Monday, December 29, 2014

Secret Santa/Secret Child

A change of heart
This was my present for my secret child! It took a grand total of 3 days and a bit to finish, so it's definitely a great present-knitting choice. No photos of my secret child wearing it, unfortunately, but she loved her present, so all's well!

The pattern is Change of Heart by Justyna Lorkowska (free Knitty pattern!), and I used completely different needles and yarn, since my secret child asked for a knitted chunky circle scarf (among other things). It's a lovely pattern: the lace is easy to memorize, the cable is very simple and complements the lace very well, and the i-cord edging on the one side of the garter stitch band is a nice detail that makes the entire thing come together neatly. The moment I finished, I wanted one for myself! A change of heart indeed!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

White Linen Dress

It's winter right now.
I know I don't post my sewing stuff up here very often - at all - but I'm pretty happy with this one, and it's the first thing I've sewn in a while. In addition to that, it's the first time I've used the sewing machine to do all of it! All of the edges have been french-bound, so no more frayed edges (some of my previous garments have frayed edges that have started to fall apart a bit, so I am learning from the past). And of course, there are pockets. And it's kind of a wonder that I can pull it on and off due to the lack of closures - it was a real concern.

The fabric is a linen/rayon blend and the pattern was drafted by yours truly. The original plan was to do 2 layers and make it reversible, but when I tried that on the muslin, it felt a little too thick and stiff. That might have had to do with the fact that the fabric I used for the muslin was completely different from the real thing though. Now that the real thing has been sewn up, I kind of wish I had a white slip or another layer under it, since it is a bit sheer. A long knit tank top has been cut out of a jersey fabric in my stash, but I haven't gotten around to actually sewing it yet, since the bias binding straps are a pain to make (can't iron it down, so there's a million pins holding one in place at the moment).

The fit is lovely (as it should be, since it was drafted to my measurements), and I am thinking of this style of dress in various colours. Maybe make it into a circle skirt instead? Or add in that second layer, as was originally planned, next time? It has started to stretch a little because I put it onto a hanger for a couple of days (the armholes were much more fitted at first). Hopefully it'll shrink back in the washing machine?

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Finally did that neckline after... how many months?
This shirt/sweater has been in the works since the summer, but to be honest, it's been about 99% done for the past couple of weeks (if not months) waiting for me to undo one gauge swatch so I'd have enough yarn to knit the neckline. It really took a whole lot longer than it should have, and the process of knitting the neckline wasn't half as bad as I had anticipated. I did run out of yarn, as expected, so I had to frog one of my swatches, but apart from that, it went swimmingly. And now I have one more top to wear for this winter! Why didn't I do this sooner?

I love the way it turned out! The neckline does need to be worn to be stretched out and not roll down (it's stockinette), but I think some blocking will fix that up. Not that I'm going to block it until after its first wash. And even then... the hanger will do nicely.

A touch a (mad) tosh
When I got all the measurements down and started on the math for this, I noticed something pretty interesting: 17" seems to be my magic number. My sleeves are 17" long from the underarm. The length of the body is 17". The width of the body is 17" (34" all around). 17" everywhere seems to be the perfect number for me!* Which makes my life a whole lot easier in terms of remembering it!

There is another finished project, but it's for my secret Santa recipient, so that will be posted after everyone has exchanged presents. It's actually already on my ravelry, but they don't know. Shhhhh...

Arabella in the works
And here is a WIP of my Arabella! I started this around the time this semester started, so I haven't touched it for a while, but hopefully I'll be able to get a few more inches done before I have to go back!

*Excepting sleeve circumference & neck circumference, of course. Actually, I totally winged the neck, so I don't know how large it is... maybe 17"? And of course, those are bracelet sleeves, so if I want anything more hold-sleeves-in-hands sweater-length sleeves, then I'd have to add a couple more inches to that.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

SSKAL14 Summary

Foam sweater - so comfy! It served me well in Scotland!
Foam sweater. Survived 2 weeks in Scotland.
Now that sskal14 is over, I might as well post what I've actually accomplished aside from my Wickerwork inspired pullover. I haven't just been acquiring a bunch more yarn - I've actually been using a bit of it, too! Not quite at the same rate as that of acquisition, but better than nothing. Pictured above is my foam sweater, which I finished the day before we set off for Scotland. So of course I brought it with me (in favour of the bulkier Wickerwork). It has lasted surprisingly well, considering it's knit from singles and I used one needle size larger than I should have. It gave me a nice gauge and I liked the feel of it, but going down to 2.5mm needles might have made it slightly more hard-wearing. Nonetheless, it's holding up and so incredibly comfortable! I might have to make myself another sometime in the foreseeable future. Those contiguous saddle shoulders are also quite nice, if I do say so myself. I think the slight puckering at the shoulder/chest area is probably due to the funnel neck, so I might make a crew neck next time.

Hopefully I don't run out of yarn!
Grace in Juniper Moon Farm's Findley

 And now here's another one that I started during the sskal14. Another improvised pattern - I should probably have ripped back and made the shoulders a little wider, but they're okay as is, too. Something to keep in mind for next time (though I've been through this before and I never seem to remember for next time). Terrified I might run out of yarn though! I haven't weighed it or anything, but it seems like I might either have just enough or might run out maybe 3/4 of the way down the next sleeve! We'll see what happens. The yarn is Juniper Moon Farm's Findley, which is a pleasure to work with! It's very silky smooth and amazingly soft both in the ball and when knitted up. I didn't have any troubles with it after blocking the swatches, and I tried to rub it between my hands a bit to see if anything would fuzz up: nothing did. I'm hoping that the full shirt will stay in that perfect condition too after lots of wear!

Sherwood hasn't budged an inch. Nope.

"Whatever happened to Sherwood (above) and that Sheep Sweater you've been working on for practically forever now?", you might ask. Well. About that. To tell the truth, they have moved not an inch! In fact, whereas before the sskal I had one sleeve for the sheep sweater halfway completed, I finally decided that because the ease was so different for the sleeve and the body, I would frog the sleeve and just make the sweater into a vest instead. So technically there is actually less of the sheep sweater now than there was before, but I'm more done than I was before, percentage-wise. Hurrah! As for Sherwood... I've got nothing. No excuses, nothing. I just didn't pick it up over that entire time. At all.

Still mostly in the same shape now as it was then.
I did have a great time looking at everyone's work, though I didn't really keep up with the conversations at all (which might have been the whole point of the KAL, but eh). Congratulations to the winners of the giveaway, and I look forward to next year, considering how much I did get done over this!

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Brown Sheep Company Nature Spun Fingering
 My stash, that is.

I am going to defend myself, though. I made a Craftsy purchase a couple of weeks ago mainly in order to get a large quantity of white/natural yarn for a project/exhibition idea. And they had that fall sale going on, so it worked out perfectly. 30 balls of Brown Sheep Company Nature Spun fingering weight yarn in the natural colourway (not pictured with its companions above) went into my cart for the project, followed by a couple of the other colours they offered for that same yarn since it was such a good deal and the shipping didn't go up when I kept adding stuff. But then I kept looking. And wound up with these in my cart as well:

Cascade 220 Worsted
Cascade Heritage
Shipping stayed the same, so I might as well, right? I've never worked with Cascade 220, but I get the feeling it's probably a good all-around yarn, and Zenith caught my eye the moment it came out, so there's one match down (which helps me whittle down my queue, too). Then the Heritage went into the cart for a future Arabella (already purchased, swatching now).

That water retted stuff REEKS!
Louet Flax (Bleached, Fine, Water Retted)
I've also placed an order for linen yarn via Etsy, but that has yet to arrive. They're for a related planned show though, or at least a body of work if not an entire show. So while waiting for that to come to my doorstep, I went to Romni's to get some flax fiber (also for that body of work).

Elsebeth Lavold LinSilk
And since I was there, as I would probably need more linen and linen-blend yarns later on for that body of work anyway, I grabbed all the cream colour Elsebeth Lavold LinSilk I saw in the basement on sale (6 skeins total, picture below). Already have an idea for what to make with it, too, if I can figure out what needles I need to get the fabric I want. I'm really confused about the weight of this yarn. It's listed as a worsted, and the suggested needle sizes are 4-4.5mm, but it was waaaaaaay too loose and hole-y when I tried to knit with 4mm needles. So I went down to 3.5mm and got an okay looking swatch. But then it kind of became looser after I washed and blocked it (which took a lot longer than I expected, since I'm used to wool stuff drying really quickly). So I went back and knit another swatch with 3.25mm needles. It's drying now, and it looks a little bit better, but I usually use 3.25mm needles for fingering weight yarn, and this is supposed to be a worsted! Is it because of the difference in fiber content than I usually work with (i.e. wool and wool blends)? Or is it really just not a worsted weight at all? It's my first time working with linen (and linen blend), so I really don't know what to expect.

Istex Einband
 Now these ones here are from Iceland, a little while back. I didn't go, but these were brought back for me as souvenirs (upon my request). A lot cheaper than I expected when I placed my order! I could probably use one more disc of the Plotulopi in jasper red, but we'll see what happens.

More Istex Einband
Istex Plotulopi

Thursday, September 4, 2014


I splurged.
Just returned yesterday from a family trip to Scotland! We had an amazing time and actually relaxed a lot more than we usually do on trips since there weren't too many things we absolutely had to go see while we were there (as opposed to say... Paris, where there's some historical monument or statue every other step), and my feet are forever grateful we skipped the walking tours suggested by the guidebooks. Last time we did those walking tours I actually gained leg muscle. My calves looked more fit than they had in probably my entire life. Honest.

Eden Cottage Yarns BFL Sock in Autumn & Night Sky
I took a lot of pictures while we were there, but none of them were digital as I had decided to lug around 2 film SLR cameras with me already, so the only pictures I can show right now are of my acquisitions from Scotland. Of which there are quite a number, so there is no shortage of photos in this post, at least! I'll sort through the film once it's all been developed - the colour ones at least, the black and whites and redscale will take a bit longer - and see what, if any, to show after. But we did finish off a lot of film while we were there! In fact, we were afraid we might have to purchase more while we were there. Fortunately we didn't run out, and we returned home with a canister in each of our cameras to finish off here before developing and printing.

Leather wallet from Iona
 We stayed a couple of days or so in 4 places before coming home. First was Glasgow, where we took the city sightseeing double-decker buses to see the sights and get around in general.We didn't do much in terms of shopping here (in fact, I did zero shopping here and only got the PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW pin above), but I loved the general atmosphere of the place! The people there, and everywhere else in Scotland, were so friendly that I was a bit surprised at first. Not saying that people here aren't friendly, but it was noticeably different. It may have to do with population density.

From there we went to Oban via the rail. If there was a place I would've liked to stay a little bit longer in, it would be here. All the food we tried here (and just about all throughout our trip, actually) was delicious, from seafood (fresh!) to pastries (and the accompanying coffee). I only wish we made it in time for the waffles from the Chocolate Company (we were about 15 minutes too late for them). We went on a cruise from Oban to a couple of the islands nearby as well: Mull, where we saw sheep and cows wandering around while we were on the bus tour, to Staffa, which was as beautiful as it was terrifying when trying to take pictures at the edge of the cliffs, then finally to Iona, from whence I got my new wallet (above), before heading back to Oban.

Souvenirs from a leather store in Kyle of Lochalsh
On our way to Inverness we took a little detour to Kyle of Lochalsh for a couple of hours. We heard the scenery from the train would be stunning, and it definitely was! I have a tendency to fall asleep on moving vehicles though, so I only got the beginning and a couple of glimpses during my waking moments. I also got these adorable piggy banks for my friends from Kyle of Lochalsh (I'm keeping the owl for myself). There was some yarn I was very tempted to get from the store next to the leather store, but I had yarn stores marked out in Edinburgh and wanted to be sure I didn't overspend and add too much to my stash. I'm afraid I may already have a SABLE.

They're piggy banks! So adorable!
Next was Inverness, home to Nessie of Loch Ness. To be perfectly honest, I would rather have spent another day in Oban and taken out a full day in Inverness. We got there around midday, checked into the hotel, walked the River Ness to the island in the middle and back, ate at a pub (delicious! And cheap!), and retired for the day. Then the next day we went for a cruise on the Loch Ness. I must be honest and say it was rather boring. The scenery was lovely for the first couple of minutes and the sheep caught my attention, but the castle at the end of the cruise was a huge let down - we didn't go into the castle, but it was so tiny and nondescript we had to ask each other if that was what we came all the way there for! - and I napped a bit on our way back. Needless to say, no Nessie appeared.

Harley of Scotland sweater!
We took the first train we could to Edinburgh the next morning and toured the Old Town. Since it was a Sunday, it was pretty busy, with lots of stalls along the sidewalk. I wandered into Canongate Jerseys & Crafts Ltd and saw this beautiful Harley of Scotland sweater in petrel blue in my size! Well it has a tiny bit more positive ease than I usually wear, but I'd probably wear long sleeves under it anyway, so it all works out. The sterling silver ring (above, with wallet) was purchased from one of the numerous stalls selling Celtic jewellery, and it's nice and thin so I don't even feel it when I wear it about. Then, of course, my last purchase had to be something knitting-related (I suppose the sweater is knitting-related too though), so I visited Kathy's Knits after discovering that K1 no longer has (or maybe never had? I'm not sure anymore) a brick and mortar store, and perusing McAree Brothers with nothing to show for it. I was looking for something made in the UK and preferably something I had never seen before and that was not, to my knowledge, being offered in my LYSs. So I walked out with 5 skeins of Eden Cottage Yarns, 4 Autumn and 1 Night Sky. Not sure what I'll be knitting with it, but I'm pretty sure I have enough to do something big, so I'm not too worried.

Overall, had a really nice time, and would love to go back, especially to Oban (I would really like to try those waffles). I would probably also visit some other places while I'm at it instead of just staying in Scotland next time though, unless I had something in particular to attend or keep me busy. You can tell how pleased I am with this trip:
One more shot.
Last one. Really.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Honey Wickerwork

Honey marmalade sweater
More photos on my ravelry page.
I finished my first sskal14 sweater! Hurrah! I didn't follow the pattern at all, just took the stitch pattern and ran with it. The end result is nice and comfy (not yet blocked, so the body will probably be even comfier after blocking when there'll be a bit of positive ease), so I'm extremely pleased with it. All my other sweaters have been knit using zero ease calculations, so this is a nice deviation from all those, especially with autumn coming around soon. I believe it's my first time mattress stitching a sweater together (instead of backstitching) and I think I did a pretty fine job, if I do say so myself.

Detail of the side seam - can't even tell!
The side ribbing was a nice detail, I think, and I'm glad I deviated from the original design. For the sleevecap calculations, I used the formula from LeeWards Complete Library of Needlecraft since I just knitted the armhole for the body until it was about long enough. One thing I wish I did differently (not enough for me to rip it out and reknit it though) is that I knit the ssp incorrectly. I slipped them the wrong way before purling them through the back loops. Oh well.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Sherwood. Since 2013.
I forgot to mention that I am participating in Very Shannon's Summer Sweater KAL this year! It's my first KAL, and I really hope that this will be the motivating factor for me to finish up a sweater or two (I'm looking at you two, sheep sweater and Sherwood). If I had to be honest with myself, I think the sheep sweater may never ever get finished. The body has zero ease whereas the sleeve I'm halfway done knitting has about 3~4" positive ease maybe? I haven't taken measurements of how big it is, but it's pretty roomy. So I might even just scrap the sleeves and make it a vest in the end. Not that I wear vests - ever - but as long as it's off the needles, I'd be chuffed. Sherwood stands a chance, since it knits up pretty quickly once I actually pick it up and start knitting. The problem is that before I start knitting, I have to spread out the chart so I can read it, which requires me to clear my little drawer-top. The little drawer-top that happens to have a bunch of little stuff on it that I use to make notes a I'm knitting other stuff or even just planning other stuff to knit in the future. Clearing that off - and keeping it cleared - will not be a fun task.
Sheep sweater. Since... 2012.
I don't have more recent photos of the main sweater I'm working on right now, which is a Wickerwork inspired sweater, but it's coming along quickly enough for me rethink knitting with fingering and lace-weight yarns all the time. I am one sleevecap and collar away from being completely done the knitting portion and starting on seaming, blocking, and weaving in ends, and I only started this in July! The colour reminds me of honey whenever I look at it - those dark honey biscuits shaped like a bear - and it's really a lovely yarn. A bit difficult once you poke through it and split it, but if you don't try to stab it in the back, it won't do the same to you, so I think that's fair. I got 12 balls of this yarn (Sublime Yarns Cashmere Merino Silk DK) at Loop last year, and while I was knitting up the body, I was afraid that maybe it wasn't enough, but the sleeves are eating up much less yarn than the body did (no duh. Stockinette vs. Cables), so I think there'll be just enough with one ball left over, even! Phew.

Honey marmalade sweater. Started July 2014. Almost done.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Photo Evidence

Oops. Didn't quite make it.
That's what my photo sessions typically consist of. I don't post the behind-the-scenes stuff, so you don't see it, but that's what happens when you do self-portraits with a haphazardly angled camera sitting precariously on two stacks of books to aim it at the right level.
Here's some photo evidence that I actually did finish some stuff!

Drunken stupor blanket for Dad.
My first large project.

Swathed in brick!
And all of this was with newly acquired yarn, so I think you can safely say that there's no way I can possibly fulfil one of my new year's resolutions already. Ha! As if there was any chance to begin with. But well, at least I did get to tick one of them off with my published pattern! So all's well.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Pattern Highlights (Ravelry)

So ravelry has pattern highlights that show you a bunch of patterns you might be interested in based on a couple of things, right? Guess what showed up on my list as something I might be interested in immediately after I published my Frost Flowers Dress pattern?

Very interested, yes.
Just thought that was kind of funny.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Frost Flowers Bloom!

I've released my first pattern! Fully written up and available in my ravelry store with a 20% discount from now until August 8 23:59 EST to celebrate the release!

With this, I have at last completed one of my new year's resolutions for 2014! Hurrah! I've already strayed completely off the road for another one of those resolutions (it was bound to happen, really...), so I'm pretty excited that I have kept to something.

I have also finished my disastrous blanket, so just need to get that photographed along with the first scarf I have been neglecting to document. I have worn it out and about though, and the colour has - rather magically - fit with everything so far! It crinkles pretty easily, but I think that just gives it character.
The blanket is actually now not quite so disastrous as it seemed to me then (mostly because I'm finished with it and will no longer need to work another one of them again), and I quite like the end result. I couldn't stuff one last thin clasped-weft section at the end, but that's fine. It looks fine as is, and I'm happy with the results, especially considering all the trials I had to pass to get to it! I counted all the broken warp threads afterwards and they totalled 23. 5 of which were all within centimetres of each other. So I wove them all in, and now it's done! I've given it to my father, and it's lying across the couch now, waiting for winter to settle in...

Monday, July 28, 2014

7 Months Along...

It's getting close. Really close.

And it's looking good!

There's still a bit left to do before I let it out into the world, but it's coming along, and I'm so incredibly excited! This is my first one, and I've already learned so much from the experience (and it hasn't even come out yet!), but I really hope the future is bright for this one. And any others to come, of course! But let's focus on this one first. I'll get to the others when I get to them.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Shedding Don't Get You No Shed.

Don't let its innocent fa├žade fool you.
Feeling totally empowered (read: cocky) from the success of my first successful woven fabric, I decided to weave something a little more challenging: a clasped-weft plaid blanket. Sounded challenging enough to keep me interested, but not too hard (no colour changes in the same row or anything like that, no lace... just simple plain-ish weave).

The warping process went... well, I got all the threads on the back beam in any case. A couple of them - I actually mean practically all of the wine threads - were lost along the way and I had to fix them (fixing warp threads. Before I even started weaving. I can't believe I didn't notice the signs, honestly) but I got all the threads in order enough to thread the eyes. Tied all of them onto the front, and went for the up shed. A couple of loose threads, but that's fine, I said. I'd manage. Went for the down shed. Uhhh....

That's narrow. Already weighted and all, too.
 So I cleared it and forged on ahead. After a couple inches of inching the shuttle across hoping it didn't catch stray threads, I decided to start weighting some of the threads. It started with one little glass jam jar. One of those sample sizes. Put a thread around the offending warp thread or two, shoved the thread into the jar, and shut them in, dangling the jar off the back beam. So alright, I'm learning something new: weighting warp threads. Hurrah for problem solving!

Then I ran into some other troubles. Both of my warp threads are singles. One of which (the grey one) is a soft, stretchy singles (note: don't use stretchy threads as a warp!) while the other is a rather tightly spun singles that is relatively tough in comparison. Now I'm pretty sure there's something somewhere saying that if you're going to use two rather different yarns in your warp, you should use two back beams, but I've just got my humble AKL, so I went ahead with it. You don't know if you don't try, right? (And to be honest, differences in tension has been the least of my problems.) So what I'm trying to say is this: the constant friction against the yarns by the rigid heddle (beating, changing sheds) caused a not very modest amount of shedding fibers: it was pilling. And fast.
I know you're all buddies, but give each other some space!
I shrugged it off, though. Pilling? No worries. I'll just advance the warp every couple of inches so the place of friction changes often enough for that to not be a problem. It kind of worked? But I'm really not sure if it's because of that, or because I clear the shed in the back and front of the reed with my hand after changing sheds before passing my shuttle through, or maybe because of all the miscellaneous items curiously dangling off the back of my table:

Wrenches, jewellery, film canisters, mini jam jars, you name it.
There are actually more issues (I had a lot of trouble keeping the selvedge even at first with clasped-weft, since both yarns were crazy sticky and resulted in a lot of pulling in when I just tried to pull everything into place; breaking warp threads did not stop at the beaming on stage: there are currently 6 broken warp threads in the section I'm working on right now, and that's not counting the thread that somehow got lost from the very start (I found that I had somehow missed a thread while threading the holes), or all the threads I've had to fix before this point, as well as the ones I will most likely have to fix from now on till the end), but it's a bit painful, so I'm going to stop. No amount of shedding (tears at this point, really) is going to get me a proper shed, after all.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Learning Curve

Disaster falls.

That's the first full width warp I tried to wind onto my new 28" Ashford Knitter's Loom. Let me just say that there is absolutely nothing - nothing - wrong with the AKL itself. It's very easy to set up and learn, and the mechanism for how it works is even easier to understand. I absolutely adore it now that I have been able to weave on it, and I think it has found a forever home with me. There are a couple of little things I'm a bit iffy about (the clamps seem kind of... eh. Even when the knobs are as tight as I can make them, I can still sort of move the pieces with a bit of a pull or push, but if I'm not trying to test it, it stays in place just fine. And the down position of the reed is difficult to "get", but once you actually have the warp on, it clicks into place. That's all.), but I would definitely recommend this to a friend! As a bonus: it comes with its own bag! A very sturdy bag, might I add.

That being said, I still screwed up for my first full project.

You mean I can't wind it back and forth?
The problems from what I understand were relatively numerous:

  • I chose for my warp a loose 2-ply cotton/acrylic slub. It stuck to itself, it shed EVERYWHERE, it broke apart at the slightest provocation; it wasn't the best choice of warp thread.
  • I was winding the warp on solo, and following the Ashford pdf instructions on how to do that. It looked like the person had twisted the bunch of warp threads to keep it tight, so I did that, even as I wondered whether that would create some problems (one side would definitely be tighter than the other, right?). And I had no idea how hard I had to pull, so I yanked it so hard the clamp went free and I had to Mulan it with one foot keeping the loom from falling onto the floor as I pulled the threads back. It didn't work very well.
  • Wrong knot. I used the entire bunch of threads (in bouts of 8) to tie a knot, which made it uneven.
  • To remedy the problem, I tried to wind it all onto the front and rewind the whole thing - it didn't work.

So I ended up just cutting and tossing, which saved me a bunch of time, effort, and tears. Look below at the close up of what I was dealing with. A snarled bunch of sticky threads that were shedding everywhere. Everywhere.
A close up. And you haven't even seen the detritus.
And then I put on a new one several days later using a much less stickier yarn (also cotton/acrylic, I think) that also happened to be much smoother. And I tried not pulling as though my life depended on it and just enough to keep the threads from going slack. From the front instead of the back (which killed my back, so maybe I'll have to try the yank & crank method next time). I still had some trouble keeping even tension while winding on, since the middle was looser than the sides; I ended up pushing my thumb down on the middle portion to increase the pressure on it and that worked fine for me.

Then something miraculous happened: the sheds actually opened! I could finally weave!
Even (enough) tension across to actually weave!
 To be honest, I've finished this scarf already - it's a bit rough, but that's just the yarn. I will have to take pictures of it later, but it only took me 4 days! Whoa. If I were knitting a piece that big, in stockinette, it'd probably take me at least a couple of weeks if not a month or so! I'm pretty excited about all the possibilities!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Recipe for Silver Linings

So I recently received a message on ravelry asking me for help regarding the Tucked Woollen Dress pattern from Vogue. Now, even if you have a copy of the pattern it probably wouldn't do you much good. It's only sized up to ages 4-5, after all. So I decided to write up a basic outline for anyone who wants to try to recreate my dress!

Seeing that my written notes are kind of a disaster, especially for this dress since so many things had to be ripped back and re-knit, I decided to type up a really rough recipe complete with diagram to try to help out anyone who might want to knit up my version of this dress!

Follow these links for the outline and the full-sized diagram respectively (since the diagram in the word document may be a bit small). Enjoy (or suffer endlessly trying to figure it out)! And feel free to ask me if you don't understand what's going on: I will do my best to help you out.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Look for the Silver Lining

It's sweltering though, so maybe not all the time...
What? What do you mean it might not be the best idea to wear a 100% wool dress with half sleeves in the dead humid heat of summer? But I just finished this lovely thing!

So I finally finished the silver linings dress!! Remember how I started here and promptly ran into problems here? I absolutely LOVE this dress! I know I say that about most of the stuff I knit, but this dress is really one of those things I can see myself wearing all the time. (Maybe switching between this and the frost flowers dress, actually. They both occupy a large share of my heart.) And it's not even just because I made it and I have some sort of attachment to it as its creator. Nor is it because I ran into so many troubles and had to rip out so many times that I feel like the end product has to justify all that work (... maybe a little. But only the tiniest bit.). Enough of that. I'll just enumerate its qualities:
  • A-line dress with body-hugging bodice. Hits a couple inches above the knee, and should actually just hit above the knee after blocking.
  • Set-in sleeves that actually fit just right! Look at those pictures - no bagginess! And you'll just have to take my word for it that they aren't tight. (I actually had to reknit it because the armscye was too small the first time around.)
  • The button placket at the back! Adorable!
  • Those tucks! They aren't loud or obnoxious at all. They could definitely try to speak up a little more, but that's just because the yarn is a bit more outspoken than them.
  • No restrictions at all with that skirt (see picture below).
  • Did I mention it has POCKETS?
More pictures on ravelry.

Take that, summer heat!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Rose

More pictures on ravelry.

I actually finished this a while back, but only got around to taking pictures of it yesterday. It's ridiculously soft and a lovely shade of pink (I did not alternate skeins at all, but they're all more or less the same; I think one skein was a little darker overall than the other ones, but it wasn't too noticeable, as you can - or can't, rather - see), and I can't wait for fall and winter to come rolling on back so I can wear it! I am a little concerned about pilling, or at least lots of fuzz developing with more wear... but we'll see. I definitely want to work with this yarn again, but it's a little pricey, so I don't think I will purchase any more of it unless there's a huge sale or something.

In the end, I ran out of the pink (I used every last yard of it, save for the gauge swatch) and had to cut into a skein of Mostaza for the side pockets. You can't see them here, but if you go to the ravelry page, there are a few more pictures, with pockets and everything. The pockets looked like strawberries while I was knitting it up and there weren't that many rounds of green-yellow yet - so adorable!

Knitting in continental was a lot easier to adjust to than I thought it would be, which was a nice surprise. I still can't claim any amount of confidence in my purling and casting off, but I think I've got the knitting down pat.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Small Shetland Sample

Handmade wpi measure & 3g of handspun Shetland, n-plied
I spun up a handful of the Shetland just to try it out, then n-plied it, since it was so little. I really like the look and feel of it! Although I might have spun too little to knit a big enough swatch, so I'm going to have to keep spinning. I got 21 wpi after I plied it together, and it's looking nice on 2.5mm needles. I might even be able to go up one size to 3mm. So I'll go with what I'm doing now and maybe a shawl might come of it, if I have enough!
The only qualm I have with it is that when I was spinning and knitting it up - any time I touched the fiber for a length of time, really - some of the dye came off! So my fingertips would be a little brown/greener than before I started spinning. I guess the little wash I put it through for setting the twist wasn't enough to remove all the excess dye.