Sewjo.

I really feel like assessing all of my works in progress has energized me. We are only a few weeks into my #wipwipeout and I’ve completed 6/19 projects. Pretty darned good.

I will freely admit that I have tackled many of the easiest and/or quickest to finish. The two quilts that needed binding, a mini quilt. The shawl was a fairly big undertaking as it wasn’t even to the halfway mark when I picked it back up. Anyway, I’ve still been picking up partially completed projects and knocking them off the list, and that feels good.

I finally dyed that Mathilde top that’s been sitting around for nearly a year. I was hoping for a blue I liked, and that isn’t really what I got.

This blue just isn’t me. It’s either not dark enough or not light enough and the hue just isn’t something I usually go for. As if that wasn’t enough, the dye did some wierd things, mostly due to user error I think.

Oh well, chalk it up to a learning experience and mark it off the list. Next up, I cast on a new sweater. I hope I can get my sweater mojo back with something oversized. That way if the fit is off by a couple of inches, it won’t be so noticeable.

This is my No Frills Sweater by Petite Knit. It’s knit with one strand of fingering weight yarn and one strand of mohair silk held double and the floof is just to die for. This part before separating sleeves is a bit of a slog but the speckles and texture are keeping me going.

I am currently on day 2 of a 4 day weekend. Yesterday was the 4th of July and thanks to a whole lot of rain, we didn’t really do anything. Which meant that I did lots of things.

First up, I made this lovely bag for my friend Hannah. She’s my bestest knitting buddy and when she texted me to ask if I would sew up this bag if she sent me the kit, I couldn’t resist. This is the Take Along Tote by Never Not Knitting–the kit is from them, as well.

The pattern is well written and clear. I didn’t find anything confusing and the whole project came together in less than 4 hours. That’s pretty good for me on a first time bag. There’s a lot of interfacing (every fabric piece) so cutting and ironing takes up quite a bit of that time. I will definitely be making one of these for myself. This is the large size and the bag part is about a foot tall. It would easily hold a large sweater project.

Once my sewjo was rolling yesterday, I couldn’t be stopped. I pulled out my 4-patch hearts mini quilt and thought I’d just see if my blocks would turn out bettern now. The first one was a vast improvement over the old wonky block. Take a look: the old block is on top and the new one is on the bottom.

Still not perfect, but much better. I think know my cutting and piecing of the half-square triangles was not exactly up to snuff. But I am really trying to take to heart that finished is better than perfect. It’s really all practice, in the end. And I was certainly not wanting to scrap all this fabric! I forged ahead and managed to compete the top last night.

I just love it. I don’t knwo what I’m going to do for quilting, but I think I’ll go for it this weekend. After all of that time at the machine, I was ready for a bit of curling up on the counch with some hand sewing. Enter Quilted Notions Pouch.

This little guy has been sitting waiting for binding and a zipper for about eighteen months. I finally finished him off this morning. This pattern is by Retro Mama and this one is the larger size. It’s still only about 5″ tall, so large is kind of an exaggeration. I used a fat quarter of this pretty cloud print and couldn’t throq out the quote on the selvege. It took some doing to squeeze it on and not obscure the clouds but I’m glad I used it.

I added this cute pink and yellow zipper that’s been hanging out in a drawer for forever and I think it takes the whimsy up a step. And I just love that giant pull ring.

This pouch requires a lot of hand finishing. The zipper is all hand sewn and you have to finish the sides and inside all by hand. It’s very worth it in the end, though. It comes out very nice and neat. I will make more, but probably not until I forget a little about how much work they take.

That angry cloud! I love that one. So far my long weekend has been quite productive. I love finishing up these projects but my head is really starting to buzz with all the ideas I’m getting. I’m feeling the quilting bug coming on strong. We’ll just have to see how long I can hold out. I’ve got 13 more WIPs left!


Happy making!

Yarn chicken.

Yarn chicken is not a game I play often. I had a rousing match with a skein of yarn recently — and lost. I didn’t realize we were even playing until I was almost out of wool.

The project that served for the playing field was my Lumen. I recently was quite inspired to pick it up again and moved fairly quickly. One evening, I became quite excited that I was on the last lace repeat before the border. For some reason, wool knows, I decided to weigh my yarn.

I had worked out how much of the shawl I had left to knit–thanks to this handy, dandy triangle shawl calculater–and discovered that having 30% of the shawl left, not including bind off, and 28% of the yarn left was just probably not going to work. Anything could happen, but I was spooked. I just knew I’d run out on the bind off or some madness.

So, I did what any knitter might do, I pulled the needles out and ripped back the last lace repeat. I figured that I could omit the last repeat and just go straight to the border. But the shawl looked teeny and I do not want a teeny triangle shawl. I put it away and decided to do a bit of sewing.

I thought about the shawl though, not wishing to have another stalled and failed project. I decided to go through my yarn stash and see if anything matched or would coordinate. No luck. I went online to see if I could purchase another skein of the yarn. No luck. And then, I happend to see my color cards. I went through all of them before landing on the Quince and Co. wool line.

Shell looked pretty darn good. Not perfect, but pretty close. I ordered a skein and went back to knitting Lumen. When the yarn arrived, it seemed about as close as I was going to get to a dupe.

And so, I knit Lumen until I had one gram of yarn left and then added in the Quince. I wound up using 10 grams of the Quince, so I certainly needed something it. It is, of course, not a perfect match, but I’m at a “finished is better than perfect point” with my knitting these days.

It’s all finished now, and really quite lovely. I wanted a soft pinky mauve triangle shawl and I got exactly that. Just for a recap, this is Lumen by Sivia Harding for Brooklyn Tweed. The yarn is Jill Draper Makes Stuff Mohonk Light in Powder Puff, finished off with Quince and Co. Finch in Shell. My only modification was to use Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off instead of the recommended method. Turns out when a Brooklyn Tweed pattern says something is tedious, they aren’t messing around.

I do like it very much. I think it will be a lovely addition to my cool weather wardrobe. I am also very glad that I didn’t give in to the yarn chicken loss and rip the whole thing back. I suppose that while I lost the match, I won the game in the end.


Happy making!

The end of the line.

Welp, I’ve done it. We’ve finally come to the end of my storage space on the blog. Two and a half years of craft blogging really does a number on the old photo uploads. While I figure out what I’m going to do, let’s talk quilts.

I came to a bit of a frustration point with Lumen, so I decided to step back into the sewing room. I pulled out those sewing WIPs and that kitten dresden was calling my name. I finally bit the bullet and just quilted the thing. I finished the binding the same day and lo’ and behold, a mini quilt:

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It’s so precious! I did pretty simple quilting and I think it turned out very nice. It measures about 8″ x 8″ so it’s a generous mug rug size, but it’s just hanging on my wall for the moment.

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After that, I was in a bit of a binding mood, so I went ahead and tackled my last full size quilt WIP. It took me a couple of nights to get the hand stitching done, but now it’s finished and it’s my favorite by far.

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This is Layer Cake Pop – another free shortcut quilt pattern from Fat Quarter Shop. I used a 1930’s reproduction style layer cake from Lecien. I love the old fashioned looking prints in bright, fresh colors. I quilted it on a long arm at a local quilt shop.

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That’s two sewing projects off the list! It’s back to the drawing board on this blog thing, we’ll see where we come out. I’ll just be over here plugging away (hopefully) on Lumen.


Happy making!

We were on a break.

I am definitely not batting 1000 over here. Sweaters are just not doing me any favors these days. I spent most of last week knitting on the body of my Damejakka Lopa. I knit a solid five inches more and decided to try it on.

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Womp womp. Too big, again! I know what happened this time: I made two mistakes. First, I swatched the colorwork and got gauge. I did not swatch the body, with it’s significatly lower colorwork ratio. Turns out my gauge is a smidge tighter on the dense colorwork. That makes a difference.

My second problem was in my size selection and subsequent decision to not incorporate any decreases. I chose a size with about 3 inches of positive ease in the bust. I think that’s probably too much but it’s definitely compounded by not including any waist shaping. Lesson learned, hopefully.

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Ugh, it’s so pretty. I’m working on figuring what to do, more on that later. In the aftermath of realizing this sweater is just too big, I sat down and just flat out finished up that Jelly Roll Twist quilt.

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PS. isn’t it just so green outside? Anyway, I only had half of the binding left to sew down and this lovely little quilt was complete. This is Jelly Roll Twist, a free shortcut quilt pattern by Fat Quarter Shop. The fabric is the Eden line by Tula Pink and I quilted it on a long-arm at my local quilt shop. That’s my first finish off of my to-do list!

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In thinking about what to tackle next, I was drawn to knitting something where the size would not be an issue. I wound up picking up my Lumen Shawl. I am over the halfway mark and really love this texture of the lace and garter stitches.

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I am really enjoying knitting this shawl at the moment. I know I put it down because I got obsessed with sweaters, but I don’t feel we’re in danger of that at the moment. Sweaters and I need to take a break so that neither of us says something we don’t mean.


Happy making!

Brought to you by the letter F.

Finishing a project is such a satisfying feeling. Putting the final finishing touches on any make always get’s me a little giddy.

Last night, I was feeling a twinge of that excitement as a I bound off the body on my Beauty School. I broke the yarn and hurriedly slipped the sweater over my head. Womp womp. My goal of a fitted, cropped sweater was certainly not coming to fruition. But I was sleepy and in pj pants, so I decided to try it on again today with something that would go with the finished sweater. Womp womp.

 

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And it’s just as bad, maybe worse, from the back.

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Way too much ease, way too much fabric. Definitely not fitted. Not all that cropped, either. I considered just going with it and leaving it to be a bit ovesized. But that really wasn’t my vision for this top. I also keep reminding myself that this is unblocked. Superwash yarn certainly doesn’t shrink, in my experience.

I think my swatch lied. The swatch says 6.5 stitches per inch, but the sweater says 6.  I had kind of thought that I could rip back 6ish inches and just decrease more, but I really think I just need to go down a needle size. And so I shall frog this sweater and reknit the entire body. Hurray.

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In slightly happier sweater news, I finished my Populuxe. I finished it quite a while ago, buttons and all. I hadn’t worn it yet until last Friday. However, as I wore it throughout the day, I realized I had done a pretty shoddy job at sewing on the buttons. I think my knots were all tied incorrectly. I’ve fixed it now, and I am over the moon.

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This is Populuxe by Andi Satterlund. The yarn is Lavender Lune Yarn Co. in the DK Merino/Cashemere/Nylon base in the colorway Granny Panties. First thing’s first, this yarn is dream. It is so plump and round and soft, and that color is my absolute perfect blush pink. Holy grail color, there.

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This is my second Populuxe and I don’t think I’d hesitate to knit another. The pattern is great and the fit and style are right up my alley.

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And finally, I finished a quilt. This is the Jelly Roll Slice quilt by Fat Quarter Shop. It’s one of their shortcut quilt patterns and way back in 2017 when I made the top, it definitely went fast. I quilted it on a long arm that fall, attached the binding and then… Well, then I let it sit for nearly two years!

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Hard to beleive, I actually really enjoy hand sewing bindings, but I just kept want to do other things, I suppose. Better late than never, I think. I’ve really enjoyed snuggling under it lately.

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Honestly, I’m still pretty mad at the Beauty School. It’s just sitting on my desk mocking me at the moment. But I’ll get it in the end. Frogging and fixing are just part of the finishing process, after all.


Happy making!

Fairfield Shirt

Well, I’ve done it.  Completed my absolute proudest sew to date. If you, as I was so recently, did not realize how detail heavy a man’s button up shirt is, then come along with me. I’ve got something to show you.

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I sewed the Fairfield Shirt by Thread Theory. It’s a beautifully written and drafted pattern, if only evidenced by the fact that I was successful. It is certainly not simple. I made this up in some cotton shirting from Joann’s for my brother, Judge. I cut a straight XS and added an inch of length to the sleeves and the body.

The details really make this special. I found the perfect shade of blue buttons. I cut the stripes horizontally for the pockets, cuffs, collar, and yoke. It’s hard to see, but I even managed to get the little stitch detail right on the pocket!

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The real stunner for me is the sleeve placket. It’s a traditional tower placket which was very intimidating. But I watched a bunch of youtube videos and went really slowly. I think they came out nicely.

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I’ll be honest, this was both very stressful and very enjoyable. It took me about 3 hours to cut the fabric and around 10 hours to sew the shirt. I made the whole thing in a weekend. Nearly all of the techniques were new to me, so there was a lot of research and video watching. The tag from Kylie and the Machine is no joke, there were definitely some choice words on that stand collar.

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Judge tried it on and liked it, but we agreed that he could use a bit more ease in the chest and a bit more length in the sleeve. So, minor adjustments for his next one, but this go was certainly wearable. I’ve got some great fabrics lined up – I definitely plan to make more. This project was just so satisfying.


Happy {shirt} making!

Two out of three ain’t bad.

At the beginning of the week, I set out to try to finish three projects. Well, I’m here to tell you that it didn’t happen. On the bright side though, I finished two, I swatched for a new sweater, and I can knit sleeves on the plane.

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My first finish of the week was the Audra Wrap. She’s not had her ends woven in or been blocked, and only partly because I’ve got to figure out exactly where to block a shawl that’s biggger than me. I got Astra to take a picture of it as soon as I finished it – she had to stand quite a ways away.

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My second finish (on the same night, no less) is my first but definitely not last Rita Blouse. Rita is a pattern by Gertie of Charm Patterns. I made it from the scraps of a top I made a few years ago. Looking at that post, I definitely feel like my sewing skills have improved!

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This adorable pattern was extraordinarily well written. I was really intimidated but Gertie’s instructions really guide you through the process. The top is gathered and the lower bodice quite fitted. I cut a straight 6c and I think that was mostly the right call. When I first tried it on, I felt that the arms and shoulders were quite tight. I wound up adding abut 3 inches of elastic to the neckline and 1.5 inches to the armholes. That made a big difference.

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I still think it might pull a little bit under the side bust and up to the armpit, but I’m not really sure what to do about that. This was my very first invisible zipper and I think it was mostly successful. Like I said, Gertie’s instructions are very helpful.

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The back is a tad puffy in the gathered part, so I may shorten it a bit in the next version. And if you’re wondering, there will definitely be a next version. I am in love with this little top! Overall it took me a bit over one evening to make. That was with several mistakes and looking up youtube tutorials on invisible zippers, so not bad at all.

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The unfinished sweater I was working on has definitely seen progress. It now has both button bands and a neck band, and a sleeve well on it’s way.

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For the button holes, I was inspired by Amy Beth of The Fat Squirrel Speaks podcast to try out one row button holes. I think they look so neat and tidy! I folled Amy Beth’s tutorial and it worked perfectly. I’m only taking this sweater on the plane today, so I’m hoping this baby will be finished by the time Joshua and I are back home.

The other night, after finishing the wrap and the top, my hands were pretty tired but my mind was a buzzing with motivation. I decided to pull down some of my fabric and some yarn and gauge how I’m doing on the whole wardrobe potential thing. I kind of had this sinking feeling that I had a bunch of fabric that wouldn’t pair with any of the sweaters I want to knit. I was pleasantly surprised.

This is what I came up with. Some of these will be mix and match but these were the standout pairings in my mind. This also helped me figure out which are going to be cardigans and which are going to be pullovers. I’ll talk about the yarns and fabrics as I plan to use them, but first up is this set:

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The yarn is Woolberry Fiber Co. in the Hayride colorway and the fabric is a rayon challis Rifle Paper Co. from Cotton + Steel. The fabric is destined to become a circle skirt and the yarn will be a Beauty School from Poison Grrls. It is just the cutest little retro fitted top and I can’t wait to knit it up. I swatched this week in the hopes that I’ll be coming home with a finished sweater ready to cast on this one.

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I think that’s it for now. Joshua and I are about to hop on the plane to Denver – he’s travelling with me for a work trip to kick off his spring break. It’s just a weekend trip, but I’m excited to have him along. He’s fantastic company even if he will cost me a fortune in food. Now, to get to this sweater sleeve!


Happy making!