Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sewing mania!

A project bag, under construction
I have been obsessed with sewing the past few months. It started with a whole new set of fabrics and shapes for project bags for my Knitting in Beantown Etsy shop. Then, I got brave and bought a few patterns to make clothing for me. It stings to take measurements and see that I no longer fit into a size 12. It stings like mad, but I got over it and decided to take the plunge and sew for my current size. I am in love! I have been using a number of patterns that are now on the market and I also modified patterns I used back in the 80's. Yes! The 80's! I have a stash of fabric suitable for apparel and so I plunged into dress making.
Here is s photo collection of my making. I love cotton or linen and the colors and prints were from a collection of fabric stashed over the years. Each dress is so comfortable and they actually fit! Thanks to Jenny of the Tiny Paper Foxes podcast. Her twenty minute making KAL inspired me to think about building a new collection of clothes that I made myself. Colors, shapes, prints all make me happy. Do you have sewing skills? A love for patterns and fabric. Do you love to pair the prints and drapes of cloth to a pattern? Come hang with me, I have more patterns queued up! The next step for these finished garments is to find something I have knit to accessorize with.

Six dresses in a week...
Merchant and Mills, Factory Dress in blue linen

The color is a french blue
I found this pattern in Z Fabrics, a shop in Portland, ME.
Fitted bodice of the Deer and Doe Sureau Dress

The print is called Stained Glass
Another Sureau Dress
Sureau number 3
I bought this pattern in Mercer's Fabrics on Charles Street, Beacon Hill.
Such a comfortable dress, flattering too.
The fabric is a batik, hand stamped print.
This McCall's dress is inspired by a 60's pattern.
Red linen shift.
This pattern is one from 1986.
I hope my post will inspire you to shop your stash or your local fabric store. Check out Stitch House and Mercer's Fabric in Boston, Z Fabrics in Portland.  And happy making!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Some teasers

What's on my needles? Rivulet by Tincan Knits
I have been gone from writing here for over two months and must get back to the routine of posting more and sharing with you. I am now in Maine, caring for my dad. He has a bad fall three weeks ago and it caused a domino effect of health issues. I spent a week in the hospital with him, getting tested and having his vitals stabilized. Now he is in rehab and working hard to regain the strength he lost so rapidly. This period of time has taken me away from work and my home and family in Boston, but I am in my second happy place now that he is on the road to recovering. It has allowed me knitting and sewing time and I have been busy. Here are some tempting photos for you. I promise I will return with all of the details.....

Rivulet, pattern by Tincan Knits from the book Roadtrip Pattern costs $5.00, digital book, $18.00
Yarn: Classic Elite Yarn Woodland knit on size 6 needles.
I had ordered the book Roadtrip in anticipation of casting on the Clayquot Sweater, but I have been too preoccupied to get my stash yarns together for swatching. This pattern has such an interesting texture and it is actually an intuitive knit. The yarn is from the stash table at Fiber Camp 2016, thank you Alaisdair!!!

I'm adding a slew of new project bags to my Etsy shop
I am in the process of uploading the different bags, but I have over a dozen new prints. The link to the Etsy shop is here. I call this the Rowes Wharf/ Ornate Shears bag. The dimensions of this bag are 13" tall, 10" wide and 4" deep in the box bottom. The bag is lined and reinforced with interfacing, giving it the support needed to stand alone. The bag is made of cotton and is washable. The price will be $38.00. This is the only tall bag in the shop for now.

Rowes Wharf/ Bicycles and baskets of posies

Rowes Wharf/ Decorated Birds
Rowes Wharf/ Birds in a Row
These bags all measure approximately 10x10x4". They are hand made by me, currently here in Maine, or in Boston. The materials are cotton fabrics, poly zippers and interfacing. The bags can be washed, and will benefit from a touch up with the iron to give them a crisp finish. If you are a knitter, please know I intended the bags for holding a shawl, socks or the start of a sweater. They can also be used to organize your bag during travel or hold make up or tech devices.
I am currently working on listing them in the Etsy shop and expect them to be available for sale by 2PM today, May 4.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Off the needles- Frosted Hat, Coastal Gradient Cowl

Vintage buttons on Coastal Gradient Cowl

Pattern: Coastal Gradient Cowl, by Elizabeth Smith of The Brown Stitch Pay for pattern, $5.00
Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Iachos mini skeins, Iachos in the Tardis colorway on size 5 needles
I had been hoping to make this cowl for some time now, and so when I spied the minis at the A Hundred Ravens Common Cod event, I snapped them up. The knit was relatively quick and easy to do, though I did modify the pattern. I did twice the number of color stripes as suggested in the pattern. The buttons are from a collection of oldies but goodies. This cowl looks great with everything!

Pattern: Frosted Hat by Amanda Lilley Pay for pattern, $3.99.
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick in the Hudson Bay and Fisherman colorways on size 9 needles

I have made this pattern before with worsted weight yarn, but my daughter asked for something knit in a bulkier weight. I modified the pattern and cast on 54 stitches with the larger needle. There is a colorwork zigzag feature, but it doesn't show up in this yarn. The hat is super warm and the pompom is a cool feature. A quick knit and a great gift!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Off the needles, Atwood Shawl and 1,2,3, Chickadee

1, 2, 3, Chickadee by Susan B. Anderson

Pattern: 1, 2, 3, Chickadee Shawl by Susan B. Anderson Pay for pattern $5.00
Yarn: Cascade 220 in colors 9448 and 9446, olive and brick and unlabeled yarn in honey on size 7

I am a goner for garter stitch and this was such a fun and fast knit, and how much do you love the tassels??? It was easy and the knitting was good for chatting or movie watching. I do love the colors.... next up, one in blues for my sister Jacqueline!

Atwood Shawl by Nicole of Hue_Loco

Pattern: Atwood Shawl by Nicole Clark, of the Hue_Loco podcast.  Pay for pattern $4.99
Yarn: Madelintosh  Tosh DK in Glazed Pecan, Madelinetosh Sport in Chicory on size 6 needles
This was a knit along project, hosted by Nicole on her podcast and in her Ravelry group. I love the pattern and the yarn colors make me swoon, both are from deep stash. The pattern is not difficult and you need to be able to knit, purl, do yarn overs and knit 2 together. I used the super stretchy bind off and after blocking, the shawl measures 64" across and 28" along the spine.

Monday, January 18, 2016

A year long project, Knit the Sky

This was my first attempt at a palette for Knitting the Sky this year.
Knit the Sky, by Lea Redmond, is a different type of knitting book. It is a springboard for a new way to approach your project planning. It offers a number of novel ideas that allow you to make your knitting personal and memorable. The illustrations and upbeat text are inspiring and innovative, and this is a book I will keep on my shelf and probably gift to others. It is that good!

I am one who often gazes upward to view cloud formations, colors in the sky, and, of course, the weather. I like to think I got that from growing up in Maine where the weather can change rapidly. Many times I might remark to whomever I am with, "Oh that color! I wish I had paint or fabric in that shade!" Now I am setting myself the task of recording daily the hues of the sky and clouds.

My header photo shows a batch of yarn I got from WEBS, and when I ordered, I thought the colors would be perfect. I chose the Alpaca lace weight because it allows you to blend two tones together to capture the color of the sky and clouds each day.  Except.... when I got my package, the colors were a bit too dark, and the green, well, the green won't do. The only time I have seen a green sky is during the Wizard of Oz, so.... back to the drawing board.

This is a collage from my Instagram feed showing my project colors, Quince and Co!
This photo captures the array of hues I will knit to capture the colors of the sky. I do love Quince and Co Finch, it was easy to order and the yarn is so plump and beautiful. The solid cream is Malabrigo Silky Merino... somehow I forgot to order a natural color from Quince and Co. for a white, cloudy day. I am knitting with vintage peach colored needles, they are an eBay find and have a springy feedback for plastic and they have nice tips. Each day I take a few minutes to record in knitting the color of the sky. I have wondered if I will stick with it? Will it be long enough? Will I end up frogging? It is too early to say, but so far I have enjoyed this knit.

This is a record of the first half of January.
Knit the Sky
Pattern: One I have made up, garter stitch, seed stitch.
Yarn: Quince and Co Finch in the following colors: Delft, Glacier, Storm, Petal, Frost, Audouin. Malabrigo Silky Merino in Natural

Using size 3 needles, I cast on 76 stitches. I am thinking I may use the Petal to mark the end of each month, knitting a few rows of seed stitch in pale pink. I am hoping to get a decent length for a scarf but it may become a cowl if it is too short. How much do you love the garter stitch? Especially in the Finch?

So, if you are inclined to join in, another resource for yarn is Knit Picks, they have such an array of hues. Knit the Sky gives you so many ideas for knitting the sky, but the basics, choose a time of day, my window is 11AM to 1 PM. You can take a daily photo or make a note mentally, I have seen some Instagram images where the knitter uses colored pencils to record conditions. You can choose other stitches and widths, perhaps you decide to make a throw or a pillow, or a wall art piece, the concept can be applied in many ways. As I mentioned at the opening, the author suggests you choose a lace weight yarn that you hold double, that way the blending of blues, greys and whites has a broader array.

I have been using a hashtag when posting on Instagram, #knitthesky2016. If you join in, add the hashtag when you post so that our projects can be found and perhaps inspire others to join us!