Monday, September 26, 2005


Whoops – I disappeared. I had a weekend of tremendous excess – lolling around, stuffing melty cheese into my mouth, gobbling dark chocolate Toblerone, and enjoying the slightly cooler weather which hopefully heralds the beginning of fall. But all debauchery was forgiven because I also restrained from the evil cigarettes. Today is 2.5 weeks and I still miss them. Oh yes I do, and I am hungry all the time and eating everything that comes near me, and still using my nicorette gum about twice a day but I HAVE NOT SMOKED IN OVER TWO WEEKS. And that was really almost impossible so I forgive all related grouchy behavior and overeating of fried treats.

I have been knitting, but just one very dull and long pink sock; I would show you, but blogger is not permitting the photo posting right now. This is my kool-aid dyed knitpicks yarn – using grape and cherry. When wet, the colors were far more vibrant, but now that its dry they are a little pastelly for my taste. Sockpal – I originally was going to dye this yarn for your socks, but once it dried and became so PINK I knew that these would not be right for you! I am so glad you liked the blue socks, and also sticky stars and want to use them for your students - that is exactly why I got them for you!

I have been on a yarn diet, giving my yarn money and book money to help all of the folks in need. But, I did a bit of yarn shopping today at a special new yarn source that I have NO power to resist! Oh yes, I bought all of the Tramp yarn and I am so excited to make a special wintery treat for myself. I will do pennance in the form of many many Duulan mittens!

And back to my sweater...when we last left the USM Sweater, I had done five repeats of the front side increase rounds, which brought me to right around the suggested 11.5 inches, and all seemed to be going fairly well. Then I did some of the front increase rounds, started thinking about my plans for an alternative front, and realized center increases were not at all what I wanted. I frogged back to 11.5 inches, coating myself (especially my inner nostrils?!?!) in alpaca fluff throughout the process.

I also realized that I am a fairly long torso’d person, and that I HATE to have anything constricting my armpits, so I should probably make sure to add some extra length and width everywhere. (Aside - who wears these armpit pinching garments? Who wants a bunch of cotton or, worse yet, wool, stuffed in their armpit while they are, even in the dead of winter, standing on a steamy subway platform or overbundled in their long coat? I see these women, with their tight little tops and seemingly nonexistant shoulders, and I wonder if they are perhaps ph balanced in a different way than I am, because I would be supersmelly and supersweaty wearing something all snugging up in my pits like that. Aside over.) I am adding extra length and width, and I have started as follows...

I’m now totally off the pattern and using it only as a reference point for armhole decreases and short row shoulder shaping. So here are my modifications. These start once you’ve finished the first batch of torso increases - the ones that occur on the sides of the sweater, not the ones in the middle of the front. In the pattern, the point where I switch to my mods is right where it says “piece should measure about 11½” (29cm) from finished lower edge.”

At this point I added a lifeline. I’ve never done this before but I’m in uncharted (ha ha) territory here and I also thought it might provide a sort of karmic appeasement to the Knitting Goddess.

*K2, M1L, knit to 2 sts before m, M1R, slip marker, repeat from * once more (4 sts increased), knit 3 rounds even. (Essentially you are continuing the side increase action, but with fewer plain rows between increase rows. I think if you have a big bosom you might want to increase even more frequently, but this was not exactly relevant for me.)

Keep going and I will be back tomorrow, if anyone is interested, with the news about how to start the contrasting color and the modified neckline.

DISCLAIMER - I am winging it, so this may be a giant failure. Knit at your own risk.


Ashley said...

I am _definitely_ interested--I want to see how this turns out. And I am so with you on the armpit issue. And the long torso issue.

And I would have been fine with the pink socks, but I really love my blue ones--they have become my come-home-from-work kick-off-my-shoes comfy house socks. And I just got a batch of papers, so I'm prepared to whip out the stars, if anybody deserves one!

Ashley said...

Oh PS--congrats on the not-smoking thing. Anything that gives you such an excellent excuse to eat toblerone can only be a good thing.

Mintyfresh said...

Congrats on not smoking! It's a very good thing to have stopped.

And I'm also at the split for front and back on the USMP. I did the shaping per the pattern, and just did the split. I'm going to work the front and back at the same time since I'm planning on making the shaping identical. We'll see how this goes . . .

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