Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Four Score and Many Moons Ago, I Sewed a Modkid Sydney

Holy cats, did I sew this Modkid Sydney soooo long ago!  I can't recall - maybe it was late last fall, but definitely before February, LOL.  I honestly figured Camden wouldn't get to wear it until she was closer to five. My bad :O  She begged to wear it yesterday, and I was all, "That will be TOO BIG for you, but whatever."

I was wrong.  Oops.  As you can see, it's definitely a loose-fitting dress, and it's her third garment made from this pattern.  Though there is an option to do short sleeves or a shirt option - or a different hood, even - I always do the same style.  It's just fun...and my one chance, generally speaking, to enjoy mixing up fabrics.  I'm not super brave, clearly, and always choose coordinates from the same line, but a woman can feel like a risk-taker, right??

After a bit of sleuthing, I know now/remember which fabric line I used, and it was the Monsterz line, designed by Michele Brummer Everett, for Cloud9 Fabrics.  I originally bought the fabric from Hawthorne Threads, and they've always shipped quickly to me!

Also, great last-minute photography session, LOL....we were outside the library and having a spot of food before heading inside for story time.  I almost feel my phone did a better job taking pictures than my camera has lately...ah, well.

Weirdo face #1

Weirdo face #2
The pattern is insanely easy, so, it's something fun to whip up if you have enough yardage of several  fabrics that work nicely together.  My only secret dream is that the neck/hood seam wasn't exposed...which I guess I could make happen if I sewed a full bodice lining.  Otherwise, you can't ask for an easier pattern that has a neat look to it.

And that's that, folks....as you can see below, it's a favorite :)

Also....silly guy!  Somebody was causing trouble while we were taking pictures!  He seemed to think he eats bagels.  Too bad he has a mean mom, LOL.
Wearing his Sunnyside sweater and his sister's old Hudson Hat

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ssshhhh....It's the Whispering Pines: A Shawl KAL

I will start off by saying, ahhhh!  This shawl is a gift for a friend, and I'm super nervous.  I've never gifted something I've spent so much time knitting on.  I hope she loves it and finds a use for it!  It's a tricky thing, knitting for others.  Many people just don't love hand-knits, which is CRAZY, LOL, but totally fine.  I just never want to be THAT person - gifting non-useful items, of any sort, to a friend or family member.

Insanely lovely color!
So, here we are:  Whispering Pines by Molly Klatt of A Homespun House podcast.  This is the first shawl pattern she's designed for sale, and it's a super easy knit.  I finished mine just as Terri (the same friend who knitted along with me on the Modern Pixie here) was starting up her lace section....she's quite speedy, as she started later than I did.  I invited (pressured/bossed her into...whatever) Terri to knit along with me again, as I told her she needed something fun and pretty in her life to sort of jazz things up!  I'm glad she agreed to knit along, as....HOLLA!  Hers is so pretty!

Ah!  Terri got one of those great full-shawl pictures I'm so clueless about taking ;)
The pattern has a simple textured stitch involving purls throughout the main body, and the lace section is easy to memorize.  It did involve one stitch I'd never done before - and I did spend one row doing it slightly wrong, so, I ripped back and re-started (well...and re-started 1 or 2 more times, as it turned out my stitch count at that point was wrong).
The best representation of the blue colorway
I did shorten my shawl, for fear of running out of yarn.  (I did this because I also wanted to have a full three lace repeat sections.)  I wasn't actually sure of the base of my yarn, which meant I didn't know the yardage - it was either a sad 380 yards of yarn....or a happy 420 yards, LOL.  And I never did weigh it in order to figure it out.  I used Black Trillium on whatever base in whichever colorway, aha!  I know I bought this yarn years ago at Twisted in Portland, but that's apparently all I know.  (They no longer carry Black Trillium, though Happy Knits does!)  I did go with a size 5 needle, and part of me wishes I'd gone with a size 4 because of how deep (or long, vertically), the shawl is.  It will probably look better worn differently than my Evaporate, for example.  I think I need shawl placement lessons, LOL.

Terri used Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Wood Violet, and she went with size 6 needles - which, in her case, gave her a looser gauge, but she likes the fabric, and she did shorten her shawl, width-wise, like I did.  From the pictures, it does seem my shawl is longer, top to bottom, but it could be the blocking, too.  She enjoyed the pattern and also found it easy to follow/great for a first shawl.  Holla at successfully finishing her first shawl!  (And insanely fast, by the way!)

I WILL say there might be fifty too many picots for me, though :O  When there are that many, it takes eighty years to bind off, and I think I like the look of fewer picots, but I wasn't sure how to change that (read: didn't want to bother taking the time to figure it out), so, I left it.  As for Terri, she said she didn't block out all the picots carefully, so, they don't fully stand out, but I think it looks great, and it's always something that can be fixed later!

Molly did have inspiration for this shawl, and it comes from her spending time on her grandparents' property when she was younger, coupled with Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. If you watch her video podcast, then you know she loved spending time with her grandmother when she was growing up, knitting and talking, and Molly has had her grandmother on the podcast a couple of times, which is neat.  The lace section of the shawl is a tree/pinecone motif, representative of the area around the house her grandparents used to live in.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It's a Sunshine Day....Everybody's Wearing a Sunnyside!

Let me count the ways, folks.....I LOVE this sweater!  It seems I love all the sweaters I'm knitting the kids!  And there ARE reasons, clearly....I mean, LOOK a the little guy!

(Pause for this brief PSA:  the wind was - I KID YOU NOT - 567 mph today, so, pardon my crazy pictures and excuse the shadows.  This is Tiberius's FIRST official blog post on his own, aha, and while he happily smiles, I am not a baby photographer.)

This is the Sunnyside (FREEFREEFREE pattern) by Tanis Lavalee of Tanis Fiber Arts.  I have some of her yarn for a future sweater for ME, but I have knit nothing else in her yarn, and I'm dying to.  This is my first pattern of hers to knit - and I'm beyond excited to one day knit the Lady Sunnyside that she recently published!
Stealing leaves
Enough about all that nonsense, though - check this thing out!  I knit it with marigoldjen (again, I can't say enough about Jenny's gorgeous colorways!!!  If you haven't checked her shop out yet, PLEASE do!  She is the nicest dyer ever, and she totally works with you if you have any questions/special requests...besides simply dying all that lovely yarn.)

The reason this sweater is great is that you can knit it with ONE skein of fingering weight...at least the two smallest sizes, LOL.  So, I ordered the colorway Anchors Aweigh on the BFL/nylon base - and here is my project page.

Tried in the shade, which was silly
Anyway, the pattern is LOVELY - and I like that it's free, but cute...with details!  You can girl or boy it up as you please - cables or a lace edging.  It is something likely best knit in a solid or semi-solid, as I did.  I had no issues, other than knitting TOO far before the sleeve split, LOL (because why NOT?), so, I had to rip out.  Make sure to use stitch markers as needed, in order to keep track of your cables, and you'll be fine.

Also, I HAD to use Tessa Ann buttons...naturally!!!  As always, Steve and Tessa worked with me, as it's so tricky to find just the right type of button for a wee sweater - and for boys!  They offer so many designs, but I wanted to keep it sort of simple, yet fun.  I love these tiny dinosaurs!
Capturing the colorway just inside the doorway

Those dinosaur buttons are HARD to photograph in any sort of light, aha!

Before I added buttons...a few weeks ago!

Not much else to say - I just love it!  And they are both wearing hats (I knit Tiberius's here) knit from the Baby's First Hat pattern by Blue Sky Alpaca (that I always modify into bigger sizes).  Camden also happens to be wearing her Figgy's Sunki dress (the first one I ever made...two years ago - wayyy too big then, LOL), though you can't see it well in today's pictures.  (And while I can find the second Sunki I made camden, I can find no original photos of the one she wore today.  So, I'll a photo for the fun of it!)
Forever ago - June 2012!
And now...in the works will be an Anders sweater, though I need to figure out my gauge issue, as I don't want to go smaller than a size 3 needle, etc.  Also, in sewing news, I do have an Oliver and S Explorer vest to whip up as a gift for someone ;)

Friday, October 10, 2014

So Fancy! The Bloomsbury Sweater

Say helllloooo to the Bloomsbury sweater by Svetlana Volkova!

Honestly, peeps!  What an PRETTY sweater for such an EASY pattern!  I vote y'all should go out and knit one up now ;)  I did, however, put my right hand through some rough times, as I was trying to rush finish this sweater, what with all the knitting I have on the docket.  I really should take another knitting break, but I want to finish my Whispering Pines...and then the Cabernet cowl and hat set I have planned for Camden...and an Anders for Tiberius.  The list, as usual, goes on.

I had purchased this blue yarn LAST year in order to match these pants.  (Don't ask me while I failed to get photos THIS time with those very same pants, aha!)  It is the insanely gorgeous Colour Adventures Dia Worsted in the Glacier colorway.  In the size 6, I used just BARELY over two skeins.  If I'd done short sleeves, I totally wouldn't have needed the third skein; as it is, I only cracked that sucker open when I was basically at the ribbing of the second sleeve, LOL.  And, as always, I likely lengthened the sweater.  I am in love with it.  If you can't tell, aha!  Naturally, also, I'm in love with Elena's colorways; Glacier is no exception.  I'd realized my yarn stash was lacking in blue, and I'm glad I went with this!

My ONE mistake is in NOT lengthening the shoulder/yoke/whatever it's called....as I'd sized up because of the yarn I used and the gauge I was at - so, I should have lengthened the top, as it cuts pretty closely into Camden's poor armpit.  Ugh - another 4 rows would have been nice.

Well...and I lie.  I wish I'd used size 4 needles on the sleeve ribbing.  I did do that on the hem ribbing, for which I'm glad.  I had used size 6 needles for the main body and sleeves, and I always think it's a good idea to go down two sizes for ribbing.

Anyway, I have decent lighting in the pictures, even if there aren't great shots, and I tried to pair the sweater with three different bottoms - it is quite versatile, which is awesome!

Lastly, these are two recent pictures of the little guy!  
The little guy eats everything...
On a hike up at Todd Lake

Camden....Ben and Mia??? A Lily Bird Studio Pattern!

A gorgeous Friday afternoon...and even better, as I finished a pair of pants for Camden - the Ben and Mia pants by Lily Bird Studio.  I'm not sure when, exactly, I purchased this pdf pattern, but when I realized I had next to no tracing paper left - and needed to sew SOMEthing, I found this in my files.

That fuzzy was invisible when I was taking photos, LOL

I will start out by saying that this is NOT my favorite colored purple - a jewel tone.  I have hopes to buy a better purple some day soon from Fabric.com, but it's what I had.  Secondly, I almost gave up hope when I had to tape together the pieces, as there is only ONE label for each pattern piece....so, out of the six pieces I cut out for each pants piece, only ONE section was labeled "pants front" and so on.  It didn't take TOO much brain power, but I do think there needs to be labels on each piece of paper or letter match-up points.
Sorry about the strap sloppiness, LOL
The pattern itself goes together easily, and the fit is okay.  I often find with Camden, pants have an awkward fit - she does have a flat bum, but they often seem to be wide across the front - well, or that, coupled with the fact that her belly sticks out a bit, so, pants ride lower.  This fact makes for awkward pictures, as it wrinkles funny, etc.  One might suggest I go to the effort of making a muslin or somesuch - but not in this lifetime will I make a muslin for a wee, cheap pair of pants, aha!  (This will not be the case when I make her jeans....)

Because I was in the zone of "let's get 'er done," I am glad I had buttons on hand for the button tabs - though I know (I promise I do!) that bigger buttons would look nicer on the tabs.  But hey - let's just say I was awesome for using something within my stash.

In keeping with the theme of not truly loving these pants, I left the flat piping wide, rather than bringing it in....and I left the piping on the back pockets, though I am NOT kidding myself that it looks good.  I know there is a trick for not putting it all the way up to the corner before attaching the lining and outer pocket piece together, but I didn't want to rip out and think on it.  We'll just say it gives the back a splash of color and be done with it.  Also, I will say the back pocket piece itself is rather large for a small person.
That is some insanely wide piping - oops
Overal, the pants are cute enough, and they work, which is great.  Am I in love with the pattern itself or the job I did?  Not really, but that's all right - moving on to bigger and better things, aha!  (Well, one can hope!)

Also, Matt is building a tiny chair for camden.  He is planing down the fiddle wood here.
Matt wants me to mention he has no good working bench, so, he has to slave away on his knees