Welcome to Project Knitway or should I say Project Renottaway? It's my cyberspace place to post my favorite things...thoughts about family and creativity and design. One of my favorite things is making stuff, specifically clothing and accessories from fiber and metal. So you'll see a lot about that here. I also love spending time with my family, so there will be a bit about that too. When I'm not with my family or in my studio, I am most likely at nextdoor, my store. I have always had a store ever since I was a young woman. I started with a weaving store called the niddy noddy in Waukesha eons ago. I ended with nextdoor in Brookfield. It's my dream store filled with great clothing, especially denim. Really nice women work and shop there, it's a fun place to be. You can find us there every day and online at www.shopatnextdoor.com So come for a visit here and there.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Crochet Anyone? ...Or How to Not Look Like a Doily!

Don't get me wrong, I love crochet. In fact these hands have crocheted miles, literally and figuratively. But despite many attempts at designing a full garment of crochet that didn't look like a doily, I have not succeeded. However, it is one of my favorite finishing techniques for my machine knit pieces. I use it all the time for necklines, hems and cuffs. It gives a nice firm decorative edge that doesn't roll up. It also is very handy for adding length to a piece when you miscalculate. I like to use the half double crochet in particular. It's quicker than single crochet and has a nice lacy look. 
This diagram shows how to and as you can see from the photos above, I crochet right into the knit fabric. I just did one row around the neckline, hem and cuff. The actual sweater is knit using a thread lace pattern on my bulky machine. I used a "worsted" weight cotton in chocolate brown with a pale pink 10/2 pearl cotton as the lace thread. The end result was nice, contemporary yet vintage looking. Lace knits are big this spring in the fashion world, and I always like to knit pieces for my store that are in style. I started by knitting a piece 20 inches wide and 25 inches long for the back. I guesstimated 80 stitches and 150 rows at Tension 5. Once the back was knit, I came up with an accurate gauge and knit the front, shaping a neckline 10 inches wide and 3 inches deep. I knit sleeves, 20 inches long, 9 inches wide at the cuff and 24 inches wide at the top. I sewed the pieces together on my sewing machine and finished with the crochet. We have these pretty flower pins at the store that will be the perfect accessory for my sweater!