Coloring Outside the Lines

OK!  Don't worry...it's really me...

I am not sure how I ended up with green and red tye-dye and pink yarn and whoa! is that a Hawaiian print in there?  Yikes!  

I am blaming it on the weather!  Everything has been goofy this summer and my last trip to the fabric store confirmed it! I just needed some #*&! sunny colors! OK?????

...and it worked!  I feel much sunnier after making them up.

I made a camp shirt out of a piece of very soft Hawaiian cotton and it is perfect for summer....AND it's RED!!!!


...and this little dress is way out of my color box...but sooooo much fun and soooo summery!
(all these colors are making me talk in "oooo's" and "!!!!!'s" 😆)

The denim front is really a very soft chambray-like fabric so it is really comfy and cool.  And how much fun is that back!!?!?  


Phew!  That was weird!


Some Free-style Summer Knitting

If you live in the midwest part of the country, you are well aware of our unusually sloooooow start to summer.  By this time in June we are normally trying to figure out if our air conditioners will 'go to eleven.'  I finally put sandals on today just because I refuse to wash socks again until sometime in mid October. (I really would like to have them on :/ )  Given the situation, my internal, seasonal clock is quite confused...and that means my sewing rhythm is discombobulated as well.  I can't decide if I want to be making lovely light linen-y things, or cozy wooly stuff.  So mostly I don't make anything!!! 

What I have done is finish up some of my knitting projects.  I like to knit when I travel, but at a certain point the projects either get too big or too fussy to do in the car or crammed into an airplane seat.  At that point I usually pile them up and forget about them for, well, too long.  I had two projects that I thought, if it ever decides to be summer, I would like to have them finished so I can wear them. 

The first one is a really pretty linen/cotton blend with gorgeous colors. (IMHO, you know, mud colors!)  I started out thinking I would do my normal knit two squares and make a tankish top.  But when I got to the end of the first ball of yarn I realized that the variegation would get really funky if I just stared another ball of yarn.  Hmmmmm???  The square was too short even for a cropped top so I had to think of another plan.  I ended up working the second square so that it continued up over the shoulders with a 'v' opening in the center.  What happens is I get a V-neck sweater one way and a square neck sweater if I turn it around.  I like both.

I added a garter stitched panel at the hem to get a bit more length and garter stitched sleeves.  You can see in the first picture below that I used a triple needle bind off to connect the "shoulders" which are either dropped to the front or the back depending on which way round I wear it! 


The second sweater was knit with a two stranded yarn, one strand of matte grey cotton and the other of a shiny grey rayon.  The affect was a bit of a tweedy pattern.  The yarn was a bit heavier so I wanted to make more of an open airy stitch.  I liked the openness of the fabric that I got knitting on size 10 needles.  Again, the plan was to make my two squares and hook them together, but the size 10 needles meant that the bottom of the sweater would be very loose and stretchy and probably catch on every corner and knob I walked past.  It also ended up giving about 18" of ease at the waist!  Not ideal!  Hmmmmm??  What I needed was a way to have a tighter knit at the hem/waist and a more open knit at the top/shoulders.  Here's what I did...


I started on size 6 interchangeable knitting needles.  I knit for a few inches and changed one of the needles to a size 8.  I knit a few more inches on a 6/8 combination.  I then went to both 8's, then 8/10 and finally completed the square with 10's on both ends of my cable.  (it's hard to see but in the picture one needle is a 6 and the other is a 10.  Not a combination I used, but easier to see the difference, kind of!)  The result was a 'trapezoid' that started out about 20" wide at the hem and ended up to be about 28" at the shoulders!  Bingo!  Just what I wanted, and I didn't add a stitch!


The hem snugs in a bit at hip level and the top is open and airy.  I did the same sequence of needle swaps on the sleeves.  I picked up along the shoulder with size 10's, did one pass with 10/10, and one each of 8/10, 8/8, 8/6 and finished and bound off with 6/6.   Again, the top of the sleeve is airy and the hem snugs in around my arm.  I have no idea if this is something that is actually 'done' by people who really know how to knit, but it worked out well for what I was trying to do.  

I was getting on so well with my knitting that I pulled out another UFO that got it's start on the beach this January in Key West.  I might just have it ready for NEXT January!

P.S.  I think I'm getting a little better at the selfie thing!👍


In the Merry Month of "MeMadeMay"

For several years now I have been curious about the May tradition among sewist called "MeMadeMay."   I haven't participated, (it requires advanced skills, like taking selfies!), but I do like the idea of encouraging more garment making.  And it's fun to see how other people are creating and wearing their own wardrobes.

I figured it wouldn't be such a big deal since I make and wear most of my clothing.  I decided I would try it.  Now, I didn't actually post anything anywhere...by 'try it,' I mean that I wore something everyday in May that I had created, and took a selfie to document my progress.   I really didn't think it would be difficult, but it surprised me in several ways.

Here's what I learned in the Merry Month of May!

1.  I am not very good at 'selfie!'
This was not a new discovery.  One of my thoughts about participating in MeMadeMay was that maybe it would help me practice taking selfies and I'd get better at it.  Not so much, as demonstrated by my 31 tries. (and these are the BEST tries!!!! 😝)

2.  Can you say "mud colors?"
After seeing these pictures all together there is no doubt that I have a mud colored palette.  Again, this is not new information, but it was so striking to see it all in one go.  Even looking in my closet really didn't have the same impact.  Not sure how these guys got in there?

3.  May was way too wet and cold!!!!!
Each day I kept thinking that I would be able to get into some of my summery pieces, but then the mercury would plummet and I'd reach for the sweaters and long pants!  By the last few days I did get to wear a few of my lighter weight things, but even then, I was taking off my sweaters to take the pictures and then putting them right back on again!

4.  Pants!  Who knew?
I have made way more of my pants than I realized.  I was quite surprised by how many times the MeMade part of my outfit was the bottoms.  

5.  Not just sewing needles...
I have some favorite knitted pieces.  I have been knitting more in the last several years and have gotten to the point that I will actually wear some of my hand knit pieces out of the house!  One sweater in particular was just the right weight for this blustery May.

6.  I do love me some linen!
Yes I do!  Any weight, bottoms and tops, plain and fancy....if it's linen I'm all in.

7.  ✌
"V" necks seem to be my neckline of choice.  

8.  Accessorize!
There were a few days that the only thing I had made were my accessories.  

Finally....it was tougher than I expected.  So much of what I have in my closet I have made, I was really surprised that I had to think about what to wear each day.  There was one day that I realized that I hadn't worn anything that I created until I got ready for bed...yes, I had made my PJ pants! Whew!

I'm really glad that I tried it.  I do think it has helped me hone in a bit on what I really wear and what types of garments are practical for my life.  There are lots of things that I like to make...but not all of them find their way into my wearing rotation.  I think I might try this again in the fall to see what my wintery preferences are.  It's not necessarily what I thought it would be.

So...what did I wear on the first of June????  My niece got married that day, so party clothes of course! (and that's my handsome son in his party duds!  what fun!) ....and, yes, I did make both my skirt and my top!  Score!