Loud

These, my friends, are some LOUD socks, don’t you think?

They scream "1980s" to me.

They scream “1980s” to me.

I must confess I love them. And I would wear them every day if I could. Mr. Stitch has declared that he won’t be seen in public with me if I choose to wear them out of the house.  Our dog, Jesse, seems to be equally unimpressed by them.

Jesse:  "I can't even look at them".

Jesse: “I can’t even look at them”.

But what do boys know about these things?  Nothing, of course.  For details on the yarn and pattern, head over to my Ravelry page.  I can’t bring myself to tell you any more details because I can’t bear to tear myself away any longer than necessary from a second pair (different colourway) I currently have on the needles. Bring on the neon-clad feet craze, I say.

Happy neon-clad footsies.

Happy neon-clad footsies.

 

 

ISLAND: Grace

Just when I thought this little blog was doomed to a slow death, the unexpected happened: the sun came out and it coincided with an urge to take photos of my FOs. I’m happy to show you the fifth and final installment on my Island series, the Grace cardigan.

Not sure why I look so worried here... Taking photos of yourself with a tripod and remote is tough.

Not sure why I look so worried here… maybe because this picture is out of focus. Taking photos of yourself with a tripod and remote is tough, my friends!

I’m not going to lie to you: that pretty lace pattern was a headache to deal with.  You see, I’m not a big fan of lace knitting and I did not discovered the charts until I had moved on to the body.  I also did not hear about the concept of a “lifeline” until I no longer needed one but it sure would have been handy to know all these things instead of having to rip row after row in frustration at my inability to “read” the knitting.  I’m nothing if not stubborn though, and once the lace pattern was conquered, the body was a breeze.  Stockinette stitch in the round was the perfect brainless knitting for the busy days that followed our arrival in the County.

Back view

Back view

The yarn is Cascades Heritage, a sock weight yarn that while quite soft has also turned out to be a bit pill-y. I made a couple of minor modifications to the pattern: wider button bands, longer sleeves and a different number of waist decreases and hip increases.  The details are on my Ravelry page. This little number (and “little” really is the operative word – it is a bit on the snug side) was casted on in March of this year, was my constant companion through the early days of the move, and was finally off the needles and blocked in early July.  It took me until mid-August to finally attach the buttons and it has been on high rotation in my wardrobe since early September.

Yes, totally washed out.  The colour is actually a bight fuchsia.

I’ve now knitted all five designs from Jane Richmond’s book “Island” and may have to make a couple of them twice more. Hands down the most worn are Rathtrevor and Grace. This is the first time I’ve completed every single project from a book. Of course,  no one had to twist my arm to do this as all five designs are very wearable and right up my alley. Even if I never get around to knitting one of these projects again, the beautiful photos in the book will continue to be a source of inspiration for years to come.

Stash Diet Update

Stash Diet Badge

You may recall that at the beginning of this year the Stash Diet was born.  You may also have noticed that after the initial few months and the successful swap organized by Morgan, there has been no mention of the Stash Diet on this blog.  In fact, there has been no mention of much of anything as my blogging has gone from sporadic to nearly non-existent.

These are some of the things keeping me busy: peeling carrots (lots of them!) harvested from our garden.

These are some of the things keeping me busy: peeling carrots (lots of them!) harvested from our garden.

After our move at the end of May my life has been an exercise in adjustments: to a new and very challenging job, to getting settled in the new house, to getting used to our surroundings, to managing a large rural property alongside Mr. Stitch, to becoming a bit more self-sufficient. Turns out that my idea of a slower life in the country was just that: an idea.  We are busy.  All.the.time. Our new way of life is rewarding, but it is also a whole lot more work than city living.  Not surprisingly, a few things have taken a back seat, one of those being blogging and blog related activities.

These beets also came from the garden.  They were parboiled and with a bit of gingers, spices and vinegar, they became...

These beets also came from the garden. They were parboiled and with a bit of gingers, spices and vinegar, they became…

As far as the Stash Diet goes, while I have not been fabric shopping in the same way I used to, I can’t tell you the last time I visited the flickr group. This is less than ideal given that I am one of the group administrators.  Gail tells me that a few of you are still quite active.  Perhaps someone else who is still going strong would like to take over my role as administrator?  If so, please get in touch with me and let’s chat.

Pickles

Pickles! This was my first attempt at preserves and while it was tons of work, it was also fun. These pretty jars now adorn my pantry and will be ready to eat in four weeks time.

I’m still knitting (slowly, as usual) and have sewn a couple of simple blouse projects.  Since I have a very long list of things I want to make and a stash that is as large as it was at the beginning of the year, my hope is that as things settle down and I find a routine, I will return to making and blogging in a more consistent manner.  Until then, may the crafting force be with you all.

Procrastination

I have a wedding to go to next weekend.  As soon as I found out about it (over a year ago) I knew I wanted to make a handmade dress for it.  When I went to the U.S. last year to take the Palmer Pletsch fitting class I was feeling pretty confident in my newly learned fitting skills so I picked a pattern (V1353) and Gail helped me pick the most awesome dupioni silk with which to make it. I was set.

I stalled over the winter because summer seemed forever away.  Then spring came and I hosted a bunch of guests and got ready for the move.  No big deal, I was not going to be working for the first few weeks after the move so I could tackle the dress then.  After we moved I painted (almost every room n the house) and planted a garden, which of course does not take care of itself.  I went back to work. House guests magically appeared at our place almost every single weekend between the middle of June and the middle of August.  Two weeks ago I realized that dress was still not done, but I was not able to work on it last weekend because these lovelies came to see me and we spent all our time drinking wine, eating cheese (lots of it) and knitting:

Kristin & Sara: thanks for the visit!

Kristin & Sara: thanks for the visit!

So I decided this weekend would be “Dressmaking Boot Camp” over here. I told myself “Surely I can make a dress in a weekend, no biggie.”

Ready to cut that muslin

Ready to cut that muslin – Vogue 1353

Now, I have not sewn anything substantial (or anything really!) in quite a few months. I decided in favour of a full muslin over tissue fitting for the simple reason that I wanted to see the drape of those pleats in fabric – paper would not have given me a clear idea of how they would look on my pear-shaped bottom half. Things were going swimmingly until half way through the day when Mr. Stitch showed up with this guy:

Meet Jesse: The new addition to our family.

Meet Jesse: The new addition to our family.

Major Minor distraction aside, I quickly discovered that the bodice on this was going to be huge.  I didn’t get it.  I mean, I know the big 4 run large, but this thing was ginormous. So I went back to look at my traced pattern and  that’s when I realized that I had traced a size 16 instead of a size 12/14.  Clearly I am out of practice.  I told myself “never mind that by now I’ve wasted half the day, I can still do this.” I made sure that second time around I had a size 12 bust/14 waist. Guys, it took me forever to get this second bodice wrapped up. Sadly, the gape at the back neckline was massive. I solved that by pinching the excess (about an inch at each side of the zipper) and transferring that to the flat pattern. By the end of it all it was night-time and I was quite done for the day.

Excess!

Excess!

I finished the muslin this morning.  I’m not convinced that those skirt pleats are flattering at all on me and would hate to see my precious silk got to waste on a  dress I may end up not liking. Even after I traced the correct size, the muslin is quite large on me. A padded bra won’t come even close to filling up that bodice. You can see on these photos that I’ve pinned the excess at each side, at about an inch per side. I have the feeling that I could make this in a straight size 10 and it would fit just fine, but finding out would involve another muslin and I have now ran out of time because the last thing I want to do when I get home from work is sew at the end of the day.  So much for wearing a handmade dress to the wedding next weekend.

Apologies for the poor quality phone shots.  If I wait until a proper photo opp, I will never write in this blog again.

Pinned at the side. With apologies for the poor quality phone shots. If I wait until a proper photo opp, I will never write in this blog again.

Two weeks ago my little sister announced she is getting married next year. Based on my experience with my self-imposed Dressmaking Boot Camp I better start working on my dress for that wedding today. That, or I could take the dog out for a walk instead.  I have plenty of time, right?