2017 Knitting Goals

So this list of knitting goals is certain to change and I also hope that it will grow longer as I move through the year. I have a couple new designs I’ll be working on this year and I also have a list of some patterns that I’m so excited to try. The first is a sweater pattern that I still need to buy the yarn for, Rowe by Michele Wang. I’m hoping it will replace a sweater in my closet with a similar silhouette that’s made of acrylic yarn (ie. it’s not very warm!).

I also want to knit from my stash as much as possible, and two types of yarn I have a lot of are Wool and the Gang’s Jersey Be Good and Wool and the Gang’s Crazy Sexy Wool. With the Jersey Be Good I want to make a Mini Jackson Backpack, just as soon as they release it as a standalone pattern rather then a kit (my fingers are crossed that this happens soon!). And with the Crazy Sexy Wool I’m thinking of whipping up some sort of cabled throw pillow.

Another knit I’ve been wanting to try for some time is the Beach Tank by Jess Schreibstein. I got a sample of Billie Jean yarn which is made from recycled denim and I think it would work well for it, so I asked for a couple more balls of it for Christmas and I’m all ready to cast on now.

Along with these projects I’m still finishing up one from last year! I started an improvised top down sweater in August for the Fringe and Friends KAL put on by Karen Templer, and I have no idea how I still haven’t finished it. It just kept getting pushed to the side, so this year it is top priority.

And that’s it for now. I don’t like to have too long of a queue so I’m going to stop perusing Ravelry and get started on this list. What are some of the knits on your list this year?

FO: Moonlight Garden Shawl

The name of this shawl alone is pretty magical. Pair that with the dreamy yarn I chose and the delicate lacework and border pattern and it wouldn’t be enough to say I’m happy with the first shawl I’ve ever knit.

It’s taken me too long to find a shawl pattern that I really wanted to knit. I knew I was looking for a shawl I could wear the way that I would wear a scarf, wrapped up tight around my neck with the option to wear spread out like a shawl. This worsted weight shawl is warm enough to wear in the winter like a scarf, but I also see myself on a cool summer night, wearing this shawl draped over my shoulders to hinder the breeze.

The yarn I chose was Maxima by Manos Del Uruguay, which is a single-ply worsted weight yarn made up of 100% Merino wool. I went with the colour Sand. It was wonderfully soft to work with and the pinkish beige colour complimented the pattern perfectly.

This pattern comes from Melody Hoffman of bmandarines. The pattern is beautifully formatted and I found it was pretty clear to knit from. It was my first lacework project so there were a couple of times that I had to look up stitches, but I took it slow and it all came together in the end. There wasn’t a huge amount of lacework either so I think it was the perfect first project to introduce me to this new skill.

My Handmade Wardrobe: Scout Tee

Almost a year ago I walked into a lovely little sewing store and decided I wanted to start a new project. Initially I picked up a pattern for a button-down shirt, but ended up deciding on what looked like the simplest pattern in the shop, the Scout Tee by Grainline Studios. I picked out some beautiful Nani Iro fabric to go with it, and I tucked it all away, feeling too intimidated to start for a year. I’ve sewn a lot of bags and pillow cases, but never any garments except for a simple pair of pyjama pants, and I think the idea of making a shirt that I was actually supposed to wear in public sort of scared me. I didn't want to mess this up.

But it turns out the Scout Tee really was a great project to get me excited about sewing my own clothes. I later bought some inexpensive grey fabric, because I wanted to test the pattern before cutting into my beautiful Nani Iro double gauze. I sewed the first top in a size 0, which did fit, but I decided I wanted to go up a size for the “good” version of my top. The size 2 feels perfect on me. I didn’t have any trouble with the neckline, which was so satisfying to sew and I love the clean look of the bias neckline. I decided to use the overlock foot to finish the seams and so far they’re holding up really nicely.

All in all, this is such a good beginner project that I would recommend! I’ll probably be making more sometime in the future, but for now it’s onto something new.

Preserving Eucalyptus (2 ways) - Part 2

This is a follow up to a blog post I posted a month or two ago, about experimenting with preserving eucalyptus. You can read that post here. The results of preserving turned out pretty much as expected. You can see from the picture below that some of the stems and leaves are a lot greener, and some of them have a purple hue to them. The greener stems are done by just air drying the plant, resulting in brittle, light green leaves. The purple hued stems were done by soaking the stems in a vegetable glycerin mixture before air drying, which resulted in waxier leaves which lost their green colour. I actually love the way both turned out, I think whichever method you choose just depends on how you want the final product to look.

Inspiration For My Handmade Wardrobe

I usually stick to knitting accessories, socks, and smaller projects, but lately I’ve been so inspired to start building my handmade wardrobe. Inspired by many of the makers I follow on Instagram, the sewing store I work at, and a trip I made to a local dying store.

The dying store carried all different types of natural dyes, as well as different weights of un-dyed yarn and fabric, and the samples they had around the store were so beautiful. Karen Templer of www.fringeassociation.com posted a picture of a simple top she made from a modification of the Lakeside Pajamas Top by Grainline Studios. I love that the hand dyed fabric was a gift that Karen sewed into a shirt with the help of a pattern from another friend. There is such a story in this garment.

@karentempler

@karentempler

I also really want to add more linen to my wardrobe. The sewing store carries shelves of beautiful linen and I can see so many garments in my wardrobe being made from it. Here are some pictures from Adrienne Shanti @jai_jai_ma on Instagram, some amazing linen shorts and details of a low-back dress she made from linen.

@jai_jai_ma

@jai_jai_ma

@jai_jai_ma

@jai_jai_ma

The shorts are made from the Merchant and Mills 101 Trouser pattern, using the shorts variation. And the dress is a modification she made to a Wiksten pattern. I still have a lot to learn before I can start modifying patterns, but I love what people can do to make something completely their own.

Another maker who’s wardrobe has been inspiring me is Jess Schreibstein of www.witchininthekitchen.com. Her beach tank knitting pattern is such a wonderful basic. I love the neutral colour she chose and I plan on doing something similar when I get to knitting this one.

@thekitchenwitch

@thekitchenwitch

Jess also sewed a Camber Dress by Merchant and Mills in the prettiest charcoal fabric, and it looks like such a staple dress. I want to fill my wardrobe with pieces like this, things that are easy to throw on, neutral colours, and simple shapes. I think I’m going to try a dress similar to this using some of the beautiful linen I’ve been eyeing up. What handmade garments have been on your mind lately?

@thekitchenwitch

@thekitchenwitch

Fringe Association: www.fringeassociation.com

Grainline Studios: www.grainlinestudios.com

Merchant and Mills: www.merchantandmills.com

Wiksten: www.shopwiksten.com

Witchin' in the Kitchen: www.witchininthekitchen.com