Knit Wit

Tutorials, Updates

Although I learn to knit years ago it was only recently that I picked it up again. Not that I was ever very good. I only managed to learn to knit, purl, cast on and off but thanks to Julie’s help I have managed pick up some new skills, like cabling! It wasn’t nearly a hard as I thought it would be!

Project #1 was the Burberry Inspired Cowl Neck Scarf by Julianne Smith. Mine turned out a bit different since adjustments had to be made to accommodate the bulky yarn I wanted to use (left overs from a hat I made for a baby shower but had to use a different yarn). This pattern was supper easy, even for me, and it knitted up fast.

Now that I could cable I started to play around with it.

Project #2: Inspired by Hurley Sashimi and the Hollis Rope Chain I came up with my own simple rope using the left overs the cowl.

Cast on 10 stitches
Rows 1 –  8: stockinette stitch (knit odd rows, purl even)
Row 9: knit 1, slip 4 onto cable needle (hold to front), k4, k cable needle, k1

Repeat pattern to desired length, seam ends together.

It’s the perfect length for the wee one.

After this I was out of yarn so I decided to make some out of scrap knit. It is really easy to do, just cut the scrap in a zig zag or spiral if using an old t-shirt and pull the resulting length to make them curl on themselves. (see image below)

Cutting-instructions---knit-yarn

Project #3: I ended up making another cowl with my knit yarn. This one is much like project #2 but wider and more cables.

Cast on 22 stitches
Rows 1 –  10: stockinette stitch (knit odd rows, purl even)
Row 11: knit 1, slip 5 onto cable needle (hold to front), k5, k cable needle, slip 5 onto cable needle (hold to front), k5, k cable needle, k1

Repeat pattern to desired length, seam ends together.

The trickiest thing was dealing with the “yarn”. It stretches over the needles so I ended up having to use a much larger gauge needed then the end product looked like I did.

All in all I am very happy to be knitting again and even happier to have the skills to make more then just scarves. Now on to pictures and pdfs!

Large_Chain_Cowl.pdf Download this file

Small_Chain.pdf Download this file

Just an Update

Updates

Just a bit of an update.

Patterns:

The changes to the patterns mention in may last post went well and are on their way to Kinkos for printing as I type.

Kakurenbo Dress – Re-named the Sock Puppet dress (the front style line reminds me of sock puppets.) For the wee ones birthday I made her an altered version with one of her favourite fabricsIkea hippos. I altered the pattern to be a halter dress with the horizontal style line moved up 1/2″ and voila! it works! It hangs much nicer in the woven then in the knit. For the new pattern I also changed the front style line, it is no longer mirrored and as I mentioned it reminds me of sock puppets. I am really looking forward to making the new sample.

The Nejiri Dress – I made changes to the twist as well as making a variation that is a tank top.

These three patterns are going to be a part of my next release. I have decided to release patterns in groups/lines rather then individually. I think it will work better as far as work flow goes for me. This group will be all inspired by the Pattern Magic drafting books I mention in my last post.

 

Tutorials:

I have two tutorials that I’m working on. Both are how to draft types. I they have been tested but now need the instructions and illustrations made. 

 

There are some other odds and ends I’d like to get to but between family visits and birthday parties it has been hard to find the time. Hopefully November won’t be as crazy, thank goodness Thanksgiving is in October.

 

“Failure is Always an Option” – Adam Savage

Updates

So guess what this post it about.

To start thing off right/wrong this is not the post I thought I was going to make. It was going to be a short and sweet post about the new patterns I was working on and their inspiration but in the end it didn’t turn out that way. In fact not a lot turn out the way I was expecting. I will warn that this is a long winded post but there will be pictures.

So this is how thing started…

On my last visit home I found my current favourite dress at Joe Fresh. It is a black knit tank dress with a racer back and double layer front (one is lower cut then the other). I would love another one since I wear it all the time, problem being, the nearest store is about 1,500 km away and the summer stock is gone. So I decided to make my own version but with a twist, literally. Enter one of favourite pattern drafting books, Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi. I have been wanting to try some of the techniques in this book since I got it and this seemed the perfect opportunity.

One of the techniques is called “Nejiri” (meaning torque in Japanese) and involves skewing the pattern so that the fabric will be twisted on the body but still sitting were it should. (i.e. side seams are still straight). I thought this would be a great variation for the front of my dress. The drafting was fun and it went quickly once I got my head around how to create the twist. While I was looking through the book I thought the Kakurenbo (meaning hide and seek) technique of concealing flare in curves would be really cute on a little girls sun-dress. Once again the drafting was fun and went quickly one I got my head around then instructions.

That’s where I was going to end the post along with some pictures of the samples. Well things didn’t continue that’s smoothly.

For starters on my way to Kinkos to pick up the pattern I realized that the outer front pattern piece wasn’t modified enough to achieve the affect I wanted. Doh! I got ready to cut an realized what fabric hogs both patterns were, so I didn’t have enough of my planed fabric. Doh! In the end both patterns didn’t turn out quite as expected or hoped. Doh! 

But…

“Failure is Always an Option”

One of Adam Savage’s better know quotes, he has often talked about this concept be it on Mythbusters or other venues like the Makers Fair in 2009. (His TED talk on Obsession is also really interesting.) I thought of this as I realized that the day wasn’t ending with me propelling fabric across rooms or into walls. I didn’t even have the urge to do that. I decided I think I learn too much.

It is amazing how much the right psychology can completely change a situation. Instead of being terribly frustrated I was excited at what I had learned and eager to try again.

I often draft in my head; try and figure out how I want to draft something long before I put pen to paper (or stylus to tablet as the case may be.) It can be very helpful in finding errors before they are made. In fact this is why I knew the pattern wasn’t done before I picked it up. But I couldn’t do that this time, the concepts were too new so I had no frame of reference for how it would turn out. I love that sort of thing though. Novelty, challenge and something to learn. The sort of thing that you can either know or get.

What I learned:

Nejiri – I ended up making two versions, the printed dress with the twist on both sides and the pink dress with just the outer front layer twisted (the original design).

1 – The twist isn’t big enough to be very noticeable, you can hardly see it in the photos or person. It would also help if the twist was more focused around the waist. As it is, it gets lost on the skirt.

2 – The twist needs tension work. It is fine on the pink dress as the back and under layer control things but this isn’t the case for the printed one. You can kind of see in the photo the side seams uncoiling at the hem since the hem has no tension on it. (This dress was generally cut looser so the whole thing tends to want to unwind.)

Kakurenbo – Pink dress for Mina. The proportion was off some how…

1 – Like with the Nejiri, the effect wasn’t drastic enough. The skirt still has some wave to it but when using such a drapey fabric I think there needed to be more. I may try it in a woven fabric and see how it fits.

2 – This kids knit dress was one of the hardest things I’ve sewn in a while! It did go smoother if I sewed with the skirt on the bottom and bodice on the top. 

After all that, even if it didn’t turn out how I wanted I have a much better understanding of how these patterns work. I am starting to get it not just know it, something that wouldn’t have happened if everything went right. In retrospect failure was the best option.

It was an itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, yellow polka-dot bikini

New Release

Ok may not nessesarily yellow polk-dot but it could be. The Incy Wincy Bikini pattern was release yesterday. Incy Wincy Bikini is a 5 piece set which includes both fitted and gathered triangle string tops, bandeau top and low riding bottoms in regular and sway-back for slightly more coverage. Pick your fabric, pick your style and look great poolside.

At long last I managed to get photos taken, the notes page done and it ready for release. Althought my paterns assume you have sewn before, I did included notes about sewing swimwear covering a bit about fabric, stretch, elastic and equipment. 

Big V, little v, what begins with V?

New Release

V-Neck! 

Today I released the lastes baby pattern, the Big V little v PulloverThis unisex pattern features a ribbed v-neck with the options of: Big V, deep-v with wider band and little v, shallow-v with narrower band as well as long or short sleeves. Make with sweatshirt fleece for chilly days or jersey for simple coverup.

*Edited to add: this pattern will be the first to also be released in larger sizes! I am currently working on grading it for sizes 3T – size 8 (kids).

I was planing on having the Incy Wincy Bikini be the next release but this one came together just a little faster. The bikini is still coming, I plan on releaseing it this weekend.

Coffee Cup Sleeve Tutorial

Tutorials

I was planing on posting this yesterday but got distracted sampling changes to the shorts for the kids pyjama pattern I’m working on (more on that later).

As someone who is used to cardboard coffee cup sleeves I enjoy this more colourful and customizable version better, even if it means trying to remember it when I go out for coffee.

The tutorial is for three different styles of coffee cup sleeves in three difficulty levels: bound edge, easiest; wrap around, medium and plain, hardest. The instructions are presented in order of difficulty.

This project is perfect for using up small scraps of your favourite fabric (only needs two 6″ x 4″ pieces for each layer). It is also quick to make and endlessly customizable. I wanted one with a spot for my stir stick/stopper so I made the Wrap Around version and used elastic for the closure with an extra loop on it and it works great! I also thought it would be nice to have a plain one so I made the Bound Edge version out of black felt and left the edges raw. (see gallery pictures)

I’d love to see what others come up with!

Coffee_Cup_Sleeve_Tutorial.pdf Download this file