Sunday, April 26, 2015

also accomplished...

The 'Manfriend Hoodie' is made and finished - and I got all the pieces made for the 'Girlfriend Hoodie' so I can use them as a demo at the seminar in San Diego next weekend - I even promised to show the sewing machine application of the zipper installation  if they bring a sewing machine, to which they said yes!
I had hoped to get the pattern finished up too, but I need a bit more time and so do my proofreaders/test knitters, so you'll have to wait on that - I promise to have it ready by the end of May at the latest - you can find it for sale here - both patterns for the price of one!
I also wanted to mention that I will be at the Founders Fest in Minneapolis, MN, July 25, 26/15 and in Charlottetown, PEI for the Maritime Seminar in October 2, 3/15.
 Hope to see you!

cape crusade...

what I did...going back to issue 30 - the poncho issue, from 2004, I had made a little girl's circular poncho, sideways knit. - it was on the LK150 and was really cute. Jordan, the girl who modelled it, liked it so much I gave it to her.
So that was my basic idea, make a semi-circle in stockinette and leave it open in the front instead of joining to pull over the head. As I was knitting the wedges of shortrows to make that part of it, I was running through ways to finish the front edges, which could be a problem because of it being sideways. By the time I finished the 1200 rows of the circular part, it dawned on me - I had some killer stockinette bands on the 'Side Steps' jackets that should work well - they did! Then I wanted to finish the bottom of the shawl/cape with a nice lacy ruffle - I messed about for a couple of hours swatching and trying to get a shortrowed ruffle that I could knit and attach at the same time - way too much work and then there would be a major issue of steaming the ruffle. Yes! make a horizontal lace strip - like from that 'Tiers of Joy' skirt and reduce to every other needle after the lace part to create a natural gathering effect. By measuring the bottom edge of the cape, I figured it would take 5 strips to finish the bottom nicely.
Cast on waste yarn, used a 3 strand ewrap for the bottom, knit 4 rows plain, made 12 rows of fashion lace to create the scallop. transfer to every other needle and knit waste for 10 rows still on EON. Then bring all needles back to work, knit several rows - that way you can just keep knitting and not have to cast-on again and hang weights, etc over and over again. Also, it made it much quicker to steam all in one piece! That was worth all my years of experience to be able to pick pieces of this and that and put it all together.
I just needed a button at the top and all is good - Mom loves it almost as much as I do and I think Rhiana was reasonably happy - we'll have to wait for later in May to get actual photos!

Monday, April 20, 2015

magic happens with a good-fitting bra...

Was that me just bragging about meeting deadlines and enjoying being under pressure? LOL! My daughter-in-law  came for a visit yesterday and sort of hinted that it would be nice if Rhiana, my eight year old granddaughter, had a cape to wear for her First Communion - it's on May 3rd and I did know about it - the first communion, that is - but knew I'd be away and miss it...She apparently has a sleeveless dress in pure white and wouldn't it be nice to have a back-up plan if it was on the cool side - HELLO! this is Northwestern Ontario, early spring and we're talking 10 am - cripes, it's going to be cold in the church no matter what the day is like!
It's actually a miracle that I have any white, white yarn of any sort on the shelves, but I start digging - I have a medium sized cone of Honiburd cotton rainbow that if we were  making it mainly for warmth, that's what I would choose. I have Bramwell's Silky which would mean, like triple-stranding it (not!). There is also a fair sized cone of a 'Lorraine' which would require doubling, at least.  And a hughmongous (sp?) cone of some 100% rayon stuff that came from Bonnie Triola Yarns  a zillion years ago. I swatched the Honiburd, it'll work but I know she is looking for something a little dressier so I reluctantly try the rayon. It's one of those coarse yarns that sort of falls off the cone and pools around the bottom and gets stuck and you swear and swear...Sigh! There is a solution to this, I know, but where are they? Sue Jaloweic at 'Knit It Now' sent me a  package of yarn bras - they come in THREE sizes - surely one will be right... I am going for Grama of the year and/or mother-in-law on this one!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

manfriend hoodie...

I've been away from  my knitting machines for over two months and I am going to San Diego at the end of the month to do a workshop for the Machine Knitting Guild of San Diego  on May 2 , 3, 2015. OMG! I feel like I'd better get doing something to get me back into knitting mode. I did make a pair of socks the other day and repaired a pair - knit new feet onto the good-forever ribbed tops - (see blogpost 'Happy feet...April 14, 2009)  to get warmed up and I got energized. I had vaguely promised a man's hoodie pattern around Christmas but I got bogged down with trying to make it too complicated and then tried to simplify and then kind of abandoned the project. On Wednesday, I decided that I had time to make one, mainly because I always like to have something brand new for a seminar and I did get a message from the guy who I had made the vague promise to and it seemed like he was worried about me - it was enough of a push to get me going - I used to work well under pressure and meeting deadlines was my thing! I not only got the man hoodie made (just need to darn in ends, wash and dry and sew in zipper) and the pattern almost finished but I decided that it would make a great session for the workshop and I am madly knitting pieces that I can take to San Diego and use to show the putting-together-on-the-machine techniques - truth, actually, the man hoodie turned out so nice, I was feeling left out and wanted one for myself!
Although fairly basic, it has all the good parts of a nice hoodie, made in mercerised cotton (Bonita from Knitcraft), features zipper front (with a couple of installation options), outside seaming details, including a sturdier, re-inforced neckline for careless wearers, and pouch pockets attached while you knit, all in stockinette...will let you know when the manfriend and girlfriend pattern is ready! two for one!

Friday, April 17, 2015

happy faces...

I've been away for so long, sorry - thanks to everyone who missed me - I'm okay! My little sister, Marnie, is okay. I'll try to catch you up on some of the things I've seen.
My big/little sister, Janet, took me to Europe. We started off in Vienna and we had a small studio apartment for the first week, in Hietzing 13 (if anyone knows Vienna).
I spotted some knitwear in a local shop by an Austrian designer -  I figured she was using the Silver Reed fine gauge machine and rayon yarns - lots of drop lace knit loosely, lots of sheer-looking things - very simple but nicely done, not a lot of shaping. I sure would like a photo or two for my blog when I get home, but realize it is frowned upon to photograph designer clothes. I do have a small digital camera with me but forgot to change the batteries and I do have my ipad mini but I promised myself I would not use it in public! I'll think about it  and get back another day, maybe...
Back to Schonbrunn castle (one of the biggest tourist attractions in Vienna) grounds, we walked from our apartment to the castle, in the back way and then went up the hill to the highest point to look at the castle and out towards Vienna city centre. While there we noticed that many people had these weird lens/paper-frame glasses - it was a bright sunny day, a bit hazy. It was only later, in a cafe for lunch, Janet googled and apparently there was a partial eclipse of the sun that occurred at 10:25 am local time. We were absurdly pleased to note that we had missed it entirely because we didn't know, but those people, many of them were, by then still waiting for it to happen!
My lunch - I ordered sausage with mustard, horseradish and a roll, expecting a sausage, like a bratwurst - what I got - a wiener!
Went back to the shop in Hietzing, snuck in the door and quickly took a photo of this one in the window that had caught my attention - red, sleeveless, long vest with 'smiley faces' (can you see the heart-shaped eyes? - click on the photo to enlarge it) in drop lace running vertically down the back! How bizarre - who would want to wear that? And at €279??? (that translates to $390 Canadian...)