Thursday, June 30, 2011

consequences of randomness

So, last week I was telling you about how zen I was about randomly decreasing my cardigan's left front.
Well, yesterday, after finishing the right front, I was a little less calm about it.
yeah...not at all the same length...
Actually the 2nd side is the right length. I guess all that is left for me to do is to rip the left side, and try to redo it following the randomness of the 2nd one. Hopefully I can do it quickly, I'm still hoping to wear it on July 20, in the plane.

Until then, I can at least enjoy how beautiful the lace is (that's what sold me to the idea of knitting this as a first project, even if it was an intermediate pattern).

Talking about the trip, after planning what feels like every single minute of the 4 weeks I will spend in Transylvania, it is now time to start thinking of the knitting part. I'm planning on bringing a pair of socks, so I finally learn how to knit them. All bloggers will suggest you socks, which are easy to carry and to knit anywhere.

But I also want to start something more substantial, after I'm done with my current cardigan.
I'm hesitating between the following:
1. Buttercup, which looks easy enough with just a little of lace to make it interesting.
2. Yoga wrap, which looks just easy.
3. Lauriel, not as easy, but oh so pretty...

I'm going back to Montreal to get my passport on July 13th, and I'll get my yarn at the same time, so feel free to comment to let me know what you think I should start.

On other news:
Weaving: 2 more inches. putting all my energy and time on the cardigan.
Sewing: pfew, still not over that size thing.
Gardening: things are starting to look like future vegetables on my balcony

Have a nice long weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

a better knitting week

So, I realise that my last post was a little bit negative. Nothing seemed to work, so I just put everything aside for a few days until it got sunny again and I got the chance to spend 2 full hours in my favourite knitting environment: the 3R-Mtl bus. I actually would rather pay lots of money to take that bus than use amigo or other carpooling systems, just for the knitting-time quality. 

I usually take this bus early in the morning, because I usually have a day full-jam-packed ahead of me when I go to Montreal. Fortunately, that's when I'm the most productive (this time, I took the 6:15am  one). I get to spend 2 full hours focusing only only on my knitting. I sit on the first row, where I have a little table that is more stable than the ones in the other rows, I take my pattern and my iPod out, put my iPod on the pattern so it won't move, turn on my iPod to one of my several knitting applications, take a sip of the café au lait I got right before I left and bang, I can knit for 2 hours straight.

This time, my main problem was that I had not followed the instructions properly, and did not do the decreases at the right interval. But somehow, I did not panic (my self-instruction "breathe" do help a lot) and kept going even if I knew I was not following the pattern. Let's call it knitting intuition, or, ahem, maybe more properly, stubbornness. Somewhere else in the pattern, I had to decrease every 6 rows, and somehow, even if it was VERY clearly written in the pattern I now had to decrease every 5 rows, I did it at every 6 rows again...but not constantly. Actually, even with my hi-tech iPod application, I'm not sure at all what I did, so it added another layer of stress: how am I now going to make sure both fronts are symmetrical?

After over 2 hours spent waiting at the passport office with my bag pack on my bag (practising for this summer, and strengthening my lower back...not) I arrived at Elizabeth's place for a session of pilates-knitting, She also did not look stressed or worried about the fact that I was doing whatever, since the final product looked OK. She also did not look worried or even puzzled at the fact that my needles were not at all where they were supposed to be (I was not stressed, because I had not realised yet I had not followed the pattern for that either). Anyway, the left front is now finished, and somehow, I finished it with the right amount of stiches left, and the right length. I started the right front, which I seem to be knitting as randomly as the left side, despite my super iPod application. But, people, take a look at this: it is starting to look like something I will soon be able to wear. (Ok, I've been saying that since about a month after I started it, last year, when I thought it looked like a cowl), so let's change this to: People, take a look at this: it is starting to look like a CARDIGAN I will soon be able to wear...maybe even on July 20, when I leave for Romania!!!

Other crafting news: after asking my man if he could see the mistake in the weaving, and he was, I did undo the inch, and weaved a couple more inches. But nothing to get exciting about yet.
Sewing: I'll try to get back to the skirt today, as I have a day off. (but I would rather try to finish my cardigan...).
Gardening: it is all green again, the new tomato plants look good and are full of flowers, and the one thing that survived our early planting, a zucchini plant, has started to produce one tiny zucc, with flowers for a few more.

Life is good again, except for the pictures that refuse to upload...I'll re-post when it's fixed, until then you'll have to use your imagination.

Friday, June 10, 2011


It's June! Hopefully this means that the month of rain if over. So far, so good.
Unfortunately, our urban garden has not survived this awful month, so we re-planted everything except for the tomatoes which I will buy today at the market.

Dead cucumber with new ones planted last week

I'm leaving for Transylvania in a little bit more than a month. I can't wait, although really, I think it is now time to seriously plan that group trip, starting by getting a new passport...

On the crafty side of things, I've been sewing more than knitting or weaving. I made a mistake about an inch ago in my weaving, and I can't find the will to undo that inch to redo it.

The knitting was going well, I started the sleeves, and started to divide for armholes. All was going well. Then I read AT THE SAME TIME...start shaping neck, and started to wonder if really, I was able to multitask that much while knitting. After a few minutes of trying to calculate numbers of row, and decreases on my knitting application on ipod, I had to add another thing not to forget to do:
left front, neck shaping and breathing, all happening at the same time.
I knitted like this for 2 hours while on the bus 3R-Montréal last week, but I haven't been able to get back to it since. I feel that I cannot just grab my bag and do a few rows anymore, I will need serious time to figure out where I am the next time I touch it. I could however work a little harder on my sleeves, which I will do as soon as I get the courage to do so many increases in a row (I'm not crazy about increases, I still don't feel very comfortable doing them). However, tomorrow is the World Wide Knit in Public Day, so I think that sleeves will be safer to knit at the Dek-hockey tournament I'm supposed to attend than the front-neck-breath part. 
I'm still hoping to be wearing this on the place next month...or maybe on the way back a month later...

But, really, the last month has been busier with sewing. I don't feel very comfortable sewing, even if I took some basic courses a few years ago with a dancer from my Hungarian folk dance group. I think she was very good at giving us good habits. I also sewed very intensively a few years ago, sewing 4 or 5 sets of Hungarian costumes over a weekend with 2 friends. But I hadn't touche my sewing machine in years, and remembered mostly un-sewing the many mistakes I kep making and being discouraged at how crooked everything I tried to do was.  So, even after I moved to this gigantic apartment, acquired a monstrous desk, a new iron and ironing board with the objective of starting to sew again, I had not touch my sewing machine since the move last July. But somehow, the nicer weather inspired me, and in the past 2 weeks, I started a few things.
The curtains for our main door had been on my to-do list since I visited the apartment last year

This is a future bed skirt. It is all sewn, I only need to add velcro to make sure it holds onto our fairytale bed.
The curtains took half an hour to make (I only had to sew the sides). Having everything I needed ready around me (iron, machine, needles) made a huge difference. I also noticed that somehow, even if I had not sewn in years, I now sew lines that are straighter. Maybe with age comes wisdom and patience, and with that come straight lines?

The second item is a bed skirt. My man built us a bed that is about 18 inch high. I love it, I have trouble getting onto it, it's so high, but it really feels like a princess' bed. And it's got tons of room for storage underneath. Unfortunately, this space is 1. not pretty and 2. always full of dust. So after finding this fabric at Ikea, I spent 2 hours sewing it. It looks good, and it works well again the dust. I now just have to find a way to keep in in place, probably with velcro. That too went very well, and very quickly, and everything is straight.

The last project project I worked on in the past weeks was a huge catastrophe for my ego.
I decided to make myself a skirt with some very colourful fabric I bought last year. I found a pattern that looked easy to make, and cut all the pieces of paper and fabric for what I thought was my size.

Then, I don't know why, I put the pieces to make the belt around my waist. Shock and horror, it was way too small. I went back to my papers, and sure enough, it was the size that all my other clothes are. It was even written that the belt was made to be worn an inch and a half under the waist. AAAhhhhhrrrrhhhhh! I was not even able to put it at my waist!

Before starting crying, I took a deep breath, and went to my bedroom, and tried on several clothes in that same size. Pfeww, they all fit. So I had not doubled in size overnight. Some of these clothes I've had for several years. But I really find it annoying that the sizes I wear are more and more different depending on where I get my clothes. I have clothes in S, M and L which all fit more or less the same way, and I also have clothes in at least 3 different sizes, because some sizes are made smaller, or bigger to please the crowd, I feel. Of course, nobody wants to be over size 6. But selling size 14 clothes with a size 10 or 12 tag on to make people feel better is not helpful, at least not to me. How do people order clothes over the internet? Not only I feel fat, but I also feel like someone has decided they have to lie to me because, what, I am not able to take the truth? Because if I feel big, I will not buy clothes anymore? (hum...maybe, but I still need to wear something). I think we should have a system where we are able to identify our size by the real size of our waist. Anyway, all that to say that I was not happy because now I have to redo the skirt. I will cut a new belt one size bigger, and I will undo the pleats to make them smaller, so I will gain room at the waist. 
And I will seriously re-start looking at what I eat, try to figure out ways to be  more active, stop using the way I feel in my clothes as a way to assess if my body is changing and figure out a way to "try" the paper pieces of a pattern before I start cutting the fabric. That was not a good day. :-(