Sunday, 28 February 2010

Week Five:**!

In one summer I learned how to crochet from a little old lady that lived down the street from me. Now that I'm grown I realize that she wasn't really an old lady, though she probably is now. It's so funny how everyone seems ancient when you're little. Well, if it weren't for this lady, Mrs. Jones, I probably would've grown up to be a lawyer, doctor, veterenarian, or a marine archaeologist, things that had nada to do with textiles, unless suing over copyrights or sewing up wounds counts. I loved the yarn, the funky hooked needles, and the misshapen fabrics that grew from my little 10 year old hands. The thrill of creating this handmade fabric was short lived however. After carefully crocheting (what was probably the ugliest shawl ever created) my annual end of the school year gift for my too stylish to be a 6th grade teacher Ms Duplussis, I can't remember really picking up a crochet hook again. Until this week. After seeing my teacher holding my shawl as one would a soiled baby diaper, perhaps I was a bit put off. Needless to say in the interim years that have passed, my crochet skills have not improved, therefore I will not show my work as you should do on a math exam if you want partial credit. No, No, I'm only showing you the answer:


So ok. I cheated. Just a wee bit!! My crocheted bits were just so dismal I learned how to imitate crochet on my knitting machine. There were just too many profanities flying out from under my breath! You can see this in the sleeve and at the waistband, which is connected to the bust and skirt part of the dress by a faggoting stitch. This piece was actually made during our free week 6 along with the last Knit of the Week.

alright maybe just a wee bit of partial credit.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Oh dearie me!!!

Isobel and Cleo and I have been busy busy BUSY bees this week, clocking some serious airtime. Copenhagen, Sweden, London, and now Dublin have been our hosts and I must admit, I haven't had any opportunity to do a Knit of the Week!!! I am so sorry for letting you guys down this week. But I PROMISE, I will more than make it up to you next Wednesday!!! In the meantime inbetween time check back for a knitted garment (different to the knit of the week) that is COMPLETELY UNCHARACTERISTIC. (meaning for me, totally wearable.) This course is really pulling me in directions I've never even thought about getting lost in. Also, go here to listen to my oldies on Steve Wright's show on BBC Radio 2. This is the kind of music that I love to knit to! Have a good weekend!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Knit of the Week: The Flap in the Wind Tank

The second installment of the Knit of the Week is the Flap in the Wind Tank. Now for those of you new on the scene, I am in a 12 week machine knitting workshop and every week I will sell one of my creations for $50 only. Now the girls in my class think I'm completely crazy for selling anything so cheap, but it's a great way to support me and Isobel and Cleo at a fraction of my usual prices. So I said last week, these pieces may not be perfect, but they are wearable and will be totally original! Some styles (like this week's Knit of the Week) will never be remade, so own something completely unique.

A word to the wise, last week's knit went within an hour so don't think too long!

Flap in the Wind Tank
on sale here for one week only!
Wednesday February 17th to Tuesday February 21st.

This piece was created during Week 4 contours and decorative fashioning. We not only learned how to subtract excess fabric away from the garment while on the machine, but also how to add extra fabric. This piece is made from Cotton and Lambswool. Size Small.

Week Four: Va Va Va Va-luptious Voom

Va va voom...

This week I was feeling a lot like I was making a wardrobe for the cast of Chicago, but using ALL KNITS. Contours and decorative fashioning was one of the main reasons that I wanted to come on the course. I mean, how cool would it be to make Herve Leger style bandage dresses that punctuate a woman's figure, or vintage inspired bustier and corset based garments in a knit? (One good book to check out if you're into this is Knitting Lingere Style by Joan McGowan-Michael). It's amazing what kind of shaped pieces you can achieve on the machine, just by moving stitches around. We've learned how to make shaped bust pieces on the machine without ANY seaming, simply by fashioning. (Fashioning in knit is basically knitting the exact pattern piece that you need on the machine, as opposed to cut and sew, which is knitting swathes of fabric and cutting out your garment shapes). These pieces are examples of contoured garment made here at Knit-1.  I'm still trying to get my head around the stripes from three weeks ago, but once I master that, I will theoretically be able to knit corsets, bustiers, bras, travel around accentuate any of the curves of the body, shoulders, hips, waist, etc. We've effectively learned how to eliminate the excess fabric where there would normally be a dart if you're working with a woven fabric.

But the week wasn't all about drawing the knit fabric in to fit the body. We also learned how to add texture, mass, and dimensions to our garments as you will see later in this week's Knit of the Week.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Knit of the Week - Cleopatra's Got Nothing on You

Knit of the Week for Feb 10th to 16th:

Drum roll please!!!!!!!!

This week's Knit of the Week is inspired by the fantastic and jewelry laden Egyptian queen Cleopatra. I think every incarnation of Cleopatra would be proud, from the queen herself to Vivian Leigh, Sofia Loren, and Elizabeth Taylor. The collar is made from 100% lambswool that I handwashed to make it feel extra soft. Wear it as a scarf or a necklace, either way it looks great over just about anything. I kept trying it on with dresses, tube top shapes look especially good underneath.  Handmade in the UK.

The Cleopatra Neckpiece on sale for one week ONLY here.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Take a wee little piece of my heart...

So I can't believe I've been here for 4 weeks. Is that possible? I'm sure it's only been three. I can only tell by where I've been on the weekends, glasgow, then london, then copenhagen, now glasgow and london, wow. It really has been 4 weeks. What do I have to show for myself? Well, Monday (maybe Tuesday) I will unveil my first piece/garment, followed a week later by the one I'm working one now. I've decided that in an effort to raise moohlah for more materials (YARN) I will be selling the pieces I make each week for that week only for the low price of $50 (£30). No matter how many days have gone into making it, no matter how expensive the wool is, no matter how big or how small (though if it is terribly small I will lower the price to $30!/£18). All these pieces are one of a kind originals, as I am really just practicing all the techniques I'm learning by making them. Since I'm kind of freestyling it and not taking any exact notes on how I've made everything, there's no way that they'll be perfectly replicated, to be honest, some required so much work, I may not even want to. So come back on Monday (maybe Tuesday) to check out the Knit of the Week, on sale for $50 for one week only!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Week Three: I am the MOST indecisive person on Planet Earth

Right. So this week we were supposed to make a garment based on what we learned over the first 2 weeks.  Out teacher encouraged us to build/upon existing swatches we'd made during that period. Totally my kind of teacher. You saw the first swatch I did, but here's the second:


I've tried to cable cables here with varied success, but it's the idea that counts. Now because that tiny section took just about 50 billion years I decided to turn last week's swatch into a garment. That was 1/16th of the battle. The other 15/16 was trying to chose one of the following as the final look (an infinitesimal part of that last fraction was making the back, bust and shoulder straps of the top). 

but of course the mannequin wasn't enough, so I had to get one of the other students in the workshop to pose for me:

which idea won out? Check back soon for more pics and more stories!