Knee time

Small stripes make for crazy strobing in pics. Sorry!

Despite being home recovering (slowly!) from get my knee fixed and not working, I keep thinking I should be getting more done.  It seems the more time I have, the more other stuff I do, hence I’ve got two little sewing projects to share that I’ve managed to finish between PT sessions and acupuncture.

First is another Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline Studio using some really old striped knit I picked up in NYC on a layover.  I actually remember buying it because my crew members came with me shopping because they thought it was so weird that I sewed.  I digress, the knit is a small blue stripe of a nice quality.  Linden is a pretty easy pattern that goes together quite quickly on my serger.  This version I topstitched the hem and neck edges with my twin needle to keep them down during laundering, but I find this causes the seams to ripple.  They look super nice before topstitching, then ripples.  I sometimes skip this step since I can’t figure out how to mitigate this rippling, other than buying a coverstitch machine (which would be awesome!) but since I’m not working this month, not a great idea.

The other finished success are a pair of Prefontaine Shorts as a little thanks for a friend.  This particular friend has been the recipient of a few pairs of my cotton flannel pj bottoms and wondered if I could make something cooler since she lives in LA.  Hmmm, I thought some sleep shorts may work on hot nights so I used the Prefontaine pattern I’d previously bought.  The shorts are cute and easy to make and the elastic I used at the waist is called pajama elastic and is super soft and comfy.  I bought a bit of it so I’ll use it in my next pair of flannel pjs which are waiting to be cut out.

So enough of my spring of discontent, I am indeed healing up and will hope to get back to work next month.  Isn’t it funny that I’d looked forward to a bit of a break and now I want to go back to work/normal?  Human nature is a funny thing.  Hope you’re all well!

Cotton with knit jersey binding. Hopefully sleep worthy.

Almost human

Crap photo, but you get the idea. Flowers added in BeautyPlus app.

After a busy first half of the month working tons to make up for the second half of March (and April) not working, I’ve been celebrating a birthday (in Vegas), having my knee fixed and then coming down with another nasty sinus infection in the space of a week.  Today is the second day I’ve felt normal, albeit with a limp, since mid March.  To celebrate I sewed something.

I put aside my Cardamom dress since that’s at a point that needs concentration to install the collar/stand/cuffs and chose an easy project to dip those sewing toes back into the water.  I liked Papercut Patterns new Bowline Sweater very much and thought a sweatshirt with a twist would be easy.  It was, you can probably make this in two or three hours total if you have more stamina than me (right now).  The fabric is a french terry in an olive green, medium weight with some drape.  I made the medium with no alterations and it’s plenty roomy.  The pattern and instructions were well done and I could recommend this to anyone wanting a sweatshirt with a bit of interest.

I think I’ll make another sweatshirt (since I bought a few cuts of knit fabric) and will have to decide between Grainline’s Linden Sweatshirt (a proven winner) or the Driftless Cardigan.  Or maybe I’ll go a different way after my nap.  Yes, I’ve been napping.  Recovering is hard!

Hope you’re well this beautiful spring day.daffs

Cinnamon bun cake

It smells amazing. Just cut it like a cake so you can have a bite or an embarrassing amount.

Just so I remember to make this more often, I’m sharing this Cinnamon Bun Cake that is cooling as I type.  The recipe is from Scandilicious Baking and I make it as written except always need a bit more flour and of course use the Kitchenaid mixer to make the dough. Cinnamon bun cake.

Diamonds take forever

I’m trying to show the pretty lace points. See them?

Even I got sick of looking at this almost completed scarf, and that is really saying something.  Yesterday I decided to finish this scarf I started almost two freaking years ago, basically because I’d just bought some more yarn for a new project and thought I should clear out a corner of space for the new.

I’m showing off my messy closet here.

This scarf is “A Little Romance” by Dani Berg and I used Quince Tern in color Mist.  The pattern is lovely, the yarn is fabulous and any delays were due to my flawed nature.  I made the pattern up as written, and rather strangely for me, in the yarn used in the pattern.  No changes at all.

After I decided to finish this up, it took about an hour of knitting.  Sigh.  I suck.  I immediately wove in the ends and blocked it to keep riding this wave of enthusiasm.  As you can see it’s quite nice and should not have taken almost two years.

So I’ll wear my diamond lace scarf and think about how long it takes to make diamonds in nature.  Almost as long as it takes to make diamonds at my house.

Diamonds all in a row.

It’s gotta be spring, right?

Seriously adorable, no?

Maybe because I’m no fan of winter I’m easing myself into spring.  It’s still raining around here (which is needed and good) but it’s starting to feel a little – Portland-y.  So to kick the gray skies around a bit I opted to knit up an adorable baby hat bunny-style.

The pattern is Bunny Hat with Chin Ties by the fabulous Grumperina.  The pattern is well written and sound.  I just followed the pattern and it came out the right size (helpful schematic measurements provided by the pattern) and freaking sweet beyond measure.  The color is a cross between pink and purple and the yarn is Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK,  Catchy name that.  The yarn is lovely and soft and perfect for baby’s heads.  Doesn’t it just scream spring and Easter candy?  Or TJ Gummy  Tummy Penguins in my case.

I knit this in a couple of days, not knitting too diligently and on dpns.  That’s a good travel project by my definition, though ironically I knit this one all at home.  I’ll send it off to the baby momma along with some chocs for her boys to get them all sugared up from afar.  Friends like that…

Dotty fail

The shar pei of Morris Blazers.

Well that’s an underwhelming result.  This is the Morris Blazer from Grainline made in a knit that is obviously not the right fabric.  My knit was not stable enough and I had to fight with the facings to get them in.  I interfaced all the facings with fusible knit but that made them too stable to work with the uninterfaced fabric.  What I got was all those droopy wrinkles.

The pattern itself is not to blame, it’s all down to fabric choice.  The pattern recommends a stable knit or a stretch woven.  I may try this again in a stretch cotton sateen that I’ve got stashed to see if I can make this a success.  There are several cute versions online, so this is just probably down to inappropriate fabric.  Luckily the fabric was fairly cheap from Joann with a 40% coupon, but I can’t help thinking I should have used this fabric for a Linden Sweatshirt since I like that pattern very much.  Alas, live and learn.  Onwards.

Slow sewing, is that a thing?

I got up at 3am for work, so this really isn’t too hideous a look.

Hi All!  I hope the holidays were good for all and I’m sure, like me, glad to get back to things.  Not much crafting was done, lots of baking and candy making though.  It’s not Christmas without caramels!

But now on to some sewing.  One of my favorite ways to sew is to watch football and sew.  My machines face the TV across the room and the start and stop action of football almost begs that you do something else while the play.  Now I have no special fondness for the teams currently playing in the post season and this year we in the San Francisco area have been inflicted with the Super Bowl.  I know of no one who thinks hosting this drunken boondoggle is a good idea and in fact they’ve already begun closing whole swathes of SF to prepare the stages and NFL village stuff.  Personally, I’ve made sure I’m not working until this mess is over since the traffic will be a nightmare.  That gives me time to sew, right!

Currently I’m making Grainline’s Morris Blazer.  This is a cute little unlined jacket and if I can get the fit right, will make about a million of them.  My night shots of a black garment aren’t great but I’m using an odd knit fabric that is two layers of poly knit that have tiny dots on the right side and stripes on the wrong.  I like the dots, but the stripes are pretty cool.  My results with Grainline patterns have been mixed.  I could never get the Scout Tee to work for me, but the Linden sweatshirt is great.  The Morris blazer seems to be a bit tight over my back and biceps, not unwearable since it’s a knit but enough to make me consider altering the pattern a smidge.  I shall have a better idea when I’ve finished the garment.  I may make it up again in some stretch woven to see if it’s just my fabric.

The pattern itself is a breeze and the instructions are very thorough.  I was able to cut it out and sew up the body (without facings) in just a few hours.  A good project for advanced beginner skills to give you confidence.

Now I’m off to NY where it’s cold, but I don’t have to stay too long.  Stay warm peeps.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Fave Top with weird fabric.

Hello friends and Happy Thanksgiving if that’s a holiday you’re celebrating.  I’m lucky enough not to be working today and have been making desserts for the meal later today.  I made a pecan pie (with chocolate – Lindt chocolate of course) and a pumpkin cheesecake.  I’d link to pictures but  A.  I didn’t take any, and B. Flickr keeps changing their interface and it’s getting quite cumbersome for me to figure out how to get the info to embed an image here.  Well you know what pie looks like, and mine looks like that.  Both recipes are new to me so if they’re uber delish I’ll post them. Otherwise.

I’ve got a quick top to share.  This is Tessuti Our Fave Top and is one of their free patterns.  It was well drafted and sewn on the serger and using a twin needle for hems and edges.  So it took no time to sew.  It is essentially a big rectangle with sleeves and droopy sides.  Good for running around the house and good for just freaking making something!

The fabric is a mystery knit from one of those fabric stores in the NYC fabric district that is constantly “Going Out of Business”.  It was raining and I ducked in and one of the ladies working there was HI–larious.  This place was STUFFED with fabric all on big rolls just leaning everywhere.  You couldn’t see the stock in the back of the piles if you wanted to.  WTF?  I did buy this striped knit (hello glitter stripes) and some heavy slinky black knit for almost nothing (cash price – HA!) and moseyed on down to Broadway and B&J Fabrics which couldn’t be better organized if they wanted to.  B&J had the wool I wanted for another Tessuti jacket pattern, but alas haven’t had time to do more than stick the pattern together.  Soon.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving or Thursday as the case may be!

P.s.  Sorry for the crap photo, my iPhone seems to want to focus on the framed photo of me as a high school senior on the sideboard, rather than me as a live person who owns the freaking phone.  (Shakes fist).

Sewing sweaters

Hanging out in the corner.

Every month at work I’m on call 3 days and 99% of the time I get assigned a trip immediately and life goes on.  Today I have no trip assigned and am mooching around the house just standing by.  I can’t really do much since I could be called in and don’t want to get the call in the middle of something.  Thanks to this, I have time to finish a few projects.  Today I finished this Linden Sweatshirt that I’d cut out a few weeks ago.

Print placement.

Linden Sweatshirt pattern is from Grainline Studio and is a raglan top with sleeve and hemline variations.  The pattern is super easy and I sewed it up using my serger – super quick!

The fabric I wanted to use is some Italian merino wool sweater knit I picked up at Mood last spring and has been aging in the stash.  I’m sure I had a plan when I bought this fabric because it was a bit expensive (for me) but can’t for the life of me remember what the plan was.  After much agonizing on how to best use this fabric, I decided on Linden.  Adding to my indecision was the fabric has big/little print going on, so pattern placement had to thought through.  I ended up placing the smaller print at the top and bigger at the bottom, much like real life.

The only pattern alterations I made were to make the top more A-line since I find Grainline patterns more straight up and down than I am.  My fabric spread a bit when cut and I found the neckband pattern piece to be too small so I used my usual method of neckband calculation of measuring the neckband (26″ in my case) and made my neckband 85% of that (22″ here) add a bit for seam allowance and made mine 2.5″ wide.  The other change I made was to skip the twin needle stitch down of the neck and sleeve bands since my merino fabric is so well behaved and sometimes twin needling makes thinks wobbly.  So it was good enough.

Another sweater for my closet and lots more stash to work through.

A better look at the color in natural light.

Gray roots

It’s actually quite warm and sunny for these shots, so that’s why I forgot I had on sunglasses and why I didn’t wait to take a “good one”. It’s way too warm for this sweater today!

I actually need to do a root touch up, but I digress.  I started this Grettir in August and now she’s done.  Uh, what?  August 2014!?!  What!  14 months for a worsted weight sweater?  I’m going to get my needles yanked at this pace.

Well  obviously I let this one age for about a year, because even with a full time job and a million people nagging my ass for stuff it should only take a few weeks to make this sweater.  So don’t be put off by the lapse of time here.

Now for details.  The pattern is Grettir by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed.  The yarn is Brooklyn Tweed Shelter and I chose to knit the gray colorway shown in the pattern for the male version.  I love gray!  Just not on my roots, natch.  The pattern is exceedingly well written and it taught me a new and much superior way for a tubular cast on.  Why is this way not in Montse Stanley (my resident book guru)?  I made no modifications, knit as writ and it worked out well.  Note:  when I went to Am*zon to get a book link I saw that this wonderful book is available used for $0.38!!  I may buy another just because!

The wool is Brooklyn Tweed Shelter and I used Soot (MC), Cast Iron, Sweatshirt and Snowbound.  I enjoyed knitting with this yarn, it had a bit of spring on my needles, very little vegetative matter or knots and beautiful coloring.  I will certainly be using this yarn again.  I have no problem wearing this knitted fabric next to my skin, but that’s a personal decision.  That said, it’s not been below 70 degrees since I finished this sweater and there is no way I’ll need this around these hot parts for weeks so we shall see if that changes.

So for those interested in a well written pattern for and Icelandic yoke sweater, keep this one in mind.  And because you don’t ever get to see my garage on the blog, I took some shots out there for giggles.  You’re welcome.

Among the detritus trying to look like a car show model – not! Xmas tree upper left on shelf btw…