Saturday, August 30, 2014

My first Fair Isles

I've always wanted to learn Fair Isles/Stranded knitting so I finally took the plunge.  I chickened out on the steeking, I figured it would be easier not to focus on too many skills at once.  So this sweater is a top-down, circular yoke sweater.  I'm using Knit Picks Chroma worsted yarn.  It's a very soft yarn that has that typical thin/thick characteristic of wools.
I found a hat with a simple enough flower pattern for my first design.  It's a 20-sts, 17-row pattern that was very easy to follow.  Because of the worsted weight it works up really fast.  I'm not sure if I'm going to repeat the same pattern or try another one in the body of the sweater.
I'm using Anne Budd's seamless yoke pattern from her book The Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters as a guideline for my sweater.  I'm not following it to the letter, it's simply a guide.  I'm liking the process of it, very simple instructions that are easily modified to fit my color work.

It's just a coincidence that I'm wearing orange so I know it's a great color to wear with the sweater.  The solid color looks brown but it's actually a smoky gray.  I didn't think the colors worked well together when it first came in the mail.  Now working with it, it's the perfect marriage. 

Keep stitchin'

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Feeling thirsty?

Mango orange tropical splash.
Imagine, a tall icy glass with a umbrella in it while lounging on a hot sandy beach!

That's what I saw when I looked at this yarn. It's another top-down original by yours truly for yours truly.  I changed this one up and added a belt and belt loops on this one.  There's lots of swish and sway in this skirt.  I'm getting better at balancing to get the flare I want.  A couple more and I'll have to a science, my body.  I still have to finish up the belt, trying to decide if I want two loops, beads, buttons or what.  I'm toying with the idea of making something with pop caps.
Who knew I'd enjoy knitting clothes so much!!

Keep stitchin'

Monday, August 18, 2014

School bells will ring.

The dress is all done and I really like it.  Added a little pocket and some huge buttons on the straps.  The buttons are just for show.  There are big snaps underneath to fasten with.
I need to make a couple more of these to put in my granny hopechest.

Now that I have an idea of what to do can make plenty of these with lots of modifications.

Keep stitchin

Thursday, August 14, 2014

McKenzie is going to school!

My little niece, who was born just last year is going to school.  Well, she was really born last but it sure seems like it. So I was excited to hear that she's starting school and decided to make her dress.  Nothing to fancy but I think she'll like it when I'm done.
I dug out one of my Interweave Crochet mags, after failing at attempting to make my own creation, and found a cute little jumper in it.  I was happy to find that it was right along the lines of what I was trying to create on my own.  I skipped the big flower on the front, gonna add pockets instead.  I have to get the findings to make the closures as well, maybe some novelty buttons or huge snaps.
All in all, a pretty simple pattern to follow or use as a guideline and do your own thing.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

White Party Dress 2014

I wanted a dress for the white party this year without the hassle of trying to find something that I really liked. So this year, I got an early start and made my dress. I actually made a blue one (DRUNKEN DIAMONDS) as well so I had some practice beforehand.  Because I don't swatch hardly ever, the dress came out a tad bit longer than I intended but I love it anyway. The flirty bottom made the dress swish and sway as I danced on the floor while gently hugging my curves in the right places. (I know, sounds like a commercial right. lol).

I think I look better in the dress than Ms. Sophia (dressform), but tell her I said so.

Both dresses were made with the same yarn, Universal Yarns Bamboo Pop, which is a great yarn to work with.  I used the Susie Myers contiguous method for the shoulder and got the different stitches from my stitchionaries and various websites.
As soon as I finish up a couple of promised pieces I'll be starting another.  I need to think about some stitch patterns and style for fall/winter dresses.  If I keep this up, I may never wear pants again! There will definitely be a WPD 2015 hopefully more elegant this time.

Keep stitchin'

Like a big hug!

That's right, I said it!  This dress is soooooo snuggly warm it's like a big hug!  What's the difference between a Redwood Symphony dress and man? My dress will hug me and keep me warm and comfy alllllll day long, and night too, until I decide I've had enough.
I'm thinking long sleeve would make this way too warm, especially if I have a personal summer while wearing it.  Yep, three-quarter sleeves or even above my elbows is fine.  I have the option of wearing a top underneath if I want long sleeves.
I did about four rounds of ribbing at the bottom, to prevent curling, and ended with Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.  This was my first time using JSSBO but it was very easy to do and definitely made a difference.  My ends are still neat with plenty of stretch.

Keep stitchin'

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I made shoes!!!

I found this amazing pattern by Ingunn Santini and had to give it a try.  Shoes really, that I can wear outside?  
Though these were intended for a party I don't find them suitable, I what something a little more formal to go with my dress.
It took two attempts to get the heel close to perfect, I can make myself crazy trying to get something just right. It rarely works, I just decide it'll do. And here they are!

I'm still amazed that I was able to make shoes that I can wear outside.  I love that they have that old, tattered look even thought they are brand new. This pair is far from perfect.  One shoe is wider than the other and the soles are about 1/2" too short.
I took them to work to show off and everyone was in awe, the comments were so funny.   I actually put them on and walked around the office during my lunch break.  They are so soft and squishy on the bottom.
I'm very happy I did not give up and I can't wait to make another pair.  This pair will be for wearing around the house, seating on the balcony, maybe with a pair of jeans for a quick trip to the market.  Those extra soles will be used to try tufting, I'd like to make a pair of make ugg-style slippers to keep my feet warm in this drafty apartment this winter.