Hello, My name is Bethany and I'm a Yarn Addict. I've struggled with/enjoyed my addiction for 20 + years. I'm on about the 12th step of my pattern and I have no intention of kicking the habit. I have a large stash (of yarn) and I've been known to share (knitting) needles. My Fiber of choice is lace. Yes, I am a yarn addict, and this is my story...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

An Old Dog Learns New Tricks

A few months back I became pretty intrigued by the concept of convertible clothing:  If a garment could be worn two ways, wasn't that just twice as cool?  Lucky enough for me one of my various knitting books had a pattern for a convertible shrug that could SUPPOSEDLY also be worn as a shawl, scarf, cowl or hood.  I began my attempt at the Shape Shifter Shrug from Vampire Knits.

I decided to use one of my favorite yarns, Plymouth Select Worsted Merino Wool, to make this pretty little sweater....then, as I am known to do, the pattern modifications began.

The pattern recommended to put 10 buttons/buttonholes up each arm.  A good suggestion, and I'm sure it had a reason, but as I scrutinized the instructions I realized that if I were to wear the finished product as a shrug I would have buttons around my neck hems, tangling in my hair.  I decided to make only 6 up each arm, only enough to button up as long as would need the sleeve to be.  I also lengthened the sleeve dimensions, thinking that if I did happen to wear this as a scarf or shawl I would prefer more coverage.

And then, of course, came the "I know best when it comes to knitting my own clothes" flub.  The pattern suggested knitting the garment in 2 halves, beginning at the lace portion, working some rows in stockinette, then grafting both halves together with Kitchner Stitch, a method of grafting two ends of live stitches done in stockinette together seamlessly.  Well, knowing best, of course, I continued on thinking "Kitchner Stitch my butt......I'll just work the lace pattern backwards when I get to it....I'm just that cool."

Yeah.  Lesson is, I am NOT that cool.  This lace and it's varying row end count is not one to be done in reverse.  So after some frogging, picking up stitches and, I will not lie, mild cursing I attempted Kitchner stitch.  Lucky for me I have some fabulous co-workers to talk me through it.  Even taught me this handy little ditty to chant along while I wove the pieces together:

Yarn on Back Needle
Set up: 
FN: Purl, Stay
BN: Knit,Stay
FN: Knit, Slip, Purl,Stay
BN: Purl, Slip, Knit, Stay
FN: Knit, Slip
BN: Purl, Slip

Yes, I know it may sound like gibberish, but if you sing this along with grafting you're less likely to forget where you are....Like I typically do....
Anyways, here's the finished result.  And, the seam is barely visible except for one BIG hole where I stopped singing and got lost, then had to sew up later.  Still not bad for a beginner!

 Problem is, even though I know it's convertible, I've only worn it as a shrug and have only seen demos of it being worn as a shrug.  Oh well.

I was also able to try a new product that I had my eye on for quite some time: Bone Knitting Needles.
These things are lovely.  Like, seriously lovely.   They have this glossy smooth amazingly cool feel in your hands, they glide through your stitches, and they have this amazing ability to make you feel like you've stepped back in time.  Despite the fact that they are horribly heavy....and not suggested to be bought other than in person due to the fact that a matched set is rare being as they are crafted individually with natural material.  I learned this after testing out a pairs of size 4 and size 6 "set" where one was nearly an entire size off from the other. Test for conformity with a sizer, and if you can find a set that matches you're set!

So pretty.........

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