Thursday, February 28, 2019

Oberlin Tote Bag from Klum House

I made my first tote bag: the Oberlin from Klum House. I love it, and would probably make a ton of them if I had uses for a bunch of nice totes. I'd probably make a ton anyway, but luckily I'm easily distracted by the next project. 


I used this waxed canvas from Fabric.com. For my bag, I used the charcoal and moss colors. The fabric should crinkle and age really nicely, and the leather straps will darken after I've carried it for a while. 

If I were going to make another version, I think it would be really luxurious to make the whole bag out of leather or faux leather.


I bought a finishing kit from Klum House, too. They are great kits, including the leather straps and all the hardware so you don't have to track down individual pieces. You can choose the color of the leather (mine is tan) and the rivets (brass). 

If you don't want to buy a kit, you could make fabric straps and sew them on instead of using hardware. There is a zipper pocket inside, but you could easily find your own zipper or even add velcro instead. The Oberlin also has a magnetic closure at the top of the bag, but you could just omit it if you don't want to track one down. 


There's also a D-ring that I can clip my keys onto. Cute!


I love using this bag to carry our water bottles and snacks when we go to basketball practices or wherever we're going. It looks nice, sophisticated, and like I chose it on purpose. I have some very inexpensive, neon tote bags that I use for groceries, and I used to grab one of those to haul snacks as we were hurrying to leave the house. They looked cheap, like an afterthought, and not look at all stylish. This Oberlin is a nice upgrade to our basketball look.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Strathcona Sweater from Good Day, Night


This is the second sweater I made from my Make Nine plans for 2019. It's a mash-up between the Strathcona and Moosonee patterns from Tara-Lynn Morrison's Good Night, Day pattern book


Some of the stitches are stretched out a bit, but they may even out when I block it. 


How I combined the Strathcona and Moosonee: the construction is the same for the main part of both sweaters. I used the shorter collar from the Strathcona but lengthened the hem's ribbing like the Moosonee. 


I also made the sleeves a little more balloon-y like the Moosonee. I wanted them to be more balloonish but I ran out of yarn. I literally tied together scraps at the end to finish the sleeve hems. 



This is the Crazy Sexy Wool from Wool and The Gang, in Cameo Rose. It's great to work with, feels nice to knit and to wear. It doesn't split apart or tear. It's a little bit thicker than the roving I get from Bluprint

I love these chunky, minimalist sweaters. They work up so fast, it's super satisfying. I think they are really cute. I still need a coat with big, loose armholes and sleeves to wear over them. Have any pattern suggestions?












Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Carlisle Cardigan from Good Night, Day

I've fallen hard for the chunky sweater designs of Tara-Lynn Morrison. I bought the ebook, Good Night, Day, from Ravelry. You can also get a paper book from her website




The first one I knitted was the Carlisle Cardigan. I used Cloudborn Highland Roving in Ecru, and I also held a strand of  Madeline Tosh chunky yarn in the colorway Cosmic Wonder Dust. It adds some cute multi-colored speckles. And I added in a few streaks of hot pink to brighten it up even more.



That roving is really nice! It's super cushy, it doesn't pill while knitting, and it doesn't fall apart. It's not scratchy at all. It is quite affordable compared to other super chunky yarns, and they have 28 colors. 

I actually knit this one on the wrong sized needles. I had ordered size 19 circulars through Amazon.com and when they arrived, I dove right in. As the sweater grew, I felt very crowded on the needles and checked the length. There was a sticker over the label, and after peeling it off, I saw that they were the recommended length, but I discovered that I had received and knitted with size 17. Visually comparing to the next sweater I knitted, using size 19 needles, the stitches are quite a bit smaller (I also used a different brand of super chunky yarn). But I like the way it fits, so I won't re-knit it or anything. 






The pattern recommends using 24" circular needles, but I suggest using longer ones. It makes it a lot easier to work with the thick fabric (you can use the magic loop method around the neck and until the body is large enough around to use the whole length of the cord). 



Once you get started, you might get hooked, like I did. I have made a few Good Day, Night sweaters so far and I have one more in mind. They come together so quickly, don't need much fitting at all, and I love the way they look. It is really easy to customize them, and to mix and match the elements of different patterns. 


The only problem is they don't fit very well under my coats. Maybe I should look into sewing a coat with big, loose sleeves...

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Oxbow Cardigan by Andrea Mowrey

I've finished my first project from my Make Nine challenge. It's the Oxbow Cardigan, designed by Andrea Mowrey (@dreareneeknits on Instagram). 

#1




I had knitted all but the collar of this sweater last spring, but when I tried it on, it was enormous! I had rounded up to the next size since I wasn't sure which one to choose. I also lengthened the sleeves and body by an inch or two since I'm 5'10". But the sleeves bunched and it was just way too long. The proportions of the sweater didn't work well when it was too oversized, so I ripped it all out, making notes so I would choose the correct size when I started I again. In my final version, I only lengthened the body and the sleeves by about an inch. 

My advice, if you're deciding between two sizes, is to stick with the smaller one. But also consider that my yarn is stretchy and might behave differently from yours.


My yarn is the Valley Yarns Haydenville bulky, in Light Grey. It's a superwash merino-acrylic blend. It's soft and nice to work with and to wear.


After I made some other projects, I started this sweater again in November. I had it mostly finished at the end of the year, and took it with me to our late Christmas gathering with the in-laws. I thought I might finish it there, while the others watched endless college football games, but I didn't complete the collar until a couple days later. 


Then, as usual, I was reluctant to weave in the ends (why? I'm so close to wearing the thing! Finishing up should be the most exciting part, right?) But I finally spent a few hours finishing up some WIPs. I did this cardigan, a second sweater, and four socks (which had 5 or 6 different colors used in them). So many ends! It was pretty satisfying to finish all those things and get to wear them. 



Saturday, January 5, 2019

2019 Make Nine

Are you guys taking part in the Make Nine Challenge this year? The challenge is to choose nine items that you plan to make in 2019, share it on Instagram, and then make those things. If you change your mind, fine! If you don't make them all, no problem! It's just for fun. You can join in on Instagram by following the account @makeninechallenge and using the hashtag #makenine2019. 

Here's mine for this year:


From top to bottom, left to right, I chose:

I just finished this one today! I started it last month and wove in the ends today. 

Most of my fabric arrived today (one color of waxed canvas was missing and instead I received navy faux fur!) I have the finishing kit from Klum House, with straps, zipper, rivets, and a snap. I'll have to wait until my correct fabric arrives to get started.

I have a soft french terry that I'm excited to use with this pattern.

I started these last year, so I have a head start on my first pair of jeans!

I've made two of these already, but I'd love to make a couple more. The pattern includes a few variations and I can imagine wearing all of them.

I like the shape of these pants, but I need to figure out what fabric to use for them. I will have to do some research with the hashtag on instagram and see what other sewists have used.

Really, I want to make a bunch of her designs. They're so chunky and squishy and cute. I already made the Carlisle Cardigan (and wove in those ends today, too). 

I think this architectural shirt looks so cool! I don't know what fabric to use for it yet. 

I love this jacket and plan to make it out of linen and wear it all spring.

Do you have sewing and knitting plans for 2019 or do you just wing it?