UFO finished!

It must be nearly 2 years ago that I bought my little Spin Well spinning wheel.  I spun up some wool fairly quickly but got hung up on the plying.  I couldn’t figure out how to get my wheel to take up the wool onto the bobbin once it was plied.  Basically, I had to ply a strip of it and stop the wheel and turn the bobbin by hand.  I got hung up by the frustration.  (I tried looking on line.  Every video and blog spoke about different makes and models of wheels that had parts and doodads that my wheel does not.  I can’t find any reference to parts that my wheel is missing.) Anyway, if you are interested, here is a link to the posts about the wheel and my drama trying to get it to work.

Anyway, I finally knuckled down and finished that ball of wool.  It is thick and lumpy (which makes it very fashionable, by the way) but I am proud of it.IMG_20170404_095115310

It knit up quickly.IMG_20170405_083517651

I was hoping for a scarf but realistically, I knew it wasn’t very likely.  So I went with neck or ear warmer.

Wow!  Those photos really showcase the wrinkles and turkey waddle!  I probably need to start adding filters to my photographs!

HSM 2017 Challenge 3: The great outdoors

The Challenge: The great out doors

What the item is: knitted undersleeves

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Material: 100% wool yarn

Pattern: 1862 Petersons Nov issue knitted undersleeves

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Year: 1862

Notions: 4.5 mm knitting needles, darning needle

How historically accurate is it?: 80%.  Pattern is an original from the time and fiber content of the wool is correct. The color is plausible but I can’t speak to whether the dyes are accurate or whether the spinning technique is comparable to Victorian wool.  I used wood knitting needles so very true to form!  It is intended for winter wear for most occasions.  I believe all classes of women would wear this item. Both working women and would knit them so both would wear them.  The silhouette is a bit off when compared to the drawing.  I had to increase stitches and rows to get it to fit.  If I were to make them again, I would decrease the number of rows between the two puffs by 8 and add them back into the larger top puff.

Hours to complete: about 30

First worn: not yet

Total cost:  balls of wool x $8=$24

Here is the pattern, in modern terms, enlarged to fit a “stout” modern body, with the changes I mention above (that should improve the shape).  To get the best fit the number of cast on stitches you need is the number you would need to go around the widest part of your fore arm.  The number of rows, in total is the number you would need to go from the widest part of your upper arm to your wrist, with extra added to create the puffs.

Worsted weight wool.  One ball of white, two balls of main color. 4.5 mm knitting needles. With the exception of the ribbing at the top, the whole thing is done in the knit stitch only.

Cast on 52 stitches with the white wool.

Knit 14 rows.

Switch to the main color and knit 26 rows.

Slip one stitch onto the right needle and pick up the first of the cast on stitches.  Slip the second stitch onto the needle and pick up the second cast on stitch.  Continue in this fashion until all the stitches and all the cast on stitches have been transferred to the right hand needle.

Transfer all the stitches back to the left hand needle. Add the white wool (you can leave the brown still attached) and knit 2 together across all the stitches.  Knit one more row in white.

Leave the white attached and pick up the brown wool.  Knit two rows in brown.

Leave the brown attached and pick up the white wool.  Knit two rows in white.  Break off the white and tie it off.

Knit 17 rows in brown.

Switch to white.  Knit 14 rows.

Switch to brown.  Knit 26 rows.

Slip one stitch onto the right needle and pick up the first of the white stitches in the block of white.  Slip the second stitch onto the needle and pick up the second of the white stitches in the block of white.  Continue in this fashion until all the stitches and all the stitches of the first row of the block of white have been transferred to the right hand needle.

Transfer all the stitches back to the left hand needle. Add the white wool (you can leave the brown still attached) and knit 2 together across all the stitches.  Knit one more row in white.

Leave the white attached and pick up the brown wool.  Knit two rows in brown.

Leave the brown attached and pick up the white wool.  Knit two rows in white.  Break off and tie off the white.

In brown, *knit one stitch and increase 1 stitch in each of the next two*.  *Repeat across the row*. Knit 52 rows in brown.

Switch to white and knit 2 together across the row.  To create the ribbing, knit 1 purl 1 across the row.  Next row, purl 1 knit 1 across the row.  Repeat until the cuff is 26 rows long. Cast off LOOSELY.

Sew the two side edges to create a tube.  If the ribbing is too loose, I think you could add elastic or a cording without messing with the authenticity too much.  In 1820 elastic was patented for use in clothing.

 

 

Quick up date

I’ve been making progress on my under-sleeves but it isn’t turning out like I envisioned.  I thought they’d look more like this…

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I’ve stacked one sleeve on top of the other to illustrate what I thought was going to happen.

But they don’t “work” that way.  This is how they really look.

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The wide white stripes are hidden under the two puffs.

 

Two things: if I had known the darker color would have been so prominent, I would have chosen a different color.  I intend them to be worn with this dress so I thought a few thin stripes of beige would be nice.  10388078_518065401630648_4649714315434521775_n

Now that I see they are primarily beige I feel like they would have been better in a pink or burgundy color or better yet, same colors but reversed.

The other thing is I can’t quite figure out why there is a wide white stripe hidden under the two puffs.  There are four possible answers.  One is the instructions are wrong.  The second is I’ve misunderstood the instructions (most probable reason).  The third is that the white stripe is intended to be added interest that flashes as the arm moves.  The final reason is conservation of wool.  If I knit the sleeves as all brown with thin white stripes, I will likely run out of brown and have a ton of white left over.

If I make these again, I will rewrite the pattern so that it looks like how I envisioned them or do them in a different color.

Cha Cha dance marathon

Two steps forward, two steps back.  I’m still working on my undersleeves.  Third time is the charm.

I unraveled my first attempt because it was going to be too small, like arm corsets.  In my second attempt, I decided to have it be two colors like the pattern suggests, I increased the number of stitches to make it bigger and I decided to use my new wooden knitting needles and not the circular needles (no reason for that other than simply wanting to see how they feel).  The instructions called for plain knitting which I interpreted as the stocking stitch (knit one row, purl one row, repeat).  One side is flat/untextured which is, in my mind, plain.  When I switched the colors, I began to see that the striping effect would be on the wrong side of the work, thus defeating the purpose of having stripes.  That is when I remembered that in Victorian knitting terminology, plain knit means knit all rows. If I knit all rows, the wrong side would be the side with no stripes and the correct side would be the one with stripes.  Duh.  Unravel again.

Attempt three.  And hopefully, the last one.  Scrap all my previous instructions for this project.  Correct instructions to follow once I finally get these things done!img_20170321_091316277.jpg

The one perk to this way of doing things, is the ribbing effect will serve to hold the puffs out in a round shape.  When I did them in stocking stitch, the puffs were flat like a hem and I began to think I’d have to stuff them to get them to hold out their shape.

 

The project Cha Cha

You know how projects can be: two steps forward, two steps back and a little side step or two.

The steps foreword happened with my Edwardian blousewaist.  I have sewn the main seams on the body.  img_20170319_202657443.jpgI like the way the embroidery and lace look but I’m definitely going to have to get a corset cover organized with this thing (and a proper Edwardian corset)!

My idea for dealing with the lace at the seams (bias tape) seems to be working.img_20170319_202636265.jpg

That lace isn’t going anywhere!

Two steps back: that happened with my knitted undersleeves.  I’m going to have to take them apart.  They are just going to be too tight.  I don’t know how tight they are supposed to be but I’m pretty sure they weren’t going for compression garments or arm corsets.  I had hoped that I could just follow the instructions and count on heavier wool and bigger needles to make up the difference but it wont.  Drat that means I will have to do some math to figure out how many rows and stitches I need.  Since I was starting from scratch, I thought I may as well buy a second color and see how it is supposed to look with the stripes.

And the side steps: I made an impulse stop at a thrift store and picked up some wooden knitting needles (like I need more) and this fabulous strip of sari fabric.  img_20170319_202724856.jpg

Oooh.  Shiney!

Obviously I can’t use this for Victorian wear.  And it is a bit much for modern work wear.  I’m thinking an over the top beach wrap.img_20170319_202948509.jpg

Well, have a good week folks.  Hopefully, I will be disciplined and be back in a couple of days with some progress to share.

Progress on the undersleeves

NOTE: DO NOT FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS! I LATER FOUND OUT I WAS WRONG.  LATER POST WILL HAVE CORRECTED VERSION.

I am using the following pattern to make knitted undersleeves.5b60a444dd9211ac82061bdc1ae5ec2d

I posted here about the first phase of progress.

Second phase.

Alternating the stitch on the needle and the cast on stitches did successfully create the first puff.img_20170316_083231250.jpg

In the pattern, they say to alternate the stitches on the needle and then attach the white wool and knit 2 together across the row, thus sealing the seam, creating the puff and getting the stitch count back to 36.  Then you are to knit one more in white, 2 in color and one in white.  Then another 23 are knit in color.  If you are only using one color like I am, knit 2 together for 1 row and then knit 27 more rows.  This will create a band.  I am assuming the band will sit next to the skin and will be the support that holds the two puffs in position.

I will let you know how that goes!

The reason the UFO pile gets so big

NOTE: DO NOT FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS! I LATER FOUND OUT I WAS WRONG.  LATER POST WILL HAVE CORRECTED VERSION.

It is plain and simple.  It is because I have to work.  No other reason.  If someone would pay me to stay home and make things for myself, there would be a much smaller UFO pile.

So with millions  of projects that have been sitting on the back burner for YEARS and dozens that have been sitting for months and a couple of handfuls that have been sitting for weeks, I have started a new project.5b60a444dd9211ac82061bdc1ae5ec2d

Here is how I’m doing them.  I have a set of circular needles and I am working both arm warmers at the same time.  I am using real wool, worsted weight, and a needle size recommended for the wool (4.5 mm 7 US).  I cast on 36 stitches with one ball of wool and then cast on another set of 36 with another ball.  I knit one row for one warmer and then one row for the second one.  I have done this with mitts and it is very satisfying to finish both at the same time!

I have been knitting loosely to keep it stretchy. But, if a person tends to knit tightly, they can get the same effect by using larger needles.  The pattern calls for a color change but I don’t have another color so mine will be monochromatic (white).  I am not adding to the stash by running out and buying more wool. The pattern is fairly easy to follow so far.  The Victorian patterns can be a bit vague.  To create the puff I had to read it a few times to get it but I think what happens is you knit 12 rows.  Then you change colors if you want and knit 24 more rows to create the length for the first puff.  This is where I had to use my imagination.

To create the puff I think you have to slip one stitch on the next needle then pick up the first of the cast on stitches (hence the word “commencement” in the original instructions.) Then slip the next stitch and pick up the next cast on.  Repeat until all the stitches and all the cast on stitches are on one needle.  The work thus far should be rolled up like a hem.  The wool will be on the wrong side of your needle if you are using straight needles so you will have to pass them back to the other needle.  If my mind is serving me well, I shouldn’t have this problem with circular needles. By repeating “knit 2 together” across the row you seal up the seam and get back down to the original number of stitches (36).

My mind is not grasping what the color change would look like with 12 rows in white and 24 in color.  Once created, one side of the puff would be color and the other side would be striped.  It seems to me, you wouldn’t bother having a stripe if that was the side worn next to the skin.  Damn it.  Now I want to see it with the color change (plots second pair with color change…plans shopping trip…UFO pile grows….)