Category Archives: Planning

Holiday To-Knit List

Stay tuned very, very soon for the reveal of my socks.

In the meantime, though, I have stupidly agreed to knit too many things for Christmas. πŸ™‚ So, here’s my to-knit list:

  1. Socks for my dad. I’m not totally insane; these will be worsted weight socks. I’ll probably use the basic sock recipe I used for my socks but with far fewer stitches cast on (48?) and bigger needles (6?).
  2. Ear warmer for my mom. I may just do a super quick ribbed one, but I’m also considering the Irish Hiking Ear Warmer or the Blue Leaf Headband, depending on time.
  3. Hat for Brian. Probably the Man Hat.
  4. Fingerless gloves for Claire. Probably something pretty simple like Fingerless Mittens.

Written out like this, it actually doesn’t look too bad. Hopefully worsted weight will seem super quick after fingering weight!

And if I finish all that, I may tackle some toddler socks next…

In the homestretch

Picture from The Brown Stitch. My sweater will look exactly the same. Except, you know, without the stripes.

So being pregnant has seriously zapped my crafting mojo. I was way to tired in the first trimester, and then my husband has been home for most of the second trimester, so I’ve been spending time with him and preparing the house for the baby. But now that I’m in the third(!) trimester I’m finally wanting some handmade things for the baby. I managed to knit a quick hat out of leftover Malabrigo Rios (picture coming), and I’ve started a sweater as well.

Picture from Ravelry. Definitely *not* my blanket!

 

I also started a Pine Forest Baby Blanket, but the lace pattern seems to be a bit more than my pregnancy brain can handle!

 

 

I’ll admit that I haven’t thought a whole lot about sewing. As part of the great condo reorganization process, we moved my sewing machines and supplies into our bedroom closet, and well, out of sight, out of mind. Knitting is so much easier to work into my life–I can knit while watching TV or on lunch breaks or while in a car on the way to Ohio.

Picture from Sew Much Ado. So (sew) cute!

But, there are a few things I do intend to sew. First up is a nursing cover. They cost so much to buy, and really this is not difficult or time-consuming sewing! I stopped at JoAnn in Ohio this past weekend (while in town for my baby shower!) and bought boning and D-rings. I already have fabric I can use. So now I just need motivation, and this *should* be an easy and satisfying project.

Picture from Made by Rae. My fabric will be a little subtler!

I also have been meaning to make some newborn pants out of fabric leftover from my own sweatpants. Maybe someday I will actually get around to these. You know, before the baby is a year old. We’ll see. This should also be a very quick project, and I’m thinking I could do the whole thing on my serger, which would definitely make me happy.

 

You may noticeΒ  lack of dresses and such on this list. That’s because we’re having a BOY! We’ve known for 10 weeks now but had been keeping it a secret to reveal at the Ohio baby shower. My mom found a great geeky (and tasty) way to do the reveal…

Our kid is destined to be a nerd. πŸ™‚

Grandma’s afghan

I have a lot of memories of my grandmother knitting and crocheting, but mostly I have memories of her knitting basket that was always near her couch in their living room. And she would tell us about whatever she was making (and she was always making something).

Near the end of her life, Grandma crocheted a blanket for me that I absolutely treasure. I always struggle with whether I should use the blanket or put it away for safe keeping, but I think something like that should be used.

The last thing she ever worked on was knitting a sampler afghan from some earlier version of “60 Easy-To-Knit Pattern Stitches Combine to Create Sampler Afghans“.

I wonder how long this has been in print.

I remember her working on the afghan, and I remember her wondering if she would finish it. Sadly, after she moved to a nursing home she had a stroke from which she never recovered, and she wasn’t able to knit at the end of her life.

After Grandma died, we divided up her things, and everyone knew that we couldn’t part with the knitting stuff, but no one was a good enough knitter to feel we could take on the afghan, so it’s just been sitting at my parents’ house. When my parents came out for Thanksgiving they brought me a whole basket of knitting needles and some yarns, and this book and the completed squares. When I first looked at it, it seemed overwhelming, but as I’ve gotten more comfortable with knitting, I’ve re-evaluated. I think I’m fully capable of these stitches, and eventually I would like to make this afghan.

 

Right after I took this picture, a kitty settled in to make it his new bed. He was chased away.

 

 

Grandma, being Grandma, had already chosen which squares she wanted to make and how they should go together, and I have her notes. She had completed six of the twenty squares and was in the middle of the seventh, which I have, still on the needles. And she had extra yarn already purchased. It’s actually Red Heart Super Saver with supposedly no dye lot, so I can get more if I need to.

 

Still on the needles. Gauge matching should be, um, fun.

 

 

Now I just need to figure out what size needles I need to match her gauge, which could be a fairly difficult problem to solve since my stitches are super tight. Oh, and I need to find time to knit an afghan!

I predict more than a few tears while making this. I cry every time I make her banana bread because seeing her handwriting on the recipe card makes me miss her so much. But they will be good tears, since I’ll be carrying on her legacy.

Sewalong Fever

This must be the season for sewalongs; they’re popping up all over. Despite my thus-far unsuccessful history with Sewalong, I remain intrigued by them. I thought about doing the Trouser Sewalong with the Cupcake Goddess, since I would like to learn how to properly make pants and not keep relying on lucking into it (although, I do seem to have more luck with the bottom half of my body than with the top).

But it started at a bad time, and I didn’t have time to even think about getting the pattern (Burda #127) or the fabric. I may come back to these posts at some point.

I’m also interested in Casey’s Swing Dress Sewalong, and I may come around to doing it, but I would have to break my own rule about buying any more patterns or fabric until I’m done with the ones I have. Also, I do seem to have a lot of dresses now.

It’s a pretty cute dress, though….

So, I’m going to settle for just three(!) sewalongs for now.

First up, I’m changing my mind and jumping back into Gertie’s Crepe Sewalong. Luckily, the pacing of sewalongs is sooooo much slower than I’m used to that I think I can catch up.Β  Last night I worked on that pesky muslin. I tried everything I could think of with the front darts, and it still just didn’t look right. Then I put the darts back where they started and took in another 1/4″ on the shoulder and sides (I’d already taken it in once from my original size 2), and voila! It’s still not perfect, but I don’t have the patience for perfect, and it actually seems like it fits pretty well now. So, that makes me a size negative 2 on top for Colette Patterns? Hmmm.

Now I just need to cut the fabric and stay-stitch the collar (which I plan to do today or tomorrow), and I should be pretty much on track.

I’m also pretty excited for the Sewaholic Pendrell blouse Sewalong. My pattern finally arrived yesterday after a delay and some fantastic customer service from Tasia, and I’ve really been looking forward to making at least two versions (maybe three) of this blouse. I love that it has no closures!

I am going to have to learn to grade from one size to another, though, because these patterns are designed for pear-shaped ladies, and I am not. So that should be a fun challenge. I may make view C out of leftover red cotton from my Star Trek dress, as kind of a (hopefully wearable) muslin. It would be great for layering!

Finally, and this is the one I am super jazzed about, Peter at Male Pattern Boldness is hosting a Negroni Sewalong! Negroni is the new Men’s Shirt pattern from Colette patterns! I’ve been excited but very nervous about sewing a shirt for my husband, so this should be a great help!

Maybe I’ll knit my husband a sweater to wear over it at the same time…

Knitting Queue

My knitting queue, in no particular order:

  1. The Special Olympics scarf. I’m about one-third of the way through it. If this weren’t for charity, I might quit. I hate this yarn, and scarves are sooooo long. But it’s no-thinking-required knitting, and hopefully someone will enjoy this scarf when it’s done. My deadline to mail it in is January 18, so this is near the top of the list.
  2. An Irish hiking hat for my coworker, Jill.

    Is there special Irish hiking?

    I’m using Red Heart Classic because, well, I already have it in my stash, and it’s super soft. This hat is basically a way to learn and practice cables on a small enough project that I won’t get totally frustrated. I hope.

  3. My first sweater.

    Yay for complicated projects!

    I start my Sweater class at Loopy Yarns tonight! This pattern was most certainly not the easiest pattern I could have chosen, but I think if I’m going to pay to learn to make a sweater I might as well learn as much while I have someone helping me as I can. And I definitely wanted a cardigan for work. I’m using scrumptious and expensive Malabrigo Rios blue yarn for this one (sorry, Azul Profundo).

  4. The February Lady sweater. If this doesn’t make you want to learn to knit, nothing will.

    LOVE this sweater.

    I’ll be using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted in Jalapeno (and this will be a much cheaper sweater than the first!).

  5. Socks! I bought a kit from Knit Picks, complete with interchangeable patterns and enough yarn for five pairs!

    I love the jaunty drink with the socks.

    The kit seems way cheaper than buying all of the yarn and patterns separately. Of course, I may get horribly frustrated and end up taking a sock class at Loopy, but I thought I should at least try this.

I have lots more knitting ideas, and tons of things I want to try on Ravelry, but this is where I’m going to start, and these are the projects I need to at least attempt before I’m allowed to buy any more yarn.

On my master knitting queue is also an afghan, but that deserves its own post (coming soon).

Sewing Queue

My 2011 sewing queue (in no particular order), and yes, I have purchased everything I need (patterns, fabric, buttons, and zippers) for these projects:

  1. Bella Jeans.
    I’m actually most of the way done with these, but I ran into a snag when my machine couldn’t handle automatic buttonholes through thick denim fabric. And the jeans are too tight. This size was perfect in the gray polyester suiting fabric, but I need to find a way to make them slightly looser. And make buttonholes. In theory, this project will only take another hour or so, but it’s been sitting there for a month now. 

    Bella jeans that actually fit the model.

  2. Beignet
    Another one I’ve made before (and loved!). This time I want to make it in black, since I don’t have a good black skirt. I loved the brown in Kona, so that’s the fabric I’m using for the black

    My first Beignet

  3. Pendrell Blouse (x2)
    I’m pretty excited to make the first pattern from Sewaholic Patterns: the Pendell blouse! There have been some gorgeous versions around the blogosphere, and I actually bought two fabrics, to make it twice. Once will be in a yellow/black chiffon to go with the black Beignet, and the other will be in a Brown/Taupe/Aqua charmeuse to go with the brown Beignet. πŸ™‚ 

    One of Tasia's Pendrell blouses from Sewaholic.net.

  4. Ceylon Shirtdress
    I loved my first foray into a Colette pattern (the Beignet), so I’m going to try again. I adore the Ceylon and had wanted to order it for a while before I finally broke down. I was feeling particularly wintery when I bought the fabric–a cotton/poly poplin in Merlot. And instead of fabric-covered buttons, I’m going with statement metal buttons

    The Ceylon

  5. The Crepe
    You may recall that I started this (another Colette pattern) as part of Gertie’s sew-a-long, but I didn’t get very far, what with not knowing how to fit and work getting in the way. I will finish this sometime. πŸ™‚ 

    I do like the lack of closures!

  6. Negroni
    OMG! A piece of clothing for someone other than me! Okay, so my husband is a pretty good sport about my crazy hobbies, so I want to do something nice for him. And if I’m ever going to master a men’s shirt, it will be with the help of Colette patterns and in this cotton shirting fabric. But it could be tricky. I’m not very good at fitting yet… 

    A men's shirt!

  7. Lydia
    Such a simple shirt (I hope). I’m actually going to attempt to make it into an empire waist dress. Because, you know, I can’t ever doing anything that’s easy. Plus, I got a great embroidered navy blue jersey, and I got the end piece, so I think I can avoid hemming. 

    A $1 pattern!

I have a few other ideas brewing (the Jennifer, my vintage wool suit, something to do with the Amy Butler fabric), but I don’t think I’m ready to commit to those projects at the moment.

Crafting Resolutions

Happy New Year! I thought 2010 was pretty great (after all, it’s the year I started sewing and knitting!), but 2011 should be even better.

 

Cats

Apropos of nothing. I just love my kitties. πŸ™‚

I’m the kind of person who makes resolutions all year ’round (and sometimes sticks to them), but no reason not to make some at New Years:

 

  1. I will start sewing again. πŸ™‚
  2. I will not purchase any more sewing patterns or any more fabric until I’ve gone through my project queue (I’ll post that tomorrow). Purchase of thread is okay, but I think I even have all the buttons and zippers I need for these projects!
  3. I won’t purchase any yarn until I get through my knitting queue (I’ll post that Monday). This could be more difficult because I still have a major yarn-buying bug. Also, I will almost certainly need to buy some sewing gear–needles, etc–so I’m not going to promise not to do that.
  4. I will sew something for someone else.
  5. I will get serious about learning how to fit and about fitting my clothing. I will make muslins if necessary, and I will try things on as I go. And I will do this with knitting too.
  6. I will learn to hand sew. Sigh. And I will not back away from it when it’s the better choice.
  7. I will not take up any new hobbies in 2011. That’s almost certainly going to be the hardest for me!

We’ll see how I do. I’m pretty committed to 1-3 anyway.

How about you? Any sewing/knitting resolutions?