Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lookin' for Sock Love

I learned to make socks back in 1997 from my MIL (God bless her; she can whip off a pair of socks or slippers in a jiff). I made a couple of Christmas "socks" for my sisters in worsted weight. Then I tried a sock with fine yarn (the stuff you'd call string). I found the whole process rather tedious: teeny tiny stitches on itty bitty needles? Not for me. Eventually I stopped knitting altogether (I don't know what I was thinking, but my interests lay elsewhere).

Since delving back into knitting, I've made 3 pairs of socks and I've got a 4th one on the go. Go figure? While I understand basic sock construction, I'm still "feeling" my way 'round the different varieties and permutations: cuff-down vs toe-up, heel flaps vs short-row heels . . . I can't even name all of them. Yet despite my relative lack of experience and knowledge, I'm starting to "get" it. Sock love. Wait, let me explain.

First off, there's magic in socks (no, I'm not drinkin' too much wine; and no, work on my taxes did not induce temporary brain fatigue--although I can't guarantee I haven't lost a few gray cells). For me, the mystery of life lies in the turning of the heel (well, maybe not the mystery of life). You're knitting essentially a straight tube and then the whole thing curves to fit perfectly round the heel. It's pure magic!

Then there's these two appreciative recipients who eagerly await their new socks. Their grandmother introduced my boys to "homemade" socks (that's what my boys call them, as if they were homemade cookies and or homemade muffins--something to make ya feel cozy). And they love them!

Finally there's the portability factor: socks are small. I can take them anywhere. And that, my dear friend, is the secret to finishing socks: keep them handy in your purse or knapsack. Your wait or commute will zip along and you will have a sock to show for it in the end. :)

Friday, April 24, 2009


There's nothing like a little bit of sunshine, even if the day is not quite as warm as it should be (we're still in the single digits here on the east coast--hopefully not for long). Spring is here. I've got proof. The snow is finally gone (yee-haw!) and I've heard the birds chirping in the morning. And there's life stirring amidst last fall's debris of leaves and twigs. Just take a gander at these lovely crocuses from my little patch of garden.

I love Spring: the promise of warmth, renewal and life returning to the earth. I've got a busy day tomorrow. Hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Perfect Fit--Or Not

The greatest challenge in making a garment is finding (or creating) a pattern with the perfect fit. To that end, this knitter has struggled. In off-the-rack clothing, I struggle to find my size (anywhere from XL to 2XL). If its not a specialty shop, sometimes its just hard to find my size. Or if the shop does carry my size, the fit is questionable, the style is unappealing OR the cost is just too damn expensive. It's just hard being stylish if you're fat (yeah I said it: I'm fat. Wanna make something of it?). What to do? Make my own sweaters that would be stylish, cost effective and fit properly. (The cost effective part comes from using acrylics and other unholy fibres--hence my name acrylic-girl--so if you're a yarn-snob, you might as well just leave right now to avoid any gnashing of teeth and eye-rolling).

Rewind: about a year ago, I started knitting Stefanie Japel's Short-sleeved Cardi from Fitted Knits. I just loved the pattern. Inspired by other knitters' projects on Ravelry, I plunged in and cast on. Now here's where the newbies are separated from the more experienced: the latter would consider the implication of negative vs positive ease, especially given that the lower half of the cardi was heavily ribbed. Clingy ribbing and rotund bodies do not necessarily mix. But in my misguided attempt to ensure fit and my inexperience with the concept of ease, I flubbed. Yes, I tried on the sweater and it fit well in the upper body. But I neglected to consider that the comfy upper body would clash with the clingy ribbed bottom (not to mention that the ribbing hit me in the abs and bottom in the most unflattering way). I forged on, in complete denial, hoping that in the end the button band would somehow fix everything .**shakes head in shame**

Fast foward: while I worked on other projects, the sweater sat around for a year, abandoned but not forgotten until just a few weeks ago. I picked it up and finished the second sleeve. Then I tried it on and new eyes saw the problems that my old eyes could not see. The fit was not right. The fact that I'd lost about 25 lbs since last year didn't help either (Don't worry. I'm still fat, but now I'm also healthier).

What did I do? Rip, rip, rip . . .

But all is not lost. I only ripped out the ribbing. I'm just gonna continue in stockinette. It'll be a cosy sweater rather than a sexy clingy knit (my most sincere apologies to Stefanie Japel 'cuz the fault lay in the knitter, not the pattern).

On the plus side, I do have neat little square buttons. :)

Welcome to the Wonderful World Wide Web!

I'm here! I did it! I've created my own blog. My thoughts and words will join the vast cacophony of cyberspace--and of course, I'll expound upon my knitterly exploits (as tentative and unsure as they might be).


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