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I couldn’t leave that organic cotton jersey to sit in the closet so I flipped through my pattern stash and landed on McCall’s 6031.  It was tough making something from scraps and not all of my pieces are on grain but it was satisfying not tossing all that fabric away.

I know I’ll wear this a lot.  Somehow my t-shirt supply has dwindled this year so a comfy separate was much needed.

I added two and a half inches of length to the bodice and could probably have lived with a half an inch more. I also ended up taking in about an inch and a half from the underarm seam to fix some gapage there.  It was a pain in the ass since the bodice is lined (with a mismatched fabric) but it fits really well now.

I somehow assembled the entire top without realizing that it was actually a tunic.  I though about keeping it that way but it wouldn’t have jived with three out of my four summer bottoms so I hacked five inches off the bottom.

This is a real contender to be made again. Next time I might make the cowl a little wider.

Also! New, quite possibly lame, craft obsession:

Friendship bracelets!

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In the summer month I tend to favour sewing projects over knitting but I was feeling the need to keep my hands occupied during our marathon Dexter watching sessions so I cast on a little sweater for Kate for the coming winter.

This Cascade 220 Superwash Sport was a backup choice for her Pickles Vest. I was worried that the sweater was looking a little small so decided to add an extra repeat (or two? can’t remember) and I ended up having to go back to Wolesley Wardrobe to pick up a third hank.  The garter stitch stretched like crazy in blocking so I needn’t have worried.

I bet you’re wondering what it would look like modeled first thing in the morning over wiener dog pajamas. Wonder no longer:

A few weeks back I spotted this lone top at Gap and I loved the print and weight of the fabric so much that I bought it even though it wasn’t a style I usually wear and it was a size too big. I hemmed and hawed over whether or not to return it for a few weeks

Not wanting to give up on it and being too lazy to drive to the city and make the return I decided to turn it inside out and take in the seams, praying that I wouldn’t have just wasted forty-five dollars. I think it turned out for the best.

It may have been a good idea to insert a zipper in the side seam because it is so close fitting now it’s hard to shimmy into.  It’s also best reserved for days when water is not retained in my midsection. Good times.

With the allure of summer sewing I took a knitting hiatus for a few weeks after finishing my Gwynedd Hat but really missed having my hands busy while watching tv.  I thought the Pickles Plain Vest would be a good mindless project and it might have been had I not misread the yarn requirements and ended up with entirely the wrong gauge.  Then I put my mind on auto pilot a little too readily and kept making stupid mistakes like forgetting to knit a border.  But, Kate’s torso is warm just in time for a massive, nasty snowstorm.

I really think some dark wood or fabric covered buttons would suit this better but that will have to wait until my next fabric shopping trip.

Photos taken over two sessions because this kid always has cartoon motion lines streaming behind her.

I made it a lot longer than the pattern recommended and I’m really hoping it still fits her in the fall.

You can read more about my tricky modification and see a few more photos on my Ravelry project page.  I’m off to get some rest before a big birthday prep shopping trip tomorrow.

I had some yarn leftover from Carrot which became Gwynedd, a pattern from the same issue that also used Fresco.

I took many, many photos, and either the quality was poor, the hat looked weird or I looked cranky. At least this one’s focused. I need winter to be over.

I started this cardigan in October and was saddened to have to put it away to tackle my crazy-person Christmas projects (did I mention I forgot about a Christmas dress that I also made Kate?) because I was in love with the project as soon as the first few inches crawled off the needles. Sport weight yarn plus 4.5 mm. needles doesn’t make for light speed knitting so it was a lucky thing that this yarn is so amazing.

This photo should teach me not to insist on outdoor photos in February since I'm clearly freezing to death and, worse, compromising the drape of this lovely collar.

I don’t trust myself to ever take this off. It’s light but warm and soft as fresh kittens. I hope Kate will learn to live with the mouthfuls of shed fluff in her mouth (alpaca and angora, you know).

If I can remember back that far I think my project choice was inspired by Leslie’s parade of simple, wearable knits and Elly’s similarly muted style.  I know I could pick up a similar cardigan at Joe or Gap but why should I put the effort into knitting something if it’s not something I want to live in?  Especially since I’m realizing that so many of the sweaters I knit back when I was knitting the pattern of the minute and churning them out at least once a month are barely ever worn. They’re too fussy or scratchy or I rushed through them and made them too short. I like to think that I’m a lot more thoughtful about what I make for myself now that knitting time is more precious.

I’m already thinking of spring and sewing pretty blouses although as you can see I have no sane right to do so.

Pattern: Carrot Cardigan By Hannah Fettig Knitscene, Fall 2010

Yarn: Classic Elite Fresco, 10 skeins

Size: 42″ (although the shoulders are a little roomy)

Verdict: wheeeeee!!!!

It’s the end of an era over here.  The Ziploc bag era.

I know my needles have been a jumbled mess in a freezer baggie for at least five years because it has kanji on it which means I shoved my needles in it in Japan thinking I would have a better solution soon.

It took seeing Adrian’s tackle binder and a snippet in last month’s Martha about storing sewing supplies to finally stop the fishing expedition that was looking for a circular needle every time I started a new project.

If only my pretty, pretty binder was a teensy bit bigger.

 

Mini Binder: Russell and Hazel

Zippered Envelopes: Knit Picks

Crafty Stickers: Chronicle Books

We had a pretty miserable experience on Boxing Day when, intending to go downtown and eat at a great Mexican restaurant we couldn’t find parking and ended up instead at a suburban mall (we had with us two teenage girls with Christmas money burning holes in their pockets).  Kate’s Sugar Bear was in her lap and it seems that at some point she chucked it out.  That may be the end of me making hats for Kate in luxury yarns or the beginning of me sewing tags with my e-mail address into everything I make.  It did give me a good push to make the hat I had been planning for her already.

Kate got an early Christmas present of a little red sled but her other hats and hoods kept falling in front of her eyes necessitating us  stopping every few steps to fix them. I also was worried about her neck and face getting cold.  When I saw Deb’s photo of her baby’s favourite hat and Austen’s hat here I knew a baby balaclava was what we needed.

The yarn is even more Cascade 220 and pattern is Paton’s Pussy Cat from my vintage pattern stash.  The smallest size is a two so I tried making it with smaller needles and ended up with one that was way too small.

At least I got this photo out of it.

Kate doesn’t seem to mind wearing it at all and now we can go sledding in style.

And now that all the Christmas and emergency noggin knitting is out of the way and I can get back to knitting for myself. Yipee!

Happy 2011 everyone! It’s crazy to think that a year ago I was sitting in this same spot but without the teething, clingy, hilarious little almost-eight-month-old trying to scale my leg so she can jam the keys on the laptop. It’s even crazier to think that a year from now she’ll be walking around, eating pizza and throwing things in the toilet.

While she’s still only capable of getting into mildly terrifying trouble  I was able to knit a whole sweater for Chris for the first time in almost five years.

This was the Christmas gift I had the most panic attacks about finishing.  Chris took a chunk of time off in December which was nice for family time but not so nice for knitting deadlines.

We’re both so pleased with it.  Chris liked my dad’s Seamless Hybrid but I prefer the shirt yoke version so I thought I’d give it a try.  Elizabeth’s “pithy” instructions almost had me pulling my hair out at the shoulder join point but I took a deep breath and did what seemed to make sense and it all worked out.

I originally wanted a tweedy yarn but the yarn shop I went to had none so I went with good ol’ Cascade 220.

I think the saddle shoulders really compliment Chris’s body type (I believe the scientific term is “robust string bean”) and it doesn’t seem so warm that he’ll never wear it.

And if you’ll excuse me Kate is scaling the tv cabinet so that she can pull out the wires on the flat screen.

Thanks so much for the kind comments about Kate’s stocking.  It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who likes it.

I’m starting to peter / flake out on some of my (dozens of stupidly) planned homemade Christmas gifts but I did manage to get a few finished before crafting malaise took hold.  We did a little party and gift exchange with our friends Adam and Michelle this weekend since they leave to spend Christmas with their family this week.  Michelle’s keeping a little baby warm in her belly so I thought I’d help out by keeping her hands toasty.

This is my second pair of Bird in Hands and again they were fun and challenging.  At least this time they’re both the same size.

I had intended on using up some of the Cascade 220 I have but of course I ran out and had to make an emergency trip to Winnipeg so that I could finish them off.

Michelle seems to like them so I guess this is one successful Christmas gift down.