Tag Archives: plaid

Distracted Knitter, Bad Sewer

Seamstress?  Sewist?  Whatever it is, the apartment is nowhere near clean enough to cut fabric in, and my Denver Fabrics order is supposed to show up tomorrow.  It’s going to be so sad to get a big box of wool and not be able to do anything with it.

The thing is, I’ve been spending too much time trying out my new knitting style.  I’m still knitting some on my fuzzy pants every evening, but I’m in love with my new way of holding yarn, so I’ve been knitting and ripping little scrap-yarn swatches over and over.  I know it’s pointless, but it’s addicting.  I’ve started to think that I need a new knitting project for all of that excess energy.  New knitting projects don’t require a clean apartment what with balls of yarn being more compact and portable than large pieces of heavy fabric that needs to be pre-washed, carefully dried, ironed or steamed, laid out, marked, cut, and basted before anything really useful happens.

You may recall that one of my current projects is a pair of mock-cabled pointe shoe covers to use as warm ups at dance.  I had bought some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes for them. When it arrived, it seemed strange that I should have so little yarn for such a big project. I then figured out what went wrong: I scrupulously calculated the necessary yardage based on a rough calculation of the gauge that I’d be using and the surface area of the completed project, but I forgot to account for the fact that I, apparently, have two feet.

(I find myself compelled to mention here that I have a degree in mathematics.  I had several very good and entertaining professors, but one of the most memorable moments was when Professor C. walked into class early and heard someone complaining about how this math course was so much harder than previous ones.  Professor C. responded, “This is not math.  Calculus?  Differential equations?  That was math.  This is mathematics.”  So here I say, I’m pretty good with mathematics.  But with math?  Not so much.)

Now, having realized this serious error in the math, I think I should use my pretty purple wool for something else.  I’m considering a beret and a pair of gloves.  I really like the Ashwyn Beret and Meret for lacy options, and the cables on Nine Dwindling Cables, Laurel, and Brambles are very pretty. Then again, the color would look nice with my Cornflower Cowl so I might do some skinny cables like those. Whatever I do, I’ll either be finding or making a matching glove pattern. I’m bad at making decisions. Feel free to tell me what to do or offer more pattern options.

(Also, am I the only one who feels like a creepy stalker type when I comment on another person’s blog?  It’s like offering unsolicited advice to a stranger on the street, but from even further away, which is somehow worse.  “Oh, hello.  I just reached through the internet to spy on you and comment on your life.  Have a nice day!”  Conversely, I love it when I get comments from random people whom I’ve never met before.  Maybe I’m just too socially awkward for this whole interacting-with-other-people thing.)

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Plaids, Linings, Buttons

I ended up ordering the cranberry, olive, pewter, and black plaid wool from Denver Fabrics to use for my winter coat.

I guess one of my goals for this year should be to perfect my plaid matching technique. I know all of the basics, but I can’t remember any project where I actually had to match plaid. I probably just read and assimilated the information from my parents’ old Vogue Sewing or Better Homes and Gardens Sewing Book. I did get pretty good at tailor’s tacks and matching darts on the dress that I made to wear to my cousin’s wedding this summer, so I think I’ll be all right.

I also bought some black lining fabric, and I’ll be using up some ugly yellow fleece as an underlining. The yellow shouldn’t show anywhere, and I need the extra warmth!

I think I’m going to be doing a slightly different collar from either version offered with the pattern, making it wider but keeping the notch, so it’ll be warm but still fall nicely. (I never look good in shawl collars.)

Then comes the question of fasteners. The pattern itself calls for buttons sewn on to the outside, and snaps used as the actual closure. I think I could live with that, but it always looks fake to have the buttons just slapped on the outside since there’s no buttonhole there, and it seems a bit silly. Besides, I have an insane fondness for bound buttonholes and was looking forward to another excuse to use them.

My options here seem to be a) sew the buttons and snaps as recommended in the pattern and take it for granted that no one other than me with notice/care, b) make bound buttonholes and sew the buttons on so that they’re functional, or c) make bound buttonholes, but close them off with scraps of fabric placed behind the buttonhole and stitch the buttons to this piece of fabric and place snaps to act as the actual closure. I’ll probably just stick with option a) since it seems like the easiest both in terms of application (I don’t have to make any bound buttonholes), ease of use (snaps are easier to do up than those silly inside buttons that I never ended up using anyway in my old coat), and the ability to change it later if I don’t like it (nothing is cut, so if I don’t like it and want to try the bound buttonholes, I can).  Plus, if I think it seems silly to sew buttons on when snaps are the real closure, where is the logic in adding fake bound buttonholes to the mix?

Another consideration: I’d like a detachable hood.  I can make a pattern for that with very little issue, but how it’s going to be attached to the coat is up for debate.  The original idea was to have it button or snap on.  If I do that, I need to keep in mind that any precipitation falling on the hood should run off the back of the coat and not down my back.  So, if I have the hood snap on the inside of the coat, I need to have a second collar layer to lie on top of the permanent collar.  Otherwise, I can have the hood attach to the outside of the coat under the collar, and the back of the collar will end up inside of the hood.  With a wider collar, this might get annoying.  Next thought:  What if I make the collar itself detachable?  I can make a wide notched collar, a narrow notched collar, and a hood, all to attach to the same snaps on the inside of the coat.  The only question here would be of structural integrity.  It seems that sewing the collar to the neck edge of the coat should add some strength to that seam, but I think I can achieve the same with facing and topstitching.  Final decision pending.

Now I just need to get my apartment perfectly clean and ready for fabric cutting (a feat in my small space, but the drop-leaf table helps, and I can use my bed if all else fails).  Then on to the muslin with shoulder and collar alterations!

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