Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Edging Pattern For a Hat

A couple months back I decided to make my mom a hat after finding a really lovely silk yarn (Louisa Harding Mulberry in 21/Claret). I started by looking through a number of hat patterns on Ravelry. I particularly liked For Joana by Agata Smektala, but my mom wanted a little more ruffle along the bottom edge. So I thought of doing something like the leaf edging along the bottom of this Greenleaf Cap by Freyalyn Close-Hainsworth, but perhaps using the Double Rose Leaf pattern. So I did a test swatch of half of the pattern with a faggoting stitch like edge as found in some of the edging patterns from Jackson's Practical Companion to the Worktable (for example, the pattern on pg 103).

The swatch and corresponding chart:

The green stitches in the chart highlight the leaf motif, and the blue stitches on the right indicate short-rows used for forming the curve.

I decided that the leaf pattern didn't curve and ruffle well.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Once Again

I went ahead and entered another Spoonflower contest. The theme this time was Rococo, and I'd already been messing around with 18th century styled designs, so I didn't make a new design specifically for the contest. Some time back I had visited my library and browsed through several fabric textile books. These included (among others) Printed Textiles: English and American Cottons and Linens 1700-1850 by Florence M. Montgomery and Americas Printed and Painted Fabrics by Florence H. Petti. I think the former of these two, Printed Textiles[GoogleBooks, Abebooks, B&N, Amazon], contained a nice selection of chintz and block-printed fabrics.

Anyway, I'd been working on some micro print designs for my Sylvanian Families at the time I visited the library, and so I used some of the stylistic features from a couple 1760-1780 block prints. Simplified, of course, for a smaller scale, and I arbitrarily picked some colors. I ended up with this fabric, the coloring of which makes me think of 'Hawaiian shirts'. When I saw the upcoming contest theme was Rococo, I decided to enter my design (on a marginally larger scale to show up better on the contest viewer). Yes, the styling is a little late for Rococo, and the coloring is very modern, but I have felt past contest entries always seemed overly loose with the theme anyway.

Well, after having looked through the contest entries, at least my entry has some relation to the 18th century. (I thought some of the other entries were interesting or pretty, but almost none of them made me think Rococo or 18th century. Of course, if I didn't have such a fascination of chintz, and I hadn't read through as many books on 18th century textiles as I have, I'd probably think better of at least some of the designs.) Look through the entries yourself and vote.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Simple Stitch Pattern

I wanted to test some of the stitch patterns from Lambert's "My Knitting Book, Second Series", as mentioned earlier. Being moderately lazy, I decided to start with a pattern with few stitches and rows per repeat: Open Pattern for a small Quilt is on page 49, and has only 5 stitches across per pattern, and two rows. The chart is pretty silly, but here it is anyway (second row is purled across the back side, so not shown):

The slipped stitch is alternately passed over two stitches and one stitch.

Also, I made up that symbol combination, but the intention should be mostly clear if you understand the somewhat similar symbol combination that occurs in the last image in this article on FluffBuff and is also explained by ShowYouHowTo.

For the swatch I cast on 14 stitches: 2 repeats plus 2 edge stitches on each side. I knit about 12 rows; for the first three pairs of pattern rows I slipped the stitches knitwise, and for the second three pairs I slipped the stitches purlwise. I decided I prefered the look when slipping the stitches knitwise (bottom of picture).

Monday, January 10, 2011

High-tech Fabrics

I briefly referenced Ecouterre in my last post. It's big on sustainability, and recycling, and reducing waste. All good objectives, but the posts I've found the most interesting tend to be the slightly more bizarre technology posts: energy generating clothes, clothes that power your gadgets, invisibility cloak, glow in the dark clothing, fibers that can emit and detect sound, and spider dragline from E. coli. Another site on technology and fashion, Fashioning Technology, has more focus on the lights and gizmos on or in clothing, and less about new textiles. Also, Syuzi Pakhchyan of Fashioning Technology appears to have a DIY Intro book [GoogleBooks, Abebooks, B&N, Amazon].

Now about clothing style, or rather visual elements; I'm currently liking the sleeveless (or cap-sleeve) ruffle look. Clothing grown from bacteria seems a little weird, and I don't care for the paper-like look of the material, but I think this shirt design is kind of cute. Similarly, I like the ruffles over the shoulders on this dress and the fabric probably looks pretty neat in person, but the rest of the dress isn't very exciting. Both of these are part of the Trash Fashion exhibit at the Science Museum in South Kensington, London.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lace as Jewelry

I'm not much of a jewelry person, but someday I really should pick up a few things to accessorize costumes. Actually, somewhere between Margaretville and I-87 in NY there is an antique shop in some building (which also contains a cafe and some other stuff), and this antique shop contained several 'Victorian watch pins'. I was very tempted to get one when I passed through last summer, and didn't because I wasn't sure I wanted to spend the $40 at the time, and I've been kicking myself since then. I don't even know the name of the shop, or building, so even if I end up in that region of the country again sometime soon I don't know that I'd be able to find the place again.

Maybe I will sketch out something of what I remember of it. Which honestly isn't much beyond stones spaced circularly, and two tiers. (I can't even remember if the stones were green or maroon, now.)

Also on the topic of jewelry, I recently came across Ecouterre, which had a post about vintage lace cast in gold and silver. Some of the crochet and Cluny lace pieces are kind of neat (See WhiteFly on Etsy). Although really, the Cluny lace could simply be made in wire, and the crochet piece could be made in metallic thread (not quite the same end look, but I think it could still look good if done well). Still, the idea of casting the vintage pieces in recycled gold and silver is interesting.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Knitting Patterns On My Phone

Google has (back in late Nov. or early Dec.) launched an ebook store site. As part of this they now have an e-reader for android phones. Although the old scanned needlework books are still images, and not epub books (with adjustable font size), several of the ones I have looked at appear to have originally been printed on half or quarter sheets of paper. This means they are just about the perfect size for displaying on my Nexus One.

Above, a page from Lambert's "My Knitting Book, Second Series". I have started to swatch out some of the stitch patterns and edging patterns from this book, and intend to chart them as I did previously with a few of the patterns from Jackson's "Practical Companion to the Work Table" (pg 102, 103, 105, 126).

Also shown in the picture: the same page printed out on paper, and a baby bonnet I am making for my niece. I started the bonnet with the intention of testing out some of the patterns in Lambert's book; at the moment only two stitch patterns are actually going to end up being used. More details about the bonnet will likely wait until after I have finished the bonnet and charted the stitch patterns. Another picture, with the GoogleBook app in 'night' mode.

Between the original printing and font, and the digitization process, I personally think the night mode is a little difficult to read.