Friday, June 30, 2006

Future Projects

I haven't been knitting much lately, but I've been thinking about making the Bonita shirt from the summer Interweave Knits in Knitpicks Shine. I don't know if I would do all the embroidery, but I like how it looks. I tested out a swatch of Shine, and I liked knitting with it. It's so smooth, so I wanted to try it out as a sweater. I've haven't made anything with pure cotton yet, so it will be interesting to try it. I've mostly been sewing, and that's a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Even when I measure right, and think that I'm sewing a straight line, I comes out crooked. I try ripping out the seams with a seam ripper, but it cuts the fabric instead. It's frustrating, but I mainly want to do fabric collages, or art quilts, for wall hangings, so sewing in a straight line won't matter as much.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Machine

I got my first sewing machine a couple of days ago, and am learning how to use it. I think it's from the 1960's, but it works well so far. I've only used one other sewing machine, which probably from the 1950's, since it weighed about 60 pounds or something. I eventually want to use it to make art quilts, but I'm trying to make really simple stuff right now. I wanted to get a really fancy one with lots of stitches, but I don't think I need that. It's hard enough just trying understand how to use it, and getting the stitches to be straight. I never seem to cut the fabric exactly, then the seams are uneven. Hopefully it won't take too long to get better at it. I really like the art quilts that I've seen. They almost look like paintings or collages. I don't understand how they put them together, though, and how everything looks so even. I think I might just make a simple quilts with squares or triangles to start with. That might be difficult enough at this point.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Cupcake Unfinished and Stitches

I finished the back of Cupcake, from the Happy Hooker. My gauge is completely different from the pattern, so I changed the measurements and the increases a lot. I started another one, but it would have been way too small, because I didn't pay attention to the gauge at first. I used the recommended Amazon DK yarn, which was cheap, and seems good so far.
I haven't been working on this project for a while, since I got a stitch dictionary, Vogue Stitchionary. The book has a lot of good stitches in it, that seem up to date. I looked at some other books, and a lot of the patterns reminded me of bad clothing from the seventies and eighties. I've been trying out different lace patterns with different yarns, to see how the yarn affects the lace pattern. It's interesting, because I get a lot of ideas of things to add to plain patterns that I've seen.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Designing Sweaters

I've been trying to design a sweater myself, and it's not easy. I found this page, which helps in charting patterns, except the font for the spreadsheet seems to have problems. If I wanted to make cables with both purl and knit stitches, the font doesn't work. I don't know if it's the font or my computer, or what. It works well for other stuff, though. Another thing is that it's difficult to figure out where lace patterns or cables should go on a sweater, so they don't interfere with shaping. It would be easier to make a sweater that has no shaping, but I don't like how those fit. I also realized that I need to learn how sweaters fit, and how the amount of ease affects it, and basic information about shirt construction. In a lot of patterns, I like only certain aspects of it, but I don't know how to change them, and have the altered sweater fit right. I can't find information on how exactly to knit different collar and neckline styles, and have it work with the sweater. Designing sweaters and knitted stuff myself seems to be the next step for me. I can learn more about the overall construction, instead of just blindly following the pattern, not really knowing why I'm doing the increasing at a certain point, or whatever.

Friday, June 09, 2006