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Newt Scamander’s Hogwarts House Scarf

October 6, 2017
Newt Scamander Hogwarts House Scarf

Oh my goodness. It’s been a week. First there was the terrible news out of Las Vegas. Then we heard that Tom Petty had passed. Then we heard that Tom Petty maybe was still alive. The Hubs tells me that this is because you can stand him up at the gates of Hell, but he won’t back down. But then Tuesday his death was confirmed. Now The Hubs has a 102 degree fever, possibly because he is mourning Tom Petty. On top of all that, work has been crazy and I’m pretty worn out.

One of the things keeping me chugging along is thinking about Halloween. Yes. I am that white girl. Except that I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes, but I like chai lattes, so that’s probably just as bad. The Hubs and I decided our Halloween costumes last December, but I’m only just started working on them. We are going to be Newt Scamander and Tina Goldstein from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Not only do these costumes fulfill requirement of “pick a costume with shoes you’d wear again”, but it includes some knitting!

Newt Scamander Hogwarts House Scarf

A long time ago, I knit a Hogwarts House Scarf in Ravenclaw colors. Not long after that, Pottermore happened, and I was sorted into…Slytherin.  Yes, this still upsets me because 1. Snakes. 2. Dungeons and 3. Not a single Slytherin defended Hogwarts in the Battle of Hogwarts? Not a single one? I call BS. Anyways, like a true Slytherin would do, I created a new profile and got sorted into Ravenclaw.

Newt Scamander Hogwarts House Scarf

This was before I knew that you should trim your tassels to the same length.

A short time after that, I moved to Texas and wore my Ravenclaw scarf, to which someone said, “Nice scarf. Dallas Cowboys colors.” Ugh. Nope. So despite my previous Hogwarts House Scarf failures, I was willing to attempt another for Newt Scamander.

Newt Scamander Hogwarts House Scarf

The Pattern

Newt Scamander’s Hogwarts House Scarf is a little different from the ones in the original series. Firstly, the color has more of a vintage feel to it. It’s the 1920’s after all! I actually  like the vintage style colors better than the originals. I think it makes it look more refined. I’ve gotten a lot of comments from people who didn’t recognize it as a Hufflepuff scarf, but still really liked the colors. 

Newt Scamander Hogwarts House Scarf

Newt’s scarf also differs from the original Hogwarts House Scarf in that it’s stripes are not exactly even. The yellow stripes are just a wee bit shorter than the gray. Karen Stewart Longest did a great write up on the exact number of rows of each color here. The original scarf has 11 yellow stripes, but that came up looking really short on The Hubs (who is about 2 inches taller than Eddie Redmayne). It’s actually a pretty short scarf, since it’s not meant to be worn looped.  I knit 13 yellow stripes instead of 11. I found that looked much better on The Hubs that way.

The construction of Newt’s scarf is exactly the same as the original Hogwart’s House Scarf in that it’s basically a flattened tube with tassels. Nothing really new or challenging here. I didn’t even bother making my stripes jogless. I just folded the tube along the edge where the new color starts and it’s not noticeable.

The Yarn

I used Lion Brand Heartland for this yarn because the colors were right and it was cheap. This yarn is the wooorst. Okay, it’s not as bad as full on Red Heart, but it’s pretty bad. It’s actually fairly soft, but that’s part of the problem, because Lion Brand Heartland is hands down the slipperiest yarn I’ve ever used. And I’ve knit with silk!

Seriously, this yarn would not stay wound in a ball and it made my life miserable. It tangled at any opportunity and just felt loose and slack no matter how I wound it. I was never really attracted to Heartland in the first place, but I will certainly avoid it from now on. It just goes to show that you get what you pay for with yarn.

I don’t have all the the other pieces of the costume put together yet, so if I’m dying later in the month, that’s why. I’m hoping to put together a pretty epic trunk or treat with it all, so I’ll keep you posted. What are your Halloween costume plans? Are you knitting anything for a costume?

 

 

Finished Object Knitting

Del Sol Tunic: Pattern Review and FO

September 14, 2017
Del Sol Tunic Pattern Review and FO

I announced last week that I was officially done with my Summer Reading List, and now I can say that I am officially done with my Summer Knitting list! Now that I’m done, and free to knit whatever, I feel adrift in an ocean of options and I have no idea what to do next! (Except you, Halloween Knitting. I’m coming for you next.) I can’t wait to show you my Del Sol Tunic. If you follow me on Instagram (@yarnsleylane) you probably heard me complaining about the 19″ of straight stockinette that I had to slog through. All that knitting was totally worth it, though,  because the Del Sol Tunic turned out great.

Del Sol Tunic Pattern Review and FO

The Pattern

Del Sol is a pattern by Veronika Jobe of YOTH Yarns that is designed to be knit as a tank, tunic or (eek!) dress. I chose to do the Tunic version, because I saw the tank at a YOTH trunk show and it was itty bitty. Veronika Jobe designed the Del Sol tunic to be reversible from front to back. It features a v-neck on one side (technically the front) and a scoop neck on the other side (the back). I’ve tried it both ways, and I prefer the v-neck in the front. The pattern includes an exposed seam, so pretty hem detailing and a side split. 

Del Sol Tunic Pattern Review and FO

When I started knitting my Del Sol Tunic, I didn’t realize that there was also a shoulder strap detail. The straps actually end up more like a tube that flattens out on either end to create the rest of the bust. Each straps is made by purling and slipping every other stitch. I had the. hardest. time. with it. I don’t know what it was. Once I finished the straps, I liked the effect, but for some reason I really struggled with the construction. 

The scoop neck, too, was a little confusing. In order to maintain the slipped stitch edging that is seen throughout the rest of the garment, the pattern calls for you to knit an I cord and then pick up stitches from it to join the two back straps. I can’t even begin to explain how it worked, but it did. 

Del Sol Tunic Pattern Review and FO

My favorite part of the patter was the little hem detail. By binding off and picking up stitches, you get a nice chain of horizontal stitches just above the hem. I think it’s a great little detail that adds visual interest in a minimalist way. It looks especially good with the side split in the hem. The end product is easily wearable, which I know because I work it all day Saturday. I wore a cami under mine, because the neckline was a smidge low. I was glad that I did, because the top relaxed a little throughout the day (and got some epic seatbelt wrinkles). It would have been really low without the cami.Del Sol Tunic Pattern Review and FO

The Yarn

I knit my Del Sol Tunic in the suggested yarn, YOTH’s Best Friend. It’s a cotton and wool blend with an emphasis on the cotton. I used the color Oyster, which is a pale blue.  I snagged this yarn at the YOTH trunk show. I’m really happy with how it knits up. The finished fabric is soft and pleasantly drapey. Despite the wool content, it’s cool enough to wear in the summer.

While I’m happy with the finished product, Best Friend was challenging  to knit with. The cotton means that the yarn has little to no give in it. It wore my hands out! I typically knit with wool, which has more spring to it than cotton. Best Friend doesn’t have quite enough wool to give it that bounce. Combine that with the straight back and forth knitting and I was begging The Hubs for hand massages.

Del Sol Tunic Pattern Review and FO

Another factor about Best Friend is that there are little bits of cotton husk (debris?) in the yarn. As a big fan of Brooklyn Tweed yarns, I’m no stranger to a little bit of plant matter in my yarn, but the cotton bits were sharp! I didn’t think that the cotton bits were excessive. However, I’ve heard from other people who felt like there were too many. 

I actually think that Best Friend would make a great warp yarn for weaving. The cotton keeps it from getting too stretching, but it doesn’t feel like twine the way that 100% cotton can. I’ve used in in a few tiny weaving projects, but I’d love to use my leftover yarn one something larger. 

Del Sol Tunic Pattern Review and FO

Did you reach all of your summer knitting goals? What was your favorite project of the season? What are you looking forward to knitting in the fall? Let me know in the comments!

 

Finished Object Knitting

Gully : Pattern Review and FO

August 17, 2017
Gully Cowl: Pattern Review and FO

This week I’m excited to share a project of firsts with you. Gully is not only my first project with brioches lace, but my first project with Brooklyn Tweed’s new Vale lace weight yarn! I knit Gully as part of Brooklyn Tweed’s Summer of Lace Knit Along. It traveled with me to Minneapolis and back and I learned a lot about brioche along the way. One of my goals for this year was to get better at brioche and, while this pattern was a challenge, It was a good challenge and I’m delighted by how it turned out.

Gully Cowl: Pattern Review and FO

The Pattern

Gully is a small, brioche lace cowl that can be knit in less than on skein of Brooklyn Tweed’s Vale. This may have contributed to my decision to make it because I wanted to try Vale, but I’m on a budget, dangit! It produces a very light and lofty cowl, which is great, because sometimes bulky cowls in the winter make me want to strangle somebody. The loftyness is the result of the brioche stitch and it’s wonderful three dimensional texture and a very strong blocking. Seriously, this thing grew a LOT when I blocked it.

The pattern, like all Brooklyn Tweed patterns, is beautifully written. It is very clear in it’s instructions for the special techniques. The lace portion quickly becomes manageable after a little time of focus. I did have a bit of confusion on the top and botton ribbing of the cowl. The pattern said to repeat rows 1 and 2 14 times and I wasn’t sure if that meant 14 rows total or 28 rows total. I did 14, because I was impatient. I don’t think that was technically correct, but the cowl came out fine anyways.

The other thing that I would say about that pattern is that it does not make for good travel knitting. It is concentration knitting. It is not good “there was turbulence on the plane and crap I dropped a stitch” knitting. If you are prone to dropping stitches, a lifeline might be a good idea for this project, because dropped stitches in brioche suuuuuck. If you find that you have, in fact, dropped a stitch, I found this video to be particularly helpful:

Despite my travel struggles, I’m really happy with how this cowl turned out. Like all Brooklyn Tweed Patterns, it has the feel of an heirloom piece. It is classic, subtle and elegantly designed. Jared Flood is an elf among hobbits when it comes to design and it shows in Gully. I can’t wait for colder weather so I can wear it more often.

Gully Cowl: Pattern Review and FO

The Yarn

Gully was my first chance to try Brooklyn Tweed’s new Vale lace weight yarn. Vale prides itself on being 100% Rambouillet fleece, and Brooklyn Tweed’s softest yarn yet. The verdict? Vale is, in fact, soft. I can wear it close to my neck with no issues. That being said, it is still definitely a wooly yarn. It is a fairly smooth yarn and has a consistent texture, but it’s not really squishy smooshy soft. It’s like Knit Picks Pallete had an older sister who went to university and studied abroad and wears designer clothes. It’s refined, polished and effective at what it does. Still, you’re buying it for the color and consistency, not for the softness.

Gully Cowl - Pattern Review and FO

I can say that while this yarn feels super delicate, it can stand up to some decent abuse. Because brioche and planes don’t mix, I had to rip back this yarn…a few times (a lot). Some yarns tend to get a little frayed and fuzzy with this much frogging, but Vale handled it surprisingly well. So far, I’ve seen no pilling, and don’t think that I really will. This yarn was designed for “heirloom-quality lace projects,” and I firmly believe that it will stand up to that description. 

I would absolutely use Vale again. I love it’s range of colors, it’s warm and earthy feel and it’s polished finished appearance. While I don’t see myself taking any major lace projects on anytime soon, when I do, I know that I can rely on Vale to provide a consistent, easy to work with yarn.