Knitters Pay It Forward #1: N is for Needles

n-isfor-needles2880

Desktop wallpaper: 2880x1880px (sized for Macbook /Pro 15″) Click to download full size file.

Many knitters have been offering patterns and yarn giveaways on Instagram this week as a way to cheer everyone up after a long, difficult week full of political dissonance. As I neither design patterns nor dye my own yarn, I wanted to try to figure out a way that I could contribute. So, I turned some of my Inktober drawings into downloadable digital wallpaper for your devices. I have wallpapers for your computer or your phone listed below from my “N is for Needles” artwork. I hope you like it. #knitterspayitforward

needles-6

For iPhone 6/7. Click to download full size file.

needles-6plus

For iPhone 6plus/7plus. Click to download full size file.

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Desktop wallpaper: 2560x1440px (sized for Macbook /Pro 13″) Click to download full size file.

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Sew Excited!

hurrah hooray! FROCK NITTY GRITTY! my #dottieangel frock pattern will be published with Simplicity, Pattern Number 1080 next month! It will ship to stores nationwide on June 12th and also be available via their website from that date I am guessing. www.simplicity.com. they do ship overseas I am told. Patten includes 2 frock styles & 1 smock. Note I use soft quality quilting yardage or vintage cotton/barkcloth when I make my frocks, washing and drying several times with no ironing, to get a lived in vintage vibe. Please do share your frock makes with the hashtag #dottieangelfrock and please do feel free to spread the word of my pattern release. also perhaps ask your nearby LFS if they would like to carry it so you can support them 🙂 I think that is it. Tis a proud moment, for my grandmother was a most brilliant seamstress and used Simplicity patterns all the time, I like to think she is smiling down right now upon me 💛… Edited: I am hopeful it was worth you all waiting patiently, thank you so kindly my dearies for being so peachy to me and my crafty soul all these years x

A post shared by Tif (@dottieangel) on

I have a huge style crush on Tif Fusel, AKA Dottie Angel, and I have been all giddy that she has created an official Simplicity Pattern. The pattern will be #1080 and it will be available for sale sometime in June 2015. The pattern includes her signature cotton frock in two versions plus a shorter smock style top.

I’ve been thinking about trying to sew a garment and I think this fun little frock would be a great, simple, first project. I can’t wait until the pattern is released so I can choose some fabrics! Dottie recommends soft, pre-washed quilt fabrics, vintage cottons, or barkcloth which I might already have some stashed away. While I haven’t really taken up sewing, that doesn’t mean I have started stashing fabrics!

Sometimes, a sweater must die

It took me two years to finish the Reine cardigan which looked so lovely in the Brooklyn Tweed Loft it was originally knit up in. In my budget-bin, discontinued Reynolds Wash Day Wool, to get gauge, the fabric was too floppy. It was basically hole-y knit up on the recommended US 7 (4.5mm) needles. I also followed the pattern recommendations for the length of the cardigan which was too long for me. And I skipped the pockets which was why I wanted to knit the Reine cardigan specifically but then I didn’t like the size and shapes of the pockets so I didn’t include them. And that little saggy point at the bottom makes me horrified! I also totally misunderstood the short row shaping of the sleeves and have weird bulges. It was just a sweater train wreck. I couldn’t decide whether to just pitch it or frog it and try to reuse the yarn.

After trying to wear it to work on several occasions and then changing into something else, I just threw the cardigan on my ball winder and spent Saturday morning with a cup of coffee, scissors and the ball winder furiously winding. I decided to save the yarn to make a new cardigan — something with a better fabric density and a better fit for my shape.

Funky grandpa cardigan

The grey and turquoise colored stripes together. So pretty! (The fabric is bumpy because I didn’t wash the yarn after frogging it. It should smooth out with a good steaming)

 

So I chose the Funky Grandpa cardigan which is knit at a much tighter gauge and let me combine my love of stripes and use lots of stash yarn. I’ve been stealing my husband’s Grandpa-style cardigans recently so it seemed appropriate to make my own. I’m combining the original Reynolds grey yarn with some Colinette Jitterbug in Elephant’s Dream and a skein of Stitchjones Merino Sock in Petrol blue. I love the look of the colors together even though I won’t get the color changing effect of the original design but I love the pops of turquoise stripes against the grey.

I hope this is a better use of the yarn and will be a better fitting, more loved sweater. Its well on its way as I’m way more excited about it than I was about the Reine cardigan so my outlook is hopeful.

Funky grandpa cardigan

I’ve got about 7″ completed and joined the front panels and the back last night.

 

Funky grandpa cardigan

The deep blue (petrol) is the top of the shoulder and will relate to the sleeves and a pick up edge for the ribbing.

 

What’s on (and off) the Pins: March Edition

knitsFOs

Thanks to the imaginary internet points distributed as part of the HPKCHC, I have been finishing a lot more knitting in the past year than in the past.I’ve also been set on using up some stash. So lots of projects got paired with yarn in my stash and wham! bam! knit it up, ma’am!

I made Bob a pair of toasty Waffle mittens out of some Berrocco Vintage I had laying around and he was pleased to have them for the last few days we had of snowy, cold weather. Boy, does he have big hands!

I used up some black and white fingering to make myself a new French-y beret using the Purl Beret pattern as a base. The flower brooch was made for a Louisa Harding vest. The vest never fit quite right but the flower pins get used on lots of my knitwear. I should probably try to reknit the vest at some point because I love it in concept.

Last week, I finished the February Lady Sweater with the Mission Falls 1824 yarn that I’ve tried unsuccessfully to use on two other sweater patterns. I knit this sweater in about a week. It is a super quick knit. The suggested yardage for the February Lady Sweater is definitely less than what is actually required. I ended up using all but about 2 gms of the yarn I had for a total of 892 yds which is more than the 850 yds recommended for the size I knit AND my sleeves ended up much shorter than the sample images. SO, if you decide to knit this cardigan (and I highly recommend it because its a quick fun knit) be sure to over estimate your yardage. Also, I find the sleeves a bit too wide and I even added decreases as a yarn conservation technique and they are still quite wide.

suzon-complete

I also finished my Suzon shawl last week and I love it. I was a little hesitant whether I would like or wear a rainbow shawl but what didn’t occur to me was that it goes with everything! I didn’t use a full ball of the Crystal Palace Mini Mochi and just 300 yds of the undyed Knit Picks. I was thinking that I’d need more than a ball of Mini Mochi to complete it. So with a combined total of 462 yds, the finished shawl measures about 5 feet from point to point and about 20″ deep from the center back to the point. So its not huge but I can loop it around my neck twice.

Now, to the WIPs:

scarves

I’ve been working on a DK weight scarf for Bob out of some of the WEBS 40th Anniversary yarn dyed by Madeline Tosh. I call the scarf 221b because of the similarity to the blue scarf Sherlock wears but I’m actually using one of the reversible texture patterns from Ruggles pattern. For me, I’m making the Laverne scarf from Louisa Harding’s Knits for an English Rose, using up some of the Grace Hand Dyed I bought in California a couple years ago. I like how both are knitting up but they take some concentration when knitting so I haven’t made as much progress on them as I hoped.

I just cast-on my first Andi Satterlund pattern, the Myrna cardigan which is using up more stash yarn (yippee!!) but there’s not much progress to show yet. The pattern starts at the top of the back of the sweater and knits to the arm pit before picking up for the fronts, knitting down and then joining it together. I’ll post photos of it soon when there’s more then a dishcloth’s worth of progress to show. I hope to have it finished by the end of the month. I only have 665 yards of yarn for it so it shouldn’t take too long to finish it. The first cardigan for my summer of dresses and cardigans!

 

Remembrance Day

Today is Veteran’s Day here in the US, a day known around the world as Remembrance Day. I like the name Remembrance Day better as it brings to mind those who we lost in all the wars more so than the word “veteran”.

In honor of Remembrance Day, I made a knit poppy brooch to pin to my coat, to remember all of the soldier who gave their lives in the Great War and all the wars and conflicts that followed. Poppies are used to recognize those lost during the Great War as so many were lost in Flanders Field, surrounded by red poppies. Today, poppies have come to represent all those lost to war. In this, the 100th anniversary of the Great War, it seemed important to recognize the sacrifices that so many have forgotten.

I work across the street from the only World War I Museum in the United States. I’ve visited there many times and often walk around the exterior of the building at lunch looking at the engraved bricks and the eternal flame from atop of the Liberty Memorial.

I’m under the weather today or I would go today to visit the museum. As soon as I’m well, I will visit again and say my own kind words to the memories of all those we lost in the war.