Another Pair

My favorite ‘guy on top of a building’ William Penn wrote “Patience and diligence, like faith, move mountains.”  With that in mind, I  cast on two more projects yesterday!  My queue is now full at 10!  Now it’s time to patiently and diligently knit away.  I have faith at the end of it, I will have a mountain of knitting!

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It’s more of a mole hill right now, but have faith…I can knit it into a mountain!  Patience and diligence are the cornerstones of knitting!  This should be easy!

Both of these hats are repeats, they’re filler knitting, really.  Another Tapehead hat, knit from an old cassette tape.  Not just any old tape though, this one is special!  A Grateful Dead bootleg I picked it because it says Set III!!  That’s unheard of…who plays 3 set shows anymore??  Fillmore East, 1971, always worth a listen...This show eventually became the commercial release ‘Ladies and Gentlemen…’ Gonna be a fun show to wear.

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The theme today is, apparently, pop culture because my second hat is another Dude hat.  The first one was a hit (it really tied the outfit together), so time for another one!  I’m just tweaking a few things and working on the pattern write up!  Look for the pattern release soon!

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FFO Friday – The Extra F is for FINALLY

The Cassette Tape Vest is DONE!  

Click the link above for all the details on Ravelry!  The pattern is from Plymouth, #2691 Women’s 2 Piece Vest.  The yarn is Noro’s Silk Garden Solo plus a strand of Maxell XL II 90 Cassette Tape!  I finished just in time for Earth Day!  Yeah Recycling!!

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I say FINALLY as if it took me forever, in reality it was one day short of two months.  That’s not bad.  The shawl collar felt like it took forever though, especially in garter stitch!  It’s gonna be long time before I decide to knit another shawl collar!

IMG_2561 Pattern Notes:  The pattern was clear and easy to follow.  I wish it had more information though, a schematic would have been nice and a few more pictures too!  It’s a great beginner pattern.  It’s got a few short rows but the garter stitch makes it perfect for learning the technique!

IMG_2563Design Notes:  Turns out I’m not a huge fan of shawl collars.  I discovered this when I knit Iced.  I modified the pattern to exaggerate the shawl collar.  I was only moderately pleased with the results.  Apparently, I forgot that when I planned this project.

This is a seamless pattern, easy to knit, less easy to wear.  The result is a giant floppy piece of fabric.  Shoulder seams would give it a bit of structure.  I like the ease of making seamless garments, but ultimately, I prefer wearing seamed garments.  They stay put on my shoulders better.  In the end, it’s all good.  I never intended this to be a daily wear piece, so I can deal on the occasions I do wear it.

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Yarn Notes:  Love the Silk Garden Solo!  Noro doesn’t disappoint with it’s solid colors!  I love the slubby texture!  Check out this post for a closer look at the fabric.  As for the cassette tape, it’s fun as a conversation piece but it slowed the knitting significantly.  Turns out it’s a bit abrasive to wear though.  I discovered after wearing my new vest all day with short sleeves, the inside of my elbow was a bit raw…the part that rubbed up against the vest.  Of course, this didn’t stop me from wearing it a second day with short sleeves.  I couldn’t help it, it really tied the outfit together.  (and it was only the right elbow…apparently, I hold my left elbow farther from my body! The things you learn…)  In the future, I’ll consider long sleeves…maybe!

And now, I can move on to my Cashmere Cardi!  As usual, I have high hopes that this next project is going to fall off the needles with virtually no effort!  Fingers crossed!

Perspective

It’s back to the cassette tape grind.

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I’m not thinking about how large and cumbersome it’s gotten.

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I’m not thinking about how the tightly crammed stitches are difficult to maneuver around the 47″ inch cord.

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I’m not thinking about how many knots I’ve found in the Noro.

IMG_2479Nope, I need to start loving this project again.

IMG_2483I’m thinking about how shiny it is!  ooohhh!  aaahhh! Shiny!

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and I still like the color!  So I’ve got that going for me!

FO Friday – Throwback Hat

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After a two week hiatus, I have an actual Friday FO!  The whole cassette tape knitting has become a bit of an obsession.

IMG_2426 IMG_2423This is the product of all that Armenian knitting I’ve been doing! The texture and drape of this fabric is so unique, thanks to the Armenian technique of trapping and carrying the unused strand of color around.

The yarn is Frog Tree Alpaca Sport.  I don’t usually chose alpaca for hats but the trapping provides a touch of support that is perfect for alpaca.  Just enough to give it a little pick me up but still retail the beautiful alpaca drape.   The inside is fun too!  It can definitely be worn inside out!

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The design is my own, a pattern is coming soon!  Here’s a few more details on Ravelry.   And if you want to know more about Armenian Knitting, which you totally should because it’s awesome, check out this blog post! 

Finishing this brings my projects-on-the-needle count to 8.  As luck would have it, I’ve got two projects swatched and ready to go on my desk.  It’s gonna be a challenging weekend.  I plan on holding out.  Monday is awful far away with temptation like this staring me in the face!
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A Love/Hate WIP Wednesday

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Who’s idea was it to knit a garter stitch shawl collar??  The Cassette Tape Vest is finally near enough to completion that it looks like vest!  I’ll never, ever, at least not this year, knit a garter stitch shawl collar again.  It’s taking forever.  I really want it to be finished though!   I’m ready to be wearing it.

Also ready to knit with wool again…cassette tape + silk + mohair is not a gentle knit!  This is part of the slow down, it’s tough on hands.  I’m up to 8 balls of Silk Garden, so it’s getting a bit heavy as well.  And I think I need to go to a 47″ cord.  The 40″ is full…this whole project has become cumbersome.  It’s graduated from a project bag to a full on tote bag all it’s own.  SO MANY COMPLAINTS!

I very strongly dislike this project right now.  I am super excited to wear it though, really! I am!  I’m conflicted.  I want to do it so it’s finished but I hate doing it.  If I could just get it finished I’d be getting twice as much done.  I’m doing a fair bit of procrastination at the moment.   I could be knitting be right now but I’m not…

Armenian Knitting

Armenian knitting is my new favorite color work technique!  I’ve always loved to knit color work hats!  According to Ravelry, I’ve got 297 projects in my hat folder.  Of those, 111 have some sort of color work…stripes, intarsia, fair isle, duplicate stitch…and my new favorite…the Armenian hats!

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Armenian knitting is a technique that gives you the look of intarsia but allows you to work in the round.  Of my 297 hats, I’ll bet fewer than 20 of them were knit flat and seamed.  A seam leaves an unsightly lump in hats.  I’m not a fan.   I do love a good bit of intarsia though.  The trick to this technique is carrying both colors throughout the entire garment and trapping the unused color in the back ever couple stitches to eliminate long floats.

The result is a thick, tweedy fabric.  The thickness comes from the extra strand carried along the back and the tweed comes from the way the traps show through the fabric.  Instead of labeling the bits of color showing through a flaw, in this case we call it a design feature!  I love it!  It’s a really super fabric!

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Here’s a quick video featuring Eunny Jang demonstrating the technique.  She’s a bit more ambitious than I am, trapping every other stitch.  I trapped every 3rd or 4th stitch.   I also work my yarns reversed…main color – continental/left hand, contrast color – english/right hand.   To trap in that fashion, you insert your right hand needle into the stitch on the left (as normal), then you wrap your contrast color from the right hand (don’t knit yet), then you wrap your main color from the left hand (still don’t knit yet), then you unwrap the contrast color from the right hand and finally, you knit your main color as usual.  It’s extra steps in the wrap phase but it allows me to knit continental most of the time.

Part of the reason I’m drawn to this technique is the two handed style.  After many years (decades really!) knitting english, I’ve switched to continental.  It’s been a nice way to bridge the two styles!  I’m putting together a tutorial on the technique because I love it so much.  I’m on a mission to convert every knitter I meet!!  I’m also writing up the pattern for the hats I’ve been making so stay tuned for more Armenian Knitting!!

(My cassette tape nostalgia goes on…)

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(Shameless Self-Promotion:  The B&W hat is available in my Etsy shop, if you’ve also got cassette tape nostalgia!)

Flip the Tape

Making progress on my Cassette Tape Vest

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I was just finishing the back piece when you saw it last.  I’ve since picked up stitches up the side, across the back and down the other side and cast on stitches for armholes!  I’ve worked few inches beyond the armholes…finally enough that I could try it on.  Everything is on track!  The length is good, the armholes are good!  It’s slow going but I’m looking forward to getting it done…the finishing work is super minimal!  Seamless is awesome!

I’ve only got 85 more rows to go…all garter stitch!  Process Knitter Powers Activate!