Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wow, no posts for a month!

Well, that's what happens when you're busy and then running around on the weekends! First Thrace came by and it was very nice to see her. And her knitting which she is not posting about regularly! Hellooo blog collaborators! Then a handful and a half of the inlaws came by and we wandered around the countryside in a rented car looking at the castles in the area. Very nice!
This one is Burg Hanstein which was built in the 14th century, if I am understanding the German handouts correctly. I posted pictures of this castle last August when there was a medieval festival; it looks much bigger when it's not being swarmed by hundreds of people!

My husband and I have also been attending medieval festivals in the region; I've been filling my free time with sewing seasonal appropriate gear. The problem is that it's chilly and wet most of the summer, but not cold enough for an enormous cloak. I bought an end of roll 2.5 yard piece of leightweight wool for a throw/wrap cheap... Here I am all wrapped up, posing with one of my husband's colleagues who also attends these things (on the left). I wish I had a spear!
While it's nice and warm, I found that it was tricky to wear as it slides around a fair bit, so I hacked it up into a super-tunic...
Mmmmm... nice and fitted except when I'm not standing straight! I took schematics from a web page entitled 'T-tunic the period way' and omitted the center gore. I did this because I can not sew it in nicely (as I discovered while making the cheapo mock-up which will NEVER see the light of day) and medieval Anglo-Saxons apparently did not use them. I instead transferred the fabric to make wider side gores than shown in the schematic (much easier to sew!) because I still need the extra room at the hips. I intend to dress it up a bit in the near future by adding silk trim at the neckline, sleeves and hem. Another modification I made was to cut the front and back into two pieces because I figured the garment needed a seam there to hang properly. I also cut the shoulders on a slope to omit the bagginess at the shoulder line that really bugged me on the mock-up. To make the neckline (and to find out how much material to remove at the shoulders) I made a pattern by tracing over an old Gap V-necked T-shirt I bought ages ago. I slipped the t-shirt over the under-dress to make sure that
the sizing and neckline would work, and I was happy with it. I also had to alter the schematics as shown because here the fabric (pre-shrunk) is 58 inches wide and not 60! So much for standards!

A few more words on this matter... when I was planning and drafting, I was a bit concerned that NO ONE posted pictures of their finished T-tunic using these guidelines even though plenty of web-pages refer to it. That really makes you wonder if it will turn out well. Even the designer (who I think is very clever for drafting this pattern in such a way that it uses fabric in a non-wasteful way to get a very sweet and period-looking result for a gown shape that was used for at least a couple of hundred years in Europe with only minor modifications) doesn't show a clear picture of the finished product, only a couple of inches of hemline under an over-gown. Shame shame! So here you go world. A picture. If anyone cares, post a comment and I'll arrange for a full length photo to be taken. I am very pleased with how it turned out and I got loads of compliments on it. Not bad for a quick easy sew (once I did the learning part on the mock-up. Still, straight lines = easy sewing).
My silk gown has also been getting a fair amount of wear too. Your friends are much more likely to get dressed up with you if you have a spare dress. She's (more than a touch) narrower so I am lending her the narrower cut gown. She also got loads of compliments. It's nice what you can do with interior decor fabrics if you care to!

So... knitting.
Currently working on the Kaleidoscope cardigan, formerly from MagKnits, now posted on the designer's blog here. I'll describe it in more detail including where I found those lovely yarns once I'm done my current sewing WIP, the husband's tunic, cut along the same lines as mine!


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Dodecahedron basket

Looking back at the blog's posts, I realized that I forgot to write about my stitch 'n bitch one-skein swap object from January. Since I'm not feeling terribly inspired in this heat, I thought I'd look back at this project.

The basket had a number of sources of inspiration: I got the pentagon idea from Knitting Nature, from this project, and from this pattern. Essentially, it's the knit soccer ball with the 12th pentagon missing.

The basket was knit with Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride chunky and lined using some quilting cotton. I used Vinyl-Weave as interfacing. Fortunately, cutting the sheet into pentagons was fairly easy.

I've been sorting through our photos from our trip to Europe (we visited Germany, France and the Czech Republic). We had a fantastic time in Berlin.

charlottenburg palace grounds

The Charlottenburg Palace was one of the first sites we visited upon arriving in the city, which was worth seeing for the grounds alone.