17 September 2012

Japanese Short Rows... And a Bigger Neckline

Japanese Short Rows, take two!


I can now do them almost as easily as "wrap & turn" short rows. And the result makes it all worthwhile: almost invisible turns and smooth shaping.



This was also an experiment to try for a wider neckline. Success... almost too much. It was a bit too wide-mouthed. The upside was that I learned how a little eyelet crochet not only "filled in" the neckline but that it can be pretty too... a little wink of lace at the collar.

 

The usual tiny buttons at the rear...


Available here

28 June 2012

Big Sleeves: The Anne Shirley Prototype Dress


I finally conquered, or maybe that should read "survived," Japanese Short Rows.
It took at least five attempts to nail it on those sleeves. But the results were well worth the frustration. The subtlety of the shaping they provide is amazing. Until now, I had relied upon the wrap method but wraps are easily apparent in the finished knitting. Not so with Japanese Short Rows. If you go looking for them, you can spot them but they are not glaringly apparent.

Next up is to make some more puffed sleeves to become more at ease with the technique. I might forgo a dress and skip right to the sleeves... some more little sweaters perhaps.

Available here.

14 June 2012

(Japanese) Short Rows

Apparently, I have been doing short rows for years (e.g., shaping heels, shoulders, bustiers) without realizing it. Here is a linked list of tutorials, I want to revisit to check up on my technique ... especially the Nonaknits trifecta experiment!

Nonaknits test drives three methods:
• the wrap stitch short row,
• the yarn over short row, and
• the Japanese short row

Key things to remember about Japanese Short Rows:
  • the loop should always be correctly mounted, right leg in front (knit- or purlwise).
  • knitwise at the gap, pop the pin's loop onto the left needle, knit loop and next stitch together.
  • purlwise at the gap, slip the stitch, pop the loop, then slip the first stitch on the right needle back to the left needle; purl loop and stitch together.

Kaity has a very clear series of photos of what looks like Japanese Short Rows for a sock heel:
  • her old blog's post
  • her new blog's post

Purl Encroachment (a.k.a., Japanese Short Rows) at Hipknitism

Adorabubble's Photo Tutorial - Japanese short rows in the round


Extremely helpful videos showing Japanese Short Rows by MtMom here (skip to 4:20) and here.

15 May 2012

Do-Over


This post came about not because of knitting or crocheting but because of rerooting. This is still, essentially a needle art but involving, brace, brace, brace,  dolls. Basically, you get a doll and hate her hair  or it is in such poor condition that you replace it.

Anyway, the point of the post is that my in-laws have a favourite anecdote about so-and-so's great aunt who was a knitter but went bonkers without losing her knitting skill (sounds like heaven!). However, her "tic" was to knit a sock and then, just at the very end, rip it out. Her family would watch her and save/snatch these socks for completion by someone else. It is a good story but I always wonder: was she really all that crazy. I do this sort of thing all of the time.

So that anecdote is why a balding doll is popping up here. And, it really is needlework. The closest cousin is either rug hooking or tapestry. Regardless, it is still needles and fibers. 

And, I think my dear little EW is much prettier with her do-over. Margarita Rosa's suggestion of a beefier needle helped so much. I was "getting by" with needles on hand and they kept breaking. But more annoying was the stubble effect: stray hairs poking up through the most recent but also adjacent holes. On Margarita Rosa's advice I used a proper rerooting needle and saw instantaneous improvement. Then, of course, it broke. So, I combed through my large gauge needles and found some very long darning needles that seem to work very well. And, best of all, almost no stubble!

So, back to the "do over" theme of this post...
I was 95% done with this reroot, take one.  But based upon my findings:
  • use a needle with a large eye and thick stem (i.e., large gauge), and longer really is more convenient, hence the "reroot needle"
  • hemostats sound precious and creepy but they actually work better than needle nose pliers... that locking grip is very nice after your 101st plug/loop.
  • Use many but smaller plugs
  • Take your time
  • Don't run from do-over's
I had to cut of and rip off that 95% sub-par reroot to-date. As I snipped the mess into the waste bin, I was thinking about my mental state but no one was around to snatch away the almost complete socks, er, doll head. And so I persevered.

Anyway, I think that "do over" was actually not so crazy. The smaller plugs are better... providing a  silkier, lighter head of hair.

And my pop culture reference (it really has been back of mind), is Liz Lemon's need for a do over. What a wonderful concept.

Knot Method - tutorial at Wide Eyed Girls by Dan Lee
Locked Loop Method - tutorial at the Puchi Collective
Two Needle Anchor Thread MethodPhoto-documentation by Dolls Ahoy! and animation at Mod Colors


02 May 2012

Daisy Protoype Dress, Take Two

Do you remember the Daisy Protoype Dress?
Well, as expected, it fits Blythe very well too. I cannot decide who it suits more but I really, really like it on Blythe.




28 April 2012

Action Line-esque


I found and finally finished an early interpretation of this groovy Patons pattern


This was made during the still very early days of my crocheting. I had hidden it away after making it, with its ends all hanging out, no blocking, and no buttons. So it was a bit archaeological to pull it out now and "marvel" at some its characteristics while finishing it.



What would I do differently?
• make is looser, primarily in the legs
• rounder shoulders
• longer sleeves


And, oh, make fewer button holes! What was I thinking? I hate sewing on buttons. Oy. Also, the back, buttoned opening seems to be assymetrical. Was this planned? I cannot recall but it does not seem to impact the fit in a bad way. It remains a design mystery.


All in all, I think it was a strong "first pass" at that groovy pattern. I think that I might revisit it again. There are not enough Blythe pantsuits out there.

23 April 2012

BLUE BELL HAT Crochet Pattern No 036, Take Two


This was a second pass at this cute and fun pattern. This time using a slightly softer palette and superwash yarn.

18 April 2012

Sun Hats



Too late for Easter but just in time for Spring/Summer: colourful raffia hats.
I actually made these last Spring/Summer–some during a trip to Hawaii–but it took me forever to block them!

It has been so long since then but I think I made them with the intent of fitting Poppy Parker and her kith and kin. However, knitting on the road without a fit model can lead to interesting results.

The hats fit Poppy but they are quite loose. The upside is that, with a hat pin, this allows for optimal styling.

I decided to try them on some of my other dolls...
They fit Daisy very well without her wig. In fact, I think that they suit her best. Keep in mind that she is absolutely adorable and everything looks best on her. Heheh.

They also fit very well a certain other Mademoiselle (you know, the one who "is not a doll"). Email me for pictures of that if you are curious.


Available here.

13 April 2012

Striped Cardigan


This cardigan has been hanging around forever.
I kept losing and rediscovering it in my knitting basket... sewing on another button every so often.
Initially, I was really psyched about the colour combination. But as it was being knit, I found it stiff because of the cotton fiber and the gauge of the yarn. I fell out of love with it, which explains the lengthy post-production time.
But, once I finally got it on a doll, I loved it. The stiffness of the tight "weave" makes it look very tidy and tailored. And the fit is spot on for Blythe!

Available here.

12 April 2012

Red Cardigan



Remember the red cardigan prototype? It also fits Blythe (and therefore it should fit Moofs and Momokos and some other 1:6 dolls).

The fit is still loose on Blythe which means it might even fit some more busty dolls. I should try it on my FR2's body.

It is en route to a new home in Seattle!

Daisy Protoype Dress



This was my second prototype for Daisy: a dress. The fit was much closer than the cardigan and turned out very well. This seems like a great style for her.

This is also the latest attempt to perfect puffed sleeves. It seems really close to the mark: a nice pouffy, rounded shape that stands up nicely. I will be using this technique again!





And, oh yes, those buttons work!

10 April 2012

Daisy Prototype Cardigan



This was my first pass at a prototype sweater for Daisy.
I used my favourite doll-scaled yarn, Enchanté by Kaalund, in their Pointsettia colourway. It photographs much more variegated than it appears in person.

I was concerned about Daisy's curvy figure fitting into my default Blythe-sized knitting. I tried to loosen it up a bit. It fits her but looser than I had imagined it would. The cuffs were fine and fit over her hands easily with the use of dressing mitts.

All of the buttons and buttonholes are operable.

This was also an exercise in perfecting the puffed sleeve without resorting to an inset sleeve. I was mildly pleased with the effect but have since made a revision to a portion of the technique. It might be the solution.

Next it needs to be tried on Blythe and Una but it should fit them fine.

02 April 2012

Long Gradient Yarn


I stumbled upon a wonderful, mathy-y knitting blog called The Work Is Getting To Me. It had a post on long gradient yarn and how to make it yourself!
I was immediately reminded of Moonstitches's highly covetable yarn, Diamondokeito/Diakeito, DiaScenery/Diamusee Fine.
The nice thing about the technique is that she does not use lacerating chemicals, just Kool Aid! Cheap and easy!
I plan to make this hat, also from The Work Is Getting To Me.

20 February 2012

Turban

Daisy Candids


Trying out a turban on-hand...
The FR turban was a bit snug but still fit.

Daisy is the delightful new doll by Jung Hee Park of Bambola World. She is approximately the size of a Blythe but with a more proportional head. She is super cute and comes in an increasing number of face iterations.

09 January 2012

Anemone Mittens

Anemone Mittens


Making the tendrils for Cat Bordhi's Anemone Hat was so much fun that I decided to make some mittens that featured them.

I used the same yarn but slightly smaller needles and cast on 32 stitches after doing some gauge calculations. The pattern is a simple, gusset-thumb, cuffed mitten but with tendrils all over the back of the hand.

Big Boy likes them and so do his classmates, petting them at every opportunity.

07 January 2012

Water Lily Scarf



Noro Catherine Wheel Scarf by Michelle Mooney.
Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM).
Inspired by Moonstitches Rhubarb Scarf.
Colour palette inspired by Monet.

I wish it had been a bit denser but I did not have enough yarn to make it as long as I had hoped and so it had to have the bejeezus stretched out of it, when I blocked it.

NB:
Buy more yarn… at least two skeins of each colour next time.
On final row (i.e., the ruffled edge), instead of 1sc, 3ch, 1sc in each of the previous rows dc’s, do this: 1sc, 3ch, 1sc, slip 1 in next dc, repeat. This creates a flatter ruffle but I like it more than the busier, original ruffle.

03 January 2012

Anemone Hat

Anemone Hat by Cat Bordhi


This was easy and fun to knit once I stopped thinking too much about the mechanics of a moebius brim.

The two best things about making it were learning to:
• make those wormy tendrils, and
• execute Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off

Cat Bordhi's Anemone Hat

31 December 2011

Swallowtail Shawl



Swallowtail Shawl, Pattern by Evelyn A. Clark
Next time I would use a yarn less fuzzy than this alpaca to better show the pattern.

05 December 2011

Blocking

Blocking Rods/Wires:
At Lacis

Alternatives to blocking rods/wires:

String blocking at Knitting on Circular Needles.
At a welding supplier, ask for stainless steel "tig" rods (approx. 30 or so, each 3' long in a plastic tube for about $16)

Blocking Boards:
DIY board using homosote and gingham at Yarn Maven.
Flexible Interlocking Blocking Tiles by Coco Knits and at KnitPicks.
EZ Blocking Boards,
Large Bi-fold Format.
Wondermat, a thrifty alternative

Other uses of blocking:
Add a zipper with blocking wires photo-tutorial at Split Yarn

15 November 2011

Yarn Stores

Rohrspatz & Wollmeise
Andreas Wellmann
Schulstr. 10
85276 Pfaffenhofen/Ilm
http://www.wollmeise-yarnshop.de/

Artfibers - They are back in the city on Sutter near Grant!
266 Sutter St., third floor (elevator)
San Francisco CA 94108
Phone: 415.956.6319
Toll Free: (888) 326-1112
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday: 11-6 closed Monday
http://www.artfibers.com


Jimmy Beans Wool - excellent online service; Panda Silk available
5000 Smithridge Drive #A11, Reno NV 89502
Phone (775)827-YARN (9276)
Toll Free (877) JBW-KNIT (529-5648)
http://www.jimmybeanswool.com

Atelier Yarns
1945 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94115-2518
(415) 771-1550
http://www.atelieryarns.com/

Imagiknit - massive selection
3897 18th St. (at Sanchez)
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 621-6642
Monday-Saturday 11-6:30, Sunday 11-4
http://www.imagiknit.com/

PURL
137 Sullivan Street
New York, NY 10012
phone: (212)420-8796
(212) 420-8798
Monday through Friday 12-7;
Saturday and Sunday 12-6
http://www.purlsoho.com/purl

19 July 2011

Claire-Anne O'Brien

At the complete opposite end of the scale from Petit Tricotage, we have Claire-Anne O'Brien's jumbo knits:


Knit Stools

British Wool Chair

From her website:
"... Her work plays with technique and scale creating playful and tactile fabrics for interiors. This sculptural approach to textiles brings fabrics to life in three dimensions through form exploration and furniture."