Tuesday, 26 January 2016

FO: Burda 9440

This is the second go round for this pattern, having made it a few months back out of some rather fetching dog print cotton sateen.  Cassie loves those trousers and they make me smile whenever she wears them so I cut out a second pair almost immediately after making the first.  Unfortunately they've been nothing but a sad pile of fabric shapes for far too long, kept company only by a very similar pile of much larger shapes intended to be a pair of jeans for me.
After leaving it so long to make these I was a little concerned that she would have outgrown them before they were sewn, but I think she will get some wear out of them before they are too small.  There looks to be plenty of room all down the legs, the only issue is the rise at the back.  The poor child has chronic builder's bum in nearly all of her trousers so I clearly need to look into some kind of adjustment or I'll just have to make all of her tops really long instead (not even kidding, I recently purchased Mini Briar which has a great butt covering mullet hem!).
Aside from the cutting out, which occurred so long ago it basically didn't happen, these took but a few hours to make.  I didn't bother adding a zip this time as it proved superfluous on her previous pair, but my plan to just sew the fly and leave out the zip was ill thought out and I'll have to look into a better way of doing it next time.  I had a horrible time sewing the buttonhole until my machine finally realised I wasn't kidding about throwing it out of the window and eventually sewed something almost like what it was supposed to.  Cassie is very taken with her pink heart button though.
In fact Cassie is very take with these trousers full stop. When I picked her up from preschool on Monday she announced very loudly for all to hear that she LOVED her trousers.  That was a proud Mummy moment for sure!  I'm not sure how much she'll love them when she realises that I'm making a matching pair for myself.  Hopefully I've got a couple of years before she thinks that there is nothing more embarrassing than having matching clothes with your mum!

Monday, 18 January 2016

FO: Knotted Pine

Ok, I'm not even slightly going to beat around the bush on this one, I freaking love this hat and I think I may actually just live in it from now on.  I love the central cable panel and the way it is surrounded by more cables and a cute rib column.  The short row shaping on the brim is completely delightful and I'm even rather enamoured by the half twisted stockinette which adds a lovely texture even though twisted stitches are kind of annoying to knit.

The pattern is Knotted Pine by Alicia Plummer, a designer who has multiple patterns in my Ravelry library and favourites but this is the first one I've actually knit up.  A few knitters had remarked in their project notes that they found the pattern hard to follow, but I can safely say that I had no trouble whatsoever.  The pattern is very brief and to the point but all the pertinent information is there.  I used KnitCompanion, as I usually do, and really I should have stitched the charts together on there instead of flicking between them but I'll leave that for next time.

I actually cast on for this for the first time when I was on holiday in December, but I'd forgotten my smaller needles and then I got lost on the charts and decided it was best to rip out and try again at home.  Luckily I did because it turns out that my gauge swatch had been telling me some whopping great fibs.  According to my swatch I needed to go up a needle size, so that's what I did and after dithering about what size to choose I went for 22" because that's how big my head is.  It was quite clear before I even finished the ribbing that the thing was going to be massive so I went back down to the suggested needle size and changed to the 20" size.  It fits really nicely now so I definitely did the right thing.

The yarn is Lang Yak, which was sent to me from Switzerland during a recent swap, and I'm a big fan now.  It's really smooth and warm and the colour is lovely.  I haven't washed it yet because I was so desperate to get this hat on my head, but apparently it gets even lovelier after a wash.  I only used a little more than one ball so I have the larger part of the second ball left to make a hat for a small person.  Hmm, now which pattern to choose.....

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Another pair of matchy tops

Just a quick post today seeing as how I've recently posted FOs using the same pattern and the same fabric.  I've got lots of cute pics to fill up the space however!
The fabric was leftover from my Mum's Christmas present, meaning I squeezed an adult sweater with a big floppy collar and 2 kids tops from 2m.  Bargain! I used the long sleeved tee pattern from New Look 6016 again seeing as it worked pretty well for both girls last time.  Age 3 size for Cassie and 1/2 for tiny Lissy.  Because I pretty much cut out the pieces for these as I finished their previous versions I didn't get around to making any of the changes that I meant to.  Looking at these pictures Lissy's sleeves aren't quite as short as I'd thought but she could still do with and inch or so extra next time.
The fabric is a lot thicker than the jersey I used before so although I do still feel that the neckband is too wide it isn't as much of a problem here.  The fabric stands up a little better rather than just flopping right over.  It still looks proportionally odd but at least it doesn't look quite as floppy and stretched out here.
The girls both seem very happy with their cosy little sweaters and I had no trouble at all getting them to put on an affectionate show for the camera.  Neither of them have been feeling too great though so please forgive their crusty wee faces.
I had hoped to get some single shots of each of them but every time I tried to photograph Cassie Lissy deliberately stood in front of her, all the while cackling her head off.  This child is trouble, but she's hilarious so it's pretty easy to forgive her.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

FO: Driftwood

This one has been a little while in the making but finally I have finished!

Honestly I have no real reason for why this took so long for me to complete.  I bashed out the body in next to no time but I think I just got really really bored during the sleeves.  I vaguely remember putting it aside to get on with a little bit of my mosaic blanket and then never really gave it another thought.  After that got bogged down with Christmas knitting, baby knitting and a KAL while poor old Driftwood hibernated behind the sofa.  However after finishing my Hetty I'd rather got the selfish knitting bug and was tempted to cast on another sweater for myself until I remembered I'd got a nearly completed one mere inches from where I was sitting.

I'll confess that I nearly shoved it back being the sofa again a few times, for some reason I really hated knitting those sleeves but it seemed silly to put it off any longer.  The sleeves did turn out really long so I could have stopped knitting them a bit sooner, but it is quite nice to hide my hands up inside them.

Now anyone who is familiar with the pattern may notice that mine looks a little different from others they may have seen.  While I was knitting the body and the sleeves I did think that the button band in the pattern photos seemed to come a lot further down her body than mine did.  I didn't give it much thought until it came to picking up the stitches for the button bands and I realised that I was going to have a devil of a job picking up the required 42 stitches.  Casting an eye over the pattern I spotted a tiny little sentence between separating the body and sleeves and joining to knit in the round which instructs you to continue knitting flat for a further 12cm.  I can sort of see how I missed it, but I'm still kicking myself a bit for it.

I don't really mind the way it looks though, it's unique I guess!  Other than that this sweater is really comfy and I like it a lot.  The yarn is Rowan Calmer, a cotton and acrylic mix, which means that this should be good to wear most of the year round.  I've worked with it a couple of times before and it's funny stuff because it is really stretchy so you do have to be careful not to pull it too much as you knit.  It gives the resulting garment a nice stretch and is part of the reason this sweater is so comfortable.  So all in all this is another win.  I still haven't quite scratched that selfish knitting itch and next on my agenda is a Knotted Pine hat using the lovely yak yarn that I got in a swap earlier this year.

Pattern: Driftwood by Isabell Kraemer

Sunday, 10 January 2016

FO: Hetty

Well I can hardly believe it, but pretty much as soon as Hetty went on the needles it flew off again. With only 6 days between casting on and binding off this was a pretty quick knit. Much of that is due to the amount of down time I had between Christmas and starting work again after new year, but it was still pretty surprising how fast it grew.

Because this was such a fast and enjoyable knit I was beginning to wonder if there was a catch, maybe it wouldn't fit or would look awful but I really like it. This cardi is a total win! Literally the only issue I have is that I should have used a stretchy bind off for the waist because it is under a bit of strain, but hopefully that will be a bit of a non issue once I've walked off all of the Christmas pudding and mince pies that may have fallen into my mouth over the last few weeks.

The yarn I used was DROPS Air in peacock blue and I am completely in love with it. Before it arrived I was a bit concerned that it would be really fuzzy and my cardi would end up looking kind of twee but now it's all knitted up I really like it. It's very soft and cozy and while it has a little halo, it's not super fuzzy or tickly. The yarn is constructed by the fibres being air blown into a polyamide tube and that has given my cardigan an extra bit of interest as the polyamide shows through at certain points and creates a slightly variegated effect. In case I was in danger of not sounding like a salesman, it's also a really light yarn so the yardage is quite generous. I used less than 200g for my cardigan and because I bought it in the alpaca party sale my entire cardi came in at less than £12. Bargain!

Pattern: Hetty by Andi Satterlund

Next on the agenda is finishing my Driftwood which for some reason was left with a sleeve and a half and the button band left to be completed. It's pretty cold here at the moment so it's definitely time I finished it.


Friday, 8 January 2016

More matchy matchyness

At the moment I'm doing my best to go through my scraps and see what can is big enough to be used to make garments, so expect to see lots of projects coming up using familiar looking fabric.  Today's projects have not actually been made from scraps but are an example of me being very good and cutting out two garments from the same piece of fabric to make sure that there aren't any scraps.
First is a little dress for Cassie, made using Butterick 6115.  I'm going to say upfront that I'm not overly pleased with this one.  Of course Cassie looks cute in it (how could she not!) but if I do make her another one I'll need to make a fair few changes to the pattern.  I'm not entirely sure why I'm surprised about this seeing as the dresses on the pattern envelope also look pretty terrible.

The neckband is far too wide and looks stretched out and gapey, making the whole thing look a little bit too homemade for my liking.  Cassie's is a bit too short too and I think this is possibly because it's a little too short in the bodice, which also fits her strangely.  All in all these are not particularly difficult problems to fix, but I'm lazy so I may just try a different pattern in future.
Naturally none of these little niggles bother Miss Cassie, the first time she wore it she was over the moon and kept spinning round and round to watch the skirt flare out.  I'd nearly finished it the previous evening before she went to bed and had promised her she could wear it the next day.  Due to the law of Sod I the spent the rest of the evening dealing with Felicity who was refusing to go to sleep and I ended up sewing the hem at 7am the next morning in between stuffing breakfast in my face and getting ready for work.  I didn't have time to hem the sleeves, but it's jersey so it wasn't too much of a problem.  I've done it now and Cassie would never have known the difference.
The second project this time was for me.  I had enough fabric for a long sleeved t-shirt and I used Simplicity 1325, which I bought for the dress (blogged here) with no intention of ever making any of the other views.  This was a really simple project, I mainly ignored the instructions because I can sew up a t-shirt with my eyes shut these days.  Unfortunately I should have paid attention to the bit where the seam allowance for the neckband was smaller than everywhere else.  Oops.
Other than that I should probably have chosen the next size up, I won't be wearing it on it's own, but it's perfectly fine for wearing as an underneath layer.  My intention is to make a purple version of the dress on the envelope and to wear this underneath, so I'm happy.
Coming soon: Matching fleece hoodies for Lissy and her baby cousin (still not born, be patient Auntie Hannah!) and matching sweaters for the girls.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

FO: Double Trouble New Look 6016

As a rule I'm not really into dressing my girls all matchy matchy, but I've got to admit they do look super cute on the occasions that I do.

I hadn't actually intended to make them matching t-shirts, I had a piece of fabric leftover from making a Burda mag dress in the summer and thought it would make a lovely t-shirt for Cassie.  It was only when I was cutting that out that I realised that I had quite a bit more than I thought and it seemed silly not to make Lissy one as well.  It actually turned out that I didn't have quite enough for the second one, which was a bit of a let down until I found yet another piece lurking in the leftovers box.  Phew!

The pattern is New Look 6016 which is one of those patterns that I bought for the dress without having any intention of making the other views.  I've made the dress a couple of times and I've also cut out some fabric for the leggings now so this pattern has turned out to be a really good buy.  I won't be making any bags though, nice as it would be to say I've made all the views on an envelope.

These t-shirts came together really quickly and easily.  I pretty much ignored the instructions and did it my way, sewing the sleeves in flat before sewing the side and sleeve seams all in one go rather than setting them in after the side seams are sewn.

I'm pretty happy with how these turned out and I will definitely be sewing up a few more for the girls in the future.  Lissy needs a bit more length in the sleeves, but that's hardly surprising because she is wearing the 6 months size!  It fits her fine everywhere else though, skinny little thing that she is.  I may also slim down the neckband a bit for future versions because it looks a bit weird to me.  Other than that, this is a total go to pattern and it's always nice to add another one of those to the list.

Look how cute they are together, I swear they cuddle like this just because they know it makes me go 'awwwww'!