The Hamilton dress

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Finally The Hamilton dress is ready!

Last year I went on summer vacation to Edinburgh, Scotland, and I fell for this fabric that I found in the Tartan Weaving Mill on The Royal Mile. According to the seller, the tartan belongs to The Hamilton Clan, hence the name for the dress.

Anyway – after having thought about it for a while, I came to the conclusion that I wanted the fabric to become a dress. And of course I had only bought enough fabric to make a skirt.

Normal people would probably go ahead and make a skirt under such circumstances, but being a dress addict, that was not going to happen. So the fabric lay in a drawer for a few months…

In spring this year, I discovered Holst Yarn in Denmark – they make the most wonderful, thin wool yarn, Supersoft. And it comes in many colors – and the price is very reasonable.

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So I bought a few colors, some greys, and after another few months I bought some more greys, still not thinking about the tartan.

About a year after the summer vacation in Scotland, I pulled out the fabric again, then I came to think about the yarn I bought, and wouldn’t you know – four of the grey yarn cakes matched pretty well to the fabric.

Then I found a supereasy dress pattern, and cut out the front and back parts of the dress. The dress had insitions, but I dropped these to show of the tartan as untouched as possible.

Having reached the point of no return, i.e. the cutting of my fine fabric, I took the necessary measures and started knitting the pieces that was still missing.

There is no pattern for the dress, but I will give a short description of how to make it here.

dsc_0918First of all, it is important that you have enough stretch in the hem to walk comfortably, so I started with italian cast on for the knitted side panels.

To have a close to perfect fit, it is also preferable that the knitting itself is as stretchy as possible, so I chose to make the side panels in one by one ribbing.

To look slimmer, the stripes should ideally have been vertical, but then I would have to sacrifice a good fit and comfort, so this was not actually an option for me.

Then there was the problem of choosing edge stitches – I didn’t want the knitting to become too loose compared to the fabric, so the solution was double edge stitches.

Shaping was the next challenge – and how to shape the dress from hips to waist and up to under the arms. I have decreased and increased only the purl stitches, so that the lines of the knit stitches are undisturbed. And at the same time I have made sure to keep the edge stitches, and place the decreases and increases at least 3 stitches from the edges, so that there’s one continuous line from the hem and up to sew in.

There’s an invisible zipper in the back – this is actually not necessary, because the dress is stretchy enough to be pulled over the head. Inserting zippers gives me a headache, so next time I make a dress like this, I will definitely drop this.

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Other than the back seam, zipper and neck facing, the dress is sewn by hand. It takes a lot shorter time than one should expect, but it is of course more time consuming than machine sewing – which is not possible to do with a good result when knitted and woven fabric shall be united. I have used invisible hem stitches, and for the joining of the knit and woven fabric I used some sort of back/matress stitching – I am afraid my language skills when it comes to hand sewing techniques are not good enough, so I will describe it instead: Put the fabrics right sides together. Insert the needle into the knitted part, as close to a knit stitch as possible and grab two treads of yarn (from 2 rnds), then go 1 mm back and insert the needle into the woven fabric, and pull it out 2-3 mm above, then grab the next two treads from the knitted part, and so on. This is firm enough to hold the two pieces together, and at the same time gives enough stretch to pull both fabrics and the seams as much as needed for normal wear. (At least I hope so, only time will tell if it will tear in the seams…)

That is basically it. No lining yet – but maybe I will put some in later on.

The dress will be put to the test next week, I am going to Scotland again, so it seems to be a good outfit for some more fiber shopping. I will not wear it to the pub though, there might be karaoke and dancing, and the best way to keep accidents from happening is probably to not wear it when drinking.

The next challenge will be making a cardigan to go with a button my mother gave me a few months ago. She has had it since the 1970’s, and it is a  royal blue retro plastic gem of a button that deserves a stunning garment…

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Random lace cowl

This pattern is inspired by the Random Lace Scarf by Sybil R, but with one important difference: The random lace cowl is not knitted at random, but after a planned pattern.

IMG_20160808_163105_medium2Random knitting demands that you constantly count your stitches, and for a good result you should probably also be fairly consistent throughout your project regarding approximately how many stitches you use of each type on each rnd. This proved to be way too demanding for me, so the easier option was to create a pattern that look random, but without being random. It was also important to me that the pattern is not very difficult to remember, since constantly looking at the pattern slows down the knitting.

I used scrap yarn for this project, Kauni variegated yarn in yellow, orange and red. The colors alone could keep you warm during the winter, and I have also tried to make some flame like structures in the pattern. I guess it is a little too much, it sort of reminds me of flame laquered cars from the 80’s, but it was a fun project.

 

 

 

Table runner in basket weave stitch

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Another scrap yarn project, just to test a couple of new techniques.

(None of these are for beginners, at least all the techniques are new to me, and being a tech nerd, I therefore guess that they are new to most knitters. The explanation below may therefore be a little difficult to follow. If you have trouble, I recommend that you google the techniques to find simple tutorials.)

Cast on 8 sts on dpns (use large needles compared to what you would normally do for the yarn you are using). Start making a magic circle cast on. After a couple of rnds this can be tightened so that there’s no hole in the middle.

Divide the work into 4 parts (with 1 st each) and 4 corner sts, and continue to knit in basket weave stitch. Knit the first rnd.

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Increase 1 st in the start and end of every one of the 4 parts on each rnd. Take care so that this doesn’t mess up the pattern.

Basket weave st is formed by 2 alternating rnds. In the first rnd knit the 2nd of 2 sts from behind, then the first, and slip both off the needle. In the second rnd, knit the second st from the front, then the first st, and slip both sts off the needle.

IMG_20160714_124329Continue until you reach the desired size or there’s no more yarn left.

The edge is based on the Ten stitch blanket by Frankie Brown. The edge is knitted in garter st. Cast on 10 sts on a separate needle, and start in the middle of one of the sides, from the back side of the work. For each row slip the last st, pick up one st from the side of the runner, and pass the slipped st over the picked up st. The corners are formed using short rows, wraps and turns, and to finish it off, the gap in the side is closed using kitchener stitch.

 

Tubular scarf in mesh

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This is a great project for scrap yarn. As you will know by now I aim to use all my scraps for a good purpose.

The scarf can be made in every width or length you like, depending on how much yarn you have.

It is possible to make the scarf in all kinds of materials, the one above is in cotton linen mix and the one below is in pure wool.

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The tuquoise scarf has garter st edgings, but if you want it more open, like the beige one, make it with double edge stitches instead.

I have made the turquoise scarf without a twist, but if you want an infinity scarf, like the beige one, you just twist it once before you kitchener it together.

Bolero

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Bolero made to fit. It can be used both with casual clothes and with a dress.

The bolero is worked bottom up, with raglan inset sleeves and mini cables both in the ribbing and in the raglan parts.

The yarn is a mix between wool and cotton.
The pattern was published in Allers in the end of July 2016. Pattern in english and norwegian is available through Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/7-bolero-2.

 

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The 7 day dress pattern is ready

Finally the pattern is ready for sale. It is available in english and norwegian, and in addition to the dress and accessories pattern there are also patterns for a skirt and 2 tops in different lengths.

Read more about the dress in an earlier blog post here: https://skattensdiy.wordpress.com/2016/03/26/the-7-day-dress/

Buy pattern here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/5-the-7-day-dress

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Spheres

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There is no reason to limit yourself to making flat objects. I think these spheres will eventually become lamps, but for now they are just part of an experiment hosting plants that grow without soil. A pattern of sorts is written below the picture.

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Cast on 16 sts on dpn’s. K 1 rnd stockinette st. Increase to 32 sts on rnd 3. K 3 rnds stockinette st. K mesh pattern over 4 rnds 8 times. (See below.) K 3 rnds stockinette st. Decrease to 16 sts on next rnd. K 1 rnd stockinette st. Decrease to 8 sts on next rnd. Pull yarn through all sts and pull yarn end. Weave in loose ends.

Mesh pattern: Rnd 1 *yo k2tog*. Repeat. Rnd 2 stockinette st. Rnd 3 *slip 1 st, k 1 st, psso, yo*. Rnd 4 stockinette st.

Use balloons to shape, add glue, let dry, repeat if needed.