April 20, 2016

12 Scraptastic 2: The Next Generation


So I've got this thing for finding ways to use up all my scraps of leftover yarns. Hell, they don't even have to be mine, they can be yours -- I take anything, I'm the kitchen sink of stash giveaways. Or maybe the garbage disposal.

Here's my Scraptastic #1 pullover I made with leftover skeins of yarn, it was a blast.

The thing about this pullover, though, was that it needed quite a bit of each yarn to make it through each section. I even ran out a few times and had to come up with creative combos to hide it. (That's when I realized how many scraps I really had, that I could replace with a completely different yarn in an identical shade.)

But after this sweater I realized I had a problem. Most of my scraps were getting very short.  Some were not even more than a few feet!

I thought and thought "How can I take Scraptastic #1 to the next level?"

My scrapbusting obsession became a pretty awesome Pinterest board, and I discovered this:

An oversized pullover with ribbed drop shoulders -- and key, seemingly random stops and starts of color. I dragged my 15 pound scrap basket to the living room, grabbed a random yarn end and cast-on some largish number of stitches on big needles.

This time I wasn't going to care about 1) yarn weight and 2) yarn length. When a yarn was done I'd just start with a new one. ETA because I've gotten some good questions: Sometimes I paired yarns or tripled them even. Sometimes I knit with one strand of laceweight and then one strand of extra chunky. By using US11 needles the gauge was loose enough to accommodate these differences.

What I was going to care about was matching the stripes. This meant STEEKS. You see, if you do a body in the round, when you stop for the armholes you won't be able to work on the whole body at the same time. If you have enough yarn, this isn't a problem, you just do one side and then mirror the stripes on the other.

But I couldn't predict how much yarn I needed. I needed to make sure everything was done at once. This meant that I was going to make a big old sack.

The "steeks" are just 5-7 extra stitches you knit in that is so that you have something to cut through later. Here are the extra steek stitches starting at the armhole -- after cutting they become the sleeve seams.

I slip-stitch crocheted both sides of the cutting area to secure the stitches...

... dug out the scissors...

...and then I slipped it on. Awesome, it worked!

So, how was I going to match the sleeves? Check this out.

I knit both sleeves at the same time in the round, with two steeks across from each other. When you cut, you have two of the exact same sleeve stripe pattern!

At this point you might notice some pretty big differences between my inspiration and how this was coming out. First, it's in stockinette, not reverse stockinette. That was just a mistake, I totally forgot! :-p Second, you'll see that my sleeves are quite skinny.

Well -- they didn't start that way. I went for huge, just like the picture, but man, it just did not look good. See the left sleeve and compare where I decided to cut off the excess on the right sleeve:

Heh heh. I think you'll agree it's an improvement.

This was one of the most fun sweaters I've ever made. I looked forward to coming home and digging into my basket! You can see how some yarns don't even last half a row... there is so much going on and the surface area is just so big to show it off.

I know this shape isn't for everyone! And I know it isn't particularly flattering -- but I do know that when people see me in it, they wish they were in front of the fire with capuccino. It just evokes that cozy but fun feeling.

So, how do you think I did? Did I avoid the dreaded Pinterest Fail? 😎

See my Scraptastic 2 on Ravlery

In other news, I'd like to thank you all for your entries to win the Refined Knits by Jennifer Wood! The winner was Lou7 on Ravelry (congrats!), and her favorite pattern was Victoria. I'm sorry I couldn't send a copy of this lovely book to ALL of you -- but I bet Jennifer would be so pleased if a few of you joined Lou7 in knitting her pick.

I also wanted to tell all of you that I've really started posting a lot on Instagram, if you'd like to follow me there, I'd love to see what you are up to, crafting-wise and life-wise!

April 2, 2016

173 GIVEAWAY! My Faves from Refined Knits (And You Can Have Them Too!)

Man, I've been looking at some stellar designs from Jennifer Wood's (Woodhouse Knits) new book Refined Knits, and I'm pretty sure you'll like them as much as I do. If you're not familiar with her patterns, you'll be able to see a theme pretty quickly:

I'm going to call it "Peekaboo Style" (yes, I just coined that corniness!). Cables or lace peek out of corners, swaying with the body... and stitch themes either end abruptly, or start out of a beautiful nowhere.

Oh -- and the backs are to die for. Makes you want to twirl around while you are talking to someone, just so they'll see what's been hiding back there.

I want you to have this book. 

Seeing as I'm a sweater gal, I'm going to show you my favorite sweaters from Refined Knits, and you can tell me which one is YOUR favorite. Leave a comment with 1) Your favorite pattern from below, 2) Your Ravelry name or a way to contact you.

If you follow me on Instagram (@dayanaknits) or Ello (@dayanaknits), mention your name in the comment and I'll give you another entry. (Don't worry loyal Facebook peeps, I have a yarn giveaway for you guys next month!)

First up is Idril, just look at that fabulous peplum! My, my. I can't get over how well this fits.

This is Willa, a classic cable cardigan with a neat not-so-classic cable inserted into a saddle on the sleeve. It really pops in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter.

Here is Brielle. I'm not a fan of cardigans without closures, but this one looks so cozy AND sophisticated simultaneously that I'm intrigued. And of course, the back.

Back to gray for Victoria, a perfect example of Jennifer's "Peekaboo Style". TM 😏

And finally, returning full circle (literally) to the first picture you saw, here is the eminent Corinne, killer in killer red. Naturally the yarn is Madelinetosh Pashmina, you can see it from a mile away. How gorgeous!

Damn, I'm pretty see-through -- I started and ended with the same design, so clearly you know which one is MY favorite. Tell me yours! Comment by April 9 and you might win your very own copy of Refined Knits, or if you can't wait, buy it here. There's waaaaay more in there than I've shown you. Especially if you like scarves, cowls and shawls, check out all the patterns here on Ravelry.

(and don't forget to tell me if you follow me on Instagram or Ello (@dayanaknits) for an extra entry)



The contest is now over, and the winner is Louise (Lou7 on Rav). Go buy yourself a lottery ticket you lucky lady, and enjoy knitting Victoria:

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