Friday, March 21, 2008

Crocheted Edgings

After the previous questions, it turns out the answer was painfully obvious, and not one of the ones I'd thought of - crocheted edging.

Still, I tested the idea of crocheted "boning" and it actually was somewhat helpful. It was also virtually invisble on the right side. The idea is that the tightly crocheted bones act to pull the edge back toward the wrong side. I had to pull the yarn fairly tight and it probably would have worked better in a less elastic yarn (I'm using Elann Esprit, a cotton/elastic yarn). The downside is that you would probably have to crochet the bones quite close together to be enough help. The pictures below show the boning after I'd applied the crocheted edge, so you can't see how much it helped, but you can at least see what it looks like.

Right side (to the right of the crochet hook). Yeah, that's the point, there's nothing to see.

Wrong side

Next I tried some crocheted edgings. I did one row of single crochet and then worked back in backward single crochet, or crab stitch. The picture below shows several different variations. None of the stitches look like the illustrations in the book because the yarn is so stretchy, but a couple turned out quite nice. And I think they'll be enough, in conjunction with a few ribs, to tame the roll.

Variation 1a, on the far left side, is crab stitch worked too loosely and looking like glup
Variation 1b, to the right of that, is crab stitch worked fairly tightly; I love how it looks, but it is not very stretchy

Variation 2, as suggested by Vogue Knitting, is crab stitch, chain one, and then skip a stitch of the edging, crab stitch, etc.; this would probably look good in other yarns, but not this one

Variation 3 is crab stitch, chain one and crab stitch into the very next edging stitch; this is a little softer, stretchier and wider than plain crab stitch; it gives the piece a bit more flair at the edge

I haven't decided between variations 1b and 3.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Baby Kimono (and Serape)

The genesis of these projects was an invitation to a tie dye party. I don't much care to wear tie dye, but I'd been itching to try dying yarn. Tie dyes don't work on animal fibers, so I skeined up some Sugar 'n Cream cotton (making a 40-foot skein is non-trivial, by the way), and we came home with this.

Well, that's not quite true. Actually, we came home with this:

And this:

Everyone has some small superpower, and mine is undoing tangles and knots. But even I was sorely tested and started imagining more Gordian methods. Matt died the blue yarn very intensely and didn't tie the skein very thoroughly, so rinsing took a long time and pretty much dismantled the skein.

And here's what we ended up with:

My "serape" isn't quite done. It's in garter stitch and follows the Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono pattern in Mason Dixon Knitting. Matt's kimono is in stockinette (which I think looks much better and makes the yarn go farther). It takes the kimono aspect seriously by making squared off sleeves (so much easier to seam). Only problem is that it still bleeds blue, so will be next to impossible to wash without staining itself.

Here's a closeup of the sleeves for comparison.

I stopped 9 stitches short of the cuff on my seam because I didn't see how else I could get my hand in to pull a baby's hand through. I guess you could call it a design element.