Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Vintage Lingerie Patterns to Delight and Confound.

This time of year, thoughts turn to woolen undies. Which will you make?
Assorted Magazines and Modern Knitwear Illustrated, 1940-45.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Twinkle BFC and I: Fs but not BFFs

I have a lot to say about this pattern.
If you fancy a Twinkle Garment yourself, I think you should read this.

I tried to knit Wenlan Chia's Best Friend Cardigan once before, with the wrong yarn. Wrong as wrong can be. I fell in love with the idea of undersized sweaters of oversized yarn and I ordered the book. I was in Kingston at the time and couldn't find any yarn like what the book seemed to be calling for. After a wild goose chase for gauge, I bought a faux-bulky acrylic yarn knowing that I was being a bit silly.
What I ended up with was interesting in a neo-grunge, I still have all my posters of Eddie Vedder kind of way, but it wasn’t really ‘Twinkle’. I have posted the project anyways, for educational purposes and will post about it here at the blog soon.
The moral is; get Soft Chunky.
Now, to Soft Chunky.

It is like knitting cotton candy. Soft, exciting and quick. It will fuzz and pick up anything lying around, so work in a clear area and don’t leave it on the couch.

The yarn is so thick that everything shows. Ends pop out and seams that have stress put on them (like shoulders) will pull. More about that later.

To my surprise, I could not get gauge. I ended up using the 12.75mm circ (mine was Susan Bates) throughout; for the body and ribbing. This way I got a bit better than gauge, but when I measured it out, the cardigan would not have fit me otherwise. It would have fit, but not with the negative ease I wanted.
I worked 10.5 st and 16 rows=6”, or 1.75st-1”.
As I progressed I realized that the cardigan would also be too long. I took out a pattern repeat. At 4’11 the cardi now hits me at the waist.

I made the shoulder shaping fully fashioned so that working the arms would go easier.
I left all the back and all the front stitches on the needle after neck shaping so that I could use 3 Needle Bind Off to attach the back to the fronts, and keep the outstanding stitches live for the neck band.
I didn’t count neck edge stitches; I just picked up and then checked to make sure the R and L were even.
The Sleeves!
Why oh why are they worked flat?!?!!? Anything you seam with this yarn will be ugly. Is that harsh? I don’t care. I thought a great big seam up my arms would make me look like Frankenstein, so I worked them circularly.
Because they are in Reverse Stockinette, I worked them inside out. It is worth seeing if you can find big dpns because I spent most of my time on this project wrestling with my 12.75 circs in a magic loopish maneuver.
I picked up my stitches from the arm (inside out) without worrying about the number. I ended up with 19. I worked until the elbow, trying on as I went, and then decreased 5. I used skp for an even result, but really, any dec is going to look like a major event. Don’t worry about it; surrender.
My arms worked out to 15” plus 3 rows rib.

I did no “Cap Shaping”. I guess at this point I had given up even looking at the pattern. I think I should have included this shaping somehow. If my sleeve had had an allowance at the head-like a flap, they would not pull as much as they do.
Which brings me back to the yarn.
I have gaps. I guess this is inevitable. I have taken left over yarn and have woven them closed, or at least disguised the spaces. This will not hold forever. I have also stitched a few things closed with matching thread.

My number one top tip??? Get the errata and write it into your pattern. For the love of God.
I wish you luck.
I love my BFC and hope my adventure helps you.

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