Monthly Archives: February 2014

A success nonetheless

Well, the end of the Olympics came and went and I didn’t have my dress done.  The Ravellenic Games generously gives you until the end of the night on the last day of the Olympics, but at 1am the next morning I was still working.  I got real close.  I still had 12 buttons to sew on, and all my ends to weave in.  But it’s as close as I could hope for, without actually crossing the finish line.  I could have worked on it more over the weekend, but I decided to be social instead.  But.. it’s done now!

My Rav page here.

Pattern: #21 Lace Dress by Shirley Paden from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2008

Yarn: Rowan Milk Cotton DK in Barley Sugar, about 9.5 skeins.

Needles:a zillion different ones, US 4 through US 8

Start Date: February 7, 2014

Finish Date: February 24, 2014

Goodness, a lot of notes.  I thought I got gauge, but while I was knitting it the skirt seemed huge.  The skirt is worked over a constant number of stitches, but you switch needle sizes to bring it in as you get closer to the waist.  I switched needles a little bit early to bring it in faster, and then I left off the last repeat.  I didn’t want my skirt to be four or so inches longer than it is.  (Don’t tell, but I didn’t block out the skirt!  The weight of it was kind of enough.  And I didn’t want to wait for it to dry.)

The bodice was a little more tricky.  I didn’t want the ease that was in the pattern, so I went for a smaller size in the top.  I am something like a 38″ bust, so not a size S by any means, but I did it anyway.  My row gauge in the shetland bead pattern was off apparently, so I had to do much fewer rows than in the pattern.  I just kind of measured every so often, and made sure that it would hit the measurements when stretched out horizontally and vertically.  Decreasing and increasing in pattern was a little tough, but it was close enough.  I think I did one fewer set of increases because the top was already feeling a little long.  When I tried just the bodice on, it seemed a little too snug.  Like the lace was really stretched out over my bust.  But it blocked to the measurements in the pattern, and wanted to stretch out even more than that!

For the belt/sash, I just worked until the ends touched around my waist, and not to length.  I sewed the belt onto the skirt, easing in the extra fabric.  The pattern calls for basting waste yarn through the top of the skirt and scrunching the skirt until it was the same size as the belt, then sewing them together.  I tried to do this, but had trouble evenly scrunching the skirt stitches.  Instead I just divided the skirt into about 16 even sections and then did the same with the belt.  Then just lined up the markers and eased in each section.  It just worked out that I was basically able to sew one skirt stitch to one purl ridge of the belt (it’s in seed stitch, so every two rows).  I tried on the skirt at that point, and it was huge!  A little worrisome.

But the worrying was for nothing, because when I sewed on the bodice, it all came together.  The bodice was no longer too small, and the skirt was no longer too big.  Crazy how that happens.  I used the same method as above for sewing the bodice onto the belt.  The only thing left was the crochet edgings.  I had a couple headaches here, and I was in a race against time!  The pattern somewhat vaguely says to slip stitch in each stitch of the armhole.  But you know, it’s an armhole, so it’s mostly rows and not stitches.  I just did one in every row.  But then the next round of crochet is doing a scallop (shell?) stitch, and with my slip stitch every row, my scallops were really close together.  I had to rip out and find the right ratio.  I ended up skipping two stitches in between shells and single crochets instead of the one in the pattern.  As it is my shells are a little close together, but I am living with it!  And maybe there is an extra shell in one armhole. (Shh!)  Plus, this yarn is super splitty.  It is made up of like a billion plied strands and snags really easily.  I had to stop carrying the project in a zippered bag because the zipper teeth would snag it.  And no, I wasn’t accidentally zipping my project.  This made the double crochets difficult.  Maybe especially since I’m not an advanced crocheter.  I don’t know if there are any tricks to avoid that.

Relatively the crochet edging for the button placket was super simple.  It bothers me a little that in these pictures the buttons at the waistband are a little wonky.  Or maybe the belt doesn’t line up perfectly in the middle.  Oh well.

I guess that’s all she wrote.  If I wear this for a formal event, I will get a better dress or slip to wear under it.  For these pictures I just wore a beige-ish sundress that I had at home.  It works surprisingly well, but there are some buttons and elastic shirring in the back that bulges a bit through my lace dress.

Yay!  Completed!  Did you guys cross the finish line?





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Too busy to blog…

… because I’m trying to knit a dress in two weeks!

The pace hasn’t been so bad, but now that I’m getting close to the end I am starting to worry a bit. The easy part was the skirt where I just followed the chart and cranked through. The bodice was a real pain in my ass because you have to decrease and increase in lace pattern and also because my row gauge was drastically different than the pattern so I needed to make adjustments as I went. And then remember those adjustments when knitting the mirroring sections.

But now that’s done and blocking. Though I still don’t know if it’ll fit… I’ve moved on to working on the seed stitch sash/belt. 30 inches of seed stitch on a size 3 needle should go quickly right? Right?!?

I’m working on it at spare moments at work…


Are you guys gonna make your goals?

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FO: Heart ring pillow

Valentine’s Day isn’t really a thing for me.  It’s kind of nice to do a little something for it, but I generally don’t put much stock in the holiday.  Part of it is because I have been single for most Feb. 14ths.  And now that I’m in a relationship I don’t want to do a total 180 and be into the holiday now.  Anyhoo.

I have had this pattern on my radar since it was first published in Knitty in 2008.  I thought it would be cute/interesting to use this anatomically shaped heart as a ring pillow for a wedding.  Since I have a wedding to think ahead to, I decided to crank it out.

My Rav page here.

Pattern: Heart by Kristin Ledgett

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll in Burgundy and Knitter’s Brewing Company in Red.

Needles: US 2.25mm

Start Date: Feb. 1, 2014

Finish Date: Feb 4, 2014

I didn’t make any mods.  My gauge was a little tighter than the pattern so my heart is a little small.  It fits perfectly in the palm of my hand.

In terms of a ring pillow?  Yeah, I don’t know.  Maybe we’ll use it, or maybe not.  I put some ribbon through the ventricles to keep the rings on.  I will replace the ribbon with red ribbon if we actually use it.  I think the main reason it wouldn’t happen is that we are thinking about not having a wedding party, so wouldn’t do the traditional aisle thing.

I planned on also making a little mini version of the heart, using this pattern.  It’s also a free pattern.  I ultimately didn’t want to take time away from my Ravellenic Games project.  Maybe later.

Have a great day, if you celebrate or not.  I hope you don’t get stuck in traffic!  The last few years have been traffic hell in Los Angeles on VDay!

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Chemo Hats

I am chugging along on my lace dress.  I am actually almost 50% through my yarn, so hopefully I am 50% through my project!  The skirt is almost done.  The top of the dress might be a little more tricky since it needs to fit a little better.

But I never finished showing you guys the rest of my chemo hats.  I made these all out of Caron Simply Soft to send to Halos of Hope.

One is using the Barley hat pattern by tincanknits.  This is part of their free collection of simple projects.  The hat was super quick.

I think it actually looks pretty cute on.  Not that you can tell from these bathroom self-photos.  This one is in Dark Country Blue and the color is most accurate in the bottom photo.  Maybe I’ll have to make another one for me.  For the record, I made the medium Adult size which loosely fits my large head.  But I didn’t swatch, so maybe that’s not helpful.

I also made two of the Magnolia hats.  This is a free pattern by Maria Socha.  I made one in Light Country Blue and then a second one in Country Blue.  I used a Raveller’s modifications to do the ribbing so that it flows into the lace pattern.  But I wasn’t paying very much attention on the first one and the ribbing didn’t line up at all!  Whoops.

Here it is on:

More beautiful photography:

I’ve been really rethinking wearing hats.  I always assumed I didn’t have a hat face, but I am liking them more and more.  Again, don’t judge that based on these photos. 🙂

And that’s the end of my hats for Halos of Hope.  I sent in four of them.  But I have been kind of inspired by Eve to do a chemo cap every month.  It doesn’t take much time out of my knitting schedule but is really a nice thing to do.  I’ve been kind of lax on charitable knitting, so maybe it is time to motivate.  It’s also a nice chance to try out new patterns.  I would be bored if they all had to be plain stockinette!



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It is upon us once again.  The Olympic Games have begun, which means the Ravellenic Games have also started.  As of two hours ago, we can cast-on our projects.  I am not very hardcore, and haven’t started my project just yet.  You know, there’s that pesky little thing called a day job.  But sometime before lunchtime I might cast-on all 224 stitches of my project.

I am going to be making the #21 Lace Dress from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2008.  I posted about it a couple weeks ago.


It will theoretically be my rehearsal dinner dress, or maybe just a pretty dress that I can wear any time.  I am using stash yarn (!), Rowan Milk Cotton DK in Barley Sugar.  I did my swatch early like a good knitter.

I kind of wish it was in “white” white, but that’s okay.

I think I’ll be able to finish it in the 17 days of the Winter Olympics.  In my mind it is going to be a snap, but I probably need to be more realistic.  I knew I should have waited to cast on a new sweater until after the Games, but I was too eager, and now I have a new Svalbard in progress that I am going to have to put aside for a couple weeks.  It is almost sad how much of a monogamous knitter I am!

Are you starting anything for the Ravellenic Games?  I’m not joining a team or anything, just doing my own thing this year.  You?


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FO: Chance of Showers

It’s done!

For just three skeins of yarn, it seemed like it took me a while to complete it.  But I love it.  It is the perfect weight sweater to wear in Southern California.

My Rav page here.

Pattern: Chance of Showers by Heidi Kirrmaier

Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo in Marte, just under three skeins

Needles:US5 and US 4

Start Date: December 21, 2014

Finish Date: January 20, 2014

Mods:  I was worried about running out of yarn, so I did four repeats of the lace on the edging instead of five.  I had just like 12 grams of yarn left, so I am glad I didn’t go any further.

(Obligatory short rows picture)

I did make some modifications on the sleeves.  As written, my sleeves were huge!  I extended the stockinette portion to about three inches.  Then I decreased a bunch of stitches before starting the lace portion.  I decreased 10 stitches (to 66 stitches).  Then after two repeats of the lace, I decreased 8 more stitches.  And a row before binding off, I decreased another 4 or 6 stitches.  This created the more fitted sleeve that I was looking for.  This is in addition to going down a needle size for the lace.

I am pretty much in love with this yarn.  It is so soft and smooth and the price is not too bad either.  It is currently my new favorite yarn.

Also, my new favorite sweater!  And really well written pattern.  I just started a new sweater that has such convoluted directions that I am missing how straight forward this one was!

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