Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page
My blog gets unhappy when I start treating it like an FO parade. And since I’ve recently committed to keeping the blog happy, I’ve decided to take a page from these fine bloggers and do a themed post every Monday, wherein I capture the current state of my projects, whatever the state.
I’ve been planning my life by the week these days anyway (does that even make sense? No. Ok.) so in my head this posting schedule is part of one happy cycle of productivity. Laugh now, I understand. If I didn’t get all starry-eyed at the idea of a new Organizational System I’d be laughing at myself too. But I am nothing if not an eternal giddy optimist when it comes to a System. As long as it is mine, of course, because I am nothing if not stubborn as an ox when it comes to fitting into someone else’s System.
The added bonus is that I am now forced to take bad pictures of my WIPs, instead of being bad at taking pictures of my WIPs. Someday, hopefully soon, I will leave this dim, leaky basement apartment and you will all be amazed at how light and airy my pictures become!
And off we go.
For knitting, I was going to knit two hats for my SIL, who is kind enough to like what I make and may have recently been involved in a felting debacle with the last hat I knit for her. I did what anyone in a similar situation would do: headed off to buy some acrylic! But my grandmother (she of house shoe fame, not the recent sock recipient) is in a nursing home for a bit, and so I am going to try my hand yet again at some crocheted house shoes again. I know, I know! Giddy optimist, remember? So the goal is one hat and at least one shoe.
Sewing-wise, I set out to sew a shirt that has been cut out for almost two years now. Fresh to sewing in the summer of 2008, I made three muslins and many adjustments to the pattern to get the fit I thought I wanted for this shirt. I think in my enthusiasm I maybe over fit it a little bit. And I certainly did a poor job cutting, as I discovered an unintentional center back seam this morning. Grr. Then I ran out of white thread.
Which means back to the drawing board, and my fallback position is…cutting out another pair of Jalie jeans. My sewing friend is coming over on Friday and I’d like to have something well underway for our session.
And oh, what a fine week it shall be! What are your plans?
One of the problems with not blogging for almost year is that I keep running across things I made, that I forgot I made, or at least forgot to tell you I made. Case in point: yesterday it rained (but not inside this time, thank goodness!) and I put on my raincoat. Then I thought, hey! I showed the blog Tom’s raincoat but not mine!
Then I thought, hmm, mine doesn’t look so good, maybe I’ll just keep it a secret. But this is a project from last March and I’ve learned a lot since then, so we’ll call this a lesson instead of a FO report.
The fabric is another JoAnn’s clearance find, not quite so opposed to the iron as Tom’s but prone to wrinkle (I was going to write “wrinkle like a mother,” but now that I am one that simile hits a little too close to home). The pattern (link to McCall’s site) is McCall’s 5060 (link to PR), and it went together fairly well (link to my PR review). Had some trouble with the collar, but I think that was more a result of me thinking I understood what was supposed to happen rather than actually understanding what was supposed to happen. That ever happen to you?
I made it double breasted (view C, but did the inseam pocket from view A) so that I could continue to wear it throughout my pregnancy last spring and early fall. By fall I couldn’t button it, but I could hold it closed and that was enough.
(the collar flip up is unintentional. I didn’t exactly spend a lot of time staging this shot. Although the lean-against-the-stroller-handle pose is rather nice, and true to life!)
You know, it’s funny that I forgot to show this to you because I have worn this so often. Last summer was chilly in June and I wore it about every day. Then every time it rained in July and I had a long walk from the train to the library I wore it. And last fall, even after Gracie-face came into the picture I shrugged it on quite a bit on milder days.
However, even though it is on the most-played list, this coat will probably not make my greatest hits album. Indeed, had I blogged about it before I would have had a better sense of what was wrong with it. Perhaps blogging is not just vanity after all!
First off, I thought I was being cool with the highly contrasting buttons but now I’m not digging them. I think it is the scale in addition to the color. They are too understated to be so bold, or something like that.
And second, I just don’t think it is that flattering. I realize that part of that is my fault because I scoffed at the shoulder pads but didn’t adjust the pattern for leaving them out. Also, I have since concluded that an under bust seam would be great. And, if I had blogged about it before, I would have seen that someone else on PR came to the exact same conclusion, with smashing results!
I do love the lining, though. Another clearance table steal, wish I’d bought more!
There are some things that just seem beyond make-ability. And yet I have often been surprised and delighted to discover that I’m wrong. Granola and yogurt, for example.
And trench coats–well coats in general–and certainly a man’s coat.
Scratch that–anything for Tom (he’s the DH, remember? Using a name is so freeing!) that will get worn outside the house, or at least outside his shoes.
Don’t get me wrong, Tom is incredibly supportive of me, almost to the point of being too supportive (if I have to ‘splain that it may require a separate post). But let’s be honest, the kinds of things I usually make don’t really blip on his radar.
Neither did this undertaking when I undertook it, to be honest. Well, it was scary for me too, to be very honest. I made this in September, and it has been in a closet waiting for buttonholes and buttons (and admittedly because it looked frumpy on the hanger and I was chicken.) But here it is! It fits! I did it!
Ladies and gents, meet Tom’s new trench coat:
The fabric is something off the JoAnn’s clearance table. It is completely water repellent, and strangely crinkly. It didn’t take an ironing too happily, so we’re calling the look rugged, got it?
Half lining. But why? If I make this again I’ll just line the whole jacket. The half lining makes no sense. But I did get to do Hong Kong finishing on the seams which was great fun.
How did I make these splendid keyhole buttonholes on my old Singer, you ask? Ah, that secret too will soon be revealed.
It’s ok, take a moment to admire my welt pockets. I even practiced because the fabric was so unforgiving, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.
(Now, I realize that this whole post may be extremely off-putting as it tiptoes into the realm of self-horn-tootage. But I’m ok with that. First off, I’m pretty proud to have finally made something for my husband that he really likes! And second, I have a 6 month old. I accomplish approximately 2.3 things a day, and if one of those is the dishes life looks grand. If not, well, this sewing success will have to sustain me as my long-lost glory days.)
Ok, ok. It’s probably getting old. But the same compulsion that has led me to take nearly 3,000 grainy pictures of my baby also leads me to sew cute little things.
First off, catching up on some Christmas presents:
Gracie really likes this ball, and even though it was a pain to cut out and attach together (the actual sewing wasn’t that bad), I’d do it again.
In fact, I did do it again, for her cousin baby M. On the sewing for baby scale it gets a blech in the fun for mom category, and an excellent in fun for baby.
These, on the other hand, get high marks in both categories. Owls are everywhere these days, and I can’t even remember where I saw the idea (google “crinkly owl” and you get a surprising number of hits). I used fabric scraps and felt and then put cracker bags on the inside to make them pleasingly crinkly for little fingers. And the ears are perfect for nom-nom-nomming.
And finally…more baby shoes! Maybe I should start a pool for guessing how many pairs of these I will make this year. These are for Grace, her BBFF (baby best friend forever, duh), and the tie pair is for the daughter of one of DH’s coworkers. (Note to self: find a new way to refer to the DH. DH isn’t working in my head, for some reason. Maybe just call him by his name, which is not nearly as google-able as Gracie’s. Henceforth, he shall be Tom!)
Two left feet! Just kidding, I made two pair.
Up next, something new: sewing for the baby!! Or maybe I’ll show you my recent sewing triumph, something that’s been shoved in the closet since October. Do try not to let the suspense keep you up all night!
So I do still knit! It just takes me an extraordinarily long time to finish anything. This is the first year in five that I didn’t make myself a birthday sweater, but seeing as I’ve been giving away my sweaters instead of wearing them it didn’t seem like a priority this year. (I am not dedicated enough to hand wash sweaters every time I wear them, and I have observed there’s something about wool that invites spit up and other natural disasters. Thus my sweater collection is in hiding. Not to mention my mommy knockers, but if I told you that, it would be TMI, wouldn’t it?)
With that, here are the socks I made for my lovely sister-in-law. My swirl socks pattern adapted to fingering weight yarn, Lorna’s Laces because that’s my brother’s favorite, and a completion time that is downright embarrassing. I’ll give you a hint: these socks are older than my 5-month-old.
And then this pair is for my grandma. It’s just a spiraling rib-ish sort of thing because I got a little antsy.
When my grandfather was ill I used to make him a pair a month during the winter, or thereabouts. It was probably more for me than for him–the need to do SOMETHING when there is absolutely nothing anyone can do. One of the most touching moments of my life was when I went to visit him (at the time we lived 13 hours away), the first thing he did was wheel back to his sock drawer and slowly tell me that he thought about me every morning. We cried together (heck, I’m crying now) and I think that I was never so glad to be able to be a knitter. There are some people who do so much for you that there’s no way you could return all the goodness they’ve poured into you. My grandfather was one of those people, and my grandmother continues to be one too. So I do what I can. I knit socks.
Thanks for listening. Go forth, knit, and love.
…if, when planning the upcoming week, your heart starts to pitter patter at the thought that you might finally have time to darn all of your holey socks?
…and I know it is a disease because not only am I sewing cute things for Gracie, but now I’ve started making cute things for baby boys too! And I feel a bit clever about the whole episode. This is serious.
I have some big people sewing to show you, but it may never happen. I’ve noticed that the camera does not love me & my rear the way it loves babies. Funny, that.
Grace was baptized last week on our trip back to Ohio (and the land of dial up–sheesh!). I thought you might enjoy the story behind her outfit which was decidedly not the traditional christening gown.
One of my best friends growing up (and still today) lived in Australia for a year as a child. She and her family have maintained close friendships with the people they met for nearly thirty years now, and several of these women are accomplished knitters and seamstresses. One of them made this outfit to be worn by the first granddaughter, but eight years and four grandsons later, my friend’s mom decided that Grace should be the honorary first granddaughter and wear this unbelievable knitted gown and cardigan. And so she did.
I should have taken better detail shots for you guys, but even though I didn’t I hope the picture below can justify my next statement: I’ve never seen knitting like this before. The wool is as soft and fine as can be while still retaining that delightful crispy woolly feeling. The knitting itself is perfect from what I could tell, and the details are just amazing, an ideal blend of pattern and scale and execution. The front bands were sources of wonderment to me. Even though technically I could have made this outfit, I don’t know if I have the vision to blend all of the elements the way she did. I was very grateful to be able to wrap my daughter in these very special hand knit garments.
My contribution was bloomers (because I’m not a fan of flashing in church, no matter the age.) This initial clydesdale-esque version was quickly scrapped in favor of the subdued version above. She’ll thank me for that someday, I think.
And of course shoes. You all know I love making baby shoes (and if you don’t, you will soon!). Again an initial version was cute but not quite right. I ended up putting a girly pink ribbon on these and giving them my other best friend’s baby girl.
These were an early sample of my drafted Valentine’s day shoe pattern but ended up fitting the bill. Or the foot, since my daughter is not a duck.