Friday, November 9, 2018

Faded Adamantine

Oh, this sweater. This one was a labor of love. 

This year I have been trying to shift my focus. I want to knit high-quality, slow-moving projects. And all around, less. Cause let me tell you: there's only so much room in my little apartment. And I want to love the things I knit. That may seem like a no-brainer, right? Why would you knit something you didn't love?!

Here's some reasons: because everyone else is. Because someone from a theater/church/hiking group gave you the yarn. Because you want to try out a new technique. Because you're bored. 


So that brings me to this sweater: Adamantine by Erica Smith. Dude, THIS sweater. This sweater is pure delight. The pattern was interesting (even, dare-I-say, challenging?!), I love the fit, and I went all-out with this yarn (Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Faded Quilt).

I knit this bad boy on and off from February to September, according to Ravelry. I knit this while commuting and while watching Wild Wild Country.  I think this sweater finally taught me to embrace non-monogamy in knitting, since I took breaks to finish two other sweaters and a pair of socks. 

Pulling inspiration from Christina's sweater, I wanted my Adamantine the tiniest bit cropped. Not too difficult, right? Lol, wrong. I knit the back first, and although I attempted to crop it, it somehow came out a full cable repeat longer than the front. After doing some quick fitting (shout out to my Wonder Clips), I ripped out the top of the back and began the repeats for the shoulders lower. And here we are: my perfect length sweater. 

I also made my usual mod of making the sleeve one size smaller than the body. I'm very into the silhouette that creates, with the drop sleeve design. In the end, it all worked out.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

My Xmas Outfit (Along) - Julgran Sweater and a Plaid Circle Skirt

Another summer, another round of Andi Satterlund's Outfit Along

This is, hands down, my favorite knit-along of the year. What's that they say about creativity thriving when given specific parameters? (That's not really a saying, but...) This project really scratches that itch for me. I love planning a full outfit every summer, incorporating both knit and sewn elements. Although I must admit: I've never knit or sewn the recommended patterns. (Sorry, Andi and Lauren!)

So I looked at my Ravelry queue and my Make Nine 2018, and decided June and July was the perfect time to knit a Christmas sweater. Right? Right. Andi released Julgran last year, and I am totally into it. Just enough Christmas to make it wearable for parties, plus the option to get crazy with "decorating" the tree on the front.

So where did the skirt idea come from? I have a few projects floating around in the back of my head, Things I have Always Wanted, and a plaid circle skirt (with pockets) is one of them. But here's the thing about a simple plaid circle skirt: there's no hashtag for it on Instagram. It's not gonna pop up in my feed and remind me that I want to make it, like the popular patterns that catch like fire on IG and you cannot stop seeing. 

Now my Catholic guilt is telling me to stop and say: I am not throwing shade on those who make those patterns! Quite the opposite. I'm super proud of all the members of our little making community who continue to put out fun, exciting and wearable patterns! You go, guys!

All my shade is reserved for social media and how it seeps into our subconscious and has a way of inspirational-ly distracting us from our original idea. You know?

Any.way. Here's the deets on my Christmas outfit:

I knit my Julgran out of Cascade 220 that I had ripped from my Salal Cardigan. Sadly, my Salal never fit right and I just didn't wear it. I knit that sucker twice, in two different sizes, and it still didn't work out. So it has become a Julgran! 

I made it as written, except for my usual mod of knitting the sleeves a size down, to account for my skinny arms in relation to my insane bust. So the body of the sweater is a size medium (my bust measurement is around 41") and the sleeves are a size small (my arm measurement is around Skinny Noodle).


Now this plaid circle skirt. I used this circle skirt calculator to make a template for the waist, and referenced this post by Miss Make to wrap my head around inserting the zipper. And then, I just kinda winged it. 

Of course, in doing that, mistakes were made: My first, sloppy attempt at a waistband meant the plaid pattern didn't line up and I had to completely re-cut and insert it. Whoops. And the zipper I bought was too short so I have to put the skirt on over my head, not over my hips. Whoops again. Also I messed up the pattern matching at the back seam. Whoops x3. But overall, I love the look and I think it's very wearable! 

.... in December. Well, I will wear the skirt before that, but the entire outfit will have to wait for those sweet Christmas vibes. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The French Boardwalk Blouse - A Poisongrrls Knit

Oh, hey.

Here's another Poison Grrrls pattern by Amy Appel, the Boardwalk Blouse. When Amy asked me to test knit this one, I didn't hesitate. The crop! The stripes!

I knew right away this pattern needed the French Girl treatment, so I set out to knit it in red and white CoBaSi. I did not exactly get gauge, so while I followed the numbers for size large, it came out smaller than intended. A-ok by me, Ms. Negative Ease.

So this yarn... HiKoo CoBaSi is truly amazing. Light and drape-y, but also stretchy. It's dreamy, because I live in LA where it's hot, and we all need knits like this. Plus light summer sweaters are my jam, since I work in a cold office, but somehow still sweat a lot.

Maybe I went overboard with the styling...

But probably not! Because when is a beret "overboard"?! You know who loved berets? Prince. We should all strive to be a bit more like Prince.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Andi's Outfit-Along: My Plans

Another summer, another Outfit-Along with my girl, Andi. I like knit-alongs because they provide deadlines, and I'm a Virgo, so I need structure in order to let my neurosis fully  thrive. Andi has provided us with a double-whammy of deadlines: a time frame in which to both knit AND sew a piece, making a super cute outfit. 

This is only my second year participating (last year I inexplicably gained weight over the summer - not the ideal time to sew myself ANYthing), and I'm super excited to jump in. 

For my knit item, I will be ripping this bad girl:

That's my ill-fitting, never-worn Salal cardigan (pattern by Andi! This entire post is just my love letter to her). I knit this cardigan last fall with a Salal KAL, but had to rip out my first iteration and knit it a size smaller. It's still not working for me. Or the yarn is a bad match to the pattern. Either way, it's getting ripped and re-knit into a Julgran, another Andi pattern. 

Yes, I am knitting a Christmas sweater this summer.

For my sewn item, I'm drafting a circle skirt with pockets and sewing it up in that plaid fabric. 

So there we go: a Christmas in July outfit. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Autumnal Project #2 - Halloween B5895

What's that you say? It's no longer Autumn? In fact, it's pretty much Summer Time!?

Fine, whatever, I suck at blogging. I, like so many of us, am completely, totally addicted to Instagram. I rely heavily on it to connect me to the online community of makers. But it's June, and that means I just finished Me Made May, an entire month dedicated to wearing one's home made clothes. This year, I dragged it all out - including this seasonally inappropriate shirt.

I finished this baby last October, and frantically wore the shit out of it for the month leading up to Halloween. Since then, it's been languishing in my closet, but I pulled it out for Me Made May, and here we are: older, wiser, redder-headed.

It's my third version of B5895, sewn in a quilting cotton from JoAnn's with no adjustments. Look, I'm not advocating sewing clothing out of quilting cotton, however: if you find an adorable novelty print that you just *have* to wear, buy two yards of it and sew up this pattern. 

I mean: LOOK at those kittens! They have pumpkin hats on!!

I got a few questions about B5895 on Insta, and I will say this: it's not a pattern for beginners. The way the collar goes into the shirt is very finicky, so you might want to start with something more straight-forward. 

I'm planning a fourth version of this top for summer-lovin', sewn out of a palm print with shorts to match. So stand by. I'll try to blog that before 2019.