Tuesday, April 19, 2011

That's What Friends Are For

My friend, Londa, posted on her blog about making a dress, V1250. I headed over to the Vogue website to see the pattern and, holey-moley! it was on sale for $3.99. "Hmm", I said to self. "I think I need that pattern. And free shipping on orders over $25. I could see if any of the patterns on my wish list are $3.99 also."

In addition to the previously mentioned V1250, I also purchased these patterns: V8519 (A Claire Schaeffer classic); V8709 (A Marci Tilton jacket); V1184 (A Sandra Betzina pattern. I wouldn't pay any more than $3.99 for this, but it has potential.) I also purchased a Butterick pattern I need for one of the flower girl dresses later this summer. And I purchased this book, Knits Men Want. So why that book? Because Sunday The Love confessed that he would like for me to knit him a sweater. Also, The Son would like a sweater. This book sounded inviting since I have not ever knitted anything for a man.

So $40 later I checked out. Yep. That's what my friends are for!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Unproductive Weekend

I didn't accomplish a lot of sewing this weekend. The navy pants are about half finished. The fly-front zipper instructions were not clear and I had to pin & baste all the steps to make sure I understood them correctly. The zipper looks nice now that it is in, but it took extra time.

I did make an apron over the weekend. I purchased the panel at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo held recently in Schaumburg IL. The quilt shop I purchased the panel from had a kit with an extra cut of a coordinating fabric and directions for making the apron reversible. It turned out really cute and I love it.

"Hot" Apron

"Hot" Apron Reversed

The reverse side has 4 pockets across the width. I don't use pockets much, but once in a while they come in handy.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Knitting in Public

I am going public. Yep, it's true. Last night for the first time every in my whole entire life I knit in public.

I am not a "Knitter". I only knit. "Knitters" are people who live, breath, sleep and eat knitting and yarn. You can call out a pattern name and "Knitters" immediately know exactly what you are talking about. Yeah, that's not me. I can barely remember the name of the pattern I am working on, let alone patterns from magazines 5 years ago. And my yarn knowledge-practically nonexistent, which is why I always try to get the exact yarn called for in the pattern. I get very nervous when substituting yarns.

For being mostly self-taught, I think I am a pretty good knitter, but being around "Knitters" gives me an inferiority complex. However, last night I took the plunge and joined the KAL (knit along) group at my LYS (local yarn store). (KAL & LYS are "secret codes" "Knitters" use. I feel so cool that I know what they mean.)

I don't hang out at my LYS. I pick a pattern (usually something I find online or read about; heaven forbid I would actually peruse the pattern books at the yarn store), drive to my LYS, ask for the yarn, pay for it and leave. All neat and tidy. I avoid "Knitters" like the plague. Not because they are unpleasant people. They're not. They are very nice and helpful. I just feel so inadequate and ignorant around them.

So I was surprised that after reading about a new KAL starting up at my LYS I wanted to join in. Me? Whoa! I got in my car and drove to my LYS eager to buy my yarn and get started. I was really disappointed when told that the color yarn I wanted had to be ordered. But, o.k. I really want to do this so I would wait.

My yarn finally arrived Tuesday and yesterday evening with knitting needles in tow I made my appearance at the Thursday evening KAL. I was nervous and anxious. Would they like me? Heck, would they even notice me?

I had a great time! The group is about 15 ladies of all different ages. Some of us knit intently with little conversation. Some talked with little knitting. A couple even spent most of the time shopping for yarn. There was a lengthy conversation about sheep, fleeces (?), spinning and other stuff that I didn't understand. But mostly, we all just knit in an easy, comfortable setting. And yes, I'll be back next week.

So what am I knitting. The pattern is called The Warren Jacket. I'm using a "thick and thin" cotton yarn, taupe colored. As noted above, I can't remember the name of the yarn or the book the pattern is from.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In Lieu of Working…

I know. I'm supposed to be slaving away at work right now, but hey, every girl deserves a break, right?

So have you seen these mug rugs? They are just way too cute! Two thoughts—
  1. I have no desire to become a "Quilter", but this is doable.
  2. I can finally throw away the coffee-stained, broken plastic canvas mug rugs currently residing on my table that I've had for 10+ years.
The bad thing is these will be in line after the navy pants, the ASG Neighborhood Challenge project due in July, the 2 flower girl dresses,  2 jr. bridesmaid dresses and my own mother-of-the-groom dress for my son's August wedding.

On 2nd thought, surely I can squeeze 1 or 2 of these out before fall.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Soul is Fed by Needle & Thread

Simplicity 2562

Tonight I cut out these pants sans cuffs in some navy blue cotton fabric for summer.

It's been a few months since I have sewn actual garments. I have been so blue over my mom's illness and death that I just didn't have the desire to really delve into sewing. But I'm feeling much better, and thanks to the encouragement and support of my friend, Angee, I'm back at it. Thank you, Girlfriend!

So what's up with the navy? A few disjointed facts about me.
  • Anyone who knows me knows I have become a very black & white girl. Black pants & white tops. I own about 20 white knit t-shirts, mostly from The Gap & Target.
  • I have always wanted to get my colors "done" by a professional. So I splurged with some of the money my mom gave me and did that. Whoa! What an eye opener. I'll talk more about my time with Nancy Nix-Rice in one or more other posts.
  • I need a whole new summer wardrobe. The recession has left my wardrobe in sad shape, especially for summer.
One of the things Nancy Nix-Rice does is help you shop your stash. So after the rude awakening that I need to change the color of all my clothes and banish both black & white from my closet, we spent an hour one afternoon choosing fabrics from my stash for a new summer wardrobe. I had so much fun! I learned so much! I had so much fun! Thus, navy is my new black. Thus, the first thing I am making is a pair of navy pants.

It felt so comfortable and comforting to be in my sewing room this evening, tracing the pattern, ironing the fabric, laying out everything and then cutting out the pants. I have a saying taped to my laptop—"My soul is fed by needle & thread." That is true. I feel calm, content and peaceful tonight.