OAL2014: Yellow Myrna and Owl Dress

I was off work last week and I got so much accomplished for the OAL2014. I finished both my dresses and I simply adore them both. I have learned many lessons. And I can’t wait to make another dress already! So, let’s talk about the first dress.

The pattern used was the official pattern for the OAL, which is Simplicity 1803. I made Bodice B for the owl dress and kept everything exactly the same for the pattern. I didn’t add a tie belt or tie end to this dress because I wanted to wear belts with this dress for a contrast.

This dress was started after the Marvel dress and it was not my first choice for fabric. However, when Joann’s did not have the Marvel print fabric then, I went with this owl print, which I loved. I thought I would put off making a dress from this fabric for about a month or two but, I couldn’t resist the fabric and decided to make them both simultaneously.

The dress was underlined with pink tulle that gives it great volume. The first lesson learned is to watch my iron setting because I definitely burned a piece of the pink tulle while make the bodice but, it was covered when I pressed the skirt seam upward. The underlining was an extra step but, it was so worth it. I would not love this dress as much if it didn’t have the underlining.

The bodice was the most intense part of the dressmaking. I thought the princess seams would be a problem but LLADYBIRD explained it so wonderfully that they turned out absolutely beautiful. Also, I loved her way of making darts and my back darts are just gorgeous. I don’t think I would have been able to have such great success with the bodice if it weren’t for LLADYBIRD. I kept the bodice sleeveless because I like to wear cardigans with my dresses the majority of the time and I don’t like the added bulk of sleeves. Adding the bias tape was no biggy. It could have been a bit neater but, I still like how it turned out. I don’t really like working armholes because it is such a small area to work with and you have to be extra careful. I was praying the entire time. Since the bodice was the main part I needed help with I decided to finish the dresses by simply following the pattern.

The skirt portion went by relatively smoothly. My threads did snap while doing the gathers for my skirt but, once I tried it again everything was cool. I must agree with LLADYBIRD about the pockets. They are in a kinda weird spot but, I’m not really dwelling on it. I did a narrow hem and made sure to take my time and it came out so neat.

Now, let’s talk about this zipper. I really wanted to finish my dress but, I was wary of inserting a lapped zipper. Well, I found that I built it up in my mind because it was no biggy. I referred to my book Teach Yourself Visually Sewing, looked at YouTube videos, and read the pattern instructions. I prayed and started the process and I love it!! I tried to make sure the zipper matched but, I see that with a lapped zipper it doesn’t really matter because it is covered. I did add the hook and eye above the zipper but, I can’t reach it by myself so, I usually leave it undone.

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I don’t own a serger so, I used pinking shears for most of my seams except the facing. I used the zig zag stitch on the edge of the interfacing. I was battling with my machine because my zig zag stitch would not do proper zig zags. I took it apart, cleaned it out, and changed the needle but, it still wasn’t working. I finally changed the tension and it worked like a charm.

Let’s talk about the cardigan. This is Myrna by Andi Satterlund of Untangling Knots. It was a very simple knit and the fit is perfect. I do feel the buttons are too small and I may change them out for larger buttons at a later date. The cardigan pops free from the buttons and doesn’t really stay closed securely. I am not rushing to change out the buttons because I very rarely wear my cardigans completely closed. They are usually open most of the time. The yarn is my favorite part of the cardigan. The color is perfect!! The yellow has orange undertones. And the yellow is so vivid. The yarn feels absolutely amazing and it is very lightweight despite it being wool. This was a very quick knit and I finished it in about a week.  The yarn is Miss Bab’s Yowza in Squash Blossom. I used the suggested Size 8 needles because I did get gauge with it. The gauge was actually an errata but, I still like the fit and my measurements weren’t off according to the schematics so, the errata was not a big problem when it came to my cardigan.

Hopefully, I covered everything about this dress. So, here are the pictures of the complete outfit…


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Me Made May ’14 – Week 1

Well, I have completed my first full week of MMM14. I can say that it wasn’t too hard. I just have to consciously remember each day that I have to wear something handmade. I started out with my least worn items in order to challenge myself to use these items. I mean it is very easy to wear a cropped cardigan because that fits seamlessly into my wardrobe but, those crochet tops prove a bit difficult to style. So, check out the pics and details below to see what I have worn.

Day 1 (Thursday) – I actually like this top however, I don’t wear it much. Because of that, I started off MMM14 with this Casual Summer Top that I crocheted last summer. I like how flowy and boho it is. As you can see, I wore this outfit to work.

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Day 2 (Friday) – This is another work week outfit and another rarely worn top. I made this two tone shrug, a design by the Double Stitch twins, a couple of years ago. My style has changed since then, which is the reason that this is not worn very much. I paired it with a green dress and it made for an interesting outfit. It’s not my favorite kind but, it’ll do.
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Day 3 (Saturday) – Saturday is my “Me” day. I really enjoy my day off from work and I love doing errands, shopping, visiting my family, and catching up on projects. So, I like to be comfortable. It was a beautiful Saturday in the upper 70s but, I still carted my cardigan along for those very cold buildings and cold cars. This cardigan is my workhorse cardigan. I drag it along with me to avoid being stuck in cold environments. It is made with the cheapest yarn (Red Heart Super Saver) so, it endures.  This free pattern from Knitty is the Shapely Boyfriend cardigan.
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Day 4 (Sunday) – I went to church on this day. On the first Sunday, the ladies are asked to wear all white. I am so happy that I made this white cardigan a couple of years ago! It is not my favorite color to make things with but, it does come in handy. This is the Chevron Lace Cardigan, a free pattern from Ravelry. I never did blog about this cardigan so, let me give you a few details. It was made with Bernat Softee Baby Solids in white. I modified it a bit by adding 5 buttonholes to the top (the pattern only calls for one), making the sleeves longer, and the length longer.

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Day 5 (Monday) – I loved this outfit!!! This is my type of outfit. If I could I would wear it everyday. I finished my yellow skirt over the weekend and I could not wait to wear it. I also made the cropped cardigan, which is the Hortencia pattern by Andi Satterlund. It was a fun outfit and very bright  to go with the cheerful day.

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Day 6 (Tuesday) – This is a work week outfit and my go-to lazy day type of outfit. I didn’t feel like thinking much about what I was going to wear so, I put on a dress with a cardigan. This uniform never fails and I adore how this outfit turned out. This is my crochet Elsa jacket and to this day it is still my favorite crochet creation. I keep saying I am going to make another but, I haven’t got to it yet. I am going to have to remedy that because this jacket is just fabulous. This was another gorgeous day (in the upper 80s) so, this jacket worked like a charm in my office building. However, as soon as I got in my car I had to shed it. But, I picked it back up for church that night.

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Day 7 (Wednesday) – Well, this is what I am wearing today. This was my very first crochet cardigan and I still like to pull it out and wear it. When I first made this pattern, I added the button to the top and an i-cord waist. Well, I didn’t really like how those aspects limited it so, I removed the button and the i-cord belt. I always wear the cardigan open and it just works. Today, I am wearing it with a favorite dress of mine. We are having yet another gorgeous and sunny day in Alabama so, this dress and cardigan works like a charm. I really like lacy crochet cardigans because it allows for the breeze to come through and touch my skin. I made this cardigan using the same Chevron Lace pattern that I used for the white cardigan. This version has shorter sleeves, shorter length, and one buttonhole.

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Whew! That concludes Week 1 of MMM14 and I will keep you posted about the upcoming weeks. I really don’t see how fashion bloggers take a picture of themselves everyday because this gets tiresome.

Finished Object: Hetty by Andi Satterlund

It seems that most of the things I have been knitting lately have been designs of Andi from Untangling Knots. But, I just adore the vintage flair of her garments so, I find myself drawn to them.

This cropped cardigan was part of a KAL, which I mentioned in a previous post. I have been pretty busy with traveling, studying for my graduate exam, and trying to enter into graduate school but, I found time to squeeze this project in.  Overall, it was a very enjoyable project. This was my first time knitting an all over lace project and it was a learning experience. I thought it would be a pain to fix mistakes but, I was able to do so when they occured. And it did take a bit of concentration to avoid careless mistakes but, it worked out. The lace pattern was not hard to memorize but, I made sure to check back periodically to avoid mistakes.

I am really, really happy with the end results and I just adore the fit. I am short-waisted so crop sweaters really flatter my figure. The salmon pink color is just beautiful to me also. For the buttons, I chose a simple cream color. I wanted the buttons to pick up the white flecks in the tweed and it did so beautifully.

Details:

Yarn – Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed

Color – Papaya Heather

Needles – US 8 (5.0 mm)

Level – Intermediate

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WIP: Little Guy Vest

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I think knitted and crochet baby items are so adorable! However, I rarely find the time to make them. I have had many friends have babies but, most of the time I’ll just make a trip to the store and buy something. If it were left to me, by the time I would get to making the item the baby will be a full adult 😉

When I first started crocheting in 2007, I made a baby blanket for a friend of mine while we were in college. That is the only baby-related item I have ever made.

However, that will quickly change with the addition of this little vest. I had planned on having a vest or cardigan done by the time my friend, Vivian’s baby boy was born. But, as I mentioned I am horrible with finding the time to make baby items. And they grow so fast! So, the baby is now over 6 months and I have just cast on for this project.

I decided to make a vest because it is straight and to the point. I don’t have to find any buttons, there is minimal shaping, and no color changes. I want to finish this before the week is out and get it in the mail to her.

I have decided to make the 12-month size since the baby is now 6 months. Hopefully, he can grow into it and get some use out of it. I am using Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn in Royal. This is a nice, soft, and durable yarn. So, if baby spits up on it just throw it in the wash.

I checked my gauge this morning and it was perfect so, I have now started the project. I’m thinking of purchasing a little bow tie to go with the vest, which will be super adorable. I’ll update you with pictures when it’s finished…

This is a free pattern from Red Heart, which can be found HERE.

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Finished Object: Rustling Leaves Beret

This previous weekend I also finished my Rustling Leaves Beret from Coastal Knits. This book is pure inspiration to me so, I was eager to cast on something from the book. I dream of making the Rocky Coast Cardigan but, I just don’t have enough time to start another cardigan right now. So, I chose something small.

I purchased this yarn from the Yarnhouse Studio and I really love the squishy feel of it. It was a true pleasure to work with and I am thinking maybe I’ll treat myself to another skein of it for another hat. I also loved the color of it. Considering, this was a pattern with leaves being the feature. I chose this gorgeous golden green color. It worked out perfectly.

The pattern has written and chart directions. I referred to them both and it made the process so much simpler. I used size 16-inch circulars until the work got too tight then, I switched to double pointed needles.

Details:

Yarn – Malabrigo Finito

Color – 031 Mostaza

Needles – Size 2 (2.75 mm) and Size 3 (3.25 mm)

Level – Easy to Intermediate

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WIP: Bags, Cowl, Hat

So, I have been pretty busy these past few weeks with projects that I am creating for the Missionary Department at my church. They requested that I make some scarves, hats, and bags. The scarves and hats went by pretty well (I made 5 of each). However, the bags proved to take the most time. And what is funny is that I chose a pretty simple pattern so, that it could work up quick. I knew I wanted a bag that wouldn’t have motifs that needed to be joined. Also, I didn’t want anything with a lot of color changes. So, I chose the mesh bag from the book Crochet One Skein Wonders. Bags always take a little extra time because even after the crochet is done the lining still needs to be added.

Last night, I started the process of adding the lining. Tonight I will hand stitch it to the purses. I just need to settle in with a couple of good movies and get started.

I am using Red Heart Super Saver in carrot, soft navy, grey heather, burgundy, and amethyst for these projects.

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Now, as for my personal knitting and crochet. I have been working on some accessories. I started the Shell Net Cowl from Crochet One Skein Wonders and I also started the Rustling Leaves Beret from Coastal Knits. These projects do not take long but, since I have been busy with the Missionary Project they have been put on the backburner. Coastal Knits has so many lovely projects but, I didn’t want to start anything big from the book because I already have quite a few sweaters queued that I want to get to. So, I thought this hat would be the perfect thing to start. I am using Malabrigo Finito in Mostaza and man do I love this yarn!!! It feels divine and the color is beyond beautiful. For my cowl from Crochet One Skein Wonders I am using my Knit Picks Shadow Lace in Opal Heather. I bought this yarn before I had a project in mind for it. Then, I bought the book and knew this was the project for this yarn. I love the grey color of this yarn with the pinkish/purple undertones.

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I really want to finish these up because soon I will be starting the Hetty KAL and that will be taking up most of my time.

I will update you with pictures of everything I have made from the Missionary Project when I am done…

Finished Object: Chuck by Andi Satterlund

This sweater! I am simply in love with it. It turned out so gorgeous and it is in my fave color. I can’t wait for Fall to get here so, I can really get to wear it. This pattern was really concise and written out very well. The cable portion was given written instructions and a chart. So, that was nice. Also, I really like the fit of the pullover. It is cropped which, means it won’t take long. Also, it looks so gorge with dresses and skirts. This sweater will definitely be getting a lot of wear. And I already have the yarn to make another in orange.

I used Knit Picks Brava Worsted for this sweater because I wanted a yarn that would be washable and durable. This yarn is acrylic so, I steam blocked it and it turned out very neat and precise. This is a fast knit garment but, it took me a little longer because I was doing the pattern testing for Andi’s A to Z cardigan.  As you can see, I really like Andi’s patterns and I plan on making her Marion or Agatha sweater next. I have the yarn and my fingers are itching to start.

Details:

Yarn – Knit Picks Brava Worsted

Level – Intermediate

Needles – 8 (5.0 mm)

Size – Small

Color – Rouge

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Inspiration: Accessories

I am constantly scouring the Internet for patterns and inspiration. There is so much to choose from Ravelry to Pinterest to Blogs. I find myself flocking to sweater patterns more often than not. However, I really love shawls/wraps, wristers, gloves, mittens, socks, hats, etc. However, I find that I don’t often flock to the accessories as often as I do the garments.

Shawls/Wraps

There are some gorgeous shawls in a previous issue of Knitscene and the current issue of Knitscene magazine. Also, this previous weekend my sister surprised me and bought Coastal Knits for me. I have been wanting this book since the day it came out so, I am pretty excited to have this added to my library. There is this simply wonderful shawl in the new book that I really need to make. It is elegant and breezy–two things I like.

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Socks

I have not really found that many sock patterns that I plan on making in the future. I saw a rather cute pair in the now-canceled Your Knitting Life magazine that I plan on making and that I do have the yarn for in my stash. So, I may try that pattern for my first pair of socks. I have also been looking at a pair of crochet socks that was in a past issue of Crochet Today that I think I would like to try. It will be nice to compare knitted socks versus crochet socks to see the difference and feel.

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Gloves/Mittens

Every year the Winter issues of Vogue Knitting has some gorgeous mittens/gloves. I flock to the cabled gloves and mittens before the more standard pairs. I must admit that I do have a weakness for cables so, they really answer my call with this. Another gorgeous pair of mittens that I have been eyeing is from Alana Dakos Botanical Knits. It is such a gorgeous pair that I cannot stop staring at. So, I look forward to trying that out. But, I have to get the book first…

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Hats

I have made so many crochet hats since I have started crocheting in 2007. I do believe that a crochet hat was my first project that I made for myself when I was learning. However, the crazy thing is that I have never made a knitted hat even though I see so many gorgeous hat patterns. I do plan on making quite a few hat patterns for myself for this Fall/Winter but, I still have yet to get to it. I had plan on making some hats during my vacation and even took along the yarn, pattern, and needles but, I didn’t get to it.

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Well, that is what has been inspiring me of late. Just thought, I would share that with you all.

WIPs: Sweaters

I have found that I have more sweaters in progress than I usually like. And the thing is, all of them need sleeves! I have 1/2 of a sleeve on my Shapely Boyfriend cardigan done, I have 1/2 of a sleeve on my Chuck sweater done, and I have the beginning of a sleeve of my A to Z sweater done. So, my knitting is now overwhelmed with sleeves. I look forward to finishing all of these sweaters…

Just wanted to stop by and share that with you all quickly…sweaters

Book Review: Superstar Knitting by Debbie Stoller

superstar knittingI simply love Debbie Stoller’s books. I currently own the Knitter’s Handbook, the Happy Hooker, Stitch Nation, and Superstar Knitting. The only book I don’t own is the one she made for men’s fashions because I don’t feel I would get much use out of it.

On to the review…

I like the concept of this book. Pretty much, it is for those of us  who want to advance our knitting techniques. The previous Debbie Stoller books had great projects but, they were limited in their techniques. This book focuses on cables, intarsia, fair isle, lace, steeking, and so much more! I am the type of person that loves to advance and challenge myself when it comes to my crafts. It’s the way I keep things interesting. So, this book definitely answers my call.

Pros:

1. 41 patterns

2. Beautiful and wearable patterns

3. Gorgeous photography

4. The book is divided by (1) instructions and (2) the patterns

5. There is a diverse set of patterns–for baby, house, accesories, and adults

Cons:

1. I don’t feel the instruction part goes into enough detail for complex techniques. There will be a need for further research.

Below are a few of my favorite projects…

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