Saturday, June 30, 2012

Only Old Ladies Wear Shawls

Not really.  Young ladies, middle-aged ladies, old ladies, and all ages in between, before, and beyond can wear shawls.  (I never know what to title my posts!)  Now, to be honest, I have never worn a shawl in my life.  I remember wearing ponchos when I was a girl, and once I had a beloved fleece cape that my mom made when I was ten.  But I just finished knitting my first shawl!  And I'm not even old yet.  And I'm going to wear it. Someday.


Yes, my Mystery Shawl is finished, and here it is in all its glory!

On the blocking table:
Blocked measurements are 48"x20".

And a close-up:

If you frequent Ravelry, you probably have seen all the lovely shawls.  The models all look so graceful, like they're ready to take flight in this pose I tried to imitate. 

Yet here I am, managing to just look silly.  It doesn't help that it's 100 degrees outside, my hair is in a weird-strange-hoykey-doykey-get-me-off-my-neck-cuz-it's-hot mode, and I just about got a charlie horse in my arm trying to pose so gracefully.  Yeah. I just look silly. 

But it's okay.  Because I love this shawl.  I love that I finished it and that I learned so much while knitting it.  Thanks to Kirsten Kapur of Through the Loops for designing the pattern.  I enjoyed this knit-along very much.  

Remember I told you about the stitch markers I made?  Be watching for another post about them--I am going to give away one dozen beaded stitch markers to one lucky reader.  :)


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cat Skirt

Emily's cat skirt is finished and she's worn it for three days straight!  I think that means she approves, don't you?  The skirt turned out longer than I intended, but that's okay because Emily will get to wear it for years and years.   She may outgrow her cat phase before she outgrows the skirt.

I didn't use a pattern, but for those who care, I'm posting the measurements that I used for each tier.  You can make the tiers any size you want, but the top tier should not be cut excessively wide or you will have too much bulk at the waist. (Of course the top tier does need to be cut wide enough to be pulled easily over the hips).   

(Cut 2 of each strip):
Top tier:  6-1/2" x 20"
Middle tier:  7" x 30"
Bottom tier:  9"x44" (the width of the fabric)

To break up the busyness of the cat print, I cut strips of red fabric and inserted mock piping into each seam between the layers.  I also used the same fabric to bind the hem and for the waistband.  (Mock piping: a folded strip of fabric inserted in a seam but without the bulk of corded piping.)

This piece of fabric has been on my shelf for a lot of years.  I found it interesting that the selvedge edge reads "Daisy Kingdom, 1998."  I probably have had it that long, since 1998!  Oh, and I still have a yard or two remaining....

Happy sewing,

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Crazy for Cats

Emily is crazy about cats. She's been asking for months for a cat skirt, and what do you know, I just happen to have a length of cat fabric in my stash. I'm going to make my little girl happy today!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Swimsuit Worth Repeating: Ottobre 02/04

This was my baby in 2009 when she was 4 
and wearing the swimsuit I made then.

And here is my baby, now 7.

Yes, the swimsuit is almost the same.  The same fabric, same pattern, but a few size bigger and this time without the ruffle on the tankini top.

The pattern:  Ottobre (of course!) 04/02, Summer issue
The top is design #20 in a size 122, modified from a one-piece into a tankini.  The shorts are design #35 in size 128.

The fabric is the same at Emily's request.  This girl likes purple.  :)


Since I did not have any purple thread for my coverstitch machine, I simply used a zigzag stitch to apply the elastic.  I stitched the elastic first to the wrong side of the fabric and then turned it under and stitched from the top side, slightly stretching the elastic as I stitched.  Using a zigzag (or other stretch stitch) and stretching the elastic gives the seams an elasticity which is a must for swimwear.

True confession:  I have enough of this fabric that I can probably make yet another swimsuit!  I wonder if Emily will still like it in another few years?  Probably not.... One of my granddaughters may just get a purple swimsuit someday. :)

Happy sewing,

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I Heart These Rulers

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know how much I love using Ottobre patterns.  But one thing I dislike is adding the seam allowances to the traced pattern pieces.  Well, several months ago I ordered two curved rulers, the 3/8" and the 5/8", from Claire Tharp's Etsy shop hoping that they might make the job a bit easier.

It has been ages since I've sewn Ottobre.  But today I decided to make my 7-year-old a swimsuit, and I pulled out the 3/8" curve.  It was no problem adding just 1/4" seam allowance to the swimsuit pattern with this ruler.  

Let me tell you, these rulers are fabulous!  They make adding seam allowances soooooo easy!  Ottobre patterns are a maze of lines, and I've heard that Burda patterns are even more complicated.  I sound like a commercial, don't I?  Really, I'm just a satisfied curved ruler owner--no affiliation or compensation from Claire.  But if you do buy one or more of her rulers, tell her I sent you.  :)

As for the swimsuit sewing, it's almost finished.  I was interrupted in the sewing process and will complete it tomorrow.  Boy, it sure felt good to sew again!!!!!!  Even something as simple as a little girl's swimsuit.  

Happy Sewing (or knitting, which is what I'm going to do now),

Friday, June 15, 2012

TTL Mystery Shawl

Lately I have taken to reading knitting blogs instead of sewing blogs.  Don't get me wrong, I still love to sew. But I've found that it's easier to knit in 15-30 minute increments than it is to sew in small increments of time.  So I knit.  Enjoying it, yes, but missing the sewing, too. 

Recently I came across Kirsten Kapur's blog, Through the Loops, and decided to jump right in with the my very first KAL (knit along)---the TTL Mystery Shawl

Have you seen Kristen's knitting designs?!  I can't even imagine how designers invent these things--talk about intricate.  And breathtakingly beautiful. 

I wonder at myself sometimes, to attempt a lace shawl pattern when I have such little experience knitting lace.  And I don't even wear shawls, lol.  (I always thought that only old ladies wear shawls, but from the looks of all the shawls on Ravelry, I think I'm mistaken).  

So I am knitting a lace shawl.  A mystery shawl, where the clues are given weekly, one at a time.  I don't know what the finished shawl will look like, but I excitedly anticipate seeing the design unfold as I knit.  

Yarn:  Juniper Moon Farm Findley, lace weight, in black
Needle: size 6

Clue #1

Clue #2

Notice the stitch markers?  The plastic coils were a nightmare on this project, so I switched to yarn-tied loops.  They worked fine, but I can't wait to show you the be-a-uuuuuu-ti-ful stitch markers I made with beads.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Tea-Cozy Sale

I just listed some tea cozies I made once upon a time ago in my etsy shop.  These are so sweet and pretty, but I am doing some serious cleaning and de-junking and just want them gone! 

$5.00 each plus shipping!

You can see them all in my shop HERE.