Let's talk about the yarn stash. Everyone has one (and no I don't believe those people who say they don't). My stash is made up of four different types of yarn: the splurges/urges ($$$), the oh-my-god-this-is-on-sale-I-must-buy-its ($$), the this-is-so-cheap-and-questionable-and-I-really-shouldn't-buy-it-but-I-wills ($) and the one-knitter's-trash-is-another-knitter's-treasures (free!).
Here's a story about my yarn from the Canadian dollar store chain, Dollarama.
They actually have a yarn brand, believe it or not. And each ball is individually packed in plastic with vague fiber contents and absolutely no yardage. Thank goodness I have this:
|These are so awesome, I got mine at Knitpicks.|
I was intrigued by the so-called "Promofil Cotton Blend", which felt like mostly cotton (as I ripped into the bags at the store) in squeakiness and weight. In fact, this stuff is actually a tweed, with flecks of, let's call it... "unknown fiber".
I'm not afraid to say it: I love a dirt-cheap bargain. I KNEW this wouldn't be the greatest yarn, not close, but just because it was cheap and had a lot of cotton, I started casing out stores all over Montréal to stockpile the magenta and mustard colors. You see, they usually receive a box with a bag of all different colors, at most two of the same one in a bag. So you have to be crafty. I even found a cardboard box in a storage area of the store and ripped it open to find more, shhh.
As usual with stash, I didn't have any plans for the yarn until I saw the new Spring/Summer Rowan Mag 55, which is chock-filled with stripey cotton knits.
I started out by trying to make this cute peplum tee, Cove, but my tension was a bit off:
|See Cove by Grace Melville on Ravelry|
So, you know what I did? I just flipped through the mag until I found a yarn that had the exact tension as my Dollarama yarn! The winning match was Rowan Handknit Cotton, and I had three options.
Kaffe Fassett's free pattern Lithuania was too 80s and boxy:
Sarah Dallas's Boardwalk was cute but too cropped... and what's with all these huge sleeves, really?
|Download Lithuania here|
|See Boardwalk on Ravelry|
But Lisa Richardson's Sally looked like fun.
And it was... I highly recommend this pattern. It's fast because of the worsted weight yarn, and very entertaining. You knit sideways from sleeve to sleeve.
NOTE: When knitting side to side, remember it is the row tension that matters for once, NOT your stitch tension!
Knitting side to side usually results in a boxy shape, but the pattern is clever and includes short rows to shape the waist.
In retrospect, I should have created my very own unique barcode instead.
As usual, I made a few mods. I didn't like the striped collar and hem, so I made it solid. Those stripes had too much of an athletic feel with the colors I chose.
(Or maybe the "athletics" I'm referring to is Quidditch)
Then there were really too many stitches picked up at the hem, it was far too floppy. So lazily, instead of picking up less, I decreased 24 stitches (by sk2psso to keep the 1x1 rib) evenly around after 6 rows of ribbing. I like it, the decreases are almost like little cables.
After the photoshoot I realilzed I was annoyed with my sleeve "corners", and I kept trying to push them down. Well, that's a big alarm bell for me, I hate repeatedly fixing anything I am wearing.
I took some elastic thread.
And wove it through the hem, making a knot and gathering it.
Exactly what I wanted!
This was a lighting-fast knit, and Dollarama petroleum yarn or not, I'll definitely get some use out of this $7.50 top.
But to offset the price, I pair it with my Veuve Cliquot earrings, made by my husband from two very special bottles of champagne (by the way, it is $72 per bottle in Quebec, and $42 in New Orleans!! grrrrrr).
|Photo from bonjour-sadness.blogspot.com|
I have made a few other incredibly cheapo knits.
My $4 neon acrylic Cropped Vest (Mari Lynn Patrick, Vogue Knitting)
My $16 Dollarama Striped Tunic (Wenlan Chia, Vogue Knitting):
My $3 thrift shop unknown yarn Twist Front Top (Mari Lynn Patrick, Vogue Knitting):
But stay tuned for the splurge/urge ($$$) part of Mag 55, it's coming, too!
Here are some sneak peaks:
|Madonna by Marie Wallin|
|Wharf by Gemma Atkinson|
See my Dollaramy Sally on Ravelry