Category

The Self-Made Wardrobe Garments

19
May
2015
0

Finished: Black & White Vine Print Skirt

vine-print-skirt

Day-268

vine-print-skirt-hem

I’ve always loved an elastic waist skirt that doesn’t look bulky, or frumpy, or lazy, and I think this skirt fits that bill perfectly.

MATERIALS

– About 3 yards of a very light weight, slightly translucent fabric. (The fabric was actually a pair of curtains that a friend was getting rid of, and so this skirt came into being all Scarlett O’Hara like.)
– Black thread
– 1” elastic

PATTERN

This is a pretty basic circle skirt with a handkerchief hem, and an elastic waistband. My graphic silk circle skirt was this same style, and I love this basic recipe for it’s ease & simplicity.
For this skirt, I cut three layers, and layered them so that the points at the hem are offset. Then I added a waistband, and hemmed miles of hem.

vine-skirt-print-detail

WHAT WORKED WELL

I love the cut. I love the fullness. And I adore the fact that it’s an elastic waist skirt that still looks put-together.

WHAT I’D DO DIFFERENTLY

There are two alterations I’m contemplating making.

I’d like to shorten the hem by an inch or two – though I’m not looking forward to hemming all that hem again.

And I think I’d like to tea stain it – the white is currently a very stark white. Maybe I’ll do that when it gets it’s first stain. At the moment the print on the bottom layers is pretty clearly visible through the top layer, and I think tea staining might help with this also.

But other than those two tiny alterations, I’m pretty damn happy with this project.

vine-print-skirt-close-up

12
May
2015
0

Knitting a Second Purple Pullover

knitted-yoked-pullover

sweater-yoke-detail

knitted-purple-pullover

You’d think that one purple pullover would be enough, but apparently not. I’ve only had this sweater finished for a week or so and I’m already obsessed with it – partly for it’s color, partly for it’s fit.

This is the 4th top down yoked pullover I’ve knit, and I think I’ve got my basic recipe down. Like my previous purple pullover (which had raglan shaping), I knit this sweater with two strands of lace weight yarn held together. I used, one skein of Tosh Lace in the colorway “curiosity” and a skein of Western Sky Knits Lace in the colorway “elephant.”

Overall knitting this sweater went much more smoothly than the knitting of my first purple pullover – that sweater was a lesson in how to knit a basic sweater in the most complicated way possible, while this sweater was pretty straightforward knitting with a lot of fits & starts. I started this sweater way back in February, then the body flew by, before I got stuck on second sleeve island, and then when we got off second sleeve island the sweater got stuck in the “to be blocked” pile for weeks, until I finally finished it, (and remembered to take photos!)

second-purple-pullover

MATERIALS

Yarn:
– 1 skein of Madelinetosh “Tosh Lace” in colorway “curiosity”
– 1 skein of Western Sky Knits “Lace” in colorway “elephant

Needles:
– US #9s (5.5mm) needles

I held both strands of lace weight yarn together thought the whole sweater, and got a gauge of 6 stitches and 7 rows = 1 inch.

PATTERN

This sweater is a pretty straightforward yoked pullover.
The pattern is my own recipe – I’ve knit a couple top down yoked pullovers this year, and have been modifying my recipe as I go.
First was the sweater dress, then the jade cropped pullover, then the boring black sweater, and finally this 2nd purple pullover. I originally started with the “Silken Straw Summer Sweater” from The Pearl Bee, but have since modified it beyond all recognition.

yoked-pullover

WHAT WORKED WELL

On this sweater main modification to my recipe, was to add short row shaping at the back of the neck. It’s only been on the past couple sweaters that I’ve started doing this, and I think I might be in love with this technique.

Adding short rows to the back of the sweater neck makes the back of the neck neck higher than the front of the sweater neck, which helps compensate for the curve of our shoulders, and also helps keep the front of the sweater from riding up towards your throat. If you’ve ever worn a sweater, and kept having to tug it forward because it felt like the front of the neck was choking you – this helps prevent that.

sweater-yoke-detail-back

WHAT I’D DO DIFFERENTLY

I don’t think I’d do anything drastically differently, I’ve got a pretty good two skeins of lace weight yarn held together sweater recipe down, and I love the fabric this creates a whole lot more than a single strand of thicker yarn knit on the same needles at the same gauge.

The only thing that kind of bugs me about this sweaters is the bit where I forgot one of the yoke increases, and had to quickly compensate.
If you look at the top of the yoke, you’ll see that for about an inch in the front, and 3 or so inches in the back, the stitches are super stretched out – this is because during the short row shaping I forgot one of the sets of increases, so for the following increase, I increased every other stitch to get the correct stitch count, instead of every 2nd or 3rd stitch like I was supposed to.

finished-sweater-project

Of course, as soon as I blocked it NYC started experiencing spring, so I haven’t been able to wear it as much as I would like – but I’ll absolutely take the spring weather!

24
Feb
2015
0

A handspun, handknit sweater

handspun handknit sweater

handspun sweater

handspun handknit sweater

I love spinning, and took up spinning pretty quickly after I started knitting. This is the first time I’ve ever spun enough yarn for a sweater though.

And while, I probably won’t turn into a knitter who knits exclusively with handspun yarn, going from fiber -> yarn -> sweater was pretty damn amazing.

This is a sweater knit entirely out of handspun yarn. Yesterday I wrote about the process of spinning the yarn, now details about the sweater itself.

handspun handknit sweater

MATERIALS:
Yarn
– 250 yards (228.5 m) – 2 oz (56.5 g) – handspun heavy lace weight grey BFL
– 250 yards (228.5 m) – 3 oz (85 g) – handspun heavy lace weight alpaca
– 500 yards (457 m) – 9 oz (255 g) – handspun worsted weight alpaca

All the yarn are super basic two ply yarns – the lace weights are much more even than the worsted weight, mostly because I’m more comfortable spinning lace weights, but also because the worsted weight was my first experience spinning on a Hansen miniSpinner (it was amazing).

Needles
– US #6s (4.00 mm) circular needles for the lace weight
– US #10s (6.00 mm) circular needles for the worsted weight

PATTERN:
A basic top down raglan pullover, with short row shaping at the back of the neck, to help keep the neckline from pulling up. I striped the two lace weight for the yoke, the bottom half of the sleeves, and a bit around the bottom hem. Then I used the worsted for the main body, and the sleeves.

I wanted a pattern that was simple enough to let the yarn shine, and was flexible enough that if I started running out of yarn I had options.

handspun handknit sweater

WHAT WORKED WELL:
I just had enough yarn, and I loved knitting an entire sweater out of handspun yarn, though I can’t say it’s something I’d do all the time. Grace does it a lot – and I don’t know how she does it.

This is the first sweater I’ve finished that includes short row shaping for the back of the neck, and I have to say I really like it – I’m playing around with it in the purple yoked sweater I’m currently working on, and it’s probably a feature I’ll be adding it to most of my future sweaters.

handspun handknit sweater

WHAT I’D DO DIFFERENTLY:
I’m not sure I’d do anything differently per say, but this is the third top down raglan sweater I’ve finished and I don’t love all of the excess material it produces at the underarm. That material under the yarn ends up bunching weirdly – which I’m not a fan of.

So, I think I’ll lay off the raglan shaping for awhile and explore other types of sweater yoke shaping. I really, really love yoked sweaters (like my boring black sweater & handknit sweater dress), and I want to try some more sweaters with set in sleeves (the Moonstruck Cardigan had sewn in set-in sleeves, and my Versio sweater had seamless set-in sleeves). I’m interested in experimenting some more with seamless set in sleeves – Andi Satterlund’s guide to seamless set-in sleeve sweaters looks interesting.

spindle spun ball of yarn

striped knitting

handspun handknit sweater