Noir Tricoté Des Mitaines!

8 October 2013

8 October 2013

I chase the orange setting sun in the remainder of these shorter days, feeling a tragic loss of sunlight after starting my morning too late.  My body, sleeping soundly, is never present at the first gleam of dawn, and my tiredness spirals deeper throughout the humdrum of the day.

“The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.”
Proverbs 4:18 NLT

I refuse to live detached from any season, especially the whimsical fall.  These months have the potential to be the most therapeutic of all, inspiring transformation; deeper discoveries in myself, and my surroundings.  I am always attempting to change the ambiance in our place with every new season– both in decorating and de-cluttering.  After I have gone through our compacted closets and have made a clean sweep around our apartment to remove the things we no longer need, I feel refreshed and capable of letting all my creative ideas pour like fresh water into my thirsty mind.  The old and outgrown things are then handed down to friends, sold to Buffalo Exchange, or donated to our friend’s  homeless ministry.

It is liberating and a joy to give away the things that we no longer have use for; knowing that somebody else in the world will find it sufficient for their needs.  Evie outgrows her clothes and shoes almost twice a year, and it warms my heart to hear her thoughts of someone she is giving her things to.  Out of love, her friends have kindly given her their own treasures.  These exchanges leave a true impression of the virtue of giving, and I am grateful for these children that are living examples of such kindness to her.  I think we learn most about how to give when we experience the joy of receiving– and through this, it sparks the desire in us to share that same joy with others.

Psalm 113:3

Junipero Serra Museum

Junipero Serra Museum

In the fall, nature sheds such beautiful things at no cost– giving us materials to produce wonderful things with our own hands.  It is the perfect time for us to collect woodland treasures and disposable decorations which we have been wanting to bring home since late summer.  Up the side steps from the Junipero Serra Museum in Presidio Park, there are heaps of pine cones in the bushes.  I feel like I get to re-live my childhood as I explore with my darling Evie.   On this hill, the park staff pile up dead palm tree leaves and trimmed branches.  I bring Evie to this hill once in a while to get her nature fix– collecting leaves and breaking the sticks off of already sawed branches.  She could destroy an entire park landscape in an hour if I told her it was acceptable.  Every flower would be picked, every leaf and branch broken off, and patches of grass would be uprooted.  In her innocence and reasoning, she needs to make stews and nests for the animals that are not being cared for.  She thinks that all animals should be pets, and have an owner that would care for them and feed them daily.  I get to share with her that our heavenly Father feeds them, and it makes her happy knowing they aren’t neglected {Matthew 6:26}.  I am a bit afraid that if she ever had a pet, there would be excessive feeding and a lot of terrorizing– this is the manner in which she loves her stuffed animals, and her first real beta fish, poor Teken.

It is more rewarding to pick up a soft skein of worsted yarn and produce something satisfying, than driving to a shop and purchase fingerless gloves that do not literally fit like a glove.  After a week of watching documentaries with my husband on my laptop, bottoms glued onto our forest green suede-like sofa and backs pressed against faux fur white throw pillows, I finally completed three sets of noir tricoté des mitaines (black knitted fingerless gloves)!  I like to use French words to describe my projects because it always sounds better than English.  Vous voyez?  The hours knitting a set of gloves are soon forgotten after I try them on, and I also feel as though I’ve gained knowledge of the world while watching:  Happy People: A year in Taiga, China’s Mega Dam, Pururambo, Park Avenue, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, and listening to a few audio (dramatized) books in the bible on the Bible Gateway app.  I’ve become so accustomed to movies and productivity combined; that if I were to simply watch a movie by itself, it would feel like wasted time.

WoodlandCreatures-5

Evie’s fingerless gloves were quickly crocheted using this lovely ‘Fingerless Gloves with a Bow’ pattern that has been archived in my bookmarks for a few years.  I am constantly bookmarking in my web browser, pinning, or searching in Ravelry for new ideas and patterns so that when I do get the chance to knit, I have endless options in front of me.  Evie wasn’t too excited about black gloves, but the bows gave way to approval.  She also requested her name in pink embroidery thread and the number 4, for her age, to be stitched on the palm of each glove.  I will probably knit her a mini-size pair like mine (below) because I like the stretch in ribbing and how much more insulated it feels.  I’m sure if I used 100% wool, it would be very warm; despite the exposed fingertips.

Knitted Fingerless Gloves |Pattern by Life In Cleveland

Noir Tricoté Des Mitaines

View the original pattern by Life In Cleveland HERE.

To knit these fingerless gloves, the pattern calls for double-pointed needles (DPN’s), which are pointed at each end and work similarly to circle-needles where you knit in the round.  There is no need to reverse stitches in each row, like you would on straight needles.  Knitting in the round for gloves, socks, hats, and other tube like pieces of garments (sleeves, pant legs…etc.) create a seamless product; meaning, you do not have to sew up a side seam.

If you are petite like me, you can always go down a size of DPN’s which is what I did.  I used a size  6 and 7.  I did make a few adjustments for a custom fit, but did not change the overall results:

Sizes:
Small(Large)

My adjustments:
CO 32(40) with size 7 DPN’s
For the ribbing at the cuff, I did 15(20) rounds
And at the end of the gusset, when you start knitting plain rounds, I knitted 7(12) rounds
Switched to 6 DPN’s before you work the last 5 more rounds of the glove.

After the gusset has 13 stitches between the markers, I would probably knit about 5 more rounds before removing the markers– so that the thumb has a little more warmth.

WoodlandCreatures-3

Sunset from the Junipero Serra Museum in Presidio Park

Streaming “Dawn” written by Dario Marianelli & performed by pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet
xx
JENA
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The Seed.

Evie post-ballet

Evie post-ballet and watching our neighbor sweep the leaves.

The sky is a blanket of grey, the temperature has dropped to 63 degrees, and golden leaves are carried with the wind.  Our neighbor who sweeps the leaves daily is a very kind little old woman who has lived in our complex for over 40 years.  And amusingly, I hear her cursing under her breath as she bends down to pick up another leaf that has fallen after she swept the area.  Her frustration makes me smile because this gorgeous season is unrelenting in pure messiness, while this old woman works so hard to keep the apartment complex and curbside pristine!  It has crossed my mind to send Evie out there with a broom and dustpan to keep her leaf piles smaller, and lighten her work load.

A gentle breeze passes through the open window where I sit.  It feels good to breathe in fresh air, especially when I sit to write, or knit for a few hours indoors.  I found two untouched skeins of worsted yarn in my stash– one in black, and one in beige; two colors I feel that I must always have in stock for projects.  Black is so classy and never retires no matter what season or era we are in, and the many variations of beige (nude) can be the most complimenting color to tone down vibrant hues.  I feel that it also causes the darker colors to be courageously bold and intense.

Boye size US 8 (5.0) Knitting Needles

Boye size US 8 (5.0 MM) Knitting Needles

I love to incorporate the seed stitch into my personal projects.  Each raised purl gives it texture and dimension; appearing like scattered seeds–hence, the seed stitch.  You start with casting on an odd number of stitches, and then *knit 1, purl 1* repeat to end of row.  On subsequent rows, you will knit the purls and purl the knits.  The key is knowing the difference between both stitches, just in case you need to put down your knitting needles to get a second cup of tea and come back to it.  I have unraveled so many partially knitted projects due to sudden interruptions, and its not as simple to undo as a crocheted piece.  But it is through every mistake that I have learned something new as a knitter.

Matching Mother & Daughter Seed+Knot Turban

Matching Mother + Daughter Seed & Knot Turban

I’ve been wanting to write an easy turban pattern to share ever since our stroll around Balboa Park last week.  Several strangers passing by had whispered compliments into my ear about it.  That particular turban was made with larger needles and bulkier yarn, and also knitted wider in width to keep her ears warm and covered back in the frigid Spring.  We spent a lot of time at the playground off of Park Boulevard, where the airplanes are quite loud in flight– so it not only kept her really warm, but it also softened the sounds of the cars on the street and the airplanes above.

There are many ways you can achieve this style, but I think tying a knot in the middle before the ends are seamed together gives it that eastern flair; rather than the bow headband where you might knit in the round and knit a separate piece to gather the middle.  I had to include a mama version because I love when mamas and daughters match.  It took me approximately 2 1/2 hours to knit the Mother Turban, and 1 hour and 40 minutes for the Daughter Turban.

SeedTurban-2

KNITTED SEED+KNOT TURBAN
By Jena S. Kim

Sizes:
Mother (Daughter)

Needles:
One set of size US 8 (5.0 mm) straight knitting needles

Yarn:
Caron Simply Soft Eco 142 g / 249 yards
Worsted 80% Acrylic & 20% NatureSpun Post-Consumer Recycled Polyester

Other Materials:
Scissors, Ruler, Embroidery Needle

Gauge:
19 sts and 32 rows = 4″

Seed Stitch (SS):
All rows: *K1, P1* repeat to end

Binding Off (BO):
*K1, pass last st over* repeat from * to end

PATTERN: 

Mother (Daughter)
CO 21 (13)
Row 1:  Work in SS until piece measures 19″ (14″)
Tie a knot in the middle of piece– loosely or tight, whichever you prefer
Fold in half, wrong sides together
Knit into other side, while at the same time BO
Fasten off, and weave in the ends.

Leaf-text

Seeds of every generation
Between our hands
And the promise to teach you
The little I have learned… so far
Child…
What will you live to do?
What have I left for you?
What will we leave behind?”
Brooke Fraser | Seeds

 xx
JENA

Bijoux.

Bib Necklace Inspiration Source: Unknown

Bib Necklace Inspiration
Photo Source: Unknown

“The things you fear are undefeatable
not by their nature
but by your approach”
Jewel

04 September 2013 Evie wanted to show her Auntie Jaymi the necklace that she made.

04 September 2013
Evie wanted to show her Auntie Jaymi the necklace that she made.

My daughter loves puzzles, patterns and building things in symmetrical structures.  Teaching her how to make her necklace look symmetrical and having all the gems fit like a puzzle on the felt didn’t take long.  She wasn’t sure how this would end up into a necklace, but I told her that I would finish it when she woke up from her nap.  I left the final product tied around the neck of her pink pony.  When she awoke, she saw her pony wearing her necklace, and smiled. “Aww… my pony is wearing my necklace!!!”

She wore her necklace to dinner on Labor Day, and seeing it on her made me proud to know that she designed her own jewelry.  I would have never thought that all those pink gems would make the emerald and amber ones pop out so perfectly.  Believe me when I say that I did tell her, “Perhaps you should try to use some other colors…?”  She responded with, “Umm… its okay mommy, I just want all the pink ones.

090413-Evie-BibNecklace-6

BIB NECKLACE:
“A style of necklace that mimics a baby’s bib, with a thick section on the chest and a thin cord going around the back of the neck.”

090413-Evie-BibNecklace-3SUPPLIES:
A creative child
Hard Paper to make a template
Scissors
Glue Gun

NOTIONS: 
Gems
Beads (Optional)
Thread
Ribbon (Satin)

FABRIC:
Felt

DO-IT-YOURSELF:

1.  Fold paper in half (I used the thick back cover of an old magazine), and draw your own template on the fold.  Cut template out.  This is where you can make adjustments if you don’t like the shape of your template.

2.  Fold felt in half, and place template (on fold) on felt fold.  Cut felt out.

3.  Design the layout of the gems on top of felt. Take a picture of it just in case it falls off (mine did) as I was taking it to the glue gun.

4.  Carefully glue each gem onto felt.  It helps to align the holes of the gems so they are in a place that can easily be threaded from one gem to the next.

5.  Secure each gem by threading each one into the pre-drilled holes.  You will want to start from underneath threading up into a hole, and coming back down through the felt for each hole.

6.  *OPTIONAL*  I hand-sewed each tiny black bead individually to cover up the felt to make it look more elaborate and less like a Sunday school project so that she could wear it to parties and not just for fun.  This will take up a couple hours of your time if you have that to spare.  I did this all during Evie’s nap time.

7.  I used black ribbon (cut 2) and hand-sewed it to the edges of the final product.

Miraslava Duma Russian Bazzar Editor

Stylist | Miraslava Duma
Former Harper’s Bazaar Russia Editor
Photo Source : Unknown

xx
JENA

A Pocket For Mousey.

Pattern : McCall's M6274/CCE Style A

Polka Dot Shirt : Sewn by Me

My dear friend Nancy-Josephine and her husband Patrick made the move to Goleta in Santa Barbara this past weekend.  We spent our Thursday evening gathered with friends in their humble cottage tucked away in Old Town.  Nancy had a bag full of clothing and holiday decor that she was giving away.  I coveted a knitted black turtleneck sweater that I am o so eager to throw on when the weather drops.  Evie adopted a stuffed mouse, now going by the name of “Mousey.” She is fond of little creatures, and once she gives them a name, it becomes a part of the family.

31 August 31 Morning Dots at Balboa Park

31 August 31 Morning Dots at Balboa Park

Evie’s hair is getting very long, and I have been growing her bangs out so it can be pulled back for ballet.  When daddy undoes her braids and buns at the end of the day, he likes to say, “Bobby lives in your hair!”  (meaning: why do you have a dozen bobby-pins in your hair?)  I never quite understood why they make brown bobby-pins, until I had a daughter with brown hair, and then it made a lot of sense.  We have our own tiny jars in the bathroom; one full of Bobby Blacks, and one full of Bobby Browns.  Bobby has been serving his purpose during this unbearable heat-wave, and we never leave the house without a troop of him standing by.

083113-PolkaDot-1

Gathered at the sleeve

Despite the temperature rising as we near the end of Summer, my thoughts have already moved on to fall and winter projects.  I imagined our fall full of dots, and it hasn’t been easy looking for a polka dot knit.  Evie loves polka dots, and I think it’s because of Minnie Mouse.  It couldn’t have been more ironic that on this day she had Mousey.

The woman at the fabric store told me that these polka dots just came in and I may have been one of the first to buy a yard of it!  I was tempted to buy the white dots, but Evie preferred the black dots… of course it was the better choice.  When I made this shirt this past Friday, we were on our way to Auntie Bee’s surprise birthday party at Mission Bay.  She had just awoke from her nap and I had just finished modifying the stitches at the hem.  Her eyes widened when she saw her new polka dot shirt with a big patch pocket on the front.  She immediately gathered 1. A painted wooden duck that daddy gave which he got from Korea 2. Lip gloss — and dropped them into her pocket.  Her head would nod down every few minutes to make sure that they were right there where she put them.  Patch pockets are quite simple to make, and I will have to add them to several more of her shirts because of her affection for holding her treasures close to her heart.

Modified Hem Line + Tuck & Button Tab

Modified Hem Line + Tuck & Button Tab

A Pocket For Mousey

A Pocket For Mousey


SUPPLIES:
A little girl fond of little creatures + A Mouse
Sewing Machine
Pins
Paper Scissors & Sheers
Tissue Paper, Straight + Curved Rulers, Pencil (to trace out pattern)

NOTIONS:
Thread
Two 1/2″ Buttons (I used silver stud shank buttons)

PATTERN:
$1 McCall’s M6274/CCE Style A
*Bottom hem manipulated by me
Discount Fabrics

FABRIC:
Polka Dots (I bought 1 yard, but you end up using less)
Discount Fabrics

Near the Dog Park | Prado

xx
JENA

Easy As π

Evie in her full-circle floor-length skirt

Evie in a full-circle floor-length skirt

Evie calls this place “The Berrious,”  and I’m not sure why.  It is a secluded part of the Presidio that not many people pass through, and it has become our secret wonderland.  It is a hillside of green grass, encompassed by tall pines and wild daisies, under a picture framed blue sky.  It is the most perfect place to lay our blanket in the early evening, when the air is cool and the sun passes over the Mission.

She brought her ponies and unicorns, and I brought a book called, “Anthology of World Poetry“, edited by Mark Van Doren.  My mother-in-law, Sherry, gave it to me two Christmases ago.  I turned the pages to French poetry and found the most beautiful stanzas of life.  I then decided to read to Evie a few Psalms which is listed under Hebrew poetry, and there we stopped at Psalm 8.

She blinked... and it was perfect.

She blinked… and it was perfect.

My bundle of joy.

My bundle of joy.

THE CHILD READS AN ALMANAC

The child reads on; her basket of eggs stands by.
She sees the weather signs, the Saints with awe,
And she watches the fair houses of the sky:
The Goat, the Bull, the Ram, et cetera.

And so the little peasant maiden knows
That in the constellations we behold,
And markets like the one to which she goes
Where goats and bulls and rams are bought and sold.

She reads about the market in the sky.
She turns a page and sees the Scales and then
Says that in Heaven, as at the grocery,
They weigh salt, coffee and the souls of men.

LUDWIG LEWISOHN

Top : Zara Kids

Top : Zara Kids


082313-Evie-4

SUPPLIES:
A little girl with a pony
Sewing Machine
Thread
Paper Scissors & Sheers
Chalk
Pins
Measuring Tape
Chiffon Fabric (or any sheer woven)
Jersey Lining
Elastic
Tissue Paper, Tape, and Pencil (to draw out pattern)

WAISTBAND FORMULA
pi : π = 3.14

1.  Waist Measurement + 2 = x

2.  x / 2π = Radius of Waistband

The Radius of Evie’s Waistband:
19″ + 2 = 21″
21″/ 2π = 3.34 (or about 3 3/8″)

HOW-TO MAKE A FULL-CIRCLE SKIRT

1.  Lay out the tissue paper on your cutting mat aligning it to the grids.

2.  Take your measuring tape and place the 1″ mark to the corner of the tissue paper.  Find the measurement of your radius of the waistband and like a protractor, take your pencil and while the 1″ mark is held in place, create dotted lines across the tissue paper while dragging the measuring tape.

3.  Do the same thing with the length of the skirt you’re making + 1/2″ (hem that will be taken under).

4.  Cut out your pattern.

5.  Take your fabric and fold it in half, and in half again.  Place it on your cutting mat so that the folds are on both sides of starting point.

6.  Place pattern on top of fabric and pin down.

7.  Cut out fabric to pattern.

8.  Repeat steps 4-7 if using lining.  You can make the length of the lining about 2″ shorter than the chiffon.

9.  Pin chiffon to lining, and sew at waist with a 3/8″ seam.

WAISTBAND

1. For Evie’s waistband, I put elastic in the back half of the waistband (11″).  First I took the waist circumference of the skirt I made and used that as the length + 1″ (seam allowance).  The thickness of the waistband depends on you.  I made Evie’s about 1″.  So you would take that 1″(2) + 1″ (seam allowance) =  3″.  Evie’s waistband pattern was about 24″ x 3″.

2. Sew together your chiffon to lining on both length edges with a 3/8″ seam.

3.  With right sides facing, sew waistband into a circle.

WAISTBAND TO SKIRT

I am not the best seamstress, so ironing, basting, and lots of pins at this point is a lifesaver.

1.  Take your skirt and waistband, and with right sides facing each other, pin all the way around.

2.  Sew 1/4″ seam together.

3.  Take two pins and mark the side seams.  The front half of the waistband will be a smaller measurement and it will not have elastic.  Evie’s front half measured about 11″.  Everything else will be gathered with the waistband.

4.  Take your elastic and sew it at one of the side seams (where you marked with a pin) on your waistband.

5.  At the raw edge of the waistband, you will fold about 1/4″ under.  Sew 1/8″ seam from fold.

6.  You will be now closing up the waistband.  Fold the waistband in half, and pin so that it is aligned to the front.

7.  Top stitch from the outside of the waistband about 1/8″ from edge.  When you start getting to the end, leave about 1 1/2″ opening.  Pull the elastic until it reaches the other marked side seam.  Sew the elastic down to the inside of waistband.  Then close it up waistband by sewing the last 1 1/2″ of the waistband.

8.  I went back and secured the elastic by making stitches from top of waistband to bottom of waistband at the side seams.

HEMMING

The hem of the chiffon will can be challenging if you don’t iron and pin.  There are a couple ways you can do this, but I chose to do a basic hem.  I folded 1/4″ under, and another 1/4″ under.  Sew with folds faced down about 3/8″ from hem bottom.

The jersey lining will have a raw edge and will not need to be hemmed.

082313-Evie-5

xx
JENA