Friday, January 17, 2014

Where have I been?

Where in the world have I been?  Well, I certainly haven't been blogging!  I have been doing lots of knitting and sewing, though.  I wish I had some super excellent photos to show for it, but it being winter here in Oregon means tons of dark and cold weather and terrible lighting for photos.

My 2014 New Year's resolution is definitely to keep up more on this blog.  I don't really care for making New Years resolutions as it always seems like so much pressure.  Then I needlessly beat myself up for not meeting my resolutions and expectations.  What's so silly about that is the pressure is all in my head.  Sarai at Colette patterns has an excellent post today talking about her definition of perfectionism and it really rang true with me.  I always am setting these high expectations for myself and then when I don't meet these expectations I needlessly beat myself up about it.  I have slowly gotten better about this over the years, but I still am guilty of putting pressure on myself.

In any case, I'm endeavoring this year to make a better chronicle of my projects and sewing but also to relax a bit with the process.

Which brings me to an inspirational gift I received this year from my mother-in-law.  She got me a dress form and I have named her Lady Jane.

Lady Jane is a Dritz My Double Deluxe.
I am so excited to have this addition to my sewing room as it is going to make fitting problems so much easier to address.  Lady Jane has an adjustable torso, which I am absolutely thrilled about.  I was able to dial her down for my short waist.  I have always been vaguely aware that I am short waisted, but I've never really altered patterns before to address this fitting problem.  I was never sure exactly how much tissue to remove from the pattern and get the precise fit that I want.  When I started tissue fitting on Lady Jane it was like a light-bulb went off for me.  I was able to see exactly how much to remove and could change the pattern accordingly.  I actually ended up removing 1.5" from the torso length!


Tissue fitting on Lady Jane showing how much to remove from torso length.
I got this super crazy 80's print rayon jersey knit from JoAnn here in Bend.  My hubs thought it was completely ugly.  I don't think it's so bad.  It was dirt cheap and I thought it would good to experiment with. I had originally planned on making a Renfrew with it, but when I started draping it, it seemed like it would look better as a dress.  So I dug in my pattern stash and found Simplicity 9103 1 hour dress pattern and decided to start playing around.  I wanted something that would be super easy that I could do mostly on the serger.

Crazy 80's print for JoAnn.  It was a red tag April Johnston rayon jersey knit.

Simplicity 9103

I'm pretty happy with the result, though it took me a lot longer than 1 hour!  Probably around 5 hours total over about a week.  My sewing time is in fits and starts, either before work or on weekends while my little one is sleeping.

I've also been doing quite a bit of knitting.  Knitting is a nice thing to do while I watch my Little Princess as she loves lots of interaction.  I can sit on floor and play with her while getting quite a bit done.

I finally finished this pair of socks that I started 2 years ago.  Yikes!  I should really never let UFOs languish that long.  I used the Red Heart Heart and Sole sock yarn and it was actually pretty nice to use.  



First pair of socks using Red Heart Heart and Sole in "Faded Jeans" colorway.
Over Christmas we spent some time in Elkton, Oregon with my in-laws.  My husband has a huge, close-knit family from a small town.  His Grandmother just loved the socks and the color so I already started her a pair for next Christmas as a gift.  I decided to do a little lace pattern on the cuff.  The pattern is called "Crest O' the Wave Socks" and I got it out of my I can't believe I'm knitting socks book.

Crest O' the wave socks for Grandma in law.  Getting a jump start on Christmas gifts.
I spent a lot of time in November and December slaving away over Christmas gift knits.  Among the gifts I finished were a pair of mittens from a Patons' book and some fingerless mitts from a Churchmouse pattern.  The Cabled Mittens were pretty difficult!  I had to frog many areas a bunch of times.  I feel like I learned a lot and really increased my knitting skill, though.  

Cabled mittens and Welted finger-less gloves for Christmas.  My family doesn't know how good they have it!
Remember way back when I bought yarn for my Central Oregon Hoodie?  Well, in case you were wondering I did actually finish it!  The photo below doesn't show it that well, but I wear it all the time!  It's my new favorite cardigan.

Modeling my Central Oregon Hoodie with my Little Princess
Whew, so that's what's been going on for me.  Lots of knitting and sewing and playing with my little girl.

Here's to more great projects in 2014!

What have you been working on?  Tell me in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jane

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