What the heck is Wings of Goose?

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Why, what a lovely sack you are wearing!

After speeding (for me) through my lovely Shellseeker, I finally reached the end of the front and decided now would be a good time to try it on (pause for derisive laughter). I had tried it when I got past the armholes, which was quite some time ago in terms of the length of the garment, but had neglected to since then. Items turning out too short is usually my problem; I certainly didn't anticipate an item being far longer than intended...

Don't misunderstand - I had been looking at Shellseeker with a critical eye and wondering if not only the length but also the width were somewhat more than intended as I got closer and closer to the end, but I somehow managed to sweep this possible issue to the corner of my mind.  I didn't think it possible for one of my garments to be so drastically large in comparison to the schematic. I notoriously need to go up a whole mm in order to get gauge as I knit so tightly.

Well, as you may possible have inferred from this post title, miracles can happen, and my lovely, soft, alpaca Shellseeker is a lovely, soft, alpaca sack!

I don't think I need to elaborate on how unimpressed I am with this fact - my expression says it all - the front is a whole 12cm too long!

You can't really appreciate from the photos just how large, unshapely and unflattering this jumper is. Because there is no side shaping anyway, and the only shaping consists of side decreases and centre increases to form the pocket, unless the garment turns out exactly the intended size, you risk looking as if you are, indeed, wearing a sack.

On the first of these back views you can see the size of the jumper in all it's rectangular glory. On the lower photo, you can see how, when one's arms are by one's sides, the fabric forms protrusive folds on each far side around the armholes, which Marno kindly pointed out to me, due to my not being able to see the back!

I knew Shellseeker had no body shaping and relied on the pocket shaping to create interest and, well, shape, and I was fine with that, but I think this jumper can only work if its exactly the right size for the wearer. With that thought in mind, I have taken drastic action. For the first time ever, I have entirely frogged (for the knitting uninitiated, ripped out) Shellseeker. Well, not entirely, as I hadn't anticipated it taking so long and didn't have time to rip it all out during Noah's nap, so I'm about two thirds through, but make no mistake, it will all be gone and I will start again, from the very beginning, with a 1mm smaller needle (I did go up a needle size and a half)! Its funny actually, because even when I did my tension swatch I wasn't entirely happy with the looseness of the stitches, so hopefully with Shellseeker mark 2, it will be a little stiffer (though not much as its alpaca) and just hold together better.

I am entirely blown away but the pattern though, and can only say good things about it. It is sheer genius. So utterly simple yet you can't imagine how on earth something is going to work, in this case, particularly the pocket, until you get to it. Then the method, which you've read through so many times before you arrived at that point, just falls into place and uses such obvious yet subtle ways to achieve it's aim.

So I hope to have a me-sized Shellseeker very soon, although ironically it would be better at this point in time to keep the large version, as I will be expanding in the next six months to accommodate Noah's little brother or sister!!! (Pause for gasps and "ahhs"). Yes, I'm 14 weeks pregnant, and its certainly very exciting. We are so very blessed and thankful for all God has given us.

But I seem to have created a little pattern of making clothes too big for myself lately. I made a dress quite a few months ago that ended up looking like maternity wear, which I decided to keep for when I became pregnant again, so photos of that to come in a few months when I have a bump to fill it with! I also didn't pull it apart because I was actually really pleased with how it turned out, even though it is a tent.

So, all in all, not a particularly successful couple of months in the clothes making department. A sack for a jumper and a tent for a dress. Surely it can only get better from here...

xxx Sam

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

2 ply

I hereby proudly unveil my second ever plied yarn! With a bit of inspiration from my friend the Midnight Sheep, who was a great help in recommending which rovings to ply, I have finally produced another 2 ply yarn. I can't remember whether I ever posted about my lovely MIL's trip to the knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace last year, and the stash of dyed roving she brought back for me - I know I took photos with the intention of, but I may have got waylaid. Aaaanyway... I was showing said stash to Helena, who immediately saw a fantastic pairing that I just hadn't thought of. One roving was lilac with no varigation, the other was mainly green, with lights and darks, but also, as it happened, a little of the same lilac. An obvious pairing, but maybe I didn't think of it because I must admit to being far more drawn to block colours then varigated. So after many months, I can finally reveal the finished yarn, complete with progress shots just to give an idea of the individual colours.

And the finished skein...

The last one is taken in super vivid, just to emphasize the colours a little more, but actually the previous photos are quite a good representation of the true colours. If I were to name this yarn, it would have to be called Lilac Tree in Spring, as that is exactly what it reminds me of. We have a lilac tree at the bottom of our garden, but the blooms are always over so soon.

On a sadder note, and talking of the bottom of our garden which is where our rabbit's hutch is, we came back from a weeks holiday on Monday to find our previously healthy Little Bun in a state of unwellness. He had hardly touched his food or water since we'd been away, and his eyes were all red rimmed. We kept an eye on him yesterday, and he did venture outside his hutch (he isn't usually shut in so has full reign of the garden and only goes in to escape from Noah or to eat and drink) last night. But he seemed worse again this morning, so Marno took him to the vet this evening, who immediately diagnosed him as having myxomatosis, and recommended he be put down, as treatment is difficult for the rabbit and only has a 3% success rate. So Little Bun went to the vet with what I imagined to be overgrown back teeth, and didn't, in fact, come back. A very sad evening altogether. I know Noah will be very confused, as he adores Little Bun and spends many minutes standing at the patio door shouting "Bun, bun", and pointing at him, as well as trying to stroke him at every possible opportunity.

Having said all that, I don't really know how to end this post, so I'm just going to sign off I think - a cop out I'm afraid.

xxx Sam