Monthly Archives: November 2011

NEW NOVEMBER MOOD

So today I decided to deal with the bad mood situation by going outside to force myself to enjoy the nature and weather and look for beautiful things.

I forced my son (Rasmus, he is 14 next week) to step away from the computer and follow me for a walk outside. He actually only objected to it two or three times, so I think he kind of needed to get out as well.

 

{The forest is 1 km from our house}

 

We went for a 5 km walk through the small forest near by.

I love walking with Rasmus. He is the quiet type and when we are walking we can go for long without talking. But then suddenly he speaks and tells me what’s on his mind. Today he wondered about why a minute is 60 seconds and an hour 60 minutes ad why they were called seconds and minutes. We talked about it a while, and then we got the Iphone out and checked wikipedia.

{There were colour in the forest.}

We were looking for beautiful things and thought this tree was looking interesting against the fog and grey sky. And the hour (the sixty minutes) was well spend.

[It almost looks like something out of a Fantasy movie}

We were both in a much better moodand feeling energetic when we returned home before it got really dark and  went into the garden to have a look at the chickens.

My neighbour is a farm and they have quite a lot of feral cats that they feed, as far as I know. I guess these two went looking for food somewhere else. They have been hanging around the coop this week, and I’ve seen them eat some of our leftovers that I give the chickens. It’s gonna take all my strength to not give them proper cat food….

 

Sewing and knitting content in the next post! I promise!

NOVEMBER

Nothing got done here this week.

The weather is gloomy and dark around the clock. All energy for anything but the most necessary (like working, eating, sleeping) has been gone this week.

Almost no knitting, no sewing – not a stitch. No gardening (I did take care of the chickens, though). No running at all.

Just sleeping, working, eating, cooking, sleeping some more. eating some more.

{This is how dark it was when I drove home at 1pm this afternoon. I want the light to return!}

 

November. It. Is.

PS. I have knitted the body on the pullover (Monday was a good knitting day at work. With lots of meetings). I need to get started on the sleeves tonight. I have also worked a bit more on the Poppy. Also. I cut the fabric for a t-shirt, but haven’t found time or energy to sew anything.

PPS: I’ll be in a better mood tomorrow!

FO: INTERMEZZO: A BABY DRESS

I KNOW! Imagine sewing for somebody who is not me!

Well. I wanted a small in-between-projects project, so I had time to decide what to sew for me next.

Also. I wanted to figure out how I can get more sewing done. This was a usual semi-busy weeek, with no time for a designated sewing evening/afternoon, so I’ve been wanting to try out if it works for me to find more sewing time by sewing in 15-30 minutes increments.

Anyway. I chose to make another one of these very fast spencer dresses. This time in a size 6 – 9 months. The pattern is MiniKrea 10003 - Spencer Dress in the Newborn size range.

 

{The pattern I used. I did the basic EASY version.}

Every evening before making dinner, I have allowed my self to work on something sewing related for 15-30 minutes. I am actually amazed at how much that can be accompliced by just that.

First day I traced and cut the pattern (which doesn’t need to be traced, but I chose to, as this baby-dress can be made in 4 different sizes – and I think I’ll use it again!).
Second day - I cut the fabric. The pattern works with both knits and wovens, I chose a beefy knit velour, but am treating it as a woven fabric, by lining it with a cotton print. Also threaded the machines.
Third day I sewed the lining to the fabric and did the side seams and edge stitching
Fourth day was for pressing and hemming
Fifth day - buttonholes, buttons and decoration.

{The finished dress. I can't wait to see it on Carla.}

All the work was done in 15  – 30 minutes increments. Had I had a sewing night or day – I probably could have finished it in one day. Very simple project!

The pattern can be made in both knits and wovens. I chose a beefy knit velour, but treated it as a woven fabric by lining it with a printed cotton.

{When pressing velour, place a towel under it, so the pile doesn't get flat}

Here are some hints for sewing with velour:
1. When cutting the fabric, make sure you place the pattern pieces so that you would brush against the pile if you were wearing it and brushed downwards.
2. When pressing or ironing velour, always place a towel underneath the fabric. This keeps the pile from being pressed flat.

 

I decorated the dress with some star iron-on-studs. They are really cute and makes all the diffrence in making this a holiday dress.

{The iron-on star studs. Love.}

Parting picture from the garden:

:-)

 

I WASN’T THINKING

So it’s time to evaluate the red yarn.

The colour is very close to perfect. Which would be great.

But I wasn’t thinking when I threw myself head over heels into this dyeing adventure. This will not come as a surprise to those of you who know me well – I tend to get ideas and act on them straight away, when sometimes it might have worked better had I stopped to think about it….

The thing is. The colour is near perfection. But the yarn weight is still wrong.

{The colour is impossible to get on camera. Trust me when I say it's perfect..}

While a lot of shawls knit up great in sock yarn – I had forgot to think about that this project has you hold the yarn double  most of the time – making it aran weight when using sock yarn. And this design really needs something a bit more elegant.

I did swatches of the pattern with this yarn, and then decided to do a swatch in which I combined two of the other red yarns.

{Again - it's really hard to get the colour right. These are the yarns I'm going with}

And I sort of really like it knit up. Also. One of the yarns has silk in it.

So I think I made my decision. I’m making a poppy shawl.

P.S. I’m also still working at my boatneck jumper. I’m almost at the waist.

FO: THAT 60′S DRESS

It is done.

{My 60's Dress, made from ONION 2036}

I finally took some time yesterday, when I was not too tired, to finish the 60′s dress. All I needed to do was to sew in the facing, press the seaming and then press the facing in place (while waiting f o r e v e r for the tiny bit of seam to cool before I could move on to the next tiny piece) and then the hemming of the dress and the sleeves.

I had a little trouble with the hem. I hate hate hate hemming knit dresses – which is why I usually do a rolled hem on the serger. But this time I thought it would be better with a proper folded-up hem. Only the fabric shifted when I tried hemming and I got more and more annoyed with it all.

 

{I might be calling Knirke in this pic}

 

Then I remembered. I actually have some lightweight Steam-a-seam. We can’t get the light weight kind here in Denmark (only the heavier stuff, which is great for curtains or trousers, but not for knits and thin fabrics), so I had been saving it… For when? I don’t know. But now I decided it was time to start using it. It worked out great! First I steam-a-seamed the hems in place, then I stitched them using a long straight stitch.
Since neither the hem on the dress or the sleeves need to stretch to fit, the seams won’t pop. I hope.

Anyway. I really like (or should I say “I really dig“) this dress. Especially when wearing long high healed boots with it.

{And then I had to put her down since I got cat hair all over the dress}

The pattern is 2036 – That 60′s Dress. I did a basic version, because of the busy print on the fabric, and omitted the vent at center front and the pockets.

I made a size 38 and the only alteration I did, was a Rounded Upper Back Alteration. And then I sort of changed the order of doing stuff – like saving the facing for the final steps. If I make this in a woven fabric, I’ll probably go up a size (my measurements are just in between size 38 and size 40).

I love the dress – and the retro feel, and I think it’s a really basic shape that’ll be great for heavier weight fabric for winter dresses. And while it’s basic- it has a great fit because of the back darts and the bust darts. No wrinkels.

After sewing yesterday, I went outside to work in the garden, and we didn’t get to take pictures until today. Well, we didn’t get to take pictures of me until today. Let me introduce you to:

:-)

 

Dying for red

So I want to make myself a second Camomille.
One in red.
But not just any red.
It has to be the perfect shade.

So I’ve been to several yarn shops. I have purchased colour cards from webshops and even small skeins in colours I thought would work. Some are too pink-ish. Some are to orangy. Some are too brownish. Some are too fair. Some are perfect in colour, but way too heavy for this project.

Plenty of red yarns. And none are just right

But I did find the perfect colour and weight. It’s this colourway called Carmine. But. It’s out of stock. I e-mailed to see when it would be back, but there is no telling when. And I still really really want to get this project going (the boatneck will very soon be too big and complicated to bring along to conferences and meetings - and really, that’s where I knit these days).

So I decided to try and dye some yarn using food colouring, and see if I can get a good red that’s close enough.

I have this undyed sock yarn in a drawer. It’s a very basic yarn, that I got at the supermarket during a sale some years ago for less than 0.50 € a skein. So I got plenty to play with.

Making the long skeins

I set up the swift, skeined the yarn out and tied it with contrasting cotton yarn (cotton wont take the dye, so I’ll be able to see where it’s tied).
Then I filled a bucket with lukewarm water, added a good slug of cheap vinegar and let the yarn soak for an hour.

In the mean time, I got the dyes ready. I’m using Wilton’s Icing Colors, which I got at a speciality cake shop in Copenhagen. If I had easy and affordable access to Kool Aid I would probably have used that. But I don’t. I used the Christmas red and the black to get a darker bluish red. For 100 g of yarn, I used about 6 ml of dye. I mixed the dye with a little bit of vinegar and topped up with hot water from the tab. Then I added the dye and more hot water to a plastic bowl (that’ll go into the microwave oven) and then the yarn.

The dyes I'm using

I then cooked the yarn in the microwave for 2 minutes, let it rest for 2 minutes, cooked for 2 minutes etc. until the dye was absorbed by the yarn and the water looked clear (the first batch took 6 minutes, the  second 8 minutes of cooking).

The water is now clear

Then I’ve let the yarn cool, rinsed it in lukewarm water, wringed it carefully (I don’t want it to felt) and it’s now hanging to dry. The second batch (in which I used more black than in the first one) looks very promising. But I won’t know until it’s dry and I can look at it in daylight.

I’ll be sure to let you know :-)

 

 

 

Where I’m at..

or Wednesday’s Works in Progress.

Well, basicly, I’m at work a lot. And while most of my job is teaching (Danish and English to middleschoolers) I also spend a lot of time at conferences and meetings at at classes.

It's coming along nicely, I think

And that’s where I get most of my knitting done at the moment. I knit when we have teachers-only meetings and when I’m the student at lectures and at conferences.

And the boatneck is coming along. I seperated the sleeves yesterday after work (I couldn’t do that while listening, so I knitted some more on the everlasting grey socks). And I’ll get a lot of knitting time tomorrow, so I hope to move this fast forward.

Sewing-wise: I’m still not done with the 60′s dress. But I only need to sew the facing on and do the hemming. And then a lot of pressing.

The dress. Almost done - just waiting for me to finish it. Soon!

Some evening when I’m not tired I’ll get it all done. (I try to never sew when I’m tired.  I make way too many stupid mistakes when I’m tired. And you can’t frog sewing….).

 

 

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