Saturday, January 26, 2013

Making stuff

New year, new yarn and new ideas! I was inspired by a friend to start collecting some more Noro yarn, and had a gift certificate ( thank you Margaret and Debbie!) so I had to use it .I had the idea to make another circular sweater after re-knitting my chenille sweater, so I thought I would play with the idea to use a raglan construction for the yoke and then pick up stitches around to make the circular body. I'm using a couple of colorways of the Noro silk Garden to make it more interesting ( and add more blue!) , and it is fun to watch the colors emerge. I'm inspired by the book "Knit, Swirl" by Sandra McIver, but I prefer to knit from the inside out and I wanted to be able to adjust sleeve length and try it on as I go, so I thought this might be fun to try.  I can always rip it out and re-knit if it doesn't work the way my calculations seem to indicate...Also I don't love the octagon look, preferring a smooth circle, so I'm scattering the increases. Should be interesting.

Meanwhile, my mother has a friend expecting twins, and as I already made a blue baby quilt, she wanted a girly one to match, so I dived into my stash and came up with this bold pink , purple and orange jelly roll race idea. The green squares provide a bit of contrast, don't you think? Here is the back first:

And then the front:

I quilted it with free-form flowers and swirls in the squares :

My studio is rudimentary now, with all the fabric in plastic boxes from Container Store. I wanted to put some sort of cabinets/shelving along the north wall for storage, but could not find anything the right size to store the boxes.I decided to go with Ikea's Billy system shelf units, which are 15 3/8 inch deep ( the boxes are 15 3/4 inch deep and 13 1/2 inches wide), and probably will have to take most of the fabric out of the boxes to store behind doors of the shelving.It will be a big project to sort and organize that when the shelves arrive, but it seems like the best way to deal with it.At the moment I can sit at the sewing machine and gaze out at the woods and backyard behind the house, so I think it will be nice.

I'm using the dining room and living room of the house for my studio, and while it is only 12 1/4 ft wide, it is a long space.Very different from my previous huge studio room, but as we have a big eat-in kitchen anf family room, there is really no need for a dining room or living room! So, I am glad to be making stuff again!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Grafting Garter stitch

 Two winters ago I knit my Garter stitch Circular sweater, and I loved the yarns, the fabric and the colors of the sweater. It was made from various rayon chenilles, ribbon yarns and other cotton or rayon yarns that I had collected over many years. There were a whole lot of ends to weave in, of course, and it took a long time to knit, but I loved the resulting sweater. I wore it once, and realized it was too long in the back for my short self. So, on to the next project. Yesterday I unpacked  a box and there it was. Because of the non-wool nature of the yarns, it had stretched and so my lovely sweater was making me unhappy.

If I were
6 ft tall, it might be lovely, but alas, I am 5 ft 1. So I decided to rip out the body and re-knit it with a shorter back section. I still had a box of yarn left from that project, so I first knit a shorter back section, 10 inches instead of 15 inches, and then started ripping out the circular portion which went surprisingly easily, after I picked out the bind-off which was in fluffy chenille.

I decided to keep the sleeves, as they were the right length. The whole sweater body ended up in 3 neat balls.I had to figure out how to graft  1/2 of the sleeve stitches to the back so I could  continue with the shrug construction. I put the sleeves on circular needles and managed to successfully graft them to the back:

I found my formula for
Grafting in Garter stitch:
Front: K off, P leave
Back: K off,P leave.
It was easy and went very smoothly! Now I am ready to knit the circular portion, and marked 7 sections around the circumference where I will be increasing every other row.Because this is circular garter stitch, I only need 7 increases every other row, so I increase on the knit rows and work plain on the purl rows. I probably will need to cut the yarns to make it line up, but having would them in sequence it should go easily.
If I had stitched it in Seed stitch, the grafting would be:
Front:opposite off, same leave ( as you see the stitch)
Back:opposite off, same leave
If ribbing:
Front: same off, opposite leave
Back: same off, opposite leave.
For the sake of completeness:
Stockinette stitch grafting is 
Front: Knit off, purl leave
Back:Purl off, knit leave.
In a month, I should have a new sweater! The new moon is a good time to begin a new project, don't you think?