Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A New Blouse

I finished a new blouse!

I used the same pattern as my Japanese floral double gauze blouse from a few years ago, McCall's 6124. 

I have to admit I'm not entirely thrilled with this pattern, ever after all my changes and fitting tweaks. I'm not sure if I'll continue to fuss with it for upcoming versions or start again with a different pattern.

The fabric is a very light weight 50/50 cotton and rayon blend. It's very soft! The colors are delightful and I love the print with all the sassy-faced ladies.

The fit in back is never as smooth as I hope, but it's pretty good.

The front and cuffs close with grey mother-of-pearl buttons I found in my stash. I like the way they disappear into the print.

I'm not used to buttoning my cuffs! When I wear this with a cardigan I will probably just leave them unbuttoned for easier rolling up of sleeves.

Yay! A blouse! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!

This is currently on display at Treadle Yard Goods if you want to go visit it!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Free Pattern: Garter Wrap Hat

Finding a warm, practical hat that accommodates my hair is tough. Loose, baggy hats don't keep the cold out, and ear-warmers are often just too small. I wanted a hat that gave maximum ear and head coverage while still allowing plenty of space for my hair.

This is the second iteration of this hat; I liked the first one okay, but I didn't write it down, and then after a few years the hat went missing! (Don't worry - I found it as soon as I had knitted this one!) This time I worked more systematically and wrote down everything I did along the way.

Garter Wrap Hat

This hat is simply shaped at each end and has short rows worked over the top to enable it to curve over the head.

Gauge is not crucial as you will be measuring as you go. A tight, dense gauge will make a warmer hat.

I just barely squeezed two of these hats out of one skein of Cascade 220. You may need anywhere from half to a whole skein.

Size: 18" long by 6.5" wide, to fit a 22" head snugly
Yarn: Cascade 220 worsted weight wool (1 skein or less)
Needles: US 5 (or size to obtain gauge)
Gauge: 21.5 sts = 4" in garter stitch
Notions: two large safety-pin style stitch markers, row counter (optional but helpful), one 3/4" button, needle & thread


CO - cast on
BO - bind off
kfb - knit into the front and back of each stitch (to increase one stitch)
YO - yarn over needle
k2tog - knit two stitches together (to decrease one stitch)
ssk - slip, slip, knit (to decrease one stitch)
W&T - wrap and turn. Bring yarn forward between needles, slip next stitch, bring yarn to back, slip stitch back to left needle, turn work around to knit the other direction.


CO 5 stitches
Knit 1 row
K1, kfb, K1, kfb, K1 (7 sts)
Knit 1 row
Buttonhole row: K1, kfb, K1, YO, k2tog, kfb, K1 (9 sts)
Knit 4 rows
Place a safety pin style stitch marker on the side of the work facing you. (This hat has no right or wrong side, but the stitch marker on one side will help you keep track of rows.)

Next row: *K1, kfb, Knit to last 2 sts, kfb, K1
Knit 2 rows *

Repeat rows between * until you have 35 sts on your needle, ending with the Knit 2 rows. (If you would like the hat wider, continue to repeat the last 3 rows as desired.)

Place a stitch marker on the first stitch on the needle.

First short row: Knit to last 5 sts, W&T
Next short row: Knit to last 5 sts, W&T
* Knit 6 rows
Repeat two short rows *

Repeat rows between * until hat measures 13" from CO. Using your row counter can help you keep track of rows in this section.

This is a good time to check the fit. Wrap the hat around your head with the buttonhole at the back of your head, just under your hairline. Stretch the hat to a snug, comfortable fit, covering the forehead. Look in the mirror. The second marker you placed should fall symmetrically in the same place on your face as the live stitches on the needle. (For example, if the marker is at your eyebrow, the needle with live stitches should be at the level of your other eyebrow.) If you would like more length, continue repeating the rows between * until you have your desired length.

Begin decrease shaping: * Knit 2 rows
K1, ssk, Knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, K1*

Repeat between * until you have 9 sts

Knit 4 rows
K1, ssk, Knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, K1*
Knit 1 row
K1, ssk, K1, k2tog, K1*
BO last 5 sts

Sew a button to the BO end.

If you make this, please let me know!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

My Year of Mittens!

I finished off my 2019 knitting goal just in time! Twelve pairs of mittens!

I ended up having to stop blogging about this project since some of them were secret gifts! But now they're all done and here's the round-up of all 12 pairs. With ravelry links if you want details!

Thrummed mittens

Colorblock mittens #1

Sailor's Rib fingerless gloves

Mittens to order

Blue Selbu

Colorblock mittens #2 (for The Girl)

Baby niece mittens

Yellow and grey Olines Vantar

Blue and grey Olines Vantar

Yellow and grey fingerless mitt

Colorblock mittens #3

Zigzag fingerless mitts

What a fun project this was! I met my goal of 12 pairs, although I didn't knit everything on my dream list. I got a lot more practice in stranded colorwork and I'm feeling pretty confident there!

I also made up the patterns for several of these, a few of which I might write down nicely and put up for free on ravelry.

I'm not sure what's next for me, but I already miss having a mitten always going! They are such handy little projects (pun intended!).

Sunday, September 22, 2019


I love aprons! They're cute, fun, and practical, and I wear one every day. I am pretty hard on them so I have to replace them pretty often. Here are my latest two!

This one has cute little forest mushrooms! The front bib is my usual pattern with front darts. I scooped the neck and used a 5-gored skirt, with pockets that extend into the gore seams.

The second one has pies! Same bodice pattern but I cut a v-neck. Both bibs are fully lined to make finishing easier.

My usual cross-over back on both. Neck straps annoy me, so this is more comfortable. The pie apron has a gathered skirt instead of gores - it uses a little less fabric and I ran short!

Here's how I made them. The skirt and bib sections are made separately. First I finished the skirt portion on its own - sections seamed and serged, edges hemmed, waistband on. This could be a perfectly fine half-apron by itself.

But I am very messy! So a bib/bodice section is required. I finished the bib and serged the bottom edge.

I joined the bib by lapping the serged edge under the waistband and topstitching. Then put it on to test the strap placement before sewing, and done!

To tie these on, you just put your arms through the armholes, cross the ties behind your back, and tie in front. I put a little video up on my Instagram if that doesn't make sense.

This is probably the 10th time I've made some variation on this style, and I love it!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Tree Print Dress

The best thing about having a big pile of half-done projects is how quick it can be to finish one up! Here's my latest UFO all done.

It's the same pattern again that I used for a green lace dress and a linen print dress (which is now in the UFO pile for alterations). It was a decent pattern but I think I'm over it now. Something different next time!

I had wanted to make this dress without a waist seam, but cutting it this way was more stingy and this fabric was expensive! It's a loosely woven, cottony-feeling rayon.

I also tried a new-to-me technique for lining the bodice. I assembled the bodice and lining except for the shoulder seam, then joined them and clipped, turned, and pressed. Next I sewed the fashion fabric's shoulder seam:

Then handsewed the lining's shoulder seam.

The finished shoulder:

I don't like this technique. I've read it in pattern directions before and always thought it was silly, but I figured I'd better give it a try before I judged it. Well now I have, and I can: it's annoying. I much prefer the method of leaving the side seams open.

I also tried the dress with a white collared blouse, which I like in theory but I'm not really sure it's for me.

Pockets of course!

The whole front closes with about a million tiny buttons. They are grey-blue and blend in really well with the fabric, which is what I wanted with such a lovely print. The whole dress is lined with light blue cotton lawn.

I really love this fabric!

I haven't worn it for real yet, but so far I really like it!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Unicorn Quilt

I made this quilt for The Girl's 10th birthday! I realized last year that I'd been making quilts for everyone in the family, but I haven't made one for my own kid since she was a newborn baby!

It is 100% UNICORNS! I spent almost a year collecting a bit of every unicorn fabric I could find, plus a few coordinating prints. There's one with glitter, one with glow-in-the-dark, rainbows, candy sprinkles, and at least 6 different unicorns.

It is absolutely the simplest pieced quilt I've ever made. There are two patchwork panels along with un-pieced strips of the fancier fabrics. I love the big chunks of unicorn print; it seemed a shame to cut them up too much.

The back is made of pink flannel with more unicorns, with a strip of coordinating cotton (because I ran out of flannel). I rounded the corners, because I like the look, and I hate miters. The binding was eked out of the scraps of rainbow print.

I free-motion quilted it in a swirly curlicue design.

The Girl and her unicorn!

She loved it! She got right into bed in the middle of the afternoon and wouldn't get out again!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Year of Mittens: Summertime

In June I finished my blue Selbu mittens!

Then I made some colorblock mittens for my kid.

The next mittens I made are for a holiday surprise, but I don't think the recipient reads my blog. I made this pattern up and charted it on graph paper.

Then in August I made this pair of yellow and grey stranded mittens from the pattern Olines Vantar, available for free on Ravelry. I loved this pattern so much I immediately started another pair!

I'm still on track for my goal of one pair per month all year! And I still have loads of mittens I want to make!