Archive for August, 2006

lace panel jacket

Having finished another project so soon after the Prairie Tunic, I feel almost like a real knitter! Well, I actually started this back in December or January (whatever), but here’s my sort-of-self-designed Lace Panel Jacket. I used the top-down method and sleeve shaping recommended by Cosmicpluto and modified it to include the lace pattern from this shawl, that I knit for my grandmother this Christmas. I was going to stop it at a regular cardigan length, but I’m glad I made it into more of a jacket. Although I’d been working on this jacket since last winter, I was well into the Prairie Tunic this spring before I realized that the two designs were VERY similar. Apparently I have a thing for garments with two lace panels in the front and one in the back.

But now that my summer projects are finished, I can get crackin’ on my cabled turtleneck. I had a heck of a time finding size 10.75 needles, and the plastic ones I purchased are too slow and they’re driving me nuts. I ordered a different set, which I hope will be better. Until then I will continue to fight with my first pair of socks. Although at this point, a “pair” of socks might be wishful thinking.

Edited to add TUTORIAL:

This really isn’t a pattern…but here’s what I did to create my Lace Panel Jacket…

I followed Cosmicpluto’s top-down raglan cardi pattern, using her gauge, sizing, etc., but I’m sure you could modify this tutorial to work with any top-down cardigan pattern.

I used 10 balls of Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora and size 8, 24” circular needles.

I cast on for the neckband and worked in seed stitch for 1 inch.

I then started placing markers for the seed stitch border, the 3 lace panels, and the sleeves. I worked 5 st in seed stitch on each end for the border, 12 st for each lace panel on the fronts of the jacket, and 24 st for the larger lace panel on the back of the jacket. On the fronts, I placed the 12 st lace panels right next to the seed stitch border, but you’ll have to do a little math in order to center the 24 st lace panel on the back, depending on how many stitches you cast on.

The lace pattern I used is from Classic Elite Yarns free Temptation Wrap pattern.

Row 1 (WS): purl
Row 2 (RS): k1, *yo, k2tog; rep from * across.
Row 3 (WS): purl
Row 4 (RS): *ssk, yo; rep from * across to last st, k1

Make sure you’re only working the lace pattern within the markers you placed for the lace panels. Whenever you’re not working the lace pattern, you’re working in stockinette st, while following the top-down directions for increasing the raglan sleeves.

Continue this way, trying on as you go, until it’s time to join the sweater under the arms. After joining under the arms, I continued knitting the lace panels and stockinette for 17”, then switched back to seed st to create a 1” border at the bottom, so my total length was 18” from under the arm. I omitted the buttonholes and side shaping, but compensated by increasing the length of the cardigan and tying it with a belt.

I wanted ¾ length sleeves, so I followed Cosmicpluto’s directions for picking up stitches and knitting the sleeves, decreasing every 5th row until I had 48 st left. I then knit straight until the sleeve was 12” from under the arm, then switched to seed st for 1” for the cuff, resulting in a total of 13” from under the arm.

For the belt, I cast on 9 st and knit in seed st until I had 56”.

After finishing and blocking, I realized I also needed to add belt loops, which will probably be short seed st strips that I’ll tack onto the outside of the jacket. And I will also probably sew in a hidden hook and eye closure in the front, just to make sure it stays closed.

If anyone actually decides to try this, leave me a comment and let me know!

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new projects

The lace panel jacket/cardigan is blocking, so it’s time to get something else on the sticks! It took 2 trips to the yarn store today, but I now have yarn and needles for 2 new projects! I started swatching for the Cabled Turtleneck form Rebecca 28. I decided to use Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky…and just happened to find it for 50% off! I had to order 2 extra balls online, but didn’t much care after getting 12 balls of the stuff for FIFTY PERCENT off. I won’t be knitting this one during my Thursday night knitting club, lest I spill beer or coffee or rhubarb pie on my soft white yarn, so I needed something else to keep my hands busy. I’ve been wanting to knit socks—not because they interest me that much, but just to see what all the fuss is about. I do like having a small project going at the same time as a larger one, anyway. I bought some Koigu sock yarn in a dark raspberry colorway, and I think I’m going to try this toe-up pattern .

(Also, after wearing the Prairie Tunic for a solid 6 hours, I think I might kinda like it. I also gave the Razor Cami another night out and I might be digging that one a little more, too. I guess I won’t avoid lacey cami patterns altogether…)

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on a mission

I’m trying to decide what my next project will be. I still have my lace panel cardigan/jacket to finish, so I’m telling myself I’ll do that before I start something brand new. (One sleeve to go, so no excuses!) Although I haven’t really worn the Prairie Tunic yet, (still hoping that maybe I’ll fall in like with it) I am becoming increasingly determined to knit something that I LOVE. I think I’ve been making a couple mistakes when choosing patterns. I’ve found that I’m easily intimidated by certain sweater patterns so I used to wimp out and knit shugs, instead. Turns out, I don’t wear shrugs! I think I also need to start considering what types of garments should actually be made out of yarn. Little lacey cami? Eh, maybe not so much. Cabled turtleneck sweater? Now that might make more sense. I purchased Rebecca 28 quite a long time ago, specifically for this cabled turtleneck pattern. The seaming scares the heck out of me, but if I’m very brave, and if I knit it in off-white, I don’t see how I could go wrong. (Famous last words…?)

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prairie tunic

The Prairie Tunic is complete. I enjoyed knitting this one. I loved the yarn I used: Dale of Norway Stork. It’s 100% cotton and very soft. The gauge was small compared to what I usually work with, since I used size 4 needles, but I think it resulted in a more wearable garment. On that note, I’m not sure if I’m thrilled about the way it looks on me. Could be the color, could be the fit, could be the way my hair was all disheveled when I first tried it on. Who knows? But I have a habit of NOT wearing the items I knit. I think I’m starting to make better choices when it comes to patterns, but I have yet to knit something that I’m just dying to wear out in public. Nonetheless, I’ll be wearing it to my family picnic this Sunday. The fam is always good for a few oohs and ahhs. Patronizing as it may be, I’ll take it.

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knitters in da house

It’s a good thing I moved into a more spacious apartment. How else would I have had room for all the knitters that were in here this weekend?! Kelly had the “good fortune” to be my first houseguest…on account of her life exploding. But I happened to have a spare set of keys and an air mattress so she crashed at Casa de Jenna for a couple days. I always claim that I love living alone, but it was really nice to be roommate-y again. (A Lifetime movie may have been involved.) And it was also a great excuse to just fill the entire apartment with knitters and margaritas Friday night! Jane made guacamole and Erin did her part by drinking the baby Coronas I accidentally bought. Plans were made for future yarn-free socializing. I love those knitters.

I finished all the pieces of my Prairie Tunic today! So here’s one: Twisted Cord?? Sweet Fancy Moses, I could. not. do it. Just cut 48 feet of yarn, quadruple it, divide it in half, twist each half clockwise, then release your hand so that they twist themselves together…or something. I tried—I really did—but after several episodes of Friends, I ended up with a twisty pile of jack squat. So I started an i-cord. But quickly came to my senses and decided that there was no way on God’s green earth that I was knitting 8 feet of i-cord on size 3 needles. So I braided 8 feet of yarn instead. I wished I could have gotten the hang of the twisted cord. Hopefully the braided straps will not look [too] cheesy.

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the fruits of my labor

I started a new project this summer: container gardening. I include this bit of information only because I was inspired to try container gardening by a chick in my knitting club! Here she is, my first tomato! My chili peppers are growing like crazy, but I can’t remember if they’re supposed to turn red or not. And I’ve got one pot of green peppers that are doing very well and one pot…eh, not so much. In short, I have no idea what I’m doing. But both the tomato and the chili pepper (ripe or not) made it into a serious batch of guacamole this past weekend. And it was good.

While I’m not tending to the mini farm in my backyard, I’ve been sittting and sweating and working on the Prairie Tunic. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m going to try to finish it soon so that I can wear it to a family picnic I’ve got coming up. Honestly, I just really want to show it off to my grandmother, who taught me how to knit. 🙂 But motivation is motivation, right?

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