September 10, 2014

23 When In Doubt Part. 2: Turn It Inside Out! -- Alma from Rowan Mag 55

I didn't know this was going to be a series, but I should have known from my tendency to treat patterns like flapjacks!  In Part 1 of this tale, I was in doubt about a pattern, and I Flipped It.

When I first saw Alma by Carlo Volpi from Rowan Magazine 55, it really jumped out.  I loved the combo of the chunky Summer Tweed with the skinny Fine Lace and how it all jumbled together.

I used Summer Tweed but replaced the Fine Lace with Kidsilk Haze.  It was my first time using Summer Tweed and I didn't enjoy knitting with it much, BUT the look is totally unique and the smell of the raw silk is a pleasure every time I throw this baby on.  I did hear that Summer Tweed might be on the out (according to the telltale sale bin in John Lewis stores in the UK), so if you like it, stock up just in case.

The stitch goes quickly because it's a slip-stitch pattern, but as I was working on it, I realized that I Very Much Preferred the "wrong side" of the pattern.

It was neater, smooth and looked like fancy colorwork without the actual "work"!  Hmm.  I didn't have to decide until seaming, so I carried on.  The pattern is a large rectangle and moves right along, I really enjoyed it.

All finished, I canvassed the crowds: our fabulous Rowan Love Ravelry group, my Facebook Page and... the final critic, my husband.  Most preferred the wrong side, and my husband said about the right side, "Yuck, that looks like the bottom of my shoe."  Dramatic, that is he.


This top fits right into current fashion: oversized, shapeless, decorative.  Over a mini-dress it's perfect!

Don't neglect to do the crochet edgings all around, they really make the piece.  It was my first time crocheting with Rowan Cotton Glace, and honestly after these edgings I caught a bit of crochet fever!  (If you like crochet, you might want to check out my collection of Japanese crochet patterns I am slowly putting up on a special Pinterest board.)

I crocheted the bottom a little tighter to bring the hem in like a bubble top.  So cute, I love it.



Image from The Seasoned Plate, mmm.

We've been busy popping champagne in the Dayana Knits household, because it is CONFIRMED, we are moving to a new life in Bar Harbor, Maine in December!  My husband will be starting an Assistant Professorship (he's a scientist and you can read a little about his research here) and I'll also be continuing in science, hopefully with a biotech twist.  We're excited for a million different reasons, but here are a few:

1. B. worked his ass off through untold hardship for this success, it is so well-deserved!
2. We are more than ready to shed the Urban Life and live by the sea.
3. Mount Desert Island (where Bar Harbor is), is the home of Acadia National Park, a real treasure.

4. Maine is a crafter's paradise, seriously.  Everyone crafts!  Your dog crafts!
5. We are finally growing up.
6. I do really freaking like blueberries.

Do message me if you know of any knitting peeps around the area, I'm always shy about integrating into a new community and would love to chat.

See my Alma, Inside Out on Ravelry

August 28, 2014

20 On My Needles Tour -- August 2014

Let's round up the WIPs, shall we?  If you follow my page on Facebook, you'll definitely see the different things I am up to here and there.  However, nothing is quite so pleasing (and yet so alarming) as piling them all on top of each other!


1.) The bottom two are not actually WIPs, as they are finished and are truthfully in their own To Be Blogged sub-pile.  The very bottom one is my adventure using the new Rowan denim replacement: Original Denim.

If you know anything about denim yarns, they are meant to act like old-school denim, shrinking and fading with washing.  This is imminently scary to any knitter, I'm sure, so I'll be taking you through how to choose a pattern that isn't written for Denim yarn and how to adapt it.

See my Cascade in Original Denim on Ravelry


2.) The second finished one in blue, green and black is probably my last piece from Rowan 55 for the year, Alma by Carlo Volpi.  I have always scoffed at the Spring/Summer editions of any knitting magazines, but I really adored this issue.

Can you guess how many designs I made?  It's totally a record for me (in clockwise order):  PrudenceWharf, MadonnaSally, and now Alma.  FIVE!

You can see my progress on Alma on Ravelry, but here is a cool spooky window curtain view to show off the alternation of thick Rowan Summer Tweed with Kidsilk Haze.


3.)  Okay, okay, you must have noticed that really hairy one.  The cross between 80's bling mohair and eyelash yarn?  Well, if you didn't, it's because you were frightened and your brain shut off.  I have 6 skeins of the most outrageous (both in form and price) novelty yarn: Ironstone Showstopper.

Yes, it stops shows... but in awe or disgust?

This super mega bulky yarn (like, 1 stitch per inch?!) is a gift from 9 years ago.  It's actually 3 strands of different yarns twisted together, and believe it or not, it really is a blast to knit.  I decided to go for a pattern that is actually designed for eyelash yarn from Drops.  I give you total permission to laugh at me!  I fondly refer to it as Chewbacca At His Birthday Party....


4.)  The little pink strip you see in the pile is SUPER SECRET!  Okay, it's not really a major secret, but I won't show you more, hee hee.  All I can say is that I'm making something from Alexis Winslow's new book Graphic Knits that comes out in October, using Rowan Pure Wool Worsted.  I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy and will be participating in a blog ring of patterns from the book, so stay tuned!

Check out all the patterns from the book on Ravelry!  Can you guess which one I am doing?


5.)  I'm excited about the beige lacy one simply because it has been a 6-year To Do chore, and I am FINALLY DOING IT.  Do you have knits that you love but just don't wear because there is something really wrong with them?  As in, something you can fix, but you cast-on something new every time instead?!  Well, this is on top of the pile.  My years-old Ravelry picture of the Embellished V-Neck from Vogue Knitting looks pretty good.  That's just a ruse.

There are actually quite a few things wrong here, but the major problem is that the upper arms are way too large (as has been noted on almost every Rav project for the pattern).  I feel like a football player when I wear this, and so it never gets worn.  I'm in the process of ripping out the sleeves and using my pick-up short-row top-down sleeve formula I've been using a lot lately.  This should be a fun post about Making Things Fit, which was always what I wanted my blog to be about.


6.)  I thought that the new Rowan Silkystones was shiny, but wow, seeing it on top of all these other things, it is positively glowing!  I had this yarn as a free sample for a long while, but only recently got enough to make a complete garment.  If you are an Addi Turbo fan, GO SOMEWHERE NOW AND BUY A BALL.  The yarn is a unique 50% silk, 50% linen mix, and I don't know what it is, but the feel of this yarn sliding across Addis is positively delicious.  The yarn is a bit hippie, in the sense that there are slubs and particles and all sorts of unexpected changes here and there... but still, I am loving every oily? slippery? slide-y? stitch.

I'm making a Bergere de France pattern from the 2013/2014 catalog (in French, too).  It's has really modern details (broken ribbing, drop sleeve), so I might hate it in a few years, but I'm loving it now so who cares?


7.)  Yes, finally!!!  I had to save the best for last!  You know I love very complicated knits, and so it isn't surprising that I fell for the crazy "cabled" Fretwork Pullover from the new Fall 2014 Vogue Knitting.

It turns out it's not cabled at all; you actually weave 4-stitch cords in and out for a cabled effect.  It's soooooo much fun, but I would only recommend it for the adventurous knitter.  It's not hard, per se, but the instructions peter out at the end of each panel, expecting you to figure out the logic on your own.  Me?  I love that kind of stuff.  I'm using a Bergere de France yarn stockpile I have from our local warehouse sale in the Montreal Area.  I'm going to miss it when I move... I'm still hoping to make a Big Firm Announcement soon on that, can't wait to finally pop some champagne!

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