Tuesday, October 23, 2012

autumn sweaters

One of my favorite things about fall is breaking out all the comfy cozy sweaters. Now that I know how to knit my own it's just that much better.

My newest finish is the Solstice Cardigan by Cecily Glowik MacDonald knit up in some lovely Plucky Knitter Rustic. This was such an enjoyable knit and I think this one will get lots of wear on cool, crisp days like this. You can find a link to the pattern and more of my own thoughts on my Ravelry page.

This one I actually started LAST October but just finished a few weeks ago. Let's just say it wasn't the most pleasurable knitting experience, but in the end I'm glad it's finished and I didn't torch it the way I had fantasized about so many times during the knitting process. The pattern is called Coastal Hoodie and I used one of my favorite yarn bases, madelinetosh merino cashmere nylon sport weight. 

I am loving the finished sweater so I guess all of the headaches were worth it. It's soft and squishy and perfect for throwing over a tee and jeans. Not the greatest photos, but you get the idea.

Are you knitting anything fun right now?  I have another sweater or two on the needles but right now I've got the urge to cast on every hat, cowl and pair of mitts I see!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

the weekender goes to sewing summit

I'm home now from an absolutely fabulous weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah at the second (annual?) Sewing Summit. It was a tremendous experience to finally be able to meet so many kindred sewing spirits in the flesh. So many great classes were offered, I got in lots of knitting time and my first "me" trip  away from my family was a great success. Olivia and Lucy missed me but they were good girls for their papa and I'm pretty sure he missed me too. My mom helped out a lot too so I even got to come home to a clean house with fresh folded laundry. Ahhhhhhhh.

In case you hadn't been bombarded with my spamming of this bag on Instagram or seen me parading it shamelessly around Sewing Summit, I wanted to share my Weekender. I am really quite proud of it. It was of course completely inspired by Elizabeth's magnificent quilt-as-you-go version, which I coveted the moment I lay eyes on it. I'd had the pattern by Amy Butler in my stash for years but had heard all sorts of nasty things about it's difficulty so I avoided it like the plague. But as Sewing Summit approached I started feeling a little lame for not making anything handmade to travel with. Then I saw Amber's awesome version and I decided to take the plunge.

I won't lie. It really was hard. Now that it's done and I love every bit of it, I'm so happy I decided to go through with it. It served me well on the trip and now I think it's going to be the perfect knitting tote, with lots of room for a sweater WIP as well as needles and notions. 

I followed Elizabeth's modifications of using cotton duck and batting instead of all that scary interfacing. The only thing I did differently was to sew together simple patchwork panels and straight-line quilt it all together. That's the simple and fun part. Attaching the piping and zipper wasn't so bad either, even for someone with zipper-phobia like me. But when it came time to sew it all together - that's when the expletives came out. I think I broke about ten needles? I also didn't love the lining assembly.  It seemed like too much extra fabric and other Weekender veterans seemed to have the same issues when we compared notes. But all in all I feel like it was a sort of sewing rite of passage and a completely satisfying project that will get lots of use and love.

The moral of this story is that if you've been contemplating making a Weekender but haven't yet - do it.
And if you're thinking about going to Sewing Summit next year? Do that too.