Sunday, July 10, 2016

Knitting Hats... it's that kind of weather!

Keeping Pom Pom  levels epic...  And making elvish fashion choices... #rokuhat #madelinetosh
Add a giant pom pom... hat pattern Roku, knitted in Madelinetosh vintage - colourway Whiskey Barrel.

Yep, it's the weather for knitted hats!  As we had been in the USA during February/March, I feel like I got a bit of a head start on hat knitting and wearing due to being exposed to the cold weather early (which I love!!)  There are two knitted hat patterns that I have been loving.  They are designed by two lovely and talented ladies and are perfect stylish cold weather hat patterns.

Rocky hat
Roku hat in Madelinetosh Chunky, colourway is Astrid Grey.

First up is the Roku hat pattern by Olga Jazzy.  Although very simple in looks, it has these super clever and beautiful decreases that become a feature.  It also is a great base to play around with - flip the brim up, add a pom pom, brooch... the possibilities are endless.

Honeycomb hat
Petawawa pattern, yarn Malabrigo worsted in Sunset colourway

The Petawawa hat by the fabulous Tara Lynn Morrison (label is Good Night, Good Day) is a much loved pattern for me.  The simple shape and delicious honeycomb cables give the shape interest and pattern.  It's also super quite to whip up and a great first cable knitting pattern.  I think that I have knitted three of these so far and I'm probably not going to stop any time soon!

Do love a good honeycomb cable... #handknit #knittersofinstagram
Tonofwool cormo 10, close up of Petawawa hat.

There is something so comforting about a hand knitted hat.  As soon as I put one on, I feel warm, safe and cozy.  I wonder how many more I will manage to knit before the end of Winter?

Monday, July 4, 2016

Me Made May 2016

While I have always been a pretty keen sewer/maker, I have never really participated in what is known as Me Made May.  It is a push for us to think about where our clothes come from and look at wearing more handmade items or items that have been recycled or re-purposed.  People participating make a pledge and my pledge was...

"to try and wear items that I have made throughout the month of May.  Where I may be sewing new items, to try and use materials already in my stash.  If I do wear non-me made items, to try and wear items of quality and that are more sustainable (no fast fashion!)"

Me Made May 2016

So, how did I do?  Not too bad I think.  On average I managed to wear hand made items for 5-6 days out of the week.  Items that weren't me made were generally jeans and sportswear with a Marimekko dress or two thrown in (many of which I've had and worn regularly for about 5 years!)

Me Made May 2016

I did sew quite a bit and feel that my skills are getting back up to scratch.  Getting my machines serviced recently has done wonders for inspiration! No more glitches or swearing at the machine!
So what did I make in May?

  • Mustard jersey long sleeve Fen Top, made with fabric I've had for about 10 years, purchased for about $2 a metre.
  • Grey long sleeve Fen Dress, again, made with fabric that has been in my stash.  I have to say that this dress has been on high rotation in my wardrobe!
  • Striped Aeolian Dress, I did buy this fabric recently, it was heavily marked down and black and white stripes are a wardrobe staple for me.
  • Black heavy weight jersey Aeolian top, made with some left overs from my culottes made earlier this year.  Managed to squeeze this out!
  • finished my neutral Vertices Unite Westknits shawl, used madelinetosh yarn from stash along with some leftovers from other projects
  • speckled heavy knit Aeolian dress, fabric in stash from the previous month, again become a firm favourite in my wardrobe
  • a heavy knit black and white patterned Aeolian dress, fabric on sale.  Haven't really worn much just yet!
  • A Fen Dress out of a tablecloth... this is a long story!
I'm sure that there were a few extras in there that I'm forgetting but the Fen Pattern and the Aeolian Dress/top have been in high rotation on the sewing machine.  I love when I get a pattern just fitting right on me and making it in a bunch of different fabric and finishes... it's like an old friend that just keeps giving.
What did I love best about Me Made May?  I loved meeting new sewing folk on social media and seeing what they were making.  It also showcased some new indie pattern makers that I was unaware of and I'm now pretty keen to try out.  It also pushed me to get my skills back up to speed and look at new ways of making.  Although I've made some very complex garments, I love making great basics as they last longer than the ones I buy.

If you haven't heard about Me Made May, check out the hashtag on instagram for inspiration!!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sampling the Fen Pattern

#fenpattern top draft complete! Added 4inches to the body, used pre-made binding at neck, drafted body out to a more outline shape too.  Want to make in a light weight wool but will need to grade up a size.  Thanks @fancytigercrafts for an awesome pattern
Me in my first Fen Pattern top

Over the last few years I have loved sewing with woven fabrics after a long love affair with stretch.  I love how long wearing woven fabric is and how easily it feeds through the machine.  I have been stalking everyone’s Fen Pattern dresses and tops (pattern designed by the awesome folk at Fancy Tiger Craft) and was attracted to its simplicity, ease of wear and POCKETS!  I love a dress that doesn’t have a zip, mostly because I hate getting in and out of them and the Fen also has lots of alternatives to really make it your own.

Saying that, my uniform usually involves dresses.  Dresses with tights and a coat in Winter, dresses with sandals in summer.  Jeans and a t-shirt on the weekends.  I rarely make tops as I don’t really wear them for work.  Dresses just seem so much easier in the morning, it is just one thing to select for my outfit.  So why I decided to give the Fen top pattern a whirl is beyond me but I’m pretty happy with the result!  I did a sample in my usual go to (and inexpensive fabric) of gingham and I’m already wearing it quite a bit.

Alterations:  I added 4 inches to the body length and lightly expanded the side seams for a more a-line look.  I know my body and I’m not about tight or short style tops.  These alterations were a given before even making up the sample.  I also decided to use some pre-made bias binding for the neckline, mostly to save on time and fabric.

After the successful adjustments have been made to the #fenpattern top, I've dug around and cut out this amazing pineapple fabric from my stash and the gorgeous organic cotton city fabric. Now sew, sew, sew!
two of the fabrics that I will be using for more tops.

I’m so happy with the sample that I have already cut out another two tops in lightweight cotton!  They are great in this warm weather, very sun savvy with the three quarter sleeves but still cool enough in a heat wave.  I am dying to try the pattern with some light to medium weight wool fabrics I have, with the hope that the top will have quite a bit of structure to it.  I’m imagining it with a great middy skirt or very structured culottes; both partners that I will need to sew as well.

Fen pattern
The wonderful gals at Fancy Tiger Crafts in their Fen creations. (image courtesy of

If you’re on Instagram, definitely check out #fenpattern to see how others have approached this very versatile pattern!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Will Hearts Westknits

Will in shawl

I have knitted the Vertices Unite shawl about 4 times now.  I love the different panels and how you can play with colour, shape and line.  It's almost like making a collage in a knit!

My friend Will is quite the fan of Stephen West.  He adores his style and flamboyant ways.  After Will was chief cat sitter for us while we were away, I felt that the best thank you was to knit Will his own Westknits shawl to love forever.

Will in shawl

I requested some colour options from Will, trying to collect a grouping of his favourite colours.  I then dug around my stash and came up with some selections that worked together.  Will was big on blue, red and silver.  I felt that the blue and red together seemed a bit 'American Flag' like, so I changed it up to a lovely orange that makes the blue pop and also suits Will's complexion.

Fantastic (and very big!) exhibition launch on Saturday! Love that our graphic design whiz @wainger is styling hard in his @westknits #verticesunite shawl and naturally I'm rocking @marimekkoglobal ... Love your work Will! ❤️

I'm so excited to see Will wearing the shawl so much.  It's a great feeling when others love something that you've spent so much time making by hand.  Thanks to Will for this amazing 'westknitesque' photo shoot too.

Sunday, May 17, 2015



Yes, I have been missing in action.  I haven't updated my blog for AGES!!!!  Apologies readers. What have I been up to? Well I've been busy in my day job, knitting and weaving but I've also managed to get tendonitis in my hand... yep, ouchers!  So I'm off knitting and weaving at the moment, which is driving me a little crazy.

So I might be M.I.A for a little longer :-(

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Yule Fest... Yarn Fest

Hanging out at Yulefest ... Lots of fun!

While in Seattle, I managed to visit the Nordic Heritage Museum, which had been on my list of 'must go to places' after seeing some amazing images of their mini yarn and Nordic knitting festival in October.  The Yule Fest was on the weekend that we were visiting which meant eating lots of Nordic food treats and taking in some Nordic crafts.

Nordic Heritage Museum

The museum is in this amazing old building, however there are plans for them to build a new and more modern museum.  I guess that this building doesn't meet the 'museum standards' - yes that's the curator nerd in me.

These 2 skeins are hand dyed and spun by folk in the Seattle handspinners and weavers guild!

I did manage to score some gorgeous yarns at Yule Fest.  It probably makes up for the lack of yarn stores that I visited in Seattle (sorry Seattle!)  The yarns above are hand dyed and spun from members of the Seattle Spinners and Weavers Guild.  Always great to support fellow hand makey folk!

Picked up some yarn loot at Yulefest! Had a lovely chat about Australian wool with her! #yarngeek

I also scored 6 skeins of gorgeous yarns from this little old lady for a ridiculously low price.  As soon as she found out that I was from Australia, we had a very long conversation about wool and sheep.  The muted colours and texture of this yarn feels very 'Nordic' to me but also very Seattle.  I love picking up various yarns in places that I travel to.  When I knit it up, I feel like I still have the memory of the place in the object.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

On Making Mistakes...

Wah! I made a stitch error! But I think this is what makes handknits... It's those little imperfections that I know, where you can see my hand making this! #handmade #fringeandfriendsknitalong #tonofwool

There are two kinds of people, those who when they make a mistake in knitting or sewing, that they go back and fix it and then there are those who just live with it.  I think that I'm the second person.  During the Fringe and Friends Knit-a-long of the Amanda cardigan, I have miscounted some of the stitch patterns and made a couple of errors.  I have decided to just keep going and to try and earn from it.

In some ways I like the fact that items that are handmade have errors in them.  I mean, we are human after all!  I generally take this approach when I'm weaving as well.  I would like to think that you learn from each project and take that into the next.

The ton of wool yarn is knitting up beautifully... I hear that there isn't much left in stock, so make sure you get some if you haven't already!
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