Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The hair always wins

I bought a pattern to go with the red stretchy fabric I posted about buying the other day: Butterick 4789. It got decent feedback on Sewing Pattern Reviews, and it was pretty cheap at Joann's so I went for it. I'll work on it after I finish the approximately 30 million other things I've got going on right now.

I'm also bidding on some honest to goodness vintage patterns on Ebay right now, since I love the vintage look but don't actually own any vintage patterns yet. Since I am cheap I may not win any good ones, but we'll see. I'll post pics if I get any.

I posted my questions about finishing the insides of garments on Craftster and got a lot of useful feedback. Several people DO finish, and a few even say that they would never NOT finish. But, I'm still lazy, and I'm still pretty sure I will never start lining things that don't call for lining, or learn how to do french seams for anything that I don't have to finish. I may however start zig-zagging my seams to finish them, because another craftster made a pretty good case for the fact that things will probably last longer if they're at least marginally finished on the inside. Plus I guess I can use the practice.

Maybe I'll zig zag the edges of pieces before I put them together if that seems workable, because I'm really bad at zig zagging or otherwise neatly finishing seams that are already stitched, since it's such a small space to stitch on and a little hard to work around if it's not just a straight line.

I may be willing to learn flat fell seams, because they look sort of cool on the outside too, but again, I'm too lazy to start doing them all the time.

Anyhow last night I was too tired to stand at the ironing board and turn up hems on the wrap dress and the eyelet dress to finish up, so I started an easy knitting project instead. I wanted something I could do without thinking, while I'm waiting for things or riding in the car or watching TV or whatever.

I'm going to need a white wrap or sweater of some sort to go with the shirt dress that I hope to do next. I always always need a wrap. Mostly because it's always sort of chilly at some point in the day in San Francisco, if not all day every day like lately, and like it will be all summer most liekely. And even if I go somewhere warm, then I freeze indoors from the air conditioning. I used to hate that about going places in Texas during the summer, you could catch pneumonia just from the extreme temperature changes from sweltering outside to teeth-chattering cold inside.

I've been saving Uncommon Threads on the DIY network to my DVR to watch every day and picked up a few good ideas for projects. Recently I saw the episode about making shrugs into other, more complicated garments and really liked the idea of the "shracket." Actually I hate the name because it's hard to say and sounds a little like a combo of shmuck and racket (I imagine some mealy mouthed gangster saying, "That shmuck fell for the numbers racket we ran last year!" or something. Whatever that even means. Can you tell I watch too much film noir and gangster fiction?), but the garment itself seems easy and pretty quick and cool looking. I didn't want to crochet it though because I don't want the stitch to be so open so I'm going to do a knit version instead using some Bernat Baby Boucle yarn in white I got for $2.99 a skein at Joann's yesterday.

Here's how I'll make it. I'm knitting a long rectangle in regular stockinette, long enough to reach from one elbow across my shoulders and back to the other elbow, and wide enough to wrap snugly around my upper arm. I'm using a size 7 or 8 needle (I don't know which it is but I'm pretty sure it's one of them). Then I'll stitch up the sleeves almost to the armpit on each side to make the shrug. I'm thinking of making it so that the purl side faces out, because it looks less directional than the knit side and might make it less obvious that this thing is just a glorified shrug. There's nothing better than a design that's easy as pie to make but looks like you put lots of skill and time into it!

Then I'm going to switch to larger needles, probably around a size 10 since I seem to have about 4 size 10 needles for some unknown reason, and pick up stitches all around the opening in the middle. I'll knit that in 2 by 2 rib, or maybe a fancy twisted or eyelet rib if I'm feeling ambitious, until it's long enough to fold over into a collar on the top edge.

I'll then pick up stitches with the same size needle around the sleeve openings and knit the same rib stitch into cuffs that I'm hoping will sort of bell open to the wrists. I love bell sleeves even though I usually have to be careful not to just drag them through a plateful of BBQ or pasta when I wear them. I hope the sleeves will open out like this without shaping because the needles are bigger, but if not I'll just cast on extra stitches or increase evenly by trial and error until it looks like I'm envisioning or I give up and just let it do what it wants.

This by the way is the same philosophy I use to fix my hair: trial and error to make it look like some gorgeous movie-star idea of a hairstyle I have, ending with my giving up in exasperation and letting it do what it wants to anyway. It's an ongoing battle, and you'd think I'd learn the truth eventually: The hair always wins. Always.

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