Sunday, September 21, 2008

Full of F.O.'s

I've got a parade of F.O.'s today. First off, these mittens were made with my handspun. The white is Jacob, and I'm not sure what the pink is. I spun one batt and it was fluffy and beautiful, so I bought more. But the second one was kind of greasy, and the third was so greasy that the yarn was clumpy, not at all like the first skein. So I decided I would make something I could felt. Well, technically, full. Get it? "Full" of F.O.'s?

The pattern is Cinchy Chunky Mittens, which I found on Ravelry. I made them a couple stitches bigger and taller then called for. The color blocking is because I didn't have enough pink to make them match, I think, I don't exactly remember.

Pre-felting photo. Notice the one on the right is a little taller than the other. Well, after fulling it was way taller than the other. I guess the white yarn shrank more than the pink.

So I felted just that one again with my next felting project. They match a little better, but the one with the white cuff is a bit short in the thumb and cuff and the other is too long in the fingers. Not a masterpiece project, but they are warm, and I learned a few things.

Next we have a shoulder bag I am very happy with and really needed.

I made this specifically to use the Musique multicolored yarn. I had tried to make a hat, but didn’t like the way it worked up. Then I noticed a lot of projects used the yarn for felting. So I designed this bag around the yarn. I used techniques from a pattern I used previously from ”Two Old Bags”, and was inspired by one I saw in “Spin to Knit”. I also got a lot of input from fellow Purl Jam knitters on Tuesday nights.

I swatched first because I wanted to see how the yarns would interact. I was also concerned about getting the shoulder strap the right length. I even made I-cord swatches, though ended up using a different strap.

I started at the bottom, about 110 stitches in the round. I alternated the green and purple, ending with green. A couple rows before the top I kfb’d 6 times on each side for the handles, putting each 6 on a holder. I cast off a little less than half the stitches in I-cord for the front edge (leaving a few for room for the handles on the sides), then changed to Musique for the flap. It doesn’t felt as much as the Cascade 220 so I decreased about 12 stitches total during the first half. For interest I did part of the flap in garter stitch. I picked up the handle stitches, increasing by one. I ran out of green, so I cast on the other side in purple, and grafted in the middle. I sewed up the bottom and the handle, wove in ends, and fulled it in the washer with a pair of heavy pants.

I’m really happy with the way it turned out, just as I envisioned it. My only regret is that the flap is a couple inches too tall, and still flares out a bit. But when the bag has stuff in it a little more of the purple stripe shows.

Here are before and after fulling photos for scale. I've tried to size the photos so the rulers are the same size. As TeeKay told me, Cascade 220 loses a lot more in height than width. I experienced that with my previous bag, which is why I swatched so carefully.

Finally, here is a sweater four plus years in the making. It is from the first Stitch 'N Bitch book. I was still learning a lot about knitting back then and sweater was pretty ambitious. I did swatch, and yet the sweater is way bigger than I was in 2004. I probably didn't read the measurements, just decided I was a size large.

I actually knit all the parts back then, got stalled due to big life changes, and then got it out and blocked the pieces last year, I think. But it could have been as early as 2006. Then it sat in the the UFO pile. I pinned it together a couple months and ago and didn't like it at all for a lot of reasons. But I didn't want to frog it after all the dang knitting. It was almost like an instant project, if I could just finish it up. So I pulled out the book and learned how to assemble a sweater. It was kind of amazing watching the side seams go together so nicely. The sleeves were way to long so I cut a couple inches off the bottoms and re-cast off. I crocheted the edges and ran out of yarn, so the button plackets are not done quite to pattern.

Overall, I'm not thrilled. The fabric is too loose, I should have used smaller needles. It is too short in the back, which is weird. The finishing is a bit crappy, especially at the shoulder seams. The sleeves are still a bit too long and too wide. But it has grown on me in the past couple months. I really like the color, and it looks okay on. This picture is not the greatest, and the shirt underneath not the best. It will get worn, in large part because of the buttons. If it wasn't for these cuties, the sweater would still be a U.F.O.

Well, that and my summer knitting goals. I'm going to try to do my check-in on those tomorrow.


Jessica said...

Those kitty buttons are the best! How adorable. :)

Kristen said...

Congratulations on finishing your cardi. It looks like a comfy go-to sweater, and those vintage-looking cat buttons are great!