general adventures in craftiness

Monday, March 31, 2008

Bead Simple

I had lunch last week with Mariko and Susan and was fortunate enough to receive a copy of Susan's new book, Bead Simple. There are 150 projects, with something for all skill levels. I especially love all the drop pendant projects. If you're local, go check out the Bead Simple event and demo at Powell's (W. Burnside), upstairs in the Basil Hayward Gallery on Monday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. Congratulations Susan!

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spring Thing

I finally got around to sewing this dress project today. I kept putting it off because I thought it would take too much time. In actuality, it only took about three hours to sew up the bodice lining, as well as the bodice and skirt. Right after I took this photo, I gathered and sewed on the skirt. I plan on doing an all-in-one facing using this Burda tutorial. I had tried doing something similar for my final draping project, but didn't exactly figure it out. In a lesson learned from that final project, I also added some lightweight interfacing to the contrasting waist sections, so they get less wrinkled. I'll try to sew the facing tomorrow and insert the invisible zipper.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Super Long

I finally finished the fronts of this jacket last night. I had actually finished it the other night, but I read the directions wrong and had to rip out 20 or so rows. The small strips will be sewn onto the back neckline and that's the part that had me confused. I kept knitting armhole decreases without taking into consideration the placket ribbing that would need to extend to the back neckline. Luckily, each row had only 17 stitches, so it didn't take too long to get back on track. Onto the sleeves!

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Knitting Weekend

The weather this weekend shifted between sunny one day to rainy and cold the next. Whatever the weather , I spent a lot of time knitting with an armload of DVD rentals: Into the Wild, Rendition, Saw IV, Ira & Abby, and Atonement. These are the two fronts of the jacket and I'm just about to start decreasing for the neckline. I kept forgetting the knitting pattern on the wrong side, and instead of knitting in the stitch below for the knit stitches, I was following a regular knit rib pattern. I had to frog several rows here and there.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jacket Back

I finished the back of the jacket over the weekend and cast on for the fronts last night. I'm knitting a skinny button band in garter stitch on the front edges. The pattern calls for six poppers. Do you suppose poppers are the same as buttons? Or snaps?

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Dress Drape #2

I had time to sew up another muslin of the dress that I redraped several weeks ago. This version has a better fit with the changes that I made, including moving the shoulder seams back and adding darts to the back of the bodice. I think I like this full gathered skirt more too. It just seems more summery to me. Hopefully, I'll be able to sew it up in my fashion fabric later this week.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cool Ribbing

Here's the beginning of the back of the long jacket. If I remember correctly, I have to knit for about 60 cm before binding off for the armholes. I'm really digging this rib stitch. I haven't used it before in any other garment. You knit on the right side and then on the wrong side P2, then K1 in the next stitch in the row below. It gives the knitting a textured fabric that has depth, much more so than regular ribbed knitting.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

On Deck

I found a couple of sweater projects in Rebecca 36 that I wanted to make, however, both required quite a bit of yarn. This long jacket with rib pattern needed about 14 skeins of yarns while this blue zip up jacket called for 12. If I were to use the recommended GGH Tara yarn, the long jacket would have cost about $130! Yikes! So, I headed to the trusty Fabric Depot where a 30% off everything sale was happening. I picked up some Lion Brand Wool-Ease for both projects, as well as some Lion Brand Micro Spun for the biker vest in the Twinkle's Big City Knits book. Nineteen skeins of yarn cost only about $50. What a bargain! I have only used the Wool-Ease once before and I don't recall any negatives about it other than the fact that it's mostly an acrylic yarn. A plus is that I can throw it in the washer and dryer. I've cast on for the long jacket with the black yarn and, so far, it's knitting up nicely.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008


Since finishing up the Twinkle Big City Knits projects, I haven't yet decided on my next knitting project. I've been browsing through the latest Interweave Knits, trying to narrow down my choices. There's also another vest project in the Twinkle book that I'd like to try, but I have a feeling the directions could be off, so I don't feel much like attempting that project. I have been working steadily on the ripple afghan and I think I'm a little more than halfway finished. I've also got to sew up my muslin for the dress I draped. Maybe I'll try to get started on that tonight!


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Portland's Own CRAFT Issue 06 Release Party

Check out this cool event, via CraftyPod...

What are you doing on Sunday, March 9? If you’re in any of the cities listed above — including Portland, then I hope you’re coming to the CRAFT 06 Release Party!

Susan Beal and I are thrilled to be co-hosting the Portland bash. It’s at Twisted, from 1-4 p.m. Moxie will be on hand, too, demonstrating how she makes these adorable monsters. (You may recognize them as the cover models for CRAFT 06.)

We’ll also have a hands-on craft table, where you can learn to make Pantyhose Flowers from the magazine. Yes, I am all twittery with excitement over that one.

We’ll have snacks on hand, and Twisted carries a delicious assortment of teas and juices. And if you haven’t visited Twisted, you’ll love it. One of my very favorite yarn stores in PDX - and they carry embroidery supplies, vintage buttons, tons of new and vintage craft books, felting materials — and Shannon and Emily, who co-own the store, are the nicest women ever.

So please come by, have some afternoon tea, and CRAFT with us!


Monday, March 03, 2008

Dressed Form

Here's a dress that I draped this weekend. Originally, I had sketched out more of a shift style dress that had a small amount of gathering under the empire waist. However, when I draped that and sewed up my muslin, it didn't look quite right. So, during my second round of draping, I ended up adding a gathered skirt all around. I wanted this to be a retro-styled day dress and I think the gathered skirt is reminiscent of that. I plan to use these fabrics that I bought a while back for the final dress, but I need to sew another muslin first to check for fit.

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