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.

finally, crossed off the list

I’m done I’m done I’m done.  I finally finished my French Press Slippers and am excited so you get an awful, artificially photo snapped at 10:30 pm.  Last Friday I picked up the second yarn (Cascade 220 Sport) in an attempt to find the right yellow trim and over the course of the week I’ve made a few different samples of trim.  The color isn’t quite as perfect of a match but the weight and plied construction is much much better.

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I finally decided on which trim (at the top is a ruffle trim that looked too much like toes, then a scallop trim that ended up being too big, and the pinwheel trim from the stitch dictionary at the back of Crochet Adorned, but only doing half of it for half circles) ultimately I decided on the half-circle pinwheels which look like smaller scallops. Today I hand stitched the trim to the underside of the flaps and then stitched the flaps onto the slippers. I also played with yellow versus peacock colored yarn to sew the flap and button on and settled on the peacock.

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It feels so good to have this project done.

February 25, 2011. Tags: , , . Knitting. 2 comments.

take the time to do it right

That is what I keep telling myself anyway.  I mean a hat with an uncomfortable lining probably would get worn just as much as a non-existent hat.

This summer I spied a sales bin full of soft wool-blend pastels. There was a bright pink, that made me think of a little girl I love and so I decided to knit her a hat. Of course I had to knit her sister a hat too, how could I not, but not too matchy, because that seems sort of insensitive.  And until she is old enough to tell me her color preference, she gets my second favorite combo turquoise and lime green (it doesn’t scream girly quite like pink and purple do, but still decided girly – because making girly stuff is such fun when it doesn’t involve ruffles).
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I knew the perfect pattern, Blue Sky Alpacas Polka Dot Hat Set (or the Rav link). Nevermind that the hat is meant for an adult and a different yarn. Different gauge, different size, oh and while I’m at it I’ll change the top shaping too…still I liked the polkadot density and $5 seemed like a decent price to pay to avoid trial and error to figure that bit out.  I thought, it should go quickly. And it did, sort of. The first 3/4 of the hat took mere days, except it turned out to be a great big swatch (how big?  like 22″ x 5″ big). Ribbet, ribbet, rip-it. The second hat took a week and then it sat, waiting for a lining. Picking up 100+ stitches has a way of grinding progress to a halt. Nevermind, I’ll cast-on for the second hat (I call that pretend progress). Luckily the second hat had only one little hiccup, quickly remedied by the LYS.

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Gah, Another nearly another 100 stitches to pick up. Why didn’t I just take the time to figure out double-knitting? Oh well, too late. See the pink lifeline? I think I’m on my 3rd rip of the decreases, first the lining was too big, then it was too small..
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And finally, 2 months later I finish the lining in the pink hat. Hopefully the third time is a charm and I’ll be able send both hats off at the end of the week.
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November 3, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Knitting. 1 comment.

Finally Finished, the Hello Kitty Quilt

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I spent last Saturday after quilting with friends from the Portland Modern Quilt Guild. I’m so thankful this was organized, it was just the right push for me to finish this quilt. Remember the quilt (no, this quilt isn’t particularly modern at all – but that’s okay). I was so sure I was going to finish before the baby was born, in April 2009. Hah. It is a good thing I made something bigger than a standard baby quilt. Around 48″ x 48″ it isn’t quite full-sized lap-quilt but I’m sure it will still be cozy or a great blanket to spread out for playtime. Or a very pink fort.

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The problem, I learned, with letting a quilt languish once you’ve made that quilt sandwich: creases. Mine creased so badly I had to redo the quilt sandwich (twice, after I foolishly tried to redo half of it at time — nope, I had to totally pull that sucker apart and put it back together). The good news, I guess, is that my spray basting lasted way longer than the two months promised by the bottle.

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I actually quilting the main section a few weeks ago (at a PMQG open sew evening), but then I was stumped by the border. I had a bunch of ideas for dense quilting, but didn’t think that it would look right with the sparse, squiggly lines over the patchwork. Finally I settled on simple lines and got to it. I managed to hide all my threads, finish the quilting, cut the excess fabric and batting away and make my binding during the all-day-sew event. When I got home I went right to sewing on the binding and then over the course of a few tv shows and one movie I hand-stitched the binding to the back.

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Done. I think. I haven’t sent it off yet because I want to wash it first, oh yes, and label it. And I’m a little worried the quilting is too sparse. What do you think?

October 30, 2010. Tags: , , . quilting. 1 comment.