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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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  1. Nice! I am tempted to make the same pattern with scraps and leftovers :)

    1. Oh yes, and I want to SEE! You can use up thinner scraps, too, by pairing them up.

  2. Yours is so much prettier than the original, and it looks great on you! Also, that property and building are awesome.

    1. Thanks! That's the kind of compliment that I'm always trying to achieve -- better than the original!

  3. Fabulous sweater. Amazing setting (and photos). Have fun in Hawaii.

    1. Thanks -- I've been to Kauai and Big Island before, so I'm more than READY!!

  4. I think this is one of your most successful knits and I also think that pattern designers should get you to test their patterns before publishing them. Your changes always improve them.

    1. I agree!
      -- stashdragon

    2. Ha, thank you both! You know -- I don't even need to test knit them, I can just look at a model wearing the piece and say, "Nope, THAT'S not ideal". And with certain designers it's the same thing every time... like Rowan, "Nope, that upper sleeve is waaaay too big." Sigh!

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Scraptankulous AND fantabulous! I may have to send you my yarn remnants . . . you would make much better use of them than I have managed to do so far.
    -- stashdragon

  7. So Win Win Win. Your colors are so beautiful and so you. Hard to believe from a bag of scrap! Congratulations!

  8. Great top! But where did you get the length counter from? That would be so useful!

    1. I got it at Knit Picks, love the thing. The company is Berkeley if you need to Google it to find it somewhere else.

  9. Very interesting! Thrifty and imaginative with lovely results. That neighbouring house is quite the backdrop. Also envy your length counter.


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