I <3 Wool.
I'm still riding high on the satisfaction of my previous sewing project, so I decided to continue my love affair with wool into this month.
Using Simplicity 5884, view 1, and some gorgeous tweed herringbone wool I stitched up my first sewing project of the year.
I really loved working with this pattern. I need more separates in my wardrobe and can easily see myself making a variety of skirts using the different styles. As far as modifications are concerned: I edited 4 inches off the length of the pattern, used quarter inch seams instead of "5/8 and I moved my zipper to the rear.
The fabric was a breeze to work with, but the pleats took some major muscle to press in, due to the dense nature of the material. (Obviously, I failed to extend the same level of care in ironing to the back-side... oopsy)
I hand hemmed, and stitched my waistband. Also, I added a lining to my skirt. Because, 1. It's wool. 2. I have a really hard time NOT lining my garments. I just don't feel like they're finished, or they're somehow cheapened, if they aren't lined.
One month down, 11 to go! I'm off to a pretty good start and feeling like this is my year!! How are you resolutions holding up heading into February??
Yes, they go on, and on, my friends... Or, so it seems.
I knit the left sock, from the gusset onward, minimum, four times. See, while the pattern produces an amazingly gorgeous sock, it leaves a bit to be desired in the clarity of chart modification for the separate sizes. At any rate, things have resolved themselves appropriately, and I am happy to report that January socks have found their way to my feet in finished form. Yet, I don't like them.
As I sit writing this, I'm contemplating ripping them to oblivion and replacing this month's socks with a nice, non-torturous variety. Why, you ask? Because, these socks are SO BIG I could probably fit at least three pair underneath them. Perhaps, instead of salvaging the yarn, I could hang them at Christmas as stockings?
I'm pretty disappointed. Basically, the reason I bought this book, was for this pattern. And, well, it's just not meant to be. Maybe someday, if my feet grow three sizes and swell up like watermelons. (Can I just add, those of us with petite feet are GROSSLY under-represented when it comes to sock patterns, that is all).
Pattern: Pointelle by Cookie A
Yarn: Socks that Rock Lightweight in 24 Karat
Needles: Addi Size 1 US
Never ask a lady her age.
But, if you MUST know, preserve her by seeking an answer from outside sources.
Largely, the fun in collecting vintage sewing patterns is determining their historical context and dating them, that is, if you're a nerd like me. The collective knowledge and contributions of the online sewing community increasingly help narrow and expedite this process. There are fantastic pattern dating lists of tips, clues and identifying marks here, here, and here, for example. However, when it comes to mail order patterns, my MOST FAVORITE way to date: ONLINE NEWSPAPER ARCHIVES. For example, a recent acquisition sent me searching for the ages of Miss Marian Martin...
and Miss Anne Adams
Isn't it amusing to read the advertisments?! It's a wonderful glimpse into the past. This method is definitely NOT without fail, but, in my humble opinion, it's the most accurate, fascinating and entertaining was to archive a mail order collection! Have you ever searched for or dated your pattern collection this way?
Days like today, I'm glad to be a knitter. Really, I feel very sad for all those walking around, in negative temperatures, wearing synthetics and cotton. Because, wool, is where it's at. You can even, say, take pictures outside without a coat ... OK, so maybe a person can only really be outside long enough to produce 3 poor quality pictures, but it gets the job done.
If I were a bit better at time management, I would have photographed days ago, when I finished and it was 20F. Perhaps, a supplemental secondary shoot can be squeezed in before the month ends. But, I'm working on (completely self-imposed) deadlines here, people!
Pattern: Peabody by Leila Raabe
Yarn: 9 skeins Knitpicks DK Merino Style in Masala (Discontinued) and 3 skeins Shimmer Handpainted Lace in Spice
Needles: US size 5 and Us size 7
Notes: I've had a ridiculous amount of this yarn stashed for a couple years now. After I ordered it, I had a change of heart, and didn't think I would be able/willing to wear this color. When I saw the Brooklyn Tweed version, my faith was renewed. Except, the pattern called for worsted weight, and my yarn was DK. No problem. I also had a bit of Shimmer Lace in the Spice colorway, so I decided to hold the strands together while I knit. I really wish I had a photograph to show you how gorgeously this worked out! The fabric has both a tweed-like appearance, and a brilliant silky luster. Also, I'm completely convinced this sweater was MEANT TO BE.
See, while I had a ton of this yarn on hand, It was clear, I didn't have enough to do an entire sweater. By the time, I accepted this, I had the body and one sleeve finished. I finally conceded and jumped online to place an order. LITERALLY, the only color available in the DK Merino style was Masala! I ordered enough for two sleeves, and re-knit the first. I don't think it's at all obvious that the sleeves and body are from different lots. It worked out wonderfully.
I've been knitting cardigans exclusively for a while now, so I thought it would be a nice change of pace to do a pullover. I knew that I wanted to be able to layer, so I knit a size larger than I would typically and am pleased with the fit. My sleeves are a touch longer than I'd like, but I'm pretty sure I can block that out. My seaming still stinks but shows improvement. And, I think that about covers it.
January goals are off to a great start!
Baby, It's Cold Outside
Winter has arrived! Illinois residents are accustomed to fairly frigid winters paired with piles of snow. But, this December/January, we've had a freakish heat wave with temperatures soaring into the 50s! Alas, it was too good to be true, and seasonally appropriate weather was promptly delivered yesterday afternoon. I'm not disappointed, alarmed, upset, etc... It's the middle of January for goodness sake! It was a bit of a shock to the system, in the way the first freezing day of the year always is, which gave me the perfect excuse to stay in last night to tackle some long overdue housekeeping.
I scored this steel, vintage, store-display pattern cabinet, via the wonders of the internet, several months ago. It was love upon discovery, and I dragged Mike to the burbs to haul this hefty gal home! It's the perfect storage solution for my growing pattern collection. BUT, first I need to make room... You see, included with the purchase of the cabinet, three drawers stuffed full of patterns! My Best guess is that this was the collection of a fierce 1970/1980's home sewer! There are a variety of sizes and styles; certainly, she sewed for her whole family. And so, the process of photographing and preparing these for sale has commenced. It's going to take... weeks... to get them all posted. I spent an entire evening and made little progress, but I'm going to continue adding until there ain't no mo to add! If you're curiosity is getting the best of you, hit the link below (also a permanent fixture on the sidebar) to peruse!
From eBay thou art, to eBay returnest. :-D
Umaro, Umaro, I love ya, Umaro...
I've finished my first project of 2012. And, it has absolutely nothing to do with any of the knitting goals I set forth for the year. It's actually a project I intended to finish last year.
The first project I ever knit was a blanket. I skipped scarves and wash cloths and dove head first into the depths. And, I knit and re-knit that first blanket, something like 3 times. Needless to say, I haven't attempted another since. Until now. I probably could have gone a lot longer, but I needed a "One Size Fits All" gift.
Yes, that's right.This beaut is destined for another. Specifically, it's going to live with my boss and his wife. It will be happy with them and, I'm certain, well loved and cared for. My boss' wife is a potter who has gifted me numerous, gorgeous, pieces of pottery, so, you see, I'm overdue in my reciprocation. I do think, however, I may need to place a yarn order and have an Umaro of my own...maybe in another 4 years.
Pattern: Umaro by Jarod Flood
Yarn: Knitpicks Swish Bulky in Silver
Needles: US 15 Circulars
Last year, I set out to achieve a three-tiered monthly project goal:
1. Knit a Sweater
2. Knit a Pair of Socks
3. Sew Something Wearable
I didn't make it. BUT, setting a high standard for achievement did help me knit 18 sweaters, 9 pairs of socks, and sew 9 self-sewn garments. Which, felt pretty fantastic. After gaining a year of experience in patience, pacing, and project management, I'm feeling far more prepared to conquer! So, my blog goal for 2012 is a repeat of last year. Except, this time, I'm going to get there!
Outside the blog, I resolve to TAKE BETTER CARE: of myself, of my family, of my friends, in my work, with my time, in my hobbies, etc... It's really simple, yet far reaching to all areas of my life. And, I'm confident I can find ways to continue improving every day! It's going to be a great year! I can't wait to share it with you!