April 30, 2011

Weddings and Lace

I didn't watch the royal wedding.  Almost everyone else did, it seems, so I read about it on some blogs.  What caught my attention was a description of the lace in the dress.  I knit a Shetland shawl for my veil when I got married, a lifetime ago.  One corner was gently gathered and sewn to a comb decorated in freshwater pearls and crystal.  I gave the shawl to a good friend when his daughter was born.

I used traditional Shetland motifs that were relevant to my life: fir trees, ferns, waves and rings.  I hadn't intended for it to be 7' square!  But it was lovely, and was me.  It was knit using Zephyr silk/merino yarn in ivory and a 3.25mm bamboo circular needle, taking a little less than 3 months to finish.

April 27, 2011

American Apparel's Selling Mom Jeans

Unfortunately one of my bus stops is right outside an AA store and there they were in all their high waisted, tapered-leg glory.  Trust me, they look even worse on the hanger.  You can hit any thrift store and find many pair of these jeans, for much less than $80.

At least this model has a shirt on: the AA site is modeling them topless.  Another notch in the bedpost of bad taste for AA.

I'm proud in the knowledge that, in the event of a zombiepocalypse or 80s jeans making a comeback, I can sew my own!

April 25, 2011

Sewing and Weight

No Shirt For Me :(
I was ready to start a blouse on Friday when I realized I've gained enough weight to push me up a size.  Which is demoralizing enough, plus I'd cut the pattern to size 10 and I'm now a 12.  I could use another pattern, or use another version of the pattern to grade the pattern pieces up a size, but didn't have that much energy.  I'm frustrated by the idea of sewing a blouse that won't fit if/when I go back to my normal weight.  It takes so much of my free time and energy to sew something simple and I want it to last.

I'm not unhappy with my size, rather the fact that I'm out of shape and too sick to exercise regularly.  I could push myself and feel awful doing it, but then that describes much of my life already.  A couple years ago I was jogging regularly and in great shape, and felt good.  I miss being able to do so many things I used to enjoy.

At least I can knit again.  I've made some progress on the green silk sweater--cast on the 2nd body piece and am a few inches in.  Soon I shall have a sweater :)

April 23, 2011

I Wish...

I started thinking today about how I used to have a hard time sitting still.  Then chronic pain and illness robbed me of energy.  I started knitting and quilting while watching old movies.  I enjoyed learning new knitting techniques and having something to show for my time.  Slowly I learned to accept the limitations pain placed on me.

If I could have one wish: to have been healthy from age 16 on.  I was headed toward a career in surgery, working all over the world.  The reality was I struggled to study half time in college and had no hopes for a career.  A few years later the pain flared and college was in my past.

In 2005 the myofascial pain began, an extreme form that tightened the fascia and muscles throughout my body.  I had planned to return to college that summer but this made study impossible.

Last year saw the end of my hopes for a future with a good man.  Now I'm alone, and perhaps a woman unable to do the simplest things should be alone.  But I miss companionship, I miss someone who cares.  No relationship is perfect but this one started off with great promise.  So I wish that it had worked out.  That my normally cheery outlook had rubbed off on him, that we could have brought stability and love to each others' lives for years to come, and the few things I'm still able to do I could have done for someone I love.

I wish that all the gains I'd made in three years--walking and jogging, making and spending time with friends, having fun--weren't lost with only more pain and disability to look forward to.  I don't know how to find hope for my future.  The best I can do is not think about it.

April 20, 2011

Uh Oh

Well, one of my worst fears has come true: the muscle tension and pain that plagues much of my body has permanently spread to my dominant arm.  Not only does this cause constant pain but also loss of function.  I'm also having daily migraines from neck tension.  2011 really isn't my year.

I don't know when I'll be able to sew or knit regularly again.  And I have no idea what to do with myself if I can't do those things.  Mostly I'm trying not to think about it.

April 17, 2011

First Dates

The three serious relationships I've had all started without a first date.  Since going on a few first dates this year I've been thinking about how my past relationships started.  My first boyfriend was a friend through high school, and we started dating when we ran into each other and he asked me to Prom.  My ex-husband and I met, talked on the phone, then our first date was him visiting me in the hospital.  The latest guy had also been a friend and we got snowed in together a couple winters ago.

So dating is strange to me.  The idea that you'd meet someone completely new and outside your circle of acquaintance, get to know him in a couple hours, and somehow know that you're a good match is baffling.  I have no idea how to make the leap from meeting to relationship.  I don't know whether I want to; so much is uncertain that I need a sign that this man is right.

I feel adrift, trying to find meaning or pattern in an infinitely complicated world.  I'm trying to be aware that God is in charge so I don't have to think about it.  I know I'm missing some spark, but worry that it will never happen.  Or that he too will change into someone who doesn't want to be with me.

April 15, 2011

Knitting Progress

Finished body piece
I'm knitting a raglan sweater with silk bouclĂ© yarn.  It had been stashed away a few years ago when I realized that the hips were too small.  The sleeves are finished and fit well.  I'd tried working on it a couple times previously but couldn't get my gauge to match.

To fix the body piece: rather than ripping out the whole thing I snipped the yarn at the waist, put it back on the needles and commenced knitting down to the hips.  It turned out great!  I bound off with the super stretchy bind off, which I actually like better than the original tubular cast on edge :)

The fabric-drapy silk, yum!

Note to giveaway winners: I haven't mailed the patterns yet but I haven't forgotten about you!  It should be lickety split as soon as I find some envelopes.

April 12, 2011

Good Day

It's been a long time since I've had such a good day!  I got out and walk/jogged over a mile today, with pain only a moderate imposition.  It was sunny, too :)  I'm going to try to walk again tomorrow to build momentum.

Later I had a coffee date, and it was my first good first date in 3 years!  [ETA: how could I forget about my Feb good date?  Doh]  We walked around, grabbed dinner, I showed him the not-so-scenic parts of my neighborhood (oops) and we talked.  We'll definitely see each other again.  I had enough time and energy left to catch the end of knit group, too!

My shoulder started to spasm before I got home, and I have a building migraine now, but that would have happened anyway.  All in all a great day, and I'm hoping the upward trend continues.  Who knows, I may be able to sew something soon :)  I need to look up how to sew straight-looking fisheye darts.  I adjusted the darts on my jumper mockup but they look curved.  Tomorrow I should get some better photos while the sun's out.

April 10, 2011

Sewing, at last

Butterick 4198, interlock knit

Last month I started a hooded sweatshirt mockup and decided to finish it.  It still needs some pieces cut out, and the crazy-shaped hood adjusted.  I'll need to buy a separating zipper too, or something.  The knit selvedge is pretty cool and will use it for the center front edges.


Simplicity 4487

And I love madras plaid!  I bought 4 yards of this plaid about as many years ago and really like it.

I have the blouse pattern ready to cut, just want to do a quick tissue fit on my dress form.  I think this'll be a quick, fun project and easy aside from plaid matching (which is more fussy than difficult).  I was ready to cut the fabric last night when my shoulder started to spasm :/

The original plan was to make a shirtdress with this plaid.  I also like this Burda mag dress and was considering sewing it up.  It even has pockets!  Plus the pattern has plaid matching lines :)

BWOF 08-2007-101

April 9, 2011

Giveaway Winners!

Happy Saturday and congratulations to the giveaway winners:

S 1942

Lachlan, you are the lucky winner of Simplicity 1942!

S 8140

Carol wins Simplicity 8140!

B 3709

Angela, Butterick 3709 is yours.

Winners, please leave a comment with your email address and I will contact you shortly.
Thanks to everyone who participated in my first giveaway!

April 7, 2011

Giveaway Ends Tomorrow

I'm giving away 4 patterns, from 1940s to 1980s.  The giveaway runs through tomorrow so leave a comment if you wish to enter :)

April 6, 2011

Picasa Troubles

While writing a post tonight I realized that Picasa deleted a bunch of my photos :(  Most importantly the jumper pics, so those blog posts have no photos!  The photos are on my drive but all formatting is gone, and they're no longer in Picasa folders.  Picasa updated itself this evening so I assume that's the cause.  So I'll be reformatting and reloading photos tomorrow--whoopee.

I meant to show you some madras plaid that I'm hoping to sew a blouse from.  I have a couple patterns to choose from but those photos been affected as well.  Maybe tomorrow I won't have a migraine, will have some energy, and can fix all this as well as sew a little.  Wish me luck...

April 3, 2011

Easy Sewing

The jumper project is wearing me out and I need some quicker gratification.  I could make a t-shirt, I have some fun knits.  I really like what Tanitisis and Steph did recently with cowl tees.  I'm also considering a dress.  Specifically, this dress:

I've wanted to sew this pattern for a few years but worried about messing up.  If I do mess up, so what?  The pattern was 99¢, the fabric was on sale--just do it!  My arm would have to loosen up enough to cut the fabric, however, and that's seeming unlikely.  So I may make a tee after all.

I'm worried who I am if I'm no longer able to create.  Having something tangible to show for a day or week makes me feel better about life.  Lately even knitting has been impossible sometimes, with my arm hurting so much.  It's worrisome.

April 2, 2011

Jumper Fitting 3

I've made some more progress on the jumper (fitting post 1 and post 2).  Sewing has been difficult due to nerve issues in my arm.  But on I plod...

Look ma, sewing with cardboard!

I altered the right bust dart to be horizontal and eliminated pulling from the side seam.  Adding a center front zip created a tummy pouch, so I'm rethinking a front button closure.  Either functional or faux with a side zip.

I really like the scoop neck and think it will look nice with various necklines.

Right side
Left side

I prefer the look and fit of the diagonal bust dart on the left side and welcome opinions pro or con.  The front darts need further tweaking.  Everything needs tweaking, actually.

The left side has remained unchanged, and I prefer the shorter waist dart that's slightly further from the center front.

Some experimentation on the back neckline yielded interesting results.  A small scoop, as on the left, is nice.  A deeper scoop creates folds that need pinched out, etc.

The back darts need to move toward the center.  On the right side I angled the dart below the waist so it points toward the greatest fullness (aka my buttock).  It's better than the right side so I suppose the next step is to rip out and resew the darts.  I'm not sure why the right side dart looks curved because it's a straight line.  Hmmm

Well, that's about all the energy I have today.  My arm and shoulder have really tightened up making even simple alterations difficult.  I'm hoping to get more energy so I can fix these problems and move onto making the dress.  Right now just thinking about it exhausts me.

As always, thanks for reading :)

April 1, 2011

Nobody Wants Free Stuff?

I'm hosting a giveaway of 4 patterns--3 vintage, 1 1980s-- and so far only 1 entry.  I didn't expect a stampede but...

So please stop by and enter if you're interested.  Or just say hi.

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