Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Finishing/ Norwegian Purl/ Sewing

I've been sewing a lot over the past two weeks. I only paused because we have a rent inspection tomorrow and it looked like some kind of haberdashery bomb went off in the house. You know you've been sewing a bit too much when you find fabric scraps in your bed.

That picture above is from a dress I've made. My favourite thing I've made so far, I think, though the pattern is not especially well-fitting (in more respects than the one I'm about to detail). I went down one size from the recommended size, which should have left me with 1.5" ease sort of all-round (yeah, I do actually tend to fit dress pattern ratios). The lower line is the seam according to the pattern. The upper line is the seam I needed to sew to give me a fit I was happy with. Admittedly that was probably less than 1.5" of ease, but I took out about 4" in the bodice. I can only imagine the sack I would've had if I'd made my recommended size. It's the kind of dress that works best when worn with virtually no ease in the body. I'll blog the damn thing when I get some pictures, and you'll all drool over my beautiful dress and marvel at my Mad Sewing Skillz. My mama has a lady from Brazil staying with her right now, and said Brazilian lady apparently used to have a boutique where she sold clothing she made, when she was younger. All quilted clothing, she said. I liked that when I showed her my dress she didn't go 'oo, that's nice'. She immediately flipped it inside out and examined my seam finishing technique!

Why have I been sewing so much? I finally finished my uni degree(s) forever, and am on holiday. BCB and I are so used to the study thing that we are surprised by everyone reacting with congratulations on finishing. Both of us needed reminding that we've both achieved something quite important (to us at this point in our lives, anyway). While neither of us did much celebratory we've been dined by all parts of the family except BCB's mother who is sending us away for a weekend. In a good way. She's booking a surprise-location chalet for us somewhere.

And now for the best thing since sliced bread (this may pre-date the sliced bread, actually): Norwegian purling. I have to thank Elin for this. I commented on her blog about how I knit continental and purl English, because I can't purl continental to save my life. She e-mailed me and offhandedly said she purls Norwegian-style. I looked it up, and oh god! It's magic! It's not quite as economical of movement as some other knitting styles but it has rhythm and I've taken to it like a duck to an inground water feature. The rhythm is possibly the best part, followed closely by the fact that even when purling the working yarn is held behind the work. Which makes ribbing a breeze. No more moving the yarn about, yeah? Should you wish to try it, I started with SpellingTuesday's instructions, but in them missed the detail about holding the working yarn behind the work (um, yah. I'm a bright one sometimes). I found Interweave's written instructions (pdf) made sense of SpellingTuesday's illustrations.

Oo! And congratulations to Michelle and her n00b Patrick, born yesterday. May he fully appreciate those cabled elf booties and never tangle your yarn.


Elizabeth said...

Congratulations on finishing school! Do you have another exam to take (like the entrance exam to the bar) before you can practice or are you ready to go?

Elin said...

Congratulations on finishing uni!

I'm glad my "accidental" advice was helpful! I purl that way because it's the way my mum taught me, I think it's pretty much standard in Sweden (being nextdoor to Norway and all). I actually didn't realize there was another way to knit (both English style and "normal" Continental purling) until I went on the Internet to relearn earlier this year! I do find that is sometimes stretching the stitches out a bit too much because of the longer motion, so I do sometimes purl in the regular Continental manner. It's good to have choices though!