Settling In


We have most of our boxes unpacked. We have lead several contractors through the house to find out how much an electrical upgrade will cost. We've fought a few battles with the washer, an crotchety veteran of the 70's that doesn't seem to care for it's new owners much.
If only my house was this glittery!

More importantly the yarn was unpacked and tiny needles have been flying. Now there are 2 1/2 pairs of socks sitting in a basket just waiting for a good blocking.
More details and better pics after Christmas.

Despite loosing some steam, Nakniswemodo09 sweater number 12 should be done just under the wire. Joined the sleeves to the body just last night with some "Maryland" themed stitch markers from my sister.
The crab appears to have heard of my fondness for eating his brothers.

If you don't hear from me until January I'll be sitting in the lovely dining room staring at my tree. Maybe with a cup of tea and some knitting, thinking about how I should have frozen some peaches.
Droolllll glittery peach.

Golden Fall


Golden leaves....
... homemade apple cider donuts
....and cashmere blend socks

From Woolgirl's first socks club shipment of the year, Majestic knit in Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Sock. They are delicious.

And we're back...Sort of


It's Pop Quiz time and on a Monday too. Aren't you glad I didn't follow in the footsteps of my parents and become a teacher? Now settle down and get out your pencils.

1. The unexpected blog silence of a few months was caused by...

a. Sewing a maternity jacket for my sister's baby shower.
b. Knitting a requested sweater for my mother's Christmas present.
c. House hunting and house buying paper work.
d. All of the above.

2. I've spent my weekends this month...

a. Packing things in boxes.
b. In my sister's basement breaking down boxes.
c. Visiting people's houses to take their boxes.
d. All of the above.

3. I'm burnt out on...

a. Sewing.
b. Knitting sweaters.
c. Having my tiny apartment filled with boxes!!!
d. All of the above.

You are correct all answers are D. Gold stars and cookies all around.

Yes, my husband and I (and the frogs) will soon be home owners and the last two months seem to have been absorbed by the whole process. We are waiting rather impatiently for Thursday, our closing day, to arrive. Until then I'm trying to make the time pass as painlessly as possible.... with brownies and sock. Not sure which is more delicious.


The Feather Print Dress


So about a year ago I was trolling the nets for fabric for some unknown reason. I wasn't sewing at the time, maybe it was a slow day at work, who knows. My search engine took me to a site I'd never seen before, There among the cotton wovens lurked the most intriguing cotton print I'd ever seen.
Large black feather outlines overlapped each other like scales on a pure white background. It was modern yet had a hint old time Hollywood starlet. And it was 58" wide! Knowing I'd be a fool to let this fabric get away 2 yards were immediately ordered.

The fabric was then tucked away waiting for a day when I wouldn't inadvertently turn it into a wadder and have to commit hari kari on my Gingers.
Fast forward about a month ago when I'm compulsively filling in my missing Burda World of Fashion issues. There in May 2009 dress number 117 seemed to be just the thing for this fabric. But I cooled my heels until Audrey made this dress and looked fantastic in it. She also posted a ton of extra directions on how to sew kimono sleeves which was very helpful.

So I give you my version of dress 117 from May 2009 Burda World of Fashion.
feather dress 3

Close up of cross over front
Feather dress top

Close up of skirt side slits
feather dress bottom

Oh how I love you feather print dress, now lets fly away.

Sneak Peek


Another precious fabric from the stash has made an appearance on my sewing table. It's waiting for some lining but who doesn't like a little sneak peek.
Feathers, feathers on Heathers

Fall Sewing Continued


It's fall clothing catalog time which means several happy hours spent flipping through pages deciding what to get for the coming season. This year it's more like deciding what to knock off which is pretty fun too. One thing that caught my eye was this super cute blazer from Boden.
I like their happy models

Marinating in the stash was some dark green corduroy that had been purchased about this time last year from Fabrications in Kennett Square. (Now closed and oh how it is missed) I'd purchased the fabric planning on making a jacket out of it but had gotten no further than that.
Off I went to the Burda World of Fashion magazine stash looking for a jacket that was somewhat similar and struck gold.
From issue 3/2009 pattern #111
Notched collar - check, 3 button closure - check, patch pockets with button flaps- check! Just add sleeve vents and we're in like flint.

Cord jacket front
Oh green corduroy, you are so pretty

I modeled the sleeve vents after some of my RTW jackets. On the pattern an extra rectangle was added to the lower side seam of both the upper and lower sleeve. On the upper sleeve the rectangle is folded over to finish the edge. On the lower seam it makes up the extra allowance needed for the vent. Real button holes were put in the top vent but were not cut open. The buttons where then sewn on top of the button holes going through both piece of the sleeve so that the vent was sewn closed. The lining looks like a regular 2 piece sleeve and covers up all the raw edges of the vents.

Cord Jacket Side

Some outside photos so details can actually be seen. To bad a neighbor has a bunch of crap in the background. :P

Cord Back

Cord front outside
All and all a successful knock off of the catalog version. Thanks Burda for making this one easy. If your interested in any more comments on this pattern my review is over here.

Nakniswemodo number 10, two more to go


Number 10 is a little sweater called the Whole Wheat Cardigan.
I'd been looking for a little summer sweater in white that wasn't too girly but wasn't all stockinette stitch. This one fit the bill just right. It also called for yarn already in my stash Sublime Yarns Cashmere Merino Silk DK.

The stitch pattern is pretty fun to knit, it's easy to memorize and the cable twists on every 4th row.

One thing that I would change is the depth of the armholes. After blocking the armholes where almost 9 inches deep. This causes the fabric to wad a bit under the arms during wearing. Other than that I'm very pleased.

It's fall in my mind


OK I'm just going to come out and say it, I am a summer hater. Swimming, sun bathing, the beach, summer group picnics where volley ball must be played....loath these activities and locations. And out of all the summer months August is the worst. When ever this month comes around I just grit my teeth and station myself in front of the air conditioning unit.

So to keep my mind off of the fact it is August, I'm embarking on sewing a bunch of fall clothing and picking out a new fall knitting pattern. Hopefully these diversions will whittle away the time until we can comfortably don our sweaters and drink a cup of hot apple cider. (Just typing sweater + hot apple cider fills me with joy)

While I definitely plan on making some apple cider drinking clothes (Corduroy jacket and plaid wool skirt) I won't be drinking cider with the first completed fall dress. It's more like a "sipping a cappuccino while sitting at an outdoor cafe" kind of dress.
Half Shot with Black Belt
A JoAnn's 3.95 sale on Vogue patterns made me go with Vogue 8413 to make up the lovely Charcoal Chinchilla from Tessuti fabrics. The results are highly pleasing.

A few detail shots
Vogue 8413 Sleeve Detail
A little puff at the top of the shoulder

Vogue 8413 Front Pleat Detail
A close up of the skirt pleats

Vogue 8413 Inner Construction
A glimpse of actually tidy insides! (This rarely happens)

And finally one last full view
Full view with Red Accessories
If you are a sewer I've reviewed this pattern here on pattern review. I think it's a winner.

Cream for the Lactose Intolerant


A couple of months ago I was at the LYS rummaging through the baby yarn section and my hands touched Kollage's Creamy Yarn. Once my fingers touched the creamy loveliness they would not let go. Then it became a situation where the yarn had to be purchased since I'd been manhandling it for a half hour. (These are odd rules that I made up in my head)

No worries though I'd had my eye on the Essential Tank in "Custom Knits" for some time. Using alpaca to make a tank wouldn't work for me, but creamy was a similar gauge and also come in a natural color. Since Creamy is pretty expensive only having to buy enough to make a tank was an added bonus.

Pattern details
-My loose ass knitting made Creamy match the pattern's gauge exactly. I cast on the size 36 and the finished product was near the measurement of the schematic.
- Other Ravelry users said the length was a bit short so an extra inch was added before starting the bust increases.
- Originally I knit the neckline as described in the pattern but found it was not a flattering shape for me. It also made the front look too narrow. I decided to get creative and use a little steeking like techniques to lower the neck line. The knit on finish for the neck was unraveled. Then using a tank I had a new neckline was traced in with pins. Then matching thread was put in the sewing machine and the new neckline stitched over. I cut semi close to the stitch line to make sure the yarn wasn't going to unravel. The machine stitching held up fine so then I picked up and knit on a new neck finish. Hooray for short cuts!

I might not be able to drink milk anymore but at least I can wear it. And it's delicious.

A Few Pics from New Castle Delaware


My husband likes to visit towns especially if they have an historic area where you can meander around staring at buildings. He heard about New Castle Delaware from a co-worker and decided it was time for an outing.
The highlights for me were the garden at Read House.
This part of the garden is from a Victorian family that lived in the house after the Read's had to sell it. I love the arbors and hydrangea. We took the house tour as well which was interesting but no photos allowed in there.

Down on the river walk was a bridal party taking pictures and the bride had a bright salmon color dress. I couldn't get a good shot of her but here she is tiny.
This dress was so fun and cute on her that it made me smile.

Lastly the two of us had a delicious dinner at Jessop's Tavern. Everything we ate there was soooo good but I really can't get their peach cobbler out of my mind.

Where does the time go?


This week started off busy, tending to a sick husband and then traveling to Maryland for a stash reduction visit with my grandmother and mom. (It was stash reduction for my grandmother by redistributing it to mom and me, sigh) The rest of the week was lost watching the new Dr. Who series while sewing and ripping, sewing and ripping again.
Most of that ripping was on Vogue 1072
I got some beautiful jersey from a couple weeks ago and thought it would be perfect for this pattern.
When it took me over an hour to cut the 5 pattern pieces out I should have stopped right there. It should have been obvious that the old brain wasn't working on all cylinders but noooo must be productive with my free time.

As instructed I put seam tape in the shoulder seams and that turned into a lumpy mess. It took a few more times to get something that looked semi decent. If I thought that was bad, stitching the neck edge was even worse. The top stitching was ripped out a least 5 times and my twin needle broke in the process. After that there was more user error trying to get the belt and skirt basted to the top. After the pieces were assembled I tried it on and realized the side seams needed to be taken in a bunch and it needs clear elastic along the neck edge to prevent gaping. So the whole thing will be disassembled and tried again another day. At least the fabric is still in good shape.

The more successful project of the week was making summer pj's. I used the pajama pattern from the book "Weekend sewing" but used some cute ribbed knit prints instead of woven fabric. The leg length was shortened to mid calf and the tapered leg straightened a bit.
Flowers print from Fabric Hound, Elephants from Fabric Fairy.
With those changes I could get a pair of pants out of one yard of 60" wide fabric. This totally gives me the excuse to buy more kids prints for me!

Marfy Madness


Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! The annual Marfy 2009 mag I ordered showed up way quicker than expected. I just picked it up from the post office and am literally giddy with excitement. Having one in your hands also explains why shipping is so much. The book is 13 1/4 by 9 1/2 and weighs over 2 pounds. No wonder the fashion illustrations look so leggy on the website.

A quick explanation - Marfy is an Italian sewing magazine which has illustrations of garments with a few patterns insert in the back. The rest you have to buy separately. There are no sewing instructions, so to recreate the garment one must reference the illustrations. A few months ago I ordered this Marfy jacket pattern just to see if my sewing skills were up to the challenge.
The muslin went together beautifully and now is waiting for just the right fabric.

Today's knitting FO is Brooklyn Tweed's Porom. Mine is knit from two skeins of Simply Shetland Lambswool & Cashmere in Red Hot
The cashmere does not soften Jamieson's Shetland all that much, but who can beat their tweedy colors. As with all Jarad's patterns it was very simple to knit and created a lovely FO. Can't wait till August when his new pattern book comes out!

Clearing the Decks


Last weekend I made an effort to finish a bunch of projects which had lingered in an almost done state for too long. I'd like to say that the long weekend inspired me, but the truth is that the pile on the side table was threatening to avalanche. Now that all those T-shirts are hemmed and sweaters are finished there is plenty of blog fodder for the next couple of days. Hooray!

Today we have the Leaf Yoke Top for this summer's Knit Scene.
When I saw the preview photo for this top it made me foaming at the mouth to start it right away. Seamless construction, no sleeves, and leafy lace, Oh Boy!!! Unfortunately what should have been a straight forward knit turned into a gauge nightmare. I will take part of the blame because my gauge swatch was a tad small and maybe it was about .25 stitches off. However the gauge swatch still was a big fat liar, even with a proper wash and block. The gauge swatch told me that that suggested size 6 needle was fine and to go with the medium size. So I motored along finishing the yoke in a weekend, only to find that the dimensions were bigger than the large size. NOOOOOO!!!

So the yoke was ripped out and the yarn sat in a time out for a couple of weeks. Since gauge swatches couldn't be trusted I decided to wing it using a number 5 needle and knit the size small. And what did we get? The perfect size medium.

Leaf yoke back

There is one design mod, just a little bit of extra length added before starting the hem. An extra 4 rounds with an increase was added and then the hem was started according to the directions. Casting off a hem on a top down sweater is a major pain in the ass but it is a pretty finish.


I like it but I'm so happy it's done.



It took all day and killed my neck but the Leafy Yoke's hem is done. Starting to think this whole summer knitting thing is not for me. After these two sweaters are done I'm running back to wool and wool blends.


On the sewing side, last week I finished fitting 3 new jacket muslins and decided to start with Burda style's Nadine. I'm using the plus variation which removed most of the gathering from the pattern. I went a little bit further, took out all the gathering and made the fit a bit more snug. The fabric is a wool/silk blend from It looks so classy even my husband commented that I should just make a sleeveless vest and matching pants.


Looking forward to Thursday when JoAnn Fabrics starts a big sale and Vogue patterns are 3.99 each. Going to stock up on a few choice patterns and pick up some buttons for Nadine. Hopefully soon I'll be able to show you some pretty FO's of this jacket.

Knitting Update


Having fun with the sewing machine has slowed down all the knitting, but not stopped it completely. It kind of feels like I've had a few projects almost done for awhile but they never get finished.

First off there is the Leafy Yoke Top.
Just the hem, neck and sleeve bindings to do..... for weeks now.

Wendy Bernard's Essential Tank
This actually was done the neckline wasn't all that flattering on me. I'm wondering if the front can be sneakily cut down and overlocked instead of doing a bunch of unraveling. Probably should knit a swatch and see if the Kollage creamy will just unravel into a thousand pieces.

Lastly is a Porom that was started on a weekend where I had a lot of husband related activities to attend.
It's probably half done but I keep picking up the leaf yoke top instead.

Can someone find my knitting mojo and return it to me please.

More Love, this time for Australia


Can someone invent a Star Trekesque transporter already, I want to beam over to Sydney and shop at Tessuti Fabrics. (Not to mention knit and watch sci-fi TV shows with David Reidy)
Right now I'm totally addicted to the Tessuti fabric website, probably looking at it several times a day. Think their user interface is as great as the fabric!
My latest order arrived this week and after signing my name a million times at the post office it was time to coo over the new pretties.
On the left is Charcoal Chinchilla a thicker polyester knit and on the right Poiret a lightweight organic cotton/spandex jersey. The camera seems to have washed out the colors a bit. The cotton is a true winey magenta.
Right now I'm thinking the Charcoal Chinchilla needs to be a fall dress some what like Vogue 8413...
.....or the similar Simplicity 2550.
I haven't decided what to do with the lovely Poiret since there are several store bought magenta shirts already in the wardrobe. The fabric probably should become a summer top but I'm going to let it marinate a bit. It might make it into the fall sewing ideas after all.

Love Me Some Jackets


I've got an FO for everyone today, only it's a sewing FO. Back a couple of months ago the gorgeous fabrics blog turned me on to a new website with free sewing patterns, Their jackets were to die for, but since it's a foreign mag all the directions were in Portuguese. This struck me as an interesting challenge. After all in this day and age we have the internet with handy dandy translation sites. The jacket could be mine!
Long story short, the web translation was almost readable. But on the plus side the sewing symbols seemed to be standard. I'd made patterns in college so surely my brain was equal to the task of putting together this Portuguese jacket.

With a statement like that it should have all ended with disaster. Only it didn't. Maybe everybody gets one. :)

Here's a close of up the collar
B Collar Close up

Back View
Burda Jacket back

And the full front
Burda Jacket front

Now I've got the fever and the only prescription for it is..... more jackets!
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