Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's like that Hitchcock movie, The Birds, only yarnier and with more screaming

It all started with this cute little shrug. Leah asked me to knit it for her daughter, so she could wear it over her dress for Christmas and not get cold. I haven't taken the pretty pretty pictures of it yet, because it's dark and the shrug is still wet, but here's a glimpse.

Pretty, right?
So... I was part way done and Leah asked me if I would be able to make a vest for her baby boy out of the rest of the yarn. I felt it, and said "sure!" thinking that vests aren't that big and don't take up much yarn and I had yet to crack into that second ball of yarn anyway.
*cue music* -- O Fortuna
Let's get in the proper mindset.
extremeknitting.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
So, an 11" sleeve takes up A LOT more yarn than I thought it did. Just sayin'...
We chose the pattern for the owl vest that's been pretty popular on ravelry lately. Yes it isn't for knitting for sale, but I figured in this instance since Leah bought the yarn and all I was just providing the knitting service and she'd be paying me for my time... nothing else... so it was fair.
Anway. I cast on. Good times. The owls popped up quite nicely. Busting along. That ball is looking pretty small... knit more. Feel the ball. Knit more. Feel. hmm. I still have that little end of the first ball that I set aside so I wouldn't have to run out of yarn in the middle of the second sleeve. It will work. Knit more. Look at yarn. Holy moth, I'm going to run out.
IM Leah in a panic. Tell her we have a problem, but I'm going to make it work. Keep knitting. Run out of yarn.
extremeowl.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
See that bit at the top there where I ran out? See how the top fronts of the vest are missing? Ya. Frantic IMing with Leah - no she can't send more yarn because it would be a different dye lot and anyway, Old Man Christmas is looking at me and he's only a few days away and I lost all that knitting time when I was having that competition with the Pixie to see who could produce the most snot and be more pitiful....
So. I am an inventive person. I can handle it. I ran a lifeline around the bottom a few rows above the ribbing, and spent a couple of tedious hours picking out the knitting from the bottom up. Have you ever unraveled k2p2 knitting from the wrong direction? It was pretty bad. I required much cheering and sympathy from John. He did his best, which is pretty good for a muggle.
extremeowlgreenoffbottom.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
There. The vest, unravelled from the bottom, with the hard-won ball of yarn next to it. Live stitches everywhere, just aching to slide off the needles and cause me pain.This is not knitting that I can do while the Pixie is being helpful, but it was late and I was drained from all the unravelling so I stashed it and went to bed.
Next day:
Fix the fronts. Knit one front up to about where it should be, but I'm no fool (at least, not after I've been smacked around a little by the knitting). I unwound the ball and knit the other side from the other end, so that I could make sure that the sides would at least match, even if they did come up short. They didn't, though. I had enough, and could finally join the shoulders and close that chapter of my life. Eventually. After I joined one shoulder inside out mobius strip style and had to redo it. I must have been getting cocky. See the little twig of yarn left? I measured it. It's 1.75 yards.
extremeowlgreendone.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
So all that was left was to knit on the lives stitches at the bottom and then do the neck and arm holes like a normal person. So I did, in white, and I must say it's pretty snazzy. Much snazzier than it would have been if the whole thing was plain green.

So there you go. Wet vest, in bad light. The pretty pictures will come tomorrow when it's dry. And I don't think badly of the owls at all. I still think they're darling, and I think there are two little boys around here who might be getting their own owl vests once I recover.
Of course, I will start them with the contrasting trim.


Fannie said...

Oh, my gosh!! What a saga! I can't believe you accomplished that feat! It is really cute and I love the owls! Kudos. I bow to you. I loved reading the account.

Alisa said...

As you might know, I do not knit b/c I don't know how--and if I learned I'd likely want to spend a lot of money on yarn. A lot of money I don't have. But I must say, although I enjoyed reading your vest saga, it made me happy I don't knit. LOL

Grumpy said...

Awesome vest. There always has to be a story behind the project though! And yours are always the best (but only because I don't have to live with them! LOL!)

Speaking of old man Christmas, did you finish those Santa socks?

Jess said...

I tend to like to walk on the wild side with yardage. So yes, have been in similar shoes. It does make you awfully proud at the end when you pull it off. But oy... the agony of that ball running out...

Drea said...

Milli it's looks great!

~Heidi~ said...

I know nothing about knitting. But I do know that is a funny story. You make me laugh Mils.

Gillyweeds said...

Milli, you are truly a Knitter, as opposed to me, the knitter. I bow to you!