Member Since: 12/27/2008

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My First Knitting Project!

Our lovely model Grace shows off my first real knitting project ever -- after almost 40 years of crafting and textile working!  Of Rowan's Big Wool, a 100% merino wool yarn.  15mm knitting...

Zinas Studio

My Ultimate Sewing Room contest entry: not enough sorts of equipment, where do I store fabric and other stashes, can I specify light fixtures? Where does the knitting machine go, my laminating...

recent comments

Re: Make a One-Hour Dress

Oh, I don't know, Liudadovy. I could make this in an hour and make it look nice, but I'm not sure someone without experienced sewing skills would know to do some of the little things that would allow this to happen in an hour -- or have equipment that would help to do that in a short span of time.

A serger would make quick work of the seams and finish the inside properly, and the overlock would finish the exposed edges equally quickly. The pleats would need to be flattened and possibly trimmed so they weren't too bulky, or a very thin knit would be required. (Probably still need trimming, though.) Using a very drapey double knit fabric would help.

I'd also consider a facing rather than a turn at the neck, which does mean more time on the ironing board and sewing machine. Without a facing, I'd probably put a very soft knit interfacing at the neck and arms to help it lie better, another step that would add to the time spent on the dress.

Without a serger, I'd use either a knit stitch on the machine (to let it drape correctly at the sides) or be very careful to (evenly) slightly stretch the fabric under the foot while sewing. The use of a double needle would help to cover the edges on the armscye and hem in place of the overlock.

I do note that the pattern piece does not show a curve at the shoulders, but there is a curve on the three inch shoulder seam in the picture, including a straight section to allow for smooth turning of the arm opening and a smooth fit over the shoulder cap. Also, note the clipping at the neck and shoulder seam point in the picture -- this allows the neck turn over to happen without pulling.

The picture also shows a slightly flared section at the bottom of the side seams for smooth turning of the hem, and it's possible that someone tuliped the skirt slightly by cutting the bottom of the seamline in slightly. I'd probably do this a bit more obviously; in the picture of the finished dress, I note that the skirt looks a bit awkward even with that slight tulip in the pictures of the side seams. Using the French curve is ideal for that.

Hope that might help someone who wants to make the dress!

Re: How to Make a Cable-Knit Scarf in a Weekend

Well, I've been sewing and crocheting since I was 4 (according to my mother: I remember it was 6), and have had a lot of textile related work go by in the 45 years since. I also have and occasionally use a knitting machine, but have never been able to get hand knitting to stick in my brain. Thanks to your project, now I have! Old dogs can learn new tricks, obviously!

So, now I have a new obsession: knitting! I am now the pleased-as-punch owner of two sets of KnitPick interchangeable circular needle sets (one wood Harmony, one Nickel plated), three Lantern Moon sets of straight needles, some KP DPNs, and I *already* have a stash of yarn. I've completed three scarves of varying design, three hats (two for a military knitted hat drive) and have three projects on the board at Ravelry (find me as GlobalTraveler) and more in the queue.

Since it's basically your handiwork that has found me taking up a new craft rather unexpectedly, I'm not sure whether to send you a virtual hug or a virtual slap. ;)

Thanks for the inspiration!

Re: Custom Hand-Painted Wedding Shoes

Those are drop dead gorgeous! Lovely work. I'm sure the bride adored them!

Re: Make It: Beaded Stitch Markers!

Made 'em! I just started knitting on New Year's Eve. My first project that actually needed stitch markers (I can't seem to keep track after 50 stitches when casting on) and a row marker is hats/helmet liners for the Knitting 4 Our Troops project in Denver. I'm on my second now, and enjoying using my new stitch markers, which are much more fun to use than scraps of yarn or plastic rings. Swarovski crystals, a coin pearl and five headpins out of my beading stash -- easy! My partner says the hat looks like it's being made for some mad university teacher, but I think it's like jewelry for your circular needles! Thanks for the idea!

Re: A Christmas Miracle: My Close-Knit Family

Whoa! That is totally awesome! I hope that you'll keep us updated if/when they progress on to making what they want to make -- photo galleries from the family Murphy, please!

Re: Sewing with Knits...It CAN Be Fun!

You have to be careful on seams with knits or they'll ripple. Depending on where the seam falls across the fabric, some seams work better if you hold the fabric taut under the foot (be careful not to pull the fabric either direction out from under the foot). Others work better if you let the machine feed dogs take the fabric through and lessen the pressure of the foot on the fabric. Taking some samples of your fabric and doing a few test seams are the best way to prevent rippled seams.

With some very fine and stretchy jerseys, I'll sometimes sew on strips of water soluble backing, the sort used for machine embroidery.

Hands down, though, a serger is one of the best ways to sew knits. Investing in one means that you can sew knits with much more confidence -- it's also faster than a sewing machine. (With a serger, I can whip out a basic t-shirt from my favorite pattern in less than an hour from cut to finish.) You should get one with at least four threads -- five for preference. A serger that sews cover stitch also means you can duplicate the coverstitch hems on ready-made knit items easily, if you like.

Re: How to Make a Cable-Knit Scarf in a Weekend

Okay, I've posted it in my gallery, but not sure how to link it here!


It really did take only a weekend, even though I'm a rank beginner. Lots of mistakes made, but hopefully not too obvious. I'm working on a thin skinny scarf to give to someone who tried the scarf on and the color looked great on her, so I'm making it out of the skein or so that I had left over.

Re: How to Make a Cable-Knit Scarf in a Weekend

After thirty years (!) of not touching a knitting needle, and then only to start a scarf that ended up staying on the needles for about two years before I figured out I was never going to finish it, this posting, the promise of only two days of work, and the cold snap here in the UK (where I'm in the middle of a long-term visit) talked me into trying it out. I zipped into John Lewis and bought needles and Rowan's merino wool Big Yarn in a lovely lime-ish green, and I'm about 2.5 skeins into the double-cable scarf. I plan to make it 4 skeins long, because the important thing will be to be able to wrap the thing around my neck at least once and cover my frozen nose when out walking on the fens of Cambridgeshire and beyond.

I'm not going to want anyone to look at it too carefully (after tearing it out about six times, I decided getting the thing made was more important than getting the scarf perfect), but am very pleased at how it's all going -- thanks for the quick project, and I hope you're pleased at getting someone started up knitting!

After this...I'll make a hat to go with it, and maybe embellish a pair of gloves to match by putting on a ruffle at the cuffs or embroider a design on the back in the green yarn. :)