Call for Test Knitters

Hello! It’s been three years since I published my last knitting pattern (hmm, I wonder why that is?) so I couldn’t be more excited to share that I once again have a couple of sock patterns ready to release out into the world. Before that can happen though, I’d love them to be tested by some real life knitters! Interested? Read on for details!

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100 Days … of Colorful Knitting

Have you heard of the 100 day project? It’s been on my radar for years, but I’ve never taken part. This year, I saw some inspiring posts well ahead of the kickoff and started thinking about how I might join. I quickly landed on a knitting project I cast on last spring and put down and thought, maybe this would be a good chance to finish it. But I also wasn’t sure if it would see me through 100 days, or, given it’s a project that requires some concentration, whether I could reliably work on it each day (because, #toddlerlife). So I started thinking about how I could broaden the parameters to make an achievable challenge. I realized I had quite a few colorful knitting projects planned, all using stashed yarn, and that committing to 100 days of colorful knitting was not only achievable, but a lovely way to leave behind winter and welcome spring. I resolved to finish my current knitting project (an Ursa sweater) in time for the start of the project, which I was sure was February 16th.

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White Russian With Love

It was a Friday night in late May, and I was feeling reckless. I was, ahem, ensconced on my couch, surrounded by knitting projects, when I spotted a testing call from Thea Colman for her updated version of White Russian. I loved the sweater and thought I had the perfect yarn for it, so I dug for the details. Testers were about to be chosen, and they’d have about a month to complete the sweater. DK-weight, cropped, no seaming … in the abstract a month sounded doable. But I have a slightly-less-than-three-foot-tall reason I’ve not anything that quickly in recent memory. And yet. The sweater was so gorgeous. The yarn I had in mind so perfect. I threw caution to the wind and sent in an email with the details for applying. I was then thrilled (and slightly panicked!) when I received a reply from Thea telling me the pattern would be with me soon!

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Finished Object: Unite Sweater

Hello hello! Is this thing on? I’ve finished something, and I love it so much that I’ve come to tell you about it! Here’s my not-quite-but-nearly fresh off the needles Unite Sweater, a textured, cabled dream of a happy yellow sweater!

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Sewing Journal 4: Outfit No. 1 + Evolve Cowl

Hello, hello! How have you been? It’s been awhile since I’ve had time to pop in here (a slight understatement), but nevermind that! I’m coming to you today full of the joy that comes from finishing a project and being so happy with it! Can I show you?

That’s right, it’s a whole outfit! That I started. And finished. This month! A happy accident, and one that I plan to wear pretty much without taking off as soon as it gets just a tad bit warmer.

Shall I tell you a bit more about each piece? Let’s start with the sewing. The top is Sonya Philip’s Shirt No. 1, from her 100 Acts of Sewing series. It’s my third one. I made a straight XS with no modifications, using this fabric I picked up from Cool Crafting last year. I really like the geometric pattern and weight of this 100% cotton fabric. I’d had some grand plans to turn it into a modified Scout Tee and got as far as making all the modified pattern pieces before I realized I didn’t have nearly enough yardage. And in the end I think that was for the best. I think the big geometric pattern really suits the simple shape of Shirt No. 1!

The pattern is so easy and straightforward, especially for a beginner like me. It was the confidence boost I needed after the last tee I made didn’t quite turn out as planned. There’s definitely room for improvement in my application of bias binding — the neck doesn’t sit as nicely as it could. I think I need to just keep practicing! Overall, I know I’ll wear this top loads and am really happy to have made it up!

The trousers are from the same series, Pants No. 1 (so, obviously this is my Outfit No. 1), and I’m going to be honest, I’m having a hard time containing JUST how excited I am about these. I made a toile for this pattern last summer, which I loved a lot. Then I made a black pair near the end of the summer, which I … loved not at all. (I made silly mistakes, and the black linen I used ended up being a dust magnet and quite see through, and they just didn’t bring me joy.) But now, now I have my perfect pair of Pants No. 1!

I made a size small with a few modifications. I added in-line pockets, because pockets are the best, and added a bit of length to the leg to make them ankle-ish length. I also added an inch to the waistband because I had Elastic Waistband Plans that, by and large, worked out!

You see that? I’m not exaggerating when I say this is possibly my favourite bit of sewing I’ve ever done in my (admittedly short) sewing life. Not that I felt that when I was actually doing the sewing … I think trying to run the elastics through each of those three channels took me longer than all the rest of the pants making combined! But something about the gentle gathers of those three channels of elastics makes me SO happy. I not only find it aesthetically very pleasing, but I find the resulting wider band way more comfy than my previous attempts at elastic waistbands. Overall, I’m a big fan of elastic waistbands, so I’m excited I learned how to make a multi channel one for this project (I used this tutorial, but decided to sew each channel before trying to insert any elastic).

The gorgeous forest green linen is from With This Cloth and I am in love with the color. I’ve had a shop bought pair of olive green trousers for years, but they’ve never fit quite right (too tight out of the wash, too loose after one wear), and they definitely feel too small these days, so I’m really happy to have a me-made version to swap in for them! And because I initially ordered too little fabric to make these and had to order more, I now have lots of this beautiful linen. I’ve already cut out a Willow Tank from some of the remnants that I’ll hopefully make a start on sewing this weekend!

When I cut my shirt and trousers out at the beginning of the month, it didn’t take much imagination to know they’d work together really well. But during one of my snatched thirty minute sewing sessions, it occurred to me that the Evolve Cowl I was working on might actually also pair really well with the outfit. I really love mixing earthy and more neutral colors with really bright pops, and I am loving the vibrant pink with the earthy green and navy. The pattern is the April project from the Confident Knitting programmme (a year’s worth of patterns, each month focuses on a new technique — this month was all about blocking 3D lace) and I’ve knit it up in Dusty Dimples yarn from the Confident Knitting Spring Kit. I loved knitting the pattern … the simple lace kept things just interesting enough, so it really flew off th needles! I made the size small and stopped at round 80, aiming for a small cowl that I’d mostly wear around my neck, rather than pulled over the shoulders as in the pattern photo. But I actually really like the look and feel of it over the shoulders now that I’ve put it on that way. (And full disclosure, I work at A-C Knitwear so I was lucky enough to get the pattern + yarn through my work, but obviously this is my personal blog and own thoughts about the cowl!)

Anyway, I’m really enjoying the warm fuzzy feeling of having (somewhat accidentally) focused on a few projects this month and seen them through from beginning to end. And definitely basking in the empowering glow of making clothes for myself that I want to wear. So I’m feeling really revved up for Me Made May, which I’ve never really taken part in. I’m definitely not at a place to wear all me-made for a month, but I’m going to trying to wear something me-made each day and identifying gaps in my wardrobe that I might be able to fill — I’ve got Sonya Philip’s new Act of Sewing book (I’ve been reading it at bedtime, it’s great!), which will come in handy on that front! And I’m hoping to channel these good finishing feelings into staying focused on the knitting projects I already have on the needles … maybe I’ll even manage to share a bit about those projects here!

Will you be taking part in Me Made May this year? If so, I’d love to hear what your plans + goals are!

Casting Off and Looking Back

There’s a lot to be said for the idea that January 1 is just another day. Too many resolutions can mean unnecessary pressure … and who needs that, especially coming off the back of 2020? That being said, I have definitely felt a different energy the past couple of days that’s manifested in a few ways … doing some reorganizing, tentatively talking about repainting some walls, baking cakes for no reason and, most importantly, thinking about and prioritizing crafting projects for the year. My head’s been full of plans for starting new projects and possible tricks for convincing myself to tackle long-unfinished ones. Maybe it’s the new year, maybe it’s the nice chunk of time off Mr. N and I have had, or maybe (most likely) it’s down to my nearly-fifteen-month-old tot finally (she whispers, hesitantly, hopefully) sleeping through the night. Whatever the reason, I’m embracing this momentum for as long as it sticks around, especially when it brings me something as cheery as my first cast off of 2021!

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Continuing Threads

Our little one is four months old (how has that happened?!) and suffice it to say lots about our daily life has changed! Rare is the day, though, that I don’t manage at least a teeny bit of knitting, and even if my progress is much slower, I am really happy that there’s time for a few stitches (what will you think if I tell you that not being able to knit was one of my big anxieties prior to Miss W’s arrival?) Continue reading “Continuing Threads”