Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Cardigan From Hell

Months and months ago, I started knitting a grey cardigan of my own design. I swatched, and knitted up the waist, and then ran out of yarn. To make a long story short, the yarn was indefinitely postponed; after three months the warehouse was still depleted, and my local LYS ordered the yarn for me from another store (which was incredibly generous and greatly appreciated). Delighted, I dove back in. Just earlier today, I thought I'd be able to finish tonight. And then I got to the point where I could finally try it on.  It was not the Eureka! moment I expected. If anything, it was an "oh, s--t."

The belted detail at the waist wasn't actually at the waist. I tried a one-piece set-in sleeve construction modeled after the Deep V-Neck Sweater from the Purl Bee, but I didn't quite get the adaptation right. The (already attached) sleeves are too short, and snugger than I'd like. And it is much, much too warm. I'm always cold; I'm the one pulling my winter coat out when it's 40F, I use an electric blanket in the summer. And I grew up in snowy Minnesota.

I have no choice but to rip. At least back to where I joined sleeves to body, so I can make the sleeves longer. And as long as I'm messing with the sleeves, I should frog them so I can make them a bit looser. And after watching Project Runway reruns all afternoon (Season 2), I need to edit. Cables or the Fair Isle belt detail, not both. And I should take another look at the sleeve construction, see where I went astray. Shorten the over all length. Maybe add a cowl-ish element to the neck and button band?

But then maybe I'm being too rash. Maybe I'm over-thinking, over-designing. Maybe I need to re-discover some affection for the original design, fall in love with it again. Maybe I just don't want to start over.

I don't know. I have ripped back to the sleeve-to-body join, and I frogged both sleeves. The remnant of the cardigan is in one piece, for now. I'll sleep on it. Thoughts, anyone?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Introducing: Dacia

This is Dacia, the purple vest I've been struggling with for the last two months. 
It's finished, the pattern is finished, and is now available for free on Ravelry (no membership required). 

The draping in the back, which ended up being the best part, was entirely accidental. I stumbled upon it while I was playing around with different ways of handling the decreases to shape the racerback. 

It is available in sizes 30, 32, 34, 36, 38. 40, 42, 44 and 46. Each size is conveniently laid out on it's own page. 

Knit bottom up in the round, and then divided and the front and back pieces are worked flat. For both front and back, the left and right straps are worked simultaneously using separate working yarns. 

Finishing is quite simple. The straps are then joined using the three-needle bind-off. Weave in ends, block lightly, and you're done!

Thanks Sam Plasch for the excellent photos!

All images copyright Sam Plasch 2012. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Christmas Catch Up Pt 2

I made several of these candle holders this Christmas, inspired by a few ideas I saw on Pinterest: jars painted on the inside, and jars surrounded by cinnamon sticks.

When lit, they glow. It's really pretty. 

I intended to make a photo tutorial, but I neglected to take pictures as I went along. And I didn't blog them immediately. My memory isn't perfect, but this is basically what I did:


Clean mason jar(s)
Cinnamon sticks
Glue gun and hot glue
Acrylic paint
Steak Knife

1. Thin the paint slightly by adding a drop of water. Paint the inside of the jar, let dry completely. Repeat until desired opacity/transparency is achieved.
2. Cut each cinnamon stick in half lengthwise. I found the score-and-snap method easiest.
3. Glue cinnamon sticks to the outside of the jar.

These pics are from the first one that I made. I didn't quite have enough cinnamon sticks, so I cut a few into quarters lengthwise.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Christmas Catch Up Pt 1

Last Christmas, I knit scarves for my mom, my now-fiancĂ©'s mom, and my older brother's girlfriend. I started in September. This year, I wasn't as focused. I started in the second week of December. I knit a hat for my younger brother's girlfriend, and that was it. Even though said  younger brother requested this awesome Viking hat. I am a horrible sister.

I chose the Button Cloche pattern by Jennifer Wise, a yarn from my stash (Spa by, in Ocean Spray) and some awesome buttons. I lengthened it by an inch or so, to make it more slouchy to fit Paula's laid back style.