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Friday, May 12, 2006

Dear Prepster Jacket

Dear Prepster Jacket,
I'm writing this because I don't have the heart to say it in person. OK, I'm lying. You're sitting right there on my futon. Truth is, I don't want to pick you up because the very sight of you is causing me anxiety. And I've been getting enough anxiety between the job and "Deal or No Deal."

See, things were going well. I didn't realize how much I'd missed crochet! I had visions of finishing you then whipping up a Short N' Sweet Bolero or a Fat-Bottomed Bag. (Every time I say Fat-Bottomed Bag, I think of the Beck song "My Summer Girl," and I once even caught myself singing, "Hey, Fat-Bottomed Bag.") Anyway. I went so far as to buy some Cascade Pima Tencel for the bolero.

No, prepster jacket, I'm not being paid by Cascade to use their yarns for every project. I just like the yarn.

My infatuation quickly dissipated when I started seaming you. Let me be clear about this -- seaming crochet items sucks. You know how in knitting, the little Vs line up so nicely and with a few quick tugs, your seams are basically invisible? In crochet, not so much. There are no neat little Vs. There are only odd loops and chains and it's a damn mess.

I read reference books, I posted on Craftster and I emailed experts. I just don't get it. But I think this is because there is no real answer. Listen to what Maggie Righetti writes in "Crocheting in Plain English." (A book that uses a lot of italics!)

"... There are no hard and fast rules and techniques that always work on everything. What is a good idea for one article may not work at all for another. You need to know a whole bag of handy techniques to be prepared for different situations."

Bottom line is, my bag is empty. And that means your seams are crooked and your sleeves are boxy. I'm not giving up, but I think we need to take a break. Just a little one, maybe a few days or a week.

In the meantime, I've found myself a nice, new project. One that I can knit in the Pima Tencel. One that will be great for summer. One with no seams. Prepster Jacket, meet Fad Classic!


Blogger lowercasecarmen said...

Prepster Jacket: What are you trying to say? Are you...omg. Are you breaking up with me?"

Carrie: No, no I'm not. I said a break, just for a while at least.

PJ: A break? *chokes on tears* Save it, honestly. I've seen you knitting that, that other PROJECT. How dare you, trying to hide your knitting ways from me. Just leave. Leave.

Carrie: *knits*

2:02 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

God, do I hate seaming! And crochet is worse? Definitely, take a break. I have a couple friends who've knit Fad. They loved it. Super easy and no problems. Why can't more things be like that? :)

3:03 AM  
Blogger elizabooth said...

Oh boy, I just bought the Happy Hooker (I was seduced by a sale) with dreams of learning how to crochet and one day being able to pull off the prepster. Hmm. Well, I still want to learn, but mayhaps I'll stick to bags and toys. I'm bad enough at finishing when it comes to knitting (and by bad I mean unmotivated. My technique isn't actually that bad).

8:48 AM  
Anonymous yahaira said...

funny I never thought about seaming crochet....umm cause I never think about crocheting, but that's a different subject. want me to ask around for you? bf's mom is known for being quite handy with the hook in her day.

so are you sure you aren't being sponsored by cascade? how about knit and tonic?

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Iraida said...

That's a great color. I picked up the crochet book but I only want to knit that cool flower scarf and a few amigurumis. Crochet isn't that bad :-D Good luck wiith the seaming.

9:22 AM  
Blogger michelleknits said...

oh i love fad classic! i bought that pattern a few weeks ago but haven't started yet. sorry about prepster. oh, and i don't even know about the fat bottomed bag, but i thought about that queen song about fat bottomed girls making the rockin world go round!

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Hurrah for the Fad Classic! I'm starting mine imminently... as soon as the Argyle Vest is done.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I hadn't even thought about what a pain seaming crochet would be. Yet another reason to not pick up the hook for me!

Fad Classic is awesome! You'll have lots of fun with it, I'm sure.

10:04 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

That's why crochet is called the the dark art.

I love Cascade yarns too! The more I use them, the more I love. And fairly cheap too. What's not to love??

10:06 AM  
Blogger Saun said...

I'm not sure if you read her blog but try asking Erica at . She's really into crochet and probably has that pattern so she may be able to help you.

10:39 AM  
Blogger gleek said...

i was going to recommend boundbymyhook as well! erica b is a great crocheter and could probably help you.

the fad classic is a great idea! wendy designed it to look sorta like crochet so i think that it's a good substitute.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Karin said...

I was just thinking about your prepster jacket today as I flipped through my Happy Hooker book, hoping you would post a FO soon! Sorry the seaming is rough. As I looked at the patterns I thought the same thing. Well I will be starting a seamed crochet project soon too, so if I figure out anything I will let you know!

11:33 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I think taking a break from Prepster sounds like a good idea! I love the Fad Classic pattern - good luck!

12:19 PM  
Blogger Erica B. said...

Hi Carrie, when seaming a crocheted garment, there's not cut-and-dry method like a mattress seam, but you can still get an invisible seam. Just like with knitting, you are going to line both pieces side by side, with wrong sides facing. You are going to stick the tapestry needle through the stitches. I'm not the best person to explain something in writing so here is a website that I thought you may find handy to help you with this: -- Hope this helps!

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The right way to break up with someone DOES NOT INVOLVE A POST-IT NOTE!"

Haven't we learned anything from "Sex and the City?"

1:03 PM  
Blogger Mmmmrissa said...

Seaming..yuck. I'm sure prepster will come out fabulous. I can't wait to meet your Fad Classic.

1:08 PM  
Blogger keohinani said...

oh, you are going to looooooooove fad classic! it goes by so fast. the beginning is a little fiddly because you're working two pieces, but once you join in the round, it just flies. the one part you should be wary about is the ribbing for the neck and armholes. because she doesn't give you a set number of stitches to pick up, you might have to re-do it a few times until it looks right. it's all totally worth it in the end, though. :) what color are you going to make yours?

2:03 PM  
Blogger Mayarn said...

Once, I had to crochet two peices of knit fabric togther and the result was ridiculous.

Hm. Fad classic, huh? that's pretty cute! Do you think a novice crocheter like myself could handle it?

2:15 PM  
Blogger Norah said...

Go to the site Erica B. suggested:
and scroll to the mattress seam finishing. I used to use this method years ago when I finished crocheted items and it was awesome--I had a hard time finding where the seam was when I had to pull something apart once.

(Since I never finished anything for years I forgot about that method and used some of the others they mentioned and had the same kind of results you did when I started actually finishing crocheted items again last year. Thanks to Erica for posting that site--I now remember what I used to do and why my seams **used to** look so much better.)

In the meantime, enjoy knitting that pima/tencel yarn--it looks beautiful.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Kim Guzman said...

Hahahahah.....she's emailed "experts" and the link is to me. Boy, do I have you famboozled or what? LOL I know that you're trying to do the mattress stitch since we've talked at length. After thinking about it, I think it's very possible that you could be pulling the yarn too tightly and it's causing a pucker. The crochet is never going to sit together as nicely as it does with knit and some yarns are definitely more forgiving than others. Unfortunately, it's trial and error to find the method that works the best on the yarn chosen for a project. I would say to just bring the project to me and I would seam it for you. :-) How much are the plane tickets from New York to Chicago? :-)

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A dear John letter to a knitted object! Done with lotsa admirable tact, if only I could think of a way to break up with my boy with similar panache...


7:34 AM  
Blogger amandamonkey said...

I was with you until the end.

It seems a little mean to mention your new love and rub Prepster's face in it.

("Deal" really stresses me out, too. I don't know if it's the situation or the annoying people)

10:47 AM  
Anonymous kellyhl said...

I had nearly the same situation yesterday with the baroque jacket from that book. I had to set it aside for a few weeks bc just the thought of the shoulder seams gave me the heebie-jeebies.

10:15 AM  
Blogger pixienyc said...

Please don't give up on Short 'N Sweet - I made one and there is no seaming! None at all! And it was so fast to crochet and turned out really cute.

I plan to seam up my Prepster this week. I'm a pretty experienced crocheter, but seaming is always tricky. I'll let you know how it goes.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Kym said...

Man, I didn't think seaming could get any worse until I read that!

Have you ever knitted any other jackets before?

11:51 PM  
Blogger Ninabeena said...

I love the Cascade. I think it is beautiful. i believe you've inspired me.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Brooklyn Handspun said...

Ahh since I've never actually seamed ANYTHING - I'm no help there. but I am finally knitting an article of clothing so I'll have to deal with it soon....although I guess the hourglass sweater has as little semaing as possible so it might not count!

11:59 AM  
Blogger Evie said...

I am having a problem with the sleeves where it says increase 0 times at the end of the sixth row and then 1 dc at the end of every fourth row. Since there is no increase at the end of the sixth row, do I crochet six rows with no inc and then do the four with an inc at each end of the fourth row? Or do I go directly to the fourth row with an inc at each end??? Thanks.

10:25 PM  

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