Loose Ends and New Beginnings

This past week has been a dizzy of activity. I’ve completed an old project, continued a new and a not-so-new one- and even squeezed in a little side project just for fun.

For starters, I finished my Log Cabin Sweater Vest.

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I have to admit, at first it just felt great to finish. I’ve been trying to complete at least some of my current projects before embarking on new ones so each finished item comes with the little reward of a promising fresh start. In fact, I’ve already purchased the yarn for my next knitting project. On the other hand, finishing also felt a little… unsure . You see, I love the polka dot shoulder, but to be honest I wasn’t entirely convinced that I liked the overall product- not at first. Every knitter knows the feeling. When I completed that last seam late Tuesday evening, I was ambivalent. Since I’d originally planned on a roomy cardigan, it’s not exactly your typical sweater vest dimensions. I tried it on over my pajamas and couldn’t decide if this was going to be a keeper.

I woke up Wednesday morning and declared that todaywould be trial day- that first full day when you wear that new knitted (or sewn) item and figure out all its tweaks, and whether or not you’ve truly created something that you’ll enjoy. Turns out, I love it. Over a fitted skirt and with a long-sleeved shirt underneath, it’s very much my style. It’s also incredibly comfortable; how I love Alpaca. I can still remember completing those first few painstaking intarsia Log Cabin rows in a ski lodge over New Years break and starting the next set while watching Iron Chef in the hotel in Puerto Rico… how lovely to have something so full of memory and to know all that work wasn’t for nothing! The polka dots were tricky but I’m determined to get them down so be on the look out for my next knitting endeavor…

Speaking of tying up loose ends, I’ve finally decided what to do with my Birds in the Air quilt; I’m going to tie it together. I realize this isn’t exactly an earth-shatteringly original decision. I also realize it may seem like a bit of a cop out since tying is a lot less time-consumign than quilting. But I honestly thought long and hard about it. I decided the fabric patterns were already quite busy and the added dimension of quitled stitches would be too much. I also realized that the fabrics are fairly delicate and might not hold up very well. Finally, I genuinely like the way the ties look- I’m alternating between red and blue.  I knew this was the right decision the moment I made it, so hopefully a picture of my completed Birds in the Air quilt will be up here soon.

Meanwhile, I’ve  continued on with a new beginning; my Log Cabin Quilt with a Twist. So far I have seven blocks:

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I’m quite fond of it so far. It has a sense of humor along with the trace of tradition. The contrast between Log Cabin and curved quilting keeps the work interesting. But I do have a confession: I’ve been doing the circles by hand! Turns out, it doesn’t take that long and my machine is just unwieldy (I bought a $30 Brother off of Amazon.com to keep in the dorm and spend a lot of time longing for my beautiful Singer back home). Actually, I rather like the hand quilting.  Maybe I’ll stick with it, but maybe I’ll give the machine another go; we’ll see. I’m still indecisive about how to arrange the blocks; I’ve been mentally toying with several different ideas. For now, I’m going to keep on quilting and I’m sure the final pattern will  occur to me.

I would probably have completed more of these blocks if it weren’t for a little side project that has taken up all my crafting energy for the past 24 hours. I decided to use up the rest of my antique fabrics (well, most of them) and make a skirt. In the spirit of increasing my technical sewing skills and precision, I followed a pattern from this book, “Sew What! Skirts” by Francesca DenHartog.

It’s a wonderful, straightforward guide on how to make your own skirts. It covers all the basics of sewing- helpful since I’m really still teaching myself as I go. It’s also full of tips on how to measure your waist and hips so you end up with the right fit. I measured very carefully, I pinned and planned and paid attention to all those little rules about sizing, hemlines, etc., and I came up with something that I truly love:

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Of course, I’m drawn to the way in which patterns do and don’t go together. The contrast is my favorite part and the ruffle really adds that extra little something. It fits beautifully. I’m increasingly convinced that paying heed to all those nitty gritty details is absolutely worth while. Now I’m just longing to wear it- but the weather here is far from warm so, yet again, Puerto Rico might be the first time I whip this out. I have to admit that though I’m still looking forward to Spring Break (of course), Senior Spring is setting in soI no longer feel that pressing need to escape. Between classes on Celtic folklore and Mesopotamian art, finally having time to attend lectures and local Cambridge events, good old hanging out and plenty of patchworking, I’m thoroughly enjoying my remaining time as a college undergrad. This is one loose end that I’m in no major rush to tie up.

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1 Comment

Filed under clothing, knitting, quilting

One response to “Loose Ends and New Beginnings

  1. I love your skirt. But me wearing a skirt is like to pigs in a blanket. I got this cool Phatfiber box. I nee to post pictures. Thanks I knew it was you on my blog. Do you know anything about Vogue knitting?

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