Tuesday, September 5, 2017

When one is not enough

This skirt, you guys.  What a success!  I can't even tell you how much I love it, and how much fun it was to make this.  If you are unfamiliar with the general look of what's going on here, put down what you're doing and go look at Alabama Chanin right now, I will wait.  The concept is basically jersey knits + handstitching + texture + no rules, ya'll.  I made this one double-layered (the outer layer is from a piece of jersey I found at the thrift store, and the lining is made from two men's XL t-shirts from Target) because I hadn't yet decided whether or not to cut out the stenciled shapes--in the end I decided that this stencil pattern (AC's Magdalena) was a little too fine for me to tackle on the first try.  I'm glad I did, though, because the double-thickness of this skirt feels really substantial, and like it might be nice and warm for winter.  Which is coming.  We will not think about that right now.  I feel completely het up about this concept--jersey + handwork + do whatever you want--and I want to make All The Things out of jersey knits and paint and stitch them all up with a needle and thread and wear cottony clothes all day every day.  I will wear this with boots and black tights and black or blue sweaters--up there is my Folded, all fixed and fitting me just like it should, hooray!  I think my Stormtracker will work with this skirt, too.  It's just so good.  So satisfying, that it fits so well and comfortably, that it has a place in my wardrobe, and that it was tremendously fun to work on.  You can do this too, try it.  Just scrounge up a few big t-shirts, borrow one of the Alabama Chanin books from your public library, and make something.  I want to make another, longer skirt, with a different stencil and maybe cut out the shapes this time, and then a long-sleeve t-shirt (double-thick, and embellished like crazy) and then a tunic dress, oh, friends, there are so many things to make.  I want to show you this, too:   
Here's the Walnut sweater, in action--Walnut Grove.  This one makes me so happy.  Thank you all for your kind and supportive comments when I first showed this piece on the mannequin.   You are all so wonderful, really, thank you.  I don't know anything about how to write and grade a knitting pattern so somebody else could follow it, otherwise I would be delighted to share it with you, but I want to tell you that I know for a fact that you can make something like this, too, without any pattern.  I know you can!  You just need to measure yourself, knit a swatch, do some basic multiplication, and start knitting.  Truly.  If you know how big around any given part of you is in inches, and you know how many stitches per inch you will get when you're knitting, you can make anything.  Don't be afraid to try, because (as Doc pointed out to me yesterday as I planned my next project) it's only knitting; it's only a sweater!  The potential for real disaster is monumentally low.    
Doesn't that just look like fall?  There's a nip in the air today, and dew on what I am quaintly thinking of as my dye garden (ha!  It's a huge thicket of weeds that are beginning to intimidate me) I might wear Walnut Grove to Rhinebeck, or maybe I'll wear it to the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival (less than two weeks away!  I'll never get last year's fleece spun in time!) or maybe there will be something else that turned out pretty well coming up soon...the knitting is happening fast and furiously around here right now, with pauses here and there for handstitching on jersey.  It just feels like the thing to do.