I totally cheated. I did. I’m a hack knitter, but I’m cool with that. I prefer think of myself as a MacGyver knitter, actually. I use the tools and methods that suit me best. While I haven’t had to resort to gum or paper clips, I did wantonly misuse a woven seam stitch. It was all Melanie’s idea!
See, I was adding the button and neck bands to my little lovely. (my little color-changing lovely, if these pictures are to be believed. It's amazing the difference a flash makes. I think the close-ups below are a more accurate representation, but I'm not even sure because the color is so different between my home PC and my work laptop. Hell, maybe the sweater is actually a deep shade of aubergine.)
I had to pick up stitches to add them. No problem, I can do that. I even had the great and powerful Disembodied Voice of Knitting to guide me. Kids’ stuff, cakewalk, pish tosh, easy peasy. T’weren’t nuthin’.
Uuuuhhhh . . . until I got to the decreased section of the neck. I just kind of kept on doing what I was doing and ended up with some holes. Well, let’s call it additional texture. Or maybe unintentional lacework. Or cotton/acrylic heartache. Whichever you please.
So I showed it to Jon and he was just plum out of ideas on how to fix it. I may as well have asked the hamster, I think I would have gotten the same hollow stare in response. I gave him a treat and looked for help from a more interested party. The coffee table had nothing for me either.
So I took it with me to Melanie’s on Friday night. I figured she’d have some practical advice considering she actually assembles her sweaters when she’s done knitting them. And of course, she did. She suggested I cover the unsightly holes using the woven seam stitch that I was using to sew the sweater together. Brilliant! So I did the weaving thing. It’s similar to the Mattress stitch, but it ends up imitating a row of stitches. You weave the needle under the "V"s of each stitch, alternating from one piece to the other for each stitch. It looks a lot like this. I couldn't find the exact method online, it changes depending on whether you're seaming row-to-row or stitch-to-stitch or stitch-to-row. I got it from Nancie Wiseman’s Finishing Techniques . This is the second sweater I’ve seamed using this book and it’s not too bad. The seams are a little thick inside the sweater, but I don’t think it’ll bee too lumpy. I need way more practice.
So whaddaya think? I’m pretty happy with it. I’m not a perfectionist, so I don’t mind a little wonk in my handmade stuff.
Melanie also hooked me up to her spinning wheel under the careful watch of her husband. (He told me when I needed to move the yarn down the spool. He’s adorable AND helpful!) I spun up some truly craptacular yarn. It was lumpy and fuzzy in some places and microscopically thin in others. But I can see how, once you get your groove on, spinning can be addictive. I just don't think I'm ready for one yet. I can't stop imagining a cat’s arm getting snapped off in the whirling wheel. I guess they’d learn after losing a couple, right?
And speaking of dismembered animals, we had a BBQ yesterday! Mmmmmmm . . . dismembered animalssss . . .
We fried a 16lb turkey in less than an hour! It was crispy, moist and de-freaking-licious. If you’re a vegetarian, look away. If not, feast your eyes on this tasty bastard. It looks burnt, but that's just the savory, crunchy shell. Like a big meat M&M.
And here are Dot and Mike enjoying their share of the catch. For some reason, Chi-Chi and Chloe didn’t want any. Perhaps they were waiting for the leftover steak. Well, they’d have to fight Charlene’s stack of cats for that. Good luck to ‘em.
And speaking of Chi-Chi.
Lately he’s been making tons of noise in the middle of the night. You know that incessant meowing that gets louder and more frenzied as it goes? meow. Meow. Meow. MEOW! MEOWMEOWMEOW!!! It sounds like he’s stuck in a closet or fighting ninjas or something. So the other night, Jon got up to see if everything was ok. He found Chi-Chi sitting there, staring at this.
The Sparkle Ball. It's his favorite toy, and yet it makes him scream. Since then, we’ve both seen him yowling with the ball actually in his mouth. Ummmm. What the hell? Does he like it? Hate it? Does it scare him? Please him to no end? Does it tickle? Does he think it’s a creature? Is it covered in LSD? What?!
Oh! By the way, thanks for all the commiserating on what is now dubbed "The Plaster Disaster". Carlos and I slaved for 4 days and we finished . . . wait for it . . . 4 rooms! Gah. Only 8 rooms to go. We'll probably get back to it later this week. I am happy to report that the Red Heart was used in a number of ways. We attached metal fittings to it to add weight and used it as a plumb line to go straight into the wall. This helped to get from one hole to another a few times. I also used it to tie the cats into the living room so they'd be out of the way. The door doesn't shut properly, so the yarn was their captor. (Don't worry, they had all the air conditioning while we lowly humans sweated buckets.) In the end, I'll be delighted we rewired, but I'm still allowed to grouse about it while the house is in dusty pieces.