Friday, May 25, 2007

Following directions, or not...

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

It's amazing how much knitting can be accomplished on a bus ride or two:For full disclosure, I did work a few rows after I got home, too. (It's the start of a Supernova sweater, from the fall 2006 issue of Interweave Knits.) My four year old's preschool this fall is about six miles away from our house, and he and I will be riding the city bus to deliver him there in the morning and to bring him home at lunch time three times a week, so I'm already thinking about how much stash yarn I'll be able to knit through just on the bus alone.

This morning, my little guy and I walked to the post office. Once home, I started working on a reversible vest for a birthday gift. As it turns out, similar to how I can't knit a sweater without changing the pattern, I can no longer sew a pattern without revising it somehow, too. For this pattern, the changes were significant. I bought a simple, unlined, vest pattern. I decided I wanted it to be reversible, and also incorporate some techniques from Nancy Cornwell's book, More Polar Magic, such as stitching the layers together with **wrong sides** together: After that, trimming the edges carefully (key word: "carefully") with a pinking shears. That way, there's much less bulk around the edges, and it's just sort of a funky finish. I also added some reverse appliques ala' Nancy's book. Here it is after trimming with the pinking shears and with a couple of the appliques sewn and cut out: I'm going to add a few more of the reverse appliques. To do it again, I'd make the collar on the purple side match, though I think it looks okay with the contrast, too. And, here's the reverse side:
Were you able to spot the four year old in that photo?

Anyway, reading Nancy's books and attending her seminars has changed the way I sew with fleece. She is sort of the Elizabeth Zimmermann of fleece, and she has fabulous ideas, so if you enjoy sewing with fleece, I highly recommend her books.

Finally, I just want to say that your comments about wanting to be a mom, and how it's okay to want to be "just" a mom, made me cry. That's what I wanted for myself since I was a little girl, too. Mostly, to be just like my mom.

My mom put off going to school to pursue her "dream" of being a nurse until her three kids were all in school, and I don't know how she managed to get through school while taking care of all of us seamlessly (especially since, I have to say, we really weren't much help to her around the house or otherwise), but she somehow got it all done. When I was lamenting to her one day that it might be too hard on me or my family to continue with my schooling right now, she said, "Well, I did it!" Anyway, I still think her real passion was caring for all of us, even when she was working as a nurse, though I'm so glad that she pursued her own dream, too. What a great example for us kids.

In any case, it was very affirming to "hear" you say what you did, so thank you!!

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)


sharon said...

Laura that is gorgeous!!!
I have some fleece that may need some converting.!!!!

ekittie said...


Come on over to for the rules. :D

<3 <3