Posted in Machine Knitting

A Winter White Corvid

I quite like my first Corvid Coat from Brooklyn Tweed. So much so that I decided to knit it up again in a cream. And, I can pick an undyed winter white for a coat because as someone said to me, “You must not have children.”

 photo IMG_20170507_110421_505_zpspkullyr4.jpg

A few things I did differently this time. The pattern calls for a cartridge rib collar. A close approximation on my machine is to knit fisherman’s rib. On my first version I knit the upper collar  5 inches wide because I don’t read knitting and that’s what I thought it said. But, mine wasn’t wide enough. Going back and reading the instructions again (with slightly better understanding of knitting) I see that it should actually be about nine inches in width. So, now it turns back.

 photo IMG_20170403_074558_zps4xg8iyrf.jpg

I also got the hang of short rowing my shoulders so those seams should look smoother and prettier (except where I forgot to ‘wrap’ my stitches resulting in some holes. But, what’s really nice about short rowing is how much less bulky the seams are!

Because my yarn is a heavy Aran weight, (undyed wool from Colourmart) I was able to knit the back all in one section on my bulky machine. Last time I had to split it in two sections..

I know this sweater is going to show all. the. dirt. So, I washed my gauge swatch in warm water — preparing this for a lifetime of abuse. I took this sweater up to New York last week for a wedding. Jordan was kind enough to wait until we got back home to tell me the back of the sweater hit every single stair on every subway we took.  Popped this in the washing machine as soon as he let me know and it was sparkling cream in no time.

 photo IMG_20170507_102741_zpsnukhpoza.jpg

Due to the weight of the yarn (almost four pounds in this coat!) the coat also hangs/pulls longer than drafted. If I were to make it in this weight again I would shorten the overall length. But, more likely I will make it in a worsted wool as called for in the design. I am planning two more of these. One in a red and another in a nice steely grey.

 

Posted in Machine Knitting

Brooklyn Tweed Roslyn Raglan Tunic Dress

 photo IMGP0295_zpsa36cqtb9.jpg

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.

 photo Roslyn_01_zpsbkhqbrmk.jpg

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.

 photo IMGP0261_zpseyglcjvx.jpg

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).

 photo IMGP0270_zpszqhhelbc.jpg
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.

 photo IMGP0297_zps2qb6ygvw.jpg

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.

 photo IMGP0282_zpsdifkayqd.jpg

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!

 photo FLAT_roslyn_zps8jpcqane.jpg

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.

 photo IMGP0273_zps4yrvfwkt.jpg

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

DSC_0043 photo DSC_0043_zpspcviijzg.jpg

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….

 photo Corvid_01_zpsgoiq8iin.jpg

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).

DSC_0039 photo DSC_0039_zpsojwrkkba.jpg

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.

DSC_0072 photo DSC_0072_zpspwtiyfpz.jpg

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.

DSC_0047 photo DSC_0047_zpso4mkbmez.jpg

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.

DSC_0064 photo DSC_0064_zpsyxtoncf4.jpg

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.

DSC_0080 photo DSC_0080_zpsivdxmv7j.jpg

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….

DSC_0092 photo DSC_0092_zps9balo0hj.jpg

Somewhat more technical notes on my Ravelry page