plans & looks

blok sketch

If I want to call myself designer and if I want to desing my own clothes and all that, I’d better start designing my own blog. Or at least, that’s the thought behind this sketch.

It took me a good while to find a format I liked because I’m a difficult person and I’m not willing to write the code from scratch (because I’m too lazy to work that sh*t out). So I found a layout I actually fell in love with and widened the blog part a bit. Now all that remains is the picture (the sketch above). I’m going for a fantasy-like, dream sort of feeling and I’m hoping to finish it soon.

Holidays are over and real life came around the corner in full force, so I haven’t been posting much but thankfully I do have some actual progress!

lilirious deep v-vest

Tadaahh! You can’t really see anything in this picture (and I really really need to clean this mirror again), but it’s over my shoulders now and I’ll be separating the sleeves soon. After that it’ll go much faster I think. I can’t wait to have this thing finished! The winters at BK City, can be too cold and too hot at the same time..

lilirious deep v-vest

There’s however some good and bad news about this little knit. The good news is that even tho I’m working on 3.5mm/ US4 needles it’s actually moving along quite niceley. I think I can have this finished in another week. The bad news is that since it’s the first time I’m knitting with the TTS method, I might have started the armhole increases a bit too late and I won’t know for sure until I’ve reached the armpits and separated the sleeves. Obviously I really hope I haven’t messed up and it’ll look just fine, but if it looks off I’ll have to rip out until 2.9″ from the start of the sleeves…(argh).

I’m doing my best to just ignore it at the moment, as there’s not much I can do about it now anyway. I might be off with 2 rows and it might not even show once the sleeves are separated and it might actually look awesome. I’ll have to see. I’m accepting this risk as a wise lesson in this new method. You’ve got to sacrifice a little to learn something valuable right?

lilirious deep v-vest

Though I really love the yarn and love the fabric it creates, I really am a bit disappointed about knitting it. I can somewhat imagine why Drops would discontinue this yarn. I believe the pricing is really good, and you get a lot of yarn for the 50 grams you buy, but really knitting it makes my hands hurt. It’s kind of rough and the nice tweedy effect you see in the fabric/ yarn makes the knitting a really horrible experience imho. It’s anything but smooth knitting because the (tweedy) lumps will get stuck while knitting and some loops will get bigger and smaller. I knit fairly even (look at the socks below) and my tension isn’t too tight or loose, but seriously this yarn is a bit of a pain. I constantly have to make sure the stitches are right and that there aren’t any loose one’s on my needles.

lilirious deep v-vest

This is a detail of the set-in sleeves near the shoulder (front side). By now I’m curious how this method works with smoother and/ or bulkier yarns. I really like how the sleeves already look like they’re sewn in (while they’re not) and the piece can be worked from top to bottom.

sidewinder fail

After a while my left hand started to hurt (because I was constantly trying to correct the tension) so I felt I needed some lighter work. So I went back and undid the grafting on the sidewinder sock and ripped back until before the toe decreases. I had already grafted this seam once before.. another sacrifice for the right to learn a valuable lesson I guess (by now I can graft like it’s my second natura *insert evil laughter*). I chose the wider 6-7W size and chose to add another two rows just to be sure.

sidewinder fail

It’s already an older picture *le sigh* socks grow so fast, but I’m now done with the toe decreases and I’ll have to work on the heel increases. I hope it’ll fit me this time around.. If it won’t fit me I’ll knit something else.. seriously.. I love the pattern and I love the effect but the 2.5mm/ US1.5 circular needle I’m knitting with has a realy blunt tip that’s driving me crazy. If it won’t fit I’ll find another pattern and wait with this one untill I have a new circular needle that will work with me…

swatching and such

I know I promised there would be no new years resolutions, but I had to make an exception for this one.. *inhale* I’m going to wake up early from now on *exhale*

I used to be very good at it too! But somewhere along the line I got lazy and started slacking again. I also promised myself that I wouldn’t blog about that kind of stuff anymore, but this is really blogrelated because it actually cuts into my knitting time. When I’m asleep I can’t knit (or get other stuff done so I can get to knitting). So here’s the resolutions.. I’m usually very bad with them (losing weight anyone?), but this is something that I’m really looking forward to. I usually get up around 8 but my brain lives in another time-zone apparently because I don’t really startup until past 10.

The other day my brain and I woke up simultaneously at 7 and after what felt like a whole morning I looked at the clock and it was only 10.30. Let me tell you: that felt really good! Today was my first day of not slacking and getting out of bed early, but I’m having a really slow day.. I’m hoping for progress during the next mornings..

Anyway I’ve also been thinking (dreaming?) about the vest thingy I’m trying to design. It’s already clear with what kind of yarn I’m planning to knit the thing, but I hadn’t decided on texture or lace an stuff. So I did some swatching with different needles and different styles but found them all too busy and distracting from the yarn itself. I love the tweedy structure the yarn has by itself, but I didn’t want it to be this massive thing. On the other hand I didn’t want it to be Swiss cheese either. So I decided to go with this pattern.

swatch

Especiallly the top half of the swatch. The small holes make it a bit more drapey because  there’s less weight, and it also makes it the slightest bit airy, without losing its character. The sleeves will be knit in plain stockinette stitch as a contrast, and because my arms and shoulders are always cold while working on the computer).

When I first made the four drawings I thought the first one was the best and I never thought the second one (the one I chose to knit) would be an actual candidate. But for some reason the people I asked all liked the second one best and considered the other ones to be ‘meh’. So I thought it through a bit more and decided they were all right.

design sketch

I was looking for something that can be worn differently whenever you want. Sometimes you want something to be open and sometimes it’s a bit too open. What I think works with this design is that the bottom is a closed tube and keeps your bottom warm (very nice in the winter when you wear short coats like me). But the top part can be worn like a standard cardigan, only it doesn’t flap all over the place when you walk (or in the wind). I don’t smoke but some of my friends do and as a consequence I get asked to stand outside for a minute.. so this could be convenient.

Also there are some rooms in the uni that can be very cold or very warm and then you want to get yourself a coffee at the coffee bar (which is located next to the side entrance…).

So anyway I think I made my point. I’ve already cast on and as I mentioned I’m working this vest top-down. I’m hoping to be able to show more progress soon, but I’m not quite there yet.

Thinking about designing

I may have already mentioned this but when I was little most of the women in my family used to watch ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ so naturallly so did my cousin and I. We used to be bored a lot back in those days (no interwebz) so we decided to imitate what we saw on ‘The Bold’ everyday. We started making fashion drawings. I don’t have them here (otherwise I would’ve posted pictures and I will if I get my hands on them.. trust me they were epic), but I think you can imagine what two 7 and 8 year old girls can do with a ballpoint (our favorite drawing tool), coloring pencils and supermarket pricetags (the ones without comma’s.. like 295 for 2,95). We’d also just draw them on lined paper because we had a lot of them.

In the following years I forgot I ever made these drawings until I actually started sewing. In the past year I’ve been thinking about it on and off, but I felt I wasn’t quite there yet.. and for some reason I was waiting for something.

There’s also the fact that I’m extremely picky when choosing clothes/ knits, so the last few months I’ve spent more and more time searching for knits I like. I found a LOT of very nice designs but I would have to change them a bit and I didn’t feel like constantly having to do that. I have tried to make a few simple designs in the past, but I felt, and know now, that I didn’t really have enough basic information about the materials and how they behaved to be very successfull. When learning how to spin yarns I believe I learned a lot about fabrics and how they behave. I don’t think you can understand fabric or yarns unless you have made it yourself.. I’m not a great spinner by a longs hot but I do think it will help me a lot.

I’m not only going to try to design knitting, but I’m also going to try to design some stuff to sew later on. As it turns out my mom still has a big book on how to draft sewing patterns from your own designs, so I’ll be taking a looksie at the books first before I even attempt one.. but to get myself in the mood I made the following drawings..

Fashion tryout

For a while now I’ve had five balls of Drops Silke-Tweed in brown and a ball of handspun alpaca yarn in cremy white. I’ve tried to knit something with both of them but it didn’t really work out, but the combination between these yarns is very nice imho. The rough tweedy look combined with the soft, halo-y and slightly uneven handspun alpaca makes both yarns pop.

I’m not sure as to which one of these designs I’m going to pick just yet, and when/ if I pick one I’ll still work out some more details before I jump in and start knitting.. but I’m wondering about your opinion. What do you think of them and/ or which one is your favorite? I have about 1000m of silke tweed and 340m of alpaca, so I can’t use a lot of white and I’m planning to knit all knitting patterns with Tuulia’s Tailored Sweater Method. It’s really the most awesome thing ever if you don’t like raglan lines(like me)!

The first one (from left to right) is a loose pullover with a very wide neckline. Since I’m knitting top-down I’m hoping to have a bit of a curly neckline. The arms and the chest (up until the separation of the sleeves) will be striped.

The second one is more of a  vest-turned-tunic. It’s very open so you’ll have to wear a top underneath, but I think that’s the best because knitting tends to be very warm (lol). The point where the V-neck is joined will be accentuated with a white ‘belt’, under which there will be some 4×4 ribbing.

The third one is actually my least favorite.. it’s a simple pullover with accentuated parts.

The fourth one is a dress with the same kind of neckline as the first only without sleeves. The same idea goes here for the striping, but ends right under the bustline with a wide ‘belt’ of white knitting. Under the belt the dress is shaped like a typical mens’ shirt-turned-skirt.. wow.. does my fashion lingo amaze you as much as it amazes me?

swatching again

I don’t think the picture does it justice but here’s a little swatch of the two yarns together. The handspun starts out lumpy but gets more even along the way, and I really like the color combination.

The plan is to develop a design in a month and to knit or sew it in another moth, so I’ll have two months per design, hoping to have 6 designed objects (DO) by the end of 2011. I’ll publish these (on the blog duh) under the category ‘lilirious’ since they’re my own designs. I’m not planning to make any patterns this year since it’s just practice and I’m really not good enough yet, but I would really value some critiques or any other comment on them so I can learn 🙂

FO: Stripey Scarf

FO: stripey scarf

Pattern: Noro Striped Scarf, by Jared Flood
Yarn: Katia Promo-Fin plus
Size: 3.5mm / US4

The first finished object of 2011 is in! I said it might be the sidewinder socks, but I didn’t like the idea of starting the new year frogging.. So instead I finished my stripey scarf first. (I’m not supersitious but I feel like finishing stuff is a good way to start things you don’t like with some positive energy lol). I used up two balls of the yarn and feel it’s long enough to wear and hide the ends underneath  my coat.. I don’t like it when they’re too long so I decided to go for a small one.

FO: stripey scarf

FO: stripey scarf

The pattern calls (obviously) for Noro yarn, but that’s a bit too expensive for my student-budget, so I used the yarn I received for Sinterklaas. For some strange, unlogical reason the beginning and the end of two balls combined give the exact same result… so instead of getting stripes of different colors I got stripes of different shades of the same colors blending together… As you can see in the picture below this produced a mirrored scarf.. starting with green/ pink, moving from yellows, oranges, blue/purple and back to blue, orange, yellows and back to the green/pink. I don’t really mind the effect, but if you’re going for the actual Noro striped idea choose a handdyed yarn.

FO: stripey scarf

The entire scarf is knit in K1, P1, but because it’s not blocked it looks like it’s knit in stockinette without curling edges. (which was very important to me as I deteste curling edges in scarves). Even though I’m usuallly (or at least no longer) not a great fan of rainbow yarns (I simply do not know what to do with them), I believe this project came out just fine. Now I have another ball of yarn but I don’t know what I’ll do with it just yet.. I might knit some mittens to go with the scarf but I haven’t decided yet.

FO: stripey scarf

FO: stripey scarf

As with all knits it’s important that the kitty approves, and in this case I believe she does. I don’t know what her sister Kiwi thinks of it all, but apparently clown-vomit floats Noodles’ little boat.

Hello 2011! :)

As you can see some things are changing around here. I’ve got some great plans for 2011, I just can’t show them just yet 🙂 at the moment I’m reworking the layout and the site, but I’m still not happy with the way things look and you can expect some more changes in the coming days 😛 I’m hoping to have something clean and ‘spacious’ without it being ‘all over the place’. I’m not even sure if such a thing is possible without starting from scratch. I don’t want to strart from scratch.. there’s a lot of customizable theme’s out there.. but I’ll do it if I must 🙂

Anyways, like I said, 2011 will be a year of designs 🙂 I’m not the slow and patient type of person.. I’ll jump right in 🙂 So now I’m jumping right into designing my own stuff.. sewing.. knitting.. accessories… whatever.. Obviously the first attempts will be for myself to practice, but maybe if I work really hard I just might get good enough lol 🙂 Anways, a short post for today.. Tomorrow I’ll post the FO scarf and move on to the sidewinder sock….. 😛