There is a lovely lady called Sheila,
I feel very much like her dealer,
She commissions my clothes,
Always pleased and it shows,
And the more she gets, the keener (she is).
Ahh yes, Sheila. One of my favourite commission customers. She gives me yarn from her enormous stash, tells me what size the child is and let's me go for it. She loves everything I make. Always pays on time. I've never had her number, she just turns up when she can afford it.
A few months ago my King Cole rep gave me a free bag of yarn to try and entice me into buying it. It didn't work. He gave me the most horrendous lurid green - even I, queen of green, couldn't quite bring myself to like it.
Sheila bloody loves it! It took her ages to work out what she wanted in it and we eventually settled on a really simple cardigan and she thought it was wonderful. But there was loads left over so she went away and thought about what else she wanted. A few weeks later she came back with an idea for a waist coat with some sort of lacy pattern. Yes, I can do that! Of course I can! So I looked in our patterns - nothing. My patterns at home - nothing. Ravelry!?!? Nothing! Nightmare! But it's fine, I can make patterns up.
So I didn't bother with a gauge swatch... Life's apparently long enough to get your gauge wrong not once, not twice, but three times. But eventually, I got there, really liked the lace pattern I made up, tootling along, bish bash bosh. I knitted the whole thing in one up to the armholes and did a bit of maths when it came to separating.
Now, when it comes to separating for the fronts and back, if you're doing a really simple thing you can more or less divide your stitches in half - half for the back - and then divide the front stitches in half again - a quarter for each front. So 100 stitches would equate to 50 for the back and 25 for each of the fronts. Simple right?
Instead of doing this simple maths, I divided my stitches into three. So 34 for the back and 33 for each front. (These aren't the real stitch amounts - this is just a tribute). I then merrily knitted on, thinking to myself 'these fronts look mighty big and this back looks might small, oh well, it'll all block out in the end'.
When it came to sewing up the shoulders, turned out that the fronts were exactly the same as the back. No neck. Sheila most definitely has a neck. Brill.
Verity, who was in the shop at the time, tried it on to persuade me that the only path was ripping back. I tried to convince myself that it was fine, I really did, I kept sewing and easing, sewing and easing. Surely there was a neck to be found somewhere? But alas and alack, it wasn't to be. I ripped right back to the armholes. Sighed. Started again. Bum.
But this tale of woe isn't over. Oh no it isn't!
I finished it on a Friday night. It was a marvellous Friday night. I talked about it here. Just before I went to bed on that fateful Friday evening, I put all of my newly finished items in to soak, planning to block before I went to work the next day.
In the morning, I stumbled bleary-eyed downstairs only to find that the blue yarn had dyed the bloody green yarn! Dyed it! Do you know how hard it is to dye acrylic!?!?!?!??!?!?! Bloody hard! So angry. But, again, 'no problem' I thought. I'll just vanish it, and maybe put some oxy-clean or whatever it's called on it and I'll get back later on, it'll all be gone and then I can block it.
Problem was, Dad was around. Helpful Dad. He saw the hat and booties set on the side and thought, 'oh that must be for blocking, I'll just pop it in and Eleanor will be well pleased with me'. Oh no I wasn't! Blue all over the place. Oh my life!
Ever since, I've been vanishing, oxy-cleaning, soaking and machine washing. And we're genuinely nearly there. Nearly sorted.
What a bloody fart ey!?
Separately from that, and less of an issue, the green of the hat (which was the same green as Sheila's waistcoat), had picked up some of the blue dye. I'm not so fussed about that because it took barely an hour and it's not for a paying customer. I also have a pretty damn good replacement which I will talk about tomorrow - really pleased!
That's it, I'm sure I'll be back with more tales of being a fart - I just can't seem to help myself...
Love Eleanor. :)