Monday, March 30, 2009

Knitting for Others

Photo Link

Our neighbors will soon have a new baby girl, and I am very pleased to have finished this little sweater before she arrives. It has been a long time since I did any baby knitting, and it was fun. Talk about instant gratification. This pattern is the Seamless Yoked Baby Sweater by Carole Barenys. I saw this on Ravelry, and I really liked one version with ruffled edges, so I did that too. I used an easy-care acrylic yarn, Red Heart Ltd. Baby Econo in Sweet Dreams. The buttons are from my stash. I have LOTS of pink buttons.

I've also been working on my nephew's Xmas sweater, the Drops Cabled Pullover 59-6. I wondered how fast the pattern stitches would come back to me since I made 2 of these in 2007. Well, pretty fast. It's not really a complex pattern anyway, but it's nice to be able to do a few rows without looking at the pattern. Here's my progress so far.

Photo Link

I've been busy getting a new computer up and going, and it's finally about the way I want it. I still have some basic things to work out and programs to add, but it's definitely usable. The biggest headache so far was getting hooked onto our new wireless network. My brother finally suggested that I call the router company, and they got me going pretty quickly. Not sure what was wrong, and their explanation of what was wrong and what they did do not seem to "compute" to me, but whatever. I'm just happy it's running. It's fun to have a laptop. Now all I need to do is get everything transferred to this computer, give him his loaner back, get our old desktop repaired and running, and I'll be all set. It's no longer an urgent project at this point, so that helps.

I ended up doing an emergency pond cleaning tonight. One of the ponds had a filter that got out of whack tonight right when I was ready to start dinner so I could go to Sewing Guild. I ran out and quickly re-did it all, added bacteria, and crossed my fingers that it would be cleared up tomorrow or so. The only good thing about having it happen tonight is that it was warm, about 60, and anytime I have emergency pond work when it's above freezing and the sun is still up, it's a plus. Pond emergencies don't happen often, but they always seem like a big deal. I do think the ponds and the lovely fish and all the birds and wildlife they attract throughout the year are worth all the work, and really, once they're up and running, they're pretty self-regulating for the most part.

Oh, and my Marfy patterns came last week! Excitement. Now I need to make a plan.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Polka-Dot Stripes on a Windy Day

Last night I decided to make up a quick knit top from some cute fabric I'd just gotten, and this is the result. As you can tell, it was windy while I was out taking photos. This is why I love hairspray, but it doesn't always do the trick.

Link to Photo

As usual when starting a project a little too late at night, there were some strange twists with this one. I used the top pattern from the FSG #1960 Twinset Pattern, and decided to try an unsewn dart this time. I'm not sure that was a success, but it's acceptable for casual wear I suppose. The really "interesting" thing I did was to add 1/4" SAs to the pattern, meanwhile forgetting that it includes 5/8" SAs already. I ended up redoing the seams, as it was very shapeless at 1/4".

I added a small yoke to the front and ran the fabric crosswise there to take advantage of the stripes. The neckband was cut on the bias, but in places it still lines up with the stripes on the front, so I'm not sure it was a complete success there. Generally I'm happy with this, although I will go back to darts in my next tee.

I ordered yarn from the other day and it always comes so quickly. I got a full bag of Needful Yarns Geranium in a colorway very similar to the photo.
and also some Adriafil Fruttamix in Summer Shower.
I just couldn't resist the summery look of them.

I finished the knitting on the baby sweater and need to block, sew on buttons, hide yarn ends, etc., and I'll be done. It's kind of cute, and although it looks kind of big to me, it matches the measurements given, so I'm hoping it will be all right.

Since it's done, I've gone back to Alex's sweater and have finished the ribbing and am just establishing the pattern stitches. Now the fun should begin.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fisher Skirt

Link to All Photos

I finished Onion's Fisher Skirt, and while I like it, I don't think it's by any means my best style. It's interesting, fun to wear and terribly comfortable. It's somewhat ungainly at the top where the flange folds over the tied belt, and I cannot for the life of me figure out something flattering to wear as a top with it. I think I'm too rounded for this style. I tried belting it at the hip rather than the waist, and I didn't care for it. I'm not sure this will see the light of day very often, but it was fun to make. I keep thinking it would be a great gardening skirt...

I used a fabric which purports to be wool, and may even be wool or partially wool. I love the interesting texture, but as I noted previously, it wasn't going to show the seaming without emphasis, and that's what the topstitching is meant to provide.

Click here for a better view of the stitching.

I've been working on Alex's Drops Cabled Sweater some and am up to about 2" of ribbing so far. Another 3/4" and I can begin on the pattern stitches. But, I am going to quit for a bit and work on a baby sweater which needs to be done sometime in April. Not by the first, I hope.

I'll finish with the first crocus of the year. I saw them a couple days ago, but never remembered to take the camera out and take a picture. Aren't they cheery?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Skirt Progress

The skirt is coming along nicely, if not quite as I expected. I made the longer version which turns out to be about ankle length before hemming, and I'm pretty tall, so that surprised me a lot. The fabric I'm using has a lot of surface texture, and I realized that the interesting seaming wasn't going to show at all. I tested some piping, but I didn't like it. I don't want to emphasize the black, and I thought a printed piping would be interesting, and would go well with a Japanese style, but I didn't like that either. I ended up using decorative stitching on the seams, using a variegated cotton thread. I like it, but it's still pretty subtle. I tried on the skirt tonight before finishing up the last seam, the hem, etc., and I tried pinning up the hem to different lengths, and what really is looking good to me is giving it a very avant-garde hem treatment. I pinned a few places and it gives it a bit of a bubble skirt look but much more casual. I unpinned it all to be able to finish the last seam, etc., so we'll see if I can replicate it after that. I'm kind of excited about it.

I've also begun knitting on Alex's sweater. I'm about an inch and a half into the ribbing so far.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bendigo Yarn is Here

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The yarn I ordered for my nephew's Xmas sweater came today. All the way from Australia in only about 2 weeks. I chose the yarn, Bendigo Rustic, and he chose the color so it should be just right. I thought blue would probably be the color for him, but there were 6 different blues, plus some blue/purple colors as well, so I thought he'd better choose.

Since I was ordering anyway, I also ordered the pink wool you see. You can never go wrong with pink! When I saw it I remembered that I need to make a baby sweater for our neighbor who is expecting, and since it's to be a girl, pink would be perfect. This color would be great, but I think I should probably get a softer baby yarn instead. I need to start on it fairly soon, so I'd better decide.

I've just begun working on a skirt from Onion Patterns. It's the Fisher Skirt, and it's one of the few Onion patterns that do not come with an English translation of the Danish instructions.

It's not a terribly complicated skirt by any means, but it's unsettling to have no idea what is written. I've worked with lots of German, French and Italian patterns, and from my voice studies, I have a pretty good working knowledge of these languages, and dictionaries at hand as well. Danish is another matter entirely. Luckily, I found some very nice people at Stitcher's Guild who were willing and able to help me. I cut the pieces tonight, and will see if I have time to begin sewing tomorrow. I'm using a black and white wool with an interesting weave that I got on a Fabric Garage Sale from the Hillestad Gallery Friends. There are always interesting things there, and I'm glad to find a good use for this.

I was going to try to answer a question from stillpatrice about the little embroidered tag I put on my pajamas. It was stitched on a Pfaff 2144/2170 on grosgrain ribbon, without the embroidery unit. No special technique, but some finger manipulation after the stitching and then a lot of pressing.

had such an interesting idea for the gray scarf. She suggested that I try some paintsticks or something to change the color. I do have paintsticks, and I'd like to try this. I have quite a bit left that I can test techniques on, and I think this could be very exciting. Thank you, Gwen!

Finally, I am very excited that Caroline has tagged me with the Sisterhood blog award. Thank you, Caroline! I'm thrilled to be your sister.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Pink Pajamas and A Scarf

All Pajama Photos

I finished the second pair of pajamas, this one for me. I used a cotton batik-type fabric and hot pink thread for the details. I used a scalloped feather stitch on both sides of the buttonholes on the placket, which I think is kind of fun.

The pockets on the pants are the little gathered patch pockets from the
Marfy cape I made last winter.
The pockets were the reason I loved that pattern, and I immediately thought of them when I needed pockets.

I did a very fast label by doing alphabet stitching on grosgrain ribbon. Not the best base, but it was the perfect color. I stitched it onto the right side of the placket just below the last button.

The color was very hard to photograph accurately for some reason, but in the photo below with the scarf, it's about as true as any of them.

Scarf Photos

The gray scarf is what I began as a sample for my hand-rolled-hem demonstration. It's a crinkled chiffon and I used silk thread to stitch the hem. It's about 40" square, and I'm thinking of selling it at the Mu Phi Fundraiser this fall since it's really not my color. I have about 2 yards of the fabric left, and thought a blouse with the scarf would be fun, but I am wondering why I chose this color. I guess it was good that I had no qualms in cutting up some of it for practice squares for the demonstration attendees.