Tag Archives: perun

Steeking the fear right out of me.

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Ok. So, where we last left things was that I was going to attempt the steeking of Paul’s Perun vest when I was freshly awoke today.  I woke up at 4am because the wind was trying to blow the house down, so I figured I needed to get up to make sure I could hold the house together if it started falling apart.  Seeing as how I was wide awake, I did a few hours of my proofreading work.  For some reason that seemed ok to do at 4am but steeking was not ok to do at 4am.  I waited until 8am.  Not freshly awoke but not a zombie yet from being awake at 4am.

To refresh your memory, here is the before:


(By the way, that collar will be folded over and stitched down.  It is not some weirdo cardigan/turtleneck styling option.)

I busted out my hardly ever used sewing machine and found out that it actually still works and I didn’t even need to oil it or anything.  Not that I have any oil or that I would know where to put the oil.

First I made two rows of stitching, one on either side of the area that I needed to cut.  I happened to have a walking foot from my quilting days, so that made things go much more smoothly.  The first time I did it (yes, the first time, as opposed to the next time….) I did it with the right side facing, trying to follow a column of purl bumps:


When I was done and not terribly happy with the not-so-straightness of it.  I realized this:


The “wrong” side has nice straight columns between the stitches, to follow with the sewing machine.  Out came the first set of stitches.  On to much straighter stitching:


That was done and it was time. Ugh.  Time to cut right up the middle of all that painstaking knitting I did for hours and hours and if I messed it up it would all unravel and Paul would have no vest to wear.  With that in mind, I invited Paul to watch (and take pictures):


(As I started cutting, he was remarking that my hands were shaking, which gave me all kinds of confidence.)

But then….


It was done.  And I was trying not to worry about those frayed, cut yarn ends.

Now it looks like a vest:


And now that it’s done, I’m glad and it wasn’t terrible and now there just isn’t a darn thing I can do but keep moving forward because I can’t un-steek it.

On to zipper installation.  Here is where things went all kinds of more wrong.  I changed to my zipper foot and well…it just…sort of…well, sucked.  Because it was no longer the walking foot, which you use with thicker fabric so things don’t stretch and get skewed, things stretched and got skewed and even though at the outset the zipper was the right length, it ended up 5 inches too short and the fabric got all rippley and wavy.


Oh man, that just really was awful.  As I undid the stitching (which is much harder to do with a zipper), I came to the realization that I will have to sew this by hand.  Blech.  Then I started worrying that all that sewing and undoing was making the cut part get too frayed and that hand sewing it will make it even worse.  So, now that my fear of steeking is conquered, I have a fear of hand sewing a zipper.  After that, I decided I had enough for the day (at 10am) and put it down.  As long as I don’t obsess too much about those frayed ends, I will attempt some hand sewing, maybe tomorrow, when I am yet again freshly awoke.  Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I finally found a shawl pattern that I am excited to knit and to teach!


This pattern is Diane by Romi HillI. Love. It. Already.  It’s got a really cool construction which will make for a fun class for people to learn some new things.  And it is pretty.

And here are some non-dishcloth-background pictures of the Song of the Sea cowl.

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The top picture is the more accurate color.

And finally, a book recommendation.  I just finished The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.  Sad, but really really good.

That is all for today.  I’m going to knit.

A lovely tea, two lovely cowls, and a scaredy-cat.

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This was an excellent way to spend last Sunday afternoon:

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The Spinning Room had it’s third annual tea party to celebrate the wonderfulness of Downton Abbey.  We are all sad that it is ending.  Yummy treats, catching up with knitting friends I haven’t seen for a while, meeting some new people and knitting.  A really nice afternoon.

So the project up there in the top picture is the Song of the Sea cowl which I finished last night:


I love it.  Although I do not love the red and white dishcloth background.  Easy pattern with such a pretty effect.  Class coming up on April 9 if you are interested!

I also made the Three Way Fun cowl:


I started this at 5pm on Saturday and finished it Sunday morning at 10am.  Definitely fun, and quick, and pretty cool because you can choose several different looks to knit it in.  Also a class, coming up on April 3 if you are interested!

Also working on finding a shawl project to knit for an upcoming class. I’m having so much trouble finding one that I will love to knit and that others will love to have as a class.  I have had several false starts.  And by that I mean I have bought several patterns and haven’t started knitting them because the construction was not what I thought it would be, or it was just too difficult for a class, or it had a good stretch of purled garter stitch.  Who wants to do a purled garter stitch lace pattern?  Not me, really, even though it is pretty.  So, I’m not going to knit something that I’m not going to like knitting, only to then try and convince someone else that they really want to knit it!  So the search goes on….

And then there is this:


That is the first picture in the sequence of pictures to show you how I am going to go about steeking Paul’s vest.  That is the only picture there is.  Today is the day that I say screw-your-unreasonable-fear-of-doing-this-simply-because-you’ve-never-done-it-and-don’t-want-to-ruin-it-so-stop-being-a-scaredy-cat and TRY.  Although.  It is now 3:15pm and I’ve had a busy day and I’m a little tired.  I wouldn’t want to make a mistake because I was tired.  Maybe I should wait until Friday.  I can do it first thing in the morning when I am freshly awoke.  I’m not making excuses, just being sensible.

Fish Lips Kiss

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There are times when I see a pattern and think it’s the greatest thing ever.  Then, when I get the pattern and want to start it, something makes my knitting mojo sink.  I’ve had the Fish Lips Kiss Heel pattern printed out for over a year.  I had heard about it being the best heel around – comfortable and knit to fit your own foot – so I figured I had to try it.  I went and bought it (only $1 on Ravelry!) and printed it out.  Sixteen (16!) pages later, and seeing the need to make a template of your foot, I thought to myself, “Hmmmm.  Maybe later.”  I put it away for another day.  Recently, I started hearing about it all over again on a few podcasts.  Paula from the Knitting Pipeline podcast said it was the only heel she ever uses now.  Since I love Paula, I decided to revisit the pattern. [As an aside, Paula also recently gave a 5-star review for the iRobot Roomba 650 Vacuum Cleaning Robot for Pets.  Her daughter-in-law said it changed her life- changed her life! – and I am now dying to get it since I hate housecleaning.]

Originally, what turned me off was what seemed like the “extra work” involved (making a template of your foot).  But this time I decided to just jump right in and follow all the suggestions.  If Paula could do it, so could I.  I enlisted Paul’s help (since the pattern says you should absolutely not trace your own foot because you should be standing with your weight evenly distributed).  Got the template made and my toe-up sock started:


(And now you know how weirdly shaped my wide, flat, no arch, getting-a-bunion feet are.  Nothing like a blog to “put it all out there”.)

See the solid line and dotted lines on the template?  You use those to tell you how far to knit your toe and then the rest of the sock before starting the heel:


I did mine as a toe-up sock, but this template can also be used for a cuff-down sock!

Then you do the special, fancy, not-hard heel and then finish the sock:

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Pretty neat and totally fits me great.  Apparently, that little pucker in the heel is how the pattern got its name.  I’ll be scheduling a class to teach this at The Spinning Room coming up in April.

In other knitting news, I finished the pre-steeked portion of Paul’s Perun vest:


He said it looks “fancy” which makes me nervous that he won’t want to wear it.  I promised him it wasn’t fancy and that it was very “outdoorsy”.  Also that the neck would not be that tight since it is a zippered vest.  I am very happy with how it turned out so far.  Since that was done, we went and bought a zipper.  Now I have no choice but to do the steeking.  I’m very nervous.  Stay tuned.

In students-who-finished-a-project-news, look at Jan’s finished (but for the button-sewing) Tea Leaves Cardigan!:


It looks GREAT!

In Doodlebug crafting news, they made Martha’s heart garland for their mom and dad for Valentine’s Day:


Then this week they made some pinecone bird feeders:


And then drew pictures of birds eating from them (based on my very artistic sample):


Mr. Doodlebug decided to make his into an alien rocketship (on the left).

And then we hung them in the yard, and in one tree, where there is a nest every year, we put some extra wool yarn in case they needed it for their nest:

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Wish me luck on the vest steeking.  Hoping to get started on it this weekend….

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