Shawl FO and Serger Almost-Success

Second post! Can you believe it? I won’t say the blog is fully revived but I’m tryin’.

First of all, thanks to all of you who read the last post, are still with me from years ago, and/or left a comment. I do love those comments, and please know that I am so socially awkward that I don’t always know I’m supposed to reply. Oops, guess I will from now on!

On the knitting front, I finished a long-time WIP, the Spearmint Tea shawl with Miss Babs Yummy Sock Yarn in the Biker Chick colorway. While I was at Stitches West, Mehitabel Marie asked me to pick up a skein of Yowza in this colorway for her. When she told me it was black, white and orange, I can’t even describe what was going on in my mind. Suffice it to say I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it knit up in a sample at the booth. Enough so that I had to bring a skein home with me. Here’s what the shawl, dubbed Earl Grey Tea, looks like while blocking.

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Why is she named Earl Grey Tea? The pattern is called Spearmint Tea, but the colors look more like Earl Grey to me. I drink English Breakfast every morning, but Earl Grey sounds a bit classier, don’t you think?

This crescent-shaped shawl was pretty simple to knit, even with the lace. The only parts that tripped me up were 1) flying along without keeping track of my progress and having to rip back inches to put in the garter ridge rows, and 2) not having stitch counts before the lace. As I am wont to do with my knitting, my stitch count was off, so I had to fudge it quite a bit with some thrown in increases here and there. This allowed me to start the lace according to the directions, rather than have to try to figure it out in the middle of the lace repeat. It all worked out in the end and I’m looking forward to having a modeled photo for you in the next post. (I gotta have some kinda hook to get you to come back, right?)

On the sewing front, last weekend I attended Mimi G’s Sewing, Fashion and Style Conference in Downtown LA. It was a wonderful two day event filled with fabric shopping downtown at Michael Levine’s, listening to knowledgeable industry speakers, and meeting tons of other sewists who also blog. I’m realizing that I don’t have the sewing camaraderie with friends, as I do with my knitting friends, and this helped me meet a bunch of friendly, open and experienced sewists. I’ve connected with many on facebook and instagram, joined a couple of online sewing groups, and found a couple of new blogs to follow, Susan from Miss Lulu Sews and Diane from Diane’s Vintage Zest.

With the excitement from the conference, I harnessed my energy into cracking the tough nut that is my serger. I read through my serger books, looked at online serger tutorials, read and reread the serger manual ad nauseam, and watched the Beginning Serger class on Craftsy which I got free for visiting their booth at Stitches West this past year. (I love how my Stitches West experience is still present with me even five months later! I have invested about six hours so far into my friendship with my serger, and it’s juuuuust beginning to pay off. She’s a little fussy but I know that the more time I spend with her, the more rewarding our friendship will become. Here are a couple of proofs of my serger almost-success.

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Basic overlock with woven fabric

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Basic overlock with lightweight jersey knit

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I even figured out how to make gathers! But don’t look at the top very closely. It’s a hot mess.

I’m learning on a drop-waisted dress which Squid has requested. Hopefully, it’ll come out well enough for a photo. Next post, yeah right.

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8 responses to “Shawl FO and Serger Almost-Success

  1. Your serger will be your friend, but like most “pets” she will require some training. I hear you about the “community” of sewers being rather limited in opportunities for interaction–like quilters, garment sewers are mostly solitary! It’s hard to gather when you have to bring along a machine and all the paraphernalia! Blogs are a great way to connect. Who knows, maybe you’ll inspire me to make a few garments again!

    • Oh Mehitabel, you are my Serger Guru! Thank you for all of your guidance so far and thank you in advance for the guidance that I know you will continue to give me. I’d love to see you sew some garments, and to see some of your past garments you’ve sewn. I know we have seen the likes of wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses. What a collection you must have amassed over the years.

  2. Cool shawl. You’re making me want to pick up my knitting needles again! Thanks for the shout out. It was a really cool event and it really was nice to meet so many new to me sewers, including your kind self. Stick with the serger trials. You won’t regret it.

  3. I’m super impressed with your serger gathering. I haven’t taken the time to figure it out yet!

  4. I LOVE my serger! It is so fun once you figure it out 🙂

  5. that is indeed a classy name for a very classy scarf 🙂 and hooray for serger success!

  6. Hey there! Very nice serging! I’m just getting started with mine, as you know, so we can be beginners together. And I’m so happy to find a new sewing friend too! It was awesome meeting you in L.A. 🙂

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