Saturday, June 13, 2015

Semi-formal Dress

I meant to post this long time ago hoping that we will have a better photograph.  Never happened so far.  So, here it is.

DD2 requested a semi-formal outfit consisting of a black dress with plunging back and halter neck and a chiffon coverup.  We decided to start with the dress.  Luckily, I had Vogue pattern 2772 in my pattern stash.  It is a floor length fitted dress with plunging back and pleated front bodice by Donna Karan.  The only thing I needed to change was: shorten the skirt considerably and remove the pleats in the front.  Simple enough...

The small pattern piece looks like a piece of trash because it got mixed up with scrap and got crumpled up.  Luckily, I saved it before too late.  

I was able to combine lower skirt pieces with corresponding upper body pieces which resulted in three pattern pieces only.  In order to remove the right front pleats which becomes the halter neck when extended beyond the shoulder, I used the unpleated left front and tilted it towards center front line in order to remove the excess fabric incorporated in pleating.  Lucky for me, my modification worked well on my daughter.  Really some luck.  

In order to keep the upper bodice in place, we decided to use wide black chiffon ribbons attached to the upper edge of the front bodice.  They add a drama to the outfit.  

For the coverup, we used Vogue 7742 View E, shortened so that it is just a little bit longer than the dress, and the front edges were modified to a smooth line from the top of the neckline to the center waist.  

DD2 was happy with the results, except for ...

The snowy weather on the day of the event.  All the girls were shivering in dresses.  

While, parents were in winter coats ...

She and her girl friends, several of them, had a great time I hear.  They went as a group of girls without male escorts.  They thought they do not need boys to have fun.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Bright Colors

As soon as I saw Fall issue of Vogue Knitting magazine last year, my mind was set to knit Ms. Wallin’s brightly colored pullover.  Yes, yet another project with the design by Ms. Marie Wallin!  

I was knitting Avril Silk Tsumugi tunic at that time.  Since I decided some years ago that I was not going to have two major projects at the same time any longer, I decided to wait until I have time to tackle the pullover.  I was tempted to start such a beautifully colored pullover, but I persevered.  Though I began planning the project immediately.  It was obvious to me to knit it in round.  Also, to add some waist shaping to it.  Other than that, I followed the pattern when I began knitting it in January.

Here are some close-up of the gorgeous colors and stitches.  Notice something?  The Fair Isle pattern in this pullover involves both knit and purl stitches in about 80 percent of rows.  It reminds me of Bohus knits.  I just love those purl bump mingling of colors adding extra dimension to the fabric.

I must add that the yarns are fabulous, Rowan Kid Classic and Rowan Alpaca Colour. I used the specified colors, but there are a few versions knitted using different colors on on Ravelry and they are gorgeous as well.  This was the first time I used Rowan Alpaca Colour and I find it very soft and warm.  I was glad that the sleeves were not in Fair Isle pattern.  I have been wearing the pullover with such joy.  Perfect for this long snowy winter.

So, what's next?  Well, I will be honest, another design by Ms. Marie Wallin!  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bulky Quick Knits

After the long project was finally completed, I needed quick projects.  So, naturally, I chose to knit garments with bulky yarns.  One was a vest which I knitted once already.  I love it so much that I wear it constantly.  So, another one was in order.  This time, the yarn I chose was less substantial and more airy.  As a result, the vest turned out to feel a bit different.  Nevertheless, I love it.  The only problem was that the front neck line was too low.  It was fixed by use of a pin.

Next, another bulky project using the same airy yarn as the vest.  It was a pullover by Norah Gaughan, Maison Delaunay.  The garment shape is quite unusual for me, a sort of trapezoid.  My friends at KnitSmith loved it.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Long Project

It is snowing again here.  It is time to write up some posts on past projects since last summer.

I was too busy at work towards the end of 2014 to do much knitting.  All I could do was trying to finish Silke No. 2 that I started in August while we were in Japan.  It took many months to complete.  This is the second version of the garment.  The first one was finished almost two years ago. Since it turned out to be too small for me, I gave it to my DD2.  I could not just give it to her and forget the project, however.  I love the fabric knitted with Tsumugi Silk and the design is very attractive.  Determined to knit a second one for me, I took measurements of the garment, compared with the finished dimensions, and decided that I was better off knitting size XL given my gauge.

So, here it is.  The second one was a bit too large initially, but washing in warm water took care of it and I can say it fits me very well.  It is a cardigan for spring or fall.

At least, I feel satisfied with the result and I can put the pattern to rest.  I must say, Tsumugi Silk produces such a beautiful fabric.  A spring pullover would be nice with it.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hats for Veterans and Kids 2014

This year, we were asked to knit for Veterans and for "Caps for Kids."  Here are my contributions.

First for "Caps for Kids" which is organized by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  

Tiny baby bonnet knitted with cotton angora yarn.  This is such a cute little thing and I love how it turned out.  I think this pattern will be knitted many times over.  Its pattern is available free from here on Ravelry.  I knitted the ties and front edge band all together by using provisional cast on method.

Baby cap in wool yarn and child's cap in the same cotton angora yarn in a different color.  The pattern is also available free from here on Ravelry.  For the cotton angora version, I did not follow the pattern for the decreasing section and started the decreases by repeating k7, k2tog 8 times.  

And, my hats for Veterans.  The purple hat looks small but it is very stretchy.  Definitely large enough for adults and the pattern is Utopia Hat by Smariek Knits knitted with Karabella Yarns' Aurora 8.  The brown hat is knitted with wool-silk blend yarn and the pattern is Graham by Jennifer Adams.  These two hat patterns are available free.  The last one is a beret knitted with lovely Mountain Colors Mountain Goat yarn in Northern Lights and the pattern is Gretel by Ysolda, purchased.

I definitely enjoyed knitting all of these hats.  My DD2 loves Graham and I was asked to knit one for her.  We have yarns already.  Back to my regular knitting projects now.  

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

New Project

This cone of Silk Tsumugi yarn was waiting for me at my parents' home.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Warm Weather Knitting

This summer, I began with knitting a wool/linen three-quarter sleeve pullover. This was a success: love the yarn and the pattern.

Yarn: Leinen Los (70% wool and 30% linen blend) by Schoppel-Wolle 
Pattern: Gemini by Jane Richmond, from Kintty
Needles: 4 mm

I partially followed modification applied by the designer herself on her later version to transform the tee to three-quarter length sleeves. Also, I decided to use lace pattern throughout along the neck. 

To do lace pattern all around the neck turned out to be rather simple. First race round: yo twice, k2tog, k2tog, yo twice, k2tog … The first yo is for the last yo of the round. You will see when you try it yourself.  On the next round: One has to move the marker for the beginning of round every round and move the marker one stitch ahead so that the first yo will go to the end of the round. 

Following the notes from the author’s modified version with ¾ length fitted sleeves, I stopped increasing stitches once there are 66 stitches (for size M) for sleeves, while I kept increasing stitches per instruction for front and back bodice. The author recommends the following stitch count for fitted sleeves: 56 (60, 66, 74, 80, 88, 94) stitches. 

Sleeve shaping for 3/4 length sleeve knitted flat: Increase stitches at the beginning and the end of the 66 stitches for seam allowances. Knit even for 12 rows. Worked paired decreases on the next and every 10th row to 48 sts. Knit one more row. Switch to 3.75 mm needles and knit in 1 x 1 ribbing for 6 rows. Total of 100 rows were knitted for sleeves. Cast off loosely. 

Applied slipped chain stitches along the inner cast on edge along the neckline to reduce the neck opening.

It is too warm to wear the pullover outdoor now, but it is useful indoor where AC blasts.

Next, a cotton/silk peplum cardigan.  I used long-since-discontinued Fable yarn in red/orange color, named Goldilocks and the three bears.  I even had perfect buttons for the yarn.

Yarn: Fable (85% cotton and 15% silk blend) by Artful Yarns 
Pattern: Searing by Kim Harvreaves 
Needles: 4 mm and 5 mm

The design is for worsted weight yarn with 20 stitches per 10 cm while my yarns's gauge is 16 stitches with 5 mm needles.  I knitted the dimension of size M by following stitch counts for size XS and adjusted the row counts as I went on.  I did not have enough yarn to knit the full sleeve length and I knitted sleeves somewhat shorter.  The cardigan is intended for summer and I am fine with shorter sleeves.

And, next up will be Estonia dress!  I am all excited about this project.