Monday, March 30, 2015

Leftie and Socks

Here are more projects I failed to write about contemporaneously.  My mom's birthday is on Christmas day.  It sucks having a birthday on a holiday.  Woe to person who gives a joint birthday/Christmas present or wraps a birthday present in Christmas paper.  So I knit two presents for my mom this year.

The first was Leftie by Martha Behm.

Isn't my mom cute?
This is a cool one because you actually start with just three stitches and add more each row.  It gives the shawl a slanted look.

Every tenth row, you make a leaf on the left edge.

I used fingering weight KnitPicks Chroma, which has a slow color shift.  I'm not sure this color way exists anymore, but you can see it goes from a dark pink all the way to bright orange.

The other thing I knit for my mom was a pair of socks.  The first pair I made was a little too small.  This pair I knit from the toe up (no pattern), so I knew they were going to fit perfectly.

The yarn was something on the fancier side, a merino/nylon blend I believe.  I can't for the life of me remember the brand.

Her feet seem happy, though.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rainbow Shawl

A while back, the Yarn Harlot blogged about a shelf-striping yarn made especially for triangle shawls.  And I HAD. to. have. it!

The crazy-brilliant people at Caterpillar Green Yarns have dyed a yarn specifically for triangular shawls.  When you make a top down shawl, you start in the middle and work your way out to the longest edge.

Diagram from here.
That means that rows get longer and longer as you go.  You need more and more yarn to complete each row.  A stripe at the start of the shawl would take much less yarn than a stripe at the end of the shawl.  The stripes in typical self-striping yarn has equal length color repeats.  The stripes would get narrower and narrower.

Caterpillar Green has done the math to make each of the stripes the same width.

The purple stripe is the same width as the blue one at the bottom even though the blue stripe takes a lot more yarn to knit.

The colorway is Concrete and Tulips.  Pretty, right?  And so soft....

The pattern isn't really a pattern at all.

I just added increases at either edge and on both sides of the center stitch.  Nothing fancy.

Now if I can just figure out how to put it on.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring in Atlanta

With my month off between the bar exam and my new job, I am trying to only do things I enjoy.  Much of that involves gardening and hanging out with the dogs in the sunny weather.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Knitted Wedding Dresses

As a knitter who is engaged, it was inevitable that I would have passing thoughts of knitting something  for my wedding.  Perhaps a veil?  Flowers?  The whole wedding dress?

But whenever I mention this to Fiance, she gets a panicked look on her face.  I think she is worried I will end up looking like this on our wedding day.
From here.

Which I am totally not opposed to :-)  But I was thinking something like The Gray Swan Dress

Or this pink flamenco dress

If I could crochet, would have a lot more options.  This woman crocheted her wedding dress on her morning commute.  Or there is this beauty from Nixx:

It seems like it might will absolutely be too much work.  But I did download this pattern from Vogue Knitting.

Maybe I will swatch a little and the urge to make a dress will pass....

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sweater Surgery

When I was at the Goodwill picking up a sweater to make into swants, I found an amazing fair isle sweater.  I wish I had taken a picture of it; it was a big, boxy 80's drop shoulder number made of some sort of hearty nordic wool.

But it was a giant men's sweater.

So I ripped it apart and am attempting to change it into a set-in sleeve sweater that will fit me (this is a really good description of the different kinds of shoulders, if you care).  The sweater was serged/overlocked together at the edges, so I just cut away the side seems.

Because it was a drop-sleeve sweater (and I have giant ape arms), I need to add a lot of length to the sleeves.  I happened to have some yarn that matches the yellow and white yarn already in the sweater.  I picked up the stitches where the sleeves were serged to the body of the sweater.  Now I am knitting until they are long enough, adding the proper shaping in as I go.

I also had to change the body of the sweater from a big rectangle into a set-in shape.  I mapped out the middle of the sweater and then how wide I wanted the shoulders and waist to be (in the neon thread you see) based on my measurements.

Then I cut the sleeve holes.  Cutting knitting is nerve-wracking, but the yarn is sticky enough that it doesn't unravel too much.

I left the original collar.  So now I just have to finish knitting the sleeves and then sew it all together on the sewing machine. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

From the Land of Sheep

The in-laws went to New Zealand this spring and brought back a number of amazing things.  While they won't let me practice the didgeridoo or the giant hunting boomerang they bought back, I did get to keep this:

 A sheep pelt, two balls of Ashford worsted weight yarn, and some spinning fiber.

Ashford is a New Zealand company...the wool is from New Zealand sheep (because there are so many of them there).  My spinning wheel is an Ashford Kiwi (similar to this one).

I have mixed feelings about the sheep pelt.  If I had a sheep farm, it would be a no-kill operation: wool only!  But knowing that a lot of the sheep in New Zealand are raised for meat, I guess I am glad the pelts can be used, too. And it is very soft on my feet when I sit and knit....

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Swants = Sweater + Pants

From Urban Dictionary: "Swants occur when you transform a sweater, turn it upside down and seam it into a pair of pants. A Swants tutorial was posted and popularized by knitting designer Westknits."

Stephen West also made a video wearing his swants.

I got a crazy 80's sweater from Goodwill, and my friend and I set out to make a pair of swants.

They look a lot better than I thought they would.

And they are very comfy.  Thinking about adding elastic to the waistband.  

Everyone gets swants for Christmas this year?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What I've Been Up To

The Georgia Bar Exam was at the end of February.  And now I have a whole month of vacation before the next things begin.  So what have I been up to.

Reading "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing."  This woman is a little bonkers (she started studying the art of tidying at the age of 5).  Also, there are a few things that don't translate well into American culture (I know very few people who collect tea ceremony sets).  But I've become obsessed with cleaning the house in this 2-step process.  First, you get rid of anything that doesn't bring you happiness.  Then you organize everything.  My house is in no way cluttered or full of stuff, and yet I've gotten rid of soooooo much stuff.  Bags of clothing off to the consignment shop or Dress for Success!

I've also been lifting at Atlanta Barbell.  Yup, I'm a gym rat.

And knitting hats.  Lots of them.

This is the Wavy Moss Hat by Cedar Box Knits.  It's a cool pattern because you knit the first part in one direction and then pick up stitches along the edge of the cables for the rest of it.

The yarn in this first one is Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky in color Pico.  The alpaca yarn got really drapey after I washed and blocked it.

I made another one out of Erika Knight Maxi in the color Geranium.  I had significantly less yarn than I really needed.

 It's 100% can see it doesn't have the drape.  And I knitted all of these on much bigger needles than the pattern called for.  That means I had to cast on fewer stitches and do fewer of the cable repeats.

What should I knit next?