Thursday, June 09, 2011

Sewing Up A Storm

Yesterday was really productive. I got the summer squash bed weeded and planted, pulled out from the pathway several buckets full of bluebells that were past their best-before date, and weeded and transplanted the rest of the coreopsis and Japanese indigo seedlings into the dye garden. All the new transplants and the whole dye garden got a splash of fish fertilizer too. Whew! I definitely needed a shower afterwards! And that’s not all: I also finished knitting the Watermelon Eyelet Cardi for Rosebud. This morning I sewed on the buttons and washed and blocked it and it’s currently drying on the sweater rack.

Also this morning I washed half a pound of Merino-X fleece and stuffed it into a mesh bag and then into the remains of the madder pot. It’s looking a little brown (from the pot’s accidental overheating session) but there seems to be colour in it still. Because the fleece wasn’t mordanted I also threw in a teaspoon of alum for good measure. Now I’m heating it up a little and then it can sit until tomorrow or whenever I get to it. Whatever the results I can always overdye or blend the wool with something else if it’s not attractive. I do like to use up a dyebath to the last possible drop of colour if possible.

I know I haven’t posted the details of the Abotanicity Tunic yet, but here’s another FO to distract you:



For: grandbaby Rosebud

Finished: June 7, 2011

Fabric: outer – rose-pink double-sided stretch fleece, 1m; lining – rose-red heavy stretch sweatshirt fleece, 1m.

Notions: 24” red separating zipper; 6” piece of 3/4” elastic; 8 rose-pink hammer-on snaps; size 50 polyester sewing thread.

Pattern: McCall’s 5963, View A Bunting, size large (12 months), cost US$5.99 (download), purchased from, printed from

Modifications: Added width to the bottom section, longer zipper and snaps to close bottom. Also added a top snap flap to cover the zipper pull.

Comments: Photos don’t show the deep rose-pink very accurately and the lining is actually nearly the same shade as the outer fabric. The bunting really is quite a bit darker than it looks here.

I was very happy with the method of downloading and printing this pattern instead of having it sent by mail. It went together easily with a glue stick – like a giant puzzle. I traced the size I needed leaving the main pattern sheets intact (besides cutting them apart some to get them in the file envelope!) She’s only 6 months old but is quite chubby with a large head circumference so I chose the largest size. Perhaps it will last her a little longer than just one camping trip! (I know. Don’t count on it.) I modified the bottom edge to accommodate her boots and bar system and hopefully this will work well for her. I quite like the cuffs that fold over into mitts to keep her hands warm.

The lining fabric was somewhat narrower than the fleece so I had to piece a bit at the back yoke. It took quite a lot of work to sew this little garment, including unpicking the cuff seams when I sewed them together wrong! I was trying to do a “bagged” lining for the first time and misunderstood the directions in my sewing book. I followed the pattern’s directions for the cuffs and hood but improvised some of the rest of the sewing. The only hand stitching was sewing the lining to the edges of the zipper. The snaps went on ok, if occasionally a little wonky. I need to learn not to hammer so hard! I’m always worried they’re going to pop off and end up with the prongs poking through instead because of my enthusiasm. (I sanded anything remotely sharp with a nail file.) Now she’ll be ready for a warm camping trip.

Because I was so good and finished the little sweater (think Rosebud is spoiled by her granny, huh?) I started on Jared Flood’s Rock Island Shawl. I’m calling my version Black Rock:


That’s a whole 2 out of 71 repeats of the edging pattern. Yarn is Zephyr wool/silk and I have a whole cone of this Ebony from my old buddy Jane Stafford. She sells it in 100g/1100m cones for C$19.95 which is very reasonable and carries 28 colours. Of course I usually buy vanilla or white and dye my own but the pre-dyed ones are pretty too. She also carries JaggerSpun 2/18 superfine merino which is the same grist as the Zephyr and is also very nice for knitting shawls. Or weaving. Or crochet. Whatever your pleasure. Lovely stuff, Jagger yarns.

1 comment:

Heather said...

You HAVE been super-busy! Wonderful results all round!