Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Majestic Moose

Hello, after months of slight problems with technology and being busy with school, finally I have something to share!  And as a bonus it’s a twofer of sewing and knitting.

First of all I just want to say that I would never call myself a fast knitter but Andi Satterlund’s Majestic Moose vest knit up very quick!  Like I had grand delusional plans on December 14th that I had to have one for THIS Christmas.  I know we’re talking serious crazy here considering I had plans to make a few presents and still had fabric to choose.  Actually I had bought all the various yarn colors for the moose head during Knit Picks Thanksgiving sale which many people must have taken advantage of because it took much longer than usual to ship.  Still, considering some of the great yarn deals that were offered it’s not much of a surprise.
Malls have great backgrounds this time of year!
Never having done intarsia before I decided to knit the vest in the round and then add the moose by duplicate stitch.  This ended up being a very good idea and avoided me having to curse a blue streak later on.  Plus I figured my embroidery knowledge would help make this a much speedier project and I basically had no room for delays.
In a couple days I had the body done and was starting in on the duplicate stitching.  I had the face done and was starting in on the left antler(?) when I realized I was getting dangerous close to the end of my knitting and still had a fair amount of duplicate stitching to do.  After a quick count and then several slower recounts I realized that a fair bit of the design was going to be cut off.  I went through all the other projects on Ravelry and nobody else had this problem but I also couldn’t find another XS.  Wanting to do it right I took all the stitching out restarted 4 rows lower.  All the while I thanked my lucky stars I didn’t decide to try my hand with intarsia on this project.
This is when I discovered my problem
The second time around the duplicate stitching went much better – I think in the very beginning on version one I was stitching a bit too tight.  I still didn’t get all the stitches on the left hand side on, I think I’m missing 3-4 but I didn’t want the moose to be too low on my chest.  And I like to think it’s only visible if you stare at the pattern and then look very closely at the vest – something you shouldn’t be doing while I’m wearing it!
Overall I’m very excited with how the vest turned out!  Even better, I finished within my slightly unreasonable timeline.  It’s warm and cozy without being too bulky and the moose head makes me smile when I see it.  I like that it’s festive and cold weather fun without being totally Christmassy.   This way I can wear it throughout winter without being the fashion equivalent of that house still decorated for Christmas in February.  And I’m really looking forward to wearing it a lot during the next couple months!
I’m also wearing my second pair of Megan Nielsen's Tania culottes, this time a more all season version.  I used my same graded down pattern as last time but this time used the XL length.  I used a navy silk noil which I thought would make it a bit more casual but the nubby texture would make it a bit interesting.  I slipstitched the waistband facing and totally forgot until they were hemmed about interfacing the fabric before inserting the zipper.  Not that it gave me any problems.  In fact, this fabric was extremely low maintenance.  I hung them up to allow the hem to drop but the next day when I went to even it out I realized I didn’t have to. 
The hem that didn't drop
Surprisingly the hem didn’t distort at all and was just as even as they had been while lying out on my cutting/sewing table.  Talk about a very pleasant surprise!  The fabric was too thick to use my narrow hem foot so I serged the edge and used that to help evenly press the hem.  The actual hemming went quickly and afterwards looked just as even.  To be honest over the past few weeks I’ve kinda expected the hem to go all wonky on me but it hasn’t.  So sometimes you get lucky with circular hems.
In a perfect world I would’ve worn this with a shirt I’ve made as well, but that hasn’t quite made it to the top of my To Do list yet.  I’m very happy with both of these makes separately and love how well they go together.  The vest is probably the first piece of winter clothing that I’ve actually gotten very excited about as I greatly favor my summer clothes.