Sunday, September 25, 2011

Poly Crafting

I've had a productive weekend so far:

1. Started the Tubey Sweater. I've changed up the instructions to do the following:
  • Alter the long bell sleeves into fitted 3/4 sleeves
  • Leave off the provisional cast on at one shoulder, choosing instead to knit the whole shrug in one pass, from sleeve hem to sleeve hem. The two sleeves will be knitted in the round using magic loop. The back, upper body piece between them will be knitted with the same circular needles, but flat. Man, this knitting-speak is gobbledygook.
  • I've got to shorten the upper back (underarm seam to under arm seam) because my dimensions are smaller than the Small size I'm knitting. In fact, I think they may be smaller than the XS. (I tell you - my frame is narrow.)
  • Why don't I just make the whole sweater proportionately smaller? Cuz the tube body (knit stretchily in rib stitch) is the part of the sweater that contains the bust, and I am definitely in need of the pattern's increased dimensions for that.
  • The challenge will be to pick up stitches for the small (the size I am notionally making) - where the shoulder and upper bust shrug piece (from which I'll be picking those stitches up) will not be a pattern-drafted "size small". Short story, is I'm going to have to do some fancy footwork there too - but I have a plan.
  • As I've mentioned in other social media venues, my goal here is to obtain a great fit.
  • This sweater, if knit without careful consideration for sizing - esp. given my body shape - would likely be a bust (ha!). I've got gauge but I'm not being cocky. I've been there before and had a bad outcome. However, with that sweater (the ill-fated Wispy), there were other issues going on.
2. I'm also knitting my third version of the Cable Keyhole Scarf. You know I'm making this scarf for everyone as Xmas gifts. Each one I've knit in different yarn on size 7 needles. Scarves don't really require strict adherence to gauge, thank the knitting goddess, but I'm intrigued to see how they all look and feel somewhat unique.

3. I spent a lot of the afternoon (oh, 2 hrs or so) altering, tracing and cutting out the paper pattern for the Clover pants. Why am I pattern adjusting, before making a muslin to see how the original pattern actually fits my body? Well, I've learned that certain of my alterations are somewhat standard, pattern notwithstanding. This doesn't mean my altered pattern will produce a perfectly fitting muslin. I suppose I could create a whole new set of fit challenges by this theory. But, since I'm willing to work the muslin till I get the fit I'm looking for, I feel there's no real harm in starting from my formerly successful vantage point.
  • My crotch length is short in relation to most patterns - much as my waist length is. I have removed an inch from below dart markings (and above the crotch seams). This pattern doesn't provide a shorten line so I had to wing it. I hope I did the right adjustment in the right spot.
  • Furthermore my crotch depth has it's own, interesting proportions, which seem to transfer from 1 pants style to another, quite accurately.
  • From (admittedly minimal) past experience of Colette Patterns, I am assuming that this pattern will fit on the roomy side. Given that I prefer 3/8 seams to 5/8 seams, my finished products tend to grow a bit that way also. Having said that, I have slightly less difference between my hips and waist measurements, than the pattern measurements. I graded the size 6 to an 8 at the waist. Interestingly, my crotch depth shape adjustments (see above) accord somewhat with the size 8 also. I'm working under the premise that I'm a 6 in the legs and hips but an 8 in the waist and crotch due to the very special shape of my lower abdomen.
  • I find it strange to make changes to something I've only ever seen in 2 dimensions. I guess this is the path of learning how to three-dimensionally "read" flat pieces of paper. At least, at this point, I have an awareness of how the pattern pieces produce the 3 tubes that create the pants (2 legs and torso) - and of how they stitch together. But it's all such a guessing game.
Given my 2 latest projects, I can see that I'm at a new juncture in my production of garments. I really want to understand fit - so much so that I'm not afraid to jump right in, practical knowledge or skill notwithstanding. You can only get from nothing to something by starting, right? That's the way I'm approaching this phase. And by embracing math. If you knew me in high school, you'll know how shocking that is.

Totally off topic update: If you're looking for some utterly awesome, very reasonably priced, vintage cashmere, run to this post. And if you buy the flower cardigan, I want to hear about it!


      1. Couture: Thank YOU for having such beautiful things to look at and long for.

      2. Totally unrelated, well kind of, but I just watched this video on vimeo and thought of you the whole time. It's a short documentary on a hispanic crocheter/knitter who has her own line and it's GORGEOUS!!! I think you will be inspired. Check it out (no, there's no viruses on vimeo, it's like youtube):
        Enjoy, Diane

      3. mmm-hmmm, and then you mention on Twitter that you're recovering from an obliterating migraine. . . I wonder how that came about . . .
        Seriously, though, it sounds as if you had an ultra productive weekend until your productivity knocked you out. Hope you're recovering. And yes, I see you embracing the sockdom, one cashmere pair at a time . . .

      4. Diane: I watched it and loved it! Thank you for sending the link. (somehow, though, I couldn't help but to think her perfect relationship and artist existence is about to be completely exploded by that new baby. Of course, maybe she'll be all zen about that too.)

        F: You raise an extremely valid point. Don't think my husband hasnt also suggested it. :-) It was, when walking home from the LYS (having encountered a very scary dropped stitch that just kept getting worse as I tried to fix it) that it came on. I slept for most of the afternoon. That didn't improve my productivity. But I suppose I got a good amount in...

      5. I hope you are feeling better today!

        The Clover pants changes all make sense to me. I'm impressed you are learning to three dimensionally read flat pieces of paper! I can't do that, but I do take certain measurements and make adjustments before making the muslin.

        I saw that video, it's inspiring.

      6. I think your changes for both projects make sense. My own notes on this pattern, which I haven't made yet, include fitted 3/4 sleeves and have a big ? next to the cross back width, which looked big for me and I am not a particularly petite person. Of course since the shrug is knitted wrist to wrist and is therefore straight, you will still get that little wingy-pouchy place in back at the sleeve join as is evident in the pattern photos, but making the back too big will only make this more evident.

        I don't think you will have trouble picking up and joining the shrug to the body. After all you want to knit and pick up the number of stitches that work for you, and that is easily adjusted.

        The clover pant changes also make sense and I think it just shows that you are growing in skill and confidence as I think many experienced sewists do the same thing. You learn what works and just do it accordingly. I'm thrilled at how much you have learned and accomplished, and you can't learn more without jumping in and giving it a try, as well as ruining a few hundred yards of fabric, along the way. Luckily there are successes mixed in with the failures or we would all give up.

      7. Susan: Thank you! And, isn't it?!

        Mardel: You are SO right - if we didn't get some successes mixed in, we would all give up! :-) And thank you for finally explaining to me (in a way I can understand) about the back arm wingy thing - of course that's why it pouches. I guess it is confidence I'm developing. It finally hit me that it's just time and effort and fabric - and when things don't work out, the misery is intense in the moment - but how can you get from A to Z without going through all the other letters?

      8. Your array of projects is making me feel dizzy. Or it could just be the cold meds I'm taking. I totally want cashmere, but I can't afford any right now.

      9. Have promised my three that I will knit them simple hats for winter. Much better than the annoying acrylic things for sale in shops that are too snug or fall apart! But now I have to make good . . . ;-)

      10. Ray: Sometimes I feel dizzy too :-)

        Miss C: Oh, I love that! They will look so adorable in their homemade hats!