Archives for category: Sew Not Knitting

I have a problem.  I make unnecessary yarn purchases (but really they’re necessary…at least this is what a fiber addict in denial would say).  My eyes are bigger than my knitting hands.  For every three skeins of yarn that I purchase, I probably knit one.  Even so, the purchasing and the collecting and the stashing just keeps happening accidentally.  I blame working part time in a yarn store, staring at yarn all day, “fluffing” the yarn, doing research (ie. flipping through new pattern books).  It can make a knitter crazy!!  Crazy I tell you.  Don’t even get me started on the enabling coworkers who agree that you must purchase that skein of yarn.  You simply must.

A couple weekends ago, I went down to the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Barn Sale and came home with not one, not two, let’s skip right past three, because I came home with four skeins of yarn.  Granted two were on sale, but sheesh.  I don’t even know if I like knitting socks yet.  Why do I feel so compelled to buy sock yarn?!

Then there was that day that I came home from work with THREE skeins of Madelintosh Sock so I can make Color Affection.  It’s not something I’m proud of.

So I did what any sane and responsible person with a problem does: I banned myself from buying any more yarn until I can knit through 75% of my current stock.  Then I headed to the nearest fabric store and came home with this:

If being wrong means that I can’t have a stash, hell, I don’t want to be right.

Subtitled: Not the Same as Sewing a Bag

Or: I Suck at Sewing

Or: What the Hell Am I Doing With This Sewing Machine?

Or: I Would Rather Be Knitting

Or: Throwing Things Across the Room Does Not Accomplish Anything and Now You Have To Walk Over There and Pick It Up, Genius.

All those things pretty much sums up Monday.  It’s a good thing I didn’t write this post when I was a rather angry and unpleasant seamstress throwing temper tantrums and sewing notions.  Although maybe the post would have read funnier and with more profanity.

How amazing is it that just at the climax of my anger, I got a soft knock on the door.  I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that my MadelineTosh yarn had arrived.  It’s like the knitting gods were watching over me, seeing me fail miserably at sewing and knew that I would need a pick me up.  Something that would remind me that there are good times ahead and that I should keep on sewing, because once I’m done, I can go back to knitting.

With a little less anger in my heart, I continued to sew and I discovered some things about myself and sewing:

  1. I’m less of a perfectionist, therefore more forgiving of my shortcomings with sewing.  Which is good for my self esteem and growth.  So what if I still can’t sew in a straight line and I forget that my foot is somehow involved in the whole fiasco?  I’m learning and that is A-ok.
  2. I want to learn.  I want to be a fine seamstress and make my own clothing.  I want to be able to pick out beautiful fabric and whip up something amazing with it.
  3. Sewing is messy.  Thread, thread, thread everywhere!!!  On the table, on the fabric, on the floor, on my person, in my cupcake…
  4. I hate the clutter involved with sewing.  So many tools are required and so much space.  Because of this, I feel like I have to finish sewing my project right after I start.  It can’t linger for days at a time like knitting can.  And so then I feel rushed to finish.  Rushing leads to:
  5. Cursing.  Throwing.  Temper.  Angry Freshy.
  6. Buttonholes can just fucking die.  Fuck you, buttonholes.  Why do I have such a hard time with buttonholes?  Why?!
  7. Ripping out machine stitches is so much harder than ripping out knitting.  And surprisingly, not fun at all.  Neither is tangled thread.  Those things can both die too.
  8. Handstitching is awesome.  I love handstitching.  I like the sound the thread makes as it’s being pulled through the fabric.  Seriously, listen next time.  It’s such a pleasing sound.  I learned how to catchstitch yesterday and I can honestly say that was the funnest part of this project.
  9. The more I think about it, feet shouldn’t be involved in any handcraft.  It just doesn’t feel right and probably never will.
  10. I’m probably going to keep sewing despite all the negatives.  Because I’m hoping those feelings will go away with time and experience.  Also because I love being miserable.  Haha, not really.

All in all, I have a new shirt with pretty buttons and really ugly buttonholes.  I can’t decide if I like the shirt or not.  It’s vintage-esque, I suppose, and the shape is different than anything I would ever wear.  Then again, I don’t know anything about fashion and am constantly making poor fashion choices.  I love love love the fabric and the buttons.  I love the back.  I love that it’s handmade.  I would hate to see it just sitting in my closet.  So let’s discuss: Should I add the tie after all and hope it brings the sleeves up and close that gaping neckline?  Should I take it in a little?  Leave it as is?  Pair with jeans?  Pair with a skirt?  Be honest please, as constructive criticism is always appreciated.

The Details
Pattern: Sencha by Colette Patterns, size 6
Fabric: Memoire a Paris by Lecien
Buttons: Antique glass from Germany, exact source unknown
Modifications: Didn’t add the ties to the neckline, because bows near the neck freak me out.  Yet I still wanted the keyhole thing. Kind of thinking I should just add the ties, because that gaping hole at the neck is also weird.
Recommend:  Maybe?  I guess it depends on what y’all think about it.

I have a codependency with my knitting.  I often decline social outings so I can, instead, stay home and knit.  However, on the rare occasion that I do get the urge to talk to other humans, I bring my date; my knitting tags along with me to dinner parties, it shows up unannounced at game nights, it makes an appearance while I’m waiting to be seated at Chinese restaurants, and it casually sips a beer along side me at my local dive and laughs at my terrible puns.  And this is how (even though I attend a full time job of sitting in front of a computer designing big metal objects, while incidentally, I am actually dreaming about designing knitwear) this:

grew into this in less than 4 days….Granted, it is just plain stockinette stitch, but damn, I’ve been productive.

Oh, and after over a year of not doing so, I finally went and got my hair cut today.  The guy shampoo’d it and styled it better than I will ever be able to reproduce by myself and I came home and thought about going out to show off my new ‘do.  Then a thought occurred to me to model my knitting project instead, because it’s cold outside and I don’t really feel like being social.  What can I say?  My knitting has a hold on me like nothing else does.  It’s hard to photograph yourself, hence that weird face I’m making.  Also, my bicep looks huge.  But at least I made my bed…sorta….

As you can see, I’m really close to finishing this cardigan.  But herein lies the problem: when I originally bought this yarn, I was going to make this (but without the anchors on the bottom because, honestly, that would look lame on me) so I purchased equal amounts of white and blue yarn.  Then the more I thought about it, the more I really detested that pattern and wanted something different.  I decided something like this, but with stripes.  Now due to my heavy modifications, I am short on white yarn and must put a hold on finishing the cardigan until more shows up at my doorstep, which according to Knit Picks, will be very soon.

While I’m waiting, however, I will be working on a fun sewing project:

A generous gift, courtesy of my dear sissy pants.  It feels like I’m cheating on my knitting, but I’m sure it will understand.  And as they say, absence makes the heart grown fonder.

Call him K2P2.  Thanks for the awesome suggestion, Sillylittlelady!  There’s a beer up here in Seattle with your name on it!  And thank you everyone else for joining in and suggesting some really creative names!  I love how easily knitting and sci-fi get along; knitting truly is for nerds (and damn proud of it!).

As a recent transplant to Earth, K2P2 enjoys crunching numbers, knitting continental style, drinking beer, and charting trajectories of planets near and far away as well as charting patterns for knitting.  He’s looking for a free-spirited fembot that enjoys hand-knit accessories, drinking red wine, and can show him how to spin his own yarn.  He totally made me write that.

I’ve been struggling with a design for J’s beanie (it shames me to tell you that I’ve had the yarn in my hands for well over a year now).  The green is so neon, that I’m afraid it might be radioactive, but I think that with the right design, the purple will help subdue the intensity.  I originally was planning to start things off with a simple 2×2 rib and then, using vikkel braids, transition into reverse stockinette with three cables (2 purple, 1 green) equally spaced apart.  But I really hated how the transition to the reverse stockinette looked and how the green cable just appears out of nowhere.  So, I decided to forgo the ribbing altogether and I just finished a little swatch using seed stitch as the background.  Of course, I would start with the green cable at the bottom edge.  I might add an applied i-cord or crochet a single stitch around the edging when it’s all said and done.

You may be wondering how I’m going to deal with the color change in the round.  I’m wondering the exact same thing myself.  I really don’t feel like carrying the green yarn all the way around, and I don’t want to knit it flat, but I’m not really sure how to do intarsia in the round.  I read a few different techniques about it, so I guess I’ll just have to roll up my sleeves and gopher it.

Yarn Over »

Sewing is not my strong suit, not in the least.  All of my excessive knitting has trained my hands to believe that they’re the ones in charge.  When I sew, the fact that my foot is controlling the speed of the machine seems to confuse my hands and brain.  I know I should probably equate sewing to driving, but I’m kind of a lead-foot and late braker, so that doesn’t help either.  When I drive sew sometimes my speed gets a little bit out of control….and I kinda freak out…just a little.  The next thing I know, the sewing machine is whirring at a higher frequency, the fabric is shooting out the other side and the line that I’ve been sewing more closely resembles a sine wave than a straight line.  It takes a while for me to realize that the problem is my foot.  Oh, you mean when I stop pushing on the pedal things start to slow down?  I see.

Regardless of my sewing deficiency, I like how most of my things turn out.  No one really notices that your sewing lines aren’t straight and no one cares that your button is sewn off-center, or that somehow you managed to reshape the circles on your fabric into ovals (still not sure how that happened).  Plus, isn’t that the point of homemade crafts?  They’re supposed to be wonky.  It’s all the more reason to love them.

I made these camera straps based on this tutorial by Ikat Bag and now I know how to apply interfacing (which would have been helpful information when I made this).  I made the straps a little longer than the tutorial suggested, so I can sling my camera over my shoulder.  I’m pretty proud of the end results, regardless of the crooked lines and misshapen circles.

Oh and because no craft project of mine would be complete without a broken needle…. Has anyone been keeping track?  Is this three?  Four?  I’m starting to think I should change my blog name to Broken Needle Crafts.

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