Friday, November 19, 2010

Cool Shoes

And now for something to wear with them.

They're from Fergie, and they're called Jigsawed I found them on sale at VonMaur's, and absolutely could not resist. I think they really need a skirt to show them off best, and I think my brown straight knit skirt will be just fine, but I want a jackety-type piece with it (third piece). I am working on a sleeveless version of the FSG#1960 cardigan, belted. I love the look of the long vests I'm seeing, and I think this will be good. I want to use a teal knit for it. I have a lot of the same thing I made narrow Marfy pants from, or I have some that's a little thicker with a slight texture and a black/brown design on it. I can't think of what you call it, but it sits on top of the fabric, and is kind of shiny. Embossed, I think. Anyway, I'm leaning toward it. I think with the skirt and a long-sleeved sweater/top and the vest it will be nice.

The other thing I'm thinking of is a very, very short jacket. I posted a while ago that I was thinking about something like that, and I went to a presentation of a graduate thesis in design, and she had done a collection of suits. One was based on the Korean national dress, and it was THE must-have piece of the group, IMO. A very short jacket with an asymmetric half-bow with a long tail. Gorgeous, especially with the skirt she showed, but the skirt would not be wonderful on me. The jacket? Maybe not either, but I'm dying for it. Here's an example of traditional Korean dress.

The skirt was nothing like this. It was very form-fitting from the very high waist through mid-hip with horizontal channel quilting, then a straight wrap skirt for the rest of it. It gave the effect of an obi under the jacket because of the wide quilted part. The whole thing was in a deep charcoal suiting fabric. Very chic.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Veronique In-Progress

Photo Link

I've been working on the Veronique pullover from the Fall 2010 Verena magazine. I found some lovely gray yarn that was just what I was looking for. Almost anyway, as it was spun by a friend with 2 plies. I have been taking the plies apart and using a single to knit this to get the gauge I needed. I like the way it's turning out, and it's been a fun pattern to knit so far. This is the back. I'm not sure I'll ever get the skirt done to match it, but I'd like to try, and I think I have plenty of yarn to do both the pullover and the skirt.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

I'm a Featured Blogger on Bernina's We All Sew Blog!!!

Yes, as you can tell, I'm pretty excited! I got a comment this week that I would be featured next week, and I was very surprised to see that the note and link are already up.

Erika, Miss Sews-it-all, notified me, and I immediately went to look at both the We All Sew blog, which is sponsored by Bernina, as well as her personal blog, Miss Sews-it-all. I quickly realized that here is one very talented lady.

Welcome to everyone who comes here by way of We All Sew!

Thanks so much Erika!

Verena Fall Knitting

I think I mentioned before that I subscribed to the digital version of Verena Knitting beginning with this issue, simply because I loved Pattern #1, a pullover and skirt. The link will take you to their Flash Player, and this should be the first one, it's in gray with a diamond-lattice pattern. I've been sort of looking for some yarn for this, and found some lovely stuff that a friend had. She was donating it to the church knitting group, so I traded them for some nice yarn I had that I wasn't going to make up, so we're all happy. This is a 2-strand yarn, and I'm splitting it into a single strand. So far, I've done the lower edge on the back, so there's a ways to go yet, but it's interesting. I'm hoping to get it all done before gray is no longer an 'in' color.

That's my progress so far, and as you can see, it's pretty meager. This is a size 4 needle, but I'm about to change to a 2 for the body of it. The pattern calls for a 6 and a 4, so this is my usual go-down-two-sizes change. I'm always surprised about this, as I don't think I really knit that loosely, and I can't imagine knitting so tightly that I could go up 2 needle sizes and get the right gauge. I guess I'm a relaxed knitter.

I took a photo of the latest Ruffled Shawl too. It's a mystery content yarn from Mangelson's. I'd bet on a high cotton content though. It's more of a DK weight than a worsted, so it's very drapey. The ruffle doesn't stand quite as well as the worsted yarns have. I love the colors.

I woke up at 4am this morning out of a sound sleep and was instantly alert and getting an early start on my worrying. You know what those kind of nights are like. I got up and decided to sew after about 45 minutes. I cut out and did the first step of the pockets on 2 pairs of narrow pants last week and then stalled. I finished them both this morning except for the elastic, which I will try to do tonight. I'm excited to have them in my wardrobe. I'm a little short on casual pants, and these are going to be nice. Photos when they're done.

Lots of Knitting

I've been knitting lately with a group at my church. We do prayer shawls for those going through a rough patch, and afghans. The shawls are distributed by the Stephen Ministry there, and the afghans are given to each high school graduate in the spring. I did one afghan a few years ago, and really hated the enormity of the project, but I really am enjoying doing prayer shawls.

This is a 2x3 rib pattern, very plain, but I love the way the yarn patterned itself because of the ribs. This is really long (about 7 feet) because everyone immediately decided it could be for a man since it was more masculine than many of them turn out to be.

It seemed like it took forever to knit, although I don't know why it should have. It was just a slow project.

I then came up with my own pattern that I really like doing, and I like the result as well. I've made 5 of these now, and I keep thinking I'm going to do one to keep.

You can see in the photo of it on me that the ruffled edging makes a really nice neckline when you wear it. The black and white version is a mohair/cotton/nylon that I'd had around for a while. I hated to give it away, and may try to find something of a similar yarn in a color that's more me, and do one for me.

The others shown here are all in just Red Heart acrylic yarn. Since they're donated, you don't know how someone will care for it, and the decision was made to try to use easy care yarns unless someone donates some other nice yarn, and then an attempt will be made to make sure the recipient understands the care requirements.

Here are 3 more, and I didn't get a photo yet of the last one. I'll give you my pattern for the ruffle-edged ones. It is a knit and crochet combination.

Ruffle Shawl in Knit & Crochet

3 skeins Red Heart Super Saver yarn, or equivalent worsted weight yarn.
Size 11 knitting needles
Size 11 (L) crochet hook

CO 42 stitches
Row 1: K10, (yo, K2tog) 3 times. Repeat sequence twice, end K10.
Row 2: K3, P to last 3 st., K3.

Repeat these 2 rows for desired length of shawl body.
BO on Row 2.

Without breaking yarn, begin to crochet edging around shawl.

1st Round: DC in corner stitch, chain 2 (or 3 depending on what looks best, and is not tight), skip one, DC in next stitch. Repeat around, making 3 st at corners with ch1 between, to make a nice turning. Slip st to join to beginning. **Be sure to make ch spaces match the yo columns of the knitting, with DC matching the K2tog columns for the best look.**

2nd Round: Single crochet into the spaces created by the chain 2 (or 3) stitches, making 3 in each space between the DC in the previous row. Space them nicely, making more or fewer as is called for by your yarn. This will give you a nice solid edge to work your ruffle.

3rd Round: (Ruffle Round) Triple crochet into each SC in previous round, ch3 between each triple. Join to first tr. when you get around, and fasten off.

This makes a fairly wide edge, and does use a fair amount of yarn, so be prepared.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Narrow Pants – Marfy 0913 & Jalie 2682

Photo Link
This is what I wore on Thursday of the Textile Symposium.

This pattern (Marfy #0913) turned out to be 'the one' for the narrow pants I was looking for, as far as I'm concerned. It's one of the free patterns included with the 2009 catalog, and is for woven pants, with a zipper, back darts, and a faced waistband. I used knit fabric, a blue mystery knit for the first pair, and a brown ponte knit for the second.

I added 4" in length for the blue pair, 2" above the knee, and 2" below. For the brown pair, I added another 2" below the knee, and did a straight hem instead of the curved vent. I think I might like the curved vent with a little more length, so I may try it. For the brown pair, I actually added another inch for a hem allowance, and so they're really great with heels, but I wore them with flats for the Symposium, so I just turned up the hem, with looked much like a cuff since I'd topstitched the hem both at the hem edge, and at the lower edge.

On both pairs I did a Hollywood waistband without a zipper, but still using the back darts. I didn't have to cut the waist straight from the hip since the knit has plenty of stretch, and in fact I ended up taking about 3" out of the CF at the waist, tapering to the crotch.

I used Ann Rowley's Flat Seat Adjustment, and re-did it for a little more flatness on the second pair.

I added side-seam pockets on the second pair, which will be automatic in future, I think. I should have put them in the blue pair too, but I've been wearing them with my fleece vest, which has lots of pockets anyway.

The knit top with the blue pants is Jalie #2682, lengthened. I really like how it turned out, especially with the fleece vest which was the perfect color all around. I had thought of making a brown vest from the ponte knit, and making it cropped, but I'm not sure how that would look. What do you all think? I remember a very cropped jacket a few years ago (Vogue pattern?) that stopped just below the armscye, and definitely above the bust point. I like the idea of that, but I'm afraid it would look really strange. It wouldn't take much fabric to try it I guess....

Here are the brown pants again with an older Jalie 2005 Tee. It was the right color for the Collar and Cuff set.
Photo Link
This is what I wore on Saturday of the Textile Symposium.
Friday I wore my Burda WOF ruched 'twirly' skirt and blouse. It was definitely the right venue to wear interesting things, as everyone else was wearing interesting things too, and we were all interested.

Textile Symposium – Market Place

One of the highlights of the conference in my opinion, was the Market Place. As you might imagine, there were lots of very unique things available, and who wouldn't enjoy shopping in such an atmosphere? I was extremely abstemious, but I did have to make one purchase of a Nuno felted silk and wool collar and cuff set.
Photo Link
The artist was Melissa Arnold, and she had lots and lots of wonderful things, and of course I think I could make my own version of some of them, and possibly this as well, but I was just so enamored of it that I thought I'd treat myself. I wore the set at the conference on Saturday, and got many, many comments and compliments on them.
Photo Link
I love both pieces, and besides the way they look, it's nice and warm to wear, which was great since the conference was really almost cold most of the time. Too much air-conditioning for the weather, which was rare and perfect fall weather during the entire week.

Another plus was that the Nebraska Bead Association held its annual show and bazaar at the hotel on Saturday, and I did buy a few things there as well. I've not been to their show before, and it was quite large, with both finished items and everything you could desire to make your own I seem to be enamored of copper lately, so I got a few copper things, and we'll see what happens from there.

Details of the Marfy pants will be in my next post.

Textile Symposium II - Conference

The papers and research presentations given at the Symposium are the main part of the event. (This link will open a PDF of the entire program.)

There were 4 rooms with 3-4 presentations each in the morning and twice as many in the afternoon of each day, plus a keynote speaker in the morning each day, so there was a lot of information to digest. Thursday evening there were gallery tours, as museums and galleries in Lincoln and a few in Omaha had a total of 33 textile-related shows in accord with the conference. There were two bus routs for the tours, which we coordinated, and quite a few were within walking distance. People were going in every direction, and it was quite a popular evening.

Friday morning was similar to Thursday, but in the afternoon people chose an off-site seminar or workshop from 14 choices and were bussed to their destination. I went to the one which included the Hillestad Textile Gallery, the clothing collection at UNL and the New Fibers talk. It was wonderful to see the collection up close, and we got to examine the suits slated for the next Hillestad exhibition, as well as a Ralph Rucci dress made with 'thread worms' that just happened to be on a mannequin in the collection storage room. When the afternoon sessions were over, there was a Reception at Sheldon Art Gallery, and then the Banquet and keynote speaker.

Saturday was the last official day, and there were sessions in the morning and afternoon, then a
Native American dance troupe exhibition and regalia display.

On Sunday there were two post-conference workshops:
Ralli Quilts: Treasures from Pakistan and India and
Feltmaking with Janice Arnold and Chris Martens

and one tour:
Native Americans of the Winnebago and Omaha Tribes.

This is a felt-making video made by Christine Martens.

Textile Symposium I – Conservation Tour

I think I'm finally almost recovered from the intense experience that was the Textile Society of America's Biennial Symposium. As I told you before, I was the assistant Volunteer Coordinator, and so I attended almost the entire time. Since I mainly needed to be available in case any 'emergencies' arose, and in general things ran very smoothly, I was able to attend many of the sessions and presentations that appealed to me. Truly a fabulous opportunity, and I would recommend it to anyone who has the chance to do something like this. (The next one will be in the Fall of 2012 in Washington, D.C.)

I'm going to split up my posts on this, or it would be really long. I'm also sorry to say that the photos I took were all accidentally deleted. Not that I had that many, or that they were that great, but they were there anyway.

My first day was Wednesday, the 6th. I was a host on the Conserving Textiles on the Plains Tour. We left the Cornhusker Hotel (most of the events were held there) and went on a series of behind-the-scenes tours.

There were 2 other tours participants could choose.
Incomparable Art/Exceptional Spaces or
Nebraska's Colorful History.

There were also two workshops available.
Investigation of Natural Dyes: Reds and Purples or
Jacquard: A Loom of Opportunity

On to the Conservation Tour.

First stop was the International Quilt Study Center. I'd been there before, but this was different. We got to see the quilt conservation and storage areas, and saw some of the quilts that are stored flat instead of folded, because of their special traits. We saw volunteers re-folding quilts, which is done continually, so that each quilt is re-folded at least once in 2 years. Their photography studio was interesting as well, as it allows them to take the photos which are detailed enough that they can put on their website for off-site study. Of course we stopped at the gift shop on the way out, and quite a few books and other items accompanied us onto the bus.

Next stop was The Gerald Ford Center, which was a surprise to me. I'd not been there before, but assumed it was dedicated to honoring/explaining Ford's presidency. It does have that as a small part of its function, but its main purpose is as a conservation center for Objects, Paper and Art. It originally was designed to include textile conservation, but there was so little call for it that the textile lab was given over to art instead. As you might imagine, people are less willing to pay the conservation costs for textiles than they are for artwork that needs repair. Sad, but true. The facility is both a Regional Center and the State's official conservation arm. It's locked at all times, so I'm unsure how one arranges a tour if you're interested.

The last stop was DeSoto Bend and the Steamship Bertrand site.
It's both a wildlife refuge, and a repository for the artifacts recovered in the excavation of the ship almost exactly 100 years after it sank in the Missouri River. It hit a snag, and then the river shifted, as it often did, and the site was lost. When it was discovered, almost all of the original cargo was still on board, covered in mud, sand and water.
Since no oxygen had gotten to the 4000 artifacts, things were remarkably well-preserved. The Bertrand was headed for the gold fields in Montana, and thus had a lot of tools and basic living equipment on board, but also shoes,, hats, clothing, fabric, buttons, sewing supplies, etc. We all drooled over the buttons and some of the fabric as well as a couple of very fancy hatpins.

When we came back to Lincoln, everyone got off back at the Quilt Center for a reception. I went home and went to choir practice and to bed early for an early start on Thursday.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Symposium Here I Come

Yes, tomorrow I begin attending the Textile Society of America's Biennial Symposium. It's being held here in Lincoln, Nebraska, and registration actually began this afternoon, but the first thing I'm involved in is the Conserving Textiles on the Plains tour. I'm excited about it, and it should be a very interesting day as we go from the International Quilt Study Center to Omaha and The Gerald Ford Conservation Center, then on to DeSoto Bend and the Steamship Bertrand site.

I've been working on narrow knit pants (in lieu of leggings), and finally have something I'm pretty happy with. I've made two iterations of Marfy #0913, the pants shown in this drawing below, in black, pink and lavender. I made the first pair after doing a Flat Seat Adjustment, and adding 4" to the length (2"above the knee, and 2" below). I did the curved hem vent, as shown.

The second pair are the ones I'll repeat. I added side seam pockets, and re-did the FSA, making it a little more-so, and added another 2" to the length below the knee, plus an inch for a hem allowance. The brown ponte knit was a good fabric choice, as they seem to have good recovery. I may do them without the extra hem allowance next time, just adding the 6" total to the length, and turning up an inch. These kind of puddle on my feet, which is nice too.

I'm planning to wear them tomorrow, so there may even be photos. It's going to be an early start for me though, as I have to be downtown by 7:45am.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Trendy Top & Pant

Photo Link

Well, I think it's kind of trendy, anyway. I've been thinking about the whole leggings or no-leggings question since it's been on Stitcher's Guild for a while, and I went so far as to buy a pair of leggings and wear them around the house. I love them for the comfort, but I haven't quite been able to get out of the house in them, and I think that's probably a good thing. I like the general idea though, so I thought maybe I'd try some very narrow pants. This is what I came up with, along with the top from the print knit I got in California.

Photo Link

I haven't quite decided if it's better with or without the belt. I think it needs something, and I thought of pockets or something, but I hate to break up the print, as I think it's very graceful, but perhaps the belt breaks it up anyway?

Photo Link

The top is FSG#1960 once again, but with the funnelneck from Christine Jonsen's Travel Basic #3 added. I also lengthened it by a couple inches, as I think it is imperative that a top worn with these pants must fall below the rear.

Since the pants are a kind of trial pair, I used some old doubleknit fabric I had, and pulled out a couple of simple knit pant patterns. This one (Stretch&Sew #100) has an 11.5" hem circumference. I faced the hem, and then used a twin needle to stitch around once as an edge-stitch, and once at hem length. Together, this gives it a little bit of a band effect, and I remember seeing this kind of finish on Givenchy knit pants in the 1980's. I would think about putting a vent in the hem if I make more of these, which I think I will. I think a fairly high spandex content would be appropriate as well. This fabric has none, and I don't expect it to hold up terribly well, at least in the knees. I'm basically happy with the style though. They could be a little narrower toward the thigh, and that's something I may experiment with. I feel comfortable wearing these however, which is a good change from leggings.

Photo Link

California Fabrics

Photo Link

I should have posted this a while ago, but here are the fabrics I bought in California.

Clockwise from Lower Left, with proposed uses:

Crocodile Vinyl - A purse.
Brown with Green Print Poly Knit - Top.
Taupe & Mauve Silks - Silk Tee top or tops. I'm thinking of color-blocking, as the blend of these colors is truly lovely.
Gold/Black Satin Print - Dress (with black silk chiffon.)

I didn't take a photo of the black silk chiffon, as I think you all pretty much know what that looks like, and how well black fabric photographs. I've already made up the knit print, and I like it. Since I'm always cold, poly knits are not a problem for me, and I loved this print. It makes me think of ginkgo leaves, but it's actually some kind of flower or weed (I hesitate to say a thistle).

The crocodile vinyl is a nice weight, and it has a very nice knit backing. I've seen a lot of vinyl on this order, and this is an extra-nice piece. I also just saw a bunch of purses in a booth at an art fair yesterday, and I think I can do much better. She had one pretty cute bag with a faux-fur panel that I'm thinking of, though.

Finally, here is the fabric I got for my kitchen chairs, etc. It doesn't really have any pink in it. I think that's coming through from underneath somehow. It's just blue and white. I also put in a photo of it in my kitchen, which makes it look kind of washed-out, but it gives you an idea of what it's got to go with.

Photo Link

Photo Link

Monday, September 13, 2010

California Round-up

Typical gorgeous California photo, but I took this one myself in Laguna Beach where Pearle and I used to spend the winters. We hadn't traveled for a long time now, and it was very interesting to return. It certainly brought back memories of many good times.

Of course there has been some shopping. Besides the fabric which was shipped to me, I bought some yarn in Laguna Beach for a scarf to wear this winter with my cashmere coat,

and I bought some shoes. I happened to really luck out on the shoe front, and you can see what I'm trying to cram into my suitcase.

Vacation Knitting

I've been doing some knitting while I've been visiting in California. After finishing up the third pair of heavy socks for my brother which I began on the plane out here, I began a Birds Nest Smoke Ring. You can see the pattern photo below.

It's almost finished, and I think I may be able to finish it tomorrow on the plane, and during a layover. I'm using Peruvian Baby Silk from elann. It's baby alpaca and silk, and really soft. It's been fun to knit so far. You can see the provisional cast-on at the right. There will be a picot edge there when it's done.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Sewing Lunch

Lisa, Liana, Kathi, Sue
Photo Link

We had a wonderful time yesterday at Sue's lovely home. It was such a treat to get to meet Sue and Kathi, and yes, we did talk sewing, but also just a wide-ranging conversation such as you might have with old friends anywhere. I do consider them 'old friends' since we've been sewing together for a long time online. Sue thought about 8 years, and I think that's probably about right. It certainly doesn't seem that long.

Sue's home is just beautiful. We saw her sewing room, of course, and 'consulted' on a skirt she's cutting out of a lovely crinkle cotton fabric. It's going to be really nice. We had our lunch al fresco. These California girls really know how to live it up! I wish you all could have been there too.

One thing we discussed was the LA Fashion District, and we found out that Kathi is quite the expert on it. She wrote an article on it for PatternReview, and we all agreed that next time we go (and yes, there really must be a next time) we'll make sure she is our guide. I have to show you the goody bag she brought me, with black and brown foldover elastic and white picot elastic, and the most darling snips wrapped up like a fancy Japanese package. The bag is pretty cute, too! Thanks Kathi!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

You're All Invited To Lunch!

Seems I've had this internet sewing friend thing going for quite some time now, and it's something I wouldn't trade for almost anything. You guys are the best!

Just yesterday, DrSue, a SG and PR member of long-standing, invited us all to a potluck luncheon on Friday (Sept. 10th) in her orchard in North Tustin! I'm very excited, and if any of you can make it, just let me know, and I will have her send directions to you.

Kind of short notice, but sometimes that's how it works out. Do try and come if you're in the area, please.

On another note, Lisa and I are going to the LA Fashion District today to look at fabric, etc. That is our plan at this moment anyway. We are taking her Eames chair into LA for repairs, and wanted to try to do both things at once.

My poor kitty is staying home alone with only the loving care of my brother and Dad to make the time pass. The Peep is used to going out all night (fenced back yard that he can't get out of) and so it's been pretty boring for him to stay in all the time. They were wary of letting him out since he might decide he wasn't coming back in while they were there. He can get into the garage through a cat door, so he has shelter, but still... Last night he was insistent with my brother that he WAS going out, no matter how stupid Chris might be, since he was obviously so dumb he couldn't even tell what a cat wanted. I finally said he should let him out and my Dad could let him in this morning sometime. Well, he went out like a shot, and less than half an hour later, he wanted back in desperately. I'm not sure if he suddenly realized that getting back in might be about as hard as getting out was, and thought he'd better go while the going was good, or what. Who knows what a cat's plans are? He's had a little outing though, and is probably happier and more content. I'm missing him, and I am pretty sure he's missing me too!

Monday, September 06, 2010

California (Fabric) Dreaming

Upper Newport Bay and the Back Bay are great bird-watching spots. It's so close we've been running over quite often, and spotted 2 Egrets and a Great Blue Heron only this evening, to say nothing of gulls and many smaller birds.

It's been so nice to hear all the ideas for where Lisa and I should go fabric shopping while I'm out here in California visiting her. Thank you all for thinking of us! We may not get everywhere we'd like to, but so far we've been to two fabric shops and one yarn shop. We are hoping to get to the Fashion District in LA, so I'll let you know if we make it.

The first fabric shop we hit was Button Boutique in Newport Beach (no website that I can find.) It's a very small place with gorgeous fabric of extremely high quality, and fantastic buttons, of course. There's a dressmaker on site, and the woman who runs the fabric part used to manage Left Bank Fabrics, which was a fantastic place also in Newport Beach. When they quit, she started doing this. I used to go to Left Bank way back when. It was rather famous, and for good reason. This lady knows her fabric.

Today we stopped at what is a home-dec fabric shop, but a really amazing one. It's called Home Fabrics and is in Lake Forest. I bought a few things there, but since they are being shipped, I can't show you yet. Lisa had told me we would go here before I came, since she knew I wanted to recover my kitchen chairs, and perhaps do a valance as well. They had the perfect thing. My kitchen is basically blue and white. I have dark blue countertops, white walls, dark blue with white pindot roman shades, and white cafe curtains. I used to have wallpaper with narrow blue lines and a fairly colorful bird border, but I recently changed it to plain white. Since I do have dark counters and oak cabinetry, I have white appliances to lighten things up, and thought white walls would be my best bet. I like them a lot, but now it's time for the chairs, etc.

The fabric we found is a gorgeous blue floral on white. It has more of a 'drawn' feeling to it than a lot of florals, and it was quite the bargain so I got enough for chairs, valance, perhaps an apron and placemats, etc.

That's all I was really looking for, but I found two other pieces that called my name as well. One is a dull gold satin with a sketchy blackish abstract print. I want to make a dressy dress from it. The other is really different. It's an unusually nice alligator vinyl on a knit backing. It's dark brown, and will become a purse.

We also went to the knitting night at Yarn Lady Friday night, and are planning to stop in again this coming Friday. They have a very nice group of ladies there, and there was even pie! How can we resist?

I finished another pair of hunting socks for my brother. I did the first sock on the plane, and the second one since. These are a 2-yarn blend like the last pair, except deep green for the plain yarn instead of navy, but with the same variegated sock yarn along with it. 3 pair should hold him for a while, but they're a great mindless project. perfect for travel knitting.

I'm posting from Pacific time, but my blog is set on Central time, so it's only about 10:15pm here right now. It's funny to see the time on the blogger site versus the time on the computer itself.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Birthday Knitting

I have to tell about my birthday party. I wasn't going to mention my birthday, but I haven't had a 'girls' birthday party for years and years. I decided that since my church knitting group meets on the 2nd and 4th Mondays, and my birthday was on the 5th Monday, I would just invite them over for Birthday Knitting.

We are a small group, and there were only 4 of us last night, and it was all pretty low key, but we had a really good time. The highlights were Pretzel M&Ms and Ghirardelli Brownies. There was also a tour of my home. I don't know about you, but I love seeing other people's homes, and the best way to get to see theirs is to show them yours. It's also a good way to make oneself do the housework.

So I would suggest that you all have a Textile Party, whether it's a birthday or not. It's just fun to get together and talk while you work on your project.

Hunting Socks & A Trip

Photo Link
Paton's Kroy Multi Sock Yarn and Premier Merit 100%Wool Worsted Yarn

I used the pattern for Heavy Socks from the Spin-Off Socks book to make two pairs of hunting socks for my brother. I had never thought of knitting socks for him, but I happened to ask him the other day if he thought his wife, my darling sister-in-law, might want some socks. She's always cold, and there's nothing nicer than wool socks if that's the case. He said he didn't know, but sadly said that he would like some. I felt terrible that I'd never even thought of it.

I've used the Socks book a lot, and all of the patterns in it have been good ones. This is a really fast knitting pattern. The hardest thing for me was that it calls for Bulky yarn, and I didn't really have anything suitable for a man's socks. The pair at the top is the second pair I made, and I like them best. I added a sock weight yarn to a worsted weight wool yarn for a prettier look. The pair below are a bulky yarn alone, and while they're okay, I find them a little thin for 'heavy' socks. He's planning to wear another pair under them with his boots for elk hunting in October.

Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick&Quick

The pattern calls for size 10 needles, but I'm using size 9, and you cast on 32 stitches, so you can see why they work up so quickly. Apparently a lot of people use leftover Lopi yarn for this pattern, but I've never knitted with Lopi, so no leftovers here.

I'm going to visit my sister for 2 weeks tomorrow, so I'm not sure if I'll be blogging. Maybe so, as she has lots of nice things planned. She's in Southern California, where Pearle and I used to spend the winters, so I'm looking forward to seeing how things have changed in 10 years or so, and to seeing some favorite places again. I have The Huntington and The Getty high on my list, along with the L.A. Arboretum and Descanso Gardens. Naturally we'll be heading for a few fabric and yarn shops as well. Her LYS is Yarn Lady in Laguna Hills, and I'm looking forward to it. I should say that when I was last there, the Getty Museum was only in Malibu, so it will be interesting to see the new one. Big plans, and I'm hoping we'll be able to do at least some of the things on my list, personal energy permitting. Perhaps we'll just end up doing a lot of basking in the sun instead. Either way, I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Textiles and Settlement: From Plains Space to Cyber Space

Above: Robert Hillestad's work in the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery in the Department of Textiles, Clothing & Design at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Photograph courtesy of the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery

I'm the Asst. Volunteer Coordinator for the Textile Society of America's Biennial Symposium which is being held here in Lincoln, Nebraska, Oct. 6-9. We are looking for volunteers to fill a time slot of anywhere from a few hours to all day. Mostly, it's being available (either at the Cornhusker Hotel or another venue, or on a bus going between) to help the attendees know where they should be, or if they are on the right bus, etc. Also registration, or handing out box lunches. It varies, and you can choose.

What do you get for doing this? You get to attend the session/class of your choice FREE. Since the cost of the registration to be able to attend even one class as a regular attendee is several hundred dollars, this is quite a nice deal, if you are interested in any of the offerings.

For the schedule and description of classes download Preliminary Program PDF so you can see what it's all about. Please let me know ASAP if you are interested, as when slots and classes fill, they are full.

Here's the Welcome page of the Schedule and description to give you a small taste of what you're likely to find at the Symposium.

Once again, I am only the Asst. Volunteer Coordinator, and if you want to attend the Symposium as a regular attendee, you must register at the Textile Society's site. It would be a wonderful opportunity for some truly wide-ranging, yet very specialized textile learning, and worth every penny, so go for it if you can.

A dedicated steering committee of local planners and national TSA board members have been working since August 2008 to insure that the wealth of resources located in this central region will be accessible to you. Our pre and post symposium tours and workshops will entice you to arrive on Tuesday and depart on Monday so you can take advantage of at least one tour and one workshop.

In Omaha, plan to see the outstanding exhibitions mounted at the University
of Nebraska-Omaha Weber Fine Arts Building Gallery and travel downtown to the historic Old Market district to visit the Hot Shops 1301 Gallery, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and the Jun Kaneko studio and Kaneko: Open Space For Your Mind. We have included these exhibitions in the pre-symposium art tour, as well as an extraordinary private collection in Lincoln. In the textile conservation tour you have an opportunity to see some of the breathtaking Nebraska landscape as you travel to DeSoto Bend National Wildlife Refuge to see the Steamboat Bertrand exhibition. Native Prairie distinguishes the history tour, which will include a visit to Homestead National Monument.

Following the symposium participate in a guided tour of the Winnebago
and Omaha communities. Our Saturday plenary session speaker, Judi M. gaiashkibos, has graciously agreed to journey with you for this tour. But, if you have been reading Willa Cather since your childhood, you will not want to miss this opportunity to get to her home in Red Cloud on the arts and letters tour.

We offer four hands-on workshops, all held on the University of Nebraska-
Lincoln campus. Explore natural dyes with Dominique Cardon and Elena Phipps; digital Jacquard design with Julie Holyoke of Lisio in Florence; felt making with Janice Arnold and Christine Martens; and ralli quilt practice with Tricia Stoddard.

In partnership with the Sheldon Museum of Art, Saturday night we are offering a free screening of The Desert of Forbidden Art, an exciting new documentary about the rescue of 40,000 artworks sheltered at a remote desert museum in Uzbekistan narrated by Ben Kingsley and Sally Field.

Sunday offers a full day of post symposium activities.

Use our Facebook page to help plan your trip and hook-up with room-mates, investigate restaurants, and link to maps we have designed to help you get acquainted with Lincoln destinations.

Wendy Weiss and Diane Vigna, co-chairs


Friday, August 13, 2010

Cosmos Knit/Crochet Shell

Photo Link

I finished the knitting and crocheting on this shell earlier this summer, but needed to do a fix on the armholes which were showing too much of me in the front. I like armholes which are pretty trimly fitted around the shoulder joint, and when they're not, it's just unattractive. I've had this happen on tanks/shells before, and the easiest fix is to just crochet a few rows where you need it. On this shell, since there are crocheted motifs in front, and all the edges are crocheted, that's no problem. I started about halfway between the side and shoulder seams on the back, and went to the same height in the front, then back to the side seam, so basically I added a wider 'slice' in the front than the back. It seems to fit in a much nicer way now, and I really like it.

The yarn is Cosmos by S. Charles Collezione, and the pattern is theirs as well. I got both the yarn and pattern from

You crochet the 3 square motifs, then knit 2 side fronts and the back, stitch them all together, then crochet in the round at the bottom, making a 'beading' row to run your belt through. Very simple really, but I think it's cute.

Photo Link

Photo Link

Friday, August 06, 2010

Marfy #1128 Roses & Caramel Finished

Photo Link (The link will take you to the first photo in the group, then you can click through on Next to see all of them, larger if you'd like.)

I finished the Roses & Caramel dress last night, and I have to say, I'm very pleased with it, and especially with the fit. I've never had any luck with this style of dress, until this pattern, and it's fun to have one actually fit me, and my shape. I do begin to think that perhaps this style is not my most flattering though, as it clearly reveals my very short-waisted figure, rather than disguising it a little bit, as I usually try to do. I do have one excuse though. I still am not able to stand up completely straight, and so I'm bent over at the waist enough that it shortens that area even more than usual. That's my story anyway. I can't wait until I can really stretch again.

Thank you Mardel, for the fantastic fabric! I really love it.

I used Roberta Carr's instructions for Bias Facings on this dress, and since the matelassé is fairly thick, I used a silk crepe de chine for the bias strips. I thought the colors went together fairly well, and it was scrap I had left from the contrast for my first Marfy suit, so that was fun too. Carr says that this kind of facing is very soft, and gives very little support. I would agree, but in this case, the fabric has plenty of body, it seemed like a good choice, and I have to say I like the finished effect. It's a lot of hand sewing, but I like handwork, and it didn't really take too long. Here's a shot of the facing inside the front neckline, and a close-up.

You turn your edge over, hand baste near the fold, then measure the edge, and attach a same size bias strip near the fold, RSU, with the edge turned under. Then press and shape carefully so the other edge fits, and stitch it, turning the edge under. Remove your basting, and you're done. Very soft and flexible, and very comfortable against the body.

I had to include a photo of my invisible zipper. You can see the front dart on the left.

And of course, most important of all, The Shoes.

It's going to be a very hot day tomorrow (93, with high humidity) and I don't know if the wedding is in an air conditioned church, so a cotton dress will be perfect. Now to go wrap the gift.

I'm really pleased with how this dress turned out, and this is the kind of dress I could imagine wearing all day with perfect comfort, which is always a plus. I can hardly wait to do another one, and summer is moving right along, so I'd better hurry,or it will be back to sleeves, which I guess would be okay anyway.

I want to thank everyone for the very kind hair comments. I'm really thrilled with the new 'do', and it's nice to know you like it too.