More sewing!

It feels so good to be blogging again! And it’s so nice to chat with people in the comments. HI!

As soon as I finished Ollie’s quilt, I already knew what my next sewing project would be: the Tiramisu dress, by Cake Patterns. I’ve been wanting to sew with some knits for a while, and THEN Jacob got me a serger for Christmas, so now I really have no excuse. I ordered some awesome knit fabric from Girl Charlee - including some super cute and super sale fabric to use for a muslin – and got to work.

tiramisu-muslinI learned a few things in sewing my muslin. The Tiramisu pattern I used is one that you print out and then tape together, which is super handy but also sort of a pain. (But, instant gratification, so.) When I do patterns like this, I usually use freezer paper to trace the pattern pieces in my size, and then pin the freezer paper pieces to the fabric to cut it out. For me, the knit fabric was way harder to cut precisely than quilting fabric or some other woven fabric. So lesson one: clear off my cutting table, and use pattern weights and a rotary cutter instead of the floor, pins, and my scissors.

The pattern tells you to use a “lightning stitch” to seam the pieces – this is a stretch stitch that you’re supposed to use with knits. On my machine, (a lovely Pfaff Ambition) this stitch is called a stretch tricot stitch. However, it’s way more difficult to rip seams that have been sewn with this stitch. So I learned that I need to baste, baste, baste with a straight stitch, try the pieces on, and THEN sew with the stretch stitch once I’m sure things fit right. (I know, DUH. I didn’t say these were lessons that everyone needs to learn. ha.)

So I got the bodice all sewn up – I got lucky and the bodice mostly fit great. I had to make a few adjustments,and the neckline is a little snug, but not uncomfortable, and I’m taking notes for the next time I sew this. It’s my muslin, right? I just want it to be wearable. Next, I go to sew the skirt pieces together, and they are WAY too narrow. Now, I had a choice between sizes when I was cutting out pattern pieces, and I did choose the smaller of those two sizes, but I think the issue was in my cutting. (See lesson one!) I think the fabric was moving around too much when I cut and I cut incorrectly. To fix this, I cut two strips of fabric and seamed them on the sides of the skirt pieces. It’s a design feature. HAHAHA.

Finally I put all the pieces together!

Tiramisu muslin

It’s *mostly* wearable. I would need to wear a sweater with it at work because there’s a hole in the back where my fabric got stuck in my machine, and the sides might be a little weird from the extra fabric I had to add. BUT I can totally bum around the house or at the playground in this! and I think I’m going to be able to make one that fits really, really well next time around. So hooray for muslins! I’ve already cut out the pieces for Tiramisu number two.

A Quilt for Ollie.

Well I was going to post this all on Flickr but man, Flickr looks crazypants these days, and I thought, who is really going to go look at all of this on Flickr? Where could I post this info? I do still have this blog…so hi there! I’m posting on my blog about a quilt I just finished. Now it may be the case that no one will come here to read the quilt details either, but at least it’s a little easier to navigate than Flickr.

Quilt for Ollie, March 2014.
A quilt for Ollie.

Finally finished Ollie’s quilt! I started this when Cathy was pregnant. The finished quilt is 39.5 inches x 50.5 inches.

I didn’t use a pattern, but this quilt was the inspiration. It is basically wonky stars and nine patch blocks, alternating. I started with 4.5 inch squares and tried to stick with a purple-green-pink-blue palette. It’s a little loud, but I think that’s perfect for a baby quilt :)

This quilt is machine bound, and I used this method where you end up with a main binding color and then a little accent color. This is probably the first machine binding I’ve ever done that I was happy with.

The backing fabric is from a set of curtains I got on clearance at Target – I cut the lining out and it was perfect!
Quilt backing! Read more about the quilt here.

I also used my machine to embroider a label.
Quilt tag

I’m super happy with how it turned out! I can’t wait to get some pictures of Miss Ollie on her quilt. :)

Well.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I miss blogging, and how I’d really like to blog about some things – mostly sewing, and some knitting, and maybe some mom stuff too.   Someone on Twitter asked why I’d stopped, and I realized that, in my head, I’m still a blogger…I’ve just been on a super long extended break. ha. I couldn’t bring myself to take down this site, because I like going through the archives every now and then, and hey, what if I decided to post again?

OH HAI I AM POSTING!

So, what’s new?

C is two, and kind of a big boy now:
Happy!

I just got a new sewing machine, a Pfaff Ambition 1.0 (purchased with some of my prize winnings from being on Wheel of Fortune) and I love it. I’ve been working on some quilt blocks and making lots of clothes, including two Darling Ranges dresses:

Darling Ranges Dress.

Darling Ranges dress #2.

I’m knitting too – I’m working on Olga’s lovely  Aranami Shawl using some lovely Yarn Pirate yarn, and I’m about to start the Through The Loops Mystery Shawl KALat the beginning of June. I’ve never done a mystery knitalong of any kind and two of my friends at work are doing it too – it should be fun! I can finish Aranami before June 1st, right? ha.So, everything’s pretty much the same around here. I’m working on a new dress now - Simplicity 1801 - and am venturing into the world of full bust adjustments – eek! We’ll see how it goes.

I don’t know if this post means I might start posting more often … or if I’m just feeling nostalgic for my blog and needed to post. either way, hi!

Magrathea

MagratheaI finished another knit!

It’s Magrathea, by Martina Behm. I really really loved knitting this – the construction is super interesting, and the result is an asymmetrical shawlette/scarflette. The only issue I had was that I couldn’t quite get the points to block out the same way on both sides, but I think it still looks good.

I knitted this for a Mother’s Day swap with my lovely February 2010 Ravelry pals, or Ravelmamas, as we like to call each other. :) (Our group started because we were all pregnant and due around the same time.) It’s winging its way to a secret location right now!

 

I look sort of nuts in this picture, but I wanted to show you how long the scarf got once I blocked it. o hai I am so dorky. I used Araucania Ranco, which is soft and lovely and comes in beautiful colors. I actually went to the yarn store looking for a semi solid worsted weight yarn for a different pattern, but I fell in love with this yarn and decided to knit Magrathea instead. I’m glad I did. I had so much fun knitting it that I immediately cast on for another shawl – this time, for myself.

One last (kinda crappy) pic so you can see the lace a little better:

Magrathea, from the back.

from the back.

I already received my swap package and got an absolutely beautiful Aeolian Shawl – from a mama who just had another baby, too!

Gorgeous shawl from my Ravelmama friend Jamie.

Gorgeous shawl from my Ravelmama friend Jamie.

Yay for Ravelry friends and swaps!

Finally finished.

I finished my skirt (Rav link)!

Sawtooth skirt (with indigo ripples at the bottom)

Finally! Finished!

and I really, really love it. See?

Appropriately excited about my skirt.

I am dancing a jig!

It’s super swingy and comfortable.  I put elastic at the waist and could probably cinch it even a little tighter, but it’s totally wearable as it is. I’m wearing a (borrowed) slip in these pics, and I think I’ll definitely need to wear a slip with it, but I don’t mind at all.

The body of the skirt is the Sawtooth Skirt, and the lace at the bottom is from the Indigo Ripples pattern. I sort of chickened out on the lace in the Sawtooth Skirt pattern, but this worked out perfectly.

The yarn – Berroco Linen Jeans – seems like it’s going to hold shape pretty well.  I soaked and blocked it and the yarn felt really strange when it was wet, but once it dried, it’s nice and soft and comfortable again. I have to admit – I love the result, but I did not love the process of knitting this skirt. It’s just so. much. stockinette.  I’ll probably wait a little while before trying again, but I bet I’ll knit another skirt in the future. Now that this one is done, I can concentrate on some other summer knits. and baby knits, for all the babies that are on the way in my life.

And maybe some big boy knits for Charlie, who is no longer a baby. OMG when did this happen?

totally a toddler.

Suddenly he is walking! and running! and wanting to be outside ALL THE TIME. We got some family portraits taken a few weekends ago (and we used ZoomWorks, who were aawesome), and he was all over the place – walking towards the camera, toddling around outside, and laughing a lot.

fun times.

silly schmoo.

I’m looking forward to summer and hot weather and taking lots of fun weekend trips with my family!

skirt!

I have been trying to knit a skirt for YEARS. Seriously. I’m totally inspired by all the lovely skirts that Diana of Bestitched has made – so wearable! so flattering!  I’ve tried several times using some Euroflax Sportweight that I’ve had in my stash for ages, and every time I knit it up, it comes out too big. Even if I do a gauge swatch. (which I sometimes, um, skip. ha.) So, last July, I found the perfect pattern and yarn to make a skirt – the Sawtooth Skirt, using Berroco Linen Jeans.  I swatched! And started knitting!

Progress.

Fast forward to this week – I’d finally picked it up again to finish it, and the waist was looking huge. I pulled it on just to see if it would fit, and it looked GIANT. Sad panda. I decided I was going to rip it, because this yarn is beautiful and I didn’t want to waste it.

Knitted skirt,  almost done.

Then a friend suggested trying some elastic in the waistband. I was planning to use elastic for the waist, so it seemed like a good idea to at least TRY before ripping all those hours of knitting … and guess what? IT FITS! (see a tiny preview pic to the left. bonus shot of my toilet included.)

I am so so excited about this, y’all.  I don’t mind ripping things out when they aren’t going to work, but I have been wanting to knit a skirt for so long.  I’ve decided to do the lace from the Indigo Ripples skirt pattern at the bottom of this one instead of the lace from the Sawtooth Skirt pattern, because I am lazy. (The Sawtooth Skirt pattern has you knit the bottom separately and sew it on.) Now I’m knitting like a crazy woman because I can’t wait to wear this skirt! Right in time for warmer weather, too. Hooray!

We had such a nice weekend. The weather was amazing here – sunny, breezy, warm. We went to a birthday party for our friend Hayes on Saturday and Charlie had so much fun playing outside.  Hayes got a water table for his birthday, and those things are FUN.

photo.JPG

water table!

On Sunday, Charlie got to hang outside and watch his dad do yard work – one of his favorite activities.

Charles in charge.

I hope you had a lovely weekend too :)

Well, hello there.

Wagon rides are awesome.

Wagon rides are super fun.

It’s been awhile! This poor blog has been neglected for months, mostly because I haven’t figured out how to post quickly and efficiently. Whenever I post, I write drafts and find suitable photos and think and come back to the post.  I’m hoping to find a way to be a little more free and easy with blog posting because I miss it. :)

Charlie is now almost 14 months old and he is so much fun! He’s walking now – not all the time, as he’s still much faster when he’s crawling – but he’s starting to do it more and more. It still blows my mind to see him toddling around the house. His favorite things these days are hanging out with his dad while he cooks dinner, walking around with his train, and being outside. He LOVES outside.

Since the last time I posted, we also welcomed a new family member – my adorable nephew, Jack! He and Charlie are about 8 months apart in age and we can’t wait until they’re old enough to play together.

Cousins!

Cousins!

I was inspired to post today because the fabulous Jenn of nipperknits posted about her new website, and I designed her new site! I’m so excited that her website is live and looking shiny and new. She also posted a fabulous hat pattern and is having a giveaway, so you should check it out.

I’ve also been knitting! I’m always on the lookout for new baby patterns, and I think I might’ve found a new favorite: Elefante (Ravelry link)!

elefante! now with eyes.

elefante!

This pattern was super fast and fun to make. The ears as written are crochet, but very doable for a beginning crocheter (like myself) and I think they are adorable. Charlie was super interested in this little guy, so I might have to make another one for him, but really, I want to make an army of them! They are the perfect size for chubby baby/toddler/kid hands to squeeze. The pattern calls for poly-pellets in the trunk and feet but I left this out since it’s for a baby and just used polyfill.

Happy Solitude Cowl.

Happy Solitude Cowl

I also recently finished a cowl for my dear friend Carolyn, who has a very cold neck. The Happy Solitude cowl (Rav link) was another fast and fun knit – I used Malabrigo worsted held doubled and it’s so soft. The pattern is reversible cables and can be worn a bunch of different ways. The weather here changed from wintery to spring while I was knitting this, so  I felt funny knitting a super warm cowl while sitting in 80 degree weather. HA. Georgia’s springs are pretty short-lived – we’ll be in 90 degree weather here in no time.

Anyways, things are great around here! Work is busy, Charlie is growing like a weed, and we’re loving being parents. I can’t wait for summer and lots more outdoor time.  I’ve just cast on for a summery top – Vesper – and I can’t wait to find more warm weather knits.

Hope you’re having a lovely March!

Rhinebeck 2010

well hello! I finally got my RSS feed forwarding, so hopefully if you’ve been subscribed to this blog, you’re seeing this update in your RSS reader. O HAI.

We’ve been busy busy around here! Charlie is eight and a half months old and really wanting to stand. and play. and stand some more. and maybe use his Bumbo chair for a walker and walk around some. eek! It’s so crazy how much he’s changed from five months old – he’s totally on the go now. It’s amazing and terrifying all at the same time. ha. He’s also started saying “dada” and “mama” – I’m not sure he knows what it means, but it’s still pretty nice to hear.

This slide whistle is awesome!

hi mama and dada!

And our most recent adventure was a trip to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, better known as Rhinebeck! It was Charlie’s first flight and our first trip together. Jacob just started an awesome new job so he couldn’t take any time off to join us (and I’m not sure I could’ve convinced him that he would have fun at a fiber festival anyways), so it was just me and C. I was a little nervous about flying to NY, renting a car and driving up to Rhinebeck with Charlie, but we did it and it was really, really great.  It was way easier than I thought it would be to travel with an infant. Stroller + infant = head of the security line and pre-boarding on the plane.  and he was so interested in all the new things to see!

Looking out.

Charlie loved to look out the plane window.

We stayed at a quirky rental house with some of the best roomies ever, and had so so much fun. We spent all day Saturday at the festival, and it was definitely a different experience that I’ve had in the past – I carried Charlie the entire day in our Ergo, and I was TIRED by the end of the day.  Charlie seemed a little overwhelmed by all the activity, but I think he had a good time – there was so much to look at! I didn’t actually get to do very much shopping (I bought one skein of sock yarn and some buttons) but the real reason I went is to see friends, so that’s okay. and of course Jacob was happy about my lack of shopping, hahaha.

Carrie and Charlie

photo by fig and plum Jess.Charlie's hat by Stacey, and sweater by Mai!

I was really overwhelmed, in a good way, by all the help I got with C. My roommates were particularly understanding about his one big meltdown at 3am on Sunday morning. I had a couple of moments where I thought, wow, am I a bad mom for bringing my poor 8 month old son to this crazy festival? But I think it’s good to introduce Charlie to things that I love, and I lovelovelove fiber festivals and awesome friends that I never get to see. It was so much fun to see old friends, and meet old friends for the first time, and to introduce my son to everyone. yay!

The Zardozians

Housemates, L to R: Lolly, me and C, Kate, Emily, Mai, Anne, Kelly borrowed from Anne's photostream. hee.

Of course I tried to finish a sweater in time for the festival and totally failed. But I’m almost finished with it now! It’s a Garter Yoke Cardigan in some yummy Brooks Farm Mas Acero. I’m about a sleeve and a half away from finishing! I also have some Quince and Co. Osprey on its way to me. My housemate Emily made a beautiful Idlewood with some, and I am so copying her. hee. I’m also test-knitting a lovely shawl for Kirsten Kapur and it’s going super fast.

So hooray for old and new friends, and adventures with Charlie!

Change is good.

Hi! Things look a little different – I’m moved my blog from Movable Type 3.31 (omg so old) to WordPress, and I’ll be sprucing things up in the next few weeks. Hopefully if you use an RSS reader, you’ll see this update. You should be able to access the blog using the same URL as before – www.carrieoke.net.

Also, Charlie says hi!! He’s seven months old, can you believe it? I sure can’t.

Seven months old.

I’ll be back soon!