Saturday 17 July 2021

Jumping Dots Scarf: A big project for a big brother

 This time for my own big brother...

I started crocheting this scarf in lockdown number 2, around the beginning of July last year, and as soon as I saw the pattern emerging I knew it should be a gift for my brother. 

Jump forward 12 months: I finished it in lockdown number 4 and posted it off to him. We've just entered lockdown number 5 and it's his birthday and he has just received it, so I can share it here.

The pattern is called Jumping Dots by Jellina Verhoeff (weblink and Ravelry link). It looks much more complicated than it is as it's all just single crochet stitch.

The design comes from carrying one thread along while crocheting with another and then switching. There's a bit of counting involved, but that's about it.

The yarn is Scheepjes Whirl in Mid-Morning Mocharoo, which is the colour gradient yarn, along with Scheepjes Whirlette in Licorice (2 balls). I purchased the yarn online from Yarnish

The colour gradient yarn is a huge cake of 1000m and I was almost sad that the final colour, a dark brown was only just emerging as I ran out of the second ball of the black whirlettte. But with the scarf at about 2m long it was definitely time to stop. The pattern was written to stop about two "dot lengths" earlier with the option to keep going if you wanted to use up all the solid colour yarn.

I had a bit of fun trying to work out how to photograph it without a Dr Who type model. It looked really cool on our cork stairs, but also very moody and dark.

The cotton is pretty fine and there's a gazillion crochet stitches in making this.  Each evening I could add about a centimetre of progress. Once or twice I discovered I'd miscounted somewhere and all my circles were a bit oval shaped. there's no hiding mistakes, so I'd just rip back. At least with crochet there's only ever one stitch to hold onto.

To keep me from having to move the yarn balls every time I switched yarn, and prevent them getting tangles, I did commission P to build me a Lego, rotating, yarn holder. He didn't get around to it, but I'd recommend finding something like that before you start! A bit like a lazy Susan with yarn holding spikes sticking up.

I'm keen to try some more of these tapestry type patterns with carried yarn colours. Using simple old 8bit computer type graphics I could maybe even invent my own. Maybe my husband needs a Space Invaders Galactica facewasher :)

Friday 9 July 2021

Ottobre impulse sewing

I had an idea for a dress for myself using three different linen checks from Fabric Deluxe. The idea wouldn't go away so I headed off to buy the fabric, but when I was there I found this pumpkin coloured stretch denim and I've ended up making some jeans for A.

(don't worry, I bought the linens for myself too)

The jeans pattern is from Ottobre Spring (1) 2014 and it's pattern 34 - Angel Wings
Why Angel Wings? Cause there's cute little butt wings on the back:

I had a bit of fun making those wings with my new sewing machine and its embroidery stitches. I could program it to sew circles of decreasing size, where the pattern suggesting iron on diamantes of varying sizes (surprisingly not in my huge notions stash!)

Overall the sewing machine handled all the topstitching, and the jeans button hole and the thick belt loops, and just everything, really really well.

I didn't have her on hand to measure as the kids were away for some of the school holidays (granny camp!) and so I just guessed at the 158cm size. The rigid jeans of P's that she'd been trying to squeeze into were 152cm Ottobre, so I figured one size up and some stretch and I should be safe.

I'd only bought 1m of the denim as it was quite wide, and that meant I couldn't cut the full pattern length. These are 11cm shorter in the leg than the pattern intends. I guessed that should be OK as she hasn't got the spidery limbs of her older brother. The other guess I made was to slash and spread the rear crotch curve to add about 1cm to 1.5cm of extra rise length, and also to add about 0.5cm to the lower aspect of the rear yoke pieces for a bit more length again. That all worked perfectly and they aren't high waisted but they also aren't falling down too low when she sits.

As I was finishing them the waist looked a little large, so I just slipped some 1" elastic into the rear half of the waistband and anchored it under where the side belt loops folded up. It's not gathered a lot but just enough to keep it close at the lower back. She loves them. But then how could she not? they have butt wings!

At the last minute I decided to add a T-shirt. From the same Ottobre magazine, this is pattern 28 - Neon Stripes. The pattern is just two pieces; front and back with ribbing binding. the front is cut on the bias so I needed a striped fabric to show that off. I made a straight size 1546cm (the largest this particular pattern goes to)

One thing I'm good at is buying and stashing striped knit fabrics. I'd forgotten all about this one which was a Spotlight $2/m special from ages ago. I needed to zoom back to Fabric Deluxe for some rockmelon coloured ribbing to match the denim to finish the whole look.

The T-shirt took no time at all to assemble on the overlocker, but when it came time to turn the ribbing and stitch it down with the sewing machine I found the hurdle at which to fall. My new machine and I are yet to sort each other out when it comes to the walking foot and twin needle combination. It seems to have a twin needle setting but not when the walking foot is engaged. Or a walking foot setting but you can't then select the twin needle option. I was almost longing for the old basic model that I could trick into doing anything... I've sewn it down with the twin needle and no walking foot, but the ribbing has become very stretched out in doing so. 

My knit finishes are going to take some practice. But I will prevail.

She loves the T-shirt too. Even though she was wearing it backwards for most of the first photoshoot and we didn't realise. Here's how it looks back to front!