Not the craft camp post

I had the loveliest, bestest time ever on craft camp.  I didn’t think that it could possibly live up to how good everyone always says it is, but it did – oh, it did.  Because I have a ‘what bastard drank half of my drink, I bet they slipped a roofie in it, too’ kind of person, I can see that given enough time, we could definitely rub each other the wrong way.  But it was pretty darn close to perfect, as perfect as any group of people ever is.  And after the four days away, if someone had invited me to live on a commune forever with those lovely, wise, funny, caring, creative, helpful, empowering women, I would have signed on the dotted line without pause.  In blood.  The food alone would be worth it. 

But I am not going to write about it properly yet because I am attempting to get my photos up to flickr without killing everyone in an overload.  So it’s bit by bit, and I’ll do a craft camp post later.

This isn’t even a ‘what I did on the rest of my holiday’ (quite a lot, achully, and it was also COMPLETELY ACE) post.  This is just a ‘I’ve hit the afternoon blahs (3pm sharp) and now all I can think about is knitting’ post.

While on craft camp, I worked almost exclusively on my Cinnabar Pullover.  This was partly because it was the project I brought that I want to wear the most, partly because I was up to all the tricky bits and wanted to get past them, and quite a bit because I kept having to rip it.  The first time I had to rip it was because… wait for it… I’d decreased instead of increasing.  For 40 rows.  Yes, apparently I think that I go in at the waist, and then IN AT THE BUST.  This is patently untrue.  So rip it I did. 

Friday night, merrily knitting away. I would realise my mistake about two hours later.

The second time was because although I had brought the destructions for the maths for the bust darts, but not the actual part where you knit the short rows, and how to do it.  So I called my sister and made her read it out to me from the book (she was thrilled) but I was still winging it.  And short rows are confusing.  So I was knitting to the SECOND stitch before the short row, which gave me ONE stitch in between instead of to the THIRD stitch, giving TWO in between.  Short rows appear to be like Quantum Physics.  No matter how well I understand them as they are being explained, the minute the sentence is over, it all flies out of my head.

Anyway, the upshot of that is that the bust darts were far too steep.  So… I ripped.  It probably would have been liveable, and even better fitting than a not-short-rowed jumper.  But I would have had weird poofy bits under my arms, and the last thing I need is more weird poofy bits.  I ripped it and reknit it. 

I didn’t have to rip it again after that, although there was much muttering under my breath and counting, and perhaps just a leetle swearing.  And on Sunday evening while Janet manically sewed and Suse stuck bits of sheet together on the board on the wall, I knit frantically.  I steam blocked (alternate title of this post: steam blocking, you complete me) and basted the pieces together.  And then I looked at it.  And it looked at me.

It was past midnight.  It was WELL past ‘don’t do anything you can’t easily undo’ o’clock (10pm for me).  It was into emotional crafting time.  If I tried it on now, and it didn’t fit, there was about a 50% chance I would have run inside and stuffed it into the fire.  Ok, maybe only 25%. 

I tried it on.

It FIT.

I am so, so pleased with it.  I have one side of the placket sewn on, and the other side ready to sew.  And then I just realised last night that I need a 7mm circ to sew the rest of the neck piece, so I ordered one from the internet (internet, I also love you) cast on one of the sleeves.  The linen stitch is so beautiful after steam blocking (oh, steam blocking, I heart you) and the jumper is so red and it FITS ME.

While I was steam blocking the second placket the night before last (don’t you like the word placket?  It’s almost as good as pelmet.  Actually, you know what?  I think I like placket even more than pelmet.  Wow this is a long aside.  Almost more of an a-front, really.  Where was I…) ANYWAY as I was steam blocking that I got out my Emily, of which I don’t appear to have any complete photos.  Ravelry tells me I’ve been knitting it since September 2008.

I stuck a fork in it in May 2009.  And I wore it once, and then I realised that actually, it was too short.  Far, far too short.  I don’t know who I thought I was knitting it for, but it wasn’t long-waisted me.

So it sat in a basket and moldered and then a while back (ravelry doesn’t have this information) I bit the bullet and snipped off the bottom bit.  I then popped the top half on a needle, picked up stitches on the bottom, and knit up about 3 inches.  I then repeated this process for the other side.  Then it mouldered for some time further before I kitchenered it together.

The line was pretty obvious.  I think I did it too tightly, because there are bits where it was looser, where the line was less obvious.  But I am DONE with this jumper, so as I was steaming the placket I steamed the CRAP out of Emily, and then I wore it to work yesterday.  Everyone asked said that yes, they could see the line.  But no one said ‘OH MY GOD what is that LINE through your jumper!?’ so I’m calling that a win.

See, thing is, I don’t appear to have any jumpers to wear.

The top part of my wardrobe is stuffed with jumpers.  But I don’t like wearing ANY of them.

Photo stolen blatantly from Suse.  Hey, suse, did you know that your blog is the second in the list when you google ‘pea soup?’  Right after the wikipedia article.  Pretty cool!

My big blue wrap fits.  Because it is a big wrap with no shape.  I wear Cobblestone all the time, and could do with one that wasn’t blah brown (although I seem to be liking everything in brown lately, for some reason.)  And my Sahara fits, because I could try it on as I went and I did bust darts and other maths to make sure it did.  But everything else is a bit short or a bit tight, or a bit baggy or the sleeves are too short or long. 

Sahara fits

Last night I gave my CPH to my sister.  I don’t wear it.  The sleeves are tight and long, and the hood is small and it needs buttons.  But worst of all, it is too short, by a good three inches.  This is exacerbated by the fact that I have put on weight since it was done, as I can see from the photo below, and my front bits all pull it up, so it’s got a lovely dip in the front.  And by lovely, I mean heinous. 

I’m keeping my Rogue, but I might have to do surgery on the two-inches-too-short sleeves.  And most of the rest of my knits will, I think, be frogged or otherwise adapted.  Because they should be worn.

So here is my resolve.  Now that I know what I am doing, I will knit more things that fit me, and more things that I will wear.  I will not knit things that do not fit this category, or if I do, I will rip them.  This means lots of stocking stitch with interesting additions, and room for bust darts.  It means knitting things longer.  It means choosing patterns carefully in the first place, so that they are flattering.  It means doing the maths.  It means, above all, trying things on and being willing to rip them out.  As Janet said on the weekend, the thing that makes you a good sewer is your willingness to rip out.  Same goes for knitting.

Wish me luck.

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7 thoughts on “Not the craft camp post

  1. You’re a tease. A tease with blue hair.

    Now I’m hanging out even more for your craft camp post.

    (Not that I can talk, mine ain’t up yet).

    ps. I love the way you keep pinching my photos of you.

  2. ha! I have a whole wardrobe of those types of knits too – little too short, little too baggy, just generally NQR. Have been trying to work out what to do with them!

    your Sahara looks great and having seen Rogue in person last Bendigo, I’d agree to hang onto it too!

  3. GOOD LUCK! Craft camp sounds wonderful, I can’t wait to hear more.
    I couldn’t knit a jumper to save my life but I do have a terrible addiction to buying them at op shops. Just bought home four from the farm…

  4. OH I loved reading this post Kate!! It was so great to meet you and hang out with you last weekend!!! I love that I have made crafty women friends on the internet.

    I made a similar decision about sewing a while back. That if I was going to invest time and materials into a project, then I might as well take the tropuble to try and make them fit well. And be finished to my liking. Not that I often reach perfection but I want wearable items in my wardrobe at the end of it. Although sometimes, things end up not working or in the opshop. But since I made the decision, mostly not. I’m slower but the other day I realised I was wearing layers of clothing made by me. That I liked. Very satisfying.

Whadya reckon?

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