Friday, February 27, 2009

Guess what this is??

It's my very first design submission!

Okay technically I sent in another design last week but it was all electronic so it didn't feel as real as this lovely, tangible thing. With swatches and proposal pages and sketches and photos, all sealed up and carefully hand-carried to the post office. It is thrilling.

I was really stressed this past week trying to get it done, and was really stressed right up until the point when I put the whole package together, and now I'm just SO happy. The project itself came together really beautifully and I'm enormously proud. Hopefully the editors of [name of publication redacted] will be as excited as I am!

Oh and to my Tuesday night ladies (and gent), I hope you'll be proud too: it's a felted project. :)

Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fish in water

Right now I know exactly what I want to be when I grow up, and that is a crochet-designing professor living with a hot architect.

I am so driven by my desire to be an academic that I managed to convince one of the professors in my department to make me his grader for the semester. Usually grad students fill this role but I tricked/persuaded him into agreeing that there was no way those kids were more qualified than me (there might have been something bordering on begging in there too) and I got the job.
Also, this past week I have tracked down some submission guidelines for some magazine-type things, and I actually have (what I think are) good ideas, so I think I'm really going to for real submit some designs.

So yesterday on our day off from work, I found myself sitting in a chair drinking coffee, alternating between grading book reports and working on a design idea, and Aaron was at his drafting desk working on his own design competition, and we were listening to a great album we just rediscovered, and the sun was shining through the window, and it was one of those this is it moments. I was happy as a clam.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Shannon coat: extensive project notes

So, this is probably my favorite thing I've ever made. It's from Everyday Crochet by Doris Chan (I'll do a book review of this soon, there are a lot of things to say about it...) For this project I kept actually day-by-day notes of my work, for once, and instead of taking up all the space on my Ravelry projects page I moved all of the notes over to here.

Just a few comments: I would agree with the "experienced" rating this pattern has. There are some initial frustrations, but after you "get" the pattern, it is SO speedy and SO satisfying. And lovely. And squishy and cozy. Etc etc.

January 3-4: Started this late Saturday night, by the end of Sunday had already gotten through the yoke and underarm joining and a bit of the body. So, it seems to be a rather quick pattern (it is a pretty huge gauge after all), even though it takes sooo much extra time trying to decipher patterns/hunt down other pages in the book. That part was giving me fits. But otherwise I’m really pleased. I LOVE the Sierra yarn, especially for this pattern right now.

January 5-6: The cuff in the picture made the sleeve look a little bulky in my opinion so I’m omitting the cuff altogether; I decided to do the sleeves before the body to make sure I had enough yarn to get the length I want.
I’m done with right sleeve and started on left. Sleeve length in pattern is supposed to be 25 rows, I ended up making mine 36, due to a combination of my gauge is slightly short, my sleeve needs to be longer, and I apparently have what my boyfriend affectionately dubbed “gorilla arms”.

January 7-11: Scratch that. Arm rows = 39. Gorilla arms being what they are. (Note: after blocking, the arms stretched enough for me to be able to fold them up into a different kind of "cuff")

I apparently also have gorilla torso because the hip shaping is supposed to start at 8”, but mine don’t start increasing until about 9.5”. So I’ve lengthened smaller part of the body. I’m at about hip-level right now but I’ve only got 1.5 balls of yarn left. Yikes. It’s not going to be coat length at this point. I’ll just keep working on it until I’m out of yarn and decide if I need more or if it’s okay.

January 12-13: Yarn ran out when “coat” was about 18” from underarm, instead of the prescribed 25”; after staring at it for a long time I decided I kinda like it. It’s a bulky jacket and if it were any longer it would accentuate my, erm, bulkier parts, but at this length it’s actually very flattering I think. So! Body done, ends woven in, need to start swatching for collar.

January 14: The stated gauge for the collar section is bananas. Granted, the Superwash Worsted is on the very fine end of “Worsted”; I had to go all the way up to an L hook to get anywhere near the gauge, which made the fabric look totally unrecognizable and very flimsy, so I am just going with the J hook and being careful to work evenly up the edge.

January 21: Finally finished the collar, which, after the speediness of the body, seems to take forever and ever. But I tried it on, and, wow. It’s, wow. I love the collar. I love love love the whole thing. Now I just have to make the sash and block the whole thing. Oh, how I love it.

January 26: Spent the whole weekend trying to power through the “Sash-A” that’s supposed to go with it, and finally gave up. That thing is surprisingly difficult, and slow, and will make your hands curl up and cry. So I scrapped the whole thing and started over, made a sash that is just like the stitching on the collar and the exact width of the narrowest section of the collar. Also attached little belt loops with what little Sierra yarn I had left over.

Blocked the whole thing. Tried it on. Did a little dance. <--I love you, sweater.