Monday, February 29, 2016

40's College Life

She Knits in Pearls - 40's college life

I may not be attending college in the 1940's but I am attending college in MY 40's.  Yes, this 40 year old is in college.  I've mentioned it a few times before that I am drowning in homework so it's not really new news but I finally got some pictures of me attending class and wearing some of my best 40's inspired me-made cloths and accessories.
She Knits in Pearls - 40's college life

I bought this fabric last fall and finally (4 months later) I was able to turn it in to this warm, vintage inspired, pleated skirt.  Plaid is a great print for pleating, having no pattern to go by, I was able to line up perfectly equal pleats by using the lines in the pattern.  Again with another no-pattern skirt.  I don't know what my aversion to using patterns is but I have always been better at visualizing what I want to make and figuring out a way to do it on my own.  This used to drive my mom crazy.  I once made a pair of black lace baggy pants that I would wear over leggings using a pair of pajama pants as a template.  Damn, I wish I still had those pants.  Anyways, for the most part, I usually stick to elastic waste skirts for comfort and easy but I wanted to try something a little different.  Plus, I really need practice putting in zippers.  After watching 10ish Youtube videos, I think I'm getting much better.  I'm looking forward to making more, and more, and (you know me) more. 
 
She Knits in Pearls - 40's College Life
 
I paired my new skirt with a simple thrifted cashmere top.  It had a few tiny holes in it when I got it but with a little needle and thread it's as good as new.  To complete the look, I accessorized it with a hand knit neckerchief,crocheted snood, and hand made dear brooch (part of my Halloween Costume).  This little bow scarf is an easy and simple pattern (and FREE) great for using up left over yarns and perfectly accessorizes any winter/fall outfit.  I've made 5 or 6 of them and could make a million more.......   After I do my homework.......
 
She Knits in Pearls - 40's College Life
 
I'm lucky to be attending classes with other students that are um, more mature, than your average 18 year old college students.  For the most part, we are all in our late 30's to early 50's and going back to school to try to make better lives for ourselves and our families.  I had a class last semester that was filled with mainly late teens and early 20somethings.  It was all I could do not to choke most of them with my string of pearls. I'm thankful to be surrounded with other people who are struggling to balance homework with making dinner, carpooling kids, family time, and other activities of adult life.  Although I don't have a job and school is my main focus, I still find it difficult to balance the tons and tons of school-work and classes with the activities that I enjoy and adult responsibilities.  My knitting is really suffering. 
She Knits in Pearls - 40's College Life
 
For the most part, I feel like I am completely loosing my mind.  But it will all be worth it in the end, when I have a job that I can physically do, that pays well enough that, in my off time, I can afford to do the  Until then, I will do the best I can and that is good enough.
 


Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Valentine's Day Dress for Penelope

She Knits in Pearls

No, I haven't changed my name to Penelope.  Not that it isn't a perfectly lovely name, and shortened to Penny is just oh, so adorable.  Even cuter still is this adorable cardigan I finished knitting a month or so ago aptly named the Penelope Cardigan from the talented designer Andi Satterlund.  I am such a sucker for her designs!  If you've been around for a little while you know that I've shared many, many, MANY other sweaters I've made from her designs and I have no plan on stopping. 

She Knits in Pearls

At the beginning of the year, I told myself that this was the year that I FINALLY learn how to do color work.  Honestly, I think this has been part of my knitting resolutions for 8 or more years now.  But beyond simple stripes, I have yet to do so.  When I saw this pattern with a simple little bit of color work, I thought it would be a perfect way to get my needles wet and take some of my fears away.  There are only 2 rows of stranded knitting that create the lovely scallop pattern along the color change.  Guess what?  I did it, and it wasn't scary at all.  I think my next color work project will be a fair isle hat.  Unfortunately, that will have to wait a bit.  My brain just can't handle that right now.
Penelope Cardigan

I used Patons Classic Wool Superwash DK weight. This was a great, inexpensive, high quality wool that has been treated with a superwash solution so you don't have to be afraid to wash it.  Although, I still wouldn't recommend washing it in extremely hot water and tumbling it on high.  You just wouldn't want to temp fate like that.    I had no problems with the pattern and the only little alterations I made was putting the contrasting color on the sleeve cuffs.

She Knits in Pearls

I've been on a pretty tight shopping ban over the last few months.  As I am planning on moving across the country next fall I (a) don't want to have to move too much stuff and (b) need to save up money for the move.  I had absolutely no intention of buying a new dress for a Valentines Day night out.  But when a deal falls into your hands (by way of cell phone in hands) sometimes you just have to go for it.  I don't buy many dresses on-line, as you know, I make most of my skirts.  I just happen to be scrolling through Instagram and one of the lovely ladies that I follow was selling this dress.  Only one other time have I come across a cute dress, IN MY SIZE, at a great price (and I jumped on that one too).  It's probably a good thing that it doesn't happen too often or I might never be able to afford to move. 

She Knits in Pearls


This darling red hearts dress is from Retrolicious.  I was a little scared when I opened up the package and discovered that the thick, good quality cotton had no stretch to it.  Usually, that means that it isn't going to fit my proportions.  I was pleasantly surprised when I slipped it carefully over my victory rolls and zipped it up like it was sewn to my measurements.  Just more proof that me and this body I am in are meant to wear this style of clothing.  It fits me and my personality so well. 

She Knits in Pearls

I hesitate to talk too much about store bought clothing on my blog here.  Although I want to support the companies that I like and love to share when I get a good deal, I see too many blogs out there that only talk about this new dress or that new skirt.  Most of which I could never afford (seriously, how do these girls afford to wear new clothes every week!?!?) If I want to see all the clothes I can't afford, I'll go to that companies website.  Also, I want more from a blog.  I want to get to know the person wearing the clothes, not just what brand they are wearing and that said clothes are so great and comfortable or versatile.  Sometimes I feel like I'm just looking at a page in a catalog, which isn't why I read blogs.  I'm not trying to bad mouth anyone, I still usually find myself clicking through them for style inspiration but it's not the kind of blog I want to write.  So for the most part, I'll stick to sharing my hand made garments, how I style them and the occasional purchased garment that I've usually gotten for a real great deal.

P.S.  Is anybody else obsessed with cute picture frames on photo editors?  As you can see, I went a little crazy with them this week.

XOXO,
Cherry

Monday, February 8, 2016

Where's the Doctor?

Vintage Knitting Dr. Who She Knits in Pearls

This post has been a long time coming.  Hell, any post has been a long time coming.  I know I've taken quite an absence from blogging lately.  I am very sorry for the dead air.  The last few months have not been the best for me.  After spending an, unexpected, 11 days in Seattle to see a specialist for my back (a trip that was just supposed to be 2 days) in December and not getting the news I had expected I returned home and sunk in to a depression.  That depression kept me in bed, unable to focus, unable to knit, unable to sew, and unable to blog.  Never mind that I had no desire to share all that (all this) with the world. 

After I worked hard to get through the depression, it seemed that the time between blog posts was too great.  How do I come back?  Has it been too long?  Do I share why I've been gone?  Well, screw it, I'm going for it!  So, I made the decision to come back, now what?  I have a dozen projects I'd love to share but not a decent picture of anything.  The few pictures I do have I cant seem to edit well at all.  There, I said it.  I can't edit pictures for shit!  Sure, someday I'll learn but that's about the last thing I have time for right now.  I'm tired of not blogging because I am insecure about the quality of my pictures.  I never started blogging to show off my picture taking or photo editing skills.  I started blogging because I liked sharing the things I do and the things I make with people.  I started blogging to give me a voice and empower me.  Not to make me insecure about whether I'm a great photographer or not.  So there you have it.  I'm coming back.  I may not be able to blog too often as my school schedule is KILLING me.  My pictures may not be the best either, but here's what I got and I'm willing to share it with you.

Vintage Knitting Dr. Who She Knits in Pearls

So, like I was saying (before I verbally puked on you), this outfit post has been a long time coming.  I have had this knit top and this skirt done for months.  I've worn it many times.  In fact, these pictures were taken on my third time of wearing this top and skirt together.  I had meant to get pictures the first two times but it just didn't happen.  Not that I have minded wearing it on many occasions.  This has come to be one of my favorite outfits that I have ever made.

Vintage Knitting - She Knits in Pearls

This is the first knit top I've made in years.  If you've been around for a while, you know that I've been completely obsessed with knitting cardigans over the past few years.  However, in the summer (which is when I had cast this on) it's hard to want to knit a bulky sweater.  Especially last summer, which was one of the hottest we've had in years and years.  I was in search of a pattern that I could knit that wasn't hot and bulky but would still add to my wardrobe.  I also wanted to try my had at a true original vintage pattern, not a remake or vintage-inspired. 

One of my favorite places to look for vintage knitting patterns is over at Subversive Femme.  Bex has compiled an extensive list of FREE Vintage Patterns that she kindly shares with her readers and visitors.  Not only is she super generous with her collection of patterns but she's also an insanely talented knitter and seamstress.  I highly recommend you go check her out! This pattern is the Spring Song Blouse from the 1950's. 

Vintage Knitting - She Knits in Pearls

I really enjoyed making this top.  I was a bit timid to work with a vintage pattern but I shouldn't have been.  It was strait forward and worked up rather quickly.  I know I'll be making this top again (I may even already have the yarn)!  I thought I wouldn't like the lacy, see through aspect of it but with a little camisole or a full slip it's no big deal at all.

She Knits in Pearls - Vintage Knitting

I had been drooling over this Exploding Tardis fabric for some time.  It had been showing up here and there on my Instagram feed and I had even pointed out a dress, made from it, to Ian.  If only we could afford to spend $200 on a dress.  Unfortunately, that just isn't in my budget.  So, I about squealed for joy when I discovered that it was available at Joann's.  Armed with my most recent 50% coupon I immediately went out and bought some.  I was even able to buy enough to make my dear friend Terri a skirt too.  We're both geeks at heart and love us some Dr. Who (David Tennant, all the way).  The skirt is made from my generic, elastic-waist, circle skirt pattern so there isn't much to talk about.  The fabric is what makes the magic. 

I can see this top pattern and skirt pattern becoming my go-to outfit.  I can't wait to make this top in many more colors to go with my ever growing me-made skirt collection.  Although, I don't see that happening to quickly.  I mentioned earlier that my school schedule is absolutely crazy right now.  I have hardly had time to knit a few rows, much less dust off the sewing machine.  I'm completely surprised that I finished my work today and had time to write this post.  My goal will be to write 1 blog post a week.  I'm going to work hard to make that happen.  But if I don't, I'm not going to beat myself up about it.  This is the toughest semester I've done so far and I have to make that my priority right now.  That being said, I love blogging and I have missed it, so I will be here when I can and that's good enough for me.

Do you have a free source for patterns that you love?  Ever used a vintage pattern?  Any tips for not letting your insecurities stop you from doing the things you love, even if you won't be the best at it?  I'm all ears and would love to hear your thoughts.
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