Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Little Something Unique

I dyed up this yarn at The Unique Sheep Retreat this past March.  I'm calling this colorway Blue Bayou, because for some reason that song keeps going through my head whenever I handle it.  When I got back from the retreat I found a pattern that I wanted to use it with - A Little Something by Samantha Roshak.  Laura (of The Unique Sheep) had pinned the pattern on one of her Pinterest boards as something that would look good in their yarns.  The original pattern is knit from the bottom up, but of course I modified it to knit from the top down so I could use up all of my yarn.  I'm using the yellow/orange skein as a contrast edging.  I started out knitting a gauge swatch.  This was especially important as the yarn I am using is not the same weight as the yarn called for by the pattern.  Once I had my gauge I started doing the math.  Thankfully the pattern had included stitch counts at key points.

I did an I-cord cast on with the yellow/orange skein and then started working the yoke.
I did three sets of increases and managed to line them up nicely.
I did an I-Cord bind off on the sleeves with the yellow/orange skein.
Now I'm on the body, repeating the lace pattern until I run out of yarn.  I'm about halfway through the second skein.

Pattern:  A Little Something by Samantha Roshak
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Super Wool, hand dyed by me at The Unique Sheep Retreat 2015
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Camelia Tee - Finished!

After finishing up Chart 4 on Galadriel's Mirror I really didn't have the brain power to start Chart 5 so I picked this back up and finished it off.  Some mindless knitting was exactly what I needed.  I still have 8 grams left of the first skein, so I could have done a couple of more rows, but I liked the length and I didn't want to be sweating out the bind off.  This took 700 yards, or 161 grams of yarn.  Now I have another way to use up leftovers.  It is a simple pattern and could be easily modified into a tunic, and one could always add more lace or cables, or whatever else tickles your fancy.

Project:  Camelia Tee by Anna Nilsson
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Marici Fingering in Dusk on the Fjord
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Galadriel's Mirror - Chart 4 Done

I came home from work on Tuesday with a sore throat, and ended up staying home from work the rest of the week.  We had gone to Amy's graduation (she is Bruce's daughter and was graduating from Medical School) this past Sunday.  She was sick (having gotten it from her boyfriend), and obviously passed it on to me, and who knows how many others - you would think a freshly minted doctor would know better.  I didn't get a whole lot of knitting done while home sick, but did manage to finish chart 4.  I should be working on a test knit, but don't really have the brain power for it right now.  Mostly I napped and watched Turner Classic Movies.  Jimmy Stewart movies on Wednesday, Doris Day movies on Thursday and Laurence Olivier movies on Friday.  At least if I had to be home sick there were good movies to watch.  Bruce was on travel from Tuesday through Thursday and I was really hoping that I would be better when he got back so I wouldn't pass the bug along to him, but alas, I am still not well, and I think he is coming down with it.  My cat Jasmine definitely enjoyed having me home and we spent a lot of time napping together.  She is not a lap cat but rather a proximity cat (a phrase Amy coined).  She doesn't like to be held, but she does like to cuddle up next to me.

I did add beads to this chart - outlining the large leaf in the center of the chart.

Project:  Galadriel's Mirror by Susan Pandorf (from The Fellowship of the Ring Series)
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Tinsel Toes in Silverlode
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Butterick B4861 - Flowers I

So this pattern is really bouquets of several different flowers, rather than roses.  I have this same print with a pink background that I will make another pair of pants out of.  I whipped these up last Sunday.  No pleat makes the sewing go a little faster, and I've gotten the process down so things are done efficiently.  I can't believe how comfortable these pants are.  I have gotten to a point where I really don't like clothes that bind or are tight in the wrong way.  I wear a lot of leggings and jeggings now, and they fit close, but they also stretch.  I love the fullness of the pants leg and the way they move when you walk.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Galadriel's Mirror - Chart 3 Done

This was a long chart, consuming 92 grams of yarn - the rest of skein 1, all of skein 2 and almost half of skein 3.  I am glad to be done with this portion of the pattern and all of those wrapped stitches.  I may add beads to the last two charts.

Project:  Galadriel's Mirror by Susan Pandorf (from The Fellowship of the Ring Series)
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Tinsel Toes in Silverlode
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Butterick B4861 - Roses I

I have a number of plastic file boxes full of fabric in my studio.  About a month ago I went through the boxes in one stack and did some sorting and pulled together two boxes of fabric that I wanted to work with in the near term.  Last weekend I went back to those two boxes and pulled out 5 different cuts of rose print fabric.
The fabric stash.
The two boxes I am currently working through.

I washed all 5 cuts and picked out one to start with.  I still have the Art Nouveau fabric in the queue, but just haven't wanted to mess with all the careful matching of the motifs.  It is so much easier to just lay out the folded fabric, plop the pattern down and cut away.  I did most of the sewing last weekend and this morning I did the waist band and the finish work.  The cotton fabric for this particular rose print is very light weight so I went with the pleated version.  I picked another Czech pressed glass button from my stash for the button.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Galadriel's Mirror - Chart 2 Done - Take Two

I finished re-knitting Chart 2.  It is late enough that I can't get a picture in natural light so I had to take this one on my cutting table down in my studio.  I have "daylight" light bulbs in my studio, so at least the colors are good.  You can see the remnants of the Gr Orange skein.  I started with that skein, which blends nicely into the first skein of the Silverlode set.

Project:  Galadriel's Mirror by Susan Pandorf (from The Fellowship of the Ring Series)
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Tinsel Toes in Silverlode
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Butterick B4861 - Red Silk Pleated Palazzo Pants

Last weekend I finished sewing another pair of pants - I'm calling these palazzo pants, but they are actually Gauchos.  I have been revamping my wardrobe and wanted to make pants our of some of the fabric that I have in my stash, but I didn't want to use the bold prints that I have with regular pant patterns because I just didn't think that would work.  And I didn't want to make skirts because I really don't like wearing skirts anymore and that was when it occurred to me that what I really wanted was gauchos - the fullness of skirts, the convenience of pants.  I went to the Butterick/McCall/Vogue web site and did a pattern search and found two discontinued patterns that were on sale at a deep discount.  I bought both.

I have yards and yards of this red silk, in fact this pattern barely dented the quantity that I have.  This is a lightweight plain weave silk, not as heavy as a broadcloth, and it has a strong inclination to ravel.  I washed and ironed the fabric before using it.  I had actually done that some time ago because I was going to make a Steampunk outfit to wear at Bead & Button.  I think I used the delicate cycle for both the washer and the dryer.  Silk can be a challenge to work with.  After I had cut out the pattern pieces I overcast all of the raw edges.  I have found that when sewing silk overcasting the raw edges helps stabilize things and makes it easier to sew the seams.  This is especially true when sewing silk charmeuse, which is very slippery to work with.  Washing silk charmeuse really helps reduce the slippery factor as well.

I wore these to work on Monday with the top that is hanging next to them.  My husband told me it was a "pretty fabulous" outfit.  For the button I used a Czech pressed glass button that I had gotten in trade (for some of my woven scarves) at a Bead & Button show some years ago.

Galadriel's Mirror - Chart 1 Take Two

Last night I decided to start my Galadriel's Mirror over again.  There were a couple of factors that led to my decision.  I had made a couple of mistakes and I had also used a remnant from another gradient set in between my first and second skeins of this set.  I knew that I was going to be very close on my yarn amount and had found a remnant that matched the first skein almost exactly except that it had a bit more of the almost white silver, which led to some pooling that was bugging me a bit.  After I started using the remnant skein I realized that it would have been better to start with that skein so there wouldn't be an "alien" skein in the middle of my Silverlode set.  I pulled the shawl off the needles and took a picture before I started to frog.
Then I frogged back skein 2, and put the rest of the shawl into a bag to catch the beads as I knit the new shawl from the old.

Project:  Galadriel's Mirror by Susan Pandorf (from The Fellowship of the Ring Series)
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Tinsel Toes in Silverlode
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Andromeda Cape

A month or so ago I pre-ordered a kit from Earthfaire for the Andromeda Shawl, a pattern by Janine le Cras, one of my favorite designers.  I picked Magic Mirror on Verve for my shawl.  I've had a bit of a migraine the last two days so I decided to take a break from Galadriel's Mirror and work on something a little simpler.
I'm starting with the lightest skein, skein 6, and working to the darkest.  The original pattern is a circular shawl, but of course I had to convert it to a cape.  I've been wanting to try converting a spiral circular shawl into a cape for a while and this one seemed a perfect pattern it to try it - not overly complex so pretty straight forward to convert.  As you can see from the top photo the main body of the shawl has a very simple lace pattern.  To convert it to a cape I simple decided which row I wanted to start on to get the right size neck opening, cast on the number of stitches for the previous row, plus 6 edge stitches, worked 4 rows of garter stitch and then started working the pattern.  I started on row 15 of the pattern and cast on 62 stitches.  The pattern reminds me of the bias-cut gored skirts that were popular at one time (I have several sewing patterns for those kinds of skirts in my stash).  It will be interesting to see how the spiral affects the way the shawl hangs.  Due to the spiral the front edge will not be vertical when it is worn.

Pattern:  Andromeda Shawl by Janine le Cras (converted into a cape)
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Verve in Magic Mirror
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)