Two days in a row of working in the sewing room, I can hardly believe my industriousness! I decided to do some multi-tasking in there. I put The Original Philosophers Two Handed Fair Isle knitting video into the player and started unsewing one of my old T-shirts that I want to alter. I got the knitting video a few years ago on Christmas along with the companion book.

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It has a good explanation of how to do fair isle knitting. Since I have been toying with the idea of starting a fair isle project, I figured it was a good time to study the video. It is produced by Ann and Eugene Bourgeois who own a farm in Canada, grow their own sheep, spin and dye their own yarn, knit beautiful sweaters and pullovers and sell yarn kits and patterns.

While I was watching the video I ripped out the hem of a T-shirt that I had altered already. I had cut this shirt down from an extra large size. It was a gift from the Richard Burgi fan club and it has the little RBFC logo on the front. I really wanted to wear it and that is why I went to the trouble of altering it. Unfortunately it still is a little too loose and I have been meaning to take it in a little more. I like the shape and length of the sleeves, so I also wanted to make a pattern of the sleeves and use it to reshape some of my other T-shirts.

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I watched the whole video, but didn’t get too far with the T-shirt. I guess I’m not very good at multi-tasking after all.

Saturday Sewing

I headed into my sewing room today to whittle away on my pile of things to do in there. First I ironed out the green practice shawl I knit some time ago. I had this green scrap yarn and decided to try out the leaf lace shawl pattern and work out some of the things I didn’t understand in the instructions. It turned out great. I love the leaf pattern and it is actually very easy to knit. When I finished the little practice shawl I was excited to see how it would look when I blocked it out.

Unfortunately when I did the wet blocking it didn’t take. That is when I realized that the yarn is probably acrylic and doesn’t respond to blocking like real wool does. I was disappointed because it was still all crimped up and you couldn’t appreciate the lace pattern on it. Later I read on the Internet that it is possible to stream press acrylic flat. In the terms of the knowledgeable, you “kill” the acrylic yarn by this process. Steam pressing destroys the ability of the acrylic yarn to bounce back to it’s original shape. I figured I had nothing to lose, so a few weeks ago I experimented and steam pressed half of the shawl. It worked! After pressing, it stretched out to a larger size and lay flat.

This morning I finally got around to steam pressing the rest of the shawl. It now works nicely as a small shoulder shawl and you can really see the nice lace pattern. I think it looks great.


Next I decided to work on fixing this apron. I removed the binding and unsewed all the rest of the parts sometime ago so it was ready to cut down to size. I bought this apron at Ross but it never fit very well. When the ties were were wrapped at my waist, the bib came up too high on my chest. I finally decided that I would have to alter it if it was ever to fit properly.

This is how it looked with all the parts layed out before I reshaped the top. The red line indicates how much I needed to cut off.


It was more work that I thought to cut, reattach the edge binding and then reattach the neck and waist ties. I modeled the finished product for Marty.