Friday, June 30, 2006

Sewing Camp - Last Day

I met my 5 garment goal. Here is my unofficial SWAP (Sewing With A Plan)/capsule for Summer 2006.

There are 3 skirts and 4 tops. Most of them work with each other, or at least coordinate. I like prints and that makes it a bit tricky. Ugh, sorry for the blurry photo.

Yesterday and today I worked on KS 2976. I made one from the print,

and one from the solid gauze with embroidery:

Of course, now I'm itching to do a patternreview, and my picture site won't upload any new pictures right now, so I'm stymied. Wonder what's up with that? Maybe I need to see if I've paid the bill. . .

This is a nice little pattern. I love the narrow bias facings, it's such a nice detail-oriented finish. The gauze was difficult, so I used a coordinating print for the bindings. The gauze is thin, so if I decide to turn this top into a pajama top, then I might make some boxer shorts or pants from the print and use them as pajamas. I'm going to try wearing it as a regular top first and see if I have to iron it or not. If it needs ironing, it's becoming pajamas.

Last, I present a sock.

I feel like I'm cheating a bit because I've only barely started the second one, but I was loving how it looked lying on that beach towel after I finished the knitting, so I had to take a pic.

I'm leaving for TN for the July 4 weekend, so you won't be hearing from me for a few days. I hope to be knitting up a storm with my Mom. I might go back and visit Charlotte's Web if there aren't too many distractions.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sewing Camp - Day 3

Here's the jacket I made today.

I love this pattern, Jalie 2319. This WHITE JACKET has become a wardrobe staple, and I get lots of compliments on it, so it was time to make it again.

Here's a picture of the zipper, after I sewed on the grosgrain ribbon. I also cut a short piece for the zipper pull, an idea I stole from a Vera Bradley bag. Oh, and yeah, the zipper ribbon idea comes from Nancy Cornwell, not *Susan Cornwall* or whatever I said yesterday. Doh!

Here's another overall shot, so you can see how the zipper tape shows when it's open a little.

I put a small insert of the ribbon into the sideseam to look like a tag. This is what fools most people into thinking it's RTW.

Here's a neckline closeup. I put the collar in upside down the first time (darn one-piece collars -- I always forget that it's NOT RST.)

You can see a lot of iron marks, from where I was applying steam-a-seam to the pockets and zipper, but I used a synthetic setting and my experience has been that it washes out and fluffs back up with a trip through the washer and dryer. I applied fusi-knit to the back of the fair isle section on the sleeves and it limited the stretch more than I would have liked, but I had to do something about my long, long, floats that I haven't learned how to weave in yet.

The housework is suffering and I'm behind on my reading and gardening, but I'm having fun working on things. I have to make myself check the clock so I don't miss a carpool pick up. Time flies and all that. . .

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sewing Camp - Day 2

Here's the top I made today.

This is a blue/green tie-dyed 100% cotton rib knit I bought at Hancock's. The pattern is a Plus pattern from the May 2004 Burda WOF. I finally remembered that my favorite tank top (gives great coverage, but is cool) was made from this pattern. You can see I got the ribbing seam a little off at the CF of the neckline. . . Maybe it won't bother me tomorrow.

Speaking of Hancock's, the swimsuit fabric is on sale 40% off, so I bought a couple of pieces, notably this crazy, insane print:

I'm actually considering another swimdress from this -- do you think my kids would disown me? I would only wear it in my backyard, I promise!

Next, I picked up this KS pattern, for those woven sleeveless tops I want to make.

Tomorrow I'm going to work on the red jacket. I changed all the threads in the machines and found my black fusi-knit, so I'm ready to go on it. I plan on pulling out a Susan Cornwall fleece book tonight to study about adding ribbon to the zipper back -- I've wanted to try that for a while.

I'm quickly figuring out that I won't get 5 garments done this week unless they are panties or something. I really need to stop and clean because I'm so unproductive trying to find things and digging around all the time.

I won today's battle with the reluctant Karate Kid, but it wasn't pretty. Much crying and *If I go there, I will DIE!* sort of stuff. Drama.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sewing Camp -- Day 1

Here's a quick skirt I made.

The pattern is from the Spring Burda Plus from 2003, I think. It's a 6-gore skirt with 4 godets. I haven't pressed it yet in the photo, which will improve it just a bit.

My goal for this week is to sew an item a day. I want to make the fleece jacket from knitting camp (pieces are washing now, so I can block them). Next, I have a couple of woven fabrics in the blue/green family that I want to make into sleeveless tops. I don't have a pattern for this, so I'm going to have to find something. I have a sleeveless denim nursing top from 5 years ago that I've been holding onto to use as a pattern or as a comparison garment.

Picked up the sewing machines today and they are running great. Woo Hoo! (Bought a ruffler too, so maybe a new peasanty skirt is in order to test it out.) I have too many skirts, um, so what of it?

Here are a couple of sea life photos:

We NEVER see things like this, it was such a treat!

Turned the heel on my next sock last night. It was rainy day so I just did laundry and watched movies and knit all day.

Cooked pasta with fresh tomato/basil/olive/feta sauce. I bought the tomatoes at a roadside stand at the beach, but the basil is my own -- the first item I've been able to harvest to eat this year. . . My tomatoes are looking good, but it's going to be a long time before they're ready.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Beach Knitting

I did a lot of knitting on this trip. When you are in a beach rental with 10 indecisive people and late-sleeping teenagers, there's lots of idle time. Okay, it was way too windy to knit at the beach, but I staged this photo so I can use it in an Amazing Lace challenge, should the occasion arise.

There were lots of tide pools, and with tropical storm Alberto passing through the previous week, we saw more sea creatures than ever. Conchs, starfish, blue crabs, water hermit crabs, etc.

Speaking of lace, much progress was made. For some crazy reason, I had in my mind that I would knit a ball of each color, then change. So I knit up all of the green yarn. Then, I realized I should have been switching colors and gradually shading, because it's going to look bad with 5 abrupt color changes. I am on about row 100 or so and will need to frog back quite a bit. I'm not really upset because there were some mistakes and I was having so much fun with it, I'll enjoy the re-knit.

When I got to about row 40 on the chart, I suddenly *got it* and realized that you add a new repeat to each end of each side (for a total of 4) after every two repeats that you knit vertically (8 rows). You will have added eight extra stitches to each of the four places next to the border and central yarnovers, so another repeat fits in. Simple. I still have to keep a picture of the chart around to remember how to do the reversals on the second half of the row.

When I realized I would need to frog the shawl, I picked up the socks again. I did most of this in the car and by the pool. I should say that I only knit the second sock on the trip. The first was finished the night I left.

This is a basic 4/2 rib pattern that I always use for my carry around socks, because I've memorized it and it always fits. I used Dancing in Hula.

I started another pair from a wool/tencel blend I bought at Ellen's Half Pint Farm, who was a vendor at knitting camp. Very yummy stuff, in pale blues/greens, the colors I am obssessed with these days.

Sewingwise, I did not wear the new clothes I made at all. We never went out for a *nice* dinner, so it just didn't come up. One of those things. . . I wore the new swimsuit every other day and spilled red gatorade down the front, which won't come out - argh. . .

I'm picking up the sewing machines from their week at the spa on Monday. I had planned to spend the coming week *at sewing camp* but my wee one is balking on the Karate Camp idea. I paid big bucks for this several months ago and now he doesn't want to go. Kids!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Amazing Lace Poetry Challenge

There once was a knitter named Mary
Whose Charlotte's Web Shawl made her wary
She drank too much beer
And mistakes did appear
Please call in the laceknitting fairy!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Garden Photos

Here's another attempt to distract. Garden photos! Here is a hydrangea, Nikko blue. This is the only one that looks good. The others are spindly, light green and generally pathetic looking. We're in a serious drought situation around here, so it's tough keeping these guys alive.

Here's a porch view, with my knittin' swing. I only planted one nasturtium basket, the rest are all marigolds, and of course the nasturtium is thriving and the marigolds are just doing okay. . .

Finally, the maters. It has been about 5 years since I've had a successful crop. My housesitter came by yesterday and I gave her all the watering instructions for next week and had to introduce her to THIS FELLA, the green hornworm, the bane of my tomato-loving existence. I hope she has the nerve to pick them off and squish them. My 5 yo gets a kick out of it.

We're leaving for the big family vacation at the beach tomorrow morning, and I don't have a laptop or any computer access all week. I'm taking the Charlotte's Web shawl as my primary knitting project, some socks as a back up. The sewing machines are away at the spa for some much needed R & R. When I get back the kids are in camp all week, so I have *sewing camp* planned for me. Can't wait. . .

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Random Wednesday

I have nothing remotely interesting to show you from the sewing room or the knitting lair. So I will distract you from that with a couple of photos from the kids' activities that take up my time these days.

Yes, all the horses are at attention because one of their brothers broke loose and ran around the farm. Someone was playing a trumpet at a house near by at the same time they were trying to load him into a trailer for a horse show and he freaked. I had fun watching them catch the guy and he still wasn't in the trailer when we left. . .

And here's my swimmer. Nothing much to say about that one (no I didn't make that suit, sorry).

Knittingwise, I am halfway through the bottom ribbing band for the polarfleece jacket (2 sleeves and collar are done). Can't wait to get that finished and move onto the Charlotte's Web shawl again.

Sewingwise, I plan to take my machines in for service (today, I hope) while I'm on vacation, so they will be clean and ready to roar when I get back.

Readingwise, damn. If you pick up the summer New Yorker fiction issue thinking, oh joy!, then put it down. This week's issue is on war stories and the short story about the Rwanda genocide is one of the most shocking, soul-destroying things I've read in a while. The soldiers' writings home are pretty sad too. You will want to jump off a bridge after reading it. Glad I didn't save it for the beach. I'm looking for a nice antidote in my reading stack -- maybe I'll go back to juvvie books. I think I just got Superfudge (Judy Blume) from Hamiltonbooks.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


I decided to try a new pattern for some Tshirts, Kwik Sew 3419. I'm fairly happy with them right now. HERE'S my review if you want the gory details. I really like the teal one. I couldn't believe I found a rayon knit at JoAnn's, you could have knocked me over with a feather.

I didn't have enough fabric for the neckline binding on the turquoise one, but I like using a contrasting color -- design feature.

This one clings to the tum a lot more. Fabric makes such a difference.

We are leaving for the annual beach vacation this Saturday, so these will be *going out to dinner* outfits. A deadline helps me get motivated. I have 3 or 4 more pieces of fabric I want to sew up this week -- we'll see.

Knittingwise, I finished the second sleeve on the polarfleece jacket and started the collar. I just realized that the collar should probably be reversable and maybe the corrogated ribbing might not look so nice for that, but I am pressing on anyway. Call me crazy. Maybe it will work. . .

Saturday, June 10, 2006

No-Pattern Skirts

I found an interesting group of fabrics at JoAnns the other day. Turquoise/teal with brown, which unfortunately seems to be the theme at Limited Too these days. Those of you with preteen daughters will know what I mean. I'm thinking it almost looks like a summer SWAP/capsule kind of thing.
The two fabrics on the right became skirts today. The one on the top right is a very thin jersey knit that is seamed into strips and then has layers of tulle and sequins applied down the seams.

I turned it into a skirt by holding it around myself (it was 54" wide and the stripes ran lengthwise (railroad style)) so I knew I only needed a yard of it. I measure 45" around and needed an inch or two of ease, so it worked just fine. I used steam a seam to hem it, left a slit unsewn on the side seam for movement, and serged in narrow elastic at the waist. The only adjustment I made was to level it, scooping out about 2" along the center front waist.

I love the fact that it has only one seam.

Sometimes you fall in love with a fabric that makes such a strong statement it stands on its own. So then all you have to do is make it fit you.

Here's the brown one:

It's a thin cotton woven with sequins and embroidery. Again, a busy fabric needing a simple treatment, but I had that ethnic/peasanty thing in mind. I decided to make a basic straight skirt with a ruffle. This one has more ease since the fabric is a woven. I made a doubled ruffle so I wouldn't have to hem it, gathered it, stitched it on, then seamed it up. This one has the same waistline treatment -- narrow elastic serged in and then folded over and zigzagged.

There you have it! No patterns needed.

I hope to get some of the knits sewn up into tshirts this week. The dark teal is a rayon/poly/lycra blend that would make a fabulous Burda twist top if I can work out the issues with that pattern. I'm leaving for vacation at the beach week after next, so I want a few new pieces.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

More Camp

Here's my jacket project -- One sleeve is finished.

I had to go buy a fair isle book from one of the vendors to get the snowflake chart to use. I stranded the back, but I didn't know how to twist in the strands, so I'm going to have to apply some fusible tricot to the back when I block it. (Have you been hearing *fusible tricot* a lot? That was the theme of the class. . .)

Click on the picture to see more detail.

Here are some photos of the cute bungalows around the lake. Look at the scotty dog carved from the shrub in this picture. It was so cute.

This little cabin was adorable. There were so many of these, tucked away in little pockets on the mountainside.

I think that's the South Carolina flag flying on the porch.

I started jacket sleeve number two and hope to get it up to where the chart starts today. Kids have a swim meet tonight, so I won't get a lot done. I really want to get back to the lace project, but must finish the jacket first, while all the planning and math is fresh in my head.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Home from Camp

I came home with an FO, which made me happy. I didn't have enough of the knitted squares to make up a full vest front, so I only used it on the front panels, which worked out to be more slimming anyway. . .

There was a massive panic Friday night when I realized I didn't have enough squares. Mom helped me wind up the last two balls (thank goodness I had a last minute yarn shop panic attack)and knit them up during the presentation. I don't think I could have finished without her help. Then we sewed them together and went to bed.

We had Saturday morning off, so I went for a walk and enjoyed the scenery:

This is at Lake Junaluska, NC.

Then I showered and fused and cut the vest out. Here is my REVIEW if you want more details. I was so glad I took my machine, although I think some of my classmates might have been a little unimpressed (I kept hearing the world *ringer* applied to myself in the back of the room).

BTW, the class was on combining knitting and sewing and was taught by
Susan Lazear. She was delightful and gave us freedom to work on whatever we wanted. So it wasn't a big deal that I chose not to use her patterns and she really made a nice effort not to shill her software unless the student wanted her to. . . I think I was the only one who didn't use her patterns, although I brought home a couple of them that we worked on in class, which I *might* use. . .

I'll post some more pictures, particularly of the polarfleece jacket project, tomorrow. Blogger doesn't like my photos today. . . There was a little shopping too, so maybe I'll post some yarn prOn for you if you want to see some goodies.
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