Thursday, June 5, 2008

Summer is Here

About a month ago I looked outside and realized the weather was changing and summer was approaching. I have been trying to wear something handmade every day, and with the new season I was running out of opportunities. I bought some more yarn, and started a few more projects.

This is the Frock Camisole, out of Elann Adara in Fern. I love the pattern, especially the way the shaping around the neck creates a lovely curve. Unfortunately, I had been paying too much attention to my sewing patterns, and added a few inches around the hips, since I am a size or two larger there. I also did not wash my gauge swatch before I made this decision. So, not surprisingly, the completed Frock Camisole is far too wide. This will be easily remedied, as I have run into this problem before. Normally, I do not advocate machine stitching knit fabric, but in order to alter a garment without ripping the whole thing out seems like a reason to change it.

Here's what I plan to do, just as soon as I am near a full-length mirror and a sewing machine in the same place:

1) Sew sideseams into the Frock Camisole using mattress stitch. (It is knit in the round.)
2) Try it on and make sure it fits appropriately. Perhaps even wash it to make sure it doesn't grow anymore.
3) Zigzag stitch outside of the mattress stitching. Densely.
4) Stitch in a straight line between stitches on the outer edge of the zigzag.
5) Cut just to the outside of the straight stitching
6) Zigzag the edges one more time
7) Repeat steps 3-6 for the other 3 sideseams

I'm actually wearing Isabella today, and just took a peek at the side seams I chopped off. The stitching is holding fast, and I think it will last a considerable amount of time. I think the tradeoff -- finishing not quite up to snuff but a wearable garment -- is worthwhile. I know some people may disagree, but I don't want to knit the same pattern twice....

Monday, June 2, 2008

More finishing....

So, in order for the needles to have been empty yesterday, I needed to have a few more finished pieces, right??

This is the Flower Basket Shawl blocking.

I loved knitting this, although it took me ages. I wasn't able to work on it consistently, which is why it took me so long. You can only kind of see the variegation in this picture, but the yarn's semi-solidness made it beautiful to knit with. If only I had more things to wear peach with!
Flower Basket Shawl by Evelyn Clark
Needles: Size 4 bamboo circulars
Repeats: 18 of the second chart, plus the first and last charts
Mods: None. This says something about the pattern quality. It's beautiful.
Yarn: Zephyr, dyed by me this January. Actual weight unknown, slightly over 2 mini-cones

I also finished up my portable project:

These are the Candy Socks. They are knit on 66 stitches, and the only thing that makes them remarkable in the least are the heels. Can you identify which heel is the Dutch heel and which one is the regular heel-flap heel? That's right -- it turns out that when I was knitting the second sock (on the right) I forgot how one does the short rows to get a nice trapezoid on the bottom of the heel. So that sock turned out with a Dutch heel. Both socks fit, so I'm not too concerned about their fraternal nature.


Socks, on 66 stitches. Rib is 2x1.

Yarn: Knit Picks fingering, dyed by me in January


This is a simple stockinette swatch for my next project. Actually the first half of the project is off the needles, and the second half is not yet cast on. The yarn is cotton and so it shows every glitch. Usually on my reverse-stockinette sides I row out, and you can see the gaps. This time I didn't, at least not that much. I love this yarn! It makes a fabric that is truly smooth and sleek. It's Intermezzo DK.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Finishing Up Loose Ends

This morning I woke up and realized I had NOTHING on my needles. Now, that never happens. Ever. I usually have 3 projects going on: one lace, one pair of socks that stays in my bag, and one garment. Sometimes it goes up to five. I've been tearing through things, though, and decided to finish the pair of socks that has been languishing since March.

They, however, are not making it to this post. A lot has happened since then!
I have been admiring Juliet from afar for a while now. Towards the end of last summer, I bought some Knit Picks Shine Sport and I thought it would be great to combine the two. The yarn knits up at a much smaller gauge than Juliet, but I thought since it is cotton it would work well. I did some adaptations and came up with this:

The raglan increases at the shoulders. I love Cat Bordhi's method of doing left- and right-increases from New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I use them all the time now, because they turn out so neatly.

I saw one project on Ravelry that had a button on either side of the closure and a tab across it like a military jacket. I decided to adapt that look, and made large i-cord tabs with delicate buttons.

I'm very happy with how it all came out. It was hard to tell whether the lace was right when I was knitting it up. I did stop a little bit earlier than I thought, because I knew the cotton (and lace) would grow and lengthen. Now it hits me perfectly at the hip. I would give you more information, but I don't remember any of it. I think I used size 3 needles, but I'm not really sure.

I've begun spinning some more, but more importantly, I made my first project with my handspun! I ended up with a lot of yarn left over, so there may even be a second project in the future with it!

This is Cat Bordhi's Moebius Cowl. I found it on Ravelry, and got to fiddle with the Moebius cast on. It's unbelievable how you knit both sides at once.

I love the way the colors change so gradually. It's much more subdued than I anticipated when I spun the yarn. It's just too bad that the weather is getting warm enough that I barely need to bring a jacket with me, much less a wool cowl!

And lastly, I bring you something not crafting-related:

This is another project I have been working on, with five other people. I wrote about a third of the top book in the past two months. It's what has been sucking up my time, especially when a colleague and I had to edit and format the entire two-part document into 450 pages of useful text. Now it's done and in the final form, and I'm proud!