Category Archives: Finished Items 2011

FO: Lace Stockings for Meeee

Finally finished! After a bit of second sock syndrome for a month in between, I cast off for these last week.

Bettie’s Lace Stockings Pattern

I realized I had started these back in July when visiting family for the 4th. Speedy knitter I am not. These were so worth it though! I love the finished pieces and found the pattern enjoyable to work as well. The lace patterns are easy to memorize but still interesting. The shaping in pattern is also very clever (Keep notes of how many repeats you end up doing to match for the second sock. The transition is so seamless it’s really difficult to find, found out the hard way).

Love them!
(Oops, bow came untied in this shot. That’ll teach me to not double knot.)

I did use rljulie on Ravelry’s very nice mod for a third lace version, Extra Wide Gathered Lace. My lace just didn’t seem that “stretchy” even though I don’t think I have that great of calf muscles.

My other mods I detailed here. They included working extra repeats (final numbers after heel: 10 of narrow, 8 of wide, and 6 of extra wide), working the bottom of the foot in Stockinette Stitch instead of lace, and working on US Size 3 needles to get row gauge.

Halloween and an FO

Since I have a rather overflowing closet with lots of costume-y pieces I decided to try to utilize my growing vintage inspired wardrobe for my Halloween costume this year instead of buying materials to make something entirely from scratch.

Combined with a converted serving tray, hair and makeup and I had my Vintage Cigarette Girl costume!

Vintage Cigarette Girl Costume - Halloween 2011

The vinyl pillbox hat is one I made and posted about before. The top and hemmed skirt are thrifted pieces. The fishnets were purchased new as they are actually seamed stockings and I had been coveting them.

Cigarette and candy tray

I attached a thrifted trimming piece from my stash to the tray with double sided tape and added a ribbon strap. About a month back I sent out a request to friends to start collecting empty cigarette boxes and I filled these with candy in addition to purchasing some “Candy cigarettes” which had cool retro boxes. I Mod Podged a little “tip jar” over a tissue box and filled a few metal cups with other assorted candies.

"Ladylike Gloves" Lace knitted gloves

Of course I decided a couple weeks before Halloween that I really needed some vintage style gloves, because apparently I’m a crazy person and just can’t stick with simplicity. Eunny Jang’s “Ladylike Gloves” from Interweave Knits was just the pattern I needed. I had some Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace in my stash that worked perfect too.

Modeling my new lace gloves :)

My only mods were to work 5 rows of garter stitch instead of the applied I-cord edging as well as adding black seed beads to the backwards loop cast-on. I added them every other CO stitch, but wish I had done every stitch to make it a little more noticeable. These were down to the wire to finish, wove in the ends around 11pm the night before our costume party, ha. Total cost, around $10 (for stockings and candy cigarettes).


Cleopatra DIY Costume

When a friend of mine decided she wanted to be Cleopatra I excitedly offered to help make the costume for her too. This was a fun one to create! We got a bed sheet from the thrift store that I cut up to make the dress, adding a graphic border in blue fabric paint pen. The blue veil and brown scarf for around the hips I had on hand. Then I got a gold fabric dress while thrifting to cut the collar out of, adding iron on interfacing to give it structure. The dress even had ties that I cut up into arm bands. Had fun decorating these with gold puff paint and gluing on craft jewels. She bought a headress, spray painted some flip flops gold and that was the finished costume!

Tutorial: Blocking a Felted/Fulled Hat

A little while back I was looking into ways to do something for the animal shelter Operation Kindness where we adopted the extraordinary Aejaz from six(!) years ago. I then came across their benefit event and auction Canines, Cats & Cabernet and knew I wanted to make a hat to donate for the auction.

Evelyn vintage style hat in brown
I decided on a version of my Evelyn Tilt Hat pattern, this time in brown. Fast forward a bit and suddenly I realized in the midst of Halloween costume crafting that it was going to be due! Thankfully I finished it in time and also thought it would be a good opportunity to document my blocking process for felt hats.

This is what works for me; blocking hats is a bit of an organic process so take and use whatever is helpful for you.

Knitting finished, pre-felting

The hat with knitting finished, pre-felting. I like to put this into a mesh laundry wash bag for the fulling process to help catch the shedded fibers. To felt the hat, place your washing machine on the hottest setting with the highest amount of agitation. Keep checking on the hat until it’s felted to your liking. I also like to take mine out when checking it and run it under ice-cold water to “shock” it into felting more/denser. Once it’s felted satisfactorily I let it run in the spin cycle briefly to just make sure it’s not sopping wet. You still want it damp though so don’t let it run too long.

Next, take the hat and place it on your chosen blocking surface. I recommend these Styrofoam heads/wig stands available inexpensively at most beauty supply stores (unless you just happen to have a real wooden milliners hat block, you lucky thing). Run your hands from top down along all the sides, smoothing the fibers down into place. Keep doing this as you work, it creates a smoother surface texture.

Then grab the bottom sides and pull it down snugly over the form. Repeat around all bottom sides, stretching it over the head block.

Start forming the hat into your desired shape, or it’s desired shape. Each hat will be slightly different and want to “do its own thing”. Just keep working with it. I flip up the shortest brim edge for the back. I’m also not above trying on a damp hat over a plastic bag on my head, no really.

To hold the edge of the sides in from where the brim flares out I tie a string around it. You could also use large wide rubber bands, a strip of cloth, anything that will hold the hat down in place.

Keep working the strand down into the place where you’d like it and pin it.

Add pins where ever the hat needs support. I pin through both layers in the folded up back as well as under the brim into the Styrofoam to hold up the front brim away from the head.

Now let it dry, preferably under a fan, until it is completely dry. Once it is, try on your new creation and start dreaming up what trimmings you’d like to add to it. If for some reason the hat isn’t quite the shape you would like it, no worries. You can always re-block it! Either dampen the inside of the hat with a wet sponge, or generously steam it with a steam iron and repeat the process. Felt if very malleable when wet, don’t be afraid to really work, stretch and pull it into submission.

The finished hat! I trimmed mine with a feather plume, thin black grosgrain ribbon and a silver button. I also like to give my felted hats a little shave before adding decorations, which I’ve posted about before.

The back view, with the flipped up brim. Mine stays in place just fine once dry but if you feel your hat could use a little extra structure/stiffness you can spray the inside with a fabric stiffener.

I was quite pleased with how this one turned out and almost sad to part with it, but I know it’s going to a great cause and hopefully a happy new home. :-)

Pattern: Evelyn Tilt Hat by pieKnits
Yarn: Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool in Nature’s Brown
Needles: US 11 (8.0 mmm), US 13 (9.0 mm)

Vintage finds and A Little Mohair

Fuzzy flower!

I’ve had a ball of some pretty mohair in the stash for awhile, waiting for the right pattern, when I found this one for a Mohair Corsage.

Mohair flower corsage

I made two lyers for this. First layer followed the pattern, for the second layer I cast on only 74 sts. Added some beads and sewed on the pin back and viola, super fast easy accessory.

Vintage flea market finds, my first vintage hat!

I also recently went to a vintage market and came home with some goodies, including my first ever actual vintage hat. I love it! It’s rather a tall tilt hat, with a 30s/40s look but also would, I think, work for victorian. Other finds include an animal print scarf and a sterling silver feather pin.

New Pattern: Evelyn Tilt Hat

Evelyn Vintage Tilt Hat Knitting Pattern

Inspired by all the fantastic hats of the 1930s-1940s, this tilt hat uses short row shaping and blocking to get its distinct vintage lines.
The short rows flare out the front while the back brim is flipped up.

This design managed to felt up just right on the first go (after several ripping and recalculating during the knitting process). My felt hat obsession is starting to pay off, ha!

The real key in any fulled hat is in the blocking. I really recommend getting an inexpensive Styrofoam “wig form” head at a beauty supply store to block and pin the hat on it. You want to work with the hat still damp from the felting process, shaping it onto the form, and pinning the brim how you would like. For this hat the back is folded up and pinned through both layers. And in the front I put pins into the foam head under the brim to lift it up so it flares out from the body of the hat. Once it dries it will hold this shape (or with a little extra spray starch or fabric stiffener for more extreme angles/curves).

UPDATE: I’ve posted a more detailed tutorial on my blocking process for this hat here.

Back view

Any felt-able worsted weight yarn held doubled can be used for this, or equivalent one strand of super bulky yarn. Two strands of Patons Classic Wool was used here. I also like to give it a little shave post-felting, as I have previously posted about.

1930s inspired felt hat

This is finished with a grosgrain ribbon twisted around to conform to the hat shape and a vintage clear button.

Side view and ribbon detail

The instant download rundown -after payment via Paypal you will be given a link to download the pattern. This link will also be emailed to you and will expire 30 minutes after the first time it is used. For any questions about the pattern or whole download process please shoot me an email me at- jen@pieknits.com!

Pattern previewPattern: Evelyn – Vintage Tilt Hat (Ravelry link)
Gauge: 12 sts and 16 rows = 4″ in St st on smaller needles before felting but gauge not important. Any worsted weight yarn held doubled will work.
Needle sizes: US Size 13 (9mm): 16″ circular. US Size 11 (8mm): 16″ circular and double pointed needles
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool (100% Wool; 210yds/192m per 100g/3.5 oz. skein) Color: #00226 Black; 1 skein (Yarn held doubled)
Skill level: Advanced Beginner (working in the round, short rows, felting)
Price: $3.75
Format: PDF instant download pattern

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Swap

I received my swap package from my partner for the 1950s Inspired Swap I participated in on craftster.org! This was actually my first craft swap (an irresistible theme) and a great experience. I think it really helps to get some creative ideas going and to try a few different things too.

Fair warning, lots of photos to follow.

First up some beautiful cloth napkins, adorable crocheted flower (I’m so rocking
this hair accessory) and the most amazing tie purse in a tiki-esque
print. I love it! (This picture does not do it justice either.)

Vintage style romper, how cute is this?! Just in time for our seemingly never ending 100+ degree heat wave.

Vintage style romper

Embellishment detail

Embellishment detail

And an altered polka dot (my fav!) tee with bow sleeves.

Altered polka dot tee

And now the parade of items I made for the Swap.

Needle book from some thrifted vintage fabric I had. I’m getting more and more confident in my beginner sewing abilities. Now I need to make one of these for myself, handy!

Needle Book

Another pillbox version of my Dose design, this time in teal (my swap partner’s favorite color). It’s easy to play with the demisions of this pattern. This one is probably in between the original and the shorter, wider version I made before. It has loops sewn inside for bobby pins and little teal polka dot bows for trim.

Teal pill box hat with polka dot bows

Dose pillbox pattern in teal

A pair of lace and “pearl” earrings. The lace is needle tatted from fine crochet cotton.
I acutally just free formed this simple design.

"Pearl" and tatted lace earrings

Retro makeup bag in Classic Elite’s Sundance with a vintage glass button closure. This was a nice interesting knit that went relatively fast. It was great for traveling.

Retro makeup bag

Another piece I may have to recreate for myself, it was hard to part with, haa. This little fascinator/cocktail hat was actually salvaged from a failed felting project that I had saved for that purpose. Cut the base out from it, attached the furry leopard print ribbon and made a little bow from ribbon and netting.

Little cocktail hat

Cocktail leopard print hat

Aaaand the whole kit n’ caboodle with some small gifties for her little boy and a teal flower broach.

1950s Inspired Swap package

FO: Ribbed Lace Bolero

What’s this? Two Finished Objects in a row? Maybe the world really is ending.

With several vintage style dresses scored recently I also wanted a retro styled bolero. They’re great for chilly offices and a little extra cover-up for sleeveless dress. I’ve had this pattern, Ribbled Lace Bolero, in my queue for some time and glad I finally got to making it.

It’s a great little pattern, no wonder it’s popular. I really liked the attention to detail such as the use of cables to make the ribbing transitions match. This type of knitting was perfect for TV watching and traveling too, easy to memorize

Ribbed Lace Bolero

I followed the pattern basically as written using her example measurements and Lion Brand Cotton-ease. I think I could have left out a lace repeat or two. I was worried about it being tight around the arm (I have big upper arms, meh) but it’s so stretchy that it’s no problem at all. It could have been a little shorter/tighter in the back length though but that’s a small quibble. I did cast-on in the combined knit/purl long tail method as I usually do and didn’t use the suggested bind-off, just the usual way in pattern.

FO: Monophonic Hat

When I found out a friend was visiting from Utah and so near his B-day I knew I wanted to make him a hat. Men’s hat selections are always a bit tricky. I like to make something interesting (both as an FO and the actual knitting process) but guys seem to typically lean towards the simple/plain side. But this pattern was a perfect find.

Monophonic Hat

It’s the Monophonic Hat pattern by Erica Jackofsky of Fiddle Knits and part of the Musical Minds Collection. All the hats in this set are great actually.
Even more perfect as the recipient is currently working on his PHD in music composition. (Check out his music page on Facebook!)

This is the Purl version in M/L. A fun, interesting and honestly pretty quick knit too. It uses short rows to shape the hat so the gathered crown decreases sit at the back of the head instead of the top. This hat was passed around and tried on by many and I have to say there wasn’t anyone (guy or girl) who didn’t look great in it. A perfect amount of slouch to this.

And most importantly the b-day boy seemed to like it. :) I may yet actually get a photo of him in it. Hopefully it’ll keep him nice and warm while biking to school next semester.

Tilt Topper

I could wear this hat everyday <3

Project Path for this hat:

  • While thrifting, find and fall in love with fantastic 40′s era reproduction dress
  • Decide it needs a hat to go with it (this should surprise no one)
  • Troll through Etsy’s vintage hats
  • Find inspiration photo
  • Find knitting pattern (Deb’s Derby) for jumping off point
  • Raid stash for wool yarn (Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool)
  • Form a rough plan (slightly smaller around, shorter crown, short rows for asymmetrical brim) and just start knitting
  • Felt and shape on styrofoam head block
  • Embellish with black grosgrain ribbon and felt swallow cutout
  • Put it on and never want to take it off

Swallow detail

Detail shot of the felt swallow bird cutout, I really love how it turned out. I wanted a less formal, more day wear look for this and thus no extravagant flowers or feathers. I really like the simplicity.

Vintage inspired 30s/40s tilt topper hat

For my first run at it, I am so stoked with how close to the original inspiration photo this turned out. This is my first time working with Fisherman’s Wool and I have to say it felts beautifully. I may even prefer it to my usual Patons Classic Wool Merino, sadly it has limited colors.

New hat to go with my "new" thrifted dress

This was a fun, very organic process- although really I probably should have written down my notes/changes to try other variations. You never remember as much as you think you will. But where’s the fun with no experimentation?

Pattern mods added after the jump >>

Read more »

Free Pattern: Double Knit Sampler Coin Purse

The Bluebonnet Knitting Guild has been nice enough to ask me back to present my Double Knitting program and I’m always happy to spread the double knit love around. Last time I had worked up a little project and pattern as a type of sampler to learn some of the different techniques I discussed. I had originally hoped to do a longer workshop on it, but alas it did not come together. I did however have a nearly completed pattern already written and had wanted to dust if off and put together in a finished publishable format – this was the perfect motivation I needed!

Double Knit Sampler Coin Purse

If you would like a bit of a Double Knit Primer- refer to the first part of my DK Button Band tutorial.

While swatching is great, I wanted to have an actual useful item when finished trying these different methods, thus the coin purse. The body of the purse is worked back and forth on two needles with a single strand of yarn and produces a tube like circular knitting, but with a closed bottom. The pattern offers three different options for the closed tube cast-on.

The recommended option is working this part “inside-out” or in Reverse Stockinette Stitch. There are a couple reasons for this. First, this method doesn’t require you to move the working yarn from front to back as you work, simpler and less likely you’ll accidentally miss one and hook your sides together making the tube impossible to open. Second, you can work the pair of stitches as one (details in pattern) and this goes faster
(If you would prefer to work it so you can see the knit stitches as you go, this option is also given).

"Opening the tube"

Once done with this section, you’re ready to “open the tube”. Using two needles you place alternating stitches on each, so one side of fabric is on each needle.

Tube now open and reversed right side out

Viola! A knitted “in the round” tube worked back and forth on two needles. Here it has been flipped right side out and ready to continue on to the two color flap.

Prototype

A slightly smaller prototype version, with another chart example. There are 9 different chart options in the pattern. Optional shaping is also covered.

Pattern previewPattern: Double Knit Sampler Coin Purse
Gauge: 16 sts and 24 rows = 4″ in Double Knit Sockinette st. (Exact gauge not important)
Size: 2 ½” wide and 2 ¾” tall
Needle sizes: US Size 6 (4mm) double-pointed needles
Yarn: Any worsted weight yarn or similar in two contrasting colors [Main Color (MC) and Contrast Color (CC)]
Skill level: Intermediate
Price: FREE
Format: PDF format digital pattern
 

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