Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: A Midnight Smock

On Wednesday night before leaving for Rhinebeck I attempted to sew two smocks. I had been coveting this fabric from Clementine since summer.

Success, except for one late night error (early morning, actually): I sewed the lower front to the upper back, and the lower back to the upper front. What this means is I now have a completely reversible shirt. HA!

See the chain stitching on the inside? All that stitching and cutting happens in one pass on my Siruba machine -- the chain stitch, the overlock, and the trimming.  And it goes lickity split.

My new knitting spot:

My computer is in a small pass through room located next to our television room. I painted the walls in the spring and rearranged some furniture in an effort to make it an inviting work space.

I had placed a small wooden cot in the corner for a sunny knitting spot and overflow company. Have you ever tried to knit on a cot? In a corner?

Three days ago I dragged this chair up from the basement studio and I have been firmly planted in it since. The cot is in the barn, traded for this steamer basket, which holds my yarn.

Thank you chair, basket and old light, for encouraging me to stitch up a storm.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: My Rhinebeck Shirt

Two weeks ago, while everyone else was deliriously stitching on their Rhinebeck sweaters at the eleventh hour, I was stitching on two new smocks to wear at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival. This is my Saturday smock. The hexagons were stitched this summer (have you tried hexagons? pretty relaxing).

See the giraffes? A scrap from the first pattern I ever sewed, a smock. More sentimental pieces coming soon -- we have been cleaning the barn, where my parents stored every finished (and abandoned) project my siblings and I ever made.

After forty something years of sewing I am still learning -- this tape was not cut on the bias and created some challenges. But I still LOVE this shirt.

Amy and Thea
Thea and Amy and I arrived on Thursday and kicked back in a beautiful little rental house. On Friday we roamed town as the rest of our housemates trickled in.

I drank all the dark brown liquids, always my favorite.

At the fair on Saturday there were white sheep,
and black sheep,
and llamas too.
Ellen and Beatrice

There was a grey sheep named Brutus 
who was helpful with the phone,

first-rate at hugs,

generous with kisses,

and clever at dirty jokes.

On Sunday there was a blue ribbon jumping goat and his Nun,
and a leaping llama competition.

I came home with fond memories of time spent with some of my favorite people on earth, a few coveted skeins of yarn, three boxes of biscotti, and enough knitter's mojo to cruise through three knitted hats and half a crocheted shawl in the last ten days.  Yes, I am crocheting and it is keeping me up at night. 

Tomorrow I will share the other smock and my little knitting nest, which was improved this week.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Stitcher's Wardrobe: Shirt

I find myself wearing the same two smocks over and over, so I cut a few more. The pattern is Butterick 5356, modified, and the cut sings to me.  The front is gathered but the back is not -- fullness just the way I like it. 

The shoulder seam runs down the arm -- there is not a traditional set-in sleeve.  Also, the underarm does not bind.

My bias tape skills are improving. 

This happy trim was an afterthought. If I had it to do again I would not have two lines of stitching on the public side. And I do have it to do again -- I could easily pick the stitches and rework it. But I have learned that I admire the art of completion more than the art of perfection in others' work. Adopting this philosophy, I will move along and make more, more, more!