Modification Mondays: Tropicana Jaden

Original Pattern: Jaden

Knitter Extraordinaire: Marceline (Rav ID, Blog)

Mods: So many! She knitted it in the round, added single crochet edging around the armholes, used the top half of this pattern for the shaping and ribbing, and did all sorts of mathematical gymnastics to customize her perfect fit.

What Makes This Awesome: It’s gorgeous. The colour, the fit, the style- this is such an amazing summer knit. It look so flattering, and I bet it’s comfortable.  I’m so impressed by Marceline’s determination to have the perfect custom tank top for summer- the way she used multiple patterns, adjusted her gauge, and really made this her own. And the results were so worth it!!!  Also, you really need to check out her detailed pattern notes- they are incredibly helpful. Full details on her project page .

Rose Armwarmers- My Obsession

I was perusing the new Rowan (issue 48) on their website, and came across these lovely things ( I apologize for the slightly blurry screen capture):

I love the idea of these: the elaborate, old-fashioned roses knit into a lovely, simple arm warmer. I’m obsessed with making these for fall! But- I do not want to buy an issue of Rowan (which is mucho expensive here in Canada) for only one pattern. Which leads me to wonder why Rowan doesn’t sell their patterns individually & online like so many other magazines, but whatever. Lamenting various realities will not get me closer to these mitts.  I’m thinking of searching out a lovely intarsia/fair isle rose pattern from something else, and incorporating them into the mitts. Sounds deliciously simple, right?

So I’ve been hunting through Ravelry patterns, looking for some lovely fair isle roses- but I feel like most of what I find is only 2 colour versions- the rose on a different colour background. I really like the many shades of pinks and reds in these roses, and the way it adds to that old-fashioned look. Any thoughts? Ideas? Have you seen anything like this in your travels through patterns? Any help would be welcome!

TTC Knitalong 2010

Another summer, another TTC Knitalong in Toronto!!  If you haven’t done it before, let me tell you: It’s SO MUCH FUN. This year our awesome swag bags were filled with wonderful goodies from Bernat, The Naked Sheep, The Purple Purl, Plymouth Yarns, Patons, and even some bags had knitting books donated by Simon & Schuster. It was a serious score. And then to top it all off, many of the yarn stores were having special discounts and sales for the TTC Knitalong crews! Talk about getting your fiber fix. If you live anywhere near Toronto and haven’t done the TTC Knitalong, you’re missing out. Even if you think you’re too shy, or don’t have any one to go with- don’t worry! You don’t need to bring a friend. You don’t need to be super outgoing. You just need to show up, and the mutual love of yarn and knitting pretty much takes care of the rest. It’s a very welcoming, fun day for knitters of all skill levels.

I was fairly restrained in my yarn purchasing this year- I bought with very specific projects in mind, which really helped me stay on budget and on task. Let’s get a closer look, shall we?

The two skeins of the Mission Falls superwash is to make my nephew a little Sheldon stuffie. The gorgeous Indigodragonfly skein (which is called “Oh Glenna and her Lemongrass Martinis”) is destined to become  these armwarmers. The lovely sunshine yellow skein of Tanis Fiber Arts yarn is going to become Duck Socks (well, probably many, many pairs of duck socks). As for the Malabrigo….I couldn’t resist the Pearl Ten colourway (that’s the brownish-grey skeins), and then I couldn’t leave the lovely, creamy natural skeins behind, either. Sigh. You can never have too much malabrigo laceweight!! Projects? Ahem. So much for staying on task! I haven’t quite decided, but probably a whisper cardigan, and a featherweight cardigan. Or maybe this cowl. Or….. we’ll see!!

Modification Mondays: Red Marjorie

Original Pattern: Marjorie

Knitter Extraordinaire: Alana (Rav ID)

Mods: Knitted it top down, using Barbara Walker’s simultaneous set-in sleeve method. Also changed the neckline, eliminated bust darts, and added some length.

What Makes This Awesome: I loooove this pullover. But I completely overlooked the original pattern when it came out, because of the neckline- crew necks make me look short. How short sighted of me! Alana changed up the neckline for a lovely scoop, and knitting it top down allowed her to try it on as she knitted. Plus most top down knits are raglan, so it’s great to see her using the set in sleeve. I’m a bit ashamed to say that I have never tried the top down set in sleeve method, and maybe this is the project that will inspire me to branch out my top-down skills!

FO: Athyrie

Pattern: Athyrie

Yarn: Mirasol Nuna in ‘Royal Purple”

Needles: 3.5 mm (US 4)

Mods: Eliminated two of the hexagon repeats, as I was concerned that the silk in the yarn would already yield a much longer garment, post-blocking.

Notes: I fell in love with this pattern, and I have a soft spot for convertible items of clothing and accessories (perfect for travelling!) but this was just a bit off the mark. Some of it was the pattern being a bit too general in it’s sizing, and some of it was my fault. The ‘my fault’ part: buttons. I was so excited to use a bunch of the vintage shell buttons I had, but I find that the results a bit too much of a gypsy sort of look. Not that it’s bad (it isn’t) but it’s not my style. I wish I had gone for more subtle, nearly invisible, buttons.

The pattern: the sizing is waaaaay to big for my arms (the photos hide how flappy the sleeves are. I don’t understand why fit issues never seem to show up in the photos- I swear it’s not all in my head!). I understand that the width is meant to give it the option of being a wrap, but I don’t think it then converts easily into a shrug for those with skinny toothpick arms. If I were to make this again (and I very well might, I love the idea of it so much) I would eliminate about 15-20 stitches of the stockinette in the middle.I also would probably eliminate another 2 hexagon repeats, so that it could still be worn as a vest (see the Flickr photos for better shots of when worn  as a vest) but with less fabric volume.

Otherwise, this was a fun knit. It’s a good thing that I’m determined to give lots of knitted gifts this year! I believe this lovely thing will go to someone who fits it better.

Also, I never gave an update on the  Agathe colour combo voting!! Option 3 won out, but not by much. And there were some excellent suggestions about possibly mixing it up based on some of the colours in that post- using pink stripes in with the black or brown, for example. So- I’ve placed my order for  option 3 colours, and when they arrive I’ll begin watching!!