March 16, 2005

The good, the bad and the ugly.

winter2005_kidmohair_cardi_blocking.jpg
Do you mind? I'm blocking here.


First, the good:

I finally finished my Kid Mohair cardi!

But here comes the bad:

I haven't been able to debut it. It is, as I type this, pinned like the bad boy that it is to my "blocking board".

Why isn't it ready for wear? Here's the ugly one endures when one finishes a Kid Mohair cardi:

Early Saturday morning, one discovers one has one's apartment all to oneself. Makes morning coffee and spends more time than necessary doing one thing: Sewing the blasted 1x1 rib front bands together at the back. First tries backstitch. Hmm...not bad. But! Anal-retentive self thinks: "I bet it would look even better if it were grafted". Tries grafting. Decides it makes the join [remember, this is Kid Mohair] look like a hairball a cat spit up. Oops! Rips out and tries grafting on knit one, purl one ribbing described in Vogue Knitting. Discovers that it looks like something a cat used to sharpen its claws. Painfully rips out again. Decides that backstitch was the way to go the first time and mentally kicks oneself in the butt for having ripped it out in the first place. Does the freaking backstitch. AGAIN.

After ripping out front band seam as described above, decides that fudging wouldn't be a good idea to sew the bands to the front neck edges. (Bands were knit at tighter gauge than cardi, so bands have more stitches than front neck edges.) Does math. Starts sewing. Puts cardi aside as family wakes up and interrupts work.

That evening, resumes sewing of front bands to cardi. Sews them successfully. Runs excitedly to mirror to try on cardi. Discovers that front bands flare out hideously. Shakes fist in air. Throws cardi in knitting bag. Feels that one is a lousy knitter and vows to run away and join the circus.

Early next morning, gives cardi another chance. Painfully rips out front bands. Changes stitch to stitch ratio when sewing in an attempt to fix the hideous flare. Tries on cardi again. Damn flare is still there. Realizes that Phildar technical editors were smoking crack when writing pattern. Puts cardi aside and decides to rip out - AGAIN - and shorten front bands even though crack-smoking pattern writers want them longer.

Next day, front bands are ripped out, shortened about 4 cm and then backstitched - one assumes - correctly. Starts sewing front bands again and about ten mins into the task discovers that a BONEHEAD MOMENT occurred: When joining bands at the back (for the third time, mind you) one of the bands was twisted around. Argh. Curses fly about like it's a party of sailors. Rips out backstitch, turns band correctly and resews. Sewing of front bands resumes and is completed. Runs to mirror to try on cardi and the chorus of Handel's Messiah thunders in the background as one discovers that the front bands look great. [Look, Ma! No flare!] Puts cardi aside.

Early next morning, ribbon ties are sewn to the inside for closure. Button gets sewn on. Runs to mirror to try on cardi. Screams in horror when seeing that front parts look strangely bunched-up when cardi is closed. Rips out button and tries sewing on again, this time carefully marking the place where it would look best. Sews on again. Runs to mirror. Improved, but not much. Throws cardi aside and swears to put it at the bottom of the dog's bed for causing such headaches.

Heads out, has hot chocolate and lemon pie in patisserie. In the middle of a bite of lemon pie, has a brief Einstein moment when the following flashes in one's mind like a neon sign: BLOCK THE DICKENS OUT OF THE FRONT PARTS, SLAPPY.

Returns home. Looks carefully at cardi. Realizes that front parts look bunched up when closed because the double decreases for neck shaping cause slightly wonky row tension. Pulls out blocking board, fills iron with water, pins the cardi down and gives the neck shaping a steaming it'll never forget. Tries on cardi one hour later and tap dances in front of the mirror. [Look, Ma! Nice fronts!]

Decides that the cardi needs refreshing after all that front band ripping. Throws it in gentle cycle and washes with special wool soap. Pulls cardi out of washing machine and mentally praises the yarn gods for making Kid Mohair because it washes like a dream. Places cardi on blocking board again, pins down the neck shaping again (just in case), and hopes for a Kid Mohair cardi debut this weekend. Has pre-celebration drink.

[Whew.]

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75 comments to this entry:

Oy! I needed to hear a good Bonehead Moment today, having committed several sewing up The Creeper. xoxo Kay
Oh no, the seawing sounds too painful! Lucky you are finished with it, looks lovely in the blocking pic! I'm looking forward to see the kid mohair rabbit dances!
Perhaps we should have a club for this type of thing. Sounds a lot like the Peace Cardigan experience I had! Margaritas all around!
Yes, indeed. I feel your pain, baby. If only the knitting were the whole of it. But no.
There's nothing like an epiphany or two to make one's finishing get . . . uh . . . finished. Lucy would like to point out, respectfully, that the hairballs she coughs up are things of beauty. I decline to comment on that.
You're a better woman/knitter than I - it would have been laid to rest after the first migraine! Can't wait to see the pix.
My goodness, what an ordeal! I admire your persistence, though. Looking forward to seeing the debut!
Well, Slappy-- All I can say is even in your frustration, you are an inspiration! Thanks for sharing the (honest) travails of a knitting whiz. And for your great writing!
that really does sound painful! can't wait to see it when it's off the blocking board!!
Think of how worth it all that work is going to be when you get to flaunt around in that lovely cardi.
Whew is right! I admire your perseverance and look forward to the fashion show!
I second all the comments here. I think I would have let Lucy have it after the first issue. I am very impressed (and inspired) that you did not just give up after all the problems. Go Becky!
You are amazing -- I would have thrown it to the bottom of the dog bed for sure..
Wow, you have the patience of Job. If it were me, that sweater wouldn't have seen the light of day for several months, at least, after the first couple of problems. As usual, you're the knitting goddess! Can't wait to see its debut.
After all that, we're expecting one heckuva debut!!! It looks beautiful!
Geez, that sounds so painful! It will all be worth it when you're wearing your fabulous creation though. Finishing pain is temporary. Gorgeous sparkly mohair cardi is forever :-)
Your story wore me out! Can't wait to see the completed sweater worn.
Ouch!!! What a pain!! This cardi needs to be framed and displayed in the Loevre for all the pain and suffering you have gone thru!!! : )
You are The Persistent Finishing Goddess. I am in awe of your patience as well. I would have just lived with the first wonky backstitches. You are amazing, well done!
She certainly gave you a run for your money! Good for you for not giving up. I did a little rabbit tribute the other day... hehe: http://www.frecklegirl.com/blog/archives/000359.php No finished knitting on though but I thought of you right away when I saw the dancing pic. :)
Hi- 1.) I'm new here; I just stumbled upon your site this past weekend and think it's fantastic. 2.) I love love your mohair cardi, and, though I don't envy you your finishing woes, I'm way impressed with your "give those seams hell" attitude. And with your lemon pie remedy. 3.) Reading your blog makes me want to live in France (well, ok, I already wanted to do that) and knit kicky French fashions (she says, pouting). I look forward to hanging around here more often!
Thanks for sharing the good, bad, and ugly of knitting. Can't wait to see its debut.
Becky, you made me stressed just from reading that! Props to you for chugging along and figuring it out. I've been thinking of how to attach K1P1 bands too (for Lucky wrap), so now I'm a little scared...
my goodness, i cannot believe your patience and persistence with that! i am going to put on a hat so i can take it off to you. it already looks gorgeous; looking forward to the fashion show! i also think you deserve another piece of lemon pie. and any other kind of pie. congratulations!!!!
I am exhausted just reading this entry!! I am positive it was well worth it! I can't wait to see crazy dance moves. on the First Sweater front...am happily on my first trip to sleeve island!! wahoooo! Decided to make Klaralund for my first sweater. it is coming along nicely. Thank you for inspiring me! Hugs to you and the family!
Kudos to Slappy Rabbit for not giving up -- and for transcending her personal pain in documenting the whole seaming tragedy and magically converting it into finishing slapstick! Can't wait for the whack dancing pix!
There's dedication for you! Wow. I can't wait to see it!
Slappy? Slappy!!! Sorry, you almost made me fall out of my chair on that one. I will thank you now for going through all this pain. I am having my first mohair experience...I'll backstitch first. ; )
You are one determined Rabbit! Like others have mentioned, I would have given up since first run. Can't wait to see its debut. :)
Wow! Like everyone else, I greatly admire your persistence and patience. I'm afraid I would have broken into tears and/ or angrily thrown said object across the room after so many snafus. I guess it just goes to show that even the most experienced knitters among us still has difficulties from time to time! You are so inspiring because you share both your knitting triumphs as well as your frustrations. The sweater looks lovely, by the way... I can't wait to see it in action!
Yippie Becky!! The cardi-Avenger strikes again! For some reason this post played like a black and white Charlie Chaplin movie in my head. Bravo to you!
The front bands and everything sound like quite an ordeal! But it looks as though it was worth the effort, the cardigan looks great. Can't wait to see the finished product.
OMG! I think I need a drink after that! You have such patience...I would have tossed it in a pile and glance guiltily at it for a few months after the first retry.
All of your diligent work will surely yield a lovely result! Can't wait to see you dancing :) Take care!
I feel your pain...I too had to rip-sew-rip-sew-put aside-sew a top once and now it's my favorite thing to wear, maybe because of the time and effort to finish. I really enjoy your site I'm in CA and don't have a need for big warm sweaters so I'm thinking of learning french just to read some of those Phildar patterns with cute tanks I've seen on your site. Also, I didn't know you could wash kid mohair like that...I always thought it would look like a mangy dog if I stuck it in the wash. Thanks for the insight.
I admire your determination, but you freaked me out. I was almost done with the same (but pink) cardi, and now I'm really scared to finish it ! I think I'll stick to basic baby booties for a long moment...
Note to self: Self, take a memo from the Rabbit...when presented with a challenge, Lemon Pie and hot chocolate lead to brilliant knitting solutions... That is Much Much better than "try try again" axiom...Way to go, Dearest Becky! Can't wait for the Super Whack Dance Party Photo Op when this beauty is ready for her Close up!
WTG w/ the perseverance. She looks lovely on the blocking board, I can't wait for her unveiling. (I would have tacked it to the cat scratching post and let my kitties have at it!! lol)
Okay, now the truth is out. You have the patience of Job. Ripping out and re-sewing in mohair!? Over and over again?! Yikes. But it paid off. It looks as though it's going to be gorgeous. And along with the funky dancing shots, I'd like a picture of the button, please.
Wowsers! I would have thrown my hands up at the first sight of evil finishing woes...whic could explain the lack of a completed sweater but an aweful lot of sleeves under the couch! Way to keep on working away. What an inspiration!
Everyone knows very clearly what they would have done in your place. I caught myself thinking I would have had the drink long before you did; which is funny because I don't drink!
Oh my lord, girl, that is a lot of ripping, in MOHAIR no less. Do you think the knitting gods are trying to teach you something? Testing you, certainly. I'm sure the result will be stunning, but I've got to say, the nice, docile Amelie bolero is the way to go!
Boy, can I relate to your story! Lovely cardi. Can't wait to see it on.
Three Gold Stars for patience! I would have given up hours before you, thrown it aside and had a mommoth temper tantrum :)
Gosh, I really din't think you ever had to rip anything, you silly rabbit! I know that cardi is going to look divine on you. How wonderful it is that you can look at your mistakes (or tech editors mistakes) and know exactly what you have to do to fix it!
Wow, I'm exhausted just reading that! I am now not going to bitch anymore about having to frog a mere 2" of ribbing because the 2nd ball of black Debbie Bliss has apparently faded and is an obvious shade of light grayish black!
Any lust I had for that cardigan had now been declared NULL AND VOID.But it looks faboo!
OH god! I can't believe you ripped out mohair more than once. That stuff is hideous to rip. Kudos for that, but I had to take a nap halfway through your post--your endeavors tired me right out. I hope it's perfect now though.
that's why all of your knits are nothing less than perfection! that was quite a walk through the process that we all should make sometimes. i must say i stall out sometimes, but way to keep at it.
Wow Becky, you are truly an inspiration!! I love your blog, your knitting, and the way you tell a story. Keep it up.
What an adventure! Gosh, were you kept busy :-) But the cardi does look fabby and we are all awaiting the 'premier'!
Talk about perseverance with a captital P! Gee, that cardi sure looked sweet and innocent enough on the printed page. Thanks again for an inspiring adventure.
Can't wait to see the whack dancing shots-rest up! And put the hot chocolate down first.
I can just picture the fist shaking in the air. "Serenity now!" After all that, the cardi couldn't possibly have the temerity to block badly. I can't wait to see the finished product!
OMG! Even on the blocking board it's gorgeous! I know it was a lot of work, but just look at that mah-ve-lous baby and you know it was worth it all! :) wynne
Becky, you're such an inspiration. I'm off to go straight to my "unfinished projects" pile and show them who's the boss here!
Blimey Becky, what a nighmare from hell finishing episode! I may never knit anything again - just in case I end up in a finishing hell like yours. Well, I supose I could still knit - just never finish anything. Which some people might say would not be all that different to what I do now... The blocking photo is fabby though so it was worth it. Looking forward to seeing the tequila pics! Thanks for sharing the fact that the finishing goddess has trouble too sometimes!
I can only say you are a stronger woman than I am, Ms Becky. The pluck! The determination! Bravo.
From an English knitter : Have just discovered your site - particularly like the comment about Phildar editors on crack. This has happened to me several times. Your thought processes are remarkably similar to mine - I feel I have found a kindred spirit!
Whew! For your episode with Kid Mohair cardi and the number of posts!!! Got to hand it to you, you've got persistence. I would have tossed (gently, of course, with all garments that are lovingly (???) handmade) somewhere where I wouldn't have to look at it for a while - at least till I've calm down a little. Seems since I've been reading your blog, I've becoming more like you in the knitting finishing department. I now have to wrestle with my conscience if I've done a less than satisfactory finishing job (or skimped on it).
You are one brave woman! I know you were soo happy when it finally worked out. Thanks for being an inspiration for us to keep working out the kinks in our knitting! And I can't wait to see the finished pics!!
Whew. Argh! Whew again. ;-) I'll have a drink for both of us. Take a minute to bask in your MYKU status. You rock!
Gosh - I feel out of breath at the end of all that!! When things are going wrong like that it all stops being a pleasure - but I'm glad you sorted it out and I'm looking forward to dancing shots of the finished cardi :)
Sigh...I feel for you. Stupid, GORGEOUS sweater. Can't wait to see it on - I love everything about it - the color, the style. I'm very jealous right now - finishing woes aside of course.
I've been a reader for years (!) now, and just wanted to say that I really appreciate your sense of humor; your captions in particular crack me up. Thanks for the inspirational blog. (I only have one toddler, and don't know how you get as much knit as you do!) --Ingrid
thanks for the chuckle....and I thought only I had knitting days as these!
I'm tired and Frustrated from reading this post. Poor, poor rabbit. Glad all is well now!!! :-)
Here's a twist....I know that you experienced great pain with that sweater, but man was I envious to here that you had your apartment ALL TO YOURSELF!! Lucky Duck!
If I wasn't so addicted to yarn, this post might have been enough to make me vow to never knit again. Poor Becky... I'm looking forward to the triumphant dancing shots of this one. You've earned a dance or two with this cardi!
I'm in awe in front of so much perseveration and perfectionism! I think I would have given up at the first try... (well, in fact I wouldn't even have tried, I hate knitting rib front bands and sewing them afterwards!!!) The cardi looks great, so good for you! (how about churros con chocolate to celebrate? hmmm?)
Thanks SO MUCH for the kind words of encouragement! I'm glad I'm over that finishing nightmare. Believe me: There were definitely moments when I was tempted to shove the cardi in a drawer and just forget about it. But all that time and good yarn wasted...I knew I wouldn't be able to do it unless I tried every wacky idea I could think of in order to get the cardi to look right. I'm glad I'm able to vent it all here; it's cathartic :-)
DEAR,DEAR...but LOL. I love your writing. Would it cheer you up if I tell you that I had to frog my Mariah sleeve twice already. 1st time I screwed up the increases, 2nd time I screwed up the cable...sheesh. It's a learning process.
Oh so lovely! Your hard work has payed off! I can't wait to see you dancing away in that kid mohair dream. Cheers!
I am a new to knitting and after reading all that I about wanted to burn my needles and yarn and take up target riflery! I am glad you persisted tho'-love reading your site you are a great knitter and provide great inspiration. p.s thought of you while on vacation last week in Mexico, seeing all those tequila shops!
Yowsers! What an ordeal! I have to admire your persistance, Becky...I know I would have given up and frogged the whole thing. (Your writing is so entertaining, I couldn't tear my eyes away from my monitor...have you ever thought about writing a book?) It's been a few months since I've visited your blog and I'm amazed by the number of projects you've completed. How do you do it? Do you have any idea how many projects you complete in a year? I look forward to seeing the pictures...and yes, you do deserve a gold star (a bunch of them)!

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