Monday, March 26, 2007

FO: Flirty Skirty

I saw them knit this skirt on DIY's Knitty Gritty in kind of a gross orange color, but I really loved the butterfly stitch pattern and the flirty ruffle on the bottom. When I read on Vickie Howell's blog that this skirt was actually inspired by a children's skirt that is supposed to look like a mermaid I instantly fell in love with it! It's funny how one detail can make all the difference, huh? Take one look at it and tell me it doesn't totally remind you of a mermaid tail! I knitted the majority of this skirt on the plane to and from Boston when I visited in February.

yarn details
Lion Brand Microspun in color 144 Lilac
DK weight
100% microfiber acrylic
machine wash & dry
70 gram/168 yd. per ball @ $3.99 each at Roberts


elastic for waist band, free

project details

pattern: "Flirty Skirty" by Tina Marrin, demonstrated on Knitty Gritty
gauge: dk?
needle sizes: size 5 straights and circs
time: 30 hours?
yarn used: 4 balls (-ish)
total cost: $16 (though really more because I had to buy all the needles)

-yarn sub from wool/cotton to acrylic, in hopes it won't stretch over my butt as much.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

FO: Rebel Alliance Pillow

Hello. My name is Pepper and I'm a Knitty Gritty addict.

I saw this cool reverse applique technique on Vickie Howell's show the other day where you take two pieces of knitted fabric and use a sewing machine to "applique" a design on, and then you cut out the top piece to reveal the bottom piece of fabric. OK, so it was a nifty technique, but I'm not so sure I would ever want to do it again. It's a lot of work to knit two full pillow covers only to cut one of them up. Plus, I sort of screwed up and put the stabilizer on the wrong side and ended up spending ages pulling bits of the paper out of the stitch border with tweezers... ayie!

In an ode to my geekiness, I decided to create a Rebel Alliance Reverse Applique Pillow:

Buttons covered in satin ribbon, by moi:
"blocking"... so, acrylics don't really need to be blocked, but these at least needed to be straightened out before I sewed them together.
yarn details:
Red Heart Soft in Wine
worsted weight
100% acrylic
142 grams/256 yds per ball @ $2.99 each

Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Buttercup
worsted weight
20% wool, 70% acrylic, 10% polyester
70 grams/162 yards per ball @ $2.99 each

14'' pillow form, $5 at Joann's
self-cover button set, $0.99 at Zim's
satin ribbon, $0.99 at Joann's

pattern details

based on "fleur de lis pillow" by Allison Whitlock (from Uncommon Threads!)
needles: size 6 straights
gauge: not important, per se
time: 40 hours? (seriously, it took forever)
yarn used: 1.25 balls of the Red Heart, maybe 1/2 of the Wool-Ease
total cost: >$11

-obviously, I changed the design from a fleur de lis to a rebel alliance logo
- My inside panel is reverse stockinette and the outer panel in stockinette - I just thought this added more visual interest
- I ditched the border because, frankly, I wanted this project to be over already!

-were I to use this technique again I would most definitely up the yarn weight to bulky and use at least size 10 needles; it was way too tedious to knit the whole thing up on small needles at a tight gauge only to cut it up! Arg!
- I needed to make my back panels at least an inch longer. I disguised this in the pic, but the seam pulls at the buttons just like a tight shirt on Pam Anderson and my pillow form is exposed!
- Do not make the same mistake I did of sewing the stabilizer on the front (red side) of the pillow instead of the back (yellow side).

FO: Scott's Bag

My brother requested I make him this "aloe vera" leaf bag... this is the first knitting project I actually designed from scratch - it turned out sort of ghetto, but it was good practice! I used super bulky yarn for the main body (wool-ease thick & quick) and I wanted to make the strap entirely out of hemp, but it was too difficult to work with so I carried the hemp cord along with some natural colored worsted weight wool.

The lining is made out of three different patterns of beige fabric (a bunch of fat eighths sewn together) and it has a zipper which was soooo hard to do - especially with Roxy sticking her nose under the sewing machine the whole time. I hand sewed the lining into the knit bag and I'm not very pleased with the way it all turned out. Some day I will confiscate the bag from Scott and sew it in more securely.

And a close-up of the intarsia design (and shroom shrinky dink zipper pull!) Because the yarn was so bulky and the bag is relatively small, the design lost a lot of definition on the edges, so I embroidered in satin stitch around the edges:

Roxy helping me block the knit pieces before I sewed them together:
yarn details:
Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Wood and Grass
super bulky
80% acrylic, 20% wool (wood)
86% acrylic, 10%wool, 4% rayon (grass)
machine wash & dry, do not iron (I scoff at Lion's washing instructions!)
cost: $6.99 per 170 gram/106 yd. ball

Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Natural Heather
worsted weight
80% acrylic, 20% wool
machine wash & dry, no iron
cost: $2.99 per 85 gram/197 yd ball
held together with Hemp cord ($7.99 for a big spool)

shrinky-dink shrom zipper pull with embroidery floss cord - my own!
zipper $1.75
fat eighths $5 for an 8 pack?

project details
pattern: my own
gauge: don't remember...
needles: 13 straights
intarsia chart: my own (used custom graph paper generator at:
yarn used: 1.5 balls of the wood and 1/2 balls of grass; minimal amount of worsted & hemp
time: 15 hours-ish... maybe more lost on the zipper
total cost: about $23

don't knit for Scott again...

Monday, March 5, 2007

nasty "shawl"

This is supposed to be a shawl, but it ended up scarf-width and not much longer than what is pictured here. I have this irritating stash of Jiffy mohair look yarn that I hate. This is what I tried to do with it. It's going to the frog bin.