Tuesday, July 28, 2009

FO: My first felting experiment

I'm a big time sweater knitter. I do on occasion knit small accessory and baby gift items, but sweaters are my favorite things to knit. Just recently though, I did get this bee in my bonnet about wanting to make a felted bag. I've always liked the comforting fuzziness of felted knits, and I had this Araucania Magallanes yarn sitting around that I wanted to use up. I got that yarn from Robin over at Yarn Crawl when she was giving away some yarn for the cost of postage. It's a very scratchy wool unsuitable for any garment I might want to wear. I found this free pattern on ravelry that is easily adaptable to any size. I just wanted a simple tote large enough to store a sweater project, so I made it bigger than the pattern's petite size. It turned out pretty well-- it's not quite as stiff as I would like, but that's probably because of its large size and also because my yarn wasn't that buiky, even though I knit it using double strands. It's quite suitable aa a project bag, and it does indeed have that comfy thick fuzzy feel.

I persuaded Large Dog to model it for me as a messenger bag.

Here it is before the washing and drying cycles. I was a little worried that I might have made it too big, and it was so floppy. It did shrink down nicely. I started with a 13" diameter base and about 12.5" height, and it shrank to 10" diameter and 9" of height. I did one wash and dry, then 2 wash cycles and a dry. The different colored handle is not a style element -- I ran out of yarn!

I don't think I'll ever try this large a felthing project again. It took WAY too long to just knit, knit, knit.... It cut into precious sweater knitting time!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Knit Mags

Between the U.S. postal service and the local Borders, I'm loaded up with new knitting magazines. I really like the Yarn Forward because I find it fun to read. I like the cover sweater, assuming I can ditch the ribbons. I usually don't buy the Knitscene magazines, but for some reason, I like a few patterns in this fall issue. I added the Flourish Vest (ravelry link) to my queue for starters. As for the Vogue Knitting, I like quite a few elements in quite a few sweaters, but there's something I don't like about each of them also. That's usually the way it is with Vogue Knitting, but the photos are always nice.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Update on Veronique

After a full day's wear, my Veronique shrug stretched in the upper back where the gathers sit. This flattened the gathering a bit and also made it easier for the shrug to drift off my shoulders. I followed RebekahJean's (ravelry) lead and added a row of single crochet on the wrong side, pulling the yarn through the purl bumps of the K3tog stitches. It worked like a champ! The shrug is much more stable in the back.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

FO: Veronique

For some reason, camera batteries always seem to run down at inconvenient moments and at a faster rate than expected. Maybe I have some strange X-Men-type skillz that allows me to drain camera batteries. But then again, I digress.

This is Veronique, from French Girl Knits (ravelry link). I used Jaeger Trinity, which is a textured silk/cotton/polyamide blend. It is much heavier than the recommended Rowan Kidsilk Haze, so the shrug does not have that super-light ethereal look. It's still a very light and airy warmer weather garment. I'd like to think it has a more urban look.

I love the way the back of this shrug looks, with the swing shape and the gathering at the top of the back. I wish could have an owl-type neck that would allow me to rotate around once in a while to admire the back of my garment. The front is nice, but it is your basic shrug-type front.

Regarding the border, thanks for your comments and votes. I ended up using the same colored yarn, and it's really for a technical reason. The border is picked up with knit stitches, so the right side looks fine with the color change, but the back purl stitches have that divided purl bump look with 2 colors. The shrug would look fine on the bottom, but it's designed such that the front and neck edges roll a bit and the wrong side with the purl stitches show, so the color change would not look so great.

The pattern has an interesting construction, and it's really easy to knit. I imagine that it might be trickier using the Kidsilk Haze yarn, so if you like the style but don't want to use that yarn, I'd say just try a sport weight yarn and it will probably work out just fine.

I knitted my sleeves flat and sewed them along with the side seams. I tapered the sleeves a bit -- decreasing from 48 to 40 stitches.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I'm almost done with Veronique, from French Girl Knits. All I have left to do is pick up stitches and knit the decorative border. (It looks much better worn than on a hanger!) This yarn is Jaeger Trinity, in a denim blue. I first thought I would just do the border with the same yarn, but I then I thought it would be more interesting to use a contrasting border with the same yarn in light gray, which I also have in my stash. I thought I'd try one of these reader polling things and put the question to the blogsphere, just to see what you think. Which would you prefer -- the same color border, or the light gray contrast border? The polling gadget is on the sidebar. (I haven't figured out how to get one of these within the blog entry)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Have you seen this stitch?

My hair stylist recently brought in a sweater that her sister had knitted for her many moons ago. She's kept it a long time because she really likes the look of the stitches, which is just this pattern sparsely interspersed in a bed of stockinette. I also really like the pattern -- it would be a nice way to add interest to boring stockinette. I took a photo of it so that I could try to reverse engineer it later. Unfortunately, I did not take a photo of the wrong side, which might have been helpful.

Before I try to duplicate it, I figured I should just ask the vast blogosphere to see if anyone has seen it before or can easily figure out how to replicate it.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hey, Teach! is finished!

I recently finished the ever-popular Hey, Teach! from knitty.com. I used the recommended 2nd Time Cotton from Knit One Crochet Too. This is a really cute sweater. I discussed my use of the linen stitch for the front and middle bands instead of the ribbing in my last post. I'm very happy with the denser look of these bands. I used an invisible bind-off for the button bands since that's the only thing that seemed to look good with the linen stitch.

I was going for a more streamlined shape instead of the "baby-doll" shape, so I did gradual decreases on the bottom section instead of doing them all at the band. I did some gradual increases on the top section for added bust ease. I thought about starting with the next size up, but both the bottom and the shoulders would have been too wide, so it seemed easier to just add a little at the bust with stockinette stitches. My bottom section is about one inch longer than the pattern's. I used one smaller needle size for the sleeve ribbing to keep them tight.

I really like this yarn. A skein of the yarn feels really stiff, but once knitted, it has really nice drape. I found it easy and pleasant to knit with. All in all, it was a fun knit.