Friday, November 29, 2013

Knitting By Booklight

We had a power outage last night. Five hours quite nicely timed. I had just finished sewing for the day and had gone upstairs, rolled two skeins of yarn into balls, and started knitting a new scarf. With nothing else to do, I got quite a lot done. The outage started out more isolated, got larger, and then was over. It was weird to be sitting in the dark when right outside our living room window the street light was on and you could see the lights of the city. This didn't last. The street light eventually went dark along with some more of the neighbors across the street.

That blue light is an LED book light. I put candles all around the room but the light wasn't strong enough for me to work with and propping a flashlight up is complicated and then I thought about clipping...

... the book light to the pole lamp behind the couch and that worked fabulously. Not that we get a lot of power outages in this area, this our first major one in two years, but I think I'll pick up a few more of those and... VBG... restock the candles.

Pre-outage, I worked on my grandson's coat. The thread color of the embroidery was perfect. I drew a line on the pattern across the yoke and square to the grain line, folded the pattern on the line, and matched it up to the letters, secured the tissue at the top, unfolded the pattern, pined the rest of the piece, and then cut out the entire piece. It worked well. The letters are centered and straight.

There's no official pattern for this coat. It's frankepatterned from bits and pieces of several patterns that were also drafted into smaller pieces. When I'm doing that kind of work, I check and double check my math and sometimes I'm right and sometimes I make a mistake. The zipper fit in perfectly - YES YES - and the bottom band was 1 1/4" too short and had to be re-cut. Depending what light you look at the coat in, it looks like I have the wrong side of the fabric or the nap running the wrong way. Sigh... oh well. It is what it is.

When I got to this stage with the double rows of turquoise embroidery at the zipper, I decided to use a zipper shield instead of a placket. It was too cute to hide.

After basting the shield in place, it was secured with the double rows of top stitching on the left side. Below, the band was cut double the width and then folded to the inside and secured by stitching in the ditch. I'll hand stitch the lining in place after I fix the sleeve.

When I made the prototype (minus band which is why I didn't know that measurement was off) I used a sleeve pattern with a shallow sleeve cap and then, when I switched from making a leather coat to this melton cloth one, I decided to use the sleeve and armhole from a Simplicity pattern with a nicer cap shape. It was traced, cut out, and stitched in when Carrie - a blog reader - forwarded me a link to the pattern a couple days ago asking if I'd seen it. I said yes, but be careful, I can't remember what the reviews say but the sleeve is either too long or too short. Yes... well... I wish I'd remembered that before I cut it out.

I reread the reviews and it's too short so I compared the sleeve length I had to a few other patterns and determined that I needed to add 1 1/4" so I'll add a cuff and that should work and go well with the bottom band. It's just a bit more fussy but that's okay. There's the cuff and then the lining and then the collar and I'm done. HOWEVER...

... today is really busy and I'm not sure if I'll have time on the weekend to finish and my daughter and grandson are coming on Monday. I don't want to rush and I don't want to show it to her until it's completely finished so there might be another break in completing it. My daughter and son-in-law just bought a townhouse and get possession on the 20th of January - yes, wasn't that nicely timed so that Mom had eleven days to paint before they moved in - so I'll be going there for two weeks and can deliver it then... meaning you might have to wait to see the finished project until the end of January. We'll see.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - LED book lights, electricity


  1. The jacket is coming along nicely; the embroidery looks perfect.

    I'll have to try the book light - I'm working on a pair of socks at the moment, and the book light just might be the extra bit of light I need :-)

    1. They did a good job of the embroidery. It's quite neat. I'm quite picky about spacing and font size and things like that so next time I'll know to be a bit more specific but it's still okay. The light worked quite well. Definitely worth trying although I'm not sure what it would add if you already have room lights. I have another pole lamp that I got at Walmart that also has a lower down second light that you can shine specifically on whatever you're doing. It works quite well. Email me if you want a picture of it.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.