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Welcome to NaBloPoMo day one! NaBloPoMo, wherein I attempt to post on this blog every day for the whole month of November. Last year I got about five days in before I accidentally skipped a day and the year before I think I made it two whole weeks. Maybe this year will be the year I accomplish it. Or maybe I’ll totally forget tomorrow. One of those.

Anyway, we’re starting the month off right with a finished object. And not just any finished object, but a sweater!

Pattern: Camille Cardigan from the Winter 2012 Knitscene
Yarn: Recycled super bulky 70/30 cotton/wool, the whole sweater (seriously, there are like ten yards left)
Needles: US 11/8 mm
Mods: Welllll, I followed the directions for the shoulders and sleeves (the Contiguous method) and then I just sort of made it up as I went. It’s a pretty simple cardigan, and I’ve made cardigans before. I did so some of the short rows in the collar, but I did leave a lot of them out.

You guys, this sweater is number twelve for the year. TWELVE. True, this one took me five days to knit BUT STILL. TWELVE. Everything from here on out is a bonus (and I’ll probably be making at least one more because who doesn’t need more work cardigans?) I’m completely thrilled with my number twelve, and I’m pretty sure I will wear it all the time. It’s simple, well-fitted (but roomy enough for clothes underneath), and classy enough for work.

Let me tell you about this yarn, y’all. It’s gigantic. My gauge is like 2.5 stitches per inch. It’s recycled (of course), and it used to look like this:

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I have no idea what the yardage is (probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 500), but I used almost every single yard. I was a little worried I was going to run out when I did the button band/collar, but it worked out alright in the end.

The buttons, incidentally, are also recycled. They came off of this sweater:

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Except I apparently had another button that matched, because this sweater appears to only have five buttons and I definitely sewed on six to my sweater. Maybe there was an extra button sewn into the tag at the side seam. Some sweaters have those.

Anyway, I love my new sweater.

It’s warm and snuggly and soft. I even like the bright red color, even though I tend towards cooler colors usually. Love this thing. LOVE.

Anyone who knows my thrift shop habits knows I am incapable of leaving cashmere sweaters on the rack, especially if they’re cheap. As such, I’ve amassed quite a collection. Mostly even in the same color palette. So I made a blanket:

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It is as soft as a cloud and nice and big. There’s no sense of scale in the above picture, but it is the size of my queen bed. Perfect for wrapping myself in in the dead of winter. Or when the AC is too high. Y’know.

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(That’s Joe back there, playing the ever obliging boyfriend)

I made some improvements from the last cashmere quilt I made. Instead of overlapping the squares, I put them right sides together and sewed a proper seam. I also used a straight stick instead of a zigzag. This actually seemed to reduce the amount of lettuce edge I got. I also used squares of varying sizes. This was accomplished by doing absolutely no measuring whatsoever. I basically cut the biggest square I could from each sweater piece.

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Different sized squares meant I couldn’t really sew them into strips. I ended up doing some kind of wonky log cabin thing, at least until the blanket got wide enough. Then I pretty much just sewed strips the best I could. I sometimes had to get a little creative when I didn’t have any squares that were big enough.

I have a fair amount of leftover bits of cashmere. I might piece together a pair of mittens and a hat. I would make a pillow but I already have way too many pillows. I might offer what’s left when I’m out of things I want to make to the Unravelers group on Ravelry and someone can use it for whatever. And then I will snuggle the hell out of my blanket. SO SOFT.

So remember that stack of cashmere squares I showed you a couple of weeks (months?) ago? They’re now a patchwork blanket that is delightfully soft and amazing.

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That’s a queen sized bed it’s draped over, and it’s a little skinnier and a little longer than my UMW t-shirt quilt. I have it laid out over my bed on top of the sheet and quilt for maximum contact while I lounge about knitting and watching Charmed, as I am wont to do on the weekends.

The colors don’t really go and the sewing is… uneven to say the least. My approach to sewing is the same as knitting: Make it up as I go; “good enough” really is good enough; if it’s horrible, hide it in the closet. My blanket is suuuuuper soft and I loooooove it.

I overlapped the squares and zigzag stitched them together into rows, then sewed the rows together. I think I used about ten sweaters? It’s a little bumpy cause I used a regular sewing needle (use a special needle for knits? HA! I say) and there’s definitely a bit of unevenness around the edges. I ran a line of zigzag stay stitching around the whole outside edge of the blanket so it couldn’t stretch too much. Here’s a close up of my crappy machine sewing:

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It actually only took two days of marathon sewing to finish. I’d cut out the squares previously, sewed all the big rows together one day and finished the rest of the sewing the next day. AND a cold front just came in today and the temperature dropped 20 degress, so right in time, I say!

Sooo my posts as of late have been mostly Finished Objects posts. But I have lots of time on my hands, so I do a lot of knitting. I kept meaning to write a WIP post for this sweater but then I finished other things, so I just posted about those instead. Anyway, I finished this top.

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Pattern: Delphine from Interweave Knits Spring 2009
Yarn: Recycled 70/30 cotton/wool
Needles: US 4/3.75 KP options circ
Mods: Added a repeat or two to get a size between S and M, left out the split in the center front, and did the armhole picots in crochet.

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So I’m pretty thrilled with this top. The fit is wonderful, it’s super cute and girly and will be perfect with skirts and over dresses. I love the ribbon and the neckline and the cap sleeves and the shaping and OH it is so cute.

The yarn I used, recycled from a short sleeved Old Navy tunic pullover, turned out to be perfect for this project. I didn’t swatch (I never do) and my gauge ended up being slightly bigger than the pattern, meaning the mods I made for fit worked out perfectly. Had I gotten gauge, it would have been a tic too small. The length is also exactly right, which is exciting since I have a long torso and most sweaters and written to be too short. But this one is just right!

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This sweater is my seventh for the year, which means I am back on track for completing 12 for the year. I’m not sure that I will knit that many, but I do have the yarn and plans for at least six more sweaters. Not sure what I’ll start next (maybe more socks). I currently have a pair of thick hopefully thigh-high socks (I’m about mid-calf in them for a moment). But more on the socks later.

So last night between marathoning SG1 and flexing my fingers from intense knitting, I whipped up a quick skirt.

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It started life as a large, light-weight men’s button-down. I chopped off the bottom under the sleeves, hemmed, gathered, and sewed in some elastic.

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The whole thing probably took me about an hour and I only had to sew the elastic in once. AND it’s small enough to fit around my waist and stretchy enough to fit around my hips (though it looks funny down that far). It also looks super cute as a tube top with a ribbon or something tied under the bust. Which I can do because for once, the outside top where the elastic is sewn in actually looks kind of neat instead of horribly messy and terrible.

Pretty sure I got the shirt at a thrift store for under a dollar and I used about a third a pack of elastic which was like $1.50. So hell yeah, diy, $1.50 skirt!

I finished my Great Gatsby Dress! It was a super fast knit (I think I finished it in about a a week), and I’m utterly thrilled with the finished object.

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Also, I got about a foot of hair chopped off. It’s delightfully short and I donated about 10 inches to locks of love. Anyway, back to the knitting.

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(The bottom’s not uneven, I just don’t stand straight and that bulge is the dress underneath, which is empire waisted)

Pattern: Great Gatsby Dress, from the Summer 2009 Interweave Knits
Yarn: Recycled Linen/Cotton blend, navajo plied and dyed with Dylon Dye
Needle: Mostly US 5/3.75 cause I couldn’t find my 6/4mm KP tips
Mods: Um, a lot. My gauge was like, waaay off (cause you know I don’t swatch), so I did as many repeats of the Fern Lace pattern to get the right width and then modified from there. Also, I left off the picot bind off and just did garter edges.

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Like I said, I am so utterly delighted with this dress. I’d been searching for the right yarn in thrift shops for a while, knowing I’d have to recycle a large sweater to make the project affordable. It took some doing, but I finally found a lace-weight linen/cotton blend that was large enough. I frogged it, tripling the yarn as I wound it, and dyed it with about 3/4 a packet of Dylan dye. The dye job came out to the color wanted (dark grey) with some variation (but not enough to be obnoxious).

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The pattern itself was pretty easy to follow for the most part, and I really like the effect picking up the skirt stitches on the wrong side has. The bodice was a little confusing, but that’s mostly because my stitch counts were way off. I just mirrored the armholes like the back, which I followed more closely to the pattern, and worked the neckline the way I’d make any scoop necked sweater. The effect: SUPER CUTE.

The only issue I have with the dress is that it’s a wee bit short, which means I have to wear something underneath it (I quite like it over this white dress, which is how I had planned to wear it). I could probably get away with just an underskirt as the top part is pretty opaque (though the stitching is pretty loose, so who knows). I was worried the bodice was going to be do tight, but I did some extra bust inscreases on the side, and it fits quite well.

Next on the knitting agenda is a reknit of my Leah vest. I frogged the longer version cause the shaping didn’t sit right and I plan to remake the shorter version so I can finish drafting the pattern and hopefully get it into testing this week. Cheers!

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I’m somewhat obsessed with poofy skirts. The 50’s silhouette is my favorite of the fashion decades, so I try to wear clothes that give me that pretty much as often as I can. I’ve made one circle skirt with many more planned, but to really give them poof, you need a crinoline. Which I finally made!

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I had an old skirt that had a couple of holes along the upper seam lines but the bottom was fine. It’s a little ratty cause the skirt is made out of the thinnest, cheapest material ever, but it’s very full and poofy. Perfect for lifting up my skirts!

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This dress usually lies much flatter without the underskirt.

I’m planning to make at least one more with some tulle I’ve had forever (when I get around to it). In the meantime, I’ll be wearing this one as often as possible, though I think I’ll have to handwash it as it’s quite delicate.

I’m pretty pleased with how this came out, even if I did have to sew the elastic in twice and then overlap it a few times to get it to actually fit. Fun fact: You can usually get away with a lot less elastic than you think you need. Especially this elastic, which I picked up at Joann’s, which is very stretchy.

No pictures of the elastic though cause my stitching is very haphazard and messy. So let’s just pretend it’s neat and pretty. : ) I’ll nearly always be wearing the skirt under other things anyway. To make up for that, here’s a kitty (my cat, whose name is Little Bit):

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She’s skittish and aloof, but she’s cute. : )

PS: Happy Independence Day if you’re in the US! (And happy Monday/Pride Week/belated Canada Day for everyone else.)