shannon: January 2011 Archives
Spring cannot get here fast enough, especially with the Snowpocolypse 2011 that happened last week. Although I love all the accessories you can pile on yourself during colder months, I cannot wait for sundresses. Luckily, Colette Patterns features a dress that can be a year-round favorite! The Parfait dress is a jumper dress with lots of style and potential!
I chose fabric with a darker color palette that would transition well from season to season. This Anna Maria Horner voile from her new collection, "Innocent Crush" is a great choice. It's very lightweight which is great for layering in the winter and light and comfortable in the summer. However this voile is just ever so slightly sheer- so I will need a slip with this dress. I should have known better using voile! I recommend duplicating the skirt for a lining if using voile, lawn, or any other very lightweight fabric.
Colette Patterns are fantastic. The book style instructions make everything clear and consecutive. This is my second Colette Pattern dress and I've noticed some reoccurring themes in her cuts:
Theme 1: The Waist: I'm not talking empire waist- but rather a waistline that is about a 1'' higher than what I'm used to- and it makes all the difference! Very flattering and comfortable!
Theme 2: Back Bodice: The darts are very exaggerated, causing this bulge around my shoulder blades -as if it was cut for someone that slumps over. After a first fitting, I continued the dart to the top of the back because it was not laying flat on my back.
Theme 3: Sizing: The cuts of this pattern for the width are exceptional- fits like a glove. However, I decided to cut the pattern pieces 2 sizes larger- on the lengthwise because I have a long torso. If you do too, I'd recommend customizing how you cut your pattern pieces so that the bodice will be long enough.
There were 2 "errata" in this pattern. No biggies- and thoughtfully corrected on a card in the back of the instruction book. This pattern and personal variations of this pattern will make up most of my spring & summer dresses for years to come. I highly recommend this Parfait pattern and can't wait to try more Colette Patterns!
I've crocheted since I was 8. I figured it was close enough to knitting- good enough to make scarves and hats. I was content with sticking in my own little crochet world. Since working here, I've come in contact with so many wonderful yarns, patterns and knitters. Knitting has been a goal of mine for a while, so what better way to start than to make it a New Year's Resolution!
Knowing that I already enjoy crocheting, I figured I'd take to knitting pretty easily. The only aspect of knitting that is overwhelming to me is the amount of stitches and terms that exist! I tend to jump in head first to something and just hopefully figure it out along the way. So I figured, why not changing this behavior a new year's resolution too? So in regards to my projects, I want to learn how to do things the right way, the first time. A solid foundation is the key to anything right?
I picked a bulky, light colored yarn so I could see that fibers. I chose this Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Yarn in "Fisherman" and paired it with these large size 13 Lantern Moon palm wood knitting needles. I figured the bigger the better for starters. The next part was figuring out what the best approach was to learning the basics. I need something I could pause and re-watch as many times as needed, like this I Can't Believe I'm Knitting DVD Kit. So I picked up "casting on" and then a basic knit stitch pretty quickly. I then practiced the stockinette stitch and the purl stitch. I'm still trying to figure out which loop goes where in order to get which one, so I just keep doing a trial and error. The hardest part so far, is figuring out the best way to hold my yarn as I go. I have noticed that it is harder than crocheting to redo your work, so I'm just going to keep practicing these 3 stitches till my yarn runs out. Luckily for me, I like the inconsistency in whatever it is I'm making here...maybe a cowl scarf if I can somehow join to the ends?
This new hobby is very exciting. I can't wait till my first knitted project is done so I can move on to the next one. Even browsing Fabric.com's selection of knitting books is causing my mind to race. So many more options! I still love crocheting, but so far knitting is very awesome.