Search This Blog

Friday, October 31, 2014

Second Cowl from Corriedale/alpaca

Unable to resist immediately using up the remainder of the beautiful Rose Cottage yarn, I did push on with a second cowl.

This one I knitted in the round, judging the size to fit quite close to the neck and to use as much of the  remaining wool as possible.

I repeated the frill on either side - I really like the way that displays this yarn.

It can be worn with more or less frill showing to get different effects.

I'm very pleased with my set of products from this lovely yarn. It's now too warm to wear this year, but I shall negotiate which cowl I keep and which I give away for next Winter.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Baubles, Buttons and Beads

I have just returned from a day at the Embroiderers' Guild of South Australia Certificate Course. I am not doing the Certificate Course, but members are invited to attend any Certificate classes, so I, and a number of other members, went along to today's class by Christine Bishop on Fastenings, Closures with Buttons and Fancy Knots, or, as her notes said, Baubles, Buttons and Beads. I have a few other projects to write about, but thought, for once, I might report on this one immediately.

It was a well-attended class and we worked quite hard. There are ten fastenings in the class notes and most of us got about 5 done in the 5 hours of the class. We also had lunch and quite a bit of cake.

The first, and simplest was a toggle button, made from felt. I tried it on a piece of handmade felt I bought on my recent trip - in Berry in NSW.

This is an effective, and very quick closure that would work well on a bag.

Another toggle took a little more time and has plenty of scope for variation - using different threads, stitches or contrasting colours. The stitch on this one is chain stitch.

The loop closure appealed to me. My stitching is not as neat as could be hoped, but I can see quite a few ways this might be varied to fit on a bag, or even a jacket.

The covered bead closure took rather longer to do - using twisted buttonhole stitch. This is similar to the closure we made in Alison Snepp's hussif class a few years ago, although the base and the stitch are different. It is a very satisfying object to make.

The final one I achieved today was a button that can be used on shirts. It needs a pearl button on the top to complete it.

Christine is a meticulous teacher and her notes are clear and thorough. I will complete the other 5 closures in the notes - but not before I have finished a couple of other things I am still working on - one of them from another of Christine's classes ( the French birdcage she taught at Beating Around the Bush).

I had a very pleasant day making these today, not the least because of the company!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hat from Corriedale/alpaca yarn

A friend suggested a hat with a turned back edge to both show off the dyed-corriedale-tops-with-alpaca yarn I bought from Rose Cottage Handicraft and to go with the cowl.

I found a pattern that fitted the bill in Hats - a Knitter's dozen. It is called Chenille Chapeau and features a smart roll and shallow crown.
It's an easy and enjoyable knit.

 I rather like the way the crown of this hat is in garter stitch, rather than stocking stitch  - a nice texture touch at the top.

I don't think I will keep these for myself. There is enough wool left for another cowl, so I might make one more and keep one of them.

They look good with a neutral top, and the cowl can be worn loose, or tight around the throat, depending on weather.

Thanks, Katherine at Rose Cottage for spinning the lovely wool. It's been a joy to knit and play with.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Shrug - no, wait,Cowl!

One of my blogging friends recently opened an Etsy shop to sell some of the product of her spinning. I couldn't resist buying 350 metres of her beautiful Corriedale/alpaca mix. I had in mind a shortish shrug in an open weave pattern.

When the yarn arrived it was so soft and warm to touch I decided on a smoother knit - and selected a simple pattern from Ravelry, One Skein Ruffled Capelet.  I really liked the ruffle on this, and the shape.

The first problem was, I needed to convert the pattern from a chunky to a DK weight. The second problem was that the pattern didn't really do justice to variegation in the wool.

I used a circular needle - knitting back and forth, nor around - in order to get the necessary length to make the frill - 413+ stitches.

It was lovely to knit and, once past the frill, worked up fairly quickly.

I had, however, two doubts. The first was that the capelet form wasn't going to work brilliantly with the variegation. It was great on the frill, but seemed like a bit much over the whole cape.

My second concern was that I hadn't compensated enough for the finer wool and the cape might be a bit short around the bottom. I experimented with inserting gussets on either side.

Then, while knitting with a friend, who commented how good the yarn looked against my plain beige sweater, it occurred to me that I needed to turn it into a cowl, by putting a frill along the other edge.

So off I went - knitting as hard as I could to get to the point where I could see if it worked.

And work it did! I am really delighted with the result. It is so soft and shows off the yarn to advantage. I joined the ends by stitching. Next one I'll do in the round.

But that's for next time.I am away from home at the moment, blogging from my iPad which can't upload photos, so the finish will have to wait!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Birthday Skirt

I had enough of the blue fabric left from Niamh's dress to make a skirt for Veronica. I therefore put the smocked dress I had intended for her on hold and launched into the skirt. I wanted to see if I could use the geometric weave of the fabric as a guide for smocking - a bit like counterchange smocking, which uses the lines of gingham as a guide.

I began with a line of stem stitch around the top in blue, then three rows of half-space waves.

It wasn't too difficult to do - but the effect was much more ruched than traditional smocking where there are sharp pleats. Nor did it give the tight effect of counterchange smocking.

I added a band at the waist, leaving a small plaquet on the side, which I secured with velcro. I didn't think there was sufficient elasticity to put on and off comfortably.

You can see the ruching effect here in truer colour.

I felt it needed a bit of complementary hem decoration, so used the same pink thread to embroider a line of open chain stitch around the bottom.

It is a simple, colourful, easy skirt with a bit of texture interest. It is not an heirloom piece, but will get a lot of wear over summer.

Veronica tried it with a couple of pre-existing smocked tops before settling on a tshirt (good choice, I reckon). My phone battery went flat before I could capture her twirling!