Knitting, pattern design

Knitting Needles, freedom of choice! March 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — burninhelen @ 10:12 am

Do you love D-E-V-O? I do. Of course entirely unrelated.

When I was first taught to knit, I inherited my mom’s and my grandmother’s collection if needles. Yes, I do realize how lucky that was and I am glad I didn’t have to go and buy each of them separately.

I feel that in this world, the majority of people choose Bamboo’s. I greatly dislike them for a few reasons.

  • The tips DULL.
  • Sometimes they snag the yarn
  • Ummm, have you ever sat on a smaller gauge and broken it?
  • They WARP! (and NOT from being wet, I have no idea how this happens but usually on the smaller sizes)
  • I don’t want to have to WAX my needles, too much maintenance!

Call me old fashioned, but my favorites are aluminum. I have heard of some people being allergic to them, and others getting a funny smell from the metal on their hands. I pretty much exclusively knit with them and that’s never happened to me-

I have old Susan Bates, Brittany’s (who madeĀ  strong wood needles!) and Boye’s, and a bunch of mystery ones whom I have no idea who the manufacturer was on them.

Some of the various needles all mishmashed together

My grandmother's are still my favorites

And yes, that’s me in my pajamas. Doing anything that prevents me from finishing this stupid sweater.

Vintage Needle Love aside, in this modern day and age I really like Addi’s. But, alas they are so expensive- the cable is so nice on the circs though.

However! I recently just purchased Knit Picks nickel plated interchangeable needle set. The cable is very similar to the addi’s, but I actually prefer the KP’s to the addis because the point is better.

I think they have a great bargain with needles, and as far as I can tell so far, the metal ones are actually very good quality!



Filed under: Pattern Progression — burninhelen @ 10:03 am

Again with the frogging! I’m going to get it right today if it kills me. The problem is, it’s almost impossible to do what I want to do, and it’s dawning on me. I think I could have achieved it had I just did top-down. But I am NOT re-knitting the entire thing again!

I did order some yarn from knitpicks for 2 bucks a skein. I’ve never used their yarn before, but am curious to see, feel and work with it! But, I just can’t shake the feeling that it was TWO DOLLARS a skein. Is that too good to be true? I do read and see a lot of stuff made with it, although I’m not sure if it’s what I bought- and I forgot what I bought anyways, but it was a pretty purple.

I’m almost ready to abandon this sweater, I have yarn waiting in the wings for new projects- yet, *exasperated sigh*, I am determined to not give up, at this point it’s full out war.

Aside from being sick, that’s pretty much all I have been doing the past few days, so not much to report.


Ivy, grrrr? March 7, 2010

Filed under: Life,Pattern Progression — burninhelen @ 5:48 pm

The new piece I’m working on has been time consuming. Lot’s of frogging, but mainly due to me getting engrossed into a tv show or refereeing some spat between the girls- I finally got up to the armpits though and started binding off. It looked small so I finished one side of the front. It fit! However, I’m not so sure I liked the curved v-neck so I ripped the fronts all back to my lifeline (Oh, thank god I did a lifeline!). Now I have to re-work the front, mainly the neck.

I want to have a high nick that consists of a band that would cover the little pleated ruffles, and the little box-pleated ruffles themselves, so it has to be high. I also want a cut, so the curved v didn’t work, now I am considering a tabbed keyhole or SOMETHING.

I was getting a bit worried that I didn’t like where the sweater was going, however, once I put the front stitches on holders, I was able to try it on. It looked sooooo much better than I thought! SO that’s my happy moment of the day! (Because I was already designing a new piece with different yarn in my head). But it looks like Ivy is going to win out!

Here’s a very poor shot taken from my camera (which usually produces great pics, provided you have the right lighting). Never mind the grayishness of the green- it’s very army green/ivy.Obviously, it’s not blocked. It’s held up fairly well considering it’s been ripped and re-knit a zillion times.

Here is a better shot of the color- I just bought KP’s interchangeable needles- there is a hole you can use for a lifeline. Good luck threading yarn through though- it’s teeny. My solution? I have been using EMBROIDERY FLOSS!

I’m still not sure what I am going to do with the sleeves. All I know is that they will include the same circular lace as the body and will be 3/4 to short cap length. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes. For now, I’m concentrating on the neck.

I’m actually also thinking of adding maybe another inch to the body. I want it to cover a certain area, you know- It’s the plumber, I’ve come to fix the sink.

In life-related news- Somehow I managed to not pay my phone bill last month. I could have sworn that I did! In my head, I remember using the “pay your bill now” function on the phone and it was all set. Of course I have since deleted my message history, so have no way of verifying it. Sigh. I do stuff like this all the time. I’m 36 and yet perpetually 26.

I dyed my hair yesterday. It was supposed to be a dark chocolate, buuuuuuut it’s more of a coal black, ahem.

I was thinking that I can cook some mean food, I will toot my own horn on that, yes, I will. Last night I made edamame with ponzu sauce, jasmine rice and (I will provide the recipe later, because it is so easy and people will think you are a star) Sole Francoise.

Finally- it is so nice outside today! I got to sleep in late, which was so nice. Jon and I stayed up until 2 am playing LEGO STAR WARS (I kid you not). So I am planning on taking advantage of the nice weather by taking the girls to the playground, grocery shopping, paying my phone bill and then getting to work on Ivy!

Lastly, Maisy- my cute Balinese knitting snuggle buddy. The friendliest Siamese we’ve ever had. (But still has some inherited weirdness).


How to make a Georgette Carnation March 4, 2010

Filed under: Tutorials,Vintage — burninhelen @ 8:48 pm
Tags: , ,

I have this great set of 1930’s pattern making books that I got at a yard sale in Portland, Oregon in my early 2o’s. I LOVE these books so much!

I was over at Ysolda’s website a day or so ago and saw that she had made some cute felt flower bobby pins- which made me think of my “decorative stitches and trimmings” book in the above mentioned set.

Now, I need to go out and buy the fabric and ribbons but if you just so happen to have any flat or satin crepe…

1) Cut 15 circles of crepe, 3 1/2″ in diameter. *note: I would cut 16 so you have a test one to see if it looks like the diagram below*

2) Fold each in half, then fold the halves into thirds and slash down on each fold 1 1/4″ towards the center. You can also pink the edges, if you have pinking shears to make it more “realistic”.

3) Between these slashes, make three or four 1/4″ slashes so that the circle, IF (see note in step #1) unfolded will look like this: (sorry it’s blurry)

4) Cut 12 lengths of fine, uncovered tie wire (I think I will use my floral wire and just scrape off the green waxy coating with my fingernails, ta-dah)- about 8 ” long.

5) As you finish slashing each circle, without unfolding, wrap the center of one of the pieces of wire in a few twists around, the sharp tip of the folded center, as seen below- wrapping it just enough to hold securely.

6) Leave the 2 ends of the wire attached to form a stem.

7) treat all but FOUR circles this way, and wrap these together with a single wire for the center of the flower.

8) Arrange the 11 that are wired singly around this group and twist the 12 wires together to form a stem, then wrap with embroidery silk, narrow ribbon or tissue paper.

You can make more and arrange in clusters or rows-

I plan on making a bunch of different ones for some sweater pins, some hair clips, and who knows what else! They’re pretty. I have some easier ribbon ones I think I am going to try and maybe post too.

I love Carnations. I don’t care if they are considered a “cheap” flower. I grow them in my garden and I love the way they smell. Flowery and spicy and warm.


Blocking with Fishing Line

Filed under: Uncategorized — burninhelen @ 7:39 pm
Tags: ,

Did you know…. You can thread fishing line around the edges of your pieces? Pin the line, not your garment for straighter edges.


So what? I (hypothetically) do what I want!

Filed under: Uncategorized — burninhelen @ 4:35 am

I’m probably not ashamed to discuss my initial tragedies. I may have been SO excited to knit my own stuff, it’s possible I couldn’t wait for time consuming swatches, using semi-proportionate needle/yarn ratios, and things of such nature. In a sense, I do kind of miss it- I did actually make a lot of it work-

The thing is, if I am knitting for me, I don’t care what I do or did or how I did it. I lived on the EDGE, man. Danger abound! Problem is when people want to make that stuff you are flattered and aim to please, but then reality sinks in that you really need to learn the basics and be able to express it in a written form. It’s not as easy as reciting off a recipe where you can add a “dash” of something- it has to be more precise or the outcome is a village of torch wielding furies, just kidding, the outcome is that you wasted a bunch of their time and money and let them down. Some of you can gasp at my errr, I mean that person’s moronic gall- others can totally sympathize, but hopefully it’s entertaining, especially if it really may have happened.

Ten things I may have done. (Hypothetical Me, naturally darlings.)

  1. Buy at least 1-2 skeins less than you actually need
  2. Search for size 6 circulars, find 7’s and say “whatever, I do what I want!”
  3. DON’T bother doing a tiresome swatch, live dangerously and WING it.
  4. Know the entire time that you really needed a swatch, but say “whatever, I do what I want!”
  5. Don’t chart out anything, so you can realize later, say about 24 rows too late, that you needed more/less shaping.
  6. Forgo the lifeline because so what who cares, you do what you want and live dangerously. Pffft, I’ll catch any mistake by the next row!
  7. Use yarn that is unpleasant to work with, in this case grey dk weight cotton that literally falls apart. You knew it seemed shady, but it FELT good, and LOOKED good in the skein. Maybe that’s why it was in the clearance bin?
  8. Knit about 6 inches and realize because you didn’t swatch, it’s too big (although it wouldn’t have been if you could have just waited untill you found the 6’s)
  9. After all the above, realize that you hate the yarn and it was totally wrong for the idea anyways. You should have just gone out and bought different yarn, but you really really wanted to use that crap up. (I have yarn from the 60’s… 70’s, 80’s… some of it is ewwww but I am determined to make something VERY cool out of something so VERY WRONG looking, so what? I do what I want!)
  10. When you figure out the piece has too much uh, girth to it, show your significant other so he can sigh and tsk at you, then listen to him try and talk you out of frogging it because it’s ludicrous to spend so much time on something to rip it all out. He thinks potato sacks look fantastic on you, and that’s great- but….

That all being said and done- I will continue to publicly humiliate myself, and share my growth, knowledge and the what nots have you nots, so that maybe some other hypothetically like the hypothetical me can avoid my wrong turns.

I keep thinking that I really wish I had a source that taught me what I wanted to know but was afraid to ask, to teach me things I had no idea I should know, and to highlight the way. I mean there ARE tons of resources, but all in a zillion places. I don’t know of any other blogs that have step by step garment design- if you know of any SHARE! I am going to write a blog about what I want in a blog, and hey it’s MY (hypothetical-ish) blog so who cares! I do what I want!

Goodnight my babies.


Photos from my phone March 3, 2010

Filed under: Life — burninhelen @ 5:31 pm

Mainly just a test so I can see what the photos are going to look like, it’s been a while since I blogged and even though my old one was a WP, things are all new now!

Now if I can figure out how to remove a picture! I uploaded 2 of me in hopes I could remove one.. I’m techtarded!!! God, I feel so OLD these days.

I can’t believe this, but somehow my very 1st blog is still (sort of) up! Oooh, but more about that later (I have a ton of pictures I copied and saved, maybe I will post some!) but Jon just brought me in an incredible smelling Rueben and I am starving!