Monday, 26 January 2015

January Kid Sweaters (and some sewing!)

 So this is what happens when I get out my button box to find buttons to put on sweaters. My daughter wants to learn how to sew buttons and my son throws them everywhere!
 After the kids were in bed I managed to get the buttons sewn on.
 Baby Sunnyside Sweater adapted to a pre-school size by using a worsted weight yarn instead of a sport weight yarn. I did a test swatch and some math and figured out if I knit the 6 month size and added length I would have sweater that is big enough.
 Perfect fit!!  I used a Knit Picks Swish yarn and dyed it myself with food colouring.
 My daughter has gotten taller recently.  All of a sudden all her t-shirts looked like crop tops . . . not a look I like for little girls. She mostly wears t-shirts as undershirts right now but she needed some new ones. I bought this pattern, Zee'sTee by the Tie Dye Diva in a pattern bundle.  I love it.  Its got 12 month to 12 years.  It has two t-shirt versions.  This yoke version here and a pocket tee.  It has short or long-sleeves.  The yoke version is great for using up off-cuts from other projects.
For my son's sweater I made the Latte Baby Coat By Lisa Chemery a.k.a Froginnette
I made the 12 month size and made the arms and sleeves longer.  For the buttonbands at the front he pattern calls for a lattice stitch.  This time I used a seed stitch.  I only did one row of buttonholes but I think I might need to  rip it back and add the second row because it is gaping a bit.
Still warm enough to layer under winter jackets.  So far this is my favourite baby knit.  What is your favourite knits for kids?

Friday, 23 January 2015

10 Sweaters - 10 months

 I started out the year with just 2 handknit sweaters in my closet that I actually wore.

I had several sweaters knitted that I didn't wear because they weren't quite right so I frogged all of those ones and started out to rebuild my handknit sweater wardrobe.  I didn't intend to knit 10 sweaters in 10 months but somehow it happened that I averaged a sweater a month.  Some took longer than that and others less time but here I am in a new year  with 12 new or re-knit sweaters that I love.  I'll link to my Ravelry Project page if you want to see more details and I'll list the yarn if I remember what it was.  I wasn't very good at keeping yarn labels.


En Pointe Pullover, a fingering weight yarn I bought several years ago.


Icy Blue Cardigan , Swish Bulky Yarn, dyed with Kool-Aid
Spoked Cardigan



Long Sleeve Grey Cardigan  Americo, copeto medeo


Grey Star   Knit Picks swish worsted


Regatta Tee , ** cotton/wool blend worsted weight


Gathered Front Tank: pattern from Interweave Knits - hand dyed yarn bought at my LYS 

(This one I only fixed the straps on, I didn't re-knit the whole thing)


 Sweet Tee, ** Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino



Coral Rose Cardigan, Sweet Georgia Yarns DK

This is my third favourite sweater.


I Heart Purple  Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label

This is tied for my most favourite sweater. 


Grey and Sunnyside  Tanis Fiber Arts Yarn Green Label

And my other most favourite sweater.  I wear this all the time!

And that's when I lost steam.  I still can't believe I knit 10 sweaters in 10 months for myself.  My last 3 sweaters are my favourites.  I've learned that I like v-neck cardigans or shawl collar, rather than round-neck cardigans.  I like cardigans.  I like mostly seamless designs.  I like patterns with some detail, but not too much detail.  I am more motivated to knit when I have a pattern to keep track of and rows to check off.

I will be going back to work full-time as a kindergarten teacher in March so my knitting time will decrease drastically.  I'm going to knit some sweaters next year.  A really warm brown one, a lighter brown one, a white one and a blue one.  I have the yarn for all but the white one.  Knitting in those colours will let me mix and match with most of my wardrobe I wear for work or home.

And I will be then only knitting much smaller things, socks, scarves, hats . .  .and sweaters for my kids as they grow.

If you are reading this thank you for following along and if you are a knitter I hope you sneak in a few rows each day. 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Top 5 Goals


I'm not really setting any definite goals for sewing this upcoming year.  I'm not sure how many energy I will have for sewing when I return to work and don't want to create any pressure on myself to do anything specific.

That being said I do have some things I would like to try in the next year.

1. Trousers/pants

Trousers that I can wear to work, that are almost as comfortable as jeans but aren't.  I'm on the search for a trousers pattern that has a higher rise in the back, slim fitting through the upper leg and has the option of a straight leg at the bottom.  If you know of one like that let me know or tell me you favourite trouser pattern.  I do have the Thurlow Trouser from Sewaholic to try.

2. Bras 

I've been wearing nursing bras for so long now I don't have any regular bras that fit anymore.  I was going to go and buy myself a really properly fitted expensive bra but then I saw a bra making class on Craftsy, which I bought instead and the fabric to make myself several bras.

3. Button up shirts

 I had decided that I don't like button up shirts but after making some non-buttoning blouses (Natalie Top) I've come the the conclusion that it's not the button up part that bothers me it's that for me to get a nice fitting shirt around the bust area it is usually really snug on my arms.  I'm interested in trying to make an Archer and the new pattern from Sewaholic.

4. Capsule Wardrobe

 I started thinking about/making things to fit into a capsule wardrobe.  I really like the idea of a capsule wardrobe.  Sometimes I feel I have way too much clothing.  I'm going to continue to try and make garments that will fit together.

5. Blog

 I think I will continue to blog.  I'm treating it more like a journal because I think only about 5 people read this, including my wonderful mother-in-law.  It's more challenging than I realized to take pictures, get good pictures, edit the pictures and then write a blog post.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Striped Trap

Pattern:  Striped Trap

Yarn: Berroco Folio and Berroco Boboli Lace

 I loved using a busy variegated yarn, alternated with a plain yarn. I find it really shows off the variegated yarn rather than just being busy.  I will definitely be using this technique again for other variegated yarns.

It doesn't look like much when it's layed out flat.  It's a trapezoid.  I got to a point when I was knitting it when I wondered if I would wear it but it's one of my favourite knit scarves.  The ends stay tucked into place and don't fall down. 

 I wear it like this all the time.  With the larger section down to the front and the skinny end wrapped up around my neck.
I could wear it this way with it over my back, as more of a shawl but scarf style is more me.

Cozy, warm, colourful: perfect for winter.  Have you made anything warm for yourself recently?

Monday, 5 January 2015

Fairisle Anything Cowl

I used this free pattern, called Fairisle Anything Cowl on Ravelry.  There is no gauge listed in the pattern but I used 4 mm needles and a worsted/aran weight yarn and my gauge was 7 sts/inch.  

It fits perfectly under my coat as a neckwarmer.  

 The grey I used is leftover Graphite Tanis Fiber Arts Yarn Green Label Aran weight.  The self striping yarn is a Noro Silk Garden leftover from a vest I made my daughter.

Perfect for a Canadian winter.  My mom likes it so much that she's asked me for one . . . and she hardly ever wears anything handknit. Have you knit anything warm recently?

Friday, 2 January 2015

Top 5 Reflections


1. Whenever I Can

After my daughter was born I hardly made anything.  I rarely sewed and I hardly knit. Pre-children I wouldn't usually knit unless I could sit down for an hour or more to knit.  Sewing, I would cut a pattern and sew it up over a whole weekend.  I've learned to sew and knit in such small segments now.  I knit a few stitches at a time.  I cut out one pattern piece at a time.  I don't set timelines on getting a project done.  I have several projects on the go at once that require various levels of concentration and energy.  That way when I feel like making something I can just pick it up and go with it.

2. Project Specific Stash

I like to buy fabric for a specific project.  I'm lucky. I live a 15 minute walk from a Fabricland. They don't always have what I'm looking for but if I keep checking back in different seasons I can usually find what I need.  The only fabric I do stash is flannel and knits . . . but even then I only have enough for 2-3 projects.

3. Sew What Makes Me Happy

I mostly make garments for myself and my kids.  For me because I like the fabrics and the patterns and making it fit properly.  For my kids it's sometimes a necessity. My kids are skinny and have long torsos.  For my 3 1/2 year old daughter I usually cut a pattern that is a 2T in width and 4T in length.  My 18 month old son wears a 6 month size in width.  For both my kids RTW clothing usually has to be taken in at the waist so I like sewing clothing for them that fits.

4. PDF Patterns Rock

PDF patterns are amazing.  Being able to print a pattern at home and get started is part of what really got me back into sewing.  I love the convenience of being able to reprint a pattern piece if I lose one (which I've been known to do).  If I cut the wrong size I can just print another one. If I want to make a garment for my mom and myself out of the same pattern I can print a version for both of us.  I like how most PDF patterns have detailed instructions and photos.  And best of all are all the photos from people who tested the patterns showing what it looks like on real people, not models like the big 4 patterns.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Top 5 Highlights




This has been such an amazing year for me because I have been at home with my 2 children. I took an extended maternity leave when my son was born.  My daughter is 3 1/2 and a bundle of curiousity, energy, enthusiasm and imagination.  I love watching her play and listen to the stories she creates.  My son is 16 months old and imitates anything he can that his sister does. He is starting to talk, run, his giggle is infectious, he kisses everyone in his family all the time.


 I've started running again.  I tried to start running after I went back to work, after my daughter, but I got a really bout of vertigo that had me off work for several weeks. When I did recover and go back to work I seemed to get sick with anything that came into my kindergarten room.  I've been running weekly now since August and I hope to keep running when I go back to work in March.  I got back up to running 10 km and starting next week I am going to be a pacer for the next 10 km clinic at my local Running Room.


My daughter being old enough to start doing sports.  This year she ran her first 'race'. She did the kids run at one of my races.  I ran with her and she was so excited to finish and get a medal. She enjoyed going canoeing.  She started skating this year and is quite good already.  And next week I am taking her downhill skiing for the first time.


My husband.  He's my rock. He is so steady and reliable and takes care of the the 3 of us.  When other women complain about their husbands I just shake my head as if I agree but I don't because he is so wonderful I can only think of the littlest things that bother me that aren't worth mentioning.  He always finds time for me to go running and do all my crafting. I don't have enough words to say how wonderful he is.


Family and Friends - all my extended family and friends, no matter how often or how few times a year I see you, having you in my life is wonderful.

Happy New Year!