Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ballerina Shrug

Ballerina shrug This is my design for the 2008 Lone Star State Knitters design contest. I won second place! I was so thrilled and excited to have won anything. Cool. My sweet friend, Birdy, won first place with her Snow Flurries Baby Blanket. Keep checking back to her site. Rumour has it that the pattern will be for sale soon. And it is gorgeous!

So, I thought I'd offer the pattern for my shrug here. If you make one, I'd love to see a picture and will even put it up here.

I called it Ballerina Shrug for several reasons. One-the yarn color was Ballerina, two-I think it looks like something a ballerina would wear after she's been practicing, three-I saw an episode of Three and A Half Men where Charlie was dating a woman who taught ballet and she was wearing a very similar shrug. I debated about the ruffled edging around the neck and this picture shows it without the ruffle edge. I really like it both ways.

Ballerina Shrug-no ruffle

Ballerina Shrug
By wendydancer at gmail dot com
Copyright 2008
Size-36”(but this pattern is very flexible)
Yarn- Bernat Haven (77 yards/50g per skein) 6 skeins
Needles-US 10.5
5 stitch markers
Gauge-13 st x 19 rows in ss

Cast on 17 stitches.
Set up row: knit 1, pm, knit 3, pm, knit 9, pm, knit 3, pm, knit 1.

Row 1 (RS): Kf&b, sm, Kf&b, k1, Kf&b, sm, kf&b, k7, kf&b, sm, kf&b, k1, kf&b, sm, Kf&b (25 sts)
Row 2 and all WS rows: Purl across
Row 3: Kf&b, Kf&b, sm, kf&b, k3, kf&b, sm, Kf&b, k9, kf&b, sm, kf&b, k3, kf&b, sm, kf&b, kf&b (35 sts)
Row 5: k3, kf&b, sm, kf&b, k5, kf&b, sm, kf&b, k11, kf&b, sm, kf&b, k5, kf&b, sm, kf&b, k3 (43 sts)

Continue as above, knitting in the front and back of each stitch before and after each marker. On every other right side row you will also knit in the front and back of the first and last stitch. Knit until the back section measures approximately 18” wide. This was 41 rows for me and the stitch count at that point was L Front-32, L Arm-45, Back-51, R Arm-45, R front-32 for a total of 205 stitches.

Move the fronts and back to a stitch holder or waste yarn.

Continue knitting the sleeves straight in stockinet stitch for about 3 ½” with no increasing. Then begin decreasing 1 stitch on each side of both sleeves every other RS row. Decrease 10 times until you have reduced your sleeves by 20 stitches. Knit even in stockinet stitch until the sleeve is the length that you want it. I made mine to my wrists at this point.

Sleeve Ruffles:
RS-K1, Kf&b until one stitch remains, k1.
WS-K3, P3 across. Work in K3, P3 rib for 2” ending with a RS row. Bind off in pattern.

Fronts and Back:
Put the fronts and back on the needles and knit even in stockinet stitch for 2 inches ending with a WS row.

Bottom Ribbing Band:
Continuing to knit in ss, cast on about 36 stitches at the beginning of the next two rows so that your total stitch count is divisible by 6. It doesn’t matter if one side is a stitch or two less than the other. Since my two fronts were 32 stitches and the back was 51 (total 115) I cast on 35 stitches on the first row and 36 stitches on the next row so that my total was 186. Knit in K3, P3 ribbing for 1” ending with a WS row. Bind off in pattern.

Neckline Ruffle:
Start with RS facing you at the right front edge where the tie meets the body. Pick up and knit 50 stitches along the front edge to the first raglan line at the sleeve. Continue to pick up and knit 20 stitches along the neck to the left sleeve and another 50 stitches along the left front to the edge where the front meets the tie. Knit front and back in each stitch. Work k3, p3 rib for one inch. End with a WS row. Bind off in pattern.

Weave in ends.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Do YOU wear the stuff you knit?

Not a very catchy title, but it's what I am thinking about. I have been knitting for 3 1/2 years. And I've knit a lot of stuff. Started off with the usual scarves, ventured out to hats, moved on to lace shawls, then shrugs and cowls and sweaters. Now, I'm in a baby knitting phase. And I suspect it has a whole lot to do with the fact that I almost never wear anything I've knitted. And even the things that I love the most...I loved knitting them and I love looking at them...why don't I love wearing them?

Well. Let's face facts. I live in Texas. South Central Texas. It never gets cold here. And when it might be cold in January and February...I'm in deep South Texas. Ok. That is probably a lot of the reason. But it's not the entire reason.

Another reason is that I knit things like this. And while it is really pretty to look at...I feel like an old frump when I wear it.
New Vintage Capelet-Back
I tried giving it to my mom and she said it was too "old lady" for her. She is 70. Oy. So, it sits in the closet and I take it out occasionally and fondle it.And yet, it has the most favs of my Rav projects-16. What does that say about it?

Now, I do wear the shawls more than anything else that I've made. But even that...how often do you get the chance to wear a shawl? I have the lovely Sunray Shawl hanging in my bathroom window as a curtain/valance.

So, in an effort to find things to knit that I might actually get some use out of...I've entered the sweater knitting phase. I am working on the Lace T right now and am about halfway done with it (provided I don't run out of yarn which is a very real possibility). Next will be the Moss & Ribs Cardi take 3. I got more yarn from Plain & Fancy Sheep & Wool Co (love this yarn!) yesterday so I am really excited to start this one. I plan to wear it to KidnEwe in Novemeber. Wish me luck.

I'd really like to know if y'all wear the things you knit or do they lie in your drawers and closets only to be taken out and petted on occasion?

And if you made it this far...go over to the sidebar and vote in my poll.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Lone Star State Knitters have a design contest every year. And it's on now! Go take a look at the entries and scroll to the bottom of the screen for the link to vote. Good luck to all the entrants!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Leafy Tee

I started a new project yesterday and I think I'm going to love it. It's the Raglan Leaf T-shirt and I'm doing it with some modifications that I found on Ravelry done by JennBelcher.

I have been in a very conservative mood lately when it comes to my knitting. I've been using my stash a lot and even ripped a couple of things that I never wear to reuse the yarn. Just call me green, I guess.

I have a couple of inches done on the Leaf T. I'm doing it on US 5's with the black Jaggerspun Zephyr DK that I got from Jessica at Weaving Rainbow. I absolutely adore Zephyr and I had half a cone left after making the Featherweight Fantasy for mom.

The exciting thing about this is that I think I have finally overcome my fear of knitting in the round! The little hat that I made a few weeks ago was done in the round and I didn't have any problems with it. And the Ice Queen was done in the round. It was a breeze. And so far I've managed fine on the Leaf T in the round. Yippee! I actually am beginning to enjoy it. Except the needle feels so stiff. I am having to use the Boye set because the Harmony's smallest length is 24". But soon I will be able to change over.