Monday, February 18, 2008

Bite me, bite me pillow!

Now that I have had a little time to calm down, I can talk about what happened with the bite me pillow from Domiknitrix. OK, so, the embroidery is really frustrating!!! I looked around at some of the projects on Ravelry and it looks like a lot of people have had trouble getting their letters to look as nice as the ones in the book, and I am no exception. That said, I refuse to accept sub-par lettering on this damn pillow. At first, I just wanted it to look nice, but now it's personal.

So, let me review what my problems are. Here is a picture of where I am at now:I thought the outlining would look nice it chain stitch, and it does, but it took forever!! Also, it took me a while to learn that when you chain stitch on a piece of knitting you have to zig zag your needle when you stitch horizontally - do it over the bar on one stitch, then under the bar on the next stitch, and so on. If you don't, the line slants up or down. So, it took me about a million years to figure that one out. I had to rip out the T and the E on the top row and redo them once I figured out how to fix the problem.

I am happy with the placement of the letters and with the shape of the ME on the bottom row. I'm pretty unhappy with the outlining on B and the E on the front row. The T - I could take it or leave it. The I is obviously fine. How can you screw up an I?

So, all that outlining (free-handed, mind you!) was really frustrating and ruined my day. But it gets worse. Let's explore the satin stitch debacle.

First of all, the satin stitch is really messy in and of itself. That's my fault because I was rushed because I was pissed off and just wanted to finish the damn thing. FYI: I stitched the B and the I and I ended up cutting out all the stitches out because it was messy. I redid the I which looks better, but that's a pretty easy shape. But more importantly, you can see how the tension from the satin stitch is warping my fabric. Look between the T & E. This simply won't do!!

So, what happened? Like all naughty projects, this puppy was sealed up and tossed into the corner for time out until it learns how to behave:

So what am I going to do when I decide to free the pillow from its zip lock prison?

1. I am ripping out the B & E. I'm going to stitch the E exactly like the one on the bottom row, and for the B, I am just going to sketch out the shape I want right on the fabric with a sharpie. It's not ideal, but the letter is just too hard to freehand. That is already my second version of the B.

2. An embroidery hoop would be ideal to help with the tension problem, but I don't have one. I just need to figure something out. Maybe I can schlep on over to Windsor Buttons - I bet they have one. Of course, that would involve leaving my apartment to go somewhere other than school or the grocery store. That's a tricky one. I'm sort of in hibernation mode.

3. For the satin stitch: I am cutting out all the satin stitch so far and redoing everything. Then I'm going to split the red yarn. I think if it is less bulky the stitches won't look so messy if they end up piled on top of each other in some places. This will probably help ease the tension as well. I also need to decide whether I'm going to make the stitches diagonal or strictly horizontal and stick with it. I hate to admit that right now they are all over the place. I really am better at embroidery than this! I'm just sucking at this project because I'm mad at it and distracted by my anger.

I have so many other projects I'd rather work on, I'm tempted to just toss this thing and call it a bad dream. Or I could leave it in the naughty bag forever (like the doomed binary scarf...) But, like I said, I feel like I have a personal vendetta against this damn thing. I imagine I will let it ruin my weekend again next week. It may be winning the battles, but I will win the war.


  1. It's really sad, and a little scary when a relaxing hobbly turns into grudge knitting. I've been there (more than I care to mention) and I'm on your side, don't let it win.

  2. Thank you! Finally someone understands!

  3. i'm having the EXACT same problem with my pillow i stare at it with compensate i've been doing really simple projects, but i will takle those letters...good luck!