March 18, 2013

Will Film for Corsets!

My favorite corsetier, Generations of Art, posted a contest on Facebook to create the best video tutorial on how to lace a corset using her Lock Lacing method, so that she can link her customers to it. I love the corset she made for my wedding, so I had to jump on this chance! :) I'm not an "off-the-rack" shaped lady, so I'm so happy to have found a corset maker that I can walk right up to at many of the anime conventions we attend each year, get custom measurements, and order specific fabrics. Also, all of her corsets are very high quality, with great, strong fabrics and spiral steel boning throughout, and they're all FULLY REVERSIBLE!!! Seriously, check her out!

So here's the little tutorial I made for the contest.

And I won! Woot! Totally makes the time spent on multiple takes, and the blisters my fingers endured from those takes, totally worth it!

My prize: $100 credit toward a custom corset of my choosing! :D Would've completely covered a cincher, but I've been drooling over the Suzi style for a long while now. It's an adorable, 50's/rockability style corset dress. And oh yeah, it's reversible too!

Got my shiny new corset dress ordered & new measurements taken over the weekend while at Naka Kon. Should be here in a month or so. *happy dance*

Now I'm curious, any interest out there for a video tutorial on how to straight lace? Good for those corsets that are a smidge too loose.

March 17, 2013

The Quest Continues...

... to discover the best way to make a knit hat without knitting it.

As I've mentioned before, I hate knitting. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that a pattern I like & promised to make for a friend to gift to someone ended up being a knit project! Thought it was crochet when I saved the link originally, & just had it in my head all this time that it was crochet. So now I have a comissioned project to complete, and by golly I'm not going to knit it! Mostly because I haven't learned how to knit in the round, or how to do colorwork in knit, and I certainly don't care to learn.

Enter tunisian crochet.

Tunisian is the odd middle child between crochet & knitting. With tunisian, you "cast on" loops of stitches like in knitting, using a very long crochet hook, then work them back off the hook with a return pass in a method more like crochet. The resulting fabric is denser & less stretchy than either of the other yarn crafts, and can also make textures unobtainable otherwise. If using multiple colors, interesting effects can be created, including "peekaboo" or illusion efects & reversible fabrics. Tunisian can also create fabrics that look just like knitting, albeit denser.

So I've been working on the hat, trying different methods of tunisian to achieve the correct finished look. So far, I've gotten close, but I'm not quite there yet. (my initial attempt to make the hat in sc was abandoned when I realized that sc stitches don't stack one directly above the other, which skews the text of the pattern's chart into something unreadable.) I started off making the hat just as the pattern calls, replacing true knit with tunisian knit stitch (tks). Working bottom up, the result was SUPER huge! Frogged & tried again, with fewer stitches around the brim of the hat, discovering a stitch number that fit better. Of course, this meant completely reworking the pattern chart to fit in a smaller number of stitches. Once figured out, I worked up the hat a bit beyond the wording section & was overall happy with how it was turning out. Tried it on again & discovered that the hat tightened up a lot as I worked. Just the nature of tunisian I suppose. So it was time to start over on the hat. Le sigh.

But opprotunity can be found even in our failed attempts! In my tunisian research, I found out that you can use tunisian crochet to create a true knit fabric. Without touching those dreaded knitting needles.

Mind. Blown.

I HAD to try this! And looky here, I had a piece of tunisian crochet with no use that I could play with!

The example I found took a hat made with tunisian simple stitch (tss, aka afghan stitch), and once finished, completely removed the yarn used for the return pass, leaving the creator with a true knit.

Here's my attempt at the same, with a piece made in tks:

The original piece. All tks. Tunisian curls like crazy.
When I tested the amount of stretch on the original tks piece, I found that a 1 inch section stretched to an additional 1/8 inch, at maximum.

Other side of the original piece. Tks.

Yarn from the return pass pulled out of the top half of the piece. Still remains in the bottom half. Gives you an idea of the differet thicknesses between tks & true knit. Also, the resulting knit is much more flimsy/holey than the original tks. I'd imagine it wouldn't be as warm.

Back side, again with the yarn from the return pass removed from the top half only.

All done. The knit that was left is still a little curly, but not so much as with tunisian. Also was left with some lovely holes from what I suppose could be called dropped stitches, though I didn't actually drop any that I'm aware of. Likely just user error that could be prevented with a little more practice. And the color changes are pretty messy in a couple spots, especially on the tail of the K. A 1 inch section of this resulting knit stretched an additional 1/4 inch at maximim.

Overall, I'd say not a bad experiment here. The verdict: yes you can cheat your way into a knit fabric using tks. I wouldn't do this with color changes, without more practice to see if it can be done without becoming so sloppy looking. Also not sure how the finished look would turn out when starting with tss vs tks. The increased holey-ness in the resulting knit could be countered by doing the tunisian with a tighter guage.

But the quest for this hat continues...