Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Knitting Update on Projects and Setting Dye

Have you ever bought a yarn or fabric only to be heartbroken when you washed it and the color runs?  I found something that works for me - Rit Dye Fixative which I bought at Michaels. I can't guarantee it will work in all situations but I've tried it with several quilt fabrics and recently with a sweater made from yarn that bleeds.  I'm very pleased with the results.  This product and how it works are in the last part of the video below.

I did not get into many details about how I constructed the completed light blue/green sweater (shown at right) in the video.  I did not use a pattern for this.  While I have many patterns added to my favorites on Ravelry, increasingly I find it more enjoyable to just work up my own sweaters using a stitch pattern from one of the Treasury of Knitting Pattern books and figure out the fit as I go using my own measurements and working off of a favorite sweater or top.

To create the blue/green sweater, I worked a swatch for the gauge and then calculated how many stitches I would need for the bottom edge based on my measurements.  As I explain in the video, I made a simple math error and did this wrong the first go round but after restarting I got a good fit.  I knitted the pattern for a few inches and switched to all stockinette.  I also mentioned in the video how I left some stockinette all the way up to work decreases to the waist and then a little increasing up to the bust line.  I learned about this in the Sweater Modifications for a Custom Fit class on This is an excellent class to help with fitting.  I use some of these concepts now but I do not use her pattern.  I also tend to remeasure a lot.

When I get to the armholes, I follow another sweater or top that fits the way I want the one I'm making to fit.  I just measure how much I need to decrease and work out how many stitches to bind off at the beginning of rows and for how long to get my desired fit.  For example, if I have a gauge of 6 stiches per inch and I need to lose 1 inch over the next 4 rows, I would bind off 3 stitches at the beginning of every other row.  I added a little more pattern stitch to the top of this sweater as I felt it would be a bit plain otherwise. (And I get bored with stockinette.)

For the neckline on this sweater, I had a Talbots blouse that had a rolled collar and a keyhole back and it was my inspiration.  To get the rolled effect, I picked up stitches around the neck working in a 2x2 rib for about an inch and then did all stockinette for a few more rows which naturally rolls after binding off.

This is a simplified version of what I do.  I like playing with different stitch patterns and I don't mind doing fitting for myself in knitting.  Knitting has far more give than sewing does which to me is far harder to get a good fit.

I'm doing this same idea with the vest using a zip front vest in my wardrobe as the model.  I've never put a zipper in my knitted garments so that will be a new adventure.  I love making things that I know I will wear.  So far I've worn all my knitted sweaters several times each.

Here's the video of my projects for the last couple of months:

Thanks for watching!


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