Saturday, August 30, 2014

Purple Faux-Wrap Tee

Here is my final tee for the Pattern Review TNT tee contest, ending tomorrow!  I often have grand plans to enter these contests and seldom follow through, so this is a little victory for me.

The final tee is a faux-wrap look (or criss-cross neckline or something).  I drafted the neckline from the crew-neck version.  I think the original pattern came with a variation that looks a lot like this, but I have no idea what happened to the "front" pattern piece for that.
 The fabric is a ribbed, very stretchy rayon jersey that I've had in my stash for years.  I don't have many garments in this deep purple color, but this top reminds me how much I like it!  You can see from the back view below how drapey this fabric is.  I'm thinking it would have made a nice dress.
 Having made 5 of my TNT tees in the last month, I can really see how different knits behave with the same pattern.  Typical tee shirt knit fabric makes structured, comfy tees (here and here).  A firmer RPL with little stretch makes for a very form fitting (borderline tight) version.  Drapey rayon yields fluid, loose results like this purple one and the yellow one.

Luckily, unlike the red one, I do have the perfect cowl for when temps finally cool off.
 You can really see how I made my long sleeves super long.  I always do this.  I have super long arms and grew up with long sleeved shirts that were never long enough, so I not-so-subconsciously overcompensate now! :-)

Gray and White Striped Tee

This is a very basic tee except for the fabric.  I created that the same way I made my navy and white striped jacket fabric last year.  First I cut long strips, selvage to selvage, from gray and white, and then I stitched the strips together to make a new striped fabric before cutting out the tee shirt pattern pieces (careful to match colors across sleeves and front to back) and stitching them up.
 I used a darker gray top-stitching on each edge of the gray stripes for a little extra pizzazz.
 This was a pretty easy project, but it makes a statement.  My husband said "Wow!" which isn't usually the reaction for a knit top.  :-)  I've gotten compliments from friends also.  I think it's a combination of the obvious craftsmanship (different fabrics, not a printed stripe) and the fact that this is completely "my style."  Love it!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fall 2014 Marfy Patterns

The Fall/Winter Marfy patterns are up on the McCalls site.  I have sewn a few Marfy patterns, and I love the fit and experience.  Here is an older post about sewing with Marfys.

I haven't ordered any in a few years, but here are the ones I really want now:

I like the slightly retro feel of 3516 without venturing into costume territory.  I think it would be great with a lightweight tweedy fabric and a good excuse to finally make some fabric-covered buttons.

3443 is a beautiful knit dress with strategic pleats and nifty faux belt for waist definition.

3429 is an elegant option.  I adore the neckline with tucks to make a sort of shawl collar.  I also really like the lace on the sides as an unexpected embellishment.  Again with the belt.

I like the subtle asymmetry of 3425.  I wonder if the skirt is bias-cut.  Another great, slightly unexpected use of trim.

We're definitely venturing into too-dressy-for-anything-I-do territory, but 3442 is gorgeous!  Not your run of the mill sheer sleeves with lacy dress (cough).  There is so much pretty going on here, and it all works together.  I'd even go for the peplum.  I love you, Marfy.

Ok, now we must get to the coats.  We shall not discuss the fact that I live in Florida and have plenty of coats.  Alright?

3506 is more of a jacket anyway, right?  A beefy knit or tweed and it'd be perfect for the dead of winter here.  Oh the piping/trim.  I swoon.

My new coat desire is something collarless so that it doesn't have to compete with all of my splendid knit scarves and cowls.  3480 fits the bill.

Although, I think it is 3481 that is singing to me in the collarless coat department.  Maybe it's the plaid.  Or the fur.  Which reminds me, I should mention all the fur stoles my MIL and I found in my GMIL's (is that a thing?  Grandmother-in-law) closet.  The absolute height of sophistication at the time, I'm sure, but they just kind of creep me out with their little heads and feet and stuff.  Yikes!  Anyway...

Let's wrap it up with 3482.  Why do I feel like this could fulfill my unknown desires to feel like a Russian Czarina?  Again, maybe the fabric choice.  I really like the figure-flattering cut on this.  I'm into the incorporated faux-belts this season, I guess.

Have you ever sewn a Marfy pattern?  Any desire to try?  At $15+ a pop, I need to pare down my selection a bit (or a lot).

Thursday, August 28, 2014

TNT tee - boat neck

Here is tee #3 for the Pattern Review TNT tee contest.  I have #4 complete.  It just needs photos.  I'm trying to decide whether to whip up one more tonight.  I guess I'll see how I feel about it tonight.  :-)
 The only changes I made to the pattern were to make a wider boat neck and rolled short sleeves.  To hold the sleeve roll in place, I just did some stitching at the underarm, and I adjust the outside when I put it on in the morning.  The rolls stay fine throughout the day.
 The fabric is a very thin rayon knit from Pennie Fabrics in Sarasota (AMAZING fabric store I finally went to check out - well worth a 40+ minute drive).  Shoot, I'd probably be willing to do the drive to work there part time.  It has narrow yellow and white stripes.  Since the fabric was quite sheer, I doubled it for the entire tee.  This made a very neat neckline with no need for binding.  I just top-stitched it.
 I'm wearing the tee with my recent denim skirt.  I can't believe it has been a month since I made this skirt.  It still feels brand new even though I wear it all the time.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Vogue Knitting Winter 2014 - Drop Stitch Poncho, kind of

I wasn't sure what this yarn wanted to be for a while.  At first, it started out as the Bazan Shrug by Jane Richmond, but the smooth texture of this yarn didn't make that pattern sing, so I decided on a recent Vogue Knitting magazine pattern, Drop Stitch Poncho from Winter 2014.  Sorry I can't find a link to a photo other than in Ravelry (which you have to log into), but here it is:

All was going well with mine.  I adjusted my stitches to match my gauge.  Everything was fine until I blocked it and it grew like crazy!  That's what I get for not washing my swatch.  Anyway, now I have a lovely white, chunky cowl for winter, and I'm perfectly happy with that.  :-)

Also, Martine at iMake has just started a KAL (knit along) for a super fun cowl pattern, My Favorite Things Infinity Scarf by Jill McGee.  I'm going to join in with all the odd bits of worsted weight yarn I've accumulated, but there's no telling when I'll finish this project (or when it will be cold enough to wear!)  If you want to join in the fun, join Martine's iMake group on Ravelry.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

V-neck Tee

Here is my second tee shirt for the Pattern Review TNT tee shirt contest.  For this one, I went with a wide, deep V-neck and 3/4 sleeves.

(Also, I cut my hair.)
 There isn't much to say about it, this being a TNT pattern.  :-)
 I think this would be great with a long cowl or scarf, but I don't have one that coordinates.  Sounds like I need to plan something.  I'm feeling like maybe an extra large Princess Franklin Plaid Collar.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Plum Frost Cardigan colors

I started knitting the Plum Frost Cardigan by Elinor Brown.  I got it started before going away for a long weekend, and the fingering-weight stockinette stitch body in the round was the perfect thing for hours in the car and watching Shark Week in the hotel at night.  I'm almost done with the body to the armholes and can then start the sleeves. 

The yarn I'm using for the main part of the sweater is a pale pink KnitPicks Palette that a friend gave me years ago when it wasn't the color she expected.  All through the mindless knitting of the body, I've been thinking of what colors to use for the yoke.  What do you think?
So, I'm realizing now that it's a bit of gobbledy gook, but the color combinations are laid out in rows.  The example sweater has two neutrals and three shades of another color in addition to the main color.  I am no color theorist - I just know what I like - , so I would love any input.

Let's call the options, from top to bottom, greens, pinks, yellows, dark greens, grays.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Knitting Plans

I went trolling through my yarn stash yesterday to see what I have.  I found perfect yarn for a cardi for my niece's birthday in October

I think I'll make the Alexa Luderman's Antler Cardigan.

I went through a bunch of my knitting books looking for a pattern, figuring "why buy another pattern when I have so many in my library?" but then I decided since I'm using leftover yarn for this, I could at least shell out $7 for the pattern, especially since it includes kid and adult sizes.

The yarn is red Noro Maiko leftover from this sweater.

I also found a whole bag of pink KnitPicks Palett that a friend gave to me years ago when she didn't like the color.  The pale pink color flummoxed me for a long time, but now I can see it made into the Plum Frost cardigan.  I think having other colors in the yoke will subdue the baby girl pink feel.  We're leaving for a long weekend at the beach, and this might be a great project to take along since it's knit from the bottom-up, and the small gauge will give me hours of stockinette knitting before I even need to order the yoke colors.  :-)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Interweave Knits 2014 Picks!

I only subscribe to two knitting magazines, Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting.  Vogue Knitting is usually a little "out there" for my taste, but I can't let go.  I keep renewing.  Interweave Knits is hands-down my favorite, but the fall 2014 issue, which arrived in my mailbox yesterday, has totally outdone itself.  So many gorgeous patterns.  I've already cast on one, and I got the issue less than 24 hours ago.

Here are my faves:

Really cute integrated pockets.  I love the cable patterns and also that there is a large expanse of textured stitch to give a break from the cables.

Another great use of cables that aren't all over

The cover sweater.  It looks so beautiful in the slightly variegated yarn.

I think this would be great for my climate in a linen-blend maybe.  I love the yoke detail and thumb holes.

The back is the superstar on this one, but the front is lovely, also.  So, so gorgeous in a rustic wool.

A little different from a plain cabled beret.  This is what I cast on.  I don't think I'll have enough yarn for the mits also, unfortunately.

This was almost the one I cast on, but the beret won out in the end since I wasn't sure how soft my alpaca yarn would be on the neck.  Really pretty pattern stitch.

These were just my very favorites.  There are even move lovelies in there.  A great issue for fall!  Do you subscribe to knitting magazines, or do you get your patterns from Ravelry or another source?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Podcast 5: Summertime

You can get the podcast on iTunes by searching "southshore" and it will pop right up.  If you are so inspired, please do go write a quick iTunes review since I think that will help it show up on other searches like "kitting" and "sewing" and stuff.  You can also just listen to the player at the bottom of this post.  Thanks for letting me keep you company for a while. :-)



My Life

Sewing - Messenger Bag

              Bible Cover

              Denim Skirt - Butterick 5619

              Black Dress - Vogue 1208

              T-shirt Contest on Pattern Review - Butterick 3344

              Cushions  (here is the sad before pic)

Knitting - Beacon Hill

               Green sweater for my niece

               Drop Stitch Poncho

               Brooklyn Tweed Kids

               Socks for Hubs... about to be frogged, in need of smaller needles

Things I don't get - spinning (Actually I'm jealous - Spinners, tell me how you balance spinning with knitting time!!)

Gift Plans - Socks for Hubs, Beacon Hills for moms, Brooklyn Tweed Kids?

Pattern Update - Trim Tank is here
                         Coupon code NEWPATTERN for $1 off

Living Handmade - Lots of baking
                             Getting Artisan Bread book from the library
                             Berliner Bobbes were supposed to look like this :-/

                             Martine's (iMake) Salted Caramel Sauce

Stolen Moments - accepting ideas for a less-cheesey name for the segment :-)

Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Flamingo applique tee

Last week, I decided to participate in the August Pattern Review contest for TNT tees.  The idea is to make 4-6 different tee shirts from one TNT pattern during August... right up my alley.

I wasted no time and whipped this flamingo tee up over the weekend.  Yes, it is inspired by a child's tee shirt at Mini Boden.  So what?  :-)
 My basic TNT tee is Butterick 3344, long out of print.  It is no exaggeration that I've made this pattern dozens of times... or at least one dozen times.  My modifications for this version were to add little cuff-type ends and two rows of top-stitching to the short sleeves, and there is a small scoop neckline with a narrow finish.
 The superstar, though, is m pretty little flamingo!  The light pink body is reverse-appliqued, and the wings and beak are regular appliqued.  The legs are machine embroidered, and the eye is a few by-hand French knots.  If I were to make this again, my only improvement would be to lightly interface behind the legs.  It bunched up a bit when I stitched there.
If anyone is interested, I can upload a little free .pdf and explanation of the applique/reverse applique process.