American Wool Series

Saturday, May 31, 2014

OAL 2014: The Knitting Portion

Remember last week when I wrote about the awesome Outfit-along I decided to take part in? I somehow forgot that I mentioned I'd talk about yarn choices for the cardigan I'll be knitting as part of the OAL. Oops! Seriously though, my sister was visiting from out of town and it was my last few days of quiet before Little A came back from her Nana's house in California - I had relaxin' to do y'all! 

Now, I'll not say that I don't have yarn, cause I do (see above)! But when I went to my stash to look at worsted weight yarn in sweater quantities there hole. The pattern for the KAL is Myrna and the gauge is 4.5 st/inch on a US #8. Since the idea is to knit something to go with my dress, I want to choose a coordinating color from my fabric. 

I think red might read a little too Christmasy with the big red flowers in the print and the pink is out because it's ME here. What's left is orange, orangey-red, and a couple of shades of green and maybe yellow. I'm inclined toward the green side of things since I don't have a green cardigan in rotation right now.

My go-to yarn is Cascade 220. I know absolutely that I can get 4.5 sts/inch on a US #7 with that yarn and it comes in an amazing array of colors.

Second up is Quince & Co Lark. I haven't knit with Lark before but I really do like the yarns I have knit with from that line. I have a few skeins of the Cypress color in my stash that I'm going to dig out for a color comparison and take another look at the color cards I borrowed from a friend. 

My third choice is Malabrigo - I love Worsted since it's so buttery soft but a sweater knit out of it would pill after one wearing and I'm just not up for that kind defuzzing on a handknit. Rios is a good option and I think lettuce or sunset might be colors that work with my fabric.

I'll be making a trip to my LYS with my fabric this weekend to see what works in real life and as soon as I get it I'll be swatching for Myrna.

Are you participating in the Outfit-along? What knitting pattern and yarn are you using?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sewing FO: Crazy Cat Top

 I made another top!
 I used the same pattern as my other leopard print top but changed it up quite a bit. The pattern calls for woven fabrics but I was curious to see how it would translate into a knit fabric. Just to be clear here, I've never sewn with knit fabrics so this was a total crapshoot. I saw this super crazy rainbow vomit pseudo-leopard print at Joann's and  picked it up for about $8 (about what I would pay for a generic on-sale t-shirt at a big box store).
Instead of cutting two back pieces and seaming them, I cut the back on the fold, removing the seam allowances and cut the front as usual. I gleaned some awesome information about sewing with knits from this post and made a second trip to Joann's for ball point needles, a twin needle, and some double-sided steam a seam and then I got to work. About an hour later I had this crazy top which I totally lurve. There are still some issues I need to work out - I still get some bagginess at the neckline, I have a slightly wavy hem, and I could take the seams in a tad more, but overall I'm pleased with it. I wore it to work on Tuesday with my black pencil skirt and tealy-blue cardigan - the good thing about the crazy print is that it works with a ton of colors. Now my interest in sewing with knits is piqued and I want to try sewing a pattern actually designed for knits - like Renfrew!

Do any of you home sewists have tips for me for working with knits? How about favorite patterns?

Friday, May 23, 2014

FO: Golden Eyelet Cable Mitts

Pattern: Golden Eyelet Cable Mitts from Sock  Yarn One-Skein Wonders. Pattern by Cathy Campbell
Yarn: Fearless Fibers Lightweight Superwash Merino Wool Sock Yarn in Earthenware (no longer available)
Needles: US #1 (2.2.5 mm) Hiya Hiya Sharp Circulars
Mods: None. I knit these way back in March! It's really difficult to photograph mitts on your own hands so I pressed my sister into service to take a picture since she's in town this weekend. One of my goals for this year is to knit patterns in my pattern library and use up some of my partial skeins of yarn. This is a twofer! I knit socks for my mom out of this yarn about 6 years ago and purchased Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders when it first came out (but didn't knit anything out of it until now).

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sew Crazy

I have a confession to make. I'm a bit obsessed with sewing lately thanks to everyone's posts about Me Made May and the bug hit hard Friday after learning about Andi and Lauren hosting a SAL/KAL in June and July. The idea is to make a coordinated outfit using sewing and knitting and I've decided to join in! Saturday afternoon I decided to snag the pattern at Joann's and take a look at fabric. The pattern for the sewing portion of the Sew-along is Simplicity 1803 which is a simple fit and flare dress with princess seams and a gathered skirt. Lauren will be posting step-by-step instructions on her blog. I found a great linen blend floral print that will be perfect for this Summer (40% off didn't hurt either).
 While I was shopping for the dress fabric I picked up Simplicity 1364 and fabric for it as well. Now, I have to tell you that I haven't sewn a garment for myself in ages - probably since I started knitting about seven or eight years ago. This pattern is super simple with three pieces and a lapped zipper in back and it felt like a good fit for getting my feet wet with sewing garments again. It's not 100% perfect but not too bad after such a long sewing hiatus.
My fabric is a cotton blend in an awesome leopard print and it was the last of the bolt. I barely eked out the pieces with the fabric I purchased. There are two long deep bust darts for shaping and that's about it. Since I don't have a very narrow waist that's not a problem for me but I wouldn't say it's the most figure-flattering silhouette. I totally want to make this again in a slightly lighter weight fabric or something with just a smidge of stretch and take out about an inch or two of fabric at the neckline where the fabric has a tendency to tent. I can throw on a black cardigan and a skirt or pants and wear this to work without any problem!

If you're interested in joining the Outfit Along you can find information on Andi's blog or Lauren's blog and Andi started a thread on Ravelry in her group for the knitting side of things. I'll be knitting and sewing the suggested patterns but it's definitely not a requirement that you do so! If you've been interested in trying your hand at sewing or knitting garments this is a great way to get started since both hostesses will be on hand to answer questions and guide you through the process. I hope to see you join!

Since I mainly talked about the sewing portion of the Outfit along in this post I'll be writing another post about my sweater and yarn choices this week.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Music Monday

"Hard Headed Woman" by Wanda Jackson. I have a 10" of the 1958 Town Hall Party and it rocks all the way through, I highly recommend it!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lost Ya There & an FO

It's been quiet around here, right? All I can say is that work has been incredibly stressful the last couple of weeks with some key people out sick and I've been going in early (like 530am early) to make sure my department stayed on track. Knitting is still happening, though.
Pattern: Raituli by Marja Suomela (free on Ravelry in English!)
Yarn: Baby Ull in Pink & White scraps
Needles: US 1 1/2 & US 3 16 inch circulars
Mods: I thought I was using a 2 1/2 for the body of the hat (the pattern calls for a 2 1/2) but apparently I was using a 3. I ran out of pink yarn at the top of the hat so the crown is mostly white. Little A doesn't care about that and is happy to have a new bright hat for our Spring weather.

Hope you all have had an easy couple of weeks and I'll be back on track with regular posts starting Monday. We're heading to a cabin for Mother's Day weekend for some probably rainy hiking and relaxation - it sounds like a perfect time for knitting!