Monday, 20 July 2015

Lavish seamless jumper

It is not quite seamless: all of a sudden I decided to knit the sleeves open - because it is easier to remember when to do the decreases for the sleeve shaping when there are knit and purl rows.

The stitch holder finally saw some use (I had them a while) but turned out to be a bit disappointing; they popped open on at least three different occasions and dropped stitches, which is precisely what they're meant to prevent.

So I'm slightly disgruntled on that point. I might have to get those horrible plastic ones that have an elastic go across them. I don't like the way those look. At all.

The yarn is Supersoft Lambswool 2/11.3Nm yarn in the colourway Lavish 1734 by JC Rennie, the greasy on the cone variety.  I don't actually know what '2/11.3Nm' means, I just copied that from their website.

I am knitting with a 2.75mm needle. A really long circular needle that keeps curling up and getting in the way when I did the sleeves. A tad annoying. Still manageable though.

I love the colour of this yarn, it is slightly heathery with flecks of other colours in it. But mainly a dark magenta-like pink. Love it.

Such a nice strong colour that makes me feel good.

Now I just have to prevent the moths from eating this before I can wear it!  It is washed for the first time (squeezed through some lukewarm water, no wringing) but still smells quite a bit of sheep.

PS: I am catching lots of moths in pheromone traps but now it's too hot to wear this even though it is so thin. I must check that the shape is okay and that I want to wear this. Otherwise I better take some corrective action sooner than later!

Monday, 8 June 2015

Red and black skirt - using up stash fabric!

Oh yes, I am using up stash fabric. I can feel the relief coursing through my veins at saying this: I am actually using up material that I've had in my stash for ages! Fantastic.

I have this beautiful true red and black patterned fat quarter, a quilting cotton.  It has these lovely rope or thread motifs on it that somehow remind me of bamboo (I don't know what my thought process is there) - but I have no other fabric that this goes with if I want to use it in a quilt.

So repurposing is the order of the day.

What can I make with one fat quarter? Not a heck of a lot.  But I can if combined with a plain black fabric, like for example a skirt. Marvellous idea!  But the fabric isn't long enough to run down the length of the skirt - therefore I need to sew two separate sections together.

Then I had a sudden vision of a wavy panel, snaking its way down the skirt. I got on really well with putting this together, so here are some progress shots:

What I love about designing something yourself: you get to decide what you want to do if there is an issue - like the seamline between my two sections of the red fabric.

I did try to pattern match this as pernickety and detail obsessed as I could but it wasn't perfect. And I would always know that it doesn't quite fit together. But what if I turn this around and make a feature out of a bug? (That's my absolutely favourite design process and objective!)

Why not hide that seam in a way that becomes a defining design feature? Why not sew a sort of tab across?

I didn't want a straight piece of fabric stuck on top, that would have looked silly.  But picking up the wave theme and going with a satisfyingly curved piece of applique: It looks just right!

I did sew the side seam together to attach the tab on the right hand side, now I have to adjust the width for the second side seam because the pattern pieces are way too big. Very odd.

And it isn't because I pulled the black fabric apart to insert the red panel: I actually removed the middle bit that I cut out - I will post lots of photos of what I did in another blog post soon.

Isn't sewing just so much fun?

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Turquoise jumper

I completely forgot to post this draft, oops! I finished this jumper a few months back.  I just want to stitch down some excess fabric at the front of the neck, to stop it pushing forward.  But then it'll be completely done. I wonder if that's what stopped me from posting this?

Well, here goes for now:

I am so very happy, relieved and delighted: I finally got my turquoise jumper done! Yes, actually finished. After I had marked it complete already on Ravelry, and then decided that the rolling down funnel neck looked a bit like the tightly rolled lip of a balloon, the bit that you blow into if you know what I mean?  It looked exceedingly odd around the base of my neck - as if it was trying to squeeze my head out of the jumper. Not a good look any way you consider it. At all.

I went from this - i.e. just having to knit a bit of a facing down from the cast-off stitches:

To this - the finished product: 18 months!  What the hell took me so long?  I just don't get it.

I mean, look at it, it was almost completed, finished, done:

An almost completed jumper - in limbo for about 18 months, or so
I had to go back a bit further than I realised because the neck opening was too tight to get the jumper over my head. Such a common mistake, a bit of a rookie mistake to make. Just goes to show.  So I picked up lots of stitches every here and there - and if I remember correctly, I also opened the shoulder seams a bit and picked up stitches in that area too.

It worked well.

It is just that the front of the jumper at the top, in front of the neck, - it's a bit loose sitting and baggy.  The Alpaca yarn is quite springy and holds the shape more than merino would. The eyelet funnel pattern is just a bit too stiff to relax into a better fit.  I'll have to look at that and see if I want to make some post-completion change there. I'll see.