Friday, April 29, 2011

Makes You Think

I just finished reading this article on, Sewing as a Protest. It was really thought provoking. Recently I made the decision to not buy ready made any more. I have a few exceptions mostly to do with undergarments. This started mostly with frustration about how ready made clothes fit me, they didn't. But while this experiment is still about fit it has more to it than originally thought.

This project has allowed me to build and improve my skills as a seamstress. My invisible zipper finishes have never been better. I'm more willing to try new skills because I have to. I can't be cautious anymore and hope that someone will teach me , or not try because I'm worried about failure. Because of this I've drafted my first pattern, altered a pattern for my needs, sewn knit jersey on my singer and made my first pair of leggings. I am enjoying the doing as much as I am enjoying the finished item.

I've also noticed my taste in style is truly coming out. I never knew I was going to rock a floral frock that was remincent of 1950's fashion, but I wanted to sew that dress. I also never expected to sew leggings that any rocker girl would die for. But I have and I do rock both of those things. There is a touch of femininity and rock and roll in my style and the two purchases I have made since I started this project tie in exactly (a black leather jacket, and brown leather high heel sandals).

I'm not sure if I'm sewing as a protest, but I know I am sewing for me. I do think I sewing, in a way, against branding. Maybe in a few months this out look on this project will take another turn.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Alright so its been spring for at least a month now. Although it hasn't felt like spring in Philly until recently. Today I am going to finally start my spring cleaning starting with my kitchen/dinning room area, or what Simon calls the big front room where we eat. My goal over the next week is to get crap up off the floor, get rid of a bunch of junk and make the apartment look tidier than present.

This also means that at some point I will need to clean the living room and go through my yarn and fabric stash. Ugh, I love/hate doing this. I love seeing all of my lovelies and dreaming up projects, but I hate having to put it away and make decisions on what to keep, swap, give away or just plan get rid of. I am going to tackle the living room on a day where I don't have to go or be anywhere. Hopefully that will give me lots of time to get it done with plenty of coffee and knitting breaks.

So I'm off to clean and sort!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easy Day

I have no real plans before work today. Defiantly going to go out and enjoy the weather while its still nice out. Knit on my sweater and work on my design. A lovely day full of knitting and warm weather.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Tale of the Cotton Cardigan

I have been diligently working on my newest sweater project. It's a lovely cotton cardi in lavender and gold. I was hoping to have it completed by the end of this month, but I need to be realistic. There is no way (unless I quit my job and stay home all week and knit) that I will be able to finish this sweater in 4 days. However I plan on having it finished for June. So I have one more month to complete it. As you can see I am almost finished with one sleeve. Tonight at the knitting circle I plan on starting the second sleeve and I will be well on my way to finishing my lovely summer cardi.

On top of finishing my sweater I also have a design to knit and write up. My deadline is June 8th, and this is not a self imposed deadline. I love getting design work it makes me super giddy. When my design was accepted I did a little dance around my living room.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Welcom Home

Currituck Light house, We climbed to the top

We are back from our vacation on the Outer Banks. It was amazing. Warm, sunny and there was surf to be had. Mind you cold surf, cold enough that we ended up buying booties to wear with our wet suits. My friend Jo from England calls the wet suit sock and I think surf socks is what I will be calling them from now on.

Sound Side

Our first day and pretty much everyday was beautiful. With so much good weather I will admit that my stripped sweater did not make much progress but I have set a deadline for myself and have till June to finish it. I am almost done with the sleeve and will have to post some new photos of it tomorrow.
Me on the beach on the day of our failed trip to find Horses.

One of the days on the Island we went in search of the wild horses that live just north of Corolla. We had no luck finding them, but had a great time looking for them and a lovely walk on a practically deserted beach. We had to console our selves the next day with a trip to the Duck Deli for lunch. Where I drowned my disappointment in a delicious pulled pork sandwich and all was well. The floral frock I worked so diligently on the last month finally gets a night on the town.

I even got to wear one of my new creations while on vacation. We all went out to dinner and I wore my new floral frock out. I even pulled out the pearls. I did realize that the dress needs some side seem alteration under the arms and through the bodice, but that will be a quick and easy fix. Other than that this dress fits perfectly and is light and airy.

All and all a great vacation. We came back to Philly to wonderful weather. It feels good to be home in our tiny apartment. There is a new addition to our home. Cuz what surfing trip would be complete without buying a new surf board?

My new board, just like my McCoy in Oz only a West Winds in the States

Well it's new to me and was such a great deal I couldn't pass it up. It's just like the board I was using in Oz, its vintage and it's a wonderfully garish yellow. It needs a few dings mended, but all in all a perfectly sound board. And no one can miss me out in the surf with a yellow board.

Being back is great, I can't wait to start surfing on the shore. Although Simon and I are going to have to wait a few weeks as the water temp on the shore is still a tad too cold even with surf socks and wetsuits. on the knitting front some of my yarn is featured in a treasury on Esty, and I've re-listed some hanks of sock yarn in my shop. To top it all off the weather here in Philly is warm and sunny, it looks like a good week ahead.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sew Like the Wind!

I have been sewing like crazy these past two days. I made another pair of PJ shorts and the lovely kimono top above. It is based off of the 1 piece kimono tee by pixlink on Burda Style. I lengthened it so it covers my bum. Now I can wear my new Carol leggings I made with it and not be scandalous. Leggings are NOT pants and should not be worn as so.

The cotton jersey was awesome to sew with. I am absolutely loving knits and stretch fabrics. Move out of the way cotton wovens Jersey is the new kid in the studio! I have one more project I want to complete before we leave for vacation and that is a teal cotton/rayon/Lycra blend jersey maxi dress. I have cobbled together two different patterns into a pattern that will hopefully; a.) fit me, and b.) actually sew up into a dress of sorts. I had to make some hefty alterations to the bodice piece so we'll see if my math is good math and if all this reworking patterns is something I'm capable of.

My teal jersey waiting to be cut.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hurry Up, Hurry Up

Simon and I are leaving on Saturday to head down to the Outer Banks for a week. We are super stoked and can't wait to spend the week surfing and climbing light houses. This means however that I need to complete some sewing projects. I mean start some sewing projects and then complete them before Saturday. Then I have to pack.

I love and hate packing. I pride myself on not over packing, but because of this it is a two day process. So not only do I have to finish my sewing projects I need to start packing tomorrow as well. There is however a certain excitement to packing for vacation.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Knitting Pattern: Heat Wave

Here it is! My latest pattern the Heat Wave. I absolutely love how this top came out. I would suggest this pattern for an intermediate knitter mostly because of the lace pattern at the top, but a beginner with an adventurous spirit and a good handle on the basics of lace could knit this cute top.

You can find my new pattern in two places my Etsy shop and on just search for Heat Wave or bluebettyshop.

This may become my favorite top this summer. The yarn is Knit Picks Shine Sport with is 60% Pima Cotton, 40% Modal. It's machine washable, soft and the modal gives this yarn a sheen almost like silk. It also comes in a plethora of colors so the combinations for this top are endless.

The pattern comes in five sizes and is worn with little to no ease so I suggest knitting the size closest to your bust measurement.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sneak Peek

Here is a sneak peek at the pattern that will be released in my Etsy and Ravelry shop tomorrow. Check back tomorrow for more details.

Friday, April 8, 2011

New Pattern Coming Soon

This square of knitted fabric is actually my new pattern folded up waiting to be worn for photos. The release is planed for Tuesday April 12th. Check back on Monday for a sneak peek of the new design.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cactus Project Part 1

I have a friend who has requested that I knit him a cactus, but not just any plain old green cactus. He wants a crazy, patchy multi-colored cactus for his huge front window in his house.

I've decided to knit said cactus using modular hexagons and no real pattern. In the next few weeks I will share my progress with you on the cactus project.

I have purchsed the yarn and according to my friend he does not want it to be any where close in color to a real cactus so you can see below what my main colors are going to be. These are just to skeins of Patons classic wool in two different variegated color ways.

I will also supplement some of the yarn with scraps from my stash, and other odds and ends that I have floating about my baskets of yarn. I plan on getting started today so I should have some picks of what the hexagons look like soon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Procrastination and Speed Wrenches

The past few days have been busy here in Philly. First off I had a strike on Monday for a theatre in the city. I was extremly excited about it once I got there because I got to strike the electrics with the ME which has never happened before. Stage electrics is my actual trade and what I do. I almost didn't bring my speed wrench but I figured better safe that sorry and it was so true this time.

Yesterday I had a deadline and well I procrastinated, a lot. The only thing I knew about my knitting submission is that it was going to be a modular knitting project. After about four hours of research, swatching, sketching, filling in forms, taking photos, and two cups of coffee I had a finished submission. The last design that got accepted came into being much as this one. As much as I like to be prepared and have things done early I am starting to think I do my best work under some pressure. Well see what happens.

fruits of my labor

Friday, April 1, 2011

Photo Update

Here is a photo update of what I've been up to. Above is my current project a cotton cardigan that I might just base a wool cardigan on for the fall. It's piled in a big heap in this photo, but I swear I've finished all the increases for the sleeves and the body.

A BSJ for my little Niece in Oz. It will be getting cooler in the months to come in Australia, but not cool enough for wool this bsj is knit from Knit and Crochet Too's recycled cotton (75% recycled cotton, 25% acrylic). I actually knit this months ago in the preparation for the baby's arrival and just finished sewing up the shoulder seam and sewing on the buttons.

This piece is also for my niece and is a more current knit. This is the Hara Baby Dress knit in the 6 month size. I know some people despise pooling, but i don't mind and I think it is interesting with the linen stitch top and the stockinette skirt.

Here is the back of the dress with some pretty purple buttons on the back. What I liked about this dress is it was a quick knit and the straps have multiple button holes making the straps adjustable.

I had a lot of yarn left over from the baby dress so I looked up some soaker patterns on and found one to knit to match the baby dress. I am almost done with this. It's a fast project. I started it yesterday and I am about 70% finished with it. I just need to finish the waist band, the leg edging and sew on some buttons.

On the sewing front I have finished two pairs of leggings and a dress, and am contemplating a few more tops and maybe a maxi dress out of some cotton rayon I saw at the fabric outlet. Pictures of all my finished items will be taken as soon as it stops raining and actually feels like spring. It's April 1st and I'm sitting in my apartment wearing a wool sweater and thinking about turning the heat on.