Monday, December 17, 2012

Norwegian Knitting

I bought the book Norwegian Knitting Designs just based on the photograph of the sweater design on the cover.  I was really intrigued by this sweater and had to have the book.  I was not disappointed.  I love the cover design and  several others in the book.

I picked out the following sweater, "Garter Stitch Jacket" as my first sweater design to knit out of this book, because I thought I could use up a bit of my stash on this one.  I am really trying to use up my stash.  And I am, slowly but surely.  However, I do find that I use a little bit of stash, then I have to go back and buy more so that I can knit whatever design I have decided upon.  In this case, I had five colors in the right gauge, but needed fifteen total.  I went to the store and traded some recently bought yarn that I didn't need for three of the ten I needed, but I still had to buy seven colors.  

Here are the fifteen colors I ended up with for this design.  In my case, the turquoise and blues will be the predominate sweater color, and the reds will end up more has highlights.  

But first, I have to finish my button sweater.  I am almost done with one sleeve.  I then discovered I had misinterpreted the directions and had to take off the part above the cuff and the turn the cuff around and graft it back to the sleeve.  I think I am going to make the sleeves longer, so I will knit a few more inches before I knit them to the sweater skirt.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Button Sweater

After finishing a sweater for my daughter, I turned back to my stash and decided what to knit with.  I had bought a Spanish yarn from a sale years ago and had yet to do anything with it.  It is Gedifra's Marokko which is 100 percent cotton.  After looking through loads of books and magazines, I chose a sweater from Classic Elite Yarns' Winter Whimsy 2009 pattern book called the Embroidered Button Jacket.  Although I love the buttons which do make the sweater, I have been a bit lazy in thinking about making the buttons.

I have finished the bottom of the sweater up to the armholes.  I am now working on the sleeves which are then joined to the bottom.  The bottom of the sweater is knit in the round.  I hope to finish in time to wear the sweater in the spring.

I went looking for buttons last week and found some at a local knit shop that I LOVED.  But, when I looked at the price I was really bummed;  they were $216.  There were 3 buttons in a stack and five stacks, supposedly all were vintage buttons.  I came home and got on the internet to search.  I didn't find an exact match, but I did find these great little bakelite buttons for $10.45 for 6.  The are little 1/2 inch buttons in various colors with a rounded surface on top and an interesting shape.  They are the littlest buttons in the pile below.  Next, I decided to see if I could find some others that would work with these little vintage buttons in a stack.  I found some dark reddish brown buttons, and light wood-toned hexagonal buttons.

I haven't decided if I will use them like this.  I like them better in person than in the photo below, but I will keep thinking about it.  I may still embroider the buttons for this sweater and save the ones below for another sweater.  I will keep you posted.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Project Reveal Finale

After many months, the Project Reveal runway show was held on November 11 from 7-9.

We arrived early to have hair and makeup done.  Carla, who owns Les Fabriques, had her daughter there to do hair and make up for us all.  It was an unusual hairstyle for me, very puffed up, reminiscent of the hairstyles of the mom's of the 60's, and still existent in some small towns of the deep South.

As in Project Runway, we had a walk down the runway, and then a chat with the judges.  As you can see below, I used my poplar leaves down the back of the coat.  They helped to disguise the uneven dye from one of the pieces on the back, and to add interest.  I pulled the front of the coat back to reveal the lining and add an interesting line to the coat.  At the time I sewed them front back, but I will add snaps that are hidden underneath two of the poplar leaves so that I can snap them back or leave the front hanging down.

The show was hosted by Carla, the owner of Les Fabriques.

I don't really have a good photograph of the skirt, but I cut the shape of the hem using the pattern that I made for the coat.  The skirt is made out of velvet that I bought on a sale table a few years ago.  It is a mock wrap skirt.  I did not have enough fabric to make a full wrap skirt.  It is lined with the same silk fabric that lines the coat, but is dyed a deeper green.

Here I was asked by the judges to show the internal construction of the coat, which I had lined with over dyed silk fabric.  The wool was from an old winter white coat that I had sewn for myself in my twenties.  I added silk bias and cuffs from fabric that I dyed with the coat.  I ran out of time to make a shirt to go with the coat and skirt, so I just wore a t-shirt and a scarf that was given to me by a friend, Nancy Bond, who makes and sells hand dyed scarves and clothing.

All the contestant lined up for the results of the judging.  Below on the far right you can see a bodice designed in the style of Thomas Jeffersons era with old lace appliquéd across the front.  Second from the right is an Alabama Chanin inspired corset and floor length skirt and small train with 118 silk butterflies appliquéd across the top and around the skirt representing the 118 slaves held by Mr. Jefferson.  This ensemble was made from recycled t-shirts.  There is my ensemble inspired by coats of the 18th century.  The next dress was inspired by Jefferson's clocks.  Unfortunately, I do not have a photo of the back of the dress which is where the most interest is.  It had a round cutout echoing the clock face, and a small bustle reminiscent of the 18th century.  Finally, the outfit on the far left was made from recycled clothing by a local artist.  It had a detachable bustle.

The winner was the clock dress, and I came in second and won a $150 gift certificate at the fabric store. I did not enter for the prize, but only for the challenge of learning something new, which I did.  I learned a bit about draping and making my own patterns.  I am an engineer not a professional clothing designer, although I was competing against one.  The winner was a man named Ampy Smith, who has a degree in Art and Design.

In addition to learning some new skills, I was able to spend time with a friend who joined me in the classes, which was fabulous.  Finally,  I got to take that old coat which has been hanging unused in my closet for more than 20 years and gave it a fabulous new life!