Lemonade Slippers

Like they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

After needing to steal some yarn from a second skein of Big Delight to finish the Allegria slippers, I wanted to find a use for the remainder of that skein (78 grams out of the original 100 grams).

My first attempt was to make these slippers, which called for using the Big Delight doubled. I got about 75% of the way through one slipper when I reached the halfway point of the yarn. No good.

I could make some slippers that were single-stranded, but I wanted something more heavy-duty. So instead, I found this pattern, which calls for Drops Eskimo yarn (super-bulky). It’s mostly stockinette stitch instead of garter stitch, so it would use a little less yarn. So I cast on again, hoping I’d have enough yarn.

Alas, I didn’t. At least, not when I made them as written for the medium size. I made one slipper, but hit the halfway mark of the yarn when I was about an inch short of finishing.

But since the doubled ‘Big Delight’ yarn was a little heavier than the ‘Eskimo’ called for in the pattern, I thought that if I used larger needles for a looser gauge, and cast on fewer stitches, I might be able to make it work.

I started over with 6.5mm needles, and cast on for the smallest size, but then increased to only 26 st instead of 28 (on last increase row, only did the outermost increases). I figured that would be pretty close to the same size as the 2nd pattern size. When I got to within the last few rows, I weighed the yarn, and had used about half of it. Yikes! Could I make it?

I cast on for the 2nd slipper using the opposite end of my yarn ball, and knit it to the same point as the first slipper. Then I knit one row of each slipper at the same time, until there was only enough yarn connecting the two slippers to bind off or seam (I hoped). I cut the remaining yarn so that each slipper had half of the remainder.

I seamed the toe and top of the foot, and checked the fit. It looked like I was a row or two short of the length I needed, but I figured I could make it work even if I had to use some other yarn to finish. I tried binding off with the remaining tail of the yarn, but I was short by just a few stitches. Plus, it looked like the slippers were still a row or two too short.

Hmmm. Well, I wasn’t all that happy with the pointy end of the heel anyway, so I ripped out the bindoff and the previous row. I reknit the previous row, decreasing 2 sts in the center of the row. Then with the remainder of the yarn, I knit one more row, decreasing another 2 sts in the center of the row. I had just enough yarn to finish the row, and the decreases gave a nice rounded curve to the heel.

After doing the same to the second slipper, I had to make a decision about how to do the back seams. I looked through all of my stash and remnants, looking for some yarn that would either blend in or make a nice contrast. I returned from my stash pile with some olive green Patons Classic Wool clutched in my fist.

Since the yarn color wasn’t going to match anyway, I first tried a 3-needle bind-off with the bound-off edge on the outside as a decorative seam. I didn’t like how that looked, so I took that out and grafted the edges together, making a green stripe down the back of each heel. I tried on the slipper, and it was a perfect fit! Score!

Drops 111-29 slippers

I probably could have done one less row and used the tail to graft the slippers, and they would have been big enough, since the wool will stretch. But I was really DONE playing with them, and I kind of like the green stripe anyway.

End result? I -LOVE- these. The doubled aran-weight yarn makes a nice thick fabric that is comfortable underfoot, and will probably wear better than a single strand of Eskimo. I could use a whole herd of these slippers. The colorway (“Summer Meadow”) is pretty, too. I like it even better than the “Marina”. Since I had used a chunk of the browns already, there was no possibility of making the slippers matchy, but I like them anyway.

More photos and details of the modifications on my Ravelry project.

Drops 111-29 slippers

You may have to pry them off my feet.

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Victory is Mine

I have conquered the slippers!

Allegria slippers

Using some of the brown sections of yarn from the other colorway I had, I was able to finish the slippers. As Marilyn suggested, I ripped out the existing foot and used that yarn for the flaps on the second slipper, so that the flaps on both slippers would be blue. Then I reknit both feet using the new yarn.

I think they came out pretty well. I even managed to make the feet somewhat matchy.

Allegria slippers

Pattern: Allegria (Drops 158-48), not yet in Ravelry database
Yarn: Drops Big Delight, colorway “Marina” for leg, “Summer Meadow” for feet
Needles: US6/4.25 mm

Other than the issue of running out of yarn (the pattern has now been updated to the correct amount of 200 grams), these were a pretty fun project. The construction is very different, which is one of the reasons I wanted to make them. But since there was no schematic in the pattern, and the English translation of the Norwegian pattern left me a bit confused, I really didn’t understand quite how they went together when I started. But once I got going with the knitting, I figured it out.

I put extensive notes (including my own crappily-drawn schematic) in my Ravelry Project.

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Southern Utah

Last weekend we drove down to Southern Utah to see a couple of plays at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City.

We stayed with friends who have a condo at Brian Head ski resort, so we only had to pay for gas and food, plus the play tickets, of course. We saw two plays, and both were outstanding. “The Comedy of Errors” was reimagined as a Western during the gold rush of 1849, and it was a brilliant adaptation. This may have been the most entertaining version of a Shakespeare play I’ve ever seen. The other play we saw was “Twelfth Night“, which was also fantastic. It was very difficult to decide which of the two I liked best, but I give a slight edge to “The Comedy of Errors”. I’d highly recommend either to anyone who can catch one of these before the festival ends in mid-October.

Apparently actors appear in two different plays during the festival, so a number of the actors were in both plays we saw. There were many fine performances, but we particularly enjoyed Aaron Galligan-Stierle, who totally stole the show in “The Comedy of Errors”, and showed off a fine singing voice in “Twelfth Night”.

Red rocks near Brian Head Resort

Of course, the festival isn’t the only reason we like to travel down to the other end of the state. The scenery and hiking are fantastic.

Can you spot ET in the following photo?

Red rocks near Brian Head resort

It’s always entertaining to travel through the area. How many places in the desert can you find a lighthouse? Cedar City is home to what is apparently the largest inland lighthouse.

Lighthouse in Cedar City

And of course, traveling to Southern Utah requires a trip through Beaver, Utah, where you can have a mammogram  at the Beaver clinic:

Mammograms

Purchase some Beaver Cheese (though sadly, none is Venezuelan):

Beaver cheese

And entertain yourself with GPS oddities:

Trash Pile

Unfortunately, we did not stop at Beaver Liquor. But we did have some of the city’s award-winning Beaver water.

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Slipper Fail

Recently I purchased two skeins of Drops “Big Delight” yarn (yes, I hear some of you snickering) – one in a blue mix, and one in a raspberry mix. I didn’t really know what I was going to do with them, but I was placing an order with NordicMart when all of their wool yarns were on sale, and I thought it would be fun to try. Since it’s aran-weight with long color changes, I thought it might make an interesting substitute for Noro.

Then about a week ago, I saw that the new Drops pattern collection had gone online, and saw this slipper pattern, which said it took 100 grams (1 ball). I had my doubts that I could really make such large slippers out of 219 yards of yarn, but I went ahead and tried it anyway. Hey, it’s just knitting, right? And I was fascinated by the slipper construction.

Well, of course, this is what happened. After 1 1/2 slippers, I and ran out of yarn.

Allegria slippers

So now I need to decide what to do.¬† I could try using some of the yarn from the other skein I have. I don’t think the raspberry color would work all that well with the blue, but if I cut that out, the beige and browns would probably work.

Or I could just rip out what I have and make something else. There’s certainly enough to make smaller slippers that don’t go over the ankle.

While I mull it over, here’s what the finished one looks like when worn (minus the buttons, of course):

Allegria slippers

Currently I’m thinking about reknitting them with a similar heel/foot construction, but only ankle high.

Edited to add: Since all of the first comments on this post suggest buying another skein, I guess I should explain why I’m not interested in doing that – I bought the initial skein of yarn when it was 35% off and I was placing an order anyway, so there was no additional shipping cost. To buy another skein now, I’d not only pay full price for the yarn, but the flat-rate shipping cost would be 2/3rds of the cost of the yarn on top of that. Since I was only making the slippers to find a use for the yarn I already had, that seems pretty silly – especially when I wouldn’t have made them in the first place if I’d expected them to cost that much. (If I were going to order from the company again soon, I’d just wait and buy a skein then – but I don’t have any plans for that.)

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143

That’s how many days left until Christmas.

And I am ready.

Twinkle Toes socks

Pattern: 0-865 Christmas socks in Karisma (“Twinkle Toes”)
Yarn: DROPS Karisma, by Garnstudio
Needles: US 4/3.5mm

I didn’t bother swatching because they’re socks. By the time you have a good swatch done in the round, you’ve knit a good portion of the sock. But if I had done one, I would have discovered that my gauge was much looser than the pattern gauge.

But all was well – I just decreased the number of stitches after the stranded colorwork pattern, and they ended up fine.

Since this yarn is DK weight, the socks are pretty quick to knit. Of course, that also means that they’re too thick to wear with most of my shoes – but I really expected them to just be house socks anyway.

If I made them again (or one of the many other cute stranded sock patterns for Karisma), I would definitely go down a size in needle, and maybe still knit a smaller size of sock. I started out with the medium ladies’ size (9.5″ foot length), but ended up decreasing down to the child’s large size (8″ foot length). By the way, the sizes listed on the Ravelry pattern page don’t match the ones on the actual pattern page.

Whatever needle size I used again, I’d definitely consider going up a size for the stranded colorwork rows.

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Knitting update

Yes, I was childish enough to get a Subway kid’s meal project bag.

But at least I’ve been working on that second Christmas sock. Heel flap is done, so I’m in the home stretch.

I’ve got more travel coming up, so I’ve been trying to figure out more projects to work on that are good for car trips. I’ve cast on for a simple cowl – just knitting a simple tube in the round, and grafting the ends together to make a loop.

But I need something that will be a longer-term commitment, but without having to worry about measurements and sizes. I’m thinking about the EZ 100th Anniversary PI Shawl: Hearts.

 

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Driving Trip

I’m going to be taking a driving trip to Chattanooga Tennessee, and am starting to plan it out.

This is the plan so far (click map for bigger):

route map

I’m planning on 4 days to get there, following the more northern route on the map (in blue), and 4-5 coming back on the more southern route (in gray). I’m pretty familiar with the blue route as far as Kansas City, but not with anything past that, or with the gray route, other than Colorado.

For those of you more familiar with the other areas, can you suggest anything that we might want to see or do on our way there or back? We can’t spend a lot of extra time doing things on the trip there, so we won’t be able to do anything that takes much time – but we’ll have more leeway on the trip back.

Also, we’ll be in the Chattanooga area for a few days, so suggestions for things to see while we’re there would be great, too.

 

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FO: Henslowe

Finally I have another finished object for you.

Henslowe shawl

This is Henslowe. Here’s a better look at the pretty edging:

Henslowe shawl

It’s written for a fingering-weight yarn, but I made it with a lace-weight silk/linen blend.

The construction was very interesting. First you knit the garter stitch body by starting at the bottom (point) of the shallow triangle. You knit upwards, leaving YO loops at the ends of each row. Then you bind off across the top edge, and pick up the YO loops along the bottom two sides of the triangle. From there you knit downward, working the roman stripe sections. Finally, you end with a sideways knit-on border that produces the final mesh section (faggoting) and the picot bindoff.

The size as written is really more of a small shawlette/shoulder shawl, or a large scarf. Because of the shape, I think it’s really best suited to that size. If you made it much larger, it would end up extremely long before it really got very deep. Plus, since the top edge is straight rather than curved, it won’t sit around the shoulders as well as some other shapes.

If I wanted to make a large shawl, I think it would be better to work the main body in a different shape, such as a half-circle or less-shallow triangle, and then add on the border. But I think the pattern looks very nice wrapped around the neck as a scarf.

I added more rows to the garter stitch body, and an additional repeat of the Roman Stripe pattern – partly because I was using thinner yarn and needed to compensate for size, but also because I had a lot of yarn. In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t done the extra stripe repeat. It’s fine as is, but I think the pattern’s original size/proportions are better. I considered ripping out the edging and removing the extra repeat, but then decided it wasn’t worth the work. And this way, it’s large enough to cover my shoulders if I need a little extra warmth.

I really do like the edging, and I’d consider knitting the pattern again, either in the original size or in a larger size with a modified shape.

I liked the yarn, and it made a very lightweight piece for wearing in warmer weather.

Pattern: Henslowe, by Beth Kling
Yarn: Breeze, by Anzula (laceweight silk/linen), colorway “Victoria”
Needles: US4/3.5mm

Project notes with modifications and yarn usage detail here.

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Look! Over There!

I’m still scrambling to get back into the swing of normal life, so real blog posts are still on hold.

In the meantime, let me distract you with some pretty cloud photos I took from the plane on my recent flight home:

20140714_170659

20140714_170922

20140714_171551

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Busy-ness

I’m still here. Sort of.

Things have been hectic around here, and with lots of travel, and still more to come. But at least there was some of this:

Harbor at sunrise

And lots of this:

Lobster

Followed closely by this:

Swimming

And lots of these:

latkes

Now I’m taking tiny breather before heading off into the sunrise again. Catch you on the flip-flop.

 

 

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