Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WIP the tenth...

Just so you know, I've actually written this on Sunday 6/26/11, but I've scheduled for it to post on Wednesday 6/29/11 because we're going to be very busy at work this week and I didn't know if I would have time to write this update on Wednesday so I'm writing it now. (Does that make any sense?)

Anywho, most of today was spent cleaning the apartment, and I re-rediscovered the yarn I bought to finish my cowl that I started before we moved. And then I realized I lost the pattern I had printed out. I reprint it, only to find that I've lost my place on the pattern (which is written very confusingly) so I had to go back and recount the rows - which is extremely hard when it's 1) Lion brand homespun yarn and 2) you switch your crochet stitch every row or every other row.

But I did it, and I'm thisclose to being done with it!

The Harry Potter scarves are still coming along. Slowly but surely - or, at least, it feels very slow just because there's so many rows to finish. Right now the Gryffindor scarf is beginning to remind me of The Cat in the Hat's hat.

That's it for now! Make sure to check out more WIP goodness at Tami's Amis!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WIP Wednesday the Ninth...

I have started the 3rd green stripe on the Slytherin Scarf, and I'm getting ready to start the 3rd red stripe on the Gryffindor scarf. That is going to be a bit of a pain, since I forgot my scissors at home today. I may have to go pester my supervisor to borrow her pair. No pictures will be posted of either today, because, well, I'm feeling lazy :P

All these Harry Potter scarves makes me want to do one for myself (though you'd think I'd be tired of them by now!) I've had to restrain myself from buying more Cascade 220 in Ravenclaw book colors (blue and bronze) because I already have yarn from Knit Picks at home. Also, HTB will get mad if any more yarn shows up.

A friend finally had her baby - a bouncing baby boy - so I think that's a sign I need to get started on the baby blanket for her. I was thinking of doing a ripple blanket, but I recently saw a picture of someone else's granny square baby blanket, and, well, I really really like granny squares. I'm also thinking of making him a few other things to go along with it since his parents are REALLY BIG Star Wars fans.

In addition to that and finishing the scarves I also need to get started on making gifts for my bridesmaids. Contessa of WYPAD is already making part of their gift, but I want to do something else as well. Of course, I can't really say what here, because then they might see and that would ruin the surprise - so I guess the public will just have to wait until after the wedding (which is only 2 months and 6 days away! ACK!!!)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Finished Object Friday the Third

It's not 100% complete - it still needs to be hemmed on the bottom, but since that's hidden under a dress or a skirt, who really cares? - however, it's close enough for me! Sadly I can't get a picture of the full thing because HTB is asleep upstairs, and I don't want to disturb him for a clothes-hanger, and any time I try to drape the chemise over the chair artistically this happens:

Also, our photographer is still cleaning up the pictures from Calico, so I don't have any of those yet :P

Remember how I said that gussets where a royal pain in the you know what? Well right there is an example of the gusset in the sleeve. It wasn't too much of a problem when I was finishing the sleeve, but attaching it to the body of the chemise was a whole different story. There's a method to sewing princess seams, and I wondered if that would work here since it's the same concept - just without the curves. Sadly it didn't, so I had to sew the gusset on the sides and bottom, and then the corners, which resulted in these little tucks where the fabric wouldn't lay flat when I was sewing it. Which no one can really see because it is in the armpit of the chemise so who is really going to look that closely at the piece? But still, it was such a pain. Like I said - I HATE gussets. 

Also I made a boo-boo here. When you have to gather something, the easiest way is to sew two lines parallel to each other on the loosest stitch your sewing machine has. Then you pull the threads on one end of the lines and, viola! Gathering! Then you have to pin it and arrange it so that it fits and looks good, and sew it to the waist band, or, in this case, neck band, and once that is done you're supposed to go in with your seam ripper and rip out those lines that you did the gathering with. Well, I forgot to do that and didn't realize that I had forgotten to do that until we got to Calico and we were taking our pictures. Oops. Thankfully it's another one of those things that you don't really notice until you're actually looking for it. 

Overall - not too bad for my first Civil War era piece! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Now that the mad rush to get the chemise finished is over with (You would think I would have learned by now not to procrastinate on projects like that...) I have returned to the Harry Potter scarves. Since HTB's scarf had been neglected because it's just so much easier to work on the Gryffindor scarf at work, I've been working on it to get it caught up. As of today I'm only one stripe behind;

The chemise turned out beautifully by the way - I'll have more details on that on Friday. 

In the meantime, be sure to check out Tami's Amis for more Works in Progress:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Michael Fassbender...

HTB and I went and saw X-men: First Class on Saturday evening. I had my doubts about the film (I used to be a big X-men fan when I was younger so I was annoyed that the first class wasn't Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast and Iceman like it was when the comics started) but it actually turned out to be really good. In fact I loved it more than I did the original trilogy. There wasn't a dull moment in the film, the big cameo was priceless, they made the villains more sympathetic, and the friendship/bromance with Magneto and Professor X was dead on. In fact, I personally think that Magneto's storyline was the best part of the film - so I am giving this Meatlocker Monday post to Michael Fassbender for doing such a good job with his role in the film.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Well boo...

The victorian/civil war era chemise is done, and apparently I should have made a size 20 instead of a size 16 because it just feels small everywhere (Normal clothing sizes run larger than pattern sizes) It still fits though, but I can't lift my arms very high above my head. I made some mistakes in my push to get it done ASAP, but they're nothing too noticeable, and honestly, if I ever wear this thing again, it'll be under a dress so no one will notice. Plus, I like those little imperfections.

In addition to finishing my chemise, my boots arrived today - both pairs, the ones I really love and the back ups. Neither pairs are made for larger sized calves though (I could only get them zipped up to the ankles.( /fail) Thankfully I still have my spats  that I made from when I worked Halloween Haunt, and those fit fabulously over a pair of black mary janes shoes that I have. Awesome!

HTB is worried that I'll sprain an ankle running around calico in the mary janes because they have a little bit of a heel. Funny thing is that the heel on the new boots were much higher than the heel on my mary janes. I promised him that I would wear flip flops in between shots.

Now to just find some fish nets to wear...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

And Now For Something COMPLETELY Different...

HTB and I are going camping at Calico Ghost Town this weekend. It's sort of an annual trip, but this year we will also be taking our engagement photos while we're out there. In addition to taking the normal looking photos in nice every day clothing, we decided that we also wanted to do a part of our shoot dressed up in Western/Victorian gear because, well, we're crazy like that, and we like to wear costumes. HTB has western garb a plenty - he works at Knott's Berry Farm as a train bandit - however I only have a saloon girl costume I put together for my 25th birthday. The problem with that is that I've gained some weight since then, and the Frederick's corset doesn't really fit anymore. I'm sure I could make it fit, but it has plastic boning. Plastic boning has this habit of bending and twisting really easily, so it doesn't do much in the way of the support department, and if it's very hot out, and if you're a warm blooded person like me, it'll melt and conform to your body shape instead of sucking it in. One of these days I'll replace the boning with good steel stuff, but I just don't have the resources and time at the moment.

So how to fix this problem with only a few days till the camping trip turned photo shoot? Well, instead of the Fredericks corset, I have decided to wear one of my other corsets - a solid black underbust with proper steel boning. But since it's an underbust it doesn't really cover up the girls, y'know, and we can't really have them hanging out for the photo shoot (even if HTB would LOVE that) Since my first love is sewing, and I make a lot of my own garb for Renaissance Faire, I have tons of fabric and patterns floating about. One of the many patterns I have is a historical pattern from Simplicity for civil war era underpinnings (pattern number 7215).

I don't really like how the corset looks in the pattern, and, again, I don't have the time or the resources to make a corset from scratch, but the chemise would definitely look good in addition to the underbust corset, skirt, and bustle I already have.

On Monday I pulled out some thin white fabric that I had and went to work cutting out the pattern and then the pieces that I needed. Connor and Murphy, our two cats, thought this was tons of fun and proceeded to attack the fabric, the pattern, and the pin cushion while I worked. Eventually I locked them up in the downstairs bathroom with some toys once Murphy got a little too close to the scissors while I was using them.

Last night (Tuesday) I started sewing everything together. Because the boys had been causing problems while I was trying to cut things out, I had forgotten to mark things like dots and tabs, so I had to go back and do all of that. First up was to attach the gussets to the shoulders. Even though I hate gussets, that proved to be relatively painless.

(I swear there are gussets there. I suspect Murphy is laying on one of them)

Then it was time to sew gores to the sides of the front and back pieces. That's where I screwed up. Apparently I marked the dots wrong, so one gore was much higher than the other. Thank God for seam rippers. I fixed that then sewed the front and back together, and then I started work on the sleeves. Somehow I managed to sew the gussets for the sleeves on wrong, so I had to take a seam ripper to those.

(The sleeves, with their gussets and flat felled seams)

By the time I finished with the sleeves I decided that it was too late to sew anything else. A friend gave me some advice once that if you sew when you're tired you're bound to make more mistakes, and then get frustrated when you have to go back and fix those mistakes, so it's just better to quit when you're ahead. I decided to head her advice.

Tonight I get to gather the sleeves, attach them to the body of the chemise, gather the front and back of the chemise and then sew on the yoke. I know it sounds like a lot, but, barring any kitty interruptions, I should be finished by Thursday. However, since I'll be out of town on Friday, I won't be able to post the finished object until next week :P

Oh, and the Harry Potter Scarves are coming along too:

That, in the middle there, is the stitch marker that the lovely Contessa made me. She has a give away going on for a custom set right now - you can enter here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Monday...

This weeks Meatlocker goes to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau - the actor who portrays Jaime Lannister on A Game of Thrones.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

WIP Wednesday the Sixth...

Honestly, I lost count there for a second. I think that's a sign I need to find a different way of naming WIP Wednesdays...

Anywho, this week saw a problem with the Gryffindor scarf I am knitting for a friend. Since I was using the yarn I had frogged from another scarf, I ran into an area where the yarn had kinda snapped... but not all the way. At least that's what I think happened because all of a sudden there was a spot where the yarn was very thin and had a bit of a fluffy halo around it before going back to normal. I've had yarn snap on me before when I was frogging a project, especially when it's a project I've crocheted, and, if you'll remember, this was originally a tunisian crochet scarf, so I suspect that's how I got this thin spot.

The easy way to fix it is just to cut the thin spot out of the yarn, and then tie it back in while I was knitting like I was starting a new skein of yarn or a new color. But I ran into this thin spot at work, and I had left my scissors at home. I could have probably asked a supervisor or a coworker for a pair of scissors, but I just didn't want to deal with the questions it would have raised (IE 'why are you knitting when you are supposed to be taking calls?' Answer: Well the phones are dead, so what else am I supposed to do?) So I decided to just tie the normal yarn together around the thin spot, thus skipping it when I resumed knitting. As a result, there is now a big loop on the inside of the scarf (which, no one will see, so who cares!) and the stitches on the outside of the scarf in that area are a little wonky, but it's not noticeable unless you are actually looking for it.

(You can kinda see the loop I was talking about in the above picture)

(And that bigger than normal stitch is what the outside of that 'problem' area looks like)

See, I told you it wasn't exactly noticeable.

HTB's Slytherin scarf is coming along slowly but surely. I think it has to do with the fact that's its 1x1 so it takes a minute to switch the yarn from front to back and vice versa in between knit and purl stitches. Whereas the Gryffindor scarf is just so much faster because it's all knit stitch all the time.

I found the missing skein of yarn for my cowl last night while I was looking for my copy of A Game of Thrones, so I'll actually be able to finish that now, and I might actually have it finished in time for Friday. Whoo-hoo!