Posts categorized "Eris"

Zippers 101

*Sorry about the comments--I think it's better now.  I wondered why it was so quiet.

Today, I installed the zipper on Eris, and I did it on the first try.  Long-time readers will know that I HATE sewing.  Mostly because I suck at it.  Part of the reason stems from the fact that I don't pay attention to the little details (like I do with knitting) and part is general ineptitude.  However, today, with the help of a lovely locale (the cottage) and my super-fab mother-in-law Marilyn, seamstress extraordinaire, I figured it out and finished Eris.

I carefully documented each step as best I could to share with you.  So, here's how to sew in a zipper.

Step One: lay your cardigan on a flat surface like a table with the right side facing and line up the edges.  Your garment should be washed and blocked.


Step Two: Using a contrasting yarn, baste the opening of your cardigan closed.  Be sure to catch the same stitch on each side (ie the same one in from the edge) so it's the same on both sides.  When you're done, turn the garment inside out and lay it nice and flat like before.


This was the excellent advice of my mother-in-law.  With the front sewn closed you can be sure edges line up and your zipper will be even on both sides (my usual problem--one side is not the same as the other).

Step Three: Lay your zipper (wrong side up) on your zipper facing and pin it in place.  Then using contrast thread, baste it in place near the teeth so it will stay in place.  You can also baste it on the edge too if your paranoid or just thorough.


Step Four: Using your garment-coloured thread sew the zipper using an overcast stitch along the edge of the zipper being sure to catch the same vertical stitch along the edge.  On this sweater it's easy because it will be where you sewed down the zipper facing.  There's no picture because you can't see the thread-looks just like the one above.

Step Five: Turn right-side out and undo your front edge basting (the yarn one).  The zipper is perfect oui?  If so, sew another seam using a backstitch up the middle of the zipper tape along both edges for extra stability.


Step Six: Remove remaining basting and bask in your sewing perfection (though my photo skills need work).


Tomorrow: Pictures of me wearing Eris.  Marilyn and I decided to celebrate the sewing achievement with some Bloody Caesars (extra spicy) and it was dark by the time I remembered to take photos!

Blocking Rules!

I finally got down to business and finished Eris last night.  I tried her on, and man, did I need to block this sweater.  I know the Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran DK Tweed I used grew a bit, because I actually washed and blocked my swatch.  This is one of those sweaters where gauge and blocking really matter.


The sleeves aren't as short as they look, I had to fold them over to fit on my handy dandy blocking board.  It's a piece of 3/4" insulating board from the Home Depot, cut in half.  They're 24"X96" and cost about 2o bucks.  I just lay the wet pieces on the board and pin away.  The last pieces survived about 2 years (and would have lasted longer if I kids weren't compelled to stick pencils and other pointy objects in them).  If only I could find some with nice inch by inch squares marked off.

And I just have to say it because it makes me feel good: I got into the basement the weekend and organized the hell out of it.  Now we can see our stuff, and nothing falls on you, and most of it is unpacked.  I have a few boxes to go and a large "garage sale" pile to get rid of (anyone need a Pliko stroller?) and then it's done.  In the process I found the rest of my stash.  I love finding yarn I haven't seen in a while, so many possibilities.


Somehow, I ended up working on two sleeves at the same time.  Not two sleeves of the same sweater, but one sleeve of a new sweater I want to finish even though I won't be able to wear it for months, and one sleeve of an abandoned project I want to finish to get it out of the work basket.

The second Eris sleeve is moving along nicely and could be finished by the weekend.  The first Sophie sleeve is now done and is languishing in the morning sun.


Remember Sophie?


I started her last August, got halfway up the back and then got distracted by other things.  I picked her up in the spring for a bit and then cast her aside once again.  I'm not sure why I can't get this one done.  It's a perfectly nice cardigan.  It is in cotton and a bit boring, but that's never stopped me before.  But now, I want her out of the basket so I can follow where yarn temptation leads me.  I have this loose rule that I don't want more than 3 WIPs plus socks in the basket at one time.  Right now I have 4 and I really really want to start something else.  So Sophie it is for now.

One-armed Eris

Like everyone else I had to wait for the release of the pattern to finish ErisJenna got kinda busy so I didn't have the instructions for the sleeves.  Working on Emma's KiddieKami got me in the mood for some meditative (ie boring) knitting so the sleeve instructions came at the right time.

Yep, she's waving at you

It's fun to be working on a Fall sweater in the summer (especially since the weather has been so lovely these last 2 days--I've even had the windows open).  I will already have a finished sweater in my closet when the weather turns cool. 

Not that I'm ready for that yet.  Even with the nasty sunburn I got at the Taste of the Danforth (no, I wasn't wearing sunscreen and yes I regret it), I still want some more summer.  Especially if it's going to stay humidity and smog free.

Fun fun fun

I had a fantastic weekend and returned late last night tanned and rested with a new WIP in my hands--Madli's shawl.

That's because I finished the body of Jenna's test-knit-sweater.  I even remembered to take pictures bathed in beautiful sunshine.


Here's one of the finished body.  Unfortunately the bottom cables are being stubborn so they're hard to see.  Take my word for it, they're gorgeous and their construction is pure genius.


Here's a close up.  Inside was the only place it would work so the colour is wrong.  But check out the texture:


All this knitting happened on my birthday when Craig took the kids fishing and I just lazed around.  It was fantastic.  When they returned we ate fish and souvlaki and cake and I opened all my fun gifts. 

Emma bought me some hair clips and a butterfly magnet (a sparkly one) and a Kit Kat bar, all from Tweeds fabulous dollar store. 


Alexander used the $15 gift certificate he won at the Rashotte's Home Hardware 10th Anniversary party to buy me a new beach towel and a fancy umbrella. 


I should also mention Emma won the Home Hardware's colouring contest.

I also got some great knitting accessories--some folding scissors and a snazzy light that clips to my clothes or the sun visor in the car so I can knit on the road.  It worked great as we crawled along the 401 on our way home.

Craig finagled me a fabulous gift--this Wednesday I'm off to the San Francisco area for 5 days away.  He's going to work, but I'm going to play.  I'll be in staying in Livermore but hope to explore the Bay area.  I already have one knit-related gathering to attend, but would love suggestions on other things to do, places to visit, people to meet. 

I haven't been away in a few years and have never been to California.  Woohoo!


For once I've got nothing to say.  But I have pictures. 


Here's what the sweater-to-date looks off the needles.  It's off the needles because I had to rip back a few rows where I missed a cable.  It wasn't a big deal because it gave me a chance to try it on and it's going to be lovely.

Just like Rogue, this sweater is full of those little details that make it more than a rectangle with sleeves.  It also makes it a more challenging knit which is good too.  Here's a another not so great shot (this sweater is hard to photograph) of the beginning of the waist shaping:


Now time to get back to it.

Must be something in the water

Like Theresa and Claudia, there isn't much for me to report here.  I did take some daylight/outdoor photos of my test-knit and hope that you get a better idea of how it looks (this yarn is tough to photograph). 


I still have 2 more rows before I divide the body and arms and it really starts to look like a sweater.  But instead of doing much knitting Craig and I sat on our upper balcony drinking wine, eating veggies, fruit and cheese and reading our novels.  It was a good way to beat the heat.

This weekend doesn't have much knitting time coming either.  Alexander has been home sick this week and I'm rather behind on work.  Poor kid can't seem to catch a break.  It's just a virus, but he needs to rest up and get better so he can attend the big end of year class trip.

Hey, it's starting to look like something

I'm nearly finished the armholes for Jenna's cardigan test-knit.  This rather clever pattern begins with a pretty cabled neckline from which stitches are picked up for the body and raglan sleeves.  Then using a combination of short-rows and raglan increases the body of the sweater is built.  It's a bit tricky because there's lots to think about at the beginning, but Jenna clearly lays out each step so it's a matter of following the pattern. 


I really do need to take photos of this in natural light.  Trust me, it's gorgeous.

I'm almost at the point where the knitting gets mindless.  This is good because I have a lot of other things that need paying attention to.  I'm past the first round of data-collection for the post-doc project I'm working on, and I get to spend the summer using my brain to analyze data and write articles.  I also would like to write one more article from my thesis (still haven't heard back from the one I submitted in February) but with necessary vacation time, I'm not sure I'll fit it in.

I'm actually looking forward to writing again.  I was even excited when I got SPSS to work the way I wanted it (for all stats types, I was just doing some descriptive stats, nothing fancy, I'm a qualitative researcher by training and preference).  I'm such a geek.