Sunday, February 13, 2011

Orange You Glad: Crazy Lace Cardi/Myra Wood

I hadn't exactly planned on making a cardi, but since I bought four skeins of this psychodelic orange yarn from Village Knitwhiz a few weeks ago, and I had little else do but work on my Granny Square Tunic, I thought I give this pattern a shot. It's hard to go wrong since all the stitches are improvised. I figure it's a little like everything but the kitchen sink soup. You know the recipe - you go into the refrigerator, fish out limp vegetables like carrots, celery and parsley (but not rosemary and thyme like the Simon and Garfunkel song). Snip them up, slip in a bay leaf, leftover chicken and onions, turn on the stove, cook, boom! You've got stock. Strain, remove any bones. Fish around in the cabinet for some noodles. Pop a fishful of noodles into the broth. Add some green peas for color like I do. A few minutes later, chicken noodle soup.

Now this cardi, designed by Myra Wood, is kitchen soup in the sense that it's a little bit and a dash of that stitchwork. Here's a short list of improvisations made thus far. I used this pattern as my base.
  • I cast on 90 stitches on size 5 needles borrowed from mom
  • I doubled up the yarn as suggested on the yarn label (this is Dream, a Takhi yarn, now discontinued)
  • After two inches of 2x2 ribbing (which will be deliciously elastic since this yarn is mostly wool with a touch of nylon), I slipped the whole shebang on a set of Denise circular needles, an accomplishment because one of my New Year's goals was to start using these interchangeable needles purchased last year at Arcadia Knitting's going-out-of-biz sale
  • Then, as Stitch Diva Studios recommends, I started playing around with different type of stitches, I've got a inch or so of garter stitch eyelet followed by a modified moss stitch. I'm toying with doing some feather and fan stitches and puff stitches.
  • All this experimental stitching makes this almost a wearable sampler. I suspect many of the stitches, even the raglan increases, are a bit wonky. But if I make a pattern out of my 'designer touches,' I suspect no one will notice. If there's a charm in a five-year-old's crooked embroidered alphabet in a vintage sampler, surely someone will find my meandering raglan stitches interesting.
  • Other than tracking and ensuring my bodice front and back, sleeves have equal stitches, I'm just knitting merrily along.
  • I plan to hide some not-so-great front ribbing with some creative crochet, making a bunch of loops for buttons. Somehow I'm going to have got to go over to Harlem Antique Shoppe to dig into their incredibly organized button drawers (all by color, no less). What do I have in mind? Small orange buttons with rhinestone centers. Maybe that will be my adventure for next weekend.
That's it for now. I'm working on updating Yarn U with new yarns. I want to add Brooklyn Tweed, Berocco, Lorna's Laces....what else should I be adding? Not to worry Dream won't be in there because it's discontinued and I plan to eventually weed out all discontinued yarns in the app make it entirely about yarns currently in production)

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