Sunday, 22 July 2012

I learned something new!

I am delighted: I learned something new.

A technique to kind of twist two stitches without changing them around as you would when knitting a cable pattern.  Most intriguing!

This technique can be used to "twist" two stitches though not any more than that.  It involves knitting two stitches together and then knitting one of them again - it will look as if you had parked one stitch on a cable needle, knit off the second stitch and then knit the first stitch from the cable needle.

I had not come across this technique before - I am delighted to learn something new!

The intriguing thing is that the outcome is slightly different for the Right Twist [* no it's not] (knit 2 together without slipping them off the left needle, knit the first stitch again and then slip both stitches off) than it is for the Left Twist (knit the second stitch through the back loop, then knit both stitches through the back loop and only then slip both stitches off the left needle).

The Left Twist (LT) results in the working thread slipping back out of the second stitch when you knit both stitches through the back loop.  I can't see how to avoid that.  The good thing is that this is not noticeable on the right side of the work.

The Right Twist* (RT) does not have the same problem because you knit both stitches together first, then the working thread goes into the first stitch without slipping back out of the second stitch.  If you get me.

I tried it different ways but as I said I can't see how to avoid this.

I also tried the LT as knitting the second stitch through the front loop (not worth the effort) as well as changing the first stitch's needle mount first and so keeping that first stitch open (as opposed to twisted) but again it doesn't make enough noticeable difference and may even look a touch more wonky.  Strangely enough!

This all is most intriguing.  I love little itty-bitty details like that.  Very glad I came across the technique.

The book (a Barbara Walker Knitting Treasury book) also suggested that some cable patterns can be adapted to be knit this way so you don't have to use a cable needle.  Not sure yet if I want to try that but there are plenty of Twisted Stitches patterns in Ms Walker's Treasury books.

Update: * Okay for completeness sake I need to correct my false statement above: the exact same happens with the Right Twist as with the Left Twist.  I'm an idiot.  I just didn't look at it properly - the working thread does slip when this is worked in either direction.  I'm really rather silly for not realising.
Still, at least I figured it out in the end.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Black and white linen tunic

And here's a project that only took me two hours:

I love this.  It is the sort of shape I wanted, the length is just right: just above mid thigh, the neckline isn't too wide and sits relatively well (I could do with some loops on the inside to anchor the shoulder seams to the bra straps).

I shouldn't have been in quite such a rush: I forgot to top stitch the neckline before turning it in and stitching it down: it does gape a bit.  I can still do that now, not a problem.

This is the same pattern as the grey damask top, only longer.  My changes: I lengthened the sleeves by extending the line from the shoulder (a touch at the bottom as well) - this changed the angle that the sleeve seams sit at.  Much better!

The sleeve seams are unfortunately rather stiff from turning the hems in twice - this linen is stiffer than I expected.  They look as if I sewed in some embroidery hoops!  I plan on forming an inverted pleat at the top seam: hold it down with a couple of press studs and add a pretty button to the outside.  That should do it.

I will report on my progress.

I could wear it, that was the main thing for me.  A real feeling of achievement that will motivate me to carry on dressmaking!  Bliss!

Grey damask top

I am so pleased.  I managed to make a nice top that's good enough to wear.  What a relief!

I had the fabric quite a long time - absolutely no idea where I got it from.  Shame.  I would love to make something else out of it, except... it doesn't iron terribly well.  So maybe that's a good thing then.

I am not keen on the angle of the sleeve hems, they make my shoulders look huge.  I will change this when I make it again.  It also got a bit big but perhaps the feel of a roomy sack isn't completely bad in itself?  It is supposed to be a top to feel comfortable in after all...