Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall Equinox and Inspiration.

Dear readers,

Today is the first day of Fall.

I am busy knitting away on two pair of new socks (my first and I love them!!).  BTW, I absolutely love my knitted Funky Grandpa Sweater.  It's been hot but I've been wearing it as much as possible!  Who knew -- that I would knit sweaters I actually wear.
Above, Funky Grandpa sweater, blogged here, my painstaking sewn princess seam blouse, Butterick 5678 blogged here, and pencil skirt fom my sloper, blogged here.

In the meantime, I'm thinking about some Fall sewing.  I see the trends as plaids, dark florals, and bomber jackets, to mention a few -- here are some pictures of Fall inspiration (yes, I guess I need to link this blog to Pinterest):

Beautiful, but pricey bomber style jacket form Anthropologie, link here,   I love it!  But at 440.00US I think I can make just as good a version (plus, bombers present problems for my figure - reverse triangle/apple).

Below, from the blogger, Zanita Morgan - mixing plaid and dark floral - fabulous.  I don't think I could pull this off.  I love her blog and I'm not one to follow fashion blogs.
Below, I love this 1940s fashion from the STARZ series Outlander - Wonderful women's suit, I wish I had a better picture, but that jacket is fantastic with the detailing.
 Interesting use of plaid from Sarah Jessica Parker -- although this is a bit literal for my taste.
Dear bloggers, what are your inspirations right now?


P.S.  I'm thinking of starting a travel blog -- for my friends/co-workers I have a series of travel guides for certain cities (Monterey, Oahu, Olympic Peninsula, San Diego, Jacksonville), and if so, I am considering monetizing it -- something I would never do for this hobby/love of fabric arts blog.  Or, maybe because my sophistication/expertise level is much higher for travel?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dr. Who Scarf and some Alaska photos. . .

Dear readers,

I apologize for not posting more frequently.  You've probably been wondering what I've been up to.  Well, life, really.  Extensive traveling for work (DC, Alaska, Monterey, Seattle and San Diego), and battling a really bad sinus/chest infection that just wouldn't go away.  So, I'm back - taking some time off this Fall, and hopefully -- BLOG ON!

Below -- six months of working with Acrylic yarn from Hobby Lobby (not fun!) but a good rendition of the Dr. Who Scarf (free pattern from Dr. Who Scarf website.
 Just in time for Halloween this fall!  Obviously, J. is not that excited to pose (although he does love the scarf).
Did I mention we've been having a heat wave in California -- average temps 85 degrees or so -- our hottest summer in Ventura since 1931 (and we don't have air).  So on each of these trips I was expecting cooler temps (and failed!  It was an exceedingly hot and beautiful summer everywhere).

I've got quite a few projects in the works -- a vest for J. (UFO right now), need to make/finish seersucker gray vest and skirt before Fall, the Madeline Tosh Honey Cowl (about 30% finished), a new pair of socks in the Lorna's Laces Spats, color way (below).  This will be my first pair of socks.  It's finally just in the few days cooled down just a tad and I feel that I can get my sewjo/knitjo  back.
 Here are some pretty pictures from Alaska! Below, some riverbed hiking near Exit Glacier.

I had a horrible head cold coming on a the time, but still went hiking.    I think I was infected by some cruise passengers staying at lodging in Alaska (well, I always blame the cruisers).  This is down in Seward (which is STRONGLY recommended -- previously I've always headed North and not on the Kenai peninsula).  I was supposed to do a fantastic hike called Harding Ice Field  -- but it turned out I was just too ill.  Darn it.  I had about half my gear with me too for some short backcountry.   If you are interested in Harding Ice Field, I thought this was a great blog post/Description of the Hike.
 Above, a gorgeous hike just outside Anchorage Alaska at Eagle River Nature Center.  The roads were being worked on so most of this longer hike we didn't see hardly anyone.   The picture is at Echo Bend Campsite (we did Albert Loop, the older Iditarod trail (Crow Pass Trail to Echo Bend) and then return via Dew Mounds.  Wonderful.
This is down in Seward near a place really fun for families (well, that's what it looked like) for camping called Miller's Landing on Resurrection Bay.   This would be the view outside your tents.
 Above, my lodging -- which was reasonable in price and really brilliant.
 I did a short cruise (3 hours or so) and saw some whales!  This was a pair, I believe, of Blue Whales.
I was really just enamored at the wonderful town of Seward and now must to go back!


Friday, June 13, 2014

LA Blogger Meetup tomorrow

Dear readers,

I'm so ready to meet all the sewing bloggers at the LA Sewing Blogger Meetup hosted by Erin from Miss Crayola Creepy.  Thank you Erin!

It's tomorrow at Cafe Midi at 11:30.
We are going to have lunch and visit The Fabric Store although Mood is closed for remediation of some earthquake damage.  BTW, the said earthquake occurred about two hours after the last time I visited Mood - and of which I had a premonition that was very strong (& I don't really even believe in premonitions)).   Perhaps I felt the vibrations.

So excited -- more posts to come and hopefully some good pictures as well!



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fetching Fingerless Mitts -- A Tule Fog companion.

Dear readers,

While I procrastinated on the buttons to my Funky Grandpa sweater,  I started an easy but gorgeous fingerless mitts patterns.  Why fingerless mitts?  Well,  I've given all my mitts as gifts - with the exception of one snug pair.
I finished the pair above on the flight to and from DC from LAX (holding a Kalapawai Market Coffee Cup, Kailua, HI).
 Here are the mitts above (with the cowl behind them).  The pattern is Fetching.
Here was my initial cowl -- which I still love and have not blocked.  I have worn it a dozen times at least.
The yarn I used was Fyberspates Scrumptious Aran in Moss.  It is a silky alpaca, wonderful and I love it.  One pattern note is that I recommend binding off with a smaller ribbing on the needle.  My are a bit loose at the fingers (and I took out the design originally with the pattern as far as the little ribs on the bind off).

I'm meeting with some of the LA Sewing Bloggers for a meet up next Saturday -- so I'm pretty excited!  I'm still trying to get my sew-jo on!



Monday, June 2, 2014

Grandpa Sweater - Completed!!

Dear readers,

I've been done with the Funky Grandpa Sweater Pattern for about a month BUT I was afraid of the afterthought buttonholes.  More on that (a bit later on my project review on My Ravelry Project Page ).  Let me just say cutting your knitting is scary.  Now, shiny things:
 I'm so thrilled I got this sweater completed.   I love it!!  I took a class -- which took about 8 weeks to complete.   My instructor is a sweetie -- the wonderful Anne from Anacapa Fine Yarns-- her blog is Moonlight Stitches and her revelry page is Moonlight Stitches on Ravelry.   I will post a pattern review on Ravelry with some suggested changes I made.
 I made the pattern much longer so I can rock that librarian look at work (my favorite!)
 So, I'm thrilled with the result.
 Here are some of the photos from the dress form (I could have gone smaller - I made a M).  I've lost some weight in the last two months.

 Below, a wonderful button from Mood (I love Mood).  I bit large for the sweater, if you ask me, after the fact.  I was originally going to make at least two to three of these since this is my go to sweater for work (although RTW I wear cashmere -- this is super wash merino wool.

The cuff at the button had an odd feature -- it required double yarn - I'm not sure if I like the bulk yet.

I learned a ton of new techniques but my favorite was German Short Rows.  I may do a tutorial for for the afterthought buttonholes since I couldn't find any video tutorials on the web.  This technique was difficult to understand spatially. . . . really hard to figure out -- luckily I had knitting expert Anne to thank to walk me through them after the class ended.

Since I got my knit-jo on -- my sew-jo was on hold.  Now, I'm trying to bring it back.



Sunday, May 25, 2014

Help with my SewJo!

Hello readers,

I'm planning two blog posts on finished knitted items -- the grandpa sweater and also the fingerless mitts.  But I desperately need my sewing mojo (sew-jo)  back.  I've been traveling extensively and at the same time dealing with some family emergencies.

Well, a few weeks ago -- I did buy a new pair of glasses -- this is my Gregory Peck - To kill a Mockingbird look, as demonstrated below in seersucker (this reminds me of the wonderful grey seersucker in my stash.  I have got to start sewing. . . uggg!):
I'm glad to be home and nursing quite the nasty head cold caught in Hawaii!  Day 4 1/2.

I love reading all about my fellow blogger's sewing results while I have been traveling!  Now, I'm hoping some of that excitement transfers over to my intentions.



Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Dear readers,

Sorry for the absence -- I've been so busy traveling for work (not an excuse)!  I did complete my funky grandpa sweater and some fingerless mitts.  I have backlogged blog posts for sure!  I'm onto sewing as soon as I return from Hawaii this week.

Wishing all those mothers out there a Happy Mother's Day!
I always did envy those abs!  My mother was a debutante and dressed in Betty Draper style until the early to mid-70s.


Monday, March 10, 2014

UFO finally finished: New Look 6227/0913 Cape

Dear readers,

Sorry for the delayed postings I've been traveling for work.  And, some news to report.  About three weeks ago I finished a cape I delayed on.  I didn't like it at the finish -- but as we draw closer to St. Patrick's Day I am finding myself liking it much more!
I really thought I didn't like this cape at first.  I had so many problems in the execution.  I made the underlining too thick, and the cape felt very tight.  There are bumps on my shoulders that no amount of ironing (with appropriate tools/hams, etc) could eliminate.  I ended up making the inserts the correct length.  I tried following the pattern review tips to shorten but I felt they were too limiting.
 I do think the back length is good.  I had a limited amount of fabric -- so I could either make a cape or a skirt.  I'm regretting not making the skirt however.
 Why, oh dear god why, did. I. pick. red. lining?  Ok, now I remember it was just before Christmas -- that was very very ill timed. I would recommend something a bit less festive.
Here is the picture on my PGM form with the hand-sewn frog closures.   Would I make this again -- probably not.  The Sewing Lawyer's Fabulous Cape- -that is what I should have executed.  I sometimes just want something to hide in comfortable.  On the other hand, J. loves it -- very vintage feel.  But, I think it will get limited wear, unfortunately.

How am I coming on the Funky Grandpa -- well, dear readers I am scheduled to finish this by the end of March (blocked and all).  I am loving it so far but it is ALOT of knitting.
Great sweater -- I thought I would immediately make two or three -- but I can see taking a small knitting break (to sew).
Finally, I'm working on a vest for J. for stage -- New Look 6166, Style C out of Tan Tweed (upper right corner photo in brown or on male model).
P.S.  I made a fabulous trip to Mood, I'll have to tell you all about it!  Here is a sneak peak below:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A new sweater, and discussion about trends

Dear readers,

I've been busy knitting away. . . I'm in the middle of the Funky Grandpa Sweater -- and it's very very exciting -- my first sweater:

All my projects can be found on my Ravelry page, linked HERE.  I'm busy customizing the fit as I sew.   

I've also finished my first stranding project that needs to be blocked - -the Wave-O-Saurus hat:
I'll post more pictures as soon as the blocking is finished - it needs a bit of shaping. 

And, I had some more yoga socks (that I gave to my Pilates instructor -- I think she was bit aghast:)). Knitting projects as gifts can be iffy!

As far as sewing, I am finishing up the lined green wool cape, I cut out a tweed vest for J. when he plays with his band (I'm stuck and need more bemberg from Mood) and finally, I do need to make some repairs. 

I've learned a little bit about a new trend in denim and jeans -- the selvedge pair.  Which is to say for jeans -- they are made out of selvedge or "japanese denim" and the wearer wears them for months without washing.  Then finally washes the jeans for a "custom" wear pattern in the denim.  I'm planning a future post with more information.

Finally, I read Madalynne's post about best sewing blogs, PART 1; PART II, then planned to post - but Carolyn came up with an excellent post Here, with her list of top sewing blogs (advanced).  I think it's worth reading and I learned about quite a few new blogs that I didn't know about.

Have a good long weekend everyone!  XOXO, P.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Takeout for Two - Legwarmers -- Finished!

Dear readers,

My takeout for two leg warmers almost became an UFO (unfinished object).  Fun and easy -- but knitting very long tubes on very small DPNs (double pointed needles) has ruined me.  I'm glad they are finished.  Now, I am merely finishing some yoga socks (more). . and I'm ready for my big sweater project, Funky Grandpa Sweater.
The original picture from the knitting book, Joy of Socks, below:
These were fairly cost efficient as I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light wool to knit.  Unfortunately, we are in the middle of a heat wave, with an accompanying drought, and random fires, so it may be awhile for me to finally wear them.  
I chose this pattern for my pilates and barre warmups.  And, these leg warmers are indeed WARM!  My link to the project page in Ravelry is HERE - TAKEOUT FOR TWO PROJECT.
The model had very very long legs apparently -- I'm not that short either (especially my legs - a 31" inseam and I'm 5'6.5").   I could have made them longer, but I might have lost my mind.  I'm just lucky to finish them.  I suffered extreme knitting fatigue during this marathon.

Dear readers, I hope your weather is a bit better than we are having here -- we have no winter so far this year!



P.S.  I have some jury duty coming up in two weeks, I hope to get some quality knitting in during that time.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Arrow Sewing and Serging Cabinet 401 Initial Setup (the "Betty")

Dear readers,

This summer I picked up a rather inexpensive (200.00) Arrow Sewing Cabinet off Craigslist, called the Betty # 401 in white.   It was a particle board table -- I had never used one and doubted its utility.  In the picture below you will see the final table setup:
Yes, of course it came with a flaw. . . which the seller did not disclose (I'm unsure if she knew) -- but the stand supported by a hydraulic/pulley type of lift would not adjust flush with the sewing machine.  The fixtures that adjust the hinge were stripped.  I called Arrow and they were fantastic.  I received the new one in days for less that $5.   I also ordered a custom insert with my machine (the table came with some universal inserts).  

But, it took me three months to actually get around to installing the new attachment.  (I had to take the hydraulic lift off the table, ugg.).  I finally did it in less than a half hour on Saturday night.  It does make sewing a bit more intuitive.  And, I can now see the value of purchasing a nicer one once I have the space.   I will do a more intensive review once I've had a chance to use it set up like it's supposed to be (I've had my machine sitting on top for awhile).  

Also, below -- J. gave me the ceramic bowl (red and white with polka dots) on the right for Christmas (among other knitterly things) from our LYS.  I love it.  I also received the holder/spinner for yarn on the left (an ETSY purchase).  I finally got a yarn winder as well (not shown). 
Any recommendations for sewing tables out there?  I'd love to hear about what you use.  I've investigated sewing rooms on pinterest and on various blogs.

Update 1/26/14 -- I may have to make an adjustment -- I just realized that my sewing table doesn't accommodate the knee lift lever on my Bernina!  The Horror!  Where's my saw?