Monthly Archives: May 2008

Gentle intrusion into my knitting

1. A little while ago I saw a post on the Ravelry forums which suggested we share videos of ourselves knitting. I liked this idea right away – I love to observe the different ways in which we knit, to the point of gentle intrusion as I inquire about the way you tension your yarn or balance your needles.

2. At the same time, I’ve recently received a few e-mails inquiring about tensioning yarns across dpn joins, as it specifically applies to knitting the helical socks. Describing what I do in words has been… frustrating (“You know, I take the top yarn, not the working yarn, pull it to the back of my work, then swing it over the dpn to the front and hold it down with my thumb.” Ugh.).

3. We already discussed inserting a heel into the helical tube (short-row and flap), and I already mentioned what to do at the very end when the toe is reached (though I feel this should be second nature if you’ve followed the helical sock series). So, the only question that remains is that pesky yarn tension across dpns joins.

4. Putting the three thoughts together…

5. Enjoy the weekend!

Black on black

This is, by far, my favorite shot. Something about the setting sun tinting my hair and the blouse’s fabric a soft orange. And finally seeing that black-on-black jacquard woven fabric that’s typically impossible to capture. Wouldn’t you agree?

Here are a few more:


This Neue Mode blouse pattern (J23071) has awesome bones, as they say. Any blouse with full-fashioned princess seams allows a ton of refinement, even if it doesn’t work right “out of the box,” so that was the first step to success.


In my case, the majority of refinement came in the form of merging size 38 shoulders and a size 46 bust. Can you see that? (Labeled for clarity, I’m hoping?) You can also see where I took a bust dart, and rotated the fullness it would produce into the princess seam. Fewer darts to sew – always a plus!

One thing I didn’t have to modify from the original – the sleeves. Which is a worthwhile thing to mention… Though I think all of you must know this already. Nonetheless, it was a fascinating discovery for me!

As knitters, we are able to get away with all kinds of shortcuts, because knit fabrics are very forgiving. So, when we make a top, we probably realize that the back of our shoulder socket really should get more fabric than the front. (Swing your arm back and forth, and then lift it up and down – where do you think an extra bit of fabric to allow the movement should go – front of shoulder cap, or back?) But as knitters, we just say, “eh, screw it!” and knit the sleeve cap symmetrical across the midline (the infamous “decrease left side of sleeve cap same as right”).

Anyway, once we move to sewing and woven cottons, the story is very different. Little swaths of fabric matter, and the better-drafted patterns will have the sleeve caps all kinds of non-symmetrical. Take a look at the blouse you’re currently sewing and the sweater you’re currently knitting – how do the sleeve cap patterns compare?

Black, white, taupe

My ongoing sewing project – a full-fashioned Neue Mode blouse – has the sort of black-on-black patterning that makes me want to gouge out my eyes. But, oh, it’s so close! (and after a gazillion pattern mods, it fits so well!)

Black-on-black cotton jacquard fabric, black-on-black mother of pearl buttons.

Steady hands? Hahaha! Did I mention I pipet for a living?!?

Cute blouse and the issue seemed totally fixable – just a little tear that needed to be shoved back into the seam. The damage was not as bad as I expected – I thought it had actually ripped, but instead the gauze had been teased out of the seam.

After I stabilized the frayed edge with a little zigzag, the fabric had no issues being tucked inside.

I had an issue with these summer pants from the very beginning: the drawstring was sewn into place somewhere inside the waistband and the two ends have always been uneven.


I finally opened up the back seam and let loose the string. Then I decided this was only halfway to a real fix, since I don’t like drawstrings in the first place and this one in particular did diddly-squat. So I yanked it out and replaced it with elastic. Ah, so much better! Now that I’ve got elastic in my waistband (and I like it, and there’s more to come) I will take my mom’s favorite brands/stores much more seriously ;).