Monday, May 03, 2010

Thursday, November 05, 2009

'morning all!

Just a quick, "Hi!" since I haven't updated in an age and seem to have forgotten that Geocities is no more so my free patterns aren't being hosted anywhere right now. If you are in need, please post in the comment for the particular pattern and I'll get one sent off to you until I can get things set up over on Ravelry.

The Knot Cap and Neck Warmer pattern pages have been updated and the PDF's are available through Ravelry. As soon as I track down (or more likely redo) a copy of Elegant Eggs, I'll post another update.

Thanks so much for your patience!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Design-a-long: Lacy Tank

One of my Maryland Sheep and Wool purchases was four skeins of I Love Yarn's Sport/DK weight 100% Rayon in a lovely green/blue/gray colorway with the intention of making myself a nice tank top or shell.



I did swatches on US Size 6 (4.0mm) and 7 (4.5mm) and blocked both of them. Even though the swatches are on the small size, the one done on 7's definitely has a better drape than the one done on 6's and since drape is something that I really want for this project I'm definitely going to stick with the 7's for my project.

Usually one starts with a specific pattern in mind before swatching, but I have quite a few obstacles in place. The first, is that I had no suggested needle size for this specific yarn and since they really only sell it online and at Maryland Sheep and Wool, there is next to no info out there on it. My next obstacle is my size - not only am I plus-sized, but I also have a very large bust so there are very few (if any) patterns out there written for women my size. So what's a gal to do? Design her own!

I had a decent idea of what I wanted to do - a solid portion over the bust with a lacy bottom that gently flared out. My swatches reflect that - I did a stockinette portion on the top with a simple lace pattern on the bottom and worked an increase row on the lace as well to see how it would act. I mentioned above that I really should have made the swatches larger to get a better feel of the drape, but I was impatient so I have smallish ones (these were done the night I got home from MDS&W).

Swatching can be a real PITA, but it's vitally important if you want your hours and hours of work to result in a garment that fits. Another thing you may be tempted to do is skimp on the size of your swatch, but you really should be aiming for at least a 6" square to get the best feel for your yarn and the resulting fabric. There will be lots of times where you can get away with a smaller swatch, but when you are making significant alterations to a pattern or starting from scratch you'll need that swatch to have the best idea of how the knit fabric is going to act.

In the next post, I'll talk about measurements and the chesty girl's best friend - bust darts!

Wooly Goodness

I was able to make it down to Maryland Sheep and Wool this year and here are long overdue pictures of my haul this year!

Zeilinger Wool Co.

Brown Wool/Alpaca

Fingering weight wool/alpaca mix


Light Fingering Wool/Alpaca
(this picture does not do justice to the depth of color on these skeins)

Brooks Farm Yarn


Solo, Sport/DK weight 100% Wool

I Love Yarn


DK Weight 100% Rayon
(another where the picture doesn't do the yarn justice)

Koigu Wool Designs


Lots and lots of KPPM mill-ends


subdued grouping



Not a bad haul. Everything has a specific project in place for it. In the interest of full disclosure I will admit that the KPPM was just bought willy-nilly, but since it's fingering weight it doesn't count ;).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hooking It

One of the side projects I've been working on for the past month or so is a bunch of patches for an afghan. Afghan patches are a great little side project - you can have lots of fun playing around with stitch patterns and get a nice break from your main project without having a million WIP's (ask me how I know this).

Oddly shaped patches aren't an issue if it's a crazy quilt style afghan but for a group project they can pose a problem since it's much easier to deal with uniform squares and we always should be nice to the person actually willing to seam-up 200+ squares. Yes, you can always pick-up some stitches and add a few rows of garter stitch border to even out your squares, but that can be a bit on the tedious side with matching gauge and I can't be the only one who thinks garter stitch in the round is a total PITA.

This where a couple of rounds of crochet can help - you get almost instant gratification, it's much easier to frog back a row of single-crochets because the gauge is off rather than realizing it after a few rounds of garter, and crochet in the round has a uniform look to it so you don't have to deal with the jogs in garter stitch.


I was playing around with a mitred square and slipped stitches in this patch, but the slipped stitches affected my gauge and the square didn't turn out to be the 10" I needed it to be so I decided to add a mitered garter strip to make up the difference on realizing after it was done that my gauge was still way off and no amount of blocking would make it lay flat.

I put it aside to knock out a few granny squares and then had the idea to try a crocheted edging.


I had a few false starts where I had to play around with the spacing of some decreases to get my crochet gauge to match the square but I am very happy with the results.