grandcarriage's blog

Spoiling the image

I have discovered that finding out that I knit spoils the image for some of the fellows I date. A big burly guy, does stonework, creates gardens, trains horses, works on cars... but also knits socks hats mittens sweaters and does repair work on same.... Well POOP on them. If I end up a spinster, so be it. I'll just have my dogs and horses and gardens...and walls covered in yarn filled shelving. (I sound like a quilter....) That being said, I feel pretty good today (in spite of the rainy weather). Last night I fixed a holey wool afghan for a fellow. His late wife knit it for his late mother, and now he has it. I was able to exactly match the felted texture of it with "Merino Frappe" which was a close color match as well. Due to the felting, there was no way this puppy was going to come apart, but nor could I crochet the repairs: I had to fake the texture with a darning needle: Making loops and pulling the yarn through in a series of chains, and then sewing the chain down to the undamaged crochet. It's not exact, but you really have to look close to find the repairs, and I'm sure he will be very happy. I've never met him (the owner) and I look forward to delivering it to him in person. After that I repaired a very fine cashmere top. The yarn was a fine as thread, so that's what I used...ever tried doing duplicate stitch in sewing thread. It's possible, but you need good eyes and good lighting. Amazingly, outside of the sheen of the cotton, the repair is almost invisible. (It doesn't feel as soft, of course, but as the repair is on a hidden section of the neck (back of turtle neck) It should be fine. Ah well....Out into the rain with me.

Gaudisocks and the one bear.

OK, these were made from two balls of sale wool ($3 a pop) of those "Why did I buy that?" purchases...Probably because it is wool and it was cheap. I knit these waiting for and on the plane to and from San Francisco. Very warm, comfy and delightfully obnoxious.

Felted mittens, a primer

Felt an old sweater, or the use the one accidentally felted by your "sweetheart". This is a very good use for those wool sweaters that have moth-holes you don't or can't fix. Top stitch over any holes with sewing machine to stabilize fabric before felting. You will fold felted fabric, and the fold will become the thumb side of the mitten. Mark and cut a mitten shape sans bottom cuff, DO NOT CUT FOLD: The mitten will be more comfortable if there is no seam on this side. Same theory, cut a thumb shape with the fold on the inside of thumb, not forgetting to have a little extra ease, especially at the bottom. In the folded side of the mitten, slash an opening where the thumb will attach. A slit about 2-2 1/2 inches should suffice. Pin and stitch the thumb to the mitten using a short straight stitch. (If the felt isn't terribly firm, do two rows, close together: You want a small seam allowance. Wrong side out, stitch down outside edge of thumb using same technique as above. Straight stitch and zigzag, or serge across bottom of mitten to secure fabric structure. (Do not stitch the bottom of mitten closed.)
Wrong side out, Str Stch and zigzag (or serge) the top and side of outside of mitten closed.

the sash

Someone asked about the sash I knit for my highlander outfit. It is knit in Peruvian Tweed alpaca and Blue Moon mohair miniloop boucle (Olive garden is the color). Size 10.5 needles, K10, P10 rib for 90 stitches and 8 feet. (I think the whole thing cost about $70 for materials.) 1 skein each, lots of yardage on both. I still have enough yarn left to knit a scarf out of the same.

Side to side sweater

Someone was asking about a side to side sweater. Here is a raglan one I did last winter in Plymouth Outback Mohair: A very good value~ 52" chest sweater in 4 skeins for a total cost of $45. It is very comfortable and light, not too warm, and was a very fast knit. I decided that I prefered it in reverse stockinette, although I have the same yarn in a different color and may do saddle shoulder side to side in regular stockinette, just to compare the finished results.
The decrease bands in "X's & O's" cable were knit separately and added afterwards. The collar and waist rib were added last. (I will probably take off the bottom rib and put on a rolled hem: I don't like the rib in mohair. The collar is doubled over on itself. Note how good the variegated yarn looks side to side: Kind of a rorschach test pattern. I get lots of compliments on this easy and quick sweater.

somewhat fancy

This was my senior studio thesis project for my BFA in 1990. It is a hand-doubleknit scarf, fully reversible as you can see. Some of the yarn was handspun by me: The fuzzy carmel colored one is Collie (leftovers from a commissioned sweater/blazer that I spun/designed/knit~ I can't find pictures of that creation, don't ask)

The scarf is NOT a tube, but a flat piece of fabric. Similar to double weave, but identical front and back, where as doubleweave is the reverse front to a negative. It is approx 7 feet long and mainly wool, silk, collie, angora, with a little linen, mohair, and rayon thrown in. It has held up pretty well for 16 years of use (although I keep it for "special" as you can imagine).

PS: The collie yarn is fabulous: Incredibly soft and furry, doesn't just want to "roll around nekkid on it". The sweater/blazer was done for a collie breeder who wanted something to wear while showing his dogs in the cooler months: It was a shaped cardigan like a blazer with a shawl collar: Made in sock weight collie plied with a fine tussah silk. It was gorgeous, and he had it lined. I don't know how warm it was: It was done to his measurements, and

Christmas stockings

Here is the 1934 "Ladies Home Companion" (Uk version) Christmas stocking. The finished one is by "granny" for client in 1971. It is being knit in fingerling weight acrylic/nylon (hard to find christmas colors these days in real wool). I am turning the heel on the sock right now and should have it completed in an hour or two. I will be swiss darning the name and various details on it.

I think I will detox after I finish the second one by knitting some "Dr. Seuss" Christmas socks...big candy striped ones in red/white or green/white with 7 toes, or something. Or maybe with one long pointy toe, ala "Who-ville". I am just a little cutsie-d out. I need something bizarre.

knitting frenzy

CRAPPY WEATHER. I work outside as long as I can bear it. The flat is halfway turned into a fiber studio, and looks like a tornado hit it. My current projects are mostly repair, BUT I got a coolish commission last night: To knit a pair of Christmas stockings from a 1930ish pattern for two young kids. Evidently granny has knit abot 30+ of these stockings for the family, but is too old to do it anymore, and the youngest are the only ones bereft. It's not hard: The pattern is poorly written, but I have a sample to work from...Just a long skinny stocking with chilren in intarsia, then a panel with santa, and then a panel with pine-trees before it becomes a standard stock bottom. What I stand to make from these will pay half a month's rent. AMEN! And, I borrowed a digital camera, soI can finally photograph some of my knit projects. Hoo hoo!