Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My first knitted scarf

I finished my first ever knitted scarf on Friday and here it is!

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I'm quite pleased with it, despite restarting several times and the few obvious mistakes when I made it up. I feel like I've learnt a lot, namely how to knit and purl and cast on and off as well as how to read a simple pattern.

Next knitting project is in the wings... another scarf! I'm just making my final decision on what to make and then I'll need to buy the appropriate needles.

In the meantime, the jacket is nearly done. I have four more buttonholes to do and then a whole load of buttons to sew on. Then all I have to do is threaten it with an iron and I'm done!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

And the search continues

As the search for my next knitting project continues, I thought I'd google for
'free scarf pattern'...

The following are just a tiny selection that came up in the first two links on the page Google returned. Notably, just one crochet scarf and the rest are knitted. Having ploughed through, I saved the links to the ones I like and might want to have a go at...

Asherton Reversible Scarf
(simple knit and purl;I like this one)

“Athena” One Ball Scarf (a sort of diagonal effect?)

Bramble scarf (patterned and looks complicated)

Cameron scarf (patterned and looks complicated)

Danica (from Knitty; an entralac - looks very pretty but I wouldn't know where to start)

Illusions (A kind of fake cable thing going on)

Lavender Scarf (not disimilar from the one I'm currently knitting)

Manly Cable Scarf (has a single cable running down the middle - author says ideal for beginners who've never knit one before)

Medeira Lace Scarf (the only lace one on the list since I've avoided them as they look complicated - however this one says its ideal for beginners...)

Merino Stripes wide scarf

Party Ribbon + Kid Merino (drop stitch scarf, knit with two strands)

Rainy Day Scarf (A sort of wavy line scarf, done in just knit and purl)

Spike Stitch Crochet Scarf (looks fairly easy, made up in two colours)

Monday, January 22, 2007

In the home stretch

This weekend I mostly worked on the jacket for Shards, getting the bulk of the construction done. Now, all of the seams are machined and the lining is sewn to the outer shell, while the cuffs are attached as are the skirts.

That leaves bias tape to sew to the front of the jacket and to the inside of the sleeve caps and I need to close the bottom of the lining at the back. Once that's done I'll still need to sew many button holes and attach buttons before giving it a good pressing... So quite a way to go yet, but this is the home stretch.

Photo's will be along in due course. :)

This morning, I measured the scarf I'm knitting (my first ever) - it is just over 61 inches long! I'm very impressed with myself since that means it's very nearly finished and also kind of sad since I've become quite attached to having it on my lap. However, I can't keep adding meters of scarf so I guess I need to find a substitute.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Of pockets and such like

I really shouldn't be allowed near Hobbycraft when there is a sale on. I just don't have the self control needed to negotiate my way around the shelves with so many goodies displayed at less than half price. And deciding to go in with Dave (who has significantly less self control that I do) is just asking for us to buy things.

I only went in for some sewing and machine needles and bias binding yet came out with a bag full of yarn, but at least I remembered to buy what I stepped into the shop for! I lost track of Dave while I was mesmerised by habberdashery, but found him again 20 minutes later by which time he was wandering around beaming as he held on tightly to a basket full of paints.

Shopping trip (and visit to the tip to dispose of the old TV) over we went home, where I settled down to work on a jacket for Shards and Dave (inspired by paint) vanished upstairs to stare at his orcs.

This weekend I made pockets. And pocket flaps. And cuffs. Cue me kneeling on the floor for a couple of hours on Saturday morning as I peered at the pattern I'd drafted, worked out how big pockets are supposed to be and with the help of Power Sewing decided on a construction method.

First problem was the instructions in the book made lots of assumptions, but naturally didn't tell you what those assumptions were. It also lost track of stages, such as when to remove previously sewn tacking and what is now attached to what, finished size and depth and so on. This is a gripe I frequently have with the book in question; when you're trying a new technique for the first time these little details matter! At least the pocket instructions were listed in the index and easily found, which is a rarity with this particular book.

Anyhow, I finally got there. A full weekend's efforts later and I have put pockets onto the skirt panels for the jacket. The slightly shaped, lined flaps have hand sewn bias binding and handsewn button holes so look the part.

Dave is happy since he says he can ask me to put pockets in his costume now... Me, I say it seems like an awful lot of effort to go to just so you can have a pocket and I can see why belts with pouches are a popular alternative!

The other thing I noted was how *long* it took me to sew things. I'm out of practise having not really made anything since September and it certainly showed. It also hurt, with muscle pains in my hands and shoulders adding to my knee woes. The latter being upset by a weekend of kneeling, standing at the ironing board and 'trotting' (OK, a slow hobble, wincing with every step) up and down the stairs to the sewing machine.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Elizabethan Costuming Site

An interesting site pointed out by Kath for its very pretty yarns is actually a very good read all round from a costuming viewpoint.

It's got some general info on costume, nice descriptions of how to put costume together and of course some more pretty pictures to distract you from what you're supposed to be doing.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Steady progress...

Headed off to Coventry's Knit-Wits again last night and I guess its a measure of how enjoyable I found it that time quite litterally seemed to fly by. Esther came along as well (along with quite a few other new people) and everyone fell in love with her little needle felted bear.

I continued knitting the scarf I restarted (for the fifth time) the day after New Years Day - which, incidently, seems like months ago rather than last week. I've made some errors in the pattern, but since the tension is fairly even, there are no unexpected holes and overall it looks good I've decided to finish it rather than ripping it out yet again. It's coming along nicely, has some decent length to it now and actually looks like a scarf (so says Dave).

I'm also still considering my options for the jacket I'm making for my new Shards character.

I finished drafting it, along with my first ever two piece tailored sleeve block, which took me nearly two hours to get right! The fabric has been cut, the brown moleskin looks good and fortunately the hideous pink silk no longer seams quite so overwhelming in smaller quantities. Dave now admits that it may look quite 'fly' once made up and that cutting it has 'transformed' it. :)

I still have to edge the lot before starting construction, but while I'm building up the stamina to sit at my sewing machine for over an hour straight (my poor knee is throbbing just writing about it) I'm thinking about how to pretify it. This translates to my mind being very much on bindings and buttonholes at the moment.

In other news... Stairs are my enemy at the moment. Going up them burns, coming down them is agony - particularly the stairs at work for some bizarre reason. All I can say is thank goodness I'm not due to visit Shining Death for a few more weeks!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Where have all the nice frogs gone?

Having just searched and failed spectacularly to find some fancy frog fastenings well in advance of needing them, the following are links to tutorials should I decide to make my own.
Not that I'm necessarily intending to make my own... that lies down the same road as making my own cord. Nice and a maybe, if I have the time.

A few sites that I hit along the way, which were interesting from a costuming viewpoint and I'd like to visit again...
The Costumers Manifesto I've long been aware of, but forget to check back on. The others I've not come across that I remember.

Oh and a couple of patterns or ideas that may be useful to me in the future...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Hat and a Scarf

And to cheer myself up, some pictures of things I made over the past few weeks. :)

This first is another scarf made out of ribbon, completed in mid December but not posted here since it was intended as a Christmas present. Again, crocheted with big loops to show off the ribbon to its best effect. I prefer this one to the pastel one as I think the colours came out so much more vibrant once made up.

This little hat is baby sized and was completed in about five hours, which took me by surprise. Never having made anything for small people before I didn't know how quickly a hat this size would work up! I gave it to my newest niece Esha, much to the delight of her mother who declared she wanted one. I told her she should be careful what she says!