Adventures in Hemstitching

Like a lot of people around the world, I woke up this morning and was pretty surprised to see that citizens of the UK voted to leave the EU. All I can say is that the people have spoken and I hope this ends up turning out well for all.

On to less political/hot topics … hemstitching! A few years ago, I purchased Fine Machine Sewing by Carol Ahles at a local sewing shop. To be honest, I bought it because of the pictures, not because I had a burning interest in heirloom sewing, which I associate with christening outfits and dresses for young girls.

But lately I’ve been thinking about how to give my sewing projects a little more oomph. I briefly investigated an embroidery machine, but I think if I were to embroider it would be in small doses i.e. by hand and very discreet. Plus, it’s another machine that requires specialty threads and stabilizers, meaning a whole new line item of cost.

I started researching embellishment techniques I could do by hand or with one of my sewing machines, everything from smocking to sashiko. And then I remembered Ahles book in my sewing library…et voila!

As I reintroduced myself to the text and pictures, I noticed many of the photos were of store-bought plain linen blouses that had been embellished by the author. I enjoy making blouses, but did I want to practice machine hemstitching on something I’d spent hours creating, only to ruin it with a poorly executed pivot? After all, hemstitching creates holes in a garment, holes you cannot hide or fix. The holes are created with a specialty needle called a wing needle, which has “wings” on either side of the tip that push fibers to the side and create a very visible opening. I decided the best course of action was to do a bit of practice on some linen in my stash and then follow-up with some practice on a store-bought garment.

I scored this week at our (semi) local Savers: an ecru Liz Claiborne linen blouse, size medium.

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My original plan was to dye the blouse navy blue as there’s a grease stain on the back shirt-tail and I thought the ecru color would wash me out, but I guess ecru is one of my “colors” — it really flattered my complexion more than I thought it would. So plan B was to keep it undyed and remove the stain with my Dawn dish detergent and a sturdy brush, which never lets me down. If Dawn can take crude oil off sea birds,  it can handle oil on clothing, I say. The other benefit to plan B was that mistakes would be harder to see on an ecru blouse hemstitched with white thread than a navy blue blouse stitched in white.

I decided to use a Parisian hemstitch, which is commonly used on linen napkins and table cloths, as well as clothing. It’s elegant and subdued, and it was easier getting a good result pivoting around the very visible collar point. I did quite a bit of practice on scrap linen before I attempted the cuffs:

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I would have liked to stitch around the whole cuff but I would have cut into the buttonholes. I noticed halfway through the first cuff that I’d inadvertently reset the stitch length and width I planned to use to the machine’s preset stitch length/widths. Grr. But I was committed at this juncture, so I carried on.

Next, the collar:

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Here, I noticed that the holes were less pronounced and the thread was thicker on the inside row of stitching than they were on the cuffs. It was okay though; I liked the result and I managed to pivot around those collar points like a pro. 😉

Emboldened by my success with the collar, I decided to add hemstitching down the sides of the front plackets:

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I was very happy with how this turned out. The holes were visible and the thread wasn’t bunched up as much as it was on the collar and cuffs. It looked like true hemstitching.

Here’s a picture of the “refashioned” blouse:

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(You’ll have to click on the photo to zoom it; the stitching isn’t very visible at this resolution.)

I’m very happy with how this turned out. I don’t think anyone will walk up to me and say, “Wow, what fantastic hemstitching! Where did you get that blouse?” but it really gives a very simple blouse a much more elegant look that *I* will appreciate.

My plan now is to continue sleuthing thrift shops for linen blouses that I can play with before I attempt sewing my dream blouse: white linen hemstitched in delft blue thread. I would also like a French blue blouse hemstitched in white … and gray one, too.

I also scored in a different area at Saver’s this week … I found a copy of Connie Long’s Easy Guide to Sewing Linings, which is out of print and can be expensive on Amazon. I got it for $2.99. :)

McCalls M6885 Shirtdress

McCalls M6885 Shirtdress

McCalls M6885 Shirtdress

McCalls M6885 Shirtdress

McCalls M6885 shirtdress

McCalls 6885 Shirtdress

M6885 McCalls Shirtdress

Over the past few months I’ve been buying an awful lot of shirtdress patterns, so when McCall’s put the word out they were doing a sewalong this spring, I was all in. I don’t wear a lot of dresses in general, but shirtdresses are a different matter. I like their tailored look and they’re an empty canvas to dress up or down. On top of this, I love sewing tailored shirts so it was the perfect project for me to fill in a hole in my wardrobe.

Here are the details:

Pattern: McCall’s M6885, a semi-fitted, pullover shirtdress with a pointed collar, collar/front bands, button-up placket, front pleat and narrow hem. I sewed view D with patch pockets, tie ends, long sleeves with button tab, and a shaped hemline.

Size: I cut a 14 at the bust and graded out to a 16 at the waist and hips.

Fabric: A blue chambray-like cotton fabric from my stash. It may be a blend of cotton and linen. Nice and lightweight, perfect for summer. Washes and presses beautifully. Where did I buy this? No idea, but my guess is That $1.99 Fabric Store in Auburn, MA. In the pictures above, the blue IRL is more of the darker blue than the lighter blue in some of the shots.

Notions: Gutermann thread, Pro-Weft Supreme Light fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply, metal buttons from Joann Fabrics.

Sewing Details: I created my own order of construction with this project. I wrote out every step and broke the project down over five days, starting with cutting out the pattern and washing my fabric and ending with sewing on the last button. I made a few changes to the suggested order of construction that the pattern sheet provided; for instance, I worked on all the smallest pieces first, like the sleeve tabs, pockets, and collars. Having my own order of construction really helped keep me focused and kept me from making dumb mistakes because when I was done with that day’s tasks, I was DONE. No late night sewing mishaps for me!

The one thing that I didn’t catch until the very end was how McCall’s wants you to sew the sleeve tab button until the very end of the project. It would have been easier to do this when the sleeve tab was being sewed on the flat sleeve, especially if you use a sewing machine to sew on buttons, as I do. Also sewing the buttonhole at the bottom of the front placket was difficult with all the fabric bunching up at the bottom. If I make this pattern a second time, I’ll take my chances by sewing buttonholes on the placket earlier in the process.

Meg Carter at McCall’s had a great tutorial that helped me a lot with constructing the front placket.

My goal was to create a garment with a very clean finish on the inside. Shoulder seams are French seamed, then topstitched from the outside … I guess sort of mock felled seam? The seams down the side are also French seamed. For the armhole seams, I trimmed and overcast them with my sewing machine; I had already clipped into the seam allowance, making a felled seam a little more difficult, so I took a bit of a shortcut here. The dress was finished with a narrow hem.

One major thing I changed was eliminating the side ties. I wanted to have the option of using my own belts, so instead I made thread chains by zig-zagging over pearl cotton from my embroidery box, then sewed the thread chains into the side seams. These loops will keep looser belts from falling down my waist. Over the next couple weeks I’m going to make a few fabric belts in different colors.

So, what about fit? The shoulder/bust fit was perfect. I wish it were a little looser around my bottom, but I am losing weight so by the time we leave for vacation in August, I think it’ll fit perfectly down there. The problem is in the arms. I should have done a muslin because then I could have done a bicep adjustment; the fit is just a little too slim-fitting for my tastes. Lesson learned. I think I would also like the dress about 2″ longer as the side reveals a bit more leg than I’m used to.

Another lesson learned: do not assume white tailors chalk disappears. It didn’t on this dress. I had used wax-based chalk to mark the wrong side of the fabric and was horrified when, after sewing on the pockets, I noticed a big greasy looking “x” on each of them.  I was able to get most of stain out with Dawn Dish Liquid and a toothbrush, but I can still see a faint “x” on both of them. I guess no one will notice except me, or anyone who finds my boobs especially noteworthy.

At any rate, it was a satisfying project and I know I’ll get lots of wear out of it later this summer during our trip to Europe. :)

Sewing projects for May

I completed two sewing projects this month, not bad in that it was a super busy month around here.

First up is McCalls 6886, which has been a popular pattern with sewing bloggers over the last few months. It was a fairly straightforward project with the only challenge being keeping those stripes lined up at the seams, which I managed to do fairly well. The only thing I changed about the pattern was binding the neckline with a strip of fabric cut on the cross-grain. I left one shoulder unsewn before I did the binding so I could seam everything up neatly once the binding was attached. I adore hot pink and bright orange together. When I spotted this fabric in the bargain bin at my local Joann’s, I bought all they had left. I still have enough left over for a t-shirt.

This is a size 14 at the shoulders/bust, and I graded out to a 16 at the waist and hips. This would have been fine in a heavier ponte knit, but I used a thin pique knit that shows every lump and bump underneath. That said, I’m planning to bring this dress on our trip to Europe later this summer when I’ll be at my slimmest/fittest, so I’m not too worried about it. Also: Spanx. 😉

McCalls 6886

 

 

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Next up for your viewing pleasure is yet another tailored shirt, this one made out of some of-so-soft fine-wale cotton corduroy I had in my stash. The pattern is also McCalls (M6649, a Laura Ashley design now OOP) that was part of the Craftsy class called One Pattern, Many Looks. Again, I cut out a size 14 for the shoulders/bust and graded out to a 16 around the waist/hips. This pattern includes separate pieces for B/C/D cup sizes, so I chose the C cup. 

The pattern directions were not the best on this pattern, but it really wasn’t an issue for me because I’ve developed my own “order of construction” based on Pam Howard’s excellent Craftsy class on sewing tailored shirts. I also recently purchased David P. Coffin’s class on shirtmaking details and picked up a couple neat tricks for turning collars and cuffs.

I had always wondered how my grandmother’s hemostats (she was an RN) ended up in the sewing box I inherited from her. Then I saw Coffin’s trick of using them to fold and hold the seam allowances while turning a collar or cuffs. Absolutely brilliant! I’ve never had sharper points on my collars and cuffs until now. I wonder if this was a trick my grandmother knew, although she was more of a knitter than a sewist.

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I’m pretty happy with the shirt. The darts in the front and the back flatter my figure, and the fit in the shoulders is spot-on. The only thing that was surprising was seeing how the C-cup barely contained my bust. The buttons aren’t straining or anything like that, but the fabric is a bit too form-fitting for my tastes. Next time I’ll use the D-cup piece to give myself more room in this area.

Speaking of buttons, I chose snaps for this garment. I wanted a more casual look with this garment, and I think the pearl snaps help.

I’ll probably pack this shirt away for the fall.

McCalls 6649

McCalls 6649

I picked up my 2nd Kelly sweater after a long hiatus and it’s coming along nicely. I’m still surprised how much I enjoy knitting with two strands of mohair and silk! You’d think it would be fussy and a pain, but it’s actually not much of a bother at all. Plus all the fluff hides wonky stitches and it looks beautiful on the needles. I’ve finished the sleeves (I always knit sleeves first) and am nearly done with armhole shaping on the back piece. Then all that’s left are the front pieces plus the finishing details … I’m hoping to have this done by July. I started this sweater around the same time last year, planning to have it finished for Christmas 2015. So it goes.

Blogging has definitely taken a back seat lately. Our trip to Europe this summer is taking a lot of coordination as we’ll be traveling with my brother and his wife and visiting with my husband’s family in various locales. Then my husband is starting a new job in Boston in a couple weeks. Last week we were out to dinner and he mentioned he was thinking about getting some shirts custom made. “I hope you’re thinking made by your wife,” I said. So yeah, that’s on the plate now, along with the sun-blocking drapes I need to make for our bedroom and the clothes I want to make for our travels this summer. My son is now as tall as I am and eats constantly; there are days where I feel like I’m a short-order cook at Denny’s flipping burgers, pouring waffle batter, or kneading bread dough. (Wait, I don’t think they knead dough at Denny’s, but never mind.)

I’ve been hearing a lot of “blogging is dead.” I have to admit, I think about shutting Hail Britannia down, but something stops me. I guess it’s that I’ve been doing this since 2008 and that I do it for my own amusement … there’s no rule that says I have to blog every day or every week. It’s okay if I take a break. Still, these days I’m much more apt to post something on Instagram because I can do it in a minute versus this. THIS, what I just wrote, took me over an hour because my computer is crap and it struggles with cutting and pasting links to my Flickr photos. I feel like I have to carve out an hour or two from my schedule to blog, whereas Instagram takes me seconds.

I don’t know … guess I’m rambling here. At any rate, I’m still here and have plans to write more about what I’m making and doing. I hope you’ll still be around too. But if you want more frequent updates, or are curious whether or not I’m still living and breathing, Instagram is probably the best place to check. :)

Hope you’re enjoying this glorious spring!

Kwik Sew K4032 fleece jacket

 

First, a very happy 90th birthday to HM The Queen. I love the portraits that Annie Leibowitz captured of her with her family, especially the one with Princess Anne. Just lovely!

Yet another sewing project, Kwik Sew 4032, view B. I’m not sure what possessed me to attempt sewing a zippered fleece jacket as good quality ones are fairly priced around here. I think it had something to do with making my son a blanket out of the gray fleece, which was surprisingly good quality–despite it coming from Joann Fabrics of all places–and wondering how it would look with my favorite spring green color. Thus, a fleece jacket was born.

I had nothing but trouble with this project from the beginning, mostly operator error, although for the first time I was baffled by Kwik Sew’s instructions i.e. why was I instructed to cut out three pockets instead of the two I needed? and some confusing graphics. The parts I thought would be bearish — the collar, zipper, and topstitching — ended up turning out okay, while other parts — those darn zippered pockets! the hems! — had me with a seam ripper in hand for hours. Do I need to point out how difficult it is to rip out stitches in fleece, especially stretch/zig-zag?

Despite all the challenges I had here, it turned out well enough to wear on a brisk hike or an early morning bike ride. It is cozy warm and I like how it can be zippered up around my neck to block out wind. My husband gave me the highest compliment by saying it looked store-bought. Before he could ask me to make him one, I said I was retiring from the fleece garment making business. If I sew fleece again, it will be to make blankets, or maybe a simple ski hat or mittens.

Another caution: this is a unisex pattern but duh! I forgot and cut out a size medium. It is HUGE on me. I shortened the sleeve by a good inch on the pattern but still had to take another couple inches off while sewing. I don’t mind the extra room around the shoulders and middle as I like room to layer … just a word of warning if you’re looking for a snugger fit.

We’re off to Connecticut today to spend some time with my family. Have a good weekend!

 

 

Sewaholic Granville

Sewaholic Granville

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So! It’s finally spring in these parts, but I’m still obsessed with sewing blouses. I mixed things up by using a new (to me) pattern, the Sewaholic Granville. What appeals to me about Sewaholic patterns is they’re designed for women who are pear-shaped … smaller on top, curvier on the bottom. I wouldn’t say I’m small on top because I’m full-busted and frequently have to make full bust adjustments on my patterns, but I do have narrow shoulders so to get a good fit with blouses and dresses, I often have to buy a very small size to get the shoulder fit right, then adjust for my fuller bust and hips. My KwikSew blouses fit me well on top, but I’ve noticed there’s a extra fabric pooling at the small of my back and the hem could be looser around the hips. My hope was that the Granville would fit me better straight out of the “envelope.”

I put “envelope” in quotes because this was a pdf pattern. I’m just going to say it. I hate PDF patterns. I know some dressmakers love them (instant gratification) but I’ve recently made a resolution to not use them anymore because printing, taping, cutting, tracing … yuck, no thanks. That said, putting the Sewaholic pattern together went as well as it could despite my cat “hell-ping” me on the sewing table.

I made a size 12 with no modifications. I measured some key points on the flat pattern, figured the 12 would work, and started cutting. The fabric? Ok, confession. It’s quilting cotton. I stopped making clothes out of quilting cotton years ago, but when I saw this print while shopping with my mom this winter, I couldn’t resist. Pink and orange (my favorite color combo), and it reminded me of a Liberty print. It was also kind of loud. And my mother hated it. But it was $2.99 and had a nice hand, so all wins for me! (Yes, that my mother hates something usually makes me want it more. We have totally dissimilar tastes.)

I skimmed the directions, which were fine, but I mostly did my own thing based on what I learned in watching Pam Howard’s Craftsy class on shirtmaking. However, I did not flat-fell the seams … instead, I overlocked the seam allowance, then caught them with topstitching on the other side. Not the finest shirtmaking technique, but I figured if I sewed the pattern again, I’d do it with a higher quality fabric and do it right.

I was mostly happy with the results. The sleeve needs more ease, so I made a new pattern piece that includes a full-bicep adjustment, which should give me some extra wiggle room without changing anything else about the fit, which was perfect. I plan to make a couple more Granvilles with this adjusted sleeve. Stay tuned. Some other areas I need to work on include smoothing out the join of the collar band to the shirt and taking more care with the tower placket on the cuff. This was my first tower placket, and because the fabric wasn’t that tightly woven — quilting cotton, remember? — it didn’t come out that hot. 

I finished another sewing project last night, which I’ll post about later this week or next. My next sewing adventure is something easy … a pink and orange striped knit dress with the super-popular McCall’s M6886 pattern. This I plan to wear during our trip to Germany this summer. :)

Summer sewing with McCalls m6886

In other news … I’ve been working flat-out on our start-up business, Renegade Writer Press. Earlier this week, we released our first official title. More on this later, but reviews are coming in and they’re great. My business partner (and friend, let’s be honest) did a fantastic job getting this book done in record time. 

I hope you’re having a wonderful spring, too!

Well hello there!

PicMonkey Collage

 

PicMonkey Collage

 

 

It has been awhile, hasn’t it? I’ve been wanting to post again, but then when I think about how to start, it fills me with this vague anxiousness. So I’m just gonna jump back in and start talking. :)

A lot going on in my corner of the world right now. Some of it isn’t great–my mother is ill so I’ve been spending two days a week down in CT caring for her–but most of it’s pretty good and holding steady. The highlights:

  • My long-time writing partner and I started a publishing company on January 1, which is keeping me (us) super busy. I enjoy using the left side of my brain to run the business instead of focusing strictly on writing, which I don’t particularly enjoy on its own.
  • Since my work hours are more regular, I use the weekends to work on my sewing. I really enjoy sewing blouses, and that blue one above is the best I’ve made so far.
  • Knitting I mostly do at night while watching my TV programs or during a lunch break, which means I’m not knitting as much as I used to. The hat above is one of my favorite knits of the winter, the Mortice Lock Hat. I’ve also been working on a Isabell Kraemer cardigan (“Dexter“), which is coming along nicely but slowly. I’m using some Drops alpaca in a silvery gray…it’s going to look great against the blue of my new blouse! More on this knit later. I’m also trying to catch up on gift knitting…a few babies born this winter are in need of my craft. 😉
  • I completed the Whole 30 diet in January, which is why I included that slice of pizza above. I don’t think I lost weight, but one thing I did learn the hard way is that my body does not like wheat. I’ve suspected this for awhile, but it is good to know for sure that wheat causes me such problems. I was also able to kick my sugar habit, woo hoo!
  • My son is heading to high school this fall, which has sent me into a tizzy because I swear, he just graduated from kindergarten. This week was spent choosing classes, and I’m pleased he’ll be taking Latin as his foreign language (he has taken Spanish since grade school). I met with one of the Latin teachers a few weeks ago, and she seemed really passionate about her class…my fingers are crossed she’ll be his teacher!
  • And the big news is that we’re heading to Europe this summer for two weeks! I’m very excited about this because we’ll be spending time with my husband’s family in Munich, as well as traveling to Berlin with my brother and his wife. I’ve never been to Berlin and am looking forward to exploring the museums and historical sites.

Spring seems to have arrived early here in Massachusetts. Bulbs started popping up through the earth mid-February, and today it was in the low 70s! The rest of the week will be cooler, but definitely spring-y.

I’m glad to be back and will post more detail about some of the projects I’ve been working on. What are you up to?

Rrrrrrrrrip … done!

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That’s my Garland Yoke sweater. It took me a little over an hour to rip it out and re-ball the yarn, which I did while watching Project Runway. Enough time had passed between my finishing knitting the sweater and deciding that I’d never wear it so that ripping it out wasn’t painful — in fact, it was very satisfying. Perhaps it’s because I enjoy the act of knitting more than the creation of something knitted, if that makes sense.

I added an afternoon walk yesterday to my daily list of mood boosters and even though it was gray and stodgy outside, the fresh air helped and I was less moody by the end of the evening. Last night I slept well and deeply, so I’m going to take another walk in a few minutes. Today it’s crisp and bright outside.

I was going to post a photo of how Winston greeted us when O and I arrived home this afternoon, but on second thought, the photo may be disturbing to some. He had caught a mouse in the bathroom and couldn’t seem to understand why it wasn’t playing with him anymore. We called my husband downstairs to show him the great job Winston had done — Mr. Hail Britannia is not a big fan of cats, but he does respect a good mouser. Our previous cats have all been pacifists, much to his dismay. Winston is slowly earning his respect.

Rrrrrrrrrrrip!!!

 

 

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The dark mornings of autumn get to me. I was hoping to escape the doldrums this year, but no such luck. I’ve dragged my full-spectrum lightbox out of a corner, increased my Vitamin D and fish oil intake, and am doing everything I can to stay cheerful. That includes upping my knitting. Any other tips for beating the autumn blues?

I finished my Garland Yoke sweater a month ago. And I knew within a moment of pulling it over my head I’d never wear it. First, it’s much too heavy (worsted-weight wool). It’s also huge on me, and the neckline does my narrow shoulders no favors. So I put it aside and am waiting until I feel good enough to start frogging it. Tonight may be the night.

Kwik Sew 3614 shorts … and September!



Way back in July I noticed a dearth of shorts in my wardrobe. I’m not a big fan of shorts … specifically, I’m not a big fan of how shorts look on me. Mostly because I don’t tan at all and my white legs scare people, but also because I don’t like wearing anything higher than just above my knee. Since I have a spiffy new sewing machine, I decided to make some shorts that met my requirements and I feel comfortable wearing on the hotter days of summer.

Enter Kwik Sew 3614, a pattern I first read about on Sewn. Elizabeth had mentioned how members of Pattern Review raved about the fly construction instruction on these shorts, and after making a couple pairs, I have to agree — fly fronts can be tricky, but it’s smooth sailing with this pattern.

My first pair was constructed out of lavender-colored cotton twill I purchased a few years ago from Fabric Place. I traced and cut a size L and followed the directions for view A (the longest version) exactly, making no modifications. The shorts came out well and I’ve worn them a lot this summer. My only dislikes were having hook and eye closures on the closure tab. I decided with my next pair I’d use a button and buttonhole.

My second pair are the ones I’m wearing in the photos above. I can’t remember where I got the fabric, a navy blue cotton twill … either Joann’s or Sewfisticated Fabrics in Framingham. The button/buttonhole closure works much better. For future shorts I plan to use a contrasting facing on the waistband, as well as softer pocket fabric. I used matching twill to make pockets for both pairs of shorts. They’re fine, but maybe a little bulkier than I’d like.

This is a great pattern and I will definitely get my money’s worth from it as I have plans for olive, white, and red shorts for next summer.

Since I took a bit of a blog break for the last six weeks, here’s what else is going on. My mother and I took a week-long trip to central Maine in August and had a wonderful time. I didn’t take any pictures (bah!) except for a shot of my yarn haul from Halcyon Yarn in Bath.  I’ll do a run down of what I purchased in a separate post.

I’ve been a bit down because my father and stepmother are going through a painful divorce. It’s not a bitter one, just very sad because of the circumstances. I’m hoping that once the smoke clears, things will get better.

Then my husband’s car died. We were down to one car for the last few years, so it has been necessary to do some car shopping. It looks like I’ll be getting a new VW Jetta by the end of the week. It’s funny because VW was not on my “car-buying radar” until I rented one a couple weeks ago and fell in love. Even better, my son loves it and my husband, while not a fan of practical four-door sedans, admits that it’s a smooth, responsive ride.

And oh, that cat you see above? That’s Winston. I’l write more about him in another post, but we decided after a year of having no cats it was time to welcome a new cat into our home … and hearts. We adore Winston … he is a sweet, lovable, friendly guy. And even better,  he doesn’t chase my yarn.

What have you been up to this summer? Are you glad it’s September?

Pebble Beach Shawl

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I decided to heck with it, I’ll photograph my Pebble Beach Shawl on a wooden hanger, heat be damned!

I’m very happy with how this turned out. The pattern shows off the gradient wool to its fullest, and its airy design complements the colors, which make me think of a tropical sea against a white, sandy beach. It’ll be a perfect shawl to wear next spring. :)

The pattern is brilliant … I usually gravitate toward charted lace patterns, but Helen Stewart does her patterns in spreadsheet form, which works for my left-brain. I wouldn’t call it an “easy” pattern, but a careful beginner would have no trouble following along and obtaining a beautiful result.

My only frustration was with my initial choice of knitting needles. I was using one of my generic Chinese circulars, and the metal was far too slippery for the wool so I went out and splurged on an Addi Lace Turbo … ahh. I find the Addi Lace needles have the perfect amount of grippiness for lace knitting.