Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I'm OK

Aside from a few hours (20 or so) with out internet--My ISP was hit harder than I was--the storm was as predicted.. Not that bad--

Unless you lived in a low area close to the shore.  There was plenty of warning (which some heeded, and some ignored) that it would be bad on the coastal areas, and even the low lying inland areas.  The loss of life, was remarkable low--a minor blessing that at least people--if not property--survived the storm.

The storm itself was bad--the aftermath--huge power outages (expected, but the outages exceeded-as the storm surge did--the predicted expectations) are the worst.  We are a society that is dependent on all the modern conveniences that electric power provides.  We manage well for a few hours, become testy after a day or two, and either resigned, or indignant when the power is gone for several days. The utility companies can't rewire their entire service area in week (or even in two weeks) even with out side help.

The news coverage is repetitious, tragedies aren't more (or less) tragic for being repeated every hour on the hour.   The important stuff--the basic changes to our climate, and what that means, is largely being ignored. Though Governor Cuomo touch on it...  But it seem rather evident.  Every years, the location changes, but the results the same--Worst storm we've ever seen.

A few years ago, scientist change the name from global warming to climate change.  It may or may not feel generally warmer, but tropical storm are heat driven and a degree or two difference makes for a huge change!

When it comes to rebuilding.. we should be asking ourselves: What makes the most sense? Should a house in a flood plan have a basement filled with utilities? Or should it have a utility room on the first floor?  Should the first floor at least be a few feet above ground level?  Shouldn't we be planning for self sufficiency--and have solar panels or other passive sources of power? Should we each have, at least some back up power?  While at the same time reducing our dependence on fossil fuels--and the problems burning fossil fuels bring?  

I have been a nag at my co-op meeting for installing solar panels on the roof.  I keep getting told its not cost effective --that there is almost 10 year pay-back time--at current electrical rates--(as if these aren't going to go up in the next few years. )--But at times like these, (even though we never lost power at all) being self sufficient, and at the same time reducing  the carbon foot print seems more and more like a good idea.




Monday, October 29, 2012

Blow Hard


All the news in Sandy—as if there haven't been hurricanes before. It is (or rather will be) a big mess of storm for many—but there is so much hype. Of all the natural disasters that can occur, a tropical storm is the easiest to plan for—with needed supplies, and early evacuations (if need). I know though, that there are those will have ignored all the warnings...and the news will be filled with the sad results.

I have batteries (always do) for my flashlights. And candles, too. But I doubt that I will need them. My stove has electronic ignition--but it will work with a match (and I have matches) 

Right now, it's not really anything special. A bit windy, and rainy and grey.. But not too dark, or too wet, or too windy. I don't live in a low area, or near the coast, so flooding is unlikely. Underground wires mean I don't have worry much about power outages. My windows (well most of them) fast west and north—so the winds are mostly to the back of my building (since the storm is coming from the south east.) so I haven't even really felt any windows rattling. I will feel the back of the storm, but wind there are usually milder.

My co-op has done extensive exterior maintainance in past few years—repointing all the brick work, and repairing all the terraces, and building parapets. Just last week, we had an arborist company was in, and a number of dead branches were trimmed of the trees --Well the trees on the co-op property—some of the street trees aren't in such good condition.. and it bodes ill for those who have to park their cars on the street. Likely to be a limb or two down, and some minor storm damage of that sort. But I feel secure inside my four walls.

It's great weather for staying home and knitting.. But I haven't done any knitting or any sewing, or much of anything.. Low pressure has me feeling low... and I am just sort of vegetating.

Among my errands yesterday, I got some more blue thread—so I can sew if I want --and likely will get some sewing done—or at least get the Scarlet O'Hara jacket cut. And the snaps set on the vest (of the same fabric) too, since I never got to them yesterday.

There is so much I want to knit! I need to finish the Ocean and Sea socks... and to make the fingerless gloves/arm warmers to match the Leafy Green socks.

I have some beautiful Regia silk sock yarn -in a plain grey—4 skeins of it. The plan is to make a pair of socks, and matching scarf—and a grey skirt, too. (I have grey fabric) Like the Scarlet O'Hara collection, enough stuff to mix and match—since grey socks—or a grey scarf go with a lot of things.

Then there is the brocade diamond vest to finish it's close to 90% done—just a few more inches and it will be done. All I have to do is get to it. It will look good with my newly completed chocolate brown skirt—and with the denim one—which has golden brown top stitching. For that matter, it will also go well with the khaki skirt, too.

Once the Brocade Diamond vest is finished, I can make a leafy green shell to match the socks and arm warmers—or at least that is the plan for the moment. I saw some simple shell tops in the newest edition of Knitters... And they point out –a simple shell takes just about the same amount of light weight yarn as 2 pairs of socks. It's not really a very big project—even when made with fine yarn and small needles. A leafy ribbed shell would be a nice addition to my wardrobe, wouldn't it? More practical than a scarf shawl. If I make it a bit big, it could function as a pull over vest or as a wear alone (or under a heavier shirt) shell. The basic stitch pattern is ribbing—so I could make it big enough to work both ways, with out having it look baggy.
I can't use the patterns in Knitters—the leafy green rib stitch needs to knit top down-- not bottom up. I have already started to work out the stitch count I'll need—and plan how to knit it. Even though I will be working top down, I don't want a raglan sleeve.. I am thinking of a saddle shoulder -and picking up from there, and working down.

Everywhere there are skeins of yarn crying out to me to be knit, and things I want to knit, but for the moment, I have lost my knitting mojo. Maybe a cup of coffee will jump start my energy.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sock Progress


 And sewing too.

So, its decided.. the name for theses socks: Dark Ocean and Tropical Seas.   The Dark Ocean blue has light blue has rippled waves. There are 2 repeats—though one is hard to see right now--with the rolling edge of the work hiding it.   The Tropical Seas (light blue) will have—dark rippled waves—the cross over point will have the same hook/wave pattern as below on the toe.

I am rapidly running out of the dark blue yarn. But I have quite a bit of the lighter blue still left. So there will be some plain light blue work after the color work. These socks will likely be shorter than average in height—but there is already 3+ inches of leg knit. (that is 3+ inches past the point of shaping the heel) —and there likely to be another 3 inches. Making the leg part about 6 inches—or just a scant inch short of my usual 7 inches of leg. Perfectly acceptable—especially for sock made from left over yarn!

My Scarlet O'Hara vest and skirt are just about done. The skirt is 100% finished, even the hand sewn on waist band hook and eye closure is done.

The vest—which gave me a bit of grief—is all sewn—but lacks closures. I have some buttons that match—but I think pearl snaps –the same ones that I put on the jumper are a better choice. I only need 5 (and have 7—so more than enough!) I'll keep the buttons for the jacket. Which I can't even start seeing as how I used up all the blue thread!--A full spool, plus some of a partial (both used up!) --Yet another reason to use snaps--there isn't enough thread left to sew buttonholes!

I am just waiting for a decent hour to add the snaps—I don't have a snap pliers—so I will hammer them on—using a setting tool.. But I don't want to be hammering too early on a Sunday morning.

I shouldn't be hammering at all on a Sunday.. but I'll be done before anyone can complain. Just one of the constraints of living in multi familied high rise (vs a private home).

The vest is fully lined--making it quite warm.  The process for sewing it together had me leave open the side seams, and sew out side to inside (lining) around the neck, front and hem, and the back hem. Then turn it right sides out, press, then sew the two side seams (which is a bit tricky to do).

First time round, I didn't pay enough attention to what I was doing, and I sewed front side to front side , and back side to back side. Which made an interesting but unwearable thing! So I ripped out the seams and re-did .. Sewing front side to back side (twice) and ended up with a vest. A little bit of hand sewing finished up the lining side seam. The construction is a bit awkward, but it makes the least amount of hand sewing required (about 6 inches of straight stitching on the lining side seams).

Next time, I will cut the vest longer. It fits, but I'd like it better longer. I might shape the bottom edge too, at least on one future version. The straight edge is OK—but a more traditional look with a pointed edge would be nice, as well.

The pockets aren't perfect either—but I wanted to practice doing sewn, lapped, inset pockets.. and I did a good job (sewing wise). It's been years since I have done such fancy work—and like everything.. a little practice goes a long way to perfecting the skill. What I don't like about them are the proportions. The pockets are too wide—and too shallow. I can't even fit a purse pack of tissues in them--Another good reason to make the vest long!

The jacket pattern doesn't have pockets. But the first version I made, I added patch pockets.. but now, since I have practiced, I think I'll do similar pockets on the jacket.. a bit of fancy detailing. But before I can start, a spool (or two) of some blue thread!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Well Heeled


Or perhaps, just heeled. This toe up heel—with increases (a gusset) followed by a long set of short rows makes a nice looking and nice feeling heel—but it seems to take forever.

Still,  I got both heels turned, and I still have more of the dark blue yarn, enough to make a decent length of leg—with no fear of running out of yarn. Next an inch or two of plain blue, and then some color work of both shades of blue, and a finish with the light blue. A good plan for  pretty sock I think.

As always, a sock in stocking knit (vs some sort of ribbing) looks baggy on LEGS small feet and thin ankles.

I still haven't decided all of the stitch patterns I will use in the color work... I am thinking perhaps some fish, and then the hook/wave pattern I used at the toe, and then maybe some thing more.... but I am not exactly sure what! (stylized birds in the sky blue?)

I got some sewing done, too—or rather just some cutting done. Another skirt, and matching vest (and a jacket of the same fabric to come!) all in my Scarlet O'Hara blue clouds denim –no not really denim, though it is a faded denim blue color—the cloth is an even weave, not a twill. I made a jumper in this fabric at the beginning of the summer. There is enough of this fabric for complete wardrobe of mix and match—the jumper that wore as a dress in the summer will work well with a t shirt (long or short sleeved) underneath-- and with a matching jacket—will span the seasons.

I can wear it as dress with a jacket on mild days, or as jumper with a T-shirt on cooler fall days, or with a long sleeved T-shirt as the weather gets cold. The jacket (when it gets made) will go with it, and the skirt, and a number of denim skirts, too. The vest is just another layer/piece. A natural go-with the skirt, or with other denim skirts, especially with a skirt I made in the spring that is mostly denim and trimmed with the blue cloud fabric.
The skirt is another 6 gored one, and the vest has princess seam that will line up. I am adding (as always) pockets to the skirt. And to the vest as well. You can't have too many pockets. 

I still haven't cut the jacket... but I have over 2 yards of 60 inch wide fabric left—plenty for a jacket—and likely a tote bag will be added to the mix—cause who can't use yet another bag? I like mix and match separates—and it's fun to build a set—especially when I am starting with free fabric.

The blue cloud fabric was originally used as a wall covering. When the place I worked a few years ago was being gutted, and the fabric was being ripped form the walls, I took some of the fabric. Lots of it actually. Then washed it and re-purposed it—which is why I call the fabric (and the collection of clothes made from it) the Scarlet O'Hara collection!

I'm about to start sewing (as soon as this is posted)--and will likely have the skirt mostly done by the end of the day—tomorrow I'll work on the vest. Tonight, I'll get back to knitting and work on the socks for a bit.
With the weather forecast of a Frankenstorm (Hurricane Sandy)for the area means I will likely get some sewing  and knitting done this weekend--for sure I won't be running around doing things in the predicted rain!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm Back


 Not much knitting to report on—but PHOTOS! Some from last week, and some from today.

OK, so I haven't been doing too much knitting—but I have gotten some sewing done. 3 new skirts completed (and already worn—but then, I can't wait to wear new clothes I've sewn!) One in khaki and another in brown (the same brown fabric I featured some 2 years ago—finally sewn up!)--both of these skirts are six gore a-lines—with added pockets. (the pattern lacked pockets)

The third, a simpler A-line in a dark blue denim—with pockets, top stitching and fly front details—the pattern was for a plain a-line skirt—I added all the details. There are more skirts to come—another denim one, and some more colored ones—in colored denim like twill fabric.

I got some mending done too—zippers replaced, hems repaired (and some things taking apart, too) I am on a real sewing kick. So much so, I stopped at my not too local sewing machine store (Sew Right) and bought some more bobbins. My (new to me) Viking machine came with 8 bobbins. Not nearly enough—so I bought a bag of 20. Now I have enough! 

But I haven't totally abandon knitting.
I've finished the Leafy green socks. And I love them! I have some green (actually quite a bit of green!) in my wardrobe—these socks will get a lot of use. I haven't started the fingerless gloves/gauntlets yet. I want to finish up some other projects first.

Like my spicy brown diamond brocade vest. Here it is.. This is last weeks photo—and nothing has been done since last week;  but now that the green socks are done.. Well I will get back to work on this project.

Of course, as soon as the leafy green sock were done—I cast on new socks. These are free-be socks. They are being made for a friend who coveted the socks I made back in the spring with this yarn. 

 The yarn is Lion Brand Sock Ease –the marshmallow white over dyed. My plan was for a pair of socks in the lighter blue.. but my plans went awry when the I messed up dyeing the yarn.  The result was the dark blue. It is beautiful... but not really what I had in mind. A retry with a partial skein got me the results I desired (the light blue) but there wasn't enough of the light blue for a pair of socks.

The result were the socks I linked to above—a beautiful pair of socks. And because I started out with more than a skein and most of another (about 190g of yarn),  there was  about 90g of left over yarn. Not enough for another identical pair (stranded work does use more yarn) but enough for some sort of socks.

So here is the start—toe up—to be sure I have enough yarn—with a simple pattern on the foot, and more pattern work-- where it will show-- on the leg (when I get to it)

I am just about to start the heel (well another few rounds, and I'll be ready). I haven't thought of name for them. Sea and Sky? Tropical Seas and Ocean Deep? I dunno.. maybe when they are done a name will suggest its self. For now they are free-be blues!

Finally a image of a quick hat I knocked out last week. I've always admired this stranded pattern, and wanted to try it out... and I am so glad I did. I love it. Not the hat so much as the stitch pattern.

It's a wonderful pattern.

First—it's a pattern row and copy—which means it's a good pattern for working flat.
Work the pattern row on the right side, the wrong side row is the same pattern.. No reading a chart backwards. Just Purl color A with color A, and Purl color B with color B.

But I didn't work it flat I worked in the round.  And here is the second super part of this pattern. The natural jogs in the pattern means there are no visible jogs at the join. Its a perfectly 'seamless pattern'. No need to make any effort to hid the jogs. Not that I ever do make an effort to hid the jog anyway.(The image show is has the join and Beginning of Round dead center--in person, unblocked, it was easy to find--but not so much in the image!)

I've given the hat away—I enjoyed knitting it. But the hat was really a swatch—not a hat at all. And now that I have swatched and learned the pattern, and see how it works.. Well it will reappear in something else! I think it would better with black as the background color (instead of white) and that it would work well with a variegated yarn—the kind that has short (every stitch or two) color changes even better than with the long color change yarn I used.

So that's about it. Everyday, I get more and more things restored to my desktop—and have been working to find some new software to replace stuff I liked, but that is out of date. I've been learning the details of replacement soft ware. There has been personal stuff going on too.. some good, some bad, (mostly, the bad is how I look at it, and some of the stuff going on is me learning (again!) how to look at it and see it as good.)  

Now to get back on a schedule--a post some thing new every day, again.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm Back!


Last week was hectic—and I had all sorts of pre-wedding jitters—even though I really had very few responsibilities—aside from dressing up and getting there!

I got some knitting done—and some sewing (first fall skirt is done!) and dealt with a computer software issue—that had me computer-less for 3 days!  And as I just discovered--my photo software is not quite recovered.. So no photos! There is a link below to wedding photos if you want to see them.

So what been happening?

First the spice vest is getting done.. Look clear armholes, and inches of yoke done.
It's beginning to look like a vest. And like it will be finished in time to be useful.

Socks, too, have  progressed, too. The gussets are done, and some progress has been made on the foot. Not done yet—but getting there.

And then there is this hat—a simple one done in color work.

Last week at this time, I went searching for some DK wool in green—to make some  fingerless gloves to match my socks.  I found the yarn I wanted it in an instant—and found a skein of Mondial yarn too. The hat used half a skein--first dark blue/black that changed to cherry pink and then back to blue black.  The  colors represent half the 50 gram skein—the other half of the skeing is bright yellow/marigold orange/bright yellow (with bits of taupe and green—when the color changed from the dark blackish blue to the yellow) –But once I found this yarn again-(I had totally forgotten about it) I felt compelled to make something with it. But you'll have to wait till tomorrow to see it!

I have enough green for the fingerless gloves--and some time after the socks are done, I'll make them, too. 

So last week I got my dress sewn, and my daughters jacket sewn --no photo's of her in it—it was just to wear to look nice and keep warm walking too and fro—from Terrace on the park –to the Unisphere and back. That's just a short 10 minute walk— the Unisphere made a great back drop for photo's.

Just after I uploaded the few photo's I took--(Sunday AM) my computer ground to halt—with a soft ware glitch—I am back—and thanks to Chrome—didn't lose any bookmarks.. (I did lose passwords.. but I have a string of passwords that I work through—all pretty complex—and I have managed to restore just about every one. (after several attempts in some cases.) I am not going to post wedding photos--but you can find some on my face book page--and more--taken by my sister Margaret--a gifted amateur photographer here. (and Yes, that is the bride in the red dress!)

The wedding was beautiful—and went off with out any noticeable hitches. My daughter is a go with the flow sort of person—and the exact opposite of a bridezilla. The cake wasn't what she ordered—but only a handful of us knew that. The cake she got was plain, simple and elegant.. (and the right kind of cake and the right filling). It was fresh and beautiful—and tasted delicious. And not an issue.

The florist—who didn't speak English fluently—but did beautiful work—and was a local business. (which made her a natural choice!) DD ordered centerpieces—topiaries,.. and bouquets, and corsages for the mothers, and boutonnieres for the groomsmen. The bouquets came and they were balls with ribbon loops—not the more tradition nosegay style. She was thrilled. It wasn't what she expected.. but they were a great stylistic match to the table flowers—and beautifully made—huge and full of beautiful flowers. As she has been known to say—It's rare to see ugly flowers.. Fresh white roses and daisy's make a beautiful display. Every one remark how beautiful the bouquets were (they were, they were!) and that's how it was. Her open acceptance of the beautiful flowers made everyone think it was just what she designed and ordered. No dramatics about the bouquets not being the more traditional ones.

So now that things are getting back to normal (normal? Who am kidding!) I'll get back to making regular posts.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

The Tension


 Between keeping traditions—and trying new things.
(I have been conflicted—and it's made me negative.. I want to focus on the positive—another form of tension)
Between giving things away—and finding your mail box full of new things!

I frequently am giving away a ball or two (or ten!) of yarn to friends—Yarns I like—but not as much as when I bought it. Yarn that I bought one skein of—to try.. and now I am just not interested. Yarns that were shared with me... and well I just don't know what to do with them. They need new homes—where someone will find a good use for them.
A gift in the mail, from my sister
You'd think it would reduce my stash—It should—but then, just when I least expect it—New yarn comes into my life. My sister in Japan has been on a tear—and once again—my mail box was stuffed with yarn—It's lovely isn't it? Labeled mohair (technically goat not sheep wool) I suspect it has some wool blended in--I'll have to work at understanding the blend (its in Japanese). The colors are so pretty—there are 7 full skeins and a partial one. And even though they are only 25g skeins, there is plenty enough to make a cowl. Not that I need another cowl, or scarf or hat, or fingerless gloves...

Still my mental queue is filled with ideas for knitting cowls, and hats and scarves and fingerless gloves; And sweaters, and other stuff! 

on their way to being socks
First --I think (after I finish my current projects) —some fingerless gloves. I want to make some green ones—an olive sort of green. With ever round, I like my green leafy ribbed socks better and better.. I started the heel flap last night—but before that, I stretched them out on my arm to measure the length—and I so loved them. This leafy rib is perfect for some fingerless gloves. The ribbed texture held the fabric snug against my arm—and I just loved how they looked. It's really a waste to have the pretty border and pretty pattern on my feet—The same pattern would be perfect for my hands and arms—where everyone could see it! Not that I don't deserve to have pretty socks—but..

I know I have some smooth green DK wool (both Lion Brand superwash DK and some of ACMoore's Kashmir—also a DK but not superwash--(though the Kashmir is 100% wool merino and not cashmere) Both are left overs from previous projects and while there is enough for fingerless gloves there isn't enough for much else. -I know  I want long ones-- I just hope I have enough yarn!

They will be just the thing to wear some of my ¾ length sleeved sweaters. And to fill in sleeves of some winter jackets.. (that are too loose!) Or even to wear around the house.. Today (this AM was lovely—and I have on a short sleeved T shirt—but a cold front is coming in—and by tonight it will be 30°'s colder—my arm will get cold—and some long fingerless gloves would be  just the thing.(too bad I haven't knit them yet!)

More green yarn.
Then there is this LLH wool—well-- not wool but a soft and cozy blend of alpaca, linen, wool and nylon blend—it would be perfect for a cowl—and go great with some green fingerless gloves. The Savanna color way seems to demand something ribbed and grass like. A different ribbed pattern than the fingerless gloves. Other single skein green (just 50g)--in a different green again –but similar, green –but a bit drab and olivey green and a bit heavier (not quite worsted weight but close) --could be come a hat—A more leafy design there... All to  coordinate—but not to matchy-matchy.

My diamond brocade vest is still resting—but I have been busy—thinking about what I want to do with it!




Thursday, October 04, 2012

A Little Progress Here

A little progress there...Slowly but surely, things are getting done.

A few more rounds (a repeat of the pattern and then some) done on the socks—6 inches done in all.
The ribbing really collapse in—and make the socks look funny (sort of like broccoli, don't you think?) —but stretched out, the pattern is coming along nicely.  Its not as leafy a pattern as I wanted--but it is leafy enough.  All the really leafy patterns distorted the top edge of the cuff too much--so it was a trade off. But really--they are just socks--any pattern that is not to complicated is more than enough!

The Diamond Brocade stitch vest? It has the beginning of arm hole openings..(see the one on the left?)
 I am going to do the yoke in a different stitch—but I am not quite sure which! I keep looking for the one that speaks to me.

I am leaning towards something vaguely ribbed—I like a snug top to vest (and more ease below the armhole) I am toying with ribbed columns of 9 stitches with a diamond brocade pattern, and 7 stitches of purls between—this sort of repeats the diamond pattern from below-and at the same time, incorporates some ribbing. I decreased the stitch count at the two rows of purls (welting) since the vest was just too big. I sometimes forget, I have lost weight, and can make things smaller.

So I have to do some homework and work out the placements of the ribs (and maybe do 9 X 6) –to have the columns more or less line up with the diamonds below the welting. The welting is enough of break that I don't have to have things perfectly line up—just sort of. Its just a matter of working out what works! (stitch count wise and esthetically)

Today I have already run some errands --paid my “rent” (maintenance) and bills and paperwork (More paperwork-- for the insurance company) Went to the bank--(I was broke!) and got some shopping done; fresh broccoli for tonight's dinner, some navel oranges for breakfast fruit.

I also treated myself to a bottle of pumpkin spiced apple cider. I suspect the cider will be nice—though I don't need it-- really. Certainly I like apples and spice and pumpkin—but  its only 60% fruit juice, and sweetened--not really a good choice.   What  I really like, is the bottle!

It will be recycled into a cider vinegar bottle. I tend to by some things, like vinegar, oil, soy sauce by gallon—and then decant as much as needed for kitchen--My kitchen (as are many in NYC) is too small to provide enough storage space for all these big bottles. (They get stored in separate pantry/linen/utility closet.--fortunately I have a nice big one!)

 It's  really is a cost effective way to shop.  A half gallon of low sodium soy sauce is the just a few cents more than 2 8 ounce bottles—so its like buying 2 at full price and  getting 6 more bottles for a nickel a piece. The trick is to have some nice, conveniently sized bottles to decant the larger ones into.

Some times I just recycle a bottle (I had bought  some small bottles soy sauce  before I found  a source for the bigger (and cheaper per ounce) half gallon bottle.  I know that  Bed Bath and Beyond sells lovely bottles—at $4 to $5 (empty!)--and so do Michaels and ACMoore (occationally) at close to the same price.

 This bottle is a nice size, (16 oz/500ml) and costs a mere $2—Plus I get the cider, too! I like the bottle enough that I might just go and buy another bottle of cider--and get a second bottle. I will add a fancy label to the bottle once I empty it... It will be pretty, and functional (and a bargain, too boot!).

Best of all the bottle is perfectly plain.  I have recycled some similar bottles that were beer bottle, and these have embossed brand names in the glass...Which just isn't as nice.

This afternoon I will cut the pattern for my dress—and get started with making it. The wedding is Oct. 13th—I think its time I get to work.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Good News, Bad News—but its good bad news


(no Photos)

The bad news? While I could alter the brown poly-cotton (aka muslin) to fit—taking it in a little here, and out a little there...It still doesn't really work. Taking it in at the bust/top made the armholes too tight, and even cutting them larger (thankfully one can make some things larger!)I was still left with a sleeve that was too tight (for comfort). Letting out a smidge (on each seam—there are 6!) gave me more than enough ease to fit.

But--nothing could be done with the length of bodice--too short! (I tend to be long waisted) —or the opening for the neckline (too wide)--the top felt like it was falling off! Or the sleeve—to tight.

A too tight sleeve, with a too short bodice was a major problem—the tight sleeve would have caused the already too short bodice to ride up if I lifted my arms (as I might do when dancing) and leave a huge unsightly gap at the waist—Ugh! But—here is the good news! All of these fitting problems are fixable problems!  And while I am disappointed that the brown top isn't really wearable--it was worth it to learn all i did about the fitting of this pattern.

I am now ready to cut the bodice in good fabric, making the neckline a little smaller--(which means adding more fabric!) and bodice longer (more fabric there too) and the sleeves a bit wider(another place where more fabric will fix the fit.

But I got the length of the sleeve right the first time--(I have short arms and sleeves are always too long.) I can add a bit too, to each edge, and have full seam allowance-and still make the top a bit fuller below the bust--(it still pretty snug fitting—but then, that is the style.)

The pattern is really very simple—and now that I have sewn it up once, ripped it apart and sewn it up again—I know all the detail areas to watch out for. I will likely make the bodice too long as I cut it again—adding 3 inches of extra length-- when 2 inches are probable all I need. It's always easy to trim it shorter. And I won't alter the arm holes till I have bodice constructed—again its easier to trim—and a better plan than having too big an opening—a good french curve and lots of years of experience give me the confidence to know I can make this alterations on a semi constructed garment.

The skirt will be easier—I've made a few skirts recently—and I know my size and the adjustments I need to make there better. For 1—about 6 inches shorter than the pattern suggests!--though I will hedge my bets and only make it 4 inches shorter—better to have to trim off an extra inch than to be left too short! I bought 6 yards of the fabric—and I really only need about 4.5 for dress—so I have plenty of fabric and adding a few inches of length to the bodice won't be an issue. (Even if I hadn't bought extra—I'd have the extra from the shorter skirt to add to a longer bodice!)

Patterns are made for amazons—Tall, long legged women with short torso—and not for long waisted short legged women like me! Not to mention, sizing is totally different--(and being slightly smaller in the bust—is another standard alteration for me--but so much easier to accomplish—I feel for woman who are large busted!)

A little work got done on the sock--a full pattern repeat -Which sounds like a lot—but is in reality, a scant 8 rows (not quite an inch!) The leg is near the half way point--Its currently 4 inches. I usually start the heel around 7 inches—for a total length of 9 or so inches. So its more than half of the leg in the round—but not quite half if you include the heel.

Nothing got done on the diamond vest—I took a nap instead. I do feel better (I forgot to take medication last night to sleep—and it didn't matter) but I still am achy and tired. Better to baby myself a bit.




Monday, October 01, 2012

Still with a Cold


Though I think the worst is over... Another few days of sniffles but I am beginning to feel better each day. Saturday was the worst—I felt the achiest, I had a fever and just generally didn't feel well. I made sure to keep up my vitamin C—because I was out most of the day. First teaching knitting at the Makers Faire, then seeing a bit of the Faire itself. I left early—and while I didn't feel exhausted—I managed to take a 4 hour nap when I got home.

Sleep is what I needed, and I slept in on Sunday, too, not getting up till almost 10 AM--which very late for me.  (I woke as usual at 6 AM—and took a quick trip to the bathroom. I returned to bed and went back to a full deep sleep for 4 more hours—instead of my usually doze for an hour/hour and half!)

I try not to take too much medication when I have a cold—OTC medications just treat the symptoms anyway—they don't do anything for virus. Most days, I take nothing but vitamin C and fluid, but most nights I go to bed with those “green” cold capsule. (I use CVS or other drug store brands—not the expensive ones made my Vicks)--They help me get to sleep—and while dosing is recommended for every 6 hours—one dose is more than enough to help me get my 7 something hours that I need to function.

Still a little knitting has been done--A few rows on my Diamond Brocade Vest—but I still have yarn left in skein 5. At the end of skein 5 I'll divide the work for the armholes. Its about 11 inches long now--but it wouldn't look much different in a photo--a few more repeats of the diamond pattern--but nothing very much different--so I didn't bother to take a photograph.
My green socks (Lion Brand Sock Ease Yarn in Green Apple) got some work done too. I found a stitch pattern I liked—it's a fancy rib—4 X 6, with some pattern work in the stocking knit to make a vaguely leafy design. Some would find it difficult.. Each side (needle) begins with a purl stitch—and some find that awkward—but I have never minding purling and never minded starting a row (or round or needle) with purls.

Because it is basically a rib (4 of 8 rounds in each pattern are P2, K6, P2) I didn't bother with a cuff—and went right into the pattern from the stitches picked up from the crosswise knit top band. Now that there have been a few repeats of the pattern knit, its looking good. The rib pattern will be fine from cuff to toe.

I've already decided, after the vest and sock—to knit up a set of finger-less gloves and matching hat—I have the yarn (more green!) and an idea—now I just need to refine the details. In case you hadn't guessed—more leaves. I am on a roll. Green yarn and leafy designs are what moves me right now.

My complexion is very rosy--especially in the cold weather, and drab green(sounds like an awful color doesn't it) is perfect for me. It  provides a sharp contrast to my rosy cheeks and looks lively (as all high contrast colors do).  I dress up drab very well. 

Since I am feeling better today, I will be sewing—I know, I know, I keep saying I am going to get to work sewing (and don't!) but not today! Today I sew!