2009

I keep reading 2009 lists and somehow it feels like 2009 should not have happened yet, but it did and it is gone.

What crafty things did I accomplish?  I sort of love the photo mosaic, but I hate putting it together.  As I started the process though, I thought, “wow, look at everything I did!” and that was nice.

2009 Review

That empty lower corner is where I should have a picture of the Margaret sling bag I made my sister but forgot to take a picture before I gave it to her.

I knit: pretty pink princess (sheldon from knitty), newborn booties (magic slippers from ???), bright scarf (drop scarf pattern that is a modified clapotis), camping hat version 2.5, grandpa’s hat, my leaf lace camping hat, pink lemonade (elenka from knitty), february lady sweater, brimless topi (from knitty), asymmetrical cable scarf (from One Skein), Panda legs (improvised pattern), Turn-a-Plain (Turn-a-Square from Jared Flood), Brynn’s Ruffles (modified Lilly pattern from Larissa Brown), Poppy brooch (riff on Nancy Ricci’s poppy pattern), Crumpet beret, Peach Baby and Sea Baby (ribbed baby jacket pattern from Debbie Bliss adorned with a flower from Crochet Adorned)

I crocheted: Butterfly cap (from Vallieskids), Medallion Table Runner (from Crochet Adorned)

I sewed: little artist’s drawing case (from Craft Apple when it used to be a free pattern), Unstructured bag (idea from a Japanese craft book), two Hourglass Pillows (Amy Butler pattern), Hello Kitty Pajama Pants (Simplicity pattern), Bloomers for Pink Lemonade (Favorite Things pattern), woolen flower brooch (from Design Sponge), Buttercup Bag (modified, from Made by Rae), Margaret sling bag (from Oh Fransson), Moleskin Cover (mashup of a family pattern and Mr. Monkeysuit pattern), oh and recovered 4 patio chairs (not sewing, but it involved fabric)

I grew and mostly did not kill: mint, rosemary, primroses, cat grass, radishes and arugula

What crafty things did I leave unfinished?

2009 Unfinished

I did finish one marigold sock (though didn’t take a picture), now I need to sit down and do a little knitting csi before I can start the second sock, doh. And I’ve made progress on both sassymetrical and ishbel. But I stalled out on machine quilting the HK quilt way back in springtime. I basted the three layers together, wound 5 bobbins worth of thread and then chickened out. The Anna Tunic was hemmed during the christmas sewing (quick while I have matching thread in the machine) and just waiting for buttons to be sewn on.

I’m going to ignore the list of things I never got around to starting.  But I am focusing on finishing up before I tackle too many new projects.  Except fingerless gloves, because not having a grab and go knitting project that stuffs in a purse was making me cranky (just ask TheHusband).  So I grabbed a single skein of yarn, jotted a few notes from the Maine Morning Mitts pattern and started last weekend during an errand run with TheHusband.

January 9, 2010. Tags: . Crochet, Gardening, Knitting, Sewing, Thoughts. 2 comments.

Trumpet the Crumpet and other knitted goods

Back in September when I decided to let my unfinished sassymetrical rest for the winter (last seen here) I started working on a series of smaller projects I’d promised various people (and a couple gifts).  There were 3 or 4 projects that each should have taken me a week or two to complete.  In mid November I was still working on nagging details.  Snaps to be sewn on, ends to weave in, seams to be sewn…  it was rather frustrating.  Now we are in the second week of December and I just sent off various fall gifts on Sunday evening (the joys of a 24 hour quick-shop/postal outlet, though the guy helping was baffled that I’d want to hear about the cost-differences between sending first-class/priority mail/parcel-post for even the third package sent while when I’m at an official Post Office they always give me those options without me asking).

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But not as frustrating as trying to work kitchener stitch with manos silky wool in the round over 50+ stitches.  Not pretty.  See, I’ve been siting on the crumpet beret (Rav link) which I’ve made for Fractone of Dear Blank, it felt like it was taking forever when really it was a 2 week project (started at the end of October) but I decided that the 1×1 ribbing was a great project to finally try out a tubular bind-off.  So of course I put off trying tubular bind-off for over a week then I dutifully did my two set-up rows to create double kitting and started to graft, I got about 5 stitches in when I decided it wasn’t going be pretty and undid that work and did  Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off instead. The Knitty pictures were failing me, but luckily Cat Bordhi made a video of this – Thank you Cat!  The bind-off is a little fluttery – I think it is supposed to be that way for the non-squeezing effect.  I hope  the hat stays on nicely and I personally like to find that sweet spot where hats don’t smoosh hair around your face and yet don’t fly off with a random wind gust.

crumpet hat

I also sent off two baby sweaters that I really really hope will fit.  My friend had twins this fall, and she sort of lucked out since I started the first baby sweater with no idea who it was for (odd for me).  This August I was lamenting about the idea of making not one but two baby items, contemplating sewing something instead, when I realized one item was already made and it might just fit.  Maybe.  I don’t know yet.  At some point this fall I decided I wanted to make little flowers to embellish the sweater so I flipped through Crochet Adorned and picked out one of the motifs, the 5-petal pointy flower, from Crochet Adorned’s Garden Party Cardigan (you can’t see it on most of the book’s photos, check page 39 where it is hiding between strands of the model’s hair on her left shoulder) and modified a raised center by picking up stitches in the middle and single crocheting towards the center then pulling the end toward the back.  These two sweaters were the subject of much procrastination mention above.  I finally stitched on the two matching flowers, going around the center about three times to make sure it was good and secure, but leaving the flower petals ends detached for a little more dimension.  And shipped those sweaters off, hopefully before the babes grow out of them.  Now to work on my long backlog of other baby items, I think a few of the babes might reach kindergarten before they get a knitted object from me 😦  The lesson – always have something baby related on the needles so stuff is good to go (great idea in theory).

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Of course what is the best thing to do in November, when you have nagging details to complete and a desire to make christmas gifts?  Cast-on for two selfish projects of course.  I joined a local knit-along and finally started my first lace shawl, Ishbel, as well as took a class to learn fair isle by making Selbu Modern.  Since I hope to start blogging again (actually I never stopped, I just never got past the draft stage of any posts) and can’t use Zarah’s techniques of close-ups (awesome idea) for some of my gifts I’ll tell you more about those projects next time.

December 9, 2009. Tags: , , , . Knitting. 1 comment.

Anna Tunic – Not a finished object

Anna Tunic Wearable Muslin-unhemmed

I put my Anna Tunic in a time out. Earlier this year I had measured myself and few spots on the pattern (hips) and traced the pattern onto some nice interfacing, easing the pattern into a larger size from the waist to hips. A month or so ago I cut out the Anna Tunic and then a couple weeks ago I sewed it up. Unfortunately you don’t really get to try on the tunic until the main body has been sewn to the yoke, and at that point I’d done a lot of clipping to get the yoke to lie smoothly once you sew the body to it (rounded curves and all) and so when I finally tried it on, after ironing the edge under on the yoke facing, I discovered that it was 1) too tight under my arms, 2)  just a tad too big in the yoke width (in a knitted garment fitting workshop I learned my shoulders are just slightly narrower than average), 3) of course there was the fact that the tunic length (did I remember to make the petite adjustment?) was almost mini-dress length on me, and 4) the belt when tied still hangs to my knees.

Frustrated, I moved on to the flower. Bad idea. I’m not a fan of gathering via basting stitches, and gathering that long of a strip was just ugh – I let it sit on the craft table for a week once I’d finally gotten the gathers looking okay only to discover that I was supposed to iron it in half with the wrong sides together before gathering it.  After fighting to fold a 3 foot gathered strip of 2″ wide fabric for some time I finally pulled all the gathering stitches out and shoved the strip in my scrap box – I wasn’t even sure I’d wear the tunic, why bother with the matching flower.

Today, I started poking around the Sew Mama Sew forums and found an Anna Tunic review, and discover that while it is given a glowing review, the tunic fits the reviewer/model at the underarms in a similar way as it fits me. And via the SMS forums I manage to check the flickr photos tagged with annatunic. When they show the finished object on people it fits similarly on most of them too. With this new revelation I think I can take the Anna Tunic out of time out and finish it up. It isn’t perfect. But I think it will be wearable. And at the absolute worst, I wear it once and cut up the fabric for another purpose. I do plan on retracing the pattern with some modifications before I try sewing another one.

Mods to make:

  • lower armhole
  • decrease yoke width by a smidge
  • shorten length
  • shorten belt before cutting out

September 7, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Sewing. Leave a comment.

Sewing

cutting roomI’ve had a bit of knitters block the last couple weeks.  I’ve been knitting here and there, but nothing really feels like it is getting done.  However I have been sewing.  A couple Friday’s ago I bunkered down and traced one pattern, then cut it out, and then cut out another pattern while I was at it (both use pink thread so it seemed prudent).  The new office-craft room set up works pretty well for working with a couple yards of folded 44″ wide fabric. And yes, I’m messy when I work. That would be the Anna Tunic being cut out, I bought the pattern and “wearable muslin” fabric shortly after the pattern came out and it had been sitting in my to do pile for way too long.  Months ago I traced the pattern onto some spare sew-in interfacing, making adjustments for my pear shape (but now I don’t recall if I made a petite length adjustment).  Then, it sat for another two weeks before I managed to sew it up.  Right now I am nearly done and finally at the point where I can try it on (it only took like 4 -2 hour sewing session).  And I discovered that the armholes are just a bit short.  It is wearable, but I’m not sure it is comfortable so I have hit a wall.  The yoke is basted in place just waiting for me to top-stitch it (originally I was going to hand-sew it, but now, not so much), stitch the buttons on the back and hem it.  Currently the tunic is also really long on me – about the length of the mini-dress as shown on the pattern envelope.

Another long awaited sewing project is another pair of Hello Kitty pajama pants.  IIRC the pink HK fabric was originally going to be my mom’s pants, but now that my sister is no longer in her anti-pink stage, and since she wasn’t going to be able to wear the blue HK pants we originally cut out for her, I made her pair in pink.  I started with the pajama pant pattern we bought for my mom, and taking a cue from the knitting world decided to lay a pair of nicely fitting pj pants on top the pattern for comparison.  My sister and I are the same height so I figured this would work.

Petite huh?

You might notice the significant extra length at the bottom.  And I had already taken out 1″ in length in the hip/crotch area.  Do you notice the two parallel creases a few inches from the B&W HK print pant hem?  That is what the petite-adjustment looked like, it was 2 inches.  I marked the hemline on the pants and measured to find the difference.

Length Adjustment Needed then New Accurate Length Adjustment

I drew new lines perpendicular to the grain that were 4″ apart – resulting in a 2″ deep fold instead of a 1″ deep fold.  And finally I traced the pattern onto new white tracing paper (out of extra interfacing) and repeated the process for the other pant pattern piece.  The second time went much more quickly since I just had to measure what I did on the first pattern and repeat the folds in the same places.  The pants are sewn up (hem and all) and waiting for me to insert some elastic (it took a couple weeks to find my sister and mom at home at the same time so I could get her waist measurement).

Unstructured BagOnce I had the oomph of accomplishment of cutting out two patterns I went on to create this bag that has been dancing in my head ever since I saw a similar bag in a Japanese crafting book.  I originally bought the brown paisley fabric to become a set of pillows for my living room, but alas due to a badly folded bolt my 1 yard piece ended up parallelogram shaped and just short of enough fabric for my pillows.  Then I feel out of love with it and it had been sitting in my stash almost two years.  But I thought, it just might work as the purse, (also it was one of the few pieces of significant size that I didn’t already have intended for specific projects), a second piece of fabric that never managed to be made into its intended project (the HK Quilt) became the lining, and my added pocket (note to designers: bags need pockets).  Of course since this bag is just two pieces of fabric gathered onto wooden handles it doesn’t really stand up on its own or have any structure or security.  (I was lazy and daring/stupid and used my zipper foot to machine sew the bag onto the handles, I nearly sewed through my finger in the process). So I am using it for a project bag, that is my elenka that you see in there.

Unstructured bag

August 25, 2009. Tags: , , , . Sewing. 1 comment.