Monday, February 27, 2012


So I think I overdid it last week with the crochet and doing some painting (and knitting- yeah, I knitted. Some ruffle yarn samples for work.) I decided to not crochet at all for a few days. Painful! But not as painful as my arm was feeling.
Anyway, Sunday I went out on a book prowl with Andrew and a friend. We were really looking for D&D books for the campaign we're starting (yeah nerds! I'm pretty psyched about it- we're a creative bunch and our characters have some awesome story already) but I found a few great craft books for me.
Finishing Techniques for Crochet had a few neat things in it. I doubt I would have gotten it full price, but it was at my favorite used bookstore for an awesome buy.
The Sewing Bible was the one I was really excited for. I find it quite inspiring- not just the projects and techniques themselves, but that it felt like they would push me to do a better job at my sewing. I am a very lazy sewer. Again, found it at the used bookshop for 10$. A gorgeous hardcover book for 10$? Mineminemine.
It was perfect, because I couldn't crochet again yesterday, so... why not do some sewing? It's been a long time.

I started with this shirt. I actually made basically an identical shirt a few years ago. It was really cute but just too tight around the neck and sleeve bands. Since I knew that would be an issue, I cut and measured these to a size much more appropriate for me. The neck is a wee bit loose, but I hate tight neck holes so I think I can live with it.
I also did a tidier job installing the zipper than I think I've ever done.

This jacket was a project from the book. It had a pattern that you were to size up and print off on large paper. I don't know if my printer can handle 11"x17" and I was too lazy to find out, so I just made a muslin first based on the rough shapes, and then kept adjusting and tweaking until I had a fabric pattern made up.

I love the lining, it feels very luxurious. I don't know how I'll wear this one- it feels great loose and open, but I think it looks better with a brooch or pin closing it.

Either way, I'm pleased with how it turned out.
My new favorite way to make my sewing tidier is pressing things. Yeah, it should be something you always do, but I am spectacularly lazy. Doing these projects made me realize that it's necessary and is actually worth the time, because it makes things far nicer without a huge extra amount of effort put in.
I am looking forward to wearing these projects!

I also took some shots of the pink cardigan I finished on Valentine's. I don't know how much I love it- I love the colours a lot, but I feel like the fit is just a bit too loose and sloppy. Maybe I'll try hand-felting it just a wee titch smaller.

I'm excited to be able to crochet again, but I'm trying to take it slow for the sake of my arm. Must not crochet so much! Ah!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sweater Headache

So I made this sweater, and it was full of problems.
Problems like the pattern not including some little details, for instance anything about the hem. Or not mentioning blocking before seaming, which I should have done anyway but was not smart enough to.
You can see here that there are wobbly panels on the side. The sleeves are also a mile too long, although those were mostly improvised so it's not too surprising. It looked about as flattering as a garbage bag in a really nice colour. It is a gorgeous colour- a rich deep pink heather with flecks of yellow.
Last night I had to make a choice. I sighed, pulled out the scissors and began deconstructing. Ripped out the bottom hem, removed the side panels and reinforced the sleeve where they'd be removed. Then I seamed the cabled panels to the sleeve and down the side and removed 10 rows from the sleeves. Then I redid the bottom hem, this time decreasing and going down a hook size to get a tight, tidy look.

Now I have a flattering sweater that I really like! I was worried that it was going to end up in the pile of "I made you, but I'll never wear you." It would have been a shame because I do really love the colour, and the cables.

I also love the cowl, and the sleeves. I used esc (extended sc) for them, and I think I am a little bit in love with the stitch now. I do believe my next cardigan is going to be made with that little stitch.

Speaking of next cardigan, I wound up the yarn for it today. It's Cascade Pastaza. Aren't the colours awesome? The light pink is going to be the main body, with the turquoise-y and dark pink being the accent colours. I'm really excited for it!

I finished a few cowls lately, too. This one is a simple tunisian cowl for a friend.This one I really finished months ago. It's the sample I made for work of my Cable Crazy Cowl pattern (I have a pattern for sale! I'm a real designer! Woah!).
I taught a class on it, and although I only had one student it was really fun. I'm planning next month's class- I'll be teaching reading a crochet pattern. I'm excited to help people learn to understand patterns. It really opens up your world.