Monday, December 23, 2013

Knit. Tink. Repeat.

You know "knit" but "tink"?  Spell tink backwards.  Knit.  Tink is used to mean "to un-knit", or, to undo the knitting.

Most sweaters are made by knitting the back, the front, the sleeves, then sewing them together.  This is a top-down raglan, meaning all the parts are knit at the same time, then separated at the underarm.  Thus, the neckline needs to be started with the desired size.  I was fairly pleased that I had to tink the neckline area only twice.

Things were going along swimmingly; i.e., no errors, until the contrast stitches on the body of the sweater.  I didn't want to make a sweater that was plain (stockinette stitch).  When I saw the sweater in the mag with garter stitch at the neckline and in the body, I knew that was what I wanted to do.

The beginning of the sweater (the neckline) of my sweater is worked flat, meaning a row is worked, then turned, then a row is worked, and turned, and so on.  The stockinette stitch is made with alternating a row of knit with a row of purl stitches.

Garter (the bumpy one) is made flat by knitting each row.

However, this is switched when working in the round.  After the neckline is made, the end of the row is joined to the beginning.  The work continues going round and round, and not turning the work.

Because the work is not turned, it always looks like the right side but actually every other round is the wrong side.  Thus, stockinette stitch is made by knitting every round.  Garter stitch (the bumpy one) is made by alternating knitting one round with purling one round.

I prefer the knit stitch over the purl stitch, but felt I could do alternate rounds of purl stitches to get the garter stitch pattern.

Sounds good, but, whoops, forgot to alternate rounds and just purled every round---for the full 3 inches!

You can see the difference in appearance of the band on the body versus the band at the neck.  How did I not notice this?  I guess I was paying more attention to the individual stitches, looking for stitch errors.

When I was through with the band is when I noticed it.  Oh, geez.  What I had succeeded in doing is making a reversible stockinette stitch (which is what stockinette stitch looks like on the wrong/back side of knitting).

There are three ways to tink stitches.  1) taking out the stitches one at a time.  This would be over 200 stitches for each round,  with approximately 22 rounds.  Ugh.  2) removing the needles and just pulling out the stitches.  This goes much more quickly but the results can be disastrous, with stitches coming undone where you don't want them to.  After that, the round of stitches must be put back on the needles, correctly. Ugh.  3) having a lifeline in place.

I had never used one but felt this was the time to use one.  Usually lifelines are used for lace patterns and are put in a round (or row) just after working it.  With this situation I had to put it in at the beginning of the 3" garter stitches.

A lifeline is just running a smaller yarn--or crochet thread--through the stitches so they won't come undone.

Lifeline, here I come------

By the way, my dressform does have two arms.  I was too lazy to snap on the other one.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting--a Review

The  Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting by Sarah Veblen came out early this year.

My shelves are filled with design, fitting, and sewing books, but this book is on my "Best Ones" list.




 
It so reminds me of a college level sewing textbook from the early 50s I have, where there are photos of exactly how to fit---and on the person.                                                           
 
She covers bodices, including princess seams; sleeves of various types; skirts; and slacks.  The slacks fitting is limited.  Maybe she was limited to x number of pages and was left with only a handful for the slacks fitting.  I suppose it is possible that she will be writing a separate book on slacks(one can only hope). :)                                                             
 
The book is geared toward having a fitter and a client.  Though it is doubtful  that most of us have a fitter, much less clients, the book is extremely helpful.
 
Fitting yourself requires a lot of taking off and putting on muslins, but that would be the way to get the most out of this book.     
 
In some cases she made three muslins per garment, but then she is being paid by the client to get a perfect fit!  In many cases I think one muslin, with adjustments included, should be sufficient.   
 
The book gets a thumbs up--way up--from me.
 
ISBN# 13:978-1-58923-608-0 (pbk)
ISBN# 10: 1-58923-608-4 (soft cover)
 
As usual, click on the pics to view a larger version.
 
                                           
 
 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tissue Topper

 
 
 
 
 
 
It surprised me a little that some didn't know what a (toilet) tissue topper is.  Why?  Well, I'm usually one of the last to know about something, so I figure that, because I know, then surely the rest of the world knows about it.  LOL.  Not true, apparently.  (regarding my being one of the last as well as anyone else knowing.)
 
I've seen many in my life and there are many shown in crafts magazines.  This topper is a combination of several sources, including me.
 
I like the idea of an extra roll being handy, but not blatantly, so the guests won't wonder where a fresh roll is, should they need it.
 
This one is crocheted, but I have seen some knitted or even done in needlepoint.
 
 
 
 
 
 
You need to use a washable yarn such as acrylic or cotton, and a hook size of your choice, but I wouldn't suggest a huge one as it will make the topper too "holey".
 
I used a G hook, chain 4, 10 double crochet in 4th chain from hook,, join with a slip stitch in 3rd chain of ch4 (11 double crochets).  Do not turn, but continue in circles.  The next round is 2 dc in each dc.  Continue in rounds increasing one stitch for every 5 sts.  This is fairly standard for making circles.  This isn't a coaster so being completely flat is not critical.
 
Many tissue rolls are double rolls so make certain that the circle is the diameter of the side of the roll.  when that has been achieved, do the sides.  To do that, just make 1 dc in each dc around, join and continue.
 
Fit it on the roll every so often.  Adjust number of stitches if too snug or too loose.
 
There are several ways to finish these: it can be straight down or about an inch or so above the bottom, add a flounce.  This is a basic one and I just added a bow to the top, but crocheted flowers can be added to any part of the topper if desired.
 
Double crochet stitches are usually used, but almost any can be used as long as it is not too open a stitch pattern.
 
 
 
This is one I made many years ago in a little different style.

Click on the pics to see them larger.

I didn't give complete instructions because most of my followers don't crochet, and those who do, will surely be able to figure it out. ;)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

White Jeans Machine 4042


This is a temporary post and will probably be taken down in a few days.  These pics are to help a person with her machine, and as I don't have a place online to store photos, I'm putting them here.  Maybe some day......

The first 3 show the tension bar in the up position. 

The next two show the foot and ankle with the needle bar up and down.

The final 4 are with the tension bar down.  Click on pics to make larger.













 

 
 
 









 
 
 


Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Quilt--My Contribution

Several years ago my SiL got the idea for us to make a quilt for my MiL.  It took us two years before it was completed.
 
She would do the actual piecing and quilt; I would do the crossstitching of angels.  She handstitched a heart around each angel.
 
 
 
 
 
 Each thought the other had the harder portion.  LOL.

My MiL had been a quilter for decades; my SiL was quite new at it.  I thought she did a great job!   My MiL was quite emotional when she saw what her present was.



 
 
The quilt was now in a box in the garage of my FiL's house protecting some serving platters.  A few weeks ago a connection to a hose to the clothes washer split and caused a minor flood in the garage.  I was certain that the box had been out of danger but decided to check it.  It was dry, but upon checking the quilt I noticed that it must have gotten some water damage as the colors had run.
 
When my SiL arrived the next day I showed her the quilt so she could see what had happened.  She couldn't see anything wrong.  How could she not?  "The colors didn't run; it's a batik fabric".
 
Of course it is!  Doh.  In my defense, the garage isn't well lit.  Somehow I don't think that is a good enough defense.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stupid Spammers

Earlier this month at Pattern Review there was a discussion about spammers at Blogger.  I had commented that I had received a few but almost all of them wind up in the Spam folder.

Well, the spammers might have heard me because they got aggressive and sent more spam to me!  I knew comments could be moderated but I really didn't want to do that.  The Pattern Reviewers mentioned that there were various settings which could be utililized.

It wasn't that I was getting dozens of spam comments--and all but one landed in Blogspot's spam folder--but they were annoying me when I opened the related e-mail and saw those comments.  I set comment moderation for posts older than a certain number of days which was only about two posts for me.  I haven't had any since.  (Guess they got tired  of waiting for me to read them in the moderation folder.)

So, what makes these spammers stupid?  Well, they picked posts which were over a year old!  Really?  Come on--thought they were smarter than that!  The point is for people to read the comments and click on the link.  How many read comments that old on a regular basis?

Geez, do we have to educate spammers on how they should do their spamming?

As a test I eliminated the moderation and set it back so anyone could comment.  The spammers returned.   If you don't want any spam messages, not even in your moderation folder, the only way is to not allow any anonymous comments, but you could be keeping away some new readers.

Spam messages, posted or not, are annoying.  There have been many blog posts on the internet about dealing with them.  What is your opinion?

Friday, November 23, 2012

GOOD PATTERN DIRECTIONS

Have you ever read instructions for knitting or crocheting a garment piece and discover that  not all the necessasry information is there?  That can be really annoying.

Here is what I think should be included:

--needle or hook size
--number of skeins (if  one is a partial skein, it should state that)
--put up of skein which is the number of yards per grams or ounces (see note at bottom)
--category of yarn (such as DK or fingering, etc)
--gauge (and if stitch patterns are included then there should be a gauge for those also)
--every few rows or rounds a stitch count should be included
--if the first row is a Right Side row or a Wrong Side
--clear photo of the finished product
--close up of any details
--sizing should be in finished dimensions, not S-M-L as that has so many meanings
--how the garment was designed to fit such as very loose, two inches negative ease, etc


Note: several years ago the U.S. went from 4 oz skeins to 3 1/2 oz. skeins.  This made it a little involved in figuring how many ounces were needed.  It's a lot easier to multiply 4 oz by 6 than 3 1/2 oz by 6.

Did they do it to charge more money per skein but give less yarn?  Maybe.  I think it was to be in alignment with put up amounts in other countries.  The yarn industry uses yardage (or meters) to 100 grams.  One hundred grams is 3 1/2 ounces.

I'd also like to see amateur designers proofread their patterns better and make certain their directions are clear and complete.

Can you think of anything I left out in my list of what should be included in good pattern directions?

Sewing patterns are a little different.  They assume that you know a certain amount of sewing knowledge and will look up what you don't know.  After all, sewing in a sleeve is pretty much sewing in a sleeve.

With crochet or knit patterns, even though a sweater, for example, and we know the shape, it is also the pattern stitch which makes the garment.  We are making the garment as well creating the fabric as we go along.  In sewing the fabric is already developed and we just need to cut out the pieces and sew them together.

Good, thorough, clear directions for knitting or crocheting is very important, but I am glad that they are as complete as they are.  This wasn't always the case.  Look at very old directions and you will see that a certain amount of knowledge is expected, and usually there is a very short list of information.  To see an example, check this blog post of mine:  Crochetin in 1917

Thursday, September 27, 2012

World Wide Bacon Shortage

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/world-bacon-shortage-unavoidable-223157784.html

Oh, no.  Can this be true?  A shortage of bacon next year?

The price of bacon has doubled since 2006.  What will be the price next year?

I don't eat as much of it as I used to (because I don't eat breakfast like I used to), so often the last few slices go bad.  Hmmm--must not allow that to happen now.

Some won't be bothered by this as they don't eat bacon.  I do.  Do you?

Update:  the British article was to scare a few farmers there, but they managed to panic Americans big time.  Thus, there will be plenty of bacon. :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Baby Shoes and More

It was not a serious question, but some said yes to seeing my baby shoes.

This is my first pair of soft sole shoes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
This is my first pair of hard sole shoes.
 


My first few teeth and first two haircut clippings have been stored in this box!  Only my dad would think of storing things in a corn pads box.  LOL
 
Think will pass on viewing the teeth, instead looking at some hair from my first two haircuts.
 
A few years ago I pulled out the corn pads box and told my hubby that I had never looked in that box.  It was going to be a moment-of-truth time because I had always told people that I was a blond as a little girl.  Would the contents prove me a liar?
 
I slowly unfolded the papers and viewed the hair.
 
Oh, good I wasn't a liar all these years.
 
In high school I had every shade of brown known to man on my head.  After that it was pretty much one color.
 
Now?  It's two colors:  silver with brown highlights.  LOL
 
(You can click on the photos for a larger pic.)

Friday, July 27, 2012

FINISHED SEAMS -- OR NOT?

This post was inspired by JillyBe.  She is quite creative and there is nothing ordinary about her sewing.  Her entries Here and Here .

She talked about making her friend's wedding dress in the 80s and was shocked when she realized that she had put in all that work with great fabric only to discover that she hadn't finished the seams.  Then about two years later Jilly made the christening dress for this couple's baby.  She was shocked when she realized that she had put in all that work with great fabric only to discover that she hadn't finished the seams.


All of this reminded me that I had some baby dresses made by my mother and wondered if she had finished the seams.  I thought I might have my christening dress, but don't, but do have the christening blanket and pillow cover.

These photos break an important rule of posting photos of garments:  have items clean and pressed.  These dresses do need ironing but I am a bit hesitant to iron them in case I were to press in any dirt.  I hesitate to wash them because of their age.

Up first:

Seams finished  -- or not?


Not finished.

Several things surprise me about this:  that seams are not finished, especially since it is so sheer; the wide seam allowances; and that the fabric edges haven't come undone after all these years!

Up next:

Seams finished -- or not?


Finished.

The edge is not completely encased, yet are still in excellent condition.

Last up:



Seams finished -- or not?



Finished.



Not only finished but look at the type of finish!  It is serger-like, but use of a serger was not available way back then.  My computerized sewing machine will do this stitch.

My mother had a Kenmore which only sewed forward and backward, with the usual attachments.

I suppose it is possible that she had a different machine when I was a baby, maybe one with cams and she never mentioned it.

So I ask you:  were there machines years and years ago with cams which could make this stitch?

I don't know why my mother selected these three dresses to keep, unless they were representative of 3,6, and 9 months.  I found one professional photograph of my wearing the last dress pictured, but it is difficult to make out the dress in it.





In the same bag as the dresses were these crewel embroidery and cross stitch pieces which I think are fairly well done considering I was only 4 1/2 years old.  (The folded under parts cover the date--don't want to shock you too much)

Anyone interested in seeing my first shoes, both soft sole and hard sole or my first tooth or hair from my haircut?  I guess that's going to have to wait for a different blog entry, one way in the future.






Sunday, July 1, 2012

Those of Similar Interest on Blogger

Did you know that you can find others with similar interests as you on Blogger?  Did you know that you can find others who live in your area?  I didn't.  I found this info on a totally unrelated site, not on Blogspot.

Go to your Profile and click on one of your interests.  Let's say it's Photography; then those who have Photography in their interests will show up.  This also works for the geographical area that you listed.

You have probably realized that this is another of my "filler" entries.  I do this when I haven't blogged in awhile and have nothing ready to write about.  It's to let everyone know that I am still breathing.  LOL.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Man's Caftan

Shocking I know---I am sewing.

Shocking I know---I was actually thinking of writing a tutorial but for what subject?  Most sewers would already have knowledge of what I would write about.  Because of the stupid mistakes and problems I had with this caftan, (my fault--and this is what happens when one doesn't sew for awhile),  I will not be writing a full tutorial.
A replacement caftan for hubby was way overdue.  I won't even show what the old one looked like.  I made this from one I had made from the original one, purchased many years ago.  Sorry, DH, for the delay, but at least you have a new one now.

Hubby is average size, build, and weight so this pattern will work for most bodies.  If the person is large or small, adjust the width of the pieces (the hem bands will need to be wider by the same amount).  For short or the very tall, adjust length, as well as for the side band pieces.  The finished circumference, with 4 bands, is 50".








Generally, for 60" will need 1 garment length;
                 for 54" 1 garment length plus sleeve length;
                 for 45" 2 garment lengths plus additional for sleeves.

 
Bands: depend on length and width of main pieces.  I bought 2 yards of 40" wide for the bands and probably 1 3/4 was enough.
 
Neck bands:  measure from center front to center back and add two seam allowances.  Cut two.  Bands will be seamed at cf and cb.  Since cf is a V allow enough length for this.
 
Side bands:  I made 2" finished so doubled and added two 1/2" seam allowances so 5 times the length of shoulder to hem, plus two seam allowances.  Will need four of those. 
 
The neck band finished width is 1 3/4", the hem 2 3/4".
 
You can make them any width--just remember to double and add 2 seam allowances on all edges.  I also cut them longer than needed "just in case".
 
For a better fit you can shape the neck bands rather than cut them straight, but be certain to allow enough fabric.
 
One of my (stupid) mistakes is seen below:  I attached the wrong edge to the garment which is why the sleeve swings upward instead of downward.  Yes, I did correct it.
 
 


The sleeves could be cut as one piece, but I prefer to attach them to the main pieces, then sew shoulders and sleeve seams at the same time.

How I proceeded (excluding mistakes of course):  (You can vary the order according to your needs.

---stitch sleeves to main pieces
---stitch shoulder and sleeve seam
---apply neck band

Stitch one neck band piece from cf to cb.  Do same with the other.  Since I was using light-colored bands I decided to make the band facing in the darker color, to keep it cleaner a little longer.

---Stitch cfs together in one from neck band to hem.
---Stitch cbs together in one from neck band to hem.

---Fold bands in half and stitch to inside.  I stitched "in the ditch" from the right side, but you can also stitch together the seam allowances of the band and the garment instead.

---Stitch garment bands to body and sleeve hem.

Before turning side bands to inside they will be stitched to each other.  Line up the front band to back band and stitch down the center, beginning at the seam where the sleeve joins body, down as far as desired (I selected 12" above the hem as that was the way it was in the original purchased one).  You are forming the side seam which is approximately 19" long.  Do same for other side.



 

"

---Fold these bands and sew "facing' seam allowances as done for the neck band, trimming any excess in length if extra  "in case" amounts  were cut initially.

---Stitch the front and back hem bands to main pieces, which includes bottoms of side bands as before, folding under seam allowances at sides to make a nice finish.

---Sew on "Made With love for You" label. (optional)

Clear as mud?  This caftan is so much easier to make than to explain.  The wonderful thing about it:  no real fitting required.

This entry is dedicted todfr2010 to prove that I am sewing. :)

Testing with Pics

In my previous blog I tested the typing; I should have tested putting in pics!  I'm having a terrible time, especially getting them where I want them on the blog.  It says multiple pics can be put in but doesn't tell how to arrange them the way they are wanted.  One pic disappeared from the blog. 

Guess it will be awhile before my sewing blog entry will be up. :(

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Testing, testing the new Blogger

Before I write my sewing entry, I thought I would try the new Blogger to find out how it works.  As with anything new it probably will take awhile to work out the bugs.

One thing I forgot when I wrote the above was to ask if there is any word verification on my blog when trying to comment.   It seems that there were problems with that, and even those who had "no verification" checked, as I do,  still had it included with this new format.  The letters are difficult to read so some pass on commenting. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cameras Old and New




Technology doesn't always make things easier.


The Sony camera is approximately from 2000 purchased by my mother-in-law. It was one of the first digital cameras out. Yes, it takes floppies (which always causes a laugh when I mention that; in fact, some think I'm joking.)

When she purchased a newer one she gave this one to us. We didn't use it for a few years as we were quite happy with our one-step-down-from-a-pro-model Minolta.

The Sony is so easy to use: it is pretty much aim and press the shutter button. It isn't difficult getting the pics on our p.c. as we have a tower with a floppy drive, on of the last ones built with one.

The pics aren't always the clearest but it could be because we are using old discs.

It does get a little time consuming when trying to send a pic from my laptop because I have to get it on the p.c., then send it to myself in an e-mail, the save it to my laptop computer.

A few months ago we bought the Canon Power Shot ELPH 100 HS. The pictures are more clear, but the sizes of them! Holy moly! The buttons and functions on it are far too numerous! We certainly don't need all of those and would prefer larger buttons. The booklet which came with it is approximately fifty pages, just telling the basics; the remaining 150 pages I had to get online. That's a boatload of instructions.

I go to Paint to make them smaller in size. I was so happy with myself for learning how to do that. LOL.

After floppies went by the wayside I found out I really like them: you can abuse them and they don't care.

I must admit that it is nice to attach the camera with the cable and just download the pics to my laptop.

Ah, technology! It's just advancing too quickly for some of us, and doesn't necessarily make things easier.