Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fall Knitting Ideas

I got the new Knit'n'Style magazine yesterday, and have been slowly leafing through it. The Fall Trends report included a photo of this knitted dress by Iodice.

Photo from New York Cool.

It's cute, but certainly not for me, except I just love the horizontal braid at the hem. Wouldn't this be just great as the hem of a straight, knitted skirt? I've wanted to do a knitted skirt for some time, but never quite got to it. This braided hem is moving it up to the top of the list. I've sort of decided on the yarn. I think elann.com's cotton/elastic yarn, Esprit may be just what I want, and Berroco has a nice straight skirt pattern in their free patterns. I have made socks with this yarn, and it's nice to knit with and shows pattern stitches beautifully. I think the elastic content would take care of any skirt bagging as well. Now to figure out just how much I'd need, and what color. I'm thinking maybe Coffee Bean, which would go with a lot of things, and wouldn't be so very shocking as bright yellow. There's no really perfect green in this yarn, so that's out. Gray would be nice, but I think the braid might be lost, but perhaps not more than in dark brown. I'm not sure.

Actually, this could be cute in fabric as well, if you did some stuffed, yet flattish tubes, braided them and attached to the hem of a skirt or dress. It would certainly be a lot quicker!

I've been working on my hand-sewn, draped dress again. I began it this winter when I couldn't get to my machine, and this fabric turns out to be almost impossible to stitch successfully by machine anyway, so this is the perfect solution. I'm getting closer to done, and I tried it on yesterday to see how it's coming, and I just love it! I'm not sure just exactly why it's doing what it's doing, but it may be the magic of draping. I need to finish up the second sleeve and then do a lot of trimming, and see where I stand.

BeeBee was asking, and I did find a way to sew this knit fabric successfully with the machine. It's a 2-layer knit, and maybe that's why it wants to cause more skipped than completed stitches. I got out an old, carefully saved Q Needle. I think it's from the days of Qiana knits, which were notoriously difficult to sew without skipped stitches, many tears, and possibly a whole new vocabulary by the time you were done. It seems to work on this fabric too. Along with the Q needle, I slowed the machine down, and loosened the upper tension to the buttonhole setting. It sounds awful when it pierces the fabric, like huge holes are being punctured into it, but it doesn't seem to have any ill effects. I don't know if you can even get Q Needles anymore. This was in a pack of Sears needles that came with my Kenmore machine over 20 years ago, and which I'd never used before. It has a blue shaft where it goes into the needle holder.

I will try to get photos of the dress as soon as it's ready for its close up.


BeeBee said...

Thanks for the update, Liana. What's a Q needle? I've got a bunch of old stuff, I may have one and don't know it. I'm still planning on turning my wadder into a fancy-shmacny tee-shirt thingy. But not if I have to hand sew it. That just doesn't happen at my house. The fabric REALLY does drape nicely, though.

ACorgiHouse said...

BeeBee,hang onto it. You can hand sew it in the car when we drive to my aunt's house next month.

Liana, I do recall Qiana, and hate to admit that I made a lot of things out of it in the ?late 70s. It was very slick and the needle just did not want to grab. If I remember correctly, what I generally did was use a ball point needle (size based on thickness of fabric) and I often sewed seams multiple times to make sure all the stitches were covered. Meaning it skipped so much that I would sew perhaps three layers of seam, so that I figured the skipped stitches overlapped each other and held everything together. Clear as mud? Sorry.
It was extremely difficult, which is likely the reason why I'm now such a die hard on sewing only with natural fabrics. The polyesters of the 1970s nearly did me in! K

Liana said...

BeeBee, Q needles were a special needle for knits. Not sure what the difference is between them and a regular ballpoint. I tried a stretch needle though, and it was nothing compared to this.

I think they finally took Qiana off the market because it was so difficult to sew, even though everyone loved the fabric. It was just like liquid satin. My mother made me a dress of it when I was in high school and she tore her hair out over it. I think I have a piece yet, but am a little afraid to touch it.

The hand sewing goes a lot quicker than you think, but use a really fine needle. I'm using an 11 between or quilting.