I’ve used the same pattern (Jalie 3243 – Pull-on Pants) I’ve used for several other pairs of pants. My weight and shape have been relatively constant for the past year so once I worked out the details I had a pattern for pants that fit so I just keep making them.
The best part of the project is I can cut out the pants, sew them up, and wear them without any fussing. I know the length of elastic for the waist, the inseam measurement. Gain or lose weight and the measurements will change. However, right now I have a cut/sew pattern that works.
You can’t see the details – two jean-shaped pockets sewn to the front, two back pockets, an elasticized waist. That’s all there is to these pants.
I cut them out on Thursday. Got most of the construction done yesterday morning. Finished them this morning and I’m wearing them this afternoon.
I started this textile wall art piece on Jan 23. I managed to get the basic appliqués in place and then I was stumped. Before I could embellish the raw edge shapes I had to figure out some way of stitching “stems” for the “flowers”. I thought about cutting narrow strips of various green fabrics, using yarn (yarn couching – using decorative stitches to tack the yarn in place), even stitching over very narrow ribbon. The issue was the colours I’d used in the vegetation at the bottom of the piece which limited my options. I spent time sporadically playing around with decorative stitches but nothing seemed to set up the effect I was after. I had no suitable green/brown yarn in my stash. And trying to force ribbon into gentle curves, even if I could come up with a suitable colour, wasn’t going to work, either.
After finishing a pair of black corduroy pants this morning (more about that in another post), I picked up my stitching sampler, played with a few more decorative stitches and then decided I’d just repeat rows of straight stitching! I practiced a bit. I matched thread colours with the fabric at the bottom of the hanging and started in.
This is as far as I’ve got at the moment. Those stems need small leaves of some sort – I intend to work those in last. Next will be embellishing the raw edges of each layer of the flowers to permanently attach them to the backing.
You get the idea here. The vegetation at the bottom also needs a lot more embellishing but that, too will come after I’ve worked on the flowers and flower centres.
I thought it was the COVID-19 Rapid Test Kit building that had interfered with my working on this piece. It wasn’t. It was my not knowing how to do the stems/leaves that had me stopped. I feel like I’m being creative again. Finally!
I haven’t done a lot of sewing in the last weeks but I’m still knitting in the evening. Finished these socks two nights ago. I chose the yarn because I thought the contrasts were interesting. The pattern change kept me knitting – with some yarns it’s boring – but in this case it was “I’ll just knit another few rows…”.
These socks will go into the stash – I do have plenty of blue and green socks in my drawer that I don’t need to add these to my collection.
The new pair I started is going to be predominantly yellow – I haven’t knit any yellow socks in a while.
I’m always on the lookout for interesting sock yarn. From time to time the KnitPicks catalogue has shown up at my door. I bought four skeins of the “Static” sock yarn. This one – “Allsorts” has produced an interesting sock. the pattern repeat is very long – it’s deceptive with the second colour block being navy/pink whereas the first one was navy/white.
I have a couple of wound skeins of this yarn still to be made up. I like the feel of it, smooth, slightly finer than some sock weight yarns. Nice colours.
A week ago someone mentioned Wordle to me – I hadn’t come across it on my own. In spite of my reasonable size vocabulary, I’m not great at crossword puzzles. I don’t seem to have unassociated words floating around in my head. I have lots of words in meaning units, but I can’t easily just pull out a word based on an ambiguous clue.
So I was skeptical about Wordle. Nevertheless I gave it a try.
My first go was a disaster – couldn’t even find out how to submit a word! Finally, I discovered the “ENTER” button below the keyboard. Next I discovered I couldn’t think of 5-letter words. Useless. So I did a bit of online searching and came up with some useful tips and handy word lists to start the game.
I quickly came across the “opening word” strategy – try to cover as many vowels as possible in a single word – two good words: AUDIO, and ADIEU – you’re almost certain to get at least one vowel, occasionally two. The vowels are likely in the wrong location but you’re on your way. There are a bunch of opening word selections – here’s one with some helpful starting words.
Strategy two: high frequency consonants and consonant clusters. I had to google for lists of 5-letter words with various consonant and vowel combinations – they just wouldn’t pop into my head. Once I had some lists in front of me I started coming up with words on my own. I now have lists of 3-vowel words, 2 vowel words, words using S, L, T, R, N, M, P, H – some of the most commonly used consonants. Then there are consonant clusters: CL, CR, DR, FL, FR, GL, GR, ST, STR, WR, – I’ve probably missed a few here, but you get the drift.
I read somewhere in the last day or two, don’t waste time on a final S – there seem to be no plural words so save your S for other positions in the word. Also, there can be double letters – both consonants and vowels – that can be tricky.
With my word lists at hand, I’m getting better at the game – I’ve even managed to solve it several times in 6 words, a few times in 4 words. Today’s word HUMOR I missed altogether (my 6th word ROUGH had 4 letters R, O, U, H all in the wrong location – I would never have thought of HUMOR because my spelling for the word is HUMOUR! This is an American English game.
I have no idea why but lately the socks I’ve been knitting have turned out to be a bit too long to fit comfortably into my shoes – the foot is just a bit too long so it bunches at the instep or the heel pulls up instead of sitting comfortably in place. As a result I’ve stopped wearing those socks!
I haven’t changed the needles I’m using, the yarn is sock weight, my tension hasn’t changed noticeably, I’m knitting the same number of rows for the gusset, the foot and the toe. For some reason, however, the sock feet are coming out that bit longer.
The other day I decided either to give those socks away (I put three pairs in the give-away basket – they’re practically unworn) or to shorten the foot. I decided to give shortening the foot a try.
There are two possible ways of doing that – open the toe seam and unravel the toe shaping, then remove 4 rows and reknit the toe; or cut the foot, unravel a couple of rows each side then graft the two parts together using a 3-needle cast-off (also known as the Kitchener Stitch).
I decided to try cutting and grafting.
Let me describe how I do this:
I start by picking up 32 stitches on one side of the foot and the remaining 32 stitches on the second side (being very careful to stay in the same row). I do this across the sides of the foot so I can begin and end the grafting process on the underside of the sock.
Once I have all 64 stitches on two needles I cut a stitch on the instep, and start unravelling that one row one stitch at a time.
I continue unravelling the selected row until I am able to separate the toe and the rest of the sock.
I pick up stitches 2-3 rows from the raw knit edge on both sides of the toe. I unravel back to the needles. Before going further, I shorten the loose end, and weave it in so the first stitch remains taut and the yarn tail is out of my way.
I carefully start grafting the toe to the sock using the Kitchener stitch, making sure I keep the grafting yarn loose. I work about half way across one side, adjust the tension of the grafting stitches; then carry on to the end of that pair of needles (and adjust the grafted stitch tension again).
I continue on the second side to finish the graft, adjusting the stitch tension as I go along. I anchor the grafting yarn to the first stitches of the toe and the foot, trim the yarn and weave the loose end in.
I have a finished, shorter, sock!
It takes me just under an hour to shorten one sock. Shortening the sock by unravelling the toe, taking out the 4 rows, and reknitting the toe would take at least 2 hours/sock. I’m ahead of the game by using the grafting method.
I’m now on my 4th pair.
To avoid having to do this in future, I’ve been knitting 4 fewer rows in the foot from the end of the gusset to the beginning of the toe-ing off. Although nobody has complained the gifted socks are too long, I know they must be because they’re too long for my size 8 foot! The socks I’m now knitting are 4 rows shorter and should better fit people who wear a size 7 1/2 to 8 shoe. The longer footed socks in my give away stash will be reserved for people who wear size 8 1/2-9.