Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WIP: Prepping for Fairisle February!

This past month, I've been working on a fairisle pattern and accompanying hand-out for a class I'm teaching on traditional fairisle techniques.  I've taught the class twice before, but I was taking over someone else's class after they were too sick to teach.  The orginal instructor had chosen a very thin yarn to do the colorwork, but now that I'm teaching it again I asked to switch to a thicker yarn.  Here is where Rowan Fine Tweed steps in.  It's pre-felted, slubby, thick/thin colorful yarn, and best of all, it's tweedy!!  I love tweedy yarns.

I'm getting back into the knitted swing of things, and warming up by writing a new fairisle pattern replete with oodles of simple motifs and steeks!

So far, here's my progress with this little vest...

First my swatch using the least used colors (two of the contrasting colors)...


Then once I configured my numbers, I designed the schematic for the vest and cast-on.  Since this one is steeked, I cast on in the round with extra steek sts at the center front...


Halfway through, I realized my row gauge had relaxed and I re-configured my numbers to be sure that the lengths would work out.


Then, after washing/blocking, I steeked the center sts! 



 The tweedy felted yarn won't just unravel, so I knew it would be okay to knit from the steeked edges.  I'll post photos when I get the photos onto the computer...

...and if you're in Munich in February, and are interested in learning fairisle techniques, be sure to sign up for my class at die Mercerie!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Change of Pace

I'm writing from Texas today.  We're on the second leg of a pretty long tour of the U.S. while we introduce our baby boy to the extended family.  This long trip is forcing me to explore other facets of my work, and I think it's to my benefit.  Since my sewing and knitting machines stayed in Germany, I've focused more on knitting, illustration, and fonts...

In the knitting world, I'm working on a fairisle design for babies.  Here's my swatch:



If you're in Munich in February, I'll be teaching a class on fairisle knitting at the local yarn shop (contact me for details if you're interested!).

I've also been taking online classes on surface pattern design.  My most recent class was through CreativeLive and was the Pattern Design: From Hand to Screen to Surface with Molly Hatch. It was a refresher course for me since I remember learning one of these techniques when I did ceramics at University of Miami.  We learned some of these techniques when we were making tiles... like physical tiles from clay!  It's great to know that these age-old techniques can be translated to digital form.

Here's the rough from the class...

And a more refined version I worked on via Photoshop:

And, in the fonts world, I've been learning more about kerning.  It's a weakness of mine.  When I first ventured into typography and designing fonts, I didn't know much about kerning and it shows in my early fonts.  So, my goal whilst traveling is to re-kern my old fonts.  Wish me luck!  It's quite a tedious task to say the least.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Half Circle Skirt, Oktoberfest 2014


At the end of September, I was scrambling to make an outfit for Oktoberfest that fit.  A friend graciously gave me an extra "miede" (bodice) and I made the skirt and apron out of some beautiful trachten fabric.  The skirt is a super-crisp Trevira wool blend that is cool when you need it to be and warm when you need it to be.  I lined the side-seam pockets with a bit of nylon lining fabric so the pockets wouldn't stick to any leggings, stockings, or petticoat I might wear.




Project Details
Skirt Pattern: Burda Dirndl 09/2011
Apron was self-drafted

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Upcycling for Baby

We're slowly running out of the really small baby clothes, and after noticing a few gaps in the little dude's wardrobe, I decided to supplement with hand-sewn items.

A beautiful cashmere blend Christmas sweater that was mistakenly felted in the wash + scrap hemp fabric from cloth diapers + an Ottobre pajama pattern = a really warm romper for the baby!

I just placed the pattern pieces over the old sweater and added the gusset.  The ribbed knit provides a nice trim and a place to attach open-ring snaps for closure at the shoulders.

patches for the knees even though the little guy just learned to turn over

detail shot: crotch gusset and cowboy socks just because


An old favorite polo shirt that's too small + scrap jersey + Ottobre romper pattern = a new romper for baby!  This used the same principle.  I just traced the pattern over the old shirt at the shoulder level, and then filled in the missing elements with scrap fabric.  It worked out pretty well!  The scale of the collar is a bit silly, but it's nice to see my old shirt back in action.

polo shirt collar and placket saved

bottom hem conserved, ribbed knit and open-ring snaps added for closure