Yearly Archives: 2017


Knitted cardi help: pick the best one for you!

New knitted cardi: Agatha by Andi Satterlund

Boom! Wrraaaghhhr! That’s how I felt when I took this picture: somewhere between sexily confident and enraged. The enraged part had to do with things in my private life that we won’t get into right now – but the sexily confident part definitely had to do with my new knitted cardi.

Isn’t she gorgeous?? I love the lace panelling, the length and the emphasis on the waist. Now I know what I need to feel fabulous this summer: about a thousand more of these.
The pattern is ‘Agatha’ by Andi Satterlund. I knitted it out of Scheepjes Merino Soft on 4mm needles. The combo gave me a bit of a smaller gauge than I needed, so I fixed that by choosing a larger size and doctoring the pattern considerably. I also changed quite a bit about the overall appearance (you can see the original pattern here!).

Choosing the knitted cardi that will make you feel Boom! Wrraaaghhhr!

I thought it’d be nice to write a bit about the way I chose this particular knitted cardi, and in fact the way I choose all my patterns, especially for garments. After all, knitting garments takes a lot of time and energy. So why not make extra sure you’re working on something you’ll love to wear, right?

Disclaimer: My guidelines for this actually come from the original ‘What not to wear’ series. I’m such a nerd that I took notes when it first aired. That’s why I now have this checklist that was originally meant to pick out clothes, but that works well for choosing knitting patterns, too!

What does your wardrobe need?
I desperately needed some tops and layers to wear over the gazillion dresses and skirts I already owned. Also, most of my dresses are quite busy, so I knew it would be wise to pick a solid colour for anything I might wear with them. Last but not least I wanted some lighter cardigans and sweaters to wear in spring and summer.

What shape flatters you?
I have a high waist, big boobs and not a whole lot of circumference difference between my waist and thighs. That’s why knitted cardigans that are relatively short and taper in strongly at the waist, will emphasise my strong points and hide the fact that I’m actually pretty straight from the waist down (note that the flair in the skirt also helps:)).

What do you want you cardi to say?
Cool chick? Cosy homebody? Fashionista? Classy mom? It’s all possible, you just have to pick one. For me, this is super easy: I not only LOVE a vintage vibe, I also know it suits who I am and what I want my clothes to tell people about me: that I’m a sometimes enraged, sometimes sexily confident, and always slightly kooky woman.

What do you like to knit?
You could choose the most beautiful and suitable pattern in the world, but if you don’t actually feel excited about knitting it, it will never get done. I chose this pattern because I knew the beautiful cable detailing would provide a challenge and prevent me from getting bored. And it did!

How do you choose your garment patterns? And what was the last cardi you knitted?


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Knitting the brioche, finishing the thing (January in review) 1

In the land of knitting, there seems to exists a Great Divide: that between process knitters and product knitters. Those who revel in all the glorious colors of yarn, the zen-like rhythm of the needles, the making of each little stitch – and those who just want to Get Shit Done. I myself fall into the second camp.

Considering my personality, it’s no wonder. I always want to know ‘where things are headed’. When I was in my twenties I used to say I loved spontaneity and surprises, because I thought that was the cool thing to say. I was lying. I hate surprises. What I want is to make a plan and stick to it and cross it off my list. And then feel accomplished and eat a snack. In the same vein, I want to make a plan for what I’m knitting and then knit it and feel accomplished.
And eat a snack.

This approach to crafting has its advantages, some of which are apparent in my January projects.

Learning brioche

People often ask how I learn new things so fast (not to toot my own horn, but…I kinda do). The answer is not any kind of exceptional ability. It’s sheer tenacity. When something I want to make contains a new technique, I simply jump in and learn it. Not because I enjoy doing things that are hard, but because doing things that are hard means I end up with beautiful knitwear. In this case, a very versatile brioche cowl:

knitting two-colored brioche cowl

The idea came from a friend who asked for an orange-and-black cowl to match his motorcycle (yes, really). For this project I used Rico Baby Classic DK in color numbers 18 and 99. It was knitted on a 5mm (US 8) circular needle in order to get a loose structure. I learned the brioche by watching this excellent tutorial by Mina Philipps of The Knitting Expat.

I’m happy to report he loves it! Annnd I was kind of sad to part with my cowl-hat-facebeard-neckroll. I might have to make myself another one now…

Knitting through Maeve Madder

Another advantage of being a tenacious product knitter, is being able to finish tough projects. I know how to close, y’all. Or, more appropriately, how to bind off.

On Christmas Eve 2016, I cast on a much anticipated project: the Maeve Madder Shrug by Carrie Bostick Hoge. I had such high hopes. This was going to be for me. It was going to be amazing. It was going to change my life.
And the end product IS kind of amazing:

knitting maeve madder shrug

What I did not anticipate is that a high collared, long sleeved shrug means stockinette. FEET and FEET of stockinette. Followed by YARDS of garter stitch, over more than 200 stitches. Yeah.

But hey, luckily I’m a product knitter! Which means I pushed through, and now I own this gorgeous shrug that feels like a cloud of cotton candy giving you a hug all day long. In a non-sticky way. It’s pretty great.
I knit this out of Katia Cotton Merino in color number 102 (I used 8 skeins) on 4mm/5mm (US 6/8) circular needles. I already knew how to do stockinette and garter, but I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Netflix, ‘Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries’ in particular.

Annnd that’s where I’ll end this! I made a bunch of other things this month, too, but most of them are gifts so I can’t show them yet:).

I’m noticing this post is only singing the praises of product knitting. But I’m curious about process knitting, too! Are you a process knitter? What are the benefits of process knitting for you? I imagine something about living in the moment and catching butterflies and appreciating the beauty of the here and now. I might be totally off, though. After all, I only appreciate one kind of moment: the moment immediately after I Got Shit Done.

😉

Till next time!

 


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Happy handmade 2017!! Let’s craft all the things!

Hurray, it’s 2017!!! Great news, especially since it means the dumpster fire that was 2016 is finally over. Here’s hoping that this new year will bring lots of love, light and handmade goodies to us all!

For me, craft-wise, the focus of 2016 was firmly on making wearable garments. I learned to knit (properly) and dove head-first into sewing. My new year’s resolutions clearly reflect this love for making garments:

I’d like to keep adding to my handmade wardrobe and sew/knit more skirts, tops and dresses. I also want to try and make a crafty vlog at least once. Generally I want to put health, love and creativity first, specifically by working on my relationship(s), doing something sporty at least twice a week, and making space to write and craft in my quiet little bubble. Last but not least, I want to get my driver’s license in 2017!

Every time I reread those resolutions they make me happy. Maybe because they are actually nice, attainable things that don’t feel like chores?:)

When it comes to my handmade wardrobe, there are two big highlights from 2016 that stand out to me. I sewed my first retro skirt:

Handmade skirt: pencil skirt pattern by Gretchen Hirsch

…and knit my first garment!

handmade vest: Miette cardi by Andi Satterlund

On top of that, I feel like I’m finally coming into my own, style-wise. As you can probably – hopefully – tell, I’ve discovered that a retro style with a firm nod to the fifties really brings my looks to life. With my Fibromyalgia and fatigue it’s a little hard to keep up with the accompanying hair and make-up styles, but hey – as I also found out in 2016: there’s nothing a good scarf can’t fix.

Maybe it wasn’t such a bad year after all, eh?

What will you be making in 2017??

 


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