Alabama Chanin inspired stitching

So that singer zigzag attachment I was so excited about? Yeah. Not so much. See all those holes in that hem? Not so pretty. And don’t you just love how even the seams are? I don’t. Ug. I was feeling bad about my real messy hem, so like the genius I am, I decided to hand stitch over it. Should have done that in the first place. Its based of the Alabama Chanin rosebud chain stitch. Its pretty much my favorite hand-stitch edging. It takes up a fair amount of thread, and doesn’t really work as well with this thin kind. (Alabama Chanin uses heavy “craft” thread, which holds the rosebud pattern much better.)

I wasn’t really planning on doing the whole waistband tonight, but forgot about the laundry- waiting for the buzz of the dryer before I can go to sleep, so stitching away it is… at least I’m being sleepily productive.

I’ve gotten some good work done on Alexis’s sweater, too… I’m a bit nervous about the bottom of it, doesn’t seem to have as much stretch as it should. (The pattern works the edging, binds off, then picks up stitches along the bound edge.) So the main body is finished, and I’ve started on the sleeves. Two at a time! Yay! No good photos though…. just a big blue mess. Trying to finish it by the end of the month, but without my daily train ride, work is much slower going.

Ah, there’s the buzz of the dryer… off to fold laundry and fall asleep. :-)

Polkadot booties, originally uploaded by ducksRfriends.

They have finally arrived (or rather, I finally sent them!) so now I can post up the little booties I made for Ellen’s baby-to-be! I had so much fun making them. They’re super fast, probably because they’re so tiny. I made a pair for her, realized how easy they were, and made a pair for little Livia (they look so huge on her!)…. another pair is in the works for Gaston (Gaeson & Meagan’s baby) but this pair is white with red tops- toadstools! I need to do the spots today, and hopefully get them over to the baby before he grows out of them! We have a Dogfishhead Squall to give Gaeson anyway, so just another reason to get together.
Chugging away on Alexis’ sweater, too. The train ride helps me get it moving, I get a few rows done every morning. My work on the super-awesome-squishy cable sweater has halted, mostly because its tough to cable with a pattern on a train. Plus, I want to get this other one done first.

So now, off to start the day, after a lovely breakfast of homemade chili, cornbread and sunnyside up eggs…. one of my favorite ways to start the day! I love sunday breakfasts from leftovers, so good…

(UPDATE: here are the toadstool ones, can you tell I learned about the vignette effect in the Flickr Picnik editor? Yay!)

Finished Toadstool Booties

Here are a few shots of the aforementioned top.

Yeah, I know. Odd.

Ok, so the color combo is a little strange. This is a pretty accurate representation. Holy Kelly Green, batman. The fabric is pretty thin, so not very useful on its own, and would probably cling if layered twice. I bought it online somewhere, which is why I call it a mis-buy. I’ve used it to wrap up presents, but thats about it. It does have a nice amount of stretch, though. Of course, the lace over it barely has any, so I managed to cancel that out. Brilliant.

braided tank top, minus the braid

So this is the front part, pinned onto Crystabel. Note the lack of, um, shape. A wide band on the bottom that ties may fix that, and would remain adjustable in case you feel like wearing an unflattering sack. (ugg…) But I have to figure out the best way to do it. Have I mentioned that my machine is really old, and only has a manually-move-the-fabric zigzag? Good for some seams, but not for anything too exact, thin, or close to the edge. So I think that takes this one out of the zigzag running. I have no problem hand finishing the bottom part for some stretch, but I want to make sure its exactly the way I want it before I start down that path. Anyway, looks like I have a fair amount of work ahead of me this weekend.

Ok, so I’ve noticed that most of my posts lately have been sort of inane babble about life- a serious lack of crafty entries! There are a few reasons for this, all which head back to the miserable weather. Heat makes me lethargic. Heat makes everything sticky. Knitting is no fun when you can barely stand the touch of wool. And lastly, its hot down in my sewing area, and hanging out in a muggy basement isn’t fun for anyone.

But excuses aside- here’s whats coming up. This past weekend, I started to make theĀ  braided-neck tank top from Burdastyle. Of course, I’m still on my quest to use up as much of my stash as I can, so I used some pretty odd fabric for it. A thin green stretch fabric under a beige (non stretchy) lace (green left over from a mis-buy for my lizard costume, lace left over from the PEXfest costume). I even printed and followed the pattern this time, more or less. But my printed ‘test square’ was a little off, so I added about a quarter inch to the whole thing… but I think that just failed miserably. The back fits fine, but the front is baggy and weird and not at all flattering. I cut a big green strip with intent to make it a waist (as well as helping me deal with not having a way to finish the edge nicely), tacked it on, tried on the top, and slumped down miserably. Total fail. I’ve yet to do the braid part, maybe that will help it out… but I have to figure out what to do about the waist/bottom… the problem is that the fabric slips around horribly, the bottom edges don’t match up, the lace needs to be edged or it will unravel, and the whole thing is such an odd combination of colors, I’m not sure I’d really end up wearing it anyway. But anyway, my goal is to get it to some state of finished this weekend, and if I don’t wear it, just give it away.

Also- I’ve been wanting to make some more hair flower/feather clips- anyone want one? I have too many already to really justify the big mess I make, but if I’ve got folks in queue who want to get a present in the mail…. reason for messiness! So let me know if there’s interest, and I’ll break out the epoxy. (Maybe even photograph the process for a tutorial, who knows!) Leave a comment or message me with your address…

“He saves planets, rescues civilizations, defeats terrible creatures… and runs a lot. Seriously, there is an outrageous amount of running involved.” (Donna Noble)

stitch stitch stitch

Ok, I’m going to dork out for this post… I love (love love love) Doctor Who. I’m not sure when exactly or why exactly I started watching, but safe to say, I’ll keep on. I’ve gotten both my Mom and later my sister addicted as well. (Alexis and I both have the theme song set for each other’s ring tones.) Its just so delightfully cheesy and fun!
Anyway, its time for a new season, and a new Doctor. The problem is that Chris doesn’t exactly share my love for cheesy British sci-fi. He’ll just fall asleep if I put it on…. ah, but here’s the brilliant part. He teaches class on Thursdays which leaves me free to sew and revel in the silly plots and poor effects.

And on the sewing part… I’m working on a shirt from the Alabama Chanin book I bought recently. Its all hand sewn so its a bit slow going, but I like that about it. I’m edging it with the rosebud stitch from the book- it looks more complicated than it really is, and really helps the whole thing look more finished. The blue fabric to the bottom right of the television? Yeah, thats the blue dress thats still in queue. My mom helped out with the hem, and I used my new zig-zag capabilities for thinner straps, but I think I want to go back to the original thickness. A strappy sexy dress just doesn’t work in cotton flannel (strangest fabric choice ever. This dress is full of ‘why? why?’) So back to the pockets and big red buttons, wheeeee! So much to work on this weekend.

I think this was a rather productive weekend, and I’ll share a list because it makes me feel like I actually got things done:

  • baked muffins for breakfast during the week (a little bland, the recipe needs work)
  • knit a pair of socks, from toe-tip to just below my Achilles
  • fought with epoxy, with the end result of 3 finished hair clips and one that needs another pass at gluing
  • relaxed at Ultimo
  • altered my sari top (let the front hem down about an inch)
  • worked on one of the on-going will-never-end documentaries
  • used my garden’s tomatoes, a pepper and some basil in a delicious casserole with chicken and scallops
  • bought a bathing suit

cucmbers making a run for the alley

Things I wanted to do, but didn’t:

  • Walk to FDR park to check for the geocache, and just enjoy the open space
  • finish the documentary
  • decide about my upcoming vacation quandary
  • vacuum my room
  • re-dye my hair
  • bike to the craft store (got thread at Pearl instead, but still should have gone for the ride to get supplies for the necklace I want to make)
  • make a mobile/wind chime/light catcher for the back yard
  • make a cucumber salad
  • sew something from scratch
  • make tofu from scratch
  • yoga

Always too much to do. I’m torn between relaxing on the weekend and chipping away at my list. I think I need to be more disciplined about it- work on the list in the morning, relax in the evening….


blanket-in-a-bag
Originally uploaded by ducksRfriends

The Amy Butler bag is perfect for carrying my blanket! Its getting bigger and bigger…. I’ve started knitting directly onto the blanket instead of making squares and attaching them later. I’m still trying to get a good shot of the whole thing (and a better shot of the bag in action, perhaps down at Ultimo…) so I’ll post more pictures soon. I’m proud of all the hand spun I’ve been incorporating. (That blue and white bit poking out is hand spun, as is the variegated blue towards the bottom edge of the bag). I rarely have enough attention span to spin a whole bunch of yarn, so this gives me a great way to use up the odd ends. Perhaps I’ll set the yarn I spun a few days ago and add it in, its nice squishy merino, various shades of greens and blues (roving from Alexis, she gave it to me with my drop spindle). I also have some brown spun up (from roving that Tina gave me), but I have more roving of the same color, so I might add onto it. Its on a shorter drop spindle thats a little slippery, but its my first true solid color yarn, and I really should finish it!