Thursday, July 23, 2015

my plan worked....

I'm ready for you, Minneapolis! (and I've decided that it's tuck lace rib!)
I used the shape from Mazatlan (KW#45) with vee neck, elbow length sleeve and mid hip length for the body. Because I wanted to add a crochet-look hem after the fact, I started off with stockinette waste yarn, using the ribber comb for the cast-on, (see blogpost, Wasted...Not! Nov 25, 2008) so I would have it to hang the weights for double bed work. After the ravel cord, I knit 2 rows of stockinette and then transferred to the ribbed tuck lace arrangement - I needed to have a plain row to be able to rehang the stitches for the hem, but found that 1 row was not enough because they were getting moved around and some doubled, so 2 plain rows worked much better. I used the crochet-look look hem from Tumbleweed (KW#53) but didn't do the RTR in the middle, just tucked the alternate needles on the last half and it worked beautifully. I used the stockinette bands and buttonholes (starting one tension number tighter to make up for this lighter-weight yarn) from Purple Purls (KW#52) - it's gorgeous - I don't care how hot and humid it's going to be! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

ribbed tuck lace or tuck lace rib...

I knocked off that skirt, no problem and I'm on a roll - looked around for something else to do...I have a ribber class to do in Minneapolis as well as the seaming techniques for the manfriend hoodie which was all single bed, so I think I should do a project on the double bed just for a bit of practise. Oh, I know, I mentioned after San Diego that I would like to use that tuck lace rib stitch that was in the old cover garment tunic from 1994 (blogpost, cover story, May 20, 2015).
You may have noticed that I have an affinity for cardigans - rarely do I make a pullover, so it's kind of a given here. I like cardigans because they give me more wardrobe options and to be honest, I always feel fat in a pullover. The illusion of a small waist is easier to maintain with the vertical lines down the centre of the button front, open or closed. You'd think I'd get over it one day but it doesn't look like to  be happening soon, so, cardigan it is!
I want this to be really lightweight,  MSP can be very hot and humid in late July, so I've chosen Wool Crepe Deluxe - I have 2 family weddings in September and this could be a good option for at least one of the associated events. I made the first swatch and as I was knitting it, I remembered one of the problems with this tuck lace is that it tends to lengthen and narrow and, as it is WCD that I'm using, which is usually at 34 to 38 stitches/10 cm that could make more trouble than it's worth.
I also want the lacy holes to stay open and not get dragged down as the fabric narrows. I throw on the 'tuck-every-other-row' option on the ribber and wow, what a difference! not only takes the stitch gauge from 49 sts/10 cm (top swatch) to 35 sts/10 cm, but adds a flatness and width stability to the fabric. A few tweaks to my cast-on edge so it's easier to rehang and add one of my favourite trims (a variation of #33 XOXO trim from Band Practise) and I have a plan!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

dyed and done...

I opted for the stovetop  method of heating 3 gallons of water, 1 cup of salt, a bottle of the pearl grey dye and the glycine lace sweater - it was less than a pound in weight, but I used the full bottle, even though the label says the bottle is good for 1 kilo of garment (my experience in the past says more dye is better than less if you want even coverage) and the 3 gallons of water was plenty to swish the garment about nicely and evenly. I 'cooked' it for the full 30 minutes recommended and then rinsed it several times in the sink until the water stayed clear. After machine washing and drying, I do have a beautiful steel grey cardigan that looks perfect with my snow leopard tank - I'm so happy - the buttons are okay but I will probably change them out for something in a tarnished silver or pewter look.
I did the same thing with the beige girlfriend hoodie, using the royal blue dye. It weighed almost 700g. I followed the same formula but pulled it out of the hot dye at 15 minutes because it looked really dark. After drying, it was slightly patchy, but a really nice colour overall. Yesterday, I went to get another bottle of dye to redo it and went to Michael's instead. Shame on you, Fabricland! Mike sells the same thing for $6.95 and gave me a 40% off coupon for next week!
Today, I re-did the hoodie, using 4 gallons of water and left it in the full half hour - OMG, it's gorgeous, a lovely cobalt blue. One thing funny, though, the beige thread I used took the dye but the beige zipper tape stayed pretty beige - I don't mind really, but just saying - if you are going to dye a zipper to match something, start with a white one. The pink hoodie is all ready for the Minneapolis seminar!
Buoyed by the thought of using my stolen headlamp again, I'm going to work on that black 'Tiers of Joy' skirt re-do from last year...oh man, time flies when you procrastinate - I looked it up and that was  actually Sep, 13, 2013! Talk about putting something on the back burner!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

dyeing for a change...

I mentioned earlier that I intended to dye my beige girlfriend hoodie, so here's the story. Finally located some fabric dyes at the local Fabricland - it was much easier when my  neighbourhood Safeways used to have a whole section - seemed much cheaper then too! I had a couple of projects in mind - first, taking a white, silver teeth zipper and dyeing it for the watermelon girl hoodie - they had a small, powder packet of 'cerise', on sale for $3, what a deal! and it worked perfect, added just enough pink to the tape so when the garment is open, it will go well enough. With this pattern, when the zipper is closed, you really only see the teeth and of course, the pull tab.

I had a lace standard gauge remake of a KnitStyle design (Lace Waves, January 2014 & April 2014)that I had used Yeoman Yarns Cannele in glycine, an odd lilac/light blue-ish shade that I didn't really feel was my colour. I decided to transform it because I have never really worn it - put it on several times and took it off and tried it with something else and took it off again, you know how it is when you just don't feel right and I always blamed it on the colour.
I chose a bottle of pearl grey and one of royal blue. I tested a small amount of each dye (a couple of drops diluted in a tablespoon of water) on the corners of swatches of the same garment colours to see which would work better (both garments are 100% mercerised cotton). I thought the pearl grey would work nicely with the glycine lace (I'm looking for a blue-grey tone) and the royal blue should alter the beige to an MAO-friendly shade of denimy blue. The grey on the beige looked rather dull and dirty...
rats, I forgot to buy salt!
Tell you more later!