Saturday, December 06, 2008

Chickens and Berries

The Chicken Quilt, 2008

One of my favorite parts about going to my parent's place - whether I was back from the weekend from San Francisco or, as in this past Thanksgiving, descending from lands afar - is that very first night at home. When my parents and I cannot get enough of each other's conversation and company, and we follow each other from room to room, catching up on life's little details, elaborating on our latest philosophical breakthrough (that's usually me, I'm the overthinker of the family), being together for the sake of bridging the gaps that distance create. In college my dad and I used to stay up late talking life, history, philosophy, politics, religion, science, literature, Chinese, current events. These days, each first night home is not complete without snuggling down into the couch next to my mom's armchair to do a bit of handquilting, usually to the evening news but sometimes to PBS as well. These moments together say "I'm home" like no other, and I cherish each and every one of them.

And yes, if you ever wondered where I get my crazy goofy camera faces from, look no further. I tend not to post those, but let's just say that when my mom was looking for a recent picture of me to crop and submit to this alumni newsletter blah blah, the best we could do was to recrop the one I'd sent in 2 years ago and hope that nobody noticed that I hadn't gotten any older.

And in other exciting news, I finally finished my Hourglass Sweater! My goodness that took way more time and frogs than was credibly necessary. The coloring here is closer to the true color, winter lighting is not very strong nor warm these days.

Woohoo! I think it fits pretty well, though I seem to have forgotten about that whole "ease" business. Oh well, live and learn. Oh yes, and apparently it is impossible for me to stand straight for photos, I'm always leaning to one side.

There are little tiny details I'm not super keen on, like the neckline is just a tad high but OK for width [I think my shoulders are broader than average so there's less worry of that "Flashdance" effect others seem to have], there is some major sketchiness=holiness going on with my Kitchener grafting of the sleeves to the body that I will probably have to reinforce, I would have gone down one sleeve size if I'd known they'd be this roomy, I also probably should have blocked the sleeves longer. But maybe that's because I'm so used to sleeves being improperly long on me that to have them the right length feels a bit weird. And I had to rip out the yoke about four times over because I'd tinkered with the pattern and the raglan kept coming out strangely. Even now I'm not sure this is perfectly right [having not marked down my alterations and thrown out the instructions during one of many moves, oops], but close enough to wear.

Overall, though, I absolutely love it. I'm glad I chose this color for the sweater and not something more conservative, less warm and bright. The current plan is to 1) wear it like crazy because it is super comfortable [gah, that word doesn't seem to be out of my system just yet], and 2) wear it like crazy to see how this yarn holds up. It's Knit Picks which is super affordable for 100% wool, I'm just a little afraid it'll pill a lot. Because I have other mad plans for sweaters, you see, ones that involve tinkerings or entire making up of patterns from sweaters I have on hand. Because apparently tinker I must and improvisation I crave and following or even using a pattern I detest, so hie me over to the yarn store I will to get on with the projects while the creative juices flow.


Rita said...

Wow, Jess! that sweater is amazing!!! it's perfectly made and looks effortless! I made one disaster sweater and never tried it again. beautiful color too!

jessica said...

Thanks Rita :-) but I'll have to show you the sleeve grafting sometimes. It makes me never want to raise my arms :-P.

What's your schedule like in the second half of December? I've got stuff for you [including that crocheting book that is WAAAAAAAAAAAAY overdue on my part!]

Speaking of 'disaster sweater's [BTW I'm pretty darn sure yours came out just fine, we tend to be our own harshest critics, no?] - sometime let me show you this complex vintage dress pattern I decided to alter/attempt to grade [having 1) never sewn a dress before, and 2) never done much in the way of alterations. Hahaha.] I'm still trying to figure out how to salvage it.