Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Vogue V9344 and happy spring

Hi everyone in the blogosphere! I'm still knitting, but my current project is taking forever because it's a longish cardigan with long sleeves in a DK weight. Hopefully, I'll post about it soon. Also, I've been busying with my Tiny Right Brain Designs jewelry business. In the meantime, spring has sprung so I thought I would post about a new dress I sewed. Actually, this was finished last fall but never worn because it got cold and I think it works for spring and summer just as well. The pattern is Vogue V9344 and the fabric is a stretch sateen from Mood Fabrics.

I cut the fabric with the puffy sleeves but they just didn't work out. For some reason, set-in sleeves with dresses in woven fabrics rarely fit right for me. I'll have to really sort out why some day. In the meantime, I just eliminated the sleeves and I like sleeveless dresses anyway. I widened the neckline a little bit and I added two small vertical darts below the bust line. Otherwise, I think it looks too much like a tent dress. I think I also lengthened the bodice by 1/2 inch. The fabric is a good medium weight but I lined the skirt section because it just looks and moves better with a more substantial bottom piece.

Finally, without the sleeve detail, the dress just seemed too simple. By some miracle, I have this linen cotton yarn in my stash that is in the exact color scheme as the fabric, so I thought I would knit a trim for the collar. It looks a tiny bit on the crafty side, but I think it's crafty in a good way, so I'm happy with the extra detail.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Herbsaint sweater

It's been awhile since my last posting. Knitting has been a little slower lately. I've been busy with the holiday craft show season selling my 3D printed jewelry - Tiny Right Brain Designs, instagram @tinyrighbrain. I finished this lovely sweater not too long ago and it's gotten good wear already. The pattern is Herbsaint, a Baby Cocktails design. I don't like to knit or wear cabled sweaters, but this design has sparse cables and it's knit in a DK weight with lots of drape. I used Knit One, Crochet Too Batiste, which is one of my favorite yarns. The sweater has a nice modern feel to it with a boxy draped look. I lowered the front neckline a bit and I think I adjusted the width a tiny bit. I did make sure that the stitch patterns matched at the ends of the left and right sleeves. As far as knitting technique, I found that it was faster after a while to do the cable pattern without a cable needle. For the bottom section, I didn't bother to count stitches. I just used the same needle size and picked up two stitches for every three rows of the body and this worked out fine.

I wish all of you a happy holiday season and a great 2019!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Summer Sweater

At last - I've finished a sweater! I don't know why this sweater took so long. I think it's probably just due to less knitting time than normal. This is a pullover for the end of summer, but I'll wear it in cooler weather with a thin layer underneath. The pattern is my own design. It's a basic shape with a zigzag pattern down the center front and along the side edges of the back. The yarn is Zooey by Juniper Moon Farm, which is a great cotton/linen blend. I like this yarn, even though it's a bit splitty and my stitches always look uneven. I used some earlier to knit this sweater, and it's one of my most comfortable summer sweaters. The yarn feels great when worn and the sweater washes and dries wonderfully. I'm hoping I'll like this new sweater just as much.

This sweater has "sleeves" that are formed by just not doing any armhole decreases and leaving an opening for the arms when sewing up the sides I do have one tip for finishing these openings. I picked up the ribbing at 2 stitches for every three rows for most of the opening except for the two inches at the shoulder area. For the shoulder tops, I picked up one stitch for every two rows so that the sleeve is pulled in more at the top and doesn't poke upward, which I dislike.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Baby Knitting

My neighbor will become a grandmother for the 3rd time in November so I thought I would knit the upcoming baby boy some new things because after all, that's what knitters do. The sweater is from the Great Beginnings pattern, and I added some stripes. I sized it for a one-year old, I hope.

The hat is sized for a younger baby. According to various charts, it should fit a three-month old head. It's from the Tea Cozy Crown Elf Hat pattern.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Scenes from Iceland

We took a trip to Iceland in early June for our summer vacay and I finally got around to posting a few photos here. It was a great trip - the weather was relatively warm with only some occasional drizzle. Reykjavik is a fun city with great food and great shopping. The scenery away from the city is beautiful. We started the trip with a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon. A visit to the Blue Lagoon is basically hanging out in a giant geothermal hot tub while covering your face in a silica mask and sipping on a beverage. It was great fun!

Here's a view outside of the Silica Hotel at the Blue Lagoon, showing all the moss covered volcanic lava.

This is the famous Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik.

This is a scene from the fun main shopping street. We were there in the first week of June before the major crowds got there.

Here's a pic of the famous church.

The central Reykjavik area has tons of great outdoor art painted on many building walls. Here's a few of the them. The fourth mural is on the wall of a bakery called Brauð & Co.

We weren't in Iceland long enough to travel the ring road around the country and we didn't rent a car. We took a couple of big-bus excursions to see some of the sights outside of Reykjavik. The first excursion covered the popular golden circle loop and one stop was a geyser ("geysir") field. This is one of the geyers.

This tour includes the impressive Gullfoss waterfall.

Another stop is Þingvellir National Park. Here you can straddle the mid-atlantic ridge that separates Eurasia and North America.

The second excursion was a tour down to the south coast and back. This area covers a lot of different scenery. One stop is the famous black sand beach where you can see the rock formations that were the inspiration for the church in Reykjavik.

Here's the beautiful Skógafoss waterfall.

And here's a view of a glacier. There were more adventurous travelers hiking on the glacier, but we just viewed it from a distance.

This is a scene from the road.

Back in town, this Sun Voyager sculpture is located along the waterfront. I took this photo at around 11PM at night. It's a strange feeling to be walking around so late with sunlight and so many other people out for a stroll.

We didn't see any of the cute Icelandic horses in their natural habitat, but the Reykjavik zoo had some. They're smaller than the typical horse but very strong and also very friendly to humans.

We had a fabulous time and I'd definitely recommend a visit! Oh, I should mention that I did NOT buy any yarn on this trip. I did visit a couple of shops that stocked yarn, but I found that the yarn from the sturdy Icelandic sheep is just too scratchy for me to wear.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sewing: Vogue V1333 Skirt (along with McCalls M7093 top)

The main focus of this post is on the tucked skirt from Vogue Patterns V1333.I absolutely love this skirt. I love the feel and comfort of this cotton/linen fabric I bought at JOANN. I also love the print and how it changes angle with the pleated overlay. The pattern calls for cutting the overlay on the crosswise grainline, but I didn't have enough fabric to do that so I just cut it on the lengthwise grainline. I don't see any strange stretching issues with the overlay so I think it's fine. If you want to save a bit of fabric, I would do it that way, although cutting on the crosswise might be more interesting, depending upon how your fabric pattern looks.

I also shortened the pattern quite a bit. This is a relatively long skirt and I'm a relatively short person at 5'3" (and shrinking :)). I did all the length adjustments at the bottoms of the skirt and overlay pieces. I also removed the asymmetrical hem aspect. The pattern calls for the skirt to be shorter on the left side, but I found that the asymmetry wasn't obvious enough and it just looked like I made a cutting error. Plus, it was still too long on the right side. So, I removed the asymmetry and shortened everything a bit more, although I left it curving down a bit on the front and back centers. The pointy tip of the overlay hangs longer than the skirt body a bit, which I actually like. This skirt will see a lot of wear throughout this summer and into fall and even some milder days of winter.

The top is a second rendition of McCalls M7093, which I blogged about here. This one uses a slightly stretchy cotton for the body and a cotton eyelet fabric for the sleeve caps and side pieces. The neckline is a little bit wider than the pattern neckline and the length is shorter.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Modified Flaum

This sweater was finished some time ago, but I didn't get a chance to post about it. It's a bit too warm for summer, except perhaps in San Francisco, because summer in SF is cold! This is my modified version of Flaum. I knitted this sweater before, as seen here. I liked it so much that I wanted to try it again with some Rowen cashmere that was on sale at yarn.com because it's being discontinued. I also wanted to modify the body so that it knits faster than the fisherman rib so I used a simple broken rib pattern. The end result is a less puffy sweater because the broken rib pattern is not as thick. I'm just as happy with it as with the original.