Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Little girl fashion HELP

Hey, there --

I am planning a sweater for my six year old and realize that it would be more likely to turn out well if I were not so fashion-oblivious. I have in mind something like this - a v-necked wrap around, probably with elbow or 3/4 length sleeves. I want to make it in pink, out of an angora/silk/wool blend yarn, so it will be fluffy and make her feel like a ballet princess.

So far, so good. But the details have me stumped. I see a lot of variation in how these things fasten. Some (the traditional ones, I think) have ties on each end and holes in the side seam to thread them through; they tie in back or have long ties that wrap all the way around and tie in front. Some have little short ties on the left hip; closure on the other side is not visible but presumably is either short ties on the inside or a button. Some have a button on the right side. One was a sort of false wrap -- the two fronts were fastened to the same bottom band, so the sweater was really a pullover.

So how important is the wrapping function to make this feel like a Real Ballet Sweater? I think the long ties might be so cumbersome that she wouldn't like the sweater -- though she does like to tie bows. Buttons wouldn't allow for the same amount of customization -- will that matter to a first grader? I don't think she'd like the pullover as well as a wrap.

And what of the length? The Sirdar pattern shows it as waist length, but I wonder if slightly shorter wouldn't be more fashionable now. Though of course if it's waist length now it will be higher by next winter, more of this effect.

And what about stitch pattern? I love this eyelet patterned one (Rav link) but all the capezio type sweaters are plain. Will she know? Care?

I've promised myself I won't start this until I finish my current spinning project, but that will probably only be a few days. So help me think this through!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Finished shawl, with pride.

I finally finished my Pi Are Squared shawl! I can't remember when I first decided to make this, but I think it was while I was living in Chicago which means before 1989. (Coincidentally, I bought this yarn while living in Chicago, too.) I cast this on in July or August 2005, for something to knit while taking a long car ride. It has lasted me through many of them, but it is finally done.

My biggest holdup has been the final edging around the neck/front opening. I started making an applied I-cord edging but didn't like it, and ripped it back in favor of a very plain, very simple single crochet edge. I might put something fancier on later, but I doubt it -- there's enough going on everywhere else.

Here it is blocking:

I just used t-pins stuck into the carpet. I should have vacuumed first; I had to pick quite a few fuzzy bits off the back after it dried. See the tape measure in the middle? I used that to make both sides approximately the same.

Here it is from another angle:

Note the fan in the background? That's because my final impetus to finish was the local county fair -- I pinned this out at 2 in the afternoon and entries were due by 9 p.m. It was dry in plenty of time.

I don't know where the time goes. I decided in early summer that I would finish this in time for the fair this year, and I never really lost sight of that .... but I still ended up weaving in ends up until the last minute (after blocking; you can see some loose ends here). But I love going to the fair and looking at others people's items, so I always try to enter a few myself.

I tell myself that I don't really care if I win or not but it turns out I lie. Because this didn't win ANYTHING and I was really, really grouchy about it. I know it's hardly a masterpiece of design but I think it's quite nice and it is also a huge honking piece of lace. Given our bizarre classes it had to go into the "knitted coats, sweaters and capes" class, and it lost out to a couple of sweaters that really didn't seem all that special to me. But maybe that's my bitterness talking.

Really, I don't think I'd mind nearly as much if there were any explanations at all. There are never any comments on the judging, plus they don't reclass if they think you've entered something in the wrong class. (I think third place in this class went to a baby sweater which IMO should have been in the baby sweater class.) I want to know if the judges really thought this wasn't as well done as the items that placed, or if there was some other reason for their decisions, or (honestly) if they ever even unfolded it.

I also entered a couple of scarves -- knitted and woven -- and a skein of handspun which had to go into "any other crafts". Both scarves placed but they're nothing special.

I do have to say that the woman who knit the winning sweater was there when I was, and she was really really excited and proud, and also seemed to be thrilled with the small cash prize that goes with the ribbon. So that's pretty neat. I'll try to think about that and not about my (apparently wildly overinflated) expectations.

Modeled shots next week, after I reclaim it and bribe my photographer.