Posted in Machine Knitting

Brooklyn Tweed Roslyn Raglan Tunic Dress

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It seems I’m all knitting, all the time these days, eh? That’s because it’s cooled down here in the mid Atlantic and after years of sweater lust, I can finally have wonderful knitted clothes. Plus, I spent the last two years working in a jeans and sweatshirt environment and desperately need winter clothes.

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My friend Veronik Avery   (SHAMELESS NAME DROP) designed the Brooklyn Tweed Roslyn. Roslyn is a raglan style dress / tunic with a 2×2 rib turtleneck. I’ll be upfront here. I know I don’t look my best in turtlenecks, I have my mother’s short neck and rounder face and I’m busty. Logic and fashion dictate I should wear deep Vs and wraps — and they look great on me. But, I love my neck being nice and toasty and cannot resist their siren song.

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Veronik  designed a really lovely, classically styled tunic with beautiful proportions. I was worried I wasn’t lithe enough to pull it off. But, wanted to give it a try anyway. I used the schematics from the pattern to draft this in Garment Designer. The only change I made was taking in the lower thigh area after completing the top. I always err on the side of more side seam room for my lower thighs. Yet, tend to look better when I flatten the curve there a bit. And, after one day of wear, I took in the hip / thigh area another four inches after the yarn stretched (must get better at picking the right yarn for a project).

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My right sleeve is really stretched out because I accidentally put my head through it one day instead of the neck. My head is significantly bigger than my arm.

Sweater dresses remind me so much of 80s elementary school! I was all about the geometric sweater dress and stirup leggings. I remember getting that outfit for Christmas and couldn’t wait to show up on the first day back at school from break.

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While this can be work with leggings or tights, I think I’m sticking with leggings. I’m open to opinions though on if this is a good length for me or if I should go shorter or longer in my next iteration. I’m generally terrible deciding on proportions.

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I knit a sport gauge weight yarn in Cranberry from Bartlett Yarns on my standard bed machine. I thought I was going to have to hand knit my ribbing too. But, it turns out I just needed to use a massive amount of weights to prevent the ribbing from jamming on my machine. I like the yarn fine. It’s pretty affordable for 100% wool. It was a nice hand and an almost rustic look. I did find the yarn a little thin in some parts. But, it comes coned which is a huge benefit to me!

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I’ll likely make Roslyn again with a crew or a V neck (or reduce the height of the turtleneck from 9 inches to at least six). I’ve already edited my draft to take out a bit of ease and accommodate for the stretch of wool (it’s supposed to have 4 inches of ease).

I love this tunic! I wear it a legitimate two times a week. It’s prefect for winter. Feels festive and on trend at the same time.

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I’m currently on a crafting break. After raking about 20 bags of leaves, knitting a few pairs of socks, some scarves for my aunts and not wearing my hand brace AT ALL, my  wrist tendonitis has flared back up 😧. So, I’m nursing it for a few weeks (hand brace, heat, ibuprofen) to let it heal correctly. Might be time to get caught up on my reading!

Posted in Machine Knitting

Brooklyn Tweed Corvid Coat

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I’m so excited to share this sweater with you. Why? Well, to start, I’m utterly in love with it. It’s the first time I’ve been able to take a commercial pattern and knit it on my machine. The Corvid Coat from Brooklyn Tweed conveniently has a schematic so I could use Garment Designer to draft the design and produce a machine pattern for me. Also, it appears they hired my reincarnated self to model the design….

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A few changes (and flaws), well, one big one. The collar and lower front extension on the original is in cartridge rib. I think the closest approximation my ribber does to this is fisherman’s rib. But, because I hadn’t done it before and requires tucking – which I also haven’t done before- I just made a 2×2 rib. But, don’t fear. I plan to make this in a cream Corriedale yarn I bought last year and will do fisherman’s rib then.

 

 

The flaw: my collar isn’t  wide enough. If you look at the original design, it flips back on itself and still looks about the same width as the lower ribbing. I read the directions to be five inches in width. But, I got it wrong. When I make this again, I’ll widen the collar to 8 to 10 inches and lengthen the collar a few inches (I accidentally made mine a few inches short).

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The sleeves are also snug on me (although now that I’ve worn it around, they have loosened up). Which I could clearly see when I drafted it in Garment Designer. But, I decided to go with the exact provided measurements instead of, oh, you know using the software I own that allows me to customize fit.

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Because the Corvid is mostly straight stockinette, this knit very quickly with whole swaths of simple knitting (no increases or decreases). I knit this on my bulky Brother 270 (new to me this summer)  in a sport weight yarn from Bartlett yarns that I picked up at Maryland Sheep and Wool this year.  This weight yarn probably knits best on a mid-gauge machine. I knit this on Tension 1 (which the lower the number, the tighter the tension). I’m also so sad now I’m going to miss MDSW in 2017. We have two weddings in May. One of them in NY during MDSW.

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I am not 100 percent happy with the ribbing.Before blocking, it had a nice beefy hand and great definition. But, post wet block, the 2×2 rib looks a bit flat along the front hem. I’m not sure if that’s a product of the yarn or the Tension 0 I knit it on (again, the bulky machine isn’t ideal for a sport weight yarn). So, for the collar and lower front extension, I used steam to give the ribbing a final block.  I know that a lot of people hand knit the ribbing and add it to the machine. But, I have really bad tendinitis in my hands that prevent me from hand knitting.

Due to the width of the back and lower rib, I did have to knit them in sections and seam them together. But, I think it’s really hard to tell unless you’re looking.

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Any who, if you can’t tell, I AM FEELING MYSELF. I am so happy to have a REAL sweater made from REAL wool that I made. It’s EXACTLY why I wanted to try machine knitting.

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And, I get to wear it during the fall!

What’s next… a good question. I’m kind of swamped with work the next few weeks. I quit my 9 to 5 back in July and have had a (miraculous) steady  stream of consulting work since then. It’s been extremely liberating. But, not nearly the amount of time I thought I would have with my sewing and knitting.  When things calm down in November,  I’m thinking of either Brooklyn Tweed’s  Brighton with a diamond shape tuck stitch or the lovely raglan sleeve Roslyn (both designed by my friend Veronik). But, seriously, at some point I need to start holiday gifts….

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Somewhat more technical notes on my Ravelry page

Posted in Machine Knitting

Sweet Like Carmel Cardi

Way back in May I decided to knit a summer sweater based on the Carmel sweater by Isabell Kraemer. I love most anything with stripes and  decided to make this my third knit garment.  It’s been knit over 1900 times! Over the summer it became a UFO when I was short green yarn and needed to order more. And, then I was entirely distracted sewing tee shirts and work out pants.

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Now, at the beginning of fall, I decided to pick it back up again. It’s a ‘summer’ sweater because the yarn is a  DK weight, linen/ silk blend from Colourmart and provides zero warmth. I knit all of it including the ribbing on my Brother 830, a standard bed knitting machine.

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The Carmel pattern is a written pattern (no schematic) only. And, I don’t really read knitting. So, I made a bunch of guesses about the dimensions and drafted away in Garment Designer. For this, I went with the cardigan in a basic shape, boat neckline and 3/4 tapered sleeves.

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If I were to knit it again, I would knit a round neckline, contoured (more fitted) bodice, raise the armhole and keep the sleeves and length as originally drafted. I’d also pick colors with a higher contrast. The colors here are fine. But, I’d love something with a bit more contrast.

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I really learned a lot from knitting this. I had to figure out where my color changes would be, picking the right tension for the ribbing, using my linker to seam the garment and just how very much I hate weaving in ends.

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I borrowed this hat pin from my friend Liz. And, will be on the lookout for some of my own!

Ravelry notes here

My next knitting project is the Corvid Coat from Brooklyn Tweed. I’ve already started it on my bulky knitting machine using a sport weight yarn I bought a Maryland Sheep and Wool. Maybe I can get this one done while it’s still fall!

Posted in Machine Knitting

Machine Knit Vest (or sleeveless pullover)

Today I present my very fist machine knit garment: a men’s sleeveless pullover.  Now, I know this is like the least exciting thing in the world to knit. But, I wanted to make something for Jordan as a thank you for turning our dining room into a knitting room. It came out so well! I. Can’t. Even.

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The inspiration for this pattern is from a 1969 machine knitting magazine. It was a good first project as I got to work increases and decreases, binding off for shaping, ribbing bands and seaming the garment on the knitting machine. Yes, you read that right: I can even seam the garment on a knitting machine.

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I can’t take all the credit for this, blog reader Jeannie hooked a sister up. Turns out she’s an avid machine knitter and lives just three miles from my house. When operator error prevented me from getting anywhere near gauge, she told me to come on over. Do you know how incredible it is to find a machine knitter in biking distance????  She showed me how to measure more accurately and how to use Design A Knit software to tweak the pattern.

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I told Jordan to pose like a 1960s dad. He clearly went the authoritarian route.

DAK is MAGIC.  While I loved DAK, it was too rich for my blood and isn’t native to Apple (that said, I did use VMware to create a Windows environment and run a demo version on my iMac). But, I also don’t have a laptop which would make the in screen knitting much more user friendly.  So, for a birthday gift to myself, I bought Garment Designer which also drafts for sewing patterns. More on that in an upcoming post (although, I seem to be a liar about things I’m going to blog about so please don’t commit this to memory).

I used a wonderful cashmere/merino/silk blend 4 ply yarn from Colourmart.  It’s an inky navy blue with flecks of baby blue and white. The color name is Galaxy. And, the resulting fabric really does look like a night sky full of stars.

The shoulders (as drafted) are a little wide for modern times and the V came out three inches longer than drafted too. Jordan’s also much broader at the shoulder/ back area than through the torso so I’ll have to accommodate for that the next time.

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End result, a not terrible vest for Jordan. I need to get better about my finishing and weaving in ends (I have a sewing mentality of just knotting things off. Doesn’t work the same…) I think I’m going to knit the same pattern in a 40 chest for my dad with my leftover yarn. This time, I’ll try some new techniques like short rows for the shoulder seams.

Boring, long and droning Ravely notes here.

 

 

Posted in Machine Knitting, sewing

l’escargot bleu scarf and Butterick 6244 WIP

I caught a glimpse of the (free)  l’escargot bleu scarf by Escape Tricot while on Ravelry. If it’s mostly stockinette with stripes, I’m totally in to it. Plus, this works as a blanket scarf which everyone seems to be wearing these days.

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This scarf is shaped like a snail (although the typo in the directions read ‘sail’ which also made sense to me). I copied their colors and made one of my own on my standard gauge knitting machine. I’m still using super inexpensive acrylic from Michael’s (Loops and Thread). I made two of these. The one on Ravelry is straight stockinette. But, the one here has a 1×1 ribbed border. The original uses garter stitches at the end.

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On a knitting machine, you can make ribbing by latching up on the main bed. Or, by using a ribber. Luckily, both my machines came with ribbers. And, I finally tried the ribber out and it works! I’m terrible at it (loopy edges, blech). But, it works.

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My next knitting project should be a garment. I promised Jordan a vest and I’ve been practicing the techniques. I’ve ordered some yarn from Colourmart and expect it next week. I am of course terrified.


 

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My current project is sewing related. After two hours on the floor matching plaids, I’ve cut out Butterick 6244 the Lisette waterfall coat pattern. I also think I have never actually sewn a plaid garment before. And, I LOVE plaids. But, I’m terrified of matching. But, I bit the bullet and dug into this one.

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There’s a helpful sew along on Lisette’s website that I’ll follow. And, I can’t wait to use my *awesome*  8mm flat fell foot on my Bernina 830.

Here’s hoping I finish this while it’s still winter!