Monday, October 28, 2013

Northmavine Blocking

Where were we? ah yes.

The Northmavine hoody has had a bath and is now blocking:

I did draw a face to put on here but it looked a bit too spooky...
I did one pocket, looked at the  pocket, wasn’t sure about pocket. I tried it on (in its admittedly unblocked state) and disliked the pocket intensely. So I undid the pocket and sewed up both pocket holes. On the upside, I don’t have to do another pocket!:

I have nothing against pockets usually, but on this they made my hips look gigantic, which is not allowed.
So, since I didn't do the pockets I decided I would do the hood, why not. I find these increases very pleasing:
 I got so carried away with the hood I decided to start grafting it at about 10.15 one night, after wine. A BIG MISTAKE. It all went so much better at 1pm the next day, though I did muck up the last three stitches, otherwise I'm really pleased with the stripe continuity over the hood.

Three rogue reverse stocking stitches, I am going to have to live with it
I started the long long slog of interfacings and applied I cord straight away, to avoid the danger of putting it away for a 'rest'. The interfacings were a bit fiddly mainly because my interchangeable needles kept unscrewing themselves.

Then I started the Icord, which I measured in episodes of Battlestar Galactica. I have arrived at the equation that 1 episode of BG = 15cm of Icord , unless the episode is particuilarly thrilling (like the one when the Pegasus turns up with the alarming hard line Admiral on board) in which case it's more like 7.5cm of Icord (or, a 50% drop off in productivity due to gawping at the TV) - the interfaces and Icord alone on this garment is equal to about half of Season 2.

Some interfacing and Icord. It is worth it.
Now all I need is a zip (ordered from the interwebz) to sew in, sew it in, and I am good to go.

Quite a lot of this knitting has been done through the great upheaval of 'having the roof done'. It turns out the roof was full of shredded wheat, air and bees nest (is it a nest when not in a hive?) so it's not surprising we've been so very cold every winter:

You never know what's living feet away from you.
They finished it just in time for "The Great Storm That Wasn't That Great Really of 2013" but we do at least have a giant birch tree down in next door's back garden to show for it.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cover Me

(Ha, yes, apparently still not over the Springsteen thing...).

Anyway, I have had this old jumper knocking about for a few years now, I bought it in a charity shop  for about £3.00, probably with the idea of un-ravelling it and using the yarn for something. However, as so often with manufactured knitwear, it was cut out of yards of knit cloth rather than being knitted as a piece, so the unravelling - it just doesn't work.

Charity shop jumper basking in the autumn sun, with little idea of what lies ahead...
I decided it was good cushion cover fodder, with a bit of wrangling.  I also needed to make a quick thing as a respite from the Northmavine Hoody (however lovely big projects are, it's nice to have a break and do something you can finish in an hour!).

I didn't like the 'worms' much, nor the Roman-numeralesque thing on the border, however it's a a lovely soft knit - I think in some kind of angora mix yarn (the label is gone). I removed the worms, but they left their imprint on the main fabric:

So I chucked the thing into the washer at 60degrees and gave it a bit of a felting. Even though I have now steeked I am still not that blase about cutting up knitting, even £3 charity shop knitting, in it's raw state. The felting kept it together nicely, and also of course made the fabric firmer and easier to machine sew. I did totally fail to 'dry flat' so it gained a slightly drunken border (as you will see later, I did it on purpose of course....).

I bought a couple of cushions in the sale in one of those bargain shops a bit ago - it's usually cheaper than going out and buying cushion pads (crazy eh?).  I used one for the Sashiko Cushion a while ago, the other had been hanging about annoyingly in its vile polyester cover. The vile cover did come in useful though:
It also means it'll be the right size for the cushion pad.
This is my usual cushion cover pattern, the front is in one piece...
Note the on-purpose slopey blue block....
...the back in two with an overlap - I used the ribbed edging for one of the edge which will show, the other I had to hem:
The most nail biting bit. Though if I'm honest there wasn't much nail biting in this one really

Then I sewed the whole thing together (I tell you, once I learnt to pin like this, life got massively easier machine sewing wise!):
Then you can just sew (carefully) along them you see...dead easy!

I did leave a gigantic seam allowance to deal with any unravelling-despite-felting while this thing was in progress. But of course you can't leave the gigantic seam allowance there because you'll have a bumpy edged cushion (not a good look). I zigzagged round and trimmed it down to avoid that problem:

Finished item. I am not sure if it's an abstract tree or sunset or what, but it's certainly cosy, cost about £5 altogether and took about an hour to make, all in:


Friday, October 04, 2013

Northmavine Hoody - quite a lot of progress

I started this Northmavine back in April. Then we had the hottest summer we've had for years and really, Shetland wool in 28 degree heat is a bit unmanageable (by the way if anyone is reading this in a farenheit type of country that's 82 degrees, which we like to revert to in the UK when it gets really hot, as it sounds so much more impressive). So I put it away and went to see Bruce Springsteen and to several festivals. All the time though, in the gaps between events, I could see it lurking in knitting corner...

I fear if we were to remove all the yarn and Lego from the house it would collapse

Come September and we had a bit of a cold snap, so the Shetland wool suddenly seemed quite attractive again. We also bought a new TV, which came equipped with Netflix and other such wonders of the modern age. There's nothing like immersing yourself in a TV series to help the stockinette along, but it has to be the right kind; not too challenging, and easy enough to follow if you decide you actually should check you have 196 stitches now. I do like a silly cop show (CSI NY is pretty much a grown ups version of Scooby Doo after all) - so 'Castle' seemed to fit the bill - all 34 episodes of Season 1 and Season 2.

This is how it's been going:

18Sep2013 - first sleeve done to joining stage, second sleeve begun. Speed of knitting can only be explained by recent subscription to Netflix and availability of easy to watch while knitting fairly funny/cute/silly/unresolved sexual tension filled murder mystery cop show ‘Castle’ starring Nathan Fillion out of Firefly.

Even the wrong side is lovely.
25Sep2013 - Sleeves and body joined in perfect harmony. I feel I am on the home straight. Nice reference to ‘Firefly’ in S2 Ep6 of Castle.

Clever hem bits. Also on sleeves. Ends.
28Sep2013 - Raglan shaping almost done (well 19 out of 29 repeats which is more than halfway). Meanwhile in Castle S2 - Beckett’s flat was blown up by a crackers serial killer. Later, in my favourite  episode to date, Castle though he was cursed by a Mayan mummy (I love it when they have crazy archaeology story lines, real archaeology is so much more humdrum).

Raglan, my favourite kind of shoulder. Must find out more about Lord of same name.

Then I ran out of Castle (though Season 3 is now on Channel 5, so I have set the magical recorder box to record it). And started on 'Battlestar Galactica'. Because there's nothing better than a silly cop show than some Sci-Fi...

03Oct2013 -Finished all the raglan decreases, and got to the bit where the hood is started. However I am not yet decided on the whole hood thing. So I have started the pockets instead (in J&S again but some natural white I had left over from Sheepheid). I have moved on from ‘Castle’ while some episodes accumulate on the magical recorder and started on ‘Battlestar Galactica’. This was slow at first but then really delivers (oh, the revelations and major plot points!)  in Episode 2. There was almost too much delivering as I actually had to put the knitting down and watch what was going on. Also, really very good space battles...I quite like the look of those Cylon spaceships, even though I know them to be (probably, but who knows really?) evil.

It looks like its on the wrong way but I believe you tuck it in after. I trust Kate.
 I will continue pocketing, and then decide if I'm doing a hood or not.

So almost finished I can *feel* it...apart from the massive i-cord edging thing.