Friday, June 28, 2013

This Week

This is the last week of baseball. Three more games over the weekend and 2 team parties will finish the season out nicely. I'm so thankful for great coaches and the parents who have all been awesome at remembering that these kids are just kids looking to have a fun time and play some ball. 

On the Needles...

I finished the Boneyard Shawl last night and I'm hoping to get a moment to gently block it over the weekend, but that may be wishful thinking- Monday is far more likely I think. I picked up the Spring Cardigan I cast on for Ellie a few weeks ago and after a bit of thinking ripped back the 2 inches on the needles and started again. I have a much firmer idea of what direction I want it to go, and now I'm happy with this start.

Also on the needles but out of active rotation are the Grey and Coral socks. I'll get back to them when I'm in need of some mindless knitting.

I read...

I mentioned on Wednesday that I'm close to finishing Game of Thrones- since Wednesday I'm no closer to the end. Hopefully I will finish it this weekend and then on to Ready Player One.

Just Keep Spinning…

I pulled out my spindle yesterday and got everything ready for Tour de Fleece. My goal is small: to spin 15 minutes a day on every day the cyclists ride. I can spin longer if I'd like, but 15 minutes is the minimum. Ender and I were talking about the Tour yesterday and I suggested that he might work on his knitting for 15 minutes each day while I spin. He told me he'd think about it, but I haven't heard back. :)

Learning all the time…

The boys took a full week off from everything except for free reading. No math, no phonics... and they were very happy. I've decided we're going to continue to school very lightly through July and then really start in August. They've been really faithful in the small amount of school work I've asked them to do through the month of June and this current schedule is really suiting our summer lives.

Watching (Spoiler Free, of course...)

We are watching through Big Bang Theory from the beginning again and this time Brian is making a game of noticing all the things Sheldon does that are not quite in keeping with his character. We've also been watching all the extras for each season (cast and creator interviews, gag reels, "making of" specials, etc.) because we're geeks like that.

On a slightly related note, at one of our favorite take-out places the folks there refer to my husband as "the Bazinga guy" because Brian apparently wears his "Bazinga" shirt pretty much every time we happen to get take-out there.


I've mostly been trying to catch up on some of my knitting podcasts, but I'm still woefully behind. I loaded my Ipod last night so that I can listen during a marathon cleaning session I have planned for the baby's naptime.


With the crazy thunderstorms we've had lately, the plants are looking a bit battered, but I haven't lost anything beyond the strawberries yet. I'm hoping to get the strawberry transplants from my mom very soon.

In Stitches...

I have a giant pile of cut fabric on my dining table and can now move on to actually putting some things together. The boys are mostly excited because the pile includes a pair of pajamas for each of them that they have been long begging for.

This weekend...

3 baseball games, 2 team parties, Maker Faire, and the church picnic- aka our last weekend of "crazy" for the summer. After this there are plans for camping, going to see family, and maybe sleeping in if I can talk the baby in to it.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Yarn Along: Playing Chicken

{Yarning Along with Ginny}

I hit the part of the Boneyard Shawl that comes around in all triangle shawls where it seems like each row is never-ending.

It's not the shawl's fault. The shawl is still lovely and pretty and going so well. It's just that it's in the home stretch and so very close to the end that each row takes approximately 10 million minutes longer than the previous row.

I must admit that I'm playing a miniature game of chicken with this shawl. I'm trying to use up every last bit of this yarn (or as close to it as possible) and you can see how much I have left. I know I'm very close to needing to switch over for the border in order to have enough yarn, but not quite there yet. If I don't switch quite soon enough I'm going to run out. So I'm in a little game with every 2 row pair. Can I make it 2 more "normal" rows before switching and still have a complete border? If I don't switch over now am I dooming myself to ripping back because I will be just shy of being able to complete the bind-off?

I'm super close to finishing Game of Thrones on the kindle and have Ready Player One waiting in the wings. My brother sent this book to me about 2 weeks ago and is anxiously waiting for me to read it so I promised I'd jump into it next. He's not exactly a voracious reader, but said he finished it in a weekend so I'm hoping it will prove a quick read for me too. It seems I'm in desperate need of a quick read- or so my brain is saying. While I've really enjoyed the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, I need something a little faster to gain a bit of reading momentum.

How is your knitting going this week?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Finding My Fit, Part 2

You can find Finding My Fit Part 1 here.

I've been hit over the head with a particular theme in my crafty endeavors lately: accurate measurements. It came up first in Sally Melville's book and again just a day later while watching a Craftsy class (Sizing Knitwear Patterns) with an entire session devoted to accurate measurement.

I think I've written before about the absolute requirement for a knitter to do the math regarding your gauge before you jump in to knitting for anything requiring accurate fit. I never swatch for certain things, either because they are a small enough item that I don't mind ripping out if necessary after a few inches if the gauge proves wonky or because they don't require a precise measurement- like a scarf. Being half a stitch off one way or the other is highly unlikely to devastate the size/look of a scarf.

Gauge was a hard-learned lesson for me. I'm absolutely NOT mathy and thought it would all work itself out if I used the "right" yarn and "right" needle size. And of course after bombing out on a few projects I now know that I tend to need 1 size up much of the time and to swatch for anything that I want to actually fit me. I'm usually in a hurry to get going on a project, but swatching is always worth the trouble- it saves me ripping out later on and basically ensures that I'll really love the finished item.

Another factor around fit is certainly being honest with myself about my size. It's so very easy to assume I'm larger than I am or proportioned differently. Going through and making an accurate measurement sheet for myself last week was eye-opening. After having 3 kids I have no delusions that my body is what it was back in college, but at the same time, I've worked hard to get back to a healthy weight. My body has not really "bounced back" after Ellie the way it did after having each of the boys so this time around it is taking a lot more commitment to keep myself a healthy size.

Recently I started swatching for a new sweater and I swatched, adjusted and swatched again. When I came up with a fabric I liked it looked like I would need to use the numbers 1 size up from the size I usually knit. The cast on number scared me a little- at first glance it appeared that doing so would make that sweater swallow me since I'd *never* had to cast on that many stitches to start a sweater at about this gauge. I did the math out a little further- and lo and behold because of my wonky 5.5 stitches to the inch, the half stitch changed things just enough to make this the right size for the real me, not the "but I always knit size ABC" me.

This is true in store-bought clothing as well and this is something I'm working on. I'm trying not to be stuck in the mindset that I'm "a size ABC" when we all know the truth about women's clothing- you're a 10 in one thing, a 12 in another and possibly a 6 in another line... I don't care about the number any more. I totally buy into the idea that wearing clothes that actually fit you will flatter you more than paying attention to that silly number on the tag. I never want to be one of those girls that smashes themselves into jeans two sizes too small because of that number, and on the flip side, I also don't want to lie to myself about my body and wear things super loose/baggy/too big in an attempt to cover imagined pounds. Neither path will flatter me and both scream "insecurity", most of all to myself.

What have you found to be important in fitting handmade clothing well?

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