Tuesday, April 04, 2006

You should have gone to


Non-UK readers will, no doubt, be mystified by this phrase.

Suffice it to say that I went to a local optician (not Specsavers, which is a half hour drive away) to get new glasses. Very expensive new glasses, as it turned out. Having collected them yesterday, I discovered that one leg was altogether in the wrong place once I got home (stop it - that's the leg of the specs, not the leg of the blogger!) and had to go back today to get them readjusted.

The leg is faulty. One end turns through 30 degrees. I now have another 10 day wait for my specs.

Fortunately, this will have no impact on my knitting at all, as I'm short sighted and can deal with yarn and needles perfectly well while bare-faced. What I can't do is see who's giving me cheek from the other side of the pub.

Non-knitting craft
Preparation before knitting a garment is something I've been fairly good at. The tension square is knitted, and sometimes even washed, before whatever-it-is is cast on.

Sewing, on the other hand, I tend to just leap into. Or at least, I used to, when I could still buy patterns in my size. That strikes me as a bit odd, as once you've cut out the fabric you're stuck with the shape, whereas with knitting you can generally rip it all out and start again if you've misjudged something.

I braved the tape measure several times over the past few days as a result of my fruitless search for a white blouse on my birthday shopping trip last week. I found three which will do in a pinch, but nothing which really looked good, and frankly three is just not enough for a 7-day job like this one.

Following a tip in an old fitting book, I measured across my chest, and across my back (not all the way round, just from the creases where arm meets body.) And I made a discovery. Despite the fact that I am about a pattern size 22, my front measurement is closest to a size 16, while my back measurement is even narrower. My shoulders are significantly narrower than even that size.

Bafflement ensued. I've always assumed that I had wide shoulders. They certainly don't look narrow to me, but hubby has done the measuring, and come up at about 0.75 of the pattern standard.

I've tweaked this pattern all over the place: I've narrowed the shoulders, narrowed the back, widened the bust area (front and back) and attempted to add depth for a C-cup. I've widened the waist, raised the hips, and widened the sleeve. That last is scary. I've no idea what a sleeve with a 3cm straight extension on either side of the cap will look like when sewn up, but that appears to be my shape, so we shall see.

I now need to find the spare parts for my sewing machine and fix the top and bottom tension.

All in the vast amount of spare time that I have, of course.


Blogger Franklin said...

Thank goodness you specified. I was about to send you a note of consolation on having misplaced your leg. How ever would you dance the Highland Fling?

5/4/06 13:45  
Anonymous sahara said...

Hello, I found your blog through Jean Miles.

From what I read, the sleeve will probably fit well. Most folks are always shocked at the difference between their shoulder measurement and their arms. The shoulder measurement is a "bone measurement" and dosen't change with weight gain or loss.

When I am particularly scared, I'll cut out the pattern part for that area in a "waste fabric" and quickly sew it up and try it on. Similar to swatching.

By the way–The name Specsavers doesn't sound too mystifying to me; in New York, we have Lenscrafters, who doesn't really save you any money. They use the "bait and switch" scam.

6/4/06 17:39  

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