Then, you move, and for the first few weeks, it feels like nothing is ever going to turn out right.
Since we moved, I've been trying to find a "regular blog photo shoot" spot. Yesterday, I tried the top of my stairs. The light there is good: not too dark, not too bright, but I don't really have anywhere to put my little tripod. Instead, I balanced a few books on the banister and hoped for the best. Some of them turned out a little weird. The blue triangle of Zorg is coming to get me, apparently:
There's also the problem of new distractions... or perhaps not so new. This photo was taken right at the moment I noticed Rascal heading into the bathroom with a suspicious look on his face. That's never a good sign:
Anyway, these photos are supposed to be showing off my latest knitting project, Bottoms Up, by Alice Bell. It's made with Cascade Ultra Pima, a fantastic mercerized cotton that shines like silk. As suggested by the name of the pattern, you start at the bottom and knit your way up to the top. It was a bit of a long haul, since I started it in the midst of moving house and leaving my job, then I ran out of yarn near the end, and had to order the last skein online and wait for it to arrive. Oh yarn, you try my patience at times...
There are a couple of things I really wish more designers added to their patterns to guarantee a good fit. I think it's important to explain the purpose of the shaping they suggest. For example, the lower part of the top consists of three changes in the stitch pattern. The lowest part is a very tight ribbed pattern. The second part alters the rib slightly to loosen it up, and the third alters it again to loosen it even more. Alice recommends that third alteration should occur right below the bust if you are not particularly busty, which was a good idea for me.
But I also noticed that, in order to direct the eye to the narrowest part of your torso, you should place the second rib alteration there. I had to study a lot of project photos on Ravelry to figure that one out. I looked at why some people's tops were more flattering than others, and when I started looking at where the stitch patterns were sitting, a lightbulb finally went on in my head. Given that we are all different heights and shapes, knowing the reason for shaping or stitch changes is important, because if you only get the instructions to "decrease after you have knitted 5 inches/40 rows" or something like that, you may end up with a garment the points out all the things on your body you would rather not point out. I was feeling pretty clever when I figured that out...
After that, I used a three-needle bind off to close the shoulders, and declared it finished. Feeling triumphant, I tried it on, only to discover that the neck was now too large because of the extra rows I'd added at the top of each shoulder. Each time I moved, it slipped off my shoulders, no matter how I tugged and shifted it around. It was virtually unwearable.
So I had a tantrum.
I pouted a while, declaring that I couldn't do anything right.
I drank a few cups of tea.
Then, I picked myself up off the floor and I decided to I pick up more stitches around the neck and knit a garter stitch neckband, throwing in a few decreases here and there to close it up. That did the trick.