Slow Sleeve

Sad_sleeveHere I was thinking I was powering through the Garden sweater knitting, then shazam!  The sleeve I’d been churning out was rather, uh, tight when pinned shut and arm was inserted.  As I plan to actually insert my arms into said sleeves upon sweater completion, I felt it best to rip the mother f*ck*r out and begin anew.  This is being knit on size 3 needles, so you know how serious this was.  You try it on and rationalize that if you pulled the sleeves all the way down your hand it would fit perfectly.  I don’t want to wear the sweater all crazy gangsta like that, so voila, we have a modest amount of ribbing to show you today.  I know…just think of my happy place…you know it…Maryland.

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Back Garden

BackgardenI rather cleverly overdid the stretching at the gym and for the past few days have been coddling a sore lower back.  I’m still trying to figure out how much ibuprofen one can take and not perish, but I’m still knitting, so far so good. 

I’ve been working on the cormo garden sweater as the photo yonder shows, the back has been completed, despite the mind-numbing stockinette boredom.  You may notice that the back neck seems very scooped out and the Extendedshoulder seams are five stitches wide.  I have a plan dear friends.

I’d wanted to carry the ribbing that I’ve got on each side of the center front up and around the back neck.   In order to do so, I extended the ribbed section from the fronts to measure the scooped out length of the back neck.  I knew how much to scoop out of the back neck by knowing the width of the ribbed band from the front.  Clear eh.

It’s really not too complicated.  When the time comes, I shall slightly stretch the ribbed band to fit the back neck and pin in place.  The slight stretching of the Backfacingback neck ribbing will cause the ribbing to lay better around the curve of my shapely shoulders and neck.  It’s akin to the sewing technique of making the facing of a garment 1/16" smaller so it lays better.  Of course all this is still theoretical, I’ve not pinned or basted this rascal together yet so I may still end up with a nouveau version of that 1980s funnel collar.  Pretty.

Pant-y twins

V7685 My latest project is again of the sewing type.  I’ve just cut out some pants exactly like the beige ones in the picture.  They’re a basic straight legged, below waist, tab front pant.  I couldn’t decide between that Vogue pattern or New Look 6218 which is almost exactly the same.  I know, cause I measured.  I’m using the New Look pattern, but there’s no picture of it on their website and my attempts at photographing the pattern envelope were so blurry they made me queasy.  I’m using black cotton stretch twill–I can hear y’all now.  Isn’t that her one millionth pair of black pants?  Yeeesss.  I get rid of clothes I don’t wear often or don’t like with great frequency.  I subscribe to the "don’t use it, get rid of it" school of thought.  This is why I’m making another pair of black pants.  I’ve really only got a few pairs of black pants and am still searching for the perfect casual pair.  Now I’ll be searching for the time to sew those babies up.

Top That

Peritop_1How do you like that Wonder Woman pose?  Taxes are paid and stretchy top is completed, the world is my oyster.  I finally put a day off to good use (rather than the usual dicking around) and finished the top you see before you.  It turns out sewing with really stretchy fabric is just fine when you follow the instructions.  I sewed the straight seams with a veddy skinny zigzag stitch and finished the seams with the serger.  I used the suggested settings in my serger user’s manual to get the serger tension and differential feed under control, and there were no wobbly seams.  Another fab-u-lous thang was the double needle in the sewing machine for all the top stitching.  The double needle produces a straight stitch on the outside of the garment and is zigzag underneath.  This gives you a nice stretchy seam that gives the top a finished look.

Top Specs:

Pattern: Burda, 4/2005; Pattern #112A

Fabric:  2-way stretch blend, 1 yard in periwinkle

Sewing machines:  Bernina 1080; Bernette 004 serger.

Mmmm Fudge…

FudgeI do have more stockinette to show you from the back of my Cormo Garden sweater, but who gives a crap.  We’ve got fudge.  Not too surprisingly, I had a hot burning for fudge yesterday and decided to spend the five minutes whipping it up.  Five minutes you say?  Oh yes, my favorite fudge recipe is microwave fudge.  Okay, my ONLY fudge recipe is microwave fudge.  I use 1.5 cups butterscotch chips and 1.5 cups chocolate chips and you get fudge with a subtle hint of butterscotch.  When folks try it, they think it’s got some sort of exotic liqueur.  Nah.  Alcohol is for drinkin’.  Here’s the basic recipe for my fave fudge so enjoy!  Now I’ll get back to knittin’.

I’m not worthy…

Top_1My current knitting project is just not blog worthy at the moment.  If you really want to see a few more inches of stockinette back piece, email me and I’ll send you off a picture.  For the rest of you, I thought I’d show you what I’m attempting to sew up.  This is a knit top from the latest Burda magazine and it’s constructed from 2 way stretch knit.  For those of you who sew, Progressyou’ve all just groaned and clenched your butt cheeks.  Yup, I thought I’d try the knit thing once again after seeing all the great stretchy things Mariko‘s been doing.

So far I’ve traced off the pattern and determined I’ve got enough fabric.  The pattern "tip" in Burda says you can use fusible water soluble seam stuff to stabilize the seams.  I’ve never used this stuff and am not convinced it will more of a pain in the ass than not using it.  Any stabilizers out there?  Any tips?  Don’t worry too much, it’s $5 worth of material.

ALSO…I just found out that H&M is opening in SAN FRANCISCO this fall in Union Square!  It’s first west coast location and it’s right next to me.  I’m in heaven, but I’m still going to the H&M in Owings Mills, Maryland sometime during Sheep and Wool dammit.

Must Stash

Garden_front

I’ve reached the stage in the Maryland Sheep and Wool countdown, where I realize that based upon the yarn stash in the garage, the only thing I really need to buy at the fair is a Deep Fried Twinkie.  I don’t like deep fried Twinkies, so I’m using stash yarn to make the Garden sweater.  I’ve finished the fronts and am about six inches into the back.  Unfortunately the back is incredibly boring stockinette, but hell, I’ve got the sleeves to look forward to.  Since this sweater is being knit from the top of my head, the fronts are kinda different, but I’m hoping that I can fudge it in the sewing up.  Yeah, humor me.

Hippy Dippy NO MORE

Cover05Check out the CUTE 2005 Maryland Sheep and Wool (or Wolf if you’re Rachael) logo!  Last year was the first year they since I’ve been attending, that they stopped with the hippy dippy sheep renderings and put up a hip graphic.  This year they have an even cuter one.  Those old ones looked like those t shirts that you sometimes see folks at the mall wearing with their stirrup pants (!) with the howling wolves or some such thing.  I shall make sure to buy some commemoratives with the cute 2005 logo one day ONE.