Tuesday, April 28, 2009

An exercise in frustration or possibly futility

My new sewing machine is a menace to my mental health and well-being. I swear that the gods of all things related to needles, thread and tension have been frowning upon me as of late.

All I wanted to do was make a Ring Sling for baby Bean. What should have taken me mere moments to cut, hem, pleat and finish has taken me days. DAYS!!!! (and it's still not done!). Between four needles breaking, the tread breaking, fraying and otherwise being a pain in the arse and the machine not being able to function when confronted with two layers of pleated mid-weight linen, I'm ready to toss the whole kit and kaboodle out the window.

So I have given up for now. The Ring Sling will have to wait - at least until I can go buy some more heavy duty thread (different brand - who knows, maybe my machine is just stupidly picky, and heavy duty needles - no needles left that will sew anything beyond the weight of a light weight cotton.)

I did manage to sew a dress for myself - no pics yet, sorry. Haven't quite decided if I look decent in it enough to post any - I think I look enormous in it, but then again these days I feel like I look enormous in just about everything I wear.

I have also done the second muslin for G's new highland jacket. First one did not fit at all. Second one turns out doesn't either, but I think I need to add some darts for shaping and then all should be good with it. I've pinned the darts in - now just to take those pinned darts on the muslin and make them re-appear as darts on the actual velvet. Oh, velvet you strike terror into my heart and make my blood run to ice. I've got to get the bloody thing done. Provincials are on Sunday and she can't wear the same old ratty jacket she's been wearing - last competition not only was she bursting out of it, but a button did manage to fly off during the sword, causing her to land on the button, (it was that or land on the hilt of the sword to avoid the button - I think she chose the better option), twist her ankle and be very, very upset with her seamstress (me).

Anyways - so that's my tale of sewing woe. Knitting is going somewhat better! I've finished a couple of pairs of baby booties and a ball, (will post pics eventually), started a chevron scarf using Knit Picks, Imagination in Frog Prince and Looking Glass, and started a new pair of socks for me last night. I frogged back my first attempt at my Fireside socks that I'd started back in the fall in Claudia Handpainted Buckeye, and am now trying them in Estelle Arequipa in Scarlet. Of course (BF)G's socks are still on the go, but man alive they are boring me to death with their plain old ribbing and stocking stitch.

So that's all that's new for me. Hopefully next time I can report some much better news on the sewing machine versus Ring Sling front!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Bean's Jeans

Beans jeans back
Originally uploaded by Highlanddancemom

Oh how I love this pattern!!!

My latest FO for baby is Blu. Such a fast knit! Took me only one "snow day" to do the knitting. The finishing was a bit of a different story, however, as my embroidery skills are sadly lacking.

I had to reach way back into the deep dark recesses of my memory (and when I say way back, I mean as in about 30 years way back) to the time Mom taught me how to embroider and I spent weeks working on a "sampler" of the different stitches.

Wouldn't you know it, as I finished the embroidery it hit me that somewhere in the boxes of craft things in my basement I seemed to recall having a leaflet that demonstrated all the different stitches. Sure enough after digging through two boxes I unearthed it. A little late for this project, but handy none the less should I ever take a notion into my head to try embroidering anything again!

The label was chosen by G. She said that since we always call baby "Bean" that's what the label should say. I thought it quite fitting and so there we go. "Bean's Jeans".

In other craftiness, I also finished the second diaper bag. I used Amy Butler's Nappy Bag pattern again - it's a great one, easy peasy and roomy. Gotta love that! This one was of course at the request of N and (BF)G who both were insistent that the first diaper bag I made was far too "pretty" for them to be carting around. Yeesh! What I won't do for my menfolk! I do like the way it turned out, I will admit. It's bright and cheery and the fabric has been sitting in my stash for something like 13 years since my Fanny's Fabric employee days.

diaper bag take two

Now I'm busily working on another baby project. Crochet this time!! It's another blanket. We'll see how this endeavor goes!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Another project for baby!

baby blanket done
Originally uploaded by Highlanddancemom
Just a quick post to show my latest FO for baby!

I just finished this one the other night - didn't take long and I'm really happy with the outcome.

I knit the main part of the blanket with Sirdar Denim Aran Sport, which is a cotton, acrylic, wool blend and is super soft. The trim is of unknown content, but I'm pretty sure it's mostly cotton and was sent to me by Anna last summer.

I used the pattern Endora from Berroco and the modified the trim using (gulp!) crochet instead of picking up what would have felt like gazillions of stitches along the edges. I had a picture in my head of what I wanted it to look like and that was an edging similar to that on my afgan that my Granny had made for me when I was really little. So, to that end I dug out my "Teach yourself crochet" book and set to work. It's not up to Granny's standards, but for a first attempt at something like this I don't think I did too badly. I probably should have accomodated the corner increases a little better, but all in all, I'm well pleased!

This weekend's project will be to finish Blu - what an awesome pattern that is! But I'll save those details for later!