Me, sewing?

Jill P:

I’ve been sad that I haven’t been able to blog much.  For some reason I will only blog while I’m at work, and I’ve actually had work to do.  We’re still smack dab in the middle of Bette Davis work (it’s her 100th birthday after all).  We also did some syncing up of “Gamperaliya”, the first feature film made in Sri Lanka.  The print is going to screen at Cannes.  Which is pretty exciting I guess.  But what about my blog reading/posting time!?

I have had some time to finish up projects.  This is kind of a big deal for me, since I’ve been known to put off sewing for ungodly amounts of time.  Knitting finishing I like, but sewing finishing, blech!  I went to JoAnn’s last weekend and everything was on sale.  So I bought a bunch of notions, buttons and some fabric.  I finally got around to lining my Counterpane Carpet Bag.

The pattern is from Handknit Holidays.  I used 3 skeins of Noro Kureyon.  I bought the 8″ bamboo handles at Unwind during their Superbowl sale.  The lining is  cotton batik fabric.

I had to sew it by hand because my sewing machine is still non-operable.  Of course I was being dumb and didn’t think about just making a longer rectangle and folding it in half.  So I cut two identical pieces and had to sew all three sides.  It took forever!  I then sewed it in by hand, putting a few pleats in the lining to match the bag.  Not my greatest handiwork, but good enough for me!

Last time I blogged I was working on a swatch for the ZsZu skirt.  When I washed the swatch, it did seem to shrink up some.  So I cast on with the appropriate needles and got to it.  Of course when I started knitting I was getting the actual gauge without the washing step.  Hmm.  I just kept going.  (That sentence sounds like foreshadowing, but it’s not.)  I ended up finishing all the knitting in about a week and a half.  I soaked the finished skirt and pinned it out to dry.  I was hoping to stop the bottom edge from rolling up.  In hindsight I should have bound off on the wrong side.  Maybe that would have helped out.  The blocking didn’t really help with the rolling.  I didn’t notice a gauge difference either, go figure.

That picture is pre-blocking, it doesn’t roll up quite that much anymore.

I bought some plain-ish black buttons at JoAnn’s and actually sewed them on this week.  When I tried the skirt on, it seemed a little loose.  The yarn is all cotton and nylon stuff and didn’t really have any memory.  I imagined it slowly growing as I wore it one day, until it just fell off.  So I took some black elastic thread (50% off at Joann’s!) and sewed a few rows of that into the top of the skirt.  It seems to help quite a bit.  It also kind of pulls the button band in a little, but I’m not worrying about it too much.  Depending on how it performs after my first wearing, I might put some more elastic in.

But done!

I also need to wear a slip or leggings underneath because of the drop stitches.  I guess it’ll be good insurance too, in case the skirt does just stretch right off.

Speaking of stretching right off, I finally frogged a long-standing WIP.  It was the Coquette (?) tube top from Fitted Knits.  I used Cascade Pima Silk instead of Pima Tencel.  I only used a wee bit of negative ease.  What was the result?  I just kept going even though it was giant.  It couldn’t even be helped with straps.  I took these pictures before I ripped it all out.  Sideways!:

Well, the other picture looks pretty much the same as that one.  You can’t tell how huge it really is.  Mammoth!  It’s all gone now.  I’ve started the Surplice Bodice Camisole from Knitting Lingerie Style.  I’m not liking how uneven my knitting is with this yarn.  Because of this yarn’s tendency to stretch, I’m knitting it at a slightly tighter gauge and in a smaller size.  A bit risky.

I’ve also been working on my first pair of socks made from my handspun.  It’s 3-ply superwash which I thought was going to be fingering weight.  Turns out it’s about light worsted! Ha!  But I was insistent on using it for socks.  So they’re socks knit at a gauge of 5 st/in.  The same as that skirt!  I learned after a considerable amount of time that my gauge changed to 5.5 st when I knit in the round versus back and forth.  So the socks are a little snug.  I’m using Charlene Schurch’s More Sensational Knitted Socks book.  This is the Open Ribbed Cable (?) stitch pattern.  I’m going toe-up because I don’t want to run out of yarn and doing the short row heel.  I finished one, but am not that happy with it

Yes, it looks obscenely long.  But my feet are average size.  I think because there’s so few stitches the short row heel is kind of slight.  I don’t know how that works, but there it is.  I would have prefered a heel flap with gusset, but went ahead with the short row anyway.  It fits well for the first part of my foot, but the pattern is awfully stretched out over my arch.  I think gusset increases would have helped a lot.  I also would have knit the toe plain for longer before starting the pattern.  I’m going ahead with the second one, but am not very pleased.  But there’s something great about knitting a sock with only 40 stitches around!

So much more promising when it was just a toe:

That’s all for now.  I should move right along on all my projects this weekend.  Except for when we buy pounds and pounds of fiber on Saturday!

Jill B.



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3 responses to “Me, sewing?

  1. sulafaye

    That is a great bag. Now I need one! 😉 And your skirt too–I’m so impressed. The fit looks spot-on. Your handspun looks good too.

  2. Pingback: Some small projects « jill & jill

  3. So glad to find a finished Zszu skirt! This pattern has been haunting me for some time and I’d dearly love to make it. Your tips are very helpful.

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