Posts categorized "Ella reinvented"

Stepping Out in my New Ella!

I put on my fancy, superhero Fluevogs just for the occasion:

Ella Reinvented

Ella, is DONE!

Ella Reinvented

Sometimes it was a long slog of picot, ruffled, bind off madness, but most of the time it was a solidly enjoyable knit.

Ella Reinvented

Nora runs a fine knit-along.  Having weekly assignments is a great idea (I work well with deadlines).  It kept me on track and it forced me to really look at my knitting, the fit of the garment and to think about what I wanted the final product to be. 

For someone who often just jumps in and hopes for the best (and ends up giving away a fair number of sweaters) this is a good thing.  I learned loads about knitting a coat, fit, and about myself as a knitter.


Ella Reinvented

And I look awesome in this ruffly, crazy striped coat.

A big thanks to Nora and Melissa at Noni Knits for inviting me to the KAL.  You got me back into more regular blogging too.  And while I tried hanging out in Facebook more, I still don't really like it there! 

I'm working on a little embellishment that I might or might not use on Ella.  Stay tuned.


Ella: The making of the buttonhole band

Full disclosure: Ella is done.  She's lovely and I haven't had time for a proper wash, block and photoshoot.  So we'll play blog catch up instead and discuss the buttonhole bands.

On the weekend I found buttons and got to work on the buttonhole band.

I worked the band the same as the other side until the mid-point row and then worked 1-row buttonholes to match my marked spots on the buttonband.  Then I worked to the picot fold edge and then to the middle of the hem side of the facing.  I worked buttonholes again in pretty much the same spot. 


Learn from me now: keep NOTES on the spacing of your buttonholes, ie the number of stitches between them so you can make absolutely sure they're in the same place.  It will make your life easier.  

Then I finished the facing.  First thing I did was line up the two layers of buttonholes.

Learn from me again: keep NOTES on your button band so you know exactly how many rows to the picot turn and to the end.  Don't try count after the fact. It does not always work. 

Buttonhole band

It took a bit of fudging (see Learn from me notes, above).  I then sewed around both layers to make them one hole.  

(It's invisible on the outside, this photos shows the sewing better)


Then I sewed the bind off edge to the sweater.

The edge seemed too long, but I ignored it.  That shit blocks out, the sewing won't show.

Woot, ends are woven in! Sweater is done!  Try it on and...

That shit doesn't block out (see Learn from me again notes, above).

Undo sewing of facing.  Rip out bind off row.  Rip out one row.  Bind off again. Carefully sew down facing.  Keep checking to see that it looks find (see That shit doesn't block out, above).

Try it on.  Be happy. Sew on buttons.

Ella peek

Go to bed.  No photoshoots in pyjamas.


I survived the ruffle!

It took 5 days (I did eat, sleep, run, play, drink beer, work, parent and do other stuff, but still) and it was a real slog, but my Ella coat now has a pretty ruffly hem.


Actually it's had a hem since Sunday and as of Tuesday night, it has a fancy-dancy button band.

I am running low on the main colour of yarn so I knew I wouldn't be doing the full-ruffle Ella (and seriously, I am DONE with picot ruffle bind offs).  I pondered my options and went for the tailored and slightly girlie look of a fold over hemmed button band with a picot turning row.

Ella edge

Pretty eh?

And because I'm worried about yardage (and because this is a fancy-dancy coat) I did a nifty stipey bit on the inside hem.

Ella edge inside

It is perfect for the coat.

Then I got a bit stuck.  What the heck will I use for closures.

I want the coat to stay closed and right now am leaning towards buttons.  I love the stability of the hemmed edge so will do a folded, picot hemmed buttonhole band.

What's stopping me is buttons.  I need some.  They need to be *perfect*.  But I don't want to go making buttonholes until I know what they'll be buttoning.

The hunt is on.  I want them to be the same colour as the band (cranberry-ish) and subtle--not blingy.  

Suggestions are welcome.

Let's Add It Up, Shall We?

Let's say my Ella coat has about 250 sts at the hem.

And for the ruffle, I kfb into each stitch, thereby doubling the stitch count to 500 stitches.

Then, after a purl row, I kfb, k1, repeating to the end and thereby add another 250 stitches.

That means I have to bind off 750 stitches.

Okay. I've done that before maybe once.  I think.

Now, as I consult my pattern, I note that I decided to do a picot ruffle.

This means I CAST ON 2 stitches, then bind off 3.

If I get this right (and I'm horribly sure I do), I'm adding another 2x700 stitches to the bind off.

1400 stitches.  Added to 700.

That's 2100 stitches.

Excuse me while I get some smelling salts and a warm cloth, I think I will need them.

I'm voluntarily binding off 2100 stitches?

That's going to take a while.


And I'm already almost a week behind.

Hold on...I still have to do (or perhaps re-evaluate doing) ruffled plackets. Plackets that will likely have more than 250 stitches.


Skirting Ella

Nora gave us a big, 3 week assignment for the Ella Reinvented KAL and the deadline is Sunday (not that it's a hard deadline since this is knitting and fun and all that, but I like to stay on top of things). The task is to pick up from the high waist of the Ella bolero and knit down to the length desired.

I can totally do that.  Easy.  Pretty on the pick-up.

My random stripe pattern (for which I have a cheat sheet to keep it random--I know, but I migrate naturally to patterns so I have to plan my randomness), is chugging along and is quite fetching.

Oooooh, what's that?  New yarn for Xander's sweater.  I can work on that for a bit to make him happy.  I have three weeks to knit my Ella skirt.

Flavia?  What a pretty shawl.  I started you at my girls'n'yarn weekend and I'm on the border so I'm practically finished.  I should work on that in the car trip to drop the kids at Grandma's for March break.  Tons of time to work on Ella and she's not that portable anymore (I carry her in a big Lululemon shopping bag).

Aw crap, it's 4 days to deadline time and I have 6 inches of knitting for a knee length Ella. I better get going.

Since I last blogged...

I caught a craptastically craptastic cold (I actually had it in the pictures of my finished Amused--hence the hat and pale face) and spent most of last week sick at home.

That wasn't all bad because a) I re-watched the complete two seasons and Christmas special of Downton Abbey (which I ADORE) and b) I knit a whole big bunch.

For example, I completed weeks 5and  6 of my Ella Reinvented coat, the cuffs and the collar.  I'm loving these ruffles! -even if they take FOREVER to bind off.  (It's a picot bind off, cast on 2, bind off 3, on a ruffle of a gabillion sts).

Ella with collar

And I finished my Grand Central Cowl (sorry about the crappy photos, sickness makes me lazy). 


The yarn is super squooshy Briar Rose Pilgrim. I love the deep jeweled colours.  Natalie's pattern is easy and fun and fast. I want to make another one.


I also got started on something new, Flavia from the Indigodragonfly Smartass Knitters/World Domination Club. The yarn is extra yummy Polwarth Silk. This stuff could become my desert island yarn. The pattern is a whole lot of moss stitch which suits me fine--I wanted some easy couch knitting.

This is my progress as of this morning. I got a whole lot of knitting done this weekend, but that's another post.

4 Sleeves DONE! Now Finishing-frenzy kicks in

Saturday night, about 11pm, while watching the very good movie, An Education, I finished the 4th sleeve.  It took two weeks and was actually no trouble, I even snuck in some other knitting, seaming and regular life stuff.

Ella is starting to look like something--something very fine indeed.  Here is a poorly staged shot of me in my one-armed Ella bolero.

Ella coat in progress

Nora was quite clever in the way she lays out this project.  I get to try on the business portion of this sweater and adjust the fit before I go on and knit miles of stripey coat tails.  I'm very pleased--it fits just right.  This week I need to play a bit of catch up and sew in the second sleeve (here it is blocking), 

Weave in a billion ends (photo representation--not all ends captured)


Then I get into Week 5 where I do the ruffled cuffs.  I'm opting for the frou frou cuffs with the picot bindoff.  I like the French Cuffs but have been known to have problems with bell sleeves ending up in my coffee, so I will err on the side of moderately frilly over super frilly.

Amused is in that stage where I want to cast aside all other things and get this sweater done.  I have about 3 inches of collar left and then I have myself a lovely little sweater.  

Amused collar

And I mean little.  I know I'm smaller that I was a few years ago and that I have problems with thinking about my own size--I tend to err on knitting something too big rather than too small.  For Amused, I took and retook measurements of myself and settled on the small size for this sweater.  Doing that felt weird but the numbers worked out.  The sweater fits great but at 4sts to the inch, I do wonder if I should have went with jaunty, loose instead of 1" of ease.  I think a proper trying on in good light, with a bra and real pants will be the best time to make a final decision.  Maybe tomorrow!

2 hands, 2 weeks, 4 sleeves

I know people hate knitting sleeves.  They talk about being on sleeve island and how bored they are.  For many, sleeves are the closet cleaning of knitting. People hate doing it but know it's got to be done.

Me, I like sleeve island.  Sleeves are little.  They're relatively easy and always the same basic shape.  Sleeves tell me a sweater is closer to the end than to the beginning (I rarely knit sleeves first) and they get me in the groove of finishing a brand new garment (I love new sweaters).

Last week was week 1 of 2 for Ella's sleeve time. Nora has us working on the sleeves to make the top of our coats to get the fit right before we move on to the skirt/bottom.  I finished my first sleeve Friday night with a few little hiccups in terms of the cap fitting the armhole and one of those late night silly panics which was easily fixed in the morning with a bit of frogging (armhole was too big so I removed the orange stripe at the shoulder).  

Ella sleeve

After that, it was back to Amused.  I finished the 6.5" of body ribbing on Saturday whilst Emma and I had a super lazy, all tv and junk food girl weekend. I decided that a tubular bind off would make the bottom hem look magnifique.  I pulled out my Big Book of Knitting (excellent reference book for finishing garments) and figured out how to do the 2X2 hem in the round.  

It was a whole lot of work, but wow!, it was worth it.  Then I moved on to sleeve 1.  Three episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 2 episodes of Game of Thrones later, it was done (with a matching tubular bind off).  I love yarn that knits to 4 sts to the inch.

Sunday, I made excellent progress on sleeve 2 (or 3 of 4 if you're counting).  I have the cuff to complete and then Amused is a collar away from completion.

Amused almost done

I'm a good KAL'er so I went back to Ella last night.  Sleeve 2 (or 4 of 4 if you're counting) is on the needles.  

Ella sleeves in progress

Can my 2 hands, finish 4 sleeves in 2 weeks?  I'll let you know after this weekend.  

Week Two: Now the Fun Begins

It was nice to complete week one with some time to spare to work on other projects (I'm not a one project knitter!) But by Sunday, I was itching to get striping again.

On Monday Nora posted our week 2 assignment on her blog: finish the back and fronts of the upper bodice. We got some tips on how to ensure we're knitting the right size for the fit we want and some advice on how to work the armhole decreases.  Then I jumped in and got going.  I love all the stripes and noticed that Nora must have seen blog photos of my living room rug when she picked the colours for my sweater.

I must remember to consult my carpet for inspiration the next time I do colourwork!

Tonight I plan to finish the fronts and then I have the weekend to work on other things and wait for the next part of the project.

And we're off!

Last night fearless knitters started their Ella Revisited sweater coats.  Even though I'm juggling a few knitting balls right now (including a new design in progress with a deadline) I managed to get started and work 5 rows.  I started with the MC--Cranberry because I like it the best (don't tell the other colours).

Ella revisited cast on

I already like how this pattern is written.  You start in the middle at the waist (well just above it) and work up to the neck and sleeves.  Later, you pick up and knit the rest of the coat downwards which allows for modifications to the length and shaping when you can try it on and see what you want.  Brilliant!  

Nora, the designer has quite a great process with this KAL.  On Mondays she will post tips on her blog.  The first one was head-smackingly smart.  She has stitch markers placed to mark increases--everyone does that...but she also suggests putting stitch markers at the cast on edge in the same places to help with picking up stitches later.  Brilliant!

The only issue I can see with this KAL is portability.  It's a striped coat which is awesome, but I can't lug around 5 skeins of yarn.  I'm already considering winding off mini skeins and putting those in my project bag. It will add an element of randomness to my stripes (which is how I plan to roll) and means I can have some nice stockinette knitting with me for those time when I have a free moment (which don't seem like many right now).