Filing This One Away for Later: Improving Saggy Sweaters

While I’m not anticipating any problems with either of my Improv sweaters falling off my shoulders, thanks to Karen Templer’s good advice about things like faux seams and picking up collar stitches from a cast-on edge, I do have a few sweaters in my closet (knit from patterns that I paid for!) that wear terribly due to floppy sloppiness in the shoulder area.

I definitely don’t wear these sweaters as often as I might, and fixing them is seeming (seaming?) like a better and better idea every time I think about garment construction. This post from TECHknitter on stabilizing the shoulders and back-of-neck on sweaters to improve wear is advice that I am going to use.

Improv #2, Take 2

After writing the other day about the start of my second Fringe and Friends Knitalong sweater, I pretty much immediately scrapped the first few rows I had knit. I worked another two rows, and realized that my raglans were looking like the dog’s breakfast. I was adding Irish Moss stitches on the front, cable stitches on the sleeves, and different cable stitches on the back. It was a mess.

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So after a quick check to see that I liked my chosen number of cast-on stitches, I pulled out the needle and started to rethink things. The problem was my decision to centre my cable layout on the sleeves and back–so how to rethink the placement of the layout?

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I ended up inputting my cable layout into Excel (the different colours representing the different stitches, of course), and printing off a few copies to play with. The solution was to cut the cable layout in half, and then insert the required number of sleeve stitches (and back stitches) into the centre.

I did consider adding additional cables in the centres of the sleeves and backs, but instead opted to just work more Irish Moss stitch (the pale green). Since this is a sweater for me to wear at home, I feel fairly relaxed about the back: no one’s going to see it, so I might as well take it easy back there, lol.

But–if I did care more about the back, I think an even better way to approach the design of the cables/ stitches on a raglan cardigan would be to design the back first. Then you’d just have to cut it in half to get your two fronts. And then, to get the correct stitch count on the sleeves, just remove stitches from the centre of the sleeves. This way, your stitches would line up nicely along the raglans, and things would be pleasantly symmetrical.

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I am much much happier with this second take on my second Improv sweater. In addition to looking much better, it is also easier to knit.

Despite this progress on Improv #2, I am not neglecting my first Improv sweater.

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Yesterday morning, I cast off the hem–leaving just the pockets and sleeves to knit, plus the faux seams to sew up and all the ends to weave in. I have decided to finish the body–pockets, seams, ends–before proceeding on to the sleeves, so that I’m not left with a ton of finishing work to do at the end.

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I knit the HOT PINK!!! pocket lining last night, and am going to take advantage of the daylight now to weave in some ends.

On Ravelry: Improv #1 and Improv #2

Link 10

First off: happy screams that Jane Marie is on The Hairpin! There is a The-Toast-dot-net-sized hole in my heart (that is, a gaping chest wound) since the site shuttered earlier this summer, but The Hairpin has had some good moments lately, and seeing Jane Marie back there is a good one.

Second: I totally scoffed at the concept–after all, I wear a lot of denim–but the sketches and outfits look cute.

Third: but does she only draw thin women?

I’d like to flip through this book once, but don’t feel the need to own it.

You Might Actually Want This Book About How To Wear Jeans (The Hairpin)

Is Karen Templer Reading My Mind?

Thinking of adding a pocket to your Fringe and Friends Knitalong sweater?

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Karen Templer’s got you covered with a little tutorial!

Thinking that your next sweater should involve some cables but you always screw up the crosses?

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Karen Templer has a fix for that!

If the Fringe Association blog starts to fill up with genius solutions for tackling that stack of dirty dishes you want to avoid, and how to balance your desire for all the cool Craigslist finds with the space available in your one-bedroom apartment, I’m going to start worrying.

Filing This One Away For Later: Eyeliner

I almost never wear makeup because feminism (okay, because lazy). But this technique looks like it would work for my eyes and be easy to do. Just maybe not with any of the expired palettes lurking guiltily in my linen closet.

Plus I love how the dude only does one of his eyes in his tutorials. It reminds me of that character from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil who wears make up on half his face, and scuttles around hiding it from his boss.

Thing To Do on a Sunday: Take Your Lamp for a Walk

I find Craigslist to be vastly entertaining. I tend to not be very specific in my search terms, but just browse endlessly and have a million open tabs in my browser. I like the absurdities and the beauties, the highs and the lows. And while usually I just look at CL for fun, I do love the sense of destiny and kismet when you see a thing that just belongs to you, before it’s even really yours.

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I have wanted another lamp for the living room for a while now, and have looked at all sorts of things from brassy hanging lamps to Art Deco nudes. Nothing quite hit the sweet spot of functionality plus price plus accessibility, however. I don’t have a car, so a CL purchase has to do what I need it to, at the right price point, and be either within a reasonable distance by bus or be reasonable to pay for delivery. Obviously in the case of my glorious conversation settee, it was worth taking the SkyTrain down to Richmond and paying for delivery!

In the case of this lamp, it was located an easy 2.1 km from my apartment. That’s walking distance! So, I emailed the seller with a $20 offer, and then checked my email obsessively for the next nine hours until she emailed back. Then, (after being so excited I could hardly sleep) it was walkin’ time.

Sneak peek–any guesses?

A photo posted by nottheactress (@nottheactress) on

How to Take Your Lamp for a Walk:

  1. Slap on some sunscreen. I recommend something sweat-proof–it’s hot out there!
  2. Put on your headphones, dark sunglasses, and a slightly bored facial expression–you’re not doing anything special or weird; you take your lamp for a walk all the time!
  3. Don’t make eye contact with any of the people who stare at you and your fabulous lamp.
  4. Take breaks if you need ’em–your lamp may be heavier than expected. Just pick a shady spot and pretend you’re getting a text message–bloop!
  5. Bring your lamp inside to its new home, where it belongs.

Lamp!

I am not 100% sold on the lampshade; in addition to being full of dust and a bit worn, it also doesn’t fit the lamp properly, and isn’t quite the right colour against the avocado walls. But it’s good enough for now. Also good enough for now is the little table: it is covered in waterspots and scratches. But I’m not in the mood for a furniture-stripping project (still recovering from the ottoman legs), so the plan is to find a nice large pot and stick a plant there.

And in conclusion, here is the obligatory…