Thursday, March 24, 2022

Tweedy Textures

How is March almost over?!  It may officially be Spring, but one day I get to pull out my Summer wardrobe and enjoy an insanely warm day, and then there are gray, chilly days when I still feel like hibernating in a sweater.

And that is my excuse for still being allowed to post sweater projects to the blog that are probably going to be put away for the season very soon.  Or perhaps the weather will turn rainy and damp again (one can only hope for a little more precipitation or California is going to be in real trouble) and I will once again be living in tweedy knits and turtlenecks.  But it was in the mid-eighties a couple of days ago, so most likely the heavier knits will be tucked away.

But for now I am enjoying my hand knits.  I go through phases where I don't wear them for some time, and the next thing I know, I want to live in them.

Oh, and you may have noticed, those fabulous velvet platforms from the late 90s that I was wearing have suddenly disappeared.  Turns out, shoe glue gives out at the most inconvenient of times.  In this case, right in the middle of a photoshoot, I stepped right out off of the entire bottom of the shoe.  And a few steps later, the other one joined its mate.

They are still in a time-out while I figure out if I am going to fix them myself or take them to a proper shoe repair.  My Royal Vintage (now American Duchess) shoes filled in for the day, but I was rather irked at my fickle shoes.  Sure, I have had a heel cap pop off in a sidewalk crack or even in a lawn, but this was a little bit extreme, and certainly rendered the shoes unwearable for the time being!

In the last couple of years, short skirts paired with colorful tights have been bringing me joy.  I am even thinking about making myself another short skirt with more of a flared silhouette, but it may have to wait until the end of the year as the time for wearing tights in Northern California is nearing an end.

While writing this post, I am reminded that I haven't been doing any knitting lately, and I probably need to rectify that situation.

Of course, I have a few projects floating about that need to be finished, but I am also feeling the urge to jump into a fresh new project with some soft squishy yarn.

Or perhaps I should stick with my hand quilting for the moment.  I will have to see how I feel with my spare time this weekend!

There is a rumor that we may have a bit of precipitation this Sunday, so the knitting may win out.  What is it about a wet day that makes me crave sitting on the couch, drinking tea, and knitting the entire day away?!

Sweater:  Made by me, "Cherie"  by Kim Hargreaves
Skirt:  Made by me, Vogue 1247
Shoes:  Chinese Laundry / Royal Vintage "Greta"
Earrings:  Vintage

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Embroidered Knits

There is something about a tweed texture that I cannot resist.

I really do love texture, and it doesn't matter if it is a nubbly hand knit sweater or a fabric I am using to make a dress.  That may be why I have such a difficult time finding solid fabrics that I like; solid colors with texture are difficult to find.  

This particular yarn is from KnitPicks.  I have a few different colors of the City Tweed DK yarn, and I find it lovely to work with.

Now that I have been wearing the sweater for a while, the yarn has pilled slightly under the arms, but once I pull off the offending bits, I haven't noticed many more nubs, and I am hoping that is the end of it.

But other than that slight irritation, this yarn is lovely to work with, and super comfy to wear.  I was actually wearing this sweater made from City Tweed today, and I am thinking that I may need another sweater in yet another style/color using this lovely fiber.  I'm not sure if it is the alpaca content, but it's so soft and warm to wear.

I wanted the yarn to be the star of the show, so I chose a simple pattern.  "Cherie" is from a beautiful book,  Vintage Knits by Rowan, which I highly recommend.  In so many cases, knitting pattern books have only one or two designs that interest me; this book has me wanting to find a reason to make almost all of them!

There is an issue with this pattern, though.  As written, the neckline will turn out as more of a funnel neck than a boatneck that is seen in the images and technical drawing included with the pattern.  If you want the finished sweater to look like the photos, the ribbing will have to start before stated (subtract the number of ribbing rows from the decreasing raglan portion of the front/back and sleeves).

And while this yarn looks fabulous in a plain old stockinette stitch, I decided to go a little crazy and add some embroidery.  As I did with my monogrammed sweater, I used a contrasting scrap yarn to give myself a path to follow, especially with the chain stitch!  It's difficult to see the forest for the trees when I am embroidering patterns and continually rotating the sweater.

I have never tried embellishing on a large portion of a sweater like this, so I decided to stick with the same yarn.  The look is subtle, but it's even more added texture to the tweed yarn, and I really do love the way it turned out!

A few embroidery motifs were initially placed along the neckline with the chainstitch, but since I was having so much fun, I just kept going with it. 

The design is very freeform, so for the set of three lazy daisies, I just gave myself a single mark to work around.

The process was rather meditative.  I think there will be more embroidered sweaters in my future!

I will have to remember to embroider the sleeves before constructing the actual sweater, though!  It was a bit of a challenge, but I made it work.  I am not even sure that I would have embroidered on the entire sleeve even if I had easy access to the entire length.

And back to that yarn . . . blocking makes it look even better!

I am loving how this project turned out.

And at some point I am going to have to come up with a design that uses some contrasting colors and go to town on another embroidered sweater project!