March 29, 2012

My first skirt of the season!

Well the weather is still pretty wintery here in Portland, but I’m excited about the bits of sunshine that happen occasionally in the spring, and I’ve recently been feeling the urge to sew up some new warm weather clothes!  Most years I tend to have big plans to make lots of new skirts and dresses, which don’t end up happening… I don’t know how the rest of the year will play out, but at least I’ve made one now!

pleats wraparound skirt pleats wraparound skirt

I’ve been slowly trying to get my studio in order, and the other day I went through a giant pile of reclaimed fabrics, mostly bought by the pound at Trillium, and mostly recycled upholstery fabric samples (and other similar things, donated to Trillium by interior design showrooms)… when I came across this set of three matching canvas rectangles I got inspired to try turning them into something.  Not the best skirt-making material, with some serious wrinkles which my iron just wasn’t capable of smoothing out, but I’m still pretty darn happy with the finished result!

pleats wraparound skirt pleats wraparound skirt

The skirt was inspired by the photo of this skirt from Interweave, which I came across on Pinterest last year, but I made mine with no pattern, just improvising and constantly trying it on as I did each step.  I just kept resewing the lines of the panels, curving them in more three times until the fit was good; not the most efficient way to do things, but it works for me, hah!

I started out my making a basic 3-panel wraparound skirt out of the three fabric pieces, but I made one side significantly longer than the other side.  I put buttons at the two top corners, as I would in a normal wraparound skirt – you can see below the top pearl button, and the arrow points to where the inner button is, holding up the inside corner.

pleats wraparound skirt

Then, while wearing it, I made the folds and marked all the spots where the buttonholes needed to be, for them to line up – three holes per button – and sewed the buttonholes:

pleats wraparound skirt

I put it on again, and figured out the best exact placements for each of the three buttons by putting in safety pins where the buttons would go, then sewed them on, ironed some more to really crease those pleats, and tah dah!

pleats wraparound skirt

My new spring skirt!  I wore it out last night, in the cold rain, with thick tights and tall boots… can’t wait till it’s actually spring weather and it makes more sense to wear out!

pleats wraparound skirt pleats wraparound skirt

Oh yeah, one last thing I’m considering doing… I may tack down the pleats in a few spots so they stay in place better.  And now that I’ve made this one, I plan to make some more similar ones, in better skirt fabrics.  Wraparound skirts are so easy to make, since you don’t need to worry about zippers or anything complicated like that (I am not an experienced sewer – zippers are scary!), and this is a fun twist that only takes a little more time and effort than a basic wraparound design.  Yay!

Filed under: clothing,skirts — leethal @ 4:06 pm

March 21, 2012

Remixed pattern #8: Either/Or

(edited to remove pricing information that’s no longer true)Either/Or!

Either/Or pdf cover Either/Or

This final pattern is either fingerless mitts or full mittens, all constructed from the thumbs out.  Knit modularly – no seaming or sewing at all, also no short rows, and an extra bonus is very little casting-on and no bind-off at all.  This design is ideal for striping, as you can see!

Either/Or

There are 3 different versions of the pattern – short fingerless, which is the quickest, uses the least yardage, and is slightly easier than the rest, I think:

Either/Or Either/Or

Long fingerless, on which the hand and wrist sides are the same length so they can be worn in either direction; the tweed striped ones at the top are this style as well:

Either/Or

And full mittens:

Either/Or

All versions can be made in any weight yarn, and there are 2 different wrist pattern options as well – garter edged and all garter stitch.  Lots of variation possibility based on yarn choice as well, of course!  These were made from a bulky recycled spun (navajo plied) wool yarn that I made from a recycled striped sweater, made to have long, non-repeating stripes:

Either/Or

Below are a 2×2 row striped sample and a 2×4 row striped sample – all 4 yarns used were recycled.  2 different unraveled tweed sweater worsted weight yarns for the first one; a wooly aran weight yarn in the second one, with stripes of leftover yarn that was used for my striped mask.

Either/Or Either/Or

This one is also a recycled yarn, around a fingering weight wool, with a few stripes of some Black Trillium sock yarn stuck in the garter stitch stripe section:

Either/Or

And here’s a commercial self-striping yarn sample – Classic Elite Yarns Liberty Wool (you can see more photos and details about each of these samples on the projects pages on ravelry, by the way):

Either/Or

And then there are my handspun mittens, made with this bulky yarn I spun awhile back.  Not so obvious with the stripes here, but I sure do love them!!

Either/Or

Like my drum photos? Pete and I had fun with these!

Either/Or Either/Or

Rocking out!!

Either/Or Either/Or

Either/Or Either/Or

So… you wanna see my design process for these?  This pattern was a bit of a bitch at first, until I thought up what came to be my construction method… At first, my concept was just to design mitts and/or mittens worked from the thumbs out.  After that, I didn’t know what to do… so this was my first prototype:

Either/Or design attempt Either/Or design attempt

Lobster claw!  After that failed, I tried another mitten, this time with short rows.  Both of these ended along the other side, closing the whole thing up with a 3-needle bind-off down the whole side.  Totally different methods, similar lobster claw-esque shape result:

Either/Or design attempt

I started brainstorming about this design way back when I first started the ebook designs, and all the tries and failures were spread out over time, as it kept getting bumped until it became my last pattern and I had to focus and figure it out.  So, after releasing the 7th pattern, that’s just what I did – I spent a couple days straight doing nothing but problem solving on this concept, switching to fingerless attempts, completely re-thinking the whole construction.  No more working out to the other side and seaming it up; the idea finally came to me to divide the top and bottom into separate parts and work it all seamlessly… So my 3rd attempt turned out like this:

Either/Or design attempt Either/Or design attempt

Semi-success!  No more lobster claw!  This was finally on the way to my final design, though it was actually much more complex.  This generation of prototype was asymmetrical, so there was a separate pattern for left and right hands… The fourth try was similar to the third, but actual less successful:

Either/Or design attempt Either/Or design attempt

So after that failure, I rethought the increase pattern completely and came up with a much simpler design, which turned into my fifth prototype, and which was basically my final design!  Yay!!

Either/Or design prototype mitt prototype

When this was finished I was high-fiving the world like crazy, knowing all that work had paid off because this was exactly what I’d been working toward that whole time!  It was like I’d been circling around it, making it much more complicated than it needed to be, but it was the road I had to take to make it where I needed to go.  So there you go, my insane design process. To bring it back to my actual pattern, here are a few process shots of the design:

Either/Or Either/Or

It’s worked in the round until it fits around your hand, then the top of the hand is worked from there, and the wrist comes last. The mitten is grafted closed at the top.

Either/Or Either/Or Either/Or

The side sections (hand top and wrist) are joined together with some picked up stitches where they connect, preventing holes on the side:

Either/Or Either/Or

Either/Or Either/Or Either/Or

Now I’ll leave you with a photo of the mitts that I really like… happy knitting!

Either/Or

Filed under: knitting,Remixed,self-publishing — leethal @ 6:23 pm

March 19, 2012

February photos a day!

I did this photo a day project thing for fun in February, over on my Tumblr, so I’ve gathered my favorite shots from the month together in one place over here.  A bit belated, but you know, time flies and whatnot… Here are Banzo’s paws held up by Pete’s hand, just how she likes it (weird cat!) for February 3rd: hands.  And our trivia answer sheet, along with some whisper sheets, at Monday trivia night for February 20th: handwriting.

February 3rd February 20th

For February 2nd: words, I shot my buddy rocking out to some Lionel Ritchie at karaoke night:

February 2nd

Here are a couple food shots for you… an awesomely satisfying burrito from Tecos (on SE Powell) for February 27th: something you ate, and some fabulous mac n cheese from Hedge House for February 6th: dinner:

February 27th February 6th

Around my house, we’ve got a shot of my studio closet (it looks a bit messy, but, sadly, this is the neatest view in my entire studio) for February 12th: inside your closet, and then February 22nd: where you work – because of the current state of aforementioned overwhelmingly messy studio, this sofa in my living room is where most of my work gets done:

February 12th February 22nd

Here are shots for February 21st: a fave photo of you, and February 25th: green, which is a salad on a painted table at American Dream pizza:

February 21st February 25th

And lastly, February 13th: blue and February 10th: self portrait, for which my caption read: I blue myself.

February 13th February 10th

If you want to check out all the photos, you can scroll through them on tumblr here.  This was fun, so maybe I’ll do another month like this some time in the future – anyone know of any fun photo game project things?

And a quick note to knitters – a main reason I’ve been so absent here is because I’ve been hard at work building the final Remixed pattern, which will be released to Remixers later tonight!  The blog post will happen later this week, so for now you can see info on my site here.

Filed under: personal,photos,portland stuff — leethal @ 9:01 pm
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