archive for 'freestyle'
yay for learning to knit! yay for beginner yarn that doesn’t show beginner knitting mistakes! there are only 2 really obvious goofs i’ve spotted, a dirty great hole and a stitch that goes straight across for some odd reason. the fact that i meander between slipping the last stitch and knitting it doesn’t show enough to count. i didn’t like the reduced stretch slipping the stitch gave to the edge, even if it was a bit neater.
i don’t count the fact that i changed from english to combined knitting half way through either, as far as i can tell there isn’t any difference in the fabric itself. combined knitting was a godsend with the 2×2 rib, moving the yarn back and front was a doddle. although overall i was probably slower because i’ve done wee bits of swatch knitting and way back when i was a kid i’m sure i tried to learn to knit and that was all english style, so i was kind of familiar with the movements.
i used 3 yarns, all bfl – straight oatmeal, straight humbug and a random chunky mix of the 2. i was hoping for a more random distribution of the blocks, but it’s come out looking quite designed (lol, my inner control freak surfacing no doubt). the way the colour blending’s worked up is very educational for me to know, though i can’t say i’m greatly struck by it. i’m very pleased there’s no screamingly obvious weight discrepancies. it’s turned out very warm, surprisingly dense and drapey. there’s a very slight prickle which i’m a bit disappointed by, perhaps that’s the ultimate test, as it feels fine on my face. i’ll be interested to see whether that’s still there with the silk blend i’m spinning at the moment (with a lower twist).
i’ve been wearing it round the house all night and will probably wear it to bed. it’s fucking arctic here at the moment.
it’s turned icy cold tonight, and just in time we have new slippers. not sure whether madam’s are as warm as mine which are ridiculously warm, if they weren’t open-backed they’d be too hot
using a pattern designed to fit her feet and a cardboard resist as per previous links. it really is a straightforward process, start to finish (including drying overnight) in 12 hours. i haven’t included the time it took me to unravel 1 1/2 oz pencil roving (oh for a :rolleyes: smiley when i really need one). my fault – i said that if i got pink fluff in my delivery i’d make her slippers from it, forgetting if it did arrive it wouldn’t be in easily-feltable form.
i’ve got a load of process shots that i might upload if the fancy takes me, i just followed the directions and it worked a treat. it was merino so felted no problem. i had to do a fair bit of tweaking to get the foot to sit flat, as i thought i might looking at the pattern. stuffing with newspaper helped a lot, but slowed down the drying.
thanks to excellent advice received on glitter i had puff paint at the ready to slip-proof the soles. i could do with a lot more practice with the puff paint i trimmed down the original design which had flappy bits round the ankle. i didn’t like how they turned out and madam couldn’t manage to get them on on her own. the extra meant i had enough to leave a tag on the back to help get them on and i much prefer the more minimal look. i ran up a quick batch of fine candy-cane pink and white yarn to finish the edges.
only one slight hitch – she won’t wear them but won’t explain why, they fit perfectly and my guess is they really are just too hot.
i tried a different approach for mine, cutting and sewing from a sheet of felt. i liked the idea of making double sided felt, especially since i had some herdwick that should make durable but not very comfy slippers. so i thought i’d back it with a softer fibre, dyed, cos nothing that goes on my feet would stay white for long. i chose bfl in the hope that it would felt when i wanted and not in the dye bath. dye was my standard vinegar/food dye combo, worked a treat.
i had to stop the fulling process sooner than i wanted because the long hairy fibres of the herdwick were starting to migrate through the bfl, defeating the object of having a soft fluffy lining. so the felt wasn’t as sturdy as i would have liked. at the last minute i decided to double up the sole layer and didn’t have enough to cut duplicates without piecing, hence the joining you can see on the right “insole”, thought i’d go for brazen rather than subtle. it’s stitched with a thread i spun from the bfl (slightly thicker than i’d used on the pink ones, the thickest i could get through the needle).
i made up a pattern based on drawing round my feet and allowing extra room on the top piece. they’re not very snug fitting as i wanted room to wear with socks. i tested the pattern by stapling the paper pattern pieces together and trying them on, and they’re just as i wanted. i finished the raw edges with more blanket stitched bfl thread. perhaps next time i’d make more of an effort to match them up re: how the grain runs – i can’t say it bothers me at all, but i’d spot it straight away if i hadn’t made them.
next time i’d definitely make a thicker felt, more layers to begin with. you can see how thin and patchy the bfl is, and i’m not sure how much life i’ll get from the soles, even doubled. i decided not to puff the bottoms since our floors aren’t all that slippy and there isn’t enough room to get up skid-worthy speed. overall i’m really really pleased with these, for a rough and ready and very quick prototype (start to finish, dyeing spinning and all in less than 12 hours, which included cooking and eating a roast dinner ). i love the hairiness and i still can’t believe how ridiculously warm they are.
this was supposed to be a basket to store yarn, but i severely underestimated how far my yardage would get me. this is all 95 yards of handpsun #7 transformed into a thing 12″ by 5″ by a paltry 2″ high. i gained a little extra height with the picots which are totally out of keeping with the yarn and the rectangular shape, but i actually quite like it. i’m using it to (try to) keep my keys, cards and other essentials together.
i made it up as i went along, starting with a long spiral, squaring it out by increasing just at the corners and not along the ends. i realised i’d have to change to rows when i got to the sides as the spirals make for a single-sided fabric, fine for the base, but not the sides. on the first side row i worked into the back loops only, which makes for a nicely defined corner.
it’s worked with a small hook for the wpi (4mm iirc) and the fabric is pretty tight, it’d stand up a bit more if the picots didn’t make it wider along the top row. i’m pretty pleased i’ve got a (semi) functional item out of what was all along a colour experiment. i can’t believe how all the colour repeats happened to fall together though.
needed something baglike to hold my new ipod mini as i never wear belts and often have no pockets. this was just something really basic to fill in till my swanky leather one arrived. it’s surprisingly practical – i particularly love the way the headphones thread through the straps, saving having all those wires flapping about. the back flap can be used to store the headphones and strap wrapped around it, works fine but looks dreadful.
i can still skip tracks and pause through the fabric, but can’t change the volume (even with sound check i get the odd nasty surprise) or rate tracks, but it’s great for when i just want to shuffle n go. i’d say i’ve used it about equal with the swanky Â£25 leather one. all free – leftover yarn and buttons from my jumper hoard.
i made a replacement for the multi-purpose dressing gown/beach dress/after swim wrap as the old one was getting a real struggle to squeeze her into. i used 2 beach towels (cheapy and fun from peacocks) this time which gave me more freedom in how i designed it, though it did mean it cost a little more (though still miles cheaper than anything rtw of a similar design/quality).
since i now know a little more about clothing design i was able to give it more room where needed, while still keeping the design easy to sew. i used kimono sleeves, but wider than before, as the old one was always a bit tricky to get her arms/shoulders into. i angled the armscyes downwards to give shoulder shaping in the body section and to decrease bulk under the arms. i put a facing onto the neck opening as i knew from the start i’d need one.
i repeated the trick of re-using the hem and selvage in the finished dress (hem, sleeve and hood edges) and at least this time the sewing machine was working so i could machine the seams. i decided to hand finish all the seams again as it gives a lovely smooth finish to the inside of the dress, perfect for bare skin. it didn’t take very long and it’s definitely worth it.
it fits just about right, sleeves are a good length and it hangs about a cm clear of the floor. i’m hoping there’s enough room in the body for it to fit for a long time, 3/4 length sleeves being no problem.
pics links take you to flickr as it’s playing up at the minute so i can’t add them to my sets.
made this up out of a beach towel, working out the pattern by drawing around a mix of a hooded top and a dress she already had, after lusting after something similar in the boden catalogue and missing out in the sale. i have to say now that this is waaay cuter than anything i’ve seen rtw (plus well cheap).
being blissfully ignorant of the basics of garment construction i cut the front/back and sleeves as single pieces, so i only had to join along the side seams, back of hood, then hood to neck.
had already cut the pieces when i remembered my machine was broken, so is all hand sewn (very badly, lol). was quite cunning and managed to use the towel selvedge for all the hems – sleeves, hood and bottom. although this means it’s straight rather than curved along the bottom edge it’s not at all obvious when worn. the seams are all tucked under inside (i’m sure there’s a proper term for that…), so they’re lovely and smooth against the skin. hadn’t accounted for the stretch in the hooded top i adapted it from and once it was made found it wouldn’t go over her head. hastily added a slash in the neckline.
this has given brilliant service over the last 6 months as a beach dress, post-swim wrap and dressing gown, hoping it will still fit for another 6 months at least (cropped sleeves are trendy i tell you ).