half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog

Breaking The Curse

They haunt me. When I run from them, I know they’re always behind me. When I go to sleep at night, they stalk my dreams. They’re always there, haunting, taunting, following me. I try to rid myself of them, but they always foil my intricate plans.

They are the faceless demon in the night. They are my curse. They are four skeins of red Cascade 220 and two skeins of black Cascade 220 AND I HATE THEM WITH MY VERY SOUL.

I tried to turn them into a sweater.

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Okay, we won’t speak of that sweater. But, strike one.

Then I tried to turn them into a better sweater.

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Strike two. It doesn’t fit. And it looks weird. And I died of boredom while trying to knit a sleeve. In fact, I’m blogging this from beyond the grave. In the afterlife, you can only get dial-up internet. Boy does it suck.

Then there was my next “bright” “idea”.

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Yeah, I didn’t even get to cast on for this one before the yarn said “nope, nuh-uh, not going to happen”. After I rewrote the pattern to suit it. You couldn’t have told me that sooner, yarn? Of course you couldn’t. You are the devil. Strike three.

But I’m determined to break the curse, and turn this yarn into a sweater. It’s just yarn! I can conquer it! So I got out the sketchbook and started drawing red-and-black sweaters.

Some that I quite liked, but don’t really feel like knitting:

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Some that I, well, imagine that cat macro that says DO NOT WANT:

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But eventually I settled on one. I wanted something a little weird looking, something that I hadn’t seen before, and I am on a big asymmetry kick lately so this is what I came up with:

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I… think I like it. The diamond pattern was originally “scribbled cross-hatching across the front left panel to represent some sort of pattern”, which looked like diamonds and then I decided I wanted actual diamonds. And then wasted a whole bunch of time swatching cabled and twisted-stitch diamonds only to decide to just do ‘em in purls.

I still haven’t frogged the last incarnation of the demon yarn, but that turned out to be a good thing, because I could try it on and make note of all the places where it didn’t fit right, and tweak the measurements accordingly.

(Places where it didn’t fit right = ALL OF THEM. ALL OF THE PLACES.)

So if this latest attempt turns out well, I’ll write up a pattern for it, which will be awesome because I’d like another garment pattern up there besides Maddy. And if I write up a pattern, it shall be called the Cursebreaker sweater. BECAUSE I WILL BREAK THIS CURSE. YOU HEAR THAT, YARN?

And on that note, I’ve been thinking that I ought to set up a proper pattern site. I am liking this designing thing and I think soon I’ll be good enough that I can actually sell some patterns. But Half-Assed Patterns as a name simply will not do. And yet, I’d like a name that’s still in the spirit of my demented sense of humour. I thought that perhaps I could find a fancy schmancy name that is somehow related to halves and/or asses.

And decided to start by looking up the scientific name for “donkey”, because, hey, that could be something. Guess what it is?

Equus asinus.

That’s just great. Not only does it still contain as(s), but it also sort of looks like “anus”. Oh yes, that’s the association I want. I can see it now:

“Ass ‘N’ Anus Design Studio – your bottom line for design!”

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go bang my head against my desk for a while.



Mad Sweater Science, Part I

I am a bad blogger. I haven’t been updating often, I’ve been flaking on replying to comments, and also my head is all over the internets with a monster on it. That last bit has nothing to do with being a bad blogger, I just wanted to bring it up. Brainmonster got linked all over the fucking place and it’s freaking me out. I guess more hits are a good thing, and more Brainmonsters are definitely a good thing, but I was all squishy and comfortable with semi-obscurity. Oh well. I’m sure nobody clicked through to the blog anyway.

I am a bad, bad blogger. I will try to rectify that.

This is a bad, bad sweater. I will definitely rectify that. BY FROGGING IT. BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAA! SUCK ON THAT, SWEATER OF HATE. And yes, it’s going to become this:

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Now, I skimmed that pattern and complained about it. Blah blah no waist shaping, but you folks offered some perfectly logical explanations for why that might be. Maybe negative ease would take care of it. Maybe the box stitch pattern stretched more than the stockinette. Maybe bits of it were knit on smaller needles. Maybe the shaping wasn’t immediately obvious in a quick skim of the pattern.

So I read through the pattern more carefully, and as it turns out, I was wrong to complain about it the way I did. Yup, all wrong. I should have complained much, much more. I should have written a novel about how this pattern is a blight on nature and on books called Fitted Knits. There should have been cursing and lots of it.

There is no concealed shaping. There are no smaller needles. There is no negative ease.

THE SMALLEST SIZE IS 34.5″. That’s actual size, not “to fit a 34.5″ bust”. That’s 34.5″ all the way around. 34.5″ at the waist. I am not a tiny girl. Maybe slightly on the small side of average. And the smallest size would be a potato sack on me. This pattern wants me to spend hours and hours knitting a potato sack. This is so wrong. SO WRONG.

So it’s pattern-rewriting time, and just when I had sworn off thinking, too.

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First there’s the matter of waist shaping, of course. This one’s easy. I’m stealing the shaping I used in Maddy, because it fit me so perfectly. I had to rework all the stitch counts anyway since I’ll be using worsted yarn instead of bulky, so I just went all the way and ignored the pattern’s numbers completely. I’m shooting for a 32″ bust and 27″ waist. Negative ease, yea! Then rapid increases to a 37″ hip.

Can I rant? I’m going to rant. What the hell is wrong with my demented body that I have to design a sweater with a 27″ waist and 37″ hip to fit it properly?! How is that even possible? Did someone slice off my bottom half and replace it with someone else’s? I think I would have noticed if that had happened, but it seems the only reasonable explanation.

Okay. So. The next issue is this:

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It seems like a sketchy idea to put a textured panel at exactly the fattest point on one’s arms (and by “one’s arms” I mean “MY out-of-shape, slightly flabby arms”). It’s not a problem on the model because a) she probably weighs 97 pounds and b) her sweater is clothes-pinned and photoshopped into impossible dimensions anyway. But is it a problem on a Real Person?

I looked up some finished ones on Ravelry. And, surprisingly, none of them seem to cause any Phantom Arm Fat. So the fat panel stays. Congrats, you wretched pattern, there’s one thing that you maybe didn’t get wrong.

Issue #3: The buttony bits at the bottom. It took forever to figure out how they are even constructed, thanks to the useless pattern that doesn’t show a picture of that section. Ravelry to the rescue again, and I also learned that there is often a GIANT GAPING HOLE between the beginning of the side slit and the first button.

Hmm, I thought, how can I rewrite that bit so that there’s no hole? And then I thought some more. Thinking is always dangerous. But yeah. If I put black buttons there, they’d barely be visible, so it would be a whole bunch of effort for nothing. And if I put red buttons there, they would act as signposts to the widest part of my body. “Hey look everyone! Giant hips! Right here! Just follow the handy red buttons!” Hrm.

So that whole section is going to turn into some simple, non-buttoned side slits, surrounded by a triangular section of seed stitch like in the pattern.

Is that all? That might be all. Oh, and I’m taking out the slit at the top. I like it, but it ain’t practical. Imagine that, something about this pattern not being practical. The shock! The horror!

So I’m ready to go, except that I haven’t frogged the bad sweater yet. I can’t quite do it. I’m going to remake it later with a lighter weight yarn and some mods, so someday there will be a non-hateful version and I really need to frog the hateful one. I just have to get good and mad at it first. Maybe I’ll try it on again; that should do it.

Stay tuned for Part II of Mad Sweater Science, when I’ll deconstruct a perfectly good pattern and rewrite it for absolutely no legitimate reason. Yay!



The Dumb

I have, once again, run out of mindless knitting.

There was the Knotted Openwork Scarf, but it’s done. And I’m too lazy to photograph it and make its FO post. Photographing scarves is hard. That should be said in a “math is hard” talking Barbie type voice. Except math isn’t hard. I heart math. But photographing scarves is hard, because they’re all long and skinny and don’t suit a 4:3 aspect ratio. Also, lazy. Lazy lazy lazy. I have the dumb, people, I HAVE THE DUMB. Listen to the cat macro, for it is wise.

And then there was this.

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So there was this time, back in university, when I was sitting in a really boring lecture. The kind where the professor reads the textbook to you in broken English and you pour coffee down your throat and desperately try to stay awake, long ago having given up on actually learning anything. And I was doodling, instead of taking notes. I was doodling a word in giant bubble letters. The word was this:

BULLSHIT!

And so the guy sitting behind me peeks at my notebook, cracks up, taps me on the shoulder and says “can I borrow your notes?” Snerk.

The point to this non-story is that I am the type of person who will doodle BULLSHIT when I should be learning things, and will doodle MONSTER HAT when I should be knitting things, and will even draw pictures of monster hats when I already have a finished monster hat to work from and have absolutely no reason to sketch one out.

But I did knit the main head bit of Monster Hat II. Because it was mindless. I even wrote down the way I did the decreases. I even finished it while slightly drunk. I suspect I’ll lose any badass-drunken-knitting cred by mentioning that I was slightly drunk from sparkling wine. Oh, shush. It’s yummy.

Now it’s time to figure out how to knit teeth that don’t curl (no stockinette!) and don’t look like congealed ass (no garter stitch!). Noooo. Can’t brain. Dumb. So on to other things.

My library finally got Fitted Knits in and I picked up my on-hold copy today. I borrowed it to make the ubiquitous Back to School Vest. It looks like a lovely mindless knit, except that I haven’t figured out what yarn I want to use. Yarn angst! But the book is full of other yummy patterns, and the textured tunic caught my eye.

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I thought about the naughty Fake-astanje Cardigan. I thought about how much I loathe it. Wouldn’t it be satisfying to frog the bastard (AGAIN) and attempt to make it into something cuter (AGAIN)? A quick photoshopping later…

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Hmm. I don’t know. It might work, it might not, it’s hard to tell.

I’d have to rewrite the pattern a bit. Not only because it’s written for thicker yarn, but because, if I’m reading the pattern and schematic correctly, there is no waist shaping. Whaaaat? Okay, what kind of trickery did they pull on the sweater in the picture? If you turned that model around, would there be seventeen clothespins yanking the sweater into a fake fake fakey fake super-fitted shape? I think there would be!

Are you kidding me, pattern? You have the dumb, pattern. Oh god. The dumb is contagious. The pattern caught the dumb from me. If you’re reading this, you might catch the dumb from me too. Run away! Run away from the dumb!