January 20, 2010

Knitting is New

Filed under: knitting — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 3:44 pm

I’ve wanted to learn to knit for years.  I’ve tried several times, and just couldn’t get the hang of it.  Maybe I needed to try a different method, or not give up so quickly.  Whatever.  This past summer and fall, I made a promise to myself to learn to knit.  I checked out books from the library and watched videos on YouTube.  I practiced, ripped, practiced and ripped.  And I’m finally feeling confident that my knitting will past muster.

Basic knitting, that is.  I’m not ready for fancy stuff yet, but that’s okay.  For me, knitting is a relaxing hobby, something that I can do late in the evening and not worry about making a fatal mistake.   Like when I catch a dress bodice in the serger and cut a huge hole in the middle of it. 😦

So, here are a couple recent projects.  First up, wool soaker pants for my 14 month old.  And yes, one leg is just slightly longer than the other, but not as much as the picture shows, they were just laying a little wonky.

These are made of Paton’s Wool from JoAnn’s. I have some very nice wool from my local yarn shop that I’m using to make another pair, but I wanted to test my skills with something that didn’t cost $14 a skein.

I used the Sheepy Time Pants pattern.  Very nice pattern, lots of pics and helpful instructions, especially for a novice knitter.

He has already worn these a couple of times and I’ve washed/rinsed them once, so they are starting to pill just a bit, but this yarn was easy to work with and I really like the color.

I put a band of seed stitch around the cuff.


The other major knitting project I finished recently is my first pair of socks!  I used a toe up, magic loop pattern found on a blog called Streets and YOs.

I used a self striping wool and nylon blend yarn from a local discount store.  Again, I have a very nice dark green wool yarn from my LYS waiting for me, but I wanted to work out the kinks with the less expensive stuff.

The first sock turned out a little big around the leg, so I did fewer calf increases on the second sock and it’s a tad bit snug, lol.  And both socks have too many holes at the heel.  I did short row heels, and I can see that I need to really practice these and maybe get some help at my LYS next time.

The toes were easy.  I chose toe up socks so I didn’t have to do any tricky moves to close the toes and also so I could try the socks on as I went.   That was especially helpful as I wanted knee socks.  I’m pretty tall, almost six feet, and wanted socks that actually went to my knees.  I’m also a plus size woman, so making my own socks seems the best option at this point.

As far as knitting goes, I’m working on another pair of wool pants, and dish/wash cloths made either with cotton yarn and/or crochet thread.  I plan to do this scarf next and then this sweater.  The sweater will be a huge challenge, as I have to upsize the pattern considerably.  Hopefully I can find some help on Ravelry.

Sewing wise…I have a tulle ballet skirt to make for a bday gift by Sunday.  A couple of dresses.   And a pillowcase for my mom’s “wedge” pillow that helps her sleep in an  elevated position.  And upcycling some skirts I found at the thrift store for me. And…And…And…the sewing to-do list is never ending!

July 14, 2008

Woven skirts for a girl

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 6:10 am

**This post was originally written on Friday the 11th, but I clicked save instead of publish**

Today I finished four skirts for my next oldest daughter (she is 7)…just in time to take with her as she spends a week with her grandparents.

The first two are simple woven skirts.  I take a rectangle that is 2 inches longer than the finished length and about 1 1/2 times her waist measurement.  I serge the short ends together to make a tube, hem the bottom using a super quick serge, turn and stitch method and then serge on elastic, turn it and stitch down.  Quick and easy.  These are “play” skirts and so I don’t want to spend much time on something that she’ll soon be climbing a tree in.


I did spend more time on this one.  It’s a strip pieced woven skirt with a border hem.  Very cute and, again, pretty easy to do.  Each strip is a trapezoid with the top being approx 1/6 of the waist measurement + ease.  In this case, her waist is 22″ and I went up to 30″ to give plenty of room to pull the skirt on and off and to allow for a little twirly action.  So 30 divided by 6 is 5 inches plus 1/2″ seam allowance.  For the bottom, I wanted a full skirt, so I doubled the top measurement to 60, again divided by 6 to get 10 inches and added my seam allowance.  The length was 22 inches (the skirt falls to mid-calf).

The waistband is a 6″ wide piece of knit folded over to form a casing for a piece of elastic.  The border hem was a little tricky to get on, because the hem curves and I did not cut the hem fabric on the bias.  But I subdued it with my iron and it looks great.

Oh, I also did a quick A-line knit skirt for her, too:

This fabric has been in my stash for a couple years and I’d really forgotten I have it.  I have about 4 more yards, so the other girls will be getting skirts or dresses, too.

Since I’m keeping track, I used about 3 yards of fabric for these skirts, bringing my total to 5 yards so far.  I really need to get busier.

Next up…hmm…so many choices, but I’m going to be spending most of my weekend working on our garden, it’s time to plant spinach, cauliflower, turnips, more carrots and peas and beans…all for a September harvest.   I’m not getting as much sewing time this month as I planned.

One last thing…at our ultrasound this week, we found out our newest little blessing will be a boy!  That brings our family to 3 girls and 3 boys.  The wee one looks perfect and was having lots of fun trying to kick off the ultrasound transducer.  Less than 4 months to go now!

Have a great weekend!!

July 5, 2008

Basic Knit Skirts for a Girl

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 3:31 pm

I got started on my family sewing today, working on three quick, basic and simple knit skirts for my oldest, who is 9.  Using the formula from Sew What! Skirts for an elastic waist a-line skirt, I made these:

I’ve made lots of these for my girls, so I can whip them out pretty quickly.  They are very comfy and take less than a yard of fabric each, even though they are on the long side, reaching to mid-calf.

One of my goals for this month is to “stash bust”…sew only (or as much as possible) from my overflowing stash.  I’m going to keep track of how many yards I sew up and then decide if I made a big dent or just a tiny ding in the stash.

So, these skirts each take about 3/4 yard, which makes my grand total 2 1/4 yards today. 🙂

Next up…skirts for my next oldest daughter, the baby blankets for the neighbor and maternity clothes for me!

Create a free website or blog at