Wednesday, March 28, 2007

get a drink & a snack...we've got a lot to talk about

First up: big balls

Of YARN. Sheesh. Quit being pervy! This is a family-friendly blog!

Check these out! I made them! Ok, that is a partial lie. The yarn came pre-made, but I dyed them myself. Now, I do not claim to be Scout, but I am proud of these nonetheless. They are actually 2 different shades, though that's a bit hard to discern in the photo. I tried and tried to get an accurate picture, but even with some tweaking it was really hard. Anyway, I split a skein of Lion Fisherman Wool in half (by eyeballing, so I am pretty amazed that they came out to be almost exactly the same), then dyed the first half with a bunch of black cherry kool aid a few weeks ago. The resulting color was putrid, to say the least, so I let it sit in my laundry room until Hubs started asking questions.

On Saturday night (while Hubs was out), I hauled out my giant stockpot (which I have never, in 10 years, used for stock...and never intend to), filled it with hot tap water, set it on the stove to heat, and then mixed in an entire packet of Rit dye in Scarlet. I put in both halves of the skein of wool, stirred, and let it cook away for 30 minutes. The twice-dyed yarn is on the right as you look at the photo above. It came out a lovely deep crimson. The yarn dyed only once came out more of a cherry shade, so I'm glad I followed the advice on the dye box and used 2X the amount (of dye) recommended or the yarn would have come out too light.

Some thoughts:

I did not stir constantly as the package recommends. Then again, nowhere on the package or Rit website do they even mention using their product to dye yarn, so I'm all about breaking the rules. Also, I was petrified of splashing scarlet dye all over my almond stovetop. Which I did anyway, so thank goodness for Clorox bleach spray.

If you want to do this, go for it, but remember that dye is dangerously permanent. My utility sink is super duper stained from draining and rinsing the yarn. WEAR GLOVES. BE CAREFUL. DO NOT SPLASH. I did this after my daughter was asleep in bed because I definitely did not want to be carrying a huge pot of hot scarlet dye while she nipped at my ankles.

Finally, I am HOOKED on this now. I want to buy a shipping container of Lion Fisherman Wool and several cases of Rit and experiment till the cows come home. I may just start creating my own worsted weight wool colors for future projects. The Rit website has a humongous chart of color blending ideas. Awesome.

More wardrobe enhancement for the kid

This is the Knitting Pure & Simple cardigan in the 18 month size. It's plenty big for my petite girl. I still need to weave in a few ends and sew on the buttons, but for blogging purposes I am considering it complete. My blog...I make the rules, right? Right.

The yarn used for this sweater was Bernat Denim Style, almost 3 skeins. Needles used were US sizes 7 and 8. The pattern calls for sizes 6 and 8, but I don't like tight ribbing. I also made this a tad longer than called for, so it will be a bit more jacket-like.

I couldn't resist making another sweet dress for Daughter, even though she has plenty of summer clothes already. This is McCall's Easy Stitch 'N Save #M5370 in size 2. The fabric is by Nancy Halvorsen, my favorite designer, from her Winsome collection. I knew when I saw this collection online that I would end up buying at least a little of it, and serindipitously a coupon for my local quilt shop arrived soon after. For 40% off, this was an affordable project. Unfortunately, it is totally HUGE and will not fit Daughter anytime soon. Poop. I should have made the size 1. Now I'm worried about all the other size 2 outfits I made her already. Sigh. Here's hoping she has a growth spurt between now and, say, June.

In which I complain a lot

During a recent trip to Joann Fabrics to buy interfacing, I got the crazy idea to sew for myself again. Probably a bad decision.

This is Butterick 6016, I don't remember which view. "But Kate," you are thinking, "this looks like a shapeless sack!" Yes, dear reader, it does. Why? BECAUSE IT IS A SHAPELESS SACK.

The front darts are ok, but only because I moved them down (who are commercial patterns written for? Whose boobs are really THAT high? Mine weren't, even pre-motherhood!) but there is no shaping at all for the rest of the body. Which is such a scam, because on the pattern cover the dress totally looks like it has shape. I called my mom to complain about this and luckily she is both patient and wise - she suggested trying a couple of darts in the back. Ah. Yes. A good idea, as the dress fits, it just makes me look very, very odd.

So, any tips on putting darts into an already-finished dress?

And look! Because I am a glutton for punishment, I'm going to try making this skirt! Me+Zippers=much cursing and gnashing of teeth, generally speaking, but I'm going to try it anyway. The fabric should be relatively forgiving (just a black calico with tiny white pindots). At least my sure-to-be-funky stitching won't show too well against the black. If, by some chance, it works out, I will wear it for Easter with a bright sweater.

And finally, something that seems to be going well!

Seriously, I think it is safe to say that I am really more of a knitter than a seamstress. Knitting is more forgiving, and I need that in my life. I have also recently decided to start knitting more things for myself rather than just making stuff for Daughter all the time.

I bought 6 skeins of blueberry Cotton Ease 2 years ago, right after Daughter was born. Joann Fabrics was unloading their supply of this discontinued yarn (but they've brought it back! Huzzah! No more funky bright colors, though...), so I got the last 6 skeins they had of this colorway for $1.50 per skein. Awwwwww yeeeeaaaaaahhhhh. I loves me a bargain!

I had intended to make Sitcom Chic, but dumped that idea when I got pregnant again and knew I'd be unable to wear it for a long while. After my finishing frenzy over the past few months, I started digging for a fun, simple project to use up stash yarn, and this popped out at me. So what you see above is the body of Sitcom Chic (the fronts are tucked under the's knit in one piece from the bottom up), as well as the yarn to finish it. I think it's long enough now (it's a sort-of cropped style), so I'll be starting the sleeves tonight.

So that's what I've been up to. Well, that and playing outside, but I've discovered that I can set Daughter up with her chalks and her outside toys and actually get a smidge of simple knitting done while sitting in a lawn chair and keeping an eye on her. Sah-weet!


Pam said...

I'm not sure how you would go about putting in true darts on an already finished top without making it look like that was what you were trying to do:) However, could you put some sort of tie on the back. Seam rip on each side just above the hip and put in ties so that the dress would look fitted when it's tied in the back? Might be an easier fix then the darts. Good luck!

HangerMom said...

Zippers + me = enormous amounts of sighing and mumbled cursing and friendly chatting with my seam ripper about what great friends we are. But still, I manage in the end. Sort of. Good luck with that!

Sarah said...

Hi, I just did a google search for m5370 and I came up with your post. I made the tiered dress from that pattern, I made in size 2. It came out humongous! My neice could hardly walk in it, and she's in the 95% tile for her age. I had to remove the bottom ruffle so it looks even considerably normal on her. I don't think they tried these dresses on 2 year olds before they published it.