fake sheep

a website about vegan knitting

a ballerina and a spinning wheel

i mentioned in an earlier entry that there’s a maths problem with the bamboo ballerina pattern. when you’re working the back piece, you do a few hem rows, then a straight bit for 4 inches, then some decreases and increases for shaping, when you finish the increases, you’re meant to keep going straight until your piece is 14″ long from the turning row of the hem. but, if your gauge matched perfectly with the pattern, your piece would already be 14.5″ from the hem by the time you finished the increases, without doing any straight rows! this is exactly what happened for me: i got to the end of the increases and kept knitting, then realised that technically my piece was too long. i decided to just keep knitting, anyway, and just did a couple more rows before starting the neckline.

i didn’t have this problem with the front, as the piece was meant to measure 16″ from the hem. no, everything that went wrong with the front of the top was my own fault.

i took the top along to stitch & bitch last night to finish the seams and weave in the ends. i was comparing notes with melissa, who started knitting the same top a few weeks ago in “butter” coloured bamboo, a really pretty variegated yellow colour. she’d adjusted the pattern to half-way between two sizes, since there’s quite a big difference between each size. as we were talking about sizes, i had a horrible feeling that i’d done something wrong, and a quick check of the finished top confirmed it: i had knitted the back and front pieces in different sizes! i don’t know how i managed to knit the whole front of the top without realising that is was significantly skinnier than the back, but the two pieces were totally different widths.

everything else lined up, though, so i thought i’d try seaming it anyway and see how it looked. so i finished the seams, and sewed in all the ends, and undid/ redid the shoulder joins (which i managed to twist up somehow) and tried it on, and i think it’s going to be okay! despite being technically wonky, it’s comfortable and pretty cute!

the only issues i have with it are that the shoulders have a tendency to fall off, and because the neckline is really wide, i don’t know how you could wear a bra without it being visible. other than that though, it feels really nice to wear.

i tried to take photos last night when i got back from s&b, but the lighting was really bad and i ended up looking like a ghost ballerina in most of the pictures:

spooky ballerina

this is probably the clearest:

in profile

i’ll take some more photos some time soon.

in other news, check out what i borrowed off my parents this weekend:

spinning wheel!

dad bought this spinning wheel really cheaply second-hand a few years ago, and it hasn’t been used since we’ve had it. it was missing a belt connecting the wheel and bobbin, which james replaced with hemp twine for the time being. mum told me what she could remember about spinning, but she hasn’t really done it before.

so, i’ve been checking out websites and message boards and piecing things together, and i think i understand how to get started.

i have some fibre coming my way, too! i ordered some soy silk and ingeo (corn) from yarn traders, and some tencel from someone selling lots of spinning supplies on trademe. i’m really excited about the prospect of making yarn!


1 Comment»

  Helen wrote @

Hey thanks! Really great to see your enthusiasm for non-animal yarns, and thanks for mentioning our yarns on your site so often – really appreciate it!

All the best with your up-coming projects,

Helen @ YarnTraders

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