Sunday, January 29, 2012

Peter Pan Collars

hmmmm, that looks like a V-neck to me, but what the hell do I know.

As a long time thrifter and lover of mod-fashion many was the day I would while away the hours on ebay using the search term "peter pan collar" in vain hopes of finding a sixties gem.

These days, the Peter Pan collar is back baby, and you can find them all over the place. Which I suppose is good news for those of that like to buy cheap dresses on Modcloth! (though part of my New Year's resolution was no more online clothing shopping--the duty and shipping fees to Canada were killing me)

So with that in mind I decided to spruce up a few collar-less items in my own closet. I hunted around on Ravelry but couldn't really find a pattern that fit the bill so I improvised this wee design in garter stitch. Within a couple of days I had cranked out a few of them in different sizes so I thought I'd post this "recipe" for you too in case you wanted one of your own.

There is nothing fancy here--you basically just wear it like a necklace (or a BIB!). The yarns I've used are heavy enough to keep it from sliding around, but you could always secure it a bit better to your top to keep it from moving at all.

This would be so cute in a super-fuzzy angora!

I hate it when patterns "over-explain" things, but that is exactly what I am about to do here!

Peter Pan Collar

needles: 4.5mm (U.S #7)
yarn: Aran or Worsted weight ---yarns pictured here: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk (pink), Lang Silk Dream (taupe) and the cream one is Misti Alpaca Worsted. As far as yardage goes, I have no idea, it was all scrap yarn from the stash--definitely less than half to a quarter of a ball of anything.
gauge...not so important. You can petty much make these any size you want, just use a needle size that is appropriate for your yarn. You can adjust the size up and down based on how many stitches you cast on and the length you knit your straps.

N.B: I've knit these in garter stitch, but seed stitch would be nice as well. Basically anything that is the same front/back will lay flat and keep the edges from curling. Stockinette stitch would look fab, but you would definitely need to block it to keep it laying flat. Slipping the first stitch also makes for a nicer edge, but I haven't done that in any of the collars pictured here.

(lapels --you will make 2)
CO 12 sts
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: K1, M1, K to end (13 sts)
Rows 3-11: Repeat row 2 until you have 22 sts
Rows 12-20: Knit

Cut yarn. Leave these stitches live. It is up to you if you want to take them off and place them on a stitch holder or some waste yarn. I just left mine on my needles and pushed them out of the way (I knit on circulars) before knitting the second one. Just make sure when you have to line up your two lapels again for joining that they are both facing the same way.

CO 12 sts again and repeat rows 1-20, but don't cut your yarn this time. You will then have two of these "lapels". Line them up side by side on your needles.

Knit all the way across joining your lapels together as you go.
Next Row: Knit
Next row: K8, BO 32 center sts, K8

You will now work the straps separately.

(right strap)
Next row: Knit
Next row: K1, SL1, K1, PSSO, K to end (You are decreasing 1 stitch at the neck edge on alternate rows)
Repeat these last two rows until 4 sts remain.

Knit 13 rows
Next row: (make button hole) K1, BO 1 st, K2
Next row: K2, CO 1 st, K1
Next row: Knit
BO all sts

Now, I should probably say here that you don't have to put in a button hole if you don't want could leave both straps flat and attach with velcro, or slide in a ribbon so you can tie a pretty bow at the back of your neck, whatever works for you.

ALSO, I have knit my straps quite short because I wanted my collar tight to my neck to wear with high-neck shirts. If you have a specific top or dress you want to wear this with try it on for length to see where the collar will fall, and knit your length accordingly. If you knit it short like mine you may find yourself with a big gap of skin showing before your top starts!

(left strap)
Re-join yarn at the neck edge
Knit 2 rows
Begin neck decreases as per right strap until 4 sts remain
Knit to desired length and bind off (no button hole this side)

Weave in ends, lightly block if desired (all of the collars pictured here are not blocked)
Sew on your button, wear with girlie pride.

Some ideas for yarn modification...

As I said you can pretty much knit this in any size---for example, using a bulky yarn you might want to CO 8 sts instead of 12. You would then do your row 2 increase until you had 18 sts instead of 22. The rest of the pattern would pretty much stay the same, but you would have to adjust the width of your straps accordingly and the number of center stitches you would be binding off. Same goes for a smaller/finer gauge yarn with more stitches being cast on. You would bind off more center stitches and have more stitches in the width of your straps (which would also mean more decreases at the neck edge until you got the strap how you wanted it.

I'll see if I can set up a pattern page for this right on Ravelry--would love to see if anyone else knits this!

xo Cara

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

HAWT pink pink-a colour I'm surprised I even had in my stash!

I always think I'm such a "neutrals" girl but yesterday as I was looking at my Ravelry projects page I was struck by how colourful everything was. I'm not sure if that's just "how I take a picture" --I tend to like fairly saturated images--or if it's actually that everything in my life is more colourful than I give it credit for (It is slightly ironic that I am a vintage lover but do not like this current trend of post-processing all photos to have a vintage feel to them).

Maybe I've just been saying "I'm a neutrals girl" for so long that it's become part of my daily lexicon, true or not. I'm sure all of the colourful tights in my wardrobe would have something to say about this.

Still, I'm hard-pressed to generally wear anything THIS brain-metingly PINK on a regular basis:

And honestly I had to cool these photos down so it wouldn't sear your retinas out of your head the second you loaded this page.

painfully pink boot toppers

These were a little project that I started MONTHS ago in an effort to simply get-this-pink-outta-my-stash and after seeing a similar pair knit by Crispianna on Ravelry. (And how much do I love those boots she's want!).

Seriously I think I started these back in September expecting to wear them all fall with tights and dresses, but the tiny needles started to rub my fingers the wrong way and I just dropped the project altogether right when I was in the home stretch. They languished with about an inch to go until I finally just Now they become my "first official project of 2012". ( I am obviously easing into the New Year...)

So what would you call these? Boot toppers? Footless socks? Miniature legwarmers? (I am not embarrassed to admit that I have always been a "legwarmers" girl--even when they went horribly out of fashion, so this is not a stretch for me).

Also note: I am not likely to wear them as I have them pictured. I have been tucking them into boots more like socks if I'm wearing them with jeans, so they are usually hidden. With tights I am wearing them more like legwarmers, so they are definitely visible then, if that helps.

Size-wise this is a far cry from all the blankets and rugs I've been knitting lately, and I am definitely OK with that.

yarn: Rowan lightweight DK in pink (about 1.5 skeins)
needles: 3.25 mm

pattern: CO 48 sts, join in round, K2 P1 rib for as long as you like (mine are probably around 9 or 10 inches). BO loosely, weave in your ends.

Wear & enjoy warm ankles.

Monday, January 09, 2012

2011 re-cap

Ok, well I will spare you my drawn out 2012 "knitolutions" (I do have some regular resolutions that mostly include "NO MORE INTERNET SHOPPING" but that's another story) and 2011 re-cap apart from getting my feet wet for 2012 with this mosaic:

2011 knits
Click the mosaic to be taken to links of all these items
(sorry it's teeny tiny, you can also see it much larger on flickr)

Did you think I had disappeared for the month of December?

You'd be just about right given that most knitting came to a standstill (TG I was on the ball with earlier Xmas knits this year) and I only managed to crank out a couple of wee items in the last month or so (mostly due to taking a knitting "break" in an effort to heal some repetitive strain) --so I will attempt to post about those little items soon.

For now I leave you with that mosaic of 2011 knits. I already can't wait to see what my 2012 mosaic will look like!

Smell ya later 2011!

hey girl, I know this is old news but has everyone seen these?

Naturally I think all of the knitting ones are hilarious, but some other crafty favourites include:

"Hey Girl, Don't stress about me stepping on that pin. It's my fault for walking barefoot through the dining room" and "Hey girl, I"m sorry only 12 people entered your blog giveaway".

heh. Oh breaker high, how far you've come.

Enjoy...I loves me an adorable meme.