Sunday, February 03, 2008

Relapse Week(but Kauni is done!)

I must tell you something that cracked me up on my last post about losing my brain. Yarnsnob makes me laugh. In an e-mail she said something about being "crackers". I just love English terms and humor. Why? I don't know. I just love thinking "I'm crackers". Anyone else love English terms and humor? Or is that humour!?

Naomi here. Remember me? The recovering perfectionist?

Uh. yeah. Sometimes the best laid plans....go awry! Ok, I know. Personal growth does not happen over night. You get conscious of an *issue*. You realize you have some personal work to do. That is the first step. Then you forge ahead with your new intentions. At least that is how it works for me.

My current issue. Working on not having the need to have everything *perfect*.

I KNOW life is to be enjoyed and cherished. I do take time out of every day to ponder on the things I am grateful for. Yet I have this crazy need to have things perfect. When guests come dust bunnies should be seen by human eyes. There should be no dust on tables, window sills, on ledges of frames, etc. There should be clean towels in the bathroom. (My monthly knit buds know one time there were NO towels in the bathroom! I was mortified but they never came out of the bathroom saying..hey gnome, where are the towels?). Basically the house should be spotless. I'm trying to let this go and actually NOT purposefully clean before guests come over - I'm trying really hard to let this kind of thing go.

So with regard to knitting this week...I did not fare so well in the letting go department. I had started the Serendipity socks for the first 2008 installment of the BMFA Rockin' Sock Club. I did the short row heels with the W&T method as specified in the pattern. I thought, I do not like the way the W&T looks but I continued on. I wanted to let it go. It wasn't perfect or up to my eagle eye standards but I just coached myself. Just keep going. It WILL be ok.

I kept thinking about it. I thought about it some more. What did I do? Can you say relapse?

I frogged it. I have always wanted to do Priscilla Gibson-Roberts short row heel version. I have the book Simple Socks Plain and Fancy but I could never quite understand the instructions. Luckily my friend Melinda has a very nice tutorial on this method on her website. I followed her photos along with the book and I was successful at this method. In fact for me, it is much easier to read the stitches and see what I am doing with this method than with the W&T method.

Doesn't this technique look good? I like it.

How else did I relapse in my non perfectionist knitting? Well....

I finished the Kauni Cardigan. YAY! Here she is blocking on the wooly board.

I have a lot to say about this project. I apologize for being verbose but I have a lot to say about this fun project.

This photo shows how I used my clover blocking pins(which I LOVE!) to straighten the bottom cast-on edge which was still curling during blocking. I just stuck these pins along the edge to keep it straight and it worked very nicely. No more curling.

I picked up for the neckline. I love the Nihon Vogue technique for picking up. I used to hate picking up for a neckline before Nihon Vogue....trying to count and figure out how many stitches to pick up 2 for every 3 stitches, blah blah blah. Now it is easy and straight forward for a round-neck. You should try it. You might never struggle with neckline picking up again(sounds a bit like an infomercial doesn't it? Can you hear Billy Banks of Oxyclean saying "You will never struggle with picking up neckline stitches again. Just use Nihon Vogue!").

When you pick up, just pick up one stitch for every stitch. No more figuring out 2 for every 3. Count how many stitches you now have on the needles. You do want to at least get close that you have the same number of stitches from shoulder seam to center front on right front and left front.

So you count the total number of picked up stitches. On the next row(pattern row) decrease 10%. That is it. I have done it on all my vest and crewneck projects and now on the Kauni Cardigan. Works like a dream(I must have commercials on the brain - like the sleep aid Lunesta commercial..Lunesta, works like a dream. Yarnsnob, maybe I truly am crackers!).

Here is the perfectionist relapse part. I did the neckline 3 times. The first frogging I did was because of the color combination choice I used to do the ribbing. First I did deep purple against the lime green. I got almost completely done and the color difference was just too stark compared to the rest of the sweater. Then I tried the color it is now. I like it but....when I was done and tried it on, I saw an area where the pattern did not look exactly the same on the left front neckline decrease and the right front neckline can easily see because of the pattern of the squares. So I took it out again and what you see in the photo is the "third time is the charm".

Now for the cast-off edges. I did the invisible cast-off for the sleeves which is a method I learned in the Nihon Vogue class. Why did I do this? I want these edges to have some give/stretch to them. So I used this handy dandy bind-off. You bind off similar to kitchener(using a tapestry neeedle or bodkin). Some folks have asked if I can tell you how to do this. I'm not sure I can. I will have to ask Jean.

I did the regular knit cast-off for the neckline and the button bands because I want these edges to remain firm and NOT stretch.

The buttonhole technique I used was Kevin Ames version of EZ's One-Row Buttonhole. His technique is detailed out in Sweaters from Camp. I'm not in love with the results of this technique. So I guess I am letting go *just a tad* because I left them as is. I'm thinking I should have taken Jean's Buttonhole class at Madrona! The buttonholes are just *ok* to me.

I'd love to hear anyone that has a good buttonhole technique for two color fair isle. I looked in all my books and most techniques are pretty standard.

Here is the finished sweater with all the buttons. I used buttons I picked up at Beppa Buttons...the place that opens only 2x a year. I love this sale but after the first time I went I have not been back because I spent a lot of $$ on buttons. I like the idea of not using all the same button(all vintage). No two buttons are the same..the only button I am not sure about is the button at the top. I liked it because the outline was like the outline the squares in the pattern, except it is a circle.

I can't wait to wear this! It is just so cheeful and fun!


YarnSnob said...

the english do have a funny way of expressing things.....crackers!!! You're a silly billy!!

OMG Your knitting is just so wonderful for words, so colourful. I can never knitting anything like this.

Janine said...

Well done! What a joyful sweater--I can't wait to see it. And I applaud your attempts to beat back the addiction to perfectionism, which so often cuts us off from other people and from our best selves.

That's my middle name said...

Oh it's Kauni, I mean beautiful! So we'll have to fight the urge to wear our at the same time so we don't start dressing alike too... I can't wait to see it in person!

I think it's okay to let go of some of the perfectionism - just that sometimes there are things that only you know are there. As long as it is structurally sound, looks tidy and correct it doesn't always really matter.

The heels on your socks are beautiful! Are they comfortable as compared to a regular heel flap/gusset?

Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for the great project notes you gave us on your Kauni. Once I get mine started I'm sure I'll be referring back to them. It's a beautiful sweater and will be a treat to wear and I bet you'll be stopped on the street and asked where you got it! Fabulous!

Peggy said...

Your Kauni is fabulous!! I love it. It pays to be a perfectionist if this is the outcome. Well done.;} I hope to see you wearing it soon. Peggy

Gail said...

I love that sock heel! And look forward to seeing you in the Kauni sweater--it looks lovely.

One of my brain cells kicked in this morning, and I looked in the DVD "Knitting with Jean: Professional Finishing Techniques". Two methods for 1x1 ribbing cast-offs are shown using a tapestry needle. So those of us who missed out on the class can study the video and get the information from there. I love the Zimmerman and Jean Wong DVDs!

Melinda said...

It's done - yeah! Now you're officially in the Kauni club. We'll have to get a group photo at Madrona.

The heels look great. I love PGR's heels.

Melinda said...

I just had this thought

The secret to being perfect is knowing when to be perfect.

Arctic Knitter said...

Yeah for your sweater! I'll look for it at Madrona next week.

Your short row heel looks terrific! I've also had trouble with the w&t, but couldn't understand the PG book (I studied it last night) Thanks for the tutorial link - I'll give it a try!