Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wool Socks....Score! Just in Time for Summer!!!

I am MORE excited than anyone can possibly know!  I'm done with my Basket Weave Rib Socks by Sarah Ronchetti of Sezza Knits.  Strangely, this felt like QUITE the undertaking.  I have done SEVERAL pairs of baby/toddler socks, but I've only ever completed ONE pair for myself.  I've been WANTING to knit socks for myself, but I always find more important things to work - namely clothing for Camden, aha!

Clearly NOT as excited as I am!

The pair I did for myself several years ago was the Knitting Pure and Simple Lightweight Sock Pattern, and it's lovely enough, though I know better now that I'm not into a gathered-close toe finish, so, if I did a vanilla (all stockinette) sock again in the future, I'd finish it with a kitchener or something else equally as awesome, LOL.  This first pair of socks I made myself were knitted out of Misty Alpaca fingering weight yarn, and they fit nicely, actually.

As for this new pair, I knit it out of Black Trillium (Ravelry group) 100% superwash merino (Pebble sock base) in the Cherry colorway, though this colorway is so NOT a real red to me, aha!  I bought it yearsssss ago, and there are SO MANY BT colorways I wish I could have - of course!
Good times taking pictures of socks on your OWN feet!

These are SOCKS, for the love of my grandmother, so, there aren't too many exciting things to report, BUT.  I did do the basic gusset decrease/heel flap, and I knit cuff-down on size 000 needles (YES, you read that right...TRIPLE ZERO.  EFF my loose gauge, people!).  I purchased Karbonz DPNs from HERE on Amazon.  It was my first time using them, and they definitely have a little more give than a steel needle (my Hiya Hiyas), but they worked pretty well - debating getting a second set each of 000 and 00.

I know there are tons of fancy ways to do heels these days, but I like the standard heel flap, LOL.  I'm not sure I'm an old dog, needing to learn new tricks right now.  I have huge calves, though, so, I did the leg at 5 inches, rather than 6, as I worried about the ribbing fitting if I knit them any longer.  I also did a 2 by 2 rib, rather than a 1 by 1, as I like how it looks better.

As for the toe finish, I decreased to 8 stitches per needle on one foot and 10 stitches per needle on the other (right) foot.  It was sort of an experiment, to see how it'd fit, but I guess my toe box isn't as pointed as I pretended it was, LOL.  So, I'll do 12 next time - and make sure to do the toe box longer.  Also, I DID add 4 stitches to the foot near my bunion (totally guesstimated the first food and waited too many rows, so, I remedied that for my second sock, which will forever be my right-foot sock) for a little more ease.  I am thinking I should make the foot a tad longer next time I do a pair of socks for myself.

Otherwise, the pattern is lovely and easy/straightforward.  There are three sizes, and it's a FREE pattern, so double bonus!!!  (Or triple, aha!)

.... Speaking of, I would LOVE to do a pair of socks this month, too, but I don't know if I should do a practice shawl in preparation for doing a shawl KAL in the MarigoldJen group in July.  If I do this, I will be using a Colinette Tao silk base for the Beithe shawl by Susanna IC.  Not sure my silk will do the pattern design justice, but we can always hope for the best!  LOL.

Some socks I'm NEEDING to do in the near future (and by that, I mean SOME DAY, aha!):
Think Spring


Walk Now

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Josephine and Whitney - So Classy!


You're all, "Wait, Autumn!  I've seen a Josephine somewhere else recently."

I'm all, "Toooo right!  You have - why just the other day, you saw not ONE, but TWO Josephine dresses."

Today's feature includes the blouse version and the Whitney pants, also designed by Violette Field Threads.  I have allllways loved this outfit, and this is only Camden's second version.  This was pictured in the last blog post, but for your loving eyes, here is another shot:

I talked up the Josephine pattern quite a bit in the previous blog post, but in summary, the button holes make me a bit crazy because of the thickness of the fabric in the button/ruffle band.  I believe I did manually sew the top button hole, rather than using my automatic button hole feature, as I sewed the blouse before the dresses.  Lesson was learned after this :)  This mama does NOT enjoy doing a manual button hole :O  

Your basic Joann Fabric buttons!

You can probably note in the pictures that this year's blouse was definitely sized up, so, it's a good inch too big in the chest, if not more.  I always find it funny how Camden needs to size UP in Modkid and Oliver and S - and others - yet these VFT blouses are quite roomy for it.  I think I did the size 4 this time, but again, I sewed this before Christmas, and finding the pattern sheets right now sounds like NO FUN.

For the Whitney pants, I cut them as follows (this I know, because HEYHEYHEY I GOT TO SEW TODAY!!!):  size 4 rise, size 5 width, size 4 plus 3/4 inch for length.  I also hemmed them at 3/4 inch and the next fold was at 2 inches, so, I could hypothetically let them out if she doesn't exceed the rise (my bad, though - I didn't think about his before hemming them with the machine, as I normally hand-sew the hem when I plan to let something out).  

Sewing these pants is so stinkin' easy, of course - four total box pleats and then a few other seams.  I DID sew the waistband differently than the pattern calls for, if I remember right:  I sew the pants together completely before sewing the waistband in a circle.  THEN I attach it, leaving an opening for the elastic in the back.  I sewed (well, normally, I sew it shut; I forgot this time, aha!)  the opening closed after I do this, and I serged the seam, though I know folding it under would be fancier.  Essence of time and all that nonsense.  VFT calls for the pant's side seams to be left un-sewn; you then sew the waistband on the front and on the back separately.  That sounds NOT pretty to me, LOL.

Also, my first official day back at sewing couldn't go without at least ONE problem:  I did manage to sew a right and wrong side today - AND serge it....nice, LOL.

I promise these were JUST pressed!!!
As for fabrics, I used Aneela Hoey once again - and the pants fabric is a remnant from some Colette Juniper trousers I made a couple years ago (I can't remember the fabric name AT ALL, but it was maybe a cotton/linen blend and is a BEEEYOTCH to cut; it does this weird warping, so, I had to be careful).
Had to show off the freshly painted nails :)

Allllll sadness and coldness

To elicit smiles in the following pictures, I had to ask Camden what kind of face she'd make if she saw certain friends....
This is if she saw Lizzie and Jack
This is if she saw Greta
This is if she gets to see Elora
Siblings, just chilling yesterday!

So.  Since I was able to sew today, that meant the wee boy was fed by his dad and his big sister - how cute!!!
His first bottle

Tired times after that bottle ;)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Josephines...and Flying Machines? Maybe Bunny Ears!

So...speaking of LATE.....if the birthday dress was posted several weeks after it was sewn, then this post is stepping out of line, LOL.  These Violette Field Threads Josephine dresses were sewn MONTHS ago...perhaps late November - maybe before that?  That's what happens when we ALWAYS have wind, and I forget and have other things going on, aha!  Thank goodness I knew I'd have a wee, wakeful baby boy and had sewn TWO.  Smart lady, that Autumn!

Ahhhh, the faces today....

Camden's last incarnation of a VFT Josephine involved THIS ensemble:
Easter 2013
I LOVED that outfit more than one can know!  I think it's classy and was super cute for Easter last year.  The pants are the VFT Whitney trousers, naturally - and I'm actually whipping up a pair of those again tomorrow (holla at my first REAL sewing opportunity in weeks and weeks!) - to go with a Josephine blouse - just as flowery as the one pictured above.

As for the pattern itself, it's super easy to understand.  Directions are lovely and not tricky at all.  There are a couple things to consider when doing this pattern - especially if you over-think things like I always do:  One is that the collar doesn't necessarily come all the way around - like, it clearly isn't supposed to, but one should plan for how close she wants the collar to come in to the ruffle/button band.  Shorten or lengthen, as needed.  Also, adding the ruffle DOES obviously add bulk - which can be HIGHLY ANNOYING when doing button holes ;)  Of course, right??  I was smart this time around, and I measured out carefully/did my button holes before attaching the collar so there would be no seam-thickness issues.  That definitely helped, but with those ruffles, there is a sort of cavern created where the button holes go, which is not cool.
The weight at the top is NUTS!
You can barely see it, but the bias tape at the collar is contrasting fabric on both dresses

Then, speaking of the button band, the ruffles add to the weight, obviously, and the top pulls away from the blouse, which doesn't look awesome, in my humble opinion.  I could add a hook and eye to help alleviate that, but eh.  Guess I'm lazy ;)  I tried getting that button up high enough, but it clearly didn't work out well.
Someone tells me she can no longer smile....

I DO wish I could think of another way to take out some of the thickness in that spot.  Lastly, I'm a weirdo and like the front/back to be specified if the sleeves are created to have a difference, and it's not marked with this pattern.  This likely means I should make sure to just remember which side means front and which means back.

....Anywho...all this to say I'm a fan of this pattern and think it's super cute!  I didn't add the sash option, as it wouldn't look right on Camden, as she doesn't have a waist to speak of, LOL.  I did do the purple version in a size 3, I believe, with added length, and I did the green version in a size 4, with added length.  The fabric is Aneela Hoey, which I LOVE!!  You'll see her fabric again when I complete the Whitney trousers, aha!
I have magic tricks to get this girl to smile!

As always, Tiberius shot or two:

Scowls, also!