Sunday, February 7, 2010

Winter Wool Skirt

It seems somehow disloyal to move on after loosing someone held so dear as Mr Puffy was to me. But moving on is something we all must do because life is a gift and meant to be lived and enjoyed. Before doing so, thank you all for your concern, sympathy, and understanding. It was nice to hear from some of you whom I've not heard from before and, after reading a comment by Marie Luisa from Portugal (sorry no profile link available) it occurred to me that I should clarify Mr Puffy's role here on the blog. As Marie correctly observed, Mr Puffy did many things but he did not knit. That's right. Instead, I would describe Mr Puffy's role as that of a design consultant and knitwear model. He had great fashion sense and no one looked as cute in a hat. His presence, insight, and modeling will always be missed.


But I am a knitter and she who knits must knit on. I'm wearing my new winter wool skirt, Carmine, designed by Dutch Knitting Design. I'm pretty happy with it. Ya right. It's hard to curb my enthusiasm for this rockin little skirt. I have wanted a simple tasteful wool skirt simply 4ever. Something I can throw on and look casually look put together for afternoon tea or strolling about a museum. How often do I do either of these things? Never. Who cares? I am ready to accept any invitations.

This skirt has great texture which is hard to show in the pictures. The design has triangles running the length which gives it a visual interest that I'm afraid do not show up well. A couple of the following picture do show the design, if you look really closely.

Whenever you knit a skirt in wool you need to be concerned about sagging. If you chose, as I did, to use a pure wool then I think you should look for a yarn with a tight twist and plied ~ something with a bounce and good memory. Your LYS owner is a good source for suggestions. And, because you want your new skirt to fit you perfectly, I'm sharing my Perfect Fit Knitting tip!


Knitting Tip: Getting a Perfect Fit

When you invest the time and money into knitting a skirt (or anything for that matter) you want to make sure that it will fit you. And getting the perfect fit is all about gauge. Here's my Perfect Fit Knitting Tip: Do not follow the conventional wisdom and knit your gauge swatch using stockinette as patterns generally instruct. Instead, make your gauge swatch using a full repeat of the knit design used in the actual pattern. In this case, it would be to knit a full repeat of a triangle. Then wash and block your gauge swatch before measuring. When wool is washed it can have a dramatic impact on your swatch. By following these steps you will have a more accurate gauge from which to base your knitting. I never consider a project truly completed until it is fully washed, blocked, and lightly ironed.


Particulars:
Carmine skirt by Marleen van der Vorst who blogs as Dutch Knitting Design; 5 skeins Zara (extra fine superwash merino wool) by Filatura Di Crosa (a division of Tahki - Stacy Charles, Inc.); US 6 circular needles; size XS; my only modification was to reduce the waist band to 6 rounds instead of 10. Tip: BO stitches firmly to reduce the tendency of BO edge to expand. This will give you a "neater" finished look. However, to allow the necessary "give" for the waist band to slip over your hips, you will need to very loosely whip stitch the waist band edge in place.

Valentine's Day Fun:

Growing up I thought Valentine's Day was just for lovers and that's just not true! It's a whimsical and fun day and can be celebrated by everyone with a heart (that includes you) and zest for living! This easy peasy wine charm took me all of an hour to knit ~ and is just one of zillion quick and easy crafting ideas for Valentine Day. I'm also tempted to crochet some of Knitter Gal's bright, happy "Me Mine" Coasters (you can see them here).


Particulars: Heart-Shaped Ornament by Ann Budd in Piecework Magazine (Nov/Dec 2009)/; US 2 double pointed needles; red scrap yarn

Until next time, be well, love well, and have fun preparing for Valentine's Day!

34 comments:

raining sheep said...

Claudia, the skirt is absolutely wonderful and you look amazing in it. The color is great and the fit, oh that fit!! I hope your work is eased off a bit. Knitting is just so good for the soul.

Monika said...

I had the same disloyal feeling after Sam was gone, but you are right!
Your skirt looks fantastic on you! The photos are great! I love the one of you lounging, where you can see the texture so well. What a great skirt! Your knits are always fitting you so well, and look perfectly knit!

Rainey Day Knitter said...

Love love love your new skirt!! And the next time my sister and I come down we are going to meet you for an afternoon at the museum and tea afterwards :D

Channon said...

Carmine is quite lovely! I too swatch in pattern, when I bother to swatch. (I hate seams, as I suspect you know, so truly fitted items aren't often on my needles.)

It's hard to carry on, isn't it? I can't see snow without thinking of Soot, the black lab from my teens, and the boy-dogs I still miss so, despite how wonderful and dear the fur-girls are.

Be well and know that Mr Puffy won't be forgotten.

Bubblesknits said...

Love, love, love the skirt! That's definitely going in my Rav favorites. :-)

Anita said...

So wonderful to see you posting again, I've been thinking of you. :)
Love the skirt! It looks wonderful on you. And you can always wear it around the house, out to dinner, or even to the market! LOL

kim said...

Well, I know that the last thing I want on my hips is a wool skirt, but that is one beautiful design. It looks fabulous on you. I will try to hide my envy... ;)

subliminalrabbit said...

well. straight into the queue that pattern goes! unbelievably cute! i've always been skeptical about knitting skirts... afraid they'll get saggy in the butt... but(!) i've got to give this one a try because yours looks fabulous!

glad you're back, knitting and blogging. more love from us to you.

t does wool said...

the skirt is amazing on you Claudia.
perfect color and the pattern is quite flattering. thank you for the helpful tips...and yes~sadly we move on..but never forgotten~xx

Kathleen said...

I LOVE the skirt...especially the color. Sooooooo pretty! I'm so glad for you that you're moving. Like you say, it's something we have to do. Mr. Puffy would be pleased :0)

Allie said...

I know exactly what you mean about feeling disloyal. I will miss seeing Mr. Puffy's handsome face.

Claudia, your skirt is so beautiful, but I'm most envious of your shape - it's been awhile since I looked like that, lol. Excellent knitting tips, and I love your wine charm - enjoy your Valentine's Day!

Anonymous said...

So glad to see this entry! I was beginning to worry. That skirt is gorgeous, color, shape, fit and all. Alas, I am no longer a skirt person (my feet hurt in heels, and I can't flounce in flats) but I can still appreciate them on others. And I will keep your tips in mind for little tiny nieces' skirts. Happy Valentine's Day in advance!
Ursula

Ginger said...

Nice. I like it a lot!

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Your skirt is gorgeous! Thank you so much for your tips I have filed them away as always :)

Love the wine charm and I hope you have a lovely week!

Tracy said...

Hi, Claudia! It is wonderful to see you back here! And that the knitting does go on. :o) So much Mr. Puffy will be missed by all of us. Maybe, in time, once your heart heals a bit, it could be fun for you to re-post some photos here of Puffy from time to time. He was the best model for hats, that's for sure! ;o) This skirt is OUTRAGEOUSLY GORGEOUS!! And I love the rich plum color. It is definitely a WOW item. I like how the pattern detail "disappears" up to the waistline. Excellent job here, and it fits you so well. I've been somewhat intimidated to try knitting a skirt. But I think I'll just have to get brave sometime and try it. Thank you for being brave and coming back here so soon. :o) ((BIG HUGS))

Katherine said...

You have been in my thoughts a lot. We have all grieved for Mr. Puffy and hugged our Macy close to us. Consider yourself hugged!

I love the skirt and appreciate the tips. Several times I have bought yarn for a skirt and turned it into a sweater or vest before even trying. Now that I see how beautiful your skirt turned out I may try again. Love the little cashmere (?) sweater with it!

jillian said...

Your skirt is beautiful! And you are so right, Mr. Puffy would want you to continue enjoying knitting and everything that goes with it. BTW - I'll have afternoon tea or stroll a museum with you anytime :)

A South Park Republican said...

As everyone has said before me, the skirt is fabulous and looks great! I'm curious about not only sagging, but pilling. Have you knit a skirt before? Does all the sitting create some pilling or wear on the sat upon area?

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

Thank you ALL for your nice comments.

Ursula, while I began this blog to have memories of Mr Puffy, in the process I have made many friends on-line and the process of blogging has greatly enriched my life.

Jenna (A South Park Republican), you asked a great question. I have knit a skirt previously. I knit it using "Zoe" by Artfibers and it has held up beautiful. Zoe is a mix of nylon and plant fibers - and while it has worn extremely well - it was NO pleasure to knit with.

Pilling is largely caused by abrasion and improper washing. With a skirt you would want to be careful about a purse rubbing against your hip area. You can reduce the likelihood of pilling also by choosing a yarn with a tight twist because loose fibers are more prone to pill. I have not worn this skirt yet, other than for the pictures. But I see/saw no tendency to pill in this yarn either as I was knitting with it or now that it's been washed and blocked.

As far as sagging in the seat area - that is a concern and I can only say to chose a bouncy yarn with good memory. I also think it is probably helpful to line the skirt. I wore a slip, but lining I think would be preferable.

Hope this helps!

Bridget said...

That is such a beautiful skirt, I love the design. Congratulations on a successful knit!

I don't think for a minute that Mr P wouldn't want you to move forward - and why disappoint him?

Have a Happy Valentine's Day!

larissa said...

LOVE everything about this. the fit the color, how awesome you look in it and that is had a wonderful A-line shape. i once knit a skirt that i never wear because the pattern was a ribbing/ cable combo that was too body hugging (ahem...) love the fine gauge and shape of yours. so glad to see you back in this space. Happy Valentine's prep to you too!

KnittySue said...

Awesome skirt Claudia, it fits beautifully. You have such talent. Love it!

Rebekah said...

what a great skirt! I would have never thought a knit skirt could be so classy. Definitely time for high tea.

dining room table said...

I love the skirt. The design is somewhat difficult but I guess I could do this one. Thanks for a very nice inspiration.

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

Hi Dining Room Table! This is actually not a difficult knit. You will just need to know the knit and purl stitches and how to knit in the round. I would say the most challenging part is choosing the right yarn and getting an accurate gauge. I can't recommend enough checking with your LYS owner who can assist you with the yarns that they carry in their shop. That's how I began learning long ago as a beginner knitter. Good luck!

Knitting Out Loud said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous skirt! And by the way, I'm trying entrelac at your suggestion, thank you!

Murielle Creative Knitting said...

GORGEOUS, Missy!!! It looks so fab on you. I woudn't have knitted it from the pattern photos, but the darker color makes all the difference. Beautiful! Love, M

Hilary said...

Oh, that skirt is just awesome. And you are rocking it!! I think you need to make a special trip to a museum or fancy tea service just so you can show it off. And what a great tip re: making your swatch in the stitch pattern and washing it. You are obviously an expert on fit...seriously, could that skirt fit more perfectly?!

I'm glad you're still knitting. I think Mr. Puffy would be pretty bummed if you gave it up.

Diana said...

I'm getting caught up on my blog reading, and I am sooo sorry to hear about Mr. Puffy. He will be missed by all your loyal readers & knitters.

The skirt is outstandingly beautiful!

betty said...

The skirt is beautiful! I'm checking out that designer's patterns. I've never seen them before.

SE'LAH... said...

hope you had a wonderful love day too.

that's a beautiful skirt. my MIL once crocheted a skirt for my daughter. I love the hand made.

knittingdragonflies said...

The skirt is amazing! I love the texture and fix. Wow! You look very sexy in it. I'm a pear and have always wanted a knit skirt but dont think it would look good.
J.Lo. the bootie is more popular
Take care
Vicki

Lisa said...

That is gorgeous, like raspberry sherbet brought to life. And those dots! So sweet.

Renee said...

Tres chic! Fits you so beautifully and the colour is wonderful.
Happy knitting ~ A Knitter must knit on. :)