Wednesday, October 26, 2011

FO: Forest Fiesta Swirl Jacket

Swirl Jacket w/ Hood

My biggest project of the late summer/fall so far. The book Knit, Swirl! has been a huge hit at Yarndogs since it came out. I knew right away I wanted to knit one but I waited until after Sock Summit to cast on. First, I tried Silk Garden Sock instead of Silk Garden Lite because I was in love with one of the colors. Robin from the shop did this and hers was gorgeous if a bit smaller than expected. It came out like a more typical jacket shape with smaller lapels that couldn't be worn as a hood. I already have 2 jackets with that silhouette, though. I really like the Baja hoodie surfer vibe with the hood. I promised myself this summer I'd take surfing lessons this fall, but moving got in the way of that. I plan on doing it next month, though! I'm already doing pushups to get ready. That's part of a whole 'nother blog post, though!
I swatched and got gauge with the SGS, but when I started the jacket it didn't stripe! Robin's colorway only had about 3 different colors in it, but mine had about 6, so my color runs were much shorter. I set aside the sock yarn (perhaps for Galia from Phatfiber's Madeira pattern) and bought some Silk Garden Lite. Stripes achieved! I'm really glad Noro brought back Silk Garden Lite, but there aren't that many good colors yet. I do like the one I used, but I might like it more without the brown. I always buy extra yarn when I'm dealing with Noro and care even the slightest bit about having the color sequence come out the same every repeat.

Shortened sleeves by 8 stitches either side. This may have been too much of a change, but I'm told they will continue to stretch out. The tutorial on how to cut off the cuffs if the sleeves end up too long spooked me a little. I decided to shorten the sleeves after I tried on Robin's first jacket and measured her sleeves but I forgot she didn't pleat her cuffs.
The pattern will tell you how many stitches per inch on the sleeve so you can make adjustments. It says to space out your changes along the length of the sleeve. I subtracted 1 or 2 stitches from each set of cast ons for the sleeve. You really don't want to change the number of the last set of cast ons, though! This is the number of cuff stitches and should be fixed. If you mess with it, there will be a stair step in the middle of your cuff that will look funny and be hard to seem. Write down whatever changes you make so you can do the same shaping in the bind offs at the end of the sleeve.
Other Tips-
First, check the errata. Even for the 2nd edition. The only mistake in this pattern was in the chart, which I didn't use.
The row gauge on this is pretty hard to get, but really important. Knitting this was a little stressful. First, I was paranoid I might have twisted the CO when I joined it, then I was worried about it coming out big enough because of the row gauge and about the sleeve length. Because of the construction, you can't really try it on as you go. Basically I just went with my swatch and blocked the hell out of the finished sweater.
To get a jacket large enough to wear the collar as a hood, pick one size larger than you might otherwise choose from your measurements. At the beginning of the book, she says all the models fall into the range suggested for a size 1. The pattern info says the model is wearing a size 2 in the photo. I made a size 3. I didn't have any problems with the sleeves being too small. I tried on Robin's size 2 in the sock yarn and the sleeves were extremely tight in the upper arms.
Forest FiestaSwirl JacketForest Fiesta w/ Hood Down

FO: Princess Animal Banner

Kathy wanted to know if I could take the concept from this little double knit coaster with her logo and turn it into something HUGE to hang outside the shop.
Princess Animal PotholderPrincess Animal Potholder

So I did!

And in time for Debbie Stoller's visit next month!
It's a party for the Bust DIY Guide to Life book by Laurie Henzel and Debbie.
Here's the info direct from the Princess herself-

Register now at:

Who better to create a Guide for Life than Debbie Stoller, Editor in Chief of BUST magazine and author of the Stitch & Bitch series) and Laurie Henzel, Creative Director of BUST. The book is stacked with the best ideas in DIY, health, beauty, fashion, cooking, finance, and way more. Debbie & Laurie will be signing the book, hobnobbing, and leading us in a project from the book--yup, Sno-Globes. Did we mention there's free booze?

This event is FREE, with purchase of the book ($29.95, but you'll also leave with a custom sno-globe and a belly full o' booze, and that's really priceless, isn't it?).

The deets:

Date: November 3, 2011

Time: 7-8p for book signing

8-10p for book celebration and Sno-Globe Bar with Laurie & Debbie

Location: Princess Animal, 803 Valencia Street

Reserve your spot now. This is a very limited event cause the store is small!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

FO: Amiga Cardi

FO: Amiga Cardigan

Early in the summer, Knitspiration Guild had an Amiga knitalong. Here's mine. We talked about how to adjust raglan shaping when necessary for a custom fit. I usually do pretty well with a standard shaping, so I didn't make any modifications in that section other than changing the kfb increases to mirrored M1 increases.
It's a pattern by Mags Kandis. I wasn't super thrilled about it in the beginning, but I made a lot of changes to make it more similar to the Featherweight Cardigan from Knitbot (Hannah Fettig). I mostly set it aside during the build up to Sock Summit and I picked it up again in earnest on the way home.
The thing that bugged me the most about the original was the rolled hem that seemed to ride up really badly in the back in the pattern photos. It was pretty cropped to begin with, too.
I added waist shaping, made it significantly longer, and changed the rolled hem to a 1x1 rib. I added decreases to taper the sleeves more and changed the rolled cuff to 1x1 rib. I need to go back and make the sleeves a couple of inches longer. The way they are right now (right at the elbow), they are exactly the wrong length and the ribbing gets really bunched up when I bend my arm.
Other than that mild adjustment that needs to be made, I love this thing!
The Rowan Panama feels great and I was a little surprised how much I liked working with it. It's a little bit splitty, but not as bad as I expected. I love the colors, too! I talked a couple of other people in the guild into using it too. :)
The Dorset buttons were fun to make and I got to add a little pink to the sweater! My first instinct was to do the whole thing in that color, but I got talked out of it. I had just finished a pink-ish garment. I just had to buy 1 ball of pink for the buttons or some other kind of trim! The 2 colors together ended up perfectly matching this dress I got at Banana Republic.
Oh, I almost forgot about my big fail! I have a tendency to just dismiss certain parts of pattern instructions when I think I have a better way. I thought I'd skip marking the button placement before picking up stitches for the rolled neck edge and just do it when it was time to make the buttonholes. Well, pretty much regardless of the length of your needle, it's not going to lay right with the stitches on a cable. I made my best guess but it ended up being way too low and I had to redo it. I didn't rip all the way back to the buttonholes- I dropped down and picked back up to get rid of one of them and dropped down and made another one higher. That was kind of funky, but it was a loose enough gauge (fingering weight on a size US 8) to have some slack to squeeze in a new buttonhole. Yeah, so I should have just tried it on and marked it when it said I was supposed to.

Modification details-
Changed kfb raglan increases to mirrored m1 increases.
Length from underarm lengthened to 16" from 10".
Waist shaping- decreased 2 stitches each side every 6th round 7 times, knit one inch without shaping, increased 2 stitches each side every 6th round 7 times. (I just realized this is a 6" difference and actually twice the shaping I meant to do, but it works for me!)
Changed rolled hem to 1x1 rib.
Decreased 2 stitches every 8th round 8 times for each sleeve.
Changed rolled sleeve hem to 1x1 rib.

Knitspiration Dye Day Photos

How is it October already?? August and September got sucked up finding a new place to live, moving, and getting my business license in the new place (the hardest by far of the 3 cities I've been in up to this point).
Here are the pics from the Knitspiration Guild dye day I hosted in September. It was great fun and I'm happy to say I should be able to host again in the spring. I know there were a fair number of people who couldn't make it this time. Click the photo to see the rest of the Flickr set.

Knitspiration Dye Day 2011

All the yarn