Monday, October 31, 2011

An apple a day...

Seriously cute, yes? Wool blend felt coasters. Pattern from Purl Bee -- the blog of a NY fabric/yarn store. Many cute projects there, lots of them suitable for a small hostess gift for those who might be dining with others this Thanksgiving -- just sayin'! The store carries 100% wool felt packs, which I think I'll be ordering for some equally cute autumn leaves coasters. Resist the urge to make this sort of thing with poly felt -- just not as absorbent.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Shrinky dink

Everybody needs an autumn 'knock-about' cardigan, right? I choose to knit a classic from Chic Knits -- Ribby Cardi. Knit in a worsted weight yarn from Elann -- Peruvian Highland. The knitting went fine, as expected. Bonne Marie Burns crafts excellent patterns, and this oldie but goodie from her line is no exception. My problems arose with my blocking of the finished product. I sent the sweater through the hand wash cycle of my front-loading washing machine -- cold water, no agitation, no other item in the load to provide any additional friction. And, in my defense, this is how I have laundered many other hand knit, and also store bought, knitwear in the several years I have had the machine. This time, not so good. Apparently Peruvian Highland yarn felts with great ease. Very nice if that's what you want -- sadly, I did not.

When the sweater emerged from its cycle it was about two sizes too small. So, not totally felted, just enough to make it not-my-size. Aggressive blocking (well, aggressive s t r e t c h i n g ) yielded something that looked a bit more me-sized, but not by much. I think I can still get away with wearing it around the house and yard, but I'm not sure it will show up anywhere else. Too bad, because I like the style. Lesson learned? Well, for sure I will be pre-treating swatches for anything else I knit, but I truly hate to give up the convenience of the machine for everything. Sigh.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Style Arc Ronnie Wrap top

The 'virtual Australia' sewing tour continues, this time with the Style Arc Ronnie Wrap top. I had seen another blogger's version of this, and thought it looked really nice, so even though a little voice in my head said "maybe it's not the look for you" I went ahead and made it up. I've really got to start paying more attention to those voices!

Let me be clear -- there is absolutely nothing wrong with the pattern itself. It's (as usual for Style Arc) beautifully drafted, goes together easily, and fits very well indeed. It's just not something that I feel comfortable in. I like to just get dressed and then forget about what I'm wearing, and with this low wrap I know I would be forever fidgeting with how it lays, how it overlaps, and that would drive me nuts! I'm hoping that I can re-do the front pattern piece and keep the shoulder gathers -- which I like -- but make it a single layer scoop neck tee. We'll see how that plan works out. I also think the deep cuffs are a cute detail -- oh, how I wanted to love this one! Sometimes though, you have to know yourself well enough to let go and head on to the next possibility.