Slauntering towards a Swatch

 WIPs  Comments Off on Slauntering towards a Swatch
Aug 262013

At my house, we have a  word we like to use when someone is lazily, casually moving towards an objective: Slaunter.  As in, “I saw you slauntering around by the coffee shop this morning,” or “Could you please pick up the pace from a slaunter to a stride; we’re late.” It’s meant to suggest relaxed and unconcerned action; maybe a little bit indolent, but typically in a good way. Weekend mornings are perfect for slauntering; we’re achieving things, but in a relaxed and non-stressful way.

Slaunter is a little bit saunter, mixed in with a dose of slouch. It’s imperfect, comfortable and forgiving. The concept of slauntering is all over my next bit of knitwear, from a mistake-rib beginning, to an easy, relaxed result. I’m loving the concept so much that I’m exploring some accessories, like a split-brim hat:

Slaunter swatch | The Knitting Vortex

(Some color, huh? That’s tosh dk in Iris; I popped into the LYS near my daughter’s orthodontist the other day just to pass some time, and they had three cubbies’ worth of colors and bases. Can you say “impulse purchase”?)



 New Release, Patterns, Sweaters  Comments Off on Wisterious
Aug 132013

Wisterious | The Knitting Vortex

The pretty lace pattern and slightly boxy fit of this tee make a sweet yet modern sweater. Worked seamlessly from the top down, Wisterious has a simple dolman shape with special details including ribbed trim with invisible tubular edges, shaped sleeve caps, and a feminine I-cord finish with petite buttons and button loops. Both girly and comfortable, Wisterious is a special knit tee to wear any day.

Techniques & Skills Used: long-tail CO, knit/purl, lace, short rows, applied I-cord (cable CO); Wisterious is a written pattern, with the lace both written and charted; there is also a video tutorial for the applied I-cord.

Size: 33.5 (38.5, 43.25, 48, 52.75)” bust; shown in second size with 3.5” ease. Wisterious is meant to be worn with several inches of positive ease for a drapey and slightly boxy look; if you prefer a more fitted result, be careful not to size down so far that the lace becomes distorted across the bust.

Yarn: Sliver Moon Farm Superwash Merino Fingering 8 oz (100% Merino; 1120 yards/230g); 1 (1, 1, 1, 2) skeins, shown in Electric Blue; or for yarn substitutions approximately 625 (775, 900, 1100, 1275) yards of fingering weight yarn.

Other Materials: US 5 (3.75mm) 32” circular needle or size to match gauge; US 3 (3.25mm) 32” circular needle for hem, cuffs and I-cord; 2 additional US 3 (3.25mm) circular needles any length for tubular bind off; Stitch holder; Stitch markers 4 (6, 6, 8, 8) plus 2 removeable; Yarn needle; 3/8” buttons 4 (6, 6, 8, 8); Matching sewing thread and needle.

Gauge: 20 st and 32 rows/4” in Wisteria Lace pattern; after blocking. 28 st and 40 rows/4” in K1P1 Rib.

See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern.   

Wisterious closeup | the Knitting Vortex   Wisterious shoulder | The Knitting Vortex   Wisterious front view | The Knitting Vortex

Last Lace of the Summer

 FOs  Comments Off on Last Lace of the Summer
Aug 092013

That top I had to rip back has turned out well; I just hope it’s a lesson learned that if you think it might be going wrong, STOP and reevaluate. I’d definitely rather be making nifty I-cord button loops than trying to get a couple hundred lace stitches back on the needle.

I-cord button loops

And once this tee is released next week, that will be the official end of the Summer of Lace. My overall goal was to make three lightweight, lace patterned summer sweaters, and in doing so, achieve several things. 1) Design more garments! I love sweaters, and have lots of yarn, so that’s logical. 2) Learn to use Stitch Mastery and improve my charts. Seriously, that charting program is as great as everyone says it is, and the developer is super responsive and available. I’m fine reading charts, but wanted to improve on actually conceiving them myself; making two lace patterned topdown raglans certainly helped with that. 3) Knit lightweight things: also kind of obvious for summer, and since I’m not really a sock knitter, it was garments or shawls. And I both like and wear garments more than allover lace wraps.

A pretty successful summer, I’m pleased to say.

Aqueous  Arcady  Wisteria blogteaser

Aug 072013

Those are two words a knitter doesn’t ever want to hear – ripping lace. And yet I was not only hearing it, but doing it.

This is the summer of lace for me, specifically lace sweaters; the last of which is almost ready for release. But getting there involved a nerve-wracking interlude of ripping back the lace pattern. I kept trying on this tee shirt (with the shoulders pinned together, since they were to be finished later), and thinking, hmmm, it’s not long enough, just another 8 row repeat before the ribbing. Somehow I got off track; it was originally meant to be cropped and boxy, over a wide ribbed hem, but then with the short sleeves I thought that would be too square shaped. Then I thought about those generic length end-at-the-bottom-of-the-pants-waistband tops which are kind of boring, so I just kept adding on and adding on. And you know when you suspect you’ve done something that’s not really working out, but you think, oh, it’ll be fine, and keep going? Yeah, me too. So I had a couple inches of K1P1 rib before I finally admitted that it was neither tee shirt nor tunic, and just wrongly proportioned.

ribbing gone wrong

Sad enough to have to tear out all that time consuming ribbing; I had also to go back 16 rounds of lace pattern. No, I did not have a lifeline (and I do often put those in if I’m not sure I’ll like the next part of something. This time I went on blithely). Running a lifeline after the fact in lace is something I’ve found to be frustrating and inaccurate, so I ripped back fiercely to the last pattern round of what would be the last rep, then gingerly undid that as well. Then ever so carefully, with a tiny size 1, I went back stitch by stitch on the next rest round (thank goodness for rest rounds! only had to worry about recovering YOs and separating the decreases). Then reworked the pattern round with the correct needle, fixing up any little problems and adding stitch markers, and IT WORKED!

back OTN!

The knitting goddess was with me this time – a huge relief. And I discovered that gold glitter polish looks great with wisteria blue.

gold glitter accents

Next time, some more of the details of this last lace project; then the pattern itself!


 Featured, New Release, Patterns, Wraps  Comments Off on Phi
Aug 022013

Phi | The Knitting Vortex

The Golden Ratio, or Phi, represents harmony in nature, art and mathematics, and embodies the human perception of beauty. This asymmetric shawl harmoniously blends two colors to the Golden Mean, and then back again, using the Fibonacci sequence to determine the width of the stripes and their relation one to the next . . . All knitting, always pleasing, with a graphic , and harmonious result.

Techniques & Skills Used: increasing/decreasing, knit.

Size: 90” on longest side and 16” deep.

Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Finito (100% merino; 200 yards/50g; 2 (3) skeins MC and 2 (3) skeins CC. Size S shown in Plomo (MC) and Mostaza (CC), and using about 370 and 300 yards respectively. The yardage requirements ratio of MC to CC is approximately 1.25 : 1 – make sure you have about 80% as much CC as MC to complete the sequence.

Other Materials: US 5 (3.75mm) 32” circular needle, or size to match gauge; Yarn needle.

Gauge: 21 st and 42 rows/4″ in garter stitch, after gentle blocking. Gauge is not critical for this project, however a different gauge may result in a smaller or larger finished shawl, and different yardage requirements.

See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern.

Phi | The Knitting Vortex  Phi | The Knitting Vortex  Phi | The Knitting Vortex