Saturday, January 5, 2019

More things I made - machine knitting edition

I eventually finished the head-exploding mittens. They are very complicated and I'm still puzzling over how to simplify them while exploiting my machine's crazy potential for complex stranded knitting.

Ravelry pattern photo
I've been wearing them a lot and they are not bad on a mildly cold day. For deep cold I need more insulation and I'm thinking of simpler mittens that are nevertheless lined. Stay tuned. I recently bought Perianth, a mitten pattern that also has a bigger chart. There will be some flowery knits.

Carrying on with my computerized projects, I turned to making a hat for my son for Christmas. I found a chart for Escher interlocking lizards in a free pattern on Ravelry, and modified it somewhat based on my testing.

I made a test tea cozy first.

And then I made a hat. It's easy to say now, but machines somehow know when you are knitting under pressure in a countdown to Christmas. I think I had to start the hat about 5 times. So many different things went wrong. Luckily the memory of the problems fades with time and the satisfaction of the finished item.

Me modelling the lizard hat
The  hat is a very ingenious design - another free Ravelry pattern called Cyclone. Basically it is a tube that is folded in half with the lining twisted before the open edges are grafted together. The twist keeps the top of the hat closed without it actually being closed.

I'm making the hat again using the Perianth chart (swatch at left).

Things I made recently - Carolyn PJs!

Every year I sew relatively elaborate PJs (shirt style, piped, contrast fabric, crazy prints) for my husband. Here are some I've made over the years.

But I'd not made a pair for myself - until now! In the week between Christmas and New Years I finally bought myself the Carolyn Pajamas pattern from Closet Case. I'm not sure why I waited so long. My PJ collection can now be completely renovated.

I made these from some miscellaneous soft flannelette that was a thrift store find, and a contrast fruity cotton print that was left over from another PJ project.

I only used the pattern for the shirt as I had a self-drafted PJ pant pattern on hand. Next time I'll do the full Carolyn.

What do I like about this pattern? 

Well, it has all those PJ bells and whistles - collar and lapels, cuffs and pockets, all piped edges! 

I like the rounded shape of the collar and lapel. 

I like the shirt-tail hem. 

The fit is good for PJs - not tight, but not exactly boxy either. 

Inside collar and back facing
For my taste, the collar lies a little flat at the back - there is not much of a stand as you can see in the photo of the inside collar and back facing. If I remember I will modify it to make it more upright before I make these again. I'll leave the curved edges so it will look the same at the front but sit higher at the back of my neck. 

I also added a back neck facing (stitched directly to the back) which I think is nicer as well as easier to make than the instructed method (pictured below).