Sewing as Literary Device

sweater6
I finished my Etherial last week. I think it looks pretty rockin.

Since then, I have finished, another sweater, my Tule which came out perfectly, but of which I have no photographs yet. They are coming, I promise.

Since I am still trying to keep up with my 12 sweaters in 2013 goal, and the Tule was Sweater #3, and the Etherial was Sweater #4, and it was already the end of May when I finished them both, I decided Sweater #5 would be adorably tiny. Yesterday I cast on the Newborn Vertebrae. Brock said this was cheating to keep up with my quota. I say, I never said all of the sweaters had to be full-size adult sweaters. And also, I have never knit a baby sweater before, so I am still learning something. Mostly I am learning that baby clothes go delightfully fast. I probably would have been done today, except I spent a very humid afternoon (I could have shut the windows and turned the AC, but I was concentrating too hard) making this!

totebag
I have not sewn in ages and ages. This some medium weight cotton I had sitting around to someday make project bags out of–and not necessarily what I would chose to make myself an everyday tote bag out of–but I do think it came out pretty cute. The pattern is form this book which I have had since I moved in to this apartment. (For those keeping score that was in July of 2010, so not quite three years ago). For some reason, I was afraid to work my way through the book–even after I bought a second sewing machin 2 1/2 years ago. And even though I use the second sewing machine mostly for mending (about once every six months), you would think that a person with two sewing machines might actually do some sewing….

Turns out, a person with two sewing machines mostly just fantasizes about sewing and then feels insecure about her abilities–even though ten years ago she had people offering to pay her to sew costumes….

That is what happens after allowing an interest lay dormant for a decade through a tumult of self-debt and the sort of feelings that are only ever realized in a Bildungsroman. But today, I sewed, and I am excited to do so again.

And finish my tiny baby sweater.

Call Him Ishmael

minerva
Minerva says hey.

At the start of the New Year, I made a decision about my 2013 knitting. I wanted to knit as many sweaters as possible. I wanted to broaden my sweater construction technique. It only takes a quick look at my pattern page to notice that I am a top-down raglan sort of girl. Now, I love a top-down raglan. The math is relatively easy for this English major, the shoulders fit without too much trouble, and I don’t spend too days cursing at my darning needle trying to seam the damn thing. (I have nothing against seaming. I think it is amazing when done well–I just don’t do it enough to do it well, so I take it very seriously when I do it.) In my quest to learn different knitting techniques for sweaters, I decided that knitting a sweater per month sounded reasonable. I queued up a bunch of sweaters I thought I would like to knit this year, evaluated them all, and decided I could certainly knit one each in 30 days or so. (I may or may not have been crazy. You’ll notice, it’s well into March and this is the first time you, dear reader, are hearing anything of it.)

In January, I knit Abigal, which I still don’t have good pictures of. It’s a great, quick knit, for a fingering weight sweater. The weight is perfect, but it has this nasty habit of slipping off my slopy, round shoulders. I am wondering if blocking the collar out more would perhaps make it a bit more sturdy? (My other solution has to pin it in place at work with a brooch on one side and my name tag on the other.) You’ll notice the Abigail is a top-down raglan. But it was a quick knit and I got a deal on the yarn. Happy birthday me. I finished it early, so I decided to start on a new sweater for Brock since he’s wearing holes through the elbows of his Cobblestone every other week. Speaking of, if anyone has some brown, not to reddish suede I could use for elbow patches, I am in the market, as it were.

Having finished the Abigail cardigan early, I cast on for Ishmael Sweater in January and worked on it during the entire month of February. It took me until last night to finish it. Five days late isn’t anything, especially for such a large sweater.

brocks_ishmael_sweater

I don’t know how many of you have met Brock, but he’s not exactly small. 6’3″ and lanky as all get out.

my_ishmael_front
I added four inches to length all around.

my_ishmael_sleeve_detail
I also knit it a slightly tighter gauge than the pattern called for since he is firmly between sizes.

my_ishmael_back_detail
The back detail floors me. It’s such a lovely touch (even with my mis-crossed cable that yes, I noticed, but decided to hell with it, and moved on.)

I’ll tell you a secret about the yarn. I dyed it myself, of course, in a color to Brock’s specifications, but the yarn isn’t something I have ever worked with before. It’s plain old Lionbrand Fisherman’s Wool. Talk about a bargain. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how much I trusted this yarn, but I have to say I really enjoyed knitting with it–and doesn’t it dye superbly? Brock wears his sweaters hard, so I will keep you updated with how well it wears.

I just cast on for Tule which I fell in love with the second I laid my hands on the new Knitpicks catalog. (You’ll notice that while Tule is top-down, it is a round yoke pullover, and not a raglan like the last two, so I really am doing something new, I promise.) Something snapped and I ordered the Aloft yarn immediately. I am secretly hoping I have enough yarn left to knit a cute little cowl.

I have been harboring the desire to design a sock weight summer tee with puffed sleeves, which may or may not have anything to do with me having just reread Anne of Green Gables, but am too chicken to start it just yet.