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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Relax Two - Finished!

Relax two 
I've finished my second Relax pullover!  I've been wearing my first one quite a bit, so it's good to have a second one for the last few weeks of winter.  This one is knit in Hue Loco's Vintage Sock in Dodecahedron which was the exclusive anniversary color for The Loopy Ewe this past year.  This was the first time I've used Hue Loco and I was very impressed - the speckles and dye colors knit up surprisingly consistently.  Even when the stitch count changed, the pattern of the yarn colors stayed the same.

I have one more set of skeins in my stash that are specifically for another Relax, but I don't plan to start it immediately.  I'm going to get my Sipila finished and then I need to start my Q1 KAL for ESK!

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Monday, January 07, 2019

First Finished Project of 2019!

Luna Loungewear pajamas 
I made pajamas!  This is the cami with the optional shelf bra and the shorts from Love Notions' Luna Loungewear pattern.  I made them in some Art Gallery knit I had left over from a dress I made a couple years ago.  I've got fabric for a couple more sets, but I'm going to sleep in this one for a few nights just to make sure I don't want to change anything.  I tried them on when I finished them and I think they're just about perfect.  This is my first time using this pattern brand and I found them to be easy to use and the directions were well written.  (Full disclosure: I love print at home patterns and actually like putting them together.  I think it's easier for me psychologically to make alterations, knowing that if things go wrong I can reprint the original pattern and start over.)

There wasn't anything particularly difficult with these.  I was a bit concerned about the knit binding/straps, but I pressed some folds into the binding before attaching it and my coverstitch machine finished them off beautifully.  I didn't do the fly front on the shorts and I also didn't add the drawstrings.  Since Max sleeps under the covers, I've found drawstrings on pajamas to be "distracting" to him (which is a nice way of saying he tends to lose his mind in the middle of the night and attack my pajamas).

I actually really like knit cami's with shelf bras to use as layering pieces, not just pajama tops.  I love them under cardigans and even under an oversized pullover like the Relax sweater they're great for keeping the drafts out!  Unfortunately, it's difficult to find a good color selection of cami's in stores right now.  For the cami portion alone, I'm pretty sure I'm going to get my money's worth out of this pattern.

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Monday, December 31, 2018

Sew Together Bags And A Recap of 2018

Sew Together bags 
I've been sewing.  I made six Sew Together Bags this month, some for gifts, some for me.  I heard about this pattern a few years ago, thought it was an amazing idea, bought it, downloaded it, and haven't done anything about it since then.  Periodically I would sort through fabrics and try to decide what to put where, but I never really got anywhere.
Sew Together bags 
This year, I decided to make some for gifts and figured I'd make myself a couple as well, for a total of six.  I sat down with my piles of fabrics and some post-it notes and figured out (and marked) what was what.  I had the pattern, the link to the sewalong, and an insane number of zippers (the company at that link sells a set of the long zipper and the three short zippers you need for this bag in your choice of colors - NAYY).
Sew Together bags
I separated the fabrics and zippers for each bag into their own ziplock bags so I wouldn't get confused.  I realized I could sew three of the bags with white thread and three with hot pink thread.  This meant I could use assembly line techniques and not have to change thread too often.
Sew Together bags
Some of the bags have the same fabric in each pocket lining, some only have one fabric.  Some of the bags use different fabrics for the interior and exterior side panels while some bags just used one.  Cutting out took an entire afternoon, but I stayed organized and kept each of the bag parts together.
See Together bags
I quilted all of the exteriors with a 1cm grid (my sewing machine is a Pfaff - metric markings), and after trimming them down once they were quilted (quilting can make a piece of fabric draw in, so for projects like this, you cut your pieces bigger than necessary, quilt, and then trim down to the correct size as listed in the pattern), I was ready to go.  I was also 12 hours into the project and hadn't even started the actual construction yet.
Sew Together bags
I used a combination of the pattern directions and the sewalong directions to put the bags together.  I also used this tutorial for zipper tabs on the interior pockets.  I think it makes the zippers look neater and it reduces bulk as you sew it.
Sew Together bags
When I did the binding, I sewed them on by machine first and then turned them over and stitched them down by hand to finish them.  For the long, top zipper bindings, I only did hand stitching along the bag.  I machine stitched both sides for the ends of the zippers where they make little handle loops.  I felt like this would make them more secure.
See Together bags
While this is definitely not a beginner pattern, I didn't think it was difficult either.  There are some fiddly bits and being comfortable with your sewing machine makes it easier to get through these.
Sew Together bags
This was not a fast project, but I enjoyed it and I think the fact that all six of the bags are different kept it from getting monotonous.  Everyone who got one of the bags seemed really happy with it and I hope they get lots of use!  (By the way, I just have to add that in the bag in the photo above, the zipper at the bottom is a color called Monster Snot Green.  I can't tell you how happy it made me to be able to use this and also how weird it is that this color really works well with so many of the Kaffe Fassett prints.  Best zipper color name ever!)

On a completely unrelated note, since today is the last day of the year, I went through my Ravelry notebook and took a look at everything I've knitted or crocheted in 2018.  I only counted finished projects, but here's the count:
  • 4 pullovers
  • 6 pairs of socks
  • 4 pairs of footie socks
  • 2 shawls
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 cowl
  • 1 blanket (the Meditative Blanket was finally finished this year)
  • 3 tentacles
  • 5 hearts
  • 11 stars
  • 4 leaves
  • 2 narwhals
  • 1 Cthulhu

I didn't knit a single cardigan last year, but I did make a lot of weird little things.  I currently have another crochet blanket in progress (Granny Goes Large) and two pullovers on the needles (Relax and Sipila).  Those won't be finished until after the new year.  I'm hoping for fewer injuries next year and I'm guessing I won't knit as many weird things, but there's no promises (seriously, who makes three tentacles and a Cthulhu?)

Hope your New Year is amazing and I'll see you there!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Sipila Pullover

Sipila pullover 
I finally finished the body of my Sipila pullover!  Even in its unblocked state, you can see how oversized it is on Fifi (it's designed to be oversized, but that means a lot more knitting).  After I took this photo, I actually started the first sleeve, and then I discovered that knitting stranded colorwork on the nine inch circulars that I usually use for sleeves isn't a good idea - I can't keep my floats long enough.  I'll be doing a bit of frogging today and then I'll knit the sleeves on double points like a civilized person.

Live and learn, right?

I'm trying to get this and my other current projects wrapped up by the end of the year.  I don't know if I'll be able to or not, but that's my goal.  I like to start a year with fresh projects!

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Monday, December 03, 2018

A Sock And A Change

Mermaid footie socks 
I've finished my first Mermaid footie sock.  I used some Sweet Georgia Yarn Tough Love Sock leftovers for the toe, heel, and cuff in Lollipop and Sea Spray because I'm pretty sure I don't have quite enough Mermaid to knit both footies.  Hopefully I can use up more than one little bit of leftover scrap yarn!

I also need to let you know about some changes I'll be making with the blog.  Previously, my goal has been to post four or five times a week and barring vacations and sickness, I've stuck to that pretty well for almost 14 years.  There are times that I don't really have anything to post; whatever I'm working on looks virtually the same, no matter how much knitting I put into it; and sometimes it's a gift and I can't blog it.  I also really want to get back to designing, and I have found that it's hard to commit to designing and testing while also blogging with any regularity.  I was thinking about changing things after the first of the year, but I think I need to go ahead and change now.  I will continue blogging but I'm only going to blog when I have something to actually share.  I won't worry about showing up four or five times a week, and some weeks I might not blog at all.  December is as good a time as any to start this because I'm working on some gift projects that can't be blogged anyway.  Hopefully this will free up some of my creative energy. 

I'll see you soon!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Some Sewing

Kobe top in cotton voile 
I made a new top.  This is the Kobe top by Papercut Patterns.  I made it in an Art Gallery Fabrics Voile which, while lovely to work with, has just barely enough drape for this particular pattern.  When I do it again, I'll probably use a rayon so I can get more drape.
Kobe top in cotton voile
The pattern worked up really quickly.  The back pleat section is a bit complicated, but there's an online tutorial with more pictures than the pattern directions have and that helped me figure out what to do.  I did make a couple of changes to the pattern (since that's what I do):  I took off two inches from the back length while leaving the hem shaping the same, and I added three inches to the front length and reshaped that hem to a shirttail shape.  The back hem was still a little bit longer than the front, but not as dramatically as the pattern was originally, and the front isn't cropped.  When I make it again (and I will), I might also shorten the sleeve a bit.  I haven't tried it back on since I hemmed them so I do need to double check that.

The voile is really great fabric, slightly lighter weight and with more drape than Liberty Tana Lawn, but just as easy to work with.  This is the fourth substrate (quilting cotton, voile, rayon, and knit) I've worked with from Art Gallery Fabrics and I've been very happy with all of them.  Their fabrics aren't cheap, but in this case, you get what you pay for.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Progress

Granny goes large 
I'm still working one side of my Granny Goes Large each evening.  It's not super fast but it is forward progress and I'm not injured.  I've worked five rounds since you last saw it.  I haven't measured the blanket lately but it's getting to a decent size.  I plan to just keep crocheting until I run out of all my yarn except the border yarn, and then I'll finish it off with the border.  As I run out of colors, I'll just drop them from the rotation (I didn't have equal amounts of all the colors when I began).  This particular repeat will be missing a color that was in previous repeats, and the next repeat will lose at least one more color.  This probably isn't the most scientific way to make a blanket, but it's working and I think it will be a happy, bright blanket when it's finished.

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