Tools: Nostepenne for Knitters and Handspinners

Good Morning all.

I apologize for the radio silence recently.

My son had is 2nd post graduate, Commencement,

My awesome son!

In September he goes off for yet another round of University, this time for a Bachelor of Education, and he has begun a new job as a line cook at a local restaurant. They are training him. He figures this is an excellent skill to have, as cooks are always in demand and he can work it around school.

Image result for birthday cake

I also celebrated my Birthday, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton. Another trip around the sun!

There have been some developments at church also. Our Rector is retiring so there has been a lot of things to do. I have been working on a couple of programs that need to be in place before he goes. He will be greatly missed. However we look forward to welcoming a new incumbent in September.

Well, I’m back!

Tool: Handy tool to add to your project bag.

Nostepenne, I have several of these. Easy to make, or get on Etsy.com. Basically a ball winder with no moving parts. Really useful for Knitters and Spinners. Makes a centre pull ball! 

Here is a video on it’s use by Ann Kingstone .

Image result for nostepinde

What have I been working on?

Namaste Yoga socks #2

These are for Toronto Sick kids Hospital, Rehab Yoga program.

Be Basically Warm 

something brainless to knit when in a group!

Itasca Poncho – Kal 

Planning on travelling this summer and as I use a wheelchair sometimes, a sweater is just not practical. Thought this would go with jeans.

WIP List = 9

  1. Namaste Yoga socks #2
  2. Be Basically Warm
  3. Itasca Poncho – Kal 
  4. Without Moonlight #2 
  5. Cabled Hood with Pockets 
  6. Sea of Dreams Blanket
  7. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  
  8. Rose Harbour Shawl 
  9. My Fair Cardi 
  10. Namaste Yoga socks #1  
  11. Pretty Basic scarf – May Kal 
  12. EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket – frogged!

WIPS 2015 = 9

FO’s 2015 = 25 + 2 = 27

Other FO’s (not fibre) = 14

Long-term Projects = 4

 Stash Used 2015 = 23 + 2 = 25

Yds of Handspun 2015 = 0

Sewing FO’s 2015 = O

Books 2015 = 7

cya next week :0)

I’m off on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0 

I also have a Ravelry shop and an Etsy shop!

for my Literary blog, see Totally Austentatious.

Feeling like a Heel Tutorial

knitting with cat

First, I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter/Passover or Chocolate day, whichever you celebrate.

Easter bunny

Ok, “His Socks” are to the point of Inserting the Heels.

In this case I am making Toe ups

First make the socks, sans heels…

Thought a short photo tutorial would show you how easy it is. 

I start out with an outline of the foot I am making the sock for. Mark a line across the heel directly across where the ankle bone meets the heel. 

The outline

The outline for a custom sock, in this case 7″ to the heel line.

First make your sock, top down or toe up doesn’t matter. Magic loop or 5 dpns, works either way. 

Ok, I want to pause and explain something before we get under way.

Anatomy ala the Vitruvian man: 

Image result for vitruvian man

You know how some sock just won’t stay up. They sag and drive you nuts.

Well if you follow this simple rule, your socks won’t do that.  Make your socks as long as the measurement from your toes to your ankle bone. Yup, then add your cuff. You see if you measure up from the floor, for example 7″ as for this custom sock, you will note that your calf starts to curve out and that is why your sock is sliding down. You can make socks longer, but past this point in order for them to stay up, they have to be above your calf muscle (to your knee) not to slide down. Thank you Leonardo! 

In this case I am making Toe ups

In this case I am making Toe ups

When knitting, I knit the whole sock cuff and all, inserting and knitting over the waste yarn at the ankle line. 

Note: this is a 60st sock on 2.5mm. Using 1/2 the stitches, (30st) I have knit 15st with my waste yarn, then left a loop in the yarn and continued to knit the remaining 15st. I usually to this with a separate dpn. I then continue knitting over this waste yarn row as usual.

Note: this is a 60st sock on 2.5mm. Using 1/2 the stitches, (30st) I have knit 15st with my waste yarn, then left a loop in the yarn and continued to knit the remaining 15st. I usually to this with a separate dpn. I then continue knitting over this waste yarn row as usual.

So I knit my socks, (usually both) then I insert the heels at the same time.

Optional: I often make my heels in a complimentary yarn colour. This makes repairing and re-knitting the heel so much easier. I’ve never had to replace the heels in my own socks, but my guys have needed many replacements over the years. 

Knit by the Dozen Socks. I started knitting these while I was ill socks.

I was lucky to find a nice Kermit green yarn for these beauties  :0)

Ok, we are going to pick out the waste yarn. At first it is a little like a battle with an octopus, but it gets easier as you go along. Start at one side with 2 dpns; pick up the top live stitch on the waste yarn on one dpn and the bottom live stitch on the waste yarn on the other dpn.

Using the 3rd dpn, gently unknit the waste yarn being very careful that each stitch is securely on the upper or lower needle before persuading the waste yarn out of the stitches.

When you reach the middle, you will have 15 st on the upper needle and 15st on the lower. Now flip the sock over and work from the other end to the middle with 2 more dpns, (one for the top row and one for the bottom row). 

This is what we're aiming for.

This is what we’re aiming for.

Oops you say, why do I have 61st instead of 60st? Technically the lower row is upside down and there is always one more stitch going the opposite direction. Therefore knitting upward, 60st, turn the knitting the other way up 61st. Weird but true!

We are going to reduce the stitches back to 60st by k2tog at the end closest to the ankle of the sock on the needle with 16st, on the first heel round. Clear as Mud?

How this works with whatever number of stitches your sock is. Use Half the number of stitches in your sock, (must work out to an even number) one stitch here or there is fine. 

Therefore if your sock is 72st, you would knit 36st on your waste yarn. Which would work out to be 18st on each of 4 dpns for a total of 72st for the heel opening. 

Note, that this method gives you only one tail to darn in at the ankle.

Inserted heel close up

Inserted heel close up

Instructions for 60st heel

  • Row 1: knit
  • Row 2: knit (on 4 dpns rearrange stitches) dpn 1: 2st,pm 2st, dpn 2: 26st dpn 3: 4st dpn 4: 26st) (on Magic loop) 30st either side.
  • Row 3: (on 4 dpns rearrange stitches 2,pm) pm *K2, ssk, k12, k12 k2tog, k2* (on Magic loop) pm *k2, ssk, k24, k2tog, k2*
  • Row 4: knit alternate rows
  • Continue reducing 4st every other row  to 24st. 
  • Now reduce 4st every row to 14st.
  • next row k1,*k2tog* (7st)
  • Thread tail through stitches. Darn in tail.

WIP List = 11

  1. Dish Soap Poncho – for church craft sale
  2. Buttermere #2
  3. EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket – Fb/Kal
  4. Zuzu’s Petals
  5. His/Hers Socks
  6. Cabled Hood with Pockets 
  7. Sea of Dreams Blanket
  8. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  
  9. Rose Harbour Shawl 
  10. My Fair Cardi 
  11. Simplicity Lace Scarf   Kal/feb2015 

FO’s 2015 = 9

WIPS 2015 = 9 + 2 = 11

Long-term Projects = 4

 Stash Used 2015 = 13

Yds of Handspun 2015 = 0

Sewing FO’s 2015 = O

Books 2015 = 5

cya next week :0)

I’m off on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0 

I also have a Ravelry shop and an Etsy shop!

for my Literary blog, see Totally Austentatious.

DIY: Darning and mending socks

knitting with cat

I knit a lot of socks people, so when one breaks…

Which never happens to my socks, (but does happen to my guyz socks) out comes the Darning kit and repairs ensue.

Here are some good tutorials!

Thank you Knitpicks and Susan B. Anderson

– Introduction to Sock Darning 

Swiss darning Part 1 and 2 (using a sewing needle to replicate knit stitches)

Picking up and knitting a patch Part 1 and 2 (see tutorial for Grafting)

Filling the Hole Part 1 and 2 (another needle method)

Repairing Toes (knit method)

Susan B. Anderson’s Traditional woven method 

Clear as mud?

What do I do, to replace toes?

This is my preference.

Same method works for short row or inserted heels. Good reason to use these methods. Most toes can be repaired using a variation of this method.

Same method works for short row or inserted heels. Good reason to use these methods. Most toes can be repaired using a variation of this method.

I restart the toes by picking up all the stitches before the toe decreases begin. Then I tear back the yarn of the sock to my first needle stitch and reknit the sock toe! 

Open up heel and reknit.

Open up heel and reknit.

For short row and inserted heels, basically same thing!  

Enormous advantage to having heels and toes in different coordinating colour!

Enormous advantage to having heels and toes in different coordinating colour!

Good Luck :0)

Need a Project Bag?

knitting with cat

I was browsing youtube and found this lovely tutorial

Image result for slappystuff sewing Project bag

By SlappyStuff Sewing

How to make a Project Bag

It has an exterior pocket and box corners.

Looks very much like one I made in Junior High School sewing class, many years ago.

Sewing: Basic Bra Making Tutorial Part 1 of 2

This is my first Blog Tutorial, I hope you like it. I look forward to your comments, input and questions.

A few years ago I took a Bra and Corsetry making course with a friend.

Few of my friends know I make a good many of my own undergarments, things wear out and I needed to make some replacements. It has been suggested that this would make an interesting post. Normally I can make a pretty fancy Bra in a few hours.  I usually make a couple at a time. Truthfully, it’s not rocket science. If you can sew, you can do it too. Parts can be ordered on-line, purchased at your local fabric store or hardware can be scavenged off old bras. 

   However I have discovered, it takes a lot longer when you are trying to explain what you are doing and photographing the process at the same time… I hadn’t anticipated that.

So here we go 

  Basic Bra Making Part 1

Yes it is a good idea to start with basic sewing skills before you take this on.

Having said this, really it’s not difficult. Most general fabric stores carry the patterns and supplies you will need. You can also order fabric and notions from a supply house like Bra-makers supply.

What you will need to make your own Bra.

1) Measurements!  Most people get this terribly wrong.

Read this Article: Bra fitting: Finding your perfect size

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not entirely the cup and straps that stabilize your bust. The band below your bust and the back structure are integral in the support system. The cups reduce bounce and the straps should be carrying a minimum load. Kind of like a bridge, if the foundation cannot support the structure things go horribly wrong.

I sold foundation garments in a specialty store years ago. The difference between a Bra that fits and one that barely fits is night and day!

2) A Pattern: There are lots of patterns out there. However like the off the shelf bra, they don’t all fit the same. Decision time, Wire or no Wire?

I suggest that we start with a simple pattern and compare it to a bra you wear and fits your measurements. You may need a sacrificial victim.

Eventually with practice you will be able to draft, make adjustments and produce your own pattern, once you get the general idea.

 We are going to start with a simple wireless bra.

Not sure this one is still available, it was in my pattern stash.

Not sure this one is still available, it was in my pattern stash.

Kwik Sew 2375 I have used this one before. It’s simple and works up fast.

If you are buying a pattern, look for one with your size, and simple construction with simple lines, to start.

 I always redraft the pattern in tissue. The pattern pieces are small and edges of the small pieces can become even smaller after cutting, so the size on the pattern changes. A trick I learned when I started making for myself.

I reuse good patterns, so I'm more careful with them.

I reuse good patterns, so I’m more careful with them.

There are actually only small amounts of fabric involved in making a bra.

3) Supplies: You could go out a purchase all the hardware to make your first Bra, or take and old worn our bra and selvage the bits and pieces you will need. This is your first effort…

I needed: Thread, back bra hook and eye fastener, (2) rings, (2) Sliders, shoulder strapping , 4.5 yds-3/8″ wide plush lingerie elastic, I buy a 1/3rd of a yard of fabric,  you can get a couple of bras out of it. You will also want a ballpoint sewing needle for your machine. (Use your own pattern for your list, This was the list for my pattern)

4) Fabric and Elastic: This is important! Use a firm knit material, look closely at your pattern. There will be several types of elastic required to make your bra. If you get the wrong stuff your bra will not fit properly and be uncomfortable.

Fabrics: Fabrics made for Bra making are not the only ones you can use. Tricot, lace, stretch satin, cotton/Lycra, and all-cotton knits and wovens. When making bras, you have the freedom to choose bright colors, jacquards, or plaids, if you like. It’s good to start with a stretch fabric like two-way stretch nylon/Lycra satin, which makes fitting easier and is more forgiving. Use your best judgement and suggestions on your pattern to guide you.

Note on stretch fabrics: DOGS = Direction of greatest stretch. When testing for bra fabric stretch a 10″ length of fabric along a ruler till it resists.

10″ stretched to 13″ = 30% stretch / 10″ to 14″ = 40%

Don’t use more than 40% stretch – less stretch firmer bra cups, better for larger sizes. I prefer 30% stretch for more support.

However I have used Chinese silk brocade in peacock colours, tricky but awesome!Looked something like this, required some bias cutting, a little more advanced sewing.

For our purposes I am using A (40%) stretch floral Jacquard a small amount of net, a stretch lace about 6″ wide and a (30%) stable tricot.

The tricot came from Fabricland, the foral jacquard was from Bra makers supply. Both were in my stash.

The tricot came from Fabricland, the foral jacquard was from Bra makers supply. Both were in my stash.

The lace was leftover from a project, made as a bridal gift.

I am applying soft netting behind this stretch lace to reduce the amount of stretch.

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Sewing Tip #1: When I am using a new pattern, I do a dry run of one cup in the intended fabric. Both breasts are not the same, you will need to try both sides flipping the cup inside out for one side. Mark any alterations that maybe necessary to get a good fit on this sample cup.

Pattern layout:  Ok, stretch fabrics tend to stretch more one way than the other. So getting the pieces in the right directions is key here. Pins must be sharp for satins, dull for knits and they will not go in easily cross grain or against the grain. Test pins to see if they leave holes in the fabric. I usually pin along the 1/4″ selvage edge.

Warning: things are going to slide around. If this is a problem cut the pieces separately, one at a time. This is not like dressmaking, pieces are small and fiddly. Be careful to match fabric pattern in mirror image exactly. The tissue allows you to draw outlines of detail points to match pieces for both halves.

Cutting: These are small fiddly pieces, that slide around. I use a rotary cutter and a mat. For satins, I sandwich between tissue paper and cut one piece at a time, with pins in the selvages. I often line my cups with soft knit cotton for more comfort. With stretch fabrics, special care is needed to have the fabric totally relaxed when cutting.

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Ok I’m going to stop here, so you can catch up. A simple pattern some fabric and fixins, and we will meet here next friday and sew this baby together!

If you order your stuff from Bra-makers supply you can have it midweek and be ready for Friday. They do a bundle with fabrics, elastic, Hook/eye tape, sliders and shoulder strap in a variety of colours for $28.00 Cdn. (pattern not included) I highly recommend this as this option gives you the right materials so you know what to look for when shopping for supplies elsewhere.  Patterns are also available from your local fabric store just look for something with only a few pieces for your first bra.

I am really looking forward to posting pictures of your lovely creations! 

Some great on-line advice about Bra Making.

Bra Making Basics PDF (fantastic advice!)

How to sew Bras that fit (You need to read this)

Sewing Lingerie fabrics

Free Soft comfort fit pattern for small sizes

Free Satin Bra pattern in 3 sizes

Sewing support.com

Threads: The Bra Dilemma solved

Kwik Sew Bra patterns

Butterick #B5662 Corset/Busk 

The reference book I use – Making Beautiful Bras by Lee-Ann Burgess you can get it through Bra Makers Supply.

FO’s 2013 = 90  

WIPS 2013 = 10

Used of 38 purchased patterns from Rav = 9 (29 to go)

Stash Used 2013 = 77

Sewing FO’s = 3

Books 2013 = 28 + 1 = 29

Thanks again for visiting,

cya next week :0)

I’m off to visit Tami’s, then on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0)

Find me on Ravelry.com and also my Etsy shop

Oh and FYI I have 50% off Back to School Sale at my Ravelry Shop, now we all have so much time with the kids in school. Sale lasts to the end of the month. 3 months till Christmas people!

FO Friday & Sewing: Needed a Dress for 2 weddings

Looking for clothes for “fluffy” people… The Bay has a whole section, but nothing for me. Julie’s is sporting some amazing (and not in a good way) lounge singer wear if you are working in Vegas!
It took 10 stores for me to through in the towel! All the places that sold fluffy wear, had nothing classic or simple, most were loud geometric, or with giant flowers, black, white, strapless, sundresses and jersey.

I am thinking I could do an awesome business designing and manufacturing tasteful plus size clothing out of nonknitwear  fabrics…

Plan B: Have pattern, Fabricland, sewing machine, 1/4 of what I was willing to spend and a dress for each wedding that fits. Pattern evaluation and any alterations tomorrow, Bodice dry run and test fit Monday, Tuesday cut out and serge, Wednesday sew, Thursday sew, Friday hem… Saturday wear, hopefully.

Saturday Step 1: Decide what to make

The blue linen is for the first wedding. The complementary fabric might be a jacket or another dress, we'll see...

The blue linen is for the first wedding.
The complementary fabric might be a jacket or another dress, we’ll see…

Sunday Step 2: Pattern alterations and improvements

Favourite old trick, use comfy older dress as a model for alterations. This pattern asks for fully lined. I am adding a 1 pc yoke facing for the neck and arm holes.

Favourite old trick, use comfy older dress as a model for alterations. This pattern asks for fully lined. I am adding a 3 pc yoke facing for the neck shoulders and arm holes.

This pattern is lined, but no neck shoulder and armhole facings. Some pattern drafting required… dust off my tailoring skills, tissue paper and drafting tools, what fun! Voila, Ghost Facing!

A few years a go friend and I took a Tailoring Diploma together. I really enjoy pattern drafting, I should do this more often.

A few years a go friend and I took a Tailoring Diploma together. I really enjoy pattern drafting, I should do this more often.

Monday Step 3: Cut out Lining ant test fit, finish cutting

?????????????????

Found everything I need to get on with it, except the cutting table! Things have been piling up in my studio. I can’t even see it from the door. Good news, found the cutting table, tools and sewing machine under the mountain… the bad news, my serger is MIA. Todayz mission accomplished, once I tossed everything out of the studio and got out the rotary cutter, mats, ran out to get some pins, and got organized. Everything went smoothly 🙂 Lol what fun! My upstairs hall is a minefield, but I don’t care!  Ignore complaints is my motto!

In the evening my hero found the serger! He also sorted the storage room and looked after the hall, so all set for tomorrow :0)

Tuesday Step 4: Serge

I am really enjoying working with this fabric, and I forgot how much fun using my serger was.

I am really enjoying working with this fabric, and I forgot how much fun using my serger was.

Tutorial: Serger tension tips

Wednesday Step 5:  Sew – Lined Neckline and Armhole  with Ghost facing, and Invisible Zipper.

Ghost Facing, it lays inside the dress, not attached to the lining. Use this method when fabric is light and the facing would otherwise show through as a ridge on the surface of the fabric. I needed to face this as the neckline and armhole required stabilizing.

Ghost Facing, it lays inside the dress, not attached to the lining. Use this method when fabric is light and the facing would otherwise show through as a ridge on the surface of the fabric. I needed to face this as the neckline and armhole required stabilizing. This pattern had no facings.

Ok Huston we had a problem. Dry fit front of dress, lining and facing. Shoulder seam and neckline adjustment needed. Major reworking of underarm and side seams:0)

Invisible Zipper tutorial as a reminder or this tutorial for regular foot 

Everything done but the hem :0)

Everything done but the hem :0)

 Note I am not showing the hem, I am disgusted could not get it straight, thought me or the pattern… turns out that my Judy has a list… called it a day. Something to do tomorrow. My awesome, sweetheart has offered to crawl on the floor with a ruler. That’s just one of the things I adore about him :0) 

The Finished Dress with purchased Jacket

The Dress 1.0 with purchased Jacket

The Dress 1.0 with purchased Jacket

Meanwhile back at The Plan

Wednesday

Easy Peasy Shawl started Jul 14/12 – finished Jul 17/13

All Done!

All Done!

Thursday

Mile a minute afghan  

Only did 2nd row on 2 sections, got tied up in trying to hem my dress...

Only did 2nd row on 2 sections, got tied up in trying to hem my dress…

Current WIP List (10)

  1. Rose Harbour Shawl 40% done started Jun 28/13
  2. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  30% done started June 18/13
  3. Box of Boxes Blanket Long term project  (24 squares) started Jan 23/13
  4. Beryl Blanket – Long term project ( 67 hexes) started Nov 21/11
  5. Mile a minute afghan – crochet 40% done started Apr 24/13
  6. Pine Forest Baby Blanket 50% done  started Jan 11/12
  7. Sea of Dreams Blanket 75% done started Mar 9/13
  8. SPROUT – Growing Roots vest 60% done started May 17/12
  9. Top Down Swing Pullover 80% done started Jan 1/13
  10.  Fanflower Fling started Jul 12/13
  11. Ruffle Scarf   Done started Dec 3/12 finished Jul 7/13
  12. Cozy Winter Shawl   Done started Dec 1/12 – finished Jul 11/13
  13. Eileen Dress  Done started Jun 21/13 – finished Jul 11/13 
  14. Easy Peasy Shawl – 95% done started Jul 14/12 – finished Jul 17/13

FO’s 2013 =  79 + 1 = 80

+ 93 Squares & Hexes

WIPS 2013 = 11 – 1 = 10

Used of 38 purchased patterns from Rav = 9 (29 to go)

Stash Used 2013 = 67 + 2 = 69

Books 2013 = 21 + 1 + 22

Thanks again for visiting,

cya next week:0)

I’m off to visit Tami’s, then on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0)

FO Friday: And this was supposed to be a quiet week!

FOfriday

DH’s Birthday, Maplefest (annual local event), Chapters book browsing, seeing Iron Man 3 (which was awesome!) watching Leafs tear your heart out, Craft group, lunch with the girls, Knittin club and Physio followed by lunch out with MiL (who has completely recovered, yay)  and through all this I am beavering away on my Dawn till Dusk Lace shawl, this has indeed been a humdinger of a week…

I’m in the middle of a pile of projects, embarrassed to say nothing done this week. Well started weeding the garden, we dug out 2 dead bushes and filled the planters with fresh soil… and making plans for the big event for my DS (more to come on this next month).

I adopted a couple of new books this week :0)

The Knitting Stitch Bible by Maria Parry-Jones

you can never have too many stitch dictionaries!

and Take-Along Knitting

Found on ravelry: Damask by Kitman Figueroa I liked this so much I bought the pattern one day I will knit it.

I have been enjoying reading other people’s blogs, I’m going to start linking to some you might enjoy too :0)

Blog visiting:  Peacefully knitting with Tina

Inspiration to add to my large collection of what happened next in the Austen novels.

What am I reading? Mr Darcy’s Diary by Maya Slater

Picked it up as a discard from the local library. Very entertaining so far.

Another useful tutorial:

Toe-up socks 2 at a time by Tii Casa (part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

This weeks musical interlude:

The Last Saskatchewan Pirate by the Arrogant Worms another great Canadian band! :0)

Current WIP List (15)

    1. Mile a minute afghan 1st crochet project 20% done 
    2. Piles of Smiles socks a new pattern I am working on 30%
    3. Sssydney and friends two more to do
    4. Camellia shawlette – A wedding gift (due May 25) 5%
    5. Top Down Swing PulloverBoth sleeves done 80%
    6. Beryl BlanketLong term project  (60 hexs)
    7. Box of Boxes Blanket Long term project  (17 squares)
    8. Easy Peazy Shawlalmost 90%
    9. Ruffle Scarffor the fall Bazaar so no hurry 80%

FO’s 2013 = 36

WIPS 2013 = 15

Used of 37 purchased patterns from Rav = 8 (29 to go)

Stash Used 2013 = 34

Books 2013 = 15 + 1 = 16

Thanks again for visiting,

cya next week :0)

I’m off to visit Tami’s, then on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0)

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