Thursday, October 30

a knitted 1930's neck warmer ...

last week i finished off my 1930's knitted neck warmer and already i note i will need more than one, for it has not left my neck since i popped it on. 
when i met my man that night he remarked what a spectacular creation i was wearing. Our #4 asked as we tucked into our meal if i was wearing a knitted bib per chance. 
and indeedy, it is just like a knitted bib, 
for it covers the neck nicely at the back and drapes down the front to keep the chills at bay across the chest and catch any stray dribbles or crumbs that may come one's way.

i found this pattern via a lovely instagram dearie who kindly shared with me. 
i printed off the pattern and then went about my merry way trying to figure out what it was all about. for things were not quite adding up to making a whole lot of sense. so i threw caution to the knitty wind, and cast on, for surely how tricky dicky can a glorified knitted rectangle/triangle thing be.

you can find the original pattern here to study, or you can follow what i did below and my modifications to the pattern.

nitty gritty:
worsted weight yarn with a drape to it (i used under 2 skeins of cascade 128 superwash in colour 859 which is teal. there was 128 yds on each skein)
1 tres large button and 2 tres small buttons
knitting pins (i used one size 10 US and one size 9 US because i did not have a matching pair)

length, 25 inches.
width across widest part, 11 or 12 inches.
width across narrowest part, 6 or 7 Inches.

4 sts. to 1 inch in width.
do not slip the first st. of any row.

cast on 42 stitches or however many you require to make 11 or 12 inches width.

work in garter stitch for 2 inches, working into the backs of the stitches on the first row.

next row: knit 8, cast off 4 (for buttonhole), then complete the row.

on the following row, knit along to the cast-off stitches then cast on 4, and complete the row.

next row: knit along to within 3 stitches of the end (working into the backs of the 4 cast-on stitches as you come to them) then knit 2 together, knit 1.

*work 8 rows of garter stitch
next row: (decrease row) knit along to within 3 stitches of the end, knit 2 together, knit 1

repeat from * until your work measures 25 inches in length, (or you may prefer to make it a tad shorter) and you have approximately 6 or 7 inches width of stitches on your knitting pin.

cast off loosely.

below are the instructions from the pattern for figuring out placement of the button. i then also attached 2 little ones which pushed through my garter stitch holes quite nicely, because the corner edge was being pesky.

"Now try on the scarf, placing the long straight edge round the neck. The point of the sloping edge will fall in front in a V shape if the narrow end of the collar is brought round to the front of the neck, then the buttonhole edge of the wide part brought over the narrow end like a scarf. When the satisfactory position is found, mark the position on the narrow end for the button. If the button is placed about 2 inches from the long straight edge, and about 6 inches from the end, it will be about right." 

(and just to clarify, what i have written here are my modifications to a vintage pattern found here)

Friday, October 24

dull trickery ...

i have been quietly beavering away with Miss Ethel over the past few weeks, none of which, alas, i can show you for it is all tippity top secret squirrel stuff. 
i will of course be able to share as and when i am told i can share but for now 
i cannot, so i will not.

because of this secretive squirrel stuff taking up muchly part of my crafty life i fear i am quite dull and have nothing to say for myself. 
if this is the case then i most apologize for my dull ways and only ever talking about yarn, you will be forgiven if you wish to go home now. 

for those that are staying,
i am happy to announce my terrible case of second sleeve syndrome is over with and a second sleeve has been born. i have no idea if other sleeves are in me to be made, only time will tell.

 i cannot tell you how relieved i am to get the February Lady Sweater off my needles. 
can i also tell you, i am not even sure if i like her anymore, i am wondering if we need a little distance between us for a friendship to grow again, for i do love the yarn and colour tres muchly
i have washed her and laid her to dry, this has already made me see her in a new light, perhaps there is hope for us yet.

 my 'silly billy' backward yarn overs have opened up and a slight lace pattern has appeared. her bell like 3/4 length sleeves are not as 3/4's as i would have liked, they appear to be 1/2 sleeves. no one made me cast off my sleeves the length i did, only me and my impatient ways are to blame. 

i found some jolly nice reproduction vintage buttons but they were rather white, so they spent the afternoon bobbing up and down in the dregs of my man's tea and are now a rather dirty cream colour. of course if i wash them i have no doubt the tea will wash out therefore i will never wash my cardi ever again. i also decided as the edge of the cardi around the neck has a tendency to curl unless it is done up, i will add an edging of vintage ribbon down the inside opening so at least it will look quite peachy rather than pants if the little curl is pesky and persistent.

on t'other yarny notes, we have reached the time of year tis colder in mossy shed than outside. actually that is any time of year but its super duper noticeable when its cold and wet outside. thus neck warmers are required, for i have a giraffe neck and if i wore my hair down then it would be kept cozy but i do not for my hair attacks me unless it is pinned up in a bird's nest. therefore i have decided i wish to embrace a more utilitarian style of neckwarmer this year. ruffles will not do for what i wish is for it to fit perfectly flat under a coat so no need to be attacked by my knit wear in my shed and when trying to leave my shed. 

i am working on a pattern from the 1930's as i tippity type this. one a nice dearie shared with me, i will share it next week and last night i found another which has a turn down collar which, when a coat is put over the top actually looks just like a cardi collar underneath. i have noted it is made with short rows. yet another new knitty thing  to add to my growing knitting repertoire. i just have to find the perfect yarn to use. for neck warmers not only have to do a good job at keeping your neck warm but also a good job at not causing a rash from itchy ways. i would like my rolled neck warmer to be of the tweedy sort, but tweedy can mean scratchy. we have some at the store that are not so, but then they are not the right weight for the pattern and thus it would mean a clever bit of mathematical trickier if i were to convert the pattern to work with a dk and not a bulky.
i am wondering if i am all out of trickery this week.

Monday, October 20

smitten with my mittens ...

darn and double drat, 
i cannot find what i am looking for in my archives to share. this will teach me, for i am pants at archiving and thus i am now pants at sharing a link. therefore i will not share a link and just tell you about it instead.

so last winter Tara Dearie knitted some marvelous mittens (Maize pattern by Tin Can Knits) for our one skein holiday project at Tolt Yarn and Wool. well they were mittens of the utmost kind, in green wool no less. before i went on my travels home for the holidays i left a note pinned to them saying if ever they were lonely or looking for a home to be loved, i would surely take them in. upon my return from my homeland, said mittens were waiting for me! Tara had kindly thought they would like to live with me. the rest of the winter i wore them and quite sensibly made a string for them so i did not lose them. i did however spend most of my time getting tangled up especially in the car door because of my safety string. 

between then and now i came across a japanese craft book which had knitted mittens with a jolly bit of embroidery upon them. my heart skipped a beat, i had mitten envy like never before. i have carried the thought of embroidered mittens in my cogs for many a long time. every now and then i revisit the thought, ponder how i would go about such a task and then put my pondering thoughts away again.

until friday that is, when i had done my sorting out of woolly goodness to wear upon my hands, my head and around my neck these coming chilly days. i put on my green mitts and decided there and then we would risk it for a biscuit. 

first off i removed the string. then i decided to lengthen the wrist bit as it was a tad short for me by adding a few rows of crochet. 

one round single crochet, one round half double crochet and one round picot stitching into every other stitch below (all US crochet terms). 

i liked it tres muchly and it spurred me on. i rustled around in my stash for leftover yarns in pleasing colours and then i wound little bits around cotton reels to make them even more pleasing.

then i decided the key to successful 'twin' embroidery was to work on both mitts at the same time. i cut out a little hand scribbled flower template, pinned in place and did a bit of running stitch around the edge to give me an idea of where i would do my main stitches. 

i reversed the template and did the same on the other mitt. then with yarn in hand, i started to fill in the main flower with stem stitches, not particularly uniform, just filling in as i went.

oh and i must tell this too for those that may well try the same on their mitts. 

my mitt insert is all knowing and all seeing but is quite the silent fellow

the besty best thing i did was make a cardboard mitt insert, thus i could stitch away with no fear of my needle going through to the other side of my mitt and also keeping my fabric flat to work on.

i proceeded to carefully fill in my flowers, being sure not to pull tight. after which i pondered where to go, so using couch stitch i went off to the other end of the mitt near the cuff and added a side view of the flower, using the template from before, just chopping off 2 of the petals. once again reversing it for the other mitt and working at the same time. i then did a bit of natty french knotting, long stitches and some little stitches that are like giant single chain stitches and after all that, i stood back after midnight and i was without a doubt, smitten with my mittens.

i love my mittens so muchly now i fear i cannot wear them out of the shed in case of a loss. i told my man in a fire i would grab my mittens first, he said "what about me?" i told him he was a responsible adult and would need to look out for himself, for my mittens were quite helpless and would need me as they could not move on their own. 

i love my mittens so muchly i have pinned them on the wall next to the blue lady so they may be admired by any passing bods. 

i love my mittens so muchly i fear which of my children will inherit them, will they fight over them, will i have to embroider 4 pairs of mitts to make it fair or wait to see who looks after me best in my old age? 

i would like to do more embroidery upon knitted goodness, i am thinking thriftstore sweaters would like it too. however i am wondering if this was a moment, a moment when the crafty gods got together and shone down on me, everything aligned perfectly and my crafty hands will never quite be able to live up to this one truly glorious moment in my crafty lifetime ....