After a month of playing cat and mouse, I'm nearly up to date with posting... Nearly. The overflow will continue to trickle into the first week-ish of October. In order to facilitate this plan, I'm gonna crunch a bit more into this post than I do typcally; please excuse my rambling. You may recall, I made a trip to Wyoming at the begining of summer. Well, I went back.
This time, I brought Mike with me. We decided to take a slightly different route than I had previously; we flew into Denver, Co, then drove. On our way, we dropped off in Fort Collins for some local vegetarian fare.
If you are ever in the area, I can't reccomend this BBQ pulled jackfruit sandwich highly enough. This thing is DELICIOUS! Like, I would go back just to eat lunch, delicious. The Reuben is also good (we made have stopped both on the way out and the way home), but it can't compare to Chicago Diner's version.
As luck would have it, there is a yarn store about a block from the restaurant; to close not to stop-by. It's very clearly marked, as you can see. Even if you miss the sign, you're sure to notice the welcome wagon greeting patrons outside the shop.
While we were visiting, we chatted with Elaine, the store owner about Chicago (she's a transplant from the area) and the variety of yarn she carries on her shop. A LOT of the yarn is spun from the fleeces of her own animals! I've never been in a store quite like hers. It's pretty darn special. I left with two hanks of sock yarn graciously contributed by Mr. Smokey Lonesome.
Mike's getting socks from these, so it's possible I'll have to order more to make a pair for myself. What do you think?
After we finished frolicking around Ft. Collins, we made our way to Casper. Why, you ask, the quick turn-around back to WY? My buddy Mak arrived, and I couldn't wait to meet him!
Look at us, instant friends! His mom said I could share him with you. It's beyond cool to be able to show you a baby with a knit after posting so many one dimensional sweater photos!
Aren't they gorgeous?
I only teased Makai with his blanket on this trip. It wasn't quite ready for him, so I brought it back to IL for finishing touches. To start, I had to put his name on it. See, my sister's name is Hallie, (pronounced like Halle Berry, not Hailey). It's a family name and relatively uncommon, which I, being given the most typica/popular 80's name ever, have always been jealous of. The downside to being called something unusual, like Hallie or Makai, is that growing up, she could never find anything with her name on it. You know the stuff I'm talking about, bracelets, stickers, etc...important things to small children.
I also decided to back the blanket in a minky fleece, for extra snuggly-ness. This was my first time sewing on knitting, aside from zipper installation, and it was a bit tricky until I came across The Purl Bee's tutorial
The pattern I used is Sweet Remnants,
except I continued knitting until my square was 4x4. It's a really great little blanket. I dont have any yarn details, because I'm blogging on-the-go this afternoon, but I'll be sure to add them to my ravelry page. I hope you have a wonderful weekend! See you soon.
It's safe to say, morning photo shoots are out of the question beyond this point; I need to make better use of daylight during my weekends and, perhaps, take pictures days in advance. !!!!What a concept!!!! I did manage to get a couple photos of the latest installation in project catch-up: Baby 'Mc' Part 2. (see my baby knitting strategy and game plan here).
This sweater is knit from another Drops pattern; though, I opted for a raglan sleeve and neckline over the button closure- a choice I may live to regret. I'll have to wait and hear whether his mom and dad have any difficulty squeezing his noggin through that opening before knowing for sure. I did leave a wide breadth and use a stretchy cast-off to accommodate. I typically steer clear of pullovers for babies, but I wanted my little Korean-Irish hybrid buddy to be decked out in cabled, aran-esque garments, and there aren't many exceptionally awesome Irish inspired infant patterns to choose from, shockingly.
I knit this sweater to the instructions for sz.3mos. which should mean he'll be fitting into this pretty close to the time he out grows his first sweater.
Pattern: b16-20 Socks and jumper with cable pattern in "Merino Extra Fine". by Drops (Don't you just love the way they name their patterns? Me either.)
Yarn: 1.5 skeins LionBrand Cotton-Ease in Stone.
Needles: US 4
I didn't have my act together in time to post on Friday; nonetheless, the project parade marches on! Joining the line-up of finished objects, a pretty pair of Jeck socks knit with Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock.
The yarn, which is the Stella color way, is BRIGHT! I had a difficult time capturing the true hues in a photo, what with the season change screwing with lighting conditions and all, but I assure you, the shades are vibrant.
I chose Jeck hoping that a slip-stitch pattern would keep the colors from pooling, but it didn't work. Regardless, I like the way they turned out. The slipped-stitch rib pattern is very definite and visually appealing, yet incredibly simple, making these a mindless knit.
With cold weather creeping closer daily, it's easy to get carried away amassing a collection of warm, wooly footwear. I'm considering participating in my first Socktoberfest next month. Have you partaken in the festivities in years past? I hope you're enjoying your weekend! See you all Wednesday with another FO.
It's been a month since my renewed commitment to the blog, and I'm crawling closer to caught-up. I'm not sure I'm going to be ready for 'regularly scheduled programming' by October, but I'm sure going to try. Actually, posting all the projects I finished during my hiatus helps to make me feel like less of a slouch for skipping out as long as I did; truthfully, I was pretty productive during that period(see here, here, here, here, here, and here).-and, there's more! Who knew? Thanks for bearing with me while I get back into the swing of things. I love reading all your kind comments and words of encouragement as I shimmy back into my groove.
Forging onward... MORE BABY KNITS! I know; it's getting a little ridiculous; I'm aware just unable to control myself. Little people are really cool and very easy to knit for.
I knew before I started knitting for Baby 'Mc' that he needed an aran-esque cardigan. After a bit of searching, I settled on Kate Oates' Gramps Cardigan. I knit to the specifications for the smallest size (6mos.) with Paton's Beehive Baby Sport. I intentionally used a finer gauge yarn than the pattern calls for hoping to achieve a sweater closer to sz.3mos. without having to do math; it worked-out pretty well.
The cabling up the front panels and sleeves is really simple to memorize and comes easily after the first repeat. In its entirety, this sweater is incredibly adorable, but my favorite feature is the short-row shawl collar. It's such a sophisticated element to add to a design for a person so small.
I was a bit terrified by the yarn during the making of this sweater, because it knits REALLY unevenly. Fortunately, it blocked beautifully leaving me with a fantastic feeling and looking fabric.
I was nearly unable to take this dress for a spin before temperatures took a turn towards fall here in the Windy City. I barely squeaked by yesterday when I sported it, and today, it's brisk. I dare say, the summer sewing season is officially over. Why the delay? I was holding out for game day.
Chicago is a football city- a HUGE football city. And, here, the home team is king. There are transplants whose loyalties have remained true despite borders, and they're tolerated by the locals; unless, of course, your loyalty lays in Green Bay. Chicagoans have a special distaste for their cheesehead rivals to the North.- I like to call it jealousy, but that's just my take. ;-)
When I started this dress back in June, it wasn't my intention to show team-spirit. It took me forever to get around to finishing my hem, and before I knew it, the season had started. Unfortunately, this get-up is better suited for warm weather and doesn't stand a chance of remaining my official uniform. It's probably sentenced to the closet until spring.
I rate this project pretty-much successful. Unlike my previous post, I stayed true to the rules with this one. However, when I revisit this pattern, I'll definitely skip the facings. I can also shorten the bodice in take-2. It fits fairly well overall, but as you can see above, there's some extra fabric there that can go.
Pattern: Simplicity 4984
Fabric: Japanese Cotton Sateen
Notions: "18 zipper
It's not popular to be a Packers fan when nearly everyone you know is against you. But, popularity isn't one of my priorities. And, last night at the first Bears/Packers match up of the season, I let my freak-flag fly. Oh, and just in case you missed it, WE WON! GO PACK, GO!
Are you bored with my baby knits yet? I thought today might be a good time to interject some variety and do a sewing post, lest you forget I sew at all.
With all the time we spent away from home during the summer season, I didn't have many opportunities to sit down in front of my machine and concentrate. And, for me, when it comes to sewing, concentration and time are crucial elements of success. Sewing has never seemed to come as easily to me as knitting does, and despite my efforts, I'm constantly running up against wall. But this dress... this dress may have been my break-through project.
I started sewing on a whim. I had other partial projects going that deserved attention, but I wanted something fresh and new. I indulged. I dipped into my pattern collection, pulled a piece of fabric from the stash, and started to work. I'm typically a stickler for the "RULES": I always finish my raw edges, I always line, I always use facings, I always hand finish my hems, etc... On this particular evening, I went against the grain. My pattern was a size larger than I would typically sew, but instead of grading it, I decided I would cut true to the pattern and use french seams. It was my first foray, and Ooo Lala, J'adore! In fact, I don't think I've ever constructed a garment that looks so completely clean and beautiful interiorly.
It didn't stop there. I neatly folded my neck and arm facings and placed them back in the envelop; instead, I used a double wide bias binding to finish the neck and sleeve edges. It was great. There were no fussy, hard to match weird angles, no corners to cut, and it turned under and lay flat beautifully. When it came time to hem, I threw caution to the wind and finished with bias tape. This dress came together in ~4hrs work; an all-time personal best (by at least 2x).
Of course, there will always be certain projects that require lining. And, I'm sure I'll run into instances when I'll need my facings. I also, likely, will not stop properly finishing my hem lines. BUT, dang, dang it feels good to be a gangster, sometimes.
I'm overjoyed with the way this dress came together. My only point of dissatisfaction is that I wasn't able to pattern-match the skirt pieces. It was unavoidable. The fabric was vintage yardage (more on that later), and I needed to make-do if I wanted to make anything at all.
Even in the midst of my rebellion, I took time to carefully match my measurements with the amount of allowance I was taking from the seams. I could have used an extra inch off the bust; perhaps, a smidge more from the waist, but, there are no major fit issues. And, the zip up the rear, is probably the most expertly executed lapped zipper I've done, if I do say.
Pattern: Simplicity 3397 view 1
Fabric: Vintage Cotton/linen (according to the burn test)
Notions: "18 zipper, Double wide Bias Binding, Bias Binding
I think that about sums it up. I leave you with twirling photos, because I can't help myself.
Do you have a system in place for baby gift knitting? I haven't developed a steadfast method, but currently, I have a two-fold plan in place. A project to be delivered during the showering of gifts and a project to presented post-arrival. My hope was that the distancing of deadlines would make it easier to manage. It's mostly working out. I imagine I will have a hard time refraining from an occasional indulgence in miniature knitting with all the new little people around and the abundance of adorable patterns popping up on Ravelry, but I'm doing my best to exercise self-control.
Experience has completely ruined my desire to knit a baby garment with anything denser than DK/Sport yarn. I used Swish DK for this and am pleased with the overall weight and flexibility of the fabric. It's entirely a matter of preference, but babies are already mostly immobile and have restricted movement, it just doesn't seem fair to stick them in bulky inflexible clothing. On that note, I have a bone to pick with the design team at Drops.
First, you offer some really wonderful, beautiful, and totally free patterns, which I love. However, the construction on several of you baby patterns is HORRIBLE. I've never seen a baby shaped like the letter "T". Is it too much to ask that the sleeves on your baby patterns not be constructed in the most rigid manner possible?
While we're at it, I admit, I've seen some pretty pointy looking heads, but there's really no need to accentuate the feature.
That is all.
As you can see, I opted out of the "T" sleeve and went with a raglan decrease up to the neck. I also side-stepped the pointed, right-angle hood by incorporating double decreases from the center of the row (back of the hood), outward, then used a 3-needle bind-off from the crown, forward. I didn't take a good picture to show how greatly this helps to round out the hood, so you'll have to take my word on it. The next time I knit a hooded project, I'll be sure to document the process more thoroughly.
Construction complaints aside, I love the texture and cable detail in this cardigan. Overall, I think it's pretty darn cute. And, I'll likely use this pattern again- as soon as I get through the rest waiting in my favorites list.
If you buy a knitter yarn, chances are, she will knit you something.
Case in point- when this girl was gifted a delightfully lovely skein , she quickly cast-on to show her gratitude.
I must say, these are not easy to part with. The yarn feels fantastic and was wonderful to work with. I'm comforted to know their headed to a good home. I think I may use this pattern again soon, because it was really easy to work without being boring, and it produces a nice looking sock.