Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Car Kntting

Appliqued knitting bag (CF's Ebb pattern)

Three mornings a week I have a free hour between dropping off my daughter at her high school and going to work. I usually spend that time knitting and listening to podcasts. (Up First and The Daily, so that I can sit in the car and agree with myself.) 

While my Tamarack percolates (awaiting welt fabric and a 27" zipper) I've started the first of my make nine projects, the Indicum sweater. The neckline has a corrugated ribbing trim so I rifled through my drawer for my yarn guide. 

I'd never used it before, and I was pleasantly surprised! I knit continental and this little gadget actually keeps the strands separated. (Respect to all the knitters who carry yarn in both hands to do color work). "Picking" the yarn towards the bottom of the "vee" (close to the needles) helps with tension. For < $2 you really can't ask for more than that. 

Do you do color work?  What's your preferred method?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Time's Up

I didn't watch the Golden Globes. But yesterday I weeded through the online and radio coverage, a thought-provoking mix of righteousness and black couture gowns. At times my cynical side found it hard to distinguish pageantry from advocacy. Thanks to women like Lauren O'Connor, standing up against sexism and harassment now promises risk-free brand equity for Hollywood's elite.

As Gabrielle Union suggested in an interview last month,  we need to pass the microphone

So I was heartened to hear Oprah Winfrey (no stranger to branding, I know) thank "...all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue."

Women like Christie Van and Miyoshi Norris from the Ford plants in Chicago. And the women of color in Alabama who bailed out our collective butts last month.  It's 2018, and  if we want to see a new day dawn then we better follow their example and get it in gear. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Make Nine 2018

My IG handle is @plain_jane_doe_45

After I finish my Tamarack.....

First Row:

Jalie Eleonore pants. I own the pattern and have high hopes based on the many positive reviews I've read. Fabric? Who knows. Unable to think past the muslin.
Indicum pullover. This is the only project for which I have materials, Knit Picks Capretta in cream. The three sweaters I own are all cardigans, so this will get a lot of wear. 

Grainline Lark tee. My go-to pattern has been Deer & Doe's Plantain, but the fabric really needs to have *just* the right drape. I'm thinking this design will work with the snappier knits that are more widely available.

Second Row: 

100 Acts of Sewing Pants No. 1. I made a pair of these in black eyelet last summer and they fit right out of the envelope. I'll make at least one more pair, this time in peppered cotton or brussels washer.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt. Leaning towards denim, inspired by the skirts in the new Eileen Fisher collection. I own one skirt and this will be a much-needed addition.

A Verb for Keeping Warm Prism dress. Maybe double gauze? I own one dress, of the cocktail-y variety, so an "everyday" dress will be another gap-filler.

Third Row:

A Verb for Keeping Warm Endless Summer Tunic or 100 Acts of Sewing Dress No. 3 . Looking for a casual "uniform" for our blistering summers.

A Verb for Keeping Warm Nell shirt. Yay, popovers! Boo, buttonholes! A fear I really ought to confront. Next year! Looking at Brussels washer.

TBD. Contenders, all knitting: Rondeur, Kitty's Chemise, Jasseron, Turtleneck Jacket

Sunday, January 7, 2018

One Week In

The first week of 2018 has been a productive one, no doubt thanks to the spring-like weather (minus the dusty nap-inducing winds that we'll get in March).

Christmas cookie consumption down via attrition; jogging up thanks to the warm temps that are simultaneously morale-boosting and frightening given that it's January. My heart aches for the residents of Boston whose cars are trapped in chunks of ice due to lack of global warming. But I digress; this is the fitness part of the check-in! We received four boxes of chocolates as gifts (3 lbs total). I appreciate the built-in portion control.

photo: Buffetts. 

I'm inordinately proud that I haven't, which reveals the frequency of my habit and suggests that I better keep my arrogance in check. The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao, yada yada.

I've been working on useful things, per my goal of balancing product and process. I finished quilting my Tamarack jacket and made two practice welt pockets. I'm in it to win it and am whipping out the rhyming cliches. When my interfacing arrives I'll insert the pockets into the garment itself.

I also cast on some fingerless mitts to wear in my cold office, if it ever gets cold again. And I did two swatches for my Indium pullover.

How's your 2018 been so far?

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

visible mending: gray cardigan

I picked up a great vintage cardigan back in October. It's 100% merino with a substantial drape and smart pockets. Recently I snagged it on the edge of drawer and it developed two teeny-tiny holes (the larger was ~ .5").

Inspired by the works of Tom of Holland and Celia Pym, I decided to make this my first visible mending project.  (Recommended: a tutorial from everyone's favorite white-collar felon.) I used a variegated perle cotton, size 8.

I feel comfortable wearing the finished product out on errands, but not necessarily to my casual-ish non-profit workplace (although the head of the organization would probably think it was cool). I'm not exactly sure why that is. Maybe because my two relatively small repairs look like, well, repairs, instead of the deliberate-seeming ornamentation I've admired on holey-er garments like this one:

photo: Rebecca Earley

Or maybe I just need to own the look instead of waiting for a plague of moths.

Would you wear visible mending to the office? 

Sunday, December 31, 2017


photo: focus..damn it!

-Just get back to normal. [Remember that a day with out Christmas cookies and bourbon-spiked eggnog does not equal starvation rations.]

-Don't, at least until April. I have a relatively small amount of debt and there's no reason it shouldn't be paid off by the end of the first quarter.
-Exceptions:  Fabric for the Jalie Eleonore pattern that's been sitting on my sewing table, and supplies (zipper and bias tape) to finish my in-progress Tamarack jacket. Which brings me to....

-Find that ever-elusive balance between product and process. I primarily wear neutrals, so maybe don't knit any more brightly-colored lace shawls.

These only see the light of day when I open my closet.

Instead focus on useful things, like this Tamarack:

Quilting the back. 

-Pay attention and listen deeply. Notice when my mind wanders to my Ravelry queue or mountain of laundry or diet coke.

Onward and upward!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

and so it begins

In roughly 11 months I will celebrate my 50th birthday.

It doesn't feel "old," but it feels significant--much more like a milestone than turning 40 did.

And man, a half-century can really fly by in a haze of misspent energy.

There are things I'd like to do more of and things I'd like to do less of, from eating to shopping to creating to listening.

Can an aging dog learn new tricks? I'll share the results of my experiment here.

Glad you stopped by.