Monday, November 30, 2015

Irena Top

Early this morning I told you about my Liana Stretch Jeans, and now I'm back because I want to tell you about another great pattern I was fortunate enough to test for Kennis of Itch to Stitch a few weeks ago!

This is the Irena* top!  It's just been released today and is on sale right now - there's also an extra savings for Cyber Monday today - you can check out the details on the Itch to Stitch site!

Irena is a deep V, cozy sweater. It calls for 75% stretch fabric and for this version, I used a really soft sweater knit that I was able to get on sale at Fabricland in the city.  It's longer length makes it perfect  for wearing over skinny jeans or leggings too.

The only tricky part of this quick to sew top is the corners of the neckline (I'm not sure if you can see I have a teeny pucker on the one corner - but unpicking stitches on this fabric was a beast so I decided I can live with it!).  No need to worry though.  Kennis walks you through the process in her thorough instructions and the rest of the sweater is really straight forward and easy!

I am also going to show you my second version - bear in mind though this was before the pattern was tweaked a bit, so it's not quite the same as the final version, but I love it so much and wear it so often I thought I'd show you anyways.  For this one I chose a sweatshirt fleece with only 25% stretch.  I meant to size up a bit to accommodate for the lack of stretch in my fabric, but completely forgot.  It's a bit more fitted than the intended design of the pattern, but it's warm and comfy and I can get in and out of it without needing the jaws of life to extricate me so it's all good! Ha ha!

I'm not sure why the bust is pulling in the photo.  I'm pretty sure it doesn't do that in real life.  Must be the way I'm standing or something.

I won't show you version one - although I should in the manner of a cautionary tale.  When choosing fabrics, you really need to pay attention to not only the stretch a fabric has, but the recovery.  If you'll remember from my earlier post today, I had this particular problem with my jeans as well.  Recovery really does make all the difference in a project.  For my first version of Irena, I carefully chose a lightweight jersey out of my stash with 75% stretch.  I felt it might be a bit too drapey as I was sewing it up, but in for a penny, in for a pound, right?  I think my jersey was a bit light to start with for a top like this, but that combined with the lack of recovery and oh my! Incredible growing top!  Laying flat on the table it measured correctly, put it on and it sagged to great lengths.  Yikes!!!

So lesson learned.  Choose fabric wisely.  (One would think I'd have learned this lesson and have it firmly cemented in my brain at this point, but apparently I simply refuse to believe certain facts of life.)

Anyways, two outta three ain't bad, so they say, and I do have two great tops that are in regular rotation in my wardrobe - at this point I'm pretty sure that people are starting to assume I only own two tops in my entire wardrobe, I wear them so often.  And of course I have the one that I'll probably take off some length of to accommodate the drape (I've used the term loosely here - this fabric goes beyond common drape!) and it'll make a great, soft and cozy lounge around the house type top. Waste not, want not and all that!

You can find the newly released Irena Top for sale over at the Itch-to-Stitch website!

Muppet Flail Arms! : or Liana

Strange title for a post?  Not really.  Imagine if you will a happy muppet-y flailing of arms.  I'll give you a minute...  Ok.  Got that image in your mind?  Good!  That's pretty much me right now!

Why you ask?  Because I've made myself a pair of jeans.  Yes.  I made jeans.  And I survived!!!!  Ok, ok.  I know I'm late to the party by about a year.  Every other sewing blogger/bloggess out there has made a pair of jeans.  But being late to the party has not diminished my excitement in the least.

I decided last winter that I was going to make a pair of jeans for myself.  So I bought a pattern. Then I bought denim.  Then I pre-washed the denim...  And then I completely lost all courage for making jeans.  Seriously.  I was completely terrified of the prospect of it.  Could not even contemplate being successful at it, such was my intimidation.

With my "good time gal" crappy Walmart Singer, there was absolutely no way I could make jeans anyways.  That machine had fits at anything heavier than two layers of quilt cotton.  But then I started shopping around for a new machine in the spring and I specifically chose a work horse 40-something year old Pfaff off of Kijiji with the notion that I could make jeans with a machine like that.  The first thing I did when I got that baby set up on my sewing table was try sewing denim (for research purposes it sewed through a whopping six layers of denim like it was butter).  But I was still way too intimidated by jeans.  Oh jeans how you scare me so.  There's just so many areas that they can go rogue on you, really.

Then one of my fave designers, Kennis Wong, of Itch-to-Stitch - you may recall I already have a slight obsession with her Idyllwild* tee going on - put out the call for testers for her new Liana Stretch Jeans pattern. Liana comes with three different leg options - skinny, straight and bootcut and uses denim with 25% stretch.  I jumped at the chance without even giving it a second thought.  I knew that the combination of Kennis' pattern making and instructions and the motivation of having a deadline was exactly what I needed to tackle jeans head on.  And I was right.

And actually?  They're not really that scary after all!  I had a bit of a fitting conundrum that was causing me one heck of an unflattering rear view - but thanks to Kennis, with her wisdom and advice, I was able to sort out that I just needed to do a bit of tweaking of the pattern for my shape and what a difference!

Yikes!!  Lets get those wrinkles going, going, GONE!!!!
For your amusement here's a little collage I put together to show the before, in progress and final tweaking I did for the derrière.  Yikes! Try not to laugh too hard at those huge smiley butt wrinkles.    It's amazing what 3/8" of tweaking can accomplish!

I love that this denim has a subtle stripe to it!
Also topstitching.  Love how it turned out!
I was worried about the topstitching.  I thought it might be a bit of a nightmare switching back and forth from thread to thread as needed, not to mention when using such a contrasting thread any little blunder is going to be so painfully obvious, but in the end it wasn't bad. You never have to change the bobbin thread, so it's pretty quick and painless really and actually it turns out I kind of like topstitching.  My trick for keeping my double lines nice and even was to do the edge stitching and then align my right edge of my presser foot (which conveniently - thank you Pfaff of the past - happens to be a lovely, perfect 1/4") along the edge of the edge stitching and voila!  There's also the built in benefit with topstitching that you get to have the rights to "ooh and ahhh" at your own handiwork every time you finish a section of it.

This is how I feel about taking photos of myself.  LOL
Also what the heck wind?!?  Could you give me two seconds between gusts?  Please?!?

At least this one is pretty normal.  LOL!  These are the straight leg version of Liana.
Something is obviously fascinating on the ground...

Did that camera timer go or not yet?!?
So there you have it!  Jeans.  Just like that.  Sewing didn't even take that long all things considered.  I set the timer the other morning for two hours and got the backs and the fronts all done.  A couple more hours for basting and fitting and modifying for my body shape, and then another hour and a half or so for hemming and the waistband and I was done.  Incredible!

I'll show you the first pair I made of Liana too - because while they're not the best fit, they're not really that bad. I think with some tweaking I can still make them work, but I had a couple issues with them.  First off my denim had really poor recovery.  Like a pair of jeans from Old Navy, I can wear them for about five minutes and then they start to sag in a sorry way.  So keep that in mind if you're making your own pair.  The percentage of stretch is very important for sizing, but ultimately so is the recovery.  (make sure that fabric bounces right on back to where it started from or prepare for some disappointment) I also panicked about sizing and made them a size too big.  Ooops a daisy!  Should have thought that one through better!  But this pair taught me so much about the construction of jeans and really helped me to overcome the intimidation.  They were a great practice pair and the fabric I used for the pockets? What seamstress wouldn't smile at it?

Pockets for my first pair
And since I'm showing off pockets -
here's the second pair making use of what I had left over from my "Bluebirds of Happiness" dress 

Again what is so interesting on the ground?!?!  LOL

Not bad looking until they stretch out and don't want to go back!
(Remember good recovery = happiness!)
So are you ready to take the plunge and try making your own jeans?  I highly recommend it!  Liana is a great pattern to start your adventure in jeans making with - Kennis walks you through each step in the illustrated instructions - and if you're an experienced jeans sewist, I think you'll really enjoy these! Having the opportunity to be a tester and getting in on this pattern at the ground level, so to speak, I know that she put a lot of work into creating a great pattern that will work for a really wide range of sizes! You can find the newly released Liana Stretch Jeans pattern over at Itch-to-Stitch.  Kennis is hosting a sew along for Liana and also has a great sale going on right now until December 6th!!

I'll be back later on today to tell you about another great new pattern from Kennis that I was lucky enough to test!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Well, talk about getting things done just under the wire!  I finally sewed the last two buttons on my new cardi and blocked it.  The knit along ends tomorrow!   Phew.  Made it!

The cardigan in question is Penelope, another great design from Andi Satterlund, that was the project for the Untangling Knots Group fall knit along.  It is, like all of Andi's patterns, an easy to knit pattern.  I imagined I would have finished it a couple of weeks ago, because it is very simple and straight forward.  It is a full length cardi, so I anticipated a bit more time on the needles, than a cropped cardi would take, but I didn't imagine it would take more than a month.

I didn't have any crazy issues with it, like I did with my Sunshower cardi I knit in the summer - I don't know if you remember my adventures that led me completely astray multiple times (ahem.  all user error, of course, the pattern is great).  I had no problems except much to my dismay, my knitting mojo seemed to get up and leave this fall.

I have no idea where it's gone.   (If you spot it somewhere along your travels could you please send it back to me?  I've got loads of projects lined up to do for the holidays and no "Umph" to get them done.  Or really started for that matter.)

Where oh where has my mojo gone?  Oh where oh where could it be?????

Anyways, all that being said, I did finish on time for the KAL deadline, and I did end up with a cardi that I really love.  I knit this one straight from the pattern with no modifications what so ever and the fit is perfect for what I wanted!

This one is knit in some stash yarn I had.  Sirdar's Country Style DK - a wool/acrylic blend was used for the contrast and Universal Yarns Dolce Merino, which is a merino/microfibre blend for the main colour.   I'm hoping that the Dolce Merino holds up alright.  It seems like it could have a tendency towards pilling.  Both yarns are super soft though and well, stash yarns fit the budget quite nicely of course!

I think the only thing that my Penelope is missing is a new skirt to go with it!  I'll have to think on that.  Oh.  And a new pair of shoes.  (Those will definitely have to wait though.  LOL).

Monday, November 16, 2015

Under the Category of Better Late Than Never...

Or maybe we can all pretend that we just hopped in a time machine and went back a month!

I wanted to show you the few things I did for Baby Boy's fifth birthday in October and somehow time has flown by and here we are mid-November already.

Our littlest guy had not one, but three celebrations for his birthday! MADNESS I tell you.  Excessive madness!  LOL

Little Man made his brother a sign for the entrance way

The first was his "family birthday" party where I think I disappointed my nephew with my lack of handmade goodness in the treat bag.  I have to say, I felt both badly and incredibly honoured when he said, "What's the thing you made this year?  I always like the thing you make the best." And then he proceeded to list off the things I'd made in the past and I'm pretty sure he thought the cookies I'd made this time just weren't up to snuff.  One of my nieces had apparently been wondering on the drive out what kind of thing I'd have made them too.

So from here on in, I hereby declare that Auntie Sarah will stop being so lame and figure out something good to make for my lovely crew of nieces and nephews! (Really, I just couldn't come up with a good idea and then ran out of time.  No excuse really.)

Anyways.  Baby Boy is crazy about dolphins.  Specifically crazy about the dolphins Winter and Hope  of the Dolphin Tale movie fame.  We had got a second hand book about Winter last year and he immediately became obsessed. Playing Winter and Hope, talking about them, drawing pictures of them, telling us great epic stories about them...  So naturally a dolphin theme was what he wanted when birthday party planning rolled around.

For his family party I made a dolphin shaped cake and the aforementioned cookies.

Dolphin cake #1

Dolphin sugar cookies - still working on my Royal Icing technique 

A couple of days later we had his actual birthday, which required another cake and the traditional birthday crown.  I love that the little guys enjoy the birthday crowns still.  I never guessed when I made the first one for Little Man's first birthday that it would become a yearly tradition.

Dolphin cake #2

What a guy!  I can't believe he's already five!!!
 Finally we had his "school friend" party towards the end of the month.  I asked him what kind of cake he'd like figuring he may have been dolphin caked out by that point, but he requested an exact replica of the one he had for his family party.  I feel like I could make a dolphin shaped cake in my sleep now.  Ha ha!

Dolphin cake #3
I also wanted to have a game planned for the kids at the party.  I thought a rousing game of pin the tail on the dolphin would be good to amuse ten five year olds, so I got some poster board from the dollar store and painted a dolphin on it.  Then I cut out tail shapes from card stock - a different colour for each party guest.  Note to self: A loose weave scarf for a blindfold that the kids can actually see through kind of defeats the purpose of the game...  all the tails pretty much ended up one on top of each other in the right spot.  At first I thought the kids were just that good.  Then Little Man confessed,  "There's tiny holes in the scarf, Mom!  You can see right through it!!"  Ooops!

Help kids!  I need a tail!!!
And thus ends the birthday month of baby boy.  I think I'd better try and pin Little Man and Baby Boy down on their birthday themes for next year so that I can start thinking now of things to make for party favours.  Maybe that way I'll redeem myself in the eyes of my nieces and nephews!  :)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Hallowe'en

Just stopping by quickly today to wish everyone a Happy Hallowe'en!

We've been gearing up here for a few days now for the festivities.  Thursday night the little boys did their annual pumpkin carving ('scuze the mountain of dirty dishes - we'd just finished supper)

Friday was the school Hallowe'en party and the boys were excited to get dressed up in their costumes.  Little Man decided he was going to be a vampire and was excited to wear J's old vampire/Zoro cape that I made him some time back in the late 90s. I made the bow tie as a new addition to the costume using Sis Boom's Bosco Bowtie pattern.  He combined that with his suit from our wedding last year, some face paint and a wig to complete his dashing Dracula look.  The wig stayed home from school as he decided he looked funny in it and thought his classmates might laugh at him.  There was no convincing him otherwise.

Baby Boy had his heart set on being a vampire bat.  For his costume, I used the very popular Max and Meena All Ears Hoodie.  What a fab pattern!!! I was so happy when I was able to get it on sale a few weeks ago - the US/Can exchange rate has been making me think twice about all my cross border purchases these days, so the sale was much appreciated and great timing.  By the way - on that note, if you're a member of the Max and Meena Facebook group, Jamie posts a one day sale almost weekly!  I think I'll make some other ears versions for the boys in the near future.  Best part of it?  After Hallowe'en has come and gone the hoodie can go into his wardrobe for regular wear!

So the All Ears using the fox ears slightly modified to be bat ears, self-drafted wings, his suit pants (apparently vampire bats wear fancy pants according to Baby Boy) and his mask from his spider costume last year made for a very happy little bat.

Of course what would Hallowe'en be without some treats??  I signed up to bring a sweet treat for the class parties - of course I did!  I LOVE sweet treats and  I LOVE making sweet treats!!!  I knew that this year I wanted to do some sugar cookies. With the class party in mind, a few weeks ago I even bought a new set of Wilton cutters at the dollar store that had an awesome combination of broom, hat, cauldron and shoe. Spoiler.  I did not use the Wilton cutters.  Nor did I use the entire bin of other ghosts, witches, bats, pumpkins, black cats etc. cutters.  I used a tulip cutter and a smaller circle cutter to make ghost and monster eyeball cookies.  I love doing the royal icing and although I'm still perfecting my technique and consistency, I think I'm slowly improving.  No leftovers came home so I think they went over well in the Kindergarten and Grade One classrooms!

Now, I'm off to peruse Pinterest for some fun and quick ideas for supper tonight and then some spooky sort of snack for after trick or treating.  We're getting together in town tonight to take the kiddos trick or treating with school friends and then all having a little get together afterwards.  Hopefully the rain clears out and it's a nice evening for being out.  Should be loads of fun though, no matter what the weather, with a crew of an exuberant six and unders!

I hope you all have a very fun and safe evening no matter what your plans are for tonight!

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Trio of Tees

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians!  I hope you're enjoying your weekend!  We had some glorious weather for Saturday and Sunday - it was a whopping 25C yesterday!!!  What a difference a few hours makes though.  The inclement weather rolled in after supper last night and it seems set on staying the day today.  It's raining cats and dogs and the wind so strong that I'm not entirely sure we won't actually end up in the Land of Oz at some point!

So it seems like a good time to sit down with a cup of tea and tell you about a new favourite pattern!  A few months ago I snagged Kennis Wong's Itch to Stitch* Idyllwild Tee and Dress pattern on sale.  I kept meaning to make it - I'd already printed out and taped together the PDF pattern, traced off my size and was just waiting for the right moment and fabric to sew up a new tee.  WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG?!?!?!

I finally sewed my first tee up at the beginning of Selfish Sewing Week (that ran from Sept. 28th - Oct. 3rd) and have positively been living it it since.  I absolutely love it! As a side note to all the moms and dads that see me five days a week during school drop off and pick up I promise I washed it in between wearings.  Really, I did!

However, since laundry and I are definitely not BFFs and I generally subscribe to the theory of sew something new in order to prolong the necessity of doing laundry, it only made sense that when I was in the city running errands the other day I picked up another couple of lengths of knits to make a couple more tees.  Given the knits I got were on sale,  I figured I couldn't go wrong!

I've done the longer/lower neckline and 3/4 sleeve option for all of mine so far as I was in dire need of new shirts for fall.  But rest assured there will be more variations on this top to come as seasons change.  I'm picturing the addition of a rainbow of sleeveless, short sleeve and cap sleeve tees into my wardrobe next spring.  Idyllwild comes with enough options that the pattern offers the possibility of 42 combinations.  This pattern whips up really quickly and I do so love a good tried and true pattern in my arsenal!

Little Man usually takes pictures for me if I don't want to use the timer on my camera, but this morning after taking a few pictures of my just finished third top, he said he'd rather be in a picture with me than taking pictures.  I'd rather that too, so we took a selfie instead.

Before I leave off I thought I'd mention that if you hurry over to the Itch to Stitch site, she's got a birthday sale on right now with discounts from 20 - 40% off depending on how many patterns you purchase. You'll see all the codes and details there at the top of her shop page.  She's also got a contest running too for a few more days.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Summer Sweater KAL Antrorse

I'm done! I'm done! I'm done!!!

I've finished my second sweater for the Very Shannon Summer Sweater Knit Along!  This one is Antrorse, designed by Shannon Cook of Very Shannon.  I won the pattern in a knit along in her Ravelry group last Christmas and thought it the perfect choice for this year's Sweater KAL.

I had initially started knitting my Cascade Eco+ pullover at the beginning of the KAL, but summer being summer, it quickly got way too hot to have mounds of warm wool piled on my lap, so I did put it aside for a few weeks while I worked on my Sunshower cardi I showed you in my last blog post.

Like Sunshower I had some adventures in knitting my Antrorse.  Not nearly as bad as Sunshower - I didn't have to reknit anything and it was certainly nothing design related, but I did get off to a spectacularly rocky start with my gauge swatch.

I spent and agonizing and hellish time trying to get my gauge to work out.  In a momentary lapse of all reasoning I actually was going the wrong direction needle size wise to try and get gauge.  I kept going smaller and smaller and gauge was getting so far off I couldn't fathom what was going wrong, I started suspecting a problem with the pattern.  Let me tell you, I felt pretty darn silly when moments after I posted something to that effect on Ravelry (wondering all the while nobody else seemed to note any problems with the pattern) it hit me that I should be using larger needles instead of smaller. More stitches to get gauge = needle too small not needle to big, obviously.  Sigh...  Oh gauge how you continually vex me so.

As soon as I got that sorted out, gauge was easy to achieve and knitting in earnest began.  No further problems were encountered other than the heat and knitting Antrorse was an easy, stress free task.  I knit it exactly as written and it turned out exactly how I hoped!

I'm really loving my new sweater!  I'm especially loving it this morning!  It was 3C when I crawled out of bed this morning.  Brrrr.  But Antrorse to the rescue.  I'm sitting here cozy and snuggly warm!  The Cascade Eco+ in the Lake Chelan colour way - possibly my absolute favourite colour way of all time - is warm but without the heavy weight you'd expect from it.  It's an absolute dream to knit with and pretty darn economical too!  Each skein has a whopping 478 yards of bulky goodness on it, which means a whole lot less darning in of ends too!  (always a nice bonus!)  I'm definitely going to be looking to add some more Eco+ to my stash the next time I have some extra yarn funds!!

So, for me, another Summer Sweater Knit Along comes to a close and I have to say it was yet again a great experience!  The knitters in the Very Shannon Ravelry group are all very chatty, encouraging and motivating, which makes the KALs held there so much fun!  I'll definitely be signing up again next year!!

Now it's time to switch gears for a wee bit before jumping into the next KAL (Andi Satterlund's Penelope KAL over at Untangling Knots Group).  I'm going to be getting a start on some hush, hush holiday sewing and knitting for the next few weeks!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Summer Sweater KAL Sunshower

I'm happy to report that I've got one finished object done for the Very Shannon Summer Sweater Knit Along.  The KAL was to officially end yesterday, but it looks like most everyone voted for a two week extension, which is all kinds of awesome, because it means there's a good chance I'll get to finish my second sweater before the actual deadline!  Whoot! Whoot!

The purpose of the summer sweater knit along is to keep knitting through the hot months of the summer so that you have a shiny new something ready to wear come the cooler temperatures of fall.  It turns out that finished project number one for me goes with absolutely nothing in my fall wardrobe, but no less than four dresses in my summer wardrobe.  Ooops!  But that's ok.  My fall wardrobe needs some boosting up anyways.  I'm sure I'll come up with something that will work with my new bright red Sunshower cardi!

(as an aside... I'm looking for inspiration in the fall sewing department!  I'd love to hear any suggestions you might have for me!  I've had a couple suggestions for Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress.  I'm thinking of Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans.  What else do you have for me?)

Anyways, back to our regularly scheduled posting about my new cardi.

Like all of Andi Satterlund's designs I've knit so far (Salt, Miette, Hetty, Myrna, Marion, Vianne and now Sunshower) it is an easy to follow pattern.  I love the way her patterns are written up, and I love the vintage vibe of her cardigans.  They're perfect for popping on over a dress too.  Did I mention this latest one goes with four dresses in my closet?!?  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that!  My only modification to this pattern was my usual one that I do on Andi's cardigans which is to eliminate some of the waist shaping so it doesn't have quite so much negative ease.

I used Ella Rae Classics in Monarch red from Webs for my Sunshower.  It is a bit scratchier than I remember Ella Rae Classic being - but then I've not used this particular yarn in about six or seven years and that was for a pair of mittens so maybe I've just forgotten.  Or maybe it's not actually that scratchy in reality and the hives that suddenly appeared on my arm this morning (what the heck?!?!) are just making me a bit more sensitive.  Who knows.  I normally wear Briggs & Little without batting an eyelash, so c'est la vie.  Scratchy or not, I think this cardigan will be getting lots of wear in the future!

Knitting of this one was a bit of a challenge for me.  Not because of the pattern mind you, but because sometimes I'm just a bit daft about things.  I posted a week and a half ago about my fudging the pattern and then having to go back and re-knit it.  Well, things like that just seemed to keep happening.  Maybe I've been distracted or maybe I've just taken leave of my senses as of late.  I am not sure, but whatever the case I was glad to finally make it to the sleeve cuffs without further incident!  I had initially planned to do the sleeve caps individually then continue the rest of the sleeve two at a time, as I normally do, but my circular needle was both too inflexible and too short for it to be a convenient method.  I was driving myself batty dropping stitches and trying to keep sorted where the centres were.  I gave up a few rounds in, put the sleeves back on separate needles and zipped through the first sleeve up to the cuff in an evening.  The next evening I tackled the second sleeve, then put them back on the too short, too stiff circ for the cuffs.  I hate trying to keep track of ribbing and I figured it was easier to suffer through the TAAT with a bad needle then count rounds.  It worked and I finished it up pretty easily a few days ago!

Next up is going to be finishing up my Antrorse!  I'm so close - six more rounds of the bottom band, then onto the sleeves.  I have a beautifully long and flexible circular needle so it should be no problem to two at a time them!

I had told myself that after Antrorse is finished I would focus on holiday gift knitting exclusively, but Andi's gone and thrown a big ol' wrench in that plan.  (Yep.  I'm blaming her.  Not my lack of will power in the face of a new pattern.  Nope. Not that at all...)  She's gone and published another cardigan pattern this week and I'm completely smitten with it.  Not only that.  She's planned a Knit Along for it.  I resisted for about 30 seconds and then decided I'll spend the rest of this month focusing on gift knitting so that when the KAL starts the beginning of October I can knit, somewhat guilt free, on Penelope.  Take a look at those gorgeous scallops and tell me that you would have been able to resist.  I didn't think so! If resistance is as futile for you as it is for me, you should join the KAL on Ravelry.  It'll be fun!  (and Andi's even got a discount for the pattern going on right now!)  I'm dreaming of colour combinations right now and thinking that I have a nice caramel coloured DK for the main colour and if it works a really nice wine colour for the scallops and the button band already sitting in my stash... Fate?  I think so!