Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Last but not least...

A summer dress for my youngest niece. It will probably not fit her for another year or so, she's only 10 months old now!

The deets - fabric is by Michael Miller. Pattern is Simplicity 2907 cut in a size 2. I added the bias trim at the hem, and a little decorative stitching on the pockets. I hope she likes it!

Let it snow!

Every once in a while we get a little snow in Portland, but not like this! It had been snowing off and on for an entire week, and on Friday night, it started dumping buckets. We have over a foot of snow outside, and it might even hang around until Christmas.

Maybe in anticipation of the snow, I finished another hat, Habitat, by Jared Flood of Brooklyntweed.com. I also knit it in a smoky blue Malabrigo worsted -- I had read so much about this yarn and wanted to try a quick project. It did live up to all expectations, soft and spongy.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Next up, Emmeline apron...

This is the apron from last summer. I actually finished it very soon after I first posted it but have only now gotten around to taking pictures of the finished apron. It was a super easy pattern -- I've actually worn it a lot. I have some Amy Butler in my stash for another one, which I will get around to one of these days. Here's the other side -- fully reversible, awesome!

Saving up the FO's! First up, Shedir Hat...

I was updating my Ravelry page, only to discover that it's taken me almost one year to finish this hat. I worked on it last winter and finally picked it up again last week. It only took me a couple of evenings to finish up after having let it linger for quite a few months. So, here it is!

It's another Knitty pattern, part of the mini issue in support of breast cancer awareness. I knit the hat using one ball of Rowan Calmer on two size 3 circular needles. It was a so-so project process-wise, but the I love the result. I tried to post the link, but it wouldn't work. However, you can just go to knitty.com and do a search for "shedir." Have fun!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Silly Winter PJ's

I finished some flannel pajamas for No. 1. I was very pleased with both the workmanship and the finished product. However, No. 1 was less than enthusiastic about them -- I even had to bribe him to try the top on. I wasn't even able to get a good picture with him in it. I think it's because he's more into Transformers and Thundercats right now, and sock monkeys probably appear to be uninteresting to him. Oh well, I had the fabric long ago and only now have gotten around to making the PJ's.

I used Butterick 4647 but modified it a little. http://www.butterick.com/item/B4647.htm?search=4647&page=1. First, I added red modified piping. I was so proud of myself over the piping. I cut one-inch bias strips, folded them in half and used them instead of regular piping. I had seen this on one of No. 1's Gap pajamas from last winter. I think it works better than regular piping because there is none of the bulk.

Second, I made a back facing. I have a very difficult time with patterns where the instructions have you fold over the balk portion of the collar instead of using a facing. You can see a close-up here, where I also added my label.

Third, although a pair of pajamas do not warrant the detail, I used more bias strips to finish the edges of the front and back facing. I'm sure there's a name for it, but the technique I used was to fold the bias strip in half, sew it to the right side of the fabric, and then fold it out and iron. Very nice look. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of this detail, but I was actually pretty pleased with the effect. It was good practice.

Finally, here's a picture of my Amy Butler Sophia bag that I mentioned a while back. http://www.amybutlerdesign.com/products/patterns_display.php?id=35. I have yet to use it. For some reason, I am a bit ambivalent about how it turned out, given how long it took me to complete the project.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Favorite Heel

In my post for the Monkey socks, I mentioned that I used an Eye of Partridge Heel and a round toe instead of the ones given in the instructions. The following instructions are for a total of 64 stitches, which works out to usually a six inch sock circumference at a gauge of eight stitches per inch. BTW, the instructions are adapted from Charlene Schurch's book.

Eye of Partridge Heel with Seed Stitch Edging
Rows 1 and 3 (WS): K1, P1, purl to last 3 sts, K1, P1, K1
Row 2: K1, P1, K1, *K1, sl 1, rep from * to last 3 sts, K1, P1, K1
Row 4: K1, P1, K1, *sl 1, K1, rep from * to last 3 sts, K1, P1, K1
Rep rows 1-4 until you have 32 heel-flap rows; last row should be RS row

Heel Turn
Row 1: (WS): S1, P16, P2tog, P1, turn.
Row 2: Sl 1, K3, ssk, K1, turn. Note that there will be a small gap between working sts taht form heel turn and unworked heel sts.
Row 3: Sl 1, purl to within 1 st of gap, P2tog (1 st on either side of gap), P1, turn.
Row 4: Sl 1, knit to within 1 st of gap, ssk, K1, turn.
Rep rows 3 and 4, inc 1 additional knit or purl st after sl 1 until all side sts are worked, end with RS row. There are 18 sts left on heel flap.

Needle 1: heel sts. Needle 2: instep sts.
NOTE: It will get tight here transferring stsm, so you might want to have a cable needle or spare needle ready to help transfer the sts.
With RS facing you and needle 1, PU and knit 16 sts from side of heel flap, PU and knit 2 sts at the top of gusset. Continue with needle 1, PM, K16 instep sts from needle 2.
Needle 2: work rem of instep sts, PM, PU and knit 2 sts at top of gusset, PU and knit 16 sts from side of heel flap, K11 sts from needle 1.
Sts per needle: 43, 43. Needle wsnow hold left and right sides of socks.

Close G
usset Top
Needle 1: Knit to 2 sts before marker, ssk, SM, work est patt to end.
Needle 2: Work est patt to marker, Sm, k2tog, knit to end.

Gusset Decrease
Rnd 1
Needle 1: Knit to 3 sts before marker, K2tog, K1, SM, work est patt.
Needle 2: Work est patt to marker, SM, K1, ssk, knit to end.
Rnd 2
Work in est patterns.
Work Rnds 1 and 2 until you have 32 sts on each needle, 64 total.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Next Up: the Emmeline Apron & More Socks

I recently am into aprons, as you might be able to tell. This next one I am working on is called Emmeline from Montessori by Hand, now known as Sew Liberated. It's progressing very quickly so far. Here's one side of the fully reversible apron, without the ties in place yet. I was just noticing that the polka dot fabric I bought for the trim and ties has a very nice hand. It is something called Sevenberries made in Japan. I bought it at Mill End, which tends to have an assortment of fabrics from different companies, so not sure whether I will be able to find any more Sevenberries material.

I've also started another pair of socks, Spring Forward, again from Knitty.com. http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer08/PATTspringforward.html.

I will post the details later on, but for now it's a super easy pattern! The yarn is a lovely wool and bamboo combination from a company called Painted Sheep.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

In Anticipation of Fall

The days have been sunny and warm, but there is definitely a crispness in the air that clearly indicates fall is around the corner. In celebration of fall, I have finished my "Pumpkins Gone Wild" print dress. The fabric is by and was purchased at Mill End in Portland/Milwaukie. I purchased 2.5 yards, which was just enough with a little bit left over. I also bought the same amount in another colorway (white), which I thought about making into an apron at some point.

The pattern is Simplicity 3833 (view C), part of the 1960's retro line. You can find the pattern here. http://www.simplicity.com/dv1_v4.cfm?design=3833. I originally cut a size 16 in a muslin, according to the size chart. I found that it was a little too loose so I went down a size, also adjusting according to the "petite" fold lines. It fits perfectly!!!

The back has a completely non-functional sash, but I included a cute little bird button detail. My 4-year-old thinks it's the best part of the dress. The button is by Dill, purchased at Bolt in the Alberta arts district of Portland.

I also finished my "monkey" socks from Cookie A. http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter06/PATTmonkey.html. It's a popular pattern from Knitty.com. What can I say? Despite all the sock patterns in my library, I can't resist the free ones from Knitty.com. The pattern was fairly easy, but I modified it to knit on two circular needles. I also replaced the heel instructions with an "eye of partridge" heel, using instructions from Charlene Schurch's "More Sensation Socks." I have found that this is probably one of the most useful sock knitting reference books in my library.

The yarn is Araucana's sock yarn. It's a machine washable wool, easy to work with, and hopefully easy to wear.

The socks themselves took me several months to knit. I think I may have started them in March or April. I do recall I finished knitting the first one during our vacation in Kauai in late April. It says something about my knitting speed -- or the speed of the rest of my life -- that I just completed them this past week.

Finally, I substituted a round toe, directions also from Charlene Schurch's book, because I am not very good at grafting a regular toe. I also like the look of a round toe better. I think I will probably post instructions for both the heel and toe at a later point.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I've been away too long

I've lost my knitting mojo. I haven't knit for quite a while. I started a sweater from one of the Jo Sharp Knit pattern books but could not bring myself to start the sleeves. I finished one "monkey" sock and am about two-thirds done with the second one. I can't bring myself to finish that one either.

Instead, I've been sewing. Let's go back. My husband gifted me with a Bernina serger (model 800L) for Christmas. It sat unused for quite a while but no more.

I've finished the Amy Butler "Sophia" handbag. It took quite a while and was somewhat tedious. But it turned out well, at least on the outside. I'm not so pleased with the lining so would change a couple of things next time around -- assuming there is a next time. Pictures later.

I finished a flowered, knit dress, which I like to call my mumu. I will post pictures of that too.

For now, here are pictures of an apron I made for my sister. The pattern is from Hoodie, and it's a fully reversible circular apron. I loved how it turned out!! The fabric was from Fabric Depot -- a huge mindboggling place with too many options. I believe the fabric designer was Michael Miller, but don't quote me on that. This is side 1...

Followed by pocket detail of side 1...

And side 2, with pocket detail...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Tweed Beret

This was the second one I made, the first went to my sister. I like mine OK, but my sister's turned out better. This was a very easy pattern and only took me a few hours, all told. Sorry the picture is not the greatest.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Too busy to be productive

We definitely hit the ground running as of the new year. My husband is in the middle of a three-week, multi-million dollar trial (BTW, we're both lawyers), which means that the boys and I get to see much less of him. Of course, it's not always like this, and it won't last forever. Work has also been unbelievably busy for me and has been for the past three or four months. In the midst of all this, everyone got sick, the baby worst of all, poor boy.

Despite all of the above, I have managed to finish two projects to start the year. Of course, both projects are hats, but I'm still rather pleased with saying I have to FOs. I finished the Skull Isle hat for my husband -- he wears it all the time. It gives him a little bit of an edge.

The other hat is a lilac colored tweed beret. The pattern is from Jo Sharp's Knit, Issue 3. I had made one for my sister for Christmas and liked it so much, I made one for myself. Plus I had almost one full skein of yarn left, and only needed to buy one more. The yarn is lovely to work with, works up quickly and has a very soft feel but definitely tweedy appearance. The odd thing is for some reason, the one I made for my sister looks much better than the one I made for myself. Something went weird with the decreases at the crown of hat, which also threw off the finishing. With my sister's, I was so happy with how the finished seam (the hat is knit on straight needles with one seam at the back) appeared to be almost invisible -- you had to look really hard to find it.

Yarn details are as follows: Jo Sharp's Silkroad Aran Tweed, 85% wool, 10% silk, 5% cashmere; 95 m (104 yds)/50 g (1 3/4 oz); tension 18 sts & 24 rows over 10 cm (4") st st using 5.00 mm (US 6) needles.

I have two projects on needles currently -- this despite my early resolution to only have one project going at a time. The first is a hat, Shedir from Knitty's special PDF breast cancer awareness issue from 2004. I saw so many posts about this hat on other blogs, I just had to make one too. I picked out a chocolate brown color in Rowan's Calmer. I'm about half-way through.

The second project I just started yesterday. It is a fitted cardigan, also from Jo Sharp's Knit, Issue 3. I picked out a dusky blue color, kinda by default. My LYS (Yarn Garden in Portland, OR) didn't really have enough of any one color I liked. There was a steely gray color that I loved, but the store only had three skeins. Bummer. I also purchased two skeins of Silkroad Aran for a hat, color burgandy.

Other yarn purchases since my last entry, for my birthday (12/29), I treated myself to a day off work to go yarn and fabric stores that I otherwise would not have the time to frequent. I went to Close Knit in Portland's Alberta Arts District. The store is small but just crammed full of yarn and books. In addition to the skein of Calmer in brown for the Shedir pattern, I picked up a skein of Colinette's Jitterbug -- I can never resist a new sock yarn.

I also went next door to Bolt, a fabric store that specializes mostly in cotton print fabrics. I picked up some from designer Joel Dewberry for Westminster Fibers -- I had intended to make Amy Butler's swing bag and bought the pattern at the same time. Since then, I used part of the fabric to make a stuffed cat for my pre-schooler. It helped him sleep by himself for about one week, until he got tired of it and started throwing "Kitty Cat Stripe" out of his bedroom at bedtime and requesting I stay instead.

This brings me to my last point. I've rediscovered the joys of sewing. I actually sewed before I knitted. But sewing involves a lot more equipment set-up and is much less portable than knitting. My wonderful husband bought me a Bernina serger for Christmas (UNBELIEVABLE) so now I have my little sewing corner set up in our basement playroom/computer room.

My current sewing project is Amy Butler's Sophia bag. It's an adorable shape. I'm about one-third of the way done. The exterior is completed, but I still have to put together the lining and attach it. I am actually quite proud of how it is turning out. Most of the sewing is using a sewing machine zipper foot because of the piping, which can be difficult. I had read from Joelle Halverson's "Last-Minuted Quilted Gifts" about this attachment called a walking foot. I picked one up at the huge Fabric Depot in SE Portland. It's the greatest sewing invention ever. It's meant to sew through several layers of thick fabric, so it sort of scootches all the fabric through without causing any of the layers to stretch or pucker too much. I love it.