Work in Progress Wednesday – Thurlow Trousers

The Thurlow shorts are complete, but still considered a work in progress due to crotch fitting issues. According to the helpful information on  A Fashionable Stitch I need a longer crotch seam. These adjustments will be made to my pattern before I cut into my first ‘big girl’ fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics.  010


The Week in Motion

Last week was a resting week after tweaking my knee waiting for the copy machine at work. I iced, taped, and rested my knee until Saturday, when I tried 2 easy miles, which felt fine. I also got some new shoes, which should help. Now, don’t think I sat idly on the couch knitting all week. No, I was hitting the core work and upper body strength training hard. I hope to continue this as my running picks back up this week. Monday I tried another easy 2 miles and today I made 4, progress. Happy week in motion!

Finished Friday – Afterthought Heel Socks

There has not been much excitement this week on the knitting front. I have just been working on socks and keeping up with daily life. The afterthought heel on these socks is the best fitting heel type that I have tried so far. The yarn is Malabrigo sock leftover from Grammie’s Shawl. It feels so good on my feet, but it is so soft that I expect to put holes in it the second I put it into a shoe. I kept the small ball of yarn that was left for future repairs. The first afterthought heel was a HUGE pain to do, as I knit the waste yarn row with yarn that did not have enough contrast to my sock yarn. I learned my lesson and knit the waste row for the heel of the second sock with bright red skinny cotton embroidery thread, and it was MUCH easier to pick out. There will be more afterthought heels in my future! Happy knitting.

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Work in Progress Wednesday – Thurlow Shorts from Sewaholic

Progress continues on the Sewaholic Thurlow shorts. These are a wearable muslin for my much needed work pants. It is too early to tell about fit yet, but I did sew my first welt pocket. I pretty much butchered the first one, but after looking at this tutorial from Oliver + S, I did a much better job on the next one. By the time I get to my real pants, I will be  pretty confident.


The Week in Motion – Rehab Edition

After tweaking my knee on Friday, I have been icing, taping, resting, etc. and it seems to be working. When I checked my records, I found that my running shoes were 9 months old. DUH! I knew I needed new ones, but I didn’t run crazy high mileage last year, so I thought I could wait. Until I get my shoe sponsorship deal, I need to buy new running shoes at least once per season.

The plan for this week is to go by feel; ice, tape, physical therapy exercises, core strength, walking, and maybe easy running later on in the week.  I would rather take an easy week now than be sidetracked for 3 or 4 weeks in the Spring. Happy week in motion.

Musing Monday – Shakespeare’s Star Wars

One of life’s great mysteries is how my little, rural community can have the BEST public library with the BEST librarians. But, as with most of life’s other great mysteries, I try not to think about it too much. 

However, when I see a book like William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher on the New Books shelf, I have to wonder if there is Divine intervention involved.  As a fan of both Star Wars and Shakespeare, I might have squealed a little. (On a side note, parental enthusiasm, once so cherished by a toddler, becomes embarrassing to a 9 year old.) 

My first thought was that some clever writer had combined the two cultural phenomena out of love for both. How cute and funny. But, upon reading the Afterword, I learned that there is a very real literary connection between Star Wars and the play of William Shakespeare. Since my reading class had just found similar themes in Aesop’s Fables and Native American folktales, with rich discussion about how this could be possible, I was thrilled to read about the connection. I won’t tell you what it is, get the book and read it yourself, please. This book makes me want to teach literature to older students so that we can really get into Shakespeare. I will have to settle to teaching my own personal student here at home. He already likes Star Wars, and we are working on the rest.  Happy reading! 


Sewing Saturday – Prep Work

It turns out that after a few years of weekly wear thrift store pants begin to get a little threadbare. So one of my current sewing missions is to make myself some new pants. I happen to need work pants, weekend adventure pants, and around the house pants.  Since I go to work 5 days a week, I am starting with work pants, specifically the Thurlow Trousers from Sewaholic. I am using some black and teal quilting cotton to make a wearable muslin of the shorts version. There are about a million pieces in a pair of shorts with pockets and a zipper, so today I have just been cutting.

My plan is to make a brown pair and a black pair for work, and then to move on to the Named Sara Leggings that I have already tested on scrap fabric.  These will be my weekend pants, for when I want to look cool. I will keep you posted of my pants project progress. Happy sewing! 007

Mildly Frustrated Friday

Valentine’s Day at an elementary school is no joke. We have taught them to be good friends and to think of others since August, so of course you can pass out your 50 Valentine cards and enormous bags of candy, sweetie. Even though this ritual was contained until the last 30 minutes of the day, they knew it was coming and were circling the candy like sharks during a feeding frenzy happy, sharing citizens.

Nevertheless, we made it through the day unscathed, with no hurt feelings, and with most of our assignments complete. Just as I was beginning to be lulled into Friday afternoon relaxation mode, SPOING. What was that? A shooting pain ran through my knee and I doubled over. “I need a wheelchair,” I thought and I began to stretch in the copy room. As I hobbled back to my classroom, massaging just to the inside of my kneecap, my thoughts were on the Nashville Half Marathon I would be running in April. Disappointment, fear, and jealousy of all people without knee pain ran through my mind.

Upon arriving home to ice my knee on the couch and scrap my planned 8 miles for tomorrow, I rationalized that I probably just need a rest and new shoes. I have had tendonitis issues before, and have most likely added miles back too fast. At least while I rest my knee this weekend I will have a box of chocolates to keep me company. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Work in Progress Wednesday – Kalajoki Socks

In my quest to knit ALL sock heels and toes, as well as use up all of my yarn scraps, I chose the Kalajoki Socks by Tiina Seppala. According to the pattern, “Kalajoki socks reflect the Kalajoki River which winds its way through Finland and empties into the Baltic Sea.” These socks are beautiful and a perfect use of the leftover yarn from my Jayashri pullover sweater. This pattern also calls for a French heel and an anatomical toe, both new to me. The French heel seems to be a regular short row heel, but correct me if I am wrong in this.  With sport weight yarn, these socks knit up pretty fast. I think this one has taken about two weeks of intermittent knitting between other projects. Socks seem to be my comfort knitting lately, just going round and round again, like the world. Happy knitting. 003

Sewing Saturday – Simplicity 2556 and Named Sara Leggings

This week I have been working on Simplicity 2556, a vest with several options. I usually don’t sew Big 4 patterns, but I had this one already and I was using up scraps from a pencil skirt. It turns out vests are great to use up many small pieces of leftover fabric. The vest is finished except for buttons and button holes. I will have to shop for buttons, as I don’t have a button stash at all. It seems to fit well and the pattern was easy to follow. It will look very retro paired with the skirt of matching fabric. Of course, I don’t have a shirt to wear under it, so that goes on the sewing list!


I really need a dress form!
I really need a dress form!

I also came across Named Clothing, an indie brand from Finland. I read about it on a wordpress blog, but I don’t remember whose it was. If you blogged about Named, please leave a comment so I can give you proper credit because I fell in love with several of their patterns. I bought the Sara Ankle Zip Leggings, which is a 2 in 1 pattern (you can also make shorts) pdf download. Today I only made a muslin from a variety of scraps, but the pattern instructions are WONDERFUL. They would be great for beginners because every technique is explained so clearly. According to my measurements, I was a 12 in the waist and a 14 in the hips, so I blended the two sizes for my muslin. It turned out baggy in the hips (this NEVER happens to me) so I will sew a straight 12 in my fashion fabric. Maybe I can find some stretch faux leather… Happy sewing.

Vita Knot Top

Photo from Named Clothing