I worked a little bit on the Texture Shell last night, finishing up the neck hem. I did consider snipping the stitch rather than ripping back, but decided against it in the end. The deciding factor was mostly the yarn itself - Hempathy is a cotton/hemp/modal blend, quite firm and slippery, and I was nervous about the ends getting away before they could be tacked down. Then, too, my bind-off edge included three stitches chained over the dropped yarn loop for width, and two hem stitches cast on over it - snipping and dropping would have created a ladder, but would have left me with a too-narrow left side of the shell. Just a small difference, to be sure, but trying it on while deciding what to do showed that even that two-stitch difference made the thing drape queerly and pull at the most unattractive point of the armscye.
I'm glad I ripped and re-knit - while I was at it, I re-worked the neck a half-inch higher for a prettier boatneck (it just barely exposes the collarbones and hollow of the throat now), and tried a different treatment for the corner at the small of the back:
A tidy miter, done with paired decreases on the front side of the hem and paired increases on the folded-back side. No floppy, sloppy juncture, that - the whole thing lies smooth and flat across the skin now.
The armhole finishing should go blazing quick, then a good wash to unkink the ladders and a pinning to tame those rolling hems - and we'll be ready to conquer the world. Because, verily, a world that won't be conquered by a drop-stitch sweater and Manolos is not a world I want any part of.
Maryland Sheep & Wool
Are you going to be in town this weekend for MD S&W? I'm going to try to swing by Cara's meetup at 1:30 on Saturday, and will definitely be at Mama-E's hang-out at Clyde's on Saturday night. It's my first time at the festival, but I've got big plans - I want to try out wheels (!), source Shetland roving in a big spectrum of natural fleece colors, meet people, eat myself silly, and buy enough yarn to outfit the Spanish Armada with self-striping sails. Hope to see you there!
Novelty is a good thing
The whole blog thing can get a little stagnant, sometimes - I love the wonderful discussions that blossom in the comments, and the totally selfish, preening part of me loves showing stuff I'm proud of, but I occasionally feel really dull. I mean, how many progress shots of one project can you show?
I get a lot of really interesting questions via email - in the last week or so, I've answered queries about the advisability of using black mohair yarn in a very dense lace; blocking alpaca lace; fixing a too-large sleeve cap, etc. I love thinking about these kinds of questions, and dealing with the knitty, knobbly little wrinkles that come up during knitting - I try to be good about answering questions in the comments and answering email, but maybe it'd be fun to turn it into a feature of the blog.
It would be an advice column, kind of, for knitters - the kind of issue that pops up while working, but isn't easily researchable. What kind of picot bind-off would be best for x body stitch? How should ends be dealt with in stranded knitting? Where can I source 8/0 beads for knitting? That kind of thing. I'm by no means an expert, but I do feel reasonably well qualified to answer a lot of these kinds of questions - with way more theory and detail and more illustrations and diagrams than anyone wants - and commenters will have a lot to say, too.
What do you think? Send questions to questions AT eunnyjang DOT com, and we'll deal with a bunch every Tuesday and Thursday. What should we call it? "The Lifeline"? That seems cheesy beyond belief - got a suggestion? Two skeins of any Koigu PPPM color are in it for the best contribution.