Petaluma

A friend recently moved to the town of Petaluma, about an hour north of San Francisco.  Today we visited her, and we happened to walk by the LYS, Knitterly, so of course we had to peek in.  Oh my goodness, they have beautiful things!  

I love the cutesy needles for kids!

The needles!

The needles!

The stitch markers!

The stitch markers!

There were way more buttons than this small sample.

The buttons!

The buttons!

The Habu!

The Habu!

The sample knits in Knitterly were particularly nice.  I’m not always inspired by the samples in the shops, but they have really simple, stylish things that I could imagine knitting and wearing.

The sample knits!

The sample knits!

The books and notions!

The books and notions!

Can you believe that I didn’t buy any yarn???  The kids/SO were not feeling particularly patient, so for this visit I had to be satisfied with just a few pictures and a strong desire to return, next time perhaps with a particular project in mind to shop for!

Our friend took us to a house where there is chicken feed in a bucket for passers-by to feed the chickens in their yard!  Who could resist?

The chickens!

The chickens!

It was HOT!  The Wee Girl wondered if the plants were sweating.

The colors!

The colors!

We also passed by the local sewing/fabric shop, which looked adorable, but the non-crafty types were not up for it.  Next time???

During the evening, I made some good progress on the Wonder Woman sweater.  At the beginning of a movie, I was still on the gold section, by the end I was on the second star.  Pretty good!

The stars!

The stars!

Washi Dress

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to make the Washi Dress.  A friend who had made it suggested the shirring technique used in the Washi Dress to tighten up the baggy back of my first dress, and it worked great.  I bought the fabric, bought the pattern, and eventually got to it!  

BUT!  Reading this and that from people who had made the dress, I thought it might be a good idea to do the tunic version to test it out, size-wise–(I didn’t have muslin for the muslin practice version, and I wanted to just get started!!!). 

Well!  I’m still a novice at buying sewing patterns online, so I didn’t realize that when I clicked on BUY NOW! I would get a download from which I’d need to print a ton of papers, cut them, and tape them together quite precisely.  

Just starting...

Just starting…

It took an entire naptime, aka, 2 hours.  

The pattern in its entirety!

The pattern in its entirety, minus the sweat.

That was yesterday.  Today during nap time, I was able to cut out almost the entire pattern.  It shouldn’t take that long, but sometimes I had to backtrack– like when I realized that I’d save fabric by NOT folding the fabric in half, but only as far as I needed to get the width of the pattern piece, of course after tracing an entire pattern piece…..  Etc!  But eventually I had all the pieces!

All cut out!

All cut out!

And from there, it was astonishingly easy and quick!  Before I knew it, I was sewing darts and pleats!

Pleats, please!

Pleats, please!

At one time I realized that I’d placed the FOLD line on the wrong part (the shoulders instead of the bodice middle!), so there’s an odd seam at the bodice front, but… this is a learning piece, so I just cut the shoulders, seamed the bodice front, and ran with it.

And suddenly I had an entire tunic on my hands, minus topstitching at the neck, hemming, and arm finishings!  But I ran out of navy thread, so those will wait until tomorrow.

Washi tunic!

Washi tunic!

The really good news is that when I tried it on…. it fit!  It fits very well, in fact.  I’ll definitely make a dress (or 2, 3, ….???) out of this pattern!  It was worth the bitterness of all that cutting and taping, after all!  :0

Sewing FOs and knitting backtracking

Well, last night I was too tired to knit after bed times, so I read The Wizard of Oz for a while.  Have you read this??  It’s crazy violent and scary!  I’m actually kind of surprised that a movie was made from it.  I mean, it’s entertaining and I like that there are more details and back story than in the movie, but whoa!!!

Scary stuff, yo.

Scary stuff, yo.

I bought this copyright 1956 copy at the San Francisco’s huge annual book sale.  I probably paid like 50 cents for it.  I love that sale!!

Finally today I had the time and energy to put into this project!  I wanted to make the kids pj tops that would match the pj pants I recently made for them. I decided to iron some interfacing onto some of the leftover fabric, fancy cut it, and sew it onto plain t-shirts.  

Here the fabric has been interfaced (ha!!) and set on the shirts just to check placement.

Placement of the fancy cuttings

Placement of the fancy cuttings

I used a simple zigzag stitch which I hope will help reduce fraying.  After sewing!  

Thor!

Thor!

I’m so pleased with how the bright colors really pop against the dark blue background!

Look out, it's Spiderman!

Look out, it’s Spiderman!

The kids were very happy!  The Boy is pleased that they match (awww), and when the Wee Girl saw hers, she exclaimed, “I love it!  Thor is my favorite!!!”

Matchy matchy!

Matchy matchy!

In less happy news, I was making some good progress on my Wonder Woman sweater, but it was turning out too small.  The sleeve was measuring up at around 6″ across, and the Wee Girl’s arm measures 6″ around.  0″ ease is not what I had in mind, so I frogged it, did some calculations, and casted on the next size up.  

Booo

Booo

I like that this pattern has the knitter start with the sleeves!  It’s the size of a gauge swatch, and less commitment than jumping in and starting to knit the body portion.  I didn’t lose that much time on it, which is nice, considering my time limitations and the fact that I think this pattern might make my carpal tunnel flare up.  I’ll have to take it easy.

Wonder Woman sweater KAL!

The Wonder Woman sweater KAL was meeting early at Knit Night for an official Cast-on.  In preparation, I knitted and washed a swatch that I found to be just right for the sweater.  I was lucky to have hit the jackpot on my first try (US size 7!)  The yarn is Cascade Hollywood, which as one would imagine, is sparkly!

A sparkly swatch!

A sparkly swatch!

I thought we were all swatching before the Official Cast-on, but I was the only one who did, so I got to jump right into the math of knitting.  This pattern is written for a grown-up, but I’m knitting mine for the Wee Girl, so I have some adjusting to do.  However, the pattern uses this yarn doubled, and  at my gauge with a single strand, it looks like I can follow the directions/charts for a women’s size S.  Fingers crossed that it’ll be simple!

3 swatches going on!

3 swatches going on!

So far so good!  I’m super tired so I’ll try to get in a few more rows tonight; hopefully i’ll have some progress to show you tomorrow!

Not caught up yet

I suppose I’ve been tired and burned out these days, so I haven’t been knitting that much in a given day. So I’m definitely not yet caught up with my blanket knitting! I only have 2.6 squares made from my second skein of handspun.

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But a little progress is better than none at all, isn’t it?

Not a crafty day

Between riled-up kids, mostly solo parenting, an ice cream social, wacky bed times, and back-to-school preparations, I only managed a tiny bit of knitting today, with nothing really to show for it.

However, this is dry, and rather pretty!

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And I have an idea brewing for fixing the Wee Girl’s loved-to-death blankie. I thought I’d back it with this silky fabric, quilt-style~ish. Maybe interfacing would help the thin flannel last a little longer? Any ideas?

 

 

 

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It’s back to school tomorrow, and this mama can’t wait to have a little freedom! I have so many grand plans or how to spend my 2 hours 50 minutes 4 days a week! Most of them involve sewing, organizing, and exercising, with perhaps an occasional nap!

Penultimate

The green roving that the Wee Boy dyed at Easter only took me two evenings to spin up.  I wanted to do it thick like the last Merino I spun, but it didn’t happen.  The singles were pretty much my standard weight.

Swinging singles.

Swinging singles.

And the plied yarn is okay, considering the rough fiber.  It should soften and plump up in its bath. 

Plied!

Plied!

 Oh dear, I forgot to write down the approximate yardage.  Oh well!  It was that kind of day….

Alpengluhen cardigan, done!

Yesss!  With my cardigan blocked, and a few toddler-free hours on my hands, I was able to shop for buttons this morning at Imagiknit.

How to choose??

How to choose??

It was harder than usual to choose buttons today!  This “Vermillion” colorway is between pink and red, and I didn’t want to choose a neutral black or brown and feeling like my shoes or accessories would always have to match.  I wanted something subtle so that I could pair the cardigan with any basic color and also so that the buttons wouldn’t be the focus, since the cabling is so pretty. 

In the end I chose….

My selection

My selection

I roped my 6 year-old into taking a few photos for me before the daylight disappeared.  It was tricky, most of them were out of focus, but she took a few good ones.

I look pretty pleased that it's done!

I look pretty pleased that it’s done!

Back view (waist shaping!)

Back view (waist shaping!)

I was right in expecting the Tosh Bulky to grow with wet blocking!  Before blocking it was a tad too small, but it grew just the right amount.

Full view.

Full view.

Close-up of cable detailis

Close-up of cable details.

The only problem is that I think I should tighten up the buttonholes a little bit.  Overall, this was a great pattern to knit (did I mention that I LOVE the way the sleeves were done? Picked-up stitches and short rows, zero seaming!!!!), and with this bulky yarn, this cardigan will be great for chilly San Francisco days and nights when I feel like wearing something more flattering than a baggy fleece jacket!

De Young Museum

This week, the wee boy is in school, while the wee girl has her last week of summer vacation.  When we’re free from him without him, we like to do things we can’t do with him in tow!  So today we arrived at the De Young art museum bright and early.  In fact, we were the first visitors!  

The De Young is a really good museum, with a huge variety of art– old African masks, Colonial American paintings, plenty of Classics, and they currently have an exhibition on Modernism, which I wasn’t that enthralled by.  I suppose I prefer, hmmm, less “Modern” art?  :0

Anyway, here are a few favorites for the day!

A creative use of dollar bills.

A portrait of George Washington made out of dollar bills sewn together!

A portrait of George Washington made out of dollar bills sewn together!

It’s so fun to find one’s hobbies represented in fine art, although I hope I’ll look less annoyed when my (future) grandkids interrupt my knitting!

Knitting!

Knitting!

I like you so much I can’t look at you/I broke the yarn, darn it!

Spinning!

Spinning!

Now, I think this was our biggest hit of the day.  There was a video by/about a New Zealander woman who is a mix of Scottish, Maori, and other Aboriginal tribes, and in it she explained about these cloaks that they traditionally make and how she made these four different cloaks to represent different stages of life.  At first we didn’t realize that the actual cloaks in the video were right there in the museum, but when we noticed, the experience was definitely heightened.  

For example, in the video we saw how the artist cut these blue pieces out, shaped them into long, narrow cylinders, and sewed them together to make this fantastic blue.  Then we turned to our left and saw it!  I think it also helped that after this, we had some lunch, so we left this exhibit on a particularly high note.

Really, really wanting to touch it!

Really, really wanting to touch it!

On our way out, we passed this guy.

Super art!

Super art!

Oh!  I forgot to post this photo from yesterday.  It’s a blast from the past; me knitting on BART.  Yesterday the wee girl and I went to Berkeley by BART and of course, it was prime knitting time.

Soon to be a bear named Gianna!

Soon to be a bear named Gianna!

I used to commute by BART from Berkeley to San Francisco, and boy, did I meet a lot of interesting people by knitting on the train!

Tomorrow I plan to shop at my LYS for buttons for my Alpengluhen cardigan!  Wish me luck!

Back to POP!

With my sweater drying, I picked up a POP blanket square today, finished it, and knitted a whole second one. I then counted and found that, despite my break to finish my cardigan, I’m only 6 squares behind schedule. And! I get to start my new cake of handspun next! It’s brighter than the first, so I’m definitely looking forward to it!

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