Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just add sleeves

Finally, I've done the sleeves, but first today I have an exquisite peice of knitting to show, and its not mine, well it is mine now but I didn't knit it. The local guild had an exhibition, and the lovely Ngaire submitted two items, a georgous red cabled felted hottie cover, and this whisper light feather and fan shawl. I sucumbed and bought it, its so beautiful, don't you think? Truth it was one night at spinning when she drew the whole shawl entirly thru one of her rings and I was in total awe, then finding it for sale ... well the more I thought of it, the more I wanted it. So on day three of the exhibition, finding it still for sale, well I made it mine.
And as for my own knitting, today there is steady progress on my tangled yoke cardigan, I'm dabbling a little in some colour work on my top down project, I was asked so I'll explain how I gathered the waist on my dress, and there is one more skein of handspun.

A few rows and two new balls of yarn after the last post I finished the sleeves, so went about the process of setting aside the under arm stitches and moving all the yoke stitches from the body and sleeves onto one the one needle in the correct order. That done I've been plodding back and forth on over 400 stitches, working quietly and slowly up to the 3" mark when I can start the tangled cable. I've reworked the guage and changed the yarn and added a little more waist shaping but basically I'm still aiming at EJ's Tangled Yoke Cardigan from IW Fall 2007. I'm at inch one of the three on the yoke before the fun really starts.

I have been making a very concerted effort to focus my knittng work on the Tangled yoke cardigan, after all I started it way back in April 2008, and I'd like to wear it for Christmas. I've been avoiding other projects ... but some times a knitter just needs a little colour work to break up the monotony. My little knit reward for getting the sleeves done was to work a few rounds of colour work on my top down round yoked steeked cardigan, the one I'm knitting for Poppy. Not much to show - but its nice working a colour work section in rhythm, knit 4 white, catch the pink float yarn, knit 5 white, catch the pink float yarn, knit 4 white, knit 1 pink ... repeat. I like the quiet concentration and rhythm that colour work requires. I've named this cardie Ziggidy Zaggidy after the colour work pattern I'm using - I'll show you as it evolves.

I did have a few questions about how I pulled in the waist on my dress. For a traditional English patternmaker the term used would be 'supression', as in waist supression (thats one for the lingusts out there). There is in that expression I think some hint of a time when womens waists were thought to require supression isn't there?

I have not had much luck with shirring elastic, the ends pull out, the elastic breaks after a few washes and wears, the elastic stretches a litte after a while and often the weight of the skirt drags the elastic down. Plus the gathering is difficult to control with any accuracy using domestic equipment. So I supressed the waist fullness by using narrow 6mm elastic and a multi step zig zag stitch. I prefer to use narrow elastic, and for a custom fit I put the dress over a dress form inside out and stretched and pinned the elastic in place. I went for a relaxed fit with a little organic nature, so the elastic was not set in parallel lines. I stretched the elastic more across the sides and less over the tummy - you know - cause none of us needs extra gathers there. Then I machine stitched it down - stretching the fabric flat as I sewed. The multi stage zig zag stitch sits flatter and produces a nicer gather on the right side that a plain 2 step zig-zag. I've made a pattern for the second dress, but not cut it yet.

And the pink alpaca, I've ordered another 200g of this, enough to make Poppy-bear a shrug for next winter. 300g should give me enough. I thought I'd knit from the top down and it could be short sleeves, 3/4 sleeved or long sleeved, depending on how far the yarn goes. I am thinking textured or lace, so I'm looking for a suitable shrug pattern or lace texture .. suggestions welcome.

ok- I'm off to knit and watch trash tv,
take care
na Stella


Linda said...

Ngaire's feather and fan shawl is AMAZING! I can't believe it wasn't snapped up the first hour!

Knitting Linguist said...

This linguist likes the phrase waist supression -- so evocative of another time and another sense of what women's bodies are supposed to do. The feather and fan shawl is stunning, I can absolutely see why you had to have it, and it was clearly meant to be, else how come no one else snatched up such gorgeousness? The pink alpaca is wonderful, I bet Poppy's pretty excited about it :)

twinsetellen said...

Everything in this post was yummy!

KathyR said...

The shawl is absolutely lovely! I have a "thing" for feather and fan so I can understand your need to make the shawl yours! I am looking forward to seeing your progress on Tangled Yoke - not much longer now! Poppy's pink is really lovely. She will love wearing it when next winter.

Diantee said...

Everyone has already said everything I wanted to say except that I am really enjoying your posts.

Hilary said...

The shawl is stunning! And it makes me think of the Cloud Bolero by Ysolda Teague, which I've been thinking of making for my niece ... I think it would be fun in pink alpaca!

This is the Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cloud-bolero

And this is original link, but the picture isn't showing up for me: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cloud-bolero

Angelika said...

I think I remember this shawl or better yet the fact that the whole thing fit through a ring. It's amazing and I bet it's so light. Nice pink alpaca, but right now my mind is not thinking lace. It's more like chunky yarn for me.

Shirley Goodwin said...

Ooooh, lots of eye candy!