Category Archives: Stash Down

November Outfit

I have a combination outfit for you today! I knit the cardigan in the summer and made the skirt recently. I think they go really well together.

Let’s start with the cardigan! I really wanted a cropped cardigan to wear with the few high-waisted skirts I have. I used Debbie Bliss Mia from This is Knit. It took about 8 balls.

I didn’t much like the selection of patterns on Ravelry so I just kept it simple and used the Barbara Walker recipe for a top-down set-in-sleeve construction.

Do you notice a button oddity there? I sewed on four buttons but cut the top one off (I can’t remember why – there was a reason at the time). I’ve changed my mind and think it looks better with the top button… but now I can’t find the one I cut off! I’m sure it will turn up during some excavation or another.

As for the skirt, I used a sturdy failsafe pattern, the Colette Ginger.

I didn’t change anything from the last time I made it – I grade from size 6 at the waist to size 8 at the hip. Rather than making a separate lining, I overlocked the lining and shell pieces together. It’s not as nice a finish, but I’m hoping it will help maintain the shape better over time.

I must concede that my original navy Ginger, made in September 2012, needs to be retired. Everytime I put it on, I take it off again because it just looks worn out. It is completely misshapen and the lining has disintegrated on the inside (pre-overlocker sewing!). It was a good and faithful skirt.

FO: Dark and Stormy

This cardigan has been a long time in the works. Well, the actual knitting didn’t take very long but I had intentions for about five years! How very satisfying to finally get down to it.

Pattern: Dark and Stormy by Thea Colman.

Needles: I think 4.5mm.

Yarn: Berrocco Ultra Alpaca that I bought in Chicago in… 2008? It doesn’t feel like that long ago but it was six years. I had 7 skeins and I think I only used about 5. Maybe 5 and a bit at the most.

I really enjoyed knitting this! I stalled out at the very beginning some years ago when I first cast on because the set up is a bit fiddly. You cast on at the top and work down – it’s basically a top-down raglan – and you have to establish the cabling. The beginning is definitely not TV knitting. Once you get going, though, it is.

The raglan shaping is not totally straight – it’s staggered to give a better shoulder shape. I wish I had measured a little more conscientiously because I could do with a bit less fabric there. It fairly bubbled out, actually, when I had finished, but I was able to steam it into submission.

I adore the cabling down the back.

This is a seriously warm cardigan, thanks to the alpaca. I really like the colour of the model in the pattern and think it would be a more perennial wear if worked in something a little less smothering like merino. Also, whilst I think mine looks fine now, I wonder about how defined my cables are going to stay, given the beautiful but massive halo of the alpaca.

Buttons courtesy of my first ever visit to the Knitting and Stitching show! They may even pre-date the blog. I remember buying them and thinking how perfect they were. Sure, it might have taken me ten years to knit them a cardigan but the chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time, amiright?

September shorts

What sort of September would it be at all if I didn’t make a pair of shorts?! Luckily for me, it’s been a warm and beautiful month.


The pattern is the Grainline Studio Maritime Shorts. The fabric is leftover light denim from a shirtdress I made over the summer.


I lengthened the leg about 5cm and tapered them in so they weren’t so square at the hem. I cut a size 6 so it’s a little snug around the waist but perfect everywhere else.


I’m really happy with how the stitching on the back pockets came out! I finally took the plunge and bought an edge stitching foot. I have one that is an original part for my machine but it can only be used when stitching along an actual edge, like on a collar. You can’t use it for top-stitched edges that are in the middle of the garment. Anyway, it’s really easy to use and I can get pretty consistent results already.


I used a contrast plaid that I had about 40cm of, to sew the facings and pockets. This was partly because I’d run out of denim but also because I like to use a contrast on the inside 😀

It’s been a very busy month, between going back to school and various music commitments. Not to mention that I had to move all my sewing gear into another room, so I’ve been out of action for over a fortnight. But here’s what I’ve been working on today:


It’s a Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt. I’ve made others but I think this might be my favourite yet! It’s a wool-polyester blend that I got from Truro fabrics about this time last year. It’s quite a floppy weave so I’ve attached the lining to each piece to give it more structure.


This will give you an idea how I worked the pocket. I overlocked the lining to each piece before sewing stuff together, it works quite well.

That’s it for today, enjoy your weekend!

Belated July outfit

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.


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…


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.


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.


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!

A dress and some spinning

Ah, summer is here! I would have posted before today but – weather. It’s been so lovely here that I have only left the house to go to the supermarket. My week has run a little like this: practice, coffee in sun, practice, water in sun, chores, tea in sun, practice, fruit in sun…rinse and repeat!

I have been sewing, too, though that has come to abrupt halt. More after I tell you about this:


I made this yesterday in about an hour. I used my favourite-so-far t-shirt pattern, the Alexander pattern on the Tessuti website. It’s a download and what I love about it is that it comes with a petite size! No futzing around for narrow shoulders! I adore the fit so I decided to extend it into a dress, using the shape of another dress as a guide for the general shape and length. I forgot to include extra for the hem so it’s a bit shorter than I intended.


The fabric I got for mega cheap from Minerva fabrics, I think about £4/m. Seriously, if you’re looking for cheap jersey (why is it soo expensive here?!), check them out! I was hoping it would be more like a Ponte but is a touch more like a sweatshirt fabric, it’s not quite as elastic. However, it does the job and will be really cosy come Autumn, too.


So… Right as I stepped away from sewing my hems to press them, my sewing machine suddenly started to sew at top speed of its own accord. It was both frightening and spooky in equal measure! I dashed over to switch it off only to be met with a long, slender snake of smoke coming from the foot pedal. I disconnected everything and left it be. It still works fine, though I can still smell something when it’s running so I’m not inclined to use it in its current condition. I don’t want to damage the main motor.

Upon further internet reading, ‘foot failure’ is common. It is possible to replace the capacitor that has failed but as the pedal is a closed unit, I either need to run the risk of breaking it while trying to open it or pay to have it serviced. From what I could find out, they tend to be just replaced as a unit. As I know that my service man charges a set fee to investigate anything (and I thoroughly dislike dealing with him), I decided to cut out the middle man and sourced a new replacement online. I should have it soon.

Anyway, have you all been enjoying the world cup? I’ve been using it as a good excuse to dust off my spinning wheel and start working through my modest, but beautiful, fibre stash. You may recall that I participated in two fibre clubs a few years ago. Some I spun up immediately but others have had to wait their turn. I started spinning up a silk hanky a while ago – I finished it earlier this week and decided to cast on with it immediately.


Wow, I was not expecting silk to be so challenging to spin. I’ve heard others describe it similarly. I thought, ok, maybe it’s slippery? I can deal with that. Turns out that silk is super, super sticky. Almost grimy. Not only that, but it is really hard to draft evenly in any way. It’s very stiff. It was an interesting experiment but I’m glad it’s done. Needless to say, it is not my finest example…but I do like how it’s knitting up.


Here’s my latest project. It’s a beautiful superwash merino from Laura Hogan. It practically spins itself! I’m spinning this as fine as I can control with a hope to making socks. We’ll see!