Posted in sewing

All The Things!

You guys. I am having, like the BEST summer ever. No, seriously. I’ve just been floating from happiness the last few days. Here’s what’s going on:

Designer Veronik Avery  was road tripping to TNNA in DC last week. Through quick Instagram begging I asked if she could stop in Baltimore on her way down and we met for crabs. Veronik is like the *realest*.  She knows what she’s talking about when it comes to knitting and sewing and design. I just want to sit in her halo and get all the knowledge I can.

Then, she asked if I’d like to come by TNNA Trade Show (The National NeedleArts Association) on Sunday and of course I said YES! TNNA was a new-to-me organization. It’s for the trade only. Vendors show their new lines for knitting, crochet and needlepoint. So, like two of the three things I’m currently obsessed with.

I didn’t feel comfortable taking photos on the floor so not many pictures from there.  Talk about a great guide though! Veronik was like a walking Rolodex and yarn encyclopedia and HI-larius. It was AWESOME.  I did find a crapload of stuff I want to try:

  1. This Sights and Scenes of London needlepoint canvas from Kirk and Bradley. Yes, I’m still working on my first needlepoint. One year in. Another two to go.
  2. This crab / maryland pillow to needlepoint
  3. These Country Bird inspired yarns from WYS
  4. This Caramel blanket cardigan (I saw it knit up vs just admiring on Ravelry)

Thank you Veronik (link to her IG) for introducing me to a whole new world and letting me crash your party!


Monday I took the bus to New York to do two things I’ve been DYING to do.

First, meet Jasika Nicole from TryCuriousblog.com and hang out with she and Marcy of Oonaballona fame. You’ll see I also made the right decision to keep my hair pinned back as it  CANNOT COMPETE in volume.

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I’ve never laughed so hard and had such intense yet lighthearted conversations in my life. I’d been looking forward to this for a whole month and it was EVERYTHING I WANTED IT TO BE.

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Second, I saw Manus x Machina at the Met.  If you can go, run. Don’t walk.

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Last year I skipped China Throught the Looking Glass because I wasn’t interested in Asian inspired design. But, the Costume Institute is more thoughtful than my literal interpretation.  Originally, I thought Manus x Machina would be like tech clothes or something. But, it wasn’t. Because, the curators are smarter than me.  Lesson learned: Don’t Skip the Exhibit.

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The show looks at different methods of creating garments using machine vs man and it’s stunning. Think lace work, pleating, manipulation and construction of haute couture. I want to take a twin size cot to the Met and sleep there so I can wake up every day to the incredible talents of designers.

And, I found the star fabric I needed to sew my Wonder Woman inspired swimsuit. Yeah. That’s right. Wonder. Woman.

So, a really really incredibly fun few days with friends.


I  also managed to finish knitting a summer sweater drafted in Garment Designer and overall I’m happy with it. I have a lot of mistakes and my seaming isn’t great. But, I KNIT something for ME.  I also only have cell phone snaps. And, I don’t know when I’ll get to do a proper photo shoot. Maybe when I sew the coordinating skirt?

It’s totally a ’round’ look on me. But,  I’m happy with it! I wish it had a little less ease and slightly shorter. But, I’m still learning my style with knitting and using the software. Ravelry notes here.


 

Oh, and after two years I changed my Instagram and Twitter to misscelisepants instead of fussbudgit.  I think I had Twitter before I had a blog so I picked an old nickname. Then when I had IG I thought it wouldn’t last (HA!) and just used the same twitter name to be consistent. It seems like Instagram is sticking despite my initial predictions. So, now I have the same name on my  blog, twitter and IG. Real big and exciting news, huh?

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Posted in sewing

A Little On Garment Designer

I mentioned a few posts back that I’d purchased a design program called Garment Designer by Cochinelle. My main motivation to get this was for machine knitting projects. But, it also does draft for sewing patterns.

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My friend Liz came over and we spent a couple of hours getting my measurements, plugging them into Garment Designer and spitting out a pattern. The patterns can be printed on any size paper from taped to plotter size.  I essentially used the options for the most fitted knit I could sew — allowing me to check out the overall fit of my sloper.

I have to say I’m pretty happy! No darts were harmed in the making of this sloper.  I think I could use a bit more room in the bust, but not enough for me to care or (IMHO) for it to matter when it comes to knitwear for myself.

Once you have your design, you can then punch in your gauge and the program spits out basic directions for your increases and decreases (along with the row count, needle position and estimates of yarn needed). If you’d like, they also give shaping instructions for making your bands too. Or, if you’re hand knitting, it will tell you how many inches along you should be and the number of live stitches.

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I don’t know how much I’ll use it for sewing as I have plenty of patterns to make. But, never say never!

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Hopefully Rose Trellis Shawl for a knit a long on Ravelry

So, that’s an overview of the program. Hopefully next time, I’ll tell you if it actually works!

 

 

 

Posted in Knitting

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2016

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One of the Six Barns At MDSW

For years I’d heard from knitters all over the world about Maryland Sheep and Wool (MDSW). But, as a sewist had minimal interest. I’m not much into livestock and I wasn’t a knitter. Yet, once the machine knitting bug hit, I was chomping at the bit to get there. I was feeling nervous about going as I still don’t know that much about yarn properties itself. But, my co-city dwelling friend Jeanne offered to take me.

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Jeanne is my Spirt Guide

MDSW (for me) would be totally overwhelming as a new knitter. Having someone who knows the lay of the land and can help you pick out the right yarns is a lifesaver! Plus, Jeanne and I both machine knit and genuinely had a great time together.

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First of all, what is MDSW? Well, it’s a gathering of all things lamb and fiber related. There are vendors, livestock, and food.

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There’s fleece and roving for spinners and weavers.

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He wasn’t trying to leave anything behind

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There are buttons, pins, shampoos and rinses for knitters. And, there is yarn. Holy hell there is a lot of yarn.

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I showed minimal restraint overall and brought home enough yarn to keep me busy all year and then some. When I walked into the main convention hall, I just stopped and tried to figure out how in the world I was going to pick out items I wanted.

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Luckily, I came with a list and ideas about colors. That helped immensely.

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I also had two great encounters! I met Dana (all the way to the right) from Yards of Happiness. You might remember her from her old blog The Art of the Accessory. I’ve been following her knitting for years and it was a real pleasure to meet her in real life. She’s coming up to Baltimore soon and I’m going to show her my machines!

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She also hipped me to Miss Bab’s yarn. Which, I think, was the busiest booth at the convention. The stall was so full of people, it’s possible she was giving away crack with each purchase. I picked up several beautiful seven-skein sets to start my Christmas/ Hanukkah gift scarf knitting early.  Let’s just say I’ve paid for someone’s college textbooks with the damage I did at Miss Babs.

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Not Claire. Just the first person I saw working spinning wheel. If that’s what it’s even called.

I also got to meet the lovely Claire  who blogs about her sewing and knitting at Hoopes Park Studios who was helping a friend staff the Verdant Gryphon booth. Of course, I have no photo of us because I was on hour six at the Festival when she spotted me roaming aimlessly in a goat-fueled daze.

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I was trying to find a purple yarn to knit Liz a cowl. I kept texting her photos before we settled on one.

MDSW is terrific and I hope to go back year after year. And, um, I hope to knit everything I brought home before I go back.

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Yarn for three sweaters, five scarves and one hat

I’m on my way! Well. Sort of. I at did start to cake my yarns using my awesome new swift (also purchased at MDSW).

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Miss Babs’ Good Little Witch in a worsted super wash Merino

I might need a time out.

Posted in Machine Knitting

Machine Knit Vest (or sleeveless pullover)

Today I present my very fist machine knit garment: a men’s sleeveless pullover.  Now, I know this is like the least exciting thing in the world to knit. But, I wanted to make something for Jordan as a thank you for turning our dining room into a knitting room. It came out so well! I. Can’t. Even.

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The inspiration for this pattern is from a 1969 machine knitting magazine. It was a good first project as I got to work increases and decreases, binding off for shaping, ribbing bands and seaming the garment on the knitting machine. Yes, you read that right: I can even seam the garment on a knitting machine.

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I can’t take all the credit for this, blog reader Jeannie hooked a sister up. Turns out she’s an avid machine knitter and lives just three miles from my house. When operator error prevented me from getting anywhere near gauge, she told me to come on over. Do you know how incredible it is to find a machine knitter in biking distance????  She showed me how to measure more accurately and how to use Design A Knit software to tweak the pattern.

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I told Jordan to pose like a 1960s dad. He clearly went the authoritarian route.

DAK is MAGIC.  While I loved DAK, it was too rich for my blood and isn’t native to Apple (that said, I did use VMware to create a Windows environment and run a demo version on my iMac). But, I also don’t have a laptop which would make the in screen knitting much more user friendly.  So, for a birthday gift to myself, I bought Garment Designer which also drafts for sewing patterns. More on that in an upcoming post (although, I seem to be a liar about things I’m going to blog about so please don’t commit this to memory).

I used a wonderful cashmere/merino/silk blend 4 ply yarn from Colourmart.  It’s an inky navy blue with flecks of baby blue and white. The color name is Galaxy. And, the resulting fabric really does look like a night sky full of stars.

The shoulders (as drafted) are a little wide for modern times and the V came out three inches longer than drafted too. Jordan’s also much broader at the shoulder/ back area than through the torso so I’ll have to accommodate for that the next time.

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End result, a not terrible vest for Jordan. I need to get better about my finishing and weaving in ends (I have a sewing mentality of just knotting things off. Doesn’t work the same…) I think I’m going to knit the same pattern in a 40 chest for my dad with my leftover yarn. This time, I’ll try some new techniques like short rows for the shoulder seams.

Boring, long and droning Ravely notes here.

 

 

Posted in Machine Knitting, sewing

l’escargot bleu scarf and Butterick 6244 WIP

I caught a glimpse of the (free)  l’escargot bleu scarf by Escape Tricot while on Ravelry. If it’s mostly stockinette with stripes, I’m totally in to it. Plus, this works as a blanket scarf which everyone seems to be wearing these days.

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This scarf is shaped like a snail (although the typo in the directions read ‘sail’ which also made sense to me). I copied their colors and made one of my own on my standard gauge knitting machine. I’m still using super inexpensive acrylic from Michael’s (Loops and Thread). I made two of these. The one on Ravelry is straight stockinette. But, the one here has a 1×1 ribbed border. The original uses garter stitches at the end.

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On a knitting machine, you can make ribbing by latching up on the main bed. Or, by using a ribber. Luckily, both my machines came with ribbers. And, I finally tried the ribber out and it works! I’m terrible at it (loopy edges, blech). But, it works.

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My next knitting project should be a garment. I promised Jordan a vest and I’ve been practicing the techniques. I’ve ordered some yarn from Colourmart and expect it next week. I am of course terrified.


 

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My current project is sewing related. After two hours on the floor matching plaids, I’ve cut out Butterick 6244 the Lisette waterfall coat pattern. I also think I have never actually sewn a plaid garment before. And, I LOVE plaids. But, I’m terrified of matching. But, I bit the bullet and dug into this one.

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There’s a helpful sew along on Lisette’s website that I’ll follow. And, I can’t wait to use my *awesome*  8mm flat fell foot on my Bernina 830.

Here’s hoping I finish this while it’s still winter!