Monday, November 12, 2012

48 Hour Bug

It's been a quiet week. There have been a few tense moments, like when I discovered that my truck has a fuel leak (scheduled for the mechanic tomorrow), but all in all things have been going well. I've made some major breakthroughs with Drupal for the website I'm building as part of my job (which I'm supposed to finally be hired for by the end of today, I'll believe it when I sign something). I did quite a bit of knitting, but can't share it with you as it's a holiday gift and I don't want to ruin the surprise for the recipient.

I did not do much knitting over the weekend, however, because I caught a 48 hour sewing bug. I've been wanting a metropolitan cape for quite a while now, and it's a bonus that they are in style this season (not that being out of style would have stopped me). On Saturday I put on The Great Muppet Caper and dug out the fabric I thought I was going to use to make my cape. I got out the pattern, cut out the paper pieces, ironed them, ironed the fabric (a nice winter outerwear weight wool) and spread it all out on my floor.

And there was no way I had enough fabric. Just no way. Unless I only wanted 1/2 a cape, and I'd really rather have a whole garment, thanks. I flipped and folded and refolded and flipped and it just wasn't going to work, let alone work well with the stripes matching up.

So I went shopping in my fabric stash. It's nothing compared to my mom's House of Fabrics (though most of it came from there) but what I have is nice and I found the perfect substitute.

Right on top was 3 yards of a lovely grey tweed wool (blend probably). And right beneath that was 2 yards of a fantastic lining fabric. It was all just exactly what I needed. All I had to get from the store was some fusible fleece to add some substance to the outer fabric (it was a bit too loose for a winter cape) and away I went. Saturday I cut. And cut. And cut. The pieces are not small and I had to cut them out three times (fabric, fleece, lining). Then I fused the fleece to the fabric and sewed a few of the seams.

Sunday was the big sewing day. I put on the USA NCIS Real McGee Marathon and started seaming away. It is a simple construction (it's a cape, it's not like it's fitted) just lots of long seams. I put in 5 large button holes (4 for the belt, 1 for the closure). I hand stitched the bottom of the cape to the lining after turning it (and I did a very nice job). By dinnertime on Sunday, I had a lovely new winter piece.

My New Cape

The only thing left is a proper button. Right now I'm using a pin as a button. I know exactly what I want (a locally hand made ceramic button from Stash) but I can't get it until tomorrow. so my cameo will have to suffice for now.

I do love the lining. It's like my little secret against winter. Professional outside, fantastically colored inside.

Love the Floral
The fusible fleece gave it just enough body and added warmth. The lining is silky smooth and won't catch on any hand knits I wear in the future. And the grey outside goes with all of my hats, shawls, and scarves!

All in all, this was a 48 hour bug that I didn't mind having. Maybe I'll catch it again next weekend...

Monday, November 5, 2012

I Finished Something!

I'd like to present my newest completed shawl. The pattern is Lokken Kerchief from Knitscene Accessories 2011, and the yarn is handspun. My handspun. The second yarn I ever spun. It's been shuffled away in my stash for years waiting for the perfect project. I finished with about 1 yard left over, so it was perfect.

I'm not sure why the photo is upside down, but it's beautiful in any orientation. The pattern is modular in construction and plain garter stitch, letting the yarn shine.

There were only two modifications to the written pattern (other than gauge):

1. I only did 5 sections rather than 6. It's ok, the shawl is plenty big (see above comment about gauge).

2. I did a single crochet border on the top and non bind off side to even out the garter stitch edges.

I also have a project that had to be put away for a while through no fault of its own.

That is about 1/2 a sleeve of my first crochet cardigan. It is Louisa Harding Aimeè, worked with a size E hook. The pattern is Fall Fields Cardigan from the Fall 2012 Interweave Crochet.

Sadly, this is what put me in a wrist brace for 2 weeks. I am now free of that device, but don't want to go back to the crochet until I've worked on the ergonomics.

I do have 2 crochet successes though, both completed without bodily injury. My first crochet was Plumeria Frill in hand dyed yarn that was a birthday present for a friend.

It was speedy and immensely gratifying, a true gateway project to the world of crochet.

I then tried a crochet toy, and made Zork from Crocheted Softies. I used Knit Picks shine sport for the body and comfy for the eyes.

I call him Calvin because he reminds me of the various aliens from the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon.

I have more projects on the needles, but you'll just have to wait for the next installment of A Day in the Life.