boston and big islands

She’s baaacccckkkkkk!!!!

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Sooo… Hi! It’s been awhile since I made an appearance on this blog! Talk about stating the obvious! Let’s just say that a lot of life has happened in the last few months! In the span of about a month in a half, I got a new job and moved to a new city in a new country. I’ve been focused on settling in since then so needless to say, there hasn’t been much time for knitting and sewing! Fortunately, I had TONS of time to knit and sew in the months leading up to this big change! The sweater featured here? Knit and photographed in May but as this is only now getting some wear, waiting to post it was a good choice, nee? That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

2014-05-29 19.16.01So where am I now? Boston! Out of the lab and into a brand new career that I friggin’ love! However, while Boston is geographically close to Toronto, it’s been an adjustment! But did I mention that I love my new job?!  The downside, of course, is all of the friends I left behind. For the most part, my science friends had already moved on from their postdocs (though there are still a few that I already miss terribly) but the awesome sewing and knitting community I was part of in Toronto? Kristin, Andrea, Gillian, Catja? The awesome ladies of Eweknit? The list goes on really and they are all now too far away! So if you know of any sewing and knitting peeps in the greater Boston area, direct me to them or direct them here!

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So let’s talk about the sweater. Another Jared Flood design! Shocking, I know! This one is called Oshima and I was kicking myself for not getting to it sooner last year. How handy would that cowl have been in the Great Deep Freeze of 2014? 2014-05-29 19.14.56

What I feel like doing every time I put this one on!

I made this one out of the Berroco Ultra Alpaca (one of my go to yarns) that I picked up at the EweKnit boxing day sale. It’s a pretty straightforward knit with some slick finishes (tubular cast on and bind off) and a ton of squishy brioche stitch. And the cowl? Seemed endless but every time I put this thing on I just want to burrow down! Not a bad inclination for a winter sweater!

2014-05-29 19.14.01I could go on and on about Brooklyn Tweed patterns and my Jared Flood knitting crush but I think we can skip that this time around. Probably best to hit publish before I walk away for another 4 months! In the meantime, can’t wait to catch up!

cat cuddlesEnjoying a sleepy cat as I write this. Focus on the cat, people and ignore the tired face!

Sara

Ravelry notes can be found here.

 

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Knitting with friends.

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Soooo…  this post was supposed to be up on Saturday! That was the deal I made with my fellow knitters, Andrea and Kristin.  They posted (found here and here) but six days later (I keep having to up that number as more days pass!) and here we are.  My bad! Apologies, Ladies! No excuses! Though honestly, I’m not sure that I have anything worthy to add after their thorough and thought-provoking tales!

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A couple of months ago, in a fit of pique over the crap weather that Toronto kept delivering, Kristin, Andrea and I decided that we might be able to pretend it was Spring if we started knitting for Spring. Bright colours, fun patterns and all that jazz. The Mizutama pattern from Olga Buraya-Kefelian was one that Kristin had been eyeing for some time so after a trip to our favourite LYS EweKnit, we were off!

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I’m not sure that I have much to add about the actual knitting of this pattern that Kristin and Andrea have not already covered in their posts. Suffice it to say that this was not necessarily the most enjoyable knit except that we were in it together so could complain and bitch to each other! Picking the yarn made for an eventful evening! We had trouble settling on a base and picking colours that were bright and flattering but were not already overrepresented in our Ravelry project page. The yarn selection at EweKnit is large so narrowing it down was no small feat! I kind of feel like I failed on all fronts but live and learn! I opted for a yarn that I had not worked with before; Raventwist Torc. This name is no joke, my friends! This yarn has some serious twist to it, which made it interesting to work with. I had high hopes that it would bloom a little when blocked but I didn’t find that to be the case at all. The result is that it feels a bit like I am wearing string around my neck, which is an overall fail in my opinion. The twisty nature of the yarn did endow the shawl with a slightly architectural look to it though, which is rather lovely. And the mix of red-orange, a colour that can be seen time and again on my Ravelry page, is awesome!

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Lined up (Kristin, Andrea and Sara)

Kristin and Andrea both went with Madeline Tosh Merino Light, which I have worked with often and continue to love. You can check out their posts to see what they thought of it but having fondled all three shawls, I much prefer the texture of theirs! So lovely to wear! And is probably obvious, the photoshoot was a blast! All is all, a successful knitalong! We’re currently repeating the fun with the Aisance cardigan but likely won’t have a group post until the Fall as wool sweaters are not high on the priority list as the weather heats up in Toronto.

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So. Now that we have saturated the interwebs with photos of our shawls, are you tempted by the pattern? Or to have a good KAL with friends? What colours most remind you of spring? Do you have a favourite yarn or fibre for shawls, scarves, cowls or anything else worn up around your neck? In the words of Kristin, let’s talk!

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An illuminated Hamilton fivehead for you all to enjoy!

My project notes can be found here.

Sara

 

Tackling the Channel…

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Pretending that I’m not wearing this sweater in 30 degree weather…

I just got back from a quick blog photo session with Andrea and Kristin so I actually have multiple projects to share! So rare! And I plan to get the rest of my stack of finished projects photographed this week before so many of my obliging friends depart the city. As in move far, far away. For good.

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Most of the projects that I have to share are knitting so best to start there and spread the sewing out a bit! So with no further ado… The Channel Cardigan (project details can be found here)! This gorgeous, squishy delight is brought to us from the delightful imagination of Jared Flood.

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Ignore the terribly wrinkled skirt!

This sweater was part of the Brooklyn Tweed Winter ’14 collection and I have been drooling since I saw the first photos.  Instant knitting lust! I was temporarily intimidated by the 5/5 difficulty rating but I quickly got over that. Then I was thwarted by my stash diet as this project is a bit of a yarn hog and I didn’t quite have enough in my stash to cover it. However, I had some yarn to exchange at Romni Wools and mixing colour lots on commercially dyed yarn is generally pretty safe so I forged on!

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Stable buttonbands for the win! Gorgeous, heathered yarn for the win! Awesome vintage buttons from
The Workroom for the win! So much winning!

This project was done using Cascade 220 Heathers in Peacock and while I was a little unsure of this colourway before I started, I am now in love with it! The purple and green strands make this yarn almost luminous when the light hits it (see above photos for most representative images of the colour). I’ve never worked with the Brooklyn Tweed Shelter that the pattern called for so while I can’t really comment on how it compares, Cascade 220 does seem to be a fairly common substitution. This cardigan is HEAVY though so the loftiness of the Shelter yarn might not be a bad plan if your stash diet and/or budget isn’t prohibitive! Today was 30 degrees in Toronto so putting this sweater on to take pictures was a little miserable! But next winter I am going to be a happy camper in this baby!

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As always, knitting from a Brooklyn Tweed pattern is a delight from start to finish. Their patterns are always well edited, are usually error free and explain every technique in excellent detail.  It’s rare that I need to look for tutorials online when I’m working from a Brooklyn Tweed pattern. My last couple of projects have been from Quince&Co patterns, which has only made me that much more appreciative of BT’s attention to detail.  Sadly, I have yet to encounter a Quince pattern that was error free.  Anyone else have that problem? I’ll freely admit that it irritates the hell out of me, even if the mistake is an easy one to figure out. But I digress…

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Elements that I love on this cardigan? The tubular cast-on. The raglan sleeves. The giant shawl collar. The dense and stable button band. The gorgeous belt loops. Gauge! I’m a tight knitter and therefore usually have problems getting gauge on projects. However, I tend to be spot on with  Jared Flood’s patterns, which is always a relief!

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Elements that I dislike? The belt! This sucker was a misery to knit and I find that the edges of it are uneven enough to drive me mad! I also wish that the belt loops sat a little higher on the body as they don’t quite hit my waist. Since that is a problem I could have and should have corrected while knitting, I’ll table the complaints for now! I also find the collar a little awkward as it is. Another button or two would be a huge help but since I don’t currently feel like undoing my work, I’m going to settle for a couple of snaps. It might also be that I knit a little too much fabric for the button bands; I definitely knit the side with the buttonholes a wee too long! Oh well…

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Not a clue what I was doing here!

All in all, I’m not sure which element(s) deserved the 5/5 rating as I think this was fairly straightforward make. The textured fabric requires more attention than straight stockinette but otherwise? Not a difficult pattern so dive in if fear has been holding you back!

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And a little fun from Kristin! The sweater looked fabulous on her!

So what do you think? Any interest in making this sweater? You all share my love affair with Brooklyn Tweed designs?

It’s late and writing coherent sentences is becoming increasingly challenging so I am going to leave it at that for now. If I think of anything else to say tomorrow then I’ll add it!

G’night Peeps!

Sara

Lemon Squeezey Pullover…

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Hello! I’ve had this post sitting as a draft for well over a month and I’m still at a total loss for words. How to describe this make…?! Nonetheless, today is a good day to talk about Amy Miller and her designs (more on that in a bit) so off we go! This is Sperry, done using Cascade Superwash Sport with a little Mirasol Nuna for the contrast stripes (project notes can be found here). Absolutely no complaints on the yarn front as both are excellent to work with, wear well and are very reasonably priced!

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I knit this sweater last August and have yet to wear it out of the house, which is why I am calling this one a fail. I can almost see Andrea, Kristin and Gail shaking their heads at that statement! They’ve all seen this sweater and told me I’m nuts but I have my reasons! Actually, just one reason, which you can see below. The stupid i-cord edge on this thing will not lie flat! Drives me absolutely bonkers!

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What do I like about this pattern?  Everything! Well, almost everything. It was well written with no mistakes that I could find. Amy describes this as a “top-down raglan construction with a quirky shirttail hem make Sperry fun to knit — cool stripes and a lightweight yarn make it fun to wear” and I think that sums it up nicely. Though the cascade sport is definitely on the heavier end of sport-weight yarns so I’m not sure I’d call this a lightweight make. Not to mention the fact that this is 100% wool! Let’s just call this pullover perfect for Fall/early Spring in Toronto and leave it at that!

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The fit on this is not quite what I was aiming for but similar to my Kara cardigan, this had the recommended positive ease a few months ago. My bad! And this leads me to my issue with the i-cord edge as I don’t think the tails on this sweater would roll as they do if the sweater did not fit quite to snuggly! Also, this was my first time working such an edge (please remember that I am relatively new to knitting!) and I should have gone up at least one more needle size.  Probably two.  If you look closely, you can see that my i-cord is too tight and it distorts the bottom edge of the sweater. This is all an easy fix, mind you as I can easily remove the i-cord and redo it! Problem is that I have yet to find the motivation to do so. Gail also suggested that I do a rolled edge instead and I think that’s actually a great idea… again, assuming that I ever undo what I’ve already done!

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I really, really love the colours, the stripes and the overall look of this pullover though so maybe that will be motivation enough to either fix it or to suck it up and wear it as is!

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Now. Getting back to Amy Miller. She has some excellent patterns to choose from and I’d recommend you give them a try! To make that nice and easy for you, she has a coupon code available for a a free pattern for a few more hours today (ends 5PM CST on May 7th) to welcome a new addition to her family! You can find out the details here.

Despite all appearances, I have actually been sewing and I do have a few makes that I will share soon! In the meantime, happy sewing and knitting!

Sara

My Late Latte Cardigan

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Back again with another sweater!  I did warn you that I was playing catch-up on the knitting front!  Unlike Kara, this cardigan is actually a recent stash-busting make. My knitting goals for the year (described here) were simple. No more yarn! And, for at second at least, I also vowed No more patterns! Sadly, that pesky Siren called Brooklyn Tweed quickly shot that second vow down! I’m not feeling too badly about it though as I’m pretty sure that Jared Flood and his gang can do that to the most resolute among us!  Anyway, this cardigan did use both a pattern and yarn that I’ve had for awhile.

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We take a break for some photo silliness.  My friend Anne was taking the pictures as I tend to be a bit *ahem* stiff in photos so it’s always best if I am comfortable with the person taking them. Hopefully without an audience! However, at some point I looked over and realized that her roommate Roland had joined us and my reaction was pretty funny.
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Some hand knit socks along for the ride!

But I digress. This is Slanted Sleeven from Ankestrick Patterns (my Ravelry notes are here). There were elements of the design that caught my attention straight off (the ribbed waist shaping and the contiguous shoulder construction to start) but I wasn’t really interested in knitting it until I saw this version from fellow Torontonian, Tammy (while you’re there you should take a look at her project page.  Her work is frickin’ amazing!). One look at the actual pattern though and all thoughts of making this were shot down.  Way, way down! I do NOT enjoy how this pattern is written as I find it awkward and cumbersome to get through. Don’t get me wrong. Everything you need to make this sweater is in there and I found no mistakes. It just wasn’t my favourite. My gauge was also way off, which was just another deterrent.

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Eventually I decided that I could use a simple wardrobe staple so out the pattern came.  The yarn I opted to use was Woodland by Classic Elite Yarns.  Once again, this was my first time working with it and it was certainly interesting! It’s a nettle/wool mix that felt a wee toothy to work with but other projects on Ravelry assured me that it would soften considerably with washing. I haven’t found that to be the case, but my tolerance for yarn with a little bite has gone way up since I started knitting and this one is not a problem. I also find the fabric it makes is a little stiff but I suspect that will change with wear. I wanted this make to have a good amount of positive ease but I think it’s safe to say that I went a bit overboard. Oh well! It’s comfy and I reach for it often… even with the single elbow patch (will get to that in a second)!

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My primary complaint with the pattern itself is the button band. It’s narrow and flimsy and gapes open even on this cardigan where there is absolutely no stress on the front when it’s buttoned up. This is not an unusual problem with buttonbands but it’s one that annoys me more than most. I often solve this using some grosgrain ribbon to stabilize the area (examples of this are here and here), but that wasn’t an option this time around. Anyway, this is something I consider more and more with my pattern choices these days. I started the Channel Cardigan by Jared Flood this weekend and I have high hopes for the button band on this one!

So. Back to the elbow patches. I’m finding this sweater a bit boring so thought that elbow patches might help. Thoughts? I sewed on the one (made from some dark brown ponte that I had lying around) and remain undecided! Opinions on their inclusion or the materials that could be used to make them, colour, etc are most welcome!

OK. Back again soon with the dreaded yellow pullover and OSHIMA (the fastest make in history and the sweater that I have been living in since I finished it)!

G’night!

Sara

The “Better Late Than Never” Kara Cardigan

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Finally!  I have seamed and taken pictures of my Kara cardigan and am ready to share!  I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I actually knit this beauty last July and have yet to wear it out.  It was my first foray into seaming and for some reason, I was extremely reluctant to dive in! A little intimidation and some serious finishing procrastination (in general!) meant that this sat for months in a ziploc bag in my overflowing WIP drawer.

2014-03-29 17.20.37I took it out and blocked it in the fall when Gail posted her extremely gorgeous version but that’s as far as I got. A little push from Andrea and Kristin and an upcoming visit from Gail in which I wanted to play twinsies and I found the missing motivation needed to finish this right up. Took no time at all, which only emphasizes how ridiculous I was being!

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Anyway, on to the deets (my Ravelry notes can be found here).  This is the Kara cardigan from Cecily Glowik MacDonald. I made this using the Cascade sport, which was my first time working with this yarn. Cascade never disappoints in my opinion and I won’t hesitate to use this particular base again. It was inexpensive with surprisingly nice stitch definition! This sweater was designed to be worn with a good amount of positive ease and I will say that the fit here is a wee more snug than it would have been had I finished it in July! A common theme this year but rather than whine about arthritis, injuries and an increasing departure from the marathon-loving athlete that I was, I’ll just say that I still love this sweater as it fits now! Andrea and Kristin have also tried this on and it looked great on both of them. My point is that I really think it’s hard to go wrong with this pattern!

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i-cord edge

I’m  trying hard to remember if I made any significant changes to this pattern and none come to mind. Again, such a procrastinator! I did finish the ribbing using an icord bind-off and I quite like the tidy edge. The only downside was that I had never tried this method before and I didn’t realize how rigid it was. It’s not terrible here but I do find it a bit tight at the back of the neck. A patient few minutes with some steam and gentle pulling has loosened it up though so all is well!

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Taking a nap?

It’s late and I can’t think of anything else that needs to be said about Kara.  I wasn’t joking when I said that I have been slow with the finishing touches on my makes these days so be prepared to be bombarded with sweater posts this week!

Cheers!

Sara

The season of hats!

When in a knitting rut, make hats!  Lots and lots of hats!  And when in a sewing rut, make T-shirts!  Lots and lots of T-shirts! I’m all about the instant gratification projects of late!  I’m also trying hard to finish up all of those small projects that have been started or ready to go for ages. I had grand plans of completely clearing out my WIP drawer this month and while that didn’t happen, I did make quite a dent. So I’m starting with hats!  Not all were made in January but all were made in the last few months and really, it is a ridiculous number of hats!

hat fanI’m going to ask you in advance to ignore me in all of these pictures. If we’re honest (and I’m always honest!), I look like complete shit! I’ve been in bed with some virus for the last few days and when I woke up with no fever this morning, I felt grand and decided I should go to work. Well, feeling grand is all relative and I’m far from 100%! That became extremely evident as I scrolled through the pictures we took today!  Onwards, shall we…

I’m going to start with my most recent make and my new favourite. This is the Jul hat from Jenny Gordy. A FAST knit my friends! Instant gratification, indeed! I made this out of my one of my all time favourite yarns (featured in roughly half of the hats I am going to show you here), the Blue Sky Alpaca Suri Merino. It’s is a single ply yarn with a wonderful hand and drape. Seriously, this yarn is hard to believe if you don’t have it in your hands! It’s got a fairly strong halo, which is certainly not for everyone but what I love about it the most is that it felts nicely with wear. Makes for a supremely cozy winter hat. And this colourway (Autumn) is just plain fun.

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Next up has to be my absolute favourite knit of late… Bray from Jared Flood. If my knitting friends have not yet tried a Jared Flood pattern then get on it.  ASAP! His patterns really never fail to delight. He tends to play with cables and texture in his patterns and this is a classic example. Cables, lace and texture! Nothing too complicated but just enough to keep the knitting interesting. I don’t have ready access to his Brooklyn Tweed yarn so I went with the Rowan Felted Tweed. It’s a finer yarn than the pattern called for but I figured that the lace aspects of this toque already prevent it from being a real cold weather hat so a dk yarn was not going to be an issue. I really love the yarn choice! It adds even more texture to the project and gives it kind of an organic look that I enjoy.

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What I love the most about knitting Jared Flood patterns is that I always learn something new.  In this case?  The stretchy tubular cast-on!  I have played with this edge before but tend to be too lazy to use it regularly. However, after this project I am officially sold on it.  Such a lovely detail and it really is stretchy!

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Up next is the Rikke hat and if you spend any time on Ravelry then there is no doubt you have seen this pattern before! Again, nothing too complicated here.  Just a straight up garter stitch hat that uses a nice cast-on (the German twisted cast-on, which is a perfect edge for garter stitch). I’m a big fan of garter stitch over ribbing for hats as I find that it hugs your head nicely without being too tight and it has great recovery.  However, I HATE knitting garter stitch in the round so making these two versions was significantly less fun.  I made this striped version first (again, using my favourite suri merino yarn).

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striped rikke 2It really is a great hat and has gotten a ton of wear this winter. The downside is that it is just too big.  Anyone else have major sizing issues when it comes to hats?  I can rarely get them just right! Anyway, the up side to a large hat is that I can very comfortably tuck all of my hair into it.  The downside is that this sucker will go flying on a windy day, which we have often in Toronto. So after Christmas, I tried to give this pattern another go and made this version:

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Sigh. Hardly know where to begin with this failure! To start, it’s way too small! The combo of small hat and dark colour makes me feel like I am posing for a mug shot every time I put this one on! However, this hat is not a failure! On cold, cold days (of which we have had many this year), I layer my two Rikke hats for a toasty, toasty noggin’!

layered rikke 1I made this next hat last fall using leftover Tomato yarn from my Neon cardigan. It was a new pattern (the Lovejoy Slouch) from the newly minted Nerd Bird Makery and was a lovely pattern to knit up! Not a great toque for winter but I wore this often in the fall. And yes, it really is as garish at it appears!

Thao1Next up is the only hat of the bunch that I was really unhappy with. It was actually a test knit for Shannon and is now included in Journey, a knitwear collaboration between Shannon and Jane Richmond. The patterns in it (including the Swift hat) are beautiful and I think everyone should indulge in the hardcopy of this book if only for the gorgeous photography! It’s like taking a trip home every time I open it up! Anyway, the pattern itself was fun to knit up. Again, not too complicated but still interesting enough to keep from being boring. The yarn is a silk and wool combo that has a lovely sheen and great drape. The colour is vibrant and fun. However, the combo of colour, shape, etc just does not work for me. At all. So sad! But the hat works perfectly on a young summer student that modelled the hat for my Ravelry project page and has been promised to her. Now just to arrange to see Tash so that I can hand it off!

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Well, that covers the hats I made for myself. There are more that I gave away as gifts including these ones (the purple one is actually bright blue but was a pure bitch to photograph properly!).

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That was really a lot of hats so instead of linking to individual project pages I’m just going to say you’ll find all pattern, yarn and project details here.

As for my quick sewing fixes… T-shirts! I know there are already a million versions of the new Deer and Doe Plantain tee on the interwebs but since I happen to be wearing one of my versions today, I have decided to include it.  This is a great pattern, peeps!  Well drafted, a perfect fit (for me) and a blank canvas for all sorts of fabric and sewing fun! Now go and give it a try! I made no modifications except to add a couple of inches to the length of the shirt sleeve. This is actually my first Deer and Doe pattern but it won’t be my last.  I’m a sucker for a well drafted pattern!

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I would normally link to a few of my favourite versions of this tee but I don’t even know where to start this time around. Go google it and you’ll see why!  So many awesome versions already!

I planned to include a January stash diet round-up but since I this is all I have pictures of, we’ll just have to have a running tally. With this shirt, I’m down a whopping yard of fabric! And the hats were all made from Stash yarn! Even better, the hats took a chunk out of my WIP drawer. Just winning all around!

Have a great weekend, Friends!

Sara

Blushing Lauriel…

What’s this?  Another post?  So soon?  You betcha!  I’m playing catch-up, big time.  For example, the cardigan I’m going to show you here?  Made this baby for a wedding at the end of September.  Mind you, I was not entirely successful and was actually knitting while at the wedding but just saying…  I made this awhile ago!  Scratch that!  I made most of it awhile ago! As some fellow bloggers can tell you, I’ve been wearing this around for the last couple of months with half of the snaps sewn on and only two buttons.  I’ve got a real problem with finishing shit lately!  If I showed you my knitting WIP drawer, you’d probably wince.  I do. Every time I see, which is often as the drawer is so overflowing that I can’t close it! Nonetheless, I powered through some hand sewing last night and finished sewing on buttons and snaps!  A real chore, I tell you.  Big time sucker.  Anyway, with no further ado…  my awesome and amazing Lauriel cardigan!  And a wee warning… this post contains a lot of PINK!

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This design was brought to us by the lovely knitwear designer extraordinaire, Ysolda Teague. This was my first time trying one of her patterns but it most definitely will not be my last!  I am in love with this make and wear if often… even when it only has two buttons and mismatched snaps!  I haven’t been knitting for long and so am still discovering what suits me and what I will get the most use out of.  For example, I’m drawn to pullover patterns but I rarely end up wearing the ones that I’ve made.  I’ve kept a few of my favourites but have given the rest away. Cardigans, on the other hand, get worn almost daily!  Love them!  And while I never imagined that there was a place for shorter or cropped cardigans in my wardrobe, this make has proven me wrong!  I made it specifically to go over my green silk Anna dress (will post that make eventually) and thought it would look ridiculous layered over the long T-shirts that I tend to wear.  You tell me.  Ridiculous? I don’t think so.  Or I really just don’t care!

(I’m going to pick new glasses tomorrow, which is clearly on my mind!)

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I made this using a merino/cashmere/silk blend so as you can well imagine, it’s pretty lovely to wear.  It’s a slightly garish colour but I find that my dk and sport weight wool options are limited…  especially when you’re looking for a sweaters worth of yarn in the sale bins at Romni wool!  Nonetheless, I’m kind of in love with shades of pink, fuchsia and red right now, which is extremely obvious if you’re looking at my Ravelry project page!  And yellow.  Lots and lots of unflattering yellow (will also address this unfortunate love affair when I get to a t-shirt post).

This pattern has some lovely details on the yoke that are repeated at the waist and on the cuffs. Really quick and easy to knit and a feature that I enjoy.  They also helps break up the mindless stockinette stitch that makes up most of this sweater.  And while twisted stitches make me grumble and groan, I love them here!  They really make the ribbing stand out.

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Another new feature for me in this pattern was the shaping at the bust.  Genius!  This really allows for a great fit overall and I’ll be looking for this feature in other sweater patterns.

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(yes, I am making your looks at the bewbs.  Get over it!)

However, a real downside to this pattern (at least for relative knitting newbies) is that it was part of a book and some some of her pattern extras were unavailable to you if you purchased only the single pattern.  I have no real problem with that but it would have been nice to know up front so that I could decide if it was worth it to buy it all.  Anyway, as you can see from the pictures below (ignore the cheese and awkward poses and focus on the bewbs, peeps!), the bust shaping is not perfect on me and it sits too high.  Clearly I would have benefitted from some bust darts but I had no idea how to do them and those instruction were not included. I did email Ysolda about this and someone eventually emailed me back with a link to a knitty tutorial (this one, which I have also linked to on my Ravelry page should anyone else encounter this problem) but it was too late for me to use.  I was on a *failed* wedding deadline after all!  But if I use this pattern again, then I will add some small bust darts.

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Another new favourite of mine for cardigans is the use of grosgrain ribbon (or petersham ribbon if you prefer) to stabilize the button bands.  I used this previously for my Neon cardigan. However, this time I also added snaps to the equation and I quite love the convenience of them! The ribbon is also an excellent way to add some fun and/or contrast to your make!

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And for the usual posing cheesiness, I give you the following.  Alisha told me to sit.  And so I did…

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(Trying to look all scholarly, prim and proper…)

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(and then looking slightly less dignified!) 

Then she told me to stop being ridiculous and that maybe I should stand.  Anyone else have a habit of looking at the ground?  Or off into the distance?  Although in this case the ground was kind of awesome (colourful and squishy) and I think that an ambulance was going by resulting in my “off in the distance” pose.  Yup. An excellent reason to look far, far away.

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(clearly the ground was fascinating!  And something awesome was going on in the distance!)

And that’s pretty much it folks.  Should you be interested, you can find my Ravelry project page here. And for a little more Lauriel inspiration, take a look at this fucking amazing version by Tasia.  I still want to make it again in this exact colourway.  One day!

Over and out.

Sara

Cottage Cascades

Bitty and I seem to be in a bit of a sewing slump these days.  Also a knitting slump, crafting slump and general life slump!  Thus the blog silence of late.  Fortunately I have very accommodating friends that helped me drag a crap load of sewing supplies up to our cottage vacation in Northern Ontario last week.  Got tons done with pictures of people other than me (YAY!!!!) modelling the finished items.  So brace yourself! Many a blog post coming your way! First up is the lovely Christina wearing the Awesome and Amazing Megan Nielsen Cascade skirt.

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We had one massive photo shoot on our final morning at the cottage.  The plan was originally for me to model my own clothing but the day started with this:

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My Idlewood sweater.

Clearly I was in a happy place!  Totally in the zone…  game for all sorts of photo fun. Ummm….  notsomuch!  So Christina to the rescue!

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I’ve had my eye on the cascade skirt for awhile now but the poor lovely kept getting shoved to the back of the sewing queue… needed the perfect fabric!  Fortunately, I stumbled upon this fabric on the sale floor of King Textiles on the morning of our vacation.  A measly $3 a yard and perfect for the cascade!  It’s some mystery nylon blend that I might normally avoid but I really love it for this skirt!  Doesn’t shrink or wrinkle but cascades beautifully and is just plain fun!

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I made this skirt my first day at the cottage before we had managed to find an ironing board for me to use.  Meant that I had to become fast friends with my rolled hem foot as there is a lot of hem here, folks!  And a traditional rolled hem without an iron?  Don’t think so!  Otherwise nothing to say.  The pattern is easy and quick and the skirt certainly makes a statement.  Can’t put this sucker on without wanting to run, jump and twirl!  It sure does love the wind though so I’m going to have to sew on some pretty ribbon to keep it closed.

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Twirl!!!!  Now if only I was still at the Lui Cottage.

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Peggy, the photographer of the day after attempting to coax a smile out of me… She cheered up considerably after Christina took over!

Thanks for the photos, Peggy!

Sara

Megan Nielsen Briar Tee

A gorgeous, sunny day in Toronto!

And several days later (finally sitting down to finish this post) and it is an awesome, grey and rainy day in Toronto!  Most people will not agree with the awesome statement but what can I say…  I’m a little homesick and the rain reminds me of the Coast.

I’ve been mildly obsessed with knits now that I have gotten over my silly fear of them.  A common occurrence amongst my fellow sewists, I think.  We all dread them until we finally take the plunge and realize how easy and satisfying they are to work with!  No need to worry about finishing seams?  Sign me up!  I’ve been having some Renfrew and Scout knit fun but have been hesitant to try Megan Nielsen’s Briar.  It’s adorable and I love the kajillion versions I have seen out in the blogverse but I wasn’t so sure I could pull it off.  A mullet hem?  Ummmm…  not so sure.  But I do so love a versatile pattern and with all of the awesome ideas and tutorials found on Megan Nielsen’s blog, I went for it.  And ladies, this pattern is everything you said it would be!

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I’ve made a few versions but am showing you a cropped and a long version.  The cropped tee didn’t appeal at all but I had a short cut of this red cotton knit so decided to give it a try.  I kind of love it!  This sucker shall never see the light of day without a longer base layer but it’s been so fun to try and style!  Perhaps not surprising, it works perfectly over the Eucalypt and Banksia.  And given how often I wear it over this RTW button-up that I picked up at the Loft for a song, I will have to make an Archer or two to layer with my cropped Briar tee’s this fall.  I didn’t modify the pattern at all but I think that next time I might lower the front a touch as it is quite cropped on me!  And I could definitely stand to take some width out of the shoulders. Otherwise, I love it!

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The version below was actually my first attempt at this pattern.  I used a super slinky rayon jersey that is a treat to wear but was not the best choice for this pattern.  At least not on me!   Too much drape with the long hem at the back so it tends to pool on my ass.  Perhaps not the best look.  Sure doesn’t stop me from wearing it though!  The fabric feels far too awesome to worry about anything else!

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No close-ups on this pocket!  My sewing machine was a grumpy bitch with this fabric so the pocket looks less than perfect!  But so far no one has pointed at it in horror so maybe only I care that I made such a mess of it.  Anyway, this tee is LONG, peeps so be warned.  I took a solid four inches off of the back and maybe an extra inch off the front hem.

I’ve also been working on getting better pictures of my finished knits for my ravelry page.  Below is a striped shawl that I made last summer out of a fingering weight alpaca (project notes can be found here).  This sucker was a total dream in the winter!  Cozy, warm, and soft.  A winning combination if I do say so.

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However, in the crazy hot Toronto summers, this thing feels a little ridiculous!

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And on a fun, sister-related note…  Bitty’s Hawthorn peplum made the Top 20 in the Hawthorn Sewalong hosted by Colette Patterns.  So hop on over here to see some lovely dresses and blouses and maybe vote for Bitty should you feel so inclined!

Jyaa

Sara