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 Craftsy.com. 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!