Monday, August 27, 2007

Who knew

That I can sew? Here's my latest non-knitted fo:
sorry about the craptacular picture, I'll arrange for a better one (with me in it) soon.
Pattern: Misses Medieval Dress, Butterick B4827
Fabric: Light/Medium weight 100 % linen. I can't tell which, and the store didn't say either on their rack of linens and linen blends.
Mods: I shortened the pattern above the waist and around the knee because I'm short. I figured out where to shorten the pattern my making a muslin mock-up and having my husband pin it up until he was satisfied with the fit. (Surprise surprise, he likes it when I'm not wearing baggy clothes!)
Comments: The pattern instructions are clear and the garment is quite comfortable. I may make a winter one out of wool, depending on how many medieval festivals I go to.
Bonus: I finished it in the nick of time for yesterday's medieval festival!

There was your usual assortment of bards...
vendors and the like. I found a LOT of fiber arts booths, including a medieval LYS!
This is where the DH threatened to send me if I bought too much yarn...
I did buy some yarn, but not for me! I will post more later... If you're thinking blog contest, you are correct.
There were also horse shows with jousting...
but it was too crowded and I couldn't see much, so instead I looked at the pretty horse costumes. This one, unlike the others I went to, was in the central core of an old small city, so there was more touristy stuff than genuine reproduction articles. I found NO pennanular rings and NO period shoes. My costume isn't complete without the shoes! I guess I'll just have to go to the next one...

I also love the bands that play at these things. They're like heavy metal bands playing on medieval instruments, and are very fun to watch. And the music is inherently more listenable than your usual thrash metal blasted way too loud!
These guys played at several times throughout the day. They look like they're all ready for the dark ages or something. One of the people I was with nicknamed them 'Conan and the Barbarians'! Now that the sewing is done, it's time to knit knit knit!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Finished something, finally

Blue penny front
Originally uploaded by thraceknits
Between some late nights at work and playing outside lots, I did actually manage to finish a project.

Bad Penny by Stephanie Japel, in size small.

Eden knit up on US 7 (4.5 mm) and US 4 (3.5mm) needles.

Although the bamboo fabric is nice and soft, and feels pretty good in the heat of summer, I won't be working with this yarn again. It's really, really splitty, the printed yarn bled considerably when washed (I swatched with the light blue solid), the fabric bloomed more than I expected under the weight of the finished garment and the ribbing also stretched out a bit too much at the bottom.

In spite of all that, I've worn this out in public a couple of times, and it really is nice to wear in hot Utah weather.


I added some shaping by decreasing at the back once I reached the bust, then added more decreases at the front under the bust. I like how nipping in the back with more decreases improves the fit overall. I then added some increases at the same rate for the front and back for the hips.

At the bottom, after doing a tubular bind off for 1x1 ribbing, I decided I didn't like the way the lace pattern looked, and the bind off edge was a little tight (a common problem with the tubular method). In the pattern as written, the lace is supposed to end about a 1/2 inch from the bottom.

I decided to rip back and move the lace pattern to the bottom of the ribbing instead, and use a k2tog bind off, which is both easier to work loosely and makes a stable edge to finish off the lace.

The ribbed ties and edging on Arisaig are creeping along at glacial pace. I also added a couple of short attention span projects to the mix: an entrelac scarf in Silk Garden and my first pair of socks (toe-up, stockinette mostly). More about all that later.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

I present the latest FO....

Yes, it's a heap of lovely cashmery silky lace! Here's the full-body shot of my Tara stole.
It came in at about 75 inches long by 22 inches wide with a gentle blocking. One of the joys of working a lace pattern in big yarn with big needles is that you don't have to sweat the final dimensions so much! It's big! And it was a relatively quick knit too. The last rectangular shawl I made took me about 4 months to knit. This one took about 3 months, but I've been working on other stuff too. Now for the details:

Yarns: The variegated stuff is Hand Maiden 4 ply silk cashmere. I LOVE IT! It is the nicest softest least scratchy yarn I have ever used, and it has really nice drape too. Gorgeous colors. Thanks Delenn! The solid colored yarn is a DK weight cashmere from colourmart, purchased in a light blue color, then overdyed by me. I wanted a darker blue, and I ended up with a smoky purple, either way I like it. I was annoyed by how loosely the plies were spun, but once I got used to going a little slower, and checking the problem areas (sk2p decreases) it all went OK. Once washed the yarn softened up a lot, and has a very nice drape too. I have no issues wearing this against bare skin, unlike some alpaca yarns I have tried in the past, which still have some guard hairs in there which poke me in the neck! To make a long story short, the 500 or so yards was more than worth the 35 US dollars I paid for it. I will definitely consider this yarn for future luxury knits (without the luxury price! Since when can you get 100 % cashmere for 7 bucks/100 yard ball?).

Pattern: by me. I will post it once I have the time and dig myself out from the ever growing heap of things I need to do.

Now for the camera-held-in-a-mirror-shot:
and the stitch-detail shot: