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sewing

In October, I participated in a biscornu swap in one of the groups on Ravelry. My swap partner has already received her biscornu, so I can post pictures here without spoiling her.

Some more information about biscornus, from Biscornu Basics:

A biscornu is an interesting little eight-sided pincushion that has become very popular in recent months. … Regardless, biscornu are basically made from two embroidered squares sewn together on point; the corner of one square meets the middle of the other as the two pieces are whip-stitched together and stuffed, creating the a quirky, skewed pillow. Additionally, many are finished off with a button in the center of the design top and bottom.

I used black Aida, two colors of blue, green, and BEADS. I used the Rhodes Butterfly Biscornu pattern from Kincavel Krosses. I learned a new stitch! I liked making both the Rhodes Butterfly (of which there are many variants) and the Rhodes square.

Img from LlwynogBach

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(We’ll just look past the fact that I haven’t blogged on this particular site in a few years, shall we?)

Since I’ve borked my shoulders knitting the Baby Blanket of Doom, I’ve turned my need to so something with my hands into embroidering handkerchiefs. I’m telling people that I’m embroidering them because I want to be more eco/paper conscious, but really, I need something somewhat practical on which to stitch my fancies. One can only have so many things hanging on the wall, or pillows, but hankies? Imminently useful.

I bring you (Zombie) Sheep Hankie.

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[Design from Urban Threads]

Turtle Hankie

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[Design from Urban Threads]

Next on my list is a pretty Ohm symbol, and then I think I’ll move onto the embroidery for a gift. Then, it’s on to a bellydancer.

Maybe my shoulders will be happy again by then?

I tried, valiantly, to post here. It seems that unless I blog first in the in the morning, it doesn’t happen.

It’s still morning, and I’m sitting down to post, so we’ll see how this week goes.

Today I finished this skirt. Skirts are a tricky thing for me, as I am tall and long waisted, and have certain requirements for my skirts.

They have to reach a certain point on my waist, and they must cover my knees when I am sitting [this is a touch of modesty and to remind me that I am indeed wearing a skirt and should not sit as if I am in trousers]. I wanted a longer skirt, touching the top of my shoes, for the cooler fall/spring and cold winter months. This was spurred on almost two years ago by my Burial Rituals in Medieval Europe history professor, who has the loveliest khaki skirt with pockets and a zipper fly a la jeans.

One of the problems in finding skirts like these lies in what is popular in fashion/culture at the moment. I’m lucky to find a skirt that hits my knees, much less goes past the middle of my calves. I managed to find a few websites that sell longer skirts for either Muslim or Tzunit women.

Wonderful skirts, not so wonderful prices.*

Last month, while waiting for Matt to finish a meeting, I was in the university bookstore, and picked up a book on how to draft your own skirt patterns. There were sections on straight skirts, layered/tiered skirts, and circle skirts.

I thought to myself:  “You’ve made lots of skirts for yourself. ” How hard would it be to draft a pattern of my own, make a muslin trial, and go from there?

Not too difficult, luckily.

I used 4 yards of a silvery grey courderoy, matching thread, and an invisible zipper.

Newspaper was my pattern piece. I put it together, then added the invisible zipper. I would like to say that adding an invisible zipper was easier and simpler than installing a normal zipper, and I did it with a normal zipper foot. The key is just to be very careful and slow.

It went together without too much fuss, though I did have to re-sew most of the seams to make it fit. I added a facing at the waist, and my MiL was kind enough to pin the hem for me. Normally I would just pin it all the way around, but I am a curvy woman, and we found out the giggly way it would look ridiculous.

I did a decorative embroidery stitch around the hem, and voila, it is done.

I plan on making one out of denim, and one out of black linen. I also plan on writing up a pattern/tutorial, as I think this is a really flattering skirt, and easy enough to draft for women of larger sizes.

What are you making for the winter?

*Please ignore the fact my mirror is horribly dirty, and the boxes hovering in the background. We’re in the process of relocating.

 

It’s time for a little organization

Things I really should be knitting on:

  • my dad’s sweater. I did rip back to the ribbing, and am at the correct stitch count now. I really just need to sit down and chart the cables, do the tiny bit of math needed, and dedicate myself to at least and hour a day knitting this.  My goal is Christmas, but I’d really be happy with before the New Year, as that is when it would actually be cold enough for my dad to wear his sweater.
  • Lightweight Mountain Peaks Shawl. I’ve started the fifteenth out of seventeen plus a partial repeat of the knitted on edge before the short row tip repeat that signal the more than halfway point. I can get two repeats done in one episode of Stargate: SG1 [now showing on Hulu], and can stand about three shows a day. This can be done, and I’d like it done before my birthday at the end of the month. We’ll see.

Thinks I really want to be knitting/sewing/weaving:

  • Egyptian Mittens. I have purple and grey alpaca I’m going to use to make these. I have pink cotton mittens, but they are only useful during the beginning of fall and the end of spring. I want something that will get me through the winter. Shouldn’t take long
  • Bee Fields Triangle Shawl
  • Irtfa’a
  • socks for me. I just finished my Pomotamus socks, and would like another pair. It was so nice to knit with wool again, that I’m tempted to rip out the two inches of knitting I did last night on the cotton socks.
  • weave handspun rug
  • finish spinning the 50/50 silk/mohair 2 ply lace weight
  • finish spinning Creatively Dyed seawool in the green, 2 ply fingering weight
  • sew interchangeable needle organizer.  I’m tired of the plastic case that came with my interchangeable needle set, as it doesn’t really hold the needles. Am thinking of sewing little ribbons with numbers on the end to mark the size.
  • sew new DPN holder. I ran out of room. Yes, I do look sheepish. The one I have will make a nice Christmas gift.

Christmas Gifting [?]:

  • socks for Matt
  • triangle woven shawl for my MiL. This is on the loom, and taking up space in my living room. Am hoping to get done soon.
  • [?]Bee Fields Triangle Shawl for my dad’s partner. She’s a gardener, and I have a lovely dark red merino lace yarn that she would love.

Repairs:

  • knit matching Endpaper Mitt to replace the one I misplaced last winter. It only took me a week to knit one, so this shouldn’t take long. Want to get this done before it gets cold.
  • Central Park Hoodie. I need to take off the zipper, rip off the button band, and take about six inches off the body. I really like the bottom of my sweaters to hit just underneath my hips. The plan is to put in a life line, snip a single stitch, then move up the ribbing, and graft the two together.  I hope to get to that this Saturday afternoon.

What are your plans for fall?

After getting the back wall to have electricity again, I was able to make the Amy Butler lounge pants about which I was talking yesterday.  Please excuse the ratty green college hoodie. They’re lounge pants, ya know? Click to embiggen.

I made the large size, as I’m in between the large and medium, and they fit pretty well. I am delighted by the way they swish around my feet, but they are definitely made for women who aren’t as curvy as I am.

I have to put all the excess fabric in the back to go around my bum. Next time [oh yes, there will be a next time. These pants are SUPURB. I’ll never need to buy pajama/lounge bottoms again. I’m tempted to make them for the gym], I’ll put in an elastic waist band instead of the draw string. There’s a tutorial somewhere, right?

Excellent, well written pattern. I do have enough to make the matching top, but I’ll deal with that not tonight. I’m going to knit, so there’s actual knitting content on here.  I promise, I have been knitting.

I may not be around as much for the next few weeks as a lot of transistional family stuff is going on. Nothing too bad, just stuff that takes up a lot of time and mental energy.

Here, Sheryl, are the pirate pillows about which I was talking. I’ve added in Matt’s Christmas Ninja Turtle pillows too. [Head on over to my photobucket account to see them bigger.]

It only takes a yard to make a pillow case, and they look way more impressive than they really are. The longest it’s ever taken me to make one is about 1/2 hour, and those were the pirate pillows. I had to sew more than one seam. The knitting/scissors fabric pillow is Michael Miller fabric brought home as a souvenir from Seattle.

More fabric stash busting: Margaret Bag.

The fabric looks to be South American in origin, and has this fantastic woven detail on each end. I used up almost all of the fabric, leaving just a 1/4 yard more on top of the detail at the other end. I love this bag. The handle is a really nice width, and it hold the folders and other accoutrement I need for tutoring, along with some groceries, and possibly a small mammal. Thanks, Elizabeth, for such a great bag pattern! I plan on making more.

I made it to the quitling shop for the first time today, located in an old Victorian building in downtown Old Town Fairfax. Nice, pretty fabric. Experienced a bit of sticker shock; however, I’m going to equate it to the same kind of sticker shock I had when I started buying yarn outside of JoAnne’s and AC Moore. Preeetty things. I will be going back to get this really cute ‘go green’ fabric, once I decide what I want to make with it.

I did buy fabric to try out Amy Butler’s Lounge pants pattern before I cut up Matt’s childhood sheets. [Dinosaurs. So cute, and there’s more than enough for me to make a matching top, for which I have a pattern.] 40% 0ff, the last of the bolt, and the nice young man rounded down the something + yard to 3 yards, so I didn’t even pay full price there. Nice guy, pretty fabric.

Guess what I’m doing tonight?

Have a good weekend!

Making little lap quilts and things-to-put-on- leather-seats-in-the-car-to-keep-my-bum-from-freezing-off present nice stash busting and quilting technique opportunities.

Enter a zigzag quilt. I got the idea from Nettie at A Quilt is Nice. I loved the sea theme she had, and thought that I had something in the stash that would work as a prototype. The turquoise is leftover from the black and turquoise quilt I made for a friend for her birthday. I used that for the plain stripes, as well as for the backing. The 50s Coke fabric is left over from my brother’s eight grade home ec boxer shorts sewing project. He brought the leftovers home for me because he knew that I would use them. Seven years later, I have. It wasn’t nearly as tedious as I thought it would be, nor as hard.

I learned that I need to be more fussy about what size my squares are if I want nice points on a machine. The tape and glue method gave me a nice, wrinkle free back. I’m really happy with how it turned out, and am planning to make a large zigzag quilt for my brother when I have worked through my fabric stash.

Socks! If my sock yarn stash and fabric stash were to have a fight, I’m not sure who would win. The fabric is older and wiser, but there’s a LOT of sock yarn.

These are my basic sock recipe for this yarn, which is Elann Esprit Print. It’s the stuff I’ve been using for Matt’s feet, and I took a girly color way out of his stash to use for my own. I think I had maybe 6 yards left over, total. I like a sock that uses up almost every last inch. They are about an inch shorter than I would normally make them, but, being cotton, will make a nice edition to the spring/fall sock wearing months when I need socks, but not wool ones.

It seems I’m knitting quite a bit of cotton right now. The only active thing on my needles is a Lady Eleanor.

I’m knitting it out of Noro Matsuri. It’s about an 80/20 cotton wool blend, so it’s a lot softer than other Noro yarn I’ve felt, and it’s a cabled construction, something I’ve never used before. It does have a lot of knots, two or three in a ball of yarn, but I’ve learned that it’s to be expected with Noro.

About a third of the way done, and I’m loving the color changes. There’s a neon pink down at the bottom, and I thought it would look horrible, along with that blue, but the other colors mute the brightness. I can’t wait to get this done- it’s going to look great with my black coat.

The yarn for this didn’t come from the stash. Webs was having their annual year end close outs, and I was able to get the yarn for a reasonable price. Happy Christmas to me.

Are you knitting/sewing/crafting/updating only from your stash this year? How do you balance stash knitting and casting on with what you’ve just brought home [from the store or from the post office]?