Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Commision: Skello, Obitsu 27 cm girl Aran Sweater

So this is a real challenge!  An Irish (or Aran) knit tunic small enough to look right on a 1/6 doll.  Just finding the yarn gave me fits, because is it pink or is it white? O_o it looks very very very pale pink to me, but since I can finish the tunic before any dye is put in, the customer can decide.  Not even fan art of the character shows the back as having cables, but I learned to knit starting with Aran knitting, so I'm doing the back and the sleeves as well for authenticity.

Note: this has been changed from Obitsu to Very Cool and back again, if you were interested in the Very Cool.
I'm still seeing crystal pink. O_o 
Usually a natural yarn, even a blend, for this size would be in the superfine, super expensive sock yarn range or equally not too cheap, but not happy acrylic. So I went looking on Etsy and found some gorgeous ICE brand silk/Kashmir blend; and the person is selling it one skein at a time, rather than the 10 pack the ICE company in Turkey sells it for!  It says about Sept 12 or so, on the receipt, so I hope it shows up in good time, what with the troubles in Greece.  And for ONLY under $5!  with 7 for shipping!  

I was shocked to see the economy is tanked with the Euro, too.  It used to be just figure 2 to 1 for anything Euro to dollar, now it's less than 0.86?  So if you're going to buy anything from a Euro based shop, buy now!  It will help the company, plus be half the US price in the end! 

I'll have to do some swatch tests and figure the correct gauge and how to spread out the cables and so forth before I can get the tunic actually going.  Usually I take about three false starts even on my own sweaters (pattern, what pattern--that's like reading instructions! Pfft! Who needs instructions!)  I have a tutorial planned for BDJCollectasy on knitting to a paper pattern for December or so.  Maybe January, can't remember, but this will be a two-fer that way.  

Aug 29, 2015

The yarn is on it's way, but the tracking is insane.  For one thing, it literally IS all in Greek to me, and Google Translate has a rough time with place names, so I'm like, Okaaaay, it will get here when it gets here. O_o  In the mean time, I'm patterning the tunic in muslin to use as a base for working out the knitting pattern.  

Sept 2, 2015

Apparently the package has reached the Eastern Sea Board, USA, it left New Jersey last last night, in the care of USPS now.  Give it five days or so, since it's not winter.  

Note: the yarn showed up and is gorgeous! 

August 14, 2015

Okaaaay, the .000 knitting needles left Ohio last week and were scheduled to show up today.  According to tracking, there's been no sign of them since Ohio.  These being super fine knitting needles, I hope that package hasn't somehow ruptured, or been damaged in some way.  Granting, it's an Etsy thing, and yeah, but I don't want the seller to have to eat it if the Post Office screws up; on the other hand, yeah, I want what was purchased!  GRRRR!  Then again, I've had packages go off radar that have turned up anyway, surprisingly from the middle of outter mongolia, safe and sound.  

August 27, 2015

Okay, I've finally got it organized again.  After ordering the .000 needles for a better sizing of the knit, I ended up with no .00000 for the ribbing!  The ribbing has to be made on needles about 2 sizes smaller than the main body, because it's the stretchy part and gets very loose if you use the same size needles as the main body.  When I couldn't find the .00000, I had an idea.  I dug out my old hat pins, which I've heard of people using as knitting needles for doll projects and had just not thought of.  These things are like huge quilting pins, very sharp.  So I took my knife sharpening stone and went at them, thinking, oh well, what can it hurt to try, right?  Not a thing!  The first one took me longer, but the second one was done in 15 mins.  I just had to figure out the technique.  Never be afraid to just go at things until you get them right, this is my Father's advice.  But then again, he also said "Instructions?" So yeah, I have problems with that. Moving along....

The hat pins which I rarely wear and have all these great plans to make hats again to wear, are still usable (and sharp enough to go through hat fabric!) make the exact size knitting needles I needed!  

As you can see I've had to recalibrate the pattern for the new test swatch results.  
After a few false starts and having to go back and rehook a few dropped stitches (which are time consuming but better than having to pull out  and reknit.)

And the pattern now matches the drawing.  Moss stitch, single lines and three cables.
The single lines are hard to see but they are there!

If the other girl's shirt is white, that sweater is pink.  
October 21, 2015

Update photo!  I've had to undo a few inches total and redo them, but here's the photo I sent the other day for everyone else to see.  I'm inordinately pleased with the yarn and the needles for this project. And it's SO NICE to be able to have a reason to do Aran AKA Irish knitting again, especially since living in SoCal pretty much denies me my beloved Northern New York clothing habits.  People really look at you like you're nuts if you have sweaters and cable tights and scarves and thing in your closet here.  Freezing rain wear in Cali consists of a tank top, flip-flops and shorts, apparently.  I saw a guy walking down the street with his cell phone out in the pouring rain a few weeks ago.  Still, when they keep telling you you're in the middle of a drought, who are you going to believe?  The TV or reality?  Well, this is California.

Back's done, almost to the armpits with the front.  I have to
fudge the neck opening so it will fit over the doll's head, but
it will look almost exactly like the art works.
December 12, 2015  Finished!

It took me a while, what with un-raveling and all that, but TA-DAAA!  The aran sweater is finished.  I had to do the collar a little differently than the drawing.  I'm not sure how to get what was going on with the collar in the drawing into an aran sweater, but I did get the cables, and a close approximation of the rolled v collar.  The yarn was gorgeous and washed up beautifully, shrinking into the just the right amount with no excess fuzzing or felting.  The yarn was too thready, though, to make the loops on the cuffs.  However, on the doll it does look just about perfect.  Teeny seems to be the best fit.

As asked, I have put the sweater on the two bodies plus the obitsu to show how it fits.  Naturally big sister tends to fill it out a little better.  XP~

Obitsu's odd lack of  shoulders makes me think  it needs shoulder pads put in  


Very Cool
All in all, a very fun challenge.  I'm quite happy with the yarn and NaRoKnit on Etsy has a customer for life.  I've been wanting to find good real yarn for decent pricing for ages to go at with the 1940s and other vintage patterns I've been getting from Subversive Femme and now I know where I can get honest wool for less than robbing a bank.

Updated for photo w/head.  I thought what is going on here, when I put the head on her and the sweater on. Then in comparison to the Obitsu/Volks combo and the Obitsu body, I was like AHA!  The arms on the volks and obitsu (as well as very cool) are longer than the Teeny.  And for some reason, her head comes out looking smaller in comparison to the Obitsu head. Rather than making a 'Teen' of her, the head seems to age her by being smaller.  If you watch too much anime/manga, you know what I mean. I would say this body can take a larger head by a cm or two along with a non-hard wig.  I put her in the larger shorts from the previous commission and nope, still can't 'zip them up' in back.  But look at her stand.  I had no trouble posing her standing, even if I was in a hurry and she's slightly splayed.  The pattern was for the Obitsu so it fits her proportions, but the shoulder still bug me.  I can sew in little tiny shoulder pads, LOL!  If necessary, I can use the machine to tightly sew in the arms and sides a bit and trim off the excess seam, but shortening the sleeves is a no go. In the mean time it's only five degrees above water freezing here and I envy that sweater.

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