Fall is upon us, and we felt the need for something toasty!
Almas is knit seamlessly in the round from the top down. It can act as a shoulder/bust warmer for a brisk walk in the woods, or can be scrunched up and worn as a cowl paired with your favorite winter coat. We like the rustic quality that Deluxe DK Tweed Superwash gives this cozy piece.
As a short poncho or capelet, it can be worn collar up or down, as you wish.
With just a touch of stranded knitting, this project is a nice introduction to the Fair Isle method of changing colors in your work.
We loved the way this simple color-changing scarf looked, so we knitted up several options to see how it looked in different colors. It was no hardship. The pattern is easy enough for a beginner and is worked on US size 10 1/2 needles in our Deluxe Bulky Superwash wool.
I’m a sucker for blues and greens, so the five-color version in those tones really speaks to me. Those who want to go bolder might try the six-color version, shown in purple, pink, and green. And those who want something classic and understated can knit the three-color version in shades of white and gray.
We’re not kidding when we say the welting pattern on this is easy. It’s a four row repeat knitted flat which goes: knit a row, purl a row, purl a row, knit a row. Great for beginners, or for those who want a project to knit that doesn’t require their full attention. (I still haven’t gotten to see the latest season of Sherlock; this would be ideal for that!)
As I look at this scarf, I also wonder how it would look with a couple of different colors of a self-shading yarn, like Poems Chunky. I’ve been searching for the perfect project for our newest color.
Luscious, right? Well, we also did a long version, for those who like to loop their cowls around.
This version uses one skein of Deluxe Worsted wool as a backdrop for the variegated Bamboo Bloom. We chose a more subdued color palette for this combo. The large version is the same height as the small, but twice as long. Here are the stats! FINISHED MEASUREMENTS
Needles: US Size 11 (8 mm) 32” circular needle or size needed to obtain gauge
Notions: Stitch marker, tapestry needle
We’re loving this pattern and are having a great time with other color combinations as well. Here’s one that features two hanks of Bamboo Bloom Handpaints in 311 Bonsai and two skeins of Wisdom Yarns Poems in 602 Bruges.
The pattern is a simple linen stitch that you can easily master. In the coming days, we’ll be sharing other color combinations in this rewarding pattern.
The first step was to interface all of my handwoven fabric. I got enough lightweight fusible interfacing for all my yardage. The reason for doing this is so that when I cut into the fabric for my pattern pieces, it will prevent the edges from coming unwoven.
Two jackets-worth of pattern pieces and lining is a LOT of cutting!
Every bit of fabric is precious since I wove it, so a certain strategy is involved when laying out those pattern pieces.
With the interfacing on the back of my fabric, it made it easy to make pattern markings and actually be able to see them.
I used a special foot on my sewing machine called a “walking foot” for some of the bulky seams. It helps to manage bulky layers of fabric so that they feed evenly through the machine.
Sewing moto jackets requires a lot of coffee.
Since this is a weaving column, I’m taking it easy on sharing every single detail of the sewing process. But zipper installation fascinates me, so here are some in-progess shots of the pocket zippers. Above, I’m sewing the lining onto the right side of the fabric.
Then the pocket opening is slashed down the center.
Next, the lining fabric gets pulled to the wrong side and pressed. It’s so clean and tidy looking!
And finally the zipper is pinned underneath and sewn down. I love a good zipper installation. Which is good, since each jacket requires 5 zippers. Whew!
Here we have something that is actually beginning to resemble clothing. Yay!
If you’re planning on being at TNNA in San Jose this weekend, stop by the booth and check out the finished jackets. Otherwise, I’ll be back on the blog next week for final photos and wrap-up.
And the adventure continues! You can read the first two posts in my moto jacket series here and here.
After warping my loom with my monstrously long and wide warp – 280″ long x 36″ wide using Deluxe DK Tweed Superwash, I was delighted to weave the fabric. I wove the same herringbone pattern that I used in my sampler scarf (seen here).
This piece of fabric I’m weaving will be for two jackets. My warp is color 414 Charcoal in Deluxe DK Tweed, and the photo below shows color 413 Smoke as the weft.
Back when I was winding my warp, I thought to tie some bright thread around some of the warp threads at the halfway point. I’m going to be changing my weft color halfway through since the jackets will be slightly different in color. This thread reminds me it’s time to switch colors!
Not too long into the second half of my warp, I realized I had a couple of problems. I managed to mis-thread two heddles, which resulted in a glitch in the patterning. See below for one example.
I could have fixed the problem right there – I could have broken the warp thread, threaded an afterthought heddle and tied on a new strand, but I opted to leave the mistakes in place and fix them after the fact.
If I had noticed sooner, I would have fixed them right away. But because I had made it this far and knew I’d be doing some repair work anyway, I figured I might as well do the whole length at the same time.
After cutting my fabric from the loom, I simply knotted the warp ends together – no hemstitching. I then zig-zagged the edges with my sewing machine, and also sewed lines at the halfway point. I figured it would be a lot easier dealing with two 3 yard pieces of fabric rather than a 6 yard piece. I then cut the fabric apart at that halfway point.
After my two halves were cut apart, I threaded a tapestry needle and wove the correct placement for my mistaken threading. It was a little tedious, but very doable and wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it might be.
And here are my yardages basking in the sunlight prior to washing. I threw both of the pieces of fabric into my machine and washed and dried them on gentle cycles. Because I wove a fairly dense fabric, the fabric changed very little after finishing. But I already knew that would be the case since I was a good little weaver and did a sampling first.
My jacket will be made from the stack on the left – gray on gray fabric, teal lining, and gray zippers. Yonca chose cream to go with her gray for the fabric, matching gray lining, and bold lipstick red zippers.
My goal is to be finished with these jackets by next weekend’s TNNA. So if you’re planning on attending, stop by our booth and check them out. Otherwise, I’ll be back in a couple of weeks here on the blog with all the sewing details.
With the holidays upon us, I know many of you are busy plugging away at gift projects. Me? I’m as selfishly knitting as ever and just finished my modified Wesley Heights. Though I finished knitting the pieces and seaming the sweater many weeks ago, I just sewed in my zipper, and I’m going to show you how.
As a reminder, this is our ongoing blog series covering projects from the Deluxe Cable Collection. You can learn more about the knitalong by reading previous blog posts here, viewing the collection here, and joining our Ravelry group here.
I basically knit the Wesley Heights pullover, but followed instructions for the Greensboro Cardigan for collar and zipper facings. Stitches for the collar are picked up around the neck edge and knit upward. Then, the first and last 6 stitches of the collar are continued to form the zipper facings.
It’s important to block your knitting before measuring for the zipper length and installing it. Zippers and knitting can be tricky, since zipper tape is typically woven and non-stretchy. But I’m going to show you what you can do to avoid the puckery zipper look.
Open up your sweater and measure along the front opening from the very bottom edge to the top of the collar. I like to leave a small margin of about 1/4″ at the top and bottom before the zipper begins and after it ends. Mark with a pencil or with pins (as shown) where the zipper tape needs to be cut.
Next, we’re going to pretty-up that cut edge. I’m using a plastic zipper in the photo below. This method works great for a zipper with metal teeth, too. With pliers, carefully remove the 2 teeth from the top of the tape. If your metal zipper came with a stop (which looks like a metal tab), you can remove it from the piece you cut off and reattach to the newly shortened zipper.
Then, take a lighter or other flame and carefully melt the end of the tape. This will not work for a cotton zipper tape – it only works on polyester, nylon, acrylic – something that will melt when burned. Be careful, you want to barely melt the end just to stop the fraying of the tape where you cut it.
If you have a cotton or plant fiber tape, fold under the end and sew it down.
This next step probably isn’t necessary for this particular zipper installation since my zipper will be sandwiched between the sweater and knitted zipper facing. But I’ve been burned before with forgetfully sliding my zipper off the top of the tape, so I like to do everything possible to prevent that! By whip stitching around the top of the tape just above the teeth, this will prevent the zipper from sliding off. Or if you had a metal zipper with a zipper stop and reinstalled it, there is no need for this step.
Next, unzip your zipper (you did buy a separating zipper, right?) and lay out the appropriate sides on their respective fronts.
Triple check your zipper placement!
Next, pin your zipper to the sweater front. Ignore the facing for now. It’s much easier to pin it to the sweater front first and then add the facing. Begin by pinning the upper and lower edges of the zipper to the sweater. Then add in pins at halfway points between other pins until the whole thing is pinned down. Use lots of pins – you can never have too many pins!
After the front is fully pinned to the zipper tape, one by one, remove a pin and add in the knitted facing. The zipper tape will be sandwiched between the front of the sweater and the zipper tape. You’ll want to leave a margin sticking out a little bit beyond the zipper teeth so that the knitting doesn’t get caught when you’re using the zipper.
Use thread that matches or will blend in with the color of your yarn. Take small stitches and go slowly. You are sewing through 3 layers, so take care and make sure the needle is entering and exiting the fabric where you want it. I kept 1 stitch in stockinette on my edges, so I’m using that as my guide for where to sew.
I use a running stitch, but make a back stitch every inch or two – basically whenever I remember.
Once the zipper tape is sewn to the sweater, it’s time to sew the other edge of the facing down. I left long ends when I bound off my facing for this very purpose. I also split the yarn in half to reduce bulk for the seam.
Once all your sewing is done, give the facings a light steam inside and out, and you’re done!
I love putting on a new sweater! And I’m lazy, so having a zipper is a big draw for me. Sometimes I like a buttoned sweater. But I like being able to zip and unzip a cardigan makes me happy. And pockets. And cozy!
How are your Deluxe Cable Collection projects coming along?