16 February 2008

It's Easy If You Know What You're Doing

I bought this yarn when visiting my Mom back in December. It's S.R. Kertzer (brand) Truffle (name of yarn), made with 80% merino wool and 20% cashmere. It feels like it has more cashmere than that and it's bouncy, light and the stitches came out nice and even (a problem I usually have when knitting with alpaca.) I was originally going to make the stripes of equal width, but my Mom inspired me to be more spontaneous. I do tend to be a bit rigid when knitting. Wanting to use the yarn called for by a pattern and rarely making alterations. I'm afraid to deviate because I don't want something that's useless, because what's the point then of spending all that time knitting? Maybe if I were a faster knitter, I'd be more adventurous. But it usually takes me a very long time to make anything, so I want it to be right the first time. Anyhoo, this hat was a relatively small project so I thought I'd be crazy and make the stripe widths varied. I like how it turned out. I also made the top long, so it'd be just a little floppy. I started off not using a pattern, but finished it off using a Rowan hat pattern for the decreases.



Here's something I've been struggling with for quite some time. In the past, I haven't had much luck with tailors hemming my pants. They measure my pants and then when I get them back they're almost always too short or too long. So I finally figured out that I need a 31" inseam, which allows me to wear 2"-3" heels. So, I took some newly purchased pants (off the clearance rack of course) to the tailor and told her to take exactly 1 inch off (I'd made sure to measure the inseam at home, it was 32"). I was so excited to get them back. When I finally got them, I held them up and the joy faded. They looked a little funny. I whipped out my measuring tape and measured 29.4"!!! What the heck??? Anyway, long story short, the lady wouldn't give me my money back but "fixed" them to an acceptable 30.5" (I have to wear them with flats now) and offered to clean them once for free. I haven't gone back since and now I feel I must hem my pants myself from now on. The problem is that I don't really know how to. I'm just guessing here. Let me know if there's a better way. First I ripped out the seam, then measure 1" up and ironed. Then I did the combo straight stitch and funky swirly stitch as you see below and then trimmed it. This seems kinda messy, but I don't have a serger and didn't see a stitch on my machine that would stitch around the edge. Next, I will hand stitch to finish. I know there is some sort of way to do it with the machine, but you have to fold it in someway I can't even imagine and I'm just plain scared. I don't know why. Maybe cause it all seems so foreign to me. Oh, how I wish I knew what I was doing.


9 comments:

Johanna said...

I love your hat! It's rarely cold enough here to wear a hat, so they just sit in my closet...but I really like them!

My mom just recently taught me to hem properly by hand and I finally hemmed some pants I had been needing to. Usually though, I need pants longer, not shorter. Anyway, Linda, over at Craft Apple just did a post on machine hemming that lays out the steps so nicely. I don't know if your machine would have a stitch like the one she is talking about or not, but the directions are really clear! http://craftapple.wordpress.com/2008/02/13/handpicked-hem-hand-picked-hem-hand-picked-hem/

Johanna said...

By the way, how di you make the link an actual link in a comment?? Joanna, you've done that - what tag do you have to use?

Joanna said...

ok, i'm going to use brackets because if i use this < then it will make a link so whenever you see [ or ] insert < or > instead. it should look like this:

[a href="www.yourwebpage.com"]name of link here[/a]

all you should have to do is replace what's in the quotations with your copied weblink and then whatever you want the link name to be ("here" "there" "linda", etc).

del and i like your hat. especially with the story of why the hat looks the way it looks. without the story, it's just another hat with funny stripes, but with the story, it's a cool hat that marie experimented on. know what i mean?

that's cool about the hemming. it looks nice.

Johanna said...

Okay, I will try to put the link in here nicely: Hand Picked Hem

Joanna said...

GREAT JOB!

Joanna said...

the hand picked hem that linda did is also called an invisible hem. it looks like this on your machine

---v---v---v or

...v...v...

and on mine the v's are switched (one up one down)because you can make it go in either direction. this one may require a phone call because yes it's a little bit tricky.

Marie said...

thanks for the link! i did a google search also on blind hem. i think i will try it out tomorrow. but the thing that really bothers me the most about what I'm doing is leaving the edge so exposed. i can't turn it twice, like craft apple did, because it will create an ugly line when the pants are pressed. that's why dress pants are serged and then folded once. do you think that the one line of straight stitching will prevent the material from fraying?

Joanna said...

yes, it will. next time i'd zig-zag the edge and then put a line of straight stitching. that's as close to serging as it gets with a regular maching. but it should fray just that teeny bit that's not sewn, it won't be a problem.

Tina said...

I LOVE the hat. Haven't tried a hat yet... all the decreases scare me. It is on my list though... (I have a really long list)
I am with you on the hemming... I really wish I could sew. Had a lady I know that is a seamstress here fix a hem on Aaron's pants and it cost me 10 pounds. That is $20. Yikes!