Relationship of fabric to design

Well, at this point, this project has been knitted twice.  Not by choice, of course, but to eliminate too much shelf time, aka, not be worn.  I knit to wear so if there is something about a garment that doesn’t feel right or comfortable, I know its future is doomed.   I must say, the fabric that was created by this stitch was the conundrum.

The honeycomb stitch is a type of cable that is dense, especially when using Lion Brand’s fisherman wool . .  held double.  Not so much dense in weight as the pulled stitches create a kind of air hole behind it.  Maybe, you can make this out here, but dense in body.

Continue reading

The Poncho Wrap

Is it a poncho?  Is it a wrap?  The designer, Vladimir Teriohkin names his design Helio Poncho, which means combining form.  Whatever you call it, it could not be easier to knit and exceedingly fun to wear.  Think, a few inches of ribbing, followed by a rectangle in straight stitch with a hole in it towards one end, and ending with the same number of inches in ribbing.  When complete,  pick up stitches around that hole for a nice 8 inch cowl.  It is as simple as that.  Knitted in Homespun from Lion Brand, a chunky, curly yarn, it knits up quickly and is impressively soft..  Wear it casual with moto joggers for Christmas tree shopping or fancy it up with more formal wear for an evening out,  The photographer snapped these photos while I was adjusting the multitude of ways of wearing.  We are at a Buffalo-famed ice cream shop, Anderson’s who rents out their lot to a Christmas tree farm every holiday season.  Paul Bunyan has stood proudly for years positioned along a main drag to announce the farm’s return to the local community.  So, here we are starting out where I’ve slipped this rectangle over my head, short length in front.

Continue reading

Blog Hop on Creativity

An invite  from a fellow Raveler, Bowie asking if I would like to participate in a creative blog hop!  Sure would!  I love questions such as these as they force thinking of the why and wherefore of things, and I know that reflection on any level is the best way to learn, for everyone.  Also, this reminds me of those chain letters from days gone by.  Anyone else remember those?

Continue reading

Tapestry Dress

Sometimes you see a project that you have to have against all reasoning.  I asked myself all kinds of questions to try to talk myself out of making this.  What?  I cannot purchase all the yarn needed for this in the same dye lot?  When?  Combination short sleeves with a high neck collar, what season will I wear this?  How?  Pleats with bulky tapestry-like fabric will work?  The more I asked myself these questions, the more I leaned towards believing in Vladimir Teriokhin’s design as seen in Vogue Knitting Holiday issue 2012 and couldn’t wait to make it for the holidays.

VK Holiday 2012

There was no real issue beginning this project except to organize the yarn, Koigu Wool Designs Bulky according to the different dye lots (this hand dyed yarn only came in bags of ten with the same dye lot, or so it was that way at the time of purchase) and I needed more than that for this dress.  So, I purchased half the yarn required in one dye lot, the other half in another dye lot and alternated the skeins of yarn as I knitted.

Koigu Bulky

Now, I thought the entire dress was knitted in seed stitch but upon beginning, you see immediately that it is a patterned seed stitch.

patterned seed stitch

And, from the hemline up to the pleats, it is a matter of following that pattern leaving a stitch at each seam in garter stitch for the selvage edge.  (I pretty much always form a selvage edge whether the pattern calls for it or not as it makes sewing [crocheting] the pieces together a snap.)   As I am knitting this dress I am questioning why it was marked as ‘experienced’ skill level.  I mean aside from the amount of fabric and heft of the large needles, this seed stitch pattern was pretty straight forward.

box pleats

Excited to get to the pleats as they are what makes the dress not to mention I was ready for a break in the action, I followed the directions in the pattern for the pleats.  What are these holes?…. no!  Stitch count… wrong!  Pattern mismatch galore!  Double folded fabric when it should have been triple folded for a box pleat…no!  Many mistakes and then I came realize, the pattern was written wrong.  So, after folding a piece of paper to give me a visual of what the construction of a box pleat looks like, and counting and re-counting the stitches to get the pleats to land at the place they were supposed to, I researched, re-wrote, and offer the directions below:

Practice folding a piece of paper to get a visualization of the box pleat and you will see that to create and secure the folds, you will be knitting from 3 needles at once, 1 stitch (st) from one double pointed needle (dpn), 1 stitch from another dpn, and the 3rd stitch directly from the project needle.

row in question for box pleat (size M) ~

knit even in pattern 9 st, put next 6 st on one dpn, next 6 st on another dpn and hold both together in front making sure to turn one of those dpn 180 degrees to fold fabric according to box pleat and knit the next 6 st together with those from the dpn, place next 5 st on one dpn, next 5 st on another dpn and hold to back making sure to turn one of those dpn 180 degrees to fold fabric according to box pleat and knit the next 5 st together with those from the dpn, knit 14 st even in pattern, place next 5 st on one dpn, next 5 st on another dpn and hold to front making sure to turn one of this dpn 180 degrees to fold fabric according to box pleat and knit the next 5 st together with those from the dpn, put next 6 st on one dpn, next 6 on another dpn, and hold both in back turning one needles as before and according to the fold of the box pleat, and knit the next 6 st together with those from the dpn, work last 9 st even in pattern.

NOTE:  When you fold the fabric of the skirt and continue knitting the bodice, the pattern changes between the row markers due to those folds, but after all the decreases in the bodice are completed, the pattern re-joins perfectly.  This may be the reason why this project was rated as experienced as it took many rip outs and re-dos for me to realize that this would be the case.  Actually, quite clever.

After the pleat row is completed, the rest of the directions are accurate until you get to the cowl.


The other really important part of the pattern, the cowl neckline also has direction issues. Row in question should read:  Decrease round: work in stitch pat as established to 2 sts before next marker, SKP, sl marker, work to next marker, sl marker, k2tog, work to end of rnd.

This did not make the 2014 holidays, however is a lovely addition to my wardrobe and will be a fun piece to pull for future special events.

tapestry dress

tapestry dress

tapestry dress

tapestry dress(yes, that is snow on the lens.)

tapestry dress(a bit cold, but . . .)

tapestry dress

Oh, and I did lengthen it one inch.  Ha, they say for every decade older you are, you are to drop your hemline one inch.  I am thinking I might agree.

Winter wonderland backyard presented itself perfectly as our backdrop for this new addition to my wardrobe.

Gauge Your Confidence, Take Control

Did you ever hear, “Oh, Yes!  I drive but I only make right turns!”  or “Sure, I have my license but do not drive on the thruway.” I see it in teaching.  Oh, Yes!  I teach this method, or I have always taught those units.  When I hear these things I ask myself, who is in control, the activity or the person?

Continue reading