Wednesday, January 30, 2019

knit things i've noticed lately...

Following the urging of a friend, I started watching Outlander on Netflix – not sure it’s really for me - it is about a woman who gets transported back to the 18th century - but they do have some unusual, knitted accessories – wristlets, shrugs, neck things…just saying…
Oh yeah, and those mostly awful, cabled, aran-look cardigans that Amy wears on Big Bang...
Have you noticed the revival/resurgence (???) of an updated, drop-shoulder pullover? I’m seeing this a lot on live TV. The body seems to be a large square block with these little, snug-fitting sleeves attached at the lower bicep area. Some stylists are telling you to tuck a portion of the lower front into the waist of your jeans to take the width out of the hemline and ‘add’ a bit of shape to yourself…not sure if this is really works for me either but my sister Janet has a version.
It is an Eileen Fisher design, made in a fine wool, was on sale and she really likes it. I thought the colour was good for her but the style, not so much. It was sloppy over the shoulders, neck, through the bust/underarm and, the hemline was all-over wonky without being tucked! I think she liked it because she thought the sleeves fit - she's quite short and most everything is too long. What interested me was that it was sideways knit, in stockinette, and the hem and neckline had my automatic longstitch facings! I took some measurements and sure enough, the body is a 24-inch square and the sleeve is 13 inches long - I'm thinking about it!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

unfinished business...

I feel bad – just realized I didn’t tell you how I finished Becca or even that I did! I know you weren’t holding your breath but here goes. My original plan was for a shawl collar in a shiny black rayon yarn. I did make several swatches – tried the collar from Uptown in circular even, but the yarn just wasn’t right. Although it was about the same thickness – yards per pound-wise, because it is 100% rayon, in spite of tension adjustments, it knit up thicker and stiffer than the Wool Crepe Deluxe in the garment and looked dark brown against the true jet black. Went back to my closet for further research and was rather surprised to find that I had no short, vee-neck, buttoned cardigans with a vertical knit band! They were all horizontal bands, both single bed and double bed variations that were made the width of the bed and attached on the machine. Here’s a link to one of them, my TLR cardi:
Tumbleweed, KW#53
That realization made it slightly easier to whip up a vertical Full Needle Rib band like on Tumbleweed, with a slightly tighter stitch size – T5/5 (compensating for the thinner yarn) worked great and solved my problem. Got the band nicely done, attached and then got hung up on buttons…but I’ll have them on for my trip to Tennessee in March. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

before and after....

Last year, I mentioned an old garment several times…Uptown from Knitwords # 24
I had tried it on last February. It inspired me and got me out of my knitting funk but when I put it on again later in the spring, I thought, ‘oh the shoulder pads are too much’, and I put it away again.
Before Christmas, my knitting friend talked about it because her fashion consultant told her that long, floor-length dusters were very much in current fashion and she thought she might give it a try. I coached her on changing the shape slightly, suggesting she maybe take the shoulder/sleeve sizing of Tumbleweed from #53 (2010, fitted, set-in sleeve) to update Uptown.
When I was debating the neckline and collar for Becca (the black lace cardi), I took my Uptown out again to gauge how that collar/front bands might work but decided it would be too heavy and overpower the more delicate lace. I took a really good look at it again and realized the collar/bands were ingeniously knit from the centre back down so to take it apart and shorten the armhole from the shoulder would be entirely doable.

In the ‘before’ photo – notice how the sleeves are too long and sloppy looking and the coat hem is virtually touching the floor, and it looks too big in the shoulders, like I'm wearing someone else's coat. What I did – took off the collar/front bands, removed the sleeves and undid the shoulders. Found my original lace pattern. Took apart the shoulders and unravelled the Back to the back neckline and then removed another 10 rows, to shorten  the armscye, redid the back neck and shaped the shoulder, following the schematic for Tumbleweed. Took me four tries to find the exact row to match up the lace patterning. Removed the same number of rows off each of the Fronts, reshaped the shoulder to same as the Back and rejoined the shoulders.
For the Sleeves, I debated unravelling them right back to the cuff and rehanging. That way I wouldn’t have to find the exact row, but I had trouble finding the ends to undo the cuff so ripped back to about 4 inches up from the cuff so it would open up wide enough and rehung it. Felt like a rockstar when I got the exact row on the first try! Reknit the sleeve using the same yarn of course – I knew the kinks in the cotton would even out with ironing and a laundering would take care of any little extra glitches. I used the same stitch size/tension for the reknit because technically the Bonita cotton is mercerised and does not shrink. Not really true but it worked – even with the first pressing, I could not spot the row where I reknit from. The re-made
sleeve is the same length as the old one from the underarm to the cuff, but it is quite a bit narrower at the underarm, taking it in about one inch on each edge, resulting in a more fitted sleeve cap. Got the second sleeve completed with the same ease, reinforcing my legend-in-my-own-mind status!

Got it all put back together without even taking the buttons off! Notice on the 'after' photo, the sleeves are the correct length and the overall length of the whole garment is more to my liking, showing off my new Fluevog saddle shoes perfectly!
After fessing up about my paranoia of over-stocked shelves, I go and take something apart and alter it – what the heck is that all about?
Why did I do it? Because I could!

Monday, January 7, 2019

better off not knowing...

I thought I was doing good lately. With yarn consumption, that is. And then, for some strange reason, I decided it would be a good thing to take an inventory of my yarn stock, so I could have an actual tally of usage. I’ve never done this before. It’s not like it’s hidden away in a closet or anything. It’s in my living room, on shelves that were my store fixtures from when I had a retail store back in the early 90s. You may have noticed them in the background of the occasional photo. There are 3 units, each 4 feet wide, each with 5 shelves. The shelves are deep enough to put two cones deep and nine wide, but I’ve never actually tallied it up. All I need to do is look and I can see at a glance what I have. And over the past few years, I do have three to four full shelves devoted to Legos and grandkid stuff.
And I only counted full, unused cones – didn’t record part cones unless they were the same dyelot as a full cone.
29 Forsell 4 ply pure new wool, 500g each, 15 colours.
5.5 Rutland Tweed, 500g, 4 colours
4 Suva, 500g, 2 colours
10 WCD, 500-750g, 10 colours
2 Silk Bourette, 450g, 1 colour
3 DK Forsell Wool, 500g, 2 colours
10 Cottontale8, 500g, 7 colours
15 Bonita, 500g, 6 colours
4 Yeoman Panama, 450g, 3 colours
2 yeoman Cigno, 300g, 2 colours
3 Silk City Mini Dina, 500g, 3 colours
8 Yeoman Cannele, 4 colours
2 Yeoman Brittany, 350g, 1 colour
1.5 Yeoman Indigo Denim, 1 colour
That’s like a hundred! OMGG! talk about added pressure!