Category Archives: Accessories

Back from the dead

and with the living now.  Apologies for the long absence.  I came out of my malaise a week ago, but have been extremely busy.  I have a few finished projects to show you…

I was able to complete Jack’s sweater in time for his Christmas card picture photo shoot.  And he looked super duper cute with the biggest smiles I have ever seen.  Unfortunately these photos aren’t available for me to post on the blog as they were taken by a professional photographer and I don’t have digital files of them.  But to satisfy (albeit somewhat unsatisfactorily) your curiosity, here’s the sweater without a little 2 yr old in it.

Jack's 2009 Xmas Sweater

And I completed the commission.  I made my first successful pompom for the cute little hat and knitted a pair of mittens as well.  The mittens need some practice.  I loved the gusset for the thumb, but the actual thumb part itself, I found a little lacking in finesse.  Maybe it’s the scale for small child, I’m not sure.  Maybe it would be better for an adult.  Without further ado, the commission.  Both hat and mittens patterns are from Ann Budd’s book, “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns.”

mittens and hat commission

I have worked on the trench coat, but will post the progress on the trench sew along later today.  Check back after 5pm to see my progress.  I think I need about two more evenings of intensive work on it before it will be finished.  I never said I was fast.  😉

Also, in somewhat sewing related news, I did a major overhaul of my apt/sewing studio.  Story and pictures tomorrow…  I know, I’m such a tease. 

I’m happy to be back and have missed being connected to you all.  I just have been overwhelmed with projects and too little time to blog and comment on other people’s blogs.  But hopefully my time commitments will ease up. 

Ha, right!  *mired in delusions*

Happy sewing!

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Hiding out

My apologies for being absent the last week.  I have been under the weather morale-wise.  Although my ennui has nothing to do with sewing, I haven’t sewn a thing since my last lesson with Thea where we figured out what was wrong with the raglan sleeves on my trench (more on that later). 

I have been knitting though.  I started the commission and my son’s yearly sweater.  I find knitting, especially patterns I’ve done before, very therapeutic.  It builds my confidence while keeping the feelings of accomplishment going. 

Hopefully I will snap out of this mental malaise soon. 

Happy knitting and sewing to you all.

My first commission

A co-worker saw the hat and scarf  I knitted for Jack recently and requested a hat for her niece.  She bought the same yarn, Koigu merino wool, but in another colorway.  Isn’t this pretty?

Koigu pinks purples

Instead of payment we are bartering talents.  She’s a fantastic Italian cook and Jack’s favorite dish is pasta fagiole.  So she’s going to make him a big pot of it in exchange for the hat.  Perfect!

Happy knitting and sewing!

Hat’s off to you!

Haha.  I finished Jack’s winter hat last night.  It’s pretty cute.  I thought it might be a little big and tried it on Jack this morning.  And…

I was right.  😦  Not by much.  And not enough to do over, but a little big.  I did something new this year.  For the topper, I made a six stitch I-cord about 3 inches long and then tied it into a knot.  I think it looks pretty cute (if I do say so myself).  Again, the pattern was from Ann Budd’s book, “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns.”

Now without further ado… the finished project…

Jacks 2009 hat

Jacks hat being worn

The mittens are next on the list, but I may not get to them until next week.  I have to keep working on my trench coat at the Trench Sew Along.

Happy knitting and sewing!

And now for something completely different

It’s almost October.  And that means it’s time for me to start knitting Jack’s winter scarf, hat and mittens, not to mention his yearly sweater.  I dragged Jack to Purl yesterday to buy some yarn for these endeavors.  He was pretty good natured about it, especially in light of the fact that he woke up at 4:30am and didn’t take a nap at all yesterday.  So as reward for a completely sleepless day, I decided to walk to Soho and fondle buy some yarn. 

Here’s what I picked up…

Jacks yarn 2009

 

For Jack’s scarf, I am using a pattern I found on Liesl’s blog, Disdressed.  I made it last year and it was great!  I love how you thread one end of the scarf through the other end so it doesn’t come undone and kids can’t pull them off.  Ingenious!  I started the scarf last night and should be done tonight.  I am using the multi-colored yarn for the scarf, hat and mittens.  Here’s the progress thus far…

Jack scarf 2009

 

The burgundy and blue yarn is for Jack’s sweater.  I am going to use the same sweater vest pattern as last year as it was really easy and fast.  I bought a book called The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patternsby Ann Budd and it’s very clever.  You can use whatever yarn you want, whatever size needles to get the guage of any of the projects in the book.  Very cool. 

Here are some shots of Jack’s last two Christmas sweaters:

Jack xmas 1a

 

jacks 2008 sweater

 

While I do have a picture of the scarf I made last year, I don’t have any of the hat or mittens though.  😦

P1010001

 

Ok, it was a marathon day and I finished the scarf before I finished this post, if you can believe it?!?!  Because I scarcely can.   Here’s the finished scarf in all it’s glory.   The second picture shows my finger inside the hole made by splitting the 22 stitches onto two different needles (dpn’s) and knitting them separately (you have to cut the yarn after knitting one side to pick up the stitches on the second needle).  Then when both sides are equal in length, you knit them onto a single needle again and thereby closing off the hole or slit.  Ingenious!  The third photo shows one scarf end threaded through the hole or slit of the second end.

 Jacks 2009 scarf finished

Jacks 2009 scarf slot

Jacks 2009 scarf tied

I have already cast on for the hat now.  Using Ann Budd’s book (referenced above).  Just a simple hat knit in the round.  The yarn will give the interest.

Happy knitting and sewing everyone!

Sew much to write, sew little time…

Ahhhh, staycations.  They’re not all they’re cracked up to be.  I gotta tell you, my hat is off to anyone who can be a full time SAHM.  I don’t think I could do it.  I knew being a single parent would be hard, but being an old single parent is harder.  I just don’t have the energy for a toddler.  Wow!  Of course it would help if I went to bed at a decent hour.  Jack is going 240 from the time he wakes up to the time he goes to bed.  I know this is a cliche, but I wish I could have that energy bottled for myself.  Sheesh!  I was looking forward to going back to work today just to rest up.  😉

Anyway, I have so much to tell you and so many posts planned.  But first the exciting stuff (not that all of it isn’t exciting), I met up with Trena and Cidell (pic of all three of us on Trena’s blog) while they were in NYC last last Friday and met up with Karen last Wednesday.  It was so much fun to meet these women, whose blogs I have been reading for over a year now.  It was so cool to talk shop with them and ask them questions, get their opinions on fabric choices.  I have to admit that while shopping with them all, I went overboard with my purchases from the sheer excitement.  And then, Carolyn wrote about the Vera Wang fabric sale at fabric.com and my stash has just doubled in the last two weeks.  Crazy!!! 

With Trena and Cidell, we met up for lunch first at an ok chinese place, Ginger, in the garment district.  Then we headed over to Kashi’s at Metro Textile.  I was pretty restrained there that day, but promised him I would come back the next Wednesday with Karen.  Funnily, I saw the sweater knit that I bought from Ann of Gorgeous Fabrics there.  And even more funny and unbeknownst to me at the time, I bought the same navy stretch cotton from Kashi that I bought from Ann.  Originally, I had bought yardage from Ann to make capris and shorts from my new sloper pattern (thanks to my moulage class with Kenneth King), and while I was shopping with T & C, I got the urge to make a navy skirt.  I didn’t realize they were one and the same fabrics until I went home and saw them together.  Very funny!  From Kashi’s we went to Spandex House; I’ve never shopped there previously.  I wasn’t in the market for their stuff right now, but at least now I know where they are and what they have.  Unfortunately, I had to bid T & C adieu after Spandex House.  I had a lot of errands to do on my day off before vacation.   

On Wednesday, I met Karen at Kashi’s and continued to buy more fabric.  Shocker!  I went a little crazy.  He had more new stuff than the previous Friday.  I promise I will show pics of my hauls altogether as soon as I receive the fabric.com package.  From Metro Textiles we went to Pacific Trims and I was in ribbon and button heaven.  I had forgotten how much I loved my grandma’s button collection when I was little (where did that collection end up???).  I wanted to take them all home with me.  But instead, I had to settle for the cutest little round buttons made of coconut shell of all things.  I think I’ll use them on my navy capri pants.  Then Karen took me to a store where she had found batiste at a great pricepoint, H&M Fabrics; I bought 5 yds.  But, as Karen said, the best part of the day was seeing the Isabel Toledo exhibit at the FIT museum.  We weren’t allowed to take any pictures, but oh my was it delicious.  I wasn’t really aware of Ms. Toledo before the Obama Inauguration outfit, but all of her work is amazing.  I wouldn’t personally wear all of it, but they were one and all a marvel of sewing techniques and so well made.  Just stunning.  She even called herself a seamstress.  If any of you come to NYC in the next little while, I would definitely put this exhibit on your list of things to do.  It was just mind-blowing.  

While shopping, Trena mentioned she was looking for avocado colored silk jersey.  Well I saw some at a great price when I was H&M Fabrics with Karen.  I emailed Trena later that day asking her if she wanted me to pick some up for her when I was in the hood again.  She wrote back right away saying yes!  So, on Friday Jack and I power subwayed up to the garment district and back in under an hour!!!  I am mailing her fabric off today.

Since my fabric extravaganzas of late, I have been itching to sew clothes.  But first, I had to finish the quilt for Ryan.  And with my Mom’s help (she was in town last week), I did just that!  I am mailing it today too.  I am so excited to have completed this project.  It was way out of my comfort zone, but I learned a lot of new skills:

  • Used a walking foot (that foot is über-cool!)
  • Sampled and used decorative stitches on my new Emerald 183 (love the cute stars stitch!)
  • How to do sashiko embroidery (love it:  very relaxing + quick to do = very satisfying)
  • That I should use a longer stitch  and special quilting thread when machine quilting (who knew?)
  • How to bind a quilt (thank God I didn’t sew it by hand — I would be still stitching that thing while Ryan was in college)
  • how labor intensive and detail oriented quilt making is (and I didn’t even piece the top?!?!?!!!!)
  • I’m sure there’s more that I learned, but I can’t think of anything more right now

Will I do another quilt in the future?  I don’t know.  I won’t rule it out, but I definitely did not get the quilting bug from this project.  It’s a long process and I think I like getting results a lot quicker than that.  However, that being said, I did love doing the sashiko hand embroidery and I loved knowing that a special little baby boy would be lovingly placed in and on this quilt and that it would be used.  I hope they like it.

Wanna see the finished quilt?  Here are several views:

Finished Quilt full view

Binding with Emerald 183 star stitch

Binding with Emerald 183 star stitch

Do you see the baby's initials and birthdate on the rockets?

Do you see the baby's initials and birthdate on the rockets?

Quilt Backing

Quilt Backing

Closeup of shooting star

Closeup of shooting star

 

I know I still owe you the wrap up on the Kenneth King class.  I’m going to work on it tomorrow.  Tonight I want to finish my first project apres quilt, the 20 minute skirt (which is now on the 3rd hour of work).

Happy sewing!

Quick quilt update

Now try to say that three times fast!  I am struggling with the last Kenneth King class write up, so please be patient with me while I try to figure out how to adequately explain what I learned.  In lieu of said post, I thought I’d show you the progress I’ve made with little Ryan’s quilt.

I’ve finished machine quilting, and a little over half of the hand quilting.  I sewed a diamond pattern with my sewing machine creating four full diamonds and 8 half diamonds around the four full ones.  I hand quilted two ringed planets and two rockets in the full diamonds so far.  Two nights ago, I designed a reasonable facsimile of a shooting star graphic for the outer edges of the quilt.  The shooting part of the star will cover two of the half diamonds in an arcing shape, crossing over one of the machine quilting lines separating the two half diamonds.  I asked my mom if it was never “done” (i.e., not allowed or against the rules) to hand quilt across the machine quilting and she said she had never heard that you couldn’t or shouldn’t.  So I just went with that idea and really like how it turned out.  I have no drawing skills whatsoever, but I think I was successful with creating a feeling of movement and I like how the star isn’t perfect.

planet

shooting star

shooting star detail

I have three more shooting stars left to hand quilt on the other outer three quadrants and then it’s on to the binding.  I decided to go with the stars embroidery stitch that came with my Emerald 183 for the binding and Mom approved the choice.

I do have one question for you all and I’ll ask my Mom too:  I used one long thread to embroider the “shooting” part.  So that means there are long stitches on the back of the quilt.  I am concerned that a baby will get fingers or toes caught in these long stitches.  How should I handle this potential problem?  Should I tack down those long stitches with small ones that aren’t evident on the front of the quilt?  Any advice would be very welcome.

Happy sewing!