Sunday, March 28, 2010

Energy Project Progress

The spinning continues, and its going even better today than yesterday.  I spent part of this morning perusing the Beginning Spinning Group on Ravelry, and learned quite a bit.  Using my new found knowledge I split my huge ball of roving into two smaller ones and this has made spinning it quite a bit easier.  I'm also getting somewhat more consistent results, though the thickness still varies quite a bit.  But I think the project is going very well, and as an added bonus, spinning doesn't seem to bother my wrist.  I've spent a couple hours this afternoon spinning with no pain at all, where as spending this much time knitting, crocheting, or typing on a computer without a break frequently causes pain in my right wrist or hand.  Overall, I am really enjoying spinning and feel immensely proud of my little bit of yarn, as I'm sure Robert could tell you since I keep showing it off to him.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spinning Ambition

My energy law professors is rather eccentric.  He doesn't like people to take notes during class and the final is whatever you want it to be.  Seriously, whatever you want it to be from writing a paper to drawing a comic book.  He gives no guidance but encourages students to incorporate something that they're interested in or good at.  Well clearly for me that means there has to be knitting involved!

I've been rather intrigued by our discussions that involve how much oil goes into making something.  For example, it takes a gallon of oil to make a gallon of corn based ethanol.  With all my knitting and sewing I've been thinking how much oil goes into making the clothes we wear?  Is making your own clothes an alternative that would use less energy?

As a little experiment I've decided to make an item that uses as little energy as possible to make.  I'm doing this mostly by cutting out all the middle men and trans ocean journeys usually involved.  I bought some wool roving from Contented Butterfly Farm in Vermont on etsy that's from a sheep names Sage.  I plan to spin it, knit it, and do some math to see how much energy I used in this process compared to an item of conventional clothing.  Of course this requires me to spin, something I'm not really experienced in.  However, after a half hour of spinning this morning, I took the picture above and I think its going quite well.  It's at least not as thick and rope like as my first attempt at spinning.

Also, for an idea of what goes into an item of conventional clothing check out Patagonia's Footprint Chronicles.  It tracks the average journey of some of the items they make.  I find it fascinating, this is a company that actually makes an effort to be environmentally responsible but a huge amount of resources still goes into every item of new clothing they make.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Just in time for what is suppose to be a beautiful spring weekend I have a cute new top to wear.  The pattern is McCalls 5388, which I really liked.  The instructions were clear and the top went together pretty easily.  It just took me forever because I kept running out of stuff that I needed, like thread and elastic, and had to do a couple trips to Joanns before I was done.  The top is quite long.  Its tunic length, that kinda weird length that some people try to wear as a dress even though they really should wear pants.

I'm debating making another one of these tops using some green seersucker I got from, or I may make one of the other variations included with the pattern.  If I do I'll probably make it a couple inches shorter and possibly bring in the neckline a tad since sometimes my bra strap showed.  But overall I am very pleased and hopefully I'll get to wear it out this weekend.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Oh la la!

This is a French seam.  Isn't it just perfect?  It's pretty and neat and shows no raw edges, and thus no fraying of the fabric.  This is my first time doing French seams and I am now quite enamored because in addition to all those great features just mentioned its also super easy.  It's basically just 2 seams.  The second one in-cases the first so that the raw edge doesn't show.  I would explain more how this is done, but there are tons of great tutorials out there already.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wardrobe Refashion

Has anyone else seen the Wardrobe Refashion?  No, its not a spin off of Project Runway.  Its a website where a people have pledged to not buy new clothes for a certain period of time, ranging from 2 month to life.  They'll either make their own or buy used in order to escape the clutches of the fashion industry.  I am quite intrigued by this concept, but I don't think I currently have the time to make this sort of commitment.  It does inspire me to try and make more of my own clothes, as evident by the mini shopping spree I did on recently...

I loved the cute little blue flowers on this fabric and think it will make a perfect summer top. (Oh summer, how I miss you...)  The flowers are hard to see in this picture but I assure you they are super cute.  I'm thinking the short sleeved option for McCalls 5388 will be adorable.  This may be what I do tomorrow with first day of my spring break. Though it looks like I'd have to get elastic for the sleeves, but that's a problem easily remedied.

My other potential spring break sewing project is making this green vine fabric into a skirt.

But the problem here is that I can't decide what kind of skirt I want to make.  I'm up in the air if I want to use the tutorial for a full gathered skirt from Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing (One of my favorite sewing blogs) or make a simple wrap skirt.  Decisions, decisions.