Workroom Diaries 20211212


Bestway B2085

Since I’ve essentially changed every single thing about this sweater, I had to also rewrite the directions into a stitch chart for the leaves. I used Google Sheets and arranged the cells into uniform “stitch-sized” boxes, then followed the written instructions to map it out. I didn’t hate it, but it was difficult to keep track of the printed shorthand and the graphical representation.

There is so much math in this project that I can hardly make sense of it. First, I am not knitting flat, so everything is doubled in the round. The instructions call for front and back (combined) to equal 268st. Because I’ve done the colorwork in a chart as opposed to knitting back and forth flat, I will need a total of 204st after the armholes & decreases, which is a difference of 8st from their total of 196. If I’ve thought about it correctly, that means I need to *not* decrease two rounds in the armhole section (which I haven’t even had the heart to think about yet). I’m not going to cast off, obviously; rather, I’ll hold stitches on waste yarn and decrease, then pick up stitches on dpns to work the sleeves. Or maybe I will knit those flat. I haven’t decided how that’s all going to work yet. In fact, I might have to knit those flat because I don’t have know if I even have small dpns in that size. Ugh; still a fun project (until it isn’t, hut it currently still is, lol).


So I just remembered that last time I knit a sweater from bottom-up (not my preferred method), I knit the sleeves first, then joined them at the armpit, so I’m winding up a ball (using Nana’s chair) and working on sleeves now. On a side note: using a chair is a much-improved experience as I typically use my legs to hold the yarn, and it’s not really that comfortable. One day, I’ll get a fancypants yarn holder and ball winder, but today is not that day, and this I don’t mind so much. If there’s any question about that board in the back, it’s a dance board for tap. That’s where I “hide” it.

I’m casting on “very stretchy” for sleeves. I usually prefer to do two-at-a-time, but since these are only 4.5″ long (probably about 50 rows, I’ll just do them one a time and growl internally about it.

I took care of some odds & ends today as well: I hand-hemmed the sleeves on the Triple Collar Dress, and prepared the skirt to be hemmed tomorrow. I also tacked down the back neck facing to the shoulder seams. I considered putting in the garment snaps (like original had) but as there’s very little chance any undergarments would peek out, I left them out. Tomorrow I hope to draft the belt and insert the loops (I should have done that earlier, but I put them in the wrong seam accidentally, so I had to unpick and restitch the misplacement, so now I’ll do the same for the actual placement.

I also patched up the lining on the vintage coat using some vintage Bondex. I don’t know if it will work, but if the Bondex stops the rips from continuing, then I’m glad for it. I used a mix of pink and beige; it’s mildly noticeable, but I’m okay with it.

On an unraveling seam in the lining I was able to use the former stitch holes to ladder stitch it back into place. Once that’s done, I’ll mend up any other seams and rips with whatever I have on-hand.

What a fun project this coat has been, really. The minute I think I’m toward the end of repairs, it births a new opportunity to learn a new mending skill. It’s the coat that keeps on giving.


A Beacon of Light

Like nearly everyone, I’ve been engrossed in general malaise, even (and maybe especially) now with everyone mouth breathing all over the place. Covid is on all of our last collective nerve, and I’m just exhausted with it, so a little holly jolly has been helpful, I suppose, after having so little of it for the last two years. There’s been a joke about my transformation from “ho ho, no!” to “being filled with the light of the season,” and at our holiday party on Wednesday, I intend to be an actual beacon of light with my 60s inspired lighthouse hat.

Justin really came through for me on this project, and it’s not even completely finished. I will have to finish it tomorrow night after work. I have to paint the base and top, and still find a type of finial. I have to figure out something better for the strap.

The hat went through a number of iterations to get to this point. At first, we had the camp light suspended from the lid, but beause I want to wear the hat to the side a little, gravity ruined it. So we glued it to the base. Also, it’s an LED with that awful, almost-sickening white, so I tried wrapping it in some warm fabric which looked cool, but was finicky, unless I stitched a tube of it with elastic. So we tried lining the lens with a gold construction paper, and that seems to work really well. I’ll put the light on “strobe” mode and hope that it doesn’t give anyone a seizure. The bottom will be painted to look like brick and the top will be a blueish-green to mimic a copper patina. All of this could change tomorrow, but this is the plan.

It’s supposed to look like an extended pillbox (that’s why I don’t have the extra deck), and I’ll wear a black shift dress with a vintage faux-leopard coat. That feels festive.

I might add to this post tomorrow when I’m finished (if I have time).


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