My Sewing and KnittAntics

Frenzied Sewing and Hand Knitting Antics jazzed along by Machine Knitting.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Summer 2007 Yarn Sales

Yep , not one but two gigantic Liberty of London Sale bags
The summer sales are underway.
Liberty kicked off today with yummilicious offerings
Jaeger is going to be phased out , and all the yarns are going or gone.That is a shame because they do have the some of the best, classic yarns around.
Glee all round because they were deeply discounted

Yarns in the Sale
Jaeger Aqua :all shades
Jaeger Sienna : all shades
Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK
Rowan Kid Silk Night :red
Rowan Kid Silk Haze : mustardy yellow
Rowan Cotton Rope
Rowan Kid Classic
Rowan Holiday or Glimmer: the dishrag looking one
Felted Tweed : some stray packs
The Biggies: sorry I didnt even check
? Very little Rowan Calmer perhaps already snagged

Pattern books from Jaeger/Rowan to match the yarns
The prices are really low, they wont be matched even by the online Rowan seller that seat on mountains of discontinued yarns and then have to shift years later.

John Lewis Paternership sales start on Saturday and they will have in addition to Rowan/Jaeger yarns from Debbie Bliss, LHarding , Patons, Sirdar and Noro

Phildar Soldes
they have started their summer sales online.Guess the best of the sale stock is gone.Well worth a look as they ship worldwide, so buying at 50% discount wont break the bank

I wont be flashing the contents of the bags , since the majority aint mine.
Orders to be mailed out or passed on at rendezvous next week.
It pays to play nice on the internet( none of the "who is she/he that is so pervasive) then you might get some kind knitter helping to spread the yarnie/crafty love.

Presenting my new to me knitting machine

SIT Singer Memo 11/Superba S47/White 1502
French 5mm double bed knitting machine
Three weeks before departure, and hopes of getting the machine to ship out fast fading.I decided to put in a request online for a machine lurking in some attic.Three hours later, I got a postive response.Machine in nearly new condition (despite the fact it was purchased about two decades ago) was mine if I wanted .

Cost was exactly what the crafter had paid for it only a few weeks ago local to her. When I snet payment , the cratfer recognised my name.We had met online in 1998 whilst hunting for OOP Issey Miyake patterns.Suspect I hadnt behaved ghastly or else she might have retracted the offer LOL. Not the reason to aware ( the opposite of bolshie, crappy blah blah blah) that goes on the in cyberspace but this experience is a definite bonus
The machine arrived with a gazillion extras like transfer carriages ,bags of tools, packs of needles and a very much sought after colour changer complete with instructions.

Phildar/ Bergere de France is why I got into machine knitting. Many of their handknitting patterns have instructions /charts or adaptation for machine knitting .The 5mm KM does knit up to light DK like Pure Laine, Oxygene, Canasta etc.It makes using the original yarns even more appropriate.
Suspect I have me the perfect knitting elfin to churn out double time even more French sweaters.

Remember chaps, IT DOES PAY TO BE NICE

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Translating French Knitting Patterns

Small post regarding French knitting patterns.There are some exceptional French knitting publicaions.Phildar, Bergere de France, Anny Blatt , Bouton D,or, Fait Main , Tricot Ideal, and offerings from Marie Claire Idee.
What these publications offer for me is the great designs, so not old granny looking sweaters, the
excellent schematics, le mathematique or the modular way that increases/ decreases are written.Stitch glossary at beginning of pattern and the use of charts

French patterns dont translate well into English,( they dont do the three rows before the 34 th row after the second to last decrease nonsense) that is rife with certain English knitting patterns.

Phildar Le Conseil Tricot
Excellent resource on the basics, some stitch patterns, their methods for increases/ decreases/ finishing knits with graphics that are easy to understand

Phildar Knitting Glossary
Searchable glossary

Bergere de France Downloadable Glossaire
A downloadable pdf glossarie.
Trucs and Astuces
Their knitting hints and tricks guide online

Chez Plum article: Knitting from French
Excellent overview with further links and a very good explanation on the mathematique.
The formulae for dealing with shaping( increases, decreases and cast offs)
Similar to the Japanese knitting notations.

Best option would be to learn the notations, and abbrevations for knitting tasks. And knit directly from French .A dictionary would perhaps only be necessary for finishing instructions, short rows etc and completing specific tasks

Me , I am off to continue packing.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

BdF Update and Fabric Dive Enabler Alert

Clearly on day release from the Zoo.Postings on blog, whatever next.I had planned a "sweatshop" weekend sewing like a loonie , but have done zilch.Oh well.

Local Enabler Alert for Locals and Londoners
The fabric dive, Material World have just cleared out stock from "The famous British Plaid company "factory ends.

The " Plaid" lining
Plaid bias binding in cotton and silk .
Buttons with crests, other button assortments.
Fantastic selection of Italian wools , linens , and the trench cotton used for their summer pants , skirts and trench dresses.
Gutermann silk buttonhole on 10m and 50m spools.Extremely rare on the retail market.
As ever NAVY.....................just a customer

Bergere De France Update
The post including details on their Cd generated some blog traffic.
Article # for them are
2006/2007 ; #119.771
2005/2006: #691.331
2004/2005: #655.491
2003/2004: still available just not listed on the website.Contact me for details

As I have just been astonished by the generosity of an online knitter in locating a sought after Knitting Machine( more when it arrives next week) I will be ordering bits from with BdF this week .
Done , just waiting for postie with my colieco

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Easy Unlined Jacket? That,s telling porkies

If one is told that making an unlined jacket is easy,Abi says that,s porkies ( cockney slang for lies.Porkie pies ?get it)
I line most of my garments, even line/cotton summer togs.I had just finished a duo , skirt and jacket combo in a silk/linen/tencel fabric.
Yummy colour , feel and drape but not suited for anything structured.
Unlined jacket.Yikes , with the overlocked seam edges exposed.
No I dont think so. Not very pretty

The alternative was to draft a half back lining , front part lining by extending the front facing to match at side seam similar to armhole chest piece or plastron.
Description and details for drafting the lining pieces can be found in Singer Tailoring or Taunton Press Easy guide to lining( I dont advocate blatant copyright violations)
Fusible knit interfacing cut to match the lining pieces, shaving away 2 cmm at outer edges, with pinking shears to soften /reduce strike through.

HongKong finish on every exposed seam edge tadded a few hours to project.Lucky I had Ambiance lining bias roll( from Paul Costeloe factory sale)
Perhaps twice or thrice as long as it would have taken to sew a full lining.


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Friday, June 15, 2007

FO:Burda WOF June 2007 # 110 Top

Project:Another Knit Top
Pattern:Burda WOF June 2007 #110
Fabric:Italian Viscose Lycra Knit

Details/Pattern Specs
An interesting little project.Features front raglan and back set in sleeves.
There is no side seam , the back pattern piece swings forwards and extends into the front lower section.
The front neckline has a deep but narrow scoop.Raised by 5mm, and needed to hack off about 4 cm from the binding.
Note that binding length may be wrong.States 80cm for all the sizes

Flawless seam match eh? No way.May offer design possibilties with narrower stripes.Modifications.
Alteration for my figure xteristics.The seaming makes it easy to adjust for a full bust using the princess seam method.
Length extended by 6cm.
Need to consider size to make, offers less room for waist dimension alterations.
Uses only 1.10 mteres.Have pulled out fabrics for a few more renditions.
Gets an A+

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bergere de France Knitting Patterns

Whilst looking for new knitting projects to pack for transit , I pulled out and printed the above pattern from 2002/2003 season off the CD.
Bergere de France Review
Bergere de France is perhaps the other big knitting patterns/yarn company from France( Phildar the other)
The new catalogue and swatch books are now available for 2007/2008 season.
French language patterns
1.Excellent knitting patterns for whole family in the main pattern book.
2.Series of smaller focused pattern books throughout the year.
3.Tricotheque: Great free knitting patterns to download and print.
4.Swatch Book: They have a swatch book priced 5.00 euro , usually given free to EU customers that contain all the current yarns and actual yarn snips
5. Many of the patterns have instruction/tensions for machine knitting.The books have the equivalent KM tensions for the 4.5mm as well as the 5mm knitting machines.
6.Ready to wear collection.
7. Good selection of knitting books( in French) , accessories and bricolage.
Please note: I have only used the French knitting patterns.They have translated some of the patterns to English , I have no experience or desire to try out.

Bergere de France CD
They produce an annual CD containing the current patterns and extra bonus patterns from previous season inedits, free patterns , spring/ summer special ,bebe, layette edtions.These would have been sold for 2.5-4.50 euros each,that equals an extra 150 or so modeles on each CD.
Okay one miss out of the extra four or so glossy magazines, but at 3.90 euros , a bargain still.
The CD is suitable for both PC and MAC annd interactive.Can be used in conjunction with the internet and website.
They have issued four CDs form 2003/2004 to date , the fifth will be the new 2007/2008 edition.The CDs are still available on the website if you know how to search.

Great facility (in the current ) and I suspect subsequent ones
Full list of all the yarns they have ever made.Complete yarn listings with tension, metrage, compostion, suitablity for MK, washing instructions and cross reference with current and discontinued yarns to make substitutions.
That is a yarn company that knows how to do business.
Great mail order service , the postage to United Kingdom and presumably the rest of Europe is very minimal, about a third of what I pay from the Phildar website.

For the North Americas, I have no personal experience but the swatch books/pattern books and yarns are available out of Canada from Club Direct Laine


Sunday, June 03, 2007

FO:Burda WOF 5/07 # 147 Moss Stitch Pullover

Burda WOF May 2007 # 147
Short sleeve pullover( jumper to me) with fine rice/moss stitch and clever contrast of short sleeves and turtleneck collar

Original Yarn:
Samoa Mouline 50% Cotton 50% Acrylic
Perhaps the best of the aran weight cotton acrylic blends
Suitable subs include Rowan ASC, Phildar Aviso, Katia , Lion Brand Cotton Ease
Yarn Used:
Gedifra Sport 100% Superwash wool in Grey
Straight forward pattern instructions.Has many of the details of continental knitting ( Europe) patterns .

Charts with written descriptions of symbols.
Use of edge stitches for better finish.
Shaping explicitly spelt out ( Rowan , Rowan oh Rowan LOL)
Full fashioned decreases giving a RTW look .
Use of increasing needle sizes to shape the collar.

The fit is uber snug.Matched the tension swatch and the finished measurements.Gives the illusion of a vintage knit.
I needed to shortrow about 6cm for FBA ( fun keeping the small/ large cables/ moss stitch patterns correct)
Sleeves were made longer by about 4cm
Used 4mm and 4.5mm DPNs for the collar( unable to locate smaller circular needles)

Great little top.I opted for wool as heavier close fit knits dont quite go with summer.
Burda WOF had almost always featured knitting patterns , as far as my collection goes from about 1981 The number had dwindled in the last few years, but with Verena in hiatus , perhaps more???
Cant wait fot the June 2007 issue which promises another superb selection of hand knits

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