Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stolen Moments

The textbook project is nearing the end (that's my constant mantra anyway), and we are all rather burnt out on the topic. Just as I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, a new project is in the works. So really, it's like driving in the mountains; out of one tunnel, around a bend, and straight into the next tunnel. Mr. Flame is burning it up in his own career and I feel like we're in dueling career mode where we're both desperately trying to manage it all and waiting until we get even a small breather.

So I have started to realize just how much I miss my sewing machine and my knitting needles and have started stealing small moments with each. It might be as small as knitting two rounds on a sock cuff or adding two squares to the t-shirt quilt, but it's something...

I got to a good stopping point with job work at about 9 Saturday night. Then I picked up my PTA pile that has been staring me down for a couple of weeks. I finally finished that up at about 11:30 (this is all p.m.) and decided to spend a few minutes browsing some of my favorite blogs that I haven't looked at in months (FYI, the list to the right of this post has some really wonderful blogs, I recommend them all).

Over at House on Hill Road I read that the lovely Erin Harris has three sewing patterns in this month's Stitch magazine. That's great, thought I. As I scrolled through her post, I found that one of the patterns is this:

(That image is straight from House on Hill Road.com, I believe the picture was taken by Ms Harris of the magazine spread. Thanks to both Hill Road and Stitch.)

That, my lovelies, is a cowl that is constructed of silk, silk velvet, and flannel for the hidden warmth layer. Of course, being that I've been searching for a great cowl pattern for a long time, and being a big fan of House on Hill Road, I had to have it. Right now, thought I.

So on Sunday, the Little Flame and I packed ourselves off to Joann's fabrics. First I located a copy of the fall issue of Stitch. Then I located the pattern inside and made certain that I understood the directions. "What are you making me?" queried Little Flame. "This is for me", I happily replied, and I swear five women looked at me with approving smiles.

I had two problems from there: First, the two-color scheme isn't quite my style. Two, Joann's is not exactly a fabric selection Mecca (will somebody please bring back Baers?!). I had to get creative and I had to make do.
I ended up using velor and brocade (I did stick with the flannel lining). I think they turned out wonderfully:

This is a medium grey velor outer with a light grey and pink floral lining. I think it's a bit more stiff than Harris's silk on silk original, but I do love it. It is soft and pretty.

I love this combination, but couldn't settle for just one, so:

That's a dark purple outer with a super soft, super silky gold and dark purple lining. I made this one a bit larger than the pattern (the grey is on pattern). I added two inches to the width so that it comes down farther on my neck with the hood up; and added 4 inches to the length so as to maintain the pattern proportions.

The grey was done first and it took me about an hour start to finish. The purple I did the next day and it took me about 40 minutes including cutting time (I am not a good seamstress, nor am I quick). This pattern is super simple, it is explained well, and the results are fabulous. It's the perfect pattern for stealing just a small amount of sewing time because it is fast and the results are so wonderful. It has a high ROI ;)

Again, the pattern is by Erin Harris of House on Hill Road and it is published in the fall issue of Stitch magazine. Joann's only had a few left, so I suggest getting it fast if you want it.

Special thanks to my dear friend Abby Harvey for taking entirely decent pictures of my non-photogenic self. I think I just learned why my grandmother always told me not to put my hair behind my ears (lol).