Monday, October 26, 2015


I feel like I'm not making any progress on my knitting lately.  I seem to be knitting everything at least twice.  This is a sweater for my nephew.  It's going to be a Christmas gift.  I knitted almost the entire body in the car on the way to and from our vacation in August ... and I'm going to rip it all out to start over.  August was way too soon to start a Christmas gift for an infant.  This is way too small.  I'm going to start over with the next size (or maybe two sizes) up.
This is my second attempt on the second sleeve of my Lofoten sweater.  I knit the first sleeve twice, too, and then I didn't think to mark which of the two sets of increases (for the two times I knit the first sleeve) was the correct one.  So of course when I got ready to knit the second sleeve, I followed the wrong one.
This first sock picture was my second (maybe third?  I can't quite remember) attempt at stripey socks.  Then I tried it on, decided the leg was too short, and ripped it back to the top of the heel because it was also kind of gapey at the back ankle and I didn't want the leg to be half ribbed and half not.  

Here it is now.  I'm much happier with it, and hopefully on this one I can replicate it on the first try when I get to the second sock.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Stars baby quilt

I made this quilt for a church friend whose baby shower was last Sunday afternoon.  It was a bit of a scramble to get it done - I started it about 96 hours before the shower.  The four star blocks are from Vintage Quilt Revival.  Except for the blue-grey background and the purple print in the stars, all of the fabrics were scraps and stash.  I think there are elements of four other baby quilts in this quilt.
For the back, I used a cut off strip from the top of this quilt, bordered with the grey background from the front and filled in with a green solid I've had in my stash for a long time - this is almost the last of it.  To wrap the quilt, I rolled it up with the back facing out, and when she opened it my friend thought it was the main side of the quilt!  I quilted it all over with loopy-loops, using charcoal thread in the bobbin for the whole thing.  I used the same charcoal thread on top for the background, and switched to an off-white for the star blocks.  Then I machine bound it.
 I labeled the quilt by writing directly on the binding at one corner on the back of the quilt using an archival permanent pen.  It finished at about 39" by 50" after washing.

I'm really pleased with how the quilt turned out, and it got lots of oohs and aahs at the baby shower.  My friend sat with it over her lap for the rest of the shower!

Now I'm about out of low-volume fabrics.  I'm also running low on the green solid and the blue wave print that has showed up in several of my recent baby quilts (although not this one).  I think I need to re-stock my stash.  I'm really wanting a fat quarter or half yard bundle of the new Modern Background Paper by Zen Chic for Moda ...

Thursday, October 22, 2015


I finally made my Washi dress!  I bought the fabric with the intention of making this dress at least two years ago.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  It's Anna Maria Horner Little Folks Voile, lined with a solid navy voile, and it feels so nice to wear.
I used Rae's video tutorials for a lined dress.  It was pretty straightforward.  I made a bodice muslin and then sewed the medium as-is, but with probably about 6 inches of extra length in the skirt.  Robert helped me level the hem at the right level.  I'm really liking my knee-length dresses right now.  The lining is hemmed about half an inch shorter than the outer dress, and that seems to work well.  I tacked the inner and outer dresses together at the side seams, which are french seams on both the outer dress and lining.

By far the most difficult part of making this dress was sewing in the sleeves.  There are notches in the armscyes for the edge of the cap sleeves, but no indication of how the sleeves should be eased in.  It may be that the length of the sleeve edge is exactly the same as the length of armscye between the notches, but if so that wasn't much help for pinning them in since the two edges curve in opposite directions.  I ended up aligning the center of the cap sleeve with the shoulder seam, but I have no idea if that was the right thing to do.  I guess it was, because it worked.  When I make this dress again I will not do cap sleeves.  Aside from being a pain to put in, they cut into the front of my arms a little bit.  I think I would be more comfortable in a sleeveless version or one with long sleeves - and I want to make both!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

An idea ...

I want to make my own long underwear!

Robert and I like to go camping and backpacking, and I've been wearing the same long underwear I got in high school for chilly evenings.  It's not particularly well-fitting, comfortable, warm, or cute.  The sleeves and legs are too short.

I've been dreaming about fancy wool or silk long underwear sets designed for backpacking.  The current plan is to buy a set of those for me with next year's REI dividend.  But then I had an idea: I could make a pair of leggings and a close-fitting long-sleeved t-shirt out of wool or wool-silk knit!

I'm looking at the Manila leggings from Seamwork and maybe modifying the bodice of the Lady Skater dress for the top.

I want the sleeves on the top to be extra-long and have thumb holes.

I like the leg cuff detail on the Manila leggings.  I like the idea of making my own long underwear, I think I could do it for less money than it would cost to buy a fancy SmartWool or Patagonia set, and I could make sure the sleeves and legs are long enough for me!

Now I need to start making practice leggings ... I think it will be a while before I'm ready to even think about buying wool knit fabric.