Archive for August, 2012
I just wanted to share a little about the pattern adjustments for the little kimono that I posted last week. I crossed my fingers and made a wish and I think it worked because it seems to fit!
(I’m also taking the opportunity to use this post for WIP photos since I was keeping the whole project under wraps before.)
The pattern is for a newborn. But I loved everything about it so I had to make it. I love the Japanese influence and the shape and I also liked that it looked pretty simple to execute since it’s only three pieces. (My favorite part of crafting is making things that are pretty basic look really difficult and expensive.)
Here’s how I enlarged the pattern: First of all, I still have a knitting mind which thinks that I should just adjust the gauge for a bigger shirt! Wrong! Second, I do not have access to a baby that I can use for measurements or adorable viral dance videos. Therefore I went onto the Google and found that the chest measurement for a 12-18 month baby is about 20 inches. (It would be wonderful if someone with more baby experience could confirm this for me for future reference.)
Warning: Craft Math ahead…
But this is a photo of what I’m working on right now. It’s going to be really awesome. It’s an embroidery and it will involve some sewing. It has a deadline. I started way too late. It will be really cool when it’s done. I fricking can’t wait to tell you more.
Last week Jon’s nephew (who received this blanket when he was born) turned 1! He is practically a real person now. I thought I’d try out my new sewing skillz (with a z, yes) to make my little boyfriend a birthday present.
This was my second sewing project after the skirt and I challenged myself here but I think I’m really starting to get the hang of this sewing thing! Big pats on the back to myself.
The pattern is the Purl Bee’s newborn kimono. I made some adjustments in terms of size (obviously, he’s not a newborn anymore…more on that in another post) and I tackled a French seam for the first time (it wasn’t perfect but that’s life!). The bias tape was a bigger challenge than expected but I like how it turned out. And it took me four times but I sewed a snap on for the first time. Those little bastards are tricky.
I love the organic fabric from Cloud9. (I think I bought a 1/2 yd more than the pattern called for since I was adjusting the size and I was terrified I’d cut something wrong!) Two of Jon’s brother’s favorite things are fishing and Japan so the sail boat kimono was perfect for his son.
Not too shabby for a beginner, huh? Any tips on size adjustments? Isn’t sewing for babies fun?
Anna was nice enough to pull out all of the toys she’s designed and let us pet her kitties and she even showed us how she puts together those adorable stop motion gifs that I’m so mesmerized by! (Seriously I watched the gnome hopping on mushrooms for about fifteen minutes.) I’ve been following Anna’s work for a long time and I just can’t get enough of the cute!
I am so ready to start cutting this interview! I’m also holding back from casting on some teeny tiny hamburgers for a certain somebody so that I can focus on editing! (Who am I kidding, it’s time to knit some Mochimochi!)
Have you knit any Mochimochi? Which gif is your favorite?
I have an image in my mind of my mom sitting in the armchair in the living room with a baby blanket pattern laid out on the ottoman in front of her, highlighting each row as she completes them. She is meticulous about circling the instructions within the parentheses so that she is sure to knit the correct amount of stitches for the size that she is making. Maybe she even uses an index card to underline where she is while she is marking off tallies with whatever pen she found in the end table. Does this sound right, Mom?
She and I may be very different knitters in this respect. I used to print out my patterns and make all sorts of notations on them. I would fold the paper up and keep it in a pocket of my knitting bag. I certainly lost those patterns on more than one occasion or lost track when I couldn’t find a pencil or if a friend got carried away playing with my red plastic row counter. (Those little clicky plastic row counters have caused me far more grief than help. For some reason, anyone who hears the click of a completed row immediately begs for instructions on how it works and why I need it, always followed by a request to click the following row. And often the promise that “If you let me click it a few times, and I’ll reset it to where you were” followed by completely forgetting where I was. Please don’t touch my things. Ever. I hate you now. I really don’t understand the fascination.)
Needless to say, every knitter is different. The more I’ve found a way that I like to do things, the more I wonder what everyone else prefers. Let’s all share, shall we?
First of all, I’ve almost entirely stopped using printed patterns unless it’s from a book or magazine. The last time I used a book pattern, I photo copied it so I could make notes on it. But I LOVE PDF patterns. Love them. It’s so handy having everything in my inbox or in my Ravelry library. I don’t have to remember what volume of Knitscene (or was is Vogue Knitting?) the pattern was in. I like being able to access my patterns wherever I am.
That being said, I’ve turned to iBooks for all of my PDF pattern reading which means that all of my patterns are stored on my phone which is great because I always have my phone on me (heaven forbid I lose it like a tattered pattern). I don’t like whipping out a paper pattern and a pencil when I’m trying to casually knit and hang out. I don’t like having so much baggage when it comes to knitting.
Since the iPhone has become my knitting ereader, I guess it would be handy to have some other gadgets on there! I use Knit Counter Lite which is free. It’s a pretty handy tool especially because I don’t need anything fancy to keep track of this. You can input all kinds of information, though, and also limit the maximum and minimum number (I use that a lot when counting increases or if I’m just not paying close attention). It’s also great because now my pattern and my counter are in the same spot. (Side note: When it comes to socks, I like to do it the old fashioned way and use pen and paper so that I’m sure the second sock matches the first!) Using this app, I can keep track of multiple projects at once along with different pieces as illustrated below:
(It looks complicated but that’s the row increases of the Maxfield cardigan sleeves. The increases in size medium happen every 12th row 9 times. Breaking that down, it means keeping track of the stripe pattern rows in intervals of ten while also counting separately to every twelfth row when the increases take place so I count those at the same time. The last counter is increased only every twelfth row. Everyone still with me? I had a tough time keeping that all straight when it was done with pencil and paper but this system works for me.)
This seems like enough math for one post. But I want to hear what you do! How do you count rows? Have you seen this? (I don’t know how I feel about it.) Do you use any apps for your knitting?
Dear Knitting, I have not forsaken you. I still love you! I’m still here.
Let me back up a little. Remember that time that I said that I was terrible at sewing and ironing was really turning me off of the whole process? Well, I finished the skirt that was such a challenge. And, I must admit, the finished piece doesn’t look like a mess. In fact, it doesn’t really concede much of the struggle I was going through. And I could twirl in it.
I showed it to my grandma for inspection and she said that my seams weren’t too crazy and that it looked nice for a beginner. I take her word for it! She’s a pro. (She also gave me a resource book and some good tips for getting more comfortable behind the machine.)
Anyway, as promised, here are some photos of my first sewing project!
I paired the skirt that I made with this amazingly adorable Kate Spade shirt (it was a splurge but on sale so I went for it!) for my friend Katie’s bridal shower (everyone had to wear something white). It’s really fun pairing something I made as a newbie with a piece of designer clothing.
As I said before, sewing a skirt was a great jumping off point for me because it was quite uncomplicated (although I managed to screw it up, of course) but resulted in something that I could wear and show off. It wasn’t a tote bag or a pillow. It was something that I could add to my wardrobe which was very motivational for me.
The fabric is La Femme by Melissa Crowley that I bought at Purl Soho. I love the pattern. I don’t love that it feels so stiff. I think a few washes with some fabric softener will do the trick and if that doesn’t work, it’s time to put a lining in. (Adventures!)
I’ve been working on two other projects since the skirt. (More on that soon!) I’m really enjoying it, more than I thought I would. And I like the idea that I’ll be able to manipulate a sewing pattern perhaps with less trepidation than I would a knitting pattern. I’m pretty excited to say that, while I have not in any way, shape, or form given up knitting, I am embracing my new hobby.
As far as ironing goes, though, the jury is still out.
What’s the first sewing project you made? Were you scared? How did it turn out?!
It’s already August which means that the summer is almost over. I haven’t posted much about what I’ve been up to. I feel like I focus so much on the work I’m doing here and I would like to inject a little more personal fun stuff because why not! I’ve been looking back over my photos of all of the fun I’ve had and I sometimes have to wonder is this my life I’m living? Don’t get me wrong, there is a ton of work, heavy lifting, and anxiety (I’ve learned that going to sleep early is a necessity. Even when it means skipping out on some fun) that goes on in the day to day but I somehow manage to pack a lot of adventures in to a little bidget and less free time.
Jon’s parents threw a big July 4th bar-b-que and my family got to join us for a day of drinking and swimming. And I made a tart. It was
really wonderful having so many people that I love celebrating together.
After seeing War Horse and getting a special backstage tour from our friend Holly, we dined at Strip House and joined Ashley and Andrew to
watch the fireworks in a special private party that we threw for ourselves atop Hearst Tower. What a view!
We picked cherries. Which was delicious and adorable. We picked vegetables which was hot but so rewarding especially as city folk. We ate at Googa Mooga and we went to a lot of brunches (but not enough, never enough).
We saw a movie in the park with Andrew and Holly. I’d never done that before and I can tell you it was because of the heat and the crowds but it was so much fun!
Jon and I joined Ashley in seeing OK Go. Ashley and I have seen them about once a year since we were 14. It’s still magical. We still sing every lyric and dance like crazy. It’s amazing that we are still who we are and they are still who they are after all of this time.
This past weekend was my friend’s bachelorette party which meant lounging and drinking on the beach with my closest girl friends from way back. It’s so wonderful to see that we are all living it up and I’m so proud of us for all being successful ladies!
As our friend Alex said, quoting White Knuckles, “Nothing ever doesn’t change, but nothing changes much.” It’s been a wonderful summer.
What have you done this summer? Are you still packing in memories before it’s over?