American Wool Series

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014


noun: smorgasbord; plural noun: smorgasbords 
a buffet offering a variety of hot and cold meats, salads, hors d'oeuvres, etc.
    • a wide range of something; a variety.
      "the album is a smorgasbord of different musical styles"
 My free time of late is filled with a smattering of all kinds of crafty things. Summer tends to bring out my urge to create and this past week is no exception. I bound off my Happy Street shawl by Veera Valimaki last night. It only took 45 minutes to bind off and it's only taller than I am by about a foot or so. I'm contemplating where to block it since space is hard to come by in our little apartment.
 I cast on a new cardigan out of some lovely Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein in the Ironweed color. I have two skeins which should be just enough for this cardigan by Louisa Harding. It's a basic v-neck cardi to go with my second Outfit-Along dress.
 Little A helped me juice a whole bag of lemons today which yielded about four cups of lemon juice.
The lemon juice then went into this stock pot with strawberry puree and more sugar than I want to think about to make strawberry lemonade concentrate. My recipe yielded five pint jars and I'm looking forward to adding some water, soda water, or booze to this concoction throughout the Summer for refreshing homemade juice or cocktails. Yum! Maybe with a mint leaf or two? Even better. I'm using the Ball Book for Home Preserving which has very clear and detailed instructions. If you've been kind of sort of afraid to try home canning I can recommend this book since the yields are fairly small and there is a wide variety of recipes.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Music Monday

"Big White Cloud" by John Cale from his 1970 album, Vintage Violence.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

FO: Waterlily

 This is Waterlily. It's been sitting around waiting for me to feel better so I can take pictures.
 Cloooose up.
Seriously, I don't know what's going on with some of the graininess in my pictures - sometimes everything is coolio and sometimes they look like I've put through some kind of weird filter. Ack! In any case, here are the details:

Pattern: Waterlily by Meghan Fernandes (Issue 8 of Pom Pom Quarterly)
Yarn: Valley Yarns Charlemont in Whipple Blue
Needles: US #5 & 6 (3.75 &4.0 mm) Hiya Hiya Sharp Interchangeables
Mods: The body is longer by about 3 inches. What happens when you knit the body 3 inches longer? You run out of yarn and have to order more which is, surprisingly, an exact match for your current dye lot and you have a lot of yarn left over. That's a yay on one front and a boo on the other. I also did a three needle bind-off at the shoulder seams instead of grafting that business together. This shape of top is totally new to me. There's absolutely no shaping in the body and sleeves are formed by casting on extra stitches after knitting to a point above the fullest part of the bust. I'm surprised at how much I like it since I'm usually all about shaping in my knitted garments. Once I pick up a nude cami this little top will be totally work appropriate (the top of my bra peeks out as-is) and will be a great multi-season piece for Seattle. Yay!

Thursday, June 12, 2014


I have knitting to share with you! My last few posts have been sewing heavy - the newer craft is the sexier craft - but I've been doing a lot of knitting, too!
This is Happy Street by Veera Valimaki. The pattern was gifted to me by my lovely friend, Sonia, last year when I was having a bit of a difficult time. I love this pattern. The yarns are: Colorful Yarn in Steel, Hazel Knits Entice in Queen of the Night, and Hazel Knits Piquant Lite in Lichen. All the yarns are slightly different in texture and weight but the garter stitch showcases each yarn wonderfully well.

This is Myrna, the sweater component of my OAL entry. If I were knitting this cropped the body of the sweater would be done and I'd be cruising along on the sleeves. I did try this on once I hit the specified length (over my dress, even) and just didn't feel comfortable with the length. I've decided to make it a high hip length so it'll be more versatile with the rest of my wardrobe. The yarn is good old Cascade 220 in color 2409 and I have more than enough of it to lengthen my cardi.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

More Fun With OAL2014!

I'm really sad to say that I woke up with a horrible cold this morning and am still feeling pretty yucktastic but really really excited about the latest episode of my podcast - Doubleknit #92! In this episode we interviewed Andi Satterlund of Untangling Knots about the Outfit-Along and talked about our sewing plans and knitting plans for the OAL. Andi also hung out to talk movies with us and it was super fun! If you're curious about Andi's sewing experience or want to hear more about the selected knit pattern for the OAL, Myrna, give it a listen. 

In more OAL news, I finished my dress this week and promptly purchased fabric for two more dresses - we'll see how many OAL garments I can cram into the next month or so, huh? 

This is a Kaufman chambray with an awesome anchor print that I ordered from I plan on making the super popular Emery Dress by Christine Haynes with it. I think it'll look fabulous with my Audrey in Unst from last year (photo below). If I don't get around to making an OAL set with it I already own something handmade that will work toward my Me Made May 2015 goal.

I also picked up some more linen blend yardage from Joann's in a crazy kind of zebra print. I used the same blend for my first OAL dress and was happy to see the same type of fabric on sale for half off since I liked sewing with it. I'll be using the same Simplicity 1803 pattern but a different view for this fabric. It looks like my tendency for sewing is to choose a nice print and then knit something solid-colored to match and I'm okay with that! The zebra print will pair nicely with lots of solid colored cardigans.

How's your OAL progress? Zooming through the sewing and stuck on the knitting or vice versa?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sewn FO: Super Stripes

Over the weekend I did a small jaunt to the fabric store and my LYS to pick up supplies for the OAL with a friend of mine. Since my last go at sewing when I was in high school I've learned a thing or two about fabric stash management: 1) it's really fun to go fabric shopping 2) I shouldn't purchase more fabric than I'm willing to sew in the next couple of projects because that way lies madness (also, fabric hoarding).

 I wanted to buy fabric for at least three projects but talked myself down and came away with this one awesome cut of stripey fabric. The fabric is just a poly rayon which means it has really good drape and is kind of a pain to sew. I made a simple gathered skirt with a side zipper and button at the waist. I'm standing crooked in both shots (balancing on a kid's chair to try and get the whole skirt in the shot isn't easy) but the stripes mostly line up at the seams and my hem is nice and straight. I wore this to work today and it goes with several things I already own - another wardrobe win! This skirt is gonna get the heck worn out of it this Summer! My only regret is that I didn't throw in some side seam pockets but I'm not sure if it's worth the headache of ripping seams to try and afterthought those in.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Music Monday

"Shoop" by Salt-n-Pepa. A little 90's throwback guaranteed to get your Monday off to a good start.