link, which is a page I created some time ago as my "mission statement", so to speak, for Grand Designs, and I hope it displays correctly. I'm in dire need of some web design tools, because I don't like Freewebs! I also don't like lima beans. Lima beans and Freewebs, bleah.

I'm Part of the Decline of Western Civilization

Last night I watched "Borat." Oh. My. Gawd. I laughed so hard I actually got the hiccups. I can't even remember the last time that happened to me.

Must have needed a good laugh!

I remember that skirt! The yarn is scrumptious.You did a fab job, babe
As I to husband last night, every successful FO is the SUM TOTAL of every evil thing we've ever made.

Stupid Lima Beans. Stupid Freeweb.
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