Round Peg In a Square Hole-crafts

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Very Nicky Post

Turns out that all the pics I have to post today have to do with Nicky Epstein, in one way or another. Most are out of her book Knits for Barbie Doll., but the poncho has two different pieces out of her edging books. So! On to the updates.

First, the poncho. I had recently bought Sam some new clothes, which she picked out, and they were all in the green-brown-orange-Earthish-tones group. Which is fine, except that the only sweaters and ponchos she had were white, black, and pink. Now, she doesn't care, but *I* do, so I picked over what I had in stash in acrylic (hey, she's *6*, it HAS to be washable!) in that color range. Came up with quite a few browns, tans, two different oranges and several creams. Sam and I then went through Nicky Epstein's first two edging books (because putting fringe on the first poncho I made for her took longer than knitting the freakin' thing and I wasn't going through THAT again!) and she picked out a lace edging, then fell in love with the kitties, so I said I'd do that, too.

Those were mistakes number one and two. Turns out, that trim doesn't knit up at all the way it looks in the book. Maybe I need to block it? Dunno. Anyway, when I had a few repeats of the pattern done, I showed it to Sam and asked if she still liked it, or if she wanted something else, since it didn't come out the way it did in the book. She was cool with it, though she picked up immediately on the same thing that I did, the huge gaping hole in the pattern that was NOT obvious in the picture in the book. Weird. Have sussed out how to fix it, should I ever need to do this trim again, but was too far along to frog when I finally had figured it out.

Mistake number two was to do color work that was not Fair Isle on a project done in the round, which included decreases on every row. Pain in the patootie, but I got it figured out, both the wrapping at the end of each row before turning and how to make the decreases slant the right way done both from the right side and from the wrong side. And I am pleased with the way the kitties came out; they kind of make the whole thing. I even managed to weave all the ends in, by doing it while on a telecon.

Perhaps mistake number 0 was to make it out of, as Ellen says, "crunchy acrylic". Sam dislikes "itchy yarn" (read, wool, including the two pair of hand-knit socks I made for her) but this stuff isn't all that much softer. She likes it, but I'm going to see what chemistry will do: I intend to dose it with some serious liquid fabric softener, and see what happens. Stay tuned.

On to Barbie! I have certainly gotten my money's worth out of Knits for Barbie Doll! And Sam still has a long list of things she wants out of it, after I finish the other thing I'm working on for her (more about that, later). First, let's see a pic of the poncho that I showed in progress some time ago:
Pleased with how it came out, except that the fringe won't lay flat, even after steaming, so I'm not quite sure what to do. Also, I've got to try to work the patterns over, so that I'm knitting in the round more and seaming less. (Hey, I'm lazy.)

Next, we have the sun dress:
Done with crochet and pearl cottons, held double, it's quite nice, and knitted up pretty quickly. Think I need to move the snaps, though, if Ms. B is going to stay decent.

Next, we have the Christmas sweater, which also knitted up very quickly in doubled pearl cotton. Was tedious as all heck to assemble it, but at least I had the sense to put all the beads on before I assembled it. (The story of getting the star-shaped sequin off the bottom of the bottle in which I had transported it to SnB I will leave for another time.....) In any case, it is quite cute and is almost-instant gratification, which is important for the first grade set.

Finally, we have the skating outfit:
Again, pleased with the looks, but wish I had knit the yoke in the round. Will try that next time it is practical (The next two Barbie outfits in the queue are a bathing suit and a strapless evening gown, so it doesn't apply.) Also, the bottoms of the sleeves are a little tight, which makes it quite an operation to get the silly things over her permanently-stuck-out thumbs. As always, Sam picked the colors, and I am always pleased to note that her color sense is different from mine, but what she chooses does work. She has quite an artistic eye. (Not that I'm biased, or anything....)

Now, for the upcoming projects. Currently on the needles is another tea cozy (another green-and-green one, this time for Corinne) and a wig in bright yellow. Am hoping that this will satisfy Sam's desire to go to school as Hannah Montana, but I'm not holding my breath. Had to cut down the wig pattern, for two reasons: the original is written for adults, and I knit so loosely that I nearly always have to drop down two needle sizes to get gauge. Tried that with this, but the fabric came out so stiff that I just wasn't happy with it, so I used larger needles and cut the stitches down by a third. Will have to recalculate when I do these for adults; I think that Kate and Belle and I need to wear these to a con, at some point.

Oh, and I finished the last corset in time, but only sold one, with one additional special order. Sigh. Really had hoped to sell more.....

Labels: ,