knit decisions

For the last month or so I’ve had the strong urge to buy yarn. I think I just have project fatigue, two projects out of sockweight yarn at the same time might not be the best idea for me. After fighting it for weeks I almost gave in – I found a cute pattern on Ravelry that called for 3 skeins of a yarn I know I’ve seen locally, I was hoping that my usual LYS carried it  – they didn’t. I almost bought something else that seemed appropriate but didn’t. I still have the 5 skeins from the last time I did that (and the yarn totally didn’t work for the pattern I picked). In fact I have yarn for at least 3 selfish projects just waiting (one from a failed and frogged project). So I started to focus my attention to new pattern possibilities.

Shiny pattern #1: Gemini from Knitty Spring + Summer 2012 issue (Rav link)

pros: I’m trying to add more casual (non-t-shirt) tops to my wardrobe, its new and exciting, upon first glance it feels like a more straight forward pattern and project

cons: I thought this was a pro, but on second look my yarn doesn’t seem like a good substitution for the pattern specified yarn

Shiny pattern #2: Miette by Andi Satterlund (Rav link)

pros: Cardigan, I love cardigans, 60 degree summer days need cardigans to bridge the gap between seasonal dressing and dressing for the weather. It has a wee bit of lace which I enjoy. I like the shape and slightly vintage feel.

cons: I have to modify the pattern for my gauge and size. Sometimes this is fun but sometimes this blows up in my face. (Gail has lots of posts on this, and it is her yellow version that makes me hopeful that I could get a cardigan out of my yardage). I worry I won’t have enough yarn. I worry that I can’t pull off a cropped cardigan anymore.

The yarn, GGH Linova (Rav link), I have 660 yards in my stash in a light purple. Originally I made it into Petrie but despite a huge gauge swatch (washed and blocked), and copious amounts of math to add waist shaping I somehow made a top that was far too big for me – plus I didn’t like the drape of the cowl neck with the turned hem edge treatment.

I guess the next obvious step is to just make a new gauge swatch since I probably shouldn’t trust my swatch from 2010 (if I even find my swatch notes).

June 21, 2013. Tags: , . Knitting. 2 comments.

MMM’13 Days 1-5

Yikes, this is getting tough. I really hope I don’t repeat the same 5-7 outfits. This morning (day 5) while getting dressed I realized, due to the warm weather (seasonal anomaly) I had to pick between 2 skirts and 1 pair of pants. Knitted woolen items are not going to work when it is 80+ degrees. Also, I re-found these timely Already Pretty posts: How to Look Awesome in a Photo part 1How to Look Awesome in a Photo part 2How to Look Awesome in a Photo part 3. But since I found these tips on day 5 and am dealing with the self-timer function 90% of the time (ok more like 85.7%). Day one was a bit disastrous as I couldn’t find my camera or the piece that holds my camera to my tripod (nope not together, that would be too easy) so I used my phone camera (thank goodness it has that dual front/rear camera thing going) – except I’m pretty bad at it, we are lucky you didn’t catch my finger pulling way from the button. Day two I decided to take on Patty the Snug Bug’s (who has dropped off the face of sewing blogging) and vaguely Wonder Woman-ish pose. It feels pretty good. And I started distracting myself with Dog who was curious about what I was doing.

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I have one skirt and one pair of pants that I haven’t worn yet (plus another wool cardigan but that won’t work with our current forecast). And I still need to finish two skirts (hems, argh) and have two tops that are in process (cut out, partially together). That should help. I’m hoping something I make will soon become a TNT pattern but so far nada.

May 5, 2013. Tags: , , , . Me Made May. 4 comments.

Challenge Accepted

I, Michelle of Anotheryarn Crafts, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear one hand-made item each day for the duration of May 2013.

Eek! Since the first Me-Made month I watched along, envious of people diving into sewing clothes and loving their results. Clothes sewing was my first crafting love. I’ve wanted to sew my own stuff since I was 8 or 9. I used to do so (back when I naively skipped the muslim but garments turned out ok anyway), but in the last 10 years or so I’ve not been thrilled with my sewn results. However this year I realized that I do have some me-made garments and especially during “wool season” (in the PNW for lizard-me that is September through June at least) I often do wear handmade things (mostly hats and scarves but still).

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June 2009, I realized that I was wearing a lot of handmade: sweater, skirt and bag.

Anyway, I decided to give this a shot, I started tallying my handmade garments and have:

  1. purple corduroy skirt (seen above)
  2. grey twill skirt
  3. February Lady Sweater (seen above)
  4. Blackberry Cozy Sweater
  5. Blue peasanty blouse
  6. Amy Butler tunic
  7. Juniper pants (and I really want to make more)
  8. scarves/cowls/hats/jewelry/socks

Plus the two skirts that just need hemming. And plans, oh I have plans. I’ve been stashing garment fabric and it is time to stop treating them as too-precious to use (well, except the teal wool houndstooth fabric, that is still too precious). That seems sort of limited, but I don’t think my sartorial choices can get any more boring than they already are with the endless days of jeans + t-shirts + sweaters that I currently wear.

April 28, 2013. Tags: , , . Sewing, Thoughts. 4 comments.

FOF: knitting plus sewing

FOF=Finished Object Friday.  It is kind of sad when you can’t remember the last project you posted on your own blog; luckily the blog still exists even though I didn’t include it as part of my Summer of UFOs (unfinished objects).  But I did finish several things, which I will be slowly revealing on Fridays.  That is the plan anyway.

In May of 2010 I decided to make this cute pattern (Rav link), the Two Summer Sundress by Natalie Larson, involving a quick knit top and sewn skirt, to be exact I decided to make three of them.  I managed to finish two of the three tops last summer, but only finish one completely, which worked just fine since that little girl lives in the tropics, but once September hit I put the other two away since sundresses are no good in Nebraska falls, winters or springs.  But I tackled them and sent them off before this summer was over, thank goodness they are sized to fit for more than one year (though it is yet to be seen if they will fit the girls for a second summer due to my procrastination).

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The first completed Two Summer Dress.  The 18 moth size was made with one skein of Cascade Pima Tencel (a lovely soft yarn), dot fabric (Robert Kaufman IIRC) and some heart lace trim I’ve had around forever.  I finished the inside with ribbon per the original pattern, but I followed my own sewing-sense for the skirt construction.

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The second Two Summer Dress. Another 18 month size was made with one skein of Knit Picks Shine Worsted, a yard of quilting cotton (I’ve forgotten the line, I bought it summer of 2010 though), and I finished the hem with a fabric ruffle.  I made the ruffle 2x’s the skirt width.  I also used straight grain strips instead of ribbon to finish the inside.  I hand stitched the strips in place, but machine stitched the skirt to the bodice since I could hide that line of stitching between garter ridges.

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And the final Two Summer Dress.  This is the 8 year old size and it took 2 skeins of Knit Picks Shine Worsted, the skirt is made from a Robert Kaufman print I found at Jo-Ann’s at least 4 years ago, the inside is again finished with straight grain strips and the rick rack was picked up recently to finish the skirt.  The rick rack is larger than average, but not jumbo rick rack.  As you can see the straps look significantly longer than the 18 month size.  This is the bodice that required re-knitting since my first version ended up not following within pattern schematic measurements and the top originally would have fit me and I don’t fit in girls size 8 tops.  I found the back fastening on this bodice to be problematic.  I think the physical weight of the bodice was too much for the simple buttonholes and buttons so I added a hidden snap to hopefully mitigate gaping in back.

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I wish I could further explain my skirt modifications, but all I remember is this: 1) I attached the skirt to the bodice while it was flat and sewed the final back center seam just before hemming and 2) I followed the pattern’s finished measurements but not the sewing instructions.  A few more pictures are in my flickr account and perhaps a wee bit more information in my Ravelry Project Notes.  And while I enjoyed these projects overall I think I will probably try another knit bodice+sewn skirt=dress pattern that a knitting buddy told me about next time since that pattern uses raglan shaping for a pullover with little cap sleeves instead of long skinny garter stitch straps.  Though that will probably only make a one summer dress.

September 23, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Knitting, Sewing. 2 comments.

FO: Pajama Pants take 1

Okay, so these are the pajama pants that caused so much grief, the pants from Butterick pattern 6837.  I am even showing the photo that makes the fly flap fiasco (see the small pleat?) and the grain-line fiasco visible.  The problems could be the fault of my rusty-sewing-skills self and not the pattern itself.  The good news is I might have enough for another pair of pants.  But I need to modify the pattern to have a shorter crotch and use different fabric to back the waistband.  And they are successful enough to wear to bed.  The fabric is deliciously soft (I used a flannel from the shirting section of the fabric store).

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April 22, 2008. Tags: , , . Thoughts. Leave a comment.

FO: Retro Redux Shrug

All done.  I skimped out on a couple things since I was knitting on a deadline.  I started knitting this on February 20th with the intentions of wearing it to a friend's wedding on March 15th.  I finished the shrug on the second leg of my flight to the wedding locale on March 13th and then weaved in the ends from the last ball of yarn at the hotel that night.  I maintain my general rate of no more than 1 ball of yarn per week (blargh).

Stats: Retro Redux Shrug from Lace Style; 3 entire balls of Karabella Aurora 8 yarn; Bryspun needles in size 8, 9, 10 and 10 1/2 (oh and a 2x" bamboo needle in size 8 for the collar); long tail cast-on and basic cast-off (I think there was a better choice but I ran out of research time); I downsized the pattern in wing-span length but not cast-on numbers.

I'm pretty happy with it, though I think it stretches a wee bit much over my shoulders making them feel unnecessarily wide and while it didn't keep me quite warm enough in the very cold room where the ceremony took place, I got quite warm while dancing at the reception and by the end of the night it started to fall off one of my shoulders.  I loved knitting with Aurora.  I plan on wearing the shrug again as soon as it gets warm enough (dratted cold weather) and while I have lots of knitting on my to do list I would be interested in knitting this pattern again.  It was dead easy to follow, though I would have liked more guidance on the right cast-on & cast-off choices.  I struggled and worried about the fit as well.  I ended up taking away like 4 inches from the smallest size wingspan (distributing those 4 inches between the various sections) which was a very good idea for me otherwise the cuffs would have been below my elbows (of course there is the excessive stretching across the shoulders…).

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April 22, 2008. Tags: , , , . Thoughts. 2 comments.