Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Update to List

true up pattern and make swimsuit
finishing sewing muslin
-perfect fit
sew green dress based on muslin above
copy pink/black/white knit dress and sew copy
make at least one other knit dress, preferably two
make woven dress
make tops
make shrug (black?)
make cardigan with penguin for Nya
make Indianapolis Super Bowl scarf

Update:   Forgot to put Lucy's camera case and hem animal print dress on the list.
I'm almost done the muslin.  I've decided to not make the green dress at this time...I think the fabric would be too heavy for summer, and I feel a little frumpy in the princess seamed muslin.  Although the vertical seaming is supposed to add height, what I see is a big blob, LOL.  With no horizontal definition, you can't tell that I have (a bit of) a waist.  Sure, it's loose and flowy, and probably nice for summer (but so sheer it needs a full slip), but I'd rather have the horizontal seam of an empire waist dress.  I've also been experimenting with tucking in my shirts.  OMG.  It's been like, 15 years since I've tucked in a shirt!
Right now, I'm hemming the animal print sundress.  Cause summer came!

Monday, May 30, 2011


Back in September 1995, I somehow convinced Rob to go on a road trip to the States.  We'd been dating only a few months, but had gone on weekend camping trips, so, hey, what's a 10 day trip to another country?  LOL.  I had hoped to get to Tennessee, but we made it only as far south as Kentucky, which we loved.  We spent a few days at Mammoth Caves National Park; it was just after Labour Day and a great time to visit.  One day we were looking at a large info board and struck up a conversation with another tourist.  At one point, he stopped, and asked "So, what part of Canada are you from?".  I laughed, Rob was confused.  The "eh?s" gave him away.
Right now, Rob's parents have a house guest from England.  She's come every year since 2006, and stays for a month.  I thought it might be nice to send a little bit of Canada back with her.

We're going to Indianapolis this summer to spend a week with Rob's sister.  I thought it might be nice to bring her a little bit of Canada too.
I've never done illusion knitting, but when I saw this maple leaf chart posted on Ravelry, I thought that would be a cool way to try.  Finding a bright red dishcloth cotton was harder than knitting it!  The stores around here had only a faded red.
I'm not 100% pleased with it :(  The chart is not symmetrical, and I don't know if that was intentional.  It's a little harder to see the leaf than I thought it would be, which is sort of cool though.
I don't know if I should try to alter the chart or just leave it as is.  Your thoughts?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cutie Pie!

A while ago, I found through another blog (Angry Chicken?), a link to a EDIT:  tutorial on making sock monkeys using dollar store novelty socks.  I knew I had to do that, esp. since two of my niece's like sock monkeys.  I bought a pair of Valentine Socks, but one of the girls wore them and got them dirty before I got around to sewing.  So I went off to Dollarama to get more socks.  Poor selection!  And, the two socks were not quite the same size!
 It was fairly easy to follow the tutorial, although I changed the ears a little.  I also used the purple heel that came from the second pair of socks in the set...I thought the black wasn't contrasty enough.  The buttons are from my stash.  Slim pickings for those!
 I sent this off to Nya, Rob's sister's daughter, for her birthday.  I also made her a neck cooler, like the ones I made last summer.  I had to piece the fabric a bit, the center, with the beads, is two layers, I thought the fabric was a little thin.  It's left over from a girls' dress last summer.
I also included some Canada temporary tattoos, and a Canadian 5 dollar bill (she's American, and turning 5), all jammed into a decorative box from Dollarama, and cushioned with all the metallic foil strips that fell out of the pom poms I bought for Meg from Dollarama.
This wasn't on the list I just made since I actually did this last weekend.  Today, I sewed a little camera bag for Lucy, which I had forgotten to put on that list.  So, there's nothing to cross off yet!

Friday, May 27, 2011


I've got so many plans/projects  going on that I think I need to make a concrete list, make it public, LOL.
In 6 weeks we head out to Indianapolis to spend a week or so with Rob's sister and her family.  Many of the things I really want/need to get done by then!

true up pattern and make swimsuit
finishing sewing muslin
    -perfect fit
sew green dress based on muslin above
copy pink/black/white knit dress and sew copy
make at least one other knit dress, preferably two
make woven dress
make tops
make shrug (black?)
make cardigan with penguin for Nya
make Indianapolis Super Bowl scarf

Is that it?  Oh my.  Since it seems to take me at least two weeks to sew a dress....yikes.  I'm hoping once I get the muslin done, the actually dress will be quick.  And since I'm copying my knit dress (and enlarging), hopefully that goes quick.  The shrug should be fast as I'll do it on the machine, same with the cardigan, although I don't know what pattern/knit radar I'll be using.
This weekend is busy.  Next weekend is busy.  Busy weeks.  So, I might not blog a whole lot for now :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why Is It So Hard?!

First off, some proof I do still hand knit!  Lucy took this picture on Tuesday night during Meg's skating.  If you read my other blog, you'll have read how I got really distracted during Meg's swimming class and I didn't get much knit then, LOL.
Next up, more sewing.  I want some dresses with sleeves.  I don't have many patterns,  I bought a pattern at Value Village for a dress or top with or without sleeves.  I decided to try tissue fitting, but I decided while doing that that the pattern didn't have enough shape for me to make a dress.   
There was one dress I made last summer and never showed you.  I made it before I learned about "full bust adjustment", so I had made it for my chest size.  Well, it fit like a sack everywhere else.  The only picture I took was blurry, dark, and my hair was in a towel.  So you never got to see it, LOL.  I decided I would give it another try, since I found a couple blogs with awesome instructions on how to do a FBA on a princess seam pattern.  It'd be no sweat, right?

Why are things always so hard for me?

I started out by folding out an inch above the armhole and an inch just above the waist.  This made the waist a little high, but that's okay.   I then  followed the steps and tried to move the pieces apart the two inches I needed.  Things went REALLY wonky (look at that armhole, so I backed off to 1 1/2" (it's not a closely fitting dress).  I finished up the steps, which was not as easy as the tutorial made it seam.  The bust point is not marked on my pattern, and it seemed to be in the middle front piece while the tutorial showed it being in the side front piece.  The tutorial didn't show the notches, so I wasn't sure where to put all the slashes.  The amount I had to lengthen the middle section seemed humongous compared to the tutorial, and that threw off the pattern line. 

Today, I decided to retrace the side seams.  I had graded from an 18 to a 22, partly cause I want some swishiness, and because I was worried since I needed the 18 for the shoulders but the 18 waist (body measurement) is way too small.  I realized last night that the extra 3" I added in the bust would be going all the way down the length of the dress, and hence, over my belly (while it wouldn't be added over the back or bum, where I don't really need it!).
However, when I laid the pattern piece back on, I saw how weird the armhole had changed, despite the tutorial saying the armhole wouldn't change.  So now I need to go back and do something about that.  I decided that while doing all these adjustments I would do a muslin, despite hoping that the dress that I was making was going to be a (very) wearable muslin.  It might just be a top though.  I found out I have a shortage of woven tops in my wardrobe!  This is why I didn't know I have very big problem with "forward shoulders", the other dress I was going to make, which turned into a top, is woven and the shoulder seams were strange.....

Monday, May 16, 2011

Quick Dress

A while ago I thought I might try sewing underwear.  FabricLand had a bin with stretch knit remnants and I picked a couple pieces, but once I got home I found they were rather narrow.  And this one, felt a little thick, but it probably would have been fine.  However, Meg found it a couple weeks ago and wanted me to make a wedding gown, or at least, a train (thanks Kate & Will!). 

 After the success of my last knit dress, I figured a simple dress for Meg would be nice.  At first, I had this hilarious idea of folding it in half, cutting out a neckhole and armholes, and stitching up the sides.  LOL.  But I wanted the bottom more gathered.   I took a knit tank top pattern for kids that I already had, and traced a shortened version for the top.  I actually went a little large cause I didn't want it tight, but I didn't want it too loose.  And it's a smidge loose, but actually, it's not gaping and being indecent though.
Then for the skirt, I wanted it gathered.  But when I picked up the fabric, I discovered that it's a 2-way stretch (up/down and side/side).  So, I could do the skirt in any direction, but I was worried about it being too short, although the fabric was almost square, so it didn't really matter.  I did the gathering stitch across the top of the bottom piece (which was about 4" bigger), and then pinned it to the bodice and gathered it to fit.  But as I sewed, the gathering seemed to disappear!  I don't know if that's because of the stretch, or what, but it lacks the gathered look I wanted.

About a week after creating this, I was at Value Village and found a Simplicity pattern, in the right sizes, for this style of jumper dress, in wovens.  Of course.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Yes, I Still Hand Knit

I was wondering today, have I showed you any handknitting lately?  There was the dropped stitch in the black socks, but that's not new knitting.  I showed new yarn and needles.  I showed that I finally sewed buttons on a baby sweater and made a little hat for it.  I showed that I finished off some other baby items that were just needing minor work.  But it's been two months since I showed the "Fumbling Fleegle Socks" (and I think I finished them in February actually).  Wow.  What have I been doing?!

Before finishing all the baby stuff in February, I was having post-Christmas letdown, I think.  I had finished all the 'interesting' stuff, and all that was left was some uninteresting stuff to finish--like the baby items.  There were MANY projects I wanted to knit, but trying to find the right yarn for the right pattern was feeling overwhelming.  I was keeping busy with the new knitting machine, and then a big project on the LK150, but I knew I had to have handknitting too!  I started a pair of Cookie A. socks (Stricken Socks) but quickly realized I need the chart with me for awhile until I got into the rhythm.  Then it became portable, but fairly soon an even more complicated section started, relegating it to the couch project again.

I also started a baby sweater or dress.  I have a LOT of vintage patterns that all seem to take fingering/baby yarn (a few take DK).  I always think that maybe I'll knit up some, perhaps using DK or worsted, so they're a little bigger.  The yarn I wanted to use this time is a light worsted (what I used for the machine knit baby  cocoon), and although I didn't want newborn size, it seemed every pattern I liked was already for a bigger size, which meant, when knit in worsted, would be quite large.  I finally picked one but after a few repeats of the pattern, I still was not getting into it, and I couldn't even tell if I had been knitting it right!  Ripped it back to the band, and picked an easy pattern from a stitch dictionary.  It's my "purse" project right now, although the ball of yarn and the size of the sweater does make it bulky, LOL.

And lastly, my other current project is Omelet, from the lasted knittty.com.  It was a total impulse cast on, although I had been wanting to knit a shawl for awhile.  I decided to use a cone of mossy green yarn, quite fine.  I had previously wound (is the past tense of "wind" ("why-nd", not "win-d") wound...the same as "woo-nd, or injury?  English is so weird sometimes!)  off a ball, so I didn't have to knit directly from the cone, although I was looking forward to having only 4 ends to weave in.  However....twice now (still using the small ball), I've found the yarn broken :(   It's not a soft, squishy yarn (although I think it will wash up a bit better than it is now).  I felt that this pattern, due to the small motif, needed a solid colour yarn, and my choices were fairly limited--some off white, some black, grey, and some other coned yarns.  However, I sort of wish I had chosen a thicker yarn as I think this is going to take forever!  Luckily, although it's not a fuzzy, squishy, warm, wool, the colour seems more autunmy than summery, LOL.  I still want another summer shawl, so I might do it on a machine, LOL.  The shawl started as a couch project, but now that it's grown, I can do the right side rows on the couch, and then take it with me and do the purl row while Meg has her swimming  lesson/skating lesson, etc.

I'd still like some brainless sock knitting, however, I always feel that brainless socks can be so easilly knit on the machine that there's no point doing them by hand, LOL.  I have more of the Kroy Stretch, and I'm not sure how the machine would handle it, so maybe I should cast on for another pair of socks with that.  I really like the first pair I did.  Any other ideas?

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Good Things Come in Threes

Back in February, I was worried I wasn't going to have any projects to show you, but I'm actually behind in posting new projects!  I decided, in a lull while working on a big project on the LK150, to do some pinwheel blankets for the donation/gift box.  I had gotten 4 balls of Bernat Co-ordinates in yellow, white, tealish blue and pink, from the Salvation Army (plus I had a white ball in the stash).  I would make the blankets on the Singer 155 as the LK150 was sort of in use (and on the backside of the table, a little cozy).
The first one I did was this tealish blue and white.  I used 50st, hold 2st per row, 10 wedges, T6 (I think).  120gr.
I felt this blanket was a little small for my liking, although I'm sure it's fine for a newborn/infant.

The next blanket was a challenge.  I picked up this interesting yarn at the Spinrite Factory Outlet tent sale one summer, probably no later than 2006.  It's a chenille which changes shade and texture, from a dry, thick pale pink, to a shiny, thinner, almost white.  I used T10, but it wasn't quite loose enough for the thicker sections.  I was really concerned about having enough yarn as I had tried to make a square, mitered blanket a few years ago, but ran short.  I got the blanket finished with a small amount left.  However, this blanket had a terrible problem...it wasn't laying flat.  I don't mean at the edges...I mean, in the middle!
It looked like a volcano!  I gave it lots of steam, and it started to behave.  I knew I didn't have enough yarn for a worm trim, so I decided to crochet around it, ending whenever I run out of yarn.  Well, on the first try, I did two rounds but made it a few inches shy of joining the third round.  It looked dumb.  I ripped back, hoping to space the sts so that I'd make it on the next try.  But I lost the crochet hook.  I had to use a smaller one, so I ripped back even further, and this time I JUST made it to the finish line.

I took a bit of a break after the two as I wanted to make the next ones with the Bernat Co-Ordinates a bit bigger and had to figure that out.  Turns out, you just add more sts, keeping to the 2st  taken out of hold each time, and 10 wedges.  Adding more sts automatically means more rows.
The third is yellow and white, and I think I used 60sts and T6, which is a bit loose.  I like the size of it though.  I finished off one ball of the white Co-ordinates, but there's still quite a bit of the 3 colours left.  I did weigh it, but I didn't write it down, LOL.  I'll probably make little sweaters to go along with these blankets.  I predict I'll make more....they take about one hour for the blanket, and then there's the edging/sewing up!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Ahhh, Man!!

I was inspired by the revelation that I could take a knit contour/radar pattern and turn it into a sewing pattern.  I wanted to make a simple pullover.  For awhile, I've thought of using the red fleece sweater that I based the green striped one on, as a pattern to sew another simple top, but altered to fit me a bit better.  So, I'm not sure if I'm going to make a sweater based on the red top, or based on the knit contour pattern that's based on the red top, LOL!
I was at Fabricland, picking up a "couple small things"  (thread, zipper...) and of course I looked at the clearance bin.  There was some perfect knit fabric pieces.  I wasn't sure how much I'd need, but at 1.3m and 1.5m, I thought I should be able to do something.  I've also thought maybe a wintery nightgown.  It'd be more comfortable than flannel, and perhaps not so granny-ish.
Meg took all the bands off the pieces of fabric that I bought.  I was feeling chilled, so I shook out one of the knit pieces to wrap around me.  I was stunned to see two patches where there wasn't any dye!  (The picture shows one spot).  The label didn't say it was flawed!  I don't know if I'll be able to layout a sweater and avoid the two patches.  Maybe a pattern with more pieces that could be jigsawed around the patches.  Bummer.  I'll probably end up with a nightgown after all (and this was the bigger of the two pieces!).