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SWAP 2017: Colors

July 16th, 2017

I haven’t made a full SWAP in years and probably won’t accomplish one in 2017, either. But I enjoy planning them and I am taking another PSD today, so I thought I’d plan one just for fun.

The new style SWAP has 12 pieces:

  • Core 4 (jacket, skirt, pants, top)
  • Inner column 2 (top, skirt)
  • Outer column 2 (jacket, pants)
  • Print 2-piece (top, skirt)
  • Twinset 2 (top, jacket)

That means 3 jackets, 3 skirts, 2 pants,and  4 tops.

Here’s the print I chose as the centerpiece of my last SWAP plan, a lovely silk georgette:

There’s the bright electric blue. and the light and dark taupe shades.

And here’s a pretty embroidered piece, resting on a jersey and a lovely wool crepe, both obviously in the warm browns family.

I made the light taupe trousers earlier this month and sewed up my third pair of pants today, in the dark taupe. So basically I was planning on teal and taupe.

Here is Pantone’s Fall 2017 palette for New York. Note the complete lack of dark brown.

I gave up the Pantone palette custom last year and went with the taupe and blue green plan. But this year there is a nice blue green, pale taupe, and the main neutral is gray.

Grenadine and Butterrum are slight variations on the taupe and coral combination we’ve seen in recent seasons. I have a length of pale taupe sateen waiting to be made into a skirt, and a ponte knit cardigan in that coral.

Spruce and Gray are such an obvious option for me; I have suit lengths in both, and actually have a WIP gray jacket from last year, as well as a completed top and pants. If I add a skirt, I’ll have the Core 4. The pieces I made yesterday could both count as Spruce if I’m not being picky.


Spruce and Port (AKA blue green and burgundy) are two of my favorite colors. We haven’t worn them together for years, but I might seize the opportunity.

This looks like an odd combination, but maybe we’ll get used to it by the end of the year. I have quite a few fabrics in pale pink.

So I could go ahead and sew up the teal and brown capsule, or I could shop in my stash for cloth and yarn and plan a new SWAP for 2017.

Maybe my georgette print can wait around until I’m as thin as I’m going to get before getting cut and sewn.


Wardrobe and Weight Loss

July 15th, 2017

Last time I published a picture of my closet, it was full of drab,  swampy colors. They were hanging neatly, but the overall look was sober. That picture is shown below. The picture above shows my current wardrobe, mostly in pretty, soft colors, not as neatly arranged.

I now wear size 10 jeans and size 14-16 jackets. Sometimes a 12 in tops and blouses, though I’m still a bit top heavy and also have a bit of a tummy, as the fashion mavens say, so a trimmer cut still requires a larger size. I’m within a few pounds of winning the Wii Fit game by moving out of the “overweight” classification and into the normal range. I could lose another 20 pounds and be slim, but I don’t know whether that will happen. I’m not dieting, just eating right (most of the time). Presumably I’ll settle in at a healthy weight at some point.

So maybe I should go ahead and sew up my stash in the SWAP I’ve been planning for some time. It’s been hard enough for me to give up nice store-bought clothes just because they’re too big. It’s hard to sew up beautiful fabrics knowing that I won’t be able to wear them in a few months. But size 10 is completely acceptable. I don’t feel a need to get any smaller than that. I might stay right there.

As for the size 16, I bought a few jackets in that size when Talbot’s and Coldwater Creek had their end of season sales this month. I intend to wear them as much as I can. Will I end up getting enough smaller in the shoulders that I won’t be able to wear them next year? If I just go down in waist and bust, I could still wear them, right?

I’m not sure. But I am going to sew a bit, in between working on the layette and before I get started on Christmas gifts.

Today I took a PSD (personal sewing day) and made a couple of new garments.

Here’s the fabric stack for that SWAP:

There’s a bit of a swampy tidepool look to it, but it probably won’t be enough to overcome all the pretty pink and blue.

The print will be a two-piece dress. Below is the blue-green column. It’s a pair of Elle pants in Emma One Sock “hybrid” woven and a Hot Patterns Fringe Festival top in a lovely soft rayon jersey.

The top is waiting to be hemmed after it rests overnight. It is very obvious that the pants are blue and the top is green. This is not really the monochromatic column the Nix-Rice class advocates.


But I like both pieces. The scarf detail has not lost its charm as I’ve worn the muslin (which was actually made from a floral scuba knit). Realistically, I’m not likely to wear the bright pants out in public anyway, so the SWAP will not be destroyed. Also, both shades look good with the print and all blue-green shades are good for me.

I made the pale taupe pair of pants earlier in the month and I plan to sew up the dark taupe pair tomorrow — it’s already cut out.

I should also make another top, right? I haven’t made a final decision about the woven tops, but I have two T’n’T knit top patterns. And of course there’s that hemming to do. The main focus of the weekend is to enjoy a hermit-like state in combined recovery and preparation for the busy social weekends that have characterized the summer and will continue to do so.

However, I also noticed this when I was in the sewing room:

This is the blanket from the Gull Stitch Layette. The baby shower is two weeks from today and I need to finish it before then.

So should I sew tomorrow or knit?

I also continue to wonder whether the gorgeous silk georgette print should be sewn up if I am still going to get thinner.

It could happen.

Froggy Evening

July 14th, 2017

Yes, I frogged the sleeve. Then I watched Father Brown all evening and reknitted the sleeve.


Check out the pretty wee buttons:

I will take a PSD (Personal Sewing Day) tomorrow and on Sunday as well, sewing up some pieces of my SWAP and enjoying a hermit-like weekend before moving into weeks with even more human contact.

Frog or No?

July 13th, 2017

Is the right arm obviously larger than the left? Like, so obviously that it has to be frogged?

It’s just a couple of stitches and I hardly noticed it till now, but in a sweater this tiny, it probably is bad enough that I need to frog it.


Lucinda Guy

July 12th, 2017

My Knitpicks summer sale order arrived. I was very restrained, ordering only yarn that I specifically needed.

The Little Girl has chosen a Lucinda Guy ensemble for her Christmas present.

It’s the Jack Frost Jacket from Handknits for Kids.

With it she wants the Dougie Dog hat and scarf.

Adorable, right?

She wants the red white and blue color scheme for both.

I have two Lucinda Guy books. Both are charming,  filled with whimsical drawings as well as whimsical patterns. From And So to Bed, I plan to make the Man in the Moon hottie. I may also need more of her books.

Guy has also designed knitting patterns for adults, but I’m more familiar with her kids’ patterns.

I’ve actually never made a Lucinda Guy pattern. I’ll come back and report after I’ve made something. Till then, I’ll say that Guy’s pattern books are among the most fun to look through.

Amy Herzog’s Sweater Modifications Class

July 11th, 2017

I took Amy’s Knit to Flatter class last summer, and this year I watched her new class. I bought the associated book last year and made a very nice, well-fitting sweater. I bought several sweaters’ worth of yarn and spent quite a bit of time dithering over the pattern/ yarn matchmaking before I gave up grownup knitting to work on the Baby’s layette.

The baby will be along in just a couple of months, so I think I may be ready to get back to grownup knitting. My new appreciation for swatching and confidence in fitting a sweater properly may allow me to use the lovely Colorado wool/silk blend to make the V neck cardi in the Sweater Modifications class.

I shall finish up the current baby sweater first. Then on to swatching!

The class has a nice straightforward explanation of how to fit every section of the sweater, plus clear directions for mattress stitch and various other techniques I’m not perfect with.

It has made me want to watch the other class again.


July 6th, 2017

Scott Adams recommends focusing on a single metric when deciding how your life is going: energy. I have a good, relatively objective way to measure my energy level. I spend 30 minutes every morning doing Wii Fit step. At the end of the 30 minutes, Wii Fit tells me the number of steps I’ve taken. On a typical day, I take about 3000 steps. A high energy day is more like 3060. A low energy day is 2900 plus — but not quite 3000.

This data allows me to know how my energy level is without being too affected by emotions. “I’ve been feeling tired” is too inexact for me. But I have been feeling tired, actually. And my Wii numbers are low most days.

So the most obvious issue is that I haven’t been following my Good Habits precisely. I’m not getting eight hours of sleep. I’m not waking up to a clean and tidy house. I’m not getting the right number of steps or the right amount of exercise minutes. I’m eating sweets.

I’m also spending a lot of time with people and not so much time by myself. Work has been very demanding, so I’m working extra hours, skipping exercise breaks, and feeling some stress.

So what’s the solution? My sleep schedule is affected by my husband’s work schedule (and I shouldn’t complain, because praise God he is still employed). But otherwise, I have choices. Should I do a Whole 30 to get back on track, or just follow my basic eating habits rules correctly? Should I stick to my exercise schedule religiously and ignore the demands of work, or add hiking on the weekends? Should I work and clean more on the weekends to reduce stress during the week, or should I relax as much as possible on the weekend in an effort to recoup some energy and catch up on sleep?

Fruit Salad Yarn

July 5th, 2017

This is Salade de Fruits from La Drogeurie in the Peaches in Syrup colorway. This is a bamboo/cotton blend, very soft and pretty. It came as a kit, with the pattern and buttons included.

I’m making Villelaure, a straightforward raglan baby sweater. The pattern begins with short rows in garter stitch — point de mousse — to shape the neckline nicely and make a pretty band. Then it continues with traditional raglan plus bands of point de blé — wheat stitch, though we don’t seem to use that term in English — at the front edge.

It’s simple and smart, and should be just right for the Baby’s layette.

Independence Day 2017

July 4th, 2017

#2 daughter, the Good Ol’ Boy, DIL, the Little Boy, and the Little Girl came over for the 4th. To say nothing of the dog.

Minimal decoration.

Fried chicken, grilled ribs, lots of fruit and veg, and some easy pastry.

2017, Part 2

July 3rd, 2017

I spent much of the weekend thinking about plans for the rest of the year. I talked with #1 daughter about the future of the business, reviewed my New Years goals, set up a new planner (and a six-month fitness planner, too), and did a lot of ruminating.

At length, I decided that I am in the middle of a bunch of things. We’re polishing our business systems and updating our certifications. I have speaking engagements to prepare for. I’m making a layette for the grandbaby we’re expecting in September, and when I finish that I’ll have a SWAP to complete and Christmas presents to make. I have quilts waiting to be quilted and sweaters on my needles. I’ve lost almost 15 more pounds this year and want to continue that particular journey. I haven’t gotten my January clearing list finished. I have several studies begun but not completed. The garden needs care. I will end my stint as church ruling elder in January. I have a lot of reviews to write.

We’ll also have #2 son close by for a while, and that new grandchild.

In short, I’m just in the middle of things. I don’t need to start anything new or even recommit to anything, but just to keep going.

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