Friday, June 29, 2007

Cami Tutorial on Craftster!

Since 1. the cami in the last post turned out to have only a passing relation to the Honeymoon Cami, and 2. others have shown interest in it's construction, I thought I'd put up a generic tutorial on Craftster here. The exact numbers for a 35" bust are posted, but the rest of you will have to follow the math directions for now. I'd love links of someone does try it out!!

In other design news... this week I found myself doing some serious lace design work! You know how you think "I would like this one simple little thing... and I don't see a pattern for it. Shouldn't be much trouble to whip it up myself..."? And then, as each step progesses, you find out that you are doing a lot more serious thinking than you thought would be required?? Yeah. I probably wouldn't do half of what I do do, if I knew before hand what it was going to entail!!

Sneak peak:

Monday, June 25, 2007


A night of finished objects!!

The tunic which matches the skirt posted earlier. The Butterick 6831 pattern is way out of print by now. I made view A (sleeveless), with a few changes. First, I didn't have enough fabric to make it double layered, and the fabric was hot enough by itself that I didn't want to line it, so I made armhole facings. The front slit was from view D (shortened 1"), so I copied the view D neckline entirely and used those facings (note that the front and back facings aren't the same width!). I used the entire length of the lengthen/shorten line to bring the waist to mine, then brought the hem down 1". Cut out on a 'S' for the upper torso, increased slightly at the hips, but had a problem with the side seams pulling strangely because of the curve (fabric content problem??). I also started the side slits 3" lower (don't know where that would be without the waist adjustment), which could be contributing to the pulling problem. I'm undecided on whether or not I like tunics ;).

While the tunic took much longer than I'd anticipated, the redesigned Honeymoon Cami (from the Knitty pattern) flew by a lot faster than I feared! This is made with a silk-angora mix that was originally used for a straight-from-the-pattern Honeymoon, then grew. And grew. And grew.

So this time I (a) used only one 2-ply strand vs two (with a gauge around 7 sts/inch), (b) made it much smaller than the last one (this one is about 5" smaller than my bust size), and (c) used a 24 stitch repeat feather and fan lace all the way up to the empire line (because making something twice from the same yarn in the same pattern is really, really annoying).

Details: lace stitch ~7.5sts/inch, ss ~7sts/inch, 216 sts straight up to armholes, lace for 10", ss for 4", bound off 8 stitches for each armhole, none at CF or CB, decreased 2 sts every right side row for triangles.

I love it!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Pea Pod Baby Sweater Set Done!

And was very well received by the mother-to-be! In fact, I got a few more requests...

Pea Pod Baby Set (opens a pdf file) by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: 3 out of 4 strands of 100% cotton from a new sweater (didn't fit DH - some of it already went into the stripes on another sweater for him) in dark navy
Needles: 3.75mm (mainly because I had the dpns to match!)
Size: 6mos. although my gauge was slightly smaller - that might be counteracted by cotton's tendancy to grow!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Skirt #1 is Finished!!

The "not enough fabric" saga has a happy ending.

Simplicity 4753, view D (knee-length with uneven hem). Taken in just a touch from the size my hip measurement called for (3/4" side seams instead of 5/8"), but that could be because of the loose weave nature of the linen used for the yoke. The front darts were let out to 1/8", basically just for show, to accommodate my little tummy.

I set the top around my belly-button, since that's where I like it! The pattern was said to be 1" below waist, but since I have a high waist, I don't know where that would fall "normally". I didn't like the look of the yoke dominating - in the pattern outline it looks like the flare and the yoke are about of equal depth, but the first trial of this skirt seemed to be mostly yoke (the colour change could have had something to do with that!). So I attached the flare higher up on the skirt than was called for (chopped 1 5/8" off the bottom of the yoke). I would have liked to have done a narrower hem at the bottom of the flare for that extra bit of length (5/8" doubled hem called for), but the rayon was too stiff in small spaces to allow for it).

I topstitched the yoke join seam with the dark brown thread to bring the colour up a bit more and link it together. I thought about a series of little covered buttons along that line on one side, but I don't know if I want to emphasize the horizontal much more!

Finally, the first 'ensemble' (second one will come with the tunic top in the dark brown rayon as yet unsewn):

Monday, June 11, 2007

I Think I Can

The Pea Pod sweater is going pretty well - I think I can finish it by Saturday!

Getting Out There

Welcome, anyone visiting from CFS Squared! The very prolific Laura requested stories about brain fog and how to deal with it, and, hey - that's something I can talk about. Thanks to Laura for not only starting the conversation, but hosting it for all to join in. Me, I'm usually not much of a joiner, but I'm learning!

I also ventured out in the physical world this week. It was World Wide Knit in Public Day on Saturday. I didn't see any listings for my area, but then this week a local yarn store put out the word to meet in a downtown park. I didn't get the right message until noon on Saturday, but since my afternoon was slated for knitting anyway, why not meet some folks at the same time? The day turned out to be lovely (sun actually peaked through enough for me to get a pink face!), and the company was fabulous. Hopefully I'll meet up with some of them again, and actually learn their names... It did give me the incentive to try going out to the group nights. One night I won't be too tired, honest.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Two different kinds of departures in the last couple of days.

First, to the frog pond. Last year, I had a great idea (I still like it, and I'm still going to do it again): make up a bunch of 'dishcloth' squares with animal patterns on them (dishcloth patterns are available all over the web), mix them up with some lace squares and make baby blankets out of them. I even had a bunch of cotton to use up.

Problem: the cotton I had was dark navy, dark purple, white, off white, and yellow. I made the animal squares out of the dark colours, and the lace panels ('butterfly lace', I thought it went with the theme!) out of the white and yellow. Then I started laying them out and realized the contrast was very high, and you only noticed the lace panels, not the animals. OK, attempt number two - just make it up with the animal squares. The sizing worked out just fine...

But the result, definitely not the finest. First of all, I only had enough purple for 4 squares, and the 4X3 layout didn't give an obvious place to put them (besides all in the centre column). Second, they are all very dark. Third, the animals don't show up even without the bright square contrast - the yarn is too flat and too dark to make them pop.

I tried playing around with the contrast and sharpness settings to see if you could see them at all, still not showing up!

So, on the advent of a friend's imminent baby shower, it's getting pulled apart and remade into a peapod sweater and hat!

The second kind of departure is also well known: departure from The Plan. Yes, I have much sewing in the queue. Yes, I have another 5 knitting projects on the needles, not counting the baby sweater. But I started going through some stuff, determined to be ruthless and declutter...

I found the Honeymoon Cami (pattern free on I had made out of a silk and angora blend a few years ago. Just like the cross-over cardigan I made from the same yarn, it grew and grew... So I had put it in the box of next-things-to-do to remake using smaller needles. Having recently remade the cardigan, I've learned my lesson on doing the same thing, using the same yarn, twice. Very painful. Out comes the pencil and notebook, and the fingers fly through the bookmarks and the files and the paper patterns. And I kept coming back to the Honeymoon Cami, because I really did like the shape of it (I made another in cotton and really like that one). So I decided to make the main body, up to an empire line, in feather and fan lace (shaping or not is still to be determined based on how much the lace stretches), then make the top the same as the HC. On top of which I decided that the end result would be more wearable if I only used one strand (2ply, maybe fingering weight) vs 2 (worsted-ish). The swatches ended up somewhere on the order of 6.5-7 sts/in on 3.25mm needles (yeah, that's Canadian for ya - arbitrary mix of units, yet always the same ones for the same things - gauge is in US/imperial, needle size in mm, height and weight in feet and pounds, distance in km, temperature in celcius...). So this will definitely be a longer term project:

But what a cute beginning!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Jaywalkers Done!!!!

Most of my yarn (the nice stuff - natural fibres) comes from recycled sweaters (a great link describing how to do this is here). I was excited to find another fine gauge off-white lambswool and angora sweater last year, since the last one I got was my favourite yarn of all time (got 4 pairs of socks and a shawl out of it!). It takes food colour dye very well, and is sooooo soft.

Well, this one was a bit thinner than the last one. I made up two scarves for gifts last year without troubles, because I was purposely using large needles for the lacy effect. But when it came time for a denser knit for longer wearing socks... I used 2mm (US0) needles, which were the smallest I had, and I still think it came out looser than I would have liked. Not sure I would have gone down a needle size if I could - it 11 stitches to the inch as it was!! The dye job was an attempt at rainbow coloured socks, since I was sick of the grey and brown and white of a long winter, and after looking at the huge gallery of jaywalkers over at Grumperina's blog (the genius behind the pattern!), I decided that I didn't want a large colour repeat, as it reminded me too much of the old afghans (which are now in style again, I might add!). The smaller sections of colour meant that the overall visual effect is much more muted than 'rainbow', but I'll probably appreciate that when it comes time to pair them with my actual wardrobe!

The reveal: