Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Father Christmas and the Vintage Fairy

Well the decorations have at last surfaced. Everything has a story!!! 

The Father Christmas was made for the first Christmas that I had my granddaughter living with me. 

The fairy dates from about 1956 when I was three!! Such a long time ago now.
She has the prettiest face ever, look at those cute dimples. 

Snowman, another 3ft tall stuffed and sewn decoration, is quite jealous as its his turn to hang in the window. They fight every year as to who will hang next to their darling fairy.

Fairy really needs a new dress as the one she has dates from 1969, when it was lace cuffs on my Mothers going away dress. That's the year she got married to my Step Father. More memories, as the dress was found carefully packed in tissue, when my Mother passed in 1985. I made the dress that Christmas. Sometimes you just have to have memories, its nice to think of loved ones.

Super Warm Shetland Wool Jacket For Ethna

Just thought you might like to see how I go through the design of a garment. 

First I discuss with the recipient what they want, style, yarn, fibre, colour style. Then I look to see if I have some suitable yarn in my stash. So I had a phone call from Ethna, she's suffering from the cold and wants a jacket in 100% wool in an aran style.

She did mean the really thick Aran knit style but that type of yarn is way too thick for the machine that I have. I suggested Shetland yarn as its light but very warm. Now its off to the books to find a suitable punch card. 

Picture three shows the test knitting. Here I am trying out various needle settings and tensions. This did not go very smoothly as my machine decided it did not want to co-operate and I had to spend several hours finding a technical fault!!!

Shetland yarn arrives spun in oil, so after knitting the test sample it has to be washed in hot water with much washing up liquid, Then rinsed in softener. This transforms the yarn from an oily smelling, stringy looking item to soft fluffy yarn.

The card is shown in the middle picture and I have spotted an error in it, darn that did not show up in the test knit. I have to mend the wrongly punched hole, with sellotape.

The 1st picture is the final sample.  The purple threads are marked stitches so that I can measure the number of rows and stitches to 10cm. 

After finalising the stitch and yarn details, I can now look for a suitable style. Just a round neck jacket with patch pockets. Measurements are entered into my Designaknit (DAK) knitwear design programme on the computer. This then shows on screen a pattern, just like a dress pattern. It shows each front, the back and sleeves. This is an original pattern so I have to make sure that all pieces fit together and measure correctly. Also I have to add the pockets, front bands and collar pieces. Then I print out the pattern.

So far its taken me about ten hours to get this far, not including the breakdown time. That does not include thinking time, which goes on whilst I am doing other stuff!! Today, I hope to get the back knitted. I will then wash this and measure, when dry. Just to double check it is coming out the correct size.

Now you know why its costly to have garments made to order!!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Zoe in Birdland

Finally finished this!! Yippee, its been hanging round as other projects took preference.

Now I am onto the rest of my own Christmas makes................ pictures will have to wait till after Christmas, just in case any nosy friends spy their pressies!!!!!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Lst Minute Christmas Card Order

More christmas card designs. The cup that loks like wine is, unfortunately my water pot :-))

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Happy Christmas Every One!!!

Hope you are all having a fun time getting ready for Christmas!!!

Today is card making, so this is my design from paper and bits and bobs I have in stock. The wee cards are some I designed a few years ago. I have just printed mini versions and made them into cards for Bear to hang round his window.

Have a very Happy Christmas one and all.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Knitting Masterpieces One Finished

Its been a busy couple of days finishing this sweater. My brain has finally got back into the swing of machine knitting. There are so many things to remember, I am so glad I learned this when I was young, would stand no chance now!!!

Here is the finished jumper, I am really pleased with it. So is my friend she popped in today to see if I had finished it!!! Pictures show, side seam, matching patterns!! Neck all hand stitched.

The finishing is the most important part, the machine knits perfectly every time. You have to sew the garment up well to make the whole thing look good.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Well today has been a day of surprises. Saw a loose dog, a Basset Hound running past my house. So Molly and I wrapped up warm and went to catch him. I put him on the lead, after having to chase him round. Boy those dogs are really strong. He eventually managed to trip me up and I went splat into the verge. Lucky for me it was a nice soft landing on the snow.

Only thing I landed on my mobile and it made a dent in my thigh!!! So bruises 'R' Us here. I am thinking Molly might make a good camera girl so I can get the £250 from you've been framed.

I have been busy on the knitting machine again. Browns and red is for my friends son again. Next one Jade and Navy Fleck is for me and the others are just testing out patterns.

I finished my turquoise sweater and am wearing it today, lovely and warm it is too!!!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

These are the sample swatches for my jumpers. I am busy knitting on my machine, last week I made a sweater for my friends son, he has Downs and has shorter than normal arms, so it was good to be able to knit him a jumper that fitted!! He walked round to mine on his own to say thank you, tears in eyes on that one!!

Now I am knitting a few warm sweaters for me. They are just basic raglan round necks, with polo collars. I have a professional design programme on my computer. I feed in my measurements and the stitch and row counts then out comes a pattern. Its brilliant. Once upon a time I used to work all this out by doing the maths.

I think the ice is too bad on the roads so am giving the Contemporary Art Group a miss this month. The school bus has not run today. We are 1 1/2 miles from a salted road. Just can't afford a car accident.