Tuesday, November 19, 2013


You know I’ve misplaced my sewing mojo when I’d rather input nearly a year’s worth of book and magazine purchases into my database instead. I was surprised to see that I hadn’t done that little chore in such a long time – all the way back to last January! The pile wasn’t all that high either because I’ve pretty much stopped purchasing most of the titles I used to get. They have so little new content and apart from pretty photos I’ve been seriously disappointed in the articles. Or maybe it’s just my jaded “been there; done that” attitude? Seems like craft mags have gotten even farther away from in-depth discussions of techniques, procedures, tools and materials in favour of the quick finished projects. Perhaps the Internet’s proliferation of tutorials and videos have reduced the market for these? Doesn’t matter. I’m saving my money for other things.

One title that I’ve been very pleased with however is Vogue Patterns. They have really upped their game in the past year or so! Beats Threads by a grand margin. But then I’m annoyed with them and their Threads Insider stuff. You have to pay a subscription to access most of their content. I can’t be bothered though I’m still buying Threads. For now. Anyhow, the once-boring Vogue Patterns has reduced the “catalogue” part of the magazine way down and instead includes all kinds of interesting articles. Me like.

My book purchases which used to be rather prolific are way down as well. I only bought 6 or 7 craft books in the past year – much less than my usual vast numbers! Good thing too because besides the financial considerations, I’m running out of shelf space. I’ll have to start moving some back into the attic or finding them new homes if I get very much more. And the second floor of my house may need reinforcement! (Hopefully not.) I’ve even stopped buying books to read and have been making use of the digital offerings of my public library. Can’t beat free! And I can pick books up and return them from the comfort of home. No, I don’t mind reading on my netbook’s screen. I increase the font size and don’t have to hold it like a book (or reader) so it’s easy to knit at the same time. Works for me.

Back in the sewing room, I started picking out the armhole stitches on my thrifted black top. I had already removed the shoulder pads which kind of dates this thing, doesn’t it? Here’s the shoulders on Debbie:


Yes, it’s really black but lightened up enough to see the details. The top is an XL so the waist to hip area fits me but obviously not the shoulders. I pinned up the sleeve to see what happens:


Much better. I plan to take out some of the fullness under the arm and continue down into the side seam above the waist. This is a lovely piece and probably was worth a lot when it was made. The fabric is something I’ve never seen before: 95% acetate/5% lycra in a heavy crepe knit ribbed on the outside and smooth and shiny on the inside. It doesn’t photograph well. You have to feel its drape and texture. Washing instructions say to hand-wash and lay flat to dry. I machine-washed it on gentle and draped in on my sweater dryer and it was fine. Unfortunately it still smells a bit perfumey. Hope that goes away soon. Amazing how persistent some perfumes can be. Wouldn’t matter as much if I wasn’t so sensitive to them. Bleh. Don’t think I’m allergic to this one though. Just annoyed.

I didn’t get very far on the seam picking because it was murky and rainy all day yesterday. Black stitching on black fabric. Even with a good light I was afraid I was going to pick a hole in my lovely top. Instead, besides the inventory input, I managed to sort out what’s supposed to happen next on my Buonasera Tunic. This is the one I’m knitting in navy blue noil silk, top down and somewhat in the flavour of my Rosa Grey Tunic that I made awhile back. I wear that one a lot. This one is going to have a much less pointy hem with lace edging and sleeves (TBD whether 3/4 or long). I’m kind of making it up as I go so each step is a debate. I wanted a bit of lace at the hem so I expanded a simple Estonian edging that mimics the rows of yarn-over holes at the sides. It was a repeat of 10 stitches but I wanted it wider so I brought it up to a repeat of 14. There’s a nice corner too so it’s going to segue nicely. I only have to fudge one extra stitch somewhere to make the numbers work out. Photos coming when I have enough of it knit and enough light to show the detail. Right now it just looks like a dark shapeless bag!

What else have I been up to? T-Man and I got a large percentage of the plethora of leaves in the garden raked up. I also finally got the fall rye green-cover seeds planted in the dye garden. If I’m lucky there’s still time for them to grow a little before winter sets in. We’re slowly getting the yard properly winterised but we’re not quite done yet. Gotta go with the weather and our energy level. It’s a lot of work! Other distractions include the fact we get the biggest Grandbeasties for an overnighter on Friday. If all goes well, Princess Silver Fang and I can finish her Skully T-shirt this weekend. She’s looking forward to using the serger again. Eep!

I seem to be posting about once a week. Best I can manage for now. More anon.


Dixie said...

Good to hear what you're up to, Louisa. I agree with you on Vogue Pattern Magazine. They've definitely upped their game lately!

Mary said...

Hi Louisa, I too agree with you on Vogue Patterns. It is a magazine I really lookk forward to.