Thursday, June 4, 2009

Finished Project #11: Mosey Legwarmers

Yay!! I finished my 11th project of the year! I started these at knit night 2 Fridays ago and I just couldn't put them down. I think I could've finished them sooner if I had more time during the day to work on them, rather than the half hour here and there before bedtime. Not to mention that even though the first leg knitted up quite fast, the second one took me a little longer. Mainly because I wasn't paying attention from time to time and every now and then discover that I had screwed up a few rows back. At the last Friday knit night I realized that I, for the life of me, cannot do cable knitting and talk at the same time. Oh well, finishing these in a little over a week isn't so bad! Sorry about the photos. I didn't realize 'til I uploaded them that the color of the legwarmers blended very nicely with the sidewalk!

At first my gauge was off…but then I finished the swatch off the needles anyways rather than frogging it, and lo and behold, it was at gauge! I guess that teaches me to not measure the gauge still on the needles. The ribbing was a little bit monotonous, yet at the same time therapeutic to do. That is, 'til I got to the second leg and was almost wishing I could pay someone to knit the ribbing part for me, but then was pleasantly surprised that I had managed to knit it up fairly fast in the end. The next time I make these, I think I'm going to flare it out more at the bottom so that they are more boot-cut, the way the designer had made hers. I'd also shorten the ribbing section and add more of the cable design. My legs are so petite and the ribbing is so big and chunky that they make my calves look massive and oh so tater tot-like. I really like the fact that the legwarmers are held up by the i-cord, so that you can adjust them to sit wherever you want them to.

I did have an issue with the eyelet section. I had to go onto the designer’s blog to get it figured out. I had assumed the eyelet part went all around the leg, but if I had just read the pattern carefully I would’ve noticed that eyelet was for a tiny section for the i-cord to come out from. I also had a problem starting the cables, but only cause again, I didn’t read the pattern carefully and do just as it said to do. Instead I over-analyzed and kept seconding guessing myself. I had to look up how cables are done in general in order to get the gist of it. But once I got going, it was super duper easy!

I'm quite pleased with the center back cable section. I was a bit intimidated by it at first, when I saw the pattern, but it turned out to be ├╝ber easy! I had only done cable knitting once, and that was for an (unfinished) clutch. I had knitted it up just to see how cables were knitted and liked it so much that I turned the block into a clutch. If I ever get it finished I'll post up photos of it. Because of these legwarmers, I'm tempted to do another project that involves cables. I had that much fun knitting them!

I’m kinda not a fan of knitting i-cords! What a tedious, mundane task! I’ve never knitted i-cord before, I’ve only used one of those spool i-cord knitting machines. I don't know why I never hand knitted them before, I guess I had thought they were complicated. Once I started, they were definitely the easiest thing possible to knit. But I did feel like what an old school typewriter would feel if it was capable of having feelings - knit 3, slide to other end of needle, knit 3, slide, knit 3...

I’ve also bought the Lion Brand pom pom maker, as I’ve only used the cardboard version before and hated it. For me it took forever to make one that way and the end product was always so wonky and loose. I purchased the pom pom maker in hopes that it will make for an easier, faster task to make those sweet little poufs of yarn, and hopefully more uniform at the same time. And wow, did it ever live up to my expectations!

In the time it took to make one pom pom with the maker, I would've been searching for a piece of cardboard, measuring and cutting it out before starting the process of winding the yarn if I had been doing it the old school way! As silly as it sounds, but I had so much fun making these that I was sad that the legwarmers only needed 4. I could've sat there all day making pom poms!

I did however, make a few different sizes. The pattern called for 1.5" pom poms but the first one I made looked a little too small. Then I realized that I was a dummy and probably wasn't using the maker properly. So I snapped the smallest loop onto the middle loop and tried again. It turned out a good size but felt that maybe the legwarmers could use a slightly bigger pom pom. So a bigger one was made. Yeah...too big. Oh well, now I know.

The second I had finished attaching the last pom pom I felt such an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. And I was sooo pleased at how great the legwarmers turned out! I don't want to toot my own horn, but they look like something that you can buy in a store! Usually I feel like my knitted items look a bit too handmade, and not in the good way. But more like a-5-year-old-can-knit-better-than-that way.

I am so proud of these bad boys! When I saw the pattern for them I was definitely elated. At Christmas time I had wanted the knitted cabled slippers from the Gap, but my size was sold out in every color. I had wanted them so badly that I had even called around Vancouver in hopes of finding a pair in my size, but alas, none were to be found.

Gap slippers image via Kaboodle

Then I discovered that Kate Spade had also made a similar pair, but more in a bootie style and with a funkier pom pom. I just couldn't justify the price tag for them though.

Kate Spade boots image via Kaboodle

One of the ladies from the Tuesday knit night commented that my legwarmers reminded her of the crochet boots that Uggs have recently put out on the shelves. I took it as a insult! I'm sorry for those of you who love, wear, own, covet, or whatever Uggs, but I absolutely do not like them. I don't care which celebrity is wearing them, and I don't care if they are the trendy thing to wear and own. I just don't like them. I think the name of the company suits the look of the boots. But anyways, when she said this I knew exactly what she was talking about.

Crochet Uggs image via Uggs

I was asked later on that if I hated Uggs so much, then why did I want a pair of cable knitted slippers? Well, those slippers are meant to be worn in the comfort of my own home. Then why knit these legwarmers? Well, they are legwarmers. And they are more versatile than actual footwear. With the legwarmers I can wear them over sneakers, boots, flats, high heels, and flip flops. I plan on doing the latter. I know I had knitted these at the wrong time of the year, but at least I'm prepared for when the cold weather creeps up on us. Like I said in my last post, I like to prolong my flip flop wearing and these legwarmers are going help me do just that! I can already invision the outfits to wear with these. And now, after writing so much about these, I'm thinking of making another a dark grey. Oh, I can't wait! This pattern was such a fun knit in general, I seriously can't say anything bad about it at all!

The deets:
Pattern: Mosey legwarmers
Yarn: 2.5 skeins of Patons Classic Wool Merino

Colour: Natural Mix
Size: Small

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