Archive for October, 2010

Free pattern: Burberrish Cowl (aka how to reverse engineer a cable pattern)

October 18, 2010

I can’t take full credit for the pattern here.  Someone else designed the original cable pattern and the lovely garment you shall see at the end of this post was made by the friend who initially started off the experiment in reverse engineering. The fabulous choice of yarn and colour is all his.

Some weeks ago, over some knitting and fine cake, a friend showed me a picture of a cowl he loved and wanted to be able to make.  The original cowl also costs a few hundred pounds from a designer store.   It also had a fairly intricate cable pattern built into it, so was not something that you could get from a traditional pattern library to adapt.  Some reverse engineering was required.  The internet handily provided a nice flat image of the cowl so I could see what was going on.

Now, I don’t know how anyone else goes about reverse engineering a cable pattern, but I used coloured pencils.  A cable is basically sets of stitches which are entwined.  It’s like plaiting.  In this picture, I could see that there were four strands in the cable, and that each strand was three stitches wide. So, I set to work with my pencils, one colour for each strand, to trace where they crossed each other.  Sometimes a strand crossed two other strands, which meant that there were 9 stitches in the cable crossover. As the crossing strand went to the front, this meant it was documented as C9F.  Sometimes the travelling strand crossed all of the other strands, making a C12F.  From there on in, it was a simple matter of counting the vs in each column to get the row count.

The full pattern is available as a Ravelry download and from here for those of you who haven’t found Ravelry yet. And here is the end result. Doesn’t he look marvellous in it?

My little red dress

October 18, 2010

I was away in Whitstable for the weekend from Friday to Sunday.  It’s a weekend trip that I’ve done a couple of times before with some knitting friends.  We hire a gorgeous cottage overlooking the sea and spend our time eating, drinking and knitting.

This time, however, there was a difference.  Over drinks a couple of months back, we decided that it would be a laugh to have a colour coded night where we went out to dinner each dressed from head to toe in a theme colour.  I got red.  Now, this was a stroke of luck as I could identify that I had a red coat, 3 pairs of red shoes, red hair and (I thought) a red dress.  But it turned out that, when I tried on the dress on Wednesday evening, it was a) a little bit too cheap burlesque looking and b) didn’t go with the style of my coat and hair. So, Thursday required emergency action.

Help came in the form of a tunic dress from Primark and some trimming from McCulloch and Wallis.  Here’s the dress before

Now, the first thing that springs to mind when looking at the dress is OMG! Bling! Horror! But, I spotted that underneath the bling was a nice simple 1960s style tunic dress.  So, I had a little look at the finishing of the dress in the shop and, sure enough, cheap finishing meant all those studs were quite loosely sewn on so could be easily removed.

The next step was a little trip to McCulloch and Wallis, as it was handily close by.  I got myself some charcoal grey crocheted wool ribbon. It had handy little rounded flowers in the lace pattern. I though this would make an excellent basis for a peter pan collar. I do like a little peter pan collar. So, I bought some. I made the collar.  It was easy.  Here’s the end result.

Pants!

October 3, 2010

If you were to speak to my boyfriend, he would tell you of his conviction that I am trying to stab him to death very slowly.  You see, I have never really used a pincushion. The pins and needles stay in their boxes when not in use and, as I usually do my handsewing sat on the sofa, I find that the arm of the sofa forms a pretty damn good pincushion.  D does not agree when he puts his arm down on a forgotten pin or needle.

So, spurred on by an idea I formed while working with a couple of friends on a soon-to-be revealed project yesterday, I decided to make a pincushion. It looks like pants. Why not?


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