Alrighty, the inaugural year of Project Yarnway over on Ravelry.com has come to an end with the official deadline to post your 5-piece collection by today, Februrary 28, 2011.
Voting will start on March 1st and will last for 2 weeks.
I broke the ice and went first on the Professional Runway with the following post:
For this final challenge, I decided to explore the slip stitch technique in more detail with a collection of 5 caps/hats - each worked in a different slip stitch technique.
For each cap, I tried to match a slip stitch technique with an appropriate yarn and styling. I had my share of trials and errors (see earlier blog entries for more details) and with mounting time pressure (only had some time during the last 2 weeks, eeks!) it was getting awfully tight.
But when I was done last night, I was blown away and very surprised to see how versatile the slip stitch technique can be. Just look at how different every cap/hat's style is!
Let me introduce you to my 5-piece collection:
Cap #1 (Vertical Mosaic): With this cap, I explored the traditional use of slip stitches for color work, called "Mosaic". I soon realized that it is a neat technique for making vertical lines without resorting to stranded, intarsia or side-to-side knitting.
Doesn’t this cap look quite intricate? But with slip stitches you work with only one color per round at any one time!
This is a great technique for some bold statements zipping down the ski trails...
Cap #2 (Flower Fez): This cap was quite the journey for me: I've learned the braided trim cast-on for this project, re-knit sections of this cap a couple of times, and made my first ever flat top. And it was still not quite right until I added a crochet trim at the top edge and the 3 dangling flower "tassels".
The Linen Stitch makes for a pretty dense fabric, perfect for this pillbox shaped cap. And again, every round has been worked in one color only. Fascinating...
Cap #3 (Mesh Beret) called for something more unusual. I was wondering if there was anything out there for a more Spring/Summer type cap. And indeed: you can use slipped stitches to create elongated "posts" for a mesh fabric that reminded me very strongly of double crochet stitches in Filet crochet.
I intentionally chose a very drapey yarn and combined with the airy mesh slip stitch pattern, I ended up with a slouchy beret. Two long crochet chains in complementing colors woven through a mesh row not only rounded out the picture but also double as ties to keep the beret in place. :)
Cap #4 (City Slicker): The next slip stitch to play around with on my list was the Brioche stitch (in the US perhaps better known as Fisherman's Rib or Shaker Rib or one of the many other variations of this popular stitch).
I was curious to see if I could work this stitch on the bias to create diagonal lines. I picked the Stockinette Brioche stitch and worked a double increase at one edge, paired with a double decrease at the other edge. But instead of working the incs and decs every 2 rows, I worked them every 4 rows because they were doubles and not singles.
This cap is worked flat, one color per row only (!), sewn up on the side and then the stitches for the top are picked up to finish off the crown. The cap is worked extra tall so that the rim can be rolled up for a snazzy "melon hat" look.
Cap #5 (Bobble-5): As it turns out, slipped stitches are a great alternative for the chunkier, thick yarns because they don't add as much bulk to the fabric as a full cable cross-over does. You can create some pretty neat cable imitations with slipped stitches.
While working on the design for this cap, I got a bit sidetracked by exploring bobble making. You won't believe how many different ways one can make bobbles! 3-, 5-, 7-st bobbles, Stockinette and Garter st bobbles, increase by kfb, yo's, etc.
Well, and there you have it - 5 caps all worked with a slip stitch technique. :)
I have gained a wealth of new knowledge with this final challenge, not only about slipped stitches, but also about yarn selection, stitch pattern influences on fabric properties, cap construction, bobbles, and I've learned the braided trim cast-on.
I'm even wearing a cap now (the City Slicker and Flower Fez are my favorites) without feeling like an egg head. Haha!
Thank you all for organizing, managing, participating and voting for the great Project Yarnway challenges throughout the year.
Check out all the other entries as well - and vote!