Wednesday, October 31, 2012

holy hell, isn't this done yet?

so... tired... of knitting.... I want to take a break so bad... but I'm so close... I'm just knitting the trim, and then I'll be done.  but I'm so tired! I'm not gonna knit again for months once I'm done with this.  I need a break.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pretty noticable progress.

so here's the three jacket pieces seamed together.  I learned to do the mattress stitch for this, which I really liked.  nice clean invisible seam.

Blocking it was a problem, cuz the thing is big.  in the end I just laid out some garbage bags.  I washed it and then pinned it out.  it took about a day to dry.

there's a tiny part of me that wishes I'd knitted in wool, since you never have to reblock wool...

Painted the wings on while it was still pinned down.  there's a few things I wish I'd done differently.  I printed out a stencil I found online and then painted over it with a sponge and a brush.  however the detail lines of the feathers of the wings got smudged and didn't come out very well.  in the end I had to mix in a little blue to the white and paint in the lines to get the details.  I'd thought about mixing some water with the paint and putting it in a little spray bottle, and I think that might have worked better.  And they should have been painted a bit higher up, closer to the edge.

The armwarmers were just at tube knitted on double pointed needles.  I cast on 60 stitches which was perfect, and they're 11 1/4" long.  each one took almost exactly one skein of yarn. I'd thought about decreasing to taper for my arm getting narrower, but I didn't want to do that and mess with the ribbed pattern.  I didn't need to anyways, because the ribs make sure it fits snugly all the way down my arm.

I have sewn the shoulders together, just a basic whip stitch. So now I'm just making the trim.  I have most of one skein left, and then the ends of a few others from the armwarmer and whatnot.  I have ordered more yarn just out of paranoia, and if I end up not needing it I can do the shrug I want for the fanart thing.  I ordered plenty for that.  and I got some more of the yarn I used for my River Tam vest, because Amanda wants one.   So, for the trim, I'm taking a very basic approach which may or may not work.  I'm knitting a long strip of fabric 8 stitches across in stockinette so it curls. I'll sew it together to make a tube, iron it flat and sew it on.  this is based on the suggestion that I got on the super pretty Rinoa cosplay I found that the trim looked like I-cord.  I did learn how to do it, but it doesn't seem like it works with as wide as I want it. honestly, the bits of yarn I have left will probably go further than I think, and I probably didn't need to get more yarn, but I really do want to do the shrug.

The wings are a bit too far down on the jacket.  they're closer to the middle of my back then my shoulders.  part of that is because the straps are pretty long.  I can shorten them, but I'm afraid of losing too much jacket length.  so I'll take a look at it and see what I think.  I don't think it's the end of the world.  It might be fixable, or it might just be fine the way it is.

Friday, October 26, 2012

River Song's Journal

So, I'm also a big Doctor Who fan.  Big.  I mean, I'm completely in love.  I cry regularly that the Doctor hasn't shown up yet to take me travelling with him.   The tenth Doctor is my favorite, how can you not love David Tennant?

Seriously, no human being has the right to be that cute.

Anyways, one of his on again off again companions is miss Queen of the Badasses, River Song.  She is awesome.  and she also does quite a bit of time travelling on her own.  And she and the Doctor are travelling in opposite directions on eachother's timeline.  Very confusing. They never know where the other one is, and what the other one has done.

As a result, River carries around a rather unique journal that she keeps track with, so that when she meets up with the Doctor, they can compare notes, figure out where they're at and know what they can talk about without causing spoilers.  Time travel and foreknowledge and all that jazz. 


Based on my previous posts, I'm assuming you see where I'm going with this.  I found a really good tutorial online for how to make this journal. 

Right here:

And I WANTED it. 

It just so happened that weekend before last Caleb and Zach went out of town for a Grand Prix tournament for Magic.  Marissa and I got ditched.  Aaron and Amanda went too, so that meant I got to be the babysitter.  Luckily, we did get Caleb's parents to agree to take the girls one night so that I could have one night where I could do whatever I wanted.  And I suggested to Marissa that we do this.  she is also a big Doctor Who fan, we became fans together, watching it on Netflix.  She liked this plan. 

So, Corey had been spending a few days at our house because of a long weekend off of school.  He has just started Doctor Who, so he didn't know River yet, but he likes the show.  Friday afternoon I took Shannon and Eloise to Caldwell, and hit the craft store, leaving Corey happily playing Skyrim.  I ended up spending about $30 for the supplies to make two journals.  Marissa had offered to take me out to dinner that night, so I just paid for the supplies.  the journals were about $7 each, and then at the Hobby Lobby I found a big bag of scrap leather for $7.  IN TARDIS BLUE.  I about had a heart attack when I found affordable leather in the right color.  I was planning to paint over it anyways, but it was so much better to have the right color to begin with.  I didn't learn how much better until later.  I bought paint and glue as well. 

Anyways, that night we went to Chili's for dinner, Corey came too, and then we went to Hastings and rented Fright Night, because David Tennant is in it, and we hadn't seen it.  At home we watched a few episodes of Doctor Who first- Corey was right at the end of the first season, so he didn't really know David Tennant yet, so we just picked up where he was.  Plus the Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston is very good, and David Tennant's first episode is my favorite.  I didn't mind.  I made margaritas and then we put in Fright Night and made these:

 Mine's the one with the bigger lines.  I feel we did a pretty good job.  Cutting the leather was AWFUL.  we used scissors and x-acto knives.  I found a spot on the base of my thumb where if it gets pushed on makes my whole thumb tingle like it's asleep.  and I hit it so hard my thumb was numb for two days.  I also bruised my hnd in various ways and had sore muscles from how hard I'd had to work to cut the leather.  We got out pumice stones and used those to rough the books up to make them look more worn- River's journal has clearly had the crap kiced out of it.  We scraped at the leather, the corners, the edges of the pages, everything.  I made some tea and mixed some cocoa in, which we sponged over the edges of the pages to make them look yellowed and older.  Marissa plans to just use hers for decoration, so she did a more accurate spine, which you can't really see.  When we were gluing the leather we realized really fast that stiff cheap leather would not allow the spine to bend if we did the correct looking spine.  Mine was originally an inverse of hers, with just small pieces glued on so I could actually use mine, but in the end I didn't like it.  I went back to the Hobby Lobby and got a small piece of soft, nicer leather and redid the spine so it looks much better.  It was then that I learned how good the blue leather was.  the new stuff I got was brown, and was impossible to rough up at all, because it just scraped the paint off, which I then had to repaint, which would smooth out the roughing.  I managed to get it a little beat up, but it wasn't easy.  It would have been a pain in the ASS to do that if all the leather had been a different color. 

Anyways, there they are.  and I love it.  I don't know what I'm going to write in mine, I'm terrible with journals.  But I'm gonna come up with something.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I'm a little scared.

Is it normal to be this terrified of finishing a project?  Seriously.  My jacket is scaring the hell out of me.  It took me more than a day to work myself up to actually seaming the pieces together.  And then I stressed for several more hours before binding it off.  To be fair, both were done using techniques I'd never done before, mattress stitch for the seams and Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off for the binding off.  But it's not like they were hard, and I've learned plenty of things off the internet  before.  I guess I'm just terrified of how this is going to turn out.  I'm so scared that this is going to get done and just look awful.  Or maybe not awful.  maybe just a little awkward and clearly homemade, which would almost be worse.  I've never worked this hard on a project I'm actually going to finish. I'm really good at starting projects and then never finishing them.  and this is one of the biggest projects I've ever done. I'm just really scared it's gonna be a waste of time.  A LOT of time.  and pain. and effort. and money, too.  I spent about $50 on just the yarn.  I mean, I've been planning and thinking and planning and thinking about this for a long time.  I mean, the Ravelry entry for it was made November 11, 2011, and that was when I bought  the yarn.  That doesn't take into account the months of planning and math and carefully examining pictures and frustrating online searches that went before that.  so in all, I've been working on this for more than a year.  Not straight through, obviously.  I've only be seriously knitting since July. still, though.  That's about four months. That's some serious devotion coming from me. I can't believe I haven't gotten bored and quit.  It helped that I had Amanda making fun of me and telling me I'd never finish, and Caleb actually caring about this.

and lets not even mention all the flaws I'm picking at in the piece.  (you know that means I'm going to anyways.) the biggest thing I'm worried about is the joins in the first front panel, the lumps caused by the russian and braided joins.  there's bumps in the fabric and I hate them.  only two there, though, after that I started just joining new balls at the edge so I could just tuck the ends into the seams and have no more lumps.  the seam does create an indent in the fabric, which I don't like, although I'm reasonably certain that will block out.  I'm afraid the straps are too long, or will stretch out too long under the weight of the jacket and leave giant gaps at my armpits. that can probably be fixed by just moving the seam on the straps though. 

hey, that was a shorter list than I thought.  which is good.  although the level to which the bumps in the fabric bother me make this list seem huge.

so now, all I have left is the armwarmers and the trim to knit.  and tuck in the ends.  oh, god there's so many ends to tuck in.  why are skeins so small?  and I need to block the jacket and paint the wings on.  I'm very nervous about the blocking, the only place I can think of where I'd have enough space to lay it out is out on the trampoline in the back yard, which has the added benefit of being a place where it will dry faster, but the idea of stretching this out and just leaving it out there makes me very uncomfortable. But it has to be blocked before I can paint the wings on.  I am deeply concerned about the future of this jacket, because I know from my tiny swatch piece, and what I've read about cotton that it won't hold the blocking through the wash.  It'll need to be laid out again after overy wash to keep the ribs lying down.  I really wish there was something I could do to make the blocking stay.  maybe I'll google it.

uhg, also another on the list of things about this that stress me- I think I may have made the first armwarmer too small.  I cast on 60 stitches based on the fact that my ribbed gauge is more like 6 sts per inch than 7.  and now I think I may have been wrong.  GRAAGRLE.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


 Jacket pieces done!  I'm so psyched. for some reason the third skein barely made it to the correct length, which made me a bit nervous, but we got there.  now I get to sew it together!  and paint the wings on!

.... and knit the armwarmers..... and the trim....

god I hope I have enough yarn.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

second front panel

finished first skein of the second front panel. nothing thrilling.  getting really worried about having enough yarn though.