You know, I wasn't sure where to put this post because technically I haven't made this project. But, I have decided to label my husband as an extension of myself in this regard, and since the project was done for me, I think it is fair to put it on my project page. Now that that has been cleared up to everyone's satisfaction, let me give you the tiny bit of back story that led up to this amazing project.
I want to get more into weaving as a craft. I have my rigid heddle, which I love and have by no means exhausted, but I also wanted to get involved in some larger projects with different pattern options. With this in mind, my husband and I started to shopping around for a loom. It was not long before we discovered purchasing a loom is very expensive business. It was a fact we already had bouncing around in the backs of our heads, but the point wasn't driven home until we actually intended to buy one.
It makes sense they are expensive, in some respects, since many looms are really gorgeous pieces of handcrafted furniture that double as a crafting device. But it is hard to justify spending that much money on something I do not yet know if I will even enjoy in the long term. We don't have thousands of dollars to drop on something that might prove a passing fancy. (My mother is notorious for buying gobs of crafting gear only to find that it is not a craft she is passionate about. Needless to say, there is a lot of dusty stain glass equipment, ceramics gear, every cross stitch thread color imaginable, garment design aides...and none of it is going anywhere because she is adamant she loves it all. I think there was a valuable lesson for me in the craft hoarding.) Long story short, I sadly decided that perhaps a larger loom would just have to wait until it was realistically in our financial reach. It made me sad, but it felt like the responsible thing to do.
Well, my wonderful husband did not let the issue rest. He went on a search for something that was affordable for us. In his internet meanderings, he came across a book called Building a 4-shaft PVC Loom, by David Holly which I've linked to its webpage. (It is available as a $10.00 Nook Book.) My husband bought the book and built the loom for my birthday. How awesome is that?
Now, my birthday was Monday and I haven't yet had the chance to try out this neat table top loom, but this weekend has a nice chunk of time carved out for that purpose. (Plus we need to find a better place than the living room floor for this PVC creation.) It has all the functionality of a wooden table top loom, but only cost a little over $250 to make. I watched the whole process as my husband (aided by our two toddlers armed with toy hammers) put the loom together. I must say, it really has given me a deeper understanding of the mechanics behind this style loom and familiarized me with much of the terminology that I probably would have been lazy about learning had I just bought a manufactured loom. This is a 4-shaft jack style loom with pulls on the top. The only parts not purchased at our home improvement store were the reed, special rope and the heddles. (All of these parts were easily available from The Woolery. I think they are popular parts for loom restoration.) The weaving width is 24", which is a perfectly good place to start for me. It gives me almost ten additional inches over my rigid heddle.
My husband did say there were a few errors in the book. It is a self-published how-to, so keeping that in mind, it is still a wonderful resource and great that Mr. Holly shared is idea with the world. (However, if you plan to make one yourself, make sure you've packed some patience in your tool bag.) My husband also made some small modifications of his own. Working only on weekends and impeded frequently by the helping hands of our kids, this loom only took 2.5 weekends to make. I am so excited to get my first project warped and ready to go! What a special birthday present this was. I know it will keep my satisfied and learning tons for at least a few years. And maybe by then I'll have enough money squirreled away that I can buy whatever floor loom my heart desires. One can only hope. :-)
I do not crochet, unless I do. There are occasions that call for me to put down my needles and pick up a hook, and this little Yoshi was one such occasion. My son recently acquired the Nintendo game "Yoshi's Wooly World," which is a fiber inspired adventure of little knitted and crocheted creations. (Perhaps it makes me a bad parent, but it was the only way I could get him to sit on the potty long enough to poo. Now the opposite problem is true and I have to set a timer so he doesn't stay on the potty indefinitely.) My son, hands down, loves this game. Mostly because it is just a fun, well-made game. However, he also enjoys that it is yarn themed. Sometimes he leaps off the potty to run and show me some new yarn creature or puzzle he has found.
Well, now, how could I not find a pattern to make him his own yarn Yoshi? A quick search on Ravelry produced this gem. My son got to pick all of the colors for his own, custom Yoshi. He went with an orange body with blue and yellow shoes. I stuck with the traditional red shell and white accents. However, as it often happens when you want to do something fairly fast, the yarn colors he wanted were not available in the prescribed yarn weights...so I went up a size to worsted weight with a bulky weight white. My Yoshi probably sits about 4.5 inches instead of 2.5 inches in height. I was sort of bumbling around to figure out what hook size would then be appropriate, and I think I might have chosen wrong. I went with a 6.00 mm size J hook. This was right in the middle of the recommended hook sizes for the yarn I purchased.
While the Yoshi is still adorable, I think the crochet holes (I'm not sure what to call them) are a little big. If you look closely, you can see the stuffing. I think had I chosen a smaller hook, it would have tightened up the stitch and made a more solid Yoshi. This is good to know, my son wants more Yoshis in different colors now...I'm preparing to create a rainbow Yoshi army.
The project itself was very fast. I finished the Yoshi in two days with only evening, casual crochet sessions. This is pretty good, considering I do not crochet. This means if you do crochet, you could probably whip up this little guy in no time at all! I know there are mistakes on my Yoshi, but I think, by and large, it turned out really well. (Really well meaning you can tell he is Yoshi.)
Summary: This was a quick, cute crochet project with a solid set of written instructions. As I have said many times, I do not crochet, so if I could create this little cutie, you have to know the designer did a good job explaining how to put this Yoshi together. If you have a Nintendo fan in your family (or you yourself enjoy Yoshi) this is a great, fun project that is sure to make you smile.
Do you ever have an obnoxious bundle of yarn in your stash? You know, the kind of yarn that was bought for a specific project that left too much behind...and it's yarn you are never going to use again? I felt this kind of a dismay at a collection of bulky weight wool yarns that were occupying a bin in my closet. Did I have to count these as part of my stash? I felt like they were unfairly counting against me, taking up space and not bringing my fiber joy. What I needed was one of those stash busting projects, so here is what I came up with. I was going to make a little cover for my favorite mugs. They are lovely mugs, but they do not have handles and get quite hot on the outside when you pour tea in them. They were in desperate need of a mug hug.
For some time, I've been wanting to try a heavier weight yarn on my rigid heddle loom. I decided this was the perfect opportunity- it was a quick way to use up some of this yarn I had long ago fell out of love while gaining some experience on my little loom. I looked up which heddle size would be most appropriate for my yarn, and it landed right in between the 5 dent and the 8 dent heddles. Because my end goal was to felt the fabric I created, I thought perhaps a 5 dent would allow more space for a successful felting. So, long story a little less long, I went with the 5 dent.
Then, because it was a small project and why not, I wanted to do a houndstooth design. That can be created by alternating colors in a 2x2 fashion in both the warp and the weft. (You can do other number than a 2x2, but that is the most basic combination that should yield a houndstooth.) I warped 8 inches across the center of my heddle with alternating blue and brown yarn. Then, I used the same blue and brown for the weft. Well, I did not get a houndstooth at all. Instead, I got a nice wavy line in alternating colors. I think perhaps my warp threads were too far apart to make the pattern work, and as such, I got a weft facing project. That means my weft yarn essentially hid my warp yarn, making it impossible to get a houndstooth appearance. No worries, though, this was all an experiment anyway. I am thinking if I try this again (since I still have too much of this yarn left over to be happy) I will try the 8-dent reed and see if my theory is correct.
If you are looking at the above photos and wondering what color this thing actually was, the one on the top left is the most accurate depiction of the true colors. The other two show off the fabric quite nicely, but I took them under the light in the kitchen, which is awfully yellow and makes for strange results in pictures. With the fabric done, though, I moved on to phase 2- felting. I threw my yard 8 x 36" swatch of fabric in the wash on hot and then dried it on high heat. I repeated this process twice. I got a fairly nice felting, but honestly, it could have been better. I took some pictures from the side so the thickening would be obvious. The fabric cut without fraying, but I did not trust it to stay that way.
Because I did not trust the edges not to fray on the top and bottom, I took some more of this distasteful yarn in yet another color (what was I thinking when I bought so much of this stuff) and simply wrapped the edges in a chunky stitch. Using this as an opportunity to also create a way to fasten this mug hug around my mug, I left tails with the yellow yarn to use to tie the mug hug closed. I debated using buttons with this, and I might see what that is like on the next little hug, but for this first one, I thought I'd keep it pure. This was a pure stash bust, no other materials allowed.
However, the way it fastens allows me to use this little hug on a mug that has a handle, so that's cool. At the end of the day, I'd say this is an ugly little mug hug...but it's ugly in a cute, homey kind of way. I am debating seeing what would happen if I felted it again, what that would do to the stitching on the top is intriguing to me. But then I figure it might naturally felt itself with all of the moisture and heat of many cups of tea. This project was fast and I am proud of myself for finding a use for that yarn. Waste not, want not. I am pretty sure my mom used to say that a lot when I was growing up.
And now, it's time for a cup of tea.
I am feeling a little behind in my projects. I think that happens when I get overly ambitious and have too many projects going at once. They all are moving forward, they are just moving forward at a snail's pace. Does that happen to other people? I mean, with all of the beautiful yarn and all of those lovely patterns out there, the temptation is too great to cast-on just one more. And sadly, I have non-knitting projects piling up, too! It's really getting out of hand. Someone should really sit me down and have a talk with me.
My favorite of my in progress projects is the Belfast cardigan I am knitting for my husband. (I am ignoring the love sweater curse. Besides, this is a cardigan. I am convinced cardigans don't count toward the curse.) It is my first project with such extensive cable work, and it is very fun to see the cables really start to pop. The tubular cast on for the bottom edge has me a little freaked out- it is a tubular cast-on I've never seen before. Apparently I will be perfectly fine to just remove the provisional cast-on yarn and my stitches will be safe without have to pick anything up on another needle...I'm nervously skeptical. Many hours of work have gone into the little bit of the sweater I have completed- it's a recurring nightmare that it will unravel from the bottom up when I remove the waste thread! Give me chills right now just typing about it.
Then there is the modified "Auburn Top" sweater I am working on for myself. Truth be told, I have not knitted past the bottom ribbing there is so much other knitting going on. I am also working on my Quicksilver shawl that is a hold over from my fall knitting list. If I finish that list by the end of winter, I'll be feeling pretty good. I like to work on this shawl at night when my husband reads to me. The only trouble is we are currently in between books, so not a lot is happening with my shawl. What needs to happen is I need to just carve out some time for the shawl and knock it out. It is a lovely, simple pattern that does not require a lot of focus. A few TV watching nights with this baby would get it done in no time at all.
I've also got a few putsy little projects laying around. I'm knitting a tie for my husband, I'm still working on a mitered square blanket for my son, and there are the hats. It is not my intention to make any political statements on the site, my knitting blog is just for knitting. But these hats are knitted, squishy, bright and delightful. I made one for my aunt and myself. Even if you do not support the movement, perhaps you can appreciate the huge outpour of craftivism. It is truly amazing what we can do when out knitting needles unite. I actually really enjoyed knitting with the single ply Preciosa from KnitPicks, too. I have a more detailed review of that yarn if you are interested.
I think it might be necessary for me to put a moratorium on picking up new projects and finish these. I clearly have a problem. I'd love to hear what projects you're working on and if you have a similar problem as I do. Let's just make ourselves some tea and get to knitting.
I think the most important discussion here would be to talk about what exactly a "color gamp" is. When I first heard the term, my reaction was huh? It is really quite simple, though, and is a great tool for anyone in the fiber arts. When you weave, there is a relationship between the color of your warp and the color of your weft. Unlike when you use paint, the colors of the warp and weft do not mix. They create what can be referred to as an optical blend. Think of it as tiny little pixels all butted up next to one another. You can pick out the individual hues, but step back, and they start to blend together.
This blend is really important as you plan your projects. Are you making kitchen towels? Would that blue color you chose for the weft look better on green warp or an orange warp? What would the difference be? Does it make any difference at all? That is where a color gamp comes in. A color gamp is a sampler, or a study in color, that you weave. It can be referenced again and again and is a very handy thing to have in your workspace. There are some really beautiful color gamps out there, and you can play around with patterns and colors. It's worth a google image search to see the lovely gamps people have created. However, for my little rigid heddle loom, I chose to follow the instructions of Inventive Weaving book by Syne Mitchell for a traditional color gamp in pure hues.
Another skill I was interested in learning when making this color gamp was weaving a fine cloth on my rigid heddle. For practical reasons, the heddles on rigid heddle looms can only go down to 16 ends per inch and many stop at 12 ends per inch. Does this mean an artist on a rigid heddle loom cannot achieve the look/feel of garment fabric? No, of course not. Brilliant weavers out there came up with a clever and quick fix- use two heddles. Then, with two 12 ends per inch heddles, you can achieve a 24 ends per inch fabric.
There are resources out there that will show you what thread needs to go where in a two-heddle plain weave configuration. When threading the two heddles, you will end up with one thread in each hole of both heddles and three threads in each slot.
This project is small and works up very quickly. Threading the heddles probably took the longest, as you end up with 360 ends that all need to go in their particular places. Then, you do have to keep in mind that you have 20 colors that will need to be wound on to your shuttle stick. There are only eleven passes of each color, but you still have to stop and start a lot. I haven't yet washed my little beauty. I'm a little nervous. But really, I think it will look even better once it gets a good wash and I iron it out. This is a tool I am very glad I took the time to make.
And all of the colors make me smile to look at, so regardless of how much a use it as a tool in color theory, it makes me happy.
Happy New Year, everyone! It is officially 2017 and I have very high hopes of this being a fabulous knitting year. I always like to take some time to reflect, however, on knitting I've accomplished over the last year. Perhaps the greatest learning moments come from my most blundered of blunders. The biggest blunder I had in 2016 actually happened to be a weaving opposed to knitting project. To say it was a misadventure may be putting it lightly. Is sure was something, I'll tell you about it here.
For Christmas this year, I decided I wanted to up my handmade gift item count. Then I went a little crazy making hats and matching mittens for my sister. Because I was making her handmade gifts, I thought it would be nice to make something for her husband as well. I saw this neat idea of making a Morse code scarf on my rigid heddle loom. The basic idea is that you use the stripes you weave in the scarf to represent dots and dashes. In that way, you can write out a hidden message of sorts on the scarf. I was excited about this idea for a number of reasons: First, it would work up faster than a knitted scarf. Second, I could really personalize it for Mark, my sister's husband. Third, I could choose very masculine colors and the scarf would look great.
I had my plan all sorted out. The next step was to think of what to write out in Morse code. To that end, I contacted my sister to see what she thought would be good for the scarf. At this crucial juncture, my project became doomed. My sister calls her husband "Mark Bear," so she thought it would be great if it said that. Accepting the nickname, I plunged forward, planning and warping appropriate dots and dashes. A little ways in to the project, my husband checked in on me. I had casually told him about the plan previously, but with the scarf well underway, he was more interested in the details. When he asked what it said, I told him. He gave me a funny look and then laughed.
"That's the weirdest thing for you to give your brother-in-law," he commented.
And with a sinking feeling, I knew he was kind of right. The scarf wasn't from my sister, it was from me. Putting a pet name on a handmade scarf was a strange choice when the giver was Mark's sister-in-law. The only way the petname would really work was if I intended to make it for my sister to give to her husband. I was too far along, though. There was no chance of unweaving what I had done and no time to start again, so I decided to just put the weirdness out of my mind and continue forward.
Then, the next catastrophe- I had somehow gotten two of the warp threads crossed when I was threading my loom and the last letter in "MARK BEAR" was an N instead of an R when read in Morse code. I was officially making a scarf that read "MARK BEAN." What?! Okay, this was still salvageable. I would just never mention it was a scarf with a hidden Morse code message. Mark would never know and it was a pretty striped pattern.
Feeling like this scarf was a little bit of a disaster, I continued the back and forth of the weaving...until the scarf was about two and a half feet long and I ran out of yarn. I am not one to use obscenities, but I'm pretty sure one slipped out as my yarn dwindled to an end. Deep breathing, right? I have no idea how I got my calculations so wrong, but I could always buy more yarn. It was the beginning of Decemeber, but the retailer where I got the yarn earlier in the year was prompt and there was still time for me to finish.
Except the color had been discontinued.
I sat there in disbelief for a good thirty minutes just staring at the 2.5 foot swath of frabric in front of me. Then I decided to call it. This project was dead. We would buy Mark a nice bottle of whiskey instead.
And that is how this scarf came to be my froggiest of frogged projects in 2016.
So, here is Post #2 in my sweater design adventure, and let me tell you, people who design quality patterns are AMAZING. Hopefully one day I will be among them. For now, I am a humble novice continuing her journey of self-improvement.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning; the sun was shining brightly in my crafting space and I had a good chunk of time where I could just work. I had all my idea sketches in front of me, my yarn ready to go, needles choosen...and no idea what to do next. Like I mentioned before, I have made small project patterns, but I have never tackled anything so large as an adult sweater from conception to completed garment. And if I'm going to take the time to knit something, I do not want an ugly, boxy sweater that looks like a blind llama might have knit it. I want shaping, I want flattering necklines, I want interest...I want what is currently beyond my skill to design from scratch.
Okay, that realization was important. So I had to take a giant step back in my ambitions. I had a vision of what I wanted, what I needed was the framework to get me there. After copious hours of flipping through my books, magazines and browsing Ravelry (talk about pattern overload) I found it- the perfect base for what I am hoping to achieve. It was actually in one of my first knitting books I ever purchased- New England Knits: Timeless Knitwear with a Modern Twist. It is the Auburn Top by Cecily Gowik MacDonald, which I am including a picture of here that is from the Ravelry page for the pattern. (You can purchase the pattern for $5.50 on Ravelry or buy the book for about $25.00.)
This top has the key elements I envisioned for my steampunk inspired sweater. It has the cute, puffed sleeves, the fitted pricess shaping and a high neck. I even love the square neckline. This is it! This is my base!
This is a learning process for me, that's the whole point after all, so I am hoping to gain some more experience with shaping, including short rows for arm holes and the pricess darts, with this sweater. I am going to make some serious modifications to this pattern, including a lace panel down the center of the sweater, so I can incorporate some of the steampunk elements that originally inspired me. Some other minor adjustments might include some tinkering with the length. My modifications, however, will not warrant calling the work a new pattern.
With that said, I will make sure to detail all of my modifications here, but I will tactfully refrain from including too much information about the pattern by Ms. MacDonald- you will need to purchase her pattern if you want those details. It really is a beautiful sweater as is. I've cast on and am ready to go. I am making sure to take notes as I work, too, so I can apply knowledge to a future designs of my own making. The bottom line is, though, that I need to walk before I can run. Making significant modifications to a pattern seems like a good first step to understanding and designing my own sweater in the future. It's hard, but practice, practice, practice which translates to patience, patience, patience.
Yoda - Star Wars Mini Amigurumi
The pattern is not available for individual purchase. You can, however, get this pattern, along with 11 more of your favorite Star Wars characters, in a crochet amigurumi kit. It is available on Amazon for $18.48.
This project was a departure from my usual. I do not often crochet, and while I have made a few stuffed animals, I have never made an amigurumi. With that said, I have to say this project was a lot of fun! Amigurumi, for those of you who might have read that word with some confusion, is a style of knitting and crocheting small stuffed yarn creatures. It is a Japanese style of art, and my limited experience has revealed that the creatures often follow trends of pop culture. There are not, however, rules governing the size and look of a creature. While it has been a popular style in Japan for decades, it has only recently found its home here and is still growing in popularity.
This little yoda stands a proud 2.5 inches tall. The details the designer added are quite delightful. The robe is removeable, there are toes (even though you can't really see them here), the little belt holds the robe closed, there is an under garment color that adds authenticity...really, Ms. Collin must have had a blast when she was designing this master of the Force. I received the box kit as a surprise from my husband. He was at Costco, and is often the case when he shops there, he impulse buys. He saw it and thought it was cute, especially since we are both huge Star Wars fans. (I say "huge," with the understanding that there are people out there that are much bigger fans than us. Perhaps I should just say we enjoy Star Wars quite a bit. We are not yet at the level of cosplay, though that looks like fun.)
The kit comes with instructions for 12 Star Wars characters and the supplies to make Yoda and a Storm Trooper. I used the supplies given, but I will say they are not of superior quality. That is to be expected, I do not fault the kit for it. I just know that Yoda might have looked better if the yarn was a little nicer. (I had trouble with it fraying and the yarn thickness seemed to vary quite a bit, especially for an acrylic yarn.) You can see a definite difference in the yarn from the pictures (and stitch definition) in the instructions from the yarn you are given to use. I never knew it would matter so much, but I felt it made an appreciable difference. Also, the shade of green seemed a little off. However, like I said, I am not a crocheter, so a lot of the faults in my yoda rest squarely with me. The instructions were clear, but sometimes I got lost in the counting. Do you count the stich on your hook? Does the slip knot count? These are all things that will become easier with practice.
One thing I did not like, however, was that the pictures did not always line up with the instructions next to them. For example, on one step, the picture illustrating the instruction was on a previous page! This sometimes could be a little confusing, but nothing major. The whole stuffed creation took me three casual nights of television watching. The time consuming part for me was in creating all of the little parts and sewing them together. The head and body are stitched as one piece, but then there are two ears, two arms, the robe, two sleeves, and a belt. It is this attention to detail that really brings the charm, though. This little yoda is on Ravelry, so for fun, you can see all the cute projects made from this pattern. It appears as though people have a lot of success with this one.
Summary: If you are new to amigurumi, or even to crocheting, this pattern was great with very satisfying results. If you are not new to amigurumi, I feel like this pattern could also be an awesome launching point to even more amazing Yodas. I think I will try this pattern again with nicer yarn and better eyes. The instructions were great, though, even if the kit supplies were not. So no matter what, you will get a cute Yoda.
It's been a while since I've mentioned my little loom. I have been tinkering with it on and off and, rest assured, it is still so much fun. This latest scarf I pulled off the loom was my first attempt at a technique outside of the plain weave. This technique is called leno and is a manipulation of the warp strings that create a lacey spacing in the weave. It is achieved by using your fingers to twist one group of warp threads over an adjacent group of warp threads. You store this "twist" on a pickup stick and repeat the process across your weaving. Once finished with the twist manipulation, you set your pickup stick on its edge to create a shed.
I tried using groups of 2 warp threads in one row and groups of 4 threads in another. As expected, the 4 threads gave a larger "swirly" lace look while the 2 warp threads gave a more compact stitch look. I did not have a pick up stick when I started this project (and I still don't) so I used a wooden paint stir stick from Lowes. It worked perfectly. It held the shed open wide enough to comfortably fit my shuttle stick through. It was a low fuss solution to a lack of equipment.
The one thing I couldn't figure out and drives me a little crazy is that the edges of a the leno don't look great. I think I captured this in the picture to the right. The weft thread at the very edge of the scarf does not maintain the same tension as the weft thread in the middle of the scarf, making it impossible for the turn in the weft to keep the warp threads twisted over one another. So, on either side of my scarf, there are sad little lenos that didn't twist. I guess the answer to this might be to add a plain weave border, essentially framing the leno in a space with more consistent, stronger tension in the weft. I will have to try that next time. In this particular project, I liked the look of the 2 warp thread leno over the 4 thread leno. It had more to do with the weft threads above and below the leno, I felt the 2 warp threads looked "cleaner."
I used a solid color for the weft and a hand painted, varigated yarn for the warp. I think the varigated warp color is beautiful here. It is subtle enough that it does not have that hectic look of cat throw up that some varigated projects suffer from but it still adds a dynamic color shift. I used a light colored weft, and I have a little remorse on that count. I wish I had used a darker weft color, I think it might have allowed the warp to sing a little more. However, the pale teal color is still very pretty and the overall look of the scarf still makes me happy.
At the start and end of the scarf, I applied a hemstitch while the scarf was still on the loom. For the fringe, I twisted groups of four threads in a 2x2 twist. I was not rigid in how long I twisted the threads, knotting the groups between 4-5.5". I then laid the fringe flat and, using a rotary cutter, trimmed it to an exact six inches. I then wet blocked the scarf. The finished prodect is very soft and drapes well.
Summary: It was a lot of fun to experiment with a new stitch. I am excited to apply this knowledge on future projects and trouble shoot a little to improve my technique. With the decorative weave on only the top and bottom of this scarf, this project was mostly just a plain weave and was very easy.
Every once in a while, even though I have more projects than I can manage well and too many of my knitting needles are occupied with half finished scarves, blankets, hats and mittens, I get the itch to design something. It's crazy, I know. So far I've designed little things, like mittens and baby sweaters. This time, I'm going big, I'm designing an adult-sized garment. Gasp. I know, taking the leap from mitten to sweater design is a little crazy, but I'm a girl who loves a challenge. Or rather, I'm a girl who loves to bite off more than she can chew, flail around a little bit, and then finally figure things out just when all hope seems to be lost. To each their own, right?
I am in the beginning phase of this design endeavor and thought it could be fun to chronicle the journey. Really, knitting is almost as much about the journey as the finished product, and this journey is sure to be interesting. First, I should explain my inspiration for the jacket/sweater I am hoping to create.
Perhaps it is a guilty pleasure, but it is one that I do not feel too guilty about, so I think I should probably just call it a pleasure. I love steampunk. This obscure, stylized subgenre is so great! I love historical romance, particularly Edwardian and Victorian era. I love science fiction and fantasy. The marriage of the two is really more than I could hope for. Steampunk is a little ambiguous in its definition, but one of its cornerstones is the use of steam powered machinery over modern technology. This usually lends itself well to a Victorian era style of clothing, as that time period was the height of this particular type of technology. However, because steampunk worlds are an alternate reality to our own, and not just a historical fiction subgenre, the clothing and artwork is often stylized as Victorian meets modern. It often includes elements that salute the steam power that defines steampunk. The results are interesting and very imaginative. This genre finds itself coming to life in many forms, from literature to video games. Now, I hope to capture it in a knitted jacket. We will see how successful I am.
In this post I am including some Victorian fashion plates that I used for inspiration. In the captions I highlight what it is about the fashion plate that drew my attention.
So far, I have sketched my design, chosen my yarn, and swatched my stitches. Now I must begin to bring my little seed of an idea to life. Gulp. Here we go.