Monday, July 4, 2016

How to Knit a Birthday Gift with Finesse and Style - In 45 Easy Steps

In celebration of my granddaughter’s first birthday, I decided to share with you today the highly technical and skilled steps required to make the birthday goodies I sent up for her party:

  1. Cast on for dress pattern, then realize the cute picot edging was done by seaming. 
  2. In a fit of rebellion, rip out the cast on and choose a provisional cast on for the picot edging instead. 
  3. Feel really smart about getting out of seaming the hems.
  4. Blast through knitting all pieces of the dress - back, front, two sleeves.
  5. Block pieces.
  6. Realize pattern does not include any real information on how to create the smocking effect on the bodice.
  7. Google “smocking hand knits” and find only one semi-useful article
  8. Attempt smocking, then realize that something is terribly wrong because your bodice doesn’t look anything like the pictures on the pattern page.
  9. Read over notes from other Ravelry users who made this pattern.
  10. Feel like an idiot as it slowly dawns on you that there is an error in the pattern which would have been very clear and avoided if you’d glanced over these project pages before beginning.
  11. Curse yourself and the pattern writer until you realize the pattern was free.  Then curse just yourself.
  12. Make yourself feel better by casting on and finishing a hat.
  13. Rip back entire bodice and reknit correctly.
  14. Re-block front.
  15. Stare blankly at above mentioned article, then at dress bodice, then back at article. 
  16. Try and pinpoint the moment when you lost the ability to understand English and make sense out of a perfectly logical diagram.
  17. Appeal to your knitting friends on Facebook, revealing to them your newfound inability to see the obvious.
  18. Be thankful they don’t judge.
  19. Make a trip to your LYS for moral support.
  20. Do a happy dance when the lightbulb finally kicks on.
  21. Finish smocking and steam block bodice.
  22. Remember that you hate seaming, especially sleeves.  Procrastinate using the excuse, “I have to make sure it is really dry before I try to seam it.” 
  23. Feel a little bad for lying to yourself, noting the birthday party date is rapidly approaching.
  24. Calculate time to ship using 2 to 3 day Priority Mail.  Lie to yourself again about when you’ll be finished and ready to ship.
  25. Seam dress and knit on neckline - garter stitch rounds - piece of cake (no pun intended).
  26. Realize you cast off too tightly on neckline. 
  27. Lie to yourself again by planning to pull out just the cast off and reknit using a stretchier method.
  28. Admit to self halfway through using the stretchier method, you don’t have enough yarn because you’ve already cut it.
  29. Decide to pull back entire neckline and reknit.  Need to be careful because some stitches were picked up and some were live stitches, but again…garter stitch rounds - piece of cake.
  30. Get back to last row of picked up and live stitches and DROP a live stitch on the bodice.
  31. In less than 30 seconds:
    - allow dropped stitch to ripple down three rows
    - realize what happened
    - spend a moment in disbelief
    - grasp for a stitch holder as your eyes well up
    - gasp for air as if someone punched you in the gut
    - hate yourself
  32. Throw a huge fit that the neighbors can probably hear while your husband wonders why you enjoy knitting and says something completely inappropriate which makes things worse.
  33. Throw a flip flop at your husband.
  34. After five minutes of your hissy, sink down into the sofa as a sobbing mess.
  35. Be grateful your husband didn’t call the men in white coats.
  36. Sit down with the now ruined dress, sure that you cannot fix it.
  37. Fix the dress.
  38. Cast off appropriately.
  39. Steam block one last time.
  40. Take some aspirin.
  41. Go to bed and wonder when exactly you lost your mind and if it’s hereditary.  Worry about passing it on to your granddaughter.
  42. Package up dress and hat and realize you’ll have to overnight it.
  43. Drop package at post office after work, paying just slightly less for shipping than all of the materials combined cost you.
  44. Go home and lie down.
  45. Wonder what you’ll knit next. 

Pictures to come.


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