26 September 2007

FO: Bonnie...

Finished before the end of Project Spectrum despite a few set backs.

Pattern: None. Inspired by a top worn by Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde
Yarn: Jaeger Aqua in Bugle, 7 skeins
Needles: US5/3.75mm KnitPicks Options; 3mm crochet hook, cable needle
Other: Jacquard Procion MX dye in lilac
Time: 1 month


I had some trouble figuring out the smocking. I knit about three swatches and still had to rip out the back (first piece I knit) when the method finally occurred to me. I had the right idea in my last swatch but tweaked it when I reknit the back. I posted a tutorial earlier this month on how to do the smocking. I forgot to mention that the number of stitches to cast on are an odd multiple of 5+3. The odd multiple (e.g. 7x5 or 13x5) is important for symmetry.

The math wasn't too difficult to figure out until I got to the sleeves. In the end, the sleeves are a tad more fitted than in the movie picture. I say this because in the photo, the smocking is relaxed rather than stretched. The only way I could get this effect was to increase a lot after knitting the smocked band, which would have made the sleeve much too baggy. I also worked a single crochet edging around the neck.

Sleeve detail

As you can see, I overdyed the top. When I washed it (by hand with mild soap), some discoloration occurred on the sleeves. A very noticeable hot pink stripe went halfway around both of them. Since I've washed items in the same manner before with no problem and it only happened on the sleeves, I might have gotten an unlucky skein. There are other possible reasons. Anyway, I was tired of knitting on this and I wanted to wear this soon so I did a bit of research on dying cotton. I ended up getting some Procion MX dye and tried dying for the first time ever. The end result isn't as even as I'd like but at least you can't see any blatant discoloration. The top is now a shade darker, which I kind of like. I'll call this a success considering it was my first time.

I might make another one sometime in the future. Probably with a softer cotton or drapier plant fiber. I tend to avoid wool for short sleeved tops meant for spring and summer. Next time I'll make the bottom of the body about and inch longer and maybe I'll even figure out the sleeves.

For now it's back to the Vogue hooded jacket. Both sleeves and one front are done. Currently working on the other front and then I'll just have the back and the hood to do. I'm also going to try to get some more progress on Monkey. After the hooded jacket, I plan on finally starting Venezia from last fall's Interweave and either Baudelaire or the Entrelac Stockings after Monkey.

Labels: , ,

21 September 2007

FO: Totoro Hoodie...

Done with the "deadline" knitting and the package has been sent off just in time!

Pattern: None. Used instructions for ears from Hello Yarn's Totoro Bonnet.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton-Blue (4 balls), Ecru (0.5 ball), and a bit of Beige
Needles: US7/4.5mm and US8/5mm circs and US7/4.5mm DPNs for the ears.
Time: About a week.
Other: Fits 6-12 months old; 10 inch zipper in off white.


I originally wanted to make a grey Totoro hoodie but couldn't find any cotton yarn in the right color. Crazy skin allergies run in the family so I decided to stick with 100% cotton until we knew for sure if the baby could handle an animal fiber. The knitting was easier than I expected. I thought I'd run into trouble with the fronts because I had to knit the color sections separately and seam them together, which meant calculating the raglan shaping for the white part and factoring in the seam stitches.

The hood was pretty basic. I picked up stitches as if I were knitting a collar, increased evenly throughout one row, and continued knitting for about eight inches. Then I divided the stitches over two needles and grafted the top of the hood together. I did a bit of short row shaping in the center just before the end of the hood to make the back rounded instead of pointy. I opted not to put a face on the hood because the shape of the hood makes the placement difficult.

The zipper was not as painful to install as I'd expected. In fact, it's by far my best zipper installation. I can hardly sew to save my life but everything just worked out this time. The center /\ even matched up perfectly.

This is probably one of my favorite things I've knit so far although I think I've exceeded my cuteness quota for the year. =)

Labels: ,

16 September 2007

FO: Felted Clogs...

Two down, one to go on the deadline knitting.

Something comfy for a mom-to-be.

Pattern: Felted Clogs by Bev Galeskas from Fiber Trends
Yarn: Cascade 200 Wool in navy, 2 hanks; Cascade 220 Heathers in blue, 1 hank
Needles: US13/9mm Denise Interchangeables
Time: 3 days and forever to dry

Notes: Nothing much to say about these that probably already hasn't been said. Quick and easy pattern. Great for instant gratification. I felted these in the sink instead of in the machine. Seemed like a waste of electricity to run the machine just for these and it worked out okay (although I did work up quite a sweat). I did have to throw them in the dryer for 20 minutes to shrink them a little more. They took forever to dry. Then I realized I should put them in front of a fan, and that did the trick.

I'm currently blocking a baby hoodie, which is the last thing I need to get done before I send out this package. I'm still waiting for a zipper that I had to order since I couldn't find one short enough.

Just have pictures of the back and fronts for now.

Labels: , ,

07 September 2007

Tutorial: Smocking...

Originally I was going to knit the front and back pieces of Bonnie without any waist shaping and go back with a needle and extra yarn to create the smocked section as demonstrated on Knit Lit. However, I knew finishing the pieces like that would take forever given my bad relationship with sewing or anything resembling sewing. Then I found this video on how to knit smocked ribbing, which gave me an idea for how to do the smocking for Bonnie. (Excuse the photo quality. Today's lighting wouldn't cooperate.)

The stitch pattern I'm using is *K1, P4* K1.

1. Slip knit stitch (K st) to cable needle (CN).

2. Slip 4 purl stitches (P sts) to right needle (RN).

3. Slip K st to CN.

4. Slip 4 P sts from RN back to left needle (LN).

5. With working yarn, wrap 2 sts on CN twice.

6. Knit 1 st from CN.

7. Purl 4 sts from LN.

8. Knit remaining st from CN, and purl next 4 sts.


Bonnie will need to be set aside for a little bit. I have an unexpected deadline on a couple projects.

Labels: ,

05 September 2007

More purple...

Right after I finished the Mystery Stole I started my version of the smocked top Faye Dunaway wore in Bonnie and Clyde.

I'm done with the back now and have just cast on for the front. I'll post a tutorial on how I did the smocked section once I reach that part.

I've also finally gotten some of my books and magazines (the rest are still stored at the parents' house), so the queue is active again!

Labels: ,