Monday, January 20, 2014

Godwin Cloche


Over the last few months I’ve been working a lot on my knitting and my pattern designing. I’ve been making my own patterns for years but have not written them down. I have a history of taking someone elses pattern and using the idea behind it and then completely changing it to fit me and what I want. So now it’s time to change that. When I have an idea in my head of what I want to knit, I search around and see if it exists. Lately, I’ve found that my ideas aren’t out there, but that’s ok. I’m creative. One thing I have discovered is that I’m a much better knitter and designer than I am a photographer. This seems to be important when I’m preparing to put patterns out there for sale. Up until now all of my patterns (all 2 of them) have been available for free, but I’d like that to change. I have a couple of patterns in the works that I will need some wonderful photography of the objects in order to help sell the pattern. Thankfully, I have a friend Jackie Godwin, who has a side photography business. Because having a full-time job and working her way through nursing school isn’t enough to keep her busy, haha. Here is her Facebook page. So, I’ve propositioned her to help me out. I know her time and talent are worth a lot, but I’ve been out of work for almost 3 months now and funds are incredibly tight. I asked her if I could knit for her as payment and I’m so glad that she was happy to trade skills. Now, what to knit for her. I thought I’d like to make her a hat. I’m completely obsessed with making felted hats lately. A felted hat is knit with 100%wool much, much larger than it’s intended size. Then you wash it vigorously with extremely hot water until it shrinks down and all the fibers of the wool blend together to form a strong dense fabric that is very warm and sturdy. I love hand felting in my sink with the washboard. It is a little more work than machine felting, but I love the control that I have over the shrinking and shaping process. Yes, imagine that, me wanting to have control over everything. But what kind of hat would she like, there are so many different styles I could try to do. So I started searching around google for different style hat pictures and sent a bunch to her. She really liked the cloche style hats. Cloche hats, named after the French word for “bell”, were very popular in the 1920‘s and in to the early 30‘s, it literally is a fitted bell-shaped hat. I’ve made a few over the years and have never been truly happy with the way they have turned out. They are either too small, too big, the brim is too floppy, or there’s no brim at all. So, this sounds like a great opportunity to create my own pattern...... And so it began. I found the right yarn, one of my favorite yarns for felting “Patons, classic wool, worsted”, grabbed my knitting needles, my little blue pad of paper and a pencils then got to work. I’m not going to post the pattern here, as I have it published on Ravelry.com feel free to check it out. I welcome all comments and input anybody has.

So here it is. First, before felting. It’s huge, it fits completely over my head and the styrofoam head. Remember, I said you have to make it much bigger than intended so that it can shrink down.
And here is the finished “Godwin Cloche” named after the lovely lady it was designed for. See, I told you it would shrink! So far, she says she loves it. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to design and knit for a friend and publish yet another pattern. This is becoming quite the adventure.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Victory in Knitting

Over the last few months I've been in a group on Ravelry Knit for Victory and we've all been working hard on finishing our 1940's inspired knits. This was not my first sweater by any means, but it was my first sweater of this sort. Every sweater that I've made so far has been of a completely different construction type. Up to this point all the sweaters, cardigans, boleros, and tops I've done have been working form the top down, in one piece with raglan sleeves. This was the first time I had to work a top in pieces. First the back, then the front, then each sleeve. I've never seemed my knitting before, well not with any success anyways. I vaguely remember in the beginning of my knitting life doing a baby sweater with seaming that looked so horrible that I didn't even frog it, it just went strait into the trash. I was scared at first, well, and the whole way through, but it came out really well. Doing the set in sleeves was the scariest but after watching a half dozen tutorials on youtube I dove in head first. I firmly believe that if it weren't for youtube, I'd still be making garter stitch scarves. I'm a self taught knitter, or rather a youtube taught knitter, haha. Anyways, this was also the first "Vintage inspired" pattern that I've followed and true to vintage pattern form it was very vague. I'm used to having stitch counts when I have increases to make. I'm used to having row counts until there is a change in the pattern. I'm used to patterns that do the math for you when increasing or decreasing (Knit 8, inc 1, rep) not "increase 7 stitches evenly over next row" then I've got to figure out where to do them in the row. After completing the pattern, I'm not complaining. But I sure was complaining while doing it. In the end, it all worked out great. I was able to trust my knitting skills and now I know that I can to a sweater that is constructed in pieces. It's a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. The pattern is The Quick Knit 1940's style sweater , I altered the pattern on the front, I like a little deeper neck line, I also did some plain ribbing around the bottom of the body. I absolutely love the easy cable rib pattern and would have no problem making this sweater again. I think, if I do make another one, I'll make it just a bit longer and maybe put some plain ribbing on the end of the sleeves so that it matches the body.

I'm working on 2 new patterns right now. One is a Capelet with a staggering cable pattern, the other is a Herringbone stitch key-hole scarflet. I look forward to sharing them with you soon.

#knitforvictory

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