Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Taking a Nap

Happy December! 

I never, ever let Wolfie or Victor play with my yarn. He simply plopped down for a nap on it, for some reason. If I'm knitting and he wants to play, I put the yarn away and play with him. 

I have a lot going on and have even more planned for 2018, so I'm going to let this blog take a little nap, too, while I get myself sorted.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Project Journal: Ponte Pants

I don't wear pants very much, but I took a chance on McCall's 6173, and I'm really happy that I did!

This is not me. This is a model who is waaaaay taller than thinner than I ever have been.
Pattern: McCall's 6173, view A-ish, size L, with petite adjustments that were marked on the pattern paper.
Fabric: Telio Ponte Leggero Knit in black 65% Rayon/31% Nylon/4% Spandex. I washed the fabric in cold water and dried it in a low dryer. It sat around a bit before I had a chance to use it, so I also ran it through a steam refresh cycle in my dryer before I cut it out.
Notions: nylon zipper, hook and eye, 1-inch elastic
Tools: Sewing machine with zipper foot, edgejoining foot (for stitch in the ditch) and regular foot. Serger with  Four-Thread Ultra-Stretch Mock Safety Stitch for seams and narrow coverstitch for hems, pressing tools (lots of steam from my iron and a clapper, mostly).
- No zippers on the legs.
- I serged the darts and all seams except the fly area and waistband finish. I reinforced the crotch seam with a line of sewing machine stitches within the seam allowance of the serged seam.
- I cut my own waistband and reinforced it with elastic, using techniques from The Busy Woman's Sewing Book. It's all of the comfort of an elastic waistband, but with a tailored look.
- From the same book, I used the two-step fly - a zipper fly with just two lines of stitching! I did have to do the second step over again, after basting a little bit, since it went rather off the rails the first time.
Verdict: On the first wear, these are super-comfy! I hope the fabric holds up well. The legs are much looser in the calf area than in the photo, so if you want a fitted calf, definitely do a basted fitting to check it. This is the most comfortable, best-fitting waistband I've ever worn.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Meet the Kittens: Victor and Wolfie

These are our two little babies, Wolfie on the left and Victor on the right. 

We've never had kittens before, and it's quite the adventure! We adopted them both from the Animal Humane Society after Travis and Boomer left us a few months ago.  

Wolfie is short for "Wolfgang." We named him that because he looks like a tiny wolf pup and we both love Mozart. He even howls a little bit when we're getting his food ready.

Victor's about a month older than Wolfie but is a lot bigger. We think he's part (or all) Maine Coon. Wolfie looks like he may be a Russian Blue.

They wrestle and play a lot, but they also groom each other and even fall asleep in a semi-cuddle, semi-play position like this one.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Knitting Dishcloths

I'm knitting cotton dishcloths along with my students at St. Louis Park Community Education.

They are so relaxing to make! I love playing with different color combinations. The first batch of dishcloths I made is about 12 years old. The cloths are JUST NOW starting to wear out, so the timing on these projects is pretty good.

My sister gave me these knitting needles about 16 years ago, when I told her that knitting with cotton made my hands feel sore. She bought them at a festival and I have no idea what brand they are, but I think they're ebony wood. They feel so smooth and nice!

If you're just learning to knit, I recommend the ballband dishcloth as a skills-builder. You manage two colors of yarn (but, not at once), work with slipped stitches, have to stay on-pattern and knit and purl.

I'd love to see you in class! Check out my schedule, here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Robe for Dee

Remember my peacock robe? This is same pattern, done up in black sweatshirt fabric, before the sleeves were hemmed. 

Looooooooooooong sleeves. Not messing around!

I made it the same way as before, but this time I didn't cheat and leave off the belt carriers and pockets. Easy peasy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Easy Skirt

Another version of Stretch and Sew 445!

Changes from my last try:

- I used the Elastic Waist Facing method I learned in The Ultimate Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics Craftsy class by Linda Lee with this awesome Waistband Elastic by Dritz.

(If you use my Craftsy affiliate link you'll save 25% off her class. Cannot be combined with any other coupons. Expires January 11, 2018.)

- I altered the fit a little bit to make the hem about 2 inches narrower than patterned. It makes the skirt a little more body-conscious without being super-tight.

- The fabric is a knit I picked up at the Textile Center's garage sale in April. It is very fluid and drapey. I think it might be rayon? It doesn't curl at the cut edge and feels cool and dry to the touch.

- I serged my darts, instead of stitching them on the sewing machine. I love the results!

- I couldn't get a blind hem to work, so I initially used a fusible to bond the hem in place. The fusible came partially unstuck after the first wash. (I wash in cold water and hang to dry.) So, I coverstitched the hem in place, instead. It looks great and I don't mind the look of a coverstitched hem.

Changes for next time:

- PRACTICE that waist facing technique, so that it's a little more even. Other than that, I LOVE it. It's definitely going to be my go-to skirt for when I want to feel put-together and cute.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Fall Fiber Festival Prep

I'm getting ready for the Fall Fiber Festival this Saturday in Hopkins!

I haven't had as much time as I wanted to get ready, but I will have copies of both of my books for sale, these little hat ornaments, some bandanas (not very many, arrive early, if you want one!), and a bunch of Thrifty Lined Shopping Bags.

I hope to see you there!