21 December 2007

Shapely Tank by designer Joan McGowan-Michael

Easy stockinette sweater that fits (if you pay attention!)


White Lies Designs | Tank Top with Added Sleeves
free pattern, click to view (sleeve pattern is an additional free pattern, click to view)
This was a project for me to try shaping at the waist and bust. I knit the front and back per the pattern and seamed the garment.

Modifications: Sleeves were knit 3/4 instead of the short sleeve per Joan's free tank sleeve download.

The sleeve is knit in the round.

The shaping of the cap sleeve was done with short rows instead of casting off so that prevented "stairsteps" in the cap sleeve rise,

I love the garter edges. Beautiful!

What I learned from this:

  • if the sweater feels like it is too short, keep knitting before you start the bust shaping. Although it looks fine on the dress model, I made this too short.
  • don't waste your time with crappy yarn. Just don't. This cotton/acrylic pills and pills.
  • I would add more short rows in the bust area, and upper back too. Try Cat Bordhi's You tube video on how to hide wraps, brilliant!

This was a fun knit, and I'd do another with the above mods.

Scarves - Early Handspun and Alpaca Rescued

Early Hand dyed, Handspun, and Navajo-plied
I kettle dyed the merino roving with russet and blue dye. The yarn makes a space-dyed, sort-of striping pattern. I am knitting a double moss stitch scarf with the yarn, It is a very smooth yarn and almost feels like cotton. It is light and springy, but has the wonderful properties of wool. The scarf is nice and flat. For this scarf, I used a US 4 needle. Finished off the edges with a single crochet edge (to help compensate for less than perfectly consistent yarn.)

How to knit the scarf (updated 29 Dec 2007):
Cast on a multple of 4+2. First and last stitches will be edge stitches. (I usually use a longtail cast on.)

Row 1: Slip 1 edge stitch knitwise, K2, P2 across, K last stitch.
Row 2: Slip 1 edge stitch purlwise, K2, P2 across, P last stitch.

Row 3: Slip 1 edge stitch knitwise, P2, K2 across, K last stitch.
Row 4: Slip 1 edge stitch purlwise, P2, K2 across, P last stitch.

Repeat rows 1-4 until length you want it.

Cast off: I prefer an EZ sewn cast off.

Ahhhh, much better. Color Revisited.
This very labor intensive scarf (alpaca yarn I hand warped, hand dyed, then knit - but gawd-awful color).

Scarf info:
Palindrome scarf. Very cool, free pattern. This reversible scarf knit up very fast. Be forewarned, this reversible cable pulls in A LOT. So, use bigger-than-called-for needles so the scarf is not too heavy. I did not! Combined with the fact that it's alpaca and heavy, this will be a scarf for only very cold weather, as it is VERY warm!

The self striping yarn was my first test of creating self striping yarn (see how to instructions here.) When I made the yarn, the colors were clear, but there was too much value difference for my taste between the yellow and the blues, so I overdyed it with grey, which gave it a very muddy look. Yeach.

Red comes to the rescue!

After a dunk and soak and cook in red:

Thank goodness for the miracle of Jacquard acid dyes!

09 December 2007

Hat Weather

Hat! [click for bigger]


Hat Info
Stats on Ravelry (click to open, must be a member of Ravelry)

This is a hat that I cast on to simply play with the unspun yarn and see what happens when you do a short row hat with unspun Icelandic wool. The brown wool is three strands of unspun wool wrapped in a wool cake. The cream wool is two strands of unspun wool. The wool has no spin in it and pulls apart quite easily.

The end result is a nice firm hat that is the knit stitch only, knit "flat".

I cast on 35 stitches, using a needle smaller than what I thought the wool called for (US 9) so that the hat would be firm. At each row, I knitted one less stitch, wrapping and turning until 16 stitches were "short". I then knit all stitches on the needle with the cream colored yarn, and then one more row knit with the cream. And started all over again.

When I finished it, I knit the two rows in cream and cast off in cream. The hat was longer than my head, so I got a brim!

Then I seamed up the hat. The seam was so bulky that I decided to hide it with embroidery and wear the seam in the back. I liked the end result so much that it is now the front.

What would I do differently next time?

  • Make the cast on a crochet provisional cast on
  • Final cream garter row would woven/grafted for a seamless finish.

For a protoype, I'm pleased!            

08 December 2007

Happy Holidaze! A gift for you

For You: A Dec 2007-Nov 2008 Knit Calendar
(Why no Dec 2008 image? To keep you coming back!)

          Thumbnails of the images:


          Download the files and print yourself, or order prints from Flickr. (You have to sign in to Flickr to order prints. A Flickr account is free.)

          These images are high resolution and optimized for a 4x6 inch desktop calendar, and are all my original images.Order all 12 in 4x6 size, add a 4x6 frame that sits on your desk, and there you have it! Enjoy.

PS: Please do not sell or reproduce these images other than for personal use. Thanks!




20 November 2007

Oh Mah Gawd - does this yarn make my butt look big?

I have this week off and with the holidays near and Fall weather requiring outerwear, it is an inspirational time to start a new knitting project.

 As holidays go, the first thing that comes to mind is to head to the local yarn store and SHOP. Before I grabbed the keys, it occurred to me that I might have something in my stash that would suffice for the next project.
In no time, I found myself inventoring my entire stash.  Really inventoring the stash. It took me more than one day to do it. Included in inventory was all the yarn in the yarn closet. Not included in inventory was all my handspun/hand dyed yarn or novelty yarn sitting in various storage containers around the house.

As of today, 20 November, the inventory equals 92,275 yards of yarn.

At the rate of 1800 yards per sweater, that equals 51.26 sweaters. If I knit the equivalant of  4 sweaters a year, it will take 12.8 years to knit through this stash.

I am,by personal mandate, effectively, cut off from buying another skein for the foreseeable future.

Join me?
Are you finding yourself a bit on the heavy side when it comes to yarn? Feel free to use this Excel 2003  spreadsheet to check out your stash. If you have more than you can reasonably expect to knit in your lifetime, you are invited to join me in my Yarn Diet.

Knit with what you got!
-- Charisa

Update: 20 October 2008: I get a big f-ing F grade for this yarn diet attempt! Damn. I, perhaps have purchased less yarn than I might have, but nonetheless, purchased yarn.

19 November 2007

Trip down memory lane

My knit group, the Monroe Bitch and Bitch knitting group, went on an excursion last year (train trip to Portland to visit, what else, yarn shops). I realized I never gave a trip report. So, here you have it - pictures worth much more than words
(click pictures for big):

View from inside the train at dawn
View from inside the train, dawn

Lots of time to knit on the way down, work in progress
Work in progress  monkey socks underway

No shortage of inspiration at Portland Knitting Stores within walking distance of the train station.
Knit Knot Studio, Portland, Oregon
Knit Knot Studio, Portland  

Knit Purl, Portland, Oregon
Knit Purl and Shi Bui Maven Darcy demonstrates an Origami Shawl to Shirt

koigu wool wall at Knit Purl in Portland 

first sighting of "Transition Gloves" at Knit Purl

Habu Textiles Scarf

habu packages are so much fun

And, it's always good to know where you are (lunch)
before you can get there, you should know where here is

Everyone could use a little therapy:

Walking around the Pearl District:
  Pearl District Portland

As the beautiful Winter day closes, we make our way to Dublin Bay Knitting:
day closes 

Dublin Bay Knitting Store, Portland, Oregon
Dublin Bay Knitting Store, Portland

We head to the train station at night fall. When we are all re-assembled we view the stash.
Portland Oregon Train Station stash purchased on day trip

It was so much fun, we are going to do it again. Let me know if you are interested in joining us for our 2nd annual all-day knit trip to Portland in January.

17 November 2007

My 15 minutes of fame just extended to 20.

I didn't make it into the Knitty 2008 calendar, but I got honorable mention!

See page two of the non-winners.

Specifically, this one - Knit Hallowigs (me and my girls mugging):


14 November 2007

My 15 minutes of fame, kinda.

I caught someone's eye and I'm published somewhere other than my very own blog:

Spindle and Wheel - November 2007 Edition
my articles in this issue:

Charisa's Quick Knit Fix
Folk Art for Your Head

And,in the same issue -  I am delighted to share the limelight with Brooklyn Tweed himself! :
Jared Flood's Noro Scarf


10 November 2007

Nordic Knitting Conference Photos

Although procrastination nearly prevented it, I managed to get into Elsebeth Lavold's Viking Knits class at the Nordic Knitting conference in Seattle, early October 2007. Below are photos from the conference. There are a few photos of Vivain HØxbro, as she was teaching in the classroom next to Elsebeth's.

Best learn of the day: how to cable without a needle....which inspired the Gully Wash Socks!

Elsebeth Lavold:
Elsebeth Lavold at the Seattle Nordic Knitting Conference, October 2007

Some of her examples:
Elsebeth Lavold sweater examples: Viking Knits

Elsebeth and student:
Elsbeth Lavold and student

Elsebeth instructing a student about how to move cables on the ground, and do it without an additional cable needle:
Elsebeth Lavold hands-on instruction. Elsebeth, on right.

Vivian HØxbro:
Vivian HØxbro

Some of Vivian's examples for the class:
Examples of Knits from Vivian HØxbro's class at the Nordict Knitting Conference, Seattle

Student's work in Vivian HØxbro's class, Nording Knitting Conference, Seattle, WA Oct 2007

It seems that knitting and high tech are a perfect fit. A knitter shows another knitter an example of what they are discussing online - via her I-phone:
...go together like a horse and carriage

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