I Have Been Up To Things

Hello, Internet. How are you? I've been okay. And fairly busy. I made some things! Want to see them?

So the thing about my job is that I have a lot of time for stuff. Not much going on at night. This means I have hours and hours every week to knit my heart out. I'm also getting some good reading done—I'm in the middle of NK Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy. Actually I'm avoiding it a little because I can tell it's going to break my heart into pieces. I have odd avoidance habits. I'm also slowly making my way through Liu Xiaobo's essay collection, No Enemies, No Hatred. It's overall a surprisingly productive time considering how slow actual-work is.

I made this Hemlock Ring blanket (a Brooklyn Tweed adaptation of a doily pattern):

large purple lace circle thing

I wear it like a shawl. I wanted something more substantial than a lot of the lace shawl patterns one sees on Ravelry, and semi-circular in shape. This fits the bill nicely, and used less than 2 skeins of Cascade Eco+.

Collapse )

I'm in the middle of knitting a basic sweater out of Berroco Vintage (I love this yarn!). Given how much knitting time I have, and the fact that all it needs is sleeves, I expect to be done by next week. Then I can work on, hmm, socks maybe?
This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.

Sometimes, It's Just Not Meant To Be

Internets, let me tell you a sad story. A story of woe. A story of despair. A story without a happy ending. It's also kinda long.

Once upon a time, I decided to make a pair of pants. They were going to be very nice pants (or trousers, if you prefer.) I bought some lovely dark blue linen/rayon that had a nice hand, didn't wrinkle too much, very comfortable-feeling. Did all my prep work: prewashed the fabric, made a muslin.

Simplicity 2860 envelope photo, some gray pants

Oh, that was really where it started. The Muslin Disaster. Now Simplicity provided some measurements so that one could choose which fit they might fit best—provided with the options of "slim", "average", and "curvy". As someone with a long torso, most of it between my waist and hip, my measurements (I think they asked for crotch length and depth, measured from the waist) were not anywhere on their chart. I chalked this up to the aforementioned proportions and chose the "average" fit, and sewed up a muslin. I had my handy "Pants for Real People" to guide me through the fitting process.

Oh, there were tears then. The muslin fit horribly. Awfully. It was too tight in some places and far too loose in others. It ws completely wrong. I made changes. Many, many changes... and I cursed my book and Simplicity and myself and the muslin for not working. I was never, ever going to have pants that fit me. That was a dark moment, the first of many. Actually it was many moments... I had to take long breaks in between alterations, because of the despair of them NEVER WORKING.

In frustration I emailed Simplicity, because apparently you can do that when you have problems with their patterns. The person I spoke to asked me for some measurements and helpfully suggested I try the "curvy" fit. I have never considered myself "curvy" (pear-shaped, yes; curvy, no) but I was willing to try anything. So I cut another muslin. It was a miracle. It fit almost perfectly. I made a few adjustments to the inseam. I started cutting my fabric. It was going to be brilliant.

I started assembling. Knowing I wanted these pants to be awesome, I had practiced putting in a fly on my first muslin. (I used the HotPatterns fly front tutorial, and I recommend it.) Zipper went in fine. My next mistake was to trim the top of the zipper, and not sew in some stops. It wasn't an issue until...

I somehow snipped a hole in the right front, right near the crotch. Time to panic. Time to completely freak out. I went to the internet; maybe I could fix it somehow. I bought fabric glue. I tested it. I glued a patch behind the hole. It was really, really obvious. I had some extra fabric—I'd been hoping to get a pair of shorts out of the yardage, but I cut a new right front instead. Managed to pick out the ruined right front and put in the new one, even with the fly already sewn in.

Then I pulled the zipper tab off. I was beginning to wonder if these pants wanted me to develop a drinking problem.

After several choice words and some tricky finagling, I got the zipper tab back on, and immediately sewed on stops at the end of the tapes. It would be okay. I could still pull this off. I continued construction.

I made pockets that failed. They were too small, placed badly. The pattern does not include pockets, by the way. I gave up on pockets. There's only so much you can fight a damn pair of pants.

I thought about including the belt carriers I was originally going to leave off. I need somewhere to put my hands, whether it's pockets or belt loops. I stalled. Then I got a job and didn't have time to sew for almost a month. I decided that the pants were not worth stalling forever. I decided to move forward without the belt loops. Might as well finish the pants and move on.

I started to sew on the waistband and realized some of the seams hadn't been finished. Linen can be really fray-ey so I wanted to overlock them. One outseam, fine. One inseam, fine. And then I realized I'd accidentally sewn some of the seam allowance to some of the main fabric. Guess where? Yep, the right front crotch. I didn't think it was a problem... until I picked it out.

Two neatly-cut lines. And as I'd already discovered, impossible to fix. No more fabric.

Collapse )

And that, as they say, was that. There was nothing else to be done. The pants won.

I'm kinda sad, I admit. I liked the fabric, I liked the (eventual) fit, they were going to be comfy and roomy and stylish. But you can't fight these things forever. If I had my heart forever set on these, I'm sure the fabric shop has more. But for now I'm just going to leave them be. I don't need to tempt fate anymore.

I thought people were exaggerating when they said sewing pants was difficult, but damn.
This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
  • Current Mood
    disappointed disappointed
  • Tags


Hello, world. I'm still around. I got a job, which is cool, but which has reduced my available free time somewhat significantly. It's a night-shift job, which is okay, but since I have neighbors living downstairs of me, it does cut down on my available spinning wheel/sewing machine/noisy activity time. I will update crafty stuff soon.

However, I would like to ask the universe a question. Why is that, when I assemble pasta on my own, the sauce never ends up entirely satisfactory? Whether it's from a jar, a packet (I am not the most industrious of cooks, it is true) or from scratch, I always finish my pasta with a tinge of disappointment. *sigh*
This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.


It's truly lazy summer again. I love summer. It means that I haven't been blogging, though—that would be the "lazy" part. Oi.

Stuff I've been working on:
job applications (sigh)
sewing pants
knitting a giant semi-secret project
organizing and cleaning my apartment (sigh)

I did go to Yellowstone last week, which turned out to be a very successful wildlife-watching trip! I saw four wolves, several bears (grizzlies and black bears), frillions of bison, lots of pronghorn and elk, and some interesting birds. And babies! So many babies.

two elk babies, one with its mouth open in indignation, one assumes

Elk babies!

Collapse ) This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.

Twill Towels

So you may recall that back in April I posted a WIP of some towels on the loom. Well, a little while ago I finished them. I think they turned out rather well, if I do say so myself. They're squishy and nice to the touch, and they're my mom's favorite colors. Yes, I finished them almost three weeks after her birthday, but that was because I had the silly sense to graduate three days before her birthday. In any case, she has them now.

tied all up in a pretty package

How I delivered them.

Collapse )

 The draft was a goose-eye and reversed twill, with a goose-eye treadling, linked in case you're curious. I used Louet Cottolin 22/2 in "Cream" and Halcyon's Organic Cottolin 8/2 in "Red" (despite the very different numbers, they're pretty much the same weight/YPP.) The towels were sett at 24 ends per inch and I threw all red weft for Towel #1 (on the right), all white for #2 (middle) and white with red weft stripes for the last one (left.) They came out 20" x 14", except for the last one, which is slightly longer.

Conclusions: my mother loved them, my grandma joked about stealing them, and I wish I had a set for myself! When I make my own set, though, I want it in dark blue and white.
This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.

Works in Progress 25 May

Mostly, recently, I've been working on pants. Which is not very exciting, I must admit. There's a lot of fit shenanigans. I started with the tissue-fit method detailed in Pants for Real People (I really truly almost wrote "Pains for Real People") and have now moved on to a muslin. The book says with their method you don't need a muslin, but for my first pair of Real Pants I'm going to anyway, not least so I can practice putting in a fly front.

Speaking of which...

Collapse )

I've also been working on a swatch for a new sweater. (A Christmas sweater, if you must know.) My local yarn shop was having a sale, and I had a store credit, which meant I walked out of there with 5 skeins of Cascade sock yarn for $1.87. Score!
This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.

Dear UPS Deliverer:

Please actually read the number on the packages you deliver. If, in fact, you did read the number and just didn't feel like coming up one flight of stairs to deliver it to me instead of my downstairs neighbors, it may be that package delivery is not an appropriate job for you.

No love,



On the plus side, my neighbors are nice people and were also home, meaning I could claim my package after not too much hassle. (Also, the local UPS hub is looking into it, since that's the second time I've had my package delivered downstairs.) Which means I finally have new books! I bought The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting by Sarah Veblen and Pants for Real People by Marta Alto and Pati Palmer (Amazon links). I've only glanced through them so far but they look to be excellent references (as they should be, since I bought them on many recommendations.)

I'm not sure what it says about me that I seem to be reading more reference books than other kinds of books recently (do those count on my reading list?) but hey, at least I'll have well-fitting clothes now! I'm about to start a pair of pants—my first properly fitted ones (let's not talk about the last pair) so I anticipate these books being very useful.
This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.

The Graduation Dress (Finally)

It was, in fact, done on time—finished before last Friday night, so I could wear it for graduation. (Honestly I'm not sure why I picked that event, since I was wearing my graduation robes/gown/thing most of the time.) I have now worn it twice and have Thoughts on its construction and ideas for future projects. I also finally have adequate photos.

Collapse )

And despite all the fitting issues, I'm already contemplating tackling pants. I may sew a few blouses before I get there, though...

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.

I made a thing

I don't have all the photos I would like of the graduation dress yet, so you'll have to make do with this. It's a dress I made over two years ago. I had made it with the intention of wearing it to Hawaii on family vacation. When I got there, I decided it looked silly on me, and I never wore it. (Two major factors went into this: I wear dresses infrequently, so I was unused to the sight, and I probably needed a haircut. My hair length has oddly enormous effects on my self-image.) So I stuffed it in a closet for two years, occasionally contemplated selling it, and mostly forgot about it. Until last week, when I needed something fancy-ish and rediscovered this! (Important factor: I just got a haircut.)

Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.


For FO Friday I have only this: I am finally a college grad. Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies and Bachelor of Arts in Chinese. I feel relieved to be done, a little bit sad for what I'm leaving, a little bit anxious for the future. Mostly I want to sleep for a week and then deal with everything else.

The graduation dress got done as well and I have another project to share but I'll save those for next week. 

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.