Full Wingspan

Stretch!!!

Thanks to some rain in San Antonio, I finally finished my Wingspan.  Well, indirectly.

I started this Wingspan mid April (thanks Rav!) and promptly stalled after a few triangles.  Don’t know why, just did.  It’s a fine pattern and easily memorized.  Despite taking this with me on all my trips, it just wasn’t getting any knitting time.  Honestly, I’m usually too tired to knit when I’m working – especially during the long days and short layovers of summer.

So San Antonio – after a very short layover we arrive at the airport in SA the next morning and the heavens have opened up.  Thunder, lightening the whole deal.  Now my crew and I know that lightening is a no go when it comes to operating an airport since it’s super dangerous for the ground staff to be out in lightning and the rain was too bad for planes to land.  We knew we were in for a wait.  Six hours later…did I knit?  No, I played on my computer and just generally played.  But a nice young woman sat down across from me and pulled out her knitting and her iPad and contentedly amused herself.  That is how knitters roll.  So I complimented her project (a pretty Madeline Tosh Hitchhiker) and I pulled out my neglected Wingspan and we both amused that we were making spiky scarves.

Later on I pulled the neglected scarf out and began working on it.  Then before I knew it, it was done.  So here she is, full span staked out blocking on Thomas the Tank Engine blocking mat.  I used one skein of Lana Grossa Magico II and didn’t modify the pattern one little bit.  It was fine as writ.

How to wear it is another story.  I did the double wrap on the left (which is the most likely way I’ll wear it) and the boa fling on the right photo.  Both would work if it wasn’t 80 degrees outside, but that’s not such a big problem to me 😉

Left double wrap, right is the boa fling!

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A swell time

Swell waves!

My latest travel project!

I finished my last little scarf (awaiting blocking so stay tuned) and pulled out this ball of Meilenweit Magico II and thought I’d make a scarf highlighting the long draw colors of this skein.  I trolled Ravelry and found Christiane Stemberg’s Swell pattern which seemed to fit the bill.  It’s a feather fan lacy effect and I’m enjoying the stripes of color and thinking how cute this will look with my emerald green cardie, teal cardie and medium blue cardie.  This colorway should be called the Cardie Collection!

I hope I’ll have the last travel scarf blocked soon and then I’ll get back to my less colorful (by a mile) cream boucle sleeves.  I don’t think I’ve finished a sweater in ages so it will nice to notch another sweater on my knitting belt.

Happy times!

It’s summer

Most of a sleeve with a pile of sweater parts.

It’s officially summer.  How is that determined you ask?  Because I just got my first “aggressive” bikini wax of the season.  Too much information.  Sure.  Get over it?  Sure.  Gophers and calendars be damned.

Other than the above (which we shall not discuss again – no doubt to everyone’s relief) I’ve got lots of piles.  Piles of knitting.  Piles of cut out dress pieces.  No completed anything.  I also looked at my schedule today to see when I worked on Friday and found out I actually work on Thursday.  Oops!  Seriously dudes, I work like two states over so it’s not just a hop into the car situation.  Handled it though!

So back to my piles.  The knitting pile is the almost complete first sleeve of my Drops Alpaca Boucle sweater.  Can I tell you how dull yet lovely this pullover will be?  It’s soft and squishy but all stockinette.  You couldn’t see a stitch pattern in the boucle yarn anyway, but I think I’ll wear this sweater to death when it’s eventually done.

The dress is Burda 03-2013-131 which will hopefully be cute and not crazy.  It’s got fluttery sleeves that need underpinnings so side boob isn’t showing up constantly.  I think I’ve got a plan, but it will have to wait until next week when I finish working.  The fabric is some lovely paisley rayon challis I bought at Britex after a dental appointment (yes my dentist was carefully chosen to be in the Britex neighborhood).  Not really.  It’s just a bonus though.  It’s a pretty fabric I had to have despite being stupid expensive (for me that is).  I then cut it up for a panel skirted dress…who’s not much of a planner?

I shall leave you with my favorite cactus of last week’s trip.  What?  You don’t have a favorite cactus of the week?  Shame, you should get out more.

Good morning cactus!

Flying

These pants aren’t that wrinkly in real life, I’ve apparently stood funny and shoved my hands in the pockets. Also, I’m not depressed despite crazy face in the pic and my hair is puffy because it’s not been flat ironed in days!

No, not my professional flying my front fly!  Check that sh”t out!  I made pants.

Big deal?  Not really, I just haven’t made pants in ages and ages and certainly didn’t make fly front pants.  As you can tell, I finished my blue pants project (BPP) and they turned out just fine.  Sure I sewed the fly guard on wrong TWICE (yes I really did) and the waistband had an issue that required cutting out a new piece, but finished they are.  The are much less wrinkled in real life when I’m not standing oddly and using the pockets.  Really.

Turns out pants are no big deal. This project taught me that I shouldn’t be intimidated by something I’ve not done before and just do it.  What’s the worst that happens?  More trash on trash day.  Granted, I used several techniques from Sandra Betzina’s Craftsy course “Pant Construction Techniques” and her book Power Sewing.  It really helped to watch the Craftsy class (despite my computer not liking the Craftsy platform). There’s a lot of information in the class so I’d recommend it if you’re thinking about pants making.

The pattern for these pants is Simplicity 1696 from the “Amazing Fit” collection.  I’d worried about that name.  As with all the big American pattern companies, this pattern has a ton of ease.  Not just the ease you need to wear the clothes so they don’t rip when you reach for your coffee, but so much ease that you be hard pressed to make a successful garment.  Why?  I don’t know.  I just know to check the finished measurements of the garment and pick my size based on those.

These pants turned out well because I chose to cut the size that would give me the finished measurements I wanted (not the recommended size) and because I used sewing techniques and tailoring steps that weren’t given on the instructions.  This project worked despite the pattern company’s best efforts at hurting the team with their home ec 101 sewing techniques.  Seriously, had I chosen to make the size given on the envelope for my measurements I’d have had to take out 3″ or 4″ at the hip on EACH side.  I wouldn’t have needed a working zipper, I could have just pulled them on like sweats.  My polyester pull on pants days aren’t upon me yet!

I’ve written an even longer review over on PatternReview for those who are into sewing and I’ve added gratuitous pics below because I can and it’s my blog.  If you’re more the knitter type, the yarn for Alvinda looks very pretty with these pants.  Sorry knitters, but unless you want to see a sleeve in progress, this is all I’ve got.

Tonight is early to bed as it’s a 3am alarm clock morning tomorrow.  Ahhh, work.

Making the crotch shot seem normal?

What is that doing there?

Big red arrow of wrongness. That polka dot bit should be on the other side of the zipper opening (like on my correctly made Levi’s next to the wrongness.

Back from work and picked up the blue pants project (BPP) and what do I see?

The fly guard I so happily sewed in last week is on the wrong side.  I am guarding nothing with it there!  I even pulled out my Levi’s to check I’m not just suffering from jetlag or crazypants.  No, it’s wrong.  I shall unpick it AND the waistband I just sewed in place and fix it.  But first I’m going to take 20 minutes and sit out on the deck in my patch of morning sunshine.  I need to stock up on serenity before sewing today.

Thanks for all your lovely goodwill on my 1000th post!  I still can’t believe I’ve blathered on quite so much!

Sun please!

Potential 1000

Tiny yarn and big ‘ol blue pants.

The counter on my WordPress says this is my 1000th post!  Who knew I had that much to say?  I suspect many of those posts aren’t all that informational, but thanks to those of you who find my crafty journal at all interesting.

Moving on, what’s up craftwise with me?

I am still knitting away on my boucle pullover.  Yes, it’s interminable stockinette but it’s coming out well.  At least I think so.  I’m 3/4 of the way done with the front and it’s sleeve island up ahead.  The yarn I’m using is Garnstudio DROPS Alpaca Bouclé and it’s lovely and soft so I hope the resulting pullover will be as I envision (slouchy and comfy).

Because I’m highly suggestible, when I got an email blast from Nordic Mart proclaiming a nice sale I innocently clicked through and ended up getting what I hope is enough yarn for the new Alvinda cardigan from Twist CollectiveThe Garnstudio Baby Alpaca Silk is so yummy and soft with that nice hint of silk sheen.  It’s a pretty sweater and the blue gray is a good neutral for me.  But first to finish the Boucle pullover.

On the right is the electric blue material I’m using for a pair of pants/trousers that I’ve finally plucked up the courage to make.  I’m using a Simplicity Amazing Fit pattern (#1696).  The truth of that name has yet to be determined.  The polka dots are for the pocket linings and seam bindings for a bit of fun – don’t worry I’m not planning polka dot clown pants on my arse.  My last pant project was “not good” so I’m hoping these turn out because the bright pants trend may not be a long lived one.  I hope it’s at least long enough for me to get these pants to fit.

Other than that I shall be dazzling someone with my “professional” smile all weekend…sigh.

Plastic knives

The raw materials at the ready.

The other day I had a notion to make up some cutlery rolls, and by that I mean a roll of utensils with a napkin to have handy.  I know not everyone has to eat standing up on an airplane like I do, but my friends seem to spend a lot of time in cars and offices.  They need utensils right?  And even better if they’re not plastic disposable landfill wasters.  I must note here that this roll has a plastic knife because knives are not allowed on board airplanes (in the US – not sure about everywhere).

The big reveal! It’s just cutlery.

When I stopped at IKEA I saw a cute set of cupcake kitchen towels and snatched them up to make some cutlery rolls.  I found a nice tutorial on BurdaStyle describing the process.  I say process, but it’s really rather self explanatory – it’s like making the roll your makeup brushes go in only for forks.  Some batting and scrap polka dot fabric later I’ve got one roll made.  You’ll also note that I haven’t yet inserted the cloth napkin because I didn’t have one handy, but there is a pocket on the right for a napkin.  Best of all the whole thing is washable and hopefully won’t be using up landfill space anytime soon.

They’re quick and easy to make (despite me only cranking out one) so expect to see more of these appearing from the cupcake towel stash when I’m not working quite so much.

I also managed to whip up a quick little pouch from one of the Michelle Patterns I bought last Friday.  It’s a cute little thing that begs to be upsized and used for a makeup bag.  Again, quick and easy yet only have time for one.  I did buy a Powerball ticket so maybe I’ll win and have more craft time.  Again, I only bought one though…

It’s so cute!