Disaster: The Sorrowful Tale of the Whites Gone Pink

This is the jersey sent by Satan.  I picked it up a few weeks ago from Spotlight to make a “final” version of the 40’s Charm Hack (which is clean and tidy and revised- will be up tomorrow! I just wanted to complete).  It’s a lightweight nylon/wool blend, and only came in heathered gray, though I wanted something red.  “No problem,” I thought, “I’ll throw it in the washing machine with some crimson iDye and all will be well.”  I regularly dye fabrics that way.

All was not well, the fabric itself was hellish to work with- it stretched and warped and shrank from the needle as I stitched.  I’ve worked with lightweight jerseys, lightweight wools, all kinds of nylon and wool, but this was like some kind of demonic visitation rather than a sewing experience.  Disgusting fabric.  I made an ugly muslin with it, made fun of it, and that was that.

I don’t know if you noticed, but I’ve been on a whites kick lately.  I love how they blaze and glow under the skin-sizzling UV rays here, and how white seems to go with everything else in my closet.   This past Friday, I threw a load of whites into a warm wash with mild detergent, a touch of vinegar and some baking soda:

Linen-cotton jersey with cotton bobbin lace. This is an excellent basic, the lace saves it from complete boredom.

SpinaLace Tee- Also linen-cotton slub knit, it washed to a level of softness for which there are no words.

Hemp Hurricane: I have worn this skirt almost constantly all summer. It has doubled as a blanket for sitting on the beach, as a sort of tent for sun protection, and it literally creates its own breeze when I walk.

Lacewing Top- Nylon/Cotton blend, works with everything in my wardrobe.

Summer Snowflake in Merino and Guipure- recognize the faux-lero?

I also added some delicious ivory Japanese double layered cotton knit for Enid’s version of the 40’s Charm Hack (which is to be a birthday present) and a few other bits and pieces, including a couple of cotton tea towels.

I didn’t think about the fact I had recently dyed something red in my washing machine.  Why should I?  I ran an empty vinegar rinse after dyeing and another load of darks had been through with no problems.  Dyeing in my washing machine has never caused me any issues whatsoever. In fact, dyeing usually “cleans” my washing machine.

Mysteriously, my whites came out pink. Every blessed one, except the merino- though the cotton guipure trim was not spared.  Curiously, the tea towels were also unaffected.

Not a pretty pink, but a just-barely-not-white pink.  I ran another washing machine rinse then shoved them back into the washing machine with a healthy dose of bleach.  (I took out the merino.)

They actually bleached pinker.  I kid you not.  They became Homer-Simpson-work-shirt pink.  WHY?  I left them wet on the bench in my kitchen lest drying set the pink dye permanently.  In the meantime, I washed Lila’s butterfly sheets with the white background.  They’re cotton and came out completely clean.  “Excellent,” I thought.  “No more pink in the machine, I didn’t ruin it, now my whites will behave.”

The next morning, I went out to purchase dye remover. “This will get it out, nothing to worry about,” I thought to myself.  I even read the back of the box and followed the directions to the letter.

The white is for comparison.  It’s actually brighter than this pink, I couldn’t get the color right…

MORE PINK!  It is actually pinker than before!  This almost qualifies as a color, but I’m stumped.  Why did this happen?  How?  Why not her sheets?  Why not the tea towels?

What do I do? I don’t dare trying to bleach them again.  Or do I?  Fiber gurus- do you have any ideas?  I’m trying to stay philosophical about this, but after writing this post and thinking about the time (easily 30 hours) and thought and resources put into these clothes I’m actually pretty upset. (And for WHAT were they dyed pink?  For the top that turned out to be the worst fabric fail of the year!)

I guess I could dye them all another color, but the white is what works with everything else.  It’s a “neutral” for me.  Besides, I shudder to think how silly a blue or purple lace-insertion tee would look.  Black?  I worked with black dye once, it was very difficult.

Silk Organza- Underlining and Hubris

Getting a little creative with the camera...

The sewing binge stay-cation got off to a mixed start.  I’m working with a lightweight charcoal tropical wool for a suit.  I started with a Burda pencil skirt to learn how this wool behaves. Later, I’ll move on to the jacket.

The wool is whisper-light, so I thought to underline with silk organza.  Basically, underlining/backing is an extra layer of fabric basted to the fashion fabric for body and stability.  Threads has a great basic primer on the technique.

Like a good sewist, I read Sherry’s guide to underlining with silk organza and poked through my tailoring, sewing and couture books before I settled to business.  I knew I needed to cut the silk a little wider than the pattern pieces, to allow the wool to stretch.  As I laid the pieces on the fabric, I had a brilliant thought- Cut the underlining on the bias!

Of course!  It would allow plenty of stretch across my backside in the fitted pencil skirt!  This is what happens when you’re a “jump in and try new things” type of person.  New Rule: Only try 1 new thing at a time!

Yes, it stretches at the sides, but it pulls up the bottom.  It’s kind of a cool effect, and I might be tempted to “just go with it” except this is the bottom half of my suit!  I want it to look tasteful and crisp, not “interesting.”

Speaking of tasteful, I think this looks like Spanx.  I used the same pattern before, on a medium weight linen.  While the linen skirt is figure-hugging, it’s not quite this revealing.  Perhaps the difference is in the fabrics?  Linen relaxes, wool and organza less so?

The silk pulls A LOT. Too much. No Bueno.

At any rate, I’m not too upset.  I’ll recut the skirt section, and underline it the right way.  I want to lengthen it, and I’ll probably play with the seam allowances, too.  If you have experience working with light wools and have any wisdom to share, I’d really appreciate it.

Edge taped, grograin ribbon, double layer of silk organza.

I am quite pleased with the waist facing.  That’s a grosgrain waist stay, and some fusible bias to crisp the top edge of the skirt.  I raised the original waistline and shaped it, because I need waist definition.

I can’t always account for the ways fabrics behave but I did learn how to better handle the wool/organza combination.   I keep thinking about Fearful/ Fearless Sewists.  Maybe the difference comes down to whether or how well a person can learn from their mistakes? I think that’s a key “bridging the gap” sewing skill.

None of the books said it (maybe they didn’t think they had to) but for the record- Don’t underline a close-fitted wool pencil skirt with silk organza cut on the bias.


New Lease On Life: Swing Jacket Refashion

My first weskit; my first swing coat’s second chance.

Years ago, after I had my daughter, I felt like I was drifting.  Uncertain of myself.  The winter after I had my Lila,  I was cold.  And kind of fat (for me).   None of my warm jackets fit.  Not being able to fit into “my” clothes upset me deeply.

I remember snapping one day and leaving my small baby at home with my husband, determined to scour the shops to find a decent little jacket.  When you move countries, its hard to know where to shop.  Back then, I wasn’t the sewist I am today.  This sang to me from the rack, I absolutely adored the fabric and felt pretty wearing it.  Thank you, jacket, for the moment of shangri-la.  Eventually  I outgrew (if that’s the right term) my lovely little swing jacket that skimmed the wobblies on my new-mommy body.  I dissected her a year and a day ago with the idea of fashioning the fabric into a weskit; she sat on my work table since then.

With the return of chilly weather, I cast around for weskit designs I could use to re-fashion her, settling on an early to mid-50’s (correct me if I’m wrong) weskit pattern:

I drafted the red one from my basic block, then tried to make my pattern pieces fit the jacket pieces.  They didn’t.  I improvised.

Front.  I made every part fit except the arm hole, but arm holes are fluid entities on a sleeveless garment.  I had a similar problem with the back.

I cut the back lining first, then had to sacrifice part of the back arm hole and sleeve seam on the exterior.  So I laid the exterior on top of the lining and trimmed.  Not elegant perhaps, but it got the job done.

I used 1/2″ sew-through boning on the side seams.  Note the rounded ends.

I thought next time I’d opt for a slightly longer weskit.

Persephone lives again, I can’t convince my Northern Hemisphere brain that it’s actually Autumn.  So this is the Persephone Weskit.  Photos at dusk create funny colors, but I rather like it.

I know I haven’t posted much lately.  I won’t lie- I felt flat.  Not depressed exactly, just flat.  My husband always tells me to write for myself, and I really didn’t want to create more chatter about sewing.  I teach sewing, I spend 20-30+ hours a week sewing, I write extensive notes for class, I read sewing blogs and I write a sewing blog.  I suppose it’s natural that every now and then I’d feel the urge to do nothing with my free time but sit around watching Period Dramas (Try Upstairs Downstairs, Daphne, South Riding and Cruel Beauty).  When I don’t post, that’s where I am.

Zucchini Lemonade

Last Christmas spent in Texas, my motherly aunt piled hand-dyed fat quarters in my hands and bade me do what I would with them and send it to her sometime.  I started the quilt top in October, it progressed so painlessly through piecing and basting I felt I would definitely mail the quilt by November, in time for Christmas.


I spent the past three months desperately trying to quilt straight lines in the ditch on my little Janome 4900.  Walking foot, proper basting, I did everything right but still had a warped trellis quilt.  I find myself ready to tackle this quilt again and plan to use the big quilting machine at work.

First I must unpick the third attempt at straight lines.  I didn’t post the finished top last October lest I ruin my dear one’s Christmas surprise, but she saw it this morning as I unpicked during our weekly Skype call.

Don Draper says “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”  While I would follow little of his advice, this seems sound.  I’ll rip out the crooked lines, smooth it flat one more time and then cover it with free-motion flowers for all I’m worth.  I think the unrestrained florals may help balance the quilt’s crisp geometry.  At any rate, I’ll finish the quilting.

I’ll probably finish quilting the Drunkard’s Path, too!

(I have so many ideas.  A birds on a wire art quilt, inter-cultural eating habits, re-visiting feminist theory, examining the influence of PTSD on 1950’s fashion, and my latest knit top draft.  It’s decent but not amazing…)

The random number generator popped up with a 7, which means the Mod little Megan dress pattern goes to Rosy!  Shoot me an email with your address and I’ll drop her in the mail.  Everyone’s stories cracked me up, thanks for playing.

How to Draft An Icarus

I won’t give this pattern, or this top, a name.  It’s an Icarus.  I use that term for projects which over-reach my abilities with unwearable results.  However, the term carries positive connotations because I can evaluate what went wrong and how to fix it.

I saw this top- Roses in Rain from Anthropologie- in a thread at PR and decided it looked like a fun drafting problem.  I played it safe with Mirabilis and the Plus Fours, as they required no major dart movements.  I like the idea of using interesting seams and drapery in knits to disguise shaping, since a darted t-shirt would look… weird…

I started by making a pattern for a cut-on sleeve front and back.  Then I moved the vertical darts to the side seam.  Basically, I knew my dart at the waist measures 3cm so I took that off the side seam and smoothed the line.  It’s not perfect, but I think it’s ok for knits.  That left the horizontal bust dart.  On the PR thread, someone suggested it was a cowl sewn into a neck dart, which is how I approached the problem.

After a false start, I marked the CF at 6″ down from the neck and drew a deep V from either side- the way to set up a cowl neck.  On the right side, I rotated the horizontal bust dart to the neck.  I cut off the far right side to cowl the left side.  My proportions were 2:7, which was more or less random.  Pepin suggests thirds and halves are visually boring, so I decided to be bold.

Then I drew the cowl lines based on another vintage drafting manual I had on hand.  I forgot I was dealing with the body and the sleeve in one, and that was my first mistake.

See how low I made the third slash?  Second mistake.  I should have drafted the body from the regular dress sloper and added the cut on sleeves last.  That would have been less ambiguous for me while following the book, and I wouldn’t have a mad puffy drape below my boob.

If you imagine I’m standing in front of a normal hedge, I might be Thumbelina’s stroppy sister.  Note the yellow-green, a different green from the pine/oak forests I rambled as a child.  Greens here are golder.

The back is ok, I’m not expecting much from an experimental muslin carried out in the world’s most disgusting rayon slub knit which pills after two washes.

I learned!  I’ll probably wear the top around the house until it falls apart, I don’t hate it and it’s comfy.  The second it pills or falls apart, I won’t have any qualms about cutting it up for rags.  I don’t like the original enough to draft once more, though I may revisit it in the future.  This exercise taught me a great deal, I’m not upset with the result, and I’m feeling confident about my next challenge:

In a plum bamboo/spandex with long tight sleeves… Yes, please- though not for a while.  I want to take a few weeks to focus on quilting, home dec, finishing ufos, sewing a laptop bag, and sewing for the other people in my household.  It’s kind of boring sewing for just myself and I’ve had quite a streak of that lately.

Making Lemonade and Fagoting by Machine

Last weekend, I made a set of slopers/blocks/basic patterns based on my body measurements using The Pattern Drafter.  This week, I drafted and made my first top.  Having lusted after a pair of knickerbockers since last May, I decided to use my pants block to create a pair. 

After consulting google images for inspiration, I made an interesting discovery- Plus Fours are so called because the pants measure the length from waist to knee + 4″.  I couldn’t let that go by and decided to use it. 

I traced my pants, raised the waistline 1″ in the CB and .5″ elsewhere, and measured my waist to knee- 24″.  I duly measured 24″ down from the pattern’s waist, then added seam allowances and cut it from my last stashed piece of linen, a lovely shade of deep cobalt.

Later that night, I sat straight up in bed and realized I ought to have added four inches.  Honestly, where was my brain? 

With less than half a yard of remaining linen, I decided to cut a strip of fabric to add to the bottoms of my truncated plus fours.  That worked well enough, but I didn’t want to simply seam the extra fabric to the bottom of my pants.  Why not use a fagoted seam and turn lemons into lemonade?  A mistake into a design feature…

I finished both the bottom edges of the pants and the top edge of my strips, then folded them under by about .5″. 

I tested my idea using scrap linen and various stitches on my machine, #62 yielded the results I wanted.

Most online tutorials involve hand-fagoting by first attaching the fabric to paper and then stitching.  I found it was hard to remove the paper so I discarded that idea since I was working with two straight edges. 

My execution was not perfect (due to my leadfoot tendencies) but completely serviceable.  I did not need to yank the paper from between the joined pieces of fabric after stitching.

Finished seam.

I also stole these cute Chinese takeout pockets from my daughter’s Oliver + S Hopscotch pattern:

  When your sewing gives you lemons, how do you make lemonade?

Top-Stitching Blues

It’s all just so wrong.

I used variegated blue, from dark through medium to light.  The dark blends too much, it looks silly!  After so much obsessing, too.  And I think I could use a thinner stitch, and I think I should edge stitch.  I was trying some things out, turned out they looked ridiculous.  I spent most of park-time this morning with Lila unpicking.  Great place for it, the little strands carried off on the wind rather than accumulating under my couch and in every nook and cranny in my house.

How far will you go to try something out?  How many times do you re-design before you give it all up as a bad job?

I have a variegated (you’d think I’d learn but I won’t) medium blue thread.  I’ll use a slightly longer, single stitch which I’ll edge stitch and then shadow about 1/4″ from the edge.  Any ideas or criticisms appreciated, as always.

 On the subject of pockets- patch lined with cherry blossoms.  Springtime in my pocket.  It’s not the best look when a contrast lining shows.  To conceal a contrast pocket lining, I favor my seams. 

I cut out both pieces, then cut the lining a tiny bit smaller.  When I sew I line up the raw edges, pretending nothing is out of the ordinary.  The bottom curves for this pocket didn’t like that, but it all came out in the end.  When the pocket is trimmed and turned, the exterior rolls to the interior.  No escaping cherry blossoms.  Perfect.

Finished Objects: Obligations

I have a few items which had to be sewn and kept me from my other projects.  I’ll quickly put them up, then they are dead to me.

Weekender Bag From Hell:

Oooh, looks pretty great, right?  Wrong wrong wrong.  I’m teaching this bag as a class and it kicked me in the teeth.  I’ve been working on it for two months.  TWO MONTHS.  I ripped, re-ripped, stitched, ripped and re-stitched that zipper at least two dozen times.  That is not an exaggeration. It might be an understatement.  The finished zip:

Painful.  I have put in many zippers in my time.  This one killed me.  Eventually I thought “Stephanie, get ahold of yourself and just put the rest of the bag together.  It will be a piece of cake.”

Hubris-drunk fool!  When Amy Butler bids you twice in the same step to be patient, that should send red flags of warning waving through your seaside mind-breeze. “Use a heavy needle and be patient.” Ha.  It should read “GET OUT OF THE WATER!!  SHARKS!”

I spent the entire day yesterday on that step.  Not even kidding.  I mean from 12 noon or so to 10pm, when I steamed it.   I wrestled, I fought, I cried.  I never cry over my sewing.  I felt like a failure.  Eventually I sewed each straight side down a little bit at a time and then kind of made the corners work.  I say kind of (here’s the worst):

Ghastly.  I know my problem derives from the interfacing.  Sure the double-layered extra heavy weight and interlining I used on every piece makes a sturdy bag, but it also makes it impossible to sew.  I couldn’t even hand-sew the thing.  I might try hand-sewing to finish off the mess of it I made.

I do hope my students will fare better.  For one, I reduced their interfacing in a bid to cut their prep time.  For the other, I was very strict and watchful when they cut the interfacing out of the seam allowances.  I had them baste the interfacing to the interlining at 3/4″.  Then peel back the interlining and trim out the interfacing, which would put the interfacing just at 5/8″, just outside the bag seam allowance.

I was not nearly so careful on my own, I didn’t worry about following straight lines or using a precise measure.  The only place I trimmed as carefully as they was the bottom panel, and that was the panel I had very little trouble with.  I figure if I am a failure as a teacher, I can show them how to learn from my mistakes and make sure we all have a really fun day despite the exhausting bag.

I’m just really digusted with the low quality of my work, this is supposed to be a sample bag.  Sigh.  I just want it to go away.

Now for the kiddie sewing.  I learned to get up early for sewing time, these are the fruits of my first week of early rising:

All made from Oliver + S Sailboat pants and top.  The little jeans with the Z are for my little niece, she just became a big sister yesterday!  I plan to make her a little “big sister” dress, we’ll see how that pans out.  I used jean’s buttons on hers, and I used little metal flower buttons for Lila.  Lila and Z are the same size, luckily, so I worked out fit issues on my little monkey.  I had to adjust the buttons several times for a decent fit, good news is we have room for growth.  Lots of growth.  I like the saddle stitch. that’s #35:

Now, remember how I cut 8 shirts at one time, all with the backs too short?  That means I have 8 opportunities to fix a careless mistake.   I just shortened the first shirt in the front to match the back and it looks funny when she wears it.

On the fish shirt above (with the applique on the front this time), I used a little interfaced contrast band around the whole bottom which I overlocked and hemmed narrowly.  That worked. 

For the polka dots, I just used an already cut contrast facing strip to add to the too-short back.  Then I faced and top-stitched as normal.

For the bunnies (this one for my Lila), I used a matching strip to lengthen the back and then channel stitched the hem to camouflage it.  Four shirts down, four to go.  I will take a break from them.

This week: finish the muslin, make me some pants!

Gentleman’s Greatcoat Muslin : Second Wave Offensive

Last night I used the sleeve alteration on Phat Chick Designs for a forward rotated shoulder.  Did I look at my FFRP ?  Did not.  I usually use that as a starting point.  I tend not to ascribe to Occam’s Razor, but rather to my detriment delight in positing plurality without necessity.  {wink}

That is to say, I should have looked at FFRP first.

Phat Chick Pattern after some alteration.  Weeeeird.  Long acquaintance with two-piece sleeves teaches me to first monkey with the upper sleeve, and then the under sleeve only if necessary.  This is the upper sleeve.  The left is the front of the sleeve.   My fingertip points to the shoulder seam marking.

Front, with Phat Chick altered sleeve.  Not so bad, not so good.  He had some mobility issues.  I spent a few years in theatrical costume.  During fittings we made actors reach their hands over their heads, touch their toes (as close as possible), reach across their bodies, jump, and twist.  If their character needed to perform any particular physical activities, we’d try that too.  If a garment doesn’t pass the mobility test, it’s no good.  This sleeve does not pass the mobility test.

Side.  Ick!  When I was altering the sleeve I realized Phat Chick tells you to alter out most of the sleeve ease.  Also, the sleeve in the illustrations was a simple one-piece sleeve with a flattish shirt-style sleeve cap.   I think I need to raise the sleeve cap and/or add in a little more east to both the front and back.  When I sewed in the sleeve, it wouldn’t ease.  In fact, the coat body tried to ease to the sleeve.  Terrible.  At lease the length is good.

Jumping Juniper, that’s a bad back.  I can’t discuss it. Sloppy.

I went back to good old FFRP over my breakfast.  They say not to change the sleeve at all, rather match the shoulder point on the sleeve to the new shoulder seam.  They further suggest not worrying if the underarm seam won’t match the side seam because no one looks.

Good solid advice.  However, the beauty of a two-piece sleeve lies in its elbow bend.  If I just plonked an unaltered sleeve onto the new shoulder seam placement, the back seam of the sleeve would sit too far up his arm. 

FFRP did suggest perfectionists should alter the sleeve seams the same way they altered the shoulder seam.  In my case, I sliced 1 1/8″ off the front shoulder seam and added it to the back shoulder seam.  I traced a new upper sleeve and did just that. 

You can see changing the placement of the seam alters the shape of the cap, but not dramatically.  Note the shoulder seam marking.  This looks better to me.

Front.  Oh dear.  This time we fit with the waistcoat and both shoulder pads in place.  The sleeve to your left is Phat Chick.  The sleeve to the right is the simpler FFRP.  It looks at first glance like the left one is better.  However, the collapse in the right one indicates to me that it has the right amount of ease and once it is made up in the proper fabric with a carefully fitted shoulder pad and sleeve head, all will be well.  Please correct me if you know otherwise.  He still had mobility issues.

Back.  Better but not great.  I realized I added extra width to the back armscythe on the waistcoat to allow for rounded shoulders.  I shall need to do this for the coat.  Once I do, the left (the FFRP arm) will look smoother.   I wanted to avoid making a second muslin of this coat, but I need to.  That’s ok, it tipped the balance in favor of deepening the back yoke curve to preserve the style. 

Left: Phat Chick sleeve.  Right: FFRP sleeve.

The left looks in desperate need of a higher sleeve cap.

The right looks like it needs a sleeve head for support (or an adjustment for smaller arms?) and the coat back needs a little more width.  I could either alter the Phat Chick sleeve or alter the back.  I believe altering the back (especially since I wanted to anyway) will fix the mobility issues and will smooth out the sleeve wrinkles.  I suspect it would also prove to be a shorter process due to my greater familiarity with the techniques used in back alterations.

Phat Chick would work well for a shirt sleeve with a smaller forward roatation, but for a coat sleeve (which has a higher sleeve head and greater ease) it is inappropriate. 

The next step involves pulling out the basting, remixing the back, and re-assembling the muslin.  It sounds like more work than it ought to be.  I might stick on the front skirt part while I’m at it.

Husband doesn’t like me to call it the skirt, but I’m stuck for any other word.  The kilt?

Procrastinatory Blogging and Up-Cycling

I *ought* to be cutting the rest of the knit tops for the Billie Collection.  For a few reasons I won’t go into just now I’m feeling really unmotivated to do any more work on that project.  I will, but right now I’ll procrastinate a little.

I re-discovered this little swing jacket last night.  Don’t you adore the boucle?  I do, too.  I bought this jacket right after my daughter was born, I had quite a bit of belly to hide and felt yucky about myself in general.  None of my clothes fit me properly and I was cold all the time.  I picked this one up on sale and everything.  It is only 10% wool, the rest of it is poly but I think it is nice poly. 

The pictures tell me the fit is good.  A little short, and I’m kind of over 3/4 balloon sleeves, but I admit for a swing jacket it fits decently.  I can’t shake the “I’m hiding how I feel about myself beneath a fab jacket” vibe, and this style doesn’t mesh well with most of the clothes I wear.  Jeans is fine, but not with full skirts or slim skirts or pretty much any skirts.  The length always felt awkward to me.

Then it dawned on me- the boucle might let me re-work it into a pretty little weskit or waistcoat or sexy fitted vest from Evadress that I’ve wanted for ages.  Eva has the best taste.

Bonus: I can also re-use the lining.  The Lady Dandy look requires vests/weskits/waistcoats.  I’m making a waistcoat for Husband, I’m very tempted to alter his pattern for me though I know that is something of a monumental task.

The other great thing: I think it will talk to my other wardrobe fabrics.  The purple is rather redder than my tyrian purple, but I think it will work.  Please stop me if I’m wrong.

The two prints together might be a little much, or it might be charming.  I also had the thought to use some of the scrap green print for a Lady Dandy cravat.

It feels a little bit wrong to rip into a perfectly serviceable, pretty little jacket just because the style doesn’t suit my taste any more.  Then the fabric calls to me and I think it would be a shame to hold on to it but never wear it.

So rip I shall.


I’m open to ideas about weskit patterns, as well.

Back to the knits.  I know if I just did it, they would be done in a day or two.  I could probably get two knit tops done tonight.  The sooner they’re finished, the sooner I can forget about them, right?