Stitches Stash Enhancement

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I stuck to my budget at Stitches…the cash in my pocket only!  Didn’t even go to the atm to fill the pocket first! I got lucky and won a door prize, so that made the budget seem a bit larger (a lovely skein of sport wt irish wool from Black Water Abbey!) My theme for the weekend was clearly Rustic Wool!  Having just finished a Lopi skirt, I was on the hunt for Brooklyn Tweed! 100% American made wool!  The return of the American textile industry is pretty exciting and I have yet to sample Brooklyn Tweed’s offerings.

After my visit with Stephen West (where I picked up the mix tape tour book!), it was off to A Verb For Keeping Warm.  Seems a little silly to travel 40 miles for a Verb booth, when the real thing is only 15 miles away but I did it anyhow.  Fiber addiction is not logical.

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My budget allowed for two skeins of Loft, in Old World (L) and Sweatshirt (R).  I can’t wait to use this yarn!  It’s lofty all right!  It’s got all those words we love…squish, bounce, spring.  And, it’s pretty affordable all things considered.  Made in the USA and under $15 a skein AND it’s amazing!  I’m accessory minded for these two skeins but I can tell already I want sweater quantities!

One slight problem there, I usually flash the stash pre-Stitches to remind myself of the unknit sweaters I’ve already got.  Time got away from me and I didn’t flash the stash until this morning.  I’m pretty sure, I won’t need the sweater quantity of Loft for a couple years.

The stash, as of today, no WIPs, no partial balls, no Loft.

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Lopi in the front, loads of MadTosh behind that, two sweaters worth of Miss Babs’ Yowza behind that.  Noro has developed into an entire section of the stash instead of just a random skein.  Cephalopod, Vice, Kauni, Frog Tree Alpaca, Misti Alpaca, Unspun Lopi, Taria Tweed, Sweet Georgia.

Don’t bother me, I’ll be knitting!

:)

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!!

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!