Hitchhiker by Martina Behm

Remember the wool I purchased at Puyallup?

It was 2 skeins of Fancy Image Hand-dyed Yarn with the name of Tiger.

At the same time I also purchased the pattern Hitchhiker by Martina Behm that looks amazing in the variegated wool above.

I wanted to keep practising my Continental knitting so I thought this shawlette would be the perfect project to keep me busy whilst we were travelling.

I had only taken 2 pairs of interchangeable knitting needles with me and the smaller of these were 4.5mm and the pattern did call for 3mm.  As I didn’t want to purchase any more interchangeable knitting needles (as I had the full set at home), it did mean that I probably wouldn’t get the 42 teeth although this is not critical to the finished shawlette.

So by the time we left Puyallup I had the first 8 rows knitted and was then happy to continue knitting on our road trip north to Canada.

This is a very clever pattern, you start with 2 stitches and there are only 8 rows to the pattern, so once you get into a rhythm, it is easy to pick up and put down.

I had knitted 14 points before we got on the plane to come home.

I continued to knit this on our flights home and quite a few hours snatched here and there when we got home to finish this shawlette.

I am very happy that I did manage to get 38 teeth for my Hitchhiker shawlette

This is the best colour of the shawlette

and have this tiny amount of wool left over!

I am still sewing and the jacket is coming along slowly!

Sewing & Stitchery Expo, Puyallup

When Mark first mentioned our ski trip to Canada he didn’t quite understand my enthusiasm as the dates worked out perfectly for me to spend the weekend at the Sewing & Stitchery Expo at Puyallup in Washington State, which I had last visited back in 2011.

 I booked myself in for 4 classes over the 2 days:

  • Best Tools & Notions of the Trade.
    I just love this sort of thing you always find out about a new notion or two.
  • The Three Crotch Figure!
    Wow this was amazing!  One of them is the one we are all familiar with but the front and back armscye are the other two.  Lorraine Henry is an amazing teacher and she spent more time with me after the class which was very generous.
  • The Sheath Dress and Upper Body Fit.
    Again a lot of information that I need to take some time to review.
  • Sheila’s Knitting Techniques and Tips.
    This was an informative class and again have quite a bit of information to review, however there were 50 attendees which was just too many.  I did submit this feedback to the event management.
This venue is huge and I did find that I needed to plot who I wanted to see to make sure that I managed it in the time frame I had.

This is late in the afternoon, and I am standing at one end of Row 4 (8 Rows in total plus some stands like Vogue Fabrics that are at the very end) with approximately 70 exhibitors.

Now for the goodies that followed me home.

Magnetic screwdrivers for your sewing machine- computer safe
2 skeins of Tiger Merino wool Fancy Image Hand-dyed Yarn
4 yards of Eggplant zipper chain with 16 pulls from byannie.com
Clover Press Perfect by Joan Hawley
Kai Scissors Model 7250SE 10″/25cm Tailoring Shears
Cutting Line Designs – One Seam Pants
and My Hearts a’Flutter arrived home separately
BravoBella underwires
Lorraine Henry Measuring Made Easy
3mm masking tape

I attended the Cutting Line Designs fashion parade and have always thought this pattern line was a little bit too boxy for me.  Louise had very cleverly selected a range of models and one was a slim petite lady who looked very stylish in these designs, so I thought I would try them out.

I also purchased a 3 pack of fabric from Marcy Tilton in a dark navy colourway.

Before leaving Australia I had been in contact with PattiB from PatternReview who I had met up with previously in 2001 and we organised to meet up again this year.

Whilst Patti and I were sitting and chatting I spotted Carolyn, Dairy of a Sewing Fanatic who had told me she was attending and said she would like to catch up.

PattiB, me, Carolyn

The photo was taken by either Niema or Gaylen

Niema, Gaylen, Carolyn and I

It was a such a treat to meet them, I have followed Carolyn’s blog for many years and it felt like friends catching up, we all chatted and laughed and now I have two more blogs to follow.  Oh and you can see what Carolyn got up to here.

2016 Stash Out: 0 m
2016 Stash In: 4.5 m

Sew Expo, Puyallup – WOW

All I can say is if you are a sewer, quilter, textile artist then you must visit the Expo at least once, it is amazing, the teachers, vendors and general energy of the whole site is mind boggling. This is the view when standing at one end of a row looking towards the back of the Showplex venue:

Photo courtesy of Alison

There were approximately 178 vendors attending and a lot of the teachers had their own stalls and were on hand to talk to or assist you.

See the brick wall way at the back, that is where some of the seminar rooms were and where Vogue Fabrics had their fabric stall set up, with different fabrics being added daily:

Photo courtesy of Alison

When I organised my classes I was concerned how I would survive 4 days arriving at 8am and leaving late, and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to fill the day between attending classes, visiting the various vendors’ stalls and finally being able to meet my Internet sewing friends.

I had some wonderful classes during the 4 days and there was something from each of them that I have noted in this cute note book that we received at our first class on day 1.

  • When making a shirt/blouse, clip the top and bottom of the collar, collar stand, yoke and centre back of shirt and centre front fold lines (Marto Alto). I know I only clip some of those areas on one edge and Marto showed how the extra clipping sped up her sewing of the shirt/blouse.
  • Your neck binding for a knit top is the same length as your neck edge but seamed at 1.5cm except for a mesh binding which is 2 1/2″ (6.3cm) smaller (Sandra Betzina).
  • When you press your bias strip in half, remember to remeasure it as it tends to stretch (Sandra Betzina).
  • Facings – pin front facing to neck edge and clip shoulder seam, pin back facing to neck edge and clip shoulder seam, then sew facing shoulder seams matching the snips and your facing will fit perfectly to the neck edge (Patti Palmer) – this has always given me grief.
  • Button loops, sew these in place on paper to ensure your placement is correct and then put the paper in between the fabric and facing and stitch, the paper pulls out (Connie Crawford).
  • Fancy Seams – Ron Collins showed us a pair of linen pants that were lined with silk organza to help the “wrinkle factor”. I will be using this technique as I love linen, and I am sure others have documented it, I will once I get around to making the pants.
  • Have you ever had difficulty in tyring to figure out what colour you can put with the chartreuse garment that you have in your wardrobe? Visit the hardware and pick up 1 or 2 of the Inspired by Colour charts, they have a lot of very good ideas of colour groups (Sandy Miller).

I’m certain that the handouts that we were given at each seminar will provide a lot more for me to “try out”.

Now I have to figure out how to get back their in a few years time 🙂

What an adventure!

I am home from the USA and it was a fantastic trip, I hope not to bore you with the details.

Our flight to LA on the Qantas A380 was uneventful thankfully and landed us in a very cool Los Angeles for the day. We then flew to Portland on Saturday and hired a car and this is where the fun started.

Sunday saw Janis, who had contacted me via Stitcher’s Guild offering us a natives tour of Portland, meet us at our hotel for a fabulous tour of her home town.

First stop was Fabric Depot, then to Mill End Store the goodies we found soon had us using our second bag.

Monday we headed to Joann’s under our own steam and then on Tuesday we headed to Rose City Textiles on our way to Puyallup for the Sewing and Stitchery Expo.

For the next four days we attend the Expo attending the classes we had booked into and meeting up with Patti B, BeeBee, karent, Karen Roth, CarloynB and Janis (again) who are all from Stitchers Guild and managed to bump into a number of the Australian Sewing Guild Group who were there as well.

From there Alison and I flew to Utah where it put on a great snow show for us. This is what the car looked like after 1 hour and thankfully we had a helper to sweep the snow off the car before we headed 1 hour back down the freeway to our hotel.

After Utah we headed back to Oakland and drove back to Los Angeles for our flight home.

Now for the goodies:


Top Row: green/black knit, brown geometric knit, brown/red/coffee knit, purple mauve geometric knit and brown/coffee swirly linen. The two small pieces of black and green are wick-away fabric for a cycling shirt for DH.

2nd Row: 3 ply gortex, orange self patterned linen, aubergine Camel Hair for a coat and next to it is quilted fabric that I would like to use for the zip out lining that was in Threads No 152, and the next piece is a patterned fine cord for a jacket.

3rd Row: cream wick-away Lycra, aubergine knit with wool, orange wick-away and camel boiled wool.

4th Row: brown self patterned knit, camel waffle weave knit from M&L Fabrics; Missoni type knit, Rust knit, brown floral, cream stripe, cream/pale blue knit and open weave knit all from Marcy Tilton.

5th Row: multi coloured stripe and pale green waffle weave from M&L Fabrics, coffee/grey/cream knit from Joann’s; aubergine/grey/blue silk and brown/pale pink silk from Vogue Fabrics.


Wonderful rhinestone zippers, buckles, brown and coffee sharpies, sewing machine and coverstitch needles, snap source goodies, Palmer Pletsch Interfacing packs, scissors and more.

Other goodies

2 Ottobre magazines, Sandra Betzina Power Sewing Books 1 and 2, Merino wool and pattern, beads and of course 2 rolls of Press “N” Seal, 2 Cross Stitch Fob kits.

We were entitled to 2 suitcases on our trip and luckily we didn’t have any excess baggage costs and didn’t have to post anything home.

I will be back soon to let you know about the Sewing and Stitchery Expo and the classes I attended.

Sewing & Stitchery Expo – Puyallup

I’m going on a sewing holiday.

Back in January 2010 my sewing buddy Alison tempted us with the idea of going to the Sewing & Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington in 2011. Needless to say Alison, Velowsewer and I have been planning ever since.

The Expo is on from 3-6 March, 2011 and is held at the Puyallup Fair and Events Centre.

On Christmas Eve I downloaded the Registration Brochure and then have spent a lot of time checking out what I wanted to do.

Online registration started on 10 January 2011 at 10.00am PST, which for us is 5.00am this morning, so the alarm was set and to the computer I went.

I am now booked into the following seminars:

  • Interfacing & Underlining – Ron Collins (Power Sewing)
  • Totes, Bags, Jewellery & More – Nancy Zieman
  • 40 Tips to Improve Your Sewing – Pati Palmer
  • Needle Bootcamp – Debra Justice
  • Power Sewing Toolbox – Sandra Betzina
  • Wonderful Weekend Wardrobes – Sandy Miller
  • The Arty Cardi – Marcy Tilton
  • Know Your Notions – Geri Grasvik
  • Sew With Your Feet – Debra Justice
  • Two Patterns for all Seasons – Kathleen Cheetham
  • Sew Like a Pro – Connie Crawford
  • The Classic Shirtdress Re-Invented – Cecelia Podolak
  • The 2-Hour Shirt or Blouse – Marta Alto
  • Going Beyond the Basic with Your Coverstitch – Candice Jewett

We are attending every day and I have worked out my seminars so that I have no more than 4 in any one day (the majority of those above are for 45 minutes only) so I have plenty of time to check out the amazing vendors that attend.

My flights are booked and Alison has been fantastic in organising our accommodation for us.

We are away for a total of 16 days, so we will also be visiting Seattle, Portland, Utah and Oakland. Now to work out a very compact and versatile wardrobe as the temperatures vary (the coldest will be a chilly 6 degrees Celsius) and it can also be very wet in Puyallup. One of the major issues is having room to bring home all the goodies I’m sure we will purchase, thankfully we are allowed 2 checked bags of 23kgs each.