Friday, January 23, 2015

Two-Socks-in-One (aka. Inception with Yarn)

I made my first attempt at double knitting! I was sick of finishing a sock and then having to work up the enthusiasm to make sock number two. Using double knitting a knitting both socks at once solves this problem.


Pattern

Two-Socks-in-One by Kate Atherley

The pattern is nice because it gives tips on how to manage the stitches (like the decreases) while doing double knitting. I varied from the pattern in that I made both socks right-side facing out. The pattern has you knitting the first sock right-side out (knit stitches) and the inside sock right side facing the centre (purl stitches). I found it really difficult to alternate between purl and knit stitches while doing the rib. Therefore, I did it my way, so I could knit most stitches.


Yarn

Knitpicks Stroll Sock Yarn in Midnight Heather and Sapphire Heather

I used a lighter and darker shade of blue, which I switched every 16 rows. This made it easier to make sure I wasn't mixing up my stitches. The result is lovely socks that are the opposite of each other.


I used 64 sts at the cuffs (the normal number I use for a men's medium pattern) with the smallest needles I had. But, the cuffs still ended up too big. I ended up knitting around 56 sts in the foot, just so they wouldn't be big everywhere else, too. As a result, the socks look a little funny and probably don't fit that great around the ankle. These socks are for my brother, so hopefully they will work for him.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans

I made myself a new pair of jeans! The Closet Case Files pattern came out just in time. I have worn out my other me-made jeans (they were so comfortable that I wore them all the time), so now I need more. This lovely pattern is going to fill that void.


Materials:

  • Denim with stretch (2% spandex)
  • Lining fabric (cotton left over from my Belcarra)
  • Regular and top-stitching thread
  • Button and zipper
  • Interfacing




Pattern

Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans

Ginger Jeans Sewalong by Closet Case Files

The sewalong made following the steps really easy. All of the pictures are great. The pattern itself is well done. I love it!

I did some top-stitching on my pair, but mostly for appearance. My machine was giving me lots of troubles. I had to turn my tension all the way up to get it to 'work' (even with size 100 top-stitching needles). I have since vacuumed out my machine, so maybe it will work if I try it again. If not, I may not make jeans with fancy top-stitching thread in the future (booo).


I made View B with the high waist. I also added the tummy control pockets (they work!).


Adjustments

I made size 10 (my size according to the measurement chart) with some adjustments:

  • I shortened the length (too much though - I have to go back and add some fabric back)
  • I scooped a little bit out of the back crotch curve 
  • I added some fabric to hips and inseam on the back pattern piece for full thighs (might need to add a little more)
  • Moved the pockets up 7/8" (I just noticed they are maybe a little too far out to the sides)
  • Large calf adjustment

To figure out what size and adjustments I needed, this is the process I followed:

  • Analyse your figure (where do you usually have issues? for me, it's my calves and thighs)
  • Measure yourself and RTW pants that fit (or are close)
  • Figure out your crotch curve (a flexible ruler helps)
  • Compare your measurements and curve to the pattern
  • Make all your adjustments before you make your muslin or first pair
Do this, and you will be ahead on addressing any fitting issues. In the past, I was confused with what to do with my measurements (ie. where on the pattern do I compare them to?). I have finally figured it out, so maybe I'll do a walkthrough on how to do this (if only for my benefit).

For the most part, I followed this advice for making this pair of Gingers. But, I didn't take the time to do a calf adjustment beforehand and now I'm paying the price. I had to sew a 1/8" seam allowance (!) on the back leg pieces starting at about 15" from the hem. I thought there would be enough fabric in the seam allowance to do this adjustment and didn't even bother to measure the pattern. Lesson learned. 


Overall, I did manage to save the jeans. While there are still back knee wrinkles, they are much less than on most RTW jeans I own. Hopefully, they will hold up with such small seam allowances.



The jeans look good from the front. My next pair will be even better. For now, I'm going to enjoy this pair. They are so comfortable!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

May Replay Sweater

I can finally post pictures of the finished May Replay sweater. As you might remember, I was looking forward to making a cable pullover for myself. But, once I blocked the pieces, the sweater was too big. I gave the sweater to my friend for Christmas.


Pattern

May Replay by Debra Hoss


The pattern is written very well. It gives instructions for both full length and 3/4 length sleeves. I made the 3/4 length version. There are lots of tips on how to handle increases and decreases when doing cables.


The cables are nice and simple. The pattern is fun to knit and result is a classy looking sweater.

Yarn

Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK in Dawn (672)

I loved the yarn. It's super soft and yet still shows the cables really well.


It has a slightly larger gauge than what is called for in the pattern. I thought I would be ok with sizing, since I did the smallest size sweater (two sizes down from my measurements) and used my smallest circular needles (US size 4 or 3.5mm). Overall, the sweater ended up being around two sizes too big.

I will use this yarn again, just maybe for a different sweater. At least this sweater is like one giant swatch. So, I'll have a better idea of what size to knit.

My friend looks as happy as the pattern picture

My friend loves the sweater so much she said she wore it everyday that week. I'm glad it all worked out.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Introducing Spiffy Stitches!

spiff·y
ˈspifē/
adjective
  1. smart in appearance.
    "a spiffy new outfit"
    synonyms:fashionablewell dressedeleganttrendystylishchicsharpsnazzy
    "a spiffy new blazer"

I'm giving my blog a refresh! I've renamed it to something much shorter and easier to remember than tiffanysnotionsandknits.blogspot.ca (whew!). But, the new name still fits with my personality and what I am trying to accomplish.


It's a new year and I've stuck with the blogging 'thing' for two years, so I figured a refresh was due. Without further ado, I give you Spiffy Stitches!






Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Burdastyle Easy 5/2014 #2B

I've already finished one project for 2015. I made Burdastyle Easy Winter 2014 2B aka. my Pretty Purple Ponte Pullover.


Materials:
  • Century Ponte (49% Viscose, 30% Nylon, 15% Polyester, 6% Spandex)
  • Thread

My plan was to make this top out of contrasting sweatshirt fabric. But, I couldn't find any sweatshirt fabric that I liked. I ended up with this lovely, soft ponte fabric that is lighter on the wrong side of the fabric.


I really wish I had a walking foot while sewing this top. The ponte liked to stretch a lot under my regular presser foot. I have one on the way, it just hasn't arrived yet (boo).

Pattern

Burdastyle Easy Winter 2014 #2B


I made a size 40, which is the size I usually choose for Burda patterns. I found that there was way too much ease in the waist and took in the side seams. I tapered from the underarm to about 1.5" in at the waist and back out to original side seam about 5" above the bottom. Now it fits like a dream!
 


One of the challenges I had with this project was deciding how I wanted my sleeves. I kept flip-flopping between dark and light sleeves. I ended up just going with light sleeves and I'm happy with the look.


The purple of the fabric is closer to what is seen in the picture above. It's not very bright during the day, so my pictures aren't the greatest.

I finished the seams using a zig-zag stitch (since I didn't have any purple serger thread). The ponte is a bit thick, so I tried to keep some areas from being too bulky. I used a blindstitch hem on the bottom of the shirt and used a single strip of fabric to face the collar (I pressed it to the inside and topstitched in place).



This is such a comfortable shirt and it's a nice warm layer for the colder weather. While I usually prefer cardigans, I think I am still going to wear this pullover a lot.