Friday, October 24, 2008

Blow the Man Down

I'm finally back - did you miss me? I will spare you the angst (although I watch them on tv, I don't really enjoy home renovation projects live and in person), but I can say that the new windows are in and that they look lovely. Had it not been for the windows and the fact that I forgot they were being installed this week, I doubt knitting the SO's costume would have been that stressful, but under the circumstances, I've been freaking out a little bit over completion time. I just finished it, though (which is good, since the SO has a Pumpkin Party to attend this evening), and I think it will do. For this year, at least.

So, here it is - vest with parrot attached and pseudo-red-kerchief-hat with attached gold "earring". You will note that the parrot is completely different from the one I showed you earlier. The original ended up being way too big to sew to the shoulder of the vest. I designed the new one myself on the fly while the dining room windows were being ripped out. A very relaxing way to spend that otherwise not terribly relaxing hour. Here's a close-up of the parrot:

He's now small enough and light enough to sit upright on the SO's shoulder without distorting the vest. Truthfully, I'm pleased to be using my own pattern for this - it kind of bugged me to resort to a commercial pattern previously. (And I thought to write it down, for once, while I was knitting it so I can duplicate it if I need to, in the future.) I only wish I had knit it with slightly brighter yarn, as I think the little guy is a little too darkish green for a toddler. Hopefully, the SO won't mind.

Despite some reservations about stretching, I decided to use garter stitch, since it's a flat stitch (no rolling edges) and has that nice property of being kind of square (one garter ridge = one stitch). Actually, though, given the time, I have not put any edging on the vest (and I did not stick in a selvedge on the edges either) and am hoping that the armholes don't end up around the SO's knees by the end of the evening. I will try to add that this weekend. The sash is sewn directly onto the vest to avoid any possible strangulation issues (the SO, unfortunately, likes to wrap things around this neck). I thought about the best way to tie the sash and opted for a keyhole closure - similar to a keyhole scarf, where one end is pulled through a hole in the other end. This seems to work pretty well, in terms of staying put, while still being easy to put on and take off. The hat is a regular watch cap design, and I added the bow (for a tied look) and the earring (obviously) later.

I've paired the hand-knit pieces with a regular red and white striped shirt and navy pants that the SO's grandmother found (at my request - my mother is a master shopper that way). It always bugs me that kids wear the costume for at most a week, and then it gets relegated to storage, so I've tried to add some practical elements that can be worn as regular clothing later (see last year's costume for more on this).

Don't say I never do any knitting on this blog, eh? Happy Halloween!

By the way, Amy Locurto is having a Halloween Blog Party (which I think is a brilliant, brilliant idea). I've joined it with this costume - please go here if you're interested in participating!


LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

What a talented designer you are! It's terribly cute and I hope you show photos with the little pirate in it!

Christina J. said...

That turned out great! So cute.

Amanda said...

You've done such a marvelous job! Not only did you get it done, but you got it done WELL! (: He's going to look adorable in his wee pirate costume. Remember to teach him about the necessity of "YARRR!"

Will he have an eye patch?

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thanks, Lynn! Because the SO is still little, I'm not posting photos of him on the blog right now. It was a hard decision, but we've opted to be conservative. Alas.

Thanks, Christina!!

Alas, no eye patch, Amanda - he's still too young to "get it", I think. Maybe in a year or two. He's got the "YARRR" part down cold, though!

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

Wow! I just love this. You are so talented! The tiny parrot is adorable. Thanks for joining in on the fun at the Halloween Party!