Finding my Knitting Needles Again

Folks, as much as I am confident in a lot of my fibers based skills, in today's hip and somewhat oversaturated knitting world, I'm a complete fumbling beginner. I'm pretty good at cables and stranded work, but once you start working in the round or doing lace, or shaping, I'm completely lost.

So I finally joined Ravelry, the promise of lots of step-by-step tutorials was too good to pass up. I think the unhelpful environment of similar sites like Craftster, as well as the proliferation of ugly gradient dyed and foo-foo yarn turned me off. But, with just about every skill, I have to start at the beginning, until I understand all the techniques well enough to use them in my work.

So I started a simple feather-and-fan scarf to get me over my fear, and I'm starting to understand how the stitches work. Plus it's helping me get rid of the random crap yarn I've collected over the years.

That ugly sweater I unraveled became (partially) a little cowl-sort thing for the winter, at least the colors look much better this way.

And the second pocket finished, I don't think I'll use it though.

Another pocket idea, I've wanted to do a black work piece for a while, and I like how this is coming out, we'll see.

Graphing and Drawing and Knitting.

So the vest is now cleaned up around the edges, with a braided trim to neaten things up.

And around the sleeve and side seam.

The lining is starting to go in, it's only on the back right now. Is this the way you're supposed to do a lining? Absolutely not, I should construct it and then put the whole thing in, but honestly, since this was woven in shape and it's so thick, I feel like this is more accurate in the end, I can adjust as I go. Plus the lining is a little bit of a patchwork, I didn't have any one piece of linen big enough to cover the whole space.

Now the vest is supposed to be a bit of a hand-me-down garment, so I felt like a super detailed lining wouldn't be appropriate, but an ornamental pocket, add later, perhaps given as a present, would make more sense. It had been a while since I knitted anything, so I decided to try out some knitted color work. There's surprisingly little knit work in my garments so far, despite the fact that it's an easily recyclable technique.

More sketches, lots of little pixels.

Trying both designs out.

Came out pretty nice, very geometric, mirrors the diagonal striping of the vest itself.

And the second, which is more pictorial.

I like both, but I feel like they don't have the level of detail or workmanship that I'd like. I'd love to do a much much finer knit, but I don't have any needles under a 1. I may end up simply doing an embroidered one, and maybe felt these and keep them.

I've been keeping on the drawing, I need to get back into practice big time. This week was 're-figuring out how to use a brush for inking' time.

Doing some watercolor too. Not very exciting to do color on my design sketches because everything is black, white, and gray.

I ended up using this one as a color tester, but the lines are kinda nice.

I've also started drawing out what I hope will be my winter jacket/cloak. It's difficult for me to put aside that much time and effort for a piece of clothing that's actually for me, and not a part of my work, but I feel like I deserve it.

The outer fabric will be either a grey wool flannel or a marled grey sweatshirt fabric. The lining will be a diamond patchwork of plaid flannel shirts, quilted through to the front. Hopefully. We'll see, I'm going to go root around at Jomar tomorrow.

Off the Loom, Starting the Quilt

So the vest came on off the loom a few days ago. The edges were a total mess, but it held together until the end, and I hand-fixed it after it was off the loom.

In all it's ragged glory.

Cleaned up a bit, sides sewn together to make a vest shape. Still need to clean up the warp edges, get rid of that fringe, and probably do a braid trim and line it. Want to do some really beautiful, colorful pockets, but not sure what they'll look like yet.

Secure edge on the armhole. Will probably add braid here too.

I also cut up the cotton I post a entry or to ago and started getting it together for a double-four-patch quilt. After realizing how comfortable and light my ugly quilt is, I'd like to make a better quilt that both covers my whole bed, and isn't ugly.

All the colors and another white sheet, cut up into strips and squares.

Sewing the strips together.

Cutting the strips and arranging with the squares.

One color down, five to go!

Also I've been having a lot of fun working on some little projects for myself.

Did a quick little bind-up with string on this, before dipping it in thiox (something sort of like bleach that smells like farts) Now it's a fire polo.

Close up, it did some neat things to the pattern. I want to try this with some flannels and more complex tying patterns.

Also resized this shirt and gave it a fade-out effect by dip-dying it in the thiox. Very comfy linen shirt for me now.