Fluffy Fibers: Episode 07: Break It Up

Plaid Torsadé - WIP

An episode in honour of the Autumn/Spring Equinox! Besides my current and upcoming sewing and knitting projects, I share tips on how to stay on top of your sewing plans despite a busy schedule. I give a mixed review of The Semi-Detached House, and talk about a modernist novel that I started.

You can download the episode (52:58) here, or listen directly from the embedded player below (if it works on your browser).
Here is the direct feed for the podcast, and you can also find the podcast on iTunes.

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~Episode 07 Shownotes~

1. Sewing Projects; 2. Sewing tips; 3. Knitting Projects; 4. Literature

(Episode recorded on Friday, Sept. 23.)

1. Sewing projects (2:50)
   1.a Completed (or nearly so)

– I finished my early maternity summer dress, Simplicity 2580. Pictures and review in this blog post.
– This week I started and almost finished a long-sleeved version of Jalie 2804, the Empire Crossover top. Shoutouts to Christina for inspiring me with her own versions from 2010, and for linking in her posts to tutorials on how to tweak regular top patterns for maternity wear. That was very useful. 
    1.b Coming up next
– Zippered cover for my cork-filled support/nursing pillow. (I didn’t want a polystyrene-filled pillow). The stuffing is tiny balls of cork, and you have the option of purchasing just the pillow, and the pattern for the cover (not that drafting this would be difficult – I just wouldn’t bother!).
– Long-sleeved knit dress for the impending turn of the weather.

2. Sewing tips: how not to feel daunted by your sewing plans (13:11)
– Break it up into small, undaunting, manageable tasks
– Sew regularly, even if for a very little while, to keep your reflexes and sew more quickly
– Take some breaks to avoid mistakes – which eventually will lengthen the project. Take time to smell the roses 🙂

Touring by Lang Yarns

3. Knitting projects (25:18)

– Have only one sleeve left to knit on my Vitamin D cardigan.
– Working slowly my way through Sunnyside Baby Cardigan. The yoke is done.
– Started on a blanket for the baby: Plaid Torsadé by la Droguerie (pictured at the top of this post). Knitting this in Lang Yarns Touring, which I find to be a great yarn for baby stuff. Here’s the colour card.
Something I didn’t make clear in the recording is that this is a Swiss brand (not French as my phrasing might have inferred, since I compare it to other French brands).
– Dear friend Nicki (luluminstrel) generously sent me two fat skeins of fingering yarn (pictures upcoming on ravelry) which I believe will be perfect for a Daybreak.
– Next I plan to start the Clara Dress by Karin Vestergaard Mathiesen. Seb bought me the kit the day we found out we were having a girl. I’ve been wanting to make this dress ever since I saw Itty Bitty’s version.

4. Literature (39:40)

– Finished listening to the Librivox recording of The Semi-Detached House, by Emily Eden; read by Elizabeth Klett. I have mixed feelings about this novel after listening to the second half.
– Started reading Dusty Answer (1927), by Rosamond Lehmann. I’m sensing common points with Virginia Woolf’s The Waves (1931), which further piques my interest. Characters mentionned in the passage I read are: Judith (through whose point of view the narration is rendered); Charlie and Mariella; Julian; Miss Pim; and Roddy.

Credits: Music: Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, mvt. 3 by Joseph Haydn, played by Mario Ajero.

8 thoughts on “Fluffy Fibers: Episode 07: Break It Up

  1. Tini says:

    Already downloading. I will listen to the episode on my way to a day full of sewing with other sewists, so that I have something to tell about on my podcast 🙂 (shameless plug here 😉 )


  2. Unknown says:

    Enjoyed the show! And yes US needle sizes are a mess. Most needle brands jump from US 10-1/2 (6.5mm) to US 11 (8mm)–that's quite a jump. A few brands do have 7mm (known as US 10-3/4) and 7.5 mm (known as US 10-7/8) but they are fairly uncommon sizes. We also have issues at the small end with few manufacturers making a 2.5mm (US 1-1/2) but those seem to be becoming a little more common now. Also there's no 3mm size in most brands. I don't know who came up with this system but it certainly leaves something to be desired.


  3. Tracy says:

    You are a creating wonder, Isabelle… I have no idea how you accomplish so much all the time! That cork-filled pillow sounds amazing. Will be keen to hear how you like it once you use it. Dusty Answer… I remember wanting that book for ages in my teens, just because the title sounded so romantic…LOL. It was a delightful read. Off to go listen… I missed you previous podcast and need to catch up. Super-busy days just now, and husband's work schedule all over the place…Life basically! ;o) Happy Days, my friend ((HUGS))


  4. Stacy says:

    Thank you for your wonderful podcast, Isabelle. I love sewing, knitting, and spinning (and literature), so I'm always happy no matter what you talk about! Congratulations on your pregnancy. I can't wait to see your “Clara” dress when you are done. I loved itty-bitty's version – and everything else she's done. You have probably already seen this, but Alicia Paulson, who blogs at Posie Gets Cozy, has knitted, crocheted, and sewn some beautiful girls' garments. She has a link to her Ravelry page.
    Fabulous job on your recent creations!


  5. melissa says:

    I totally agree with your time management tips for sewing, 100%! My recent trench jacket would NEVER have been made if it weren't for many separate 10 minute segments!

    Thanks so much for the shout-out! 🙂 I can't wait to see your dress. And thanks for the photo here of your blanket – as a non-knitter I know what a cable looks like but the other stitches I have no idea what they look like so it's great to see what you're talking about!


  6. CraftyGardenMom - Tanesha says:

    Isabelle, your podcast is simply lovely. I will definitely be mentioning it on my own in a future episode. Congratulations on your pregnancy, I love the fact that you're incorporating how to stay stylish during maternity into your sewing, and your projects are beautiful. Keep up the great work!!
    Tanesha (CraftyGardenMom blog and podcast)


  7. LisaB says:

    Isabelle, I've been enjoying your podcasts. It is so nice to hear your voice.

    I believe it was in this episode that you asked for advice for how to keep two strands of yarn from tangling. The link below shows one solution, which I found through the Stitcher's Guild forum.


    I have been lazy, though. Instead of making a fabric bag, I have been using a paper lunch bag. I put two 50g skeins in the bag with a strand of each coming out the bag opening. Then I add staples between the skeins to make two separate “compartments”. It has worked well so far, but the bag will need to be replaced as it gets worn. One of these days I shall sew myself a bag like in the link above.


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