Like a sir

Happy Independance Day!

We came home a few days ago after almost 2 weeks in good old France. Our trip went well, we saw family and friends, our storage in Paris area is now empty and our friends are now married ♥. So I can show you all the stuff I knitted/sewed for this amazing event.

Let’s start with Mr Hubby! I don’t sew very often for Mr Hubby (except for phone cases… :S), so it is now time to show some fashion for man!
A few month ago, almost as a joke, I offered Mr Hubby the possibility to sew him a vest for the wedding of one of his close friend from grad school. He contemplated the possibility for a few minutes and to my own surprise accepted my offer, even though it meant to wear a bow tie rather than a tie (which was terra incognita for both of us). He was excited about the idea of being like a sir (and the potential to recycle the vest for his shark pool activity). In fact, he loved that idea so much that he printed some plastic moustaches for the whole gang and we ended up wearing them during the wedding 🙂 That’s what we call the French touch! 😉 (btw, it was a American-French wedding, so we had to made the point with the bride’s guest! But that’s another story).

Like a sir. You got the idea…

Back to the vest! The project was quite easy except for one detail: the fabric. I had the pattern (remember New Look 6659 ?), it’s an easy one, but we needed a suit fabric that matches with Mr Hubby suit, which is a shade of grey with thin stripes. Not a easy job but we (yes, it was a team job) finally found a beautiful navy stripey suit fabric at Fabric R Us in San Jose, CA (on Berryessa road) for $5/yd!
Second challenge, the interfacing. Over the last months, I faced several issues with interfacing. Sometimes, it unglued, sometimes it wrinkled. Sometimes both happened 😦 So I decided it was time to do something I never did before: pre-wash the interfacing in cold soapy water before to iron it. Well, that was a brilliant idea since it shrinked! And when I apply the interfacing, I didn’t use steam to avoid the interfacing to stretch. Look at that!

interfacingAs you may notice, interfacing shrinked and I have a gap up to 1/4″ in the middle front. 

The project went well. I made a toile first and made some minor alterations: I reduced the side, below the armhole by 1/2″ on each piece and lowered the neck line a bit (about 5/8″). I decided to close the fake pockets to avoid any weird shape. Even my buttonholes look good 🙂

like a sirSir Hubby and his bowtie! ♥

Tadam! Lovely and easy project. More pics from the front and back for the curious one!

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Now I have a problem. I made a dress for that same wedding but 1/ I don’t have any picture of it (ahah, this is so me!), 2/ I am not sure that dress is wearable again, I had a problem with the fabric while wearing it. So you may have to wait for a while to see it, but don’t worry, I have something else to show you.

Stay tuned!

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Knitting for Mr Hubby

Finally, after more than 2 years sewing and knitting, I was able to convince Mr Hubby to sew/knit something for him other that a wooly hat and a phone case. It was not an easy job to find something that interested him and matched my technical requirements (it has to be fun for me), but we (I?) ended up with a cardigan from Cookie A: Chicane.

Pattern: Chicane by Cookie A

It’s basic enough for Mr Hubby and fun with the sleeves for me. And Mr Hubby doesn’t have any cardigan left since the last one (a very beautiful one in a gorgeous wool) shrinked after being washed at the wrong temperature :S (apologies to my mother-in-law, I didn’t do it on purpose and was very sad when that happened). So we had a deal! And this is how I started a long and annoying journey. I’m so glad I’m done!

You may wonder why I found it annoying?
Well, after I finished knitting the bottom rib, the instructions said: work on stockinette stitch until you have knitted 17″. That was way too long for me, considering men don’t need to have waist and bust shaped. It was 17″ of doing exactly the same thing 😦

Also, I have to confess, I am not a big fan of the instructions. This is a bottom-up cardigan knitted in 3 pieces. As I hate seaming knit, I immediately changed that in one piece. I replaced some BO while shaping shoulders by short rows, the work is much more beautiful and neat! And rather that seaming front and back shoulders, I used the 3-needle binding technique. Much neater.
One detail bothered me a lot: I kept replacing a lot of K2tog by SSK stitches, and vice versa, since the design made much more sense that way. And to end it all, I didn’t understand a word of the zipper edge explanation, so I skipped that part! (yes, I’m like that).

But look at my work, this doesn’t looks bad?

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 IMGP8123mThe sleeves are too long after blocking 😦

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(Disclaimer: for the purpose of this blog, no husband has been abused or underfed. Mr Hubby is naturally very very skinny and eat healthy food everyday, as well as ice-cream)

FYI, this is a size 36.5″, Mr Hubby is a size 34.5″ and I added 2″ of ease. To tell you the truth, this is the part I don’t like about this sweater, my husband looks very skinny and fragile in it, like he’s sick. So may be I should have add more ease :S

Now look at the sleeves detail! My favorite part!

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I might knit that sweater for me later (there are instruction for male and female, how awesome is that?) but with another yarn. I made a very poor choice for that project (I should listen more often to my friends, specially those who brought me to the Stitches Con). I wanted to try the KnitPicks products and bought some Wool of the Andes Tweed yarn. I heard a lot of good stuff about Wool of the Andes and I’m pretty satisfied with it (see my cushion), so I thought the Tweed was as good. Naaaa, mistake. I should have anticipate that when I read the description:
“Our classic worsted weight wool combines with earthy-colored flecks of Donegal tweed, which are viscose neps (think slubs or bits of lint) that are suspended in a very fine acrylic mesh which allows them to be spun alongside the wool fibers. In the yarn, you won’t be able to see the acrylic web at all, and the neps will appear either on the surface of the yarn or spun inside the yarn strand.”

This is exactly what I hate about that yarn. The mix is great, soft and warm, but it looks like crap, cheap product. It just a messy arrangement of contrasting wool mesh. It is very easily removable by hand and fact is, I spent wasted a lot of time removing these meshes because they look crappy once knitted, specially beige colour on a dark brown yarn. Really crappy and cheap. The worst? I have almost 3 skeins remaining. No idea what I will do with that. :S

To conclude this post: the pattern is interesting and can be great once you made your own corrections. The cardigan is a good basic and can be declined for men and women. Just avoid the crappy yarn I used! I would recommend a heavier yarn, like the one use for the model.

Ladies, any yarn recommendation?