The Socks that took 2 Weeks

February 21, 2009

This pair took considerably less time than the last!  It’s the Monkey stitch pattern on a Bordhi Riverbed architecture (toe up) knit in Plymouth Happy Feet yarn.



The Socks that Took FOREVER!

February 11, 2009

Finally finished these socks I started in August?  September?  A long time ago, in sock time.  I practically knit two full pairs with this one ball of yarn, considering all the frogging I had to do to get them to fit…and they’re still not the best fitting socks I ever made.


These are knit from Pagewood Farm Glacier Bay Hand Dyed Sock Yarn.  The yarn was nice to work with, but the color crocked all over my hands something awful.  I’m hopeful they won’t stain my feet blue after a couple of washings with Synthrapol. The resulting socks are gorgeous, but oddly…crisp.

The pattern is a mashup of Cat Bordhi’s Riverbed architecture and a rib pattern from an Interweave Knits sock pattern from last year some time.  After the heel, I didn’t add any more rib columns — I just let the ones from the top of the foot spiral around the leg.  No ribbing at the top — just a bind off.  Because of the spiral ribbing, they twist a bit on my feet, but not uncomfortably so.

Whoops! I Did It Again!

January 30, 2009

I painted another dog blue.  murphyblue_04_webWhat, you say?  You can’t see the blue? Let’s get closer:

murphyblue_01_webMan this little guy is fast.  I thought he was outside!  I swear the paint jar was open for no more than a minute, up on the kitchen counter.  I still don’t have any idea how he got himself all punked up.

I do know that he’s feeling pretty proud of himself for defeating all attempts to play the wet towel game.

Ironically, the paint was open because I was testing a screen I made from a picture of him — so I have two blue, wet dogs drying in my kitchen!

A Pillowcase Experiment

January 28, 2009

This year’s ASG community service project is to make pillowcases for kids at Ronald McDonald Houses.  A few of us thought it might be nice to add a drawstring to the trim to allow the pillowcase to be used as a carrying bag as well.  As I thought about how to sew this, I was worried about adding knots or bows that would be uncomfortable to sleep on. As I was rethreading a drawstring through the waistband of a pair of workout pants(again), I was also thinking about how to keep the drawstring in the pillowcase through washing. So…I came up with this.

I turned the selvedge edges under on a 2-inch strip, cut it in half, and laid it out with a gap at the halfway point on the case:

pillowcase01webI made a drawstring out of another 2-inch strip by turning in the edges:


I threaded the drawstring through the trim, pinned everything at the edges, and sewed the drawstring into the sideseam.

The drawstring doesn’t really show:

pillowcase_04-webUntil you pull it out:


Ok, so here’s my problem.  I solved the comfort and loss-ability problems, but now I’m sort of worried about choking risks.  What do y’all think?

Testing a Tee

January 24, 2009

I loved this tee when I saw it in the Nov 2008 Burda WOF…until I saw that it was sleeveless (who wears sleeveless tees in November?).  To test a sleeve morph and to make sure the front gather/drape detail looked good on me, I made this test out of some really awful knit from JoAnn.  It was so awful to sew and icky feeling that I didn’t even bother to hem it — just whacked it off with a rotary cutter.  Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I love it!  Fit is great, feels fun with the bit of drapey flair at the where-the-hem-should-be.  I’m even getting compliments when I wear it, which I hadn’t planned to.  Gotta make another one in fabric I’m not embarrassed to be seen in!


Speaking of Toys

January 18, 2009

In one of those synchronicity things that life likes to produce, last month, just as I was sewing my first stuffed animal in years, I also ran across pictures of a teddy bear I made for a friend ages ago and saw said friend for the first time in years.  Stuffed, jointed bears were just about the first thing I did really well with a sewing machine, and I made them for everyone until the tendonitis in my hands forced me to stop (working with such small parts and sewing them shut after stuffing are pretty hard on your hands).

This is Rocky the Heavy Metal Bear:


He even has an axe earring!


I used Judi Maddigan’s Learn Bearmaking book and bought my supplies at a teddy bear shop in Santa Clara.  I wonder if it’s still there?

Dangly Earrings!

January 17, 2009

I bought a fair number of beads when we were in St. Charles last … er…April?  and hadn’t used any until this week, when I finally finished these earrings.

tealchainearrings_02webI like them, except that they’re about 1/2 inch too long for winter wear — they get involved with collars and coats and things.  I suppose a really good beader knows the best lengths and measures, but I’ve never claimed to be a good beader…

Sewing a Stegosaurus!

November 29, 2008

For our December meeting, our ASG members are supposed to sew a doll, doll clothes or a stuffed animal for charity.  After hearing the other members make plans for frilly doll clothes, I decided to look for a something a bit more unisex…and what could be more fun than a dinosaur?

stegosaurus_03webHe’s made from polar fleece scraps and is entirely machine sewn except for the spot where I stitched him closed after stuffing.  The pattern is from a book I picked up years ago, probably off a bargain table, called Step by Step Art of Making Soft Toys, by Alan Dart.


Dye Resist Experiments — Double Diagonal Clamping

November 22, 2008

Another double dyed fabric, this time using clamps both times.  This one was folded in squares, clamped diagonally with a pair of ceramic tiles, and dyed fuchsia.  Then I repeated the dyeing, angling the tiles the other way and using cobalt dye.  One tile cracked as I was setting the clamps, which I think caused the line through the white areas at the bottom This has some really cool potential! (As soon as I find something less brittle than ceramic tiles to clamp with…)

doublediagonalclamp_01webAgain, I was curious how the color would differ from a mix-and-dye-once dip:


Dye Resist Experiments — Drawing Lines

November 21, 2008

Trying to get resisted lines, I first used a simple running stitch and drawing the thread tight.  But I couldn’t get it tight enough:orinui_01web

So, I tried again using a running stitch along a fold, which got a double layer of fabric.  Much better:


This is a color experiment as well — I’m beginning to see that dyeing one color over another is not equivalent to mixing the two and dyeing, so I’m starting some tests to see if I can learn what to expect (hah! as if…).  This is the difference between the overdye, with the lines, and the mixed version of the same colors, in the overlay strip.  For these colors, it’s fairly close.