Hope for Pencil Necks!

neutrals

lean and green

Big new idea for summer tees! Are you a pencil-necked geek (like me)? Or, alternately, do you like cotton t-shirts but find that the neckline stretches out in an unattractive and decidely unfashionable way over time. Refresh that neckline with Knit Kneck Tees™. Simply poke holes with a yarn needle at regular intervals along the facing of the neck of your fav droopy tee. Then pick up either complementary or contrasting cotton yarn with a crochet hook and align it correctly onto either one small circs, two circs, or DPNs. Knit around with your fav pattern until neckline has been built up to your liking. Bind off with EZ’s stretchy Sewn Bind Off. Creates a dressy touch for tees. Wanna make it x-tra girly with a built-in necklace? Use metallic cotton or beads for fast bling! Wanna be all macho about it? Go monotone and finish with 2×2 ribs. Super fast and easy. Really. Any idiot can do it … I did!

cream on white

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Vest Adaptation Excites Millions

Or, at least, me!

I’m very happy with how this vest came out. It may be the best, most well-fitting vest I’ve made. Especially, I like how the garter-stitch running in different directions gives the heathered Mushishi even more texture and dimension. I’ve said it before, EZ’s generally blocky and dated designs (60s, 70s) can really benefit from a) short-row or other shaping, and b) using zippers rather than buttons for a sleeker, more modern look. Behold my proud creation:

Will try to replicate in another yarn. I took notes as I went and it actually is a pretty simple hack on the EZ ASJ.

Has a bit of an ancient Japanese armor vibe, no?

Adult Surprise . . . Vest?

Many of you have made the Elizabeth Zimmermann Baby Surprise Jacket. Many of you, like me, have gone a step further and made the Adult Surprise Jacket. See my Ravelry page. Love the architectural design and the simple beauty of the garter stitch. I am finishing up my adaptation of this theme with an . . .wait for it . . . Adult Surprise Vest! I wanted the same look as the jacket, knitted in one piece with just shoulder seaming, but without the sleeves.Iin addition, I wanted to emphasize the shoulders (to make mine look broader) and to shape the waist in. My simple adaptation was to increase the angle of double-decrease turns much more sharply (every row) and simply not knit the sleeve stitches. Here is a pic of it almost finished but still on the needles. Have already seamed the shoulders.

Actually, I have now cast off and am installing the zipper. Yes, I have often put zippers on EZ’s sweaters to update the style.

And I like zippers :)..   Stay tuned for the finished product. I think it will look good on me i.e. hide flaws, flatter assets.

In-Vested!

Whoa! Long slack-off. School began, in hospital for a couple of weeks. Yada, yada. No excuses.

Anyway, with summer looming, I’m on a cotton kick. Not that I’ve completed all my previous wooly projects but I’m just jonesin’ to crank on the cotton. Scored the requisite second skein of Katia Jamaica (#4000) from my fav LYS Puppy Yarn in funky recycle shop and student theatre district Shimokitazawa. Here’s what it looks the front looks like (already finished the back):

Cool and island-y

Cool and island-y

Couldn’t help myself. Also cast on the same vest pattern but in my colors and according to Symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) ‘s Vowel poem. You know, the one where he associates vowels with colors (basically launching the Symbolist poetry movement and the psychedelic study of synesthesia)?
Goes like this:
A Black, (E white), I red, U green, O blue : vowels,
I shall tell, one day, of your mysterious origins:
A, black velvety jacket of brilliant flies
Which buzz around cruel smells,Gulfs of shadow; (E), whiteness of vapours and of tents,
Lances of proud glaciers, (white) kings, shivers of cow-parsley;
I, purples, spat blood, smile of beautiful lips
In anger or in the raptures of penitence;U, waves, divine shudderings of viridian seas,
The peace of pastures dotted with animals, the peace of the furrows
Which alchemy prints on broad studious foreheads;O, sublime Trumpet full of strange piercing sounds,
Silences crossed by Worlds and by Angels:
O the Omega, the violet ray of Her Eyes!

– As translated by Oliver Bernard: Arthur Rimbaud, Collected Poems (1962) 

Scary and trippy right? I’m off on a tear now to incorporate those colors into the linen and cotten summer top I’m knitting up for myself. Looks like this:
Rimbaud Vowel Vest

Rimbaud Vowel Vest

Rimbaud Vowel Vest

Rimbaud Vowel Vest

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I got very inspired by the origami mind of Elizabeth Zimmermann to knit the extremely simple but fun Moebius Vest with built-in i-cord (yarn forward then slip (purl-wise) last three stitches of each row).  So far, I’ve done this:

so cool and green

so cool and green

 Against the sour global economy, I’m busy in-vesting!    

Cool Vest or Hot Mess?

Back on track. Have been very busy for a while and unable to really write this blog correctly. I’m back now for a few months (my work cycle is very cyclic . . .) and have lots of time to knit.

As I’ve said before, I’m really not a collector of anything, so not a stash person. I like knitting a project from beginning to end. For me it’s about the interplay of the colors and textures on the needles; uncommitted balls of yarn look kind of lifeless IMO. But, despite my spartan outlook, yes, I have amassed bits and pieces from previous projects. These were bothering me as they were on the verge of  assuming “stash” status, thus ruining my stash-free reputation. Over the new year’s holiday, I got a great idea. I dumped all the bits out onto a shelf, and culled out anything not at least 80% wool, anything too bulky or lace weight, and any very bright colors or black. Then I sorted the yarn into color groupings: blue/grey, green/blue-green, brown/rust/tan, cream (no bright white), and Noro ends with red and black removed. I lined them up and first cut them into 4 metre lengths and then tied these together with square knots, moving in order from group to group and then repeating. I plan to let those ends show in a regular pattern on the front of the work. The resulting yarn is one that I like very much. Reminds me of the sophisticated striping motifs used by Missoni. but also has a bit of the raggity look of used sari yarn. 

The un-stash

 

Enjoined Yarn

Ends Swatch

 Swatch Close-up

Interesting side note: Livejournal diva/sage sleepsong noticed fron this pic that I had been purling the wrong way, causing a twist in each stitch. I am so grateful. I might have gone on forever screwing up project after project in ignorant bliss! I spent all yesterday doing purl swatches to get the right way into my fingers. It is amazing how much better my knitting looks now! (Duh!)

Thinking of making a sweater vest for me out of this glorious ragtag yarn. Can see it really popping with a brown turtle-neck! Here’s the thing: the last few sweater vests I’ve made,  I’ve thought that the Noro or other striped yarns I like have not offered a flattering horizontal stripe across my body. Anyone relate to that? So, I’d like to do a sweater knit from side-to-side to make my new yarn stripe vertically. Subequent to writing  this I have decide on the Bold Zebra pattern from Guy Knits , done in the vest design from Knitting with Balls. It really allows a striping effect of alternating yarns that I really like while still emphasizing the vertical up and down lines without being knit side-to side. I think this will be a cool vest.