Color Blocked Bands

2 Comments

I had a little bit of this heathered gray french terry leftover from making my husband a hoodie last fall. There was enough to make myself either a pair of shorts or a sweatshirt, but I rarely feel super inspired to sew loungewear.

Then Daisy Chain Patterns released the Dale sweatshirt. I really like its high neckline with a beefy neckband and the short sleeve option. I took inspiration from the photo samples to have some fun with the bands.

Although I had enough light gray ribbing for all of the bands, I opted to use every color of rib knit in my stash. I think this look is fun an a little weird.

To color block the bands, I divided the lengths by 5, added seam allowance, stitched them together with a lightning stitch, and pressed the seams open. This rib knit is very stretchy, so I wasn’t too worried that the extra seams would impact the stretch.

My measurements put me at a size 10/M. I think I could have shortened the length by an inch or two for a more cropped look. The hem band is kinda hidden by the length folding over it.

I might make another color blocked one with leftover black sweatshirt fleece. It’s a good way to use up those tiny rib knit scraps.

Kelowna sweater | Good Night, Day

1 Comment

I feel like this sweater really flew off my needles; it took a little over a week to complete. I’m more confidently fixing mistakes and I’ve got the magic loop technique down now too.

This yarn is so pretty, but holy hell does it shed. It’s on everything I own and it’s made its way into my mouth on more than one occasion. But it’s significantly thinner than the other bulky yarns I’ve been using and I really appreciate the drape of the final fabric.

The yarn is Loopy Mango’s Mohair So Soft in tiramisu, purchased from Close Knit. I made the size XS/S and used a little over 6 skeins. My current bust measurement is 38″ and the finished measurement for this size is 42″.

I followed the directions for the purling rows, but I’m a little unsure about the first row being so much closer than the others. If I make another, I’d probably space them out the same number of rows, or omit the fist one all together. The instructions say to hold two strands together for the neckline, but I totally didn’t read that part. Hoping it doesn’t stretch out too much with wear. Whoops.

This is the first project I actually knit a gauge swatch for, but I was too impatient to block said swatch. Whatever! It measured what it was supposed to and my knitting has loosened up! Have I blocked this garment yet? Nope. It went straight on my body. How am I supposed to wait?!

In the middle of making this sweater, I learned how to knit continental, which I thought I would hate, but I love it! The instructor in this Domestika class demoed continental in a way that my brain understood, so I thought I’d just try it. I can see how continental could speed up my knitting. Even though I think I prefer continental, I decided to finished knitting my Kelowna sweater English style to keep everything consistent and I need to finish the Trefann this way too (above).

I’m really proud of this make. It’s made me feel like I understand knitting. And because of that, I made a test swatch for the Louise Pullover!

Larkin bomber | Seamwork

8 Comments

On a rare trip to Joann Fabrics a couple years ago, I found this quilted fabric in the upholstery section. I really liked the grid pattern and it almost looked like some quilted denim jackets I’d been eyeing.

I thought it would make a really cool Ilford jacket, but I didn’t make a muslin and I didn’t really read through the instructions for the plackets and collar. Once I was able to try it on, it was far too big and I started to question how good those details would look in this bulky material.

No shame to the Ilford pattern at all, this was just a case of wrong size + weird fabric = mental pattern abandonment.

Another year or so later, the Seamwork Larkin was released and after passing by that abandoned Ilford in my closet, inspiration hit.

The pattern is not drafted for bulky material, so I knew it was a bit of a gamble. The poly batting is pretty lofty, so this time I thought I should do some tests before diving in.

I had enough scraps leftover from cutting out the Ilford to make a sample welt pocket and it was easier and nicer looking than I thought. On the final jacket, I deviated from the instructions a bit by hiding all of the edge stitching in the ditch and omitting the bar tacks. I think they look pretty sharp.

After the successful welt pocket, it was time to source more materials and cut up the Ilford. I wasn’t sure there would be enough fabric since the pattern pieces have very different shapes, especially the sleeves. I was barely able to get two sleeves, two fronts, and the back out of it. But I did, and pattern matched too!

For the Ilford, I had purchased a small amount matching Kona cotton for the under collar and button plackets, but didn’t have enough for the Larkin facings, welts, and zip guard. I bought more Kona cotton in the color I thought I had originally purchased, but it’s definitely different. Dang dye lots.

The new color, which didn’t match as well, was used for the facings inside the jacket, and the old, better matching cotton was used for the welts and zip guard.

Sourcing matching ribbing, lining, and a zip wasn’t the easiest, but I think the subtle color differences are kinda nice. I bought a lot of multiples trying to get the best match. WAWAK was out of the color zip that looked most similar, but once most of the tape was hidden, the one I bought ended up blending in pretty well. I found the ribbing and lining at Mill End. The ribbing I chose isn’t quite as robust as the other one and it collapses a little bit, but sometimes you gotta make those trade offs.

I made a straight size 8 with no modifications other than adding a little hang loop. Currently, my measurements are 38″ bust, 31-2″ waist, and 40″ hips.

Aside from the sleeves being a wee bit too long (what I get for rarely making a muslin), I’m super happy with this jacket! It was the perfect slow down project with some fun challenges from my funky fabric choice. I’ve worn it almost every day I leave the house and it’s a great mild winter layer.

Strathcona sweater | Good Night, Day

2 Comments

After years of being mad at knitting, I’m feeling pretty great with these last few projects. And I might even try more complicated patterns soon. I’m looking at you, bobble sweater and fancy cardigan.

This pattern felt a lot faster than my last sweater project. I’m happy I finally tried an in-the-round pattern. I will never go back to pieced together sweaters.

I’m still figuring out how to loosen up and “get gauge.” I knit very tightly because my brain tricks me into thinking that’s the “correct way” to do it and that there will be huge holes if I don’t. No clue where these ideas came from.

At this stage I did question the fit, but I had enough room at the underarms and decided to keep going. This sweater is probably smaller than it should be, but I actually like the way it ended up fitting.

The sleeves are a bit shorter than the pattern called for, but it’s so warm, I kind of appreciate some of my arms being exposed.

PATTERN: Strathcona sweater by Good Night, Day

YARN: Cascade Magnum in Olive Oil Tweed

SIZE: S/M

I don’t love the way the neckline collapses under my chin. I probably should have done fewer rows, but I think this is also just how it goes without any shaping. I’m intrigued by those German short rows I’ve read about. And looking at the sample photos, my neckline is definitely knit tighter so, whoops!

Up next, I’m casting on the Trefann sweater!

Keyhole Scarf | free tutorial by Northside Knit Co

3 Comments

While working on my second Good Night, Day sweater, I decided to take a break to knit up this fun scarf.

I had a little bit of false start though with this too scratchy wool from my stash . Maybe I’ll finish it anyway and give it to someone who can tolerate itchy neck things.

Determined to make one I would wear, I dug into my yarn stash and found a fun speckled yellowy-brown color. This is all thrifted yarn that will soon return to the thrift store. It takes up too much room and I’ve had all of it for too long.

The tutorial I used is by Northside Knit Co. It’s free and can be found in a story highlight on their Instagram. My brain appreciates any knitting project that includes video demos.

This was a great project do while my work computer needed to think about rendering video clips. Spinning pinwheel of doom, knit a row, spinning pinwheel of doom, knit a row…

I think this yarn is some sort of synthetic, so not my favorite, but it’s soft and in a color that works with a lot of my clothes.

I think it’s real cute.

Nanaimo Cardigan | Good Night, Day

12 Comments

I did it. I knit something I like and will wear! And best of all, I actually want to cast on another project asap.

If you read my last post about knitting, you know it’s a practice I’ve struggled to find a groove with. Knitting patterns are so bare bones, but I’m starting to understand the lingo. I’ve also said to hell with small projects like hats and scarves.

PATTERN: Nanaimo cardigan by Good Night, Day

SIZE: M/L

YARN: Crazy Sexy Wool from Wool and the Gang in Cosmic Navy. I bought 5 skeins and used exactly 4. I’m pretty sure I knit TIGHT. Nope, I didn’t test gauge.

Before adding the waste yarn, I had to rip back two rows because my stitch count was off by one. My cousin helped me figure out that I had missed an M1 somewhere, so I pulled out the needles and carefully pulled out the rows. Once everything was back on my circulars, it was pretty cool to be able see that I’d put some stitches on the wrong way. I felt like a real knitter! A knitter who can see AND fix problems!

Once I finished the increases, I was able to try it on. This is my first top down project and I really liked being able to test the fit midway through.

Picking up stitches at the armpit ended up not being as difficult as I thought it would be (I had virtual help for the first one) and the sleeves knitted up so fast in the round. I did need quite a few more rows than the pattern called for in order for the sleeve to measure the right length. Probably because I knit tight?

The cuffs were a little difficult since I was using 20″ circulars. I have since learned about the “magic loop” technique and I can’t wait to try it out. I did more of a frustrating stretched blob technique that I don’t recommend.

This was such a satisfying project and it took under a month to make. I think this practice will be good physical therapy for my wrist too.

I know chunky yarn isn’t what “seasoned knitters” like to use but I dig it. I’ve worn this thing every day since I finished. I haven’t blocked it yet, whoops!

I LOVE Good Night, Day’s aesthetic and style. I’m planning to make the Strathcona and Trefann sweaters next.

Before I even cast off this project, I bought more yarn, more patterns, an interchangeable circulars set, some cute stitch markers, and a row counter. I guess I’m hooked.

Trying Knitting. Again.

10 Comments

When it comes to making stuff with my hands, I can usually pick up new skills pretty quickly. However, that seems to go to shit when I’m knitting. I think it’s because I can’t visualize what’s going to happen. I don’t have enough practice to know what I’m seeing. And that frustrates me. A lot. And fixing mistakes? Nope. Frog it. Frog it all.

My grandma taught me some basics when I was in high school, but we didn’t visit very often and I really needed some hand holding for it to stick.

In-progress snood, 2016

Anyway, after abandoning learning to knit in 2017, I’m trying again. And taking a peek at past projects to show myself that I can in fact, do it. Above is some snood pattern from WAK that I’m pretty sure I donated.

Finished hat, 2016

After making that snood, I tried another WAK kit. I think it’s the Sienna beanie that I probably chose because of the name. I think it might have also been donated. I hate wearing hats since I have curly hair (such a commitment), but was told hats are a good place to start.

In-progress scarf, 2016

Shortly after the hat, I tried the Ranta scarf, which I ended up being pretty proud of. I was able to find a groove while knitting, but I also remember writing so many notes to keep track of where I was in the project. I don’t have any finished photos, but I did end up keeping it! Maybe one day I’ll even block it!

In-progress sweater, 2017

After making a snood, a hat, and a scarf, I thought I was ready for a sweater. Sweaters are the whole reason I have any interest in knitting in the first place. The dream is to add Babaà and Misha & Puff style sweaters to my skill set and wardrobe.

My Classic sweater turned out okay, but there are a few things I hate about it. Firstly, it’s constructed in pieces and seamed together. I cannot make the seaming look good. It also doesn’t have any shaping at the neckline (the front and back pieces are exactly the same) so I feel like I’m being choked when I wear it. And lastly, it’s HOT. I can’t wear it without sweating, but I get that chunky yarn is a good way to learn and it knits up faster.

In-progress sleeves, 2017

After finishing the first sweater, even though it had problems I didn’t know I how to fix, I started a second. I finished making the sleeves, but that was it. I recently discovered them in bag filled with other unused yarn.

Test swatch, 2017

I abandoned the second Classic sweater for this bauble sweater. I was freaking ready for a M&P popcorn sweater to be in my life.

Sweater in Denver, CO. 2017

It even traveled with me! But after working on it for three months, I made a teeny tiny mistake and gave up.

2021

Ever since, I kinda told myself knitting wasn’t for me. But I really don’t like that I gave up on it because I wasn’t instantly good at it. I wasn’t instantly good at sewing, or drawing, or ceramics, or painting, but I kept learning because I got more immediate gratification from those practices.

Anyway, I’m giving it another go. My amazingly skilled cousin is helping me and I found a LYS that has “get unstuck” sessions. Wish me luck!

Klum House | Naito Bucket Bag

Leave a comment

Klum House gifted me this Naito bucket bag kit shortly before its launch and I was super stoked to make it. Klum House creates the best bag making experience around, so anytime they launch a new pattern, I know I’m going to make it. I got as far as assembling the lining, took a break for dinner or something and the next day broke my wrist.

It sat partially constructed for two and a half months before my hand was strong enough to continue. My splint and cast were only on for a total of five weeks and I’m still shocked by how much muscle and range of motion I lost. Bodies are wild.

The Naito has a really clever construction. The lining is attached in such a clean and cool way. I always learn something new with a Klum House kit.

I’ve made a couple other bucket bag patterns before and attaching the circle base has always been unpleasant. I always had to make adjustments to the tube’s size to make it all line up. This base aligned perfectly and Ellie’s class demoed how to guide it through your machine.

Look at all of those handy pockets! In the lining there are four large pockets, plus one for your phone and two pens. The exterior has three large pockets and a d-ring for your keys. The coolest part is how the adjustable strap can be used as either a sling or a tote. The body cinches closed with a magnetic snap and the strap.

I chose the Bone + Field Tan colorway. If you sign up for the Klum House newsletter, you’ll be able to take 20% off everything in the online shop from from November 26 – 29, 2021!

An Unplanned Break

2 Comments

I took two months off of sewing because, well, I broke my left wrist. In two places.

Anyway, I’m playing with fabric again. I had some squares leftover from my 9-patch project and decided to make a bunch of HST.

They’re pretty tiny. An inch and half, I think.

What will this be? Not sure yet, but I think it’s pretty cute.

Nine Patch Scrap Quilt | part 1

8 Comments

Garment sewing produces waste, sometimes a lot of it. After years of sewing, my woven scrap pile was getting pretty large and I really wanted to turn some of it into a quilt. Then in 2019 Farm & Folk posted this on Instagram and I had a solution: I’d make 100 nine patch blocks using only scraps from previous projects.

Almost immediately, I started cutting 2″ x 2″ squares and arranging them. It’s pretty amazing how different fabrics and textures can come together and look so cohesive.

I only made a handful at the start and then set this project aside for a while. Almost a year later, I made a quilt design board out of homasote and canvas and picked this project back up. Briefly I wanted to try out a 100 day project but I didn’t enjoy the pressure and I wanted this process to be fun.

There was also a moment where I thought about making the quilt top entirely out of nine patch squares. After realizing this plan would require almost 200 blocks, I abandoned that idea.

A few months later, I had over 50 blocks and this was the point where I actually calculated how many blocks I’d need for this layout and it was not 100, it was 98.

I decided to make 100 anyway and then I’d have some flexibility if I ended up not liking a couple squares.

Once I had 100 blocks, I removed the two I didn’t really like (seen on the board above), made seven piles of seven blocks, and laid them out on my table. My table wasn’t large enough so I tucked some foam core underneath the cutting mats. I ended up only moving about three blocks once everything was in place.

This project taught me that sometimes my 1/4″ seam allowances… vary and that using a bunch of different fabrics can really change the size of a block. The blocks that had double gauze were especially wonky. I ended up having to ease some of the blocks together so the corners were aligned. I could have trimmed everything down to match the smallest block but I threw caution to the wind and just forced the blocks to work together.

I used Kona cotton in natural for the solid squares. Before I had 100 blocks, I tried using scrap fabric in lighter colors but it made the nine patch blocks disappear. I think the bright solid color really makes the patchwork shine.

Next I’ll make the backing, baste the layers together, quilt, bind, and then wash.