Recently in No Sweat Pants Category

Stripey Pants

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Wanna good morning laugh? Just feast your eyes on my most recent accomplishment... the No Sweat Pants in Lion Brand Homespun, Regency colorway.

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Pants from the Side, Front and Back

I finished up these stripey wonders after a very fun KIP. My tension must have gotten a little loose on top, because they were rather larger than I expected in that area. No matter, that is what a drawstring is for. One of the things that you can't see very well in the picture in the magazine is the drawstring. So I tried to make it more clear. I apologize in advance for exposing my blindingly white skin -- but it's all in the name of exposing the details of this pattern. In IK, the model's shirt comes down over the top of the pants.

I knit these up in the largest size. And the legs are a little larger than normal because I didn't get rid of the 4 stitches that would have gone into the seams. I left them because I like loose and baggy. After knitting the largest size, I now realize why they didn't size up this pattern too much more -- structural integrity. Four skeins of Homepun is 24 ounces -- or a pound and a half. These bad boys aren't lightweights. I think if you made them too much bigger, wearing them around would be a work out.

On one hand, I can't believe I actually made these things. On the other hand, I kind of like them and don't think they look quite as bad as I expected them to (horizontal stripes across the hips usually aren't a figure benefit). I definitely won't be wearing them out on the town, but I'm still wearing them after my little photo shoot. They're comfy and soft and not too warm. And even though they were waaaay oversized on top, that drawstring helps size them right up to my shape.

So what did I learn?

  • Lion Brand Homespun isn't so bad. I'm not going to knit with it all the time, but I can see it's value in making a quick afghan or baby blanket with it. It's soft, it knits up on big needles and it's machine washable. It is, however, very easy to split as you knit with it.
  • Knitting in the round makes this project a lot easier and it's pretty trivial to modify the pattern. Of course, you do give up those structure creating side-seams. I'll report back later on how well the shape holds up and if gravity gets my pants down!
  • Pants are a very simple shape. Two tubes connected into a big tube. Makes me think it might be fun to design some that could be worn on the beach. Maybe with an opaque top and lacy legs? Probably it would be more work than it was worth, but it wouldn't be too hard to design.
  • I like my pants. This started out as something of a joke, but turned out to be something comfy that I'll probably wear on a Saturday morning while I'm drinking my coffee and surfing the blog ring.

I'll sum up by saying that if you're intrigued by them, go for it. They're fun and the pattern is easy to follow. It's very easy knitting as well, and doesn't really take very long. Will they stand the test of time? Will you be passing them on to a grand child? Probably not. But I'll be enjoying them for the moment and if nothing else, I think they'll always make me smile.

P.S. I'm going to be co-hosting the Audrey Knit-A-Long with Morgan and Elisabeth. Becky is going to share her button making talents with us, and I'm hoping to set up a little gallery of finshed tops, so even if you don't have a blog, you can share in the fun of showing off your Audrey! If you're interested in knitting-a-long, let me or Morgan or Lis know and we'll keep you posted on the festivities!

Panting Hard

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I can only handle so much serious knitting. Sometimes it's just fun to go off and do something impractical out of a fiber you don't give much credit and see what happens. So, with no further delay, I give you my progress on a very impractical project: knitted sweat pants.

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Two Legs Up!

I decided to not worry about matching the stripes -- I'm not going to hit the town with these bad boys, so I just went with what came up. Here's what one of the legs looks like draped across my actual leg:

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A Long View of a Pant Leg

I'm pretty pleased with myself -- I will only have one seam to sew up -- the crotch seam. I think I can handle a mattressing a few stitches. From here on out the pieces are knit together in the round. I am curious to see whether or not Amber's prediction from my previous post will come true -- that without the extra side seams, the pants will get loose and stretchy and shapeless. I hadn't thought about that before, but it does seem like a possibility.

And if anyone wants sweat pants just like these (even out of the same dye lot) -- check out Bonne Marie's blog. She's giving away Homespun to people who want to knit pants. And that Regency color is still waiting to be claimed!

No Sweat Pants

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Before you fear for what you might see if you scroll down farther on this page, let me assure that even in the absence of sweat pants, no skin is revealed. Instead, I'm getting started on a project I just couldn't ignore, the "No Sweat Pants" from the Spring 2004 Interweave Knits (scroll past mid-page for the pic).

Now... before anyone tries to convince me of the craziness of going off and knitting pants for myself (or anyone else), let me tell you that I had all those conversations with myself and I just couldn't get this project out of my brain. There's just something wondeful and silly about it. And at just 4 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun for my size (the largest, which seems to be about a US size 6), I figured I couldn't lose too much if it turned out to be a kitschy disaster. And when Allison decided to host the Pant-A-Long... well, I just had to get a-long and make me some pant-y goodness.

So, two weekends ago, I got myself to the local Jo Ann's and grabbed 4 skeins of Homespun. It was actually a little bit of a challenge to find 4 skeins of a color I liked. But after about 5 minutes of deliberation and digging, I came up with these...

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Lion Brand Homespun in "Regency"

Yes, I know that is only three skeins. The fourth is hiding out and will be revealed in a few seconds. Although I didn't have much to choose from, I did think that this nice combination of blues and greens would work up into some sort of mottled blendy good thing that would be perfect for Saturday mornings lounging in front of my computer. The astute reader will already have noticed something about this yarn that I missed... Imagine my surprise to find out that I had inadverently picked up the Kureyon of acrylic yarns:

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A Stripy Pant Leg

I remember seeing some demonstration of this on a previous pass through the blogs, but it didn't come to mind while I was shopping. No matter, if I am going to go for wonderful kitschy goodness, I might as well go for wonderful horizontal stripey kitschy goodness. After all, it's not like I'm going to go clubbing in the things, I might as well have something that looks like a funky version of movie prison pajamas.

Now, I should take a few moments here to mention that I am a yarn snob. I freely admit it. I do turn my yarn nose up at most synthetics and I've never bought a skein of Red Heart. However, in addition to being a yarn snob, I am also a clothing slob... I hate handwashing things and almost never get to the drycleaner (unless I can convince my husband to do it for me). When it comes to yarn, snob usually wins out over slob, but in this case, I decided that I'd give the Homespun a shot. I have no intention of handwashing pants, nor do I want to pay excessive amount of $$$ for some thing that I might not really like/wear.

On Sunday, after finishing up the first Banff sleeve, I decided to take a break and swatch for the sweat pants. I was actually pleasantly surprised that the Homespun and my AddiTurbos got along pretty well. The stuff was easy to knit and soft through my fingers. The resulting fabric was a nice one for sweatpants... squishy and not too much stitch definition to distract from the overall fabric. I got gauge on my first shot and decided to go for it.

And then I noticed that it looked like there were distinct color runs in the yarn. And that my swatch changed shade as I knitted. Hmmm... stripes? Yes. Hmmm... quick glance at the pattern... pants are knit up in 4 pieces and then joined at the tops and knit in the round up over the hips. That didn't seem to be a good thing for stripes. And then there was my concern that the largest size might not be quite big enough for me at the hips... Hmmm... Hmmm... Hmmm...

I'm not quite sure why this project wasn't designed to be knit in the round. After all, leg tubes make a lot of sense. And if you knit the whole thing in the round, the only seaming you have to do is a 16 stitch crotch seam. For a girl who doesn't like to weave in ends and isn't all that excited by finishing, this seemed like a worthwhile change. Not only that, but I avoid the unpleasant need to purl and to pay attention, if all I am doing is knit stitches. Finally, by knitting in the round, I could keep the 4 stitches that would have been pulled into the seam in the leg of the pants, thus giving me a whole inch more girth. And, of course, the other benefit of tubes is that the stripes are consistant -- at least on each leg (I'm not sure how easy it is going to be to match the starting points).

So I got happy with my Addis, and by bedtime, I had made it through one skein of homespun and 22" of pantleg.

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One Legged Model Shot

I have to admit that I don't mind working with this yarn. It does split a little, but it works up fast and soft and really will be perfect for lounge pants. (I've heard conflicting information about its durability, so only time will tell on that one.) In fact, tonight, as I cast on for the second sleeve of Banff, I was really almost wishing that I was finishing off the first leg of these pants. I'm not sure if that is the novelty or the yarn talking, but so far this project is a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to the end product (silly pictures guaranteed!)

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