December 28, 2014

Good tidings of comfort and joy, comfortandjoy!

Filed under:News! — Aileen @ 15:38

Hi folks! I hope everyone is having a cool Yule! My pre-Christmas period was typically busy with concerts and, as a result, I didn’t have much making to share here. I did, however, receive a request for mittens! Well, who am I to turn down such a request?

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They’re for my dad and I made them using leftover Jamieson Shetland wool. They should be pretty warm and sturdy.  I used a free pattern I found on Ravelry, the Podster gloves. I used it as a base – after knitting one, I needed to make the wrist narrower and increase between the thumb and opening for more room. I left out the thumb opening.

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In fact, even though the pattern is written for about a 4-ply yarn, you could easily adapt it for any other weight. As you can see, you just work a normal fingerless mitt and then pick up for the flap. They went down pretty well!

The rest of my holiday so far has looked a lot like this:

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Cutting out some new sewing patterns and knitting out of my new knitting bag that I made at the beginning of the month. The last time I was in This is Knit, I fell foul to a new alpaca-silk yarn from Fyberspates called ‘Cumulus’. It’s a bit like Kid Silk Haze only fluffier and not so much of a sheen. It is a more substantial yarn and much more suited to garments and hard-core accessories. Kid Silk Haze is beautiful but much more delicate.

Anyway, I decided to get 3 balls – they’re about 150m each – and make a woolly shawl. I love the colour palette of this yarn line, with plenty of saturated colours as well as super-useful neutrals. In the end I went for a dark teal. I’m about half a repeat away from the edging.

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The yarn is quite a saturated colour so some dye comes off on my hands. However, it washes off without soap so I’m confident that a good soak will be adequate when I finish.

As for the sewing patterns I’ve been chopping up, they’re for my January plans. I have rather lot of winter skirts but not so many dresses. I have three heavy wool sheaths that are perfect for very cold, damp weather but nothing in between. I acquired two wool crepes – navy and dark pink – and a turquoise thick knit to make some simple dresses. I think a princess panel dress is very flattering but boy, did I ever have to search for a suitable pattern! The one on the left is what I went for in the end.

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See the orangey model on the right? It has a vent in the back but isn’t lined. That was the closest I could find. Ideally I would like instructions to line it but a quick Google found me plenty of tutorials, so I feel confident enough to give it a go.

The blouse pattern on the right – phffff isn’t the cover art unflattering?! I would never have given this pattern a go if not for Lladybird‘s many reviews and high recommendation. I bided my time and pounced during one of their 99c sales. Did you know that these online sales are available to consumers outside the US? The same goes for Simplicity, Vogue, McCall’s etc. There is, unfortunately, a $15 shipping fee but that seems to be a fairly flat rate. So let’s pretend you buy four patterns, it works out to be about $20 in total and still far cheaper than buying them within Europe. It’s even better value if you order with a friend and order a good few to dilute the shipping. Just FYI!

That’s all my news for now… As you can see, even when I’m busy, the wheels keep turning! It’s been a lovely holiday and I’m looking forward to the new year, whatever it may bring. I hope you all enjoy the dying days of 2014.

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November 27, 2014

Coup de Coeur

Filed under:Blouses/Tops,Hats,Knitting,Sewing,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 21:13

I recently developed an inexplicable but undeniable urge to knit a red hat. It had to have ear flaps and it had to be Malabrigo. Do you ever get these fixations? And the immense, trivial, satisfaction when you find all of these things condensed into one item?

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This was taken a few days. It’s since been finished and graced with a white pompom. I have enough left for mitts. I think they might need to have matching pompoms too!

On the sewing front, this has been happening:

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I rejected a bow thanks to adequate floweriness but there are gathers. Finished soon, I hope.

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August 9, 2014

Belated July outfit

Filed under:Blouses/Tops,Finished Objects,News!,Skirts,Stash Down,Tops — Aileen @ 17:26

Hi all! Last month was a busy one as I was preparing for and then away on my usual course in Switzerland… And when I came back, I needed to continue preparations for a lunchtime recital which I gave yesterday.

Anyway, it’s good to be back! I have lots of things to show you. First up, here’s my wee July outfit. Not the most summery but perfect for a day like today.

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The skirt pattern is from an Ottobre magazine. Have you heard of these guys? It’s Finnish magazine. They put out about four issues a year for kids – which seem great but I’m no expert – and two for women. They tend to focus on nice basics. What I love most about their magazines is that they use normal people as models and give their dimensions. So there are lots of short and normal sized people in it! This wrap skirt is from an old summer issue. It’s unlined but has a total overlap at the front and pretty substantial facings, which I took the liberty of binding…

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It fastens with a button on both sides – a flat one on the inside and a decorative one on the exterior side. You’re supposed to put a decorative button on each side of the front but I didn’t bother.

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As for the top, it’s the Alexis pattern that I downloaded from the Tessuti site. I’ve used this a few times now and it’s just perfect. I bought the flannel with a massive discount at Hickey’s. I don’t know why it was reduced so much, but I’m glad! It’s so soft and snug.

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That’s it for now but I’ll be back soon… I have TWO knitted garments to show you as well as a dress and my August outfit!

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June 28, 2014

Liverpool Shirtdress

Filed under:News! — Aileen @ 13:36

Happy weekend! Did you happen to notice how today seems a little brighter than usual? That the planet is somehow better aligned…? That would be because, after a whole week of (thinly disguised) patient waiting, I finally received the replacement part for my sewing machine! Thank the heavens. There was a LOT of cutting out this week. You’ll see the fruits soon, I hope, but for now, here’s something I finished a while ago.

The ‘Liverpool‘ was the very first shirt pattern I used (see here!) and I have to say, for a total shirt novice, it was perfect. At the time I bought it, I never, ever considered that a shirtdress, which is a variation offered in the pattern, would ever be on my agenda… but here we are.


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For this, I used a lightweight denim found in Hickey’s. I think it was about €12/m and I needed about 2m. I made the same adjustments that I made for the other shirts – I added an inch to the centre front and I took about 2cm out of each sleeve cap.


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A feature of this design are the double darts on both back and front and I really like the fit it gives. That said, I think a dress this dark benefits from a belt.


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When this was in the planning stages, I had an idea to use a fantastic little fat quarter I picked up a while ago. I was thinking to use it for the inner collar stand to give it a bit of life. In the end, I decided not to, as it would be more versatile if it remained plain. Since I wear neck scarves a lot (usually when cycling), I decided to just hem the fat quarter and use it this way.


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I think the pattern is based on maritime flags.


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And yes, the end result is a little zany BUT it can be removed!

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May 15, 2014

WIP

Filed under:Cardigans,Knitting,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 22:23

I occasionally like to marvel at how the face of knitting has changed. Do you remember how it was at the beginning of the internet? I remember the first issue of Knitty! I remember reading about this new sort of book, the Handbook, and how exciting it was to finally read it! And I remember fondly the trips on the bus out to This is Knit, when they were just a weekend shop in a little cabin out on the southside. They had wool, proper wool!

And I think it’s funny how, in just a few years, blogs have gone from being a critical source of news and inspiration to, well, sort of prehistoric. There’s twitter, instagram, evil facebook… an endless plethora of methods to keep in touch and up to date. (Ravelry, obviously, goes without saying). Despite all of this, I doubt I will ever stop blogging. Naturally, I have slow times but it is rare that I miss a whole month without sharing something. I know that I have readers that come and go but I also know that a lot of you, even if you never comment, you still come back and check in. I appreciate that!

Aaaaaaanyway… all this to say that, even when I don’t share much knitting, there is always knitting. Ask Alb. He was once such a delicate sitter, always beware of what may lie beneath him. That didn’t last long – these days, it’s more caveat knitter. This is what I’ve been working on/pulling out from under Alb most recently.

It’s an old Brooklyn Tweed-Wool People design called Tinder. I really like the Brooklyn Tweed patterns. They’re well curated, well edited and tend to be reliable to knit from.

I’m using a yarn I bought a good while ago… maybe two years ago already… it’s the Rico Essentials Aran. I bought it the same time I bought the orange yarn for Chuck, with the intention of knitting this cardigan. It feels good to be finally getting down to it.

The sleeves are knit separately and you have to seam it up before you can knit the collar on. I stalled picking this back up after we got back from Japan (photos still being worked on and ARE forthcoming, I swear! Still so much to share!)… because I was convinced I still had another sleeve to knit. Turns out, it was all done already, so I got stuck in. Now I only have one more band to knit.

By chance, I have the most perfect buttons in my stash. In the depths of winter, I had a yearning for a wool duffle coat. I bought some lovely navy wool melton, which is like a thick felted wool, and these buttons, with the idea of making a duffle. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realised that a duffle was not the right garment for such lovely fabric. So I started a different design which, as it neared completion, warranted a very different button. Here I am with eight of these guys and I think they will be perfect.

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