Friday, January 20, 2012

the Grandpa Sweater

Finally! I started this for myself in the summer, a slightly over sized belted sweater to throw on for fall. You know how it is though you get side tracked with other projects, but I did finish and have been happily wearing it nonstop since.

My sister Peggy lovingly calls this my "Grandpa Sweater" a bit big & a bit masculine yet with a nice femininity about it. 

The "Grandpa" is knit from the top down with set in sleeves. The body & sleeves are worked in stockinette stitch with a seed stitch for the collar, front facings & belt.

 The yarn I used (Cascade's Pastaza, a 50/50 blend of wool & llama) holds up well when worn a lot, with little pilling making it one of my favorites for outer wear. It's a heavier worsted that calls for a #9 though I used a #10.5

A lot of people have asked me why I slip my edge stitches. My patterns almost always call for slipping the first stitch of every row and the 2 photos above show why. I'm wearing the sweater inside out and if you look at where I picked up stitches from the slipped stitch edge (around the armhole & for the front facing) it's very clean; it gives it such a polished finish. Even if you don't pick up stitches your edges look good.

Here you can see the sewn hem & the underside of the collar. I like the challenge of getting a garment to look as good on the wrong side as it does on the right side.

I wasn't planning on writing a pattern for this. Peggy told me I should... I don't know maybe in time for fall? Add it to the ever growing list of things to do!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom

 One of my favorite photos of my mom.

My mom was the kind of woman who made everything she did seem effortless. From sewing matching outfits for her 6 daughters, to painting beautiful watercolors, to making a massive donkey pinata in our dining room for our parishes Mardi Gras celebration (one of my personal favorites) everything she did was always with ease.

It was 7 years from when my mom passed until I had my own kids & I don't think I fully understood what an amazing mom she was until I too became a mom. Every day I wonder how the hell she did it and I only have 2!

My mom was a modest woman and she wasn't very sentimental so I know she wouldn't want me going on about her. It is her birthday though so a few words...  Today I'm thinking about how thankful I am to have had such a wonderful woman in my life who continues to inspire me with her artistry, her grace and her unflappable perspective to life (my favorite quote from my mom she said to my dad upon learning the house our family had just moved into had burned down & was a total loss, she's in a new town, no friends and pregnant with her 9th child, "how many people get the opportunity to start over in their life" that in a nutshell was my mom).

Happy Birthday Mom, you're greatly missed & always loved!