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And now that you’ve been sucked in by the misleading title of this blog post, allow me to show you the fruits of my non-sewing efforts. The Selfish Seamstress has been known to bake on occasion. Ordinarily these occasions would go undocumented and unblogged, but as I am currently blogging about “whatever” during my involuntary sewing hiatus, here you go. Whatever.
From left to right we have glazed apple cake, leche flan (Filipino-style caramel custard), Ostfriesentorte (German cake with two yellow cake layers, two meringue layers, a whipped cream and cherry filling, topped with sliced almonds), flourless chocolate cake with fresh berries, Maulwurftorte (German chocolate and hazelnut cake filled with bananas and whipped cream, topped with “excavated” cake crumbs), and angel food cake with fresch blueberries.
Why all the cake? Well, in order to function in society, the Selfish Seamstress does occasionally need to curry favor with people to balance out the damage done by her unpleasant temperament and attitude problem. So she makes herself less unpopular with her colleagues and friends using the occasional cake (so much quicker than sewing things for people. Plus you can please a lot of people with just *one* project. People are so easy like that.) And so the Selfish Seamstress and Dan threw themselves a little farewell party with plenty of cake for their friends. You know, so as not to burn any bridges upon departure. You never know whose goodwill you may want to exploit down the road.
And lest you read this occasion as a gesture of unselfishness and consider chiding me for it, keep in mind who is not getting any cake… YOU. Enjoy some close-ups!
Oh yes, I’m wearing The Last Dress… for Now. At $4 for the fabric, that dress has more than earned its keep in the last week!
Yup. The Carlos Miele sweater is getting bigger. Nope it’s still not finished. Nope, it’s still not terribly interesting to look at.
The BurdaMag that needs to get packed soon is shown for scale, and because I was flipping through it wistfully, reminiscing about my glorious sewing days (i.e. last week.) It’s dark times like these, as the needles click stitch by stitch, when I start to wonder whether you’re sorry yet that you told me to keep blogging about “whatever,” and whether the “It looks great so far!” comments are coming from other sewers who pity me in my sad knitting state. This is what it has come to. Pity and knitting. Perhaps I will put on some sweatpants. They’re more comfortable than yesterday’s cargo pants.
In the meantime, you’re best going off and finding something more interesting to read. Maybe there’s some great stuff about sewing from Denise on The Blue Gardenia blog today. Oh wait, no, it’s just more about lame old me and my sad little sewing space which doesn’t even exist anymore. Definitely check out her fantastic blog for her previous posts about more awesome sewing spaces from more interesting bloggers though. Sigh. I think I’ll go mope more and bake some cakes for other people now.
It stands to reason that if knitting is slower than sewing, then blogging about knitting is going to be slower than blogging about sewing. Granted, I’m making zippy progress with my Giant Yarn for Dummies and Tree Trunk Needles, but it’s still teeny steps compared with the zooooooooom! of the feed dogs on my increasingly dusty Husqvarna. I’m getting back into the rhythm of knitting now and starting to enjoy it, but it doesn’t change the fact that showing knitting progress seems a lot less interesting than showing sewing progress. Case in point- a fair bit of progress was made yesterday during packing downtime on the Carlos Miele knockoff sweater.
As you can see, significant progress has been made, and yet it’s really no more interesting than it was yesterday.
To answer a couple of questions that came up before my mind starts to wander again, yes, the gauge is huge. I put my seam ripper on the work so you can get an idea of the scale. Here’s a close up with a quarter to show you just how big those stitches are:
To answer a few more questions, I’m knitting on straight needles because the circular size 17 needle cost about $22. I love a good quality bamboo circular needle as much as the next Selfish Knitter, but the likelihood of me making future projects this tremendously chunky is very low, so I opted to make a smaller investment in the needles. The purple needles in the picture are the size 17. The gold needle is a size 10 or 11 that I’m just using as a stitch holder. The interesting thing with working at this size is that you can grab just about anything in your vicinity to use as necessary. I actually used a teaspoon as a cable needle yesterday because it just happened to be lying on the table before me. It was nice – the bowl of the spoon kept the stitches from slipping off while I worked my cable.
So. Yup. I guess that’s about it. Is this what knitting blogging is like? Is there anything more I should be telling you?
And so it comes to this, readers. Your Selfish Seamstress stoops to knitting. For those of you unfamiliar with “knitting,” it’s kind of like sewing’s slower, ergonomically problematic, more tedious cousin. I’ve started on the Carlos Miele knockoff sweater and here’s last night’s progress (after I could pack and clean no more.) Looks tiny but the gauge is actually about 2 stitches per inch.
The backstory is that I went to the fancy yarn store and found that the super bulky yarn in wool or alpaca in the quantity required to make this sweater would have run in the vicinity of $150-200. I do occasionally splurge on yarn and much like with fabric and sewing, I don’t like to invest lots of careful hand labor and use poor quality materials. Generally I feel there’s not much point in doing beautiful blind hems by hand on off-grain prints or lovely lacework with fibers that feel nasty against the skin. But I certainly don’t want this sweater $200 worth. And beyond that, this is sort of a risky and crazy sweater, as you’ll recall:
It could clearly go either way (well, judging by the polarized responses to my last post about this sweater, some of you think it can only go one way and not well at that- believe me, I also harbor suspicions that this could turn out very very poorly!), and it’s by no means a safe bet. And I’m not so keen on spending a lot of money just to satisfy my curiosity. And super bulky yarn isn’t the easiest yarn for me to repurpose if I decide to frog this one, since there aren’t a lot of other chunky projects that interest me. Even if it does turn out well, I don’t expect that it will be a heavy rotation garment anyway. So off it was to Michael’s to buy some crappy Lion Brand Wool-Ease on sale for $6.99 a skein. I’ve knit with it before and it’s really not the worst stuff. They did have a chartreuse/apple green color much like the one pictured above and I was tempted, but lately I seem to have sewn and knit a lot of clothes in that leafy green family so I opted for a change with the heathered pumpkiny-rust shade, which will be nice for autumn with some of my wool pants:
Knitting with giant size 17 plastic needles and giant yarn makes me feel kind of stupid and clumsy, like trying to work out multivariable calculus problems with a big fat crayon. I’m really much more of a laceweight girl. But the pattern is quite interesting, knit in a single piece from cuff to cuff, sort of like a cross shape with a hole in the middle for the neck opening, and it gets folded in half to make it into a sweater.
Here you can see it folded to form what will eventually be the sleeve and one side.
Okay, blogging about knitting is boring me almost as much as knitting itself (just kidding, sensitive knitters. I’m one of you too.) But seriously. I’m also wearing cargo pants right now. This should give you an idea of just how low I’ve sunk.