Sunday, October 28, 2018

Knitting sampler blazing on

This might be the most fun I've had in a while, wrt making stuff. I have 36 stitches, fingering weight, self striping yarn. And it's great to just try whatever stitch or pattern you fancy as you go. This might be a scarf, or a wall hanging, depends. It could be both, hanging up till I want to wear it.

As you see, it's unblocked because still on the needles, but will be much more even across the width once pressed.

Part of the interest is in seeing just how different approaches change the width, which stitches do well in a fine gauge, and there's a bit of math involved in figuring out the multiples required of a pattern. Some fit fine, others you allow stitches at the edges and set the motif in the middle.  The cable worked this way, and the Crest of the Wave, in progress at the top.

Reading top to bottom: Crest of the Wave, a variation on good old feather and fan, Shaker stitch, a garter stitch variation, which I think worked better on a bulkier yarn, like the cowls I made, then comes checkerboard, then something I invented which involved ktogs and yarnovers, was listening to an exciting mystery and never wrote it down. Then cable, haven't done that in  years, and had to get a YouTube tutorial to remember the steps.

Then Lace Ladder, which I did in miniature back in atc days, in crochet thread. It will profit from blocking, so the ladder effect will show better. Then feather and fan. Then Kelp stitch as shown in the picture I have, which had typo problems. Below is what the wording gave, pretty but not the actual stitch. I had to figure that out, and was pleased with it.

Bands of garter to separate the designs. This could go on and on! There will be beading. Snd bobbles. And maybe that great 20 line no repeat challenge,  Field of Wheat.

In this series of artist's trading cards, ATCs, you see top left, Field of Wheat, a trial motif.

And here it features in a knitted and crocheted wall hanging, Ceres, daughter of Demeter, Greek myth figures.

 Here's a bigger image, from a long ago pre digi camera shot, of Strawberry, third row middle

 and Traveling Leaf, bottom left. And you see Lace Ladder there, second row right.

And while I'm wandering down memory lane, here's a mask I knitted from one length
 of yarn, long gone into someone's collection. It's about 8x10". This was knitted designing as I went.

And here's the back of the ATC sleeve, with references in case you want to follow up. Since the name side is flipped you need to note that top left becomes top right  and so on. The address is long defunct. Barbara Walker's collection of lace patterns is worth a visit, if you can get the book. You can probably track them down on-line too, and might find them with different names, very confusing!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Thrills and Spills with Sticks and String

All the buttons for the second vest done, needing only attachment. And the shoulders to be seamed, I've been eyeing some nice fingering in variegated color and wondering what to make next.

Also, leafing through Big Binder of stuff I've done, remembered I had a lot of pages of Barbara Walker's book of lace patterns. Found them after an exciting search during which I found a couple of ideas for future art projects, and thought, hm.

Then in line with my usual mantra of when in doubt, do everything at once, cast on 36 stitches on size three dpns, and studied lace patterns. I decided a long scarf as a lace sampler would be just the ticket.

So I picked out a few, noticed I'd done more of them than I realized, and I'll do panels of different patterns separated by areas of garter stitch.  This is interesting as a scarf and as a walking textbook of design. And the 36 stitches are enough to accommodate the patterns, some needing garter stitches to fill in the sides. Can you see feather and fan there, and bird's-eye? And there's ladder lace to come, too. Forthcoming attractions.

Started with kelp stitch, an old one from my big binder, which means I must have made it for someone, and found quite quickly that the picture and the words didn't match up.  As you see, the openings stagger nicely, but there's a panel of garter stitch which doesn't match the pic.  I studied and realized that the pattern omitted a vital clue: it said the motif was k2 (yo k2tog) k2. The alternating, jog row, was k1(yo k2tog) k 3. As you see, as written, it will give that intervening band of garter stitch. It looks quite nice, but it's not what I was going for.

Rethinking, I figured it should have said k2 *(yok2tog) to last 2 then k2. There was a missing asterisk.

So I did another panel like that and yay, that's the answer. I really like the pattern now. There will be more lacy bits as I go, but, being from Barbara Walker's collection, there won't be any pesky typos to deal with.

So I already have a reference with the pattern as written and as corrected. It's already working as a textbook.  Amazing what two different readings can do to the result.

This is fun.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The button up blue vest, continued, possibly finished.

The vest finished, buttons made and attached, I tried it on and decided I didn't like it. Too boxy and floppy, even when I adjusted for buttoning.

So I felted it. Boiled it briefly in suds, plunged into cold water, then another cold water, then wrung it out and gave it half an hour in a hot dryer with a towel. I had prudently buttoned it up ahead of time.

And ended with a really nice felted material. Much better texture, subtle design.  color really blazing away  I clipped the buttonholes just a bit, easy now it's felted, won't fray, for easier buttoning now the original holes are smaller.

And still not happy with the fit. So I cut up the sides and stitched a slanted seam like a dart. And now it's really nice. It fits. Very cosy, too.

I'm thinking of making a purse with the leftover yarn and felting it, now that I know how well it felts. With any luck that will be a bit simpler.

So this simple (!) vest involved knitting, felting, stitching, cursing and Dorset button making. Knitting's not for the faint of heart. At least not the way I do it!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Thing Three, the pashmina continued

 Found a piece of black fabric, maybe liner, and made a lined purse from another bit of the pashmina.

 Inserted a pocket for phone, and after this, the whole thing folds over side to side,
 and I'll make a bead and loop closing, about where you see the bead there, using the embroidery floss seen in the second pic up there.

 I was thinking as I went and ended up with a kind of pursigami. Right for dropping into my actual purse. More fun than plan and execute!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Cutting with abandon

After seeing the one-yard kimono jacket idea on MA's blog, and reading Sonya on Mason Dixon, I was all for trying something new. Sonya is all about making what you want to wear, fearlessly and not worrying about it, and MA's links are full of great ideas for all kinds of things you might not have thought of.

And, not being a procrastinator, rather the opposite, a hasty jumper-in,  late last night I hauled out three big scarves I was given and rarely wear, because they're too square for me. They don't drape for me.

Two are fine wool, the one in the foreground a pashmina, remember them? So they're nice in that the fabric is good.

Soooooo I cut the pashmina into a kimono jackety thing. Pinned it before hand sewing, no machine around here. And found it would be much better on someone entirely taller and more substantial than my fairly small self. Oh. I looked as if it was trying to kidnap me.

Back to the cutting board, and I now have a scarf which is the Isadora Duncan type, which I will wear once the temps and humidity drop below 80f and 6,241.

And a joke cover, not meant to be serious,  in my small gallery

And enough leftover fabric to make something else when I get an idea of what. The other two scarves are uncut for now.

Never a dull moment.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Dorset buttons moving right along

To date, the buttons for the cotton vest. Seeing them through a lens is helpful for doing subsequent ones. Also you can see tiny thread ends to snip. The idea is to vary the patterns, just to experiment with the idea. This won't be very evident once in use, but it's one of those hidden pleasures in making things.

This is really calming work, needed right now.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

New Dorset button in progress

Here's the first of the set for the cotton vest. Not finished, I just did it partially, so as to test whether it would go through the buttonholes. And as you see, it did. So I'm set to finish weaving it and its nine friends.

I'm using a size 70 thread for this, used for whitework, so it's both fine and tough enough to stand up to handling and being pushed through the buttonholes. And I had to change technique a bit.

The stitches are tight and you can't really push a needle through the knots around the inside of the ring, to establish the weaving, unlike the usual approach. Normally the knots anchor the weaving. But here I passed the thread over the ring, and held on to it until I got some weaving established. It didn't add size, because the threads slid between the stitched ones. So that seems to work.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Buttons on, me or them.

I decided it was time for the Sewing on of the Buttons on the Blue Vest. This was after I wondered if I should first check the smoke detectors, change the oil in the car, check the mailbox, vote..well my mail in vote came today so I did vote, wielding my tiny power.

But then I had stop procrastinating, and do the buttons. I found, once done and buttoned up that I could have made the small size. I had wondered if it would be skimpy so, using her measurements, went for the medium.

Anyway I have adjusted, very simply, by buttoning it further over, and that seems to work. The fabric is open enough that I could just push buttons in without creating new buttonholes if necessary.

We'll see how the cotton one works out. I used different needles, and it's firmer. Probably the issue there will be inserting the buttons through the little holes, but I'll figure that out when the time comes. One good thing was that the Dorset buttons worked nicely, stitched on without losing any shape. I attached them with the same thread I made them with.

Anyway here's the round neck side

 And the v neck side, the other side is sticking up behind it

And a gallant attempt at a selfie!  Poor lighting uncooperative model..but you can just about get the gist.