Jan 302014
 

Happy Thursday everyone!  I am in the most fantastic mood today, primarily because we had a big storm blow through and scour out the gross inversion (which many compare to a Dementor’s Kiss in its ability to remove all joy for life, causing people to exist merely as empty shells… so we actually have blue sky and sunshine today!) AND ALSO because I’ve finished my first knitting project of the year!  This is the Monomania pattern by Anne Weaver and I think it’s the greatest thing ever.

The pattern combines stripes and chevrons into a flattering cardigan.   The yarns I used are all special to me.  The darker purple yarn is Malabrigio Sock, which Josh bought me for my birthday a few years ago.  And both the silvery and the lighter & variegated purple yarns are Sophie’s Toes Merino sock yarn, which I procured at Sock Summit a few years ago.  I’ve been saving up these yarns for the perfect project and I am very pleased to have paired them well with a great pattern!

As per my tendency, I made a few modifications, including altering the stripes.  For one, I wanted the light and dark colorways to flow together – - light, medium, dark, medium, light – - for balance, and I interspersed smaller stripes into the larger blocks of color.  I’m not sure if this makes the cardigan too busy, but I am fond of it.

I’m kicking myself for the other major modification I made…  Rather than work the buttonholes, as written in the pattern, I decided to be clever and NOT work buttonholes and instead hammer in some pearl snaps.  I really thought I was being SO CLEVER!  …My snaps didn’t work out for several reasons.  One, I don’t think this size of snap was designed to work with this thickness of knitted fabric, and so not only did I have a difficult time getting them all hammered in, but several of the clasp thingies have continued to fall off.  Secondly, I’m not exactly sure what this was all about, but my multiple attempts at hammering in some of the snaps resulted in the knitting stitches actually being sliced by the sharp prongs on the clasp thingies.  I spent upwards of an hour mending all of the holes that I had caused.  Obviously, I felt extremely disappointed in my snap snafu!

So then I had another really awesome idea!  I would crochet a button band thing and pretend that my pearl snaps were buttons!  I did end up carefully removing the snap thingies from the one side of the cardigan (and was relieved that there were no more sliced stitches to mend!), keeping the decorative pearl snaps in place.  Then I did my super well-done crochet button band (you all know that I have no clue how to crochet, right?).  After getting it all ready and done, I donned the cardigan and found that using snaps as buttons just doesn’t work.  I was convinced that it would work, but “snaps as buttons” is not a thing that works in real life.  This cardigan is apparently not going to come together unless I remove the decorative pearl snaps and affix buttons – - and I’m just not in the mood to do that so it will be an open and swingy cardi for a while, which is just fine with me.

Despite my snap snafu, I really do adore this cardigan!

Some details on my Ravelry Page.

Dec 222013
 

If you’re anything like me, you had a rude alarm call last week when you realized that Christmas was coming up fast and that it was probably time to start your holiday knitting.  I don’t do a lot of holiday knitting, but when I do it’s always at the last minute and overly-ambitious.

In my previous post, I mentioned how Josh and I are going to Florida (leaving Christmas Eve and returning several days into the New Year).  Our incredibly friendly neighbors have agreed to care for our animals while we’re away and I am beside myself with gratitude.  As a ‘thank you’ I decided to knit them up a pair of hats.  Knowing their preference for cult horror films and the macabre, I thought that using the skull colorwork motif might be a big hit with them.

It’s always a little unnerving knitting something for someone when you don’t know their exact measurements, so I made my best guess about the sizing.

For the smaller hat (upper left) I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes sport weight in Fedora an Mink Heather, and the larger hat is in Knit Picks City Tweed (DK weight) in Orca and Snowshoe.  For both hats, I cast on 180 sts and worked in k1,p1 ribbing with US 2 needles, then switched to US 3 for the main body and colorwork.  For the decreases at the crown, I kind of improvised doing 18 decreases every other round.  Were I to knit another one of these hats some time, I might make a more inspired crown section, as this one is pretty boring.

Anyway, I still have A LOT more gift knitting to do in a short amount of time.  I’m looking forward to finishing up my deadline knitting so that I can catch up on my millions of backlogged knitting projects over the trip.  We got another big dumping of snow (though, fortunately, the temperatures have warmed up significantly) and I’m looking forward to leaving winter behind during our trip.  It seems like it’s been a long time since we took a real vacation and I’m very excited about taking long walks on the beach in the balmy 70 degree temperatures.

 

Apr 242013
 

Readers, I’ve been struggling with a loss of crafting mojo.  A few things have happened to make me feel this way.

One:

disorder (or, lack of planning)

I all but finished the sweater I’ve been knitting and suddenly decided that I don’t like it.  I spent a few days feeling down about this, but finally came to the conclusion that I was likely knitting this sweater so that I would have something to knit, not necessarily because I was excited about it.  Knitting is such a routinized part of my everyday that I can find myself knitting away at something for a long time without realizing that I don’t particularly care for what will be the finished object.

Do any of you ever do this; get so caught up in the routine of your hobbies that you fail to realize that you don’t really want the FO???

So, I’m stepping back and reminding myself that I need to start a project because of the excitement and desire that I have for it (and that if I just want to knit, I should cast on for some basic socks or somesuch project).  I’ve been going through my knitting library of books and magazines, oogling at all of the pretty designs that so many talented designers have created and I think I might cast on for a few projects just to return to a place of excitement.  I also think I’ll bring out some projects from hibernation that I’m excited about.

For example, I really want to make more progress on my Aesa pullover.  As for my Scandinavian, I’ve been thinking of ripping it out and making it a sweater instead of a wrap.  I think that would be a lot of work, but I think it would be awesome.

Two:

good intentions and that path to hell

Oh geez… Readers, it is with utter humiliation and self-loathing that I admit that I have ruined some of my favorite handknit sweaters.

Last Friday when I arrived home from the Day Job, I went on a cleaning bonanza.  Having moved the chicks out of the house and into the coop, I became obsessed with deep cleaning the entire house and I went a little overboard.  Specifically, I decided to machine wash a load of handknits that were (over)due for a wash.  Unfortunately, I didn’t check the settings on the machine – - and rather than being set for gentle and cold water (which has proven to be great for the most wooliest of woolies), the machine was set for hot and deep clean.  Oops!

(The above photo doesn’t really indicate how toddler-sized these sweaters now are…. I should have added an adult sized sweater for comparison).

It was actually quite a big load of handknits that I laundered, and all of the superwash items came through unaltered, but four of my most favorite sweaters are now small enough to fit a toddler and two other sweaters are still able to fit over my person, though they have significantly shortened in length.  For those latter sweaters, I still have some of the yarn leftover and am wondering if I could just pick up the stitches along the bottom and knit down to add length.

I have a friend with a four month old baby and will see if she would like my small felted sweaters, and I would feel much less sad about this if these, my favorite sweaters, still had the opportunity to be worn again.

Even still, considering all of the time and mental effort it took to knit these sweaters, I feel very emotionally attached to them.  I know that sounds silly.  And, of course, the good news is that I love to knit and, if I wanted to, I could knit these sweaters again.  Still, it’s a bummer.

Three:

demoralization, the perfect incubator for stagnation

As for my sewing, I am STILL working on this dress, and by “working on this dress” I mean that the pieces have been sitting on my sewing table and I have not made any progress.  For some reason, I feel very intimidated by this project.  Because I am using two very fine and slippery fabrics (and sewing them together to treat them as a single fabric), it all just seems very overwhelming.

Frankly, I wish I were working on an easy knit dress or whipping up another pair of Trousers, or some kind of Tried and True (TNT) project to reclaim my sewing mojo.

On the Bright Side:

Here Chick, Chick, Chick!

The chicks are doing GREAT in their coop.  I successfully installed a flap on the northerly window using construction adhesive, industrial strength velcro, and some of the linoleum we got for super cheap.  I realize that in my last post, I wasn’t very clear about the ventilation vs. draft components of the coop.  The windows on the east and north side are mainly to help keep the coop cool during the summer, so that some breeze can enter into the coop and help keep everything from getting too hot (since we have very hot summers).  Those windows also let light into the coop.  The main sources of ventilation (for all year round) are found at the top near the roof and also the big human sized door at the south end.  Keeping that door open all day, even when it’s cold out, provides for ventilation but doesn’t create drafts of freezing air that blow right onto the chickens.

  

Anyway, since they’ve been moved in, we’ve had several nighttime temperatures dip below freezing and the little ladies seem to handle it just fine.  I give them slightly warmish water in the evening and then replace it (when the water freezes a little overnight) with another batch of warm water in the morning.  I’ve been wondering if I should add the heating mat that I use for seed starting to keep the water from freezing, but it only freezes at night and I don’t think the chicks drink very much at night.

We still let the chickens mostly free range in the backyard during the day and then put them in their coop at night.  I’m working on “training” the chickens to go into the coop on their own (currently by means of luring them with treats) and that is a work-in-progress.

They are also freely ranging around Kiko and they include her in their chasing games, and whenever they rush at Kiko (in their silly chickeny way) Kiko runs as fast as she can away from them.  It is very funny, though I often find myself consoling Kiko after the chicks make her look like a cowardly lion.  Arguably, Kiko is a tad on the large size for a kitty (currently weighing in at 13 pounds) and the chicks are just two or three pounds.  In the photo above, Kiko is more interested in a piece of grass than in that good looking leg that one of the Barred Rocks is flaunting.

They are 9 weeks old this week and their combs are becoming more fully developed!  Everyone keeps asking me if we’re getting eggs from them yet and I try to explain that egg laying is part of their sexual maturity and they’re still several months away from that.  I’ve been finding myself doing a lot of education on the subject of chickens – - for example, I’ve been surprised by how many university-educated adults thought that it was necessary to have a rooster to get eggs.

More Bright Side:

99th Monthiversary!

On Sunday, Josh and I celebrated the 99th month of our partnership.  In celebration of those wonderful 99 months, we bicycled from the town of Kuna to the town of Melba on our road bicycles and then procured some delicious Mexican food in Kuna.  Below is the Melba Town Hall, where we enjoyed a banana before riding back to Kuna for some mole and enchiladas.  Mmmm, mole….

Jan 042013
 

Okay folks, I’ve decided to show you my three latest finished projects in one post, as an ensemble, though I feel each of these pieces would look better without the others.  Or rather, if I had made three coordinating outfits to showcase each piece, that might have been more flattering.  I dunno, frequently my sense of style is questionable.

First off, the top.  This is Vogue 8323 and it is my favorite of the three.
Pattern description: “Knit tops with princess seams and stitched hems. A: sleeveless armholes with bias tape finish. B: cowl collar neckline with below elbow length sleeves. C: scoop neckline with bias tape finish.”

I made View A modified with full length sleeves using a stable poly knit.

This pattern was both interesting and enjoyable for me to work.  The pattern instructions were very clear and easy to follow.  It also used two techniques that were new to me: princess seams and doublestitching.  With regards to the princess seams, I feel very silly, but I have naively assumed they were a type of seam (like a french seam), but now I understand that they are a way of shaping / fitting a garment, like darts.  And as for the doublestitching, I went the extra mile and read all about this type of seam – - and I learned that doublestitching is well-suited for knits, providing both structure and the ability for the fabric to stretch naturally (but not stretch out of shape).

I am mostly pleased with the fit of this top.  I cut a size 10 which fits nicely in the hips and waist, but as usual, was WAY too big in the bust.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take the time to measure the pattern pieces or make a muslin so I was disappointed when I first pulled the top on and realized it was baggy around my bust.  I then gave myself a mental scolding for not making a muslin and did a little slapdash fix-it wherein I seamed the fronts across to the side fronts a little higher, making for a less drapey neck but a more fitted bodice (and I am not happy with how my slapdash looks obviously slapdash).

This leads me to consider establishing a set of rules to follow when sewing garments:

  • Measure pattern pieces and compare the measurements to similar garments that fit well – or – Make muslins and carefully alter them
  • Pair patterns and fabrics carefully
  • Read reviews of patterns and make notes about helpful tips

With regards to the inspiration to make this top, a while ago on Pinterest, I saw the below top while I was browsing the “Women’s Fashion” section, and noticed its similarity to this particular Vogue sewing pattern and LOVED this purple/wine fabric.  Then, serendipitously, I found a stable poly knit fabric (as called for in this pattern) in almost the exact same color of purple/wine.  I still have more of this fabric and I think I could make this pattern again that more closely resembles the below top if I did a small-bust adjustment and kept the neck lower and drapier.

As for the skirt, I’ve been wanting to make more cold weather skirts.  A few months ago, I procured two yards of green wool (green being, naturally, one of my most favorite colors) from a thrift store for just a few dollars and I decided to try making a cold weather skirt.  I pondered my collection of skirt patterns and decided on V8328, an out of print pattern.

Actually, this is the very first sewing pattern I ever purchased!  This goes way back, possibly seven years ago when I first decided I wanted to make my own clothes (it was after I spent a week in Austin, Texas where I was confronted with an awe-inspiring DIY fashion scene).  Without knowing the first thing about sewing anything, I ordered myself a sewing machine from Amazon.com and bought this pattern (at full price!) from Joann’s (as well as some quilting cotton).  Unsurprisingly (having failed to set myself up for success), my first attempt at sewing didn’t go well, and I was so discouraged that I packed away my sewing machine, where it gathered dust until about 9 months ago (when I decided to learn to sew anew).

Obviously, I made View C and I think that for a cold weather skirt, it turned out okay.  Though, I fear that I made it drape stiffly and unflattering by lining it in a medium weight cotton.  Oops…  I like the color combination a lot; I just think it makes me look super dumpy.  And I don’t find my knitted tights with horizontal self-striping all that slimming either, so it could just be several visually enlarging factors coming together all at once.

… Maybe this would have been better as a pencil skirt, thereby not having so much bulky fabric at my waist and hips… hrm.

The pattern for this skirt, now that I have some very basic sewing knowledge and skill, was very easy to put together.  Though, I am very interested in your thoughts on this skirt, as I’m not really sure if it’s a hit or a miss.  I will definitely make this skirt pattern again, in a much lighter weight fabric because I think the shape and design have a lot of potential.

And finally, my knitted tights.  As you all know, I started these back in September, thinking that hand-knit tights were the wave of the future.  Now that they’re finished, I’m not so sure about that.

Ravelry Project Page
Yarn: Noro Kureyon Sock
Needles: US 3, US 2, and US 1
Pattern: Assets of Evo (pattern for short-shorts that I converted to tights)

I have previously written about these tights sufficiently and I don’t have much to add.  While I mostly enjoyed knitting them, were I to knit another pair of tights, I think that toe-up would be more my cuppa tea.  Although, really, this was too much plain stockinette in the round for me.  Bo-ring!

But what I actually dislike about these tights, as I have stated above, is that I don’t find them to be particularly figure flattering.  Furthermore, I consider myself to be fairly tolerant to scratchy wool, but I am finding the Noro Kureyon against my upper thighs to be uncomfortable.

So, I leave you with my first finished projects post of 2013 feeling kind of ho-hum.  I definitely want to make the skirt and the top again, learning from the mistakes of these versions, and I think I might knit some thigh-high stockings in a pretty lace.  I have worn the purple top a few times since finishing it, with a flattering pair of jeans, and that combination of not-dumpy bottom garment greatly improves my feelings about the success of the top.  I have not yet worn my cold weather skirt or knitted tights (except for this photoshoot) because it is so ridiculously cold outside (this morning when I rode my bicycle to work, it was 5 degrees (F), and that called for thermal underwear and thick pants rather than a skirt and tights).

For my next sewing project, I promise to adhere to the above stated rules for sewing garments, in particular the part about making a muslin and choosing my fabric carefully.

Dec 252012
 

I hope everyone is having a happy and peaceful holiday season.  I am off work this week and am using the time as a “Crafty-cation,” trying to finish several knitting and sewing projects before the end of the year.  Among the projects that were on my list to finish were some handknit Christmas gifts for Josh.  Now that these gifts are unwrapped and no longer secret, I am excited to show them off!

The first handknit gift, a nod to Josh’s lifestyle as a bicycle commuter and recreator, is an earwarmer cozy to affix to his bicycle helmet.

Ravelry Project Page
Pattern Link: Bicycle Helmet Earmuffs

Upon casting off, I tried this on with my helmet, and the cozy factor was incredible.  I will definitely be making one of these for myself.  Josh and I are both daily bicycle commuters and I think this bicycle helmet earmuff device is a wonderful cold weather cycling accessory.  Oh, and it was rather funny when Josh opened this gift; he had no idea what it was and the look on his face as he held it this way and that was priceless.  I then scurried off to fetch his helmet and watched his facial expression transform from total bewilderment to fascinated astonishment as I slipped it over the straps of the helmet.

The second handknit gift was a pair of lobster gloves / glittens that I knat using a stranded seed stitch technique that I’ve been fiddling with, which produces a super warm and very stretchy fabric.

Ravelry Project Page

Lobster gloves / Glittens are an ideal cold weather hand-warming cycling accessory because they are effective at retaining warmth like mittens but also have enough dexterity for performing essential cycling functions such as depressing bicycle brake levers and filling the bike tires with air (and if you’re Josh, holding onto a mug of coffee while bicycling to work).  Additionally, while these may look big and cartoonish, I knat them purposefully a little on the big side so that Josh could wear some of his wool cycling base-layer gloves underneath, to provide extra insulation.

The final handknit gift is an asymmetrical cabled sweatervest and it was with equal parts joy and relief that I discovered it to be the perfect fit this morning after Josh opened it.  Whilst designing and knitting this, I was fairly stressed out about whether it would fit well (because I have never before knit a garment that wasn’t for myself) and I spent a lot of time measuring almost all of the shirts and sweaters in his closet, to get a statistically significant sample size to determine the desired finished measurements for this vest.  As you can see, my efforts paid off!

Ravelry Project Page

This vest has an asymmetrical patterning of ribbing and cabling, with a saxon braid cable running down one side.  Before designing this vest, I conducted a search of the patterns available on Ravelry for manly cabled sweaters and vests and found that I preferred the ones with a hefty dose of ribbing punctuated with cabling, but most of the ones I saw looked fairly conservative so I decided to make it more interesting by fashioning it to be asymmetrical.  However, I did try to balance the ribbing and cables together, so there was a method to this madness.

With the success of these handknit gifts, I am re-motivated to focus future gifts towards the handmade (both knitting and sewing) and am already planning next year’s gifts.

Nov 172012
 

Swaddling my feet in cozy stranded socks is an amazing way to achieve a state of comfortable bliss during the cold weather.

Yarn: Knit Picks Palette, Pool, Celestial, and Raspberry Heather colorways
Needles: US 2 and US 3
Pattern: Improvised
Ravelry Project Page 

I flew by the seat of my pants with these socks, casting on my stitches on a whim and with no plan.  I love the finished socks, though I haven’t quite mastered the stranded short row heel (what with my jumbled color wraps).  On one sock, I did my wraps with both yarn colors, and on the other sock I wrapped with just the darker blue yarn, and both heels look equally jumbled.  Perhaps I should consult an actual pattern, ne?

There is also a lesson in color dominance with these socks.  Can you see it?  On the sock to the left, on the toe, there are two little stripes where the dark blue yarn is more dominant than the light blue yarn – - For the toe, I had intended to hold the light blue yarn as dominant, but I guess with those two lines I must have gotten my yarn mixed up.  Oops!

The chart for the main colorwork was about as simple as it gets.  For relaxing colorwork knitting, I tend to prefer simple repeating patterns that I can easily memorize and provide for mindless knitting.

Basically, I cast on 20 sts (10 on each of two needles) using Judy’s Magic Cast On on size US 2 needles, and increased every other round until there were 72 sts around, and then worked this stranded pattern.  After the short row heel, I switched to US 3 needles for the leg, and then back to a US 2 for the 1×1 ribbing.  I also gave these socks a good blocking to even out the tension in my stranding.  Eh voila!  A quick and easy pair of super cozy stranded socks!

 

 

Sep 262012
 

I finished my socks over the weekend and have been enjoying wearing them for several days.  I find them to be one of my more comfortable pairs of handknit socks… and also happy-making; don’t you love the sunshiney colors!?@

Pattern: Broken Seed Stitch Socks
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug and Knit Picks Felici (Rainbow colorway)
Needles: US 2
Ravelry Project Page

I worked these socks toe-up, with “Princess Soles” (wherein the sole is worked in reverse stockinette stitch), and a  basic gusset heel, with a slightly looser gauge than I normally use for socks.  The general thinking with socks is that for longevity and durability, work socks at a tight gauge; but I wanted socks that are squishy and sufficiently easy to pull off that I could do so with my big toe, so I used a relatively loose gauge.

I really love this yarn combination.  The Colinette is from my massive stash of grellow yarn that I purchased many years ago during a bout of yarn insanity that I’ve been gradually trying to knit down.  I bought the Knit Picks Felici several months ago to get my KP order over $50 to qualify for free shipping (I’m sure you can all relate to that).  While I absolutely adore the rainbow colorway, I had been concerned that one skein would not be sufficient for a pair of socks, particularly since I prefer socks with a longish leg length.  So I figured that combining the Felici with another yarn would be a great way to get a pair of socks to my preferred length while also making use of this wonderful colorway.

However, I am unsure if combining the Rainbow Felici with the Grellow Colinette was the best color combo.  This colorway of the Felici has a good chunk of yellow and light green that blend in with the grellow Colinette and I think the glory of the Rainbow colorway gets lost in all of the similar yellows and greens.  In hindsight, contrasting the Rainbow with a white or a black might have been a better move. Oh well, I suppose that I will just have to buy some more Rainbow Felici to get my desired rainbow socks; these are my sunshiney, mood-boosting socks.

Aug 282012
 

I finally had a chance to photograph my shawl this weekend.  Josh and I went up to a place called Tablerock, which is a plateau that overlooks Boise, and got some great shots as the sun was going down.  The light was perfect for photographing this shawl, and I feel that I really lucked out with the air clearing up enough to get some semblance of blue sky (there are a lot of HUGE wildfires all over the West and the smoke has been settling in the Valley, which has been very unpleasant).

This is the size large in the  Dreaming Shawl, knit in Knit Picks Shadow Tonal (Goldrush colorway), and I love the finished shawl.  The yarn is a lace weight merino wool and was lovely to work with.  The colorway mixes oranges and yellows very nicely.  I tend to not like variegated yarns with complex stitch patterns, but as you can see, the variegation does not distract from the stitch pattern at all.  I think they compliment each other well.

I used almost 2 skeins of the yarn for the large size; one skein would have been sufficient for the small size.  This is a bottom up shawl, where the knitter casts on many many stitches and g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y decreases.  I have read that some knitters prefer top-down shawls, where one casts on just a few stitches and then gradually increases, presumably because one sees faster results at the beginning of the project.  But I prefer bottom up shawls because the rows get faster (rather than slower) and near the end of the shawl, each row is super speedy to knit – - it becomes very exciting for me.

I don’t know if I have much else to say about this shawl.  Love the shawl, love the yarn.

Pattern: Dreaming Shawl
Ravelry Project Page
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow Tonal (Goldrush colorway), 885 yards
Needles: US 7

Here are some more photos for your enjoyment…

Aug 252012
 

Seamless, squishy, comfy, warm, breathable, garter stitch slippers.  These knit up quickly using scraps of Cascade 220 yarn held double and I am very pleased with the finished slippers.

Pattern: Recluse (free download)
Ravelry Project Page
Yarn: Cascade 220 – - 187 Yards
Needles: US 8

These slippers are amazing in their simplicity, comfort, and functionality.  The pattern is super easy – - you cast on 3 stitches at the toe, increased rapidly to the total stitches around, knit as a tube for several inches, knit flat for several inches, and graft the two sides together.

Apr 282012
 

How sad fernknits has been with so little knitting WIPs and FOs to show off!  I have continued to knit almost as much as always (my newfound sewing obsession has taken away some of my knitting time) but so much of it continues to be secret that it is very sad for my blog.  Over the weekend, I was delighted to cast off my Lanesplitter skirt, which I have been clicking away at for some time.  I suppose I could have posted some WIP updates of this, but for whatever reason I thought that would be boring for folks.

Anyway, tah dah!!!

Pattern: Lanesplitter Skirt from Knitty
Ravelry Project Page
Yarn: Noro Kureyon & Reclaimed Angora
Needles: US 3 for the body, US 5 for the lower ruffle, US 2 for the waistband

This skirt was fun and enjoyable to knit.  Basically, the pattern has the knitter cast on 4 stitches, and then increase until the desired length and width, at which point the knitter decreases back down and grafts the two sides together.  Knitting the skirt on the bias in this manner, I hypothesize, will limit the amount of sag and droop of the skirt, which I understand can be a challenge for handknit skirts.  Further limiting the sag and droop is the horizontal (but since it is on the bias, diagonal) patterning of stockinette and garter stitch stripes.  Though it is simple, I find this skirt pattern to be rather ingenious.  And a perfect pattern for self-striping yarns.

The finished skirt is surprisingly light and airy and almost feels as though I’m not even wearing a skirt.  I have already worn this skirt to work, and found that it was a nice piece to wear all day (very comfortable and maintained its shape throughout the day).  I was thinking that it might be nice to make another one that extends just past the knees.

Of course, I cannot knit a pattern and not incorporate my own modifications.

From the moment I decided to cast on for this skirt, I had planned to work a lower ruffle and do the waistband differently.  However, my first modification was to add a section at the front (somewhat visible in the below photo) to provide a little bit more shaping to accommodate my ample derriere.  For this section, I worked the stitch patterning horizontally by picking up the stitches on either side of the skirt and connecting the two sides as I knit across rather than grafting.  I was concerned that plain ol’ grafting would result in an odd seam and be difficult to line up the colors well, considering the variegated yarn.  With this new section of horizontal patterning, contrasting with the diagonal patterning, the interruption in the colorways flows along with the interruption in the directionality of the patterning.  And two interruptions feels more balanced to me.  Also, on this skirt, I prefer to have the two seams along the front, rather than just one seam.  Again, that just feels more balanced to me.

For the bottom ruffle, I picked up one stitch for every row and gradually worked some increases.  I was concerned that having too much ruffle would distort the shape of the skirt, so I kept the ruffle modest.  I finished it off with several rounds of ribbing so that I wouldn’t curl.

The waistband (which I stupidly forgot to photograph) I only picked up 1 stitch for every 2 rows and worked about 10 rounds of ribbing.  There is a significant difference in circumference around my low waist and hips, that I wanted to make sure the waistband was secure (which is why I used the formula of 1 stitch for every 2 rows for the waistband).

And I love the finished skirt.  I think it will be a fun addition to my wardrobe.