Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Modkid Naomi - In Which We Again Pretend It's Summer!

THIS, my friends, is a quick sew, if you're feeling rebellious and want to leave out the pockets AND the bottom ruffle....which is what I did ;)

I did a version of Modkid Naomi two years ago, and while it was cute, I almost thought it was too busy.  I wish I hadn't added the pocket, as I think it's toooo large for the dress in a size 2T (3T, perhaps???), and the ruffle is okay at the bottom, but I wanted an overall simpler look - which shoot!!!  I LOVED that fabric, so, I feel I didn't do it justice, and that always stinks.  And even if I hadn't done that pocket in a garish yellow, it would still seem off to me, aha!  Anyway, my bad.

So, this time, I envisioned something quite simple in comparison.  The pattern itself is super easy to put together, though I did change up a few things.  When constructing the bodice front and back, I did NOT sew the skirt back and front separately to the bodice back and front.  Instead, I sewed the skirt in one loop (which means my one seam is at the back of the dress) and the bodice in one loop, as I have a great disdain for exposed seams at the underarms in this sort of design/sleeveless item.  This meant I had to add the elastic in a bit differently to the bodice back, which was fine, just slightly annoying, aha!

(Brief interlude....I totally ironed my interfacing to the RIGHT side of the bodice, which made me want to punch a table, but I was finally able to peel it off, and I made THAT side the inside of the bodice, LOL.)

I also clearly left off the pocket this time around - and I did a folded straight hem at the bottom, keeping it classy, aha!  My contrast fabrics didn't *quite* match the main fabric - oh, believe me, I know - but I went with it, anyway.  Also, I used shot cottons, which are a fave of mine - and which are a better match for this fabric, in my most humble of opinions - over quilting cotton.

Lastly, I did not shirr the back of the dress, liking the look without it.  (You can see the shirring above, on the version I made when Camden was 2.)

Something to keep in mind with this pattern is that the bodice stops at an odd point on a child with a belly, and it seems quite snug around the chest - this time around, I went wayyyyy up to a size 5, though Camden isn't exactly huge and isn't even 4 years old.  And I find it fits perfectly well, LOL.

Wait'll these ceramic buttons are in a million pieces....

This was her "real" smile, apparently
Camden super loves this dress, though she clearly will appreciate it more when the air is a bit warmer.

Lastly, in case you weren't sure of her name.....

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Scrappy Maxi Top - In Which I Weave an End Almost Every Round

Nine hundred woven ends later, and here we all are.  I'm PRETTY SURE I will NEVER do another scrappy sweater/dress/tunic EVER again, thankyouverymuch.  For serious.

Like...Dead Serious.  My end-weaving was atrocious, and you'll see that in at least one picture, below, but let me move past that for un momento.

And....presenting TWO Maxi Top patterns, designed by Elena Nodel!  (Best part???  It's a FREE pattern, folks!)

I did a mini-KAL of sorts with a friend of mine, Tessa from Tessa Ann Designs.  This was her second-ever sweater she made her little girl, and it looks super fabulous, if I do say so myself!  She received a lovely gray colorway (Cascade Yarns) for Christmas, and she added some gorgeous buttons, of which I just may be envious.  Gray is a color I have yet to use for a full project (other than Camden's Color Me Pretty sweater, and it's really such a versatile color - pairing it with fun leggings, as Tessa did, using tops in millions of colors, etc.
How great are those buttons???

I know Tessa is pretty pleased with the results of her knitting, and the fit is great on her toddler, as you can see!  The only issue she came across was the difference in color in the last skein she used - the dye lots matched, but the colors were, as you can see, different.  The one cool thing is that it's gray and has more of an ombre effect, we like to say!  ;)

Also, major shout-out to Tessa because I got a head-start by a few days, as I was trying to whip through two sweaters at once.  So, I thank her for understanding when I was feeling pressure from myself in finishing projects before the baby is born (and can I say how awesome it is to have a knitting date with a friend???  Sans children???).

Camden's version was a size 4/5 and is definitely big-ish on her, especially after blocking.  I know she'll grow into it, no biggie.  I did alternate every two rounds, which was NOT cool when it came to finishing the sweater (ie: weaving in the ends).  I do wish I'd gone every three rounds, just to make my life that much easier, but whaddya gonna do?  The thing is, the "seam," so to speak, looks AWFUL.  It's quite obvious to even the un-trained eye, if I'm being frank.  I tried to weave in the ends carefully, but it was too many, and I also had tried to sort of spread the alternating over several stitches down the length of the sweater, but it did NOT help.  I'm greatly saddened by this first-world problem and think of it as an eyesore.  I don't know how others do scrappy style so well, LOL.

Try NOT to stare at that side "seam"!!!

Camden happens to LOVE this tunic, as it turns out, and she did receive a compliment today at the grocery store, aha - so...bonus!

The pattern itself is super easy to follow - though I naturally had some confusion about why the BOR (beginning-of-round) marker was moved.  I didn't see a reason for it, so, I did not do it.  That is the only thing I changed, other than trying to fancy up the sweater by casting on and binding off in colorway, rather than white trim (and let's be honest here:  I only did my bind-off in colorway because I was probably 15-20 inches TOO SHORT on yarn...which I ONLY realized after I'd bound most of it OFF, sadly).

Lastly, when I blocked it, the colorways did bleed a bit onto the white, though it's not super tragic, so, I'm over it.  I used a scrappy set I'd purchased a couple years ago from a dyer I believe is no longer in business.  The colorways are super lovely, and I've used this dyer's yarn before for Camden's Hudson hat.

Overall, the Maxi is a great pattern - you can switch things up by going tunic or dress length, straight hem or ruffled...and it clearly works super well in all solids or colorway/trim form.

A very happy girl with her dad :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Seashore the High Desert...It's Cool

Maybe if I had set up some lovely beach scene, we could all pretend it's super warm out again!!!  Even pulling out the pail and shovel may have given *some* sort of illusion...

Ah, well - this is reality!  It did hit 50-something today, and it was gorgeous outside, so, I'm not complaining.  We fit in our third bike ride of the week, putting me at 12 miles or so in three days - not bad for about 32 weeks pregnant, aha - hauling Camden an' all!  (But let's be honest:  I have been in gear 1 getting up some of the hills of late!)

I am clearly entirely off-topic at this point, which is part of a bigger issue:  I have 7-8 items I want to sew BEFORE the baby is born, and I'm realizing RIGHTTHISVERYSECOND that it will NOT happen - yikes!  I take one of my machines - and my serger - in for servicing next weekend, which is GREAT....but I can't finish projects without my serger.  I will be without that sucker for two weeks.  So...much prepping of projects in that time???

Back on topic:  I have a lovely Oliver and S Seashore Sundress to present today.  Camden loves it, and I'm glad I did step it up a wee teeeeny bit and actually just add some flat piping.  Don't ask me to do much more with any given pattern, per the bold plans stated above.  I gotta whip these suckers OUT.

Sneaking in a Sweet Poppy sweater shot, LOL

This is the third Seashore I have made Camden - always basic, nothing fancy, though I have seen some super cute ones out there.

A LONG time ago!

I love this style, because it's slim-fitting, and naturally, we can just put a tee under it if it's a bit chillier, even though it's not the BEST styling for this dress.  You'll note I made Camden enjoy the crisp air in the photos, though she IS wearing leggings, LOL.

You can just barely see the piping at the pockets, too

She said she needed a picture of her SHOE

This is the largest size - size 4 - of the smaller size set, and I'm SAD to discover that I, for some reason, do NOT have the larger size set, so, that will clearly need to be remedied.  The fit is great, as she is going to be 4 in March, though I know this size will definitely be a bit more form-fitting, come fall.  If there is errata to go along with this pattern, I've never bothered to look it up.  Everything lines up nicely, and I don't use any fancy markings - nice!  I do feel like it comes up higher on Camden - and that other people sew their button holes a teensy bit higher on the strap, but ah, well.  It all works out, LOL!

Note the flap piping peeking out a bit wider at the top  :O

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Zonen Jacob Pants - What I Call an Awesome Outfit....Half Completed

Naturally....I super LOVE these pants - soooo few pattern pieces, in my humble opinion (which, for probably foremost in my mind, as I traced two dress patterns today, where I felt there were a hundred pieces), simple construction - and great fit!

But...since we're speaking of fit, if I was what SOME might call an UNlazy person, I would make them an even better fit by taking them in at the front/shortening the waist.  With zeeee belly, Camden often has bunching with pants, as they don't have enough room to rise, LOL.  They do seem to come just over the crack of the bum, but that works for her, as she has no bum to speak off, so, excess fabric up there isn't helpful.  I wasn't able to get a super great shot of the front, and for the umpteenth time, I made my wee girl stand outside in the brrrr chilly air for pictures.  No joke - what's the deal, Bend???  It was WINDY, snowy, rainy, sunny and who knows what today.  It might be snowing again, but I'm cozy on the couch and can't be bothered to check.

The Jacob pants pattern by Zonen can be styled in soooo many ways, I think!  I chose this lovely snowflake corduroy from my stash that I'd been saving for the perfect project - yay!  I also chose fabric just for these pants when I was able to shop for deals back in October, and it's a great red-orange (tell me THIS pattern wouldn't be GREAT in red-orange??!!).  The Jacob pants definitely have that 70s vibe and can go totally casual or be dressed up a bit, depending on your choice of top...

....which is where my great FIRST WORLD SADNESS of the day comes in.  I almost didn't want to photograph the pants and post about them, as the ensemble is technically incomplete.  I had grand plans to complete the Bloomsbury sweater for the outfit, in a gorgeous blue colorway by Colour Adventures. Time, however, got the the best of me (read:  I don't know what I was thinking...I knit about one sweater a month, no faster, really), and I unhappily won't be able to knit the Bloomsbury until a few months from now, if not the fall, as I have work to do for the baby due in March.  Anyhow....enough about my slow knitter problems, as the sweater will eventually happen...which leads me to the next thing...

The pants ARE on the longer side for Camden, and, as with the last couple pairs of pants I sewed her, I hemmed at the regular hem, and then took them up an additional 2.5 inches, which might be a hair short for her, but I'll let them out again in a month, I suspect.  Because of the design, however, I had to do a shoddy job of taking them up - the bottom is wider than the leg, and I basically sort of tacked them up at four different points - which is hopefully not too obvious from the outside - rather than hand stitch them up all the way around.  With this extra length, though, Bloomsbury should work well in the fall.

All this to say that I clearly do NOT plan on styling Camden in the Silversage shrug you see in the pictures, because, though lovely, it doesn't work so well with the pants, LOL.  (Note:  Snay-up!!!  She is tooo big for that sweater now!)

Overall, the pattern was great.  I did read the pattern in English, and I found that I didn't love, perhaps, how it was set up - maybe too much scrolling around to find where I wanted to be?  I can't quite pin my finger on it, though it WAS easy to understand.  Two more thoughts:  I lined the front pockets, as it's just plain silly to me to NOT line a front pocket, though the pattern doesn't call for it.  And...I did the faux fly, though I ended up stitching part of it down and should just have stitched the whole thing down, as it's gappy on her because of the bunching, though I see this as no fault of the pattern, of course.

Also, how cool would these pants be if you added belt loops and a belt???!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Paprika In Pink - By Special Request

This project was in the making for a million years, it seemed!  The Paprika sweater by Elena Nodel is a lovely pattern and super easy to understand, but I, of course, had insane questions at a couple different points that definitely slowed down the knitting process - and the Christmas holiday intervened (what's up with that???), so, I had several days of no knitting at all.  I was quite anxious, then, to finish it within a few days after Christmas, madly whipping out the button band at my ILs and getting the sucker finished!

But...back to those insane questions!  Honestly, one of them was just me blindly skipping over the teeniest bit of instructions...way ridic.  So, let's take a SPECIAL time-out to thank Jan, who helped me out a TON with my silly questions/ramblings.

Also, an IMPORTANT PSA:  Please be smarter than I am and remember to print out ONLY the pages you need for your size - otherwise, you'll have a husband losing his mind over how your printer runs out of ink at the drop of a hat ;)

As for the yarn, I used Blissful Knits (FB page here), which I had ordered gosh...about a year ago???...specifically for this pattern.  Camden wanted a pink sweater, so, I had to make that happen, right?  The yarn worked beautifully for the pattern, and per the norm, I had to go down one needle size to get gauge for a pattern by Elena.

I'm not the fanciest of blockers, so, I'm sure the cables should have come out nicer after blocking, but ah, well.  I TRIED to buy foam and T-pins to do it correctly, but EFFFF that when foam costs a million dollars (who knew???).  I have better things to spend money on (read: bananas and chili ingredients).  Another thing that is a slight fail, unless I can remedy it at the end of the month with a stop in at Twisted, is that I used only one clasp, rather than two.  I didn't think of it when I was picking it up, and I realized upon arriving home, that I should have bought two.  Such is life, but I would like the second clasp to alleviate pressure on the first.

Anyway, here are more shots of the sweater in allll its glory!  (I honestly need better pictures of knit projects!!)
It was sooo windy out!

She MAY have been cold at this point...