Saturday, May 27, 2006

An annypurls original

I've been dreaming about having a knitting related business for sometime, but it's been one of those dreams that seems so big and so out there that I feel silly even mentioning it. But there. I said it. I'd love to have an annypurls label someday. I'd knit beautiful baby garments and blankies and toys of my own design and sell them in a beautiful swanky online shop programmed by my dear husband. And all while staying at home and raising my family (I'm destined to have 6 kids, y'know!). I wouldn't be looking to make a living this way to be sure, but perhaps a few hundred dollars here and there to help my husband support our family.


The first step in making this dream come true is to design my own babywear. It just wouldn't feel right to be making money off of somebody elses' creative work (it is perhaps even illegal?). This is why this little kimono and cap, which may look like not much to some, means a lot to me. You see, it is my first original design! I worked it out all by myself. From scratch. I sketched. I swatched. I whipped out the calculator. I winged parts of it. And I learned so many new techniques to make sure that it would live up to everything I would hope annypurls to be: cute, classic, simple, thoughtful, and impecably finished. It's a glimmer of hope about what's possible...someday.

In the process, my husband and I learned to hem. All the edges (sleeves, neck band, and bottom edge) have all been hemmed. Above is a picture of the inside finishing and a close-up of the raglan detail on the front for which I learned a new increase (knitting into the back of the stitch below the next one). Oh, and did I mention the whole thing is seamless? I even learned to weave in ends invisibly for this one (I've been doing it wrong this whole time). I learned how to do a tubular cast-on for the cap (see below) which is wonderfully stretchy and impecable. I learned how to do it from Amelia Raitte's brilliant tutorial.

Perhaps the most terrifying thing I learned (and also the most genius thing I've ever heard of) is Elizabeth Zimmerman's afterthought buttonhole. I didn't know how I would fasten this baby as I was knitting it up and when it was done I got the idea for the toggle button (plus I had just one left over from Julian's paletot jacket so I think it was meant to be) but I had not inserted a button hole anywhere to accomodate it. Elizabeth's technique (from her Knitting Without Tears book - if you don't have it yet, you simply MUST get it!) saved the day.

The idea is to snip the middle stitch of where you want the buttonhole to be (very scary), unravel about 3 loops on the top and 3 on the bottom (I ended up unravelling 4 on each side to accomodate my oversized button), cast them off and weave in the super tiny 'ends'. Above is a photo of the front post-snip and below is a photo of the reverse side with the teeny ends I speak of. Scary, eh? It's like open knit surgery!

I even think I improved on the technique - I just pulled the loops over each other in order all the way around the 'buttonhole' picking up a stitch on either end to finish it off, pull one of the tiny snipped ends through the last loop to secure it and then wove up the teeny tiny ends by inserting the needle in and out before threading it (the ends were about an inch and a half long!). The resulting buttonhole is very sturdy and pretty...definately doesn't look like and afterthought! Neat, eh?


Can you tell I'm proud of this one? Now if only I can remember the pattern ;0) I didn't take any notes while actually knitting the kimono so all I have are rough sketches and tension figures! So my next challenge is to actually write it up. And of course, I'll share it with you when I do.

Cheers!

33 comments:

  1. Absolutely adorable, congrats! :)

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  2. Anny, they're beautiful. You're following your heart and making this happen for yourself. Congratulations on taking the first big step in what is clearly the right direction for you. Big hug.

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  3. If you can dream it, you can do it. I'm working on a similar dream, too. Good luck!

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  4. You have every right to be proud! I love the pattern and construction. I think you have a future as a designer!

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  5. That is soooooooooo cute!! Love it, love it, love it!!

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  6. So cute! And the buttonhole looks great! I think you should go for it - you've obviously got the talent!

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  7. It is, indeed, illegal and unethical to sell other people's designs without their permission.

    But you definitely won't need to! Look at how pretty and adorable and comfy and functional and original and great to knit your own design is! You have every right to be VERY proud :)

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  8. How adorable. It looks like your dreams are coming to fruition, step by step. The hat sets off the kimono so well. Your a clever lady.

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  9. Wow...I didn't know you designed the kimono!! How excellent! It looks fabulous!

    I'd be afraid to try the afterthought buttonhole, but apparently if you do it right it works...I'd be afraid that I would do it wrong and there goes all that knitting down the drain.

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  10. Anny! Thank you for sharing your dream with us. Your piece of art is fabulous, wonderful, and beautiful!

    I can see that you and your husband have it in you to make the dream happen. Slowly but surely, it will happen. It's starting already!

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  11. Hi Anny,
    I bookmarked your page because I really enjoy other people's work( baby clothes) even though my babies(three boys) are all way too old for that!(18,20 and married 23 yr old!). But I have lots of other babies to knit for. I think your work is outstanding and I,too, think op designss that fit what I want in a garment. I haven't knitted all that long and am very bad with math, but I DO know what I like and eventually will get there on bigger projects. I will be the first in line to purchase your kimono pattern! Your photography is great,too.

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  12. Hi Anny,
    I bookmarked your page because I really enjoy other people's work( baby clothes) even though my babies(three boys) are all way too old for that!(18,20 and married 23 yr old!). But I have lots of other babies to knit for. I think your work is outstanding and I,too, think op designss that fit what I want in a garment. I haven't knitted all that long and am very bad with math, but I DO know what I like and eventually will get there on bigger projects. I will be the first in line to purchase your kimono pattern! Your photography is great,too.

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  13. You should be proud. It's gorgeous. I'll have to try the afterthought buttonhole someday - looks scary, but fun.

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  14. Anny! The kimono and hat look fabulous. Bravo! Cutting anything that you've already knit is a scary concept, but the button hole turned out awesome. Can't wait to see another annypurls original.

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  15. Please share! This is exactly what I am looking for...

    A great start to your dream...I'll help fund it by buying the pattern!

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  16. Well done Anny! It's beautiful and you should be very proud. I can't wait to see the pattern ...

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  17. anny! it's fabulous! that pattern is adorable and you'll certainly do well as a designer.
    xoxo
    ~j
    p.s. shoes in the mail tomorrow!

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  18. You're amazing...it's that simple. You can totally do this...I have been very attracted to everything you've shown us...very simple, sometimes whimsical and always very high quality. I'll definitely advertise for you. Thanks also for you nice comment last week. It's certainly a juggling act having time for all the kids, but I really try and it's nice that you picked up on it. Us stay-at-homes don't get feed back that often!

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  19. You will do it Anny; you won't not be able to! Your knits are wonderful and fresh and the kimono is so original. The details are so lovely and informative. Your attention to detail and your care of the whole project speaks to your design mind. Congrats and I await the realization of your dream!

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  20. wonderful job on the finishing (and terrifying stuff, though perhaps not as freaky as steeks for me). Can't wait to purchase an AnnyP original. Lovely.

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  21. Baby are most beautiful gift given to human being.

    Every parents want to see their baby happy and also

    look beautiful. For that every parents purchase baby

    clothes (børnetøj) best of their choice. Baby clothes

    choosing is important because kind of clothes or

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    ReplyDelete
  22. Baby are most beautiful gift given to human being.

    Every parents want to see their baby happy and also

    look beautiful. For that every parents purchase baby

    clothes (børnetøj) best of their choice. Baby clothes

    choosing is important because kind of clothes or

    børnetøj affects the health of your baby too.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I think saying your dream is too big or silly or that you can't make a living at it is a crock! I believe as many wise people have said if you can dream it you can achieve it. The first step is to stop calling your dreams silly.I know if you looked around, there are people making a living in many ways that at first seemed implausable. You have the most important step handled - doing what you love and are passionate about. You can do it!

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  24. intersting stuff to share...Thanks

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