Almost Ready for Halloween!

I finished my Halloween shirt! The pattern is Seamwork Rachel. Fabric is Harvest Moon Ghostly Vine Black. I enjoyed making it. I made a couple of mistakes, but overall I did well.

It looks great with my Arachne!

I just like smiling. Smiling’s my favorite.

And it’s super comfy! It’s a little big. Next time I’ll take the seams in a little more.

Sewing buttonholes on my Juki machine was pretty easy. Much better than sewing them manually on my old machine.

After the holidays I may try to make a wool version, and then a linen one in spring.

Once I finish my Broom Riding Cowl I will be all done with my Halloween makes. Are you making anything special for Halloween?

Saturday Sleeves and a Quiz

I sewed in the sleeves on my Halloween shirt today. I did a pretty good job, but if you look carefully, you can see a little puff on this one. I may take the seam in a bit, but I’m going to get the collar and front placket on first. If I can get it all sewn together tomorrow, maybe I will be able to make all the buttonholes this week and sew the buttons on so it’s ready to wear by Saturday!

Sleeves have always been a challenge for me in tailoring. I usually try to avoid setting them in after sewing the side seams, but sometimes you don’t have much of a choice — like with this pattern. I had to sew the underarm seams before sewing the sleeve plackets and cuffs.

Which rolls me right into Karen’s latest quiz!

1. What craft skill are you most proud of? Not an entire craft, just a little skill that you feel makes you a practicer of your craft with a capital C.
2. Do you have a secret mistake that you made for ages and when you learned you were doing it wrong you wondered how you managed for so long?
3. Is there an item that you’ve made so many times you feel like an expert? Is there one that even though you’ve done it over and over you feel like an amateur?
4. Would you like to teach your craft? Have you? Do you feel like you’re giving someone a special gift when you do?

1. I’m always proud when I can make a garment I can actually wear, and do wear. I’m proud when something fits and suits me.

2. I still get turned around on slip slip knit (SSK): Do I slip knitwise or purlwise? What is the default? Also, the first time I sewed a tailored blouse, I had the sleeves in backward. I never made that mistake again, though.

3. I don’t feel like an expert on anything, but I do feel like I’m intermediate to advanced on most sewing and knitting. There are some things I have done several times but I don’t do often enough to feel skilled. There are also some things that I do a lot of, but materials can vary a lot so the results also vary. That’s something I just go with.

4. I have taught knitting, sewing, and felting to children and adults. I’ve always enjoyed it and I think students have always learned something, as have I. Even if that something is, “Break the rules. Trust yourself. Make lots of mistakes and learn from them!” I don’t have the headspace to teach right now, though.

I hope you will join in on the quiz!

I was driving home after a storm and pulled over to get a photo of this rainbow.

SpooOOooky Year of Projects Update

Sewing

I did a good enough job with the cuffs on the sleeves of my Halloween Rachel shirt, but I made a mistake. HAHAHA it makes me laugh. Can you spot it? No, I’m not fixing it.

Knitting

I’m plodding away on my Broom Riding Cowl. It’s tough to get a good pic while it’s on the needles. But I wanted you to see how the colorwork shows up (on parts of it at least). In places it looks like clouds are covering the moons, which I like. I wish I were enjoying the knitting more, but I guess I don’t like looking at a chart on every row.

I’m ready to turn the heel on my second Halloween sock. The stripes are lining up like they did on the first sock, which is awesome.

I haven’t cast on my Celtic Colours Mitts yet, but it’s still International Cast On All The Things Month for two more weeks.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my original list here. You can find out more about the group here.

Today is our Blogville Knitters Virtual Knit at 1PM Eastern. If you are new and would like to join us by Skype, please DM your Skype ID to me on Instagram or Ravelry.

Sunday YOP Update

It’s almost October, my favorite month!

Sewing

Halloween Rachel Progress

I’m sewing a little on my Rachel shirt each day. Sewing hurts my back, so I am taking it a few steps at a time.

Here’s a close up of the fabric. What I love about this fabric is I can wear it year round and no one will notice it’s Halloween fabric unless they get a close look. These buttons are from my stash, and I think work well. And I have enough of them.

Knitting

I am trying to buckle down to work on my Mom’s Franca. I have to learn some new things so I need to focus. I think the shaping will be worth it for the fit, and I’m hoping once I learn the method, I will be able to knit more of these sweaters. Like this one:

Cocoknits Molly Pattern

Eventually, I want to knit a suit — a pullover and skirt — and I think this sweater is perfect for it.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my original list here. You can find out more about the group here.

Today is our Blogville Knitters Virtual Knit at 1PM Eastern. If you are new and would like to join us by Skype, please DM your Skype ID to me on Instagram or Ravelry.

Year of Projects Update

Finished Arachne Sweater

I finished my Arachne Sweater! I love it! I think the cropped silhouette and short sleeves keep the vintage vibe alive. I had plenty of yarn and I look forward to making a Seamwork Rachel shirt to wear under it in this print.

Surely I’m not the only one whose YOP list stays the same number, or even grows?

I want to sew more Rachel shirts, one for each season. I want to customize the fit and make it my go to shirt pattern. I also want to do that with a pant pattern, but I haven’t found the pattern yet.

Our curtain rods should arrive today, which means my linen curtains just moved up on the sewing list.

Laura Kate asked me to share a sketch of my idea for my fiber art piece. I don’t feel comfortable doing that yet, but I am glad I have a more concrete idea. I will share something later, once I’ve made a little more progress.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my original list here. You can find out more about the group here.

Bob and I watched Driveways yesterday. Highly recommend. We shared our mutual love of Brian Dennehy. Then we watched the latest episode of Lovecraft Country. Highly recommend. Then I thought we were going to make it a Brian Dennehy weekend with a Lovecraft Country intermission, but Bob surprised me with an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that was a Doug Jones breakout role. I don’t love Buffy (the show, although I love the movie) but we think a Doug Jones weekend is imminent. And I wouldn’t mind rewatching the first season of Buffy in October.

Is it too early to watch Hocus Pocus? It is, isn’t it.

Year of Projects 20-21 Update #2

Sewing

organic hemp and cotton coffee filters

I finished my coffee filters! They work great and are much easier to use and clean than muslin bags.

Fiddle

My pegs weren’t holding their tune, and I was worried I would have to toss my fiddle goals. But I purchased some peg drops and they are staying in place now.

I restrung my fiddle and signed up for lessons on Peghead Nation. I’ve been practicing my scales and the tune June Apple. (Link is to a Bluegrass band playing the song. Note my fiddle playing sounds nothing like this.)

Knitting

Arachne yoke

I finished the yoke on Arachne. I accidentally knit all 59 rounds of the colorwork chart instead of 51 as instructed. I’ll cut 8 rounds off the plain knitting to make up for it. I hope the web won’t be too long. The neck is looking a little wide, isn’t it? I hope the ribbing will fix that. I love knitting with this yarn. It is so soft!

Franca back neck

I cast on Franca. I finished the back neck piece. Once I get going on this I have a feeling it will be a quick knit.

Pride socks

I’m ready to start the heel flap on my second Pride sock. Uh oh. I’m in the middle of the rainbow stripes. I think I will use the blue on my second ball of yarn for the heel flap so that both socks have blue heels and toes.

emPower Bandana

I’ve almost finished the emPower Bandana. I’m not sure if I will be gifting it. Pretty and soft yarn though. And such a pretty color.

Fiber Art

No progress. I’m trying not to worry about it. I did sketch an idea, but it’s not a very original idea. In the words of Twyla Tharp, “Everything’s been done. Do it anyway!”

Design

I have been sketching in my journal every weekday. Some ideas are interesting, some banal, some ridiculous. I’m trying not to judge.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my original list here. You can find out more about the group here.

I can’t wait until fall when I can knit in front of a fire. Of course, this cat will have to get off my lap occasionally to make room for my knitting.

Finally, if you are into historic costuming and haven’t seen this video on the clothing of two different women in the late Middle Ages, you may enjoy it. I did. 🙃

Coffee Filter is Go

First fabric coffee filter

This is my first fabric coffee filter. I wanted to test it out before I made more. It works great! I used this pattern. I also used their fabric, but you could use a cotton muslin. I didn’t have any. I also didn’t have any paper filters to trace since I was using the muslin bags, which I don’t recommend. Not cleaning out the muslin bags was motivation number one for me to get a move on for this project.

I know Sarah is moving, but is there any desire for a virtual Skype knit? I miss the company of knitters.

Year of Projects 2020-2021

I made my own header image for YOP because I’m extra that way.

I decided to jump in and join Year of Projects. I have been inspired by Liz’s updates, and I thought it might be good motivation for me to blog along with my ever expanding, massive list. I read the group rules, and it seems pretty easy going, so if I fail (indubitably) it will be no big deal.

Without further ado, here’s my list!

Fiber Art

“Sunbleach” 2019
  1. I have a group show in November 2020, and I need to create a piece or small group of pieces for this. I have some ideas.
  2. I have a solo show in September 2021, and I need to make a body of work for this show. If I start on this now, it feels doable. I have some ideas. Once I have a firm concept for the show, I’ll make a sub-list of pieces.

Knitting

Deschain Tee in Quince and Co Kestral

Oh dear. Hold on to your butts. If it is on this list, it means I have the yarn.

  1. Pride Socks. Just one sock to go!
  2. Purple emPower Bandaner. Almost done! This is a gift, so I probably won’t post an update until it’s been gifted.
  3. Shetland Tweed Throw. This is coming along. It’s enjoyable TV knitting.
  4. Arachne. Deadline Halloween, of course.
  5. Franca. For my Mom. I caked all the yarn today! This is unusual for me. I usually only cake up one or two hanks. But winding the yarn has become a real chore for me in my new house. I don’t have a permanent setup for it. So I decided to wind them all.
  6. Peerie Flooers. I have the J&S Shetland yarn for the original version of this that you can see in the show Shetland.
  7. Four Square Cowl. I could knock this out if I focused on it for a week. I would love to wear it this fall.
  8. Farmhouse Cardigan. This is the sweater I was so excited to get the Black Welsh Mountain yarn for. What an investment! But I cast on, made a mistake in my knitting, frogged it, and now it’s all sitting in a bag waiting to be cast on again.
  9. Midnight Merino Raglan. When I found out the pattern has you knit the pieces separately and sew them together, I lost interest. But hey. It’s my knitting and I can do it however I want! I need to remember that.
  10. Celtic Myths Shawl. I am so close to finishing this.
  11. Celtic Tree Handwarmers. I haven’t swatched or cast on yet, but would love to have them done by fall.
  12. Gryffindor Winter Ferns Hat. I haven’t swatched or cast on.
  13. Mistletoe Kisses Socks. These were supposed to be for the Christmas in July KAL, but since socks are my least favorite thing to knit, if I get them done by Christmas in December, I’ll consider it a win.
  14. The Oa. Cast on but languishing. I still want to knit it. In other words, I won’t be frogging it.
  15. Teal Niamh. I purchased some Nomad Noos High Mountain Yak yarn for this in a moment of weakness. At least I got the Fruity Knitting discount.
  16. Pink Rhodes. My goal for this is to cast on in January or February so it will be wafting-ready by April or May.
  17. Con Alma. Next spring?
  18. Seavaiger. Oh yes I did.
  19. Shoalwater Shawl. (Starting to sweat.)
  20. Oxbow Cardigan. Sarah is running a KAL for this in November, and I have red Fibre Co Arranmore tweed yarn for it. Will I knit it this year? Who knows?
  21. Hot Waffles Hat and Mitts. I have some beautiful blue yarn for this.
  22. Sunset Slouch.
  23. Cabin Kitchen Towel Set.
  24. A Scarf for Hans.
  25. Pumpkin Spice Latte socks.

HAHAHA there is no way I will finish all of these projects in 2020-2021. But at least they are on a list now. And yes, I still have more yarn!

Knitting Design

My goal for design is to sketch a design 5 days each week, and knit one of my own designs in this 2020-2021 year. It can be anything. It might be a headband. It is not allowed to be a blue beanie.

Sewing

Enchanted Kimono Robe
  1. Yates Coat in navy wool.
  2. Cotton Twill Ottobre Cargo Pants. I have navy stretch twill and gray twill fabric for these.
  3. Poudre linen curtains. The linen is a very soft pink. We are just waiting on the curtain rods and I will get started. Yay, more rectangles and straight lines to sew!
  4. Coffee filters. I use a pour over and I have been using muslin bags to filter the coffee and it is such a mess! I have some organic hemp and cotton on the way. This should be a quick and gratifying make.
  5. Sew something amazing with this plaid flannel!
  6. Vintage Halloween Rachel shirt.

Fiddle

My Music Journal and New Strings
  1. String my violin.
  2. Sign up for online lessons.
  3. Daily practice.
  4. Weekly lesson.
  5. By June 30, 2021 I want to be able to video myself playing a song for you. Don’t get too excited. It will probably be a very basic song. But once I surprised my friends (and myself) by launching into an improv version of Three Blind Mice. So who knows?

Tapestry Weaving

Remember way back in November 2019 when I purchased a tapestry loom? I also dyed some Cotswald SE2SE yarn with turmeric and it came out so beautiful. Well, I want to weave some placemats with it. The gold will look hideous with our pink tile, so maybe they will be gifted.

I think I may be on the 10 year plan for Year of Projects.

Enchanted Kimono Robe

Have you ever seen the film Enchanted April? I haven’t watched it in at least a decade or maybe longer. I hope there is nothing offensive in it. I sometimes think fondly on an old film and then rewatch it and find myself appalled by something I never noticed before!

Anyway, in the film, Josie Lawrence is wearing a lovely silk kimono robe. I’ve always wanted one. I have shopped robes but never found one I liked or felt good about buying. Then I decided to make one, and I shopped silk but couldn’t find quite the right thing. I finally settled on this cotton lawn with cranes and peonies (printed in Spain).

This was a very zen make. I didn’t follow instructions or a pattern. I measured and cut rectangles and sewed them together. I made the sleeves extra long for extra waftiness. Isn’t it great with the pink tile? I purchased this fabric several months ago, before I’d even seen the pink tile! Happiness score = 😃

Bob and I walked our local rails to trails bike path this morning. It wasn’t too far and it was a well kept path. I got all my steps in today!

I can’t wait to drink my coffee on my hammock swing tomorrow in my new robe.

Throwback Thursday

Remember way back in 2019 when I sewed this Farrow dress and these Emerson pants? They look great together! I may sew another dress like this in the mauve linen from Lithuania in my stash.

In other news, I am back up to the weight and size I was when I made these. I haven’t dieted or worked out all year. So I signed up for a program that’s free with my health insurance to help me get back on track. I did yoga and pilates today! Now I need to find a cardio workout I can do regularly. The roads around here aren’t the safest for walking or riding a bike. I could go into town to the gym, but I’m a little wary because of the Rona. I think I will drive 6 miles to the nearest park trail tomorrow and see how that goes.

I hope you have some fun socially-distanced holiday weekend plans! We don’t do anything for July 4, but on Sunday we’re hosting my friend Laurel for a birthday dinner.