Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Hand Knitting

News of Sewing

Hand Knitting

2016, Year in Review

Butterick 6318 / Vogue 2429 Butterick 5747 / Vogue 8701 I was going to skip a review of my 2016 sewing here on the blog - I am so far behind posting finished projects, and I have not been that motivated to remedy that situation, and things never really seem to be completed unless they are posted on the blog. Silly, yes, but true. Gala Gown / Vogue 9071 Sew Over It "Tea Dress" / Advance 8750 But the exercise of reviewing a years worth of sewing and knitting projects really helps me to reflect on what worked, what was not quite as successful, and designs that I would love to make again. It also reminds me of certain garments that have been a bit neglected! So here we are. McCalls 8358 & Advance 5912 / Vogue 1027 Vogue 9103 / Sewaholic "Renfrew" & Jennifer Lauren "Ivy Pinafore" Over the last couple of years I have tried to add more separates to my closet, and I have managed to do just that. Butterick 6285 / McCall 7053 & Butterick 6285 Vogue 9082 & Butterick 6285 / Advance 8751 & Butteric..

30 Last Minute Gifts from the Red Heart Joy Creators

As we get closer to the holidays, are you running out of time to make all of the gifts on your handmade holidays list? Not to worry — we’re calling the Red Heart Joy Creators in to the rescue! These bloggers have some fabulous patterns for last-minute gifts that you still have time to finish before the holidays. This post includes a roundup of 30 gift-worthy free crochet and knitting patterns by the Joy Creators for everyone on your list. For Children Sharon Ojala at Amigurumi To Go designs adorable crochet amigurumi patterns. Here are two of my favorite patterns sets from her collection. Make one critter or an entire set as a gift. Lil’ Trouble Teddy and Friends, free crochet pattern in Red Heart Comfort by Amigurumi To Go. Winter Friends Set, free crochet pattern in Red Heart Comfort and Super Saver by Amigurumi To Go. Heidi Yates at Snappy Tots is a crochet and knitting designer who brings her joy for vibrant color to her work. Here are two great crochet patterns for a child on y..

A Different Kind of Knit Cowl

A few years ago, everyone was hand knitting "snoods." Except they were not snoods - they were more of an infinite scarf or a scarf made to look like a draped cowl neckline. Yes, the English language is full of words that have multiple meanings, but for a brief moment, I thought that a vintage hair covering was coming back into vogue, and that was rather exciting. But a cowl neckline is something that I love, no matter what we may be calling it these days. Last year, I purchased a Craftsy kit that included a Renfrew pattern and a length of gray knit fabric. Gray is not a great color for me, but it was a good deal for the pattern alone. When the kit arrived, I realized how much I loved this mid-weight rayon blend. So, I pulled out my fiber reactive dyes and went to work. This is the result. Working with these knit fabrics really isn't so very bad! Which makes me wonder why I was scared for all those years . . .

weekend links

Hello friends! This month is passing so quickly, isn’t it? We’re looking forward to a visit from our dear friend Giulia next week. Do you remember Giulia? She worked with us for almost five years, helping to develop many of our patterns. Then she moved to India for a few years, and now she’s living in Eritrea with her husband and children. We can’t wait to catch up with her! We have so much to talk about. I mean, from New York to New Delhi to Eritrea. What stunning change of environment for her young family every few years. In the meantime, we still don’t have a Christmas tree and I haven’t done most of my shopping, but S is happy because a) she has her beloved mitten advent calendar (see details about this in my Pinterest picks, below) to look forward to every day and 2) she got a terrific grade in Spanish this trimester! We are both starting to feel like we’re making progress toward becoming fluent after all this hard work. Yesterday a friend told me my grammar was perfect in a tex..

Different color palette and some tips for a Fayne beret

I thought I’d share with you my own version of my new knitting pattern, Fayne, that I actually knit for myself. If you missed Tuesday’s post, this is what it looks like, but in alternate colors! (Pullover I knit from a vintage pattern, blogged here) The green sample knit below went off to live with my lovely model and fellow knitter, Madison. But I love that palette so much, I may need to knit one for me at some point, too! I also wanted to chat a little bit about the colorwork for Fayne. I talk about this in the pattern, but you’ll notice that in the inner workings of the colorwork, it’s made up of a lot of vertical blocks, which help build the illusion of plaid. Because of this, you have the same width of stitches with the same width of floats (stranding the unused color behind the other color being knit with), all the way up the hat. Depending on your knitting style and your yarn, this can mean each vertical block may end up looking a tad bunched up while you’re knitting. So I’m ..

Knitting Cables: an Introduction

I love to knit with cables!! I remember very fondly my first attempt to knit a cable. I’d done a few patterns, from a book I’ve long ago lost and forgotten the title, and was working up to some of the more complicated projects. When I found this lovely blanket only used knit, purl and cables, I was very excited to give it a try. The beautiful designs that come from cables make them seem difficult, but if you can slip a few stitches to a 3rd needle, you can add cables to your knitting repertoire! Here are a few free patterns from redheart.com which use cables. Cabled Pillows LW3694 Knit in With Love Casual Cables Throw LW5459 Knit with Comfort Chunky Cabled Holiday Balls LW3676 Knit in With Love What is a Cable? Cables are the fun fancy twists and braids that you see in all kinds of knitted objects. They’re used to add embellishment and visual appeal to your work. Cables are worked by sliding a number of stitches (usually between 2-5 stitches) onto a cable needle, while you work a n..

How Do I Decide Which Red Heart Yarn To Use In My Next Project?

Whether you’re a longtime Red Heart cheerleader or are just discovering a new Red Heart yarn in your local craft store, sometimes it can be difficult to decide which Red Heart yarn fits the best with your project idea or pattern. In this post, I’ll help you choose from 11 of Red Heart’s most popular and newest yarns so you can make the right choice for your next crochet or knitting project. Baby Hugs Medium Yarn Facts: 100% acrylic,; certified safe according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Class I, available in 18 colors, machine wash and dry. Best For: Projects for babies and toddlers, people with skin sensitivities or allergies, and those receiving medical treatment; projects worn close to the skin. Baby Hugs Medium is a super soft acrylic yarn that has been tested as being free from harmful levels of over 300 substances. This cuddly yarn is perfect for anything that will be worn close to the skin, such as neck warmers, or for gifting and donating projects to anyone with skin sensitivit..
News of Sewing

Flypaper thoughts cold night version

My secret sewing/knitting/crocheting continuesGood, I guess, for Christmas Bad for the blog businessIn that transition stage now where the folks who were getting hand made shirts and then socks are now getting slippers made in mega bulky wool on 10 mm needlesSuch is realitySpeaking of whichWent to a funeral today for my husband's sweet auntI thought the priest talked way too long about sinnersI wanted to stand up and say ListenI am sure when she meets him the Lord will say "Elizabeth there should have been more like you"Credit where credit's dueFabulous reception afterwardsThe kind you get on an island off Cape BretonSort of an all you can eat affair in a room full of characters and charming menSpeaking of whichThis aunt married a handsome no goodnik late in lifeThe high point of the reception was my gentle and ladylike mother-in-law at a tableWith scissorsCutting him out of pictures in the family albums during dessertI love that familyFor Christmas I have asked everyone to g..

Western-inspired Ginger jeans

Something like 3 months ago, I finished making a pair of jeans. When we went on a vacation to northern Wisconsin in October, we took photos of them. Finally today, I’m sharing them. Let’s have a little sewing, shall we? These are my third pair of Ginger jeans. I sewed them immediately after sewing Mel’s Morgan jeans and my Safran jeans, and by the end of all that I was totally jean-ed out. I’d been saving some Cone Mill stretch denim from the kit I’d bought eons ago for a simple pair of Gingers but my mind got carried away and I made these ones instead. Which means, I’m still on the market for a simple pair, and if my denim comes fast enough, hope to sew them up before we leave for my mom and step-dad’s for Christmas (we’ll see). These jeans are kind of a success and failure at the same time. Success because they fit as I wanted them to, everything went together well, and I’m really proud of the hand sewing and other small details. Failure because I made a decision to do something f..


It’s already December. The time, WHERE DOES IT GO? I’ve been gearing up for the holidays and had so much fun making this list of great gifts to give or receive if you enjoy sewing and knitting. Some are things I’ve discovered this year, and others are things I would love to own… Best of all, nothing is over $65! The Modern Natural Dyer – my favourite DIY book this year Wonder clips – so much better than regular pins Sashiko thread and sashiko needles – perfect for simple embroidery Magnetic pin cushion bracelet – the best sewing jewelry Mini anvil – for installing denim rivets and buttons! In the Company of Women – get inspired by lady makers Pattern hooks – the best way to organize PDF patterns Craft hole punch – use this to make holes for the hooks above (much less $$ than the professional kind!) Industrial snap/grommet setter – my absolute favourite purchase this year The Curated Closet – purge your wardrobe and find your style for 2017! Handmade bias tape – when you’re just too l..


Tamarack jacket progress… I just spent a very fun weekend in Hamilton, Ontario teaching a Ginger workshop at the awesome Needlework studio; this is a city after my own heart. It reminds me of my blue collar hometown but with much better coffee and local shopping. I splurged on a Fringe Association bag at the local knitting shop, some stretch laces at the brick and mortar Bramakers Supply, along with some gorgeous metallic linen for a holiday Farrow dress at Needlework. It was a very good time. Here’s what you’ve been up to: ADMIRE Speaking of Fringe Association… Karen’s wardrobe planning is insane and inspirational. The chicest swimsuit ever made. Erica in this jumpsuit! A pretty floral Basel dress from Allie J. John Galanos patterns for McCalls? SWOON. Julia made a LEATHER JACKET. Another fun jacket, this one from Dixie DIY in a metallic fabric. Drapey knit goodness from Blogless Anna. READ I wrote a long piece for Seamwork this month on the history of the colour black in f..

Black Friday Sales Codes 2016

Last year I wrote a compendium of my favourite sewing patterns and fabrics shops discount codes. Discount percentages (15% to 70%) and duration (Thursday up to Monday) of discount codes do vary by participant. Be quick to not miss out!!! Happy Shopping! Sewing Patterns The Billie Collection PDF Tilly and the Buttons code: BLACKFRIDAY By Hand London code:TURKEYLURKEY Grainline Studio Give thanks sale code: GIVETHANKS16 Thread Theory Designs No code needed. Papercut patterns code: BlackFriday Cashmerette patterns code: GIVETHANKS Closet Case Files code:THANKSGIVER Schnittchen sewing patterns code: sewblackfriday Fehr Trade Victory Patterns code:THANK YOU Megan Nielsen code: BLACKFRIDAY2016 Deer and Doe sewing Filles a maman code:BLACK2016 Les Fusettes sewing patterns code: BLACKFRIDAY Pauline Alice patterns code:BLACK République du Chiffon code: BLACKFRIDAY Style Arc Etsy store code: BLACKFRIDAY30 StyleArc amazon code BLFRSA30 at the checkout to get your discount. Sale ends Monday. T..

New Workshops for 2017! (plus some workshop FAQs)

Hey everyone! Just a quick update to let y’all know about a few workshops upcoming for the beginning of 2017! Just in time for the holiday-buying season, ha Weekend Garment Workshop at Finch Sewing Studio February 24-26, 2017 Finch Knitting & Sewing Studio, Leesburg, VA Join me for another open sewing workshop, this time in beautiful Leesburg, VA at Finch Sewing Studio! This is the same concept as my other open sewing workshops – there is no set project, you just bring whatever you wanna work on! This shorter weekend means less time off work, as well as a smaller price tag We will start on Friday evening with a meet & great, snacks and shopping, then spend Saturday & Sunday working on our projects! Whether you want to start a coat, focus on fitting, learn how to sew a perfect collared shirt, tackle your first bra, or just sit in a beautiful sewing shop surrounded by creative energy with a teacher on hand to answer any oh-shit-what-do-I-do-next questions – this is the workshop for you..

Violetta sweater

When I first saw the Violetta sweater at Julia's shop I immediately fell in love with the design. It's so me. Knitting this one was on my todo-list forever but since this summer I'm the proud owner of my own Violetta. I already wore it a lot, but since it was to thick to wear it underneath my yellow coat, I had to wait until my new coat project was finished to enjoy it again. Yes you hear me right: I've sewn a 2nd coat just to be able to wear my handmade knitted sweaters and cardigan. Crazy project, but that's for later... First I'll show you how I 'obligated' myself to sew that one... So back to the Violetta. I actually love everything about this pattern: the sleeves, the pockets, the back, the raglan sleeves, the neckline,... Everything! The only thing I might change next time is the length of the sweater. But that's a detail... When you are used to knit with circular needles (top down) you never face this problem to I guess I still have ..

Contest 2016: Plain & simple Lewis coat: prize packs

Today I’m sharing an overview of the great prizes I can give away in the Plan & Simple Lewis coat category. Again I would love to thank the sponsors a lot for being part of this contest. In the 2nd category, you can sew a coat for boys. If you don't change anything to the pattern pieces your creation will be part of the Plain & Simple category where you can win these amazing prizes: +++ 1st PRIZE +++ Fabric package by Elvelyckan design Elvelyckan design is one of the sponsors that always surprise me in a pleasant way. When I opened their box I was a bit jealous that I will have to send these beauties to someone else soon. Don't you just love all these gorgeous prints? I do! Since I think a lot of them are suitable for boys too, I added this amazing pile of fabrics to the Lewis category. Thanks a lot Elvelyckan design for designing such pretty fabrics. Again I'm wondering why I didn't sew with knits anymore lately. Time to make a change! Private Compagnie M. work..

Prepping for my Clare coat project

I have a lot of creative things floating around both in my head and in my hands lately. Behind-the-scenes, I’m working on my next knitting pattern release. Not-behind-the-scenes, I have lots of things on my list. Too many. Ugh! But right now, one of the main ones is the Closet Case Patterns Clare coat! I went gaga for it the second Heather released it around this time last year. For Christmas, my mom and step-dad bought me the supplies for it, but then I got distracted by other shiny new sewing projects, so I knew it wasn’t going to happen until this fall. And here we are, and here I am totally jazzed to start this project! Yay! I’m going to sew View A, on the top of the technical illustration below: Source: Closet Case Patterns To me, it has a fantastic early 1960s vibe, with an A-line body shape and funnel neck. Reminiscent of those chic early stewardess uniforms. The asymmetrical front with exposed zipper is a really cool feature, too. It goes from the collar all the way to the h..

Brr. It sure is cold in here. I wish some strong, chivalrous man would...

Hellooooo! What's happening, folks? Not too much craic here, it has to be said - which I'm not complaining about! I'm trying to embrace the clocks going back rather than bemoaning the end of the summer - this mainly involves buying cute boots and candles in shocking amounts and making plans for winter fun. Also, now that it's November, I am busy trying to decide how many chocolate panettone I can reasonably buy from Carluccio's. I bought one massive one last Christmas and it was just THE BEST, and now I am seriously tempted to fill all - ALL - available cupboard space in my kitchen with them. Whatever gets you through, though, right? So that's the craic. It was Hallowe'en yesterday and I did dress appropriately in a dress that I made from some awesome Alexander Henry fabric: Previously on Braindead dress - Christine Haynes Emery dress with a pleated skirt in Alexander Henry 'Brains and Beauty' fabric I made this dress at the end of the summe..