Results tagged “knits” from Fabric.com Blog
Often when you are finished knitting you find yourself with a piece that is not quite how you imagined or doesn't fit as well as you had hoped. All the knitting down the drain you think as you plan to frog your project. Wait- All you really need is to properly block your knitted project. Wet blocking will bring out the details in lace, adjust fitting issues and show off the cables to best effect. Wet blocking is simple and to those detail-oriented folks, immensely satisfying.
Start by fully submerging your knitting in the water and gently (especially for wool-you don't want to felt it) squeeze to saturate every fiber. You will probably see air bubbles escape. Then leave your knitting in the water for 20-30 min. Drain the sink or bowl slowly and then carefully squeeze out extra water. Don't wring the fabric, just lightly squeeze.
Lay out your towel on a flat surface and open it fully if needed to accommodate your project or fold it in half width wise for small pieces. Carefully lay out your piece on the towel and gently shape it so it is laying flat. Roll up your towel until the whole towel is rolled up. Apply gentle pressure to squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Unroll your towel and lift your piece on to your blocking board. Start by pinning the major corners or points of your piece (for a shawl the top 2 corners, for a sweater the shoulders and neck line). Using a ruler gradually add more pins until your piece is fully pinned and shaped to your satisfaction.
Now comes the hard part: waiting. Put your blocking board in indirect light so it will not fade but will use the warmth to help it dry faster. You must wait until your piece is FULLY dry. Don't pull out those pins until you are very sure it is dry and then wait a little longer. The bigger the piece the longer the wait. It is worth the wait since you will be rewarded with a beautiful piece of knitting that fit better and looks amazing.
If you are in a pinch for a fabulous New Years Dress or just looking for a simple classic but easy dress to wear on the big night. Or you are a budget minded, but not less glamorous Diva looking to out-do all the 'Over-doers' then look no further. I have come up with a great modification of a simply beautiful knit dress, the Nancy Dress found in our Free Pattern Download section. You may previous have tagged this dress as a must-have for spring and summer but you are going to have to add it to your 'little black dress for all occasions' wardrobe category. Not only does this mod make the Nancy dress even better for Spring and Summer but also kicks up the wear ability for dates, dancing and enjoying the night into the wee hours. Because the Nancy dress is a knit dress you know it will be Uber comfy, will not wrinkle, super washable, packable and will swing and clingy like nobody's business while you shake your groove thing on the dance floor. But now you can add some extra style and security that strapless dress cannot offer. My modification is a simple an extra wide, one shoulder, gathered strap that really matches what is hot on the runways this fall. The best part is you don't need to purchase extra fabric to add this detail. You can find it in your scrapes from making the original Nancy dress. Here's the low down
Make your Nancy Dress according to the instructions. Once complete, cut a 6 in. by 19 in. strap from your remaining fabric. With right sides facing pin one end of the strap rectangle to the front of your dress on the side that you would like to have your strap, 1 in. in from the side seam. I put mine on the same side as fullest side of my hair (you ladies know what I mean) that way I could wear a chic barrette to keep that side of my hair back and show off my strap detail. With a ¼ in. seam allowance, stitch your strap on the front, back stitching at both ends. Now, on the back of your dress pin your strap (right sides facing) to the opposite side of the dress and stitch in place. Now mark the center of the strap and using a basting stitch, sew across that line. Gather your strap and secure with a regular stitch. This will add gathers on your strap which you can leave as is or highlight with a ribbon or pin. Your new fabulous Nancy Dress is done and ready for New Year's Eve Parties. You can be sexy and confident that your dress will stay put and you will look amazing all night long.
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Hands down, I love Coco Knits shoes patterns. Not only do they look very attractive on the pattern cover but it seems as though I learn a new technique or a different twist on an old standard with every pattern. For such conventional accessories as shoes, Coco Knits is very outside the box. I enjoy knitting these patterns. Usually while starting a new pattern that could be a challenge, I find the need to totally focus. But with the Coco Knits patterns, I am more relaxed and can engage in gossip, movies, or knit while watching my daughter play. Coco Knits are not relegated to 'Nap time only'. Now to the Prairie Boots pattern specifically. The Prairie boots ended up being super soft and comfy AND WARM. As a cold natured person (my feet are like icicles after Oct), I saw this pattern and had stars in my eyes. The finished product turned out better than I had dreamed. The chunky yarn gives a great textured look to the relatively simple stitches. The combination of garter and ribbing gives this boot a classic yet edgy look because of the structure and composition. I find that the boots look great pulled up with leggings and when you wear jeans or khakis, folded over gives the most warmth and style. Because these boots are knit with such chunky yarn, they are really cozy, like a snuggy for your feet. I love curling up on the couch to knit with these on. I find my need for a blanket has greatly decreased. Plus, at a recent holiday party at my house, a friend discovered these in my knitting bag and showed them around. Everyone wanted a pair. They were such a hit that I am planning on giving them as gifts and to those I can't get to before Christmas will be getting them as Ground Hog's day present, New Year's, or birthday gifts. I used Lion Brand's Wool Ease and it was a pleasure. The color selection is out of this world, making it easy to customize this gift for any one. Fabric.com's Bulky Yarn selection is amazing so you can make the Prairie Boot in any fiber, in any color for any loved one or just to fill your closet. Everyone knows that for a girl to truly be happy, she needs super cute slipper boots in every color to match any possible outfit selection. The buttons really add to the classic, modern look. I should also add that this pattern even fits my athletic calves so it is not just for the petite.
Now for the knitty gritty. I will be making these again, because they were so fun but also because they are so great to wear. But when I do, I think I will try using a size 9 needle for the whole boot instead of changing to a 10. The ribbing on the bottom of the boot gives lots of stretch while hugging the warmth to your feet. But I think I can still achieve this with a size 9. Should that not work on the upper boot because of the garter; I will delay the change from 9 to 10 needles until I start the garter stitch. I might try changing it up a little by making the boot taller.
p.s. I wanted you to know that these boots can handle the action so they are shot amide my daughter's toy mess. They are battle hardened and perfect for busy moms.
You might still be rushing to get some more homemade holiday gifts under your belt or maybe just looking for some quick projects to help keep your sanity as you plan to spend the next weeks surrounded by family, friends and friendly strangers. I find knitting to be a really good excuse for some blatant "Me time". When I first whip out my needles the questions are inevitable but after the first few minutes all goes quiet as they watch me work and then drift away to leave me be. This might be just what you need this holiday season. But if you needth not quiet time, then these quick gifts make great ice breakers and are easy enough so you can share some seasonal gossip while your knit away.
Tea Towels: I love, love a pretty tea towel. These knitted tea towels make awesome presents or hostess gifts. They are some simple but so beautiful. Tea towels are also a good excuse to bust out your cotton before your spring sweaters come calling. They are small enough to test out a new cotton or linen yarn before committing to 10-12 balls for a sweater or shawl. These towels are meant to be used but don't be surprised if the recipient thinks they are too beautiful and uses them for display only. There are tons of free patterns on Ravelry, including a great one from Lion Brand but mine is from Mason Dixon Knitting. Try a cotton blend for better drape and sheen (Nashua Creative Focus).
Pocket Monsters: Though actually named Pocket Creatures, Pocket Monsters stuck in my head when I first beheld this free pattern from Knitty and I refuse (Refuse, I say) to correct myself. I love making these little guys and always make at least 6 each Christmas. They are fast, super cute and loveable to children and adults. In fact, my first monsters went to my brother and his wife and they love them. They are all handmade, even the warmer that is heated in the microwave to keep wee and not-so-wee hand warm. Pocket Monsters are also fantastic stocking stuffers! I think the Monsters would look smashing in this Filatura di Crosa Fancy Tempo yarn with its variegation and slubs. Very monsterish!
Photos by Shaun Krisher
The Kwik Sew Decorative V neck Top is a great pattern. Not only does it live up to its name, Kwik Sew, but it was easy. This pattern came together in about 3-4 hours including resting the fabric, measuring, cutting and sewing. I was most pleased at how quick it really was. On my initial read through of the instructions I was pretty confident it would be a fast project but you never know once you get into a pattern and this was my first Kwik Sew Pattern experience. I think the real time save was the seam down the middle of the front of the shirt. This short cut doesn't detract from the style or hang of the shirt but it does make it super easy to attach the ruffle. The ruffle pattern piece also helped to quicken the pattern. It is in a spiral shape so the ruffle is created in the cutting not in gathers. I was so excited when I saw this. I also appreciated the construction method of this top, similar to that laid out in Sew U: the Home Stretch.
The Mods: I used a very light weight rayon jersey. It is not quite a tissue tee material but it is slippery with a lot of drape (very like slinky) and SOFT. The drape posed some problems with construction and especially with pictures. I suspect the knit used in the envelope pictures had more weight and less drape. I like the look of both. I have to say that the shirt feels like a dream, looks amazing and fits better than I had imagined. I didn't modify the pattern too much but I didn't want to make what was already displayed on the envelope. I added bracelet length sleeves. I wanted the ruffle shirt but with cold weather incoming the need for a sleeveless shirt is a long way off. It was really easy and I was please that the sleeves from View A fit View B's pattern pieces. The only change I made was to take 6 in. off the bottom of the sleeve. This does make me wonder why there are 2 different pattern pieces for view A and B. The neckline is low but not self-consciously low. It is flattering and comfortable. It will also look great with a lace edge camisole underneath. This ruffle shirt also looks great under an open jacket. The ruffle can soften a military style jacket.
I have been tempted to knits since I first received Wendy Mullins Sew U Knits. I created one very oversized t-shirt and stalled. When I decided to try my hand at Nancy's Dress, I was a little intimidated because many people say knits are tricky and my first attempt was not really what I would call a success. Some knits and some knit patterns are tricky. The Nancy Dress is not one of them. This pattern was quick and easy. It took me about 15-20 to assemble the pattern and then another 20-30 min to cut it out. But the sewing part was so easy. A little over an hour and I had a dress. A super cute, versatile dress. So I made another. It was addictive.
My first dress, I went by the pattern for every detail. My second dress I cut a size smaller on top for more insurance against the "creep down" notable in strapless dresses. I also cut the back piece of the top 2 in. shorter so it would sit below my shoulder blades and I could wear the front a little higher. This was not a problem with the first dress since the top was bigger. I cut the skirt the original size so there would be some gathering to make the skirt look a little fuller.
You can also wear this dress as a skirt by folding the top in half and wearing it on your hips. This versatility makes it perfect vacation wear. It is wrinkle free and can be worn in more than one way. I selected a small floral print jersey that could be worn with a variety of other pieces. The pattern was not too bright or bold to prevent coordination. So far I have paired it with a denim jacket, multiple colors of tank tops, a light sweater, a linen shawl with a chunky necklace and strappy sandals (It dresses up really well. It would make a great little black dress) and a ruffle t-shirt with the dress as a skirt. You can also pin a long length of ribbon to the center of the top and tie it behind your neck for straps. I wear one of my dresses once a week. It is so great as a mom to have a piece in my wardrobe that doesn't need to be ironed and I can slip on and feel great. The length is great to for modesty but short enough for a good summer breeze. I really love this dress: making it and wearing it. I would encourage everyone to make one.
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With the first day of school fast approaching, holiday projects being planned, and warm weather ever so slowly fading into cool, it is time to start knitting for you. You have dedicated your time to summer projects, work deadlines and family fun but how much time have you set aside for some "me time". If you are like me, check the none-to-very little box please. It is understood that the time you can set aside for you may be very little but as long as you fill it with a relaxing activity (like knitting!) you can make the most of the tiniest of breaks.
Picking a project for you is very easy; simply pick something you love and can't wait to get started. Pick something small so it will be a fast knit and pick something that will enhance future "me times". For me, that was easy, Coco Knits Ballet Slipper. If fit all of the above. It was for me! I simply could not wait to cast on and it was fast (approx 4 hours of knitting time +/-). As I write I am wearing these slippers so I can honestly attest to them enhancing my future "me times". They are cute, sassy and comfy. I can also say with a smiling face that I enjoyed knitting these slippers. First of all, they were fast. #2, They were easy. #3, It was not a bunch of Stockinette stitch (which is very easy and equal to a dose of Sleepy Time tea) but small little challenges, like mini games. There were enough small challenges to keep me interested but not too much to bore me. It has been some time since I have used Short Rows so I needed a refresher and I have never knit pleats. There was a little taste of everything and not too much. It kept me interested enough to happily finish the second slipper. No second sock syndrome here. I loved learning something new, as well. The pleats were fantastic and really added to the sassiness of the slipper. I was so pleased to have finished this project but also to finish with the sensation that my feelings of excitement and anticipation leading up to the project were never depleted and I did not feel let down. I am looking forward to knitting more Coco Knits patterns. These ballet slippers have now heard top ranking on my Christmas list projects.
Knitting for you can benefit you in so many ways. For myself, I was able to find a project to look forward to. A project that I enjoyed knitting so much that very little wine was required. A project that left me feeling a little disappointed when completed, much like a really good book you don't want to end. After finishing my knitting for me project, I felt energized and rewarded. I am ready to get back to my daily grind and all I needed was 4 hours.
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Every occupation has references that are the foundation of a job well done or a job easily done and sewing is no exception. With the guidance of a few of my favorite books I slowly educated myself in the correct and, consequently, the easy way to do certain tasks and complete certain projects. You will discover new skills and techniques, get inspiration for new projects or gain knowledge needed to tackle a challenge. Here are my foundation books for any sewer, beginner or beyond.
Machine Embroidery Essentials (Jeanine Twigg)- When I first purchased my sewing/embroidery machine (Brother He-120) I was stoked to be able to embroider. "This is going to be so easy!" I said to myself. Well self, you were wrong. A dozen broken needles and almost to tears or on the brink of drop kicking the machine down the stairs (the jury is still out on which), I found this book. It has opened the door to embroidery. There are notions and techniques that are not even comprehensible to a beginner such as me. I highly recommend this book to make machine embroidery enjoyable and fun.
Reader Digest: New Complete Guide to Sewing- Not just everything you wish to know about sewing but everything you could know seems to be in this book. Tailoring, adjusting patterns, stitches, feet, tools, you name it- it's covered. The book has saved my behind several times when I had a hunch on a technique to try. Each time I would check out what "The Book" says before launch my own method and I was way off. The tome has saved me countless minutes of wasted time but also frustration which can call a halt to any project for me. I have also learned how to tailor certain garments from this book, which saves me money since I can now peruse the sales rack in just about any size (knowing I can adjust it to fit). I have also gained inspiration from "The Book" as well. Not so much from the pictures but from the techniques. I can read one and just imagine the possibilities.
Sew U Knits by Wendy Mullins- I love this book so much I often read it before bed while dreaming of my soon-to-be wardrobe. Wendy's tips on working with knits are spot on. I love the one concerning resting your knits before cutting. She walks you through all the essentials of working with knit with both a serger and conventional machine. Each book comes with patterns for basic pieces and Wendy shows you how you can modify them to create a bevy of looks with recommendations of fabrics. This book is easy to follow, I recommend it for beginners on up. My first t-shirt from this book was cut and sewn in less than 2 hours.
Big Book of Window Treatments (Sunset Editors)- One cannot assume that every sewer sews only clothing. I thoroughly enjoy dressing my home as much as myself. But I don't have hours to spend searching the internet for window treatment looks that I like and hoping to find a picture big enough so I can guess how it is done. One book can give me access to many, many different options with techniques on creating them yourself. Do you really want a café curtain in your kitchen- here you are with several different customizations to choose from. Not sure what exactly you want for your living room, you just know it must block the light and keep out the drafts, check out the panels, drapes and roman shades. I have used this book for few of my neighbors' homes as well. I often sew home dec around the neighborhood and this book helps me show them the image I have in my head (especially good since I don't really have a hand for drawing). This is a must if you love to sew home dec or want to redo your home.