Friday, December 11, 2009

Hideous Knitting 101

Time for another installment of Hideous Knitting 101.

Did you manage to bag a muppet on your last hunting expedition to Sesame Street? Don't know what to do with the nappy carcass? Might I suggest this?

This lit bit of fuzzy insanity is the


Yeah, that's the title as it appears in Ravelry, caps and all. No, I'm not making that up.

It will cost you $4 to learn how to make this atrocity. I'm not making that up either.

My faith in knitting humanity has been slightly restored, as only 2 people have favorited this pattern (one of them ME so I could remember the details for this post). Nobody made this other than the "designer" that posted it. It is, however, in 2 queues. SIGH.

It's hard to tell from the photograph what size this is. According to the pattern, it can be 34, 37, 40, or 43. Ok. Well, even if it was the 34, it STILL looks WAYYYYY too small to fit on any adult, female body that I know of, with the possible exception of Kate Bosworth. But even she couldn't get her bobble head in that opening! Think about it. The top appears to be laying on a tile floor. Most ceramic floor tiles are no bigger than 12 x 12. Well no wider than ONE tile and definitely shorter than 2 tiles. So, it's 12" across the bust and about 20" long from shoulder to hem. Um...yeah.

Hideous Knitting 101 report card:

Style: F There IS no style. It's a misshapen, teeny-tiny t-shirt.

Fit: F Good luck fitting a 34" bust into a 24" top! Maybe this would work as a dog sweater? Poor dog.

Color(s): D It was a sad day down at Fraggle Rock.... The world is your oyster here, so let's go for pseudo animal print so you can look like you ran into a baby leopard and caved it's head in with a club in order to get its pelt. Great choice!

Yarn: D Fun fur should never be used for a full-size garment. Period. But get a gander at her recommendations for yarn: "Plymouth ‘Flash’ or Gedifra ‘Technohair’ and a chunky weight yarn such as Sidar ‘Stampata’, ‘Cossack’, or Plymouth ‘Encore Chunky’. Can also use worsted weight fluffy such as Collinette ‘Silky Chic’ or Gedifra ‘Technohair Lungo’ held together with a worsted weight such as Plymouth Encore or Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran."

Wait, wait, WAIT. Hold the phone. Two things:

1) how is it possible to knit this in the same gauge by using two chunky weight yarns held together OR two WORSTED weight yarns held together? Foul.

2) Cashmerino Aran? Are you freakin' kidding me? Gedifra ‘Technohair’ runs about $6-7 a ball (also, it's spelled Tecno Hair) and Cashmerino Aran runs about $8-9 a ball. So $14-$16 per ball, basically, since we have to hold 2 strands together. And how many balls? Well, we have to buy the pattern to find out! But let's guesstimate; it's fun! It's 71 yards per ball for the Tecno Hair and 100 for the Cashmerino. Most short-sleeved sweaters use 400-600 yards. Since we're combining the yarns here and the sweater is the size of a large postage stamp, let's go with the low estimate and say we'll need 4 of each. So with a combined cost of about $15, we're looking at shelling out about $60 to make this thing. SIXTY DOLLARS. Thank Christ I didn't use the Colinette Silky in the estimate! That's $20 a ball JUST for the Colinette Silky.

"Make sure to buy extra yarn if you plan to make the body or sleeves longer" [No shit, Sherlock!].

Execution: D Is it me or is one sleeve smaller (the one on the right) than the other? And as I've mentioned at least two other times in this post, NO NORMAL, ADULT HUMAN FEMALE CAN FIT INTO THIS. This whole thing screams wanker fartass in execution. Just...bad.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Finished Kimono

I have this up on Ravelry, but just in case, here are the photos of the finished kimono for Shumin. I am so happy I got this done. I hope she likes it.

I thought about threading the ribbons through the eyelet holes in some fashion. But then again, I couldn't think of a good way to secure them in there that wouldn't be itchy or pose some other potential problem for the baby! So I just stuck with the pattern's instructions and made the two bows that tie at the bottom. And I think the ribbon is too wide to fully show through the eyelets anyway.

Also, I busted out the sewing machine tonight and folded over and sewed every edge of each ribbon strand. I didn't want it fraying all over the place. I didn't sew in the ribbons, either. I just threaded them right through the knitting at the seam and then right back through the front on the other side of the seam. That way if the ribbons get skanky, she can take them out and replace them! Yeah, I think too much.

The kimono ties through the eyelet holes that I continued down to the garter stitch. I think it made for a much more organic feel rather than to sew in 4 loose ribbons. It also lays nicely. I'm really happy with how the blocking turned out. Cotton isn't the easiest thing to block!

Just FYI

Here's an informational update on what's been going on!

I finished knitting the newsboy cap about a week ago. Overall, I am pleased with how it turned out. I'm not in love with how the pattern works in the peak part of the cap. It looks a little lumpy. Basically, you knit a piece shaped like a squatty hourglass ---so that, when folded in half, it forms a half-moon shape. Then you sew around the edges. Meh. Not great, but using 100% wool yarn really helped. Wool is very forgiving and malleable for seams. And I lurve the color. Here's a photo:

Now I have to give it a vinegar bath to set the dye. Any good recipes for how to do this? And will it smell like vinegar for the rest of its life?

Thanksgiving was pretty nice. On the Friday after, though, I came down with a cold. A bad one. I think it was (is) a sinus infection. I had a god-awful sore throat and was tired and achy. I learned from my good friend Jen that honey was anti-bacterial. Another reason for me to adore honey! So I sucked down several tablespoons of honey over the course of the weekend, which really did help with the sore throat. Then my sinuses went ape shit. I called my shitty doctor's office first thing Monday morning and explained my situation. They refused to prescribe an antibiotic for me. Their reason? I hadn't been in for a check-up in a long time. Apparently, the doctor needs me to bring my horrendous germs into his office, let me sit there and wait for 2 hours, to make certain that I spread them around effectively, and examine parts of me that in no way have anything to do with the condition I currently have before prescribing me some Zithromax. Mmm hmm. All an excuse for them to bill my insurance company. And people say that public option health care will be a bad thing?? Don't even get me started.

By Wednesday, my face hurt so bad that I couldn't even touch my cheekbones or eyebrows. Pain relievers, like ibuprofen, only marginally helped. I was taking a decongestant all week, but it would make me terribly jittery and wake me up at like 4:00 in the morning and did almost nothing for the pain. I hardly slept all week. By Friday, I was at my wits end. That morning, I went on the internet to see if there was any viable "home remedy" option to make this sinus infection more tolerable. There was an overwhelming number of recommendations for apple-cider vinegar (also, apparently, anti-bacterial). What the hell, I thought. I'll try it.

There were about 5711 options for what was the most successful concoction to brew up. But I settled on a combination of 2 or 3 that I saw, which was:

8 oz of hot water (like you would use for tea)
3 tbs of apple-cider vinegar
1 tbs honey

This doesn't taste as bad as you might think. It's sort of like sweet n' sour sauce or the duck sauce that you use on egg rolls (minus the MSG, of course). In fact, I kind of like it. How weird am I? :-P

Twenty minutes later, and the excruciating sinus pain was down by about 80%. I kid you not. Moreover, I could breathe without taking any decongestants. Over the weekend, I did this twice a day and today I have nearly zero sinus pain. They only medication I've been using is a nasal spray at night. I think I'll drink it again tonight. Believe me, nobody could be more surprised than I am that this actually works. So sinus sufferers, make a note!

A colleague of mine (Shumin) is having a baby. She's due in January sometime; she's having a girl. on Thursday afternoon, I received an e-mail from one of her co-workers that they are having a little baby shower get-together for her on Tuesday 12/8. Yes. Tomorrow. ACK. The e-mail stated, "if you'd like to bring something small to open, that's always fun, but again, not necessary." Well, I like Shumin. She's very sweet. Buying something isn't a great option for me because, well, at the this time of year, I am BROKE. Which left me 4 days to knit something up. Knitting booties makes me want to stab things. Washcloths? Meh. I decided to do the baby kimono from the Mason Dixon book.

I've made one of these before, for Aubrey about 2.5 years ago. I had a lot of Bernat Cottontots left over in my stash from an epically failed baby blanket project. The color is a light lilac. I went to Joann's over the weekend and bought some ribbon for the ties. Yikes, it was $5.39 for the roll. But I had one of those 50%-off-one-item coupons, so I got it for $2.70ish. Not bad. I finished all the knitting last night and decided to block it. I try to avoid blocking whenever possible because it's such a pain in the patootie. Well it used to be. Then I bought KnitPicks' blocking mats, which I used for the first time last night. And the heavens opened and the angels sang. AMAZING. Worth every penny.

I took a picture of it on the blocking mats:

I hope to get a picture of it too when it's all done. You know, the authors of the book say something like, "It'll cost you more to wrap it than it costs to knit it." And HOW. Today I went to the bookstore to buy a small gift bag, tissue paper, and a card. I get an employee discount of 15% too. Total? $8.29. SIGH.

Next week, I am going to North Carolina with my parents to visit my sister and her family. We leave on Tuesday (12/15). It will be nice to see them all again. I think the last time I saw them was maybe May sometime? I don't even remember. Hopefully it will help put me into the holiday spirit, as I haven't felt very festive so far. I'm not even decorating this year. I just don't feel it. Also, I won't be home for most of December anyway. I'll be at Helene's for nearly a week. Then Todd and I are going to the River on Dec. 22, staying there through Christmas, then going to Manassas to visit Josh & Jen, coming home on Dec. 29.

Hope 2010 will be better. Didn't I say this LAST YEAR about 2009?!?!