Thursday, October 6, 2016

Breaking My Knitting Habits

Hi you guys!

I have done it again - I made something I wasn't supposed to like, and I'm loving it!

This is the Midnight Tank by Carrie Bostick Hoge. The pattern is included in The Simple Pleasures Linen eBook, which was published in July 2016. The recommended yarn for this tank is Quince & Co. Kestrel, which is a 100% organic linen, which sounds amazing. I didn't have the patience though to wait until I got my hands on some, and since Sirdar Cotton Rich Aran was readily available at the time, I went with it instead. You know how it is sometimes (most of the time), you need to cast on NOW. Because instant love. The yarn is 60% cotton and 40% acrylic, and the recommended needle size is 5 mm. If I remember correctly, I used a smaller size needle and got gauge easily. It's been a while since I knitted it though, so I might remember it wrong. 40% acrylic sounds like a lot, but I don't think the yarn has an acrylic feel to it at all. 

So this knitting project had all the warning signs, but I went ahead with it anyway. Starting with the yarn: it has a high content of both cotton and acrylic, it's bulky, I bought it on a whim, and I usually hate this color. These are all reasons for me to stay away from a particular yarn.

And the pattern? I think I bought it the second I saw it, which I usually never do. I can't buy all the patterns I like, because then I would be drowning in them. This time I even bought the whole eBook instead of just one pattern, because I LOVE all the designs in it!

This pattern was an unlikely match though, for a number of reasons. I have stayed away from knitted tops, with no sleeves or short sleeves, and especially ones made from something other than wool. These are tops that are "supposed" to be worn in the warmer months, which I haven't been able to wrap my head around. Why would you want to wear anything knitted, woolen or otherwise, when you are sweating like crazy at the mere thought of it? But it turns out I'm wrong. I haven't considered knitted sleeveless (cotton) tops as layering pieces for the kind of in between weather that we get a lot of here in Finland, and I'm sure in other places too. So it turns out knitted tops from something other than wool are actually very versatile! To test my new theory, I'm at the moment knitting my third top. The second one is already in rotation, it just needs better pictures, before it gets to the blog.

To prove me triple-wrong, this top also has several design elements that I usually shy away from: bare shoulders, boat neck, any design element that emphasizes the shoulders, loose silhouette and bulky yarn. But I'm SO happy I was wrong!

So let's see if I get around to knitting any other designs from The Simpler Pleasures Linen eBook. I'm also dying to try knitting with linen! Have you been positively surprised recently? 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Pink Creature

This is a very late birthday gift, but I think I can get away with it since the birthday girl is only two years old!

The company, PaaPii Design, is Finnish, and I love their concept: you can buy the finished product, or you can make the stuffed animal yourself!

This pink pony-like creature was easy to put together, and only demanded a small amount of hand stitching. And you don't have to be a good sewer to make one of these, as long as you know how to sew a straight line you'll be fine!

I'm not affiliated with this company, I'm just a happy customer.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Summer and Linen

I really can't come up with much to say about this skirt. It's red. It's linen. It's great.

The pattern is from Burda 09/2015 and this might become the first pattern ever that I make more than once. That is how much I like it.

All the wrinkles you can see came when taking these pictures, so yes, it is very much linen.

 I added the pockets, but they are a bit low, since I didn't want them to add bulk to the yoke.

Summer is gone now where I live, so it's time to dig out all the wool again. I'm trying to stay in denial for a little while longer though. How about you? Are you looking forward to sewing all the winter projects already, or are you still holding on to all things summer? 

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Surprisingly Awesome Skort

Hi you guys!

I have surprised myself.

I was never going to hop on the culottes-train, I have been a diehard skinny jeans fan since forever and I definitely hate the word 'skort'. Yet here I am, with a surprisingly awesome project that breaks all my rules.

These are the Pleated Culottes from Burda issue 04/2016 version #106B. (By the way, what are the definitions for culottes and skorts? Which are these? Or are they both...? Whatever, they are loose pants!) The fabric is from my stash, and I can't remember what it is, but I think it's either linen or a linen-blend. It is tightly woven and has some body as you can see from the front pleats. It is also wonderfully dog hair-repellent and doesn't even crease that much.

I also have some weird phobia of wearing pants without zip-flies. I don't know why I have felt kind of naked without them, but it doesn't bother me a bit with these pants. They have an invisible zipper in the side seam and it doesn't get much easier than that.

My favorite feature has to be the yoke. I find it both flattering and more comfortable than a narrow waistband, at least for me.

So now I obviously want to sew all the flowy shorts and culottes and skorts and whatnot. That means I get to do some fabric shopping with a purpose, which normally never happens. Normally I shop without any pattern in mind, picking fabric that catch my eye at the moment. I love my stash, but it doesn't include any bottom weight fabric, so apparently I'm better at picking out fabric for cute tops and dresses. I need to go as far back to fabric-shopping-basics as I can on this one.

Have you ever surprised yourself by liking something that you previously have avoided? Does anyone else have irrational fears concerning trousers and zipper placement? Please tell me I'm not the only one!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Almost The Last of Winter

Hi everybody, finally I have something sewn to show you! I've mostly been knitting this winter, and I still have some knitted and crocheted stuff to show you, but for now it just feels great to show you a completed sewn garment!

I've had mixed feelings about this project from the start. The pattern is #107 from Burda Style 12/2010, and it has been at the back of my mind pretty much since 2011. The fabric is some kind of stable knit and it has been living in my fabric stash for quite some time, until I finally combined it with this pattern. I feel kind of 'meh' about the fabric, I don't think it's the prettiest of fabrics, but it's warm and I'm really trying to use fabrics from my stash right now.

Like I said, I've had mixed feelings about this project. About midway through I couldn't understand why I had bought a fabric that felt so 'polyester-y', but now that it's finished I like the feel of the fabric again. The whole time I was making it I felt silly for taking on such a winter-y project this time of year and thought about abandoning ship the whole way through, but I still managed to finish it. Using up a big piece of thick fabric equals big hole in the fabric stash equals extra bonus points, right?

This cardigan was meant to be worn around the house all along, because like I said I'm not too fond of the fabric. The buttons are from my stash, and I can't decide if they are my favorite or least favorite part of the cardigan. My opinion changes every time I look at them! The pattern I obviously like, but I feel like Burda made it more complicated than it needed to be. Part of the instructions I could not figure out so I just winged it. My fabric didn't stretch enough, so I needed to cut new longer pieces for the hem and cuffs.

So how do I feel about the cardigan now that it's finished? I'm wearing it right now, so I'm counting it as a success after all!

How have you been feeling about your projects recently? Anyone else stumbling along now and then?

There are so many great link-ups happening right now in our wonderful sewing blog community! I'll be linking up with The Creative Counselor and Back2Basics 2016, allie J. and Social Sew#1: Spring Showers and GrayAllDay and Sew It Chic Monthly. See you guys there!

Monday, April 4, 2016

An Unselfish Duo

Hello again my lovelies!

I'm feeling especially good about these makes, because they are not for me! My fiancé got a new knitted hat and a sewn scarf this winter.

For the hat I bought some of the good stuff, again because it wasn't for me. My budget wouldn't survive a knitting hobby if I always knit with the squishiest and prettiest of yarns, but I'm not complaining. I like the scratchy stuff! 

The hat is the Roman Earflap Hat by MintyFresh. I enjoyed knitting it and the pattern really is designed with maximum ear-warmth in mind, which is a huge bonus and not that easy to find.

The scarf is a rectangle of fabric sewn into a double-sided rectangle. It's not particularly warm, so it hasn't gotten any wear yet, but maybe it will now that it's slowly warming up. Hubby picked the fabric himself on a trip to the fabric store.
Yes, he came in with me.
Yes, it was his idea to stop by the fabric store when we were in the neighborhood.
Yes, he is a keeper.

I'm green with envy looking at all of your spring-makes! Unfortunately my face is the only green thing over here in Finland, so my own spring-makes will have to wait some more. And of course I'm still sewing winter-stuff because I'm way behind on my sewing.

Have all of you left winter behind already? Or is anyone else still making winter-stuff while freezing?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Cloud Mittens and a Sunday Lately

Hello again! How are you this Sunday?

I have yet another Christmas gift to share with you. These are the Cloud Mittens from Sari's blog LunaKnit (this is actually the first part of the pattern, the second one is here). Aren't they pretty? The first time I saw them I knew I wanted to knit a pair for my sister. 

I'm a huge fan of Sari's knit blog. The beautiful photos always leave me inspired and the projects are beautiful too.  Sari is also a fellow Finn, which makes me a little bit awesome too, right? No you say? 

The mittens are lined, so the they are really really warm. Also I would like to warn you in case you want to knit these. They look horrendous before blocking. I'm sure there would have been tears and blood on my part if Sari wouldn't have included a picture of the mittens before blocking. 

It's that time of the week again, when I link up with Sunday Lately to share my thoughts on this week's themes.

- Updating - :: Sewing and knitting plans. Planning what to make next (or maybe next year...) is one of my all-time favorite pastimes. I reorganized my yarn and updated my knitting plans and now I need to do the same with my sewing.

- Remembering - :: How to alter sewing patterns. I've had my eye on this Cardigan from Burda for ages, and now I've traced the pattern and made some fitting changes based on an RTW -favorite. I'm not sure where the pattern tweaks will lead me, but I'm trying to remember to trust my instincts.

- Needing - :: To stay motivated with everything. And I mean everything! School, sewing, knitting, blogging, exercising and so on. Maybe my Sunday is just off to a slow start and that's the reason for feeling so 'meh' about everything. Caffeine to the rescue.

- Wearing- :: A new me-made shirt! I was sure I'd hate it, but now I kind of like it. I'm planning to show it to you soon.

- Being - :: Excited by the March issue from Burda. But as I mentioned before, I need to update my sewing plans, since my current project is a wintery cardigan. Maybe it'll be time for spring/summer sewing once I'm finished with it?

Have a great week everybody! Anyone else making summer sewing plans?


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sunday Lately: Week 63 + a Nutbrown Hare

It feels like everyone in the sewing blogosphere is excited by the approaching spring and spring weather. I felt bad because I'm not feeling the spring and summer groove like everybody else, or at least I did until I noticed the pictures. In the springlike pictures the grass is green, the flowers bloom and the sun is shining. Over here, we have ice and snow, which explains my lack of excitement. But don't worry, we will get to spring sometime in the next three months. 

I think this is the last baby present knitted with this yarn. Or at least I'm kind of thinking that. This is the Little Nutbrown Hare by Sallie Cameron. I just realized when creating that link that I have forgotten all about the ribbons around the ears. 

The ears were standing upright, but they got too soft for that after I soaked the hat, but I knew that would happen. The hat was still too big for the little guy who got it, but I was prepared for that too. 

And now on to the Sunday Lately portion of the post:

- Creating - :: I've been knitting away, but haven't felt concentrated enough to sew or blog in the last couple of weeks. My sister got a matching pair of leg warmers though and I got to use all of this yarn.

- Finding - :: A shawl pattern to knit up next. I'm trying really hard to knit only from my stash and to not buy new yarn. I actually don't think my stash is huge, but it would still be nice to reduce it by half. Must. Have. Willpower. 

- Switching - :: Sloooowly switching my mindset towards spring and away from winter. I've read a couple of blog posts about sewing out of season, meaning that now would be the time for me to sew summer clothes, or even fall clothes! I admire anyone who is capable of that, I know I'm not! 

- Forgetting - :: I hope I'm not forgetting anything. I did forget that I had made plans with my sister and was then really excited when I thought she wanted to make plans with me. Plans that we already had made. Weeks ago. Whoops. 

- Craving - :: Cake. And exercise. Makes perfect sense. Do not question it.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Birthday Bow Tie and Sunday Lately Week 59

This Bow Tie Tutorial by Grainline popped up in my blog feed earlier this week, and I just had to make a Birthday Bow Tie for my fiancé! He picked the fabric from my stash, and it turned out sooo pretty! As you can see, he's not afraid of wearing bright colors!

I might just have to put bows on everything I sew this year. 

Here's this weeks Sunday Lately inspired by Blogger Tribe:

- Updating - :: My wardrobe. I've got all the new clothes, but I want to go through my existing wardrobe and check what really fits me and what needs to go. I'm not sure where to find the inspiration to do this, but I'm thinking a bottle of wine and my sister.

- Remembering - :: When my fiancé and I started dating. It was his birthday this week and that made me feel surprisingly nostalgic. My birthday is only one month later though, so maybe it's the biological clock of doom that I'm hearing. 

- Needing - :: To keep all my ducks in a row just a little longer. Isn't it funny how we try to bargain with the forces in our life? "Please let me graduate in time, then everything will be so much better!" Except that it won't be. But a girl can dream.

- Wearing - :: Hopefully some new clothes out with my girlfriends this week. A drink in a bar with dear friends seems like pure heaven to me right now.

- Being - :: Reunited with my sewing machine. My Mom and I have joint custody of the sewing machine and serger, and the sewing machine came back home to me again, yay!

It's Sunday night in my part of the world now, so hope you all have a wonderful beginning to the next week!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sunday Lately Week 58

I'm joining Blogger Tribe again this week with the weekly Sunday Lately word challenge. I missed two weeks, but now I'm back in the game. Sometimes something has got to give, and this time it was blogging. 

This is the last Christmas gift I'm making. I love how these are turning out.
- Creating - :: My creating still equals knitting. I miss sewing, but at this time sitting upright in a chair and concentrating sounds too challenging to me. Sofa, pillows, two dogs, Netflix and mindless knitting is all I want at the moment.

- Finding - :: A balance in life. This seems impossible at times, but then there are moments when you just know that you are in the right place doing the right things right now. Nothing gnaws at your self-esteem quite like self-doubt. 

Finally, a cardigan for myself. This yarn was a gift from abroad several years ago. I've run out of yarn (which I knew would happen), so now I need to find a soul mate color for it. Blue? Grey? Help!

- Switching - :: Gear. I'm slowly getting used to the idea that I won't be a student for much longer. At the same time there are still some hurdles, some bigger than other, to overcome before I get my degree. So I'm trying to keep my Zen no matter what happens in the upcoming months.

- Forgetting - :: What size knitting needles and which yarn I've used for a knitting project. Make notes, woman. Make notes.

- Craving - :: Excersize. The first signs of spring always makes me want to go for a run. At this moment some health challenges make running almost impossible, but some slow and gentle yoga might be on my horizon soon. YES!

This photo really doesn't make justice to the actual yellow color.

I've been really good lately with finishing projects before I cast on new ones, but now I couldn't help myself, and so one unfinished project became three. I fear there is no going back, since I'm now planning to knit another gift... Yep, this boat is sinking fast.

How are your boats floating? Are you sailing along smoothly or are you sinking like me?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I Heart Green Cables

I'm still showing you what I made for Christmas. This time around three little guys got the I Heart Cables - hat in green. 

 The yarn is "7 veljestä" by Novita, which is a really good and versatile basic and affordable yarn.

You can't see it in the pictures, but there's an I-cord where the earflaps end. I knit up one hat following the instructions, but I thought it was too big. For the Christmas presents I made the hats more shallow by beginning the crown shaping earlier.

I've seen a couple I Heart Cables - hats pop up in my Bloglovin feed, and I especially love the colors Sari from LunaKnit used!

How is your February going? Are you feeling inspired by the increasing light? Or does it feel like there's still too much winter left in this winter?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday Lately: Week 55 and a Knitted Gift

I'm back with another Sunday Lately, courtesy of the Blogger Tribe! The words for this week are Completing, Visiting, Repeating, Writing and Scheduling. 

This is the Classic Cuffed Hat by Purl Soho knitted in some Christmas gift leftover yarn. This immediately became my new go-to pattern for knitted hats. The yarn is '7 veljestä' by Novita, if my memory serves me right.
- Completing - :: This week I completed a knitted hat for a family member. Not because she asked for one, but as a surprise because she mentioned that she liked the color of my Christmas gift hats (coming up on the blog next week). It feels good to use your knitting powers for good. 

- Visiting - :: Visited that same family member to drop off the hat and some other stuff yesterday.

- Repeating - :: I haven't actually repeated anything this week, but there are some things I would like to repeat. Earlier this week I wrote about a knitting pattern I would be happy to knit again and the same goes for the Classic Cuffed Hat by Purl Soho.

- Writing - :: the theme for my last year of school seems to be Nilla Writes E-mails And Nobody Answers. Seriously guys - I'm trying to graduate here. That would go so much smoother if everybody would just answer my first e-mail, and not only the third. Actually, at this point, every response seems like a luxury. Bitter much? YES.

- Scheduling - :: as a Lifelong Obsessive Planner I find it difficult and frustrating not to be able to plan out my entire year at this point. Too many things in my life right now are such that I'm forced to proceed one step at a time, because I can't see the whole path ahead of me. Frustrating? Yes. 

Burda 01/16 #103C
On to happier subjects! I received my copy of the Finnish Burda January issue in the mail this week. This dress especially caught my eye, and  Sew Crafty Chemist already made a beautiful version! I have my reservations concerning how flattering this dress would look on me though. I also have half a mind to turn the top around, so that the draping in the back would be in the front instead. 

What do you think? Good or bad? Draping in the back or in the front?