Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Multi-Tasking

What I'm doing this week:

This is three years' worth of MCLE (mandatory continuing legal education), which I need to have completed by February 1st in order to renew my license. So, naturally, I started it this week. Oh, what? You'd have done it months--if not years--ago, huh?

What I'm also doing this week:

Because, you know, that's a lot of CDs. The color is not really that orange. It's more of a rusty brown. This is Elsebeth Lavold Chunky Al (wool and alpaca single ply--this is color 006). It's very soft and kind of springy. I like it enough that I've had to exercise significant restraint to keep from buying more. Except, of course, for the fast-becoming-obligatory rescue yarn. Once again, I will not have enough yarn to finish the project. Fortunately, this color was still available, and still on sale (a perk of being unable to resist immediately casting on new yarn), so I ordered a couple more balls. I think one will be enough, but you never know.

And this is the project. It is a delightfully simple and satisfying Elsebeth Lavold pullover, for which I happened to have exactly the yarn called for in my stash (minus two balls). This is the first, and probably last, time I have ever knitted a pattern in the yarn specified. I've almost managed to knit the pattern as written, too, but the body and sleeves need to be longer. And I want waist shaping. And I want a collar that folds over a little more. And I think I'm going to knit it on instead of knitting it separately and then sewing it on. But other than that--I'm totally sticking to the pattern!

I haven't forgotten all your wonderful and supportive comments on Sable and the Kochoran Coat, either. In answer to the many who expressed surprise at how quickly they were finished, I'm not really that fast. The Kochoran Coat knitted up very quickly because of the bulky weight, and the fact that I loved the yarn. Also, it was, during the two weeks I was working on it, actually cold enough to wear such a garment in San Diego, and I didn't want to miss my window. I did get to wear it--once--before the temperature returned to the 70's, which is pretty much par for the course here.

Sable (aka Tangerine Nightmare) had been languishing, half-finished, for months. When I ran out of yarn for the Kochoran Coat and had to order more, I seized the opportunity and made a bargain with myself that I had to finish Tangerine before I could finish the coat. So while I was waiting for my rescue yarn to arrive, I plowed through the last few rows of the body, the sleeves, and the collar of Tangerine, and dyed it. I also sewed in the coat sleeves, wove in the ends, and made and sewed on the buttons. The next day, my rescue yarn arrived, and I promptly knitted the collar and sewed on the last button, wove in two ends, and voila! Two FO's in two days. It's just a matter of timing. Also, while it's true that I am tall (nearly six feet), I am also skinny, with only a 34 inch chest, so my projects probably knit up faster than for those of you who are well-endowed.

As for publishing, I'm working on it. I did in fact design, knit, and write up the pattern for a really lovely little project to submit to the spring issue of Knitty. And then it rained for a week straight, right before the submission deadline, and I couldn't get a decent picture. I will probably submit it for the summer issue, instead.

A few of you have asked about my modifications for the Tilted Duster. Here they are:

I made the 36 inch size. If you're making a different one, please take that into account.

For the neck, I picked up stitches around (you can use the stitch count in the pattern, or use whatever method you usually use), and then I worked decreases EVERY RS ROW using the same decrease method used for the decreases in the skirt, so that the neck edge mirrors the front edge of the skirt. I continued to work the collar until it was the length I wanted, then bound off in pattern.

For the sleeves, I cast on 50 stitches, worked 4 rows in garter stitch, then made a bell-shaped cuff in 2x2 ribbing, decreasing every other RS row (using the same decrease as on the body) until I had 34 stitches. I made my cuff six inches long, then switched to stockinette and started increasing every 1 st. each end every 6th row until I had 60 stitches. I worked even until the sleeve was the right length, then shaped the cap. Please note that I had already made the armholes wider (9 inches instead of 8) to accommodate a wider sleeve, since I'd heard the sleeves were way to skinny in the pattern. I believe I had to fudge the sleeve cap a little to make it a bit taller. Based on my notes, I think that, instead of binding off when I had 14 stitches left, I continued to bind off three stitches at the beginning of each row until I had only six stitches left, then bound off the cap. This worked really well.

I also made the body longer, by simply continuing to increase/decrease as established; I finished the bottom edge with 4 rows of garter stitch, since I didn't like the way the stockinette was rolling.

I sewed hooks and eyes down the front to close it, although I hadn't done that yet when I posted the picture. Depending on the weight of your yarn, you could also use a zipper of almost any length, or close it with a pin, or attach ties...

And, finally, just for Sharon, here is a close-up of the buttons on the Kochoran Coat:

I bought two little packs of polymer clay--one in silver and one in white--from the local Michaels. I took a little of each color, kneaded them separately to soften them, then kneaded them together to make a swirly sort of design. I rolled the clay into a skinny snake, then sliced off short sections, smoothed the ends, and used a toothpick to make holes. I put them on a piece of aluminum foil and stuck them in my toaster oven at 240 degrees for about 30 minutes. It really could not be easier, or cheaper. I'm already thinking about making more for my next project, which will be a cardigan. But first things first. It's time for "Successful Trial Techniques and Strategies in Employment Law Litigation." Be still, my heart.

11 comments:

melissaknits said...

I am pretty sure you've found something worse than nursing continuing ed. Good luck. Uggh.

I love the buttons.

Viktoria said...

great buttons!

good luck... I feel your pain!

Kim said...

CLE sucks. I'm glad I went in-house so I don't have to do any (in NY you can pay for your license and skip the CLE if you don't represent clients, which I don't). Good luck!

The_Add_Knitter said...

Oh wow...you and I must be on the same procrastination team!!

janet said...

Of course with all that studying to do you'll have to clean the shower grout first, clean out the garage and reorganize your pictures.

sophanne said...

If I had to choose between those dvd's and the staff development we sit through, I'd definitely go for the dvd's

Bea said...

I love the new sweater, the Chunky AL is wonderful!

Olga said...

ooooh- just thinking about those CDs makes me go into a stupor, I'm so glad I'm stooopid right now....

Romi said...

*Love* the sweater. :)

Patty said...

Good luck with those CDs. Ugh! I love your button idea and those buttons. Okay, Superwoman, get studying!

Sharon said...

Thank you for the closeup and explanation of how you made those fabulous buttons! You are the queen. *bows three times in the direction of San Diego*