Friday, July 23, 2010

The Importance of a Stylist

Being in a 'new' town, I'm excited to have a whole new selection of knitting book available to me at the library. I checked out a sock book recently. It had some nice patterns, a few unusual ones too. But what really caught my eye was the poor styling.
Having just bought sport sandals with a thong, I would be quite tempted to make a pair of tabi socks (or, also in the book, is a partial sock with no toes, but a thong to cushion the shoe thong). However, the choice of colour for these socks...I know the picture isn't the best (when it scanned, the red wasn't as bright as in the book), but what's the first thing you think of when you look at the close up? Lobster anyone?

Aren't these nice looking, well-fitting socks? In fact, they're on the cover of the book. It's really too bad that inside the book, this is what we see:

Did no one pay attention to the feet while taking pictures (the models are definitely models chosen for their appearance rather than their feet, I think). I would never wear socks like that. How hard could it be to pull them up. Or find someone else with smaller feet?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Do The Wave

Remember the orange/brownish crocheted cardigan I finished this spring? At the start of June 2009, I wanted to crochet a white cardigan for an outside band performance. I found this pattern and everyone on Ravelry said it was so quick and easy. I couldn't seem to get gauge though and tried the pattern that the orange cardi is but couldn't handle it either.

A few days after getting my yarn cubbies put up and filled, I grabbed a yarn I have been stashing for a long time (one of my oldest stashings!). Years ago (maybe 7 years?) I bought this yarn in the black colourway. It's called Mexican Wave, for some odd reason, and is 100% acrylic and DK weight. I loved the sweater I originally made (although it's a little big on me and getting pilly and will get it's own post soon!), and planned to make another identical one in this colour (blue base shade) although I wasn't sure if I had enough yarn. Instead, I rather impulsively decided to make the Chevron Lace Cardi. I'm glad I did!Yes, there's a yarn end hanging. I always seem to miss one.I didn't notice any striping until the green striped popped up (it's made from neck down).
Of course, I couldn't make this without having some sort of issue. I started at the neck with a loose chain cause many people commented that you needed a loose chain to prevent rippling. Guess mine wasn't loose enough? Then I did the increase rows, and got set to do the armhole divisions. I looked at the numbers, and shifted them a bit so the front would have a few more sts, and the back a few less. But as I worked the row, it didn't work out!! I checked my math a few times, checked that I had divided as per my math. Then finally I counted my sts and found I was 20 sts short for the size I was making. I was NOT ripping what I had already done. I had been sure I did each increase row at the neck, so I didn't count the sts back then. I had basically the right number of sts for the size smaller and it seemed to be fitting so I went ahead anyway. It still pretty much worked out, although it's tight around my hips so I'm not bothering with buttons. I ended up with a little less than one ball left. Me showing off my new hair cut!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sew Funny!!

Edited to add links to the sites ("Then I came across a couple sites...")

If you've been reading this for awhile, or know me, you know of my love-hate relationship with sewing. I really want to sew well. But, I alternate being being a perfectionist and being lazy. At the wrong times/situations. With all my health issues this past year, I've put on a bit of weight. I'm also exercising, and just plain running around like crazy and want to be comfortable. I had some cotton knit fabric and was browsing the internet for a yoga pants pattern, either create your own or store bought. Then I came across a couple sites on how to turn a t shirt into a pair of yoga pants! Well, of course, I had no t-shirts I was willing to chop up. And man, Value Village has a LOT of t-shirts. It was actually hard to find one I liked, in a colour I liked, with a graphic I liked. Finally I found this grey one with a line of drinks across the chest and "It's 5:00 somewhere". We didn't go to any of the Margaritaville's on our cruises, but the reports back sure made them sound like fun!
(I'd never wear them in real life with a short shirt, this was during the sewing process!).
So, I had a few sewing issues. Tension, as always. I was happy to use my stretch overcast stitch, and have finished edges at the same time as seaming. But those seams were a little ripply. Then, to attach the 'waistband' (ie..."no longer a college student panel"), I used the straight stretch stitch, but as soon as I put them on, the seam started breaking! I'm not sure what stitch I used to fix that; I'll have to check before I do pair #2.

I thought I had a brilliant idea with the waist band. I read some reports that say the t-shirt fabric stretches out and doesn't stay up. I needed the full width of the sleeves to make the waistband and I noticed the hem on the sleeve was wide enough for elastic. So I stitched the two sleeves together along the sides, pinned them to the pants, and stitched up (and stitched again after totally blowing out the seam trying them on). I started to feed the elastic and got around to the other side seam when reality hit...and the casing was stitched closed. I had to pick out that bit, and some day, go back and handstitch it closed.I wasn't expecting the drinks to end up so high up on my little bum. Something to think about when choosing a my next one that has a saying across the chest...
These are totally comfy although the seam across the upper bum makes me think they're falling down all the time, LOL. I used a size L shirt (men's) and used up almost all of it. You probably won't see me out in public in these pants, but they're great for weekends.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sock It To 'Em

So, I finally finished a pair of socks I've been working on for awhile. They are from Interweave Knits "Favorite Socks", Flame Wave Socks by Ann Budd. I used version of Fixation. I did them two at a time, each one with it's own ball of Espirit. I had a fairly small amount leftover of each ball. I couldn't remember if this yarn shrinks though, so if they did, I have a bit more to lengthen. I had a hard time with the pattern/chart. The first half of the row repeat is fine and logical, but then it shifts and changes and I just couldn't get into it. Several times I nearly stopped the pattern on the instep, but then I was getting so close to being finished, I kept with it.

I did switch needle sizes a couple times through the leg. From about just above the ankle to the toe, I used 3.25mm.

As hard as it is to take pictures of your own feet (Lucy took these photos), it's doubly hard when you add a puppy to the mix. I had the on for only a few minutes....

I'm so glad to have these done. I don't have down when I started, but I think it was early May. Or April. I took them to a guild meeting. There's an older lady there that I can sense the other women don't really like. The socks were sitting on the table, and she picks them up, plays with the yarn (the labels were off), and says "These socks are going to stretch". Yup. Imagine that.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Just In Time For Summer....

I finished a pair of Kroy 3ply socks recently. Yeah, the thermometer outside yesterday (when I started writing this), read 45C/111F . Not to mention the Humidex reading will bring that number up much higher. But I still wear my wool socks in the summer. Although, I just bought new sport sandals that are a thong, so I have to make some socks for them.

Cookie A. "Twisted Flowers", less than 2 skeins of Kroy 3ply in a not-too-girly pink. Think I used 2.75mm needles. They fit great, better than the Mingus socks which had a bit of gauge issues.

I was attracted to this pattern as it has a large motif which is somewhat lacey, but not 'lace', and the pattern continues onto the heel. However, on one of the heels, I got a gusset hole. There is a yarn over hole in the pattern right there and somehow it grew.

Worked two at a time, sometimes on one circular, but mostly on two circulars. The one circular was just a little too short. And sometimes, my brain went wonky and I ended up knitting from one needle onto the other needle.

I did most of the pattern without a cable needle, as it's just one stitch held behind/forward. I like to start out with a cable needle, to make sure I'm doing the pattern right though. However, I got a little lazy apparently, on the foot, and messed up the crossings--check out the sock on the right, below.

As if taking pictures of your own feet isn't hard enough...add in a puppy...