Sunday, November 16, 2014

You've gotta pick a pocket or two

Hi there! This Pumpkin Ale Sweater is getting so close to completion, I can taste it! I've been keeping you in the loop about every single adventure along the way in this sweater, so I hope you aren't bored to tears seeing photos of this orange object!

I believe it is my most involved-not largest, but most tricky-knitting project thus far, and I feel incredibly slow at it, even though I've been putting in hours a day. But it's worth it.

You'll have to excuse the inconsistent color of the sweater in the next photos because I took them at different times of the day (it gets so dark so quickly now!), but I'm convinced that orange, even heathered, is non-photogenic under most lighting conditions. My colorway is almost exactly the same as Ysolda's.

I am just about at the second cuff, so let's get talking about the pockets!
I made sure that I did not confuse the ends of my provisional cast-on by making several extra crochet chains and securing it with a knot. This helped me find the end that unziped all of those live stitches.

Oh, by the way. I was a little rebellious. Nothing too serious, but in the pattern, the pockets were the last thing to complete, and I decided to get a head-start on the more fussy things so that I have less work by the end. I also decided to make the knitted portion of the pocket a little bit longer, in hopes that the liner will sit further down, making it more hidden. Rebel. Mwa ha ha.
A long while back, I bought these circular needle stitch holders on clearance from Hobby Lobby, and I am finally using them. I do have every variety of stitch holders known to man, but who can help themselves with a 75% off knitting notion? I had no idea what the little white contraption at the end was for until I got a closer look at it. It locks the needle and the end together. Cool.
Anyways, this is what the knitted potion of the pocket looks like. You don't knit the full pocket. You start knitting a couple of inches, and then bind off. You sew yourself a liner and attach it to the bind-off area of the pocket in the end. Ysolda instructs you to make a faux-seam of purling a stitch on the sides. I think the reason was for it to match the edge seams in the liner easier.
Next, I picked out my liner. I had this leftover from a purse liner from the Fake-a-gamo purse many years back. Just in case you are curious, the second purse is my cute modified clutch version.
Now here's when things went a little sour. My sewing machine decided last night that it would rather eat fabric than sew. I took that thing apart as far as I was comfortable with, but couldn't find the problem. I found lint (which I removed), but couldn't find out why it would work fine without fabric, but once you but feed the cloth through, the needle would tangle inside with the thread underneath and chew through the fabric. I re-threaded many times, re-adjusted the needle, the footer, the bobbin, etc. I'm not a seamstress, so I haven't a clue.

So, I also got to use this portable Singer sewing machine for the first time. Now, let's be real. Sewing actually scares the crud out of me. I have nightmares about my finger getting in the way of the needle. Now, this machine is like that nightmare on crack. Once you bring the needle up, you have to physically lift the metal footer up to slide the fabric under... and quick frankly, I almost ran my finger over with the needle a couple of times in the process. The sewer would turn on if I bumped/pushed down slightly on the red top portion which lifting the footer. Yikes. The sewing isn't as neat as the real machine, and I couldn't zig-zag to have a nice border, but it did the job. I went over it 2-3 times just in case. Sorry, I'm not hand-sewing the whole thing:
"Ain't nobody got time for that."
After my sewing fiasco, I was further disappointed that I had no idea on how to attach this thing. Like I said, I don't sew. I can do basic, basic things and this knowledge does not come naturally.

So, if you are in the same boat, let me gift you with my discoveries to save you some time and frustration! In the photo above, notice how I pinned the knit pocket fabric. I only folded the side that is closest to the garter border. 
First, do your necessary sewing for the liner's edging. Do yourself a favor and iron the top where you are going to pin (unlike me) and then pin the fabric to the knitting as such, right at the bind-off edge of the knit pocket.
Now listen up! You want a nice, clean, invisible sewing job, right? Make sure you do a sneaky-sneaky "slip-stitch" job around the fabric. Youtube it, if you've never done the stitch (that's what I did). Trust me, you don't want to see a visible sewing job because the top portion of the liner is visible to the public. Like in the photo, do your slip-stitching just behind (but not too far behind) the edge of the liner and then do your sewing into the knit fabric right around the same area and it should HIDE all that sewing. Neat, huh?
You'll probably want to sew behind where the fold in the knit pocket was, but I haven't finished this yet. Don't judge my liner's edging...remember, my sewing machine was broken and I couldn't zig-zag it!
The result? A beautiful and well-invisible sewing job.
Like I said, I haven't knit the garter border yet, but when I do the pockets, the liner will be fully hidden, and I will sew the liner edge to the border so it doesn't "flop" around. :) Almost done, people! Yay!
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