Well, here it is, the project in all its glory. It's been sitting in a little pile on one of the couches for a couple of weeks, waiting for the right-sized person to come and pose in it for me. And here she is - the lovely Laura!
She loved the hat and mitts particularly - and would probably have appreciated the waistcoat more if it hadn't been 27 Celsius that day!
More photos below - in the detail photo you can see the lace pattern of the original jersey, on the back of the mitts.
I really do need to steam the armhole trim - it would lie a lot flatter if it were properly finished.
Materials (in case you've just started following):
Now I have a complete set of mitts! And the hat is well on its way as well.As I continue on with changing a 'manky' sweater into a 3-piece fashion extravaganza, I will keep photographing, particularly the details as the work progresses.
The finished mitts!
The original jumper had a lace border around the bottom of the sleeves and garment. You can see this quite clearly in the photo.
Here are the finished mitts, with their 'hand-crafted' edging.
The hand length is a little shorter than I would like, but they do successfully cover my knuckles. I prefer mitts with short fingers but this cloth is not really suitable for this treatment - I would have had to insert gussets between each finger - very fiddly!
Blanket stitch plus knots
The finished edge - knotty but nice! This is the beginning of the hat edge.
You can see how the thick and thin yarn provides a great texture of bumps. It wasn't until I started working on this edge that I realised how regular my thick and thin yarn was - perhaps I need to work on a little bit of irregularity!
The first row is plain blanket stitch, the second is needle knots worked into each blanket stitch top loop.
These cuffs are terrific! They are nice and stretchy, textured without being rough and uncomfortable; I love this bumpy look too. Here you can clearly see the starting chain that I made to pick up the stitches. Magically, I managed to make both chains the same number of stitches without counting.
The cast-off cuff edge is very flexible and (I think) looks nicer than a cast-on, and I like the simple finish of the pickup chainstitch. If I was knitting then attaching the cuff, I'd stitch it to the mitt using surface backstitch through the loops of the final row.
Moving on to the hat next week...
By now you'll have heard about the Spring Challenge (I hope!) and if you've decided to have a go, which I really hope you will, you'll be wondering what to do - if you haven't already got something suitable to re-purpose.
Because I wouldn't ask you to do anything I wouldn't do myself, I'll be doing an upcycling project during the Spring Challenge.
I started with an old alpaca jersey my daughter found at the Sally's. It was a hideous mangled object, oatmeal in colour and repulsively distorted and felted from being machine washed. It had a lace pattern around the bottom, no ribbing except on the neckband and apart from that was a very simple set-in-sleeve shape.
So first up, I decided to dismantle it into the future components of a waistcoat, hat and mitts. This would make it easier to dye evenly, I hoped.
I decided that since I had some nice thick-and-thin yarn in Nightfall, I would dye the jersey navy.
I filled up my large dyepot, added dye, detergent and white vinegar and popped in the pre-wetted pieces. Unfortunately the post wasn't big enough! I was left with several pieces undyed, the big issue here being that it might be near-impossible to match the shade between pieces. Luckily I was going for full saturation so that made it possible to get a colour match eventually by simply adding more and more dye liquid to the pot in small increments. I hate over-saturating the dyepot because it means that I then have to dispose of dyestuff - usually the wool absorbs all the dye, leaving only mildly acidic water to dispose of.
The biggest bonus of the dye treatment was that it further felted the fabric into a dense, luxurious silky knit with a lovely surface sheen.
So that was day one - at the end I had several pieces of beautiful,densely felted navy alpaca knit fabric.
Kate is a semi-retired photographer and craft dyer who lives in Southland, New Zealand.