Dove Knits

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Totally unexpected

Today, I did something I never do.


I hate sewing. Well, no, I like it, but I have no patience with it. As the result, my sewn pieces come out sloppy, and the process is frustrating, so, yeah. I never sew.

But today, I got bitten by the sewing bug. See, I had this pair of pants that are a beautiful chocolate brown, but they were too short and too tight. I hate throwing anything away, so I figured, hey, let's make a skirt!

So I broke my brand-new sewing machine out of its box (I got it last October. As in 2005. Hadn't opened it!). And that's what I did.

I followed the basic directions for converting pants into a skirt (I think those directions were on, but I saw them many moons ago, and went from memory today). Basically, I cut off the pant legs around the knee. Then I used a seam ripper to open the seams on the inside of each leg and up into the crotch area. Laying the skirt flat, I pulled the legs apart until the dissected crotch area, when overlapped, lay flat. Pinned and sewed. Cut open the leg remnants and sewed them into the wedges between the legs of the skirt. Trimmed the hem even. Finally, I added a polyester lace ribbon that I bought at Joann's months ago. You can't tell from the photo, but it's pale lilac.

Now, this skirt has many flaws. You can see one in the crotch area in the above photo -- I didn't overlap the new seam exactly with the old one, so it looks like there IS no seam. Trust me, though, there is. Secondly, The edges are only roughly finished. Thirdly, I stretched the hem too much as I sewed, giving it that belled look (which I actually like). Finally, there are a few spots where the fabric accidentally gathered, and I didn't feel like ripping it out.

Through it all, I sewed the front and back pieces of the skirt together more than once, and broke a needle (I had spares).

But I don't care, because the skirt still looks fabulous on me:

Of course, having sewn the skirt, I had to keep going. So I dug into my rather extensive fabric stash and pulled out these four half-yarn-wide pieces I bought back in college. There isn't enough fabric here to do anything with, really, so I decided to make cloth napkins, which goes wonderfully with my new resolution to be as environmentally conscious as possible.

These are the most basic napkins ever. I cut out squares (roughly square-shaped, anyway) and folded the edges under, pressed, and sewed. But they are pretty colors, and they do complement our dishes. Plus, it gave me a bit more time to bind with my machine. My mom's machine hates me, but this one seems to be getting on with me nicely.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Cute baby Sunday

I got permission from my friend J to post this picture of her baby, Natalie, in the sweater I made her.

The sweater is sized for 6-12 months, so it'll be big for a while, but everyone in the family seems to like it!

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Monday, January 22, 2007

No, I'm not dead

I just haven't been knitting that much.

Instead, I have been:

1. Traveling -- after all the Christmas travel, we went to Michigan for a wedding. I got to wear one of the pairs of my new earrings!

2. Reading -- though thus far, it's just Harry Potter.

3. Cleaning -- the apartment is shiny! In fact, it's so shiny I'm showing it off! I also cleaned out my closet and donated 3 big bags of clothes and two boxes of dishes and appliances.

4. Sleeping! I've been getting to bed before midnight and getting (gasp!) at least 7 hours of sleep most nights!

Oh, but don't think that I've abandoned knitting! Not so. It's just that the projects I have are worked in smaller yarn and therefore go slower.

First up, we have very happy socks in Soccota (is that how you spell it?). I love the colorway. It's my train knitting.

Secondly, we have a toddler dress from Adorable Knits for Tots, in Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet. Again, since this photo, I've finished the entire back. Even though my gauge was just about on, it's coming out a bit wider. This was not a problem, since I started the smallest size for my younger niece, but once I discovered that it was a wider fabric, I've been following length directions for the 1-2 year size for my older niece. It's so nice to have two girls to knit for :)

This yarn is hard to knit with. It's soft and all, but it's not squishy, so it's hard on my right hand. The smallish size 2 needles are jabby, too.

Finally, a baby jacket for another friend's baby girl, E. E was born just before Christmas, and is the cutest thing ever. Unfortunately, the jacket had the same gauge issue, and since she wouldn't be able to wear the 1-2 year old size for a while, I ripped it out (even though I was halfway up the back) and started over. This is as far as I got with the remake.

Oh, and the pattern is from Garnstudio, and the yarn is the same Aunt Lydia's stuff.

Anyway, I've also not been on the computer as much, so please don't take my lack of comments personally!

Also, I made a few knitting resolutions.

1. Not to knit so much! I know that sounds like something I should be striving away from, but really, it wasn't healthy and it got me burned out. Plus, slowing down allows me to enjoy the process more. It's working already!

2. Not to buy any crafting supplies until March (although this may get extended to April). I have a huge stash, and there's no need to buy more. I've done well so far, only buying a subscription to Vogue Knitting (discounted) and getting A Gathering of Lace as a gift from my wonderful husband.

3. To try new a different yarns. I've been in a Knitpicks rut, but I think if I do well with my yarn diet, I'll feel okay about spending a bit more for my next project!

4. Along with 2 and 3: To do my research and try and use yarns that are as ethically and environmentally friendly as possible! That means knitting out of my stash first, supplementing with locally made handspun, researching companies that are known for environmental and social action, and getting yarn second-hand. All of which are just fine by me. In fact, I'm trying to change to green and ethical things in all aspects of my life. It is HARD. I keep having to remind myself to take small steps, one at a time, because otherwise it gets really overwhelming, really quickly.

Stay tuned to see what, exactly, I have in my stash -- and what I have planned! You'll even get to vote!

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Junk food

Among my Christmas gifts received this year, I got two beading kits from a friend. One was for 7 pairs of earrings, and one for a necklace-and-earrings set.

Did you know I started my creative life as a beader? I was pretty good, too. I didn't sell much -- didn't have time to really get into it -- but I had several offers to teach, and was really doing quite well. And then, I don't know. The pressures to sell and to be super-creative and competitive all hit, and I didn't enjoy playing with my beads anymore, because I felt like I wasn't being creative enough. It wasn't good enough to just follow a pattern and make something for the sake of watching my hands work. So I kind of gave it up. The last time I beaded was shortly before my wedding, when I made necklaces for my bridesmaids and flowergirls. That was almost two years ago, and I really never had the urge to bead anything else since then.

But I got these kits, and really felt like making them. It took me a while to find the pliers in the back of my closet (along with two huge boxed filled with beads that I may or may not sell on eBay!). Then I sat down and made them. It was like eating potato chips -- I couldn't stop until I finished both packs.

Now I have 8 new pairs of earrings and a new necklace!

(They're hanging from a knitting needle. I've worn the pair that's second from the right already.)

(I've already worn the left-most pair, too. I love dangly earrings.)

(Not a huge fan of the necklace. Too...glassy...turquoisy...or something.)

This was fun! I loved just beading, without worrying about it.