My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


The Week in Review

I really enjoyed reading your sewing stories in the comments last week. I love that some of you have the same sewing machine as mine, or other similar era machines. They don’t make ’em like that anymore!

Because I live in a two bedroom condo (a large two bedroom condo, but a two bedroom condo after all), and one bedroom is packed with yarn (ahem) and I have a home office setup in the master bedroom with two desks (it’s a big bedroom), I have no dedicated sewing spot. I have been seeing at my dining table, which is 44″ round. With the iron set up in the kitchen.

Yesterday I put in two of the three leaves I have for my table and pushed it back a bit against the wall. This makes a much more spacious sewing area!

Sewing area!

My Swedish great-grandfather made that table. It is solid “tiger” oak and weighs a ton. It was my paternal grandmother’s table (her father made it) and I inherited it when she died. (I also inherited her four poster bed with the hand-carved pinecones on the posts, also made by her father.)

So last week I made two shirts. This:

Butterick 6689, after laundering, no iron. It looks much better on a person!

This was such a weird pattern and I made some changes to it. The collar was this weird pleated thing so I left it off. The pockets were also pleated so I just kept them plain. I used a medium weight denim for this. I discovered that I really love this shirt — it is very wearable! I think I’ll make it again with a plain collar. Or just a neck facing.

And yesterday I made this:

Simplicity 9113

This is a much lighter weight denim. I’ve not worn this yet, so no report on wearability.

I do still knit, by the way.

Alice Starmore’s Oregon Cardigan in the Autumn colorway

And Loki has taken up interpretive dance to amuse himself while I sew.

“Look at MEEEEE!”

We just barely escaped being hit my the huge nor’easter that enveloped the Northeast. We were just barely west of the storm line and got just a dusting of snow. But the wind was howling yesterday! Stay warm!

Sew What?

Knitting took a back seat for a couple of days last week, as I hauled this out of the closet.

I call him “Husky”

This is my beloved Husqvarna Prisma 990 sewing machine that I purchased on February 15, 1986. That makes him 36 years old! Look — I still have the receipt:

That was a lot of money in 1986!

I still have the manual, too.

I’m amazed I didn’t lose this at some point

I decided I wanted to get back into some sewing so I hauled Husky out of the closet, plugged him in and hit the on switch — and he immediately purred to life. A good thing, because the warranty was only for 25 years! I used this machine 5 or so years ago to make some doll clothes, but before that, I hadn’t used it since the 1990s, apart from stitching the occasional steek on a Dale of Norway sweater. Amazingly it still works absolutely beautifully!

I have some very precious fabric I want to turn into a shirt, but wanted to work up to it by practicing on some lesser fabric. On Monday I made this shirt:


I used a lightweight chambray and Simplicity pattern #9044 and I am very pleased with the results. I may make this pattern again as I really like this shirt. I was pleased to learn that I had not forgotten how to sew. I just needed to check the manual to remind me how to do buttonholes. Husky makes it very easy to make buttonholes!

Yesterday I made this:

This has been laundered — could use a touch-up with an iron!

This is Butterick pattern #6099 in a very lightweight denim. This shirt was more difficult that the one I made on Monday, as it has that pesky front placket and cuffed sleeves.

That little continuous facing thingie is a pain to do properly.

Full disclosure: a million years ago I was a very accomplished seamstress. I could (and did, very often) make a Vogue designer suit in a weekend. I made a tailored man’s suit once, three wedding dresses, a prom dress (the recipient of that prom dress is now 45 years old — yikes!), numerous suits, party dresses, and everyday clothes.

I don’t plan to rise to that level again — I don’t think my back could take it. But I have a few more shirt patterns to try out before I cut into that precious fabric I mentioned above.

Loki is, by the way, a big help to my sewing.

“I’m here when you need me, Momma!”

Trust Your Instincts

Or rather, I should trust my instincts.

In early December I started knitting the Sandstone Peak cardigan that I showed in my last post. From the start, I was underwhelmed by the project. I cast it aside a week or so after starting it to knit 5 clocks and a cowl, hat, and handwarmers set. I don’t like to let WIPs languish so I returned to it and almost finished it. Still not really liking it. Well guess what? Upon trying it on, I like it even less, so I bundled it up in its unfinished state (it just needs the front bands knit) and shoved it in a closet. The fit is horrible, and the sleeves are way too tight for a cardigan I would wear over something else. So I’m chalking this up as a reminder to listen to my inner voice when something doesn’t seem right.


I cast on for a new long-tern project.

Gansey Goodness!

This is the Seaforth Gansey, from Alice Starmore’s book In the Hebrides (long out of print). In keeping with the discontinued vibe, I am using British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey wool. This is a relatively easy knit, the pattern made up of knits and purls and easily memorized.

In other news, I have some sewing projects on the horizon. I’ve got some precious vintage (well actually antique) fabric I plan to use, but first I am going to make something for practice since it has been as long time since I’ve done any serious sewing. While Loki was fast asleep in the bedroom closet, I got ready to cut out my project. But clearly the rustle of the tissue paper was too much for my boy.

The siren song of the tissue paper!

I am pleased to report, however, that with a minimum of encouragement Loki was persuaded to sit on a chair and watch as I cut out my pattern pieces instead of helping!

Such a good kitty!

So I plan to start sewing tomorrow!

Goodbye to 2021

Happy New Year! 2021 was a weird one, and very memorable for me, for both bad and good reasons. In February my father died, and in September I did something I had no idea I was going to do at the beginning of the year: I retired. For the first time since I was 16 years old, I do not have a job. I have zero regrets about that, but I do have a bit of survivor’s guilt!

Since last I posted, I did finish another clock, this one knit from Koigu KPPPM fingering weight wool:

Then I pulled out a Virtual Yarns kit from my stash room, and knit the Maude set. The cowl:

The hat:

And fingerless mitts:

I’ve got a sweater project that I’ve been workin on, off and on:

Sandstone Peak Cardigan

And Loki is of course helping.

I have a fun idea for some projects for 2022 . . . that are not knit! Stay tuned!

Oops I Knit It Again

And again . . .

And again . . .

The first one is knit with Shetland jumperweight leftovers from my Raga Fair Isle. The second one is knit from some KnitPicks fingering weight wool. The third one is knit from Wee County Yarns miniskeins: a total of 12 colors! The first clock shown is from a chart included with the pattern and the next two are my own designs.

Again, this is Stephanie Earp’s wonderful pattern: Yoke O’Clock.

I confess that I’m finishing up yet another clock this morning, this one knit from two shades of Koigu KPPPM. Stay tuned . . .

Loki is waiting for this current obsession to fade.