Saturday, April 18, 2015

Camelia Tee

When I test knit Snow Queen I received an exceptionally generous set of yarn.  Typically the six skein sets are 300 grams, mine was 378 grams.  I used 208 grams for Snow Queen, which left me with 170 grams of yarn.  At first I thought I would do another one of my color study shawls, but 170 grams is a lot of leftovers.  It comes out to over 700 yards.  There are a lot of things I could do with that much yarn.  I did a pattern search and came up with the Camelia Tee, a sweet little top down tee with raglan shaping and a lace panel on the shoulders.  Once I finished up the test knit I was working on I cast on.
The pattern calls for a provisional cast on, and then going back, picking up those stitches, knitting two rows and doing an I-Cord cast off.  Piffle, says I.  I will just do an I-Cord cast on.  The I-Cord cast on is lovely, but it is a bit tedious.  You work it by casting on 3 stitches and then working into the back and then the front of the first stitch, then knit the other two stitches.  Slip three stitches back to your left needle and repeat.  For most of it I actually detached the left hand needle from the cable, only re-attaching it when the I-Cord got long enough that it was getting close to the end of the cable.  The I-Cord cast on has a wonderful advantage, you can easily rip back if you make a mistake because those cast on stitches are not going anywhere.  I had to rip back several times.  First I messed up the set up row with the increases so one of my sleeves was coming out wonky.  Then I tweaked the lace chart by removing all of the purl stitches, but realized after working through the chart that I wanted to keep some of the purl stitches because I was losing the texture, and I noticed a mistake - a spurious yarn over.  I finally have it the way I like it.  I'm working it from the darkest color to the lightest color.

Project:  Camelia Tee by Anna Nilsson
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Marici in Dusk on the Fjord
Needle:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Butterick B4861 - Art Nouveau Palazzo Pants I

I took a break from knitting this weekend and did a little sewing.  I ordered this fabric from the Vogue Fabrics On Line site.  I get their swatches.  I rarely order fabric anymore.  When I first started sewing I ordered a lot of fabric from Fashion Fabrics On Line.  They had a swatch club as well.  They no longer have the swatch club, and don't seem to have as interesting a selection, although they still carry a lot of fabric.

I ordered two different cotton Art Nouveau prints - the one I used to make these pants and the one in the photo below, which will be used to make another pair of pants using the same pattern.
I started out the way I always do - washing the fabric.  I threw both pieces into the washing machine, along with a color catcher, and washed and dried them the way I would the finished piece.  Then I ironed them.  The photo above was taken on the ironing board.
Here's the one I used this weekend, after ironing, hanging out on my loom.

Given the bold pattern of this fabric, I knew that I had to be very careful laying the pattern pieces out.  First I pulled out the pieces that I needed and ironed them.  Then I laid out the fabric in a single layer and placed the front and back leg pieces, carefully lining them up vertically.
Once I had cut out the pieces, I marked them and then unpinned that pattern tissue and laid the cut pattern pieces right side down on the fabric, matching the fabric pattern as best I could.  After cutting them out I laid the pattern tissue on them and marked them.
The sewing didn't take very long, overcasting the raw edges after sewing the seams took the longest.

I also took some care with the placement of the waistband, and I laid it out across the grain, rather than with the grain, because of the directionality of the pattern on the fabric.  I couldn't make the pattern line up with the pattern on the pants (not being tubular), but I could at least maintain the symmetry.
The button is a vintage glass button that I found at a Bead & Button show some years ago.  It is actually a transparent purple, but the light is starting to go, so I couldn't get the best picture of it.
I also conveniently had a 7" zipper in my stash that was the right color.  This is the real advantage of having lots of things in my stash, I can usually complete a project without having to run out to the store to buy notions.

Hot Cocoa Cassatt - Finished!

I actually finished this a week ago (on April 4) and once it had finished drying it has been on my dress maker dummy waiting for me to take a picture of it.  In the mean time I got distracted by a test knit.

Here is a picture of one of the sleeves, so you can see how I modified the cables.
The original had bobbles, which I just don't knit, so I completed the cable design.  They twist the opposite direction on the other sleeve.

Pattern:  Cassatt (part of the Sweet Paprika Sweater Club) by Elizabeth Sullivan
Yarn:  Sweet Paprika Minuet in Hot Cocoa
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Snow Queen - Finished Shawl

Now that the final clue has gone out for Snow Queen I can finally reveal my finished shawl.  I really love how it came out.  Here is the obligatory blocking photo.
Posting photos has inspired me to get out the leftovers of start another one of my "color study" shawls.  Jazzberries and Lemon Drops was the last color study shawl that I finished.  I wasn't sure if I would do one with the leftovers from this shawl simply because I have so much yarn left over - there are a number of other shawl patterns that I could make - but I really like making something that just lets the colors of the yarn be the star.

Project:  Snow Queen by Janine le Cras
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Marici Fingering in Dusk on the Fjord
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Hot Cocoa Cassatt - One Sleeve Done

The sleeve worked up quickly, and I could read while I was knitting.  I set up the chart for the cable pattern in my Knit Companion app so it was easy to keep track of where I was and I used the smart counters feature to keep track of how many rows I had knit so I could work the shaping on the lower arm.  I didn't do any shaping until I had knitted to just past the elbow, then I did decreases every 10 rows, working 5 decreases in all.  I still haven't quite decided if I like the cropped length.  I'll decide once I finish the other sleeve.  It will depend upon how I end up styling it with my wardrobe.  I can certainly see Audrey Hepburn wearing this sweater.  If I don't like it I can always rip out the bottom and add some length with the leftover yarn I will have.  And if I do like the length I may use the leftovers to make a little cabled ascot to wear with it - I can definitely see Audrey wearing one.

Pattern:  Cassatt (part of the Sweet Paprika Sweater Club) by Elizabeth Sullivan
Yarn:  Sweet Paprika Minuet in Hot Cocoa
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Hot Cocoa Cassatt - Collar Done, Body Done

After finished up my Burgundy Pullover I went back to my Hot Cocoa Cassatt.  I really love the yarn for this one.  It is soft and I love the colors.  I worked on the right sleeve for a while and then I checked my yarn usage to see how I was doing.  I'm not doing any shaping on the sleeve until I get past the elbow (my arms are a little muscular and I usually have trouble with the fit of sleeves on my upper arm in store bought clothes) and I wanted to make sure that I would have enough yarn to still complete the collar.  So I decided to take a break from the sleeve and finish up the collar.  I used up the remnant of the second ball from the body and then joined the fourth ball that I hadn't used any of and finished up the collar with that.  Now I know that all of the yarn that I have left I can use on the sleeves.  I haven't decided how much shaping I will do on the lower arms, but I know that I want some ease.

I've already received an email telling me that the third sweater kit will be shipping soon.  I really liked this club and hope they run it again.  You know in advance what the sweater patterns are and you only have to order the ones that you want.  I went for all three patterns.  Then you get to pick the colors that you want for each kit.  I must admit that I'm not as big a fan of mysteries as I used to be and at this point in my knitting career there is only one yarn dyer that I let surprise me - The Unique Sheep.

Pattern:  Cassatt (part of the Sweet Paprika Sweater Club) by Elizabeth Sullivan
Yarn:  Sweet Paprika Minuet in Hot Cocoa
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Burgundy Pullover - Finished!

I finished up the second sleeve yesterday afternoon.  I really liked working the sleeves from the top down.  I did make one slight modification to the lace pattern - I switch the s1k2psso to a Central Double Decrease or s2k1psso.  I figured that would help make the lace not quite so obviously directional and I think it worked.  I have enough yarn in a dark blue to make one more of these pullovers.  There are currently 5 projects for this pattern on Ravelry, and I've done 4 of them.

Pattern:  Ladies Sweater - 1838 from Moments No. 005
Yarn:  SMC Select Extra Soft Merino Fino
Needles:  US 2.5 (3.0 mm) and US 3 (3.25 mm)