Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pillow case, finished

It's done! Timson thinks it's very comfortable. I'm not letting anyone get too close, because then you'll see all the mistakes that were made on my first cutwork embroidery project.

I learned a lot; next time I'm going to try cutting out the eyelets before embroidering (and using a running stitch around the cut-out circle before embroidering the buttonhole stitch). Likewise, I'd like to cut out the areas that will take bars first, then embroider in the bars--maybe that way I won't cut so many bars!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cutting the cutwork

The cutting was going so well--too well. It took a long time to feel comfortable; I had cut out about a quarter of the design before I was able to feel the scissors against the purl edge of the embroidery, and I thought I was able to feel the difference between cutting the thickness of the threads of the material versus the threads of the embroidery. I was so wrong--so overconfident! Timson is showing you just one place where this wasn't so, where I cut a bar.

So now I get to learn how to mend cutwork. For this project, I've been using Margaret Pierce's Cutwork (Heirloom Sewing v. 4) which luckily includes a paragraph called, "Repairing Bars." This gives me some comfort. Otherwise, except for the few areas where I've cut my bars (there are more!), the cutting out is going pretty well. It's going slowly but it's going--I don't find it as enjoyable as stitching. Next time I may follow some other directions I've read, to cut out certain sections ahead of time, like the small circles and the smaller areas that will be crossed by bars, and embroider them after the cutting.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Armhole shaping at last

One thing my husband and I have in common is a love for the look of fine gauge knitting, so the sweater that I began for him late last summer is on 3.0mm needles, out of Louet gems. I love the feel of the wool, but it's not the most evenly spun--there are fuzzies every so often, and sometimes it's thicker, sometimes thinner. I'm hoping because it's so fine, no one will notice the differences in thickness, and after it's blocked, I'll try to work the fuzzies to the back. (If you click on the image to see the larger version, on the lower left, you can see a rather large fuzzy.) Now that I'm ready to do the armhole shaping, you can really see the ribbing pattern; from one edge to the other, the number of stitches is:

So far the pattern has been easy to follow, which I've heard is unusual for a vintage pattern; it doesn't seem to assume any special knitting expertise. Finding a suitable yarn was a challenge, though, since I couldn't find any information anywhere on the original yarn's yardage per ounce, and it took a lot of swatching to get the correct gauge. I didn't set out wanting to knit from a vintage pattern, but we had no choice--we couldn't find any contemporary men's patterns that were both in a fine gauge and for a 38" chest. It seems that all the men nowadays besides mine are large, like a loose fit in their sweaters, and want them knit from worsted or chunky yarn.