“…you’re gonna make it after all.” Sing it with me now.
Remember Mary Tyler Moore? I remember watching the show on the rerun TV station in the pre-cable world. I adored Mary and her lovely clothes. I didn’t really understand the social themes until much later, but still a good show. Plus who doesn’t adore Betty White as a cougar extraordinaire.
I digress. This morning while rambling around downtown Minneapolis I came upon Mary, and yes she did make me smile. Did I mention it was on 20 degrees? Right outside Macy’s, here’s a lovely statue of the famous Mary hat toss. I shall have to look for some Mary episodes to watch! Until then, enjoy my layover eye candy.
I will never wear these with a tucked in shirt (that was just for the photo). Promise and pinky swear.
Yet another black sewing project completed! And indeed, it’s still hard to photograph black.
Seen here is my version of Style Arc Lola Pants. I saw the pattern and thought they had the potential to fill the gap between sweats and “real” pants. I’ve been trying to sew things I’ll actually get use out of and one thing I wear A LOT is sweat pants. Yes, they’re not pretty but if you’re out doing errands before and after the gym, it’s what you wear. My sweat pants are pretty much all old and loose polyester. I love them. I’ve got a few newer pairs that are stretchy lycra but I wear my poly ones first. Only if all the polys are dirty will I wear the lycra.
That is a long explanation of why I’ve made lounge pants (or whatever we’re going to call them). These made from a very nice black ponte (which is a poly double knit for those who don’t sew) from Stone Mountain in Berkeley. Ponte quality varies, but this stuff is soft, warm to the touch and not at all see through – yummy. The Lola pattern is for wovens but worked just fine with ponte knit. I didn’t change anything and opted not to put in zippers at the slanted pockets. That decision may come back to haunt me if those pockets stretch out (though I did stabilize the opening edge). The only fiddly bit is attaching the waistband to the pant. It took about three attempts with lots of machine basting and swearing.
This is my first Style Arc pattern and can see why they are well regarded. The pattern was well drafted and the sizing is as stated – no Big Four ease lottery guesses here. The pattern is rated as medium in difficulty and that is an accurate assessment. That waistband is the “hardest” part but heck, I did it. I am now tempted to get the actual sweat pant pattern from Style Arc and try that out as well. I may be upping my game at the gym when all is said and done!
I will now make something else, I promise.
Turns out taking pictures of a black dress on a cloudy afternoon is hard. Sorry for the pics!
After my first Sureau I wanted to try one in black with a different sleeve. I also modified the neckline because the first dress didn’t lie flat on my clavicle. I pinched out the extra fullness, raised the neckline and drafted a little rounded collar. While I was at it I changed the sleeve to an elbow length with fullness into the cuff. What I should have done after seeing this pictures is lowered the waistline about an inch since it’s still rather higher than my natural waist. But that mod will have to wait since I don’t really need too many of these dresses in my wardrobe.
Again, this may not be the most fashionable, age appropriate style, but it is super comfy. With a scarf and sweater/blazer it will be quite useful.
My next project is polyester pull on pants, I kid you not. Also not age appropriate (in the other direction this time) and they look rather dodgy right now, but if they turn out you will see my version. If they don’t, forget you read that last sentence.
Technically the patterns were purchased last week…the yarn is hot off the presses.
I wish I had some lovely finished objects to share. Alas, there are two items that are “almost” done, one sewn and one knit. But completed they are not.
Anyone want to guess if that lack of finishing has stopped me from procuring more raw materials for hobby purposes? If you guessed “hell NO” you would be right on the mark.
Without getting into the convoluted and dull compensation structure of my job, I shall just say that three days a month I’m “on call”. Since I don’t live in my domicile city I stay in a hotel. 99% of the time I can get a trip and work and go home. Easy. Every once in a blue moon there is just nothing to cover. I had one of those days yesterday. My duties were fulfilled by noon and I faced two more days of waiting around. Now mind, I do get paid minimum to sit around but I spend money on hotels and food, so waiting is boring and expensive.
How I passed the time yesterday was to go to the local yarn shop and buy wool for a scarf. Or sometimes I get online and purchase patterns and fabric. Then, after all that, I was able to trade away my last two on call days and bugger off home this morning. (We can swap and trade assignments because we are interchangeable like Legos.) So basically I spent two nights in hotel, bought yarn, food and patterns and went home. I lost money dudes! But look at that pretty yarn! And those cute patterns were on sale! AND it’s nine days until I turn 29 again so whatevs!!!!
My takeaway here is to enjoy being home today, play with my yarns and worry about picking up a trip to make up for my fiber foibles tomorrow. Plan B will not be necessary. Hope you have an awesome day and I will try to finish something before buying anything else.
Looks nice but gauge is totally too big. Frogged.
Despite it being 71 degrees here with great regularity, when I saw the Ecclefechan Mitt pattern I just had to make them. Sure I’d never wear them, but I had some black and white Isager Strik Alpaca 2 sitting right by me and that’s a fingering weight yarn, perfect!
Not perfect. I saw from the pattern that these mitts are knit very tightly to make them extra warm. I went out and bought size 000 and 00 needles and still couldn’t get gauge. Of course it’s difficult accurately knit a gauge swatch in the round with colorwork so I just went for it, it’s only 74 stitches around so it’s sock sized. Alas, after knitting about 25 rows it became very obvious that my gauge, even on size 00 needles wasn’t going to be small enough. These mitts are too big. And there are no smaller needles I can buy (if there are I don’t want to knit with them).
So rip this out and use the Isager yarn for the scarves I’d intended it for. Put the tiny needles in a drawer until I need them next. The pattern, though lovely, is charted up so small. I can see just fine and it was small for me. You’d have to size it up somehow if you’re not a hawkeye, be warned.
So my verdict on tiny needles, tiny yarn, tiny chart and too big mitt? Epic fail. It is pretty though, but I’m unlikely to tackle those tiny charts again. Into the garage with you!
The only thing that worked out well was some carrot soup I made. It’s very easy, extremely delicious and lets me run rampant with my immersion blender. Recipe here, and don’t skip the cider since it makes it yummy.
I shall now continue working my stripes on At Dawn (in the same yarn that didn’t work here – oddly) since that is going along just fine.
It’s quite pretty in person, the door mat doesn’t do it justice.
Because of Pax the flight I was supposed to work today was cancelled so I kind of have a snow day today. I still need to fly to my domicile to work tomorrow (maybe…) but I get at least a snow half day.
That unexpected event gives me time to show my latest knit project. I am a great fan of Veera Välimäki’s striped scarves and have knit up two, Stripe Study and Different Lines and according to my notes bought some yarn from my local yarn shop in 2011 to make another Veera pattern, probably Color Affection since that’s in my Rav Library. But as often happens to me, those plans fell by the wayside.
The other day I came across the yarn I’d bought in 2011 for the scarf madness that had taken over me back then and thought it was time to use some of it. I like Isager Strik Alpaca 2 for these scarves because it’s soft enough to wear on your naked neck and knits up fluffy yet squishable down to a tiny ball when you’re shoving it into your bag. I had it all bagged up together in ziplocs in one of my plastic garage bins and pulled out the gray and red. I’d seen the Interpretations collection Veera and Joji Locatelli had just put out and of course adored the At Dawn scarf by Joji.
What you see here is half the scarf knit up. I’ve just switched to the red with gray stripes which is quite motivating. Just switching colors keeps me interested. This pattern is super easy and keeping track of garter rows is as simple as counting. Perfect mindless knitting, which may be why I’ve got so much done so quickly. I like mindless? I’m bringing it with me to work tonight just in case I get stuck somewhere. Plenty of underwear and knitting is my strategy for the next few days.
Quick, take a pic and go to work girl!
I’ve seen a few versions of Sureau on the blogs and found it to be a cute, flattering dress made for real life wearing. So I was forced, forced I tell you, to order the pattern from Deer and Doe.
The pattern came quickly from France and this dress was a quick make. I’d decided for this first iteration of the dress that I had to use stashed fabric and notions. I rooted around the big plastic bins in the garage and found this piece of rayon/cotton/linen? fabric. It looks a bit like chambray, but it’s really not chambray. I had an acceptable length light blue invisible zip stashed and found a card of blue buttons in the button box. Voila! A dress is born.
It fits pretty well out of the envelope. I used the longest length of skirt from the largest size since it runs a tad short for a lady of my years. I added a couple more inches into the skirt gathers and may take those out since it’s a tad poofy in a crisp fabric. I may tweak the neck a bit on the next version and perhaps add a collar. I also moved the zipper to the center back from the side seam since I don’t enjoy a side zipper. That’s about it. It’s an easy dress to sew up and I’m thinking about making up one in black and moving into it permanently.
In thrift store coat news, I had the $6 coat dry cleaned for $18.95 and it looks amazing! So final score on the Topshop coat is $24.95 and awesome!
First the really good news: My sister, Claudia is blogging again HERE! Go say hi!
Kind of 1940s, in a totally now kind of way.
Yesterday on the way home from the airport I swung by one of my favorite charity shops in the whole world. It’s just a plain old Salvation Army, but I always have good luck at this particular one. Plus it’s huge so the odds are better, right? Fun fact: this store is in the former home of an old grocery store that our parents would stop at after church and buy us Tab/Pepsi Light and licorice for being good.
Shout out for Brentwood Market!
Tiny seam allowance and long stitches make holes!
Well I digress, what I found yesterday was a Topshop coat in light gray wool in my size that
looked brand new. Let us investigate such a find. All was well until I saw that the sleeve had ripped at the seam. No other damage and it was $6.50 since the whole place was 50% that day. (That’s how they roll.) Well, easy enough to fix that seam and my machine was already threaded with acceptable white thread. Super find for me.
Here’s where the closed up the lining after bagging – arm seam!
Fixing this was easy, I mean 15 minutes easy. I just found the closing up seam in the bagged lining (hint: it’s usually one of the sleeves) and opened it up. It was extra easy because the stitch length on this coat was 4 to 5 mm. As a reference, I’d use a 2.5 mm stitch on my coat. No wonder the sleeve ripped right away!
So a quick rip, sewed both armholes twice just to be super secure and closed the lining up again. Done and ready for the dry cleaner. Yes, it will cost at least twice what I paid for it to clean, but still a bargain. New coat for me!
I left in the cloudless blue sky for your enjoyment.
Pretty darn warm. It’s over 70 degrees here in nor Cal again today. We’re having a vicious drought, absolutely no rain and crops are in jeopardy. Ski resorts have no snow, water rationing has begun and food will be quite a bit more expensive. All that’s bad. But guess what else? The cherry blossoms are here early!
You know I adore the cherry blossoms’ appearance every year and it looks like spring has sprung. I look for them going to and from the airport and I’ve chosen one white house out in the avenues as my cherry blossom season indicator. Guess who’s in full bloom already? Aren’t the gorgeous. Of course just I came from NY where it was 15 F this morning. Horrifying. Glad I only stayed an hour. Stay warm or cool, as applicable and enjoy the blossoms!
Looks OK and it totally reversible/upsidedown-able.
Football season is over, we will not discuss.
Knitting then. I’ve knit a cowl. I’ve become a bit gaga about cowls since the world is cold right now. I like the look of chunky yarn cowls, but not so chunky it looks like your head is being swallowed by octopus tentacles. It’s a fine balance.
What I decided to do was get some chunky yarn and knit a cowl. Of course whenever I want new yarn it’s a Monday and the local knitting store is closed on Mondays. Michaels is always open so I trundled down the road to see what I could see. They had some charcoal gray Patons Classic Wool that fit the bill so I opted for that instead of chunky acrylic. Now this is worsted weight yarn and I’m thinking chunky so I just bought two skeins to knit it double (actually I ended up needing one more skein if your thinking of using worsted too). Voila.
Pattern then. Back home to troll Ravelry and came upon Thirty-Eight by Jane Cochran. Easy pattern that is great for travel knitting and it’s a freebie. My cowl came out to 8.5″ wide and 50″ around. If I made it again I’d try to make it a bit smaller around because I like a snug fit. It’s all a matter of your gauge and math, so that’s easily solved if there’s a v.2.
My only note on this Patons yarn is that it smells, not like sheep – that would be ok, but like chemical. I did soak it for ages in Eucalan and the smell has faded, but smell it still does. I may toss it into the washer to give it some more cleaning action. May or may not help but it’s wearable to me as is. If your super sensitive, give this yarn a miss.
Next up: pizza dough.