Tuesday, April 21, 2009

new shrug city

I promise you people --NO wedding talk. Especially given that this thing is a year away...how sick of me would you be?
Ummm except I have to mention the wedding where it pertains to knitting, right?

My quest to find a dress with some kind of cute, sassy sleeve (i.e flutter sleeve, or shorter "puff" sleeve NOT wrist-length mormon-esque LACE sleeve ugh ugh ugh!) is apparently tantamount to finding the HOLY GRAIL in a mall. I don't want to knit a shrug to go with a sleeveless dress...I don't really even like shrugs.

Yet, here I am --in full-on "just in case" mode.

So to wit, shrug experiment #1:

note excellent tattoo coverage!

but quoiiii? (not sure if you could tell but I couldn't even be bothered to weave in the ends). Also note, that is *not* my wedding dress. I'm still hunting. I do have a green dress as a back-up (I am not so into white...) and this was one of THREE I bought from J.Crew. It arrived that day, I tried it on with the shrug, took those pics, boxed it up and sent it back. It was too big (note major bra-less boob gappage). And also, there is not a strapless bra in the world that will help me with a strapless dress I don't think. Anyway, TBD. Ummm, am I talking about my boobs a lot lately?

I figure at the very least I'll be able to shove it in my purse and have it on hand when trying on other sleeveless dresses --reagrdless of whether it's even close to what I need or want.

Here's how I did it. I knit and blocked a lace scarf comme ├ža:

ok, maybe kinda too short to function as a true scarf for me...

yarn: 1 skein of Butterfly 100% mercerized cotton Super 10 (colour #3727)
needles: 4 & 4.5mm

The pattern was simply stolen bits from here and there. Let's call her Frankenstein, shall we?

I Cast on 56 stitches and knit 4 rows in garter stitch (on the smaller needles).
I then switched to the larger needles and knit using the lace pattern found HERE..."Convertible" from knitty.com (also adding K2 at the beginning and end of each row). Though I will still spell it out for you here:

lace pattern:
Row 1 [RS]: K2 [K2, skp, k4, k2tog, k2, yo, k1, yo] to last 2 sts, K2.
Even-numbered Rows 2-12 [WS]: P all sts.
Row 3 [RS]: K2 [Yo, k2, skp, k2, k2tog, k2, yo, k3] to last 2 sts, K2.
Row 5 [RS]: K2 [K1, yo, k2, skp, k2tog, k2, yo, k4] to last 2 sts, K2.
Row 7 [RS]: K2 [Yo, k1, yo, k2, skp, k4, k2tog, k2] to last 2 sts, K2.
Row 9 [RS]: K2 [K3, yo, k2, skp, k2, k2tog, k2, yo] to last 2 sts, K2.
Row 11 [RS]: K2 [K4, yo, k2, skp, k2tog, k2, yo, k1] to last 2 sts, K2.
Repeat these 12 rows for Lace Pattern.
(from Vogue Knitting, 1989 edition)

I essentially just repeated the lace pattern until it was as long as I wanted it (around 25 inches maybe?) and then knit another 4 rows in garter stitch (on smaller needles again)and bound off. You can then just seam the arms up as high as you need/want and weave in your ends.

Now, I wish I could say this was all MY genius idea, but the reality is that I was inspired by someone else on Ravelry who clearly has the same wedding/tattoo dilemmas as I do:

ravelry username: kellyrelish

And uh, look how FREAKIN' gorgeous she (and shrug) turned out on her wedding day! She gave me hope that this could be done.

So, I mean regardless of whether I even end up going with a pattern like this (right now I'm saying likely not...) it's still spurring me on with the potential possibilities.

So much so that I've cast on for another shrug, and we'll see how that one goes.

(note Starbucks "knit" mugs I picked up for Mother's Day...clearance-- woot!)

In more annoying news though: I am on a knitting hiatus right now. I'm not sure what I've done to my right wrist (please God not carpel tunnel!) but I'm in pain. I'm hoping that knitting is not the cause, just the aggravation and that a proper rest will cure it. Even typing this right now is sending my arm into spasm.

As such it might be a while before I can crank out any new knits for the blog (hopefully not, but you never know..). I might have to actually pick up a BOOK for once. (Since I began knitting a couple of years ago my voracious appetite for reading has been seriously quelled, and I seem to be limiting myself solely to the half-hour in bed prior to passing out cold!)

Why must we suffer for our art? ;)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hooters sweater

Yup it's a Hooters sweater. Because of the owls? I suppose...but more because it makes my bazooms look gigantic.

(I promise you, in real life they are more distracting --um, in this sweater that is)

And I'm a d-cup as it is, so I definitely do not need them looking any bigger...I'm really more of a "play them down" type than a sweater-girl type. When I wear V-neck sweaters I often worry that I am "busting out". Boobs are a serious pain in the ass to me.

I will stop talking about my boobs now and give you the deets:
pattern: Owls by Katie Davies
yarn: Sirdar Tweedie Chunky in "Cedar" (6 balls? maybe a bit more...) --I knit the s/m (3rd size in)
needles: 6.5mm

So I mean what can I say...the pattern is free and "owls" have been the new black in the indie craft world for years now I would venture. Really, aren't they done? Owls are the new fawns? Owls are the old Octopii? I dunno. Cute animals...who can get enough, really? About 800 people on ravelry have knit this sweater.

Check out this version:

(adorable! from EricaG on ravelry)

Fortunately it was a fun and fast knit, with very little finishing. Sort of. Sewing on the thirty six button eyes was an entire evening's work. I despise sewing on even ONE button, so this was not a task I enjoyed.

In the end though, still a cute sweater...just incredibly unflattering on me --the curse of the chunky yarn (when will I learn?). I couldn't be bothered to block it, which may have helped in that regard, and the dark green tweed was difficult to photograph with any real success in the details. Still, there are so many of them knit on ravelry that there is no shortage to look at.

I tried to go for a green button that would essentially blend--I pretty much do this with all buttons/sweaters...after all that knitting I never want the buttons to somehow beome a focal point!

Knitting a sweater top up really limits your ability to try it on as well. I added an extra inch in the length of the body. Not a good idea in the end. My sweater is virtually a crotch-covering tunic. Even the arms wound up being longer than anticipated, even though I was endlessly trying them on as I went.

Now the question remains: to frog or not to frog? I think it may still be a banging around the house go-to sweater. However now that it's done, I definitely know that I don't have enough yarn leftover to complete this:

and really, given the unflattering nature of the yarn itself, could I even be bothered to put that yarn towards ANY other sweater? le sigh.

I think whatever's left of that wool is destined to become hats and mitts...

Julia probably has the right idea: use a thinner yarn and knit a larger size. I am presently trying to employ this principle in a winter shrug I am attempting to "summer-ify". Shrug experiment number 2 that is. But more on that to come.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


I am in love with the colour of this yarn.

I had bought it a couple years ago knowing that I wanted to knit it into some sort of cowl, or have it up around my face somehow, but at the time knit it into a hideous-too-thick-unwearable-monster-cowl. Monster cowl formerly seen here.

I finally tore apart the monster cowl(and it was knit triple-stranded, so trying to "de-ply" it was a frustrating two-person job...), and off I went on the Mustard scarf.

pattern: Mustard Scarf by Jane Richmond which is available on Ravelry as a free download...not sure if it is elsewhere on the internet or not.
yarn: Cascade 220 handpaints/hand-dyed, less than one skein --colourway (uh? not sure)
needles: 10mm
button: vintage

The abalone button I got last fall at the twice yearly Ottawa Antique sale. The Antique sale in general was a bit of a bust for me (not my usual kitschy flea market fare and too TOO rich for my blood) but I did manage to get a handful of big vintage buttons, which at the time for two and three dollars a pop seemed steep to me. I went back once more last week when the event rolled into town again hoping for more, but that same seller wasn't back this time. Big vintage buttons are always good for those one off hats and cowls that require large, singular notions. I plan to keep my eyes peeled for more from here on in.

Though that said the loosey-goosey nature of this lacey thing made sewing the button on a bit annoying. I still feel like it's not very secure, but for now it'll do.

I also have tons of this yarn leftover so I may do more. This pattern may be the perfect Xmas knit. It's not a very long scarf and I think it went up in a couple of evenings only. It's going to be a great stash buster for single skeins in the stash next fall.

apparently there is a real art to taking pictures of yourself that I have yet to master...

As the owl sweater nears completion I find I'm now starved for smaller projects again. I am even considering something I swore up and down I would never do: a wedding shrug that will hide tattoos. Sigh.

speaking of which: anyone have the pattern for the "little silk shrug" from lace style that they'd be willing to throw my way? (I would happily exchange for something in my library...). Bah. I suppose I am not above buying the book or winging it though. I'm starting to run out of room on my bookshelf.

the end.