Archives for category: tilted duster

I’ve had a couple of questions on the yarn I used for the Tilted Duster, so I’m copying and pasting the response I posted on Ravelry here, for non-Raveling blog readers.

Rebecca, to answer your specific question, I wouldn’t have even considered Kid Classic as a substitute due to the price, but I’m sure you could get gauge and block it out nicely, so I think it would work beautifully if you can wear it comfortably next to your neck. I’ve read a few comments from people who find it itchy.

I haven’t used Kid Classic before, though (again, a price issue, I really wanted to use it for my Greek Pullover but couldn’t bring myself to spend that much)–does anyone who’s used it have any thoughts on its suitability for this pattern?

If you like the look of it, you might try an aran tweed yarn like PikkuKettu did (link below). I think Rowan yarns are most likely quite a bit cheaper for you across the pond. In any case, any worsted/aran weight wool would be a perfectly fine substitute, I think.

The Plymouth Encore Worsted I used (color 0149) has some pros and cons. I’m pretty happy with it overall. Would I recommend it for this pattern? Yes. Would I recommend it over Peruvia, or another wool yarn? No, not necessarily.


  • price–it’s nice and cheap. This was the main reason I chose this yarn for the project: I had the Encore in stash already in an appropriate amount, and got gauge. I would have loved to have knit this out of the recommended Peruvia or Rowanspun Aran, like PikkuKettu did, but I was good and knit from the stash instead. Now I have a handknit that is very wearable and also less “precious” than it would have been if I had used a higher-end yarn, so it may end up being used and abused more than if I had used something fancier.
  • durability–I don’t know how the Peruvia wears, but I suspect it may end up pilling/fuzzing more than the Encore will because it’s a wool singles yarn as opposed to a plied wool/acrylic blend. I’ve heard great comments from people about how well the Encore holds up, including someone whose Encore sweater ended up being trodden and scratched into the muck by their chickens, and they said it looked perfect again after a machine wash. I made my boyfriend a hat from the Plymouth and it has held up well, which was what made me buy a sweater’s worth in the first place. I am seeing some surface fuzz, but no real pills yet.
  • easy care–I probably won’t do this, but it’s nice to know I can if I have to: the Plymouth is machine-wash and dry. I wore it out to dinner and a karaoke bar last night. After my friend knocked back five vodka shots during his first song, and then decided to come hang out and lean boozily over the back of my chair where my sweater was draped, it was good to know I would be able to toss it into the washer if he ended up tossing some other things* all over it. (Thankfully, it didn’t become an issue)
  • softness–the sweater is quite snug in various places, including around the neck and arms, so it’s good to have something you can tolerate against your bare skin. I think you can feel the acrylic content in the Encore, but it’s not squeaky or anything, and it’s next-to-skin soft to me.
  • colors–it comes in a pretty good range of colors. I really like this heathered pale blue.


  • memory–The Encore has pretty good memory. This is good in a way, because it helps the coat keep its shape and not sag down to your knees under its own weight, but actually not a great thing because of the ribbing on the front skirt, which, as you’ve probably seen in FO pictures, has a tendency to pull out to the sides, making the front opening gape, sometimes a bit more severely than you would want. The pic in the magazine has clearly been blocked to keep the fronts open, but not pulling completely out to the sides, just a slight and gentle concave curve. The natural tendency of the pattern is for the front edges to swoop outwards towards the sides, because of the way the biased ribbing pulls it in. I’m curious about how this would behave knit in something with inferior memory, like cotton or alpaca.
  • limited blocking options–The aforementioned issues can be combatted with a good blocking. I wet-blocked my duster, but I wish I could run over the ribbing with a steam iron and flatten it out. I’ve heard this will totally ruin the knit due to the acrylic content, so I’m not going to try it, but if I had knit it in Peruvia you can bet I would have ironed the front totally flat and straight if I could.
  • warmth–I doubt this will be as warm as a pure wool version would be. Because of this, and since the sleeves are too tight to allow for several layers underneath, it’s probably going to be worn only in fall and spring. I can fit a single cotton long-sleeved shirt underneath, but I wouldn’t be able to wear this as a coat over another sweater.

That’s all I can think of right now. Let me know if I can answer any other questions.

* i.e. cookies.

OK. Last post about this, really. I did my official photoshoot, with an umbrella, so I could be just like the Interweave Knits cover model, and it was awesome.


Q: Are these the better pictures you were talking about earlier today?

A: No.

Q: Why are you posting these?

A: These show off the 1″ gray shell buttons I chose, and the mods I made today–

– Afterthought hems on the stockinette. Using size 8 needles, pick up 1 st for every bound-off st. Knit 1 row to create a turning row. K8, k2tog across, for me it ended with k6. Work 4 rows even in stockinette, then do a suspended BO on the 5th (WS) row and leaving a long tail. Using the tail, fold the hem along the turning row and whipstitch it down VERY loosely. I sewed through every other bound-off stitch and tacked it to whichever purl bump was closest.
– Sewed a button on the WS at the center chest points, using a single ply of Encore teased out from one of my trimmed-off yarn ends and a regular sewing needle, sewn into the back of the fabric, with knots tied just like in regular sewing. On the WS on the other side, crocheted a button loop with a size 1/B crochet hook. I just realized I accidentally reversed where these “should” be, as usual, placing the button on the right and the loop on the left. Bah.
– also, I thought I should note that I used paired M1R and M1L increases in the stockinette sections (the directions just say “M1”.)


better photos to come!

tilted duster 1tilted duster 2

tilted duster 3

Done! Except buttons. I set in the sleeves. This was effortless–despite my vague worries, they went in smoothly and cleanly. I used a new technique: I folded the sleeve in half to find the middle top and bottom, then clipped these to the shoulder and underarm seams with small binder clips, and clipped the sleeve in place all around using more binder clips–the same idea as Knit Klips, but with cheaper* and more versatile tools. I removed these as I mattress stitched around the armhole. Yay, no distressing sliding or bunching! I used the long tails from the sleeve bind-offs to sew the sleeves in place. I wove in the ends, and reinforced the buttonholes by whipstitching around them with some of the ends I had to weave in. I mostly did a pretty good job finishing, but noticed some unfortunate lumpiness where I wove in some ends in the back ribbing. I’m hoping this will block out and be unnoticeable.

I’m soaking the coat in some Eucalan now, in preparation for the wet block. I’m concerned about the curling stockinette at the bottom, as this was the main issue with the jacket’s appearance when I tried it on pre-blocking–I may have to work crochet around the bottom. Ooh, or I could try EZ’s picked-up afterthought hem! I had vague ideas of sewing in a chain Chanel-style, but this will probably make the duster just stretch like hell.

I’m not sure how this idea will seem once I get the buttons sewn on, but my idea was to sew a button and button loop, or hook and eye, into the underside of the center of the bust. Then I could fasten it there and wear the collar folded open. It looked cute when I tried it earlier, but again, the collar may have quite a different look and drape once the buttons are sewn on.

It took a lot of willpower not to take and post progress pictures with the sewn-up coat, but I think I should really block it first, even if I have to take a picture with binder clips holding it together instead of buttons.

Here’s a picture of the cabled purse I made for Serena.

cabled purse

Also: I am paralyzed with indecision about what to cast on next. I need something pretty mindless to work on for Thursday night–it would be a good opportunity to crank out tons of stockinette. I want to work on knitting my shawl pattern, but I need to think about that one, it’s not mindless. I have a few projects I’ve swatched for so far that are candidates. I guess I should rule out projects I haven’t swatched for yet.

– Cargo, from Rowan Denim People. Good: cute, lightweight, good for fall. Obsessed with denim right now. Bad: I didn’t get gauge and would have to recalculate stuff. Or just start knitting, and hope for the best. Also, it might not be useful for long enough, since the weather’s getting chilly.

Lara, from Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk. Good: Elegant, super-soft and warm, and I’ve been lusting after this sweater forever. Bad: If I knit this now, the denim might have to wait till next year. Actually, I can’t think of much that’s bad. I did buy another dark gray sweater recently, a shawl collared sweater coat, so maybe that’s the bad–this wardrobe niche is already being filled, so it might not be as useful.

Felted clogs from Fiber Trends. Good: fast, stashbusting. Bad: would probably have to pay a lot of attention to the pattern.

– Rowan’s Butterfly. I haven’t swatched for this, actually, but trust that nothing too awful would happen, since it’s lace and it’s stretchy. Good: really beautiful. Bad: not very useful, and cold weather’s coming soon. Would have to pay a lot of attention to the pattern.

I swatched my organic cotton yarns, too, but lost my enthusiasm for making Bianca’s Jacket and Picovoli, so I’m ruling these out.

I am also considering a few things not requiring swatching:

– Cat Bordhi’s cashmere Moebius Cowl, using Artfibers Ming. If I cast on beforehand, I’m not sure how much attention this would require. Or maybe the feather and fan cowl from Knit 2 Together.
– A cashmere scarf in a simple knit/purl pattern, for an early Christmas present. The problem with this might be that I’d be excited about using it to whip up a “quick present,” and then get bogged down with the endless boring scarfitude.

and I’m also tempted to cast on for a pair of Selbuvotter, but again, these require lots of attention.

* It costs $7 for 5 Knit Klips. Dude!

Finished the tilted duster collar! Yay! It’s really long, like a turtleneck, but it will be cozy for sure. I think I made it a little too long but I think also part of this is due to the extreme swanniness of Pam Allen’s daughter’s neck compared to the stubbiness of mine. (Note: Flamingos also have long necks but I don’t notice anyone making poetic metaphors about their grace and neckly elegance.) Also have knit a few inches of soul-crushing skirt (the setup rows, 1 8-row repeat, plus 3 rows, to be exact). Why soul-crushing, you ask? Because it’s already made up of long rows and the rows just get LONGER and LONGER with almost every RS row. However, was happy to find the picking up sts instructions were broken down better for the skirt (perhaps only due to the necessity of marker placement? Would they have maybe just said “pick up 250 sts from the bottom of the fronts if it weren’t for the marker placement?) Also, I really need better stitch markers–drinking straw slices, perhaps? Or maybe I’ll go get some nice findings from the bead store. I have two sets right now, plus a bunch of little rubber bands, but the metal ones are too long and dangly and get caught in my knitting, and especially for this project on plastic needles with lots of sts being pushed around everywhere, the rubber bands snag on the needles and then get pulled away under/through the sts until they are no longer anywhere near the sts they were supposed to be marking. Booo, rubber bands! Oh yeah, and I am using size 9 needles for the skirt. I have noticed a few FOs on the internets. The snug ones tend to gape open a LOT at the front. Mine will assuredly be snug! It’s body-hugging for sure, and hopefully this will also extend to the sleeve cap when I set the sleeves in. I hope for no weird bagginess. Anyway, I like the way it looks on the model–open, but not excessively so–and I figured going up a needle size would give the skirt a bit more drape and width esp. considering Encore has a high acrylic content and may not block out well, and considering I have a large stomach in proportion to my bust (or will my tube-shaped physique help in preventing the gape? Actually the gapingest ones seem to be on the curviest bodies.). I’m almost done with the 3rd skein. 50% is probably an optimistic estimate of progress.

Oh, and thoughts on picking up sts for the skirt. Perhaps it would have been better if I’d used a provisional CO and then unzipped, placed x number of sts on needle, then inc’d to create an extra st every x sts.

I’m excited to get some cool buttons for this coat.

edited to add:  Everyone’s been super excited about these new Harmony wooden Options needles from Knitpicks and I was feeling all cross like “OF COURSE they would do this THE DAY AFTER I place an order!” Then I came to my senses and realized 1) Given the choice, I would buy the metal needles anyway, which is exactly what I did and 2) honestly I think they are kind of ugly. I keep going back and forth on this and thinking they look cool, but this may be due to fever caused by the hand-painted yarn virus… infecting knitters everywhere. Symptoms: poor fashion sense, e.g. large sweaters made of garishly clashing handpainted yarns, just because they look pretty and are fun to knit. Or mohair tank tops or short-sleeved bulky wool sweaters or other such oddities. I am definitely not immune. I have now acquired the yarn for my knitted underwear (from the swap mentioned in my last post) If I ever take up dyeing I will probably start wearing crazy-looking tie dyed broomstick skirts and it’s a short leap from there to Aughra territory. I am kind of worried, actually, because I clicked on one of those links and thought “Wow, Aughra’s much better-dressed than I remembered.”

OK, gotta sign off now, really, boyfriend called v. drunk because he couldn’t find his bike and I think he has by now found it and is on his way home. And it is 2:30 AM, a terribly uncivilized hour for anyone who plans to wake up and have hash browns in the morning rather than the mid-afternoon.

I finished the sleeves of my Tilted Duster and wove in the ends, and now I’ve picked up the 122 stitches for the collar and am working 2×2 rib. The last step will be picking up and knitting the skirt. Why is it so damn hard to pick up stitches evenly? I wish, for long stretches of picked-up stitches like this, that instructions said “pick up x sts for every x rows until x marker, you should have roughly x, or a number divisible by x.” I tried to pick up 3 sts for every 4 on the front, then 1 st for every st on the back. The first time I tried, I wound up with 61 sts way before getting to the back of the neck. Second time, I think I skipped a bunch of sts on the back of the neck to get to the right st count, but I guess it’s better for the front to lie flat and the back to look weird than vice versa.

I’m being very good about seaming and weaving in ends as I go ono this sweater. I would have set in the sleeves last night, too, but I wanted to leave that till the end since I’m sure hauling around a giant pile of torso + duster-skirt will be more than enough knitted material to contend with.

(Ooh, it’s raining like crazy all of a sudden!)

Anyway, in a late-night acquisitive haze, I purchased 13 skeins of Uruguay Luxury DK from Littleknits. It’s a great deal, and I enjoyed working with it so much for the Jess jacket I made for Patty that I decided I’d make one for myself, in burgundy. $2.50 a 50g skein for alpaca/silk/merino! And it’s a really fast knit, and seemed quite warm.

And then I purchased a whole sampler of stuff from Knitpicks.  I feel simultaneously better and worse about this purchase. A bunch of it was Palette, for swatching on a Persephone project for Storytellers and a glitten project I’ve had in mind–so far, so good–and then I threw in some color cards and single skeins of other yarns to swatch, and a fixed circular needle and an Options needle + cable, and suddenly I had a ton of stuff in the cart. Better, because I did legitimately want a bunch of this for design projects–worse, because I also bought a number of random single skeins and needles that I could have held off on but didn’t want to. Christmas gifts will have to be from the stash this year, for sure.

In other stash/destash news, I have two swaps going on. A trade of a sweater’s worth of nice soft mohair for a bunch of fingering weight colorwork yarn, and a trade of Regia Jacquard sock yarn for some black Elann Esprit. I’ve sent out my loot and am waiting for mine to come in. I want the Esprit for the knitted underwear from Knitting Lingerie Style. Possibly the worst idea ever, but it’s a small project and should be good for a laugh, if nothing else.

Well, I knitted a lot on my Tilted Duster this weekend while greedily consuming media: I watched bits of Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather on YouTube, and discs 2 and 3 of Planet Earth, and read Nevil Shute’s On the Beach, and am now a chapter or two into Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival, a book about animal adaptations to winter–hibernation, nesting, migration, etc. So now I’ve sewn together the fronts and back and woven in all the ends, and I’m chugging away at the sleeves. I definitely like having mindless stockinette to work on at any given time. I’m doing the sleeves two at a time, magic-loop, on my new Denises, and it seems to be going well. The red dye that completely coated the size 8 needle tips when I received the set has pretty much been scoured off by my knitting, and now you can only see faint traces on the very tips. I tried the sleeves on, though, and they will unfortunately be quite snug, unless I can fix this somewhat in blocking. I think this is partly due to the design of the sweater and partly due to my arms being kind of thick in proportion to my bosom. I think once I’ve finished the sleeves and set them in, I’ll do the collar next, and then finally go on to the skirt, which promises to be interminable.

I finished the knitting on a little piece for my sister’s 13th birthday (coming up this Friday). Hyacinth violet Lopi worked in two repeats of a Double Knot Cable from Charted Knitting Designs, with a provisional cast-on, and 3 knit sts on either edge. At the end of the second cable panel, decrease within the background purl stitches, 4x per row, maintaining cable crossings otherwise, until you have 22 sts on the needle. Work 6 rows even in stockinette, then bind off. Place sts from the provisional cast-on onto the needle and do the same on this side. I know it’s 1/2 a stitch off, but it looks fine for a purse. I bought some round black purse handles and striped cotton and an ombre-dyed wired black and white ribbon from Michael’s yesterday, and if all goes as planned, construction should proceed today as follows:

– mattress stitch up the sides of the purse

– weave the ribbon into the purse and tie a bow

– cut the lining fabric to size (including the part that should go around the handles) and sew it into a rectangle, right sides together, with hemmed flaps to line the handle flaps

– stitch the lining into the bag and then sew in place around the handles (the woven lining should work much better for stabilizing the purse than the knitted fabric)

I also made some more pancakes this weekend. Cornmeal pancakes with frozen corn kernels this time, instead of buckwheat. Oddly enough, Rahul was at Uptown Cafe between classes, ordering cornmeal pancakes at the exact same time I was making these.

Other Labor Day weekendy goodness: party at Steve and Jeanne’s, chipotle chocolate cake and Guinness chocolate cake from Sahara Mart, Once, badminton, and celebrating our sixth anniversary with a coconut tofu salad and blue cheese jalapeno black bean burger at Upland Brewery.

Oh, and the Fourth Street Festival of Arts and Crafts, where we saw Joy and Nancy and I bought a few things–an amethyst ring for my sister, silver leaf-shaped necklace and earrings for me, and a bronze-colored Art Nouveau pin that looks like a crescent moon decked with flowers. I thought it would make a perfect shawl pin for my Swallowtail Shawl, so perhaps I’ll get a chance to take a picture with it later this week. At the same stall where I bought the ring and pin, Rahul purchased a large velour blanket depicting a blond Aryan couple riding a Harley-Davidson next to a Viking ship with a giant Confederate flag for a sail. I think he’s going to give it to our friend Joseah.

Edited to add: what the hell happened to my timestamp? WP thinks this was posted in 1970.

So tonight I met up with some ladies from the blogosphere/Ravelry/knittyboard–chemgrrl, All Buttoned Up, and Elliphantom–and we knitted and had beverages and talked, and it was quite lovely. Hello, blog ladies!

I’m now almost done with the top back of the Tilted Duster in light blue Plymouth Encore worsted (though I seem to have made a mess of the shoulder shaping due to distraction, and will have to redo it; apparently I can only knit stockinette, no shaping, while talking) and got home ravenously hungry. I’m heating some food and then I will go eat and fix the shoulder shaping and watch Planet Earth and wait for my boyfriend to come home. How funny that I can do several things at once in addition to my knitting, as long as none of them involves actually interacting with a human being.

I look forward to meeting up next time and getting to see Elli’s Beaverslide colorcards and  hopefully Nicole’s finished sock and Leigh’s finished Wicked, and I will bring my Rowan Calmer and my Selbuvotter to show and tell. Yay!