Saturday, February 25, 2017

Back to Quilting

 I'm going to be doing a Quilt as you go demo at Ready Set Sew in March and since this is my sister's work, she OK'd the use of the most beautiful batiks for the sample. Lucky me!
I have nine feet, that is 12" per color to make a quilt. I have the chills just looking at this fabric.

When I folded it back to reveal the colors it dawned on me that the stripes would work as part of the design. I plan on doing strips of blocks at at a time, quilting as I go. I have lots of leftover batting in long strips that will work perfectly for this design. I'll be photographing each step for the Power Point part of the demo.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cardivest #9

 Un petit gilet which translates to 'a little vest'. It is sized for a 38" bust and hip and is 20" long. Made from a very drapey blend: 
47% Silk, 19% Acrylic, 17% Cotton, 17% Rayon
It is wool-free  and is light enough to be worn with just a cami underneath for warmer weather.

I am often asked how I price my garments. I begin with the cost of the yarn, and in this case, 3 skeins at $15 each plus buttons, and then I add a similar amount for labor. Of course this means I work or pennies, but que sera! I love to knit..


$100. Email me.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A New Angle: Vest #8

 I had purchased a bag of ten balls of Chunky Mochi and shared photos of it with a gal who has a couple of my knits and she claimed it. Today I finished her vest. I was given the go ahead to do something new, asymmetric even. She's tall, so this one is long, 25".

The yarn: Chunky Mochi, Super Bulky: 80% Merino, 20% Nylon and size 11 needles.

Construction of Curvey Cardivest #5

I've had several requests for the pattern for these vests and the most often requested is the Cardivest #5.
#7 is the same design, but it has open vents on the side, so that requires a different set of instructions.
I'm writing this as simply as possible, but if you have a bit of experience it should make sense. And if you are a newbie, I hope you can still follow along.

The side panels are knit first. Any yarn and any needles will work for this design. Seriously.
Gauge determines the size of the finished project, so measuring is crucial. I use stripes often so counting them keeps everything even. Otherwise just keep note of stitch count.
 You will note that some of these swatches have 'lines' of knit stitches dividing the piece into three sections. Others have not, but are still the same construction, I just used garter throughout and didn't define the sections with that knit stitch line. Note the stitch markers to remind me to keep that stitch in knit and also to increase before and after the markers (not in the center, just the right and left sets)

Now here comes a bit of math... Measure the swatch and multiply the width by two. Let's say the width is 10", so 2x10= 20 which is half or more of the bust measurement for a 38-40" bust. You're right on target! Put the side stitches on waste yarn and continue knitting upwards to the armhole WITHOUT increasing.
Divide the side panel stitches in half and put half on waste yarn and half on the needle and continue knitting upwards for about 8-9 inches. Then pick up the remaining stitches from the waste yarn and finish the armhole. Join the shoulder seams with a three needle bind off, or sew them, your choice.
When both side panels are completed it is time to knit the back. 
 The back stitches are picked up along the edge of the side panel one panel at a time and knit towards the center back. When the desired width is achieved, the sections are joined with a three needle bindoff.

Side panels and back are finished and just the fronts need to be knit. It's an optical illusion that the sides curve. They are straight and just the stitches are angled.
The fronts are knit by picking up stitches along the edge of the side panels, one side at a time, of course. I just count the strips and figure out how low the neckline will be. Knit towards the center again. The neck band will have a few decreases at the squared off edge, but you can decide about that when you get there. I usually do the neckband first and then the button bands last.

kfb: knit front and back
pm: place marker
sm: slip marker
ptbl: purl through back loop.
sl1: slip one

Cast on 7
Row 1: kfb, pm, k, pm, kfb, pm, k, pm, kfb,pm,k,pm, kfb. 11sts.
Row 2: k2, sm, p1,  sm, k2, sm, p1, sm, k2, sm, p1, sm, k1, ptbl.
Row 3: sl1, kfb, sm, k, sm, kfb, k, sm, k, sm, k, kfb,sm, k, sm, kfb, ptbl. 15st.
Row 4:  (slip all the markers as you come to the them) sl1, k2, p1, k3, p1,k3,p1, k2, ptbl.
Row 5 and all (right side ) odd rows: kfb before and after the first set of markers and the last set,  and just knit the center stitch between the two center markers. Each row increases by four sts. Continue to purl the marked stitches on the back side to maintain the knit stitch on the front side. On Row 5 switch to contrasting color for four rows and return to main color after four rows.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Vest 💗 💗 💗 💗

Just in time for Valentine's Day, a curvy vest to keep you cozy and warm. Yarns: Cascade Pastaza, 50% Llama, 50% Wool, and Malabrigo Kettle Dyed 100% Merino. Both of these yarns are chunky weight, which resulted in a looser fit. 45" bust and hip and 25" in length. It features built in ease with side vents.


My mannequin looks a little scrawny with this slightly looser sized vest. I just love the structure of this design, angled yet feminine.
$100 Email me.
Happy Valentine's Day.💗 💗 💗 💗 💗

Friday, February 10, 2017

Cardivest #6

Cardivest #6. Silk Garden: 45% Mohair, 45% Silk, 10% Wool and Jo Sharp Silk Road: 85% Wool, 10% Silk, 5% Cashmere. Mother of Pearl buttons. $100 Email me. SOLD

 I was trying for a looser fit with this version. 42" at the bust, 44" at the hip and 22" in length. 

As I wrote to one person who requested a vest:

 I have realized that I would rather not take orders, and just knit things at my whim. This makes it easier to design new things or new versions without having the drudgery of knitting the same design for months. So that means that new things are going to be posted and various sizes will be attempted. That may mean tiny or huge....we'll just have to see what the yarn does. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Cardivest #5

Cardivest #5
Tangier: 47% Silk, 19% Acrylic, 17% Cotton, 17% Rayon
Avalon: 50% Cotton, 50% Acrylic
Mother of Pearl buttons.
In order to feature the Tangier's gradation of colors, I chose stockinette, with garter ridges of the Avalon. This is the only vest so far with no wool at all in the mix, per request.
 The side panels were knit first and then the back stitches were picked up along the edge and worked towards the center. Then those were joined down the middle with a three needle bind off.
The fronts were also picked up along the edges of the side panels.

Friday, February 3, 2017


 Now that I am happy with my final Cardivest design, I am ready to play with more variations. The yarn needs to be the star so I am choosing to switch from all garter stitch, to stockinette with garter stripes. My apologies to non-knitters for the jargon in this post.
This drawing helped me get to the satisfying result of Cardivest #4 and has a sketch for a long sleeved pullover, should I ever need to do that.
Then the next ideas that didn't appeal to me, which I determined after trying a few swatches and ripping them out. It takes that sometimes, and I am willing to do it because there is nothing like seeing it in yarn vs. just in a drawing.
 At 2 am I woke with the idea that I will take forward. This one features vertical striping on the front and back, horizontal stripes on the side panels, no seams (important to me) and again only 7 cast on stitches to start the knitting! At this point I haven't determined if it will have buttons or be a pullover.
The stockinette shows the gradual color change effect I desired and the contrast gray will be repeated throughout the garment.
The multi yarn is Tangier, 47% silk, 19% acrylic, 17% rayon, 17% cotton, and the gray is Avalon, 50% cotton, 50% acrylic.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Cardivests Lineup

The Fab Four, including the newest version, in grays with a bit of yellow and lavender.
 The important part (at least to me) is the changing backs. I was in search of the perfect design, which meant NO SEWING. Finally on #4 I got what I wanted.

Jo Sharp Silk Road DK: wool, silk and cashmere. Casablanca: Wool, silk and mohair.
 What made the difference? I made two units of half the back and half of the fronts and joined them at the center back with a three needle bind-off which is better (to me) than sewing a seam. I made fake seams for the sides and center back to compliment the structure of the whole.
So now that I have conquered the design part, I will have to get back to the laundry. ha!
Btw, the new gray version is available for $100. 38" bust, 42" hip. Email me. SOLD