Sunday, September 30, 2012

Craftsy is Killing Me!

Okay, so I signed up for the "How to Sew with Knits" class a few months ago at Craftsy and actually watched the first lesson and printed the knit top pattern. (No, I haven't taped it together yet, but at least I printed it, right?) I just keep forgetting about it because if I get a chunk of time, I want to finish the cardigan I'm knitting....or the yoga pants I started. Well today I got another email from Craftsy about a pants fitting class with Sandra Betzina.

Stop it, Craftsy! You KNOW I have to take that class because it involves getting a free Vogue 2948 pattern, which has been discontinued and got 3/3 Highly Recommends at PR.

So I guess I'll check out Power Sewing and see if Sandra's given a discount thru her site like the other lady did for the knit class. And then I'll be signing up...and bookmarking the site so I can go back in a year when I get time to finally do it. (Which is so nice of Craftsy to have indefinite access to your classes!)

Okay, and one knitting topic. I'm making the cardigan that has a back, right front, left front, then you sew the shoulder seams and add sleeves and trim. So for right front, you've knitted 9.5 inches. Then it says "Bind off 14 stitches, knit to end of row, purl a row, knit a row," to start the neckline shaping. For the left front, it says, "Repeat same as right front, reversing all shaping."

Uh, okay, I can't bind off 14 stitches at the beginning of the row because it will slant the wrong way, so what do I do? Well, I'll bind off at the END of the row - I'm brilliant! So I knit over 25 stitches then start binding off....then realize I'll have that one stitch left and be far away from where I'm supposed to start purling.

I placed a frantic call to my mother, who took an evening to ponder it, then said something about binding off on the purl side to get back to where I was. That made me realize I should bind off 14 stitches on my PURL row instead of my knit row! Hooray, it worked! And instead of K1, K2tog to decrease every 4th row, I'll P1, P2tog to make it symmetrical - yay for me! Plus I backtracked that whole bound off row without losing a stitch or screwing it up, so I've currently got the big head about my knitting skills - forgive me.

And isn't ANYbody going to recommend a color for the Trinity stitch trim? Black cardigan - white trim? Silver trim? Tan trim? Purple trim?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekend Update

I did have a productive weekend (and I'm not even talking about washing windows, dusting headboards, sweeping the garage, and vacuuming spiderwebs from corners and behind doors, but I did that too). First, a picture of Jakey enjoying a bone, because his back legs cracked me up.

I was asked to sew some beanbags for the school carnival coming up next week, so I knocked that out in about 30 minutes. I had a thought about selling hackey-sacks in school colors, but the kids tell me nobody would buy them. Guess I won't quit my day job yet...

And yesterday I ripped out the serging on the knit yoga pants while watching Flowers in the Attic. Tracey, have you seen it? It was made in 1987 with Louise Fletcher (Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, remember her?), so I had high hopes, but it was AWFUL! The acting was AWFUL, and the actors in the family all looked about the same age, so the parents and older children's scenes together were CREEPY. When they kept going to scenes of Cathy in the tub getting her back washed by her brother, I had to change it - EWWWWWW! I don't remember that theme running through the book, but that was years ago. Anyway, Phenomenon with John Travolta was a much better choice and always makes me cry.

Okay, here's what the pants look like stitched together correctly. (Warning! Have your escape button ready; they're tight yoga pants and I'm not wearing my "technical" underwear that get rid of lines and bulges.)

The waistband is really tight, so I'll go up a size there, and I may go up a size everywhere else too.

They're also high-waisted - right under the belly button - which is okay since my yoga top is kinda short. And I find it interesting that I have the same lines going from hip to knee in every pair of pants I own, whether it's woven or knit. It MUST mean something!

And finally, I finished knitting the back of the cardigan and have started on the right front - woohoo!

Still don't know what color to make the Trinity trim - any ideas? Hope you all had a great weekend too!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Angry Cow Comes for Dinner

Dean's gone to a meeting in Cincinnati for a week, so I'm the chef now - run and hide! I put some leftovers in the oven to reheat, then realized it was time to get them out. I got the hotpad (oven mitt?) in my hand...and bent down to open the sink cabinet. I'm staring at pipes and cleaners thinking, "what did I come down here for?" I stood up and remembered I had the hotpad in my hand, so I looked around a minute remembering that there was something on the other side of the kitchen I needed to do with it. Checked the counter, checked the stove, THEN remembered I meant to get the leftovers out of the oven.

I told Dean about it on the phone. He said, "Did you start banging on the sink saying, 'Why isn't this thing getting hot?'" He's going to be so entertaining when I'm institutionalized!

The very slow slippage of the mind is a fascinating thing to undergo. I did at least realize I should turn on the oven light to remind myself that something was in there. Now to find some Sudoku puzzles...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sewing Badly and Knitting Quickly

People, I honestly tried to get back on the sewing machine; I really did. I read my Threads and Sew News this weekend and was getting back into the groove. I went upstairs and actually cut out the Silhouette Yoga Pant after holding the fabric around myself to find out what size to make (kind of awkward to do for a yoga pant).

I attempted to tissue fit to check out the crotch and waistline, but I don't think this works for garments with negative ease. I also realized I forgot how crotch seams go together - I was pinning the front crotch curve to the back crotch and thought the knit must stretch a whole lot! Then I realized I needed to pin the side seams and inner leg seams together - duh! Anyway, the confusion carried over to the serger, where I must've gotten mixed up taking the fronts and backs apart to sew them to each other. I painstakingly pinned, because the muslin knit rolls like crazy, then I proceeded to serge the front to front and the back to back at the side seams. Didn't realize my error till I went to serge the crotch seams and they were different shapes - doh! Back to knitting...

So I found this cardigan in the knitting magazine I bought last month - I bet my sister loves it too. It just looks like something we wore in high school, though not really reeking of 80's fashion...I don't know, I just love it. I think she's got a sweater like this now. Anyway, I wanted to copy this color scheme but couldn't find the right yarn, so I caved and bought black for the body. I'm still thinking about the trim. It needs to be brighter so you can see the stitching pattern, so (lacking imagination and vision) I thought about white, which might be weird...or might look like a Chanel jacket perhaps? Maybe just a little bit? Well, what other color could I trim a black jacket in?

Here's what I've got so far of the back. Need 18", so I'm halfway there - woohoo! And yet I've already been on the Lion Brand website (thanks, Mom!),, and Coats and Clark's site looking for the next project - a plain pullover sweater with the beige yarn I used for the shrug. Now you knitting ladies, do you end up with a stash of unused yarn, or do you return it to the store?

Obsessed with making clothes in any possible way is an understatement. But hey, look how cute the turned up bottom edge is - knitting rocks!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rockin' the Shrug

Woohoo - it fits! And I don't understand why there's nothing but sleeves!

It's like leg warmers for your arms, frankly. I'll be delighted to wear this in a theater or a cold restaurant, but my family may go under the table. Drew just doesn't like it. Lucas said it was awesome, but he thought it would have the "thing over the chest like old lady's wear." What I love: the cuffs, the majority of the stitching, the soft yarn.
What I don't love: the style, the center back seam, the loose stitches on the edges of the sleeves that I still have to tighten up so it doesn't look like there are holes next to the sleeve seams.

And I guess it's being over 40 now, but is this meant to wear with a sleeveless shirt? Otherwise I'm tucking my sleeves in so they don't bunch up. I'll ask my nurse who just turned 30 what you're supposed to wear this with exactly...ooh, I bet a tank top - that would be cute, right?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Shrug Almost Done

Haven't blogged lately because Scouts started up again with the Popcorn Kickoff as usual, which is handled by moi, so I've been a little busy. Also have a terrible cold for some reason, necessitating Benadryl, which makes blogging dangerous, but I'm giving it a go tonight! Here's the shrug thus far.

Okay, it's 2 really long sleeves, and I figured out that you sew the rectangular ends together, so there's a center seam up the back. Don't really care for that, but I didn't understand it when I read the pattern. I thought it was the usual "make 2 sleeves and sew them to the bodice" type of pattern, but it wasn't. So the instructions tell you to do this kitchener stitch I believe it's called - had to google it for a video - and it results in this odd seam up the back.

In the video, it matches exactly with the rest of the piece, but it obviously doesn't with mine, so I took that out and bound off to just sew the 2 pieces together. Then you sew the sleeves together up to the markers. My mother would be very proud of me (she's in Pennsylvania with the newest grandchild - Pammie, I know your pain of not having someone who can help with questions) because I made a mistake on a row and actually took out a row and a half to correct it. Plus when I undid the kitchener stitch, I had to identify 24 stitches and get them back on the needles correctly - woohoo! Now I want to be very careful sewing this back together since it's such an obvious seam. I'm saving that for a non-Benadryl day.

And what's happened to me now is that I don't have any desire to sew at all currently, because I want to knit constantly! I bought a knitting magazine in Hancock and have already picked out my next project. I also went in Al's 5 & 10, and look what I found:

I had to restrain myself from buying more yarn and pattern books.

I'm curious how you bicraftual women (oh, I have totally coined a new word!) balance your projects. I know I need to get my niece's fleece done in time for football season, and I'd like those new yoga pants I planned to make, but I'm stuck on knitting right now. Maybe it'll get old to blow my nose - goodnight!