Monday, April 25, 2011

Joyful Eastertide

Easter came and went without my getting up a post, but Eastertide has six more weeks. Plenty of time to enjoy our Easter installation at church.

You may recall that a painting was divided into 42 panels and each panel was taken by volunteers to be made to look like its part of the painting. We all knew it was up on the wall by the Wednesday before Easter, but it was covered by a veil.

No peeking during choir practice on Wednesday night.

No peeking during the Seder dinner on Thursday night.

No peeking during the Good Friday service...or the Easter vigil service on Saturday night...

And no peeking even on Sunday morning when we arrived. You could just feel the excitement in the pews as we all sat and waited.

We started the service in a dim room with the lights off and the windows shrouded. We heard the story that "while it was still dark," Mary went to the tomb and found it empty. How she ran to get the others. How Peter and "the other disciple" ran to the tomb and also found it empty, and then went back to their lodgings.

But Mary stayed and encounters Jesus, the risen Jesus, but does not recognize him, until he simply says her name, "Mary."

At that point, the lights came on and all the curtains and veils were pulled away. The sun cooperated nicely and shone so brightly it felt blinding after the dimness we had gotten used to. There was an audible reaction from the congregation as the "painting" was revealed:
Yes, a little hard to see, isn't it?

I'll give you a closer look:

That's ok, take your time. I'll wait for you to finish looking.
Takes a while to take it in, doesn't it? Believe me, no one was paying
attention to the service for a while either!!

Fabulous, isn't it?

And it really didn't matter who did what. There was a "map" available after the service, but that's just curiosity. The main thing is how all those very different parts come together. Some matching, some not, but in the whole just fantastic.

There were mini marshmallows (I kid you not):

There was glitter and pompoms (but who wouldn't want a glittery halo?) and pencil crayon:

There was pasta:
and lots of painted squares and fabric collages and paper collages and felt. I don't mean to single out the ones above as anything better or weirder than any others, but I had to pick a few to highlight as examples.

One thing I couldn't get over was how well all the lines in Jesus' robes lined up:
Ten different squares had to come together and they pretty much all line up. (A relief for me since mine is right in the middle!)

After the service, there was a crowd of people milling around on the platform trying to get a closer look. It was a really neat thing to be a part of. And after the service the party went on all day as people found time to Facebook about the event before, after and in between Easter get-togethers.

The whole piece is 11' x 14' and here's a pic to give you a sense of scale:
It is quite dominating. (In all the right ways.)

If you're curious about the image we started with, check out Tamara Rigishvili's work at her website.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Walk

That's what they're calling it now: Help fight AIDS by joining "The Walk." When I started doing this (back in 1995 in Halifax, NS), it was called the AIDS Walk. It's also been called the "Stop AIDS Walk." That one's my favourite.

But whatever you call it, that time of year has rolled around again. I am walking in the Michigan area AIDS Walk "The Walk" to raise money for AIDS Ministries/AIDS Assist of Northern Indiana. They focus on prevention but also help with referrals (housing and medicine mostly) and support for people affected with HIV and AIDS.

Knitting on the Walk, 2010
Last year for the first time, I made a prize for a randomly drawn person from my sponsors list. I debated and debated this year about whether I could add one more project right now. And then I said, "Bring it on!" So I brought it!

I decided to knit a pair of slippers. They will be given to one of my sponsors. If you would like to be on the list, please send me an email (it's near the top right of this page). I figured something for your feet for giving to a walk would be appropriate.

I looked and looked for a pattern. Something [more or less] unisex; something simple (so I could knit it on the Walk itself--that's my favourite part of all this!); something fast. (I did say, "Bring it." but don't bring too much!)

I settled for a pattern called Slippers Triangle Socks (which I have to say is not a very well thought out name). Triangle Square Slippers would be more apt. Essentially you knit a bias square and then fold it in half to make a triangle and do some sewing. Presto - origami - chango you have a slipper.

Today I was at a seminar all day and managed to knit one. (Really it was one and a half because it came out too large the first time and I had to rip out half of it at lunch. That really confused my tablemates who 1. couldn't figure out what I was making in the first place and 2. really couldn't figure out why part of it seemed missing after lunch!) P.S. I'm really glad my boss who paid for the seminar "doesn't believe in the internet" and thus will never read this. (Seriously, I listened very well, took notes and even participated--so there!)

I have to say the slipper looks a little...odd. Like many things made with bias fabric, it needs to be worn to really be appreciated. On the plus side, it feels good on, will be really warm, and the bias will stretch to accommodate a wide variety of sizes.

In the interest of full disclosure I should also admit that I am making them out of acrylic. I don't know who will be getting these slippers and I would rather give acrylic to someone who appreciates wool than give wool to someone who would treat it like acrylic. So wash, wear, repeat to your heart's content!!

Don't forget, the Walk is Sunday, May 1. Email me if you'd like to sponsor me. I love sponsors!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Art in Pieces (Two)

In my last post, I mentioned I was done the "brute knitting" for my knitted square of my church's Easter project. I did manage to get it spun out in the washing machine and pinned to shape before going to bed that night.

The gauge was a little hard to figure out because the yarn really liked to shrink in the vertical direction and spread in the horizontal. If I didn't stretch it out, the piece was only about half as long as it needed to be. But a little persuasion with some pins, and I had it to size:
By the next morning it was dry. I left it pinned to the carpet while I continued to work on it. (Although I figured it would help, I did not trust the blocking to make the piece actually hold its shape. The yarn content was very high in acrylic and only 20 percent wool. That's not enough for the blocking to really hold up.)

First thing to do this morning was get the grid marked on the fabric. Obviously, marking the board it would be mounted on wouldn't do me any good.
Instead, I took some cheap craft thread and ran strands from side to side and top to bottom to mark the grid, anchoring them with just a back stitch (no need for knots).

Then I cut strands of wool left over from my February Fitted Pullover and roughly laid out all the shaping lines that I was going to add with needle felting.

Then I started punching with the needle felter.
That took a lot of time. For one thing, with the piece lying on the floor, I couldn't punch straight down. I had to push it through at a steep angle. (Only hit my fingers twice. The warnings are right--the needles are very sharp.) For another, with the base fabric being primarily acrylic, it didn't take very well. But it took well enough, and with a little patience and careful working, I got the lines "drawn on."

A little more time and a break for brunch and I had the piece done! Only thing left to do then was to glue it on to the mounting board. A little work with the glue gun got that accomplished:
Again, here's the picture I was given for comparison:

The colour looks a little off, but I'm thinking with so many people doing this, it's going to vary from piece to piece anyway. (We'll see...)

The knitting itself was finished relatively quickly. I knew with scale of the project (24" square) and just a week to get it done that bulky was the way to go. I purchased a bulky cream colour (Wool-Ease Chunky Thick & Quick) and held it with two strands of a variegated chunky (Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky). I used the largest needles I had (US15).

After knitting seven or eight inches I realized that it was was too thick and would take too much yarn at that rate. I took it out to the first row and then reknit it wrapping the yarn around the needle twice for each stitch. That made for a much better fabric. (That's a good trick in general, btw, if you don't have big enough needles.)

The black was also the Wool-Ease Chunky. I thought holding two strands of it would equal the three other strands, but something was off. I don't know if I bought an even bulkier weight of the same yarn in cream (I no longer have the label to check) or if the black just isn't as thick, but two strands was not enough. I ended up Navajo plying one strand of the black as I went and that resulted in four strands being knitted at once. That seemed to do the trick. (ETA: I found the label for the cream yarn. It was "Thick & Quick" so I did buy the wrong weight in the black.)

Final post-blocking gauge? 6.5 sts and 4 rows per 4". That's huge!!

When I dropped off the squares at church this morning I took a minute to flip through the others that had been dropped off. Besides paintings, there were paper collages, fabric collages and construction paper cutouts. They were all really neat and I can't wait to see how the whole comes out. But I'll have to wait until next week (as will you)...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Art in Pieces (One)

Each change of the liturgical calendar brings a new installation at the front of our church. I've been involved in a few, although less so over the last couple years.

Last week, however, they announced that they would like the congregation to help with the Easter installation this year.

The idea was to put up a painting which would fill the front wall of the sanctuary. The plan was to "cut up" the painting into 42 sections and have people bring home a section and depict that part of the painting in whichever medium they preferred.

The pieces are due this Sunday--only one week after being handed out!! The people were aflutter after the service with the most common question being asked, "Are you taking a square?" The question I most often heard was, "Are you going to knit one?"

I ended up taking two squares home. (That was more common; don't be calling me an over achiever.) I had too many ideas to make just one!!

Quilting would have been fun, but I was worried about the one week deadline and finding fabrics to match etc. I've always liked working with paper and find it very comfortable, so I thought I would try that instead.

I first shopped around in a flurry assembling all the colours I needed for my square:

I then cut the tissue into squares and started gluing it down in little cup shapes.
I would wrap the tissue square around the end of the marker and then press it into the glue.

After an hour's work on Monday night, I tried to convince myself I maybe had 10 percent done:
Then I realized it would be very easy to check that. The instructions suggested drawing lines on the square to divide it into 10x10 sections. The drawing we were given was already gridded up in the same way. It made it much easier to transfer the design. So my board was divided into 100 squares. I only needed to count the covered ones to know how far I was.

And that was...5 percent, not 10. At that rate I had 19 more hours to go. That was not going to fly...

Instead of giving up, I changed the scale. I cut my squares twice as big and used a highlighter instead of a skinny marker.

That worked much better. Tuesday I put in about 3 hours and got about 30 percent done:

Wednesday I put in another hour after choir and got about 35 percent more done:

And Thursday, I finished it up with another few hours:

Here's the picture I was given so you can compare:
Not bad, right?

Although I could do without the time pressure (a little more notice next year, maybe, guys?), it was a lot of fun. I recently read Picture This by Lynda Barry and this project tied in very nicely.

It's a graphic novel that explores why people draw, what drawing can do for them and other related issues. She talks about a place drawing can take you. So you're not making a drawing (noun), you're drawing (verb). What comes out of it may not matter--what do you get out of the act of drawing?

The analogy she used in an interview was riding a bike. You can enjoy a bike ride purely for the action of biking around. But how would that change if when you got home, someone showed you a video of your ride and told you that you aren't good at riding a bike? Are you out riding a bike because it makes you feel good, or are you out there trying to produce the perfect bike ride?

Anyway the book is thought provoking and challenging. One exercise she tells you to do is to spend some time just drawing dots on a page. Fill the whole page with dots. It's not a "waste of time" if it helps you clear your mind, or process stuff. And that is basically what I did with this square. I filled it in with dots of tissue.

This evening there was a support group of sorts for people who wanted to get together to work on their squares. It was mostly directed at people who were painting and may want to share and borrow paint supplies. I wasn't painting, but I'm excited about the project and wanted to get in on the action.

We started with a nice informal potluck dinner. (Food is what makes it a party, after all.) Then people got to work:
Mother and daughters working on a square.

Another family working on a square.

Father and daughter each working on their own project.

And Ali working on her own square. She is a very confident painter--the girl knows her stuff!!

And what was I doing all this time besides eating and taking pictures? (Because I sure wasn't painting...)

I was knitting. Yes, I am knitting a square. I finished the brute knitting part of it this evening. In fact, I just realized it's still in the washing machine and I need to go down and pin it for blocking...gotta go!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Knitting with an Adrenaline Rush (and Perseverance)

I have been pushing myself hard to finish my Truffle Tunic. It's just been dragging on and on. I put the front aside half way through the colourwork last November and started on the back. That was a marathon of grey stockingnette, and did not lend itself to long knitting sessions because something about the wool, needles and weight of project was really hard on my left hand/arm.

But I pushed through. Last week I finished the colourwork section on the front and was very close to the end of the back. That's when the ball of wool I was using for the back ran out.

I had a ball attached to the front yet. That's all I had left. There were some grey rows to do on top of the colourwork but I didn't want to do them until I knew for sure I had enough wool. I wouldn't know if I had enough wool until the back was done. Conundrum!

What I did was continue knitting the back with the other end of the ball attached to the front. I ended up with two halves of a sweater connected by one ever-shrinking ball of wool:
Once I had the back knit even with the front and only 4 rows of ribbing to do on each, I felt much better. Whatever happened, I could at least easily make them match. To save on possible rip-backs, I then alternated working on the front and back. Two rows on the front, two rows on the back, the ball of wool is getting smaller!!!

But I got my four rows on each part done, and then I got them cast off. I ended up with this much wool left.

Troy thinks I am a gambler at heart because I seem to keep doing this to myself. ("Not that often," I protest. Wait...the Whistler hat, the Superscarf, the Cuffed Boot Socks,...ok, ok, so those happen to be my last three projects. "Coincidence!" I now weakly protest.)

The only thing that irks me about almost running out of wool in this project is that it could have so easily been avoided. No, I couldn't buy more wool--it was recycled from a sweater, remember.

If I had knit this project from the top down, I could have gotten all the hard parts out of the way first, (made sure I liked it before I had so much invested), and I could have just knit the length until I ran out of wool. Then the only concern would be whether it would get as long as I wanted it to be. But if it didn't, I wasn't stuck with a sweater missing the top part of the pattern or a back shorter than the front. No, worst case, I would have a perfectly usable sweater that was an inch or two shorter than I would have really liked.

Well, let's call it a lesson learned and a catastrophe avoided because I had enough.

On the other hand, getting the finishing done was a lesson in perseverance. The front and back were attached at the shoulders with a three needle bind off. I followed the directions and got all 330 stitches cast off. I then tried it on by flipping it over my head. (At this point the shoulder seams were done and the neck edges cast off so it hung like a kind of poncho.)

Looking in the mirror, I could see that 1. the bind off was too loose on the neck edge and 2. the shoulder seams didn't come in far enough. (I.e. the neck opening was too big.) Ok, I am a big girl. Even though I had been thinking I would finish this thing every day for a week straight, I could take all that out and do it again...

So I did. I didn't have to take out both shoulder seams, but I did have to take out the neck edges and redo part of the shoulder seams to bring them in further and then redo the neck edges. But the big girl did it (without tears). Problems solved, so I thought.

Then while I was working in all the ends (because I was going to get this d*mn thing blocked today if it killed me...), I noticed this:
Between the yellow lines lies a perfectly good seam between the front (top) and back (bottom) from the three needle bind off. Between the red lines is a three needle bind off done from the wrong side resulting in a seam on the outside of my shoulder seam.

Ok, really, big girls don't cry....::chin quivering::

Boo hoo, I had to take it out again only this time I had already cut one end after working it in and had to worry again about the piece of wool not being long enough. But I persevered and got it done without running out of yarn. You can see it looks much better:
as it's lying out blocking.

I have the whole thing blocking, as a matter of fact:
Following my new habit of using the washing machine, I had it soaked and spun out in no time. Pinning took a little more time. After I had it all pinned, a little voice in my head said, "Should you really measure that to make sure the halves match?"

I listened to the little voice and discovered that the front was pulled a good inch longer than the back both above the sleeve increase and below. So I repinned it and now am walking away for a while...
The colourwork is not the best I've ever done for two reasons: there are a lot of very long floats in the pattern and these two yarns do not knit up in the same way at all. (More details here.) I think the results will be livable though. Time will tell.

And now I should really head outside for some work I've been avoiding for a week. (There lies my truest talent.) They promised me very warm temperatures today and I don't think that's come true. And no sunshine. I miss sunshine.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kaffe Quilt Progress and Another Change of Plans

What? Some people actually sit on their couch??
This weekend I pulled out my Kaffe quilt again. I had to steam the wrinkles out as the pieces have been folded and sitting on the back of my couch since last time I worked on it. Once I had the pieces steamed I didn't want them to wrinkle again. Hence, the occupied couch.

Once wrinkle free (more or less) I marked the circles on both the remaining pieces. It's quite a tedious and time consuming project so I wanted to get it behind me.

By the end of the evening, I not only had them marked, but I had all the circles sewn on the larger piece!

The piece over the ironing board (on the left, above) had just been soaked and spun in the washing machine to get out all the water soluble markings. Here it is:
All the blue markings are out and the circles look good!

Tonight I sewed the circles on the smaller piece until I ran out of red thread. I wasn't sure how much to buy to do a whole quilt. I think two more will do it easily (three all together). I didn't, however, let running out of thread stop me. I threaded the machine with yellow because I had a new idea...

In looking at the completed piece, I really felt it wasn't enough quilting. I've written before about plans for quilting in the yellow squares. The fleur-de-lis I designed fit the space but didn't work with the busy yellow fabric. (Why fight such a pretty fabric?)

I had thought to leave them plain, but just couldn't do it. Tonight I thought a loose loopy pattern that kind of followed or echoed the flowers on the fabric might work. I'll try it on "just one square" I thought.
 Well, I must have liked it, because by the end of the night, I had eight done! I'm really liking the effect much better. Here's an overall view:
The new sewing adds a lot of texture and lets the circles "pop out" more.

And here's a view of the back:

I had more trouble while sewing in free motion mode with the thread fraying and snagging. I had to restart a lot. (Well, I also had trouble right at the beginning until I remembered to put the feed dogs down! Oops, big difference!!)

I was getting pretty frustrated (to my credit I did not throw the sewing machine across the room), and then I thought I would do the first thing that any shop would do: clean out the lint and put in a fresh needle. I only did one square after that, but it was a lot better! (In my defense, I can merely say that I did start with a new needle this evening, but I guess it was time to change it again.)

So that's what's been going on here. Anyone want to go to work for me tomorrow so I can keep sewing? I'd hate to interrupt when I've got all this good sewing mojo going. Oh wait, the boss is out of town for one more day...maybe I'll stay home without needing to find a replacement!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

And now for something completely different...

I interrupt this knitting/quilting blog for a story of a strange and completely random event.

It started for me on Friday when I got almost 4,000 emails1 from youtube containing comments from the two videos I uploaded for a recent post. I had thought of youtube as merely a video hosting site for my blog, not counting on any attention from anyone else and was not expecting any comments.

I assumed they were all spam but something didn't sit right. For one thing, there were no links in the comments or advertising for any kind of questionable services or products. And it was pretty obvious that although some of them were inane, whoever was making the comments had actually watched the video.

Besides turning off the youtube email notification feature, I didn't pursue the matter any further. Next time I had to upload a video, I would think twice about using youtube, however!!

Last week's blog statistics
Then over the weekend, I started looking at the site statistics for my blog for some reason. On Friday, the number of views went from an average of about 20 per day to 871. That's a big jump--what was going on??

Now, I have no idea how I found the answer, but the answer was that my video had been chosen for an April Fool's joke!! A group on reddit2 had decided to pick a video to make a "superstar." They wanted to all watch the same video to increase its statistics and make the world wonder why such a boring would be so popular. Yeah, that's was the real key--it had to be a boring video. Really boring.

It was very entertaining to read through the converstation on reddit about the prank. It took a little bit to piece it together, but this article sums it up nicely. (You'll notice I was the backup pick. Lots of drama and intrigue about the first pick that I won't even try to understand or explain.)

Here are some snippets from the conversation that Troy and I had fun reading through on Saturday night:
-A day of random voting on Youtube videos? sets work to the side I'm in.

-So glad you did this to an actual random person. It's like the original Youtube April Fool's video was actually an April Fool's joke on Redditors. Boooo.

-Yeah, I know. The others one's upload date was too close to April 1st, anyway. I thought the whole point was to make someone an overnight sensation? I mean, you could actually make this person an overnight sensation and her videos could permeate through the internet, and spread like wildfire making her the new Martha Stewart! [Who me??!]

-Poor choice IMHO. This video was FAR TOO INTERESTING. [Ahhh...thanks.]

-I have no idea what's going on. [That wasn't me. That was poster on reddit.]

-It was actually fascinating. I watched it twice.

-Watch it in "1911" mode. It multiplies its awesome by infinity. [A lot of people made the comment that it was better in 1911 mode. I, of course, couldn't figure out how to turn that on, but I gather it's a sepia version.]

-It's actually very relevant to my interests, since I'm a knitter and have never done an alternating double cast-on before. I'm totally watching the rest of her videos now. Wait, only two videos? I am disappointed now!

-Personally I liked her early stuff. She just started selling out by the time she released this video. Cast on for Double Knitting I was a masterpiece.

-I like this video better because it's more likely to be bought as earnestly "amazing" when it gets thousands of views. I want unsuspecting people to hop on the bandwagon and go "Holy shit that girl is incredibly talented!"

-If we can make a plug for knitting, I'm in. I am a knitter, and I found this video to be very helpful.

There were a number of comments about my voice. One person accused me of having a Wisconsin/Minnesota accent. No, for the record it's Canadian with a little Michigan thrown in.
-Personally I think this is a funnier video, too, with her NPR-like dictating "front of the blue ... pick up a white ... now go behind the white, pick up the blue ... in front of the blue, pick up the white ... behind the white, pick up the blue ..."

-I could swear the voice behind this "backup" video is that of a Redditor as well. She did some Lets Play videos for the Dwarf Fortress subreddit in the last, maybe, two months. [Umm, no.]

-She sounds pretty hot for someone into knitting...
     -Reply: There are some surprisingly hot knitters out there. Not sure why, but it's pretty popular with college aged girls. This comes from a college aged girl who managed avoid the allure.
          -Reply: As a hot college-aged female knitter... I'd say the allure is that it's easy (you basically learn to do one stitch, and do it over, and over again), keeps your hands occupied if you're fidgety, let's you make some awesome stuff for pretty cheap, and makes people jealous. When people see me knitting, they're always amazed and ask me to make them stuff.
               -Reply: I have a scarf and a hat a friend of mine made me a while back, which are both lovely. It would be nice if I could make stuff like that too. I just fail at anything crafty. Clumsy hands, I guess.

Comment about the set:
-That is some absolutely divine faux-wood paneling in the backdrop. [Yes, I know. I'm remodeling, ok?]

Then they found my blog (which also had a significantly higher number of comments, but thankfully not 4,000).
-I checked out HER BLOG! and the result from that knitting actually looks awesome! [Yeah, that's why it's called a Superscarf!]

-on her blog you can vote on whether you find her scarf "ooh lala" [They liked that one.]

-I was thinking about clicking an ad, just to make her day or something, but, after I disabled AdBlock, I was shocked to see that there are no ads in her blog. How is that even possible? O_o [Can you believe it? Some people actually blog to share information rather than posting content just to get people to their ads.]

I'd like to comment here that on top of getting 871 visitors to the blog, there were 1,329 page views. That means about half of the people who clicked on my blog actually looked at two pages. They were curious enough to look around. Take that, reddit!!

And of course then there was the "good" that will come out of all of this:
-I actually found this video useful (in all seriousness). I knit on occasion, and I had previously done my double knitting by casting on both colors together as if they were just one thread.

-For real- and I have the necessary tools for knitting in my house ... I feel like I just got pranked into finding a new hobby. JOKE'S ON YOU, INTERNET!

-Knitting is an excellent pick. I used youtube to learn how to knit.

-It's also a really good cast on for a 2-color brioche stitch project! [Good idea! I hadn't thought of that.]

-now all my recommended videos are about knitting.

-Wait, this is actually helpful. Casting on is a lot more difficult than it looks. ..gets out my dusty yarn and needles I gave up on

-Naw, this is knitting instruction which is actually useful. Useful, that is, if you don't notice her screwing it up at the front of each yarngrab. [I did actually make a mistake on the second video which I think I covered quite smoothly. I am not sure what this person is talking about though.]

-Oh man she almost lost it in part II. I was at the edge of my seat! [Maybe this person saw the mistake...could it be?]

And of course there was the concern about whether I would notice. (A prank's no good if the person doesn't know, is it?)
-Wait, the creator of this video joined Youtube on March 20, 2011. She hasn't logged in, in 5 days (Presumably when she posted her videos). There does seem to be a chance that she'll never even see how popular her video's become.

-what if this woman quits her job to become a full-time youtuber as a result of this. did you think of that?

-What if this person does not use their computer tomorrow?

-I can't wait to see her response. [Here it is.]

-She logged in!!!
Last Visit Date:10 minutes ago [Yes, that was me turning off my email notification!!]

-This video is most popular with:
Gender Age
Male 13-17
Mission accomplished.

-Could we possibly try and stop the '[insert very rude comment here b/c I won't repeat it]' comments, and just enjoy a fun joke without upsetting and disgusting the nice knitting lady? I think these videos are great, but remember we are just messing with someone we don't know who did nothing to bring this upon herself except make some helpful videos for people learning to knit. Please show some respect.

-lmao this is why i love you Reddit, I can only imagine her reaction when she logs on and see's the ridiculousness [Ridiculousness was the exact word I used when explaining this to someone.]

As of the writing of this post, the first video has 156,993 views and over 10,500 likes and still climbing! (The views increased by almost 500 just in the time that it took me to write this post--which has been far too long!!) I don't know what the participants would judge a success, but they sure made a difference!! And yes, I did notice.

I had to laugh when someone explained that they had to watch the video all the way to the end for the "view" to count in the statistics. For someone not interested in starting a piece of double knitting, that's some real commitment to a prank!!

-Someone make an auto-tune response vid PLS@!1@

This request came up several times and someone did:
Ok, honestly, you did start laughing when you saw Bill Clinton didn't you!

Later I did a google search for "christinacreating" to see what came up now. I found this second thread on reddit. The woman posted:
She is a really good knitter! I'm actually going to genuinely save those instructions...
I don't know what to think of all the random comments that people have left on her youtube channel. It's funny, I hope she sees it that way too - but the kind of attention the internet throws out there can be scary as well.
Yes, I have to admit it's funny. And barring the offensive comments, pretty harmless. But a little scary too. Yes.

Last comment: im actually thinking about taking up knitting now.

My job is done.

clickety clack, the youtube sensation.
1 BTW, if you sent me an email on Friday and I haven't responded, it probably got deleted. I scanned through my delete screens, but I did not check 4,000 emails one by one. Try again, please.

2 reddit describes itself as "a source for what's new and popular online. Vote on links that you like or dislike and help decide what's popular, or submit your own!"
Wiki describes it as "a social news website owned by Conde Nast Digital on which users can post links to content on the Internet."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mariah March Mulligan

 Here's my Mariah sweater when I made it in 2009.

It took a long time and a lot of redos, and I was very happy to have it done and to be able to wear it.

But when I started wearing it, it became obvious that the sleeves were too long.
I tried to ignore it. I tried to roll the sleeves up
but it just didn't work. It was even worse under the leather jacket that I like to wear over the sweater:
That certainly isn't attractive!

And trying to fold over cuffs under the jacket was ugly and uncomfortable.

So on a Friday night, I gathered up the tools:
Ruler, scissors, crochet hook, dpn in the right size, computer to look up notes on Ravelry and the original pattern on knitty, and a pen and paper for taking notes. (There are two sleeves. It's nicer if they match!)

First thing, I measured how much shorter I needed to make the sleeves (2.5") and how long the cabled ribbing section was (2"). Then I went up 4.5" (2.5+2) from the bottom, counted the rows so I could make the second match, and snipped a strand.

I started to ravel the row I had cut
and put the stitches onto needles.
When the whole row was on needles, I just had the seam to undo. I cut the sewing yarn at the bottom and took it out up to the point where I was going to start knitting again.

Then it was simply a matter of knitting the cable ribbing down from there. I decided to knit the cuff in the round so that I didn't have to sew a seam even though the original sleeve was knit flat. I made sure to decrease the selvage stitches so that the two parts would be the same width.

There is a shift of half a stitch where the knitting changes direction (because I knit the sleeve from the bottom up originally and now was reknitting the cuff from the top down) but you have to look pretty close to notice it. Plus, have you noticed the sweater is black? You can't see anything anyway.

One advantage of how this all worked out is that I could try the sweater on as I went and check the sleeve length.
When I got the perfect length, I cast off. And then repeated the same thing with the other sleeve. (I had a little waking nightmare of shortening the same sleeve twice rather than doing two different sleeves, but I double checked a few times, and didn't make that mistake!)

And I was rewarded with a sweater with sleeves that fit and feel good!

See? They even fit under my jacket:

It feels so much better!
Another March Mulligan completed. Another project saved. Love it!

May I suggest?

I Say! or at least I did once...