Did you see all the lovely comments I got on my last post? I swear those bloggers are the nicest people! And of course pao and Spygirl did get home safely. Just in case you were worried.
So what have I been doing since then? Back to watering the garden. Sigh. I also made 4 pint jars of sweet and spicy bean pickles and 2 of mixed zucchini and cucumber. I love pickles! One jar of beans didn’t seal properly (aged lids probably) so I guess we’ll have to eat them soon. Awww…
The tomatoes are starting to ripen finally. When we get enough for a batch we’ll dry them in the dehydrator. They are so good in omelettes. Sweet concentrated tomato flavour. Yum. The garden is winding down now though. Early-early this year! There are 4 butternut squash and 5 spaghetti squash (one fell off but it will still be good though smaller) so far. The green cabbages are nearly ready (I already picked one!) and the purple ones finally set heads. They’re quite a bit later than the little green ones and will probably stay in the garden until we get back from vacation at the end of September. We have baby carrots growing in the former garlic patch and some Asian greens and arugula in the former lettuce bed. I plan to harvest the Japanese indigo with my Spectrum group next week. There’s not a huge amount though so we’ll supplement with regular indigo. It’s already sending up flowers! That’s a new record for earliness but it will be some time yet before seed sets. Such a weird growing season, this El Nino Summer!
In the studio I’ve been madly prepping patterns though I haven’t cut anything out yet. I was on a roll so I decided to go with it! I have at least 7 ready to go now. My technique has improved so much and I have a lot more confidence that everything will fit me the way I want. For instance this is how I fixed Katherine Tilton’s B5925 T-shirt:
I used my TNTee pattern that I’ve developed in the last couple of years as a base. It fits my narrow ski-slope shoulders and short arms perfectly. You can see the difference when I layer the front piece over the Butterick pattern, size Medium:
I try to leave the original style details intact and concentrate on fixing just the parts that need to fit my body properly. I’ve already made sure there’s enough room in the bust, waist and hips. Note that this size Medium (12/14) is still a little wider than my TNTee! It’s obviously quite loosely fitted. I left that width in as well as the original neckline but raised the underarm, scooped out the armscye and sloped the shoulder.
On the back I did the same:
Not quite as much adjustment is needed here. Then the sleeves:
I folded a tuck at the lengthen/shorten line for my usual 2” decrease in the sleeve length. (Those T-rex arms!) My perfect sleeve cap is narrow and not symmetrical front to back to accommodate my forward shoulder so I scooped that out. I did leave width at the underarm though to match the extra body width. If I don’t like it that loose later I can always take it in. But you can’t add it if it isn’t there! All the rest of the pattern pieces are the straight size Medium. And now it’s ready to cut out.
I have one last pattern to go before I start madly cutting out fabrics. I want to add a couple of inches to Katherine Tilton’s B5891 View A/B top/vest:
I love my Indigo Batik version of this but it feels a little short especially in the front, even though I left the tucks out of the peplum. It comes about 3” above my crotch level (not a particularly attractive area on this old body!) so I have to be cautious about what I wear it with. I’m excited to make a second version in the damselfly batik that I bought at the Cloth Shop. But I’m dithering over the contrast fabric (green, red or orange-red?) for the peplums and inner collar. It really all depends on whether or not the pattern pieces will fit or not!
And then there’s the knitting. I was unhappy with the Red Tide Vestigan (pattern: Low Tide by tincanknits). It was way too loose on the shoulders and too tight in the bust. Both of these things are interdependent due to the way they’re knit diagonally so I couldn’t fix the bust issue without making the shoulders even more wide. The style just wasn’t going to work for me. Sorry for the really bad selfie but maybe you can see what I mean?
The slightly puffy sleeves are a little twee for my taste too. So to the frogpond it went:
The tide is out! Since this photo it has all been wound into skeins and washed (again!) to remove the wrinkles which really affect my tension badly if I leave them in. They just need to be balled up again and we’re back in business. This time I’m going with another Amiga by Mags Kandis. The first one I made is in rayon slub yarn and dyed in my Japanese indigo. This one will be a warmer woolly one. I plan to make it a bit longer and with cap sleeves. That way I hope I can get the “vestigan” sweater I was going for with the last attempt. I only have about 850 yards or so and there is no more of this wool to spin.
The Periwinkle Necklace Cami also gave me trouble. I had split the hem at the sides just below my waist to make more room for my hips. It didn’t work at all. So I ripped back to about waist height again and started increasing each side every 6th round instead. I still plan to split the hem for the last 3”, much lower than I did before. Not quite there yet. I suppose this summer top will be done by…autumn?