Saturday, September 27, 2008

In the studio

Sewing Radar
Here's what's going down downstairs these days. My first attempt at quilting, and, no, its not a blanket. I'm not sure its going to turn out, so I'm afraid to publicly declare what it's going to be. But I was happy with the turn of events around fabric selection. I was going for the brownish plaid but didn't have enough and had picked up the corduroy cowboy on a whim, and then I needed a lot of fabric for the quilted part. A thrifted yellow flowered sheet from my stash worked out well, I think. A bit kitschy, but in a fun way (yes, its for my son - does that excuse me?). I know I declared my love for patterns in an earlier post, but I'm flying solo on this one and keeping my fingers crossed that it will turn out ok. I'm fighting a bug now so just keeping it mellow for the time being. Maybe I'll finish it next month.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Knitting Urge

I've knit very very little since the end of August. Like maybe 200 stitches. Because I've been focusing my hobby time on sewing. And I'm making progress on that front. But I find myself missing knitting. The more I do it, the more I realize its so incredibly relaxing. Sorta like yoga. The repetition. The rhythm. The way you don't have to think about it and can let your mind wander or instead be calm and mindful.

New Knitting Mag

Somewhere on one of the (too) many blogs that I read, and I don't remember where so I can't give props, someone mentioned that Debbie Bliss has a knitting mag out now. I found the premier issue (Fall/Winter) when I was at Jo Anne's picking up some plaid flannel for a sewing project. I've purchased an Interweave magazine once and was pretty disappointed (lots of boring sweaters) so I wasn't sure whether I should spend the $7.95 for it. I'm glad I did! It has lots of things that I'm excited about. Now mind you my knitting queue is full all the way through January, but I can dream can't I? Here's what caught my eye.


Itsy Bitsy Sweaters

Easy Lace

Monday, September 22, 2008

Screen Time

We've gotten two new video games going in the house. Unusual I know considering how long we've been playing Warcraft. The first is the final/actual/non-beta release of Warhammer Online (very confusing with Warcraft talk in our house I know). We only got one copy since I don't have much time to play. I've started a zealot on Mr. Thystle's account and its only level 5 or so.
The other game is Spore. You get to create a life form and guide it through the evolutionary process. Its a bit like 5 games in one depending on which stage you're at. Single celled animal, multi-celled animal, tribal animal, etc. Here's my first creation - Bob (not so creative on the names, sorry). Having fun exploring worlds and making critters.

Friday, September 19, 2008

September Sewing

So as I was finishing up THE sweater, I decided that I was too far behind in sewing and decided that I should make September all about sewing. It turns out that its National Sewing Month. How appropriate is that!
Waistband Detail

Back Pocket Details

Also, fortuitously Oliver + S came out with their Fall line which includes some little boy clothes! Yeah! Not a huge selection - a pair of pants plus instructions for making freezer paper design on a t-shirt, and a unisex pair of pajamas. I got both sets of patterns. I did the pants (sandbox pants) for H. I love, love, love them. I love working from a pattern. My mind is too discombobulated to concentrate on sewing without a pattern. I also made a little drawstring type of bag for my sister to put her clothes pins in and I messed up something as simple as that. So, yes, patterns are good for my current state of mind. The pants have both elastic and drawstring (love that combo) and the pockets are lined with contrasting fabric as is the waistband. The lined pockets are nice but you can't see them so getting fancy with the fabric patterns probably isn't necessary. I used a pair of my old beloved pajama bottoms as fabric. I ripped them at the crotch beyond repair so ripped the seams and reused the panels. They were from the Gap and the tag said they were from Holiday '01 line. They even have little red paint stains from when we painted our office "confederate red" (doesn't everyone paint their house in their pajamas?) . I love the fact that my son's pants have these little reminders of were they came from. And lastly I wanted to beam with pride that I did my first buttonholes as well. Read the manual and went to town. Easy peasy! I loved how they turned out - they look so comfortable. However, the sizing might be a bit off. The inseam seemed a bit short. I made the size 2. Also, H recently moved out of diapers much to my surprise, so the crotch is very low because rise is too big, as is all of his pants now. I haven't tried the pants on him with a diaper so they might be too short once the rise is accounted for. Here are some photos with H wearing them out and about at the aquarium.
Bopping His Head on the Tunnel

Pants Pockets

Finished Pants

Cuff Detail

Back of Pants

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Finished Sweater

Picking Parsley

It's done! My very first sweater. It turned out great. Very big, but I was sorta anticipating that. I had no idea how long it would take me and was afraid if it ran small the size 2 wouldn't fit him. This is the next size up - a four and seems to be true to size so he might be able to wear it in 12 months or so. I was a little afraid that the sleeves wouldn't fit right, but I think I was able to ease it ok and it doesn't seem to look too bad. I used a machine to attach the snap tape and that was a bit difficult so my stitches aren't very straight. So don't look too closely there. Also, the yarn is the kind of cotton that is grown naturally in different colors so no dying it. However, there was some variability on either different batches of the yarn (dye lots if you will) so that one of the sleeves looks beiger next to the greenish body of the sweater. Oh well, I don't think its terribly noticeable. I don't know if I'll do cotton again. I figured I would use cotton so I could machine wash it, but after spending all this time on it, I'll probably hand wash it anyways. And the cotton is so heavy and tends to sag. We'll see how this one wears as well. But overall I'm ready to cast on the next sweater, but will probably wait until after the holidays before I tackle anything.

Sweater Back

Sweater Collar and Shovels


Sweaters For Gardening

Sweater Front

Sunday, September 14, 2008



When I got to the point in knitting my sweater where I needed to do the finishing work like blocking and seaming but I still wanted to keep knitting and purling, I cast on this pattern called Scaruffle. I messed up on it big time somehow. Its knit tightly on small needles and then you knit through the front and back of every stitch to double the number of stitches to make the ruffle and then switch to larger needles to make it fluffy. Then you do short rows to make the nice beveled edges. Somehow when I was doing kfb I got turned around. So half of the scarf that wasn't done doing kfb has no ruffle and half that was kfb twice has way too much ruffle. Its in kidsilk haze, which was lovely to knit on the large needles and torture on the small needles but impossible to frog. So its going to remain a very lopsided Scaruffle. I think I'll toss it into the little guys dress up box. I know 18 months is still a little young for a dress up box, but you gotta start on it sometime.

Scaruffle Detail