Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Revised "Dummy Clap Shawl" pattern & tutorial!

Good morning, everyone! Here is the first set of exciting news coming up...I have completely revised my second most popular free pattern, the "Dummy Clap Shawl" pattern AND video tutorial, and it still being offered for free by yours truly. Lucky ducks.

The 2015 Revised "Dummy Clap Shawl" Pattern
Happy Wednesday! Anna Maliszewski

Saturday, January 17, 2015

FO: Mrs. Darcy Cardigan

 
And that's a wrap, fellas.
Size: Medium (with modifications)
Yarn: 3.4 skeins of Patons Classic Worsted Weight Wool (approx. 750 yds)
Needles: Size US9 circulars and dpns
Started: December 1st, 2014
Completed: January 14th, 2015
Modifications: sleeve increases (8 extra sts per sleeve), extra rows on the hem and collar and ribbing area, an extra button hole, waist ribbing changed to standard 1x1.  
This is a very cute cardigan.  It has two main problems though: the fit is off, even with all of my sleeve modifications, and the whole armpit seaming is completely unnecessary if it were worked top-down instead. Why isn't this worked top-down? 

The main fit issue lies in the yoke. The sleeves, even with 8 extra sts that I added isn't enough fabric area to do increases around. This forces the increases to be placed incorrectly, pulled into my arm instead of lying nicely at the diagonal crease of the arm. The back of the cardigan fits great,  but the front won't stay put on my shoulder. I catch myself pulling on it to stay on. It's still a cute cardi though. 
I used the buttons from my birthday yarn shop trip.
This is a nice Valentine's Day coverup over a dress or tanktop.
I can see myself redesigning the cardigan to address the fitting issues.  I might also make it a smidgen less deep-V shaped as well, and add some more ribbong length in the waist area.  

I hope you like it. Have a great weekend. Take care, 
Anna

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Blocking like a boss

Mrs. Darcy is fully completed, was washed in some eucalyptus and lavender scented wool wash and is currently blocking like a boss right now because I'm making sizing my biotch, and not the other way around. Right? Right? ;) This babe needed some serious blocking to fit and sit flatteringly. Sometimes you have to man (or woman)-handle these fussy things.

Maybe I was a little dramatic. It didn't need a lot of pin-blocking. Laying flat while damp on the floor after smoothing it down a bit did wonders all on its own. I did a few pins for width on the bottom of the sweater just to make sure it stayed put.

Want a spoiler? Ok, twist my arm...

Sunday, January 04, 2015

WIP: Mrs. Darcy Cardigan

Happy New Year! I couldn't be happier to show you that I have made good progress on the Mrs. Darcy Cardigan since the last time we talked.

Needles: Size US9
Yarn: 4 skeins of Paton's Classic Worsted Weight Wool (840 yds)
Started: 12/1/14
I have completed 3/4 of the cardigan. 2.5 or so inches are needed before I begin the arm shaping and seamlessly attaching the sleeves to the body of the sweater. Seamless knits- who doesn't love that? I have one more skein left to this cardigan after this ball ends, so hopefully I won't get too nervous about running out.

I have made several modifications already, between making more increases for the sleeves, lengthening the garter hem, adding an extra button hole, changing and slightly lengthening the ribbing on the waist. It's possible that I might make another in the future, so I've been be really good about marking all of my changes on the pattern itself and later adding those notes to my Ravelry page.
How has your new year started? I am dreading the annual holiday cleanup and getting back into the swing of work again, although Mother Nature has finally decided that it should snow here and it's looking beautiful (albeit dangerous driving conditions) like a true Winter Wonderland in the Chicagoland area. After having snow for 3 solid months last year, I'm fine that it waited until after the holidays to snow. I'm sure a lot of travelers appreciated less hassle & stress.

I heard rumors that it would feel like -40 out this week! BRR! I was starting to get comfortable knitting for myself, but when the temperature dips like that, my instincts is to finally knit ski-masks for everyone!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Best of KUAS 2014

Happy New Year, dear readers! I wish you blessings and prosperity as we approach this new year. 2015! Wow! Can you believe it? Keeping up with my New Year tradition, here is "the best of 2014" from the KUAS blog (not in any particular order):

The Best of 2013
The Best of 2012

I'll meet you back here in a fresh new year with updates on my Mrs. Darcy Cardigan. :)

Friday, December 26, 2014

WIP: Christmas Socks

I hope all of you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas!  I finished my MIL's Christmas socks (aka "Hawkeye Socks") the day before Christmas Eve. It was such a relief to get it done the day before all of the festivities began.

Yarn: KUAS fingering weight yarn in a superwash merino blend (colorway "Bleed in Black & Gold")
Needles: size US2
Started: not telling!          Finished: December 23rd, 2014
Specs: 64 sts, 8'' leg, size US 7.5 women's shoe
Blog Posts: Post 1    Post 2

 I dyed this yarn a long time ago in the colorway "Bleed in Black & Gold." That silly colorway name is a slogan from the University of Iowa for their football team, the Hawkeyes, who bleed in black and gold. Not only did my husband and I graduate from that college, but so did his parents. So we are all big Hawkeye fans.
I realize that ribbing is not the most effective way to display striped or variegated colorways, but I was going more for function than ascetics. I wanted to make sure that it fit really well, since some socks have a tendency to stretch out with time.
Here's another example of packaging hand-knits. Joe and I tried to calculate how many stitches went into making this pair of socks (and the result makes me a little sick to my stomach): approx. 24,500 stitches. If you are going to spend that much time knitting them, fancy up the packaging.

I included a nice instruction care card (with a plea to hand-wash and to never let this sock so much as look at a dyer unless you want it to fit my toddler's feet), and also included a little wool-wash sample. She was pleasantly surprised. Well, she should be, since she asked for it last Christmas, and that never happened. Ha ha ha...whoops. What was I supposed to do, give her one sock?
I'll miss these little buggers. I was contemplating finishing them up "magic loop" style, but decided against it. I have another pair (yes, an actual pair running to avoid secondsockities) half done from the Ice Age era, and I'll probably slide them onto a circular needle and try them two at a time.
 My husband was putting the boys down when I finished the last toe, and came down surprised to see me wearing them. He was wondering if would finish them in time with all of the happenings going on this particular season. I pretended for a couple of minutes that they were mine. :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Punk-Chic Jewelry

I'm a firm believer in dressing up homemade presents with pretty boxes and bows. Here's a gift I made a month ago for a friend.

We a both fans of the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I wanted to make a punk necklace similar (although with some major liberties) to the one in the end of the series. Sorry, don't remember which episode it was. Mine have pointy spikes and a heart for the chain to run through.
 
The idea was to make something a little sexy with a tank-top, dress or a V-cut shirt. The chain is a little adjustable, so you can alter the length of the spikes by how much you pull it through the heart.
The earrings aren't necessarily supposed to match, but I made this before her sister's wedding, and I told her that if she didn't already have something fancy to wear on her ears, this might work well. She loves big earrings.
The earrings were very easy to make. I bought it mostly assembled. I basically just attached the earring portion. But, then again, I paid extra for that sort of convenience because they were gorgeous.
The necklace is what took the longest. These chain links were so tiny, and were a big pain to open and close and get just right.
This has been over a month, so this post is long overdo. She thanked me for the jewelry when it was dropped off at her house, but I haven't heard from her on how it actually wears (or if she has worn it at all yet, even)...so I'm not sure it she likes it as much as I thought she would. Oh well. Is my jewelry too eccentric?

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