Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Skyp to My Lou!

Look at these nice orange socks I knit for myself!

Skyp Socks

Because it seems like everyone is knitting the Simple Skyp Sock pattern, I decided that I should knit the complicated version. Turns out it wasn't really all that complicated.

The "skyp" stitch pattern makes a faux cable stitch. I think it looks much more intricate than the actual knitting suggests.  Since the rest of the stitches are knits and purls, the whole sock is basically a fancy ribbed knit. It's super stretchy and fits really well.

Skyp pattern and Eye of Partridge Heel

I didn't change anything about the skyp chart. However, after a few rows of knitting from the top down, I got annoyed and decided to frog what I'd done and start over from the toe-up. Basically, I used my preferred sock method (here) using the skyp chart for just the instep and calf pattern.

These are knit up in Regia 4-ply sock yarn (75% wool/24% polyamide). The yarn isn't as soft and cushy as others I've used, but I can see why it is so popular among serious sock knitters. It's a seriously sturdy yarn with a 10-year guarantee. I have a feeling these socks are going to outlast all my others. And they are machine washable and drier safe.

Those of you who knit, do you have a favorite cast off/bind off? On most of my socks I do Elizabeth Zimmerman's Sewn Bind Off. But I am thinking of trying Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off on my next socks. It is supposed to be even more elastic.

Speaking of my next socks, I've already cast on Here Be Dragons by Rachel Gent, also in Regia 4-ply. Because this is me - and I just can't resist tinkering - I've already frogged them and started again with a smaller needle and modifying the cast on and first several rows so that the toe isn't quite so pointy.

Here Be Dragons in Knitty

I find this really rather annoying about myself at times, but I just can't resist starting over when I feel like I could get better results in the end. When I've tried to power thru "good enough" knitting, I've ended up knitting for a few days, knowing that I am going to eventually give in to my compulsion and frog it.


Are you a constant tinkerer, like me? Or do you knit things how they are actually meant to be knit? 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Spring Fever Strikes the Craft Lounge: Sewing Plans

Happy Spring! I've got Spring sewing on my mind, regardless of  my growing backlog of unblogged/unphotographed, but finished projects (5 sewn and 1 knit, peeps!) There are a bunch of different projects calling to me, but here's what is calling the loudest...

It's time I sewed some jeans. And, luckily for me, Phin gave me the print version of Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans for Christmas.

I also have the Jalie Eleonore Pull-On Jeans pattern. I have to confess I am curious to know if they will work out for me, given my waist-hip ratio. Pull on can be tricky when you are hippy with a smaller waist. But they seem to work for a lot of different women. So, I may give them a shot.

Watson Bra
I've pretty much been wanting to sew this since it came out. And with all of my sleep bras starting to show the miles I've put on them in the last 15 months, it may be time to take this more seriously.

If I'm not wearing my silk shirt dress, I'm generally wearing one of my two wrap dress. So, I think the writing is on the wall that I need more of these styles in my wardrobe. Here are some of the candidates:

Clockwise from top left: V8379 wrap dress, M6684 wrap dress, V8903 short dress and V1500 Anne Klein Shirtdress

I'm a little worried about making them fabulous enough that I will actually want to sew them. As you know, I love sewing frosting and get very bored by cake. I'm hoping some fun fabric will keep me enthusiastic about these dresses. I'd like to have them in my wardrobe and I know I'll feel great wearing them.

Unselfish Sewing
And shockingly, I'm finding myself drawn to some very unselfish sewing projects at the moment.

Phin needs more shorts. And since I have a master pattern at the ready, it's not such a big deal to change up the details and whip up a few different pairs of shorts.

Phin's Shorts

Taco could also use some cute overalls, and once summer arrives he'll need rompers. He's a skinny little guy, so it is hard to get pants that simultaneously fit at the waist and are long enough. So we tend to dress him in overalls and jumpsuits. I also have a few toys in mind to sew for him.

I doubt that I will get to each of these projects since I already have a few summer projects in mind. But we'll see how much I accomplish. And if I ever get to photographing my finished projects, you'll get to see what I've been up to!

What are you sewing? 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Men's Hudson Pants for Phin

I've been sewing up a storm, but still struggling to find time to photograph my work during daylight hours. Case in point, these True Bias Men's Hudson Pants were actually a Valentine's Day gift. Sheesh!

V-Day Hudsons for my sweet

Because Phin and I are trying to equally share in parenting Taco, Phin spends a lot of time pushing the stroller around town or with Taco in a carrier. So, I made him some Men's Hudson pants as a casual and cozy alternative to either jeans or athletic wear. They fill the niche in his wardrobe that a favorite pair of yoga or harem pants fills for me.

Phin takes modeling his Hudsons very seriously. 

Actually, I should give credit where it's due: Phin actually suggested that these would be good for him. I think he's right.

No smiles here. Modeling is hard work.

I sewed these up in a very soft and somewhat beefy sweatshirt fleece that I bought at AK Fabrics. It's pretty much your classic sweatshirt fabric. NYer's, am I the only one who tends to overlook AK Fabrics?  I almost never go in, but when I do I always think that I should shop there more often. They always seem to have a selection of whatever fabric is having it's moment (like scuba and sweatshirt fleece) plus a range of nice quality basics at good prices (for NY).

I didn't make any changes to this pattern except for taking them in a bit at the waist. I love that the seam allowances are just 3/8", but I erred on the side of caution when picking a size because of it. In my next version (already half sewn), I've gone down by two sizes, for a sleeker fit throughout.

There's not a whole lot to say about these. They're a modern cut sweatpant that's easy peasy to sew. I mostly used my serger. The feature that I really like are the pockets. Rather than a simple inseam pocket, these functional slash pockets are also a nice design feature.

It's crazy that it took so long to photograph these since Phin has been practically living in them, which was all the validation I needed to get anothe pair in the works. I fear these ones may have a very short but intense lifespan.

I'll leave you with a few pics of my boys at the playground yesterday afternoon.