Monday, June 25, 2012

epic knitting fail

I'm still having trouble uploading pictures into my blog, and downloading the new blog format, so bear with me. I'll be including links to ravelry for my project.

The top that I bought way back in March, that I started nearly 3 months ago, was completed last night and it was an epic fail. For a number of reasons. I believe, truly, that it had more to do with the pattern than my knitting, but I'm not going to blame it entirely on the design. I'll comfortably divide the blame 80/20, the latter being my eye and knitting.

Ravelry link to my project: Vintage Love Summer Top

The top is knit top-down, and I think the designer's thinking is that you can make adjustments as needes while you work. Which means, especially if you're making the plus sizes (which I did) one would have to remove it from the needles, thread a yarn thru live stitches, try it on carefully, thread it back on to the circular needles, and keep on going. Very difficult and tedious and very easy to drop stitches.

As I was making this design, I noticed in the beginning there was one problem after another with the pattern itself. I was one of the first to buy the pattern when it came up for sale, and I couldn't work past either the extremely weird wording or the mistakes, and it took sometimes 2 weeks to get a reply from the designer. So, just to get through the top down to below the bust (sans sleeves) this all took at least 4 contacts to the designer to try to figure out the problem, and nearly 2 months. That was painfully annoying. In that time I could've completed the top entirely.

I also thought, as I was making it, that the arm holes seemed enourmous. But I thought, well, there's a lot of shaping that happens in arm holes, and that reflects in the sleeves. Had I been skilled enough to design my own arm holes and sleeves, I really wouldn't need to buy a pattern in the first place. This is where I lack as a designer, so I depend entirely on pattern instructions. Despite my skepticism, and a few unreplied messeges to the designer, I went ahead and finished the design anyway. There is an extra 10" of space from my armpit to the bottom of the sleeve hole. That is HUGE!

This means, if I were to wear this out in public, I'd have to do so without lifting my elbows, or I run the risk of a wardrobe malfunction, and trust me, no one wants to see that.

There is a lot of this pattern that I dislike, and it partially has to do with how it fits on me. It largely, though, has to do with the structure of the pattern. There is no diagram showing what the final measurements and proportions of each part of the top should be, as sweater patterns should have.

Anyway, at the end of the day, and this is also on more of a personal note, the attitude of the designer also turned me off quite a bit. No matter what I asked, despite my best efforts in trying to be polite in all my frustrations, the designer consistantly insisted that what I was doing was wrong, and there's no flaws with the pattern. The pattern support is awful, and the designer proved to be rather difficult to work with. Bad customer service does add insult to injury in this case. This whole endevour has turned me off entirely of retrying this project or any of her other designs.  

This project will be frogged, and in the 7 weeks remaining before my brother's wedding, I'll be making extra effort to reknit my blue top and hopefully find time to knit a black one as well to wear.

Monday, June 18, 2012

and... more progress!

Well, I'm now officially up to 23 lbs lost, which is awesome. And to be honest, I haven't really been tracking points as intently as I normally do, since there's been a lot of eating out. It's interesting how I can more or less guess what a quantity of something is just by eyeballing it, and it's obvious that I can't be too far off because I'm losing weight.

My big issue with weight is not so much that I don't eat healthy - because I generally do. My issue is with snacking. It's rare that I have take-out or pop in the house, we don't really eat chips that often. It's really just portions and snacking that throws me through a loop. I've also found myself making the same meals over and over again - meat with a side of rice every day for dinner. Which, in itself is healty, but it can be a lot. I know I've frequently had 2 pork chops instead of one. A cup of peas is half the points of a cup of rice, and a 1 point salad is not that hard to put together - which would be a quarter of the points of the rice again.

Or, a small glass of juice instead of a tall glass. Sweetener in my coffee instead of sugar, or milk instead of cream. A slice of cheese instead of an inch-thick cut of it. Weird little things like that will cut down the number of points (& calories and fat!) I consume.

Plus I've found myself eating things I don't normally eat. I'm eating a lot more fruit and veg for snacks instead of granola bars, even though the granola bars are quite healthy. Or cottage cheese makes great snacks too.

Small things do make a big difference!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I just realized I forgot to blog last monday, as I usually do.

Well, fwiw, I passed the 20lb mark, I weighed myself monday and discovered I lost a total of 20.6lbs. There's still a ways to go, but it's really a good start.

I've also been slacking off a bit, I'm trying to figure out how to load Google Chrome... because blogger's not allowing me to post links or pictures without the update. I've a bunch of projects I've finished recently that I haven't been able to post because of this, but hopefully this is something I can tackle soon, so I can share my knitting and crochet projects!

Off topic: a weird yarn thing happened this past week. I discovered that Patons Shetland Chunky used to come in a different sized skein. I came about discovering this when I went thru ravelry, and bought someone's stash 2 weeks ago, and it arrived yesterday. I thought I was buying 7 skeins of 100 grams and 148 yards, but what I infact wound up with was 7 skeins at 50 grams each and 73 yards. Drastic difference, and this was something that was not shared before I purchased it.

In itself, it's not a big deal if what I intended to knit with it is hats and scarves and mittens, because it really wouldn't make a difference. What I wanted to make, though, with it, is a sweater for DH. Which requires 7 100 gram skeins. It's one of those colours that I can't just go to Michael's and buy the balance of what I need, because if I could, I would.

I did contact the person I bought it from, and she's adament that the old yardage was infact listed in ravelry when she sold it to me, and I insist that it wasn't, so it seems that we're both in a position where we each think we're right and the other person's wrong, so what can I do. This wasn't an issue of how much I spent on the yarn, because truthfully I did get a good deal on it, but more of an issue of expecting something and getting something entirely different and being stuck with it.

Without asking for a refund, I did get one though, with the condition from her end that the yarn would be used charitably, so that's what I'm going to do. If I can find a charity that can use this yarn, it'll go there, otherwise I'll gladly knit it into some garments and donate it to a charity that's looking for some warm clothes. So, in the end there's something proactive that comes out of this.

Monday, June 4, 2012

diet win!

Well, I set a new record: I lost 4.5lbs this week! I've no idea how... It was my birthday a few days ago, so I didn't really count points then, and the weekend before last (as I've blogged) I was at my SiL's shower and did a bit of birthday stuff then too... there was, in essence, only 4 days in the last 7 where I really counted my points. But I guess I can brush a lot of that to whatever surplus "water weight" I gained since the last time I weighed myself.

So, to date: 19.6 lbs lost. Awesome!