Is Starshower the new Honey Cowl? Only time will tell (but it looks good).

Amber Alert: Don’t Say I Haven’t Been Warned

Dear Kay,
You know, I get alarming Comments every once in a while–a reminder that my penis isn’t large enough, or a note from supernaughty girls who want to meet me (which is so friendly of them, really), or the suggestion that I ought to be playing more online poker. But sometimes, a Comment goes beyond the usual anxieties. Look at this missive from Amber:


Ann.
I didn’t even bother to vote in your dang blogpoll about the fiddlehead embroidery. Though I will in a minnit. Maybe.
The Important Message is that You’re Not Going To Weave in those ends. You Will Sew Them. With A Machine. If you still wanna be all perfect with your hand-done mattress kitchener invisible blah blah blah, you can, but first you will run a very tiny machine stitch along the edges of those pieces with their perfect and multitudinous stripes, and then you will trim all of those perfectly secured ends right off and pretend they were never even looking at you.
Do this for your sanity and do it for my sanity, and for the sake of all knitters. For if you actually weave in those ends, every time forever after when I am ready to take the easy way, the shortcut, I will think of you, and I will guilt myself into doing it the hard way, repeating to myself that “Well, if Ann could weave in 256,482 ends on a tiny lil ol’ kid’s sweater, well, jeez, I’d better just do it the long way.”
I beg you. Sew And Cut.

Chilling. Absolutely chilling. At this point I’d just as soon leave the ends dangling and call it a design feature, but we all know the truth: those Tennessee State Fair judges are going to want to see the tortured weaving in. They want that. They want things to be slightly miserable. They want the butter sculpture to be twelve feet tall. They like it when 600 potatoes have been rejected to find the lone, perfect spud. A mess of ends? It’s right up their alley.
Just remember: This is all my own damn fault. I worked myself into a corner by designing this cursed little sweater and not thinking ahead enough to knit the body in once piece, so I have nobody to blame but myself. The wages of bad planning is excessive end-weaving, so end-weave I must.
The Redemptive Power of Blocking
fernblocking2.jpg
On a lighter note, it’s all coming together, sort of. I never will get over the fantastic transformative, life-changing effect comes when you block wool. I know, I know, I don’t need to pin all this stuff down. But it’s my little wierd discipline, and in the case of this sweater I wanted to make sure the pieces are all the right size.
Kay. Look at the knitting. Stop admiring the Rowenta, you iron junky.
Love,
Ann
PS Hey everybody, thanks so much for all the yarn shop advice for the trip to LA. I count 78 yarn shops in the area, right?
PSS And I hasten to point out that the superlative Rowenta you see featured in the photograph came to me as proof positive that Kay actually exists. She’s the one who gave me such a mighty, Germanic battleship of an iron.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. No, that’s ME admiring the Rowenta, since mine was all leaky when I was blocking Elspeth, having been knocked to the concrete basement floor one too many times by the kitties. Don’t tell my momma, who gifted it. I think I’m going to have to break down and replace it. Or is there a Rowenta repair shop?

  2. All together now, “Rooowwwweeeennntaaaaaaaaah”.
    I loathe ironing but when I worship, I worship at the altar of Rowenta.
    I admire your fortitude in the weaving of ends. I recently vetoed a lovely sweater because of the plethora of ends I’d have to weave in. I realized that it took me a year to get around to the ends on the last striped sweater, so I opted for cables instead.

  3. Dear Ann:
    to mangle a quote by Mr. Twain – let us not be too hasty here; ol’ second hand advice is better than none at all. I’m with you, the judges will be closely inspecting the little teeny tiny weaving in of all those ends and everything and knowing that – you’re prepared to do the deed! Good for you! Just remember the first verse of the prayer to the Spirit of Seaming….where you ask to watched over as you “…attempt to turn this mass of …..stringy ends into a covering for my earthly body….” or in this case for some wonderfully lucky child. However, should you run into this situation again…take Amber’s advice! If neither state fair judges, nor my mother would be inspecting a piece of hand knit creation of mine, I’d be guilty of taking Amber’s advice!!! Heck, I may just whip something up with little stringy ends just to be able to take Amber’s advice….but I wouldn’t show my mom! :)

  4. That…is a lot of weaving in. You should get a ribbon just for fortitude.

  5. Why does that shot of The Rowenta near all those scary ends and pins remind me of the scene in Titanic when the ship is about to hit the iceberg?

  6. sure, the rowenta is an awe-inspiring and formidable hunk of a machine. but ann, honey – the colors are bee-yewtiful. the ends will be a bitch, to be sure, but fern is looking great.

  7. Somehow, my little baby booties sitting next to my keyboard have become sadly pathetic looking at the majesty that is your FAIR ENTRY!
    And I am looking at your Rowenta…blocking scares me. I don’t know if I could do it!
    You go Ann!

  8. Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!
    I weep for you. I weep for myself. And truly, I ask:
    IF WEAVING IS SUCH A NICE FINISH, WHY WILL THEY BE ABLE TO SEE IT? What, they wanna see lumps in the sweater? I mean, if you can tell that they’re woven in, isn’t it a little wonky? We’re all with the old “ancient tradition” of weaving mistakes into the rug so as not to anger the gods who are the only ones who can make a perfect object. (ooo, but maybe in this case, the judges are the gods who should not be angered because you escaped from end-weaving… an idea not to be discounted…)
    But really, having a mother myself, and having been one of those jerks you hated at school because I was always doing all of that extra, stupid, unnecessary crap just to get an A, just because I could, I will stand behind you in your insane desire to weave in ends. If any sweater deserves a blue ribbon, truly, you have knit it, and you shouldn’t let any silly finishing techniques stand between you and blue ribbon victory.
    Also, I will cry enough tears for both of us, so you don’t have to, and your can cheerily zip right on through all that weaving in as though it were a joy akin to eating 256 cheetos, or seeing 256 sunrises… or seeing 256 BLUE RIBBONS!
    Go, baby, go!

  9. Ro-wen-TA! Ro-wen-TA!
    It’s nice to know that I am not the only one.

  10. Oh, Ann, I wished you’d done the cutting and sewing, and then showed me out of my misery with China Clouds (although i guess Amber’s method applies only to stripes, i was salivating when reading it!)
    good luck, your project is so fantastic, it goes well beyond a blue ribbon!
    BTW the jingo for Rowenta in Italian says:
    Rowenta, per chi non si accontenta!
    tras: Rowenta, for people who are not easily satisfied!
    I hum it everytime i iron, about every 3 months or so.

  11. The knitting and design is absolutely beautiful. A sure state fair winner in my opinion. The blocking process looks oh so professional. But, Oh my gosh!, I have never seen or even thought of machine stitching and then cutting all those ends when knitting stripes. Wish I would have known about this several striped sweaters ago. Amber – please could you give us a tutorial. (PS I’ve been knitting a lot longer than I’ve been sewing)

  12. I’ve never seen Titanic, but I was struck with fear at the sight of all those pins and the Battlestar Rowenta. And I thought knitters were such gentle people.

  13. I’ve always thought Rowenta would be such a pretty name for a girl. Maggi – better replace it sooner rather than later. Irons that have been dropped can short out or explode, or let out unexpected burning bursts of steam. They’re dangerous. At the store I work at, we treat them like cattle – once they’re down, they’re done.

  14. Fern is already a thing of beauty, pins and all. One tiny suggestion:how about replacing the zillion pins with a few blocking wires? Just think of the time this would free up for long, leisurely end-weaving sessions…

  15. Just dig in and start weaving those ends! I find that starting is the hard part. Once I get going, it goes quite fast. And I know what I am talking about. I have knitted and end woven probably a dozen Kaffe Fassett sweaters, coats, and jackets.

  16. Gasp! It’s beautiful, even in pieces with eight frillion ends poking out. I know it’s probably too late for you to include it in The Book, but will you please, please, please consider putting it in the sequel?
    You two are writing a sequel, aren’t you?

  17. Dear Ann:
    Ahhh, the pleasure of blocking. I hate it myself, but the finished product is much nicer. And the Rowenta–yes a beauty and functional tool. I’m on my third, yes really. Formerly my sewing/knitting room was also the laundry room, hence many people walked through and on occasion tripped over the cord handing neatly off the ironing board.
    The first one cracked at the bumbling toes of a child. I replaced that one. The second was at the bumbling toes of my hubby. He was warned about the cord. HE replaced that one last Yule. Now my Rowenta, ironing board, sewing machines and knitting machines have their own room and one may enter by invitation only!
    Good Luck at the Fair!!

  18. Well, I’m sure your judges will be tough, but just know that I was reading another blog about a state fair and someone who knit a furry fake fur scarf won the blue ribbon, Yeah. So, weave in those ends. And hope there aren’t any furry scarves entered in your category.
    Such a lovely item, I have to say. Amazing!

  19. I’m looking at a lot of end weaving in myself at the moment (what was I thinking when I embarked on this project?). Is there more information on this sewing machine method somewhere? I’m looking for a way out. (And this particular project isn’t going to be submitted to the state fair, so I think I can use a machine with abandon).

  20. Not for nothing, but doesn’t Rowenta remind you of those Art Deco shipping posters? The Normandie, the Berengaria, etc.? She’s glorious!
    She was meant for The Mountain, though. Did she shut down the rural electrification when she was just warming up? Or did you just bring her back to town so she wouldn’t get lonely?
    Nice knitting too. Looks like you had a regular par-tay pin-blocking that itty-bitty jacket. xoxo Kay