Knit, Sewing

Holiday Wrap Up!

January 4, 2013

The holidays are over and my mad rush of last minute gifts are done!  Gifts I completed for family and friends are:

  • Two pairs of comfy socks (on size 6 needles) for my brother
  • Two pairs of comfy socks for my niece
  • A scarf for my Grandmother
  • A scarf and hat for my other Grandmother
  • A scarf for my daughter’s mother-in-law
  • Two pairs of comfy socks for my Dad
  • A cowl (and later matching hat) for my Mom
  • A cross-stitch serenity prayer for my parents
  • A pair of arm warmers for my friend
  • A little “mommy-stocking” for my daughter for Christmas that I filled with small stocking stuffers since she already received a “Santa stocking” from her husband and there is only one Santa 🙂

After all of that, a few days before Christmas my daughter told me she didn’t have a new outfit for my Granddaughter. I’ve been trying hard not to make too many things for her or to buy too much so I don’t step on anyone’s toes. But if I had known this ahead of time I would have made a cute little dress with a nice jacket. Oh well. I ended up buying her some gold sparkly shoes and a red and black dress from Kohl’s. At least she looked cute! I tried to find a nice baby jacket pattern as well, but I couldn’t. I will say though, once Christmas was over, I really wanted to sit down and make a few things for myself. That included sewing as well as knitting. So I made a trip to the local craft store and bought material to make the jacket on McCall’s 6442 and the following yarn.

Since I was still off during the day until January 2nd, I decided I really wanted to start on the jacket. I love the material I bought, but I realized once I started sewing that I had purchased a stretchy material, and not a woven. I’m really, really not very good with sewing material that stretches. Especially sewing it to one that doesn’t, as this jacket is lined. At one point I had let the material stretch so much that it was way off from the lining. Instead of trying to make it work, I sat down and ripped out all of the stitches. Then before sewing it back together I used a lot of pins, and was careful to be sure that there was not any stretch between each of the pins. It took a lot more time, but it worked really well. The other thing that I had trouble with on this jacket is that it is not lined as I would have done (or have done in the past). Usually there is a separate piece of material that you cut out for the inside lining out of the lining material, and another from the jacket fabric that you sew together. That way the part that first shows when you open the jacket shows the good material (I say good material, but what I mean is the outside material since I really like the thick lining material I bought for the inside of the jacket!). With this pattern though, the lining and outside material were both cut from the same pattern piece, sewn together, and then folded inside and hand stitched down. I know the pattern is labeled as “easy,” but that just seems like an unnecessary step that creates more fabric and weight. Here is an example of the sleeve:

The jacket material and lining were basted together, then the cuff sewn (wrong sides together) and added to the full sleeve. This is probably not the best example to show what I mean, but again I think it’s a lot of extra material to take a short-cut around doing something the proper way. All said though, I really like the way the jacket turned out!

I think I worked on the jacket for 2.5 full days. At night though, it was the yarn I turned to! I didn’t even really pick up a book during that time as well (and I read over 100 books last year!). I finished two scarves before I went back to work, and a cowl last night out of the dark yarn with bright colors. I’ll need to get a picture of that one, but here is the scarf I made from the beautiful green yarn and some fluffy brown I had bought for a Christmas scarf.

I also finished a scarf from the brilliant brown yarn (striped with the soft dark brown), but I made it too short! I ended up taking out the bind-off and adding about another 10″! And of course, there is that wonderful gray yarn from the picture. . . I cast-on last night for another cowl. This one though I want very loose and lacy without too many holes since it’s a fluffy yarn. So I’m using size 11 circular needles and I’m doing it length-wise so I can see just how long I want it to go around my neck.

Not too bad for a crafty couple of months! Once I finish the cowl, I will be working on some hats for my Mom, and then going back to the shawl I was making last summer. I also plan to sit down and take stock of all of my supplies (yarn, material, patterns and beads) and see what I can use to make in the next few weeks. I have a bug to get back to some beading. . . but yet there are some new patterns out there that I might want to make for Spring. . . plus some sweaters I’ve seen that would be fun to make. . . too many crafts, not enough time!!

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