Posted in Machine Knitting

A Winter White Corvid

IMGP0563 photo IMGP0563_zpsdyv9u4bs.jpg

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.

IMGP0577 photo IMGP0577_zpsil9ndyyt.jpg

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.

IMGP0576 photo IMGP0576_zpswuif0ii6.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!

IMGP0570 photo IMGP0570_zpsikhbuqrx.jpg

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.

IMGP0568 photo IMGP0568_zpswzmfv5ss.jpg

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.

 photo IMG_20170507_103653_zpsbpczzcpt.jpg

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 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

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.

IMGP0143 photo IMGP0143_zpsulm3lsmp.jpg

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.

IMGP0152 photo IMGP0152_zpsy6sotnlf.jpg

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.

IMGP0145 photo IMGP0145_zpsylnsab4o.jpg

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.

IMGP0155 photo IMGP0155_zpslnzuklf6.jpg

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.

IMGP0154 photo IMGP0154_zpsno4ejkiq.jpg

IMGP0153 photo IMGP0153_zpszuxchyub.jpg

IMGP0148 photo IMGP0148_zpsrhc5hl7d.jpg

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!