Cladonia Is Off the Needles

My Cladonia shawl is off the needles!!  And, not a single cat tried to sleep on it as it was blocking on the floor.  Providing them with a wool cat bed has seemed to curbed the appeal of my fresh knitting.  Yay!

IMG_8461 copyThis shawl is quite big.  I modified the pattern to enlarge it so I could use up more of the yarn.  Instructions for the increase in size are available on project pages from other knitters on Ravelry.

My youngest daughter loved this shawl so much that she dyed her own sock blank and now I’ve got another Cladonia on my needles.

IMG_8459She wants the lace at the bottom to be in white.  I’m excited to knit this up and work through the different color sections of the sock blank.  And, I hope she’ll use the shawl or at least tuck it away to use in the future.  🙂

Here are some more beauty shots of my newest FO:

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“Cat Basket” is a FO and a New Shawl WIP

IMG_8356The “Cat Basket” is finished!  The pic above shows the basket before felting.  It’s sitting on 24″ x 12″ tiles to give it some scale to the size.  It was quite huge.  It’s knitted with a bulky yarn held double.

After felting, the size became a little bit more reasonable and fits my cat very well.

IMG_8362Of course, neither cat would use the bed until it was placed on the cat tree. But, since it’s relocation from floor to cat tree, there has been a little bit of tussling to see who gets to use the bed.

The pattern is Dog Basket by DROPS design.  The only mods I made were to sew under the edges.  It’s suppose to stand on its own but it looked a little wonky.  Tucking the edges under just looked better to me and it creates a pretty bowl shape.

Next up on my needles is a shawl called Cladonia.  It uses fingering weight yarn on US size 7 needles.

IMG_8378This shawl will be striped with a lacy edge.  The plan is to use black for the lace edging.  I’ve chosen to use a sock blank with the solid black to add a little bit of color interest into the shawl.  And, I’m adding a few extra repeats to the lace pattern to increase the size a bit.  I’m finding that I like the larger sizes in shawls.  It’s just so cozy to have lots of squishy merino fabric to wrap around your shoulders and arms!

Color Affection

coloraffectionbMy color affection shawl is off the needles and blocked.  Knitted with fingering weight yarn, size 6 needles and miles of garter stitch, it’s so squishy and stretchy.  I knit the pattern as written.  Many knitters advise you to include an extra YO at each end and then drop the YO to give a little more stretch to the edge.  I kinda like the tight edge.  It helps keep the shawl up and around my shoulders and neck.  However, the tight edge made blocking the shawl a bit challenging.

You can see in my pic that the shape of my shawl looks a little different than many of the project pics on Ravelry.  I’m not sure how the other knitters got a perfect crescent shape.  Maybe I introduced some type of knitting error that effected the shape?  Nonetheless, I love the new shawl.  I wore it around my shoulders last night and it was warm and wonderful.  If I was a little more put-together today, I would have included pics of it actually on a human body.  But, it’s just not one of those days.  🙂

I’m not sure what will be up next on my needles.  I’ve got some souvenir yarn from my DC trip that I might make into another summer wrap.  Socks are also a possibility.  Maybe a little shrug?  I’ve also thought about going through Ravlery and knitting all of the most popular patterns to see what all the fuss is about.  So far, I’ve knitted the Hitchhiker shawl, the Turn a Square hat and now the Color Affection shawl and they’ve all been successes!

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Sewing Knits Counts as Knitting, Right?! Converting Boxy Man Tee Into Feminine Cut Tee.

As much as I love hand-knits, I also love nerdy novelty t-shirts.  The problem is that the best geeky shirts are only available in men’s sizes which are not at all flattering on my figure.  Not even a little bit.  So, I’ve done some research and have also ruined a few old tees trying to figure out the best way to convert a humongous man shirt into a flattering shapely woman’s tee.  I’m getting it down into a process with a predictable outcome and I’ll soon be cutting into my prized shirts.

Here’s the process:

1) Select a giant man shirt that has room to spare in the hips and bust.

IMG_7094 copy2)  Take apart an old tee that fits you well but you won’t be so sad to see in pieces.  Cut carefully along the seams of the sleeve cap and sides to preserve the shaping.  Trace the shapes onto wrapping paper and give some room for seam allowances.

IMG_7083 copy3)  Use the pattern pieces and trace the shape onto your giant man tee.  Don’t worry if the pattern covers the original arm seam.  This llittle bit of seam will be hidden in the armpit of the finished product.

IMG_7084 copy4)  Cut out your pieces.

IMG_7096 copy5) Turn inside out and stitch your side seams.

IMG_7099 copyYou can see that this conversion leaves a little bit of the original arm seam in the armpit.

IMG_7100 copyAnd, I recently bought (yesterday) a serger to finish the side seams but you don’t have to use a serger.  My regular machine worked just fine for this.  I used a narrow zigzag stitch to leave a little stretch in the seams.  Your machine might also have a mock coverstitch that you could use that would give some stretch.

6) Pin your sleeves to the sleeve hole with right sides together.

IMG_7104 copy7)  Stitch the sleeve in place.

IMG_7102 copy8)  Turn it right side out and try it on!

IMG_7127 copyIMG_7094 copyMuch better fit!!  Remember what it looked like before?

I’m still working out the best way to hem my newly fitted tees without a coverstitch machine.  I’ve tried the twin needle and a loose bobbin thread but find it still pulls.  I’m leaning towards a plain zigzag.  It really ends up looking better than the puckered twin needle result.

Just be sure you pay attention to the placement of the artwork on the front of the shirt.  I didn’t notice an off-set motif and ended up with words being eaten by the arm seam in one of my earlier conversion attempts.  There’s not a consensus in my household on whether or not this shirt is now unwearable in public.  It’s only missing a teeny corner of the “S”.

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IMG_7134 copyAnd, just to make sure there’s some actual knitting included in my knitting blog post, I’ve about reached the end of my 100g hank of yarn on my Hitchhiker shawl.  The pattern calls for 150g but I’m not sure if I want to use another hank or if this is long enough.  The Midnight Knitter had a great idea of using part of the second hank to extend the Hitchhiker but leaving enough for a pair of socks so the yarn doesn’t go to waste.  I’m thinking that I may use her idea for this project.

I love that my shawl matches my Holland Handmade project bag!  It wasn’t planned but the color-coordination makes me smile.  🙂