Baby Things

My friends have welcomed lots of little ones into our world over the past year! I’ve made a few gifts and have accumulated a stockpile of photos, so I think its time to post about these cute projects.

First, the Teddy Bear Sweater. I saw Lizzie knit this awhile ago and I just thought it was so cute that I had to make one, too. The pattern was pretty bare bones, but that little face really makes this feel so special. I sized it up to what I hope is a 3-6 month size, but its really hard to know how big to make things, its sort of just a wild guess.

Teddy Bear Sweater

I also made this pretty big (and pretty cool!) octopus. I remember knitting the tentacles on the train and got some pretty weird looks from strangers. If you ever had “second sock syndrome,” try knitting 8 of these bad boys. Luckily the yarn weight makes them go quickly. I love him, though!!!

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Here are some baby socks from Purl Soho, and hats with a pattern I made up. These ended up being sized perfectly for a newborn head!!! What are the odds!?

Rhys: born to be a knitwear model.
Baby hats and booties

And last, but not least, I just sent this set away to California for a baby who hasn’t been born yet! I hope he likes them.

More baby hat and booties
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Almost-Finished Kahlua Cardigan

Sunny winter days make ya squint.

I breezed through most of this Kahlua cardigan but have stalled pretty badly right before crossing the finish line. The ribbing on this sweater is giving me so much grief. I’ve tried it two times and it did not look right, so I frogged. I brought it with me on a weekend trip to visit my sister and planned to give it another try en route. It didn’t work out, but I decided to put it on and start wearing it anyway. I am curious if fellow knitters have a “THAT GARTER EDGE IS GIVING ME ANXIETY” sort of a reaction, but it looks fine to me.

PS I am wearing my Link hat and my Farrow dress in these photos.

We watched The Art of the Steal forever ago, and had been telling my sister to watch it for awhile. After finally seeing it, we “celebrated” by visiting the Barnes Foundation to see Dr. Albert Barnes’ amazing collection of art arranged “just the way he would have wanted.” For anyone not familiar with the situation, his art was posthumously “stolen” and is now controlled by the group of people he detested most. ANYWAY, this is all setup to tell you that we were leaving the museum and saw the most beautiful wintry ivy wall, and we had a mini photoshoot. The light was so great, I barely edited these photos.

The pretty cable side seam.

Some musings about the cardigan now. The instructions have you do both sleeves before the body, and I may have found a permanent new order of events when knitting a seamless sweater. The sleeves went so quickly, and gave me motivation to get through the body, so thank you for the idea, Thea!! I highly recommend the pattern, its very clever in its construction and has details that make it feel so special. While knitting, my k1 columns were very wiggly and uneven, but it all came out with blocking. I kirchner stitched the back neck seam and the underarms to make for a less obvious join. Its not seamless, though, because its purl ribbing joined with knit stitches, but it looks nicer than a 3-needle bind off or mattress stitch. More details of my saga on ravelry. Also wanted to give Call Your Girlfriend a shout-out! I just found out about this show and knitted to several back-episodes over the past few weeks. I am now a loyal listener and when a new episode comes out, it shoots to the top of my “Play Next” queue.

back details.

I used Quince and Co’s Owl in Tyto, and its very very warm and cozy. I love it! Now, on to the ribbing!! Third time’s a charm.

In Praise of Color-Coordinated Outerwear

Coordinated but not matchy-matchy.

I went to my first Rhinebeck this past fall. I was so overwhelmed by the enormous selection of yarn that I did not buy very much. I focused on absorbing the good vibes, learning about the different breeds of sheep and ogling all of the beautiful knitwear. I did end up purchasing 2 skeins of Weekend Wool from Green Mountain Spinnery. The bright Blue Lake color sang to me in the booth, and I decided to buy 2 skeins. I am trying to purchase yarn and fabric more mindfully, but at the same time I wanted some wool to commemorate my first Rhinebeck.

This wool has become a hat! I used Emily Greene’s Link pattern from Brooklyn Tweed, and I love it. I am not usually the fastest knitter, but once I got past the ribbing I couldn’t stop knitting– I think I finished the cabling in 3 days. I topped it off with a pom! I do not have a pom-pom maker, instead I used the 2 cardboard C’s technique. Easy, free and fast!

Sexxy cables!

As I was making it, I wondered how I would incorporate this bright color into my existing cold weather gear rotation. At this point, I remembered my long-neglected Endpaper mitts, languishing in the back of my closet, unworn for years. The bright blue I used for the colorwork would match-but-not-match exactly the way I like. The one problem was I did not like how the gloves had stretched out at the finger ribbing. I wore them to my knitting meetup to try to get over it, and complained about this issue. The group wisely suggested I rip out the ribbing and redo it. Duh! I made the ribbing longer so I could double it over for extra warmth, and to hopefully cause less stretching out.

Endpaper-y goodness.

I am very happy that in making my new hat, I have resurrected my gloves. What a great February pick me up!

Fumeterre Skirt

I finally got around to making a Fumeterre skirt from Deer and Doe. I have almost made it so many times, but whenever I felt the urge, I didn’t want to wait for the pattern to ship from France. So a couple of weeks ago, when I got their email newsletter announcing this skirt among their newly available PDF patterns, I jumped on it!

I got this VERY fancy wool-bamboo houndstooth from B&J Fabrics. Its my second most expensive fabric I’ve ever purchased, EEEP. I used faux-leather piping for the pockets, and I am particularly happy with my zipper fly. The back elastic seemed superfluous when I was adding it in, but it really helps to keep up the skirt without digging in to my waist too much. I did hong kong seams and wow did they take forever. It looks really nice, though!

I didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern, I am 5′6″ and its floor length in flats. I wore it to work for a party last week, and I had to hoist it up as I walked since it dragged on the ground a bit. The fabric is so dreamy and drapey, and it’s very fun to wear. I will definitely make this again in a warm-weather fabric this spring.

Ginger Jeans

I finally made some jeans, and I am pretty happy with them! The motivation to make these came from the sad day when the zipper broke on my favorite pair of black jeans. I really felt their absence from my wardrobe, so I decided I would take the plunge and use my Cone Mills black denim and try out the Ginger Jeans (View B).

posting a picture of my butt on the internet is a very odd feeling.

Overall I am extremely happy with these jeans and have incorporated them into my everyday wardrobe, so thats a huge positive!!! I am also very happy with the zipper fly, the way the pattern has you do it is very easy. I did a raw hem, so I cut 3.5″ off the bottom of the jeans, and did a straight stitch a 1/2″ up from the bottom to prevent extreme fraying.

Next time I will place the pockets higher on the butt, and take in the waist a little more, they are a little bit baggy in the front crotch area. I also think I’ll raise the hem a couple of inches, as these could really have a higher rise. 

Oops, I forgot to lengthen my stitch length for the waistband…

BTW, I am wearing my Shadow Pullover and my New Yorker tote in these photos!!

The Twigs!

The Twigs is done!!!!!! I love it, and I’m never taking it off (Rav link). I love how swingy and comfy it is. The neck is a little bit weird and baggy, but I do not care enough to do anything about it. This was a long journey to finished, and when I was in the 400-stitches per round section of the lower body, it was very difficult to press on, but I did it. 🙂

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Handmade Vacation

Hey there! I just got back from my epic trip to Spain, and I wanted to share what handmade clothes I wore while traveling. Two standout pieces, my grey linen Brumby skirt, and my Red cotton/linen Moss skirt, were workhorses. I wore them almost every day!! I was looking forward to getting some wear from my jean jacket, but it was so hot in Spain, I only wore it once. What a beautiful country!

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About to discover the wrong entrance to the Toledo Cathedral in my Brumby skirt and carrying my New Yorker tote.

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Taking in the Barcelona view from Montjuïc in my Moss skirt

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Posing as the Washerwoman at Park Güell with my New Yorker tote and a Wiksten tank dress

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In awe of the Sagrada Família wearing my Hampton jean jacket

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Drinking in the Barcelona culture in my Lois dress

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Bonus Brumby skirt pic next to a delightful Joan Miró sculpture

I was daydreaming of sewing the whole time we were gone, so I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things and get to autumn sewing.

Carbeth Cardigan

I broke a personal record last month when I knitted a sweater start to finish in 15 days! I am not sure what exactly came over me but I worked on it during every free moment over those 2 weeks. This is the Carbeth Cardigan, which I’ve been eyeing up for months on Ravelry. I made the second size using worsted weight Purl Soho Good Wool held double. The yarn weight definitely contributed to my speed to the finish, but I am still so surprised and proud of myself. The sad part is I haven’t been able to wear it! Its been so hot here, but today we had some relief with a 70 degree day, so I put it on and Jacob snapped some lovely photos.

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I got the buttons at Pacific Trimming in the Garment District. I can’t wait till it gets cooler and I can start to jughz this cardigan into my wardrobe! I have been wanting a basic cardigan like this for ever.

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I highly recommend this pattern, the instructions are very good and the finishing techniques are just lovely, the sweater is beautiful inside and out, I especially love the foldover collar and the button bands.

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New Work Tote and an Inari Dress

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Have you seen the seemingly infamous New Yorker tote? I have been using it as a work bag for the past few months, and came to the conclusion that I’d rather be carrying a bag I made instead!

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This idea had been bubbling in the back of my mind for a few weeks, then last weekend I met up with some fine ladies to visit Brooklyn General Store. I found some lovely green canvas and the idea in the back of my mind shot up to my conscious and the Copycat Tote’s journey began. I found inspiration from Ashley‘s Portsmith Tote and nabbed a Klum House leather strap kit, too. Upgrade!!

Before I made my bag, I considered the pros of the New Yorker tote: great size, perfect handle drop; as well as the cons: no interior pockets, not waterproof. So I capitalized on the pros and improved the cons. I measured the dimensions of the New Yorker tote, jotted them down, and made some quick sketches for how I would construct it, and what sort of a pocket to add. I wanted a place to easily stash my phone and wallet, and a place to keep a pen just in case something comes up (like you know it always does..). I also wanted a key loop so I don’t have to fish around for them in the tote. I had seen tote bags have flap backs for interior pockets, perhaps it makes the pocket more sturdy? I interfaced and used bias tape for the edges, I really like how it turned out, and there appears to be no straining when I use the pocket.

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I added quite a long facing at the top of the bag, I thought I’d like the look of it (I do!) and it would add some stability (it does!). I also created a double-sided, interfaced rectangle to lay across the bottom of the bag. Overall, the only SNAFU I ran into was hammering the rivets… my downstairs neighbor was not pleased with my banging. It was only 6:30pm, but I think it must have been quite loud, so I finished riveting outside on the sidewalk.

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I went whole hog and waxed this bag with OtterWax. I think I was a little bit overzealous with the top part, its on there pretty thick. Its also been excruciatingly hot, so I am not sure its properly cured yet. The internet has a lot of opinions on how to apply and cure this product, but I followed the package and just rubbed it on and then let it dry. A few days in, its still a bit tacky.

Oh, I also made the Inari Dress I’m wearing, a really quick sew, and I love it! I’ve made 2 tops from this pattern, but just hadn’t gotten around to a dress version until now. I found this amazing fabric the last time I went back to Pgh and went to the Center for Creative Reuse (my favvvvvv <3) and was struck with inspiration to make it into an Inari. I really wanted to create the neckband, but this fabric is not stretchy at all, so I went for the neck facing. I think I might sew it down all around, facings in general just drive me nuts!

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Overall, been really productive over here!!!

Jean Jacket!!

I finished my Hampton jean jacket!! What a saga this thing has been! I was cruising along pretty well, and was almost finished, but right when I began topstitching the armholes, my machine broke. I had to take it somewhere to have it repaired, which was its own difficult tale, but I’ll spare you the details. Long story short, its very hard to crate around a heavy sewing machine in New York without a car! But Crown Machine Services came to the rescue and fixed it right up, so I was able to finish my jean jacket on Friday (just in time for it to be 97 degrees on Monday)!

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I used 10oz. Cone Mills denim from Threadbare Fabrics. I just found out that Cone Mill has shut down, so there are no longer any American denim manufacturers in existence, so I wanted to snag some of what’s left. I washed and air dried the fabric before cutting out the pattern pieces, and again after I completed it but before the buttons and buttonholes. I used some stashed scraps of Liberty to line the pockets and the back yoke.

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After reading Alina’s super awesome sewalong post about distressing the jacket, I used 220 and 120 sanding sponges to go to town on the seams prior to topstitching. As I was sanding, I thought it wasn’t really making a difference, but after washing the jacket it looks great and a little bit worn in!

I got a Hot Tip (thanks for the lingo, Karen!) from the_other_emily to take my jacket to Jonathan’s Embroidery in the Garment District to have the buttonholes done, and WOW I am so glad I took her advice! The seamstress sewed all the buttonholes in less than an hour (while I popped over to Mood) and they are BEAUTIFUL! I couldn’t be happier, and I think it helps make the jacket look more RTW.

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I am a little bit disappointed with the welt pockets, the top and bottoms are a little bit wonky, but other than that I really love how it came out! It fits perfectly, and I can’t wait to break it in.

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