“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” - Shel Silverstein

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Knitty Gritty - Short and Chic Cardi

So I saw this link on Facebook from Lion brand yarn about making sweaters that flatter your shape. Makes sense, all the work you put into it you darn sure want it to look good on you in the end! One of the suggestions for my body type was the Short and Chic Cardi. I had to have it! It knits up quickly and is real easy to do. I was putting all this info on my project page on Ravelry when I realized it was a lot of directions so I'd better put it in a bigger place! I will be editing this post as I go along to add in directions for any other modifications I make so that my fellow ravelers can find everything in one place.

I'm using Caron Simply Soft in the soft pink colorway double stranded to achieve gauge the US 10 1/2 needles. I cast on 4 extra sts (a mulitple of 4 to maintain the ribbing) to ensure my sweater could button over my 46" bust. I know this is a close fitting sweater with negative ease, but 7 1/2 inches of negative ease seemed to me to be stretching it (pun intended). By adding four more sts I hope to gain a couple of inches.The right front went relatively easily except for the issue of the buttonholes. First of all I added a fourth buttonhole to address the concern of the gap between the first and second buttons bulging as noted by another raveler.

Here's what I did:
After row 3 (labeled "next (inc) row") where you are instructed to "work even as established for 3 rows", is where I made this modification. I BO 3 sts on the last even row and then CO 3 sts on the following row. In hind sight I probably would have made the buttonhole a row or two sooner (started BO sts on first or second even worked row then CO sts on the second or third even row) as it's not as evenly spaced as I would like.

Then there's the matter of the size of the buttonholes. When the instructions are followed in the ribbing the buttonholes are neat and properly sized. However when you follow the directions in St st you end up with a gapping hole . If you think it looks huge laying flat just imagine the size if it when the weight on the garment pulls on it... so I attempted to correct this by only BO 2 sts for the next buttonhole while this is better it is still too large under the weight of the sweater when held against the body.

My Suggestion:
BO only 1 st for the buttonholes worked in St st. So instead of working the row to the last 7 sts work it to the last 5 sts BO 1 st for the buttonhole then work as est to the end of the row. Doing it this way will ensure your buttons all line up when worn. You may or may not want to reduce the size of the buttonholes in the ribbing by one st. I did not.

I finished up the back and had an extra stitch. Do I care? No. It's in the back and will be under the collar :P On to the dreaded left front where I'm supposed to be "reversing shaping". I think I'm actually doing it right! Ha! Mind you I have only worked the left front to the 7 (in my case) repeats of the raglan dec row/work one row even pattern. But I'm pretty sure the last 5 rows are correct.

Here's what I'm doing:

**Row 1 (RS):** Rejoin yarn, BO 2 sts, K to last 5 sts, sk2p, p2
**Row 2 (WS):** K2, be sure to bring your yarn forward then slip 1 pw, p1, PSSO (pass slipped stitch over). P to last 5 sts, Slip 1 pw, p2tog, psso, p2

**Work one row even**

Rep last 2 rows once more - 11(12, 13, 14) sts remain

**Next (raglan dec) Row (WS):** K2, p to last 4 sts, slip one pw, p1, psso, p2

**Work one row even**

Rep last 2 rows 4 (5, 6, 7) times more - 6 sts remain

**Work 2 rows even**

**Next Row:** K2, bring the yarn forward and slip 1 pw, p1, psso, p2

**Work one row even**

**Last Row:** K2tog, bring the yarn forward and slip 1pw, p2tog, psso - 2 sts remain. Bind off.

Doing this drops two rows, but it's the only way I got the thing to turn out looking like the opposite side. You could add them back in by knitting 2 rows even before "Row 2" but I didn't I figured I'll deal with it later if it's a problem, since I had ripped and knitted it 8 times trying everything I could conjure without success. The fronts are the same size etc that's what matters right?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Merely Me - Getting Ones Groove Back

I have developed several little catergories in which I place my blogs. Always (ok almost always)prefacing the actual title of my post with it's designated category. Those of you who adore organization as I do have already noticed. Today I have invented Merely Me as a place to put blogs that are about who I am. You may have picked up that the other categories tend to what I do.

I hadn't realized it but I have been going around neglecting the "who I am" aspect of myself for quite a long time. It came and smacked me off the forehead on Saturday, and part of Sunday now that I think of it ( I guess it did more that just smack me, it beat me good and proper), that I have allowed my "station in life" to become all I am and to dictate everything about me. That is to say that there is more to who I am than being a wife and a mother and I had tossed it all in the back of the closet and abandoned it. So no one knows much about me beyond my husband, my home, my hobby and my kids. Even worse, I had become as ignorant of myself as the rest of the world.

So I've decided to rediscover myself and I'll try to share what I find along the way. I'm going to find that person I used to be before I pigeon-holed myself and I'm going to embrace her! The rest of y'all don't have to embrace her becasue if I recall correctly, she really doesn't care, and being different is her life's work.

What have I found so far? Well not a whole bunch...I blew the dust off my book of Tennyson, and revisited Shakespeare's sonnets, at least the ones that were my favorites. Funny how the last time I had read 105 in my heart it spoke of someone who now is long gone, and today I see my husband in those verses. I am a lover of literature, the classics and have always been an English/grammar freak. I love words! I reminded myself how much I love, love, love to dance and that I'm actually pretty good at it. Nevermind that it's fun! Imagine that...You don't even need company...I really want to rediscover music... It's an unequaled pleasure.

I've realized that it's alright (and from what I'm told entirely possible in my case) to look and feel beautiful in spite of having carried and given birth to a sports team worth of children. Apparently I've still got it... even if I'm not entirely comfortable having it! From what I understand this "it" is not going away anytime soon, and I can't hide it so I just need to embrace the "it" I've got. This embracing is supposed to be healthy for me...we'll see. So I'm no longer neglecting my physical appearance. I'm trying to do stuff with my hair and I've shaved my legs as needed this week. While I used to say that I'm married and have no one to impress, that fact of the matter is I do. I have to impress myself. I'm not being narcissistic, God knows I'm the last person to be in love with myself. But my point is that unless you feel good about yourself and the way you percieve others view you, you will always be lacking an inner something...and inner something that when present is actually outwardly visible in a way. And when it's not present, it's absence can be felt by others, just ask my husband. He thinks the embracing of my "it" is a good thing...especially if it leads to more embracing for him.

I'm also finding that it's ok to show my less than girly side. Just ask my momma my girly side is more than sufficient. The me I used to know never cared if people thought I was weird or not, and the me now shouldn't either. Aside from the obvious frustration of the over all situation, I enjoyed working on the truck with my husband. I liked getting dirty, drinking Smirnoffs, and taking swim breaks to cool off. I abhor when people talk down to me cuz I'm a girl and they think I don't know what I'm talking about! I can bake a pie, make some curtains, clean the house and do a brake job and a tune-up (among other things). I know how to use power tools too...and it's fun! I stopped doing stuff like that because someone told me it was unfeminine, or man's work or something like that. Why should guys get to have all the fun? They have some of the coolest toys...nevermind that I have things that need to be done and if I can do something myself I'm the kind of person who likes to do it. Why should I be ashamed?

So from here on out I'm doing me. Yes I have kids, and am a terrific mom and wife according to the latest poll, but there is more to me than that. I'm a homemaker, but I've dabbled in interior design and studied the construction of furniture throughout history. I like to knit and crochet and quilt my little heart out, but I'm also tech savvy. I troubleshoot my own computer, I know how to compare specs on digital devices and I can find an awesome deal to boot. I don't watch rated R movies but I do like a good movie... in all honestly I'd rather read a book.

I'm sure the person who helped me to see that I've been stereotyping myself, denying myself of my identity, never intended to do so. But I consider myself indebted. Thanks to you, I'm bringing me back!