Monday, July 17, 2006

WHAT a week!

...and I'm still not finished...

Today I sent in 7 more items - I still have a shawl and pair of mitts to finish myself, and a pair of stockings are coming from Oregon, but those are the last 3 items left to go in the book. Huzzah.

This was a week of - well - firm education for me on how to develop my pattern writing, management and communication skills. It was also a week of taking minor disasters and turning them into (hopefully) triumphs. And it was a week to become good friends with the FedEx guy (except he never stops to chat like the UPS guy, too bad...)

This cardigan came in MUCH longer than I'd anticipated. Some of it is due to the weight and pull of the garment, but it was also knit much longer than it really needed to be (before blocking or putting on the mannequin it was measuring about 3" longer than specified in the pattern...) I know what it's like to knit for someone - you're always afraid that you'll not go far enough, that you'll chintz out on some aspect, so it's easy to go overboard. I've knitted things too long myself, and in this case it turned out to be a garment that I thought was very lovely with a longer drape. It was worked up in Anny Blatt Bouton D'or Ksar - a lovely yarn!

Unfortunately I had to rip out the bind offs at the collars, cuffs and hem to re bind them off loosely enough so that they ruffled, but I hadn't made the technique that I ended up using clear in my instructions, so I can't really fault Adina, who did a magnificent job knitting this! I added the embroidery today - it's Anny Blatt Victoria silk ribbon.

It's so funny how some knitter veer toward knitting tighter than the gauge, and others looser - all in the same ballpark, but just different ends of the spectrum. I think to remedy this in future I'll be sure to include my own swatch so the knitter has something better to work off of than just numbers. I'll also ask my knitters to work up a swatch which includes the details of the pattern (lace collar, buttonholes, etc.) so if there are any questions they'll get asked up front! This garment actually came in late because the knitter was waiting for yarn from France for a while - ironically if it had been knit a little shorter there probably would have been plenty of yarn! Live and learn!

This jacket looks much better in person than in the photo - and I asked a friend of mine to come over and try it on so I could see it on a human being. I sort of wish I would have designed and knit up a skirt to go with it - it would be a nice suit!

Once again, this garment was SO long compared to what I'd envisioned - and once again this knitter was left waiting until the 11th hour for yarn (which eventually had to be re-dyed by the yarn company and sent to me so I could put this baby together this weekend after finishing the sleeves. She did a great job, but I knew that I'd have to do some tweaking (stuff I would have done on my own if I'd knit it myself!) - thanks so much, Laura!

Unfortunately the yarn was a little lighter in color, so my brilliant idea was to dab the finished section of the sleeve with some black dye. It worked, and looked good (it was a space dyed yarn) and I figured I'd put the sleeve in the microwave to set the dye.

Unfortunately it hadn't totally dawned on me that the chenille used in the cuff contained wire. Oops. It was just a little fire - just enough to burn a hole in the sleeve. Fortunately the fabric of the garment - boucle mixed with merino - was very forgiving for a weaving and patching-from-the-inside job. Febreeze took away the burned smell. Live and learn, huh? Knitting - never a dull moment. Thanks to Beth at Lorna's Laces for getting us not one but two extra bunches of Grace and Swirl DK to finish this baby off!

When I opened this package I cried - absolutely wept. Alls I can say is THANK YOU GRUMPERINA! She did a magnificent job on this, it's extraordinary and a butt-load of knitting to boot (should I say "booty?") You made me very proud and I left this on the mannequin for a few days as an inspiration. I cannot WAIT to see this on a human being. It was worked up in Tilli Tomas Pure & Simple Spun Silk - it's so stunning!

This hat was finished today - I deviated from my original all-white design, adding black after Gerry showed me a picture of a Darter bird and it really inspired me. Unfortunately, the wrong side of the fabric looks more darter-like, but I don't mind a hounds-tooth-esque hat. The stunning elbow length black lace opera gloves that Jenn finished and got to me this evening will look amazing with this (and I'm such a bone-head NOT to have taken a photo of them!!)

So on to the shawl tonight, the mitts - and Carol's probably got calloused hands at this point as she ends stocking #1 and moves on to stocking #2. My job tomorrow - aside from finishing the knitting - is to make adjustments to the patterns that my knitters shared with me (always tricky - I need to notate them so that when I get the tech editor's stuff back it's easy to incorporate the changes without getting totally confused!)

I also really want to put together some ideas for styling these. I know it's not my job - specifically - but my editor did ask me to jot down any styling ideas I'd have (and I did work as a stylist for a few years - I'm good at it!) so it can't hurt to pass along my ideas to the "real" stylist they engage for the shoot. She can take them or leave them! I'm REALLY looking forward to this shoot! No date is set yet -

WHAT a week, huh?

Oh - and on the heat/comfort front? We put an air conditioner in the living room, where I'm chained down to my knittin' chaise, and it's doing yeoman duty. It's hot - good thing global warming is just a myth, huh?

12 Comments:

stephanie said...

The gown is absolutely stunning!! I can't wait to see it on a person either.

July 17, 2006 9:58 PM  
grumperina said...

I'm so happy that the dress was up to your standards! It looks great on that dressform, much more telling than held up against my body :).

July 17, 2006 11:04 PM  
Anonymous said...

Well, you are a wonder, Annie.

July 17, 2006 11:44 PM  
~drew emborsky~ said...

Wowza, set your phasers to "stunning"...

July 18, 2006 6:43 AM  
Anonymous said...

I soooo look forward to the publishing of this book! Your pieces are simply wonderful.

July 18, 2006 7:28 AM  
Joanne said...

This stuff is amazing, Annie! Plus, your blog helps me realize that my angst over a contract for 3 sweater jackets is just no big deal. Someday I hope I can design like you!

July 18, 2006 8:29 AM  
Cheryl said...

You handled the meltdown much better than I would have. I agree, that jacket would look great with a skirt!!

July 18, 2006 9:18 AM  
Gina said...

I'm exhausted just reading about your week!

July 18, 2006 10:31 AM  
annie said...

Exactly, Gail, that's why I didn't write for a week!!

July 18, 2006 11:26 AM  
dragon knitter said...

wow, that dress is AMAZING! i will buy the book just for that pattern, even if i'm short & dumpy! just absolutely stunning. i gotta go congratulate grumperina!

and everything else looks fantastic as well. t he cardigan looked great with the extra length.

and i'm such a loose knitter i have to go down at least 2 needle sizes, unless it's socks. i get gauge with those.

July 18, 2006 9:01 PM  
Amie said...

That dress is simply STUNNING!

July 18, 2006 11:30 PM  
Jena the yarn harpy said...

That "too-long" cardigan is absolutely beautiful. I can't wait for the book release so that I can buy the pattern... will it be adjusted to be that long to match the picture? It's breathtaking.

July 19, 2006 10:07 PM  

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