Allied Voices: Let’s Make It

Oh, its been too long since I posted anything over here on my little knitty blog. Between work, pens, and a terrible bout of chronic headaches, life kind of snuck up and got the better of me. But I’d like to be able to keep this up a little bit better. I still spend hours and hours knitting and looking at other people’s beautiful knits and I would like to be able to share what I’ve found and what I learn.

So onwards, to a few of my favorite recent finds:

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  • Then there’s the considerably more contemporary and funky fabrics from Lisa Congdon called the Kindred Collection from Cloud 9 Fabrics that are just darling. Would be so fun to make a little 60s full apron out of one of these prints! If only I had more hours in the day!
  • And finally, if you have any leftover yarns and a little holiday cheer left, you might want to try making some scrap yarn wreaths using the tutorial put together by Karen at I Always Pick The Thimble. I love how fun they are, especially when the yarns are the twinkly, sparkly stuff you might not have a lot of other use for.

 

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Sew Excited!

hurrah hooray! FROCK NITTY GRITTY! my #dottieangel frock pattern will be published with Simplicity, Pattern Number 1080 next month! It will ship to stores nationwide on June 12th and also be available via their website from that date I am guessing. www.simplicity.com. they do ship overseas I am told. Patten includes 2 frock styles & 1 smock. Note I use soft quality quilting yardage or vintage cotton/barkcloth when I make my frocks, washing and drying several times with no ironing, to get a lived in vintage vibe. Please do share your frock makes with the hashtag #dottieangelfrock and please do feel free to spread the word of my pattern release. also perhaps ask your nearby LFS if they would like to carry it so you can support them 🙂 I think that is it. Tis a proud moment, for my grandmother was a most brilliant seamstress and used Simplicity patterns all the time, I like to think she is smiling down right now upon me 💛… Edited: I am hopeful it was worth you all waiting patiently, thank you so kindly my dearies for being so peachy to me and my crafty soul all these years x

A photo posted by Tif (@dottieangel) on

I have a huge style crush on Tif Fusel, AKA Dottie Angel, and I have been all giddy that she has created an official Simplicity Pattern. The pattern will be #1080 and it will be available for sale sometime in June 2015. The pattern includes her signature cotton frock in two versions plus a shorter smock style top.

I’ve been thinking about trying to sew a garment and I think this fun little frock would be a great, simple, first project. I can’t wait until the pattern is released so I can choose some fabrics! Dottie recommends soft, pre-washed quilt fabrics, vintage cottons, or barkcloth which I might already have some stashed away. While I haven’t really taken up sewing, that doesn’t mean I have started stashing fabrics!

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Review: The Worn Archive

WORNcover300

I picked up a copy of the The WORN Archive: A Fashion Journal about the Art, Ideas, & History of What We Wear, on a whim while in Portland last October. I have read most of the articles in the 400+ page book which is an anthology of the first 14 issues of the Worn Fashion Journal magazine. What was so refreshing about the book and its entry into the Worn Fashion Journal is that it focuses on personal style over fashion trends. They focus on gender and body issues as well as how people create their own personal looks through thrifting, vintgae, modern and handmade items. Its more like Bust magazine with an emphasis on clothing and fashion than a Vogue magazine. Sadly, the publication is defunct now but the back issues are still available as well as the book.

WORN-14

The book is printed on heavyweight uncoated paper that makes it feel like an art book and is filled with great illustrations. Its also beautifully designed.

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The models range in size, shape, age and color to present a diverse representation of people who care about how they dress.

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All in all, its been one of my favorite book purchases of the past year. I often pick it up and flip through it to look at the wonderful photography and illustrations or to skim an article again. ITs a refreshingly different take on fashion and beauty and I wish there were more things like this in the world, especially since Worn is no more.

Here is the promo video for the Worn Archive book launch which puts some faces to the staff behind the book and publication:

And this led me to their Secondhand Prom Mash-Up video which made my Monday!

(All photos from Drawn & Quarterly)

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Yarn Shop: Eat.Sleep.Knit.

eat-sleep-knit

I’m in Atlanta this weekend for the Pen Show but I had to make a detour for the epic Eat.Sleep.Knit yarn shop which was so worth it! They are tucked away in a business office park so you certainly wouldn’t stumble across the store by chance but if you’ve ever visited their online shop you know it is a must-see stop if you’re in Atlanta. They stock great handpainted yarn vendors like Madeline Tosh, Dream in Color, Shibui, Malabrigo, Lorna’s Laces and many more. All the yarn is organized by manufacturer and they carry the full lines from each manufacturer. MadTosh lace? Check! Dream in Color Smooshy? All the colors!

I tried to restrain myself and only purchased five skeins of 400+ yards each of fingering weight. I got three skeins of Madeline Tosh in Calligraphy, Celadon and Nebula plus a skein of Malabrigo Mechita which is a single-ply in Musas. I just couldn’t take my eyes of this color. And the last skein is a local dyer, Numma Numma. I the Doppio merino/cashmere/nylon in Violet Steel. Numma Numma, indeed. I also grabbed a smallish US 4 Hiya Hiya Sharp in case I decide to cast something on while I’m still on the road. I would have purchased a full set of the interchangeable Hiya Hiya Sharps but they were sold out.

Did I mention the staff was super nice and friendly. Asked if I needed space, chatted politely, gave me info about the Yarnathon and how to get discounts by setting up an account. Everything a yarn shop should be. Thanks for a great visit, ESK!

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Oh, Andi!

This photo was taken before I blocked the cardigan.

 

I finally finished my first Andi Satterlund cardigan pattern and it is PERFECT. It fits me beautifully. Everything worked out great. I love it. Its a very retro looking caridgan but its knit up in worsted weight yarn so it knit up quickly.

I knit up the Myrna cardigan in more of the discontinued yarn that seems to make up most of my stash these days, the Classic Elite Summer Set. Summer Set is a cotton blended yarn that reminds me a lot of Classic Elite Premiere or Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece.

I had just 665 yards of the Summer Set which was JUST enough to complete the cardigan. I had about 50 yards left even though I made the cardigan a bit longer than the pattern originally recommended. I probably added a couple inches to the length and it hits just at the top of my hip bones. Still, its a cropped cardigan and the shaping worked out super flattering.

I was sitting on posting this on the off-hand chance I got a photo of me wearing this but time is of the essence so I’ll post this with just the flat photo and hope that’s enough to inspire you to try one of Andi’s excellent patterns. I know I will be knitting more of her designs soon!

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Sometimes, a sweater must die

It took me two years to finish the Reine cardigan which looked so lovely in the Brooklyn Tweed Loft it was originally knit up in. In my budget-bin, discontinued Reynolds Wash Day Wool, to get gauge, the fabric was too floppy. It was basically hole-y knit up on the recommended US 7 (4.5mm) needles. I also followed the pattern recommendations for the length of the cardigan which was too long for me. And I skipped the pockets which was why I wanted to knit the Reine cardigan specifically but then I didn’t like the size and shapes of the pockets so I didn’t include them. And that little saggy point at the bottom makes me horrified! I also totally misunderstood the short row shaping of the sleeves and have weird bulges. It was just a sweater train wreck. I couldn’t decide whether to just pitch it or frog it and try to reuse the yarn.

After trying to wear it to work on several occasions and then changing into something else, I just threw the cardigan on my ball winder and spent Saturday morning with a cup of coffee, scissors and the ball winder furiously winding. I decided to save the yarn to make a new cardigan — something with a better fabric density and a better fit for my shape.

Funky grandpa cardigan

The grey and turquoise colored stripes together. So pretty! (The fabric is bumpy because I didn’t wash the yarn after frogging it. It should smooth out with a good steaming)

 

So I chose the Funky Grandpa cardigan which is knit at a much tighter gauge and let me combine my love of stripes and use lots of stash yarn. I’ve been stealing my husband’s Grandpa-style cardigans recently so it seemed appropriate to make my own. I’m combining the original Reynolds grey yarn with some Colinette Jitterbug in Elephant’s Dream and a skein of Stitchjones Merino Sock in Petrol blue. I love the look of the colors together even though I won’t get the color changing effect of the original design but I love the pops of turquoise stripes against the grey.

I hope this is a better use of the yarn and will be a better fitting, more loved sweater. Its well on its way as I’m way more excited about it than I was about the Reine cardigan so my outlook is hopeful.

Funky grandpa cardigan

I’ve got about 7″ completed and joined the front panels and the back last night.

 

Funky grandpa cardigan

The deep blue (petrol) is the top of the shoulder and will relate to the sleeves and a pick up edge for the ribbing.

 

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Book: Gertie Sews Vintage Casual

Gertie Sews Vintage Casual

I don’t know a lot about garment sewing but I still stalk Gretchen Hirsch AKA Gertie online and I have for years. She learned to sew with an old Vogue sewing book and that was the start of her blog. Her adventures learning to sew. That turned into creating her own sewing book, Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. Now, she’s released her latest book, Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. I asked for the book for Christmas, knowing it might potentially sit on a shelf for years, but I really wanted it. I hoped it would inspire me to dip my toes into garment sewing.

Gertie's 40s shirt

As yet, I haven’t had the time to even read through the book to learn what I’ll need to start sewing these fabulous pages. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t oggle every single pattern and bookmark a few of my favorites.

Gertie's pencil skirt

Gertie posted on her blog, after the book was released, about how easy the Easy Knit Pencil Skirt was to sew and wear so its definitely one of the projects on my sewing wish list.

Gertie's trouser fitting

The book looks to include lots of good tips and techniques for a good fit too so there’s really no reason why I don’t start making my own clothes… except time.

Is there any craft or project you’d like to undertake if only you had more time?

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Allied Voices: Night Witches & Sheep Farms

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This week, I have a little history and a little knitting that I’ve found around the web. I hope you enjoy the links!

History:

  • There is a wonderful episode of Stuff You Missed in History about the WWII Russian women’s flying division called the Night Witches. Fascinating!
  • Meet Victoria of Origins of a Land Girl on Va-Voom Vintage. Victoria is a modern land girl who bakes, works on a sheep farm and collects hats. I’ll be adding her blog to my RSS feed for sure.
  • The Atomic Redhead visits the first Case Study House. I love the mid-century architecture adventures and I love that she shares images of these buildings today as well as history of their origins.

Knitting and Fiber Fun:

  • There is a beautiful piece on Seamwork about a sheep farm in Tennessee and the love of sheep and wool.
  • Tickety Boo Tupney finished an amazing, airy knit pullover for spring! I love the velvet bow accent too.
  • Have you heard of the alternative to the Surprisingly stretchy bind-off know as the Miraculous Elastic bind-off? I heard it described as easier to remember and equally stretchy. I will definitely be trying it soon!
  • My dear friend Laura modeled her “I like to party” sweatshirt on her most recent episode of her video podcast, The Corner of Knit and Tea.
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Book: Vintage Cakes

Vintage Cakes Cover

I’ve been following Jane Brocket since the early days of her Yarnstorm blog. Then she started publishing wonderful books like The Gentle Art of Domesticity, The Gentle Art of Knitting and The Gentle Art of Stitching. One of my favorite things in Domesticity were the classic English cake recipes so I was thrilled that she published a whole book of Vintage Cakes.

Vintage Cakes: Welsh Cakes

The cakes are all very English and vintage-y and I want to bake up all them. I love the names like Fat Rascals, Rock Buns and Lamingtons.

Vintage Cakes: Fat Rascals

I haven’t had a chance to bake any of these yet but I have perused the photos and put paper flags on just about every recipe in the book. Maybe I’ll plan some cakes for Easter? The Celebration Cake looks like a perfect Easter treat.

Vintage Cakes: Celebration Cake

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Bookish Knits

I go on these little adventures on Ravelry looking for patterns in whatever theme inspires me on a particular day. Today, I’m inspired by the Pinterest pinner, Librarian for Life and Style. I’ve been following the boards which combine cute, classic looks with a little nerdy charm. She also has a blog, also called Librarian for Life and Style.

So, inspired by bookish-ness and all-thing-librarian, I found these lovely patterns. I particularly love the Ranganathan’s mitts.

Do you seek out themed knits to match your mood?

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