Soleil: June's Project
My boyfriend's sister got married in the Summer, and I originally was going to go with him to the wedding (Alas my work wouldn't let me off for the two days). My first post ever here was actually a question in regards to the difficulty making Soleil. Well, even though I didn't go to the wedding, I dove right in to making this tanktop anyways.
Pattern: Knitty's Soleil (http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring05/PATTsoleil.html)
Yarn: Six Skeins of Cascade Yarns Pima Tencel, color no. 8374. It's um... green.
Yardage: I used roughly five skeins, which I think led to an issue that I'll hit on later.
Yarn-y thoughts: The yarn is very soft and feels lovely against the skin (50% Cotton 50% Tencel). Probably not the best choice for a top to wear in July, as I bet it would have been very warm, but since it is a tanktop it might have been okay.
Pattern Modifications: This being my first garment ever, I followed the pattern word for word. It's well written and makes sense. This was also my first stab at lace, and I really enjoyed it - after doing it a few times I managed to memorize the pattern and didn't really want to stop. Here is a lace detail and probably a good photo of color:
Special Techniques & Commentary: This is where I learn that Guage Is Important. As you can see in the pictures, the final tank top ended up a bit short on me. Now that I've conquered (kinda) my first garment, I'm feeling brave enough to attempt to either frog partway back and extend the middle, or to knit the lace part again and graft on an addition to the bottom. Both ideas hurt my soul a wee bit, but I'd like to be able to wear this. Also, I learned that I knit very tightly, as this tanktop ended up very... snug... even though technically I fit the measurements for the size I chose (small). Part of this may have to do with the fact that I gained some poundage over the summer. I also learned that I've been purling the wrong way, as the first rows where you switch to knitting like you are using straights and not circs there is now a wonky row. This is also right on the booby line which... accents things. I guess in my case that could be a good thing, but it's another point towards me frogging this someday in the future and redoing it.
A not-so-flattering picture of my grumpy face as I try to get a decent shot... you can see it's really high on my waist (with my skirt following right behind it to avoid ugly jiggly belly syndrome)....
Felted Bags: July's ProjectI had more luck this summer with knitting and felting bags, as I happened to knock two out within the span of a month.
Pattern: Knitty's smaller Satchel (http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer05/PATTsatchel.html) and then my own idea based off of a combination of Satchel and this knitty-user's bag (specific entry found here: http://community.livejournal.com/knitting/7220865.html). I basically used the Satchel to practice the idea of felting and to get a feel for how to construct a bag, and then using that experience I made my gi-normous brown bag. My goal was to have something large enough for a binder or two for campus.
Yarn: The Satchel I used Paton's Classic wool, Grey and... that green color (name forgotten, sorry!). For my "Cabled Schoolbag" I used Peruvian Collection Highland Wool, colorways "Chocolate Truffle" and "Oxblood".
Yardage: Green/Gray bag: Two Skeins of the Green, Three of the Gray. I believe the grand total for this bag was $20.
"Cabled Schoolbag" used roughly two skeins of the Oxblood and 9 of the Chocolate Truffle. The grand total: roughly $28
Yarn-y thoughts: Both yarns felted well. I feel like the Peruvian felted with less effort than the Paton's, and the prices were roughly comparable. The Peruvian feels softer than the Paton's, but since these were both bags that was more of an observation than a necessity :)
An Idea of how big this puppy was:
Detail shot with kitten for scale:
Pattern Modifications: No Modification for the Knitty Satchel, except I crocheted an edge along the strap of the bag. I had issues with my strap felting and twisting, though I think that had something to do with the edge I put on it. For my "cabled schoolbag", I essentially cast on as many stitches as I thought I'd like, and knit the front and back panels seperately. I attempted to round the corners of the bottom of the bag. Then, for the "spine" of the bag and the strap, I knit a long strip and practiced my mattress stitching skills attaching the three pieces together. I wanted to see what would happen if I felted cables and different stitch patterns other than garter, so the red is done in seed stitch with a cable along the bottom, and the bag "spine"/strap is a very long cable. The red cable felted beautifully and can be seen, but the brown isn't as visible (because it is a darker yarn). You can see the cabling very well in the pre-felted shot. It turned out okay with me, since part of my hopes is that the cables would felt thicker, which would make the bag stronger (maybe?). I had a wee bit of the red left over, so I took it and essentially pulled it through the edge of the strap that goes over the shoulder, so there's a very thin red line that runs up and down both sides of the strap, which helps to tie it into the rest of the bag.
Special Techniques & Commentary: I designed my "cabled schoolbag" to have the front and back panels knit seperately so I could practice stitching knitted panels together (the theory being even if it looked horrible, I'm felting it anyway). I was also praticing my cabling. This is the first item I've ever winged, other than scarves. I think it turned out looking delicious and can't wait to use it for my schoolbag.
Kitty Pie: August's Project
I recently aquired a kitten, who was a stray with his mom behind the apartments I lived at this summer. He "wandered" into my apartment after I accidently dropped some chicken onto my floor. Anyway, he's a healthy little scamp now named Caboose. Knowing I was about to tramautize him with a Big Car Ride followed by A New Location, and that this "New Location" (my apartment on my campus) can get very cold, I thought I'd give him a little somethin'-somethin' that he could recognize as a safe cuddling place.
Pattern: Kitty Pie (http://wendyknits.net/knit/kittybed.htm)
Yarn: One Skein of Malabrigo Kettle Dyed Pure Merino Wool, in the "Velvet Grapes" Colorway, and some j-random blue eyelash yarn, the brand name forgotten but I brought it at Walmart. I think it was Lions' brand? The color's of the Malabrigo is best seen in this picture of Caboose enjoying his bed:
Yardage: Being a po'r college student, I only bought one skein of the yarn, at roughly $10.99 for a full skein of 216 yards. I used most of the full thing, which made a kitty pi that's roughly the size of two 9" cake pans stacked on top of each other (which I used to "block" after I felted it, and worked rather well).
Yarn-y thoughts: This yarn was SO SOFT AND FLUFFY AND MMMM that really the only reason I was inspired to do a Kitty pi and not just buy a cat bed was I couldn't NOT use this yarn. As I said previously, I used most of the 216 yards to make his kitty pi, which I refer to as "desktop size". I had a little waste yarn left over, that I couldn't fathom not using up entirely, so I made a skinny little headband with seed stitch for myself. Felting this yarn took only one trip through the cruddy apartment washing machine. I had a hard time keeping Caboose off the yarn actually.
Pattern Modifications: I didn't use size 11s and used size 10s instead. Also, the sides turned out floppier than I'd hoped, and Caboose sleeps stretched out more often than he curls up. My solution was to put a strip of cardboard along half of the side, so half of it is stiff and the other half flops down. That way he can either curl up on it and rest his head, or he can rest his rear in it and stretch out to attack my fingers while I type (the final location of this bed is my desk).
Special Techniques & Commentary: I didn't have any size 11 DPN, so I used magic loop method instead (which was new for me). Overall, it's a really easy pattern and took me only half a day to whip up. Caboose seems to approve.
I hope this is all informative and makes sense... I've had a long day of meetings for my theatre and my brain is a little kaput right now. Let me know if I've left anything out or if anything needs correcting :)