Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Coffee Olé

 The sweet aromatic smell of success.  Oh yes, the coffee dyeing experiment was indeed a success.   Just look at that color!  Not exactly a pure coffee shade because there is still the coral undertone.

But this is my very own shade of yarn.  No one else in the whole world will ever have this exact little scarf.    Giddy.  That's what I am.  Giddy.
 Lest we forget, here is the original coral scarf from the Seaweed Scarf pattern that can be had via this Ravelry link.  Look at the color change!  Think about this photo the next time you spill coffee upon your self.    

I still love the pattern.  It is a very quick knit and does not take too much yardage.  This is definitely all about the edge and that flirty ruffling impact. 

As you can see,  size adjustment did occur so that Coffee Olé is larger than the first version.  It could be even bigger, but the result would then move way past scarfness and into shawlness.  It is a tricky bit of verbiage - the difference between scarf and shawl.  At what size, exactly, does the line move from one to the other?  Do I care?

All that I really care about at this point is the success of the great dunk on coffee experiment and that the combination odor of wet wool and coffee has wafted away and does not engulf me whilst wearing Coffee Olé!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Time For A Coffee Break

 That coral yarn from the seaweed scarf showed up again.  Three skeins of the stuff is a lot!  

Not feeling like a making a copy cat anything, The remainder (well, most of the remainder of the skeins) was quickly knit up with the intent of over dyeing the result so that it did not look like I was simply using up the leftover yarn.

A few trial runs occurred.  Do you remember that phase of tea dyeing everything including the kitchen curtains?  That was prime plan #1 and it almost worked.  Unfortunately, no matter how strong the brew of black tea nor how long the soak, the result was not what I had in mind.

So, trial via plan #2 commenced and was pleasing in its result.

 Coffee was brewed.  Nice strong Community Coffee.    A lot of coffee was required.

I drank the dregs of the second pot - just to calm my nerves for what was about to happen.

Dunk on Coffee.  That's right.  The coral swath was dunked on coffee.  
Total soak time was in the neighborhood of fifteen minutes - give or take.  I didn't really time this because I was busy and figured that something would come out in the wash, so extra color could not hurt.

There was cooking involved.  Do please notice that the lovely Cornflower pots from thirty-five years ago remain quite serviceable.  This is, however, the first time that this large one had coffee in it - unless you count the great chili experiment, which is great story that has no yarn in it.

Here is a lovely look at the pause to check the  color change.  

One major caution:
Do not attempt dyeing with coffee unless you really love the combination smell of coffee and wet wool wafting about the premises.  The faint might be sensitive.

All in all, this was a grand and successful coffee break.  The result will post soon.

Friday, November 19, 2010


There are times, where blingness is just right.

 Plain neckline - not plain closure.

Here is the asymmetrical cardigan finally and totally completed.  Things that make me happy about this one:

  • The strong line of the decreases in the neck shaping.  Because the edging is crocheted around once the pieces parts are sewn together, I decided to work the decreases two stitches in from the edge.  It makes for a nice detail that is visible, but not the star.
  • The crochet edging.  Just a bit of girly on what is otherwise workhorse Plain Jane stockinette
  • Blingness!  Oh, sure - Plain Jane, non starring role decreases, a bit of girly - all players in the final piece.  But the bling of a big honking safety pin type closure encrusted with fake sparkles is delightful.
  • Bling!  Discovered forgotten in the drawer of unused pieces.  Everything not tossed out is ripe for the recycling.
  • Sleeves that are too long.  Now you are wondering why I'd like sleeves that are too long; and I am going to tell you.
  • This cardigan is winging away to its rightful owner who is endowed with height and length of arm.  Those extra inches of floppiness on me will be perfection on her.

You know what?  There is something totally awesome about this ability to custom fit to the individual.  To spark up plain stitches with Blingness.  Maybe I'll stick with the yarn thing a bit longer.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Getting Done

At least one thing is getting done.  The cardigan is coming together quite well.  

There is something very satisfying about a well done seam.

 Setting in sleeves has never been a bother.  While working the stitches on these, I began to think about why sleeves always sew in easily for me, while yarn friends often utter words unprintable during the activity.

Perhaps it is because I am otherwise experienced.  Meaning, that I learned to set in sleeves while sewing on a pedal Singer machine.  

That's right, pedaling and guiding and turning curves and accomplishing inset sleeves that not only fit but look might fine.  Old school experiences have much value and transfer to all manner of construction projects.  Including yarn rather than fabric.

Sometimes, such as today, the only thing better than a well done seam is two well done sleeves.  

So happy am I over the smoothness that after a break for consuming an autumnal apple and typing these characters, I'll be back at the table to sew up the sides.  

Yarn, football and iFriends.  Life is good.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Not Done

 Not Done #1

Cardigan.  All the pieces are complete but just look at that curling stockinette.  Blocking, sewing, button finding.  
Nope - not done.

Not Done #2
Sampler Scarf.  Please don't click on photo so as to see the two incorrect stitches in the current lace pattern.  We are not amused.

Nope - not done.
 Not Done #3

Serpentine Scarf.  Probably only needs one more pattern repeat and it did get stitches added yesterday including a cable row.  Smooth sailing for a few inches until the next cable row is needed.  But, alas......

Nope - not done.
Not Done #4

The Modern Log Cabin.  At least this is back to a colorful section so there is some anticipation of color changing amongst the bazillion garter stitches.

Nope - not done.

Four projects not done.  So why did I just print a copy of this?  I am undone.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Zing Vest

If I ever write the pattern, someone please remind me to adjust the size of the right front rectangle.  It should be slightly wider.  And naturally, additional sizes would need that whole calculator action.    All in all, the putting together of three rectangles has pleased me.

The front is composed of two rectangles.  The left side is knit of a striping yarn with simple garter edges.  Here the yarn is on display rather than any fancy stitchery.

The right front (a tad too small) is knit with a circular pattern of two yarns that coordinate with the main yarn.  Again garter bands surround the stranded work. 

More about the closure later.

 The back is knit side to side in the same manner as the right front panel but composed of the striping yarn from the left front.   The little surprise is a single pattern at the center back that mimics the right front side.  

And look at the side seams.  No simple mattress stitching here.  
Bands of silver toned circles set in fake pleather connect the fronts and back.   It's a reference to the button and those circles that appear on the right front and center back.

 Here is a better look at the side.  This insert is a trim from the fabric store.  The stuff just jumped up and declared itself the perfect accompaniment to the stranded pattern.  Sometime, kismet is - well - kismet!

This is just enough edgy attitude for me.  In my youth, there would have been more.  But for now it is just enough.  Frankly, it was not difficult at all to hand stitch through the vinyl trim and the wool.  Rather like stitching a zipper into a cardigan.  As always, I used quilting thread.  I like its strength and it slides right through the two different materials.

Oh, yes, the metal circles running down the sides are enough.  Well, except for the fringe that I added to the left front - it being purposely shorter than the right front to make room for this!

This fringe was, in a former life, the bangles on a necklace.  And I am pleased to report that this use of clearance rack costume jewelry is a fun and festive way to add a whole lot of "well, look at that!" to any project.

So, what with the novelty trim looking like silver grommets set into leather and the costume jewelry mimicking onyx and crystal set in silver, this button had to come along for the ride.

That single shining orb hints at the other surprises and all in all was the final touch that makes this vest Zing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ooh La La

 Really, not much need be said other than "Ooh La La!"

Or perhaps Festive!

Elegant seems a bit over the top and not quite right.

 Does not seem trendy.

Maybe très chic is appropriate?

Or how about Stylin'!

Nope.  I'll stick with my original thought.

Ooh La La with a hint of Cha Cha Cha!

Reminder - Cha Cha by Trendsetter Yarns

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blocked and Bigger

 The blocking of the coral colored Seaweed Scarf is now accomplished.  And, the scarf has indeed grown a bit - it is almost seventeen inches down the spine and will wrap around my neck.

The edging is even more lovely now that it is blocked out.  I am fascinated with the way that this scarf lays so wonderfully around my shoulders, back and front.

I still am thinking that the function can be enhanced if there are more rows of stockinette before the edging is worked.

This size - the pattern specified - would work wonderfully well under a coat or jacket.  But, worn that way, the edge will be hidden.   When worn "on top" I still want some way to lock it in position.  Maybe a shawl pin or strategically placed buttons (for both function and adornment).