Friday, January 23, 2015

Sock Mania

I really love knitting socks. I've knit many pairs, yet I am still always thrilled when I turn the heel, like it is magic or something! I seem to knit in phases, like at some times I am all about sweaters, other times all I want to knit are socks. First, I finished my Bridget socks!


I am thrilled with them!

I was about to show you all of the socks I have on the needles, but when I went and looked that was 7 pairs (!!) so I will just talk about my 2 most recents starts.  First, I cast on Deflect by Hunter Hammersen.  This was for part of a knitalong where the guidelines were to knit something by Hunter.  I am knitting it in Gourmet Stash Stout Sock.

Yesterday I started the next sock in the Op Art Sock knitalong, Ludwig. I am knitting it with some Lion Brand LB1878 I dyed myself with Koolaid and some pink self striping Kertzer On Your Toes.

Also on the sock front, I darned my first sock!  My Mona socks had gotten a hole in on heel, and I was on the brink of tossing them.  Instead I tried darning.  Here is the after photo:

I'll see how these wear.  I had tried the method before that involved knitting patches, but those socks were too far gone before I started I think.

Linking up with Patchwork Times for On the Needles Friday!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Sewing Assistant

We celebrated our one year anniversary with Honey, and to celebrate she decided to help me with my sewing...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sewing With A Plan 2015- Item #1 Part 1

I like to read along over on the forums at Artisan Square.  I happened upon them after I googled the winner of the first season of the Great British Sewing Bee, Ann Rowley.  She had a thread on Artisan Square where she offered advice to less experienced sewists

There are a ton of sewalongs on those forums, and the biggest every year is called SWAP or Sewing With a Plan.  This year the rules call for 3 bottoms, 5 tops and 3 wild cards, and all of the items are supposed to coordinate.  Most of the sewing is to occur between 25December and 30April.  I am planning to make the bottoms and wild cards in shades of black and grey, and the tops will be my pops of color.

Another guideline is for one garment to be either recycled material or reversible or transformable in some way.  I have chosen a recycled item for my first garment of my 2015 SWAP.  I started with this bad shirt I made last year.

It was originally from Simplicity 1805, but I think because the neckline starts out so big, that was made worse by my attempts at grading the pattern up to fit me.  I was also baffled by the cut on sleeves, and how to resize those for my large biceps without the shoulders going wonky.  Add to that the fact that all my hems refused to lay flat, and this thing was a serious WADDER.  I saved it thinking I could cut it up for underthings, but then when I read the SWAP guidelines, I remembered this top.

My idea was to cut it down center front and make it into a light cardi/shrug.  I rounded the front edge and cut the sleeves to be above my elbows.  Then I cut some binding from a lighter shade of grey (this is new fabric bought for SWAP).  I am sewing the binding down by hand Alabama Chanin style, and adding some beading.



I ordered thread and beads from Alabama Chanin and am following the directions in the book Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobe. I've finished cutting and pinning all of the binding, and have sewn about halfway around one sleeve. That means I have miles of sewing left, so watch this space for further progress reports!

Friday, January 16, 2015

On the Needles Friday 16Jan 2015

I made some great progress on my Bridget socks from Op Art Socks by Stephanie van der Linden:

I decided to have some fun and reverse the colors in the second sock.  I am enjoying this pattern quite a bit!

This week I finished my Eiregal Shawl, a pattern by Romi Hill.  I started this last May. The yarn was one I had bought a few years ago at Kiparoo Farm.  I had been "saving " it, but knew when I saw this pattern it would be a perfect pairing!   It took me three tries to get the lace pattern in the center going right.  Thank goodness for the lovely people in Romi's Ravelry group, who supported me so I did not give up.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for On the Needles Friday!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hey! I Made a Jacket!

Yes, I am truly that excited about it!  Quite some time ago, I bought the pattern for the Pearl and Opal Jackets from The Sewing Workshop.  I went to The Sewing Expo with a friend and got carried away in The Sewing Workshop's booth and paid more than I ever have for a pattern.  The strange thing is that the pattern was not even close to my size, but then I guess none of them ever are.  Anyway, before Christmas I was determined to get some sewing done for me, and worked out what adjustments I needed to make to the pattern.  This was no easy task, as the pattern has some very strange pieces, and for some of them I could not figure out which way was up. I ended up taping the pieces together as they would be assembled and then grading the pieces up at the same time.  I think it is a testament to the original drafting of this pattern how well it went together even after I graded it up several sizes.



I cut out the pattern last week. I used a mystery knit fabric I bought long ago on the bargain table at G Street Fabrics. It turns out my adjustments made some of the pattern pieces too wide for my fabric, so I had to slice the pattern and cut some parts in smaller segments, and then piece them together.  The first thing I did was sew one of these segments onto the larger piece upside down.  This was really my only issue during construction.  The instructions were clear and the pattern is easy to put together.



I am very happy with the fit- the sleeves are just big enough to allow for a top underneath.  The back and shoulders feel like they are just about right.  I love the cascade in the front.

I am planning two versions of this for my SWAP this year (SWAP stands for Sewing With a Plan, an 11 piece coordinating wardrobe).  One version will be from sweatshirt fleece, with a single button, similar to this cardigan from Nordstrom.  Another will be a vest in Alabama Chanin style, as seen in this photo on The Sewing Workshop's website.  I am hoping to make my version reversible.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Knitting recap

So I did some Christmas knitting, so my knitting needed to be kept a secret for a bit!  I used some Sublime yarns cashmere merino silk blend to make some fingerless mitts and a shawlette  for my niece. The yarn was wonderfully soft and lovely to knit with.

The mitts were from the Gingerbread Mitts pattern by Romi Hill:


The shawlette was 22 Little Clouds by Martina Behm:


I also made some spa sets- lacy washcloth and a soap sack.  I used the Silvermist Bath Set pattern by Romi Hill and the yarn was Longmeadow by Valley Yarns, a cotton microfiber blend.  I have no photos of the finished items, here is one soap sack in progress:


I also knitted a pile of dishrags for my mother in law.  Sorry, no photos.

Now that the holidays are over, I am back to working on the socks from Op Art socks by Stephanie van der Linden.  These are the current socks in progress, called Bridget:



The yarn is Knitpicks Stroll, and I am planning to reverse the colors on the second sock.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for on the needles Friday!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Wardrobe Project 11/19/2014

I have been sewing and knitting pretty regularly.  I made a lovely floral print blouse from the same pattern as my white Lekala blouse, but didn't take any photos.  I made my first attempt at a bra for myself.  That one is in time out right now because of fit issues.  Most of my knitting lately is for Christmas gifts.  So nothing I can blog about there, either.

Yesterday I did some repairs on my kitty print pajama pants I made last year.  The drawstring waist was just not working in the knit, so I cut off that waist and put in a casing and 2 rows of 2/8 inch elastic instead.

Today I made a really bright pink tshirt to wear as the top with those kitty pajama pants:

The pink is a cotton double knit, and it seems like it got ruffly every time I did any topstitching.  I had similar issues with my grey double knit skirt. I had not stay stitched the neckline, but I wonder if that would have been enough or if I should have used stay tape or something.