Monday, November 17, 2008

I've the cape!

(Title shamelessly stolen from Into the Woods, a lovely musical we performed at church quite a few years back. This line seems to have stuck with me.)

Fall seems to be quickly giving way to winter here. Since I'm cheap thrifty energy-conscious, I don't generally turn the furnace up past 67F. I have a programmable thermostat and it changes temps in the house automatically from 63 overnight (the cat deserves some modicum of comfort) to 65 around the time I get up and then up to 66 in the afternoon when the house tends to start feeling chilly to me. Sometimes I splurge in the evenings and bump it to 67.

This house is very open. The great room downstairs is open to the loft area upstairs where I have my office. That's great in the winter, since heat rises and I spend so much of my time at the computer. However, I still get chilly. For the last couple of years, I've warded off the chill by wearing a black fleece cape, complete with hood while I'm working. If the head, neck, and shoulders are warm, the rest of the body tends to follow (well, except for the feet, but those are in slippers and wrapped in a nice wool blanket).

As knitters, we know how to stay warm, right? Sure we do! So I figured it was about time that I knit something to replace that black cape. After all, anyone looking in on me in that thing might think that the angel of death was sitting at my computer -- either that or some crazed monk who recently escaped the monastery.
Margaux cape2
Thus was born the Margaux cape (that's a Ravelry link). This is a French Girl Knits pattern. It's knit in super-bulky yarn (I used the recommended Rowan Ribbon Twist) on size 15 needles. This, of course, makes for a very quick project. Except when you run out of yarn. Which I did. Five rows before the end of the pattern. This in spite of the fact that I used the recommended yarn, in the recommended quantity, on the recommended needles, and got the recommended gauge. Maddening, but of course, not insurmountable.

Margaux cape1I ended up ripping back about a row and a half and making the garter stitch bottom band narrower. No one will know but me. Of course running out of yarn meant I didn't have any to make the tassel for the hood, but I'm not sure I'd like that anyway.

I bought some beautiful beaded buttons at Joann's that pick up the colors of the ribbon in the yarn very nicely. After a wash and a light blocking, I'm extremely happy with the finished piece. Now I can sit at the computer and stay warm without looking like a ghoul. Mission accomplished!

Oh, and though the pattern picture on Ravelry makes it seem that this is a cape for little girls, the copy I bought has a picture of a full-grown woman wearing it and looking quite stylish. I guess it could go either way!

After a long day at the shop (I got to sit down for about five minutes at 4:00 - sales were brisk!) on Saturday, I came home and took a nap. Then I started a pair of fingerless mitts. Got about halfway through one and realized I didn't like the pairing of yarn and pattern -- the fabric was just too thin to be very functional -- so I frogged the whole thing. Sunday, I started a new pair with a different pattern and different yarn.

Spirogyra IP2This is what I have done so far, since I had to do some transcription, too. This is the Spirogyra pattern from KnittySpin and I'm making them in medium weight Socks That Rock in a Rare Gems color that resembles dark acid-wash denim. Lovely pattern! I think these are going to be very nice.

For now, it's back to transcribing. Happy Monday!


Ann said...

The cape looks great & I am sure will keep you warm. The pattern on the mittens is really nice & lovely color. Have a good week.

LeAnne said...

Hey, thanks for your comment about the Beer Mile :-). I work in my home and sitting in front of the computer when you are trying to keep the thermostat low is hard! Luckily there are lots of wool items from which to choose. I am always wearing handknit socks these days. Often a handknit sweater and if not one of those, a non-scratchy scarf really helps. Now, if I could just knit a non-scratchy scarf. Haha.

Tiggywinkle Knits said...

Go back and look at my blog about 1 1/2 years ago; the tag will be "Lizzie". I did a photo ad for our file clerk who was graduating high school; the quote I used was "Given a cape and a nice tiara, I'm fairly sure I could change the world."

Bianca said...

Nice patterns…. Knitting is my hobby too, I always got quality yarn through Joann Fabrics for it.