Sunday, July 6, 2008

Here we go again!

You might remember my posts on my most recent knit FO--Fete. I had issues with the first skein of yarn not matching the others. Well, I think the same thing is happening again! I've been working on Labyrinth and I'm well into the second skein of yarn. I am noticing that this skein doesn't have as much color variation as the first skein. It is more solid. The contrast isn't as great as what I experienced when working on Fete. This has me baffled! The first two garments I made using Handmaiden yarn had no issues. The yarn was all perfect. The third one, had a skein which didn't match. I had a skein of Periwinkle Double Sea left over from Giselle so I ordered two more skeins in the same colourway from the same vendor. These did not match the first skein. I found out in the Handmaiden group on Ravelry why this was. First of all, Handmaiden doesn't even mark their skeins with color names, let alone dye lots. When a shop orders the yarn, the batches of yarn are custom dyed for that order. If yarn was received in different batches, then chances are it won't match because it was dyed at a different time by a different person. This person on Ravelry happens to own Knitty Noddy. She said that when she receives orders of Handmaiden yarn, she writes the colourway and the date the yarn was received on the labels. This way she can choose yarn from the same dye batches when filling orders. If there isn't enough yarn from a single batch then she discusses this with the customer. I like that policy and I may have to start ordering from her. She said that she will also special order. Here is my Labyrinth so far. You can see that the bottom section color is more solid:

We'll see how it looks. I cannot bear the thought of frogging as I will never go back and do all that stockinette again. If it doesn't match well, then I will doctor it the way I did Fete. I have some teal Procion MX dye that I'm sure I could dilute and do some painting to get it to match!

I also knitted a little on my Petal Edge Scarf. I had tucked this in my purse when we went to the fireworks.

I had forgotten that this yarn was splitty. It is two strands--one silk and one mohair --so I have to pay attention when I'm knitting. The Handmaiden stuff has a tight twist and never splits! This yarn, Artyarns Silk Rhapsody, feels so soft. I love this pattern. I don't work on it much. I'll have to finish it before winter as I have wool to make a 3/4 length coat that it will go with.

We dressed the house up for the holiday weekend:

I have always wanted to get bunting for the porch. I wish these were a tiny bit larger but it was either this size of huge ones that were way too big. There is a town in Rhode Island--Bristol--where all the houses have this bunting. When you drive down the main road, there is water on one side--a bay that is full of sail boats--and quaint Victorian houses on the other side, all with bunting and flags. The street lights have baskets of flowers hanging from them. It is a beautiful town. I'll have to take photos when I drive through there this summer.

I will have to start planning my trip. I have to list all the sources I need to research so I don't waste time!

A bit of notalgia
The last outfit I shared was one made out of simple fabric with a lot of design details. Today's dresses are the opposite--simple design with fancy fabric. Every so often I find a nice basic pattern that I use for a number of different pieces. I have two cocktail dresses to share today. The pattern was by McCalls and it was a basic fitted dress with different neckline and sleeve options. Typically, I like fitted dresses with princess seams because the more seams you have, the easier it is to tailor the garment to fit your body. More seams means that you can fit the dress easier in specific body areas rather than just increasing or decreasing a specific measurement. This dress did not have princess seams but it had two lengthwise darts on each side of the front and back which provided the means to fit the dress well. The first dress is made out of gold sequined fabric. The only change to the pattern was the addition of a lining and the elimination of the neck facing. I fully lined the dress with China silk. Basically, I made a second dress for the lining and stitched it to the neck along with sew in interfacing as if it were a facing. I understitched it then turned it to the inside where I tacked the armhole and side seam allowances together to keep the lining from slipping. I hand stitched it to the zipper and the hem. This made the dress very comfortable. Sequined fabrics tend to be scratchy and this one feels great next to the skin.

The second dress from this pattern is one of my all time favorites. It is made from an embroidered black silk charmeuse fabric. The fabric has metallic gold satin stitch motifs and squares with gold sequins. It was a border print so I had to be sure of the finished length before cutting out the dress. I made the sleeveless view and lined it like the gold dress. I did use armhole facings made from the silk lining which were stitched in after the dress was lined. The sequined squares posed a few issues. It looked bad when they were caught in seams or darts. I was able to cut some of the sequined squares out of the fabric scraps and applique them to the seams, darts and hems where the pattern was interrupted.

My mother-in-law took this photo of me in the dress before my 20th high school class reunion!

Bushism of the day:
"Americans should be prudent in their use of energy during the course of the next few weeks. Don't buy gas if you don't need it." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Sept. 1, 2005

Kitty Cam: Samantha takes a snooze with DH.


  1. Definitely handpaint and no frogging! :) The petal edge scarf is coming along beautifully!
    Still amzed at all the beautiful things you sew...