Thursday, February 22, 2007

Big & Pink!

Oddly enough, no one even looked twice when I walked into the office with my new friend under my arm.

He is finally done! All felted and eyes in place and everything.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Problem Solved

I ripped it.

I couldn't stand it anymore.

It had to be done.

As soon as I started doing it, I felt so much better. I always feel good when I see the yarn in fresh new balls filled with possibility and promise rather than a not-working project. I am currently thinking of Dee's suggestion of a cropped cardigan. I'm not sure if I want to do something sorta elegant like Knitty's Otis, or if I want to do something cutesy like their C3. I'm going to meditate on it while I work on the two current projects I have.

Yeah, you heard that right. I always end up feeling overwhelmed when I have too many projects going on, so I'm REALLY gonna try to keep it to just one or two projects now, even if it's hard :-)

Right now as soon as I finish the ripping I am down to just my piggy blanket, and my Pomatomous socks!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Project Updates

I don't like it when I have too many projects going. I feel anxious and pressured to finish them all. Half-done projects hang in my mind and urge me to finish or rip, finish or rip. The problem with the group of projects I have now is that they are mostly either self-designed projects that keep having problems as I am not following any sort of guideline, or projects WITH patterns that are written in a clumsy, uninformative, annoying fashion.

The Green Sweater Saga:
First we have the Mommy Sweater or Lilly Sweater (it's pink & green a la Lilly Pulitzer). It began life as a felted handbag, but before I felted it I decided I didn't really need another felted handbag and so I ripped it out. Then I decided it would be nice to have a pretty apple-green cardigan sweater. I only had 4 skeins of green, so I figured I would use the pink as accents when I ran out of green. I had gotten down to the armholes when I became pregnant, and so I decided I would flare out the bottom part to drape gracefully over my belly somewhat like the Rosebud sweater from Knitty, only a cardigan.

Once I ran out of green (saving back one ball for the arms) I did a panel of hot pink lace at the bottom and then a pretty heavy duty ruffle to finish it off and keep it from curling. (Finishing the bottoms of sweaters is always a challenge for me as I don't like ribbing, garter, or seed stitch in that application.) I also added a hot pink ruffle around the neck. When I tried it on, I really liked the swingy shape, but I am not sure that I am into the garish color combination when combined with a pregnant belly. I am for certain proud of my bump, but I sort of feel ungainly and "loud" in the sweater, which I don't feel in my ordinary maternity clothes.

Another problem I have is that the fronts are curling in quite severely. I've tried adding a button band but the powerful curl curls that over too. It is wool, but I don't think I can undo the curl. The only viable option I've thought of so far is putting in a zipper, which is frequently my solution with cardigans because I don't make good buttonholes.

And so now I am faced with an issue. I really love the green color, but there's not enough to make the whole sweater. And while a touch of pink would be nice, the quantity of pink is rather obnoxious and I don't think I'll wear it. My options as I see them are:

1. Rip the whole damn thing out and use the yarn for something else.
2. Pull out the pink and make a shorter, non-maternity cardigan with smaller pink accents.
3. Bury it in a drawer and seethe at the annoyance (just kidding)

BTW if you want to respond you can cast your vote. I am leaning towards option 1 unless I can think of a graceful way to accomplish 2 without just ripping the whole thing anyway, a graceful way meaning a way that conquers the rolling on all sides without resorting to ribbing, ruffles, garter stitch, or seed stitch.

The Tale of the Pink Flamingo:
My lovely friends at knit group surprised me with a kit for a felted pink flamingo 2, maybe 3 years ago. I held off on beginning the kit, always waiting to be done with my current projects so I could just focus and enjoy making something as fun as a felted flamingo. Alas, it was this summer, around this birthday, that I began him. I got to a certain point and the directions stopped making sense. I buried him in the bottom of my knitting bag for 6 months, at which time my husband glanced at the pattern and went "What was confusing you? This makes perfect sense to me."

The second challenge was finding a fun fur that coordinated with the unusual pink of the Lamb's Pride RPM Pink. I LOVE this color, but most of the fun furs didn't match or even sort of match. I finally found one. It was even on sale. The catch? It was twined with a strand of railroad yarn which I had to clip out as a fellow knitter rolled the fun fur into a ball for me.

A warning to any who might attempt this pattern; this is not an easy sitting-in-front-of-the-TV pattern. Many of the rows require a lot of concentrating, turning, wrapping, counting, etc. It's definitely doable, but more challenging than I expected a felted stuffed animal to be.

I started up again on the pink flamingo, who began to take on immense proportions. By the time I finished his body, he looked like one of those hoodie towels you put on babies after you take them out of the bathtub. In fact, when I put him on MY head, he could have almost been a hoodie towel for ME.

Last night at knit group, I was DETERMINED to finish him. All through the pattern I kept thinking "He's gotta be almost done" and then there would be another Herculean row or another directive to "Knit 64 rows". But I did it. I finished him and left knit group with an entirely sewn together flamingo that was probably at least 3 feet long. I scared a Barnes & Noble patron when I put my enormous flamingo on my head as a hat. I'm sorry ma'am! I didn't mean to be scary!

When I got home I needed to stay up anyway to bake a birthday cake for Mr. Knittykat, and so I felted him. Even when felted REALLY hard, he's still more than 2 feet long. He is definitely very cute, and is currently stuffed with grocery bags, perched on the edge of the counter in my laundry room. Even without the grocery bags, he can sit up which tells you how hard he has been felted. I don't know if my gauge was off or what but this is one BIG felted flamingo.

It is such a great feeling to have him done; he was a fun project but I reached a point where I wondered if he would EVER be done!

See, you didn't get a blog entry for a long time, now you get a REALLY HUGE one, and maybe another because I feel wordy today :-)