Friday, April 11, 2014

notes for Stormy Weather

There was a knitalong supposed to be happening for my design, ‘Stormy Weather’ from Knit’nStyle #189 last December– not sure what happened, but I got tired of waiting and finally went ahead and made mine- I think spring is finally here and I want to be able to wear it! Here are my extra notes and photos for anyone interested.
Swatch –I actually made new swatches because I wasn’t positive with the original ones. I made one at T4.5 - it measured 22 sts and 31 rows to 10 cm. This one I had trouble knitting – needed lots of weight and still had a few tucks happening where there was an extra large slub in the yarn. The second one at T5 went much smoother and felt better – got 21 sts and 30 rows – not a big deal of difference between the two but I know from experience that if you’re having trouble knitting the swatch it’s going to be magnified in the garment.
You’ll still need a fair bit of weights – the 3 hanger combs at the cast-on , with 2 small ribber weights and then claw weights that I’m moving up at the edges. Also used yarn spray – made a big difference!
Sizing – figure out what size you want – please pay attention to the hint of using the next size up in width especially – this yarn has a fair weight to it because of the rayon and will lengthen considerably from what it looks on the machine – even after I got my Back off the machine, I went yikes, it looks too short and wide, but a few minutes of relaxing made a difference. Also, check the length in the schematic – I did mean this to be just above crotch-length. KnitnStyle called it a tunic, but I didn’t do it to be a tunic (I think of a tunic as completely covering your butt and  well below the crotch) – and the model was 6’2” so don’t rely on the photo for what you want it to look like on you – measure!!! or better yet put on a garment that you like the fit and length and compare…same thing with the sleeve – you can’t really tell in the photo, but they pushed up the sleeves in some of the photos so this may lead you to think  they will be too short – I don’t think so…BTW, the best way to measure for the sleeve – this is a drop shoulder – after you’ve joined the shoulder seams, put it on and then you will be able to see how far down the shoulder comes and get a much more accurate sleeve length measurement.
Color- pooling – please read my article in KnS – I  am using the same colourway as the sample garment in the magazine – the denim. I got another 10 balls because I had about 5 leftover from the original - making the 4th size (finished bust, 44 in, same number of sts for length as in the pattern) – I am finished knitting the pieces and I have a full ball and two small partials left.
My wool-winder is actually a cone winder, so I wind it onto a cone and the end you’re knitting from comes off the outside of the ball – this is great because you can see the colour as it’s coming and it’s easier to judge how much there is of that colour before it changes. If you only have a winder that gives you a tail that feeds out of the centre, I would still try to use it from the outside for the above reason. Also, if using yarn spray, it works best from the outside of the cone…)
Back - after you hang the cast-on side for the second half, remember to reverse your needles – flip it, the neckline  will be at the opposite end. Leave the waste yarn in – I found it really helpful to have it there when you are watching your second set of colours/stripes – it’s easier to see the centre and kind of count from there to keep track if your stripes are working out – don’t be afraid to throw in another couple of rows from a separate ball if you need, especially on the larger sizes. If you have the denim colour way, I just watched the light blue stripes and tried to make them the same on each half…you only have to do this on the back and fronts so it looks okay over the shoulder and you want the side seams to look sort of matched and where you begin knitting the sleeves down – the sleeves and hood can be all dark if you want (or if it’s all there is left) – you’ll have mostly dark shades left as there is much less of the light blue shade per ball…
Front – I decided that I’d like to have a full front opening zipper, so I did not rehang the second side, just knit it in reverse of the first front and had waste yarn on both front edges. I was going to knit an outside facing, vertically, like half the placket from the original design for each side, without the vee bottom, but I figured that was too much work!! - also, running out of yarn here – the front edges of my ‘In the Tweeds’ from Serial Stuff mid gauge will work perfectly – it is a zip front sideways knit jacket and I can use the extra ball of yarn for some patch pockets, à la Hoods Up!
Front Edges. Take number of sts and reduce by 10%. Bring n’s to D. Using MC, double stranded, loosely chain on, behind latches. With purl side facing, hang stitches from WY gathering evenly across row. Close latches and pull through chain. Manually knit loose row and chain cast off. Repeat for other side.
Zipper. Finish assembly of garment, except for zipper. Wash and dry garment to pre-shrink before zipper application. In my experience, metal teeth zippers will lay flat and not buckle or ripple as much as plastic coil zippers do with subsequent washings.
Measure for zipper after laundering. Although zippers can be shortened (see below), I prefer to get a slightly short zipper and set it up from the bottom as needed.
Plastic zippers can be shortened by cutting ‘teeth’ off the zipper tape at each side, individually with a razor blade knife. Metal zipper teeth can be removed with needle nosed pliers.
Hand stitch at top of each side to create new stop for zipper, after installation.
Sewing by hand. I find sewing the zipper in by hand gives a better-looking finish and causes
less rippling with subsequent washings. It is easier to achieve a hidden stitch by hand than sewing with machine. Pin zipper to inside of band and adjust if necessary. Position teeth just even with finished edge. Try garment on and make sure zipper is correct length, not pulling up or stretching garment front. Also check for any matching points on garment, i.e. pocket placement and top and bottom of zipper. Do not try to get the teeth too close to the knit as the zipper will snag the fibres. Use thread to match zipper tape and stab stitch front edge, close to zipper teeth, but far enough away so zipper head does not catch thread - do not take long stitches as the thread could be snagged and pulled out or broken in use. Using a whip stitch, catch outside edge of zipper tape and tack to inside of garment. The bottom edges of the zipper tape are extremely hard to hand sew through. Use the sewing machine and thread to match garment on top and stitch vertically across bottom of zipper tape to secure, following line of knit stitches from top side to hide stitching.
 Having said all that, practice what you preach, you say? Gosh, I’m fresh off a sewing machine zipper installation which took at least 5 minutes of sewing as opposed to maybe an hour of hand stitching – guess what I did? Looks good to me!! I even used the sewing machine for the pockets!
Happy Spring!

1 comment:

Lea-Ann said...

working a little slowly here . . .knitting my fronts today and wondered if I should add on anything for a turned band or not. I see you didn't so I'll forge ahead. It looks so comfy on you. I can't wait to get mine done and to wear it.