Archive for June, 2008

June 6, 2008

Fixin’ to Die (of boredom)

It’s been dismal on the knitting front recently. After finishing my socks, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and do some reworking on Noah’s Cobblestone before I started anything else. Well, almost anything else – I did a couple of quick dishcloths to rest my hands from tiny needles, and cast on another pair of socks for Noah, but I am trying hard to discipline myself and get the sweater redone before I do anything major.

Two cloths, two toes!

The Cobblestone needed to have a higher neck, and as long as I had the sweater, we decided I should just re-knit the sleeves to fit a bit better; the problem with a “surprise” knitting project like this is that I couldn’t fit as I went, which means I’ve spent several hours frogging the sleeves, and with a mohair/wool mix there were plenty of places that I had to break the yarn to make progress. At least I had thought ahead in panic and bought more yarn than was called for, so have another skein or two to patch these up.

Just the edging left!

The neck’s done (it went 2.5″ higher) except for an I-cord trim and replacing the buttons, but if you look closely at the sleeve pic below, you’ll see I managed to get the working yarn on opposite sides of the needles, so I’ll be struggling with that over the weekend in hopes of getting some progress done, as there are other things (besides the socks) that I want to get to work on.

The case of the mismatched sleeves

And in service of doing my best to ignore the sweater issue for about two weeks, I whipped up a quick costume for my friend Georgia, who is a marvelous soprano with a huge career ahead of her. She and another friend of mine, Rebecca, were starring last weekend in a student, partially-staged production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Ten days before they opened, I was taking Georgia to the airport (to go to New York for a singing contest) and she mentioned that she wasn’t happy with what costume she had pulled together from her wardrobe, so I volunteered to throw something together for her. That was Friday, and Saturday I went to the fabric store, found some stuff that would work, and emailed her photos to check the color. After she sang Saturday, she checked in to say it was OK, so Sunday I started working, hoping to get it done by her dress rehearsal Monday night. Luckily, it was a holiday weekend so I had two days to get things done. She stopped in for a fitting Monday mid-day, and I made the changes and delivered it that afternoon. But after rehearsal, it was decided that the blouse she’d picked wasn’t working either, so the next day I made her an underdress that served as both blouse and petticoat. And voila – here’s Gretel and Hansel after the second show:

Georgia and Rebecca

Given that this wasn’t a professional production, no scenery, and little done from memory, with only a 4-person orchestra (piano, cello, French horn, and flute) I was wowed with what they had done. The singing was right on (for the most part, and certainly much better quality than one might expect in the situation), the acting was effective and convincing, and they got a standing ovation the evening I attended. Georgia was my student assistant for several years when I worked at Stanford, and seeing her develop over the last 5 years or so has been such a joy! Rebecca worked for me in my last year there, so I don’t know her as well as Georgia, but we do have one important thing in common – she’s also a knitter! I showed her my new socks and she was duly impressed.

I hope my next post will be the refinished Cobblestone, modeled by a most handsome and charming son. Now if I can just figure out that problem with the sleeves…. and manage to ignore my teal sweater that needs the entire body re-knit smaller (I’m wondering if I should put ribbing in on the sides to snug it up a bit.)