Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Knitting Tension Lesson (for me)

It has warmed up some here with no frost last night. It is suppose to get warmer with 9C on Saturday. Nice to have this weather if the cement gets poured on Friday.

A bit ago, I knit a dolls outfit (sweater, bonnet, and leggings)


The pattern is very nice to knit; lacy and flowery. Easy to memorize also.


I took all that knitting and turfed it into the garbage can. I could not ravel it out without tearing my hair out. The problem was my tension; it was way too loose. I used the size of yarn and needles recommended in the book and got a monster. When I gave one piece a shot of steam, it grew by almost an inch. That got me researching.

I borrowed two of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s books from the library and started to read. The Opinionated Knitter is a book filled with her newsletters and leaflets. A good quick read looking at her patterns and making some decisions on what I could knit.

The second book, Knitting Without Tears, was an excellent read. It took me several days to read and reread the chapters. The second chapter was read three times and referenced back to several more times. It was about gauge (tension). A light bulb went off in my mind; it actually was an explosion. I knit a swatch for the Surprise Baby Bonnet and the size of the needle was 3.25 mm vs. the 4 mm needle I had used for her Baby Surprise Jacket using the same yarn. I was hooked on gauge for my next two projects. My objective was matching needle and yarn to get the correct gauge. I knit the bonnet and booties and am happy with the results.

Back to the doll set. I bought more baby weight yarn and hauled out my 2.25 mm circular needle and did a gauge swatch. I got 9 sts to the inch vs. the 8 called for in the pattern. I need to buy 2.5 mm needles for the project, or at least that is what I think I need to do. The swatch was more dense than the previous knitting.

Strangely enough, I had done a gauge swatch for the socks I am knitting. I was using a wool yarn I wasn’t use to knitting socks with. I got a great match on needle and yarn. I did the same with the sock yarn I want to knit up. Why didn’t I think about doing this with the doll set? Who knows.

Today I have to have blood work done for my thyroid, buy BCAA and finish up the pink top I am working on. Tonight is knitting group and I will be able to work on the socks. I think I have another inch to knit before I start the heel.

Until tomorrow…………….

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Two Techniques

 Ron continued to teach techniques at his workshop. There is always something to learn
He showed how to increase a pattern across the front. First he found the bust point and marked it. Then he drew a line up the front to the bust point and then from that point to the center of the shoulder seam. He cut that line leaving a hinge at the shoulder. Next he drew three lines from the arm hole of which I will have to look up and report on it. I am drawing a blank just knowing that these lines overlap as the long cut piece is opened.

March 15, 2013 - When I looked at this today after watching Lynda Maynard's Perfect Fit, I would be marking the seam line and then hinging at the seam line. That is the only tweak I would do as this is kind of done by Lynda. 

The second technique Ron talked about where pockets in the side. The procedure is as follows:
Sew the pocket to the front and back of the pants or dress with a 3/8 inch seam leaving the top and bottom inch free.


Sew the top inch and the bottom with a 5/8” seam. Press the pockets to the body of the garment. There will be a 1/4” of the garment fabric turn under towards the pocket.


Top stitch the outside of the front pocket.


Seams pressed open with the pockets towards the front and back of the garment.


The order of serging the pockets.


Step One: Front inside seam. It is free from the rest of the pocket and easy to serge.


Steps 2 to 4 in that order. If the pockets are not even at the raw edge, trim to be the same size.


Your pockets will like flat and smooth against the garment when this style of pockets are done in this fashion.