Botanical Knits & Crafts, Holiday Knits & Crafts, Tweaks & Alterations

Green Knits for Spring, Remixed

Happy First Day of Spring! To celebrate the Vernal Equinox, I give you three green knits, each re-imagined in some way and ready for transitional weather:

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Fingerless mitts: Vancouver Fog

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This is my version of Vancouver Fog by Jen Balfour. Fun fact: this soft, blue green yarn used to be a different knit entirely. A long time ago, back in the loose knitting days I’ve mentioned before, I knit Calorimetry from Knitty’s Winter 2006 issue. It came out poorly:

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See how loose it was in the back? It barely stayed on my head, and that was before it stretched out. I even overlapped the ends and did two buttons to try to keep it in place, to no avail.

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Fast forward a year or so and I was planning to make some fingerless mitts for a friend’s birthday. She chose the Vancouver Fog pattern, with its beautiful cable pattern, and I just knew that this was the right yarn for the job. So I frogged Calorimetry and started remaking this muted, spruce colored worsted weight yarn into hand warmers.

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I remember being disappointed that there wasn’t a gauge for this project, but I had learned my lesson about my loose knitting—so instead of the recommended size 7 needles, I used size 3! I know! I also cast on 4 fewer stitched than recommended. Yes, I went that tight! But the results were spot on:

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These fingerless mitts were a good fit, and I got to practice some cool cabling techniques. I’m quite pleased with my decision to frog the original pattern.

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Fingerless mitts are great for those times when it’s too cool out for bare hands, but not cold enough for gloves!

Leafy Skirt or Mini Cape: Entry Level Capelet

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This is a really old project, but the loose knitting didn’t matter with this very simple garment. It’s the aptly named Entry Level Capelet by Haley Waxberg. It’s a good pattern for a hand dyed variegated yarn like this one. The color pooling was not even, but that gives it an interesting self-spiraling effect at the top. (side note: you can tell how old the photo below is by how long my hair was!)

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However, I almost always wear my version in a different way now—as a skirt! The yarn was just a little too scratchy to be touching my arms/neck, so I made an I-cord and wove it through the top band, then tied the I-cord at my waist. I added some leaves because, you know, I love leaves—I have no idea where I got the pattern for them, but the standard knitted leaf pattern seen here.

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I still wear this skirt fairly often—it’s great with a pair of leggings, and it’s nice when it’s just a little bit cool out.

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Sweater in Progress: Mrs. Darcy Cardigan

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My final green project is still on the needles! It’s the Mrs. Darcy Cardigan by Mary Weaver in Knits that Fit (and unlike most of my knits, this one required checking out a book at the library).With a title like that, it’s only appropriate to do a lot of tweaks to the pattern, right? It may not be obvious from the photo above, but I’m making the arms much longer than the pattern calls for to accommodate my arms and shoulders. I wish I had known before I made these that to get the true twisted rib, others knitters knew to p1 to back on the wrong side, because the pattern doesn’t indicate this and the ribbing on the cuffs won’t look as sharp as it could.

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I’ve since moved on to knitting the body. You’ll have to forgive the blurry action shot here, but at least it captures the true green of the yarn! (It’s Cascade 220, in, you guessed it, Spring Green.) I decided that since I have a long torso that is quite wide at the top, I’d use ravelry user wakenda’s modifications to get a gentler slope on the cardigan’s v neck, which I think will still be quite striking.

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I’m always a little hesitant to blog about my works in progress, but this partway knit green cardigan is too verdant not to share, and cardigans are great for spring weather. Hopefully this post will inspire me to finish it soon!

*bonus postscript announcement* If you read this far, you might enjoy the fact that I recently added categories to the blog, and then went back and retroactively categorized every past post! I created the categories based on what I seem to write about most, so you can find similar posts without having to scroll through past years.

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Quick Knits & Crafts

Feathers and stripes! A knitted skirt—also, earrings.

I have returned from a long blogging hiatus! It’s hard to say what exactly kept me away. Life, I suppose. I’m pretty sure I  missed any opportunity to capitalize on my spike in blog traffic when a Make magazine blogger linked to my post about the nerdiest crafts I have made. At least I can now say that I was famous on internet for 15 minutes for sewing a Star Trek pun onto an oven mitt!

Anywhizzle, on to the crafts. Which I made a while ago, but never blogged. So new to you!

Stripes.

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Q: How hard is it take a photo of yourself in a skirt if you don’t have a friend around or a tripod?

A: Pretty freaking hard!

This is my version of the Lanesplitter skirt from Knitty (here’s my ravelry project page for it). I started this way back in late November, it was a great easy project for knitting while watching movies.

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I used the rather silly named “Amazing” yarn from Lion Brand in the Ruby colorway because it’s got beautiful color changes and it was a slightly more affordable alternative. It’s a wool blend but in the few months I’ve worn it, the yarn has held up well.

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It’s a little bit tricky to bike in—this has become the standard by which I judge clothing these days—but it does work! Best with leggings underneath though. If you’ll notice, I alternate which side I wear in front, because the color changes are different.

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I used some leftover Bernat cotton yarn in denim for the top band. I ended up ignoring the directions to tuck this band under and sew it to the skirt because I wanted a bit more length. I ended up kind of combining the directions for the XS and the S so that I could get the circumference of the extra small but the length of the small—yay for customizing patterns! But in the end I wanted just a few more inches of length anyway.

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I loved this pattern, especially the way that it was knit on the diagonal! I wish more knitting patterns were like this—clever construction, easy repeats, great for showing off color changes.

Also, I like stripes. I should knit more things with stripes.

Feathers. (oh and some balls…)

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Q: What can you make with a bunch of craft feathers, some broken necklaces, and a hot glue gun?

A: Earrings that look like you got them at Forever 21—except possibly of higher quality.

Eons ago, I got bored and remembered I have a bunch of metal earrings hooks and rings and some needle nose pliers. I decided to experiment. I made earrings that are just long enough to slightly tickle my collarbone.

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These were the first and most outrageous ones. I have since given them away. I had the idea of sticking a long metal piece through a large pink bead from a broken necklace, then gluing a bunch of pink and purple and red feathers to the pink bead. It worked, though it was a little bulky.

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I did pretty much the same thing here, except I used a small gold bead in the back. I like the feather colors here! But both of these earrings were kind of stiff. So I changed it up a bit.

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For the yellow and gray feather earrings, I just glued the feathers to a few small links of a chain from a broke necklace. These earrings tend to float more, if that makes sense. They are my favorite.

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As it turns out, the best thing to do with the pink beads from the broken necklace was to just make them into their own earrings, no feathers involved. If I actually knew any beading terms, I would explain to you how attached them. But I don’t! So as you can see, I, um, connected them and stuff. And I like them. That’s what counts.