Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Rowan Martin Storey Knit A Long

My last post about this project was in May when I had completed about 8 squares for the blanket.
To recap if you would like more details please see my post here or if you would like to look at the other stunning projects please go to Ravelry here.

The official knit a long ended in July, but I knew that I would not be finished by then. Also as the wool was so expensive I wanted to make the most out of knitting it for as long as I could!

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I finished mine a few weeks ago and absolutely love it. It is so warm and heavy; the wool looks beautiful and is soft on your skin. Me the cats and even my boyfriend have been snuggling on the sofa with it, now the weather is getting colder I finished it at the perfect time.

I thoroughly enjoyed this project, I only got a bit bored when I had about 5 squares to go and that was as I had left a few of the more difficult patterns until then.
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48 sqaures in total
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Crochet edging
As the patterns were released weekly and involved a new pattern each time I have really expanded my knitting knowledge. I have leant skills that I would never have tried if I was starting a jumper or similar large project. As each pattern was a small square, it was very satisfying to complete each one, and also when making a mistake, you did not lose a lot of work.

Having seen the other blankets on Ravelry there was a lovely thread in the Rowan group about 'signature squares' and some people posted very unique and personal squares. I decided to do this too and chose to write a small chart for it. I wanted to include my initials and the year and I based the square design on the principles of the week 2  (Nordic Star) version. I added in a cable owl as I wanted to learn how to make these and I thought it was cute!
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Signature square
I blocked the squares as I went along in batches for 8 to 10, although a couple were blocked again. The only changes I would make would be to have more rows on the week 4 (Lace Kisses) design as this was so much shorter than the other squares.

As I learnt so much in this blanket I decided to finish it off by doing a crochet border, I used some great videos on YouTube to do this and I did a scallop edge. I think this finished off the blanket very well.
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Back of edging
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Front of edging

To join the squares I used mattress stitch on the vertical joins and slip stitch on the vertical.
Once the blanket was completed I was surprised by how much I had left over, it is just under half a ball of each colour. I will have to choose what to do with them now.

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Detail of back stitching
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Skills learnt
Lace stitches - yarn forward, knit two together, yarn over, make one.
Make a bobble
Cabling, with and without a cable needle
Reading a knitting chart
Mattress stitch
Slip stitch joining of seams
Crochet border

Rowan Pure Wool Worsted 100g balls. Bought from Spins and Needles, Lincoln.
Knit Pro 4mm interchangeable needles, purchased same as above.
4mm crochet hook.

A simple skirt

I have been updating my blog and noticed that I wrote this post but did not publish it in April 2012.

Written April 2012

I am very excited to make this post as I have finished making my first skirt. Hurrah!
I have always liked the idea of making my own clothes however it has taken a while for my skills to catch up with my ideas.

This was my first time to work from a commerical pattern, and I must have bought the pattern about 8 years ago, took one look at it and get very confused. Being slightly older and wiser I was determined to figure it out.
The pattern I used is Butterick 6834, 'nine sew fast and easy' The pattern is for sizes 12, 14, 16, UK.

Firstly it took me a while to work out even how much fabric I needed and how it all works.
I am in my twenties and although at school have always used cm and metres, at home I used inches for this aswell, and always used ounces for cooking measurements. I often use inches for measuring as it is easier for quilting and sewing and most people talk of 1/4 inch seam allowance etc. However, I buy fabric in metres. 
So on the pattern we have imperial in English and metric on the French side. I used the cm as I find it more accurate, even though it is French. I digress.....

The skirt was to be an a line skirt with a lining, a zip at the centre back and 4 darts. The front is made up of 1 piece and the back of 2 pieces, joining at the zip line.

It mostly went ok, there was alot of reading and re reading, discussions with my mum on how it could work, and eventually I figured it out. I was pretty pleased with my zip insertion, and think it was ok for a first time in a garnment.
There was a band of intefacing which went inside the lining and that helped the skirt to have shape on the top.

I am pleased with the outcome, it fits well and I think I can wear it out an about without any strange looks. 

A couple of issues were that, you can see the top of the zip does not match up, I think this is to do with how I folded the top hem and that I had cut off some of the top of the zip while figuring out how the hemming and folding would work. I don't plan on tucking a top into this, so no one will see it.

Another bad point is that in the lining of the skirt, I have not folded back any of the seams (not sure of right wording for this) so the edges of the fabric are exposed to fraying. I realised this later on and therefore cut the interfaced band with pinking shears to make it fray less.
I also used navy blue thread as the flower fabric is blue, however my lining is black so should have changed thread when doing lining.

New techniques and materials used
* Reading a pattern, cutting a pattern.
*Sewing darts
*Inseting a lining
*Sewing a zip

Flower fabric, no name
Black lining fabric
Blue 7 inch zip
Gutterman polyester thread, navy blue.

Shopping list
*Boyds, Lincoln
*Callyco, Lincoln