Sunday, 1 November 2015

November already!

I keep writing all sorts of blog posts in my head . .. . but never get them onto the computer.  So instead of several individual posts that are never going to happen here is a summary of some of my knitting and sewing since August.

1. Margrathea Shawl by Martina Behm - yarn merino/silk by YarnInk

2. Flax for T, by Tincan Knits - yarn James C. Brett Marble Chunky

3. Flax for C, by Tincan Knits, and Owligan by Kate Davies - yarn James C. Brett Marble Chunky
And it is too short.  I've ordered another ball of yarn to add 3 inches of length!

4.Sewing for me!  The Indiesew Fall pattern collection - Laurelhurst cardigan, Cabin Tunic and Sloan Leggings (Faux leather panels!)

I love the pockets in the tunic.  The cardigan is cozy but feels so dressy when I wear it and the whole outfit feels as comfortable as pyjamas!

5. Finally finished my quilt! (3 years)  I begged my 93 year old grandmother to quilt it for me!  She finally agreed.  She said she wouldn't finish till after Christmas and she had it done in 2 weeks!  Thank you, Nana. I sewed on the binding and now I'm set for a cozy winter!

6. Halloween Costumes - Anna dress and cape for my daughter and her cousin wore an Elsa costume made by my sister-in-law

And my son wore the owl costume I made last year.

I finished a few other things but didn't manage to get any decent pictures yet.  Maybe in the next update. 

Monday, 31 August 2015

Favourite Baby Knits

I was looking back through some of my photos and found some pictures of some of the sweaters I've made for my kids and other kids.  I like worsted weight or chunky weight yarn. No fingering weight baby sweaters for me. 

Baby Bootah -  okay so this sweater is a Sport weight yarn.  And I love the sweater but after knitting this I resolved to knit baby sweaters out of heavier yarn.  The pattern is really cute.  It is fairly easy to put on a baby and stays on really well with the 2 sets of ties.  I bought a kit from Fleece Artist that had the yarn and the pattern.

Sweater pattern invented on the fly by me! I had this rainbow yarn with a homespun look (but a soft, acrylic feel) that someone gave me years ago.  I loved it and held onto it for years until was pregnant with my daughter.  I knew there wasn't enough on it's own to make a sweater so I did stripes on the body and the cuffs, adding in an acrylic white yarn to compensate for the yardage. 

 Baby Sophisticate Sweater - Free   this is a really cute pattern.  I'm looking at this wondering why I haven't knit this one more often.  My cousin and his wife are expecting their first child in November and I think I just figured out what pattern I will be using.

I have no idea what this pattern is.  There probably isn't one.  My knitting mentor made it for my son when he was born.  It was the perfect size and fit him from  6 months to 15 months.  She made it out of a cotton/wool blend, something I have yet to knit with.

Latte Baby Coat -Another great pattern.  Top down raglan.  There is a really wide button band which can be fun for playing with a textured stitch.   The pattern calls for a basket weave stitch.  I did seed stitch on this version for my son.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Sunshine and clouds outfit

The yellow skirt fabric just looked so summery and fun to me in May that I just had to get it.  I quickly self-drafted a pattern using a RTW Maxi skirt I bought when I was pregnant.  I used the pockets from the Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt pattern to add pockets.

 I started making the grey top the same weekend and I just finished it this past weekend in August.  Oops.  It just wasn't doing anything for me when I finished it. The pattern is a free pattern from Spitups and Stilettos, the Harper Blouse.  It's supposed to be tunic length and it's not.  It just didn't look flattering.

So I left in a my UFO basket for awhile.  I couldn't get out of my head this grey sleevelss blouse with this skirt. So I dug it back out.  Ripped out the side seams.  Did an SBA (small-bust adjustment) to the pattern and modified the side shaping on the pattern to be more similiar to the Sewaholic Granville pattern.  (Do you see a trend here?  I like Sewaholic patterns . .. the only one that I struggled with was the Thurlow trousers, I have an un-blogged pair) I re-sewed the darts and side seams and followed the directions for the armhole edging from the Made-by-Rae Josephine Top pattern. For a free pattern the Harper blouse is good.  I like the half collar look.  It took some fitting and pattern changing but now I've got a nice sleeveless top pattern that looks quite great!


Now I have a great outfit for when school starts again in two weeks!! AHHH  Bring on the Kindergarten kids!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

OAL2015 - Vianne and Cambie Dress

Last year I watched the Outfit Along, hosted by Andi of Untangling Threads and Lladybird but I didn't participate because I didn't see myself wearing the dress they had picked.  Then I discovered the Sewalolic dress patterns that have pockets in them.  So this year when the Outfit Along came up I knew I wanted to make the Cambie dress.  I had just enough of this purple fabric in my stash to make the dress.  The purple fabric is a polyester, thin fabric and it is lined with a gray cotton/rayon blend.

The fit on the dress is amazing!!  I think I will only ever make this dress in different fabrics.  It has pockets, the neckline is very modest for me and doesn't gape when I lean forward!  I had to adjust the bust darts slightly but that was easy to do when I sewed the lining.

The official knitting pattern was the Vianne cardigan, designed by Andi.  I thought it would look good with the dress so I decided to knit it in a yarn I had from Tanis Fiber Arts, the DK weight. 

The lace panel at the front is is simple and pretty.

The mesh panel at the back is neat but I felt it was too much on the whole thing.  I just stopped knitting it when I joined at the armhole.

Very nice pattern.  Andi has s different style of writing patterns but I do like the end results.  This is the third sweater I've knit from her patterns.

 The whole outfit!!  Most of the time I will wear this with flats.  It will be the perfect transitional outfit for the fall!  And now in the heat of the summer the dress is wonderful on it's own.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Jenny Dress # 2

Pattern:  Jenny Dress by Sisboom
Fabric: cotton

This is the second version of this dress I made.  The first one I made to wear to my cousin's wedding last year, with a fancier fabric.

This one I made out of a cotton for wearing to work and on hot days in the summer.

I also added pockets to this by using the pattern pieces of have for the Hollyburn skirt.  Adding pockets took this dress from good to fantastic!

Since I made this at the end of May and it was an unusually cool spring in Southern Ontario I made a navy Julia Cardigann. (This is #5 of the Natalie pattern I've made).

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Lots of knitting and sewing, no blogging

It's been a long time since I've published here.  I'm on summer holidays and yet for some reason I just haven't taken the time to sit down and write anything.  I used to write blog posts when my kids were playing happily.  5 minutes here and there.  Now when I open up my laptop they both think they should get screen time and ask for the tablet or tv.  So no screen time for them means no screen time for me! 

I've been spending lots of time outside . . . sometimes knitting.

I've been doing a lot of sewing.

I've been casting on way too many shawls.

And dying yarn!

And most important of all!  Having fun with these two!

 Happy Summer! 

P.S. Also preparing a few more blog posts right now so more forthcoming!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Gathered Front Tank

This is one of my favourite summery knits.  It's knit out of a wool/silk blend that I bought at my LYS years ago.  I don't have the ball bands so I don't know any more than that.
Pattern: Gathered front Tank published by Interweave Knits.
I love the look of the front with the gathers.  I had difficulty with the straps.   I went back and re-did them 3 times before I was really happy.  The first time they were too long.  The second time they were the right length but too narrow.  I wanted to be able to wear this to work and it needs to be 2-finger widths wide to fit the dress code (I'm a teacher!)  I made it in 2011.
It can also work to be worn over a tank top but mostly I wear it just on it's own.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Not A Shrug

There's a story behind the name of this sweater. I actually knit this as a shrug from a free pattern on Ravelry. It was knit from the top-down.  It had short sleeves and tied under the bust.  I think I wore it about 5 times.  It sat in my closet for over 5 years.  I would take it out and look at it, put it on, then take it off again.  If it`s hot enough for me to not be wearing sleeves it`s too hot to be wearing a shrug.

The yarn is Fleece Artist and I loved the colour so I decided to go on a mission to find a matching or coordinating yarn.  Last summer I went into Toronto to Romni Wool and I found this variegated yarn with the exact same colour blue in it!  I bought 2 skeins and ended up using 1 and half skeins.

I pulled out the edging with ties and and picked up the stitches. I did a few rows of alternating the 2 yarns then just used the variegated yarn.  At the bottom I used the lace pattern from the free Little Oaks shawl.

For the sleeves I ripped out the garter stitch cuff and then picked up the stitches and again alternated the 2 yarns for a few rows and then just decreased every 6 rows till the sleeves were as narrow as I wanted.  I did an i-cord bind-off using the solid blue to tie it all together.

I love it!  It fits perfect. It has long sleeves, which I love.  It will be a staple over these warmer months.  Sweaters really are my favourite thing to knit. This is sweater number 5 that I`ve knit this year! And off course I am wearing this sweater as part of the Me-made-May challenge as well.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Natalie Top take 2

I finished this top in the late fall, took pictures in the winter and I'm finally posting about it now!
The pattern is the Natalie top by Liola Patterns. It is available on the Indie Sew website.
I bought this fabric in the summer on my fabric expedition into Toronto.  I knew I wanted to make this top with it but I wanted to make another version first before I cut into this fabric. So I made a wearable muslin out of this blue fabric. I do wear this one but it wrinkles horribly quickly. The next one I made was this green one. You can read about it here.  I made the green one tunic length but over the winter I cut it off and hemmed it to be the same length as these ones.
For this version I cut a medium.  I shortened the opening at the top by 1 inch.  I also added some darts in the back to help with the fit. 

It's my favourite top I've ever made.  The fabric is so soft and the fit is just perfect.  Roomy enough to be comfortable all day and fitted enough to be flattering. I love it!  What is your favourite top pattern?

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Me-Made-May 2015

I first found about Me-Made-May on May 1st last year.  I watched eagerly as everyone posted up their daily pictures or weekly summaries.  I think is what started my sewing spree last year.  I have made clothing for over 20 years now but not everyday wearable garments.  This past year I have been sewing clothing that would be appropriate for wearing to work, and also comfortable to wear to work.  So this year I'm excited to participate in  me-made-may'14 .

 'I, (Christa,, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear a handmade outfit each work day and handmade tops and sweaters on the weekend for the duration of May 2015'

I will post some photos of the outfits I'm wearing but I'm not making any promises of how many or how often. I look forward to sewing what everyone else has sewn or knit.