Sunday, May 28, 2017

Charlie's Cardigan

I am so happy with my new cardigan for a couple of reasons.

Firstly I found out about Amy Herzog a few years ago over at Stitcher's Guild and have since purchased her 3 books as well as her Craftsy classes.

As soon as I started to read and listen to Amy I loved the way she spoke about Fabric, body shapes and styles to suit your body all based on your knitting.  In fact Franklin Habit from Mason-Dixon Knitting wrote a great post about Amy's 3 books.

Now I struggle with maths, whether it is drafting a pattern or working out how to increase or decrease my stitches for my knitting it just gets me so flustered that I choose not to do it.

This is where Amy's CustomFit has come to my rescue.

There are a number of steps, in no particular order.

Essentially you and a friend take all your measurements, which I found to be more comprehensive than what I have previously done for sewing.  The measurement are entered into the CustomFit site (once you have joined).

Then you decided on what wool you want to use, yes you can choose any wool, linen, cotton that you have and that you want to knit a garment with.  You knit a swatch of at least 30 stithces by 15 cm (6 inches) and work out your stitch and row gauge and then this information is entered into CustomFit.

Thankfully my knitting stash is not as large as my fabric stash but I had purchased this Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply Rustic in Sienna back in May 2015 and decided to use this for my first CustomfFit cardigan.

Here is my 3rd swatch, I wanted fabric that I liked the feel of and it was achieved with 4.75mm needles.

Amy Herzog has a huge amount of information on swatching

Next you choose a pattern, add your swatch information and then your measurements are combined and you have a pattern made just for you.

My pattern page.
You are not limited to the Customfit patterns, there is a whole board over at Ravelry on how to Customfit non CustomFit sweaters.

The other reason I am so happy with this cardigan is as you know I have changed my knitting style to Continental and was completely blown away that I could knit this cardigan in 7 weeks!!  Normally it takes me at least a year to knit the pieces!

But then it did take me another 7 months to finish it as life got in the way and this was my first button band and then summer was upon us.  I finally got motivated to do the neckband and button bands which I also stablised with Panda Petersham purchased from Torb & Reiner in Melbourne.

and it was finally ready for the cooling weather.

The only change I know I need to make to my measurements is the sleeve length for long sleeves, these could be longer but are quite wearable as they are.

Expect to see a lot more CustomFit knitting!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

V8648 - The Coutre Dress progress

is very slow, especially when you have been laid up with influenza for the last 6 weeks.

Our first day started with Susan Khalje discussing with the group what we were going to make and what fabric we were going to use.  I had purchased some wool crepe for my dress, but found in my stash some wool with a twill texture which I also took along as it was larger piece.   The class nominated I use this fabric which I was happy to do as I had now decided I wanted sleeves.

Next up Susan had us putting on our toiles and doing the first round of adjustments.  Thankfully my 4th toile was pretty good but still some minor tweaks were made.

These are then marked in another colour marker on your calico and the seams are then unpicked and the pieces ironed flat.

Everything is then laid out on your silk organza and cut out, then this is laid on top of your fashion fabric and you are ready to start hand basting each piece together.

For the next fitting, I used every pin I had and felt like an Echidna whilst Susan did the next round of tweaking.

Then it was more thread tracing of the adjustments and sitting down at the sewing machine and sewing it all up.

The midriff panel gave me some grief and you can see below the different adjustments I had to do to it.

By the time I left the class 6 days later, I had:
  • the dress bodice, midriff and skirt all sewn together.
  • hand picked the centre back zip.
  • the right sleeve was basted in place, and the left sleeve was waiting it's turn.

There is still a lot of work to do, I only finished the catchstitching of all the seam allowances over the Easter break and I am now in the process of making sure all the adjustments are on the pattern pieces so I can cut out the lining.

More to follow.