Tuesday, September 10, 2013

two birds...or is it three

I’m really enjoying this multi lace thing – there is something quite satisfying  about dropping those stitches on purpose – take that, stitch! I meant to do that! ha, ha!
But it does take a bit of concentration – you don’t want to be dropping on purpose in the wrong place – I found that I could only concentrate for 24 to 30 rows and then it was better to walk away and take a break  and do something else – like, this could be the perfect time to take care of a project that I’ve been meaning to get around to – the remake of my ‘Tiers of Joy’ skirt from No 47.
When I made it, back in 2008, I made the first one  in black, for myself and used WCD, Mini  Dina, a cotton/rayon blend and Bramwell’s Hobby, (grimace) an acrylic bouclĂ© – just what I happened to have on hand. I made the second one in greens (and gave it to Sue Jalowiec of Knit It Now)and used WCD, Marbella and Skinny Majesty and wrote the pattern based on those yarns. It was beautiful – the drape of the rayons (last two) is gorgeous and the green one really turned out well. Mine, on the other hand, while still nice - and I did wear it a lot, both at knitting events and for personal use, did not weather well – the cotton in the Mini Dina has faded and is now sort of charcoal and the acrylic top layer has little pill balls on it, so because I still really love the skirt and have the proper yarns in black to remake it…AND my friend Vickie convinced me to promise to make her one in black to take with her on her two month holiday to Hawaii this winter - this is the perfect time to kill two birds…it will be much easier to make two at the same time rather than making one now and then later making another later…so….the bottom tier of the skirt is a sideways-knit flounce that could be shortrowed, but I used the electronics and a slip stitch to do the partial knitting automatically plus the hem edge is finished as you go with a neat little wrapping trick - check it out!

Yesterday’s score: Vickie’s skirt, first tier done! KS190 project, back, done!
P.S. that is a darn fine skirt pattern! lots of tips and techniques and tons of information that I’d totally forgotten!

Friday, September 6, 2013

anatomy of a design OR how many swatches does it take...?

Knit’nStyle magazine is going to have a new look! well, not right away, but soon.
#190, April/Spring  ’14 (on sale date is January 2014 – go figure – how is anyone supposed to keep track of which issue it really is?? – sorry, just my pet peeve!) has a new editor and a new look! They are actually changing the name to KNITstyle (I like it!) but you won’t see that change till then – there is still two issues to come out under the old regime.
This was part of their press release:

In addition to the new title and look, KNITstyle readers will discover fresh new designs, interesting knitting stories, educational technique articles, useful information about local yarn shops, and profiles of today's hottest designers. Packaged with a fresh new graphic look, KNITstyle will be accentuated with a new photography vision designed to inspire readers.

Anyway,  sounds like a lot of big changes in style, content and layout – should be pretty exciting! Cari Clement, the new editor, (spent nine years with Caron International as its first creative director and twelve years as co-owner of Bond America, manufacturer of home knitting machines) has a machine knitting background, really exciting! So, the good news is, there will still be a machine knit article and garment in each issue.
Now, for each issue, we (the designers) get an RFD (request for design) in which they (Cari and her team) give story lines and stitch and yarn ideas and we have to submit a proposal, including sketches and swatches.
This is totally different for me – no one has ever told me what to do – I’ve always been able to basically do my own thing – at first, I thought, okay this will be easy, I don’t have to come up with the ideas. Usually they will give a bunch of themes and I just have to pick one and fit in to it (I think) but this time (for #190), my challenge is to create something using drop stitch and eyelets to correspond with a hand knitting  article using drop stitches – hummmm…this may not be as easy as I first thought – I know what I think are drop stitches on a knitting machine and I did check on-line for a hand knitting reference to drop stitches – not really the same thing – hand knit drop lace seems to run horizontal and machine knit is vertical…maybe I can plead ignorance and just go with my own ideas – I wonder if they have a back-up plan!So I still had to submit a sketch (not my strong point) and a swatch and then they chose the actual yarn…I’ll give you a little bit of it – a yoke, sideways knit of full fashioned lace with the holes filled in and the sleeves and body are made from hem to top with vertical lines of lace, combining drop stitch and transferred lace – well, they liked my proposal, I got a contract for this one and they’ve named my design already – how can they do that? I hope it's not written in stone - this would be a deal breaker!and it’s a sucky title – ‘Lots ‘o Lace’ ??? come on, what is this? the ‘80s?? I’m going to ignore it and put my own name on it (which I always do) and see what happens – right now, I’m thinking ‘Ripples’ or maybe ‘Waves’ – yes, I like the last one…BTW, the title is always a work-in-progress as the design develops and can be the last thing I do...
So, I’ve made 5 more swatches already and still not sure how I want to proceed, so I’m going with my usual plan – you know it – make a sleeve first and see what happens!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


the other day I was watching The Morning Show from Global Toronto – they had a fashion segment and I’m always interested in seeing what's new – well, I almost died laughing! They showed one of those skirts that is short in front and long in back – most of them are above the knee in front and various lengths in the back and usually just showcase bad legs and make the wearer look ridiculous. I’ve seen them many times over the summer and thought to myself,  that is a trend will fall into that ‘least fortunate of fashion ideas’ and should be put in the cupboard that must never be opened! I can hardly wait for it to be over…
Now, what was so funny was they called it a ‘mullet hem’ and that’s when I began laughing! And then I stopped in my tracks – was I guilty? gosh, darn, I made that skirt with the elliptical hem and deep flounce (Flounced Skirt from ‘Sassy Skirts’)  – does this qualify as a mullet hem? it was back in 2005 and I actually wore the outfit (Fit To Be Tied, KW#38) to Lindsay’s wedding in August and it looks like I had the matching hairstyle…