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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Rainbow Wellie Socks using King Cole Zig Zag on: March 14, 2010 05:16:30 PM
I just finished these:

All the snow in the UK this winter meant my wellies actually proved to be better shoes than my walking boots, which are lightweight and not waterproof, and my steelies, which just don't seem to have as good grip on snow and are usually covered in mud from work. However they were very cold, and are a little tight on my calves, which rubs a bit.

So I was going to make the ones by Louise Butt in the knitting collection, but on closer inspection realised my calves are far bigger than the largest size given on the pattern. I therefore made up the pattern myself, using this tutorial from knitty: http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring05/FEATsocks101.html for the foot bit and measurements from my leg and a tension square.

As you can see, the yarn did some odd things, but I guess that's self striping yarn. and at least it changed in roughly the same place on both socks. I think the toes look a little pointy too, although there quite comfortable on.

Now I've finished them, I think they're slightly too large around the calf, so I might make some form of garter for them at some point, although at the moment I'll probably just wear them with boots anyway.

Here are a picture of them with my Wellies:

I made a massive ribbed cuff, rather than the frills on the original pattern which I thought would look a little better. It's so huge so I can fold it over or push it down or whatever I feel like at the time. I think next time it would have been better in a thicker yarn for the cuff, and would have looked better with the wellies if I had done that bit with a plain green yarn.

However with these boots, I love them as they are:

All in all, as they are my very first pair of socks, I'm immensly proud of them and I can't wait to wear them out.  Grin

Comments, criticism, and advice absolutely welcome so that the next pair I make (although not for a while - socks that long for legs as big as mine take a long time...) are even more brilliant.
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Search for off the shoulder neckline pattern on: February 21, 2010 07:45:57 AM
Does anyone know of a pattern or tutorial to help me achieve the sort of neckline below?

Not actually for a wedding dress (I'm NOT making my own dress for that...) but I love that neckline and would like to try and recreate it myself on a more casual dress. Also, not necessarily with it gathered and twisted in the way that one is, although I wouldn't say no. I'm more interested in the actual line of it.

Any pattern (dress or top) will do. I've been searching for ages and can't find anything even close.

3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / John Lewis sewing machine on: February 03, 2010 12:23:32 PM

I recently got a sewing machine for Christmas, which my mum, who is, although not prolific, reasonably experienced with sewing and sewing machines, along with being the worlds best Googler, chose for me. My specifications were something that was relatively basic but as reliable and flexible as possible. It's a long story with things not arriving on time before I went back to uni etc, but I ended up getting a John Lewis JL125, which seemed like a great little machine for the price she paid. And indeed, up till now, it has proved to be wonderful.

However, I just bought a zipper foot, assuming that it would fit my machine; that they were fairly universal, especially with it being John Lewis (who are known over here for being especially reliable and having excellent customer service). I can't find a way of fitting it to my mahcine, and I'm now concerned that actually it has a non-universal fitting for the foot, especially as their website does not have any feet at all for sale (slthough it is clear from the instructions that, at time of writing at least, there were zipper feet available for my machine).

Has anyone else got a JL machine, and have you had the same problem? Or am I just entirely mis-undertanding how the foot is supposed to fit?


4  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Tea cosy on: January 28, 2010 12:04:21 PM
These are photos of the tea cosy I knitted for a friend who got married last summer. She got it a little late though as I never found any yarn I wanted to use until I found this. If I could describe it, I'd say it's Heather in tea cosy form - colourful, straight forward and always bringing cheerfulness, comfort and a hot cup of tea to any room or gathering...

Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures.

5  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Fleece lined Arran style jumper/sweater on: January 23, 2010 03:36:17 PM
My goodness, this has been a labour of love.

It was my first ever jumper/larger project. Because I'm a poor student, although I knew I wanted to knit the pattern for knitter'sbloke I simply couldn't afford to go out and buy some nice soft wool. So then I found a huge amount of pure shetland wool on eBay for a great price, bought it thinking "well, it might be rough but it'll be hardwearing and better than acrylic". I did know when the wool arrived that I'd need to do the collar and cuffs in something softer, as my fiance is ALWAYS complaining about rough itchy clothes, so I used Mirasol Tupa (50% silk/50% merino) which I knew he liked already (I made a scarf out of it for christmas last year and it's the only one he'll wear now.)

So anyway, to cut a long story short, I made a hash of the tension due to vague unthought out thoughts about (slight) felting, and it ended up FAR too wide. I gather this is a common problem for inexperienced knitters. I then took a risk and washed it on a 30 C wool wash, which actually worked quite well (didn't shrink too much lengthways at all, and came out rather softer). None the less I decided to line it with fleece anyway, since there was room and it would make it more of an outdoor garment than just a jumper. Sounds simple, except that I'm an even more inexperienced sewer than I am a knitter! I got a sewing machine for christmas, and could do basic stuff but had never made an item of clothing. I ended up machining the seams on it and handsewing the lining to the jumper. Getting the zip to lie flat was another saga in itself!

So anyway, that's the saga of the jumper. It's now finished (as of an hour ago), and I love it to bits, so I'm posting it up here before even knitter'sbloke has seen it finished (we live in different cities, not seeing him for another week - too long to wait to show off this!). It's not perfect, but I's really proud of it for my first item of clothing, item of sewing that involved more than just straight lines and basic hems, and, most of all, large knitting project. Having said that, any advice, criticism and comments would be very helpful for the next project.

The whole thing:

Close up of the inside of the collar:

Close up of the cable pattern:

Close up of the lining seam:

I may post a couple up of him wearing it in a couple of weeks.

And I'm off to pour myself a whisky.
6  U.K. AND IRELAND / ENGLAND / Fabric and Yarn shops in and around York on: January 16, 2010 03:51:49 PM

Does anyone know of good fabric shops in or within public transport reach of Yok? I would like to make a quilt for my brother and his fiance for when they get married, preferably out of some form of beautiful shiny/satiny fabric in deep purple* but I can't seem to find many decent fabric shops round here.

I'm also struggling to find a really good yarn shop, although I've been spoilt a bit by living close to Texare in Bradford, and now everywhere seems to have rubbish or particularly small ranges, so if anyone knows of a similar type of warehouse out in the suburbs of York I'd love to know. This is, admittedly, probably a good thing given how many projects I already have yarn for I want to make...

*I know, very specific and I'll probably never find exactly what I want...but any thing nice would be good for a start...


7  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Sewing questions for knitted jumper on: January 05, 2010 01:57:41 PM
Hello. I'm a new member. I'm a knitter of around a year and half's experience (and utterly addicted - I never leave the house without something in my bag) but who has only just finished her first jumper (sweater), and I'm having a couple of issues. You should also know that having wanted to learn how to make my own clothes as well for a while I got given a sewing machine for Christmas. Whilst I  was taught basic sewing as a kid by my mum, I'm not anywhere near as experienced as I am with knitting needles.

The jumper is an Arran style collared half zip guys jumper knitted in 100% shetland wool in dark blue. (King Cole pattern 2943) I bought the wool off eBay for a great price, knowing I wanted to knit the jumper for my bloke, but when it arrived it was rather rough. 'No problem' thought I. 'I'll do some test squares on different size needles and machine wash them and see which comes out closest to the right tension, knit on that tension and then felt it, it'll go softer and be slightly more weather proof and will make a good outer wear. I also decided to line the collar and cuffs with 50% silk/50% Merino that I've used before, to make it extra luxurious. Unfortunately, the test squares all came out exactly the same size, so then I thought, 'oh, I'll knit on half a size bigger needles and then block it to the right size.' You can see my mistakes immediately can't you? I was a tad eager, I admit that now.

The two problems are as follows:

Firstly, having read around on this forum a little bit, I have gathered that it is relatively common for the first jumpers someone makes to have issues with sizing, namely being too wide (although my defence is as above). In particular, the armholes and under the arms are absolutely massive. It is all now sewn up, so frogging is not an option (also as I've been knitting it on and off since May the pain would be too much to bear). I have put it through the washing machine on a 30C wool wash taking the risk that it would shorten more in the length than the width but hoping it would also soften the wool, which it did, magnificently (and it came out EXACTLY the same size...). Having read around, I think my best option is to bring the seams in using the sewing machine. And here lies the question: Clearly I will have to slice off some of the fabric otherwise it will be too bulky on the inside of the jumper. How risky is this? What is the best way of stopping it unravelling? Can I do it with normal sewing thread or would it be best to somehow use a significantly thicker yarn/thread (if that is even possible).

Secondly - this evening I sewed on the zip, thinking that that at least would not be affected by anything I do with the sleeves. I used a plain zig zag stitch in a thread that matches the yarn. I have managed to do it with a pleasing standard of stitching, despite the thick fabric and having no zip foot for my machine yet. However it's ended up stretching the fabric so that it doesn't lie flat (the zip lies on the outside of the curve, if that makes sense). I'm now kicking myself for not having used a stretch stitch, but looking at it again I don't know if that would help. Help??

I know this is rescuable....it must be, I've put in too much love for it not to be! Even if I just have to wear it round the house myself.

p.s. I realise this might be better in the sewing board, but I thought knitters who were sewers as well would be more likely to have come up with similar problems before. Feel free to move it if I'm wrong.
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