Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring socks and more

Green scarf
This was started in mid January. The pattern is called Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf. There are no knitting fairies to knit it when I'm not looking, so I'm still working on ball #1 of 2. The yarn is Noro Matsuri, a cotton/wool blend. The needles are glass, obtained at a TKGA convention.

Skew socks
Patons Kroy yarn works all right for these socks, but I like the striped ones I've seen better. The pattern is easy to work, but requires concentration in certain parts. It's very detailed, which is good. I heard that the socks ran a little tight, so I upped my needle size from US #1/2.25mm to 2.5mm needles. They fit nicely.

Secret Sparkles Sccks
The pattern is Cookie A's Clandestine Socks from Yarn is Dream in Color Starry in Midnight Derby color. The needles are 5" square needles from Kollage. The 7" needles would have fit my hands better, but I like them. They're not slippery, but more like bamboo or Knit Picks Harmony. The pattern is fiddley, but not hard. It does require constant chart consultation. There are twisted stitches, lace, changing stitch counts, wrapped stitches, and the left sock is a mirror image of the right sock. Definitely not boring! I'm working the first heel/gusset.

The red sweater is finished and the machine knitting pattern is finished. I really need some replacement needles for my mid-gauge machine, so i can knit one for myself. I have contacted a dealer and ordered lots of needles. Now I won't mess up any more (Murphy's Law in reverse). I told her they were for insurance.

Guild Toy time
Every May our knitting guild has a toy competition, with the toys being donated. Knitters have a choice of dressing a ready made toy, or knitting a toy. I'm knitting a turtle from Knitted Toys by Fiona McTague.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April showers

Blue Socks
These socks were knit from my oldest sock yarn stash. The yarn and pattern were bought on a visit to my sister in 2003. Yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Jeans color. The pattern is Fiber Trends Walking Away Socks. The pattern has 3 designs, all with patterning only on the back. This version is called Reflections.

Secret socks
I'm working on socks for Plymouth Yarns. The yarn is Sockotta Limited, a cotton wool blend.

Skew socks
I seem to be a lemming, following a large group of other knitters and not really knowing where I am going. I saw this interesting pattern in The SKA challenge for this month on Ravelry is to knit from an online magazine. Now was the time! I heard that the sock was a little tight and hard to pullover the heel, so I chose Kroy yarn, which is a little heavier than some sock yarns, and went up a needle size from 2.25mm to 2.5mm. It has worked well. The first sock goes on easily and fits. The pattern takes more concentration and counting than I gave it. There are a lot of stitch count adjustments in that one. It is finished now, and still looks strange off the foot. Sock #2 is on track through the toe. I'm working with the idea that my problems were user error.

Judy Garland Dress
Hong Kong finished seams were mentioned in the last post. A 1" wide bias strip of lining was used, stitched to the edge of the seam, turned under and stitched again.

To the left is the sleeve edge finish. Chiffon was used for this, bias cut 1 5/8" wide, folded in half and machine stitched to the outside, and turned inside. Hand stitching was used to finish the edge.

A 9" side zipper was called in the instructions. That turned out to be a little short, so I replaced it with a 12" zipper and hand picked it. The sleeve's bottom edge is gathered by hand and stabilized inside with seam tape. The lower sleeves has an outside tuck which is gathered. The sleeve head is organza, which supports the puffiness even better when a real arm is inside. These details were in the pattern instructions.

The belt buckle is a vintage one that I had in the shop. I gave the customer a choice of two buckles, or no belt at all. Working to a tight deadline and having no belt backing, grosgrain ribbon looked like it might work for a backing. This was a good thing as the belt is gathered a little in the buckle. There seems to be enough resistance to make it stay put. This buckle was not meant to have a prong.

The skirt was sewn with the lining separate from the chiffon, so that each could be hemmed by itself. Each layer has a tiny machine stitched hem. The skirt had hung for a couple of days before marking, and is basically cut on the straight grain, so it should not sag. A rolled hem was called for in the pattern.

On to the next "big" thing
This week, I'm putting new linings in winter coats. These have been shoved aside for a while. Two are finished and one still to go. I feel like I'm catching up on my backlog.

Saturday was spent at Knitter's Fantasy in Youngstown, OH. I taught basic cables and chart reading. The responsibility for the event rotates around 3 guilds. This year it was my guild's turn to run it. As far as I know everything went smoothly.It's a great one day event! Knitters get 2 classes, lunch and vendors for under $50.00 for the day. Total attendance including walk-ins was almost 600 people.