Category Archives: Sweaters

Yes and no

Yes, I finished Jack’s sweater.  But no, I did not finish my dress.  Social engagements got into the way.  And there’s good and bad news.  First the bad news:  Jack has a really bad cold and is absolutely miserable today, so we cancelled the photo session.  The good news is that means I can finish my dress for next weekend’s photo appointment.  Yeah!

Jack’s sweater fits just ok.  Even though I added 1.5 inches to the length, it’s still a little short.  And it’s a little wide in the shoulders.  But I am so over knitting this sweater that it will have to do.  I will show you a picture of him in it later.  The poor little guy is not up to any glamour shots today.

I am planning to fix the bust problem by releasing the fisheye dart and lowering it.  If that works, then I will just finish the hem, vent and hand sew the lining to the zipper tape.  If not, then I will undo the side seams and lower the bust dart, but I think the fisheye dart alteration will do the trick.

Thank you for all your suggestions.  I did try all my different bras with the dress, even my pushy-uppiest bra and nothing did the trick.  Not sure why the fit on this dress is so different from my other dresses.  Oh well…

I hope you all get a chance to sew or knit today.



People, can you see what’s wrong with the above picture (other than the crappy iPhone quality)?

Two nights ago, I tried on my tweed jumper (aka B5147) and was faced with double trouble.  Let’s just say the girls are not happy.  Now do you see what’s wrong?  There is major boob smooshing going on and not the good kind.

How did this happen?  This is my TNT folks.  Not some random pattern I picked up at a bar.  B5147 and I are going steady.  I thought there might even be a ring in the near future.  I feel betrayed!  Suddenly, B5147 doesn’t return my calls and now this!  Ok, my metaphor is losing steam here.  Seriously though…  My bust dart is about 1 inch too high (looks like I have low hanging fruit, hah!) and the fisheye dart looks too high too. 

What do I do in this situation???  Is it a simple matter of sacrificing the side seam allowances and then the dress will fall to the right level with some room for the girls?  Or do I have to actually release and lower the darts?  FYI, the dress fits everywhere else.  Just the bust is the problem.  Please let me know your suggestions.

I guess all the bad food choices and little exercise are catching up to my meager metabolism, not to mention the too little sleep I’ve been getting of late.  *sigh*  Gravity and aging are not my friends.

In disgust, I turned to knitting Jack’s sweater last night and was hit with another disaster.  My gauge swatch had lied to me and my knitting was 3.5 inches too narrow.  (Is there no loyalty with yarns and fabrics any longer?  They’re just like men!)  I had to frog the entire back and start over.   However, now I am confident I am on the right track with Jack’s sweater, although I am not entirely confident I will get either project done by Sunday when our photo shoot is scheduled.  😦  

Hope your yarn and fabrics are treating you nicer than I have been treated this week.

Feeling exposed

Saturday night I was happily sewing along on my latest rendition of B5147 in plummy tweed.  I had just finished all my darts (all six of them on the shell) around 10:30pm.  I thought for a moment about starting the darts on the lining when I realized that I didn’t have matching thread for the lining.  Quelle horreur!  Not only that, but I didn’t have a matching zipper! 

That’s the problem with having a notion stash my friends.  You just assume you have all the supplies for every project under the sun.  Well, guess what?  Sometimes you don’t.  So that was my deciding factor to pack it up for the night. 

On Sunday, Jack and I headed over to Purl in Soho to peruse the yarn selection for his annual sweater vest.  I know I said that I probably wasn’t going to make his sweater this year, but I booked the appointment for our yearly pictures and I just can’t stand the thought of not having Jack in one of my sweaters.  Call it narcissism if you must!  After last year’s debacle, I made sure to get a color fast yarn that’s easily washable.  I chose Cascade Superwash 128 in a yummy forest green and an equally yummy ivory.  I still haven’t decided how to use the ivory yet, but will kind of “feel” it as I go I think.  

Jumping into the future:  Since I am an instant gratification person, I had to cast on Sunday night to see how the yarn looked.  I’m using Ann Budd’s book for the sweater vest pattern with a few modifications.  Me likey…

in progress: back of sweater


Back to the past:  Unfortunately, Purl didn’t have a large selection of thread and zippers for my new dress, so Jack and I had to walk over to P&S Fabrics to get those items.  P&S is my go to neighborhood fabric/notions store.  While their fabrics aren’t necessarily the best, you can find some bargains there occasionally and they have a decent selection of notions, buttons and yarn.  I started to panic, however, when they didn’t have an invisible zipper to match my plummy tweed.  What’s a girl to do without an invisible zipper in this modern age???  (Read: I have no idea how to insert any other kind of zipper.)  Near the zipper section, P&S has a few grubby bins filled with one-off zippers, some of them regular zippers that you could use as an exposed zipper.  Since I was already envisioning this dress as more of a jumper than an elegant sheath dress, an exposed zipper might be just the ticket!  There were two that I liked in two different lengths, 18 in and 20 in.  The pattern calls for a 20 in zipper, but an emergency call to Carolyn confirmed that an 18 in zipper would do just as well; I’m not an amazon being only 5 foot 4 inches tall.  And as it so happens, the 18 inch zipper (the one at the top of the picture with the deeper purple tape) is the one I like best with my fabric. 

Of course I have no idea how to insert an exposed zipper.  And of course, I went searching on the internet for a tutorial on how to insert one.  The tutorial I like best so far of all that I found was on the Husqvarna site (click on the exposed zipper tutorial).  That’s the one I will use tonight.

I sewed the darts in the lining last night and started to attach the lining to the dress at the neck.  I had a huge moment of inspiration at that point and am adding more detail to this simple sheath dress pattern to make it my own.  But that’s a post for another day…

I know.  I’m such a tease.  😉  

Happy sewing everyone!

I succumbed

At the advice of Sue who commented on my last post about the December Burda issue, I trotted over to Gorgeous Fabrics online and bought some fabric to assuage my need for instant gratification.  I know, you’re shaking your head at me right now.  Why is this girl buying online when she lives in NYC you’re asking yourself.  Well, even though I live in the city, it’s not very convenient from my home or work to pop over to the garment district and I haven’t sourced out a store for sweater knits here yet.  So I found the following two fabrics on sale and can’t wait to receive them. 

Feast your eyes!

This sweater knit…

Heathered Gray cotton sweater knit from Gorgeous Fabrics

 For this Burda sweater.

Burda 12-2009-119

This tweed…

Brown Harris-type tweed from Gorgeous Fabrics

for this Burda skirt.

Burda 11-2009-120

And let’s not forget one of these fabrics…

stretch suiting from paron's

for the latest Burda pencil skirt.

Burda 12-2009-112

I think I have more than enough to keep me busy now.  Don’t you think?

Happy sewing everyone!



I couldn’t resist showing a progress report picture of my shrug.  It’s going along rather quickly now and I wish I could work on it 24/7 until it’s done.  But this stupid work thing keeps getting in the way!  😉

Whisper Cardigan Sleeve

Whisper Cardigan Sleeve

This time around the measurements are right on gauge!  I guess sz 5 needles were the ticket.  I have my knitting group tonight and can’t wait to go and knit. 

I might have to go late though as I have to make some food for Jack for tomorrow.  Let me tell you though… I have not had any cooking mojo for quite some time now.  I just don’t know how my mom had a fresh dinner on the table every night.  It takes herculean efforts for me not to call for takeout.  My sister is great at getting fresh, exciting food on the table every night too.  While I can cook rather well, it’s just not my focus right now.  I am way too obsessed absorbed with knitting and sewing.


Good news!  I am going to test drive some sewing machines this weekend.  My friend Rachey (Rachael) and her husband are driving out to NJ this Saturday.  I, of course, invited myself casually mentioned that there were some sewing machine stores in that area that I’ve been meaning to check out.  Woo hoo!  They’re picking Jack and me up Saturday morning and I could come back early that same evening with a new sewing machine!!!  I could maybe even finish my top for the Spring Top Sewalong on time.  Wouldn’t that be nice!  The only fly in the ointment is Jack’s nap.  I am hoping we can time it so that he can nap in the car.  Here’s to hoping!


There’s a new class at Sew Fast Sew Easy that I am considering taking; Kenneth King is teaching a 5-class series on Moulage for a pant pattern.  The only pre-req is the class I already took, but I’m not sure I have the kind of sewing perspective or experience for this course.  What do you think?  Am I being a wuss?

Happy knitting and sewing!

To gauge or not to gauge…

I bet you thought I was going to silently slink away and never mention the Whisper Cardigan from Interweave Knits again, didn’t you?  Well, truth be told, I almost gave it up after ripping it 4 or 5 times, but I really want one.  And since sweaters don’t knit themselves, I guess I have to knit it! 

So yesterday I did some research on Ravelry to see if others were working on this pattern and if any of them had had any problems.  Well it turns out, a lot of them did!  Oh and can you believe there are 441 Ravelers working on this pattern right now?  Wow!  3 people are using the same yarn as me, albeit in different colors.  And all three had to go down in needle size to get gauge.  Aha!  I knew it!

I did a gauge swatch (again!) last night in the smaller needles (US 5) and reached a gauge of 6.75 stitches per inch.  The pattern calls for 6 stitches per inch.  So I think the difference is negligible enough to just forge on ahead and cast on for the medium size.   Here’s a picture of the bland glory that is my gauge swatch!

Gauge Swatch with US 5 needles

Gauge Swatch with US 5 needles

Wish me luck!

WIP and UFOs

Here’s a pic of my knitting work in progress.  It’s one of the bell shaped sleeves.  whisper-cardiganIf you’ll recall, I am making the Whisper Cardigan from the spring 2009 Interweave magazine.  This little shrug has caused some mighty problems already, but mostly having to do with yarn selection.  The first time I wrote about this project, I had visited my usual “go to” LYS (local yarn store), Purl.  I spoke with a new salesperson there, asking for a similar weight yarn to the one used in the magazine pattern.  She guided me based on the guage of the yarn (6 stitches to the inch), rather than the weight of the yarn suggested.  And I could tell right away that the yarns she suggested were  all wrong, worsted weights instead of fingering…  The end result wouldn’t be lacy and whispery at all.  It would be a regular ole sweater.  But I went against my better judgement and listened to her “expert” advice and bought a beautiful wool/silk blend yarn.  To be fair, the yarn is beautiful and wonderful to handle and will definitely be a beautiful garment, whatever it’s destined to be.  BUT it will NOT be the whisper cardigan.  I cast on about four times with this yarn with different size needles and never came close to a whisper look.  This is just one of the many experiences I have had recently where I should have trusted my instincts.  Note to self: Must listen to and trust myself more often.

So what’s a girl to do?  But go to a new store.  Upon the advice of a friend I checked out a new store (to me) on the UWS, Knitty City.  This store is chock full of yarns and full of helpful staff (not that Purl isn’t, just giving a review here).  It was also packed with customers too.  A good sign.  They had tons of fingering weight yarns from which to choose.  I wanted my shrug to go with everything, so I knew that I would choose a cream color and found a creamy mohair/silk blend that’s just gorgeous, by Rowan, called Kidsilk Haze

Now I have the perfect yarn, but do I have the perfect needles?  NO!  After I had cast on a few more times (don’t ask), I was knitting on DPNs (double pointed needles) on my subway commute uptown when I noticed that I had dropped stitches all the way around.  I had been so careful, but still had dropped stitches.  And the more I tried to pick them up, the more I dropped!!!  ARGH!!    An emergency trip to the yarn store across from my office later (which I am sad to say is closing due to the economy) and I had circular needles on which to keep my stitches safe. 

So now I am about halfway done through one sleeve.  It’s actually quite fast knitting if you don’t redo the same four hours of stitching 8 times over.  😉  Also, this is my first time knitting with fingering weight and I thought it would be annoying, but I am finding that it’s quite enjoyable.  The resulting fabric is nice to feel as well.  I think I will really love this sweater and get a lot of wear out of it.   Yeah!

[Insert clumsy segue here]  Which brings me to my next topic…  UFOs.  Do you have a lot of UFOs?  I usually don’t.  As a general rule, I normally don’t start a new project until my current project is finished.  However, this winter was a different story.  I started two projects for myself that I have yet to finish, a bulky winter sweater and a pair of socks.  I have not finished them.  They were both started somewhat contemporaneously.  They both involve new techniques and some self design elements (because, silly me, why would you want to follow the pattern exclusively???).  So I think my problems in both instances have to do with my confidence level in my own design ability (which I would say is non-existent).  And now I have started a new project, but I think this one will definitely be finished as I am not going off the pattern reservation.  And I really need it, whereas I don’t need a winter sweater anymore now that spring is here (right?  spring is here now?). 

So my questions to you are:  1.  Do you have UFOs?  2.  If so, why or how did they become UFOs?  3.  Do you think you’ll ever finish them?

Re: Sewing…  Still wondering which BWOF pattern to use for my Kokka purple print fabric.  Any suggestions?