Saturday, April 6, 2013

What I've Been Doing Over at the Lace Factory

I've been busy making lace over the last couple of months with my SK280+LC2 lace carriage. Lauren suggest I get all the projects done then put the machine away and sew them up - freeing up the clutter in the loungeroom.

My over abundance of Bendigo 4ply Cotton is my focus yarn out of my stash for these projects. I still have too much, but I've made five projects from 12 x 200G at the lace factory, which is a start

So I thought I'd share my experimental successes and failures

I tried out six different ideas.

First was Wild Lavender with a lovely circle lace pattern from the Harmony book. I punched the cards all by myself too!

Lauren's next good idea was - if you make one and you like it, make another - so right on cue - Damask Rose got itself made from a slightly different circular pattern.
Wild Lavender
Damask Rose

 Then I tried out the motif bits and pieces to put part of a card on a stripe and relatched the gutter on the next project - Maritime Trellis

Maritime Trellis motif
Progress: not making any

Well that was the first three projects off the machine - then came the next three.

The White Diamonds did not go well, there were a few little piles of white Snow at the back of the machine while I worked out how to stop it dropping stitches on my next project - White Diamonds throw over cardi. But eventually with enough weight, evenly distributed across the needles - Success!

White Diamonds Throwover Cardi

Then there was the upside down punchcard to figure out where and how to copy something I'd seen on someone over at the shops.

first try was with the garter bar - and I didn't quite like it...

Knock off Version 1

Knock off Version 2


And here I am sewing it up (I'll get a better photo tomorrow)  It's a lovely colour and looking good.

Which bring me to the sixth project - loved the lace card, thought it was gorgeous, but a little bit too much over the whole garment.

Ah I forgot to say I decided to use my cone of Bramwells Savanah "knits as 4ply" cotton. a little bit thin in my opinion, however... I ran into problems which I had no luck in solving.

I had a few breaks on the large piece but it was an absolute nightmare using motif in the centre of the front. I'd done the back... sigh, but I think there was.. six breaks in the first 100 rows and I decided to give up and do it plain. It is my official fail.

I think five success where I've learnt so much, is not too bad.

So... that's the fun I've been having at the "Lace Factory" over the last couple of months.

Now I have to sew up the Knock off, White Diamonds and the plain black tee. (and Thanks Lauren, my lounge room is clear while I do it).

And I've finished sewing up the last two projects so I'm going to add them here:
Knock Off Lacey tee

Front of White Diamonds
Back of White Diamonds

Monday, April 1, 2013

Pretty Ribbons II aka Putting Stuff in Shows

 I have been banging a drum lately on changing people's attitudes into entering stuff into shows. Trying to convince people to stop worrying about being judged, and submit eyecatching stuff to appeal to the public. Let the judges have the worry of picking out one instead. Anyways here is my story

Last year I decided to put a few things into the local regional shows around the Sydney Area, Blacktown, Castle Hill and Hawkesbury. I got some ribbons.

This year I decided to put a few things into the same shows plus try my hand at a bigger show - so I decided to enter the Royal Canberra Show. I was intending to put something into Sydney, but they moved their date forward and I wasn't confident that what I had planned to do would turn out. Sometimes it doesn't. Next year I will do better.

So.. onto Canberra. It has just had it's 100th celebration, and they had the Great Scarf Competition. You had to put in why it was relevant to the centenary. I decided to combine a method popular in the late 1890s to early 1900s - pre threading beads/pearls onto the yarn and knitting it into the fabric, which I did both ends by hand, then did the middle bit by the KX350. Mixed methods were permitted. And it won first place.

Alpaca Storm Scarf
Next was a baby jacket I made as part of our Passap Model book challenge in the Passap Ravelry group, one of the girls made the baby jacket out of book 19. And it won first prize.

Passap Baby Jacket
Lastly comes another Kate Shawl, It won First prize, Non Professional Champion more than 2 yrs experience and Overall Reserve Champion which is what the two rosettes are. (I know I thought of the cows too!!) This was apparently put on and paraded around the judging area (I did say this was OK). They loved it. And it took them a while to figure out how I did it. This is exactly why people should be putting things into shows. This is a relatively new technique, but this isn't the first time they should have seen it. I do not expect to be so honoured in the future. I'm just thrilled I got this result this time.

Kate Shawl
Lastly I'll show you what DIDN'T win at Canberra, zilch, nil, nada nothing, there must have been a few things to choose from in this category - my Passap hand manipulated socks that took me a week to make! And were in cotton and I thought were brilliant - just goes to show - you just never, never know...

Passap socks

I've also put in Diana's Beret, which one a first prize in the Blacktown show, and a First for the Mohair Scarf in Castle Hill. No photos of these yet, they still have to go to into Hawkesbury and St Ives, then I'll put their photo in.

And the most wonderful feedback I got was from a brand spanking new machine knitter who saw my Kate Shawl at the Canberra show and was inspired to get herself a machine! How Good Is That?

So my fellow machine knitters - These things I have I learnt:
  • have the article made well before the closing date, so there's no pressure,
  • baby items can be donated to charity if you don't have babies to knit for
  • keep your labels - some of the big shows like them
  • don't worry about being judged
  • give the judges something to worry about instead
  • pick something that looks good to the public
  • you will always win if you are the only entry
And good luck in promoting machine knitting as a wonderful craft that's still alive and kicking..