Category: Knitting

My Week in Sewing, 6th May 2022

My Week in Sewing, 6th May 2022

I mentioned last week that I was planning to take a couple weeks off sewing, because life is super busy right now. Well. I didn’t expect to get ill and be forced to do absolutely nothing all week! At least I’ve watched Heartstopper 3 times through and read through half of Alice Oseman’s body of work. (I may have gone on one of my obsessive deep dives on the Heartstopper/Solitaire universe. It may also not be over.)

Although sewing’s been on pause, I have started to pick up the pace on my knitting over the last couple of days. But I’m definitely not going to finish this Ankestrick Birthday jumper before my knit club starts a new project at the weekend:

I don’t think I’ve ever managed to post about this jumper without also mentioning how slow it is to knit! It’s taking forever due to it being 4-ply (skinny yarn) and half-brioche stitch (2 rows required for every 1 row visible). My upcoming project, the Marzipan Pullover by Sari Nordlund, is going to be a very different experience since it’s on a thicker yarn (worsted weight). And although it does have cables to slow things down, they’re only on the yoke. The rest of the body and sleeves are on blessed rib stitch. I am excited for the feeling of knitting on turbo mode.

Ready for Marzipan madness. This will be my first time knitting with Drops yarn. I’ve heard such good things about it, and it’s so cheap I had to do a double take.

For cat photo time today, I am blessing you with a Rocket montage:

You’re welcome.

And of course, some Moon and Philip content:

Thanks for reading – see you next week!

My Week in Sewing, 4th March 2022

My Week in Sewing, 4th March 2022

Welcome to the first of a new series! Each Friday I will be writing about what I’ve done in sewing land over the past week – plus any knitting or other crafts I’ve managed to slot in. Plus cats. There will always be cats.

I’m kicking off this new series on a bit of a tangent, with last Friday’s knit club meet-up – our first ever!

Ari, Jolynna and I have been knitting online together every Sunday for over a year now – with two of us based in Yorkshire and Jolynna based all the way in Australia. Celebrating Jolynna’s recent move to the grim north of England (welcome!), we consumed a solid number of gins and stouts and got raucous in my favourite local viking pub Valhalla. Throw away all your assumptions about knitters! Although I did have to go home early and then spent a few days in an introvert hangover, so maybe your assumptions aren’t far wrong on my part.

Speaking of knitting, I’m working on the Birthday sweater by Ankestrick. I bought waaaay too much yarn when I bought supplies for the Joanie Boatneck (as seen above) so I had enough leftover for a whole extra jumper and maybe more. I started knitting this around Christmas last year and it’s going super slowly, because it’s half brioche stitch which effectively means every 2 rows compresses down into one, and it’s 4-ply yarn which is pretty darn skinny. But it’s a mindless knit, so I can slot it into my day fairly easily.

This has taken me 7 weeks so far.

Onto sewing next. My current project is inspired by this dress I found on Pinterest, using this fabric I bought on holiday in St. Lucia last month:

I’m using the Tilly and the Buttons Etta dress pattern as a base, and hacking it with a double layer flutter sleeve. The main challenge on this project is getting the Etta pattern to fit me properly. I want it to be really well-fitted, which is something I’ve actually never achieved on a bodice! That’s because I have scoliosis, an atypical curvature of the spine that means my torso is asymmetrical in various ways. My shoulders are uneven and flat, and my ribcage is offset and twisted. The Etta dress was always going to be a tough one to fit because I’ve tried it before and I know the back neckline gapes. It’s been a journey with many toiles:

So far I’ve done such things as:
– Flat shoulder adjustment (the opposite of a rounded shoulder/dowager’s hump adjustment)
– Remove the dart & its excess from the neckline to make the shoulder even flatter, only to add a dart back in to remove even more excess from the neckline (argh)
– Drop the shoulder point
– Lower the bust point
– Lengthen the bodice

It might have been easier to draft the bodice from scratch.

It’s been a lot of trial and error so far, but for the first time I’ve viewed fitting as part of the sewing process, rather than an obstacle that I need to get around before getting to the good bit. So I am viewing this as the good bit too. And with this perspective, I am enjoying it. It’s all learning and I like learning.

So, I’m almost there on the bodice. I don’t want to overfit, and I’ve made the conscious decision (for now) not to create a separate back bodice piece for the left and right, because I think that’d drive me crazy when it comes to pattern matching. So I’m going to accept a little bit of poor fit on one side.

First attempt at the sleeve – it needs to be BIGGER. Plus I need to mess around with the two layers and figure out whether or not they need the same amount of flare.

Once the sleeve is sorted, I need to mash up the pattern’s skirt pieces with my self-drafted skirt pattern from last month, as I know that fits well so I won’t need to reinvent the wheel. Then I’ll do a full toile and soon be ready to cut into my real fabric, eee!

And finally – some cat photos from the week:

Thanks for reading, see you next week! 🙂

WIP: Gústa Knits Diamond Scarf

I’ve been knitting furiously this week! I’m a bit more than halfway through the diamond scarf from the pattern book I got in Iceland, Simple Knits with Gústa . I’m making it in Mosa Mjúkull, the wool made by the same designer. Every pattern in this book uses three balls of it, which I appreciated as I could just buy the three balls and choose a pattern out of the book later.

Here’s how it’s coming along – most of the way through the second of three stripes:

Diamond scarf knitting project in progress

The diamonds are drastically more obvious in this photo than in real life! Must be the contrast. This Mosa Mjúkull wool is reasonably fuzzy so you don’t get a lot of stitch definition. I found that a little disappointing at first, but I’m sure it will look better after blocking – hopefully more like the picture!

There are no instructions for this scarf, only the chart. I’ve never worked from a knitting chart before, so there was some intense concentration during the first few rows. I had to keep reminding myself that every even row switches up completely: you read it back to front, and the purls and knits swap over. Total mind-bender! But I’m totally converted to charts now. The visual prompt is very intuitive.

I’m not sure if I’ll make another pattern from this book. I had a go at the shawl pattern before I started this, but I found the instructions confusing. The most exciting things in the book are the mittens with the lovely Icelandic colour work, but I’m not a mittens kind of person. Who knows – perhaps I’ll whip some up as a gift one day!

I’m back! Let’s make some stuff!

Hello again! I’m back!

It’s been a little while, and a few things have changed. Mainly: I no longer live in Singapore! I’ve moved back to my homeland, the UK – I now live in Yorkshire, the land of gorgeous landscapes and Yorkshire puddings – and Rowan wool!

Now that time is on my side, I’m really excited about getting on with making things again, sharing what I create, and being part of the online makers community.

I’ll be starting with a knitting project as I just went to Iceland and bought a pattern booklet and some Icelandic wool:

Icelandic patterns and wool
Icelandic patterns and wool

It’s actually a blend with Peruvian alpaca, which is nice because I totally forgot to buy any alpaca wool when I went to Peru last year. It has good squish content.

The patterns in this book are really adorable, and it’s hard to choose what to make. But I reckon I’ll make a scarf, as I have become a scarf fiend recently and am rarely seen without one.

I shall report back!

And for some unrelated fun, here are a couple of holiday snaps from Iceland. This place is stunning beyond my ability to describe.

Lava fields covered in moss
Lava fields covered in moss

Me at Skógafoss
Me at Skógafoss