my first quilt

finished-quilt-1

it’s done, it’s really done!

actually, finishing this quilt was slightly¬† anti-climactic. i suppose finishing the actual quilting was the thrilling part, binding it wasn’t so exciting after all. and then of course there was the inaugural sleeping under it, but perhaps that lost a bit of its thrill too, as i’d already taken a handful of naps under this very cozy quilt. well, it spent the better part of a year on my couch, what could you expect?

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i’m so happy with how it turned out! it’s on the small side (an oddly dimensioned 81″ x 87″) but i figured that for my first quilt i should stick with something on the reasonable side of large, so i don’t mind. it’s still big enough to cover my whole bed, of couse, there just isn’t really any overhang.

i’m especially happy with the colours! the reason i chose pink as the background (instead of white) is because i had some pale pink cotton on hand from a blouse i was making. i’m sure glad i did, it’s so pretty!

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all in all i’m very very happy with my first quilt, and i honestly still can’t quite believe i really made a whole quilt! it’s something i’ve always wanted to do but which seemed slightly unreasonable, something i could never actually pull off. but i did it!

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when in uppsala…

so i’m really into knitting lately, as you may have gathered. uppsala vantar 1

these are “uppsala mittens,” something of a must-knit if you are a dyed in the wool (heh) uppsalabor or just want to express a little lokalpatriotism. the design shows uppsala cathedral.

the pattern and yarn are both from the local wool shop, yll & tyll.

they look rather enormous, because i knit them for joakim and went up a needle size in order to do so. he also chose the background colour, which i love. petrol blue is one of my favourite colours right now.

uppsala vantar 3

the yarn is, perhaps unsurprisingly, rauma finull, which i’m also really into lately. i used it for my last project and have already cast on another using the same yarn. it makes such a lovely drapey soft fabric and the colours – !

this was my first stranded knitting project and i’m pretty happy with the outcome. it’s not perfect, but a lot of the lumpiness was resolved in blocking, and now i have a better understanding of how loose the floats have to be. (i really thought i was making them loose enough on the first mitt, but alas).

they were fast! two weeks from start to finish.

uppsala vantar 2

here’s a sneak peek at my next project – more tomorrow.

 

socks!

zora socks 2

knitting is so silly. it took a year to finish the first sock* and two days to do the second!

socks 1

*because i was watching something and not paying attention when decreasing the gusset and made way too many decrease rounds, resulting in a sock fit for a large baby, and knit almost the whole foot before i noticed and had to rip back and then i was mad and put it away for a year … in the end it only took like half an evening to finish the foot anyway. bah!

project details (on ravelry):

pattern: zora by regina satta
yarn: zwerger garn opal sweet & spicy in 8615 rotkohl (red cabbage!)

 

maroon sweater

weee i finished my jumper! to think it took just 4 1/2 months…

sweater 1_edited-1

well honestly it wouldn’t have taken so long but the sleeves slowed me down. i knit both at once (back and forth) on a long circular, which paradoxically made the process both faster (by avoiding the dreaded second-sleeve syndrome) and slower ( i was often loathe to pick up the knitting when the sleeves were at their widest – 2 x 96 stitches in stockinette is nobody’s idea of a good time).

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speaking of the sleeves – you can clearly see from these photos that they are quite … voluminous. i was a tad disapointed when i sewed it up and thought i must have done something wrong, although i followed the pattern and got gauge. a closer inspection of the pattern illustration, however, reveals the sweater is meant to be quite generous in the sleeves. perhaps to make it ‘sportier’? in retrospect, if i’d been aware of this design choice i would have knit up the body somewhat looser as well – or, you know, made the sleeves narrower. as it is i can feel that the two belong to quite different jumpers.

sweater 4
my face doesn’t normally look so weird, it’s the damn sun!

complaints aside, i’m happy with this sweater. it’s very comfortable and fills two big holes in my wardrobe – it’s both cabled and maroon. i’ve always wanted a jumper this colour.

the cast-on edges are all in 1×1 rib which looks great but is a bit time-consuming to do, and the neck edges are cast off with jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off. truly this bind-off is a work of genius! i really don’t see how i would manage to get this narrow collar over my big noggin without it.

i was reminded with this project why people always complain about seaming up sweaters. it’s terrible! i couldn’t be arsed to convert the pattern to the round as i didn’t think seaming was such a big deal. now i’ve been reminded that it’s nothing like normal hand sewing and also terrible. mental note: in future always work in the round. this won’t be an issue with my next project!

sweater 3

project details: (and here’s the ravelry page if you’re into that kind of thing)

pattern: teen top cable pullover
yarn: rauma finull garn in no. 497, pinot noir – about 8 hanks

ermagerd electronics!

i fixed my camera! okay not really, the main problem is sort of un-fixable (in technical terms, there’s a tiny chip missing from the lens screwy-ony thingy which causes it to fall off all the time). i did find the charger, and more importantly the charger cord, and reunited them in holy electronic matrimony, so now i can use my camera and take cool pictures again! (as long as i’m very very very careful with the lens).

i also fixed my laptop today?! i am just astoundingly productive when i’m avoiding doing real work. perhaps i’ll be more inclined to do some work on the road now that i have my laptop back, it’s much smaller than the one i’ve been using. it’s got a 12″ screen! it’s only 3.5 lbs! such a little baby laptop compared to the functional yet backbreaking giant i’ve been using. although now i have to go through that awkward phase again where half your stuff is on one computer and half on the other.

to keep us on sewing track: here’s an outfit i made for my nephew back when he was just a little-bitty guy, using vintage simplicity 2743. the pictures were on my cam. so cute right!

the puppy patch is a pocket!!

the rest of the pictures on this memory card are from my trip to new york! the camera broke on the way home from that trip and i’ve only used it once or twice since then. i can’t wait to look through them!*

*most of them are probably from the museum of natural history where i went three days in a row! (aka every day of my trip). nerrrrrd.

New Pyjamas

I finished them! According to my little sewing notebook I started these pyjamas on 4 september! Can that be possible? Did it really take me so long? Well maybe it did, I have been pretty busy the last little while. The important thing is, they’re finished and they turned out great!

IMG_8049I bought this pattern quite a while ago but never got to making it, because I didn’t find just the right fabric until recently. Plus I left the pattern in Canada when I moved three years ago. It’s very tricky to sew with a pattern that’s located 5000 km away, take my word for it.

IMG_8082I had a couple of small issues with the pattern – one was that when I took it out of the envelope, big sections were missing from the sides of the pants pieces! Why??? Did the previous owner do this to me? I was cursing her at first, but now I’m more convinced it was maybe a factory error since an identical section is missing from each piece and also why would you do that? Anyway, it didn’t really matter, I straightened it out when I traced it. (I don’t usually trace patterns, except when grading them.)

The second problem was that I couldn’t quiiiiite fit all my pieces on my fabric. Why didn’t I buy just half a metre more? This was fabric I bought in Canada so I couldn’t exactly go out and get extra. Actually now that I think about it I seem to recall spending every last Canadian penny I had with me that day, so I guess that’s why I didn’t buy any more!

I solved this problem by overlapping the front and back leg pieces, so that a little square was missing from the top centre back. Then I sewed a patch there. This probably wasn’t the only or most elegant solution, but it was what I came up with first, and I’m happy with the results.

IMG_8053I used my rolled hem foot to make a tiny little ziz-zag hem on the sides of the patches, toward the right side of the fabric.

IMG_8152Then I straightened the edges of the “holes”, folded them under and sewed the patch down, with two lines of stitching for added sturdiness.

IMG_8153The raw edges of the “holes” are encased between the two lines of stitching.

IMG_8154 IMG_8155Looks pretty nice, huh!

IMG_8200I guess to do it really properly I could have matched the pattern, but I saw these pyjamas as an exercise in not being such a perfectionist. Don’t get me wrong, perfectionism is a very useful trait for sewing, but I wanted to practice taking it easy, and that not every project needs couture details, multiple fittings and hand-finishing – although I did hand finish the hems, more on that later.¬† Anyway, it’s at the back so I’ll never see it and the top hangs over the waist, hiding it even more.

Other than that these came together smoothly. Although it’s a beginner pattern it didn’t feel too simplified or “dumbed down” and has nice details that held my interest. I really like the fine way the facing folds down at the shoulder seams. (although I forgot to take a picture of it!)

I always make French seams on pyjamas since they’re so sturdy and hard-wearing. In this case though, the seam was too thick because of the double layer of lace in the seam, so I just made a regular seam. I did French seams on the bottoms though, and flat-felled the centre front/back seam. I sewed a plain seam over the lace at the hem and then zig-zagged the seam allowance over the lace edges like a little pouch to keep them from fraying.

IMG_8206I dyed the lace myself, I’ll tell about that in a separate post, this one is already long enough!

The waist has a plain waistband at the front and elastic in the back, which I love! Definitely a feature I’ll use in my next pair of pyjamas. The placket is closed with snaps. Doesn’t it look so cute and old-fashioned? The instructions call for a hook and eye to close the placket at the waist but I didn’t care for the thought of fiddling with one of those all the time, so I just used a bigger snap at the top instead.

IMG_8204Other than that I was very faithful to the instructions, even down to hand-stitching the hems. Sometimes I get a kick out of following directions, especially when they’re so nice as these!

IMG_8048I love my new jammies! They’re certainly summer pyjamas, but I think I can get away with them for at least another couple of weeks before it gets really cold here. The lace turned out just the shade I hoped for, the waist is comfy and I just adore this fabric! Another successful sewing project!

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Sorry for my knee. I had to stand on the bed to get a good shot.