Saturday, January 30, 2010

a cautionary tale

spot the thin stripe
If anyone was wondering in the last post how I knew that Rowan RYC Cashsoft DK isn't actually machine washable, it should hopefully become clear now. Yes, it's the amazing differentially felted stripy jumper!1!1 (No, it's not your eyes, the beige stripes really are half the size of the other ones now. Yes, you are allowed to laugh.)

Fortunately in this case I'm not all that bothered - it was a quick, functional knit for the child, and it's still wearable, if slightly odd looking. It could have been an awful lot worse, if I'd machine washed the tank top first. Every time I see this stripe, I am just full of relief that it happened this way round. Also on the plus side, you can see that the other yarns wash marvellously (King Cole Merino, Rowan Pure Wool, Patons Diploma Gold). Just thought I'd mention it in case anyone else was tempted to throw an elaborately handcrafted garment made of Rowan RYC Cashsoft DK in the machine. Don't do it I tell you! Learn from my foolish mistakes...


Sunday, January 24, 2010

how deep is your v?

woolly cybergolfer
warm librarian
I almost finished this Deep V Argyle tank top in the summer, but didn't get round to sewing down the steeks on the inside. Having worn it a few times now anyway, I think I can now say with some confidence that this job has fallen off the bottom of my to-do list, onto the to-hell-with-it-don't-do-because-life-is-too-short list. I have ceased to care if the inside is a little untidy, frankly it is too cold to worry about such matters. So, tadaaaa! here it is in its finishedish state.

The pattern is awesome, I would deffo recommend it. Great fun and I love the fit. There was a lot of waist and bust shaping which required a bit of concentration at the time but I think was worth it - it's a pretty thick jumper with the double stranded layer of DK yarn, so a bit of shaping makes it more flattering. The main change I made was to make the V less deep. Hard to believe, looking at those photos because it still looks pretty ruddy bloody deep to me, but I moved it up about one diamondsworth. I am all for a flattering neckline, but IMHO if a jumper doesn't keep at least some part of your bewbs warm it is a fairly pointless artifact. And thankfully it's a blissfully easy pattern to modify, because each size is actually charted out for you in full, so you can just print it out and go crazy with a red pen. Yay!

It's my second steeked garment, the first being the baby norgi, and I am happy to report that this time my blood pressure remained low throughout the process. I have a slight preference for the way the steeks were worked with this tank, by casting off a few stitches the row before the steek started. This made it much easier to do the actual cutting bit without worrying about snipping too far. I didn't, however, follow Eunny's advice and reinforce the steeks with crochet - I did them with the sewing machine. Partly because I did it this way last time and it has held up brilliantly, partly because it was quicker, and partly because I was under the impression at the time that I was using machine washable yarn, so I wanted to go for something megastrong. (Rowan Cashsoft DK, despite claiming to be machine washable on the ballband, has a tendency to randomly felt after about three low temperature washes. Fortunately I found this out before putting this top in the machine.)

So now I have a nerdy new look, sort of woolly cybergolfer / warm librarian...


Sunday, January 10, 2010

duffle trouble

duffled up
My knitting needles have been in overdrive lately with the advent of the cold weather. For non-local readers, who are wondering exactly how cold that weather is, the answer is Very! -13 degrees C the other morning according to my car, after I had chiselled my way in and careered off down the road to work. I know it's a bit of a maternal cliche but I can't help but worry about rubbishknitterjunior's general wellbeing in such climes. So I am very happy now this little duffle coat is finished. Pattern is Roo from the Twist Collective, yarn is Aragon Yarn Classic Romney, donated to the keep-the-rubbishknitters-warm fund by the lovely Kate B. There was just exactly the right amount, no more than a couple of metres left over. When I first touched this wool I immediately thought of duffle coats - it is a fat, sturdy feeling single ply almost like roving which is super warm to touch.

Modifications: I put an extra half pattern repeat into the hood, because my child has a massive head. My tension was a bit off, so I made a size down, and it came out just right. (More details about these tinkerings on the Ravelry project page should you require them). This was a great pattern, I enjoyed it a lot. Doing the fastenings was fun. Ideally I had wanted leather triangles, but in the local fabric store they only sold what the lady pleasingly described as Pleather. I wasn't sure about it initially but it was both cheaper and easier to sew, and looks enough like leather to fool a blind man on a galloping horse, so it'll do. I cut out equilateral triangles and handsewed them on with thin strips to hold the toggles. It worked pretty well I think. My only slight reservation with this fastening method is that there is a bit of a wind-admitting gap in the middle. If I have time I might put a zip in as well to pull the sides together a bit, although it is possible I am overfussing with such a thick warm coat. Mmmm snuggly, I want a duffle coat too now...
let me outbrrr


Saturday, January 02, 2010

and a happy new year!

finished objects of 2k9

1. super speedy sister socks, 2. marvellous mittens, 3. five fruits, 4. blanket squares all nicely blocked, 5. handspun hat, 6. newborn slip stitch hat, 7. anouk finished, 8. owls back, 9. comfy old man slippers, 10. baby pirate, 11. 1up mushroom ipod sock, 12. ballband dishcloth, 13. pacman dungies: crawling action shot, 14. socks of fire, 15. mini socks, 16. stripy ribby socks, 17. turn a square hat, 18. lacy scarf: obligatory minuscule DOF shot, 19. hoodie back view, 20. grumpy strawberry, 21. comedy bear suit in action, 22. swirly hat, 23. boring ribbed hat, 24. microsocks, 25. big shoes

Happy New Year everyone! It's rubbishreview of the year time again. This is all my finished stuff from 2k9. Mostly knitting but a couple of sewing projects sneaked in there. A couple of things I made didn't make the mosaic - I have a couple of Top Secret projects to be revealed in Bobbins, and one tank top that I sort of finished in summer but failed to photograph. All will be revealed soon...

Looking at that mosaic I have realised I need to make more stuff for me this year, as I only managed 4/25 projects for myself. Pretty hopeless really. Fortunately Santa brought me some nice woollens made by clever people in factories, much needed in this cold weather. (Thanks Santa, if you're reading this!)