Ravellenic Wrap Up

The Olympics are over.  Phew!  Finally…I don’t think I could take any more!  I didn’t get 13 hats done, but I did get 12 done!

I’m okay with that.  I’m still a winner.  It’s just tough to stay focused on the finish line when it passes directly through the Stitches West marketplace!  On the last day, I wanted to knit new yarn, not old yarn.   The new yarn is soooooo good!  (…More on that later.)

First, let’s see the last two hats, they’re good ones!  Another Nephew hat, it started as a combo Michigan/Marcus hat.  I was quite self-congratulatory when I realized the overlap between baby’s monogram and dad’s favorite team.

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I tried a couple yarns for the duplicate stitch.  Even tried holding them double.  I never really got over the whole light stitch on a dark background to a place I liked though.  I learned long ago, don’t mess with logos people love if you can’t do it right.  This was not right, so I scrapped it.

Instead, I went back to the dinosaur theme and this happened…

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The T.Rex applique was fun to make.  It was a bit complex but the pattern is clear and has lots of pictures.  Find it here, if you want to try it yourself.  I’m quite pleased with my results.

And then, there’s this…

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An ode to Jayne Cobb and Firefly.

As always, this hat started out as something different but once I saw the brown stripe pooling, I knew I’d have to adjust the plan.   The new plan turned out to be waaaay better anyhow.

I’ve never watched Firefly but I have enough geeky friends to know, this is absolutely perfect!  My Mom dyed this yarn for me and it turns out, the iconic Jayne Cobb hat from the show, was made by Jayne’s Mom.   It’s so delightfully meta.  I love it.  It really spruced this hat up.  Now to chose a fun pom-pom.  This is definitely a Pom YES situation…I’m thinking the middle one in that first row, with all the green/blue/purple shades.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about Stitches and the yarn.  THE YARN!  It’s sooo good!  I’m in the middle of a winding frenzy but I’ve managed to get one new project on the needles.  Yay for yarn sold in balls!

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See you tomorrow with all the fibery details!


 

Rainbow Monday!

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tl;dr:  Find the pattern recipe here!

Another Stitches West has come and gone!  As always, this one was a big success!  The stash was enhanced, inspiration abounded and I got the Seal of Approval for my newly finished rainbow welted skirt from Mr. Welt himself!

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WestKnits selfie!  Dude has long arms!  It’s always a pleasure to chat with Stephen, especially when he’s admiring my work!  I was pretty excited!

Actually, everyone admired my work…that was even more exciting!  I go all fangirl over Stephen West, in every situation, that was a given.  The compliments from the Market Place masses are more encouraging though!  I love talking to knitters!  I emptied my wallet of cards, I was so excited about the skirt itself, I didn’t actually occur to me to bring more!  So, welcome to the Knitters of Stitches! I’m glad you’ve found your way here!

As promised there will be a pattern recipe in just a moment!  First some details!

marketfloor IMG_2051 I’m completely in love with this skirt!  The lopi provides a firm fabric to begin with, add in the welts and it’s got great structure, quite like a hoop skirt!  It just begs to be twirled and wiggled and shaken.  It’s just so fun!  And it’s hit the Goldilocks sweet spot, not too hot or too cold!  It’s just right!  and it’s hasn’t been too itchy.  It’s one thing to say you’re okay with rustic wool, but I’ve really put it to the test this time, so far, it’s all good!

The best of everything though…I made my own clothes!  That is pretty cool!  I love to make hats, but at the end of the day, hats are trivial in comparison!  I love my skirt and can’t wait to make more, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment!  (plus I really hate shopping!)

Details:

My Ravelry Page

The Yarn:  Lett Lopi, ~650 yds Main Color, ~50 yds each Contrast Color

Pattern Outline, plug in your own measurements and I walk you through the calculations you have to make to customize your own skirt fully!  I would love to see pictures if you give it a try!  Eventually I’ll get this fully formatted and onto Ravelry.  In the meantime, enjoy it here!

As always, I have no problem generating knitting content…I’ve got lots planned for this week!  Stitches Stash Enhancement and a full Stash Flash, a Planned Pooling WIP, a 24 hour Cast-On-Palooza and another FO already!  Assuming of course, I don’t get lost in the stash pile!

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Newton’s First Law

IMG_2037Knitting needles in motion tend to stay in motion.  Okay, maybe that’s not what Newton meant…but it’s true for me this week!  Nothing is more motivating than seeing a project I’ve designed, come to fruition, even better than expected!

I’ve finished the green welt and the blue stripe is a welt-in-progress!  This leaves me 10 rows of stockinette, a row of welting and a 3-needle bind off! Sew a tad of elastic, weave ends and I’m done!

The yarn fumes must be getting to me…I’m having visions of wearing my skirt tomorrow!  I’m nearing the fine line between motivated and delusional.  Tomorrow may be a double FO Friday!!

WIP Wednesday – On the Welt Again

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Yesterday, I was hoping to make it through the yellow welt, fingers crossed!  A healthy dose of late night knitting brought me all the way through the green stipe and it is being welted as we speak!  This is exciting!

This weekend is Stitches West. If you don’t know about Stitches West, you’re probably not a knitter!  It’s a  Bacchanalian festival for knitters!  It’s all the best parts of fiber addiction for days and days on end!  And, it’s conveniently located 7 weeks after the start of Selfish Knitting Month (aka January!)  It’s become an annual tradition with the ladies of Sip & Stitch to celebrate the end of holiday knitting and the start of the new year with a selfish sweater project!  The timing of Stitches makes it the perfect end point.  It’s enough time to get a sweater done without going crazy!  Rather than feeling rushed to meet a deadline, it’s a feeling of accomplishment and celebration when a new sweater is successfully debuted at Stitches.  (Plus, the east coast shouldn’t get all the fun with their ‘Rhinebeck Sweaters’…)

This year my goal was a Stitches Skirt and I think it’s actually going to happen! My Stitches attendance has been uncertain until now but I think this could all work out, as if I’d planned it!  Twenty-two rows and a 3 needle bind off are the only things standing between me and my skirt strutting the fashion show that is the Stitches Marketplace on Sunday.

Really, this is Exciting!! <- with a capital E!

Orange You Glad…

IMG_1910…I am!  

The orange stripe is knit and ready for welting! Along with the rainbow, the welts are the key design feature. What is a welt? I’m glad you asked!  In knitting, it can refer to two different techniques that both put 3d texture into your fabric.  The first method is simply knitting several rounds and then purling several rounds, resulting in a sort of horizontal ribbing.  The Welted Cowl by Jane Richmond is an example of this technique.  It creates a soft, flexible, stretchy fabric, exactly what you’d expect from ribbing.

The second welting technique, the one I’m using, physically pinches the fabric together and secures it. IMG_1911

This style of welt is more firm, it does not flex, it retains it’s structure (within the parameters of your yarn, obviously I’m still talking about wool, not a concrete block!).  It’s a true 3d fabric, rather than a fabric that may not lay quite flat.  I was introduced to this technique by Stephen West’s Batad.  If you check the sidebar, you’ll see I added an Instagram widget, new features all the time!  Yay! There’s a shot of me and my purple Batad.  It’s just about my favorite knit ever.  It’s a wardrobe staple for me, perfect layering piece for San Francisco weather!  I think everyone should have one!  That’s the what and the why of the welt, now…

How is this pinched welt made? 

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The first step is to create the fabric that will be pinched.  In this case, I am knitting six rounds of each color and joining the first round of color to the round of live stitches on the needle.  With the left needle, I am reaching behind my live stitches and picking up the orange bump at the bottom of the column, six rounds down.  I then knit this bump together with the first live stitch on the needle.  Your first column of stitches is now folded and secured!  Repeat the process for each stitch in the row, being careful to match up the live stitch with the proper bump below!

Connecting the top and bottom of the same column is the key to a polished welt.  Otherwise you end up with a lumpy, puckered welt…like this…

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You can see the red welt is laying smooth and even, while the orange welt is looking a bit cattywampus.  I would politely suggest that’s a “design feature” you want to avoid.

Now for the fine print:

One note about the ‘bump’ I’m picking up….technically speaking, it’s not the purl bump but rather the running thread between two stitches (aka the horizontal bar you’d pick up to M1).  I do this because it’s the easiest to see, the color change highlights it well.  Being easy to see means I’m always getting the next bump in the row, so while I do have a small half stitch jog, I’m still getting nice straight columns which is what I want.  The half stitch jog just means that when I get to my last stitch, I have no bump to pick up.  This happens because there is no running thread when I first join a new yarn.  I’m okay with one stitch not being secured.  I like to live on the edge.   I’m just mentioning it for the perfectionists.  You could actually match the purl bump to the live stitch, have a 1:1 stitch count and completely, totally straight columns.  It would take me 3x longer so I take the shortcut.  I’ve been daring The Knitting Police to come get me…maybe this will finally be the time!

My Favorite WIP

The time has come for the big reveal…the project I want to wear most!  It’s been my favorite for years…well before I bought the yarn!  I’ve been dreaming about knitting a skirt for a long time and that dream is nearly a reality!

The first couple weeks were for the process knitter in me…miles of grey stockinette!

 I loved it!  (Until I realized just how far a mile of stockinette is!)

(just keep knitting, knitting, knitting, knitting)

(at least there were no PURLS?!?!)

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Finally though, just went I thought it would never end, I got to the fun part…the color!

and not just any color but rainbow!  

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In a rainbow, every color gets love…even the ones I don’t like.  (I’m looking at you, yellow!)  The whole point of the project is the rainbow!  It’s so exciting I can barely focus on anything other than the knitting…what will the orange look like?  I can’t possibly know until I get there… must.Knit.FASTER!  I’m two rows away from orange…

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Yay!

(I might even enjoy the yellow…that’s how excited I am!)

Project Details:

Pattern: My Own Design, just your basic, everyday, A-line skirt with rainbow welts!

Yarn: Lett Lopi, 100% wool, ‘rustic’ is a nice way to put it!