Accomplished: the stripey purple Tomten toddler sweater hoodie. Not Accomplished: getting toddler to stay still in front of a plain backdrop for a proper photo.
Readers, I don't want to scare you, but I've been having dreams about yarn. Big, soft, luscious skeins of snuggly soft wool in bright colors, falling from the sky and turning into magical socks, cardigans, scarves, shawls, hats... Well, I'm not sleeping well, and it's kind of a problem. I recognize well the usual signs of obsession I dedicate to all things sewing.
The other day I found myself pulling ALL of my back issues of Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting off the shelf and just sitting with them in a pile on the floor daydreaming (which is something I normally only do with Threads and BurdaStyle). I've even been reading knitting blogs instead of sewing blogs on my iPod Touch as I lie in the dark nursing the toddler off to sleep.
I think it was the thrill of FINALLY finishing Z's Tomten jacket, which ended up taking FOREVER (five months, because I only knit on the subway and during lunch breaks) thanks to the gigantic hood and huge armholes and, well, huge EVERYTHINGness of it all:
This yarn-o-mania might also have been triggered by the excitement of planning my next big project, the Georgina Cardigan. Which I HAVE definitively decided to knit in chartreuse, specifically this Swans Island Organic merino (nonsuperwash) "Spring Green" worsted wool (from Purl Soho):
But please don't be concerned. I may be feeling the lure of the loop, but sewing is my entree, and knitting will forever remain a side dish. Mainly because too much knitting aggravates old repetitive stress issues I used to have. I actually gave up knitting entirely for a year, and when I started up again, I kept it GLACIAL and SPORADIC, and sold most of my dashed yarn dreams on EBay.
- Pattern: Tomten jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. An awesome modular classic EZ pattern, but beware the giant arms, they require half as much yarn as the hood and body combined. Note: No details are included on how to insert the zipper. In the ancient copy of Knitting Without Tears I learned to knit with, so: FREE.
- Yarn: Berocco Vintage Chunky (50% Acrylic, 40% Wool, 10% Nylon). I used 6 skeins, and I almost ran out at the very end. I chose it because of the colors, and it's nice enough, but I hate that it's only 40% wool and am not sure if I'd ever use again, especially on a kid (acrylic = flammable, wool = magic and flame-retardant). Paid for with a gift certificate from the hubby, so I'll say: FREE.
- Needles: Size 9 circulars (used to knit flat).
- Notions: Separating plastic YKK zipper from SIL Thread, $3.
- For full details and notes on how I inserted the zipper (shorter version: by hand, with a backstitch, took AGES) and hid the color changes (or at least, started hiding color changes halfway up when I realized my "who cares, it's a kid's jacket?" attitude was lacking), see the Ravelry project page.
The too-tight hat: still too tight
In other cheating on sewing news, thanks to an excellent suggestion from a commenter here, I decided to block my too-small 18 Seconds to Sunrise blue cowled alpaca hat in hopes it would grow... and it did!
But after wearing it for two days, I have decided that while it is no longer "PAINFULLY tight," I would still call it "ANNOYINGLY snug." We'll see if I ever get around to correcting.
Darning methods compared
Finally, as promised, I did indeed darn my first pair of socks, the first socks I ever knit, in fact:
I used the traditional weaving method on the left (Knitting Daily tutorial here), with less-than-amazing results--the patch is obvious, thick, and not very stretchy, though it has a certain Dickensian charm.
For the sock on the right, I used the duplicate stitch method (HJS Studio tutorial here). It was maybe SLIGHTLY more time-consuming, but much neater and stretchier, and it just blends in way, way better. No contest, really.
But whatever: they had big scary holes in both heels, and now they are whole once more. And from a distance, both methods look just fine, and warrant a heel-clicking of joy:
I can't wait to darn EVERYTHING now: more socks, holey sweaters, and my Sew Grateful colorblocked skirt.
Or can I? Tonight I traced the patterns for my spring and summer tops, so maybe this fever is passing. And I'm even thinking I might be able to get back to my Joan dress, now that I'm over missing the deadline so badly.
So readers: do you ever cheat on sewing with other hobbies? How long does the madness usually last before you come to your senses?