Calling it done

Alrighty, I think this is done (read, I really should stop spending so much time playing with it and do real work) and I know I am delighted with it. Now, let’s see if I can answer a few questions/make a few plans.⁠

1) Will I show you the whole sweater? Probably not. I don’t do pictures of clothes on me, the dressforms I have are not the right size to show the sweater off well, and taking a picture of a sweater laid out flat that looks anything other than awful does not seem to be a skill I have. So you will probably have to content yourself with pictures of the various corners I’ve doodled on.⁠

2) Does the stitch have a name? Not that I know of. I was just doodling around until I found something I liked. Though as with most textile things, the chances of coming up with something actually new are low and I am in no way claiming I am the first/only person to do anything because why would a person do that to themselves and invite those headaches. ⁠

3) Will I tell you how to do it? Maybe! Enough folks seem to like this (and the other embroidery stuff) that I’m considering doing a pattern of some sort. Because my primary sales platform requires that you only sell actual patterns there, I would probably end up doing something like a Very Very Basic Hat pattern with the real focus being on how you embroider on it like this. That follows the rules (hat=pattern), but I can talk a bit in there about how to adapt the embroidery for other projects as well (like, say, that comfy but boring store bought sweater). If that’s something you’d be interested in, let me know. If enough folks like it, I might do it (though it wouldn’t be until next year at the earliest). ⁠

But really though, I’ve got two sweaters I’ve decorated (cough, defaced, cough) and ideas/victims lined up for at least a third and a fourth, and I’ve learned a whole bunch about what does and doesn’t work well on knitted fabric, and I can absolutely see this on hats/mitts, so it probably if folks are interested, it probably wouldn’t be too hard to talk me into it.⁠

But for now I think it’s time to stop playing with this one and wear it!

Doodles continue

Embroidery doodles continue to be amusing…

But forward progress has been somewhat hindered by the supervisory efforts of Miss Fizzy.

Work will resume when she decides she has other places to be.

Doodles

We all know I’m not a sweater knitter.  Sweater wearer yes, sweater knitter no.  And while I have no desire to knit my own sweaters, I do occasionally want to, shall we say customize, the cozy, comfy, easy, store-bought sweaters I wear so often.

It started with mending, because why not fix what you have if you can.  Then it moved on to things like adjusting the band at the bottom of a sweater (the band that causes a sweater to draw in at precisely the point my body flares out, the appeal of which I will never understand) or changing the neckline on a sweater that didn’t quite hit where I wanted it to. And really, that one sweater I’ve been stitching flowers on for five years now is precariously close to doodling already.

So I finally decided to just intentionally put ridiculous stuff all over a couple of the current favorites, just to see what I could do.  The one I just mended and adjusted seemed like the obvious place to start.  And I suspect this is going to be rather habit forming.

Stay tuned…

 

Improvements

So, the sweater from the other day? The one rescued from the ravages of kitten brutality?  Here it is all mended (you can watch me do some of that over on instagram if you’re so inclined).

And here it is with the neckline adjusted so I like it better for me (you can watch me do some of that too). And just because this stuff is important to say, here is your bonus reminder that you should absolutely have your neckline wherever you want.  Anyone who tries to make you feel bad about how much or how little skin you show is an absolute troll and worth precisely zero of your time or energy. Any time I hear someone suggest a person’s clothing is too revealing, I’m reminded of the most marvelous comeback I ever heard, “she’s not dressed like a slut, you’re thinking like a rapist,” which I invite you use wherever possible. It’s really rather remarkable to watch someone’s face when they process that one.

And now…now that the hole has been repaired and the fit issue addressed in a way that makes me happy…now we doodle!

Joining, part two

That top I started to fix a few weeks ago? Yeah, here’s attempts two (ripped out) and three (the winner).

So in case you don’t happen to follow my every word with breathless attention, this is the neck opening of a sweater. It’s open a bit farther down than I’d like, so I wanted to close it up a bit.

I started by trying to just stitch it freehand (that was the post from a few weeks ago), but things shifted around a bit too much, so I stuck it in an embroidery hoop to hold everything still. That helped quite a bit.

But even with that, I realized I didn’t like how the stitches looked when I made them with the doubled up embroidery thread (that’s the picture up above). The thread twisted up on itself and the stitches weren’t as uniform as I wanted.

So I switched to yarn, and now I’m happy with it. I’m going to continue this up to the top of that darker stripe there, and it will be perfect.

I, alas, do not know the name of the stitch (if it even has one), nor am I going to try and teach it to anyone. Embroidery is an amusing diversion, and teaching folks how to do things is my job, and I do not want to rub work vibes all over something I do for enjoyment.

The most I can say is that I bring the needle up through the fabric on one side of the neck, then under the topmost strand of yarn in the middle. Then up through the fabric on the other side of the neck, and under the new topmost strand of yarn in the middle. Repeat that back and forth, keeping the stitches an even distance apart, and it makes a little mesh panel.

But again, this is absolutely positively something I’m doing to my own clothes for my own amusement, not something I’m even going to pretend to teach anyone else (this is code for please please please do not ask me to teach you how to do it, I will say no, and it will make me sad).

If someone else happens to know what it’s called or know of a resource for doing something similar, feel free to leave it in the comments though. But I suspect you’re all totally clever enough to figure out something similar if you want to tweak something of your own!

Joining

This is going to be fun. Well, not this. This is about to get picked out. But then I’m going to do it again more carefully, and I think that will be fun.⁠

You see, I have a sweater with a neckline that’s a bit lower than I like. And it would be the perfect sweater if only the neckline were just an inch or two higher.⁠ So I’m going to fix it.⁠

I started by putting it on and experimenting with a pin and a mirror to figure out where I wanted the neckline to fall. And it turns out that if the bottom two inches or so of the neckline are closed up, it will be perfect. ⁠

Now, I don’t think I can sew it up in an invisible way, so why not go the other direction and make it cute. This works, but I’ll be able to sew it more evenly if I get it in an embroidery hoop, so that’s what I’m going to do next.⁠

(Someone’s going to ask, so alas no, I have absolutely no idea what the thing I’m doing here is called. I was just fiddling around and it’s what happened, sorry.)

I can bring blocking into anything

Here’s that little shoulder patch after it’s gone through the washer (and dryer…pajama sweaters do not generally get air dried folks). Take a look at the difference between freshly mended and after several washes.

I actually like it much more now that the yarn has plumped up and fuzzed out a bit, so I am super happy with this. But it is a beautiful example of…wait for it…why swatching and blocking are so damn important. Bear with me here.

Swatching is to let you know how your fabric is going to behave before you go to the trouble of knitting a whole project. It’s a test run.

In order for that test run to be accurate, you have to block your swatch. And blocking is mostly just washing. Sure, there are exceptions. But ‘wash it, let it dry in the desired shape’ is 90% of most blocking.

So, a swatch is meant to answer the question ‘how will this fabric behave.’ And if that fabric is going to get washed, ‘how will this fabric look after it’s washed’ is absolutely part of the information you need to know about how that fabric will behave. So you gotta block (which again, mostly just means wash) your swatches people (even if there’s no stretching or shaping involved).

Because look how different this fabric looks after a few washes.

In this case, it’s lovely and great and just what I wanted. But if I’d made something where I *didn’t* want that much of a transformation, I’d much rather know it from my swatch than after I’d spent ages knitting something.

So…in what is perhaps the most on brand moment ever, that’s my lecture on ‘why swatching and blocking matter, as demonstrated by a random, non-knitted patch on a sweater.’

Fall

It’s cool enough to reach for a sweater, and around here, that means this ancient, lovely thing.  It also means patching up the latest round of holes (seriously, the fabric is thinner than a tshirt, it gets tiny holes if you so much as look at it).

Luckily, that’s something I rather enjoy.

If you peruse the embroidery tag on here, you’ll see many of the previous mends.  (This is the bit where I preemptively mention that I can’t show you the whole thing at once because the mends are all over and there is no way to take a photo that encompasses all of them, plus the sweater is big and the mends are small, so if I try and take a picture of the whole think it looks like junk…you’ll just have to live with the mystery.)

 

Done! Er…for now…

And with that, I’m calling this patch of stitching done.

The first bit of stitching was in a previous post, the middle bit is below.  If you want to watch the progression of stitches on these, you can check out the embroidery tag on here and scroll backwards.

Now, it’s all but certain I will get/find another hole in this some time soon.  And I’ve given in and bought spare of all the colors I used stitching this so I can keep repairing it as I run out of thread (it’s just DMC embroidery floss, which you can find for like the cost of a stamp at pretty much any hobby store).

Now, for the housekeeping bits.  First off, no, I won’t show you the whole thing.  I’ve tried, and there’s not a way to take a picture that both shows all of the stitching and looks good (the stitching is small, the sweater is large, it just doesn’t work), so I’m not going to do it.  You’ll have to live with the mystery.

And second, there are lots of books on stitching if you want to read one.  I’ve recommended this one and this one and this one and this one in the past (as always, amazon links are affiliate links).  There are online guides too.  But I pretty much just made it up as I went along, and that method has a lot to recommend it.  You can always pick it out if you don’t like it!

Stitched

Yes, yes the cardigan is back.  Remember it, the one I’ve been stitching on for, um, two years now on and off (scroll down)?  Yeah, it’s back.

The fact that this gets so many holes is proof either that I’m too rough on my clothes, that it was too delicate to begin with, or that I wear it all the time and therefore just beat up on it a lot.  Possibly all three.  But at this point, I’m not sad to see the holes, so I don’t really see a problem.