Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cardigans and Writing Contests

I was in Gap yesterday, trying to find a few cardigans on sale, to go along with the long-sleeve t-shirts and bra I'd just bought (bra on major clearance, $10, score!), and getting frustrated because a) they had hardly any on sale, and b) the ones they had were boring. What I really wanted of course was to go to Anthropologie and buy some of their gorgeous cardigans, but that is so not in the budget right now. And I was getting more and more frustrated, until I had an epiphany. I can crochet. I am learning to knit. I can make cardigans for myself. How did I not figure this out sooner???

Of course, it does mean that I'll have to get by for a few weeks short on cardigans. But I think it might be worth it in order to have beautiful one-of-a-kind cardigans in the yarns I like that actually fit. Okay, the actually fitting part is maybe a bit optimistic for a novice sweater-maker. But I'll learn, right? And if they end up too small or too big, gifts! (Am I dreaming? Is something like this just going to be totally beyond my skills? Novice yarn-workers want to know...)

I also discovered yesterday that libraries have like, gazillion crocheting and knitting books. This is obvious in retrospect, but it took me a surprisingly long time to figure it out.

I finished Kavi's scarf yesterday (total working time, double-crochet, I hook, one hour), and one mitten this morning (half an hour?). No wonder people make so much stuff for babies -- it's fast! So much tinier than a grown-up scarf... I'm not thrilled with the mitten; crochet is a bit bulky for the purpose, and I think I should have switched to a smaller hook, to get a tighter weave. They're cute, but it's going to be tough for Kavi to pick things up when she's wearing them. Was tempted to pull the whole thing out and start over, but reconsidered, since mostly they're just to keep her little hands warm; it's not as if she needs a ton of manual dexterity when playing in the snow. Snowballs and snowmen are a ways beyond her skill level I think. Will make the other mitten this afternoon -- want to do it now, but have to go finish reviewing manuscripts for the final Wisconsin Arts Council meeting today. I get to help decide which writers get a pile of money. This is both happy-making and sad, because of course we have to turn down far more than we can say yes to. Ah well.


Blogger Nephele said...

The cardigan itself is pretty straight forward. It's a raglan with wide moss stitch cuffs on the sleaves. The bottom is looks like there might be a row or two of garter stitch around it. The trickier bits are the flowers and stems. The good news is they're knit (or you could crochet them) seperately and sewn on.

I'm generally of the opinion that nothing is too hard for anyone to knit. It's wanting the finished project that will get through it. You're more likely to give up on a project that is boring - especially if the finished sweater doesn't excite you.

2:05 PM  
Blogger JellyDonut said...

Go for it! You can always find a lys and get some pointers or even post some pix online. I'm sure there are lots of knitters willing to help. Think how proud you'll be when you wear it.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Trust me, Mary Anne, the folks on this blog can get you through the perils of any knitting project. I know this from experience because they've been tremendously helpful to me. I even managed to sew a zipper into a knitted sweater, a feat which I still can't believe I accomplished successfully, thanks to all the excellent advice I got from the pros here on RTY.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Mary Anne Mohanraj said...

Okay, y'all have convinced me. :-) I still might try to do a sweater from a pattern first, before I dive into attempts to copy pieces from the Anthropologie website (and before that, maybe something even smaller? Do people knit potholders?) But I will aim towards pieces like the one I linked to. Exciting. :-)

7:01 AM  
Blogger OzKnitter said...

Have you joined Ravelry? It's a great resource for finding TONS of wonderful, free patterns.

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

Oh, definately Ravelry. And the most popular cardigan over there right now seems to be...the February Lady--a cute cardigan with 3/4 sleeves, raglan shaping, and lace. And yes, I've fallen victim to it's charm as well, and have it past the third buttonhole....

9:31 AM  
Blogger georg said...

Mary Anne- there's always socks. I love knitting socks.

I haven't been brave enough to try a sweater yet. Some day. When I have enough Socks.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Mary Anne Mohanraj said...

I've just signed up for an invitation to Ravelry -- they say about 5 days 'til I get in. I'm excited! :-)

12:19 PM  
Blogger georg said...

Speak up when you do - you'll find friends quickly. :)

4:18 PM  

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