Monthly Archives: January 2012

Think Pink


Today for Thursday Think Tank, I am going to be all over the board. How is that different from usual, you are thinking. Ok, you have me there.

To follow up from last week, here is some progress.

1. Make jeans. Ugh. This project got me exactly nowhere. I started with McCall’s 5142. It is possible probable I am the only sewist on Earth who does not belong to Pattern Review. However, the little bits I could extract without a membership, and blog reviews all sounded promising.

Before I even cut the muslin, I measured the pair of jeans I was wearing across the front of the thigh, seam to seam. Then I measured the pattern in size 16, which by all rights should be my size. The front pattern piece had 5″ extra, not including seam allowances. I can only assume the back also had 5″, meaning the thigh would have 10″ of extra fabric flapping around. Egads. I went ahead and cut the muslin just for kicks, and cannot even post results here.

I’ll have to ponder what I want to do about continuing with this goal. I am not super excited to sew jeans. I think I can probably sew a dart in the top of my RTW jeans and call it a day. Check back with me later.

2. Knit 3 sweaters. Ok, I guess I should have aimed for 3 shawls, because I have already completed 2! You saw my Ginkgo. Here is my Milo, all blocked and drying.

I used Knit One Crochet Too Ty Dy sock yarn. At first I really, really did not like the color. I was really expecting shades of PINK from how the ball of yarn looked when I bought it. It just kept reading as ORANGE to me. Not that orange is bad, but you did read my Ginkgo post, right? How many orange triangle shawls do I need? And the orange was kind of rusty and garish, especially next to the lovely PINKs. Eek. But I persevered, and I have to say, I do love it. Love, love it.

3. What was the third thing I was going to do? (I had to actually go check my own blog post. What does that say about the importance of this goal in my life?) Ah yes, the exercise equipment. It’s not craft-related and all, which is why I could not think of it. I did try out the elliptical machines at physical therapy and I think I can manage this. Have you seen how much these cost though? Phewwwwww. Anyway, maybe I just get a membership to the Y and use theirs? Still thinking.

Here is what I am up to today: The It’s Not a Drop Scarf/Shawl. The photo is scooped from Arlene’s World of Lace.

Not a Drop

This is rectangular, unlike the other shawls I have been knitting lately. I started out with the loveliest green yarn, but the stitch pattern completely disappears.

I need to start over with something less variegated. I’m thinking Studio June again. I have this beautiful yellow. It’s Super Cash Sock Yarn (80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon) in the color “A Drop of Golden Sun” and it is amazing. Soft, luscious, a perfect color of yellow.

Are you having a fun day? Well, get to it!


Why We Block


I have been waiting in vain for a sunny day so I can take photos of my Ginkgo. Instead, I will just show these.

I have 2 sets of blocking pins from Knitpicks, and I used every single one, including the ones I had set aside because they had burrs on the end. I guess I thought some day I would file them down. I am glad I didn’t chuck them.

5 pins per leaf, minimum

Since waiting all this time for some good photo-op days, I also finished Milo. Do you like this game where I finish a project and then tease you with it because I don’t have adequate photos? Here is the unblocked product. Final shots after it is blocked!


That *Was* Fast


When I said my Ginkgo would be done quickly, I never thought I would have it done this fast. It’s mostly stockinette with 33 rows of lace work. Mind, all 33 rows have pattern work; no “resting” purl row. Still, those 33 rows were quick.

I added two extra repeats per shawl half, which required an additional 30 rows of work. Those were all stockinette rows. I’m glad I did because the shawl is still what I would call a shawlette.

She is not blocked yet, so I will not do any posing photos here, but I couldn’t wait to show it off. Lovely, right?

How Do You Spell Gingko? Ginkgo?


Good Lord, that word is confusing for me. And I’m usually a very good speller. Now there’s a compliment right there: “Boy, Sandy, you are so good at putting the letters in the right order when you write words!”

Yes, I can’t remember the name of my close friend’s husband, despite knowing them for 21 years, but I can remember how to spell “accommodate”. Fantastic.

Ok, before we start talking about Ginkgos…You remembered that it is Thursday Think Tank, right? I had fallen off the wagon due to illness and the holiday season. I’m back on the horse. I have given myself a few resolutions, which I normally don’t do.

1. Make a pair of jeans that actually fit me. I did make a muslin. Holycownotworkingforme. Post later.

2. Knit three sweaters. Can the Dahlia really count? Probably not. I am working on choices.

3. Buy and use a piece of exercise equipment. I’ve been working at physical therapy. I mean it. Ow.

I have the rest of the year to work on those things though.

Today I am giddy about Ginkgo. The free knitting pattern. Of course, when I did a quick search to make sure I spelled the damn thing right, Yahoo told me that Ginkgo is used to sharpen memory and concentration. Maybe I should EAT the Ginkgo?

Nahhhh, that’s silly. Look at this though:

Doesn’t it make you smile? I swiped this photo from Maggie’s blog.

I am making mine in Studio June Bamboo La La yarn, in “Happy Tangerine”. It is SO happy. So happy I’m not sure I can wear it in public. But I love it.  Check out the selection of other yarns at the etsy shop. She has amazing yarn.

Maggie gives directions to make this a “shoulderette shawl” and advises how to add repeats for a larger shawl. I don’t so much care about the size, but I can’t bear to not finish the ball of yarn. Pattern calls for 330 yards and I have 430, so you know I am doing the extra 30 rows/extra repeats. What else am I gonna do with 100 yards of bright orange fingering weight yarn?

Photos coming soon. This baby is mostly stockinette, so I mean, really soon.

p.s. Upon doing the spell check before posting this, I saw that I spelled Ginkgo wrong three times, despite specifically looking it up for the correct spelling.

Proper Dahlia Photos


What a delightfully sunny day today! I was able to take some good photos of my Dahlia, so here you go.

The back medallion gets sewn at the top, across the shoulders, and underneath. It could use a re-block, I see.

The sleeve detail is lovely. I had to twist the sleeve to my wrist in order to flatten the image out for the photo, but normally it sits on the outside of my arm.

If you make this project, mind the sleeve pick-up row, to make sure you don’t get holes at the shoulder. I am a little nervous this area will wear out first, as it will take a lot of stress from activity and just the weight of the sleeve hanging on that one loop.

Today I tucked the front corner into the neck and pinned it shut with a shawl pin. A person could also let the front edges hang, or pin the fronts in a different way.

Despite the sun, it is still only 44 degrees. Brrr.

I love this sweater. I love the color, I love the yarn. It is Sunday Knits Eden, in “Curry”. I love the pattern, Dahlia. It was fun to make, the instructions were clear, the pattern was well thought out.

I must go, my dears. It’s Knit and Crochet Meetup Day, and I need to go show off. Scurrying off now to find a next project….

From That to This


We are going to start with the bad news first, because I prefer to end on an up note.

On Dec. 30, my Summer’s End was renamed Sweater’s End. It went from That:


to This:

After. Orange T-shirt is there to show scale.

I must confess, I almost cried. My husband and I teamed up on this one. I put it in the washer on delicate with the rest of the laundry. I asked Husband to please put the stuff from the washer into the dryer while I went out. He usually sorts out what should NOT go into the dryer, and honestly, I forgot this sweater was in the washer, so I didn’t request special treatment for it. When I got home, I picked up the pile of dry laundry to carry upstairs, and this was on top. I gasped.

What. On. Earth? Ok, I really didn’t say “On Earth.” There were other words there instead. After I resumed breathing I calmed down enough to realize, I can’t say for sure that at least some of the damage wasn’t done in the washer. I don’t know what I was thinking when I tumbled it in with the rest of the dirty clothes to begin with. I should have handwashed it. I know I was in a hurry because we were leaving the next morning for Chicago and we needed clean clothes for packing.

I also know that the previous day, as soon as I used up all the gin making a Tanqueray and Tonic, Darling Child did a Whirling Dervish move in the kitchen, spilling my drink everywhere, including on my Summer’s End before I even had one sip. Did I mention there was no more gin in the house? Now I needed a drink more than ever. And I knew I had to wash that sweater. Even then, I had this bad inkling, a spidey sense somehow that this was the ruin of my sweater.

I get feelings like that from time to time. Like the time a few years ago when I was standing in the basement and told myself, I’m just gonna put these boxes up on a high shelf in case the basement ever floods. No lie, the basement flooded three days later. I don’t know what possessed me to move that stuff, because our basement had only had water in it once in 12 years, and only a tiny puddle in one small area. But whatever the case, we had two full inches of water in the entire basement, which ruined only the icky indoor-outdoor carpet and one box of grade school mementos belonging to our son. (I mourned those for approximately three minutes, until I reminded myself that elementary school was a complete shit sandwich from start to end for him and us. I threw everything in the trash and thought, “good riddance.” Who needs to be reminded of a crappy era in their past?)

So, you would think I would trust my spidey sense regarding the washing of my sweater. It’s over now. I am moving on.

Goodbye beautiful sweater

I haven’t decided if I will make a replacement. I got many, many unsolicited compliments whenever I wore this, but it never quite fit well. It needs a minor neck redesign. Also, I gained 10 pounds, which made the sweater a little tight. I probably would add long sleeves too…. see, it wasn’t SO awful that it’s gone.

Now is happy time. Finally, finally, That:

Wow, crazy construction!

turned into This:

I LOVE this.

It is the Dahlia cardigan. I even got all the ends woven in today. I am going to wear it tomorrow!

Aren’t you glad we ended on a good note? I am.

When Does School Start Again?


It’s not that my boy is needing all my attention or driving me crazy. It’s not that I can’t go do the things I want to do. It’s just, well, I guess it’s just me. I crave the routine more than I thought. I like knowing he is safely at school while I do my little habitual activities. Having him home reminds me that I should be pulling out the art projects or taking him to a museum or something more motherly than I am doing. Instead I am allowing him to play video games to his heart’s content, days on end. He is 17, after all. It’s his life. Meanwhile I am reading my blog subscriptions, wasting time on Facebook, working Ken-Ken puzzles, and reading Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite. Really.

I bought this book for Husband for Christmas. It explains all the known deaths to ever take place in Yosemite National Park. While visiting the Grand Canyon a few years ago, I found its predecessor Death in the Canyon in one of the gift shops. I was able to secret it away during all of vacation and give it to him months later as a gift. He loves that kind of thing. When I first moved in with him I saw a book in his bookcase about the airplane that crashed in the Andes and the survivors had to eat each other to stay alive. Shudder.

It’s horrifying, really. I don’t know what is compelling about it, but I cannot put the book down. There is a smugness in thinking, “I will never be rappelling of El Capitan, so I will never have to face these horrors.” However, the most common way to die in Yosemite is from a car accident. Same as in my regular, non-extreme sports life.

Even if this book wasn’t so interesting, I would probably just find another way to fritter away my day. I know that if I try to do something like draft a jeans pattern, that will be the time my son decides he “needs” me. I’ll be all hunkered down in my studio and he will call for help with his game, or he will want a snack, or he will be bored and want company. And that would make me all impatient and pissy, which I would rather not have happen. I suppose I should just allow myself to be on break too. Life is full enough of physical therapy, doctor’s appointments, meetings, etc. There will be time enough after school resumes to get out of my pj’s and into some fabulous me-made clothes!