04 Feb

Squirrel!

I am so easily distracted!

Thursday night is knit night and this week I wanted to go but didn’t have an easily portable project (I’m working on an afghan, but it needs a new color each row and I don’t like to schlep my box of yarn around). It struck me though, that I could cut up some newly discarded army undershirts of my husband’s and swatch some lace patterns. Perfect!

First, a little back story. When I started the Army Wife series of aprons (now to include other textile forms) I wanted to express the feeling of unravelling with a knitted piece. This is me trying to work out the increases to shape the piece.

The Army Wife aprons.

But it was just a trapezoid and lacked the graceful curve of subsequent aprons. Looking at the growing series together, the trapezoid stuck out like a sore thumb. So I ripped the stitches out and started over. I was still stuck on leaving the bottom edge unfinished to show the unravelling and so the second try was knit sideways, lengthening and shortening the rows.

Blech! I set this one aside because I ran out of shirts, and wanted to use hubby’s post Iraq throw-aways. I am hoping that because of the different water and detergents there, the tan color will be a different shade. Those shirts are still in a footlocker on a ship.

Still, this is ugly. The apron needs some femininity. I decided that what it needs is a lace edge. Luckily, hubby purged his brown shirts that went with the old BDUs (as opposed to the tan shirts that are worn with the current ACUs and new Multi Cam), so fast forward to Thursday night when I decided to swatch in brown while I wait for the other tan Tees.

First try was a the simple Feather and Fan pattern. I’ve had great success with it in scarves, but the T shirt yarn knits up dense and the laciness was lost, even when I went up several needle sizes.

What I needed was something with more holes. How about crochet? That’s pretty holey.

I kinda like that, but I’d rather make the lace border and then fill in the rest of the knit apron shape than make the apron shape first (which I’ve proven is difficult for me) and then add on a crochet border later. I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it’s how my brain works. I’m much more visual than mathematical.

I searched Ravelry for bottom up, curved shawls with simple lace borders. Knitting lace from charts scares me, but I found one that had symbols I knew and just jumped right in. Hey, it’s not so hard! This looks good, but I wonder if there’s an even holey-er I could try?

Knowing I could tackle the pattern, I dropped the money to pay for a downloadable pattern and tried something a little fancier. It ended up not being any holey-er, but since it’s wider I think it fills the apron nicely and will make for a prettier piece overall. My plan now is to knit the lace part in brown and fill in the rest of the apron body with tan. If I need more tan, hopefully the footlocker will arrive by then.

I’m torn though, finish up my Twelve by Twelve metamorphosis piece, or my invitational piece, or keep running with this lace momentum? Squirrel!

9 thoughts on “Squirrel!

  1. At our home it is called the hummingbird mind. I flit from project to project trying to find the sweetest nectar. I applaud you for trying lace from a chart. I have yet to try it, although I have a pattern and the yarn (Squirrel mode this fall stashing away project for snow days.). I like how the knit swatches look. They appear more delicate than the crochet swatch, which surprised me. I’ll look through my patterns tonight and see if I find a holier pattern. (I have some ancient patterns of my Great Gram’s.) I really do like the tshirt yarn.

  2. Did you try blocking? (Blocking is wetting then stretching to the desired shape & pinning so it dries into that shape.) I know blocking is often used with lace (but I’m not that into lace – so please google some more precise instructions). Wonder how T-shirt yarn will react to blocking? Maybe like normal cotton?

  3. I was going to suggest larger needles, too, but then you might need to make some other adjustments depending on the size. I think finer yard would be holier, but the t-shirt knit is compacting too much.

  4. I kind of like the crocheted sample…Cool concept at any rate. Hope the footlocker arrives quickly! Seems sort of funny….you’re anxiously awaiting the slow boat from the Mid-east bearing…..rags…errr….well work raw materials. 😉

    Lisa

  5. the squirrel reference had me cracking up… We use that term too… 😉 Can’t help ya on the knit… Don’t know how! well, at least it’s one less distraction for me… Happy creating!

  6. I agree with Jeannie, it’s hummingbird around here, I always have two or three things going at the same time. I like the crochet too.

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