Friday, October 22, 2010

On and off my hooks at the moment...

English version: click here
Version française: cliquez ici (et décochez l'autre case)

Hello, everyone!

Thanks so much for the compliments on my Jalie top. I can well imagine that the sewists amongst you must have been relieved. ;) Today's entry, though, is devoted to crochet; I am hoping to alternate between sewing and crochet posts from now on. Crochet brings me a lot of joy, and I certainly don't plan on stopping just because my sewing mojo is back. :)

I have been working on a warm woolen shawl over the past few weeks. The weather has taken a turn and it's getting definitely colder now...
The pattern is Flying Diamonds, by Vicki Mikulak. You can purchase it here if you don't do Ravelry (though really, you know you should! ;)).

The picture above shows the shawl about 2/3 done, a week ago; I was able to get a lot of progress done last weekend thanks to a knitting bee at my local yarn shop.

I used a thicker yarn than recommended, but kept the recommended hook size (G/4 mm), to get a denser, warmer fabric. I wanted this shawl to be huge and finally decided it was big enough yesterday night, after using all 7 skeins (= 1,000 yards) of Phildar Lambswool.

I set it to block on the bed today... Someone was very willing to help, which prevented me from using pins, but the shawl blocked beautifully anyway with the wetting, drying and kitty-sprawling method.
I'll take "real" pics of the finished object once it's finished drying, and as soon as I get a chance.
Another large project that I started last weekend, is a throw for the living room. As everything else in the room is in neutral shades, I decided to go for a splash of colour. Here are the first 7 squares.
The pattern I'm using is the Sunny Spread Blanket, a free pattern by Ellen Gormley. Despite the daunting size of the finished project, this has been quite fun to work on, as every square feels like a mini-finish. I love the textured stitches.

Finally, here's my latest loot (and a peek at the shawl's border): variegated thread to make a tunic, now that the shawl is done. I like to alternate between 2 crochet projects to keep my interest going, and of varied difficulty, so that I may have a choice depending on my level of tiredness/focus. The yarn is Tosca Light, by Lang Yarns.
Hope you all have a great weekend!
Bonjour !
Comme j'ai un plus grand nombre de lectrices francophones, et que je comprends que ça puisse vous mettre mal à l'aise de lire un blog où toutes les interactions se font en anglais, j'ai décidé de reprendre les postes bilingues, comme je le faisais à un moment. Ca prend un peu plus de temps, mais c'est sans doute plus sympathique pour vous.

J'avais envie de faire une petite mise à jour de mes ouvrages au crochet.
D'abord, un encours qui est fini depuis hier soir, et que les filles du Tricot-Thé ont vu samedi dernier : mon châle d'automne, à “pommes de pin” comme l'a si joliment dit Katia (c'est tellement de saison !). Le froid s'est brusquement installé et ça m'a motivée pour le faire bien grand, et pour le finir vite...
Le modèle est Flying Diamonds, disponible ici pour les non-ravelreuses (...Il y en a encore ? Je plaisante hein ;)).
Le châle a bien grandi depuis cette photo, puisqu'elle date d'il y a plus d'une semaine, et que j'ai réussi à bien avancer le week-end dernier.
Je l'ai mis à bloquer sur le lit aujourd'hui... Comme j'ai eu une contribution féline obstinée, je n'ai pas osé utiliser d'épingles, mais le châle s'est de toute façon bien bloqué grâce à la méthode de trempage/séchage/affalement de P'tite Mignonne.
J'ai choisi d'utiliser un fil plus épais que recommandé, mais de conserver la même taille de crochet, pour avoir un résultat plus dense et plus chaud. Comme je le voulais très grand, j'ai utilisé 7 pelotes de Lambswool de chez Phildar (un tout petit peu moins de 1000 mètres au final... Un kilomètre de fil, ça fait toujours un peu bizarre).
Je ferai de "vraies" photos du châle terminé quand il aura terminé de sécher, et dès que j'en aurai l'occasion.
Un autre projet que j'ai commencé en fin de week-end dernier, c'est un plaid pour le séjour. Comme il n'y a que des teintes neutres dans cette pièce, j'ai opté pour un arc-en-ciel de couleurs afin d'apporter une touche de peps au décor.
Le fil, c'est le Bergère de France Sport, qui était en promo sur le site la semaine dernière... C'est bien rentable pour une couverture.
Le patron ? Sunny Spread Blanket, gratuit en plus. J'adore le relief des points, et malgré la taille du projet, je ne m'en lasse pas pour le moment car chaque carré est comme un mini-projet... Je me fixe d'en faire au moins un par soirée, ça ne prend pas plus d'1/2 heure par carré maintenant que j'ai mémorisé le patron, donc c'est un but raisonnable.
Et pour finir, mon petit achat de tout à l'heure... Comme j'ai terminé le châle, j'ai décidé de me faire une tunique toute gaie. Difficile de ne pas craquer sur les coloris de Tosca Light de chez Lang...
(Vous avez aussi un aperçu de la bordure du châle.)

Je ne suis pas à 100% décidée sur le modèle, mais ça ne saurait tarder.
Bon week-end à vous !

Thursday, October 14, 2010

First try at a Jalie pattern

... And it certainly won't be my last. As I type, I have a second version of this pattern, with longer sleeves, that just needs hemming.
Jalie #2794 - Sweetheart Top

As so many people have testified before, this is a great pattern. In fact, I loved it so much that after I'd made this top, I decided to order the first Jalie dress pattern that just came out. The only thing that threw me for a loop with Jalie was the 0.6 mm seam allowances. I'm really not used to working with such small allowances, and I guess mine inched more towards 1 cm than 0.6 mm.
I used the size S all around (which as I just explained ended up being a smaller-than-planned size S), and the back could do with a slightly snugger fit. 
You know what - I'll just have to remedy this in my third version. ;)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Told you I'd been sewing! (AKA: A Little Autumn Dress)

The pattern is New Look 6922. This is a screamingly simple knit dress with a gathered neckline. I replaced the cap sleeves with a bound armhole. I also omitted the back center seam, placing the back at the fold and removing the seam allowance.
The pattern starts at a size 10; I cut the front in a size 10 and graded the back piece down to a size 6.
(Apologies for the blurriness. Most of the pictures came out more or less out of focus, but I figured this was better than waiting for a next opportunity to take pictures!)

Be aware that this dress is fitted. The amount of ease is something you have no way of knowing from the cheap sketch on the pattern envelope. It looks almost sacky on the envelope, but the minimal ease makes this prettier than the pattern shows.

As the assembly was very quick, I chose not to skimp on the finishing, so I stitched the binding and the invisible hem by hand.
(I was remarking in this shot that the leaves from this tree were looking pretty bad)

The fabric is my last bit from my regular visits to Amsterdam 2 years ago (sigh! Finding knit cotton prints, or even solids for that matter, is utterly impossible here). I usually stay well away from autumn colours, but figured that the orange was sufficiently scattered among the dark brown that I could pull it off. The brown is cool, not warm (I can pull cool browns and reds, but not warmer shades), which is ultimately why I got the fabric.

I really like the modern paisley motif, and the colours make this a nice seasonal dress. I wore it as is (with sandals) earlier this month, but now that the weather has cooled off, I plan on wearing it with a cardigan, nude tights, and the shoes that I'm wearing in the pictures.
I am back to sewing much more regularly - not much, as September was hectic, but my sewing mojo is definitely back, and it feels great!