A Fresh Start

It’s been far too long since I wrote a blog post! I’ve spent the past three months plagued with medical issues from shingles to plantar faciitis so bad I couldn’t walk for weeks to a lovely spring cold with nagging cough and then a concussion.

I’m FINALLY back to feeling well again but the mean time, I haven’t been totally useless. Not even a major contagious disease or minor brain damage could zap the creativity out of me. I’ve basically sat on my butt for three months knitting. It would take me ages to write a proper blog post for each so I’ll just give you an overview. If you want some scant details, click through to the Ravelry links.



Red Brick: another of my fave Brick sweaters. This one’s yarn is reclaimed from a thrift store sweater that was three sizes too big. Unfortunately I accidentally snipped many of the plies of yarn while deconstructing it so I have lots of little ends that poke through. Its a comfy slouchy cotton sweater that’s perfect for bumming around the house though.




MacIntosh Dress:  This is a design prototype I was working on to publish but it has too many issues. The gauge is off too far compared to the yarn. It’s a bit too see-through and will have to be worn with a full slip. I’m going to have to start from scratch but I do like the panel in the front. This feature will certainly make it into a future design.





Announcing The Lineweaver Hat! This was finished with testing and went live while I was in the midst of my being in agony so it’s not getting it’s own proper post, either. There it is. The second pattern from Vint Hill Knits. My Southern Hemisphere friends, indulge in a lovely, quick winter knit. Northern Hemisphere friends, go ahead and queue it up on Ravelry so you won’t forget how much you totally want to make this come September.



Test knit for the Phryne Pullover: This is a test knit I did for Taiga Hilliard Designs. Basically, it’s awesome. I highly recommend it. You should see all the beautiful pieces that have been made with this pattern already! The big release for the pattern is sometime in the next few weeks so you should go ahead and queue it up now. I’ve worn this thing about 700 times in the past 2 months!




90th Birthday Sweater: My dear Grandmama turned 90 in April so to celebrate, I made a trek to NC to visit and brought along a handful of cardigan patterns for her to choose from. Then I asked her to pick the yarn color. I made a little stop at the local yarn shop there and started the pattern while I was visiting her so she could see it in progress. Then I mailed the finished sweater to her two weeks later. I had to make a little embroidered tag for the inside because her assisted living staff requires that all garments be labeled with the resident’s name and care instructions. Grandmama didn’t mention it but I’m sure she was ashamed of the poor embroidery job I did, as she was the one who taught me to embroider at age 6!



Purple Socks: I don’t know where I went wrong here. I started this pair of socks shortly after I finished my 12 in 12 challenge back in January. Then I lost the little project bag. 4 months later I found it had fallen behind the TV. I whipped up the rest of the first sock and then its mate, not paying much attention to the project as I went along. After all, it’s pair number 9 (?) of this pattern. I wove in the ends and slipped it on my foot and went AHHHH!!! They’re HUGE! My gauge somehow became waaaay too loose in the 4 months that the bag was MIA. I tried washing and drying them to no avail. I think I’ll frog them but it makes me cry to think about it. For now they’re just sitting in my laundry room taunting me, making me a bit afraid to try again since this was already on size 0 needles!



Baby Butterfly Cardigan: A gift for a friend who is expecting. I used the pattern’s “6 month” size and it ended up big enough to fit my 4 year old! It meets the gauge and measurements stated in the pattern. Not sure who thinks a 6 month old needs a 23″ chest sweater! Guess I should pay more careful attention to finished garment measurements before beginning something. Forgot to photograph this before I gave it away so I’ll have to suffice with her cell phone snap.



Baby Flower Cardigan: After the giant Butterfly Cardigan I sized it down another one to actually fit a 6 month old. Ahh. That’s better. 🙂 Forgot to photograph this one, too, obviously.



Minty Baby Cardigan: A gift for another expectant friend. This time I tried steeking for the first time in hopes that it would all go faster. The steeking worked out very nicely. Then I tried picking up all the trim in the round and working mitered outside corners. That went fine as well, except I was so focused on the mitered corners that I accidentally picked up every stitch along the front and didn’t realize my error until I cast off. The result was a slightly frilly front band. My friend didn’t know if she’s having a boy or girl so I felt this was a little too girly and not gender neutral enough. Turns out she had a boy but the week before he was born, it was still a mystery, so….


White Baby Cardigan: I made her another one in white, this time working the bands flat and NOT picking up too many stitches. Forgot to photograph this one, too. Gah! Unfortunately there’s still no photo because my friend was busy giving birth and all that important stuff.

I also managed to sew a few things…



Refashioned Men’s Shirt using McCall’s 2213 from 1969. I picked up an XL men’s dress shirt from the Salvation Army Store and basically used it for fabric. I did, however, use the front button band by placing my pattern pieces appropriately to keep the button band attached. I did the same for the sleeve placket and curved bottom hem. The rest of it was fresh new cuts and seams. It looked fabulous and I really loved it but when I wore it to court (I was on the right side of the law!) I couldn’t raise my right hand very far for the swearing-in because the dang shirt was too tight across the shoulders. I guess that’s what I get for using a 34″ bust pattern even though there was plenty of ease in it to accomodate my 37″ chest. It was also incredibly tough to drive while wearing it. I grudgingly gave it away to a friend with the same chest size but narrower shoulders. Will certainly have to have another go at this refashion, though.



IMG_0031 zebra 2

Zebra toy using Simplicity 4915 from 1954. I gave this to the 4 year old birthday girl and forgot to photograph it. That seems to be a running theme with my illness makes. :*( Imagine that cute little horse made using that awesome zebra fur leftover from my son’s zebra costume. This is the second time I’ve used this pattern. The first was to make a kitty cat for my niece’s 1st birthday. I love this pattern and will keep it around for last minute gifts for many years to come. The pattern is carefully sized so that they can be made using scraps but it’s not too tough to turn tiny corners. They all finish 7.5-9″ tall. Perfect for cuddling with kiddos.



Twisting Tilly Top from Style Arc. I made this one up in a flash – just a few hours to cut and sew. I was really, really happy with it and wore it the same day I completed it. Then I cooked lunch and splattered grease from the pan all over the front of it. It won’t come out. WAH! :*( Anyone know how to get beef grease out of a rayon jersey? I will definitely be remaking this one. I want to try a lace panel stitched to the side seams in lieu of a camisole underneath because that neckline plunges waaaay too low for me.



Mother’s Day skirt from New Look 6899. Just realized I don’t have a full length picture of it. I picked up this fabric on a road trip to NC a couple years ago with the intent to make a skirt for myself. I fell madly out of love with it as it sat in the bottom of my stash. As I was cleaning my stash, searching for the above mentioned zebra fabric, I found it and thought, “This looks like something my mom would wear,” and BAM! It was my mom’s Mother’s Day skirt.

Well.. I wish it had been that easy. I measured my mom, not telling her exactly what I was making for her. I compared measurements and decided on a size. Then I very carefully cut and sewed the whole thing except the bottom hem, as I wanted her to decide how long it should be. I presented it to her on Mother’s Day and much to my dismay, it was so loose it hung down past her hips.

I had a damn near perfect zipper insertion that I was not about to mess with so I took all the excess on the right side seam. I painstakingly picked out the hand sewn waistband facing and the french side seam, took it in about two inches and reattached the waistband. I finally hemmed it after it hung on the dress form for weeks waiting for the hem while I nursed the cough and cold my kids gave me for Mother’s Day. Then a few weeks after that while it waited for me to frantically finish Mom’s birthday knit top to match the skirt.

Speaking of… that top of which you see a tiny sneak peek is the next big thing from Vint Hill Knits. It’s out for testing now with my lovely group of Sit N Knitters from my LYS, so stay tuned for the big release (and my other two tops from this pattern!) in the next few weeks.