Monday, November 29, 2010

Sewing FO: You can't go wrong with animal prints

Actually, I think this is more like a quasi animal print, but it's a fun dress anyway. The pattern is Vogue V8552, which I made earlier this year in linen. This fabric is a strange polyester/lycra moleskin, which is sort of slick on the wrong side. It does not hold a pressing at all, which makes it annoying to sew with, but it's actually pretty comfortable to wear. I got it on sale at JoAnn for a very low price. This time around, I eliminated the pockets and sewed the tucks as pleats on the inside. For winter, it's a bit chilly to wear by itself, but it looks good under a black cardi or shrug.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

FO: Faux capelet cardigan

I just finished this cardigan that is loosely based on the Boho Blouse by Stephanie Japel. I liked that capelet-like look when I first saw the pattern, but I didn't think it was cape-y enough, and I thought the trim hit too high on the bust line. I wanted the sleeves longer, but I couldn't just keep knitting further until separating out the sleeves because I would end up with ginormous armholes. I ended up separating out for the sleeves at the normal place, casting on a few stitches for the body section, then continued knitting the sleeves flat with additional increases. I made the sleeves end at the same point where the body trim ends, but instead of sewing the sleeve sides together, I sewed them to the sweater body itself. This helps the sweater look a little more capelet-like.

The pattern as written calls for a very fast rate of increases on the yoke such that all the increases are completed by 4" of yoke. This would cause the upper part of the bodice to be too loose, which I didn't want. I did the more standard rate of increases. My yarn is a very textured wool blend that I bought on my Japan vacation, so I omitted the cable stitches in the pattern. Finally, I wanted a cardigan instead of a pullover.

That blurriness you see on the sweater is not due to my camera or your eyesight. I partially felted my sweater by accident. My sweater ended up a bit large when finished , so I decided I would soak it a tiny bit, then run it through the dryer to shrink it. I did try this first with my swatch, and it worked well. However, for the actual garment, I decided to try a longer drying time, and I was amazed by how much it felted and horrified by how much it shrank. Luckily, it was still quite damp, so some of the shrinkage was reversible. I ended up wearing it all day, dampness and all, so that it would dry and form to my own body's shape. I also kept tugging at the various hem parts all day to keep the length from shrinking, which must have looked odd indeed. Ah, the things we knitters will do.

In the end, it's a bit shorter than I would like, but the width fits nicely. I lost the lovely yarn texture, but I gained the soft felted fuzziness. I'm pretty happy with the end result.

I have a theory about why my garment kept growing in size. The yarn is heavily textured, and all the texture-y bits don't pull through the stitches easily so the stitches start off fairly tightly knit. As I handled the garment more and more, the little bits of texture worked their way through the stitches and opened them up and the gauge got bigger as did the sweater.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day in the U.S.
It coincides with Remembrance Day, or Poppy Day in countries such as U.K. and Canada. I like the Poppy Day concept, so I decided to crochet a red poppy to wear today.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

FO: Goodale

I've finished Goodale and I'm very happy with it. The yarn is Brown Sheep Serendipity Tweed. My biggest modification for this sweater is adding increases along the front. I started the increases at about 2" from the top front edges. By the time I reached the hem, I added about 3" to each of the fronts. This keeps the sweater from flaring wide open in the front.
I made some other customizations as well, because customizing my knits is just how I roll.
- I made it longer and added waist shaping.
- I made 3/4 length sleeves because I had a lot of spare yarn, and longer sleeves are better for fall.
- Instead of sewing the bottoms together for the folds, I folded before the ribbing and picked up 2 stitches together for the front ribbing.
- I sewed down the tops of the front lapels up to the pocket openings.
- I made my I-cord 1 stitch wider but used small needles to keep it tight. I twisted it for a figure 8 in the center.