Monday, April 21, 2008

Knitting Follies

I decided 2 nights ago to finish the sweater I had started for Rachel. The separate pieces have been done for months; but, stymied by the cryptic (to me) instruction to "pick up" the stitches at the neck, I had put it aside. Buoyed, however, by my successful foray into kid-pleasing cake decorating, I realized that, hey, no matter what the finished product would look like, my daughter (being only 5) will no doubt think it wonderful.

Kids can be such an ego boost, can't they? I'm raising my own little fan club.

So, while I helped Theo with his geometry, I picked up stitches (badly), knitted a collar (somewhat), and then (whew!) started on the easy part - attaching the sleeves. My adrenaline coursed higher and higher as I sewed; I'll stay up all night, I thought, and finish the job; Rachel will wake up tomorrow morning to find a handknit sweater on her bed. Yes! I am truly a wonderful mother!

Imagine my disappointment, then, when I realized I had sewn the sleeve on inside out. I managed to (slowly) take it back off and turn it around and sew it back on; but, truth to tell, that second time around? My heart wasn't in it. So I went to bed.

Yesterday I finished sewing on the second sleeve while my friend was visiting; and then, just to show off, I called Rachel in to try on her almost completed sweater. I do wish I had thought to take a video of her struggling to pull it over her head. Seems that picked-up collar is a bit smaller than it should be. And I have no idea how to fix it. I'd give it to Susie, but the sleeves are already long on Rachel.

My friend (who, I must say, is easily amused) got a kick out of it, though. So all that work was worth it.





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27 comments:

  1. My daughter has been driven to near madness trying to make hats for her younger siblings. They have had holes. They have been too small, they have fit funny. She has quit seven times. Each time, she has screamed she will never knit again.

    I don't know how to knit but watching the drama has not been an endorsement.

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  2. What pattern are you using? Can I look at it online?

    Can you figure out if the problem is with the bindoff edge of the collar, or if the collar itself is too small? If the bindoff is too tight, pick it out and bind it off very loosely. Some people need to go up a needle size or two if they can't force themselves to bind off loosely. Remember, too, that kids have disproportionately large heads. If the collar itself is too small, you'll need to pull it out and pick up the stitches again. The good thing is, since you picked up the stitches, there aren't any live ones to worry about (assuming the neck was completely bound off first). So undo the collar bind off and unravel the collar back down to the neck. Then pick them up again. Be careful you're not pulling the bound-off stitches too tightly as you're picking up new ones.

    You could always bring it to knit night. I bet someone there can show you how to pick up stitches. Most patterns don't tell you how, or at what ratio, they just leave you to figure it out on your own.

    My two minutes are up. I need to go play board games now.

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  3. That fan club thing? I think it's just a way to boost our confidence before the teen years hit. And then they decimate us.

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  4. I'd be very suspicious of instructions telling me to pick up anything. That's my kids' job.

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  5. That fan club thing? It's just a way to boost our confidence before the teen years hit and they decimate us.

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  6. karen - Yes. I noticed. But I'm still a sucker for that youthful adoration.

    kalynne - Hey! Why didn't I think of that?

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  7. at least you did it. I couldnt knit a sweater to fit anyone!

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  8. This reminds me of the time Denise Huxtable made Theo a hot new "designer" shirt for his big date. From what I remember, his date was all over him for the cool, strange lengths and weird seams. Maybe you have just invented a new classic clothing design.

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  9. Try putting her head in a vice for a few minutes each day.

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  10. You lost me at picking up stitches.

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  11. I gave you an award that you can read about at my blog, but then have to go to Damama's to get. I mean, to PICK UP. Hahahahaaa.

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  12. Your friend AND your bloggy fans... does that make it doubly worth it?

    Would love to see a picture. Can she turn the other way while you snap away?

    Heidi

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  13. I'm with Jenn. Actually, you lost me at "knitting".

    Holy crapola, woman, you multitask like a beast. The only things I can do simultaenously is talk on the phone while I fold laundry.

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  14. And that? Is why I really don't knit anymore. I love the idea, but the reality of it makes me get all itchy and panicky.

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  15. As soon as I read your first sentence, I knew it would be to small.
    You should try making stuff for your kids out of materials that stretch.
    Trust me on this one.

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  16. I refuse to help with Geometry. You can't make me, you can't make me.

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  17. So are you telling me I have to have more children to restore my once fawning fan club? Damn. Not going to happen.

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  18. all my daughters are in a major knitting phase right now. one has taught her self to cast on and off, but others are still lost in dropped and extra stitches - such fun! at least they are doing it - it's becoming a lost art.

    i thought u might also like to enter my giveaway!

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  19. And that is exactly why I'm sticking with socks and baby booties.

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  20. I guess this is why I buy sweaters.

    And because I would be way too lazy to do all that work.

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  21. Wow, I am so amazed that you can do things like that! What must that be like to have actual talent!

    Just wanted to stop by and say hello since I saw your kind comment on my blog. Also, I had to laugh when I saw in your profile that your husband is paranoid. Mine's the same way. Honestly, if left to my own devices I'd probably be writing posts like "here's my home address and social security number just in case y'all need it -- I trust you!" :)

    I'm glad to have discovered your blog. I'll definitely be back!

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  22. So sorry about the sweater. What a bummer when you put so much work into it. You're right when you say kids make the best fan club. Mine think I'm the world's greatest cook and should open a restaurant. Someday they'll grow up and venture off into the world and discover that my cooking is merely average. Until that day, I'm loving the praise.

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  23. I am terrible at knitting sweaters. Same problems...the neck is always too tight, and the arms are too long. So now I stick to knitting afghans. It's almost impossible to mess one up.

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  24. The thought of sewing, and worse, sewing something on backwards - makes me feel all angry inside. Probably flashing back to the very few crocheting projects I tried. They did NOT turn out well. Eeek.

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  25. At least you can knit! I can barely sew a button back on my pants. Not that it popped of.. of course.

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  26. What Amy said. And/or take it to Knit Night. Although the "vise" idea appeals as well.

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  27. Bring it, and we'll fix it!

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