Knitting & Embroidering

I am almost done with the Aran poncho…need to do a couple more rows of a crocheted edge. Thought I might do a picot edge, but looking at the pic here it might look too fussy. And I am thinking I will not block this…I like the way the long edge flows and the sheer weight of this thing will block it for me!

I cannot find the pattern I used…I had everything committed to memory. It was not an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern, but I did not like the way the top down percentages were figured so went to my EZ books and made it work better! EZ to the rescue!

This pic shows the color better. It has more green than the pic above shows. You can also see the cabling section better…sort of.

Miss Maggie generously broke her frown to give me a smile while modeling for me. The poncho is for me but I do NOT put pics of me fluffy self on the net willingly, so here you see that it is a BIG poncho. Actually fits me very nicely.

And here are my flowers! (See Marianne, I do flowers, too! Not as subtle as yours, though…) Susan’s design, my digitizing and sew-out. These are my experiments…new solo dress client wants these so had to figure out which threads, which center fabric, etc. I like the top right, but from a distance you cannot see those tiny iridescent dots. The bottom right works the best. The flowers on the left were thread color experiments…hard to find the right shade of pink slightly darker than the fabric.

They come tomorrow for a bodice fitting and we will decide.

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Rose of Tralee and one sock



FeisDress was asked to make the sash and be a sponsor for the 2006 Washington Rose of Tralee. We presented it at the Irish Embassy in Washington, D.C. on May 31st. We also got to meet this year’s candidates. Lovely, very confident young women. They said they would send a pic of the winner in the sash.

Susan and I had so much fun doing this! Susan of course designed the beautiful flowers on the sash using the idea of a celtic knot for the center flower. We decided on a font we liked, I changed it a bit, and then I got busy digitizing and embroidering the letters and the rose! I used my Bernina 200E. My Bernina software has an auto-applique function, but it did not like the knot in the middle of the rose and could not digitize it in the correct order. So I ended up digitizing it by myself. Then I changed the shape of some of the letters for a different look. Nothing like having to figure things out for yourself to expand your knowledge and skill base! Susan did the green knot/vine freehand on her machine. It turned out beautifully, if we do say so ourselves.

I did a tag for the inside of the sash using a font already in the Bernina software. I looked at the sashes worn at the International pageant last year…the sash sponsor’s name was on the front and was a bigger font than the Rose of Tralee! I find that odd, so we put ours on the inside.


I also finished one of Molly’s socks using Knitpicks Dancing. Feels great, but I would have to say that I was so worried about knitting too tightly that I did not knit tight enough. It has great stretch, but it could fit a bit more closely. So, I will do the other sock this way, but next time I will give in to my tendency to knit this yarn tighter.

Socks and dresses


So…it has been quite awhile since I have had the time or energy to write about the goings-on. Much going on. As you can see here, I have given myself a new challenge – socks. Never attempted them because they seem so complicated, but suddenly I felt the need to learn the secret of knitting socks. So I bought Cat Bordhi’s book for knitting them on two circulars and off I went. I only really wanted to learn once I found they could be done on circulars…using 5 double-pointed needles was the stuff of nightmares for me. Literally. After I used them finishing a cuff on a kid sweater, I had a nightmare about DPN’s with minds of their own, slipping, moving, knitting weird things on their own. I will figure out ANYTHING so I only have to use circulars…but Cat already did it! And I love it. The girls consider them very special socks and wear them until they are stinky. Gotta love the washable wool. The pink and lavender sock is knit in Knitpicks Dancing and I love it! I hear they may be discontinuing this line, so I have to get in there and order more. Lovely stretch to it.

We went to our first feis for the season. The Comhaltas Feis in Emmitsburg, MD. This was the very first feis we ever went to and it will probably always remain our favorite. I was in charge of the trophies for the prelim and open championship competitions again this year. I love it. I have a perfect view of all the dancing and all the dresses. The message boards have been full of discussion for what seems like forever about the newest thing that the designer Gavin has been doing… a patch-oriented approach to dress design. I was surprised to see that there were actually not that many dresses made that way. So many beautiful dresses. Sparkle is the norm right now, but the designs were all over the map! Right on, dressmakers! As many wonderful designs as there are dressmakers. And they were all so “pretty”…the modern geometric designs were scarce and actually not among the prettiest. Wished I could have taken a pic of all the dresses, but I did not want to seem creepy sitting there behind the table with my camera.

But I did take some pics of the dancers in the dresses I have made. This blue and green one was designed by Susan Gowin of Feisdress. She did all the applique and I made the dress using her pattern. I had not seen the dress in awhile and I was wonderfully surprised to realize how much I like it! I hope I am always so enamored of the dresses I make.

 

 


Here is my daughter in the first dress I made. The design is by Alison Young and I used the Irish Threads pattern. This was the beginning of my foray into ID dressmaking. Now that I have learned so much, I can’t believe I pulled this off. Especially the embroidery. I have since learned so much about dressmaking, patterns (I only use Susan’s now), and embroidery digitizing. More on that next weekend after an event here in DC…something very cool that Susan and I were asked to be a part of.

 

 

And lastly, I finally finished the re-design of the black dress. This was made by someone else using an unknown pattern. The shawl is not hanging quite right in the pic, but overall, everyone is pleased.


More pictures

Finally I have a couple of pics of the two school dresses I am making now.

This is the new Dudney School of Irish Dance school dress. The design and dress pattern were developed by Susan Gowin of FeisDress. Susan does the embroidery and I do the rest. We finished the first batch for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Alexandria, VA. Now, on with the rest! (I need to get a picture of the shawl.)


Finally got a picture of the vest I made for my mother a couple of years ago. I used a pattern from Cheryl Oberle’s Folk Vests. Mom picked out the yarn…I really do not remember what we used except that it was angora, silk, rayon and metallic, and it felt wonderful. The weight of it makes it drape beautifully. I love the colors.


And here is a pic of my youngest in her pretty poncho. She picked out the yarn…Patons, I think? It has been in the washer several times…gotta love acrylic sometimes! No pattern, just started on my circulars and kept on until it was long enough. There is a hat somewhere.

This is a jacket that I originally started for Molly. She was probably 12 then. Now that she is 14 1/2 it is no longer hip, so Grandma Dolores has claimed it. Almost done…just need to finish the collar border and weave in the wavers.

So for Molly I have started the Rockstar Cardigan from Alchemy. I will post a pic soon.


This is a duster I made for myself (surprised to find this is one of the few things I have ever done for myself) on the knitting machine. Emerald green wool/rayon finished with a black wool crocheted edge. It hangs so nicely. I really like the collar.

More pictures

Finally I have a couple of pics of the two school dresses I am making now.

This is the new Dudney School of Irish Dance school dress. http://www.dudneyirishdance.com/ The design and dress pattern were developed by Susan Gowin of FeisDress. Susan does the embroidery and I do the rest. We finished the first batch for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Alexandria, VA. Now, on with the rest! (I need to get a picture of the shawl.)


Finally got a picture of the vest I made for my mother a couple of years ago. I used a pattern from Cheryl Oberle’s Folk Vests. Mom picked out the yarn…I really do not remember what we used except that it was angora, silk, rayon and metallic, and it felt wonderful. The weight of it makes it drape beautifully. I love the colors.


And here is a pic of my youngest in her pretty poncho. She picked out the yarn…Patons, I think? It has been in the washer several times…gotta love acrylic sometimes! No pattern, just started on my circulars and kept on until it was long enough. There is a hat somewhere.

This is a jacket that I originally started for Molly. She was probably 12 then. Now that she is 14 1/2 it is no longer hip, so Grandma Dolores has claimed it. Almost done…just need to finish the collar border and weave in the wavers.
So for Molly I have started the Rockstar Cardigan from Alchemy. I will post a pic soon.

 


This is a duster I made for myself (surprised to find this is one of the few things I have ever done for myself) on the knitting machine. Emerald green wool/rayon finished with a black wool crocheted edge. It hangs so nicely. I really like the collar.

Embellishing dresses, a sweater & a poncho

I was asked to embellish these two dresses to jazz them up a bit. This black one is for a dancer in prelim, southern region. Still have to finish a new shawl…we have decided on a soft drapey one with the iridescent fabric and the lace. Still thinking on it.

This red one was worn in prelim at this young dancer’s first O. She looks so pretty. The TC was not sure she would like the soft shawl, but we surprised her. And it seems many dressmakers are flirting with the soft shawls again. I personally like them better than the stiff shawls – they add movement to the dress and the dancing.

And here is a sweater and a poncho I made for two relatives. I forget now the exact yarn for the dark sweater I made for Janet except that the stripey wool was called Mardi Gras, and I combined it with another strand of black wool because they were both lace-weight. It feels so nice. I also made this one up fast on my Bond knitting machine. I do not use it very much unless I want to do something fast in stockinette stitch. I thought it would be fun when I bought it, but I am not interested in figuring out how to do fancier things with the machine. Turns out, what I like is doing it all with my own ten fingers.

Like Aunt Terry’s poncho here. This was done in Rowan Big WoolYarn from Yarnmarket http://www.yarnmarket.com/yarn/Rowan_Yarn-Big_Wool_Yarn-508.html. Took many, many balls, but what a pleasure to work with. It is so soft and so warm. This is obviously again just a stockinette stitch, perfect for knitting in the round while watching tv on cold winter nights.

I am still working on this scarf to go with the poncho. Will also make her a hat…for next winter now. Gives me time to find or develop a pattern. This scarf is made in the “seaman’s scarf” style – notice the ribbed middle which keeps it on the neck. And the scarf is reversible – same cables front and back. I have a pattern for an afghan that is cabled front and back, no “wrong side.” Once I figured out the secret, I was amazed at its simplicity. So this scarf is my “swatch!”