2017 Make Nine

Last year, I made five garments and re-discovered my love of knitting and sewing (Lori Shawl | Pants No. 1 | Agnes Sweater | Hemlock Tee | Mittens). While I think nine is a stretch for me, I’m gonna set that goal and we’ll see where I end up.

 

NUMBER ONE | Willow Tank Top

I’m currently working on a cropped Willow tank top. I haven’t had much luck with adjusting the bust darts, having modified them several plus times – but, that’s another post. At this point, I’m not sure if I just haven’t done the right adjustments/don’t have enough knowledge or if my adjustment woes are more a result of the fabric I chose (a woven cotton). This is the first pattern where I really wish I made a muslin, instead of diving right in. But, I thought it would be a cut, sew, be done project as I’ve make tanks before. Alas, those darts were a whole new thing for me.

NUMBER TWO | a dress

Trying to decide between the Fen Dress, Alder Dress, simple linen a line dress, &/or Farrow Dress. I have a couple of weddings to attend this summer and fall, which put the idea of a handmade silk dresses in my head. I have never sewn silk before, much less do I know where to purchase it. I’m hoping for a raw silk broadcloth in black or other neutral earth tone. If nothing else, I might save up for this Elizabeth Suzan dress.

That said, I’m considering signing up for the Fen Dress class at Modern Domestic. I have a bit of sticker shock – $96 & that doesn’t include the pattern!! But, I know that instruction is valuable and it might be what I need to figure out this whole adjustments thing. Or, I have a monthly subscription to Creative Bug and am considering the Pattern Drafting class (5 hours!!!) as a pretty strong alternate.

NUMBER THREE | Lila Top Down Sweater

I’ve already bought the yarn to cast on my Lila sweater! It’s my way of motivating myself to finish the right mitten of my 34th & 8th mittens. Also, there are so many beautiful knits in Carrie Bostick Hodge’s Madder Anthology 2 that I might one day work my way through most of the patterns.

NUMBER FOUR | Pants No. 1

I have yet to post about the first pair I made last year, but in making the first pair I learned that I’d like to add side pockets and loosen the tension of the elastic waistband (vs. the tension the pattern recommends). This second pair will actually be shorts in a blue chambray fabric, reminiscent of the Not Perfect Linen shorts pictured above. I have the fabric cut and pinned together, but I stalled on the pocket piece. Luckily, there’s a quick tutorial on how to add side seam pockets on Creative Bug.

NUMBER FIVE | a legging

I don’t know why, but I’m kind of surprised by all the legging patterns in the sewosphere. Happily surprised. The one thing I miss from working at Nike was wearing leggings everyday. Not only did it not feel unprofessional, but it was praised if you were wearing anything from the current season (because employee discounts). I’ve been looking for something less athletic that I can wear to the office without feeling like it’s obvious I got dressed in 5 seconds—even though that is the goal. I might try the Ooh La Leggings after seeing how awesome Lucky Lucille’s turned out or try self drafting some with yet another Creative Bug class (gotta get my $$ worth on that monthly subscription!!). I love the idea of sewing some up in merino wool. It’s the fabric I love to wear best; naturally moisture wicking, dries quickly, doesn’t smell, great to layer for warmth or less layers for a hot day—all wins!

NUMBER SIX + SEVEN | Hemlock Tee

I was happy with how my first modified Hemlock Tee came out. So, I’d like to make a long sleeve version in a navy linen/cotton blend with large pockets on the front mid-section. I’ve also been daydreaming about the T Sweater by Jamie and the Jones. I think I could be satiated with a modified Hemlock Tee, if I can find the perfect nubby cotton to sew it up in.

NUMBER EIGHT | Oljett Hat

The Last Minute Slouch was the project I learned how to knit in the round, as well as my first knit hat. I liked it so much, I even made one for my grandma, who was kind enough to share it with my grandpa. Together, they’d take turns wearing. But, I haven’t knit a hat since then, which means it’s probably been 5 years. I’ve been craving a hat in a marbled cream & dark grey and found the Oljett Hat marked in my Ravelry favorites. A perfect fit and a nice break from knitting twos or a sweater.

NUMBER NINE | Briochealicious

I am most intimidated by this knitting project, but I also love all of Andrea’s patterns. I can see myself wearing this all fall + winter; to yoga, traveling, and uneventfully, sitting at my desk working. I’ll learn a new stitch, brioche, and it’ll be my first piece with more than 2 colors. I’m super indecisive when it comes to selecting yarn colors over two and by nature, I’m drawn towards minimalism. So, this will probably be a welcomed introduction of color to my wardrobe.

I’ve been so inspired by everyone posting to #2017MakeNine. Look forward to following along on everyones’ 2017 projects!

 

One Mitten Done, Half the Fun!

I started these mittens in October, as my Slotober project. Slow indeed! I was knitting a row or two every morning before work and a bit more on weekends. The routine waxed and waned and so, over the past week I finally finished the left mitten!!! One down, one to go. Here’s to knitting the right mitten in less than 4 months, as I picked up yarn today for my next project—the Lila Top Down sweater.

My gauge was shy of what the pattern recommends. I knit tightly and MT Unicorn Tails yarn was a little thinner than the recommended Brooklyn Tweed Loft. I also neglected to do a swatch—I was too eager to get started and forgot this step. Nonetheless, this left mitten fits my hand just fine. I remember when I first came across these mittens in 2012. I was super intimidated by them—I had never knit mittens or done any color work. They seemed intricate beyond my skill level, but their design and color has stuck with me all this time. When I cast on in October, I still had never made a pair of mittens or done any color work. At this point, those nevers didn’t scare me away and intrigued me instead.

Stranded Knitting + Color Dominance

Getting started on these, I was a bit thrown off by the pattern. The color chart is inverted when compared to the photographs that accompany the pattern. Since I wanted to knit the pair represented in the photos, I went back and forth trying to figure out which color was meant to be the dominant color. In the end, I decided to do as the pattern said after reading a post from Paper Tiger blog (DC Blue, BC White). The whole way through, I continued to get my strands tangled as I attempted to trap long strands. Eventually, I’ll probably figure this out, but have been fine with detangling.

After Thought Thumb

The after thought thumb was easy enough. I followed these tutorials on YouTube:

It was my first time using this technique & I mussed the set up a little. When I came back to pick up the stitches, the top/back of thumb was a little wonky and there’s a small hole (pictured above). I just knit 3 together in an effort to close it. Not perfect, but doable.

 

Yarn + Tools

The Unicorn Tails yarn is 100% merino wool and I love the softness of the final fabric. Madeline Tosh’s colors are always beautiful and it’s no surprise that most things I knit are with her yarns—I can’t stay away! I was also excited to be using my new Fringe Co project bag, that my sister got me over the holidays. Being able to thread the yarn thru the yarn guides is such a nice feature.

Project Details

Pattern: 34th & 8th Mittens

Yarn: Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails (3 skeins of ea. colorway; Antler, Fathom), fingering weight

Needles: US 1, bamboo

Gauge: 36 sts = 3.75″ though I haven’t blocked my mittens yet

project on Ravelry

Slow Fashion October: Week 1

Excited to be casting on mittens from my fall to-do list at a time that coincides with Slow Fashion October. I’ve had a crush on the 34th & 8th mittens since 2012.

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For most of 2013-15, I had put making aside and was fed up with the amount of stuff I had accumulated in order to make things. Every project required at least one element that I didn’t have, even though I had boxes of materials & supplies. My approach has changed, as I’ve found my way back to making this year. I no longer buy without a distinct & immediate use in mind. A lot of my previous making efforts started with browsing the secondhand/vintage craft store and being inspired by the things I found. I’d pick up anything that peaked my interest. With the benefit of next to nothing prices and the self-imposed stress to buy it before it was gone, I ended up with more than I knew what to do with.

Nowadays, I only head to the store with a distinct goal – “buy 2 skeins of yarn to knit this pattern.” I’ve been working with new materials, which cost more, and put an immediate cap on purchasing more than I need. I’m also happy to support more women run companies who make the fibers I work with and own the shops I frequent. I haven’t eliminated my need to purchase materials, but I have brought intention to my choices around making. Additionally, I’ve found that I am happier with the final products, resulting in soon-to-be well-worn & loved pieces that I look forward to wearing each season.

One of which I finished last month – the Agnes sweater. I’m a sporadic and slow knitter, so I started mid-summer in hopes of finishing by winter – success! I was inspired by the #havefancyhouse knit along and Drea Renee Knits’ color selection. The pattern was easy to follow and this piece does knit up quick with the bulky yarn. I wish I had made the arm holes a 1/2″ larger, as it’s a struggle to layer anything with sleeves under. But, as it’s my first sweater, I’m pretty happy. The fit is fairly form-fitting, which is surprising for a heavy weight sweater. Can’t wait to wear it all winter.

I’m also working on paring down my fall closet for “Slotober.” I’m a fan of Project 333 and steadily working my way towards a smaller, better functioning closet. I’m looking forward to following along with Slow Fashion October on Instagram and can’t wait to see what folks are making/repairing/wearing!

 

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Finished | Lori Shawl

Yipee! About four months later, I have finished this one. It’s my first shawl and the impetus to knit it was a failed hat I crocheted. I end up pulling the hat apart after finishing and then set about finding a new use for the yarn. Luckily, the Lori Shawl was the same weight and also dual colored.

I took this with me on vacation to Japan. It was relaxing to knit on the train while window gazing. The only challenge was knitting loose enough on the k2tog that shapes the descending edge. I tend to knit at a tight gauge, so the edge curls a bit.

Now that I have a copy of the Madder Anthology 2, I’ll have to knit up the Lila Top Down or Lucinda sweater.  But for now, next up is the Agnes sweater. Looking forward to working with a thicker yarn = quicker progress.

My Ravelry Project: Ravelry.com/projects/richkait/lori-shawl

++ Inspiration ++

Lori’s Instagram

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