knitting · podcast · youtube

Coffee & Craft Podcast: Episode 2

 

Hey Everyone, Welcome to my podcast about knitting, sewing and crafting in general.

Places to find me (besides here) on the internet:
Instagram & Ravelry : ec0g33k

What am I wearing:
Julegarn by Andi Satterlund

FOs
~Everyday Brew by Clare Devine
Zen Yarn Garden
~Mollie Mae Hat by Claire Slade
Studio Donegal Tweed.
~Julebukk by Skeindeer Knits
Outlaw Yarn Bohemia Sport in Leather and Fog
2.75mm
~Julegarn Sweater, Andi Satterlund
Cascade 220
Changed the neck,
Didn’t swatch by knowing Andi Satterlund patterns went with S
~I heart rainbows sweater
Knit picks chroma and cascade heritage in black

WIPS
~Scrappy Granny Stripes
Attic 24 Recipe
CO 219, Its way wider than it was supposed to be
Using my acrylic scraps and holding them double. One strand is neutrals and the other is colors. When one runs out I just magic knot a new skein on.
~I heart rainbows part 2
~Rye Socks
Patons Classic Wool & BL Tuffy

Project Flashback to Gramps by tincanknits

~Dishcloths
Square Washcloth by Stacey Trock
Teal Swirl Crochet Dishcloth by Heidi Wells
~Regia Seasonal
9407 Tannebaum color
OMG Heel by Megan Williams

Future Sewing Plans
~gathered skirt
~shirt
Tutorial and Pattern from Melly Sews
https://mellysews.com/2013/05/mens-shirt-pattern-tutorial.html
~pjs from self drafted pattern
Similar pattern from Patterns for Pirates http://www.patternsforpirates.com/product/wtp-adult/

Podcasts Mentioned
Constance of the Yarning Over the Days Podcast
Grace of Babbles Traveling Yarns
Eli of Skeindeer Knits

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knitting · podcast · ponderings · youtube

Coffee & Craft Podcast Episode 1

Nov. 26, 2017

Places to find me (besides here) on the internet:
Instagram & Ravelry

What am I wearing:
Rain Outside Shawl by Sylvia McFadden in Berroco ultra alpaca

FOs

Sock box
Cascade heritage prints in holidays
O Dennenboom by Renée Kies
Opal Hundertwassers in Winterbild
Monkey by Cookie A in Yarn Over New York’s Bad Santa

~Arne & Carlos Pairfect
Love the fact they are matching, but hate the fact that there is so little flexibility.
Garden Color

~Coal Christmas Socks
Ferner Mally 6ply
B&L Durasport Contrast
Had 30g left over and just knit till I ran out of yarn.
2.75mm needle, 48 sts

~WYS Hollyberry Socks
OMG Heel by Megan Williams, Austerman Step
Hollyberry Colorway from WYS

WIPS
~Scrappy Granny Stripes
Attic 24 Recipe
CO 219, Its way wider than it was supposed to be
Using my acrylic scraps and holding them double. One strand is neutrals and the other is colors. When one runs out I just magic knot a new skein on.
~Julebukk by Skeindeer Knits
Outlaw Yarn Bohemia Sport in Leather and Fog
2.75mm
~Giant granny squares
loops and threads grande and a worsted held double
~Regia Seasonal
9407 Tannebaum color
will have an OMG heel
~Canadian Winter
Evergreen Sock Pattern by Madeline Gannon
CWM Sock Buoyed in the Bath color

knitting · sewing · socks

Something Wicked This Way Comes

I am the type of person that loves for seasonally themed items. I grew up with a mother who had decorations and themed socks for almost every holiday (and for days that she just deemed to be festive). I am not quite on my mothers level yet but every time there is a holiday around the corner I get very excited and always feel the need to craft for the occasion.

IMG_0444In a stunning turn of events I cast on some socks in some amazing Halloween inspired yarn that I picked up from Maryanne of Smith and Ewe at Knit City this year. These socks are actually for my partner because Halloween is his favorite holiday, I love being festive and ghouly but he lives for this time of year in the way I live for Christmas. So using the numbers I have for his basic socks I have been working away on these fantastic socks. The pops of neon colors really break up the black and the ply construction of the base leads to a very cool fabric. Maryanne has a sock base that I haven’t seen around the market and with so many hand dyers it is always refreshing to knit with a base that is a little different. Its is still a merino/nylon blend but it is a cable ply instead of a regular 4 ply which should add strength to the socks as they wear.

But since those socks are pretty much done I am planning a bit of spooky selfish sock knitting.

IMG_0254I have had a skein of Undead Yarn in her Everyday is Halloween colorway lingering in my stash for far too long now. I was lucky enough to win it as a prize in a knit along a few years ago but because normally by this time of year I am elbow deep in Christmas knitting it has been sadly neglected.This year ,however, there is going to be little to no Christmas knitting and this skein can finally be knit. The odds are that it will just be plain vanilla with an afterthought heel (possibly black) but who knows what the socks will tell me they want so I knit happily along.

 

IMG_0262 (Sylvia Bo Bilvia's conflicted copy 2017-10-23)Along with festive socks I thought I could use a couple of festive skirts. Recently I have been a little addicted to the simple quick sew of a basic gathered skirt. Normally I fall in love with a fabric, buy a random amount (anywhere from 1-2 meters), get it home and realize I have no idea what it is going to be. So I will cut enough off the top to make a waistband then divide the remaining fabric into thirds. If I wasn’t planning on putting in pockets I would just gather the remaining fabric but pockets are a must in my wardrobe (where else am I going to hold yarn as I stand and knit?). Next step is either gathering & pockets then slap it on the  waistband, throw in a zipper, hem it and you are good to go. The process is crazy simple and very fast.

 

But with my Halloween skirts I decided to switch IMG_0315up my regular recipe and slow things down a bit with some impromptu pleating. Adding this little change just helps challenge me and keep me on my toes. It feels like trying a new heel in my favorite sock recipe, safe but adventurous. I just played with the fabric and the pleats until all the fabric had been eaten up and I liked the way the pleats looked. The pleats are a departure from my very poofy vintage inspired skirts but when dressing up for Halloween I think I can afford to skew a bit more modern.

My fabric choices were inspired from two very different places. The spiderweb print was found at Dressew but I chose it because I had seen a similar print on a skirt from Pin Up Girl Clothing. My second spooky skirt is a bit of a souvenir. The ghosty print was picked while I was

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visiting Knit Stitch in London, ON earlier in October. A knitty friend of mine has had a project bag in this fabric that I have not so secretly coveted, so when I saw this fabric I jumped on it.

Both skirts are spooky and fun but in very different ways. I also suspect that I will wear these skirts during the year when it is probably not seasonally appropriate. Ghosts are a an all around thing right?

Thanks again to Sylvia for taking these fabulous photos. You are crazy talented my friend.

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knitting · sweaters · Uncategorized

Sweater Redo

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Last summer I was heading down to Portland with some friends and decided that while we were away I was going to knit a Georgetown by Hannah Fetig. I had just purchased Home and Away and was obsessed with the life style that Hannah was selling. We had also just received a fun marled colorway of Cascade 220 at my LYS so the timing seemed perfect (well except for the fact that it was August and the middle of a heat wave). What I had wanted was a cozy sweater like the Rosemont but wanted to challenge myself a bit so I chose the Georgetown instead. It was bottom up instead of my regular top down and this seemed like a great place to stretch my skills since the sweater was so basic (first mistake). Now as a disclaimer the pattern is written very well and even says in it that it is supposed to be a tailored sweater. The mistakes that were made are all user based. I ignored all advice from the pattern and my knitting knowledge and just plowed recklessly into the night.

Untitled design (4)
The smoking jacket Georgetown from a year ago.

So I cast on and happily knit my way through the whole sweater (which definitely took more than the vacation) and when I bound off the 8″ inches of (black!!) ribbing for the collar I realized I had made a horrible mistake. I had unwittingly made a Hugh Heffner style smoking jacket. The level of contrast on the collar with the shape of the sweater had lead to a weird formal coat version of Georgetown. I had also made the mistake of picking a size that was too big. In my quest to have a comfy sweater (ala the Rosemont) I had sized up which with the combo of set in sleeve and my narrow shoulders had lead to a weird oversized smoking jacket.

I tried multiple times after finishing this sweater to make it work. I thought maybe if I washed and wore it a few times it would magically become the sweater I wanted it to be. I am sure I am not alone in this weird knitter specific form of denile though. It’s that part of our brains that says that that little mistake will “just block out” or that that sleeve is totally 3 inches long . But sadly this sweater didn’t block out into the one in my mind and I came to the sad realization that this yarn was better frogged than being unworn in this sweater. This is one of my favorite things about knitting though, the yarn (in most cases) can be rescued from a project gone awry.

IMG_0081So I mustered my courage and frogged the whole sweater. I washed the skeins and they sat in my stash until a few months ago. I knit a striped version of the Clarke by Jane Richmond in January and knew that this pattern was the perfect match for my sad smoking jacket yarn. To lean into the comfy aspects of this sweater I went up to a US 8/5mm needle to create a slightly drapier fabric and I lengthened the body of the sweater so I can wear it comfortably with leggings or jeans. These days I don’t tend to dress down a lot but this new remixed version of my marled sweater is perfect. It’s exactly the thing I need for curling up with some knitting and a PSL (i know its generic but the heart wants what it wants).

What I did learn from this experience is to listen to the pattern designer and to maybe play it safe when you know that a certain sweater construction will work. If a project doesn’t turn out the way you want don’t give up on it, at least at first. Throw it in the naughty corner & walk away, maybe forget about it for a while and then see if you still hate it.

My lovely friend Sylvia (aka softsweater) took some fabulous photos of me and my new sweater so enjoy the high production value ;). She does amazing work and I just need to show it off.

ponderings · sewing

Feminism & Vintage Fashion

This post has taken me longer than I expected for me to write. Talking about feminist issues is important but divisive and I wanted to try to make this as approachable as possible.

So last month I had a very odd interaction with a man on transit that has got me thinking about the implications of choosing a vintage sense of style. To preface, when I dress in bold dresses and vintage hair I never expect to go unnoticed. The way I dress makes me happy and makes me feel beautiful but I am aware that to the average muggle it is very out-of-place. Most people seem to have a positive reaction to the way I dress which I am happy about because of the joy my clothes bring me.

The interaction that started my thought spiral happened at around 10 am on my bus on my way to work. I was happily knitting away, listening to a podcast, minding my own business when an older gentleman (probably mid-50s) tapped me on the shoulder. He then proceed to tell me how happy he was that I was keeping the ideals of the 50s alive and that he was pleased to see that there were still “true women” around. I honestly didn’t know what to say so I think I may have squeaked out a confused thank you and then tried to go back to my knitting. I still had a decent amount of my commute left so I had plenty of time to let the mans words sink into my mind.

When I dress in vintage inspired styles it is because they make me feel beautiful and I do like the way they aren’t the average thing you see in stores. I assume because my clothes are a little off the beaten track that people assume a similar thing of me. But the fact that my clothes implied to this man that my political leanings and life style choices were from the same era worries me. In the comment sections of many vintage inspired youtube videos and instagram posts there are comments similar to what this man said so in the span of the world he isn’t alone.

In a way I guess I always felt like donning the garb of the past felt like rewriting the narrative a bit. With my tattoos and (formerly) with my colored hair it sorta felt like I was able to express a sorta “fuck the system” spin on the fashion similar to women in the rockabilly movement. It isn’t something I put a drastic amount of thought into until this odd interaction but with the prevalence of the #metoo floating around the internet its hard for thoughts like this to not leave my mind.

With women all over the internet speaking up about harassment it feels wrong to not say something about this weird experience. I have no answers or solutions to problems like this. I know that I am not going to change what I am doing and I hope that this guy is an outlier. I’m honestly just a bit downtrodden really and I’m not quite sure how to end this post. I keep delaying publishing because it may not be perfect or because it may offend someone but I just need to get this out into the world and move forward.

knitting · socks

Socks, I’ve Knit a Few

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To say I like knitting socks is a gross understatement. Socks are my go to knitting and I always have a pair on the needles. They are the perfect thing to take out and about with you because of how little space they take up and the amount of time they take. I can knit socks anywhere; at the movies, at dinner, in a queue, waiting for appointments, in the car or on the bus. If I’m out and about I am most likely knitting socks.

Like most socks knitters I have a recipe I tend to stick to and that I morph whatever pattern I am working on into my standard set of numbers (60 sts). It does however feel like declaring how you knit your socks is like throwing down gang colors, that being said I am a toe up magic loop sock knitter. I have been known to dabble in top down socks but it is a rare thing, within the gang metaphor I imagine it to be a star-crossed lover story line where our paths could never truly come together.

IMG_0308.jpgThe first pairs of socks I ever knit were top down on tiny tiny double points (length wise they were pretty close to toothpicks). Although I still have them they haven’t worn very well and the fit is super weird, hence my switch to toe up socks.

The ability to try on the socks was a game changer for me. It allowed me to get the right amount of negative ease and it was easier to see where my heel should go, especially with an afterthought heel. The afterthought heel was the perfect gateway into socks for me. No gusset or heel turn to worry about, just the good therapy of mindless stockinette.  To this day I will still come back to a this heel when I need something easy and familiar (or when I have a gradient sock yarn). I was (and still do) use waste yarn for my afterthought heels but to prevent the holes that may come at the side of the socks I pick up 4 extra stitches on my first round of the heel. Easy peasy and no sock cutting required.

With the confidence the afterthought heel gave me I began to adventure into the heel depths of Ravelry. The Fish Lips Kiss Heel was one of my first forays off the beaten path and my first pair wasn’t the most successful.  Not terribly surprising in retrospect but it was discouraging enough that it took me until last year to try it again. It isn’t a hard heel IMG_0304.jpgto execute but I’ve realized the fit isn’t the best for me. I generally have a fairly easy foot to fit (no high arches, smallish feet, average all around really) but for some reason this heel likes to fall right off my foot. The thing I loved about the pattern was the in-depth level that author goes into about getting the exact right fit of sock and she has taught be some lessons I have definitely taken with me on my sock filled journey.

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Not to be discouraged from trying new heels I quickly fell down a rabbit hole with the  OMG Heel by Megan Williams. This quick little heel became a quick addiction for me. It is the quickest heel I have ever done, can be done from both the toe up and the cuff down and has a tiny little heel flap that mimics the fit of a larger heel flap/gusset combo. The only disadvantages to it is that you have to knit the foot longer than you normally would to compensate for how petite the heel is and if you have a high arch the fit can be hard (but luckily Megan designed the Spacious OMG for just such feet).

 

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My latest obsession has been with the Fleegle Heel and other toe up versions of a traditional heel flap and gusset. Originally I started looking into these in order to knit my boyfriend better fitting socks. He has a higher arch than I do so my old favorite heels weren’t quite working for him.  The heel was a perfect fit for him and was fun to knit to boot.  Instead of a regular rectangular heel flap it creates a triangular one which adds just a little interest to this part of the sock. It has been a lovely addition to my sock heel arsenal and I love putting it in socks made from Opal or Regia where the self striping is so crazy you can’t tell some of the repeat is being used on the heel flap.

 

It always surprises me how much just changing up the heel of a sock can change-up the whole sock knitting experience. It is such a crucial part of the sock’s architecture that trying a new one makes whole process feel new. I was thinking next week I would talk about some of my favorite sock yarns and how they have worn over the years. Do you guys have any favorite sock heels I absolutely should try?

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knitting · sweaters

Lesley Love Affair: Part 2

First of all I just wanted to thank everyone for such a positive response to my first post! It means the world that you all want to read what I have to say, thank you so much ❤

So like I said last week the Lesley by Hannah Fettig has quickly become a staple in my wardrobe. There was a point where I was wearing it almost everyday, so logically I needed to make myself another one and luckily I had 3 skeins of Custom Woolen Mills 2-ply in Yellow Heather that I had been saving for just such a project.

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I love the Custom Woolen Mills yarns so much.

  1. It’s a Canadian product; the fiber is from Canadian farms and the mill is based in Alberta. It is very sheepy and smooshy (technical term).
  2. It’s a mulespun style woolen spun yarn, meaning that it mimics handspun (which is the mulespun part) and has more air trapped in it than a standard commercial yarn.   The trapped air causes the yarn to create a very unique finished product that is very light but very warm.
  3. The structure of the yarn causes it to bloom when washed creating a fabric that (to my eyes) more closely mimics the look of true vintage sweaters.

So with this beautiful yarn in mind I took the lessons I learned from my MCN Lesley and cast on my swatch. The CWM 2-ply is an Aran weight so I was hoping to knit a version that was a little closer to the original design, still cropped but with longer sleeves and

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less math. I still managed to some how be off on my gauge, 15 sts/4″ instead of the 14 sts/ 4″ on US 10/6mm needles, so I did a little bit of math (can’t be avoided clearly) and cast on for the 32″ size. I knew I wouldn’t end up with as much negative ease but was hoping to still get something rather form fitted.

Everything was done as the last version and pretty much to pattern till the bottom of sweater. The MCN Lesley is slightly too short in the back so I wanted to add some short rows at the back before the ribbing. First I accidentally added said short rows to the front instead of the back because I am a genius, but I ripped back and knitted the 4 short rows to the back.

I knit 5 stitches before the beginning of the round, did a German Short Row (GSR), purled to 5 stitches before a marker I placed in the center of the stitches I cast on under the arm and did another GSR. Then I knit until 3 stitches before my short rowed stitch, GSR and did the same thing on the purl side. Then to make sure my short rows blended I knit one round before proceeding to the ribbing.  Initially I knit the bottom ribbing on an US 9/5.5mm but because I didn’t do any shaping it flared out a little too much for comfort. So I reknit it on a US 7/4.5mm and the next time I knit this in the original gauge I will add a few body decreases to help with the fit.

I had planned to do the arms as directed by Hannah but I realized quickly that for my arm shape the rate of decrease was too slow. So after the elbow (which I believe is the 4th decrease) I halved the number of rows between decreases for a little bit. I think I only sped up the rate of decrease for 2 or 3 decreases but that did the trick and I was able to get a much better fitting sleeve.

The sweater over all was another quick satisfying knit and I can’t wait for the weather to get colder so I can wear it more. The color is super versatile in my wardrobe because of the prevalence of blues in my wardrobe, so it goes with pretty much everything. I need to get knitting on some actual neutral cropped sweaters and I should be all set for the colder weather (which will hopefully come soon).

knitting · sweaters

Lesley Love Affair

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Like many makers there is something about a chilly summer morning that gets my creative gears thinking towards the upcoming fall. With that in mind I’ve been trying to add pieces to my handmade wardrobe to help transition my fun dresses and skirts into the later seasons of the year.  My main staple pattern for this is a slightly modified version of the Lesley by Hannah Fettig (By “slightly” modified I mean I’ve played with gauge, added short rows and cropped the sleeves and body of original pattern).  The pattern is one of those staple sweaters that has allowed me room to play and customize to fill a hole in my handmade wardrobe.

My first version of this sweater came out of yarn inspiration and required more tweaking than I had originally planned. I was gifted 3 skeins of madelinetosh 80/10/10 Worsted MCN in Blue Jay and I knew that because of the neutral nature of the colorway it would be perfect for the Lesley. The madelinetosh gave me a gauge of 16 sts/4″ on US 8/5mm needles which was a tighter fabric than 14 sts/4″ on US 10/6mm that the pattern recommended. So in order to get a tight fitting sweater with negative ease I knit the 36″ bust size, which although close to my actual bust with the gauge I was working with gave me a sweater that was closer to 31 (gauge is important yo).

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With that much negative ease I didn’t have to worry about waist shaping or the possibility of the sweater losing it’s shape because of the cashmere content. Which made up for the fact that  I had alternate skeins on the body because the yarn was handdyed. Knowing that I wanted a cropped length I was trying the sweater on as I went to determine length and ended up with 6″ of body and 2″ of ribbing. I’m pretty sure there were little knitting fairies that helped me with the body because it flew off my needles. The sleeves were equally as fast except for the ribbing (obviously the knitting fairies hate ribbing as much as I do).

I was playing a bit of yarn chicken at this point in the sweater so I had divided what yarn I had leftover into 2 equal parts to ensure I could replicate the first sleeve. I did the decreases as Hannah prescribed in the pattern but I only did 3 of them and then began the wonders of 1×1 ribbing. With the negative ease in the sleeves I knew they needed a lot of ribbing but the 4″ inches that it ended up with did drag on. But as with many things that we do for the love of knitting the end result was well worth it.

The simple beauty of this sweater and dimension of the yarn has lead to it becoming one of my most wore handmade garments. The only thing I would change about it would be to add some short rows in the back before the ribbing which I did on my second version of this sweater which I will talk about more in a future post.

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My favorite way to style this sweater is with my shirt dresses, which are sewn from McCall’s M6696. The combo seems to instantly make me seem more put together with a vintage flair with minimal effort (well at least I think so).