Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Swizzle Vest WIP

Well, I still don't know what to do with my Zitron yarn, but I started a new project, this time something for myself. It's the Swizzle Vest from Domiknitrix and the design has been on my mind for quite some time. I found an FO pic here. I got the yarn a couple of months ago and since we spent some time in the car at the weekend I finally started it.

I'm knitting it with Rowan Big Wool (yes, I'm a real yarn snob ... But I enjoy knitting with nice yarn much more, not to speak of wearing the final project.) I decided to go for black and off-white, although I also really like the suggested colourway of black and red. The local yarn shop didn't have any nice red and also I thought since it's a layering piece the more versatile the colours, the better.

I'm really enjoying knitting it so far, although I had some trouble with the lifted increases and at first also with the tubular cast on. On the other hand it's nice to have a bit of a challenge and learn something new. I think it's really obvious that the designer put a lot of thought into the pattern and the shaping of the back looks really beautiful.

Unfortunately, it's not so well visible with the black yarn ... As you can see in the cast-on row, I didn't listen to the author of the book and just bought one size of needles, since the girl in the shop said that it should work fine. So, I didn't use a size smaller needle for the cast-on row and it's a bit loose. Well, it's not perfect, but I'm ok with it.

I like the fact that this vest is so nice and curvy and that it knits up fast. I'm really looking forward to see how it'll turn out!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm still here ...

... only really busy! School is great, but these first couple of months have been a bit tiring. Lots of new stuff to learn, getting used to a new routine, etc. ... BUT: I got some knitting done!

High time, too, since the recipient of this cardie (the cardie I wrote about in my last post) has already arrived! I really like the design and it wasn't as hard to knit as I first thought. There was some twisting of stitches and cursing involved, as the yoke is knitted on circular needles and I found out it's not so clever to try to do that while you have a cold and headache ...

There really were quite a lot of loose ends to be woven in, so if you're not a fan of that, stay away from this. But I think it was worth it.

I already got a new ball of yarn to play around with:

It's Zitron Nimbus in colour 4. It's a lovely yarn, only I don't really know what to do with it. Anyway, knitting it is a pleasure, I already almost knit up the ball once, just to see how the colourway turns out.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New things to do

Well, my resolution was to be posting more regularly, but in the past few weeks I haven't really had time or my head was so full of new information that my brain went on strike in the evenings. The reason for that is that I started school! Yes, I'm back to school and I'm training to become a dressmaker!

I'm very happy about this opportunity and about having the chance to learn a craft professionally. This is marking a new stage in my life and I'm very excited! Until now we've been practising different types of seams, been drawing with Freehand and learning about different kinds of materials. Soon we'll start preparing to sew some children's clothes.

As for the projects to accomplish at home, I'm currently working on a baby sweater for a couple we know. It's the Classic Baby Cardigan design by Debbie Bliss from the same magazine as the short-sleeved cardie. I found an FO picture here. I'm going to use the exact same yarn as suggested in the magazine, even the same colours. Boring, I know. But since I loved working with Baby Cashmerino so much while making the last baby project, I really wanted to knit with it again, and when I saw the colours in the shop I really fell for the blue and brown combination. The brown (colour 011) is a really rich dark chocolatey colour and the blue (colour 202) is more of a duck egg colour than sky blue. I'm actually already quite far along in the project, but since the WIP is not such an exciting sight I'm just giving you pictures of the yarns. Another reason for me to knit faster ...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Short Sleeve Cardigan FO

So, it only took me about a year to finish this. The knitting was done really quickly, the sewing up was a bit trickier. So I got frustrated and the project banned to the closet for the long time it took me to get over that frustration ... Maybe I shouldn't have used the Calmer for finishing, since it's so elastic. Well, I did anyway and the Cardie came out quite nicely, if a wee bit too short for my taste. But since it's a layering piece, I don't mind that too much.

Here's a picture of the cardie from the magazine. I found it at Samurai Knitter.

I only added one button, since four seemed to overload it a bit. I would have only used the top one, anyway.

It's a really beautiful mother of pear button and now I have 3 more left for some other project. Not so bad, I think.

Something completely unrelated: I've got a new favourite website: une fille comme moi. My French is very rudimentary, but it doesn't matter, since I love this page for the beautiful pictures and drawings. I especially like this and this.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A little peek

I've been shamefully absent from this space! I'm sorry! We've had a guest and right after we've been in Germany at my family's. We had a really great time. But now I hope I'll post more regularly, again! There are a lot of crafty things on my mind. Strangely, I'm feeling the urge to knit something in these summer months. I bought some nice sock wool from a little shop in my home village and I'd like to knit something for myself as well as some nice baby sweaters for some new arrivals to this planet. I really love the Textured Tunic, along with other patterns from Fitted Knits and I think I have to finally give in and purchase the book.

Above is a little peek at a small still life in my craft room. Yes! I have a craft room!!! I'm so happy about that and I think it's a cute little room. There's a table for my sewing machine and some compartments for all the bits and pieces. There's room for my craft books and my yarn and all the other stuff that's handy to have around. There are still some things I'd like to add some time, but for now it is just great. One thing on my mind is a nice inspiration board and I'm also dreaming of this working table, because I think the inserted glass is genius (I haven't tried how comfortable it would be working at, though, but why shouldn't it?)

There's a lot of blue in this room, my favourite colour from childhood. I'm also fond of a lot of other colours, especially red, but I always come back to blue, especially light blue and turquoise.

I love the colours in this Regia yarn my brother gave me for Christmas. I'm wondering if I should make something other from it than socks.

Here's a close-up of the text in the little white frame:

A friend gave me this card some years ago and I really love it. The quote is by Carol Shields and says:

go for long walks,
indulge in hot baths,
question your assumptions,
be kind to yourself,
live for the moment,
loosen up, scream,
curse the world,
count your blessings,

just let go,
just be

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Potato Prints

Recently, I ordered Lotta Prints by Lotta Jansdotter with photographs by Jenny Hallengren. It is a very beautiful book with tons of inspiration and instructions. There are even some stencils included in the back of the book. I wanted to try something as quick as possible, so I decided to do some potato printing.

I had some linen fabric in my stash and decided to make a pillow case. I cut a simple shape out of a potato and just started printing. It was a lot of fun! I used Marabu Textil colours (dark brown, silver and duck egg blue). I think it came out very nicely!

There are so many possibilities in printing to customize ready made clothes or interiour textiles or design your very own patterns for a project! I really recommend the book, it opens your eyes to the possibilities inherent in printing and covers everything from the first inspiration over design to the final technical steps!

Friday, May 23, 2008

More girl clothes

Since it's so much fun making children's clothes (especially for girls, since you can go more overboard with them), I couldn't resist making some more stuff for my friend's daughter. The patterns are from OTTOBRE design 1/2008.


This is a raglan sleeve blouse/tunic with ruching around the neck, so in fact a tiny peasant top in a VERY loud fabric. I saw the fabric and just couldn't resist it. The colours are beautiful and fun and for something so small it totally works, I think. This top could look cute with a lot of basic clothes like denim overalls, for example. Here's a close up:

blouse detail

Well, you have every colour of the rainbow here. So finding something to match shouldn't be too difficult. The fabric tag said it's Dolce and Gabbana, so my friend's little girl will be the fashionista of the sandbox. ;-)

Then I also made a cute smock:

bandanna tunic

This is a cool layering piece. I used two grey bandannas (the colour is nicer in real life) and then the same pink and white striped fabric I used for the neck and sleeves of the blouse. The bandanna idea came from watching too much Sex and the City (is it around season 5 when Carrie wears all those cotton bandannas?). Look here for more bandanna clothing ideas for kids. Since the fabrics match, you can also wear the two pieces together:

tunic and blouse ensemble

Sunday, April 27, 2008

tablecloth hooded vest

Last week I found this fun grandma-style tablecloth in my local thrift shop. I just knew I had to make something cheerful from it for my friend's little daughter. Since the tablecloth wasn't that big (around 1m x 1m, of course I forgot to take a "before"-picture ...) and the fabric relatively sturdy, I decided to make a vest:

vintage tablecloth hoodie front

Well, I think you can now imagine what kind of tablecloth it was even without the "before" picture. The really kitschy kind. I love how the vest came out. I used pattern number 5 from Ottobre's spring issue (1/2008). Though it will be still too big, I made a size 92, in order to make the most of the cloth and the flowery pattern, especially in the back.

vintage tablecloth hoodie back

The lining is a thin sweatshirt fabric in a nice pink and as to pattern alterations, I simply omitted the ruching detail. The vest is closed with press fasteners and again I struggled with them, A LOT. So I finally gave in and bought a fancy Prym Vario Plus Kit. It's an investment, but it's worth it in my opinion. I like the look and practicality of press fasteners, but I don't like ending up with crooked buttons and tears of desperation at those flimsy tools coming with the packs. And in crucial situations like that it's maybe also better to work with pliers than thrashing a hammer about ...

Well, I'm really happy with the vest, it's a bunch of flowers that can be worn all year round.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Vest with Garter-stitch Yoke

This little jacket is for a friend's little son:

It can be tied at the front like a jacket or can be worn tied at the back as a vest:

The pattern is from Knitting in Vogue, Patterns form the 1930s to the 1980s for Men, Women and Children and the name is the title of this post. (I found the book at the library, I think it is unfortunately out of print. Particularly the children's knits are very pretty.) The project is described as a : "Vest knitted in one piece starting with the front, in stocking stitch with garter yoke pattern and back opening". The pattern is from 1936 and I like the graphic effect of the garter-stitch yoke. It was also easy and fun to knit. I distributed the recommended yarn with Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino, mainly because I fell in love with this beautiful soft green colour.

Now the jacket is quite a bit bigger than a newborn size, but that can't be too bad in my opinion, babies grow so quickly. I think it came out quite cute and I hope it's practical to wear!

Friday, April 18, 2008


My uncle left back to Germany, yesterday. It was great to have him here and very interesting seeing Helsinki through different eyes. I think showing another person a town you already know quite well makes you realize and see different and new things yourself.

I'm feeling a bit under the weather, so I'll spend the weekend trying to relax and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

The pictures were taken at Suomenlinna Sea Fortress.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A trip to Porvoo

Today we took a trip to Porvoo. My uncle is visiting us and we went to see this small Finnish town with its beautiful wooden houses.

We took a walk around the cobble stone streets, looked into some small shops and had a bite to eat.

We also got some delicious handmade chocolates from here and I couldn't resist this beautifully coloured tray I spotted here.

As you can see, it was quite a successful visit. ;-) Now we just need some coffee!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

quick T

This is one of the fastest projects I've made. I was participating in a how-to-use-a-serger course over the weekend and this boat neck T was my exercise project.

I still had lots of this very thin and slinky jersey left over, that I bought very cheaply from the remains department of the fabric store. (The colour in the flat surface pics is more true to the original.) Since the fabric is so thin and clingy, I thought this would be perfect for a pyjama T. Also, since it was from the beginning intended to be worn when sleeping, I didn't fuss too much with it. So for instance I skipped the interfacing on the neckline. The seams are sewn with a serger and the neckline and hems with a double needle on my own sewing machine. I think all in all it took me about 4 hours max to make this. I'm quite amazed! To top it off, I now have the pattern for a very nice boat neck that is not too wide and thus doesn't show any bra straps (if that's something you want to avoid). The body is a bit too wide for me for my taste, but just perfect for pyjamas. Which shows that also quick projects can be really satisfying (which can sometimes be a good thing to remember, since I like to fuss and then stress over the details a bit too much every so often).

I'm also currently working on a project that's going to take a lot more time and I'll try to post something about the process soon. It's quite an ambitious project and I'm very excited about it!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jacket with(out) red buttons

I've made this little jacket (pattern is from Ottobre design 4/2007) and am generally quite pleased with it. I managed to sew it all on my own without any assistance and only Ottobre's Finnish instructions to guide me. I really like sewing children's clothes. They are so small (little fabric needed) and the result is almost always cute.

There are some issues with the buttons, though ...

The border is quite thick and those dang buttons don't want to cling as well as I'd like them to. So, today I'll let the jacket hang there (if I make any more attempts at attaching the buttons today I'm afraid I might break something or hurt myself out of frustration and impatience ... After all you need a hammer to do it ...). It's nice like this as well, I think. Yeah. I'll look at it and wait for patience and serenity to return ...

Monday, February 11, 2008

My first dress

This is the first dress I made. It was sewn during one of my sewing courses in autumn. We were only four students in the class and the teacher was very thorough and had time to assist and guide us through the various stages of our individual garments.

The pattern is, again, from Suuri Käsityölehti, (it was a 2007 issue, right now I can't find better information in my post-move chaos. Edit: It was number 8/2007). The teacher helped me modify it to suit my (pear-) shape and I'm really happy with how it turned out! I'll try to take a nice picture of me wearing it at some point! The material is a very nice wool jersey. And I love that colour!

The gathering around the neckline and the sleeves is made with framilon elastic, you could also use regular elastic, but that would be more visible, I guess. Except for attaching the elastic, it was completely sewn with an overlock machine, (apart from the hem which was sewn by hand with a handy blind stitch the teacher taught me).

I think a simple dress is such a satisfying project for a beginner. To make it even easier you could make one without sleeves. The beauty of it is that when you're finished, you practically have a whole outfit there. All made by you!

And as for the first dress that really made an impact on me as for me to remember it vividly, it was a hand-me-down from my second cousin and a very simple cotton dress with a smocked upper part and tie shoulder straps. (The cut was a bit like this.) It was white with a green and peach flower print and I felt really "grown up" wearing it, because it come from my "big cousin".

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

good little things

Look what I made! A mitten!

The reason for me being so excited about this is that this is the first item I attempted to knit with double pointed needles that I'm reasonably happy with. (The only thing annoying me a bit is the size of the hole between the thumb and palm. That probably can't be avoided entirely, but if anybody has a good way to keep it tiny, I'd love to hear about it!) I used a pattern in this book I got from the library and the yarn is one of two Regia sock yarn skeins my brother gave me for Christmas. Since I thought the colourway goes surprisingly well with my scarf, mittens seemed the perfect thing to make from it!

Also, I really have wanted some more lightweight ones than the pair I have for some time now. Well, there's nothing to do now than to knit the second one and hope there will be yarn enough for both of them!!!

I also made some simple small napkins from a fabric I got on sale for 2€/metre.

I really like the old-fashioned feel of the chequered fabric, and the colours are also really nice, so I'm really happy with them. I made 6 of them and it was fun to sew them, also for that price, I wasn't too afraid to screw something up. I got the instructions from Bend-the-Rules Sewing (again!) and used the size suggested there, but somehow I subconsciously decided to make square napkins. (Which is another way of saying when I realized I cut out squares I was beyond changing them ...) Anyway, they are cute and it is cool to have this kind of little everyday luxury like cloth napkins.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Baby Boy Blanket

This little blanket is for a friend's baby boy who arrived earlier this year. It is strongly inspired by Amy Karol's Scalloped Baby Blanket from her great book Bend-the-Rules Sewing. I already made two blankets from that pattern, but didn't show them here, because the pictures I managed to take before I sent them away were less then inspiring. See some much more fabulous pics than mine for example here, here, here and here.

As the teddy bear fabric is already quite cutesy, I decided to skip the scallops in this case, but I rounded the corners. Which also made for a quicker project to sew. Ha! I decided to go with Amy's hint not to pre-wash the fabric before sewing and the backing fabric shrunk quite a bit when I washed the completed blanket, so it already has a bit of a lived-in look, which I quite like. That may be not everybody's cup of tea, though, so I hope the recipient and his mom will like it!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year, New Flat

Wow, it's been quite long since my last post! Firstly: A Happy and Healthy New Year 2008 to all!

It's been fairly busy here, we've moved and there's still a lot of work ahead to make this new place our home. We finished painting the bedroom, though, and so I can give you a small impression of what it looks like so far.

I think it came out really beautifully. It's still really dark here, so that's the best picture I could get. We painted the ceilings in a toned not-quite-white and took the colour down a bit to the walls. The walls are a light blue. We got the chandelier as a present and the curtains are from Ikea. I'll try to keep you posted on the progress, but as it still is quite chaotic here, I can't promise how fast that progress will be ... ;-) I got a great sewing book, a Filati Handknitting magazine and some pretty sock wool for Christmas, so there's inspiration enough, but I guess the flat will take up most of my time and (creative) energy. I'm taking a sewing course again, starting mid-January, though, so there'll also be things to show from there, I hope. :-)