Monday, February 7, 2011

The Great Knit Fabric Experiment

I was honored to be asked to participate in the Great Knit Fabric Experiment hosted by Stitch Simple and Harmony Art

Stitch Simple specializes in  ready to sew quilt fabrics.  By ready to sew I mean washed, pressed and cut! 

Harmony Art is a designer of the most delicious organic sateen fabrics.   They also have a line of organic knits (that just so happen to perfectly coordinate with their woven fabrics).


Myself and 5 other talented Experimenters were provided with Harmony Art organic knit fabric to create whatever our hearts desired along with a tutorial for our creation.

Though my job was to create a knit item, I just couldn't overlook the availability of the coordinating wovens in my brainstorming. The first two applications that came to mind were wear ables (combinations of knit/woven outfits) and quilts, bedding & layette items for kids. These knits are phenominally soft and very dense.

While I love the quilts my mom made for my kids, I LOVED LOVED LOVED knit blankets when they were infants and they loved them as toddlers - dragging them everywhere around the house.  Accordingly, this seemed like the perfect project to make and share given the universal appeal of those famous maker ready made knit blankets.

I made two versions to share with you.  The Easiest Knit Blanket is two layers of interlock knit finished off with a simple scalloped edge:

The Easy Knit Blanket is two layers of interlock knit finished with a knit binding. 

You can download the tutorial for these Easy Knit Blankets here.  (Tutorial is copyright protected and for personal use only.) These are simple projects with no fancy tools or tricks. 

Here are a few miscellaneous points re: sewing with knits:
  • Many people think a serger is necessary for sewing with knits. This is not true. While they can be handy for finishing seams on garments, a straight stitch followed by an overlock will work fine also.
  • Your machine doesn’t HAVE to have a stretch stitch (maybe if you’re making a swimsuit? Or such). I simply used a longer length stitch for this project (4.0).
  • Buy ballpoint needles for sewing with knits. The needles you see labeled as STRETCH needles are for use with lycra and elastic. (To this day, I still have to call my mom from the fabric store because I get confused every time.)  Ballpoint pins maybe something to get if you are going to sew with knits on an ongoing basis.
  • Don't be intimidated just because you haven't tried knits.  I can assure many of you quilters that these blankets are far simpler to sew than many of your quilting projects that you are comfortable with.

As with any experiment, there were a few things that didn't turn out as well as planned.  Later this week I'll be sharing a bit more of my experiment and some of the other alternatives I'm trying as a result. 

Be sure to go to Stitch Simple's site to link to all the other tutorials for the Great Knit Fabric Experiment.


Barb said...

Oh...I just love these...thanks for the tips..

Harmony said...

Thanks for participating! I LOVE the way you combined both the lime and the apricot with Alphabet Soup. :)

Chris H said...

Both are lovely.
I am too scared to sew knits! Maybe I should try. Thanks for the tip about the ballpoint needles.

Karen said...

These are the perfect projects to get started with knits!

Emily said...

Lovely! I like the color/print combos. Great tips for sewing with knits too. I love knits b/c they're easier to get dresses/shirts over my daughter's head. :)

Green Bag Lady Teresa said...

These are adorable!

Cat said...

I can't get to the downloadable tutorial. I would love to try working with knits!!

The Hojnackes said...

I would love this tutorial, but it says it is unavailable. :(