Monday, January 28, 2019

Cauliflower's Cardigan

My grandniece Cauliflower is due to turn 10 in August of this year. She got a dress for her ninth birthday, which meant that this year she gets a sweater. When I searched Ravelry for a suitable pattern in DK, I found Pixie Dust, a cute little cardigan that I thought Cauliflower would like, since she seems to prefer plain-ish clothes. Then I bought 300 grams of Sandnes Garn Sisu Solids in turquoise to make it with, since Cauliflower's favourite colours are blue and turquoise.

Here's the finished sweater, which I knit in a size 10. In this pattern, which is knitted seamlessly from the top down, the designer has cleverly hidden the increases in the eyelets. It's a pretty well-written pattern on the whole, though I did have to make the buttonholes on the opposite side to what the pattern calls for in order to place them on the "girl's/women's side". It was also a very quick knit. I was done in just nine evenings, and even at that I lost one evening's work due to my misunderstanding the pattern. I'm pleased with the result, and it goes well with the necklace and earrings I also made for Cauliflower's birthday.

I had just 5 grams of yarn left after making this item, which as it was new yarn, is a stash increase of 5 grams.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Tween Style Jewelry

My grandniece Cauliflower is due to turn 10 in August 2019. I made her a dress for her ninth birthday last year, which meant she gets a sweater this year, and as I was working on that it occurred to me that it would be nice to make her a necklace and earrings set to go with it, given that she's going to be a tween now, and just got her ears pierced. I made a number of trips to Michaels with my "40% off one item" coupons in hand, and tried to pick out beads and come up with an overall concept that would be suitable for a ten-year-old but not be too twee for her several years down the road -- I wanted her to be able to wear and enjoy this set for a good five years. In the end I bought some floral silver-tone metal beads and some assorted glass Czech beads, and from my existing supplies drew some silver-tone spacer beads, wire, a silver-tone magnetic clasp, lever-back earrings, and headpins. Cauliflower's current favourite colours are blue and turquoise, and they certainly suit her. She has fair skin, blue eyes, and hair that is light brown in winter and blond in summer. I'm pretty sure that (according to seasonal colour theory) she's a summer, and she seems to look best in light, fresh, cool colours. These colours also go well with the cardigan I made for her.

The earrings. I took care to keep them fairly small and light.

The necklace and earrings. The necklace is 17.5" long, which shouldn't be too long on Cauliflower now and won't be too short on her when she's full-grown. I'm pretty well satisfied with how these pieces turned out and am confident that Cauliflower will be too. The effect is young and cute but not so little-girlish that Cauliflower won't be able to wear them until she's 15 or even a little longer, provided she doesn't turn goth in the meantime.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The New Snow Hat & Scarf

At some point last year I realized that though I have a number of hat and scarf sets that I love (i.e., this plum set, this peacock feather hat, this teal hat, this variegated set, this old rose set, plus a few more commercially made thrift shop hats and scarves), they were all in such an array of vivid colours and patterns that sometimes I could not find one in my hat and scarf basket that would go with an outfit that had decided colours or patterns of its own. I decided I ought to have a neutral hat and scarf set that would go with all my coats and all my outfits and then I'd be sure to always have a hat and scarf set to wear.

For this project (My very first of 2019! It's like walking in new snow!), I was very practical. Some of my hats are in fingering weight and/or lacy, which may be aesthetically pleasing but is not all that well suited to a Toronto winter. For this project I determined I would use a pattern that was solidly knit and called for worsted wool. I searched Ravelry for a suitable pattern. In the end I settled on one I had used before, when I made this coral hat and scarf set for my sister, the Day's Eye Hat. As for the yarn, I selected Berroco Ultra Wool in a cream shade.

And here's the finished project. It worked up pretty quickly. I began the project on December 31st and finished on January 11th. My only mod was to add five extra rows to the first cable motif for extra drape, as the pattern itself suggests. There's no scarf pattern, but I adapted the motif from the hat, knitted it to the required length on straight needles, and then edged the resulting piece with a twisted ribbing, just as I had done the previous time I used the Day's Eye pattern. The Ultra Wool held out MUCH better than the yarn I used for the coral hat. I had 300 grams of it and was only able to make the hat and a 4' scarf. This time I made the hat and a 5'6" scarf out of 270 grams of yarn.

And now I am sure to have a hat that'll go with any outfit I cobble together, and I'll never have to head out the door looking, as my mother would put it, "like a bald buzzard".

I had 30 grams of the cream yarn left. It was new yarn, so that's a stash increase of 30 grams.