Sunday, May 19, 2013

Third Week of MMM'13

The last week started with a temperature typical of New England and ended with the same condition: colder than it should be.  Thankfully, there was a few days with warmer temperature. 

Some of you may already know, but I have knitted many wool jackets and cardigans in the past and I do not pull them all out each winter season.  In the middle of the season, I put some back into the back of the closet and take some others out.  At this time of the year, I do not want to take out more since Summer is coming soon.  Hence, I am wearing the same things over and over again.  It better get warmer next week. 

Day 13

Our radiator was working Monday morning.  So, I wore the same Vogue dress as Day 9 with Jo Sharp's Origami Bolero and a sermon pink wool gabardine coat (RTW) from my younger days: i.e. 30 years ago.

Origami Bolero was fun to knit for several reasons.  The yarns were all so gorgeous, especially Alpaca Silk Georgette.  I have some more in my stash to be made up into a sweater or two.  Also the colors are very nice with subdued hues, very sophisticated in my opinion.  I think what was most striking about this project was the color combinations and stitch patterns.  You would mix yarns with different weight ranging from Aran to sports in the same stitch pattern as if they are of the same weight.  It created interesting fabrics  

Day 14

Practically the same outfit as Day 4, except for the top under the green Aran jacket.  I was wearing Thia Tee by La Fred I made in 2002. 

 Day 15

The same outfit as Day 2, RTW black skirt and knit top, but with a long vest on top.  The vest was knitted in 2003/2004, Elizabeth of York Vest from Tudor Roses by Alice Starmore. 

 Day 16

Finally warm weather had arrived here!  I wore an orange cotton pullover, Jasmine from Kim Harvreaves’ Nector and a pair of poly/rayon pants, Vogue 7301.  I’ve made four pairs of pants/capris from this pattern in 2005/2006.

Day 17

Me made the blouse, Vogue 7935 blouse view C made in 2005, that I wore on Day 3, and the skirt, Vogue 2558 Montana pattern from years ago made in 2003. 

Day 18

Me made the jacket, Vogue 1522 Perry Ellis pattern I made in 1986 with very thick black linen, and the top, Textile Studio Monaco Shell 1209 I made in 2003.  The capris are RTW.  I love this printed stretch lace fabric.  The top is backed by light blue stretch knit.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Second Week of MMM'13

This week went by faster than the last.  We had mostly chilly and wet days with some warm afternoons.

Day 6
Monday's outfit was very special to me and it deserved its own post (the last one).

Day 7

Tuesday was still chilly in the morning and I put on a cotton pullover, a wool cardigan, and RTW cotton pants.  The pullover is Jan sweater from 'A Stitch in Time' by Susan Crawford.  This book contains vintage designs from 1930 to 1959.  I am eyeing on several designs.  I wore the same cardigan last Saturday.  I love this design so much that this green one is the second one I knitted.  The first one was the yellow one.

Day 8

Initially I felt it was still chilly as it was drizzling when I woke up and put on a wool cardigan.  After the breakfast, it began to warm up quickly and I had to change into cooler top.  The tank top and the pants are RTW. 

The wool cardigan is called Rød/Maple Leaves by Marianne Isager in her book 'Japanese Inspired Knits.'  This book also contains several designs I just adore.  The cardigan is supposed to be knitted with intarsia method using yarn bobbins, one bobbin per stripe.  I did not like the idea of having 16 bobbins to deal with every row, and I decided to knit each stripe separately first, and put together by the three needle bind off method.  It took quite a long time to complete, but I am quite satisfied with the result.  I used Isager Spinni in grey and blue shades which was held together with Harmony by Jojoland.  The latter is a self striping lace weight yarn in the shades I picked for Spinni.  For three-needle-bind-off, I used chartreuse green Spinni.  I had to rewrite the pattern for each stripe, which in itself was an interesting pattern reading exercise.  If you are interested in the detail and are a member of Ravelry, you can find more detail here.

The cotton pullover was knit with a super bulky yarn called Samantha, which I purchased at heavy discount from my LYS.   Unfortunately, the yarn is discontinues some years ago, hence discount, and my LYS closed its door last fall.  I am really disappointed with the store closing.  I was spoiled in a way as the store was located in a few blocks from my office.  Sigh.  At any rate, the pullover has very interesting stitch patterns and was fun to knit. 

Day 9

I wore three items of my creation today: The red coat with crazy colorful print lining worn on day 1;  Sounds of Silence cardigan by Irina Poludnenko knitted using exactly the yarn required: Filatura Di Crosa Golden Line Superior and Nirvana in gray; and Vogue 1119 Donna Karan dress in stretch knit.  I made a lot of modification to the dress pattern to fix the gaping armholes, to shorten the bodice, and to shorten the skirt.  It worked out really well, although it cannot be seen much from the above photo. 

Day 10

Again, I wore my red coat.  Under the coat was Blithe tank top by Kim Hargreaves.  I finished it in October 2011 and this was probably the second time I put it on.  What you see in the above is a part of my narrow den where I do sewing.  I am standing between my cutting table, which is too low for the task and I need to do something about it, and the bookcase which is about a foot length to my right. 

A peek at what I am knitting right now.

Day 11

I took advantage of the clear morning to take some photographs of my flowers.  My tree peonies are doing well and the dark pink one is about to bloom (not shown above).  I am wearing a hooded jacket from Classic Elite Yarn's booklet New Harbor.  The original does not have any zipper, but I decided that I want one.  I found a two-way zipper by RiRi. 

Now, it is said that the next several days are going to get colder.  Good thing that I still have my wool sweaters around. 

Monday, May 06, 2013

Happy and Older Creation

The last and probably the only occasion where I was really creative was when I knitted the cut-away boucle jacket in 2005.  I had this beautiful Noro Shinano yarn in mixed green and ivory which I bought on sale with no dedicated project in mind.  I just loved the color and feel of the yarn which is wool/silk blend. 

I swatched with different patterns but I was not happy at all even after using up entire ball.  Then I realized that it needed some more colors, fuzzy colors.  So, I bought several worsted weight mohair yarns in orange red, greens, and blues, some of them were heathered colors.  One of them was a mohair loop yarn.  Instead of striping mohair yarns with Shinano, I made a magic ball: a ball of yarn made by cutting and knotting lengths of yarns.  I think I cut the mohair yarns in about 15” long pieces.  I did not measure them.  Just cut them approximately.  Then tie them into a ball of yarn by selecting different yarns randomly. 
I began swatching with the following stitch pattern:
With Noro Shinano cast on, and knit two rows (garter stitch).  Third and forth rows are knit with magic ball *knit 1, slip 1 as if the purl with yarn in back *, repeat * to * on row 3.  On row 4 slip all the previously slipped stitch with yarn in front as if to purl and knit all the knitted stitches.  Rows 5 and 6, garter stitch with Noro Shinano.  Rows 7 and 8 are similar to rows 3 and 4 except slipped and knit stitches are reversed so that the mohair yarns show in staggered pattern rather than lined up. 

Initially, making the magic ball made me feel so wrong: Cut up yarns and then tie them up every 15”!  But, when I saw the swatch, my feeling of guilt went away. 
The pattern I selected was design #1 from VK magazine Winter 2004/2005 issue, without the back pleat.  I reversed the right and wrong side of knitting along the lapel line in the front bodices.  To finish it up, I added a braided trim along the edges and cuffs.  I used the orange red mohair yarns and a bright red angora yarn I had in my stash for the braid.  After a few wearing, I noticed that the jacket was losing its shape and thought it needed a lining.  I bought beautiful lightweight polyester fabric in hand-paint like print in greens and blues, lined the whole jacket except for the lapels and the collar, and hand quilted throughout.  The lining pattern was made up by simply placing the jacket on a blank sheet of paper and traced it.  I had to make certain that the pattern is symmetric.  That was all what I did. 

This was such an organic project and I love the result. 
The only problem is that it is an orphan at this point.  I had a dark green knitted short skirt, but I have grown a bit since then.  All I could come up with in my wardrobe was the tweed skirt.  It is not too bad together, but not good enough.  So, I should dig up my stash in search of dark green fabric!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

First Week of MMM'13

The first week of Me-Made-May 2013 was fun thanks to so many participants from all over the world.  There are some serious crafters among them who make just about everything.  Hats off to them!  I am with one or two handmade item a day, maybe three, at most.  Also, to my joy, I saw Japanese participants as well.  はじめまして!  How do you do!

Although I would like to sew something during the month of May, I am not sure how much I can accomplish.  My knitting is likely to take weeks to complete.  So, what I will post on the group will be mostly what I have made in the past.  My craft history goes between sewing and knitting in a almost dichotomous way.  Somehow it is so  hard for me to do both in a week.  Also I did a lot of sewing while I lived in California and North Carolina.  There were not much needs for sweaters then.  Now, living in New England, I've been knitting mostly. 

Day 1: Coat and pullover
Yuri Kaneko’s Retro coat from her book ‘Yuriko Kaneko’s Oshare Note’ .  It was sewn with a red silk noil from Michael's bundle purchased some years ago.  I did not have enough yardage and had to do away with the pretty front seam line between the side and front panels.  Also the coat does not have pockets.  This is really impractical for a coat.  I may add them later.  The lining is a Picasso cotton print I bought a long time ago.  It is really fun, but was not sure how I could wear it. 

Love Notes Pullover from Tahki Yarns Spring/Summer Collection Collage booklet.

Day 2: Scarf blogged here.

Day 3: Scarf, Skirt, and Blouse
The same scarf as Day 2.

The skirt was made in 2004, a long time ago, with Burda 9/99 #199.  It was modified to include gores between center and side panels and the length shorten by 14.5 cm.  The gores were cut with cross grain.  I used a wool herringbone in maroon and black, bought in Japan when I was in the early 20's.  This skirt was the result of inspiration I got from an illustration in the then recent Thread magazine.

The blouse is old as well, from 2005.  Vogue 7935 View C, a long sleeve blouse, with a rayon print from Fashion Fabrics Club.

Day 4: Skirt and Jacket
A long bias-cut skirt made in 2004 with Burda 8879 View A, and Norah Gaughan’s tweedy aran cardigan knitted last year 2012.

Day 5: MMM'13 Break
Today, I am summarizing my week's posts.  I see many funky garments posted on the group photo page and I feel jealous.  Looks to  me that my choice of garments got boring and less exciting over the years.  I think it is time that I sew something interesting, rather than practical, maybe not for myself, but for my teenage daughters.  How about that? 

Friday, May 03, 2013

Me Made May 2013

It has been difficult for me to write about my creative activities because I did not feel creative.  I was knitting mostly to keep myself occupied.  I wanted to get inspired but did not have any idea how.  Then, I happened by this Me-Made-May 2013 post.  I thought, maybe.  Then, I saw Great British Sewing Bee.  The show made me realize that I have been missing fun for too long.  I decided.  I've got to do something.  So, here I am.

I, May of May Studio, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear whatever I made each day or as many times a week as possible for the duration of May 2013.

My goal and hope is to get back my creative thoughts through fellow MMM'13 participants. 

One Ring Scarf

My DD1 is a big fan of LOTR and found the One Ring Scarf Pattern on Ravelry.  It was last year, probably in October.  Neither she nor I had done double knitting and she wanted me to knit along with her.  What can a mother do?  I agreed.  It took us some weeks to decide on the right yarns and we ended up choosing Drops Alpaca which is a very soft 100% alpaca yarn in sport weight.  In case someone wants to use the same yarn, we used up about 2 and a half balls each in two colors.  I chose red/black mix and black, and DD1 chose dark grey and dark turquoise.  Since I knit relatively loosely while she knit rather tightly we used different needles: mine was 2.5 mm and DD1's was 3 mm.

We cast on with the invisible cast on method, although we should have used provisional cast on method since we ended up grafting the end rows to the cast on rows in order to form a ring.  For the edging, we used the slipped stitch method by Melissa shown in YouTube video titled “No Twist, Slip Stitch Edging for Double Knitting.”  We both love the edging produced by this method.  It made a huge difference. 

The links to youtube tutorials we used:
 Our finished scarves. 

 DD1 grafting the last row to the cast on edge. 
 DD1 finished hers two months ago, while mine was finished at the end of April.  Still, I am really happy with the result.