Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gingerbread Socks - cuff & leg

When I first started knitting these socks on two cable needles, I was a bit confused. It seemed a tangled mess. Once I accomplished a few rows, it became clear.

Basically, all the stitches from both cables are pushed towards one side. They are all going in the same direction. I'm right handed, so I pushed all the stitches to the right. The front cable has the free yarn. I needed a needle to knit on, so I took the other end of the cable I was knitting off of. In other words, I put my new stitches right back on the same cable, while ignoring the front cable. Then I turned my work around, and knitted the next row completing the circle. The socks are inside out while knitting. Here they are right side out as they would look when they are worn.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blue Stripped Man's Shirt - front band, shoulder, pocket

I've been in the closet examining my DH's shirts. I even asked for one that I could take apart. Just how do those collar stays get put in there?

A man's shirt is all about enclosed seams; specifically, flat felled seams. They have feet for that. I experimented with my 4mm felling foot with great sucess. It was the first time I got it out of the box. I also purchased an 8mm one for the sleeve insertion, but I was not happy using it. However, I discovered that I can make a nice flat felled seam with my edging foot. The experiment was on a straight seam. I'll have to see how I do on a curved one.

A man's shirt is all about pattern matching. I considered the look of the front band before any cutting. Do I want the wide strip or the small strip dead center? DH voted for the small strip, so I went with that. The first piece cut was the center band. Because this is an even strip, the left and right front pieces could be cut together. I made sure the front coincided with the front band. This pattern does not have a back yoke. All the shirts my DH has, has one. Since I was on my own with this, I thought it important to match the strips at the shoulder. I sewed a really simple enclosed seam here. Just made the usual 5/8" seam, trimmed one side down to half the width, then folded the other side over, and edge stitched it flat.

My accomplishment last night was the front pocket. It has to match the shirt front, be edge stitched, and be reinforced. Interesting discovery that a front pocket is a recent addition to a man's shirt. His suit had enough pockets to meet his needs.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blue Stripped Man's Shirt-The Vision

My DS is requesting that I make him some shirts. It's a very complimentary request since he's an adult and has witnessed my work over a number of years. The problem is that we don't live near each other. He has problems purchasing shirts that are long enough in the sleeve. I'm starting out with a short sleeved shirt, while waiting for him to provide me with a sleeve length. Men measure their sleeve length from the center of their back yoke, across their shoulder, to their wrist bone. I told him not to forget to bend his elbow when measuring.

Reference Book: "Shirtmaking" by David Coffin.

Special Feet: Felling foot and hemming foot.

Pattern: McCall's M6044, view A, collar, collar stand, front band, one chest pocket.

Fabric: Light blue/dark blue/white, even stipped (even strips will match along a right angle), 100% cotton fabric from stash originally purchased from Joann's Fabrics.

Interfacing: White muslin

Alteration: None.

Thread: Light blue.

Buttons: Seven white shirt buttons.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Gingerbread Colored Socks

Yesterday, for about an hour after work I went to my occasional knitting group. I'm learning two things ~ how to make a pair of socks and how to make them simultaneously on two cable knitting needles.

Book: "Knitting circles around socks" by Antje Gillingham.

Pattern: Anne's magic stripes.

Yarn: Hand painted 2 ply fingering sock yarn purchased on line from "Knitpicks" called Gingerbread House because of the brown background color sprinkled with six gumdrop colors. It's 50% Merino wool; 25% superfine Alpaca; and 25% nylon.

I only managed to cast on.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I would like to de-stash myself of twelve cardboard boxes of fabric. I'm not looking to sell it nor give it away but to use it up. I work full time, have a new husband and grandchild, and have other hobbies besides sewing; consequently, my time is limited. Even though dressmaking and tailoring are my favorite things to do, I also delve into knitting, cross stitching, gardening, and home improvement projects, as well as, getting through the details of everyday life.

I'm at an age where I want to simplify my life. There will always be beautiful fabric to be purchased at any time. My goal is to use up my stash of fabric while only purchasing components for a garment. This may be a lining, buttons, interfacing, etc. An exception is allowing myself to purchase certain types of fabric that I don't already possess. For example, knits aren't in my inventory, and I would like to construct a knit dress.

With that said, I am trying to stay out of the fabric stores. I have to keep the temptation away.