October 08, 2003

Schwarzy, neck shaping, and how to make your own stitch holders, dammit.

fall2003_regate4.jpg
Stitch holders? We don't need no stinkin' stitch holders.


Before I go on further re the wonders of Balzane yarn and how much I love knitting this cute little preppy sweater, let me just say this: I'm not sure I like the neck decreases as instructed by the pattern and as featured in the photo above. As a matter of fact, I was unsure while I was doing them, but I still knit on grudgingly while I said to myself, "Don't like it. Should do the decreases another way. Uh-uh. Just. Don't. Like it." Usually I rip back before finishing and try something else, but this time I knit on through, perhaps with the false hope that once I finished the shaping I'd miraculously like it. Well, I don't. And once I get over the shock from learning that Schwarzy* is now governor of what used to be my home state and stop wondering who in the hell voted him into that position, I think I'll rip out the neck and redo it another way. For pete's sake.

On another note, you might notice that the shoulder stitches are still open. Mostly because I had a feeling I'd be ripping out and redoing the neck, and also because I might be doing a three-needle bind off (my preferred method of joining shoulder seams) for the shoulders. I'm still undecided as to how I'll seam the shoulders for this sweater, but I'm probably going to bind off and join using backstitch. Sometimes with ribbon yarns I prefer to bind off shoulder stitches and sew them together, because I notice that the stitches at the shoulders of garments knit in ribbon yarns stretch more when joined using the three-needle bind off.

Quick tip: I have all kinds of stitch holders, but I never use them because I've discovered that they stretch out stitches during blocking, or if the stitches are left on them too long. I like to use waste yarn, either in the same gauge or at a lesser gauge than the yarn I'm using for the garment. When it comes time to place stitches on stitch holders, I simply thread an embroidery needle with my waste yarn, and pull it through the stitches while I take them off the needle. Then I tie the ends of the waste yarn into a bow or loose knot. Voilą. DIY stitch holders.

*Years ago, when Ah-nuld hooked up with Maria Shriver and was mostly known from Pumping Iron and Conan fame, my father told me, "That guy wants to be a politician. I just know he'll run for office someday. Mark my words." When my father told me that, I didn't believe it! Well, Dad, go ahead and pull out the bullhorn so you can shout, "I TOLD YOU SO!" into my ear. I know you wanna.

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27 comments to this entry:

It's a horrorshow. I think all the Botox in his forehead has caused some sort of leakage.

Your sweater is gorgeous! Those colors are sublime together. I think the multi-directionality of the neckline is rather interesting. Of course, it's not my sweater and it would bug the sh*t out of you to leave it, but it looks great in the photo.

i love those colors! i would have picked those colors! i swear, im so inspired by your fabulous knitting!

anyway, being new to knitting and all, could you please let me know what stitch holders are? also, are they the same as stitch markers? many thanks!


Hee hee! Good one, Silvia. Either that, or all those muscle enhancers.

I actually like the way the shaping slants, but I'm unsure about having the decreases 3 sts from the edge because it seems to create a thick border. I have to pick up stitches around that neckline and work a few cm of ribbing. Think there will be too much going around at the neck?

Tami, stitch holders are to hold open stitches that you remove from the needles temporarily, and stitch markers are used to place on the needle while you're knitting in order to mark decreases, increases, etc. Most how-to knitting books have a small section at the beginning that describe basic knitting tools and what they're used for. You might want to take a look to get a better idea :-)

I am still laughing about Ah-nold. Maybe Californians are getting too much sun - I mean first Florida, now this. It's the hole in the ozone layer.

The sweater is gorgeous. Lucky kid.

It just boggles my mind that so MANY people thought this was a good idea. (I'm talking about the Governator, or as the NY Post calls him, the Gropinator--not the cute sweater.)

Re: sweater. I did decreases like this (3 sts from the row ends) on the raglans for Smoulder, a finer-gauge sweater (I think, anyway) from Rowan. At first they bugged me, those channels along the edge, but after they were matched with the same kinds of decreases on the sleeves, I thought it looked fine, and it made it easy to seam them. I did the decreases this way for a v-neck, though, and I totally agree that by the time I picked up the stitches and ribbed a few rows for the neck, there was too much going on, in too many directions. Will be most interested to see your solution. If you don't do it this way, then you'll have to pick up along an uneven edge, no?

Whoa!! Enough knitting technology for me. Can't wait to see it. Kay

The neck decrease looks a bit stark there, but in the photo from the pattern, it seems to work quite well with the ribbing.

Without the ribbing, that would make a very sweet neckline for a tank.

i have to say...i like the neck on the sweater. but if you won't wear it, then i guess it needs to go.

I agree that the decrease band (look, I just made up a knitting term) is too think, especially if you're going to pick up and knit a neckband. And *especially* especially because it's a small sweater. It seems out-of-proportion too thick. (But ditto on the great colour choice!)

Didn't Californians learn their lesson with Reagan about electing Hollywood actors? Sheesh.

I'm really glad you posted. The clown was starting to freak me out

But Morgan, doesn't the idea of Arnie as governor freak you out more? Does me. Considering all the dough he's poured into presidential campaigns, don't be surprised if he tries to run for pres himself someday. [Bring in the clowns!]

Alison has pinpointed what's bothering me about the neckline. If the sweater were larger, that thick edge would probably work. It's overwhelming the neckline on this small sweater. I don't think the ribbing is going to help [you're right, Kay...too much going on] so it's to the frog pond! Ribbit.

Personally, I'm undecided about the neckline. I do like the way it looks 3 stitches in from the edge but I understand your point about it being on such a small sweater. I think that if you weren't going to pick up and knit the stitches I'd be begging you to leave it as it is but I can't picture what it would look like after you've done this. At the end of the day you know what you like and I'm sure by now you've probably already ripped it out and redone it. Have you?

I use the same trick with waste yarn although for a different reason. I carry my knitting around with me so much on the bus / train to work etc that I find waste yarn stitch holders less bulky and likely to come undone in my bag and stab me!

I thought the neckline had an interesting wishbone shape, but I agree w/ Alison that it's too thick.

I have a ton of crappy acrylic yarn that I use for stitch holders when I run out of the other ones (with so many projects going at the same time, I run out quickly). I will never be at a loss for waste yarn. Anyone else want some?

Have you ripped the neckline yet? I think you're right about it. It's not so preppy somehow as the rest of the sweater. Just think of Gov. Terminator and rip, rip, rip!

re: California. The state *totally* went to sh*t after you and I left.

re: neckline. Quite right. Get rid of it and do a normal decrease one stitch in from the edge if you are gong to rib the neck.

I think I'm going to follow your lead and short row the shoulders of my Wannabe and do a three needle bind off. The increased stretchiness of that bind-off will probably work just fine with the stretchy Falaise.

Arnold did marry John F. Kennedy's cousin! How he got to be a Republican, now that's a mystery...(or maybe not). About the stitch holders, that makes a lot of sense. But I'm so attached to my "special safety pins", I can't figure if I want to make the switch. Bisou.

re: Arnold - it's just like a pantomime I think, as in it's funny, but not when you realise it's really happening. Very strange.
The sweater looks nice but if you don't like it you'll never wear it, so it should GO!

okay, i have to say that i think that it's really, really funny (in a funny bizarro way) that Ah-nold is the Governator now. I also think it's really hysterical to say things like "Hasta la vista, Gray Davis." But, I don't live there and I never did, so I'm being insensitive. (Don't hate me!)

Also, I like the collar too, but you know how I feel about frogging. It makes me cringe....I haven't learned the happy singing-wine drinking way to rip out rows! One day!! At any rate, you should frog away if you will be bothered by it...

i don't understand why they have combined those decreases and ribbing. i'd think you'd just want one or the other? dunno man. looks fine but i am picturing it my size not CD size. ;) as i picture ALL SWEATERS.

"for pete's sake" Hee! That made me giggle. The day has rolled around - we miss Pete Wilson. Never thought it would happen..... And California misses you! You and Greta both gone, the state rolled up the mats and said, "eh."

(my personal vote on the neckline - I like it! I think it's different and daring in its difference.)

Hee hee. "Governator". Whoever thought that one up deserves a big bonus for Christmas.

I think most of you probably know what I did. Yep. I frogged it. Frogged, frogged, frogged it! Hasta la vista, neckline shaping.

That decrease on the neckline would look good on a sexy little talk (in fact, that's what I thought it was until I read that it was the preppy sweater, no sleeves is misleading!) so perhaps you want to stock away that idea till next summer!

We're in shock over here in Massachusetts too, trust me, though we're too busy watching baseball at the moment to care about anything else ;)

RE: Arnold... I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry! And embarrassed. And annoyed. And really, really amazed. I think the state should split around Santa Cruz and go as far south as maybe Yosemite, and maybe we wouldn't have quite so much of this craziness. Alas.

As for knitting -- lovely as always. I can only dream.

re: arrrrrnold ... Yes it freaks me out. Hopefully He won't be able to get much done ... But it really could have been worse ... it could have been Gary Coleman, Larry Flint ... or ... well ... worse ...

And Don't you think His wife is looking a tad bit too thin?? Not that I like to focus on those things, but her cheeks are hollow.

re: Considering all the dough he's poured into presidential campaigns, don't be surprised if he tries to run for pres himself someday. [Bring in the clowns!]

luckily for everyone, he can't run for president because he wasn't born in the United States! at least let that thought comfort you.

Haha! You say that like I didn't go to law school. You think the Constitution can't be amended or modified? Times change. Money talks, and people like Arnie have lots of it. So let's keep our fingers crossed :-)

(Janet has a very good idea, by the way.)

Late again! But here goes...regarding the govenor elect.... This after all the hoopla has come and yet not all gone, I am a resident of California and Arnold (poor thing) not a seasoned polititian like Davis is not given a chance to show he can do the job. Not that I like the fact that he's a Republican nor do I like his wife (I didn't like Reaganomics either) but that's me. I say let's wait and see.... Now back to our regularly scheduled knitting...I'm using stitch holders now and see your point it does stretch out the stitches (especially if you us the lonnnng ones). But I find that stitches can sometimes be hard to put back on the needle when waste yarn is used.

Shirley, putting the stitches back on can be rather tricky. I always "tug" a bit on the waste yarn to bring the stitches back out because I notice that they get really small. When I do that, I never have difficulty putting them back on the needle, even if the yarn is a small gauge.

Re Ah-nuld, I wish I could say I agree with you, but I don't think that there shouldn't be any trial runs when it comes to running a state. We're not talking mayor of Palm Springs, here. And it's not just because he's a movie star, either. What's his political experience? His educational background? I'm not grumbling solely because most of my family still lives there or because I was raised there...what bothers me the most about this is the nagging feeling that he made it this far due to his movie stardom and political connections. It shows just where some people's priorities lie. Scary thought, that. But now that he's there, you're right...he should be given the chance to show what he can do with this important position.

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