January 31, 2011

Cardigan #1

For all general purposes it's done. 

I bought the buttons on Sunday - but haven't attached them yet.

This is a top down cardigan.  I added waist shaping - taking it in for about 4" above my waist and then letting it back out. 

It took 12 hanks of alpaca and I won't tell you how much I paid for per hank - suffice it to say this was an expensive cardigan which will become a staple in my wardrobe. 

It needs a little bath and when I add the buttons, I'll tack the cuffs up too.  They don't want to stay folded up where I want them.

So - January got one cardigan finished.  I might actually get 12 done this year.

January 30, 2011

Not Much of Anything

I didn't get much of anything done this weekend.  I woke up with a back ache on Saturday, so I didn't do much except vacuum and knit this weekend.  I didn't even cook until Sunday night.  JB took me out of Friday night, then again on Saturday and this morning we went out for breakfast - so much for my diet, eh?

But I did think about sewing this weekend - specifically about this dress pattern.  Patty (the Snug Bug) made an adorable version which can be seen on her blog - here - and I can't get it out of my mind. 

I love her style, I love the crazy funky clothes she wears.  She's currently working on a skirt made from a lovely cord covered with cherries.  It's most likely something I would buy if I found it.  Oh - and she has a Basset Hound!

January 27, 2011

Thursdays for Thanking

~Nordstrom's Holiday Windows (yea, I'm way late)

~Nekkid Winter Trees

~Beautiful sunrises over the lake


~Sewing, knitting, creating

~Have a free weekend coming up

~Family and friends

Walkin' View

This is what I see on my way into the office very morning.
Love that Space Needle.

January 25, 2011

when you make plans

life gets in the way, right?

I had every intention of finishing this last night.  I mean I put dinner in the crockpot in the morning, so I had nothing to do.  But it didn't happen.

I lighted the bad photos so hopefully you can see a bit better.  This is the cord skirt - it's unfinished.  I decided after all that work to baste the side seams and make sure it fit before finishing.  And it does.

I still need to find a nice cotton for the yoke facings and I think I'll use the same for hem facing.  I need to decide on a hem length and have JB take photos so the flooring (yet to but put in the workout room - and where Lou and mirror live) isn't pusing the side seams in.

As you can see the side seams hand straigh and in the middle of me.  I have a little pouch in the front belly region, but I'm happy. 

Is that side seam going forward right at the bottom?  Should I worry about it?  Am I seeing things?  walking away now...

January 24, 2011

Muslinging - Part 2

So what I found out from the flat pattern measurements was that I actually needed to cut an 16 in the front and an 18 in the back.  I also used the curvy back pieces.  That worked pretty good except I still need a tiny bit more room through the hips. 

So - for musling #2, I retraced - it was easier. I went back to the original, traced the front princess seams as the 16 and the side seams a 16 from the waist to a 20 - 11 inches down from the top. 

For the back, after taking in huge seams on the princess seams - 3/8" on both seams from the top to 6" down.  And adjusting the back yoke.  I made the same alteration to the back side seams - going from the 18 to the 20.  I also took 5/8" out at the top of the back pieces grading out to nothing by the seams - to account for sway back.  I need to transfer that to the pattern tissue.  I also need to transfer the new side seams to the tissue. 

But hopefully soon, I'll have a skirt I can wear out of the house. 


I wanted to quit - more than I wanted this skirt.

However, I got some very, very good advice from Beangirl, Marjie and a bunch of the rest of you.

So after procrastinating by going shoping - and buying new foundation wear.  I headed back downstairs.  I did something I never do, I slipped on my new foundation and took measurements.  Hmmm - think this might be part of "My Skirt's Too Big" woes? 

Then I measured the flat pattern and made a true muslin.  It wasn't right - I needed more room through the thighs, and there were issues in the back.  So, I putzed, measured, traced, guessed, used some HBO words, and cut a second muslin.  You'll have to wait until tomorrow to see how that turned out!  

thanks for all your help gang - would have given up with out you all.

edited to add the lightened photo.  I couldn't get flickr to play nice with my laptop last night.  ARG.

January 23, 2011

I'm Crying Uncle

 Today we walked the dogs.  When we got back home, I pulled out my pattern.  I decided to use Simplicity 2475 instead of the McCalls pattern I showed you yesterday.  Partly because the pattern I really have is for a multi-length A-line skirt.  Um, yea - not.

So, I tidied up the studio.  Cleaned up the messes and set the jean jackets aside.  I read through the instructions.  Measured my hips sitting and standing.

And then, well then I did something I never do - I actually cut the tissue!  I always trace - regardless of the pattern, it's so much easer to make changes and blend sizes that way.  But this pattern wanted you to start with your actual hip measurement - so I did.

According to the pattern, I needed the biggest size - didn't really surprise me because - well I have hips, and bum.

Anyway - I pulled a small wale cordouroy from the cupboard (I'm loving cord right now).  And set about cutting and sewing the pattern up.  Well you can guess what happens next can't you? 

Right - too big!  First the skirt falls to well below my natural waist - not the 1" lower where the pattern says it sits.  Second - it's way too big.  Like 2" per side.  ARG!

So - the instructions don't really tell you if you should adjust length and then width or vis versa.  I think I want to adjust width first.  But honestly - I can't do this by myself.  Yes, I could run up to A's house - but that takes at least 90 minutes, I have to call ahead and then sit and visit.  I can't just make the adjustments and sew the seams.  I need to either pad Lou back out to match me so I can use her for fitting or teach JB to help. 

Until I can get help - either get together with a friend, or take it to ASG along with my sewing machine.  I'm just going to make a few more muslins and then maybe take up quilting. 

Can I ask - those of you without fitting friends?  How do you do it?

January 21, 2011


Before you all jump all over me based on the title – read ahead please.

Isn’t failure what defines so much of what we do? When in the course of growing up did we learn to let the fear of failure stop us? For me – this refers to many things – designing knitwear, sewing, even my health. It’s often what stops me from spending lots of time trying a new pattern. What if I just spent 2 days of sewing time on it and it doesn’t fit (why yes, I do have size issues), or looks horrible, or, or, or.

What if I ruin a lovely piece of fabric. Anyone want to place bets on when the lovely red wool I bought for the Coat Sew-a-Long gets made up? Or how about the very expensive blue lace I bought lace spring to make a dress? Both of those pieces scare the beezesus out of me.

This weekend my plan is to take McCalls 3830 and make a muslin. Most likely a true down and dirty muslin. But frankly – Beangirl, and everyone else, is right – nothing ventured, nothing gained. If I never make a true straight skirt, but continue to make slightly a-lined skirts and then moan that they aren’t what I want, I’ll never know if it’s a straight, pencil skirt is a dream I should keep alive or not – will I?

January 20, 2011


I didn't mean to Mom
Don't be mad
I won't do it again.

Beauregard James

January 19, 2011


I'm seriously considering Sal's Self-Guided Makeover.  The problem is - I did (what I imagine) a very similar thing with my ASG several years ago.
I bought all the Fall Fashion Mags that year.  Ripped out pages, circled stuff, wrote on them, and then the girls helped me figure out what it was that I was drawn to. 

The verdict was that I love very classic styles, give me a shirt dress (don't have one) a sheath dress (don't have one) or a pencil skirt (again, don't have one) with a turtleneck and I'm a happy girl.  Make those garments in very traditional colors - think red, camel, navy, grey - but skip the black - and I'd be a pig wallowing in mud. 

So - what's wrong with me?  I make 90% of the clothes I wear - why is a turtleneck the only TNT pattern I have?  What's stopping me from making the others?

I think some is body shape - but still, I should be able to wear them if they are fitted correctly.  Share with me - what clothing styles are you drawn to - but for some reason, you don't wear them?  Why not?

January 18, 2011


I threw my camera in my bag today.
I forgot it was there as I was walking to the office.

 But at dusk, while I was walking to the bus, I remembered.
I pulled it out and played.

I am way to enamoured with trees and sky.
Especially nekkid winter trees.

January 17, 2011

Darn it!


JB and our doctor have a standing football bet.  JB's team is the Eagles and Doc's team is the local one - Seattle Seahawks.  The bet is the same every year - whichever team goes father wins.  In the event of a tie, the win goes to the team with the best record.  The loser buys prime rib and I cook it.  For the first time since this bet started - Doc lost last year.  This year - we did.  Darn it - had the Eagles made it another week, we would have won again.  I'm sad :(

January 16, 2011

Too Much To Do

New Pattern - waiting to be sewn

so little time.  I don't know how other people manage to sew after work during the week - I cannot manage it no matter how much I think I can.  And there are day - like yesterday - when I hate working full time.  I was only partially teasing JB on Friday night when he was complaining about having to work on Saturday that I had to work too.  He thought I meant that I had to go into the office - I meant work around the house. 

For some unknown reason, I am unable to settle down and do something fun and enjoyable for myself if the chores haven't been done.  So - this is what my list looked like yesterday:

~JoAnn's to buy more of the same fabric to make the Sew Serendipity skirt again.  I love the fabrics, like the style and have a date with a sewing friend to work out the fit issues.

dogwood blossoms
~PetCo to stock up on dog food.  We buy kibble 7 bags at a time.  Crazy - I know.  But see, they offer a discount if you buy 200# at a time and it's not like we won't use it, right?  While in that shopping plaza I wanted to pop into Old Navy and get some new yoga pants - well they weren't on sale any longer, so I didn't get any.  I also walked down to Famous Footwear - I'm on the hunt for some tall grey boots with a heel, they didn't have anything worth even checking to see if they had my size.  Tons of really cute, short boots, but those are so hard to wear.
~Post office to pick up my package from KnitPicks.  This particular post office is always really, really busy.  So I stood in line for my turn for 20 minutes, then waited at the counter almost another 20 minutes only to be told they couldn't find my package.  ARG!  I was ready to start the Dogwood Cardigan.

~Finally - grocery store.  Our freezer is stocked with plenty of meat, but I run out of fresh fruit, veg and stuff to make a meal with.  Well - let me first say - never go shopping hungry.  We now have plenty - really!  I also have lots of snacks for the next couple of weeks.  Go weight watchers.

By the time I got home, I needed to eat and then I was just too done to head downstairs.  I think I finally made it down around 5.  I got 4 sleeves put together - come to find out, that jean jacket?  Not one cut out but two!  So I'm sewing them together in tandem.  They will both work with the red cord. 

January 15, 2011

I Bit the Bullett

Handmade Pay It Forward 2011

I like making things.  I also like gifting things.
So when I saw Amy was doing a PIF 2011 I decided to sign up.

I promise to send something handmade to the first 5 people who leave a comment here. They in turn must post this and send something they make to the first 5 people to comment on their blog. The rules are that it must be handmade by you and it must be sent to your 5 recipients sometime in 2011.

No promises what it will be - but it will be handmade by me.  Might be sewn - maybe an apron like the ones above, maybe napkins, coasters, socks or a shawl.  Wanna play?

January 14, 2011


But not enough for a snow day
Tuesday night it snowed, but overnight it warmed up enough to rain
Wednesday's commute was warm and wet.

Blurry photo - it was dark out, but I sorta got it.
I couldn't get the one I wanted - the sky was glowing orange
no mater where I put the auto settings, i couldn't get the pic.
I even switched to A priority and P priority
as well as full manual - time to read the manual

Hope this winter gives you just enough snow days.

January 13, 2011

Thankful Dogs

*~   Dogs in good health

*~   Friends

*~   New Recipes (strange thing to be thankful for, eh?)

*~   Weight watchers (yes, I'm following the plan again)

*~   A supportive husband - I'm lead to believe that not all husbands will cook from a ww recipe or eat anything put in front of them.

*~   Surgeries that went well

*~   Beauregard James

*~   Abigail Jane

*~   Lucy

*~   Real life friends

*~   Blog friends (if you don't blog, you don't know how real they are)

*~   Enough

January 12, 2011

socks, socks, socks, and more

socks.  2010 found me knitting quite a few pairs of socks.  I'm a bit of freak, unless I'm gifting socks, I save them all in a basket until the end of the year.  I gifted very few pairs of socks in 2010 - the total was 10 - wow!  More than I thought actually.  I knit 26 pairs during the year and of those 26 pairs - 23 came from stashed sock yarn.  Not too bad - another year or three like that I'll have to buy sock yarn. 

So - does your knitting (or sewing, or stitching) tell stories?  I can look at the basket of socks and tell you what I was working on when I last saw JB's father and how enthralled he was watching me knit.  I can tell you the ones I had with me the weekend we buried Pop.  And the pair I started when we learned Dudley had cancer - there are vacation socks - in the sense of yarn bought on vacation or socks knit on vacation.  3 different pairs of socks went to Mexico, and then there were road trip socks.  Every single brown bag from the 2010 sock club was started in 2010 - the last pair was finished on the 9th of January. 

Seriously - I need to start knitting something else.

January 11, 2011


* my head is still plugged and my throat is raw

* my voice in hanging in there - darn it

* that <--- over there?  Now socks

* no picture of any finished socks for months

* despite my best efforts, no finished sewing

* I'm exhausted -- more tomorrow

January 10, 2011

White Light

Today is a big day.  My friend Sissy is having surgery today.
Please send her lots of white light and good wishes.

It's also The Princess' (I'd link to her blog, but she claims to be too busy to update!)
25th birthday.  So write on her wall, send her an email, of load her blog withs comments.

Finally - The Musical One passed an important work test.
We are very proud.

January 9, 2011

A New Beignet

Yesterday was the monthly ASG meeting.  I left the house to attend the meeting and headed straight back home.  I've been sick and I didn't want to be out too long, but I didn't want to miss the meeting. 

I wore my denim beignet all day and while the fit still isn't perfect (it's too big!) it is comfortable. 

While I was moving fabric around and around with the studio redo - I ran across this great red courdory.  the print on top of it has been cut out in a jean style jacket for years.  Honestly - years.  I think, I'll work on finishing the jacket in the upcoming week and then make a new beignet to wear with it.  Should be a great Friday outfit, eh? 

Lazy Saturday

I didn't do much today.  I did stop by JoAnn's and pick up this new look pattern.  I've been looking for a knit dress pattern to use with the cute little print that I've had for awhile now. 

I think this might be it.  I will most likely make the view with the short sleeves because my own heating system is competely out of wack these days - short sleeves are the best option - it's so much easier to add a cardigan to get warm that to try and take sleeves off because you're too hot.

I'm hoping to make a muslin of this tomorrow.

January 7, 2011

Everything In Moderation

Except Fun.  Have lots of that.

That's the motto for 2011 and I can't claim that the thought was mine.  I saw a Coke Cola add in the New York Times sometime last week.  I couldn't find an online version of the ad or I would link to it.

However - I am adopting this as my motto in 2011.  I'm going to make a conscious effort to do more; spend more time with friends; stop being so busy doing nothing that I don't see my friends;  I don't want to wonder as I write my 2011 holiday cards what I was so busy doing that I couldn't make time.

So - this year there will be more brunches with the girls, lunches with friends, and couples for dinner.  We can do it.  Fun - lots of that!  Hope 2011 bring you lots of fun too - however you qualify that.

January 6, 2011

Roocy Rou

Our Lucy is a hot mess.  She's allergic to everything.  Can you even imagine being a dog allergic to grass?  Poor thing - guess that's what happens your human mother thinks she can make alot of money having puppies in her backyard and you are one of 11 puppies from the 3rd litter in 4 heat cycles. 

We do everything we can to keep Lucy comfortable.  We feed quality kibble, give lots of treats and buy her wee little hedgies.  She gets to go for long walks on the weekends and she knows how many treats the latte stand hands out.

This past summer we switched her from 4 claritin a day to a combined steroid and antihistamin.  She was doing really well on it for awhile, but I think she very quickly builds up a tolerance to any drugs.  Because she's started her "bear" act again.  She walks up to any corner and stands and rubs her nose on the corner.  

I tried getting an action shot - but even with the 'running man' setting I couldn't get it.  I'm still sharing the blurry photos however.  

January 5, 2011

I Traded My Holiday Dress for This

I decided the week before Christmas to make JB a new bowling shirt.  I still have about 3 yards of the Eagle green logo'd cotton that I bought a couple years ago to make him some sleep pants.  I've made him everything from this fabric:  sleep pants, camera strap, eyeglass case, and luggage tags.  Yea, I know the Eagles hired Micheal Vick, but he's a fan of the team and he's not gonna switch now because they made a decision lots of people don't agree with.

Anyway - I wanted to make a shirt, but the Eagles fabric needed to be an accent.  Not the entire shirt.  He loves bowling style shirts and Charlie Harper's style.  Any of you Two and Half Men fans?

Armed with the inspiration photo and my Eagles yardage I hit JoAnn's.  It really is the only game in town - sadly.  I came up with some grey kona cotton that matched and grey buttons.  Then I traced my shirt front again, and split it.  I made big notes on the pattern pieces to add seam allowances to the one edge.  I should have stay stitched the neck edge, because it's wobbly as all get out - but it's hidden under the collar.  I couldn't fight with it any more. 

I spent the better part of the last Sunday before Christmas working on his shirt rather than making a new dress from my office holiday party.  I'm happy I did this.  JB really likes it. 

Yea - I know it's wrinkled but this is probably as good as it will ever look again.  How sad is that?

January 4, 2011


I got a new camera for my birthday.  See, I take really, really crappy photos.  Anyone have tips, tricks, techniques to help me improve?  I'm all ears.  I wanted something small, but that didn't feel small in my hand - small enough I could throw it in my bag and schelp my camera downtown with me most days.  What I got felt great in my hand, it seems to be easy to use and had changable lense - a feature I didn't want so much as it makes the camera heavier.  I got a Lumix G10 - so far I'm loving it, but still taking horrible photos.  But I'll keep practicing.  I took some photos of this amazing glass in the lobby of the Sheridan Hotel the day I went to see the gingerbread houses.  Thought I share some of my favorite shots.  I was shooting white glass through a glass display cabinet.

January 3, 2011

Good Friends

Last Friday, I invited several girlfriends over for brunch.
I broke out my china and served coffee in tiny cups and saucers.
We had a lovely time visiting, eating and drinking champagne.
It was a lovely way to start saying goodbye to 2010 and hello to 2011.

It was also the perfect time to gift Miss D with the housewarming gift we made for her.
See she bought her first house this past summer.
As a group all the girls at the table, along with many more from Great Yarns
each made a square and we put this blanket together for her.
I think she liked it!  

January 2, 2011

May I Introduce You?

 Last year I set up my first 'brown bag sock club'.  I actually pulled all 12 brown bags in a timely manner and knit up each hank into socks.  Well, technically, that's not completely true - the 12th paid is still in progress, but it's more than half done as it's toe up and I turned the heel.

But I digress - on January 1st, I pulled out my sock stash and picked 12 different hanks of yarn.  I wound them all into cakes of sock yarn and the big ones I divided into 2 cakes of equal weight.  I already know which pattern some of them want to be - like the orange at the back - pumpkin socks, and the green on the right of that?  Leaves.  The white in front?  Snowflake socks.

But I'll wait and some of them will tell me as I work on them.  Apparently, I have very strong yarn favorites - I pulled 2 hanks of Koigu, 2 pagewood farms and 2 trekking.  The remaining 6 are all from independent dyers.

Right now the plan is that all 12 pair will be for me.  That's always subject to change.  You may notice that in the second photo there are 4 extra yarns in there.  Those are the 4 yarns for the 2011 Christmas socks for the family.  Can't tell you who's is whose, but you'll see eventually!

I've already deemed 2011 the year of the cardigan, but I will keep knitting socks as my commuting project - because cardis get too big too quick and I love knitting socks.  I should be able to knit 24-26 pairs of socks in 2011.  It takes me about 2 weeks to knit a pair of socks depending on how complicated they are.  So - that's the plan.  I have enough yarn in the house to knit 8 cardigans already - so 8 cardis and 24 pairs of socks, maybe a shawl or two thrown in. 

Fresh Start

 Almost done.  Today we moved the bookcases from the living downstairs.  I was able to move all the books and magazines from the cutting table and the old tv cabinet into the two bookcases.

They could use a bit more organization, but they are in there and mostly sorted by craft.  Eventually I'll put a piece of furniture between the two bookcases under the window. 

I love the floors.  I love the lighter yellow walls and the green wall doesn't look nearly as harsh now.  The first photo is as you coming

into the basement from the hallway.  You see the shelves on the left side of the room and the studio is on your right.

The second photo is standing in front of the sliding doors looking at the studio.  I have rearranged everything again - this is the 3rd time and I think I like it.  There are 2 of those white cabinets and they are packed with fabric.  Next to the white shelf on the far end of the room is the old tv cabinet.  It's storing my yarn, in front of that is the ironing board and then the cutting table. 
I have an oak office desk that holds my sewing machine and serger.  It's under the second window in the room looking out into the dog's yard. 

Directly behind me is the cutting table.  It's not completely cleaned up yet.  I was winding yarn and there is a box of patters.  On the shelve under the cutting table is plastic storage buckets with my threads, ribbons, elastic and some organized project bins.  I do need to clear out some of those old project.  I also have a bin dedicated to finished gifts.

I feel much better about the whole thing now that it's basically finished.  Next, I'll get to do some sewing and JB will will put the floor in the workout room.  (Who's gonna have more fun, ya think?)
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