Saturday, March 31, 2012

Another small quilt

A spring quilt for a special girl is in the works! I had an unusually large amount of pink and aqua fabric in my stash, mostly Jennifer Paginelli fabrics, and it was time to move them out. As much as this color combo is overdone (gack! I even dressed in pink/blue today!), it does work well together, especially for a little girl.

In a dark room on a gray, rainy day, this is where it stands. I realized that several prints aren't even represented here. That doesn't really matter because I'll probably move these around a ton before settling on the final layout anyway.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blue Skies Shawl

Blue Skies Shawl - Ravelry project page here.
Approx 660 yards of yarn!
73" x 18" at deepest point of curve

I started this project so I'd have some brainless knitting to do on a long flight to Ireland and back last fall. A nice garter stitch shawl with just enough stripes to keep it interesting. But before I got back to the States, I ran out of yarn. An online friend sent me what I needed. Thank goodness for the internet!! When the lace edging was 80% complete, I ran out again (!). So I completely ripped out the lace. The same online friend had more yarn - so I finally got around to reknitting the lace, which only took about 4 days. So this project yielded a bit of frustration and took several months instead of a couple weeks.

It's very cozy - and large! At 73" from tip to tip, this shawl is perfect to wrap up and snuggle in! Great for sunny, but chilly, spring days.

The Sketchbook

Watercolors, watercolor pencils, plus a bit of water-soluble felt tip pen.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Simplicity 2444

I put this dress together as a sizing trial run for this pattern, Simplicity 2444. I'm pretty happy with the result, after some tweaking. What pattern doesn't need tweaking though? There were options for short, long, or no sleeves, as well as a boat neck, stand collar, or a gathered cape collar. Since I was most interested in the bodice fit and was a bit short on fabric, I opted for the standard boatneck and short sleeves.

Excuse the dopey in-the-mirror shot. It's tough to photograph yourself!

After wearing it all day today, I'm pretty happy with the end result, although I think I do not like the box pleat in the front center of the skirt. Who wants extra fabric there?? Ugh. Next time, I I'll redraft the skirt pieces to skip the pleats, just an A-line skirt. I added cuffs to the sleeves - a plain hem seemed a bit homespun.

The fabric was cheap quilting cotton on sale from JoAnn's. Not my first choice for apparel, but since I was essentially making a muslin, it might as well be something I liked in case the dress did turn out ok! There are pockets in the side seams, but they kind of make the skirt poof out in an awkward way. Like I said, this is a test run, so not-perfect is ok with me!

Now to try this pattern with some ice blue lace! I'm thinking of changing the neckline into a V-neck because I find that more flattering. That will mean altering some seam placements and raising the back neckline. No skirt pleats, no pockets, and 3/4 sleeves, too. Hmm....some redrafting is in my future!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Sketchbook

A beautiful 80 degree day called us outside to draw, paint, and look more closely at nature. We never knew what sweetgum blossoms looked like! They're very small but delightfully intricate! Much nicer than their spiny, seed-bearing counterparts that drop to the ground in the autumn.

Painting with the kids is always an adventure. The only one who really didn't get frustrated was the 5 yr old, who just sloshed color around without a care in the world. His painting is at the top. He added a few hand-drawn fish, but it was more about playing with color for him. The older kids tried to paint fish, but found the watercolors clumsy and not as precise as the pencils they're used to. I remember feeling that way - so grown up to hold a paintbrush, but then the results made me feel like a toddler! Like many things, it takes patience and practice. Nobody went away in a huff, so I'm confident they'll pick up the brushes again. We'll just paint color and not objects to ward off the frustration. Baby steps.