Elbow Surgery

My sister in law loves this jumper, she wears it in the morning around the house, gardening and just for feeling cosy and snug. And I can see why, it is a wonderful fit and has a collar that is loose, yet keeps the neck warm. But is starts wearing out at the elbow and needs surgery…

Not a Problem, I thought… can do… can mend… can fix.

To begin with, I simply picked up all the unraveled stitches and worked them with a crotchet hook. In places the yarn was very thin. Then I knitted a patch to fill the hole in the elbow and sewed it down along the edges. The result was not so pleasing… bumpy and thick – sticking out like a sore thumb.

Then I turned to Mr google to find out how to really mend a hole in a knitted garnment and didn’t get anywhere… so I turned to my knitting library and found wisdom in June Hammond’s Principles of Knitting!

Unpicking my handiwork was really tricky, since the yarn around my mending was really fragile…

So what you do is this: find yarn that is the right thickness to start with, and hopefully close in color. Cut a long piece and thread a darning needle to the other end. Pick up the stitches of the hole and knit your first row on a double pointed needle – when you have finished the first row, use the end with the darning needle to sew a few stitches at the end of the row – you basically go over the existing stitches, reinforce them and at the same time fix the knitted patch to the garnment.

Then work the second row and so on and so forth until the hole is filled.

Graft the top of the hole to the knitted patch. Boom. Done!

Turn your attention to the wrong side of the garnment and sew in all loose ends.

Much better…

Lions ready to roar

Let he story about he lions continue… I finished the last post with four finished lion faces.

I had the shapes of the individual mane pieces cut only roughly, as I sewed them, I used the pattern piece for a template. And I tried not not muddle them all up…

Shapes cut with a tiny seam allowance and turned to the right side.

Then I turned my attention to the ears! White patch pinned to ear pieces.

Zigzagged all patches to the ears. Cut brown away from the back.

Ears sew, turned, stitched to face: Mark with pins, then machine.

All the mane pieces tacked to the face before machining – it was all too thick to use pins.

The seam that joins front and back of the hood marked and sewn.

Edges overlocked and front hem turned and machined.

Face pinned to finished hood and attached by hand.

Neckline marked, cut, overlocked, machined.

Hood pinned and machined to body.

Tail and belt sewn, turned, tip of tail stitched to tail, tail machined to body.

This shot is great: lions neatly folded and packed up, ready to go!!!

And on a quiet suburban street, in the garage of the house in front of which all the trucks are parked, I set up a mobile workshop to finish the size of the bodies after a quick fitting on the starlets.

It seems to work! Cut, overlock and hem!

On my way home, a quick stop at Bilgola Beach, washing off all that preoccupation with work and looking forward to some quiet time.



Interdisclipinary Cross-Fertilisation

The school holidays are over, and it is back to the old routine. I was working very hard in academia in the last two weeks; a complicated ethics application and then a last minute edit for a team’s grant application, a job through the research office. Very little knitting… but when I picked up the vest again – I knew exactly where I was at with it, thanks to Walter’s new regime of swatching, record keeping and instruction writing policy!

And now it occurred to me that I must really marry my two disciplines!

I started writing a real pattern for the red vest! And I will take pictures of all the details and publish them as a knitting pattern with tutorial in different sizes!

Not sure why this sounds so revolutionary to me, but you have seen all my previous notes and instructions for my projects, which I barely am able to follow a second time ’round myself; Timothy’s Bull jumper is a brilliant example of this. But since I am in stringent editing mode in my work at this moment, I will apply it to knitting, so others can enjoy the benefits! Watch this space!

Snuggly Socks

I felt like a little project… so here are some socks for Esther. The yarn is obviously not sock yarn, so the colour repeat is too large to make it look even the same yarn in a pair of small socks. Never mind.

This is Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel, the heel is made of three wedges.

I think it is a really nice fit. I want a pair, too!

Beanie Therapy

Hey, I am entering into beanie therapy! A quick project to ease the stresses and strains of a busy week – the ideal weekend project. Here is one for David. He presented me with a picture of a logo some time ago and I thought I’d ‘whip’ one up in no time. Well, here I am. With my great custom designed grid pattern, I quickly converted the picture into a knitting chart (ha!).

I found an old beanie pattern which I put up side down – rather turned by 90 degrees: I am knitting the beanie sideways and then will pick up the stitches along the long edge to knit the top. Here is a great intarsia tutorial, have a look. Does the yarn look familiar? Yepp, Timothy’s Bull’s leftovers.

So, beanie pattern (gauge 20st and 24 rows for 10x10cm) for 3.5mm needles:

Body: cast on 27 stitches and knit stocking stitch for 22″ (56cm). Knit stripes, a picture, whatever… graft last row’s stitches to the cast on row, so you have a tube. Crown: Pick up 118 stitches on the edge of the tube (one stitch per knitted row, but leave every 7th row without stitch) and put stitches on 4 double point needles: 2x 29 stitches and 2x 30 stitches. Decrease (ssk) at the beginning and in the middle of each needle; that is 8 stitches in every 2nd row until you have only 2 stitches left on each needle. Cut yarn and sew through the remaining stitches and sew in end. Finish bottom edge: Pick up 118 stitches on the edge of the tube (one stitch per knitted row, but leave every 7th row without stitch) and put stitches on 4 double point needles: 2x 29 stitches and 2x 30 stitches. Knit 2 rows of contrast color and cast off with 3 stitch i- cord. Graft first and last i-cord row together. Sew in all yarn ends and give the beanie a good steam!

Anybody for more advice and therapy? Well, here is an idea to share with everybody who suffers from project overload!

Not sure if this works, but I will trial it – I have these nice basket bags, one for each project. So, one for the Bull jumper, one for the wrap cardigan, one for the lace scarf. In theory, if there is no basket bag free, I cannot start another project… the beanie just jumped out of the Bull jumper bag, by the way… totally out of control.

Timothy’s Bull (3) or the lifting of the mental block

The mental block has lifted! The next step in this project had been too hard to contemplate – how to transfer the bull to a grid paper that does not really match my gauge! But the internet solves everything! I did yet another google search and my search ‘knitting design paper’ brought the solution! This is the custom built (drawn!) gauge for my project! And it’s size is 1:1 – what is easier than tracing my bull design to the chart? In the meantime, the white for the horns and the eye has arrived and there is nothing stopping me. Weekend before last, I knitted through band competitions (we shared 1st prize!), basketball- as well as soccer matches. And my right hand is sore, actually. I am just about to start the bull’s head, this is exiting!

I better get a move on now, this needs to be ready when Timothy returns to Australia!

Wrap Cardigan (2)

This is where we are at with this project: the shawl is done, every 5th stitch has been unraveled and I have blocked it nicely. I have started knitting the sleeve – initially I was going to shape the sleeve head, but since the armhole is a slit, I will just go straight with the sleeve, decreasing every 12th rows 2 stitches…

Hhmmm… I was going to knit a border around it to make it bigger, but that is not really needed. Maybe an i-cord, since I am just loving those at the moment… maybe don’t touch it after finishing the sleeves, hey?

More important than any fancy and complicated finish – it seems to be crucial how one wraps it. Not easy, since the shawl is not very wide – which makes the back ending up being too short. In the original picture the stylist has taken great care that the back does not reveal the bottom edge!

Again, there is a great section in Maggie Righetti’s book about how knitwear is photographed and how you can analyse the shortcomings of a garment and its design, which the stylist has concealed in the clever photographic presentation…

In the original photo the neckline looks wider – and that is just because the sleeves pull the neckline apart; I guess the center back is not wide enough…

Linenstich Scarf: Afterthought

If I don’t show off a finished project (just post a quick picture) – you can be sure I am in denial… something has disappointed me. Rebecca has gone to New York without her scarf (thank God she is going into summer!), it has been sitting on  my workbench because I have not been able to straighten the edges to my satisfaction. Neither pressing nor blocking have worked well enough! The edges have kept rolling up and frankly, I would not want to wear this scarf, as lovely as the wool and the texture are. Can you see what I mean? Kate Davies has just published a new cardigan pattern, and the edging and buttonholes are created with i – cords!!! Somehow this idea, (to apply the i-cord to the scarf) came to me as I was watching my daughters soccer game this morning…

As soon as I came home I tried it and I am so happy – even without pressing the scarf, the edges have settled and don’t roll anymore. Let’s just hope I have enough yarn to go around the entire scarf.

How to achieve this i-cord finish? I half remembered the i-cord from my mobius finish, but googled a tutorial how to achieve nice corners. It is also important to have the needle size for the i-cord at least 2 sizes bigger than the needle used for the actual fabric. And I used a thinner needle to pick up my stitches.

Edit: My i-cord has 4 stitches. For the i-cord on the long side of the scarf, I pick up every stitch and knit it together with the last (4th) stitch of the i-cord. On the short side, I pick up 2 stitches every 3 rows.