Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Millie's blanket

Well, as you can see, there hasn't been much progress on my baby blanket (I finished the third heart, sewed some blocks together, and knitted three quarters of a square!..slack, slack!!)...there has however, been progress on the baby front :-) My niece had a baby girl called Millie, on monday (or maybe sunday...not sure with the ten and a half hour time difference between here and the UK..?), on with my knitting and no more slacking off :-D

Friday, November 24, 2006

Some more baby stuff...

...this time, a blanket :-)
My neice's baby is due this week, so I thought I'd better get moving on some more knitting for her. I'm using some Bernat Soda Pop 'leftovers' that I have, and at the moment I'm just making some diagonal garter stitch squares. I found a great pattern for garter stitch hearts, in Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop. A few weeks ago, I was searching everywhere for a garter stitch heart to applique onto this red blanket, but after no success in finding one, I had to improvise by knitting to a heart shaped template...wouldn't you know it! soon as I stopped looking for a heart pattern, my EZ books arrived from Ebay, with THE most perfect (adjustable sized) garter stitch heart!!! of course, I had to use it here :-D
I'm also planning to sew a quilt as soon as the baby is born, so I guess I'm gonna be busy with a fair bit of baby stuff for now :-)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Curtain wire and sticky tape

'Tinkerbell' was finally finished and ready to be worn on saturday, with only a few hours to spare :-)
The outfit was needed to be worn for work, on saturday morning, starting at 6am.......friday 11pm, and I'm just starting the wings! The problem with it being worn to work, was that it needed to comply with workplace health and safety backless or strapless or sticking out in any way...that was a bit hard for Tink!!
We got around the backless/strapless issue by cutting the neck and sleeves off an old skin coloured t-shirt, and stitching the bodice directly onto it at the front. The back was then tied, and the knot tucked away. Our original idea was to hide this with the wings, but we had to scale them down heaps to make them safer. After a LOT of false starts, they were finally made by sewing together some acetate sheets and green organza. They had curtain wire inserted in the top part to stop them from flopping, and in desperation of needed sleep, the bottom shaping was achieved with sticky tape!!
Finally, they were machine sewed onto the back of the 'skin' t-shirt. The skirt was made like an old fashioned apron (pinny), with a body width's worth of 'leaves' sewn onto a long waistband, which was wrapped around, and tied at the back.
The end result was really good, and she was impressed with how many people recognised her as Tinkerbell :-)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Just a quick post today, as the electrical storms we had here in Adelaide at the weekend, have made my pc throw a wobbly :-(
Hopefully, it'll be back to normal soon, and not keep dying on me .. (can you see my fingers crossed?!!)
This is the start of a Tinkerbell costume, for my daughter, for her to wear on saturday... it's made out of some sheeting offcuts strips..the width being the same as the 'leaves' in the skirt section.
The wings, wand and shoes are still to come, but so far, so good :-)
I'll post finished pictures, and more about how we made it later...(hopefully on a fully recovered pc!!)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thrifted yarn

Look at what I bought from the Op Shop!! This half knitted cardi was bundled in with the knitting was all scrunched into, and sealed, in a plastic bag. I didn't really know what I'd bought till I got it home..ok,I knew that it was an unfinished knitting project, but I had no idea of the size and the amount of extra balls! The cardi is huge and is missing a sleeve. The yarn is 100% cotton, and really, really soft. The stamp on the pattern (yep, the pattern was included!), was from Hitchin in the UK, so it's a well travelled project (oh to be able to knit on planes again *sigh*...Aus still hasn't lifted its ban!). after getting it home, I decided that it will be frogged and given a 'new life'. I apologise (sorry! sorry! sorry!) to the person who spent so much time and effort knitting this cardi...I feel wrong undoing it, but the yarn WILL be put to good use. Ooooow, I forgot to tell you how much it cost....drumroll...$! :-)

Now for the knitting that I'VE been doing :-) I started making Knitty's Tubey

I've loved this pattern for ages...It's got everything I like...shrug-like shoulders, bell sleeves, ribbed and fitted body, it's mainly knitted in tubes (!!), and it should look great in the Sean Sheep Classic Wool that I bought a few weeks back. My striping sequence will be different from the pattern (dependant on how much I've got of each colour), and the gauge was changed using the instructions here. The piece knitted so far, is the across the shoulders bit, which is the only part that isn't a tube....I'm looking forward to doing the tubey bit :-)

*Thanks heaps to everyone for all the cool comments left on this blog, and on other forums and blogs, about my red sweater and baby hoody...Ungraspable asked a question here about new knitters using EZ books: Personally, I think that it would probably be better for a new knitter to follow a couple of written patterns first, before using EZ's general instructions, just to get a feel for design options...books such as The Yarn Girls would be a great place to start. If you did wanna 'jump in' with EZ, I think that I would buy some very cheap yarn, and maybe start with a small (maybe kids size) sweater...? That's what I'll be doing to test out some of EZ's techniques..namely steeking (cutting your knitting with scissors...aaagggh!!!)

hope this helps :-)*

Monday, November 06, 2006

Another FO

...I told you I was on a roll this week, with getting stuff finished :-)
This jacket is for my neice Leigh's, soon to be, baby.
I knitted it on 4mm needles using Fiesta Velluto, which is an 8 ply with a slight 'tufty''s really soft, and very (baby friendly) stretchy. It's a top-down pattern, with the only seam being the centre of the hood (love that!) and the front closure is just 2, knitted on i-cords. I used the free pattern found here .The only change that I made from the pattern was the width of the sleeves...I just knitted the amount of stitches that were already on the stitch holders, instead of adding more for the underarms.
It was really fast and easy to make, and the extra stretchy-ness of the yarn makes it perfect for wearing over the top of other clothes...which is really good coz it's being sent overseas, to be worn during a cold UK winter :-)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

EZ percentages

After putting my red sweater photo on the Crafster forum, a few guys over there asked what I meant by Elizabeth Zimmermann's percentages. This is a new technique to me, and I've gotta say that I was completely blown away by it's simplicity. I bought the books purely on the strength of seeing all of the EZ projects on other people's blogs.....the books are not very 'pretty', and I never would have bought them's only when you see how much valuable knitting info is in them, that you forget about the pretty. If you have seen the hand drawn pictures in these books and want to see them knitted up in 'real life' (2006 style!), take a look at the Zimmermania blog (awesome!)
...ok, basically, these instructions allow you to knit a sweater (plus heaps of other stuff), using the yarn and gauge of your choice, knitted up in the style of your choice, using just one body measurement! The rest of the measurements are taken as a percentage of that one...right, don't panic here!...the maths is EASY!
My red sweater was the basic raglan (it was made in the thickest yarn and the simplest pattern, so that I could 'test' the technique without putting too much time and effort into it). The sleeves and body were knit in tubes, which were then joined at the underarms onto one circular needle, and decreased at the 4 raglan points...kinda like a backwards top-down raglan. These garments are designed for minimal finishing, and as a real bonus for people like me, who prefer knitting to purling, they are knit in the round, so that not one purl stitch is needed :-D
I did a google search on Elizabeth's name to put some links here, but really, there were so many, I didn't know where to start!
After making this first sweater, I am a real fan, and plan to make heaps more :-)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Red Sweater :-) easy was this jumper using Elizabeth Zimmermann's sweater percentage system?! feels really cool to knit something without a pattern :-)
It's basically three tubes, knit up to the underarms, which are then joined, and finished in one of about seven different shoulder/necklines (this of course, being the basic raglan). I added waist shaping and a crocheted edging, but other than that, it was pretty much to EZ's 'recipe' in her book, Knitting Workshop.

The true colour is the red in the full photo.

.... reckon I'm doing good with FO's this week :-D