September 25, 2016

12 Next Up in My Scraptastic Series: ScrapTANKulous!







You guys know how much I love using up scraps. In fact, if you find yourself sinking in a quicksand of scraps, send them my way -- I'll use yours up, too! That's sort of how this new piece, "Scraptankulous", came about. Naturally, the most satisfying use of scraps is of the ones left behind from previous projects.

Like the first two pullovers in my Scraptastic Series:


See my Scraptastic 1 on Ravelry

See my Scraptastic 2 on Ravelry


But there is also a satisfaction in finding a way to use up someone else's scraps -- like the mysterious Loch ScrapNess I found stuffed in a $5 bag at a Goodwill thrift shop:




If the world is made right, the wonderful person who donated this Noro-like pile of bits and bobs will see this post and bask in the glory of the old adage "one man's trash is another man's treasure." (Oh wise one, what lovely piece did you make before I did?)




The reason I say it's "Noro-like" is because the colors don't seem to be quite like the famous self-striping Noro yarn -- after all, there was no poopy brown in the colorway! Or... ooooh... maybe these are the colors the other knitter rejected in the Noro colorway, spooling them away for exclusion. Maybe I had I found my anti-matter knitter -- my anti-knitter -- who loves and uses all the colors I don't!

The good news was that all the scraps were wool, which meant that with a little friction, I could splice the pieces together into a big ball of color. I unwound each piece and matched the color transitions as best I could.




I ran the "magic ball" (the term for this technique) through my handy length counter and found I had 316 yards to work with. This wasn't enough for a garment, but it was enough if I could stripe it with something else!

To find a pattern, I started at the suspected source: Noro. Almost right away I decided on the #15 Multidirectional Cap Sleeve Top" by Irina Poludnenko, using some solid stashed mercerized cotton as my contrast garter stripe, instead of another self-striping yarn:




The construction was just too cool to not try out:

  1. Make rectangular panels for front and back.
  2. Pick up stitches along the side of one panel....
  3. ...add stitches for the shoulders...
  4. ...pick up stitches down the side of the other panel.
  5. Continue knitting the sides, using short rows to form the sleeve caps.
  6.  Bind off at the side seam with a 3-needle bind off.






I really recommend the pattern, it will be a real joy for you to watch it come alive, I guarantee it. I did have to make two major changes though, which you can read and follow on my Ravelry project.

First, as many knitters have pointed out, the sleeve caps are too roomy as written. I had to fiddle with them a couple of times before I got them right, but managed to slim them up by adding many more decreases than recommended.






Second, the bottom of the tank originally stops at the panel edge. Not only is this too short, it's also messy where all the pieces match up. I fixed this by picking up stitches along the hem edge (about every other stitch) and knitted downwards in garter stitch.




You might be wondering about the Blair Witch background for my photo shoot -- that's the property behind my house I've described a few times. It's actually my first foray inside for a knitting shoot. Luckily, the owner fixed the floor, which had fallen through with the fire that destroyed the main building.








A Rowan-esque photo shoot, if I may say so myself!


See my Scraptankulous on Ravelry


In other news, what's going on with me, the intermittent blogger?

  1. Many of you have asked about my elbow tendinitis, thanks so much for your thoughts! I've figured out a way to manage it by frequently changing tasks. As a result, I have an impressive array of new beaded jewelry pieces. :-) I will be writing a post solely about beading, actually, just to show you what is taking up that allotted percent of obsession.
  2. After finishing my afghan (from my last post), I felt some googly eyes staring me down from my work-in-progress basket (WIP). Scraptankulous is actually one of 6 new finished projects, wow! I STILL have 3 more things in that basket, and I will be trying to finish them before anything new hops on the needles.
  3. My husband and I are finally taking a long vacation! It's been about 5 years, believe it or not. We'll be in Maui for 2 weeks in November and I'm signing off social media for that time.
  4. My Facebook Page has surpassed 15K likes, pie oh my! If you haven't visited, it's a great place to catch limited-time only free patterns and many other patterns that I dig up like a truffle pig. When I get to 20K likes I'm going to have a great big giveaway of yarn and pattern books, so come on by.

See you next time! I've missed you!!



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July 3, 2016

24 No, Seriously -- I've Knit Yet Another Afghan!








Back in 2006 I named the following Ravelry project this: Aghan (And I Will Never Make Another Afghan!). I knit it to procrastinate writing my Ph.D. thesis -- and by the end I hated it so much that I finished my thesis first!




Well, I have been absolutely ignoring this credo lately. You know how people join clubs to make 52 pairs of socks a year, or 356 washcloths? I need to join an afghan a year club, it's gotten that bad.

Here's my proof:



My latest opus is the 2nd Martin Storey KAL from Rowan -- and somehow it came out so beautifully that it might be the best one of all. It's a free pattern you can get here.




Naturally, I changed it a lot!




The first thing to go was the color scheme. First off, I didn't like any of the Rowan color choices, and second, I wanted something more muted. All of the Rowan afghan KALs use the yarn Pure Wool Worsted and the colors I used (Mustard and Moonstone) were actually the ones I wanted for the first KAL, but they were backordered!




So back then, I went monotone instead:




Second, as you can see from the picture above, the first afghan was too short. Since the square format and gauge were identical in the 2nd KAL, I knew I need to add a couple of rows for length. I decided to go 10x5 instead of 8x6.




I also devised a way to keep my sanity when trying to block all these wonkily different sized squares to the same shape! THANK YOU, DUCT TAPE.




The third thing I changed was the order of squares. As you'll notice, there is a mix of solid and colored squares, and I really didn't like how they piled up in the Rowan scheme. I went rogue.
It's not quite symmetrical by length, but you can't even tell in the real blanket. The middle makes me OHM, that's all that matters!


OHMing in Torrey Pines State Park, CA

Let's see... oh yeah, there is always another change lurking somewhere in my projects! Because I had to guess how much yarn I needed, it turned out I had too much Mustard and too little Moonstone by the time the border came around. I improvised by using 4 rows of yellow to every 2 rows of grey, instead of 2 and 2 like in the pattern.




Naturally, the border was a pain in the ass! I was so impressed that the last Rowan KAL had a knitted on border, they regressed back to their old ways by requiring a sew-on one again. I was too lazy to figure out a mitered corner, so I slaved through the strips and contemplated using them as nooses more than once.




Trying to be zen about it...

It was pretty painful, but in less ways than expected. If you remember my last post, I've been battling elbow tendinitis, and found that I could knit with the yarn in my left hand (continental-style) and still make this whole afghan. I can't believe I did it, actually!







So what do you think? Which afghan wins the Dayana-Will-Never-Do-Another-Afghan-Again-Prize? (mobile users, click for higher res photos!)


My Martin Storey KAL #1

My Scheepjes CAL


My Kaffe Fassett KAL

My Daisy Stitch Afghan

My Martin Storey KAL #2


See my Martin Storey KAL #2 on Ravelry


Leave a comment here!

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