elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The Girl has been on spring break so I haven't been doing much sewing. We have had a busy schedule of goofing off to attend to.

I've done some mockups and pattern work for the HB's new Victorian stuff. Yawn.

On Monday I got distracted and made another Colette Moneta from some deep orange jersey I had in recent stash. I love one-day dresses!

I helped The Girl make her very first all-by-herself-on-the-machine project, a simple elastic waist skirt. She did great and she's so proud!

We had our monthly sewing bee last night at the LeDuc house and I worked on a new knitted lace edging.

I am thinking of making enough for a V neckline and wide cuffs for an early 1870s dress. I know I might be bending the rules a little by using knitted lace on an outer garment, but making lace is just too much work to waste it on underwear. And I like knitting lace, so I want to make it and use it where it can be seen.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
So I have gotten a little sewing done. I made this little ruffle/pad combo bustle and I am very pleased with the late natural form/early 1880s not-quite-a-bustle-again-yet shape. Modest enough for Laura Ingalls I think!

bustle 023

I made it with green polka dot cotton. I had big plans for a stripe but I couldn't find one crisp enough to make the ruffles nice. So I dug this out of the stash.

I made a base of white twill that I stitched the ruffles to. Then I made two pads: the first one is large and flat and filled with layers of cotton quilt batting; the second is little, stuffed with fiberfill, and tufted. At first I tried to just use the large flat pad but it wasn't enough.

The insides, over a skirt, and more )

And I have been working on my tiny knitted lace.

lace (1)

I don't know exactly what size needles these are, because I lost the package, they don't say, and my gauge only goes to 0. But by comparing them to other needles I am guessing they are 000. I am using sz 12 pearl cotton and this 1884 lace pattern. My ravelry page for this project is here.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)


Ok, I don't crochet, but I do knit lace. I could totally do one like this! I am assuming you just use a crapload of starch to make it stand up.

Scarf done

Dec. 16th, 2011 01:49 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
In time to mail before the recipient's birthday!

I love the way it turned out and it was much, much more fun to make than the last gift scarf.

Details are on my Ravelry page.  (If you're not on Ravelry and you want the details, just let me know!)

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I'm still giddy in the afterglow of the picnic, but I think I've said all I can say about it (and more) and showered all my heartfelt compliments on everyone, so it's probably time to move on to the next thing, blog-wise.

First a photo of the just-finished scarf.  My SIL loved it, yay!

Now onto the next.  I started this scarf before leaving for Dallas so I'd have something to work on while there.  It's the polar opposite of the red scarf; it's going super-fast and the yarn and needles feel just right in my hands.  This one is for another family member gift.

Unblocked, next to the book photo.  It's Handmaiden Sea Silk worked on a #2 needle.  I'm using a circ, even though it's not usually my preference, because it's easier to take on a plane.  The pattern is from Victorian Lace Today, same as the other scarf.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Finished the border! Started the body.

This scarf is taking forever. I knew it would, but it’s going even slower than I imagined because I am just not working on it. It’s not interesting or engaging. Is it because it’s not going to be for me? Maybe I am just so horribly selfish that I can’t muster up enough interest to make something for someone else. Or maybe it’s just not my color/style/pattern because I’m making it with someone else in mind. Yeah, that sounds better.

Also, the yarn is very tedious. Even now that I’m at the very simple garter drop-stitch section, manipulating this yarn over my toothpick needles is hard. My hands feel clumsy and useless and the yarn is splitty and annoying. They’re only sz. 0 (hah, “only”) but they’re smaller than any needles I’ve ever worked with. And this yarn is too small for me. I just don’t like it.

I did enjoy picking up the stitches along the side/top of the border, though, because the tidy slipped-stitch edging made it so simple.  But it feels like the body is way wider than the border.  Maybe my row gauge isn't matching my stitch gauge well, or maybe it will block out.

I’m going to persevere, and maybe I will make some more progress, or maybe I will scrap it, buy new yarn, and start again. We'll see.  
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Thanks for the comments on my blue scarf, all!  I really wish it was cool enough outside to wear it now.

I've finished the second rep of the edging on the SIL scarf.

photographic proof )

This lace pattern is definitely a bit challenging for me.  It's doable, hence the fact that I've actually done this much of it, but it's slow going.

The double yarn-overs look nice; they make a nice big hole, but when knitting back on the WS, you need to knit into the first yo, then purl into the second, and it is like purling into thin air.  It's quite awkward!

Plus the teeny-tininess of it all is making me a little twitchy.  I am spending at least an hour a day on it and I feel like I am treading water.  I'm really hoping that the main body, being only really simply patterned, will go a lot quicker, but who knows?  One more repeat of the edge until I get there.

Also, I am getting ever more paranoid that my sister-in-law is not going to like it and will end up doing the dishes with it.  Or putting it on the dog.  One or the other.  I guess I'll know if/when I finish it, if ever.
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Did I really forget to post completed photos of this?

I finished it a couple weeks ago, and I love it.  I put finished photos on my Ravelry, but I guess I just forgot to blog it because, as far as projects go, it seemed like such a non-event.  I've done this type of lace before, and even though I thoroughly enjoyed both the process and the product, it wasn't challenging enough to consider A Big Long-Term Project.

Whatever, I love it.  

As usual, all the notes about pattern, yarn, needle size, etc. are on my Ravelry page.

One repeat

Aug. 6th, 2011 12:12 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
 I've done one repeat of the lace border for the scarf.

It looks so lovely!  The chart is the most difficult I have ever done, mostly because it is larger than any I've done; 42 rows make one repeat, with 36-46 stitches across, as opposed to the 15 sts, 12 row repeats I'm used to.  I've picked back a bit, and I did make a couple mistakes that I'm not going back for, but I think I can live with them. 

3 of these make the border, then the scarf body is picked up from the edge.


Jul. 27th, 2011 12:22 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
With all the Costume College prep going on among my F-list, it seemed kind of pointless to post unexciting things about my knitting.  Like "25 repeats done!  I'd share a photo, but it looks the same as before, there's just more of it."

But, still: 37 repeats done on my scarf!  My goal was 36, and I think I have enough yarn to squeeze out 38.  Maybe I will finish today.

I ordered a skein of Fyberspate's Scrumptious Lace merino/silk blend in Cherry for the next thing, a wide-bordered scarf for my sister-in-law, from Victorian Lace Today, my new favorite knitting book.

My Scarlow zipper has finally arrived, so I can finish seaming and getting that together soon.

With sewing, I have made 2 or 3 mock-ups of cloth hose and a new doublet/jerkin for the man.  It's a little frustrating getting a good fit; the nicer it looks on him, the less the pattern pieces look like period shapes.  Or to put it another way, if his garment looks historically accurate, the pattern doesn't.

Most of the alteration is in the armscye.  My HB holds his shoulders a lot farther forward than the historical ideal.  Instead of the garment making him stand straighter and pull them back, it just wrinkles a ton in front and cuts into his underarm.  So I've had to adjust the armscye forward quite a bit.
I've got fabrics for the whole ensemble: hose, sleeved doublet, and jerkin, but I think I might still be in mock-up stage for a while.
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Thanks for the nice comments on my scarf!  I hit the halfway point this afternoon: 18 repeats.  I rewarded myself with a new book purchase. Or two.

Plus, I checked my Ravelry page for this project, and I've only been at it for two weeks!  I guess it seems like so much longer because I had to wait forever for the needles to arrive, and all that time all I could think about was knitting it.

It's a fun knit, but since I've gotten to the point where I've pretty much memorized the chart, I'm not sorry it's halfway over.

new scarf

Jul. 13th, 2011 03:46 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
The new scarf in progress:

It’s the Peacock Tail and Leaf from the book Knitted Lace of Estonia.

I’ve made it narrower; more a scarf and less a shawl. The pattern called for 7 repeats of the edging pattern and 4 of the main pattern in each row. I’ve decreased that to 5 and 3, respectively.

I’m liking it a lot, but I do wish the edging had called for the nice tidy slipped-stitch edge that the main body has. I’m not doing it over, but it would have been a nice refinement. I’m just going to tell myself that not having the uniform slipped stitch is authentically Estonian so I can feel okay about it.

I’m using my lovely All For Love of Yarn from Shepherd’s Harvest, which you can buy at her Etsy shop, but please know the colors are way more amazing in real life.

The pattern calls for 32 repeats of the main body chart. I am shooting for 36, or until I run out of yarn, making my scarf about 60”. Currently I’m at 14. When I get to 18 reps, halfway, I’m going to buy the book I need for my next project, Victorian Lace Today, which I checked out from the library a month ago and decided I NEED.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I finished my sweater! My cherie amour.

The back and the notes )
I can't quite believe I made this so quickly.  I am starting to feel like I can knit almost anything!

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I showed my lace swatch to [livejournal.com profile] undycat  yesterday and she said she thought the yarn would work for Cherie Amour.  Yay!  It is nice sometimes to have a second opinion.  So I will cast on for this as soon as I can find a spare moment.

The swatch has shrunk a little since blocking, mostly from handling, but I don't think that should affect the knitting too much.  I don't want to go up another needle size because I like the way the swatch looks on this size.  And I have more often been disappointed by things growing than shrinking.

Maybe the color is too 70s and I will look like I am wearing a macrame plant hanger, but oh well.  I like this pattern , and I like the yarn, and I also like the idea of toning down the chunkiness with an open stitch pattern.  I think cables + chunky yarn would just have been too dense and heavy.


Apr. 21st, 2010 10:27 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

My HB took this photo in the back garden of the B&B we stayed at in Chicago last week.

I think this scarf is probably as close to absolute perfection as I can get in knitting.



Apr. 12th, 2010 07:52 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I finished my scarf! My Kernel!

I blocked it yesterday and it is still laying out to dry.  I found the grafting to be pretty difficult, as I expected.  I have never been good at grafting.  This time I tried it on a swatch first, and it did not look right, so I knitted an extra row on the scarf and fiddled with the stitches a bit, and it still did not come out quite right, but I think it looks great anyway!  Certainly the best job of grafting I have ever done.

I tried to use the grafting instructions from TECHknitter in the latest issue of Interweave Knits, but they were way too confusing for me; odd, because I usually find TECHknitter to be so clear.  But I used the directions in the pattern, and they worked really well for me.  I think one thing that helped was the terminology: "left to right" instead of "knitwise."  I've been knitting for a dozen years, so I know what knitwise and purlwise mean, but I could probably knit for a hundred years and still right and left would be more deeply ingrained in my brain.

While I was knitting this, I had planned to buy a set of blocking wires.  When I blocked my last lace scarf, I used every pin I owned and the edges still looked sloppy.  But the unforseen sewing machine troubles have caused me to economize, so instead I sewed a length of thin cotton yarn along each long edge.  When I pinned it out to block, I pulled the cotton yarns very tight to straighten the edges and pinned them in place by little loops tied at the ends.  I'll have to wait until I un-pin it for the final effect, but so far it looks great and it was really simple to pin it out straight.

Photos when I have time - hopefully as soon as it dries!
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

I figured out my lace issue!! Yay!

This is probably the most complex thing I have ever modified in knitting, so I feel pretty pleased with myself.

Here's part of what I've got so far, pinned out on the ironing board so you can see what's going on:

Detail shot of my modifications )
I did a few repeats before noticing that the pattern as written creates an odd sort of fork or misplaced bar on the lozenge shapes on either edge. Now, obviously, this could have just been my error in reading or executing the pattern, but it seemed unlikely to me that I would make the exact same error 6 times. I looked at the photos on the pattern page again, and I'm not positive, but it looks like that's the way the pattern is written.

Still, I didn't quite like the effect. I wanted the shapes on the edge to match the shapes in the interior. So I played around a bit. Mostly I just stared at the thing, then I stared at the chart, then repeated for a while. Someone suggested that I might be using the wrong decrease, and i thought that was it until I looked at it again.  Eventually I realized that one yarn-over hole was too close to the edge, and that was happening on Row 7.

Row 7 as written was: Sl 1, K3, YO, ssk, K2, YO, *sk2p, YO, K2, YO, sk2p, YO, K2, YO* (rep * twice more), sk2p, YO, K2, K2tog, YO, K4.

Mod #1 was scooting the YO/decrease on each side one stitch toward the center (so my new Row 7 read: Sl 1, K4, YO, ssk, K1, YO, *sk2p, YO, K2, YO, sk2p, YO, K2, YO* (rep * twice more), sk2p, YO, K1, K2tog, YO, K5.)

That put the YO in the right place, but the adjoining stitch still looked wonky. Then I realized I was overcomplicating it.

Mod #2 was inverting the YO and decrease on each edge (so this Row 7 read: Sl 1, K3, ssk, YO, K2, YO, *sk2p, YO, K2, YO, sk2p, YO, K2, YO* (rep * twice more), sk2p, YO, K2, YO, K2tog, K4.)

That made it look just the way I wanted it!  I figured this out by looking at the edges of the interior lozenge shapes on the chart and tracking where the YOs and decreases fell in relation to each other.  I am still barely proficient in lace but I really feel like I learned something.

I'll be adding these notes to my Ravelry page, as well.  I hope someone finds them useful!

Even though I've figued this out now, it is way too subtle to rip back (at least according to my standards) but I'm glad I can fix it going forward.  I'm really enjoying knitting this!

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I moved on to the main body pattern and completed about 1.5 repeats. I threaded a lifeline after the first completed repeat. I think I will continue to thread lifelines after every rep.

I pinned it to the ironing board to open it up and get more of an idea of what it will look like after blocking.

Mostly I've been working on this while sitting on the floor next to F while she's hanging out in her swing. I'm keeping track of my place in the chart with a post-it note. This is definitely more complicated than any lace I've ever done, and it's holey-er, too. I really like the way it looks so far!

I hope to have this ready to wear by spring.
elizabeth_mn: (needlecraft)
On Friday I went to Borealis Too, their second location which I didn't realize existed until last week. It's downtown St. Paul, just off the Ecolab plaza, inside the building next to the Ecolab building. It was a little hard to find and while I was looking for it I stepped into Candyland and got some yummy treats (yay!).

I picked up some delicious Cherry Tree Hill merino sock yarn and I was just itching to get my hands on it, so this weekend I started my new lace scarf.

The pattern is Kernel from Knitty. So far I am loving it. It's my first time reading charts but I just dove in and it seems to be making sense.

I've finished the border, now it's on to the main body pattern. I'm skipping the beads because I don't like beads on clothes, I'm always afraid they will snag on something. I messed up a couple edge stitches a few rows ago, but since they are just garter stitch I think I can fix them with a crochet hook, by dropping them and picking them back up again.

Once I get a little farther I plan to thread lifelines into this in case I need to rip back! The pattern is pretty complex (for me at least).
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)

The weather in the past week has been cool enough some days to necessitate scarf-wearing, so I tried out my new green lace.  I'm really rather in love with it, it is so comfy and cute.  

Anyway, I thought it looked so much better being worn than just thrown across the dresser, so I had to take some photos.  And since I'm loafing anyway. . .


I'm playing with different ways of wearing it.  I like it best with the one end thrown over the shoulder.

Super fun scarf enjoyment!

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