Posts Tagged ‘FO’

30
Dec

2014 in Review

Written by Sarah. Posted in FO, holiday, knits, life

I hate year in review posts!!! Nostalgia is my biggest weakness and anytime I look at photographs that are older than six months, I feel incredibly sentimental and even sometimes melancholy for hours on end. (I can’t be the only one, can I?) The end of the year always feels like a tough time for me because of this constant recapping (song of the year, biggest news stories, etc) and this one is has me feeling even more wistful because of some big changes that have happened.

In spite of that, it’s essential to take inventory. I love seeing how much I was able to do in twelve months and I like thinking, “that was this year? It feels like I made that forever ago!” I always feel like I didn’t make as many things as I wanted and while that’s true of 2014, I have accomplished bigger things.

2014 Designs
2014designs

Ilsa Cardigan – Knitscene Winter 2014
Sphinx Hat – Knitscene Accessories 2014
Oud Tank – Knitscene Spring 2014
Creamsicle – Pom Pom Quarterly Summer 2014

First of all, I had four original designs published this year in Knitscene and Pom Pom Quarterly. That was really exciting because I’d worked for a good part of 2013 on some of the things that I was finally able to reveal this year! While I have a hard time thinking of myself as a designer (there are so many amazing designers so much more worthy of that title than I am!), it’s amazing to have my patterns included in some of my favorite publications. Secondly, this year I started a new job working for Lion Brand Yarn Company! It’s been a big change but I couldn’t be happier. I’ll be sharing a little more of what I’m doing there in the New Year but, for the most part, things will stay the same around here.

Other FOs
grettir

faro

Grettir
Faro
Adventure Socks
Skyp Socks

Sewing FOs
wiksten tank 2

Wiksten
Scout
Scout 2

So there are other pieces that I didn’t blog about. I’m kinda realizing that now. Oops! I guess 2015 will start with a bit more recapping. Between the big projects this year there were a a bunch of small ones like hats and mitts, some little gifts here and there. They felt like cheating but they were a nice way to relax from marathoning sweaters. But, alas, they slipped through the cracks and my camera broke so expect to see lots of accessories in the new year!

Well that’s my year. I guess I’m not feeling as nostalgic as I thought I would be. I’m mainly excited for what’s next!

Are you looking forward to next year? Do you feel like you accomplished everything you set out to do this year? Does New Year’s Eve make you super nostalgic?

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

01
Jul

Another Scout

Written by Sarah. Posted in sewing, shirt, summer

The spring was a tough time for my knitting. I’ve always claimed to be an all-seasons knitter but sewing projects have increased exponentially for me over the last two months. But it’s such a good sign. When the seasons change, I can’t help but want to build my wardrobe. Who doesn’t want to add a summer top or dress when the weather warms up? But I’ve spent so much time here talking about my goals of making more instead of buying, I really wanted to stay true to that. So the more I wanted new clothes, the more I’ve set about making them!

After finishing my first two tops, I thought that I was ready for a challenge. I think I dove in a little too deep, trying a Wiksten Tova top with some fabric that I wasn’t so attached to. I’m not sure if it was my lack of patience or my novice skills but it started getting ugly pretty quickly. I decided to scrap it and go back to basics.

yellow scout 2

While I urge new knitters to go immediately out of their comfort zones, I couldn’t follow my own advice on sewing. I know knitting is something I could do blindfolded with my hands tied behind my back (try me) so it’s easy for me to say, “Just try a sweater if that interests you! It’s easy!” but there’s just two stitches. You don’t have to know much to get started knitting your heart out. Sewing, I’ve found, has a lot more specifics. There are many secrets I’ve yet to uncover. So I really wanted to get comfortable with the things that I’d already tried before I started adding on.

I’d bought this yellow and white fabric a while ago in an online sale. It’s some kind of cotton blend that has this dimple texture all over it. Luckily, both fabrics are the same just different colors. So it seemed right to pair them together. I’ve seen so many cute variations on simple pieces that are just a contrasting sleeve or bias tape. Little details really make something different so this shirt doesn’t really resemble my first Scout too heavily.

yellow scout 3

One of the things that I was really trying to master here was the set in sleeve. I won’t say it was done perfectly but it seemed to go much easier and I built so much confidence. The first sleeve was set in excellently and I was so excited. I was wearing my one-sleeved shirt all over the apartment, just feeling proud and admiring my work in the mirror. That’s when I realized I’d done it inside out. Got some more practice, so there’s a silver lining.

I also wanted to up the challenge since the top is relatively simple so I did French seams everywhere but where I set in the sleeve. I do not have the mojo for that just yet. And I really made myself do things right. If it wasn’t perfect, I unpicked and re-stitched. I started this top right after finishing the first season of The Great British Sewing Bee so I was kind of imagining May and Patrick going over my work. I would hate to disappoint them.

yellow scout

I like this top. I’m definitely going to be one of those crazy sewists with 500 Scout tees in her wardrobe. It’s just so breezy to make and it’s great to wear. I know my wardrobe and, while I’d love to make hundreds of different sundresses, my uniform (for work especially) is jeans with a cute tee.

I’m really hoping to make another scout in a knit. I find the shape of the shirt a little boxy and I think a nice medium or light weight knit would be more flattering. I’ve never worked with knits before but I’m told it’s not as challenging as everyone makes it sound. So I’m sure that will go terribly.

Don’t worry, I’m still knitting up a storm! But I’m so pleased to be building my own wardrobe! (I actually stopped myself from buying a cheap shirt the other day. I took a photo so I can try to reproduce it on my own. It felt great to have that power and to say no to something that wasn’t sustainable.)

Do you get bit the sewing bug sometimes? How many Scout tees have you sewn?

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

05
Jun

Sphinx Inspiration

Written by Sarah. Posted in design, FO, knits

Not that anybody asked but I had so much fun playing around with the Urban Legends theme in this issue of Knitscene Accessories, I just want to talk about it. Here’s the story behind Sphinx.

sphinx hat 2

As I mentioned before, I was really excited about the mythology theme. I was thinking of lots of cool images including singing vases, bodega coffee cups, and Penelope’s tapestry. I decided that I wanted to do something Egyptian. I really wanted to be an Egyptologist when I was a kid. I think I have this book memorized. Egyptian mythology arouses so many visuals, there’s a lot to work with there.

But my inspiration came mainly from Cleopatra who was not a mythical creature but a real live human being. If you’ve read Stacy Schiff’s Cleopatra, you know that many of the popular legends about her just that and that she was actually a remarkable leader of her country and army. Cleopatra came along a lot later than King Tut and the pyramids and she was actually Greek. The popular vixen story appeared somewhere later down the line. So Cleopatra herself is something of a myth. (Am I getting too literal here? Stay with me.) Anyway, it lead me to this idea of interpreting the Egyptian nemes, that iconic headdress that the pharaohs wore.

king tut

I had this picture in my mind of modern Cleopatra. Maybe it came from watching too much Clone High (RIP CLONE HIGH. WHERE CAN I STREAM THAT SHOW!?)  but that was where the fun started. I imagine she’s pretty cool and artsy. Still wears a lot of eye make up, obviously, and maybe has some cool tattoos. She definitely knows the best coffee shops and dive bars. I suppose that she’s a myth to me, too.

And this is what that incarnation wears. It’s got those jewel tones of the nemes, the turquoise and ebony in gold, but it’s in a repeating pattern that appeals to me as a minimalist. The shape of the hat really lends itself to that Brooklyn (sorry, I’m using that as an adjective and I don’t care) vibe that our no-nonsense coffee beverage-drinker, who’s working on her latest installation piece modern Cleopatra gives off.

So there you have it. Do you think Cleo would wear one of these?

Tags: , , , , , ,

02
Jun

FO: Wiksten Tank

Written by Sarah. Posted in sewing, shirt

It’s no secret. I’ve been bitten by the sewing bug. I say it every time the seasons change, I’m a year-round knitter. But seeing so many gorgeous Me Made May outfits really got me inspired to enhance my wardrobe. While I always have this secret (unjustified) feeling that knitting is far superior to any other craft (I’m a craftist, I admit it), the warm weather and near instant gratification of sewing is really putting me on a roll.

That being said, it took just about forever for this top to come into being. When I invested in my sewing machine TWO YEARS AGO, I decided that the Wiksten tank would be a really easy beginner pattern to tackle. I’d already made a skirt and infant-sized jacket so this was a piece of cake. While I was trying to start out (and still am) using discount fabrics in case of failure, I treated myself to some beautiful Liberty London fabric. I figured I was safe in using it here. How bad could I screw up a tank?

wiksten tank

For once, those weren’t famous last words. I actually think I did pretty swell on it. The thing is, I got the shoulder and side seams all worked out and then threw the top into a box, pins still holding up the hem. I didn’t forget about the top, somehow that impulse that had lead me to purchase the machine and get through my first few projects had left me and I was back to knitting 24/7. I mean, in my defense, I have been getting some pretty serious knitting done since I started sewing.

wiksten tank 2

But when I was once again ready to start sewing, I got it done. I think that it’s not so fantastic in some respects. I didn’t have that much patience when I started the tank and I think I’ve got more of a hang of the process now. In spite of its imperfections, it’s a really great top that’s casual but can easily be dressed up. And that fabric is just great. I’m so happy I splurged on it because it really takes this simple garment up to the next level.

Are you finishing up any UFOs? Are you sewing this season or knitting?

Tags: , , , ,

19
Mar

Throwback FO: My First FO

Written by Sarah. Posted in afghan, FO, knits

You’ll never forget your first.

I started knitting ten years ago. I jumped right in making things for my friends. I like to think that I was a quick study. Probably because, before that, I learned the very basics when I was eight years old. My mom taught me garter stitch when I was in fourth grade. She did all of the casting on and binding off but she taught me the knit stitch and I made this.

first knitting

It’s not very impressive. I believe it ended up being a blanket for my favorite stuffed animal. It certainly grew in places, probably due to the yarn overs placed arbitrarily throughout. It’s made from some leftover Red Heart Super Saver so it doesn’t feel particularly nice. It was something to keep me occupied when I could draw, another way to make things. It is what it is.

IMG_9517

I’ve taught countless people to knit since this unfortunate blob happened. “You should see the first thing I ever made,” I’ve told each and every one of them with the memory of this piece still fresh in my mind. When I was cleaning out my childhood bedroom over the weekend, I found it. I knew it was still in my parents’ house somewhere. (We have a hard time parting with things.) And I’m so glad it still exists.

first fo 2

 

If I had a studio, I’d hang it on the wall. Look at how far I’ve come! Look at how much there is to learn! Look at how satisfying it is to make things with your hands!

What’s the first thing you ever knit? How did it turn out?

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

21
Feb

FO: New Year’s Scout Tee

Written by Sarah. Posted in sewing, shirt

At the end of 2013 I was setting up my goals for this year and they were a little overwhelming. While much of my plan for 2014 seemed unobtainable, the idea of sewing more seemed pretty simple and tangible. So while I was resting my achey hands, I decided there was no better time to start with that resolution than the present. On New Year’s Eve, I started putting together the Scout Tee and when it was time for champagne toasts, I had most of a garment.

I’ve talked about sewing here before. It’s not something I really excel at. I just hate ironing and I still don’t have a proper space to lay out fabric. But I’ve basically stopped buying clothes (aside from pieces from my favorite reputable source, Everlane, and a bridesmaid dress) since I wrote this post  so I think it’s time I get my shit together and make a few pieces for myself. (Side note, I’m really proud that I’ve cut back on shopping here. I thought it would be a really difficult challenge for me but I really feel good about it!) Besides all of this, I’ve met some really amazing ladies that I know I can turn to when I hit a dead end. Seriously, I’ve had so many offers for lessons, I know some really lovely sewists!

But I am a bad student. I want to teach myself everything. I’m learning quickly that I need some advice.

So here is my finished tee! I used a fabric that I picked up at Purl Soho (that I can’t find information for anymore). Seems like I’m on kind of an orange kick. Something must be going on in my second chakra. I can’t wear dresses to work so my summer uniform is jeans with a cute top. Scout is the shape for something casual and simple without looking sloppy. I’ll definitely be making another!

scout tee grainline

It’s not perfect. I feel like I ought to strive a little harder for perfection at the very least so my garments will hold up well but for now I think I just need to get things made so I’m not so discouraged.

When I see a simple garment like this one, it seems like instant gratification. The problem is, even though it’s not too difficult, there are a lot of steps (read: IRONING!) to make each piece look finished. I mean, of course there is the hem and the seams but then there are things like binding around the neckline. Those little steps that I forget about when I dive into a project. I’m obviously still a novice when it comes to planning.

scout tee sleeve

Setting in the sleeve was quite a challenge. Way harder than setting in a knit sleeve. But I decided to stick with how it came out on my first go-round. There’s definitely some gathering since I didn’t quite know what I was doing. I could probably use a better tutorial. That being said, it’s not terrible all things considered and everything fits where it ought to. Good job, me!

scout tee

This top was the perfect beginner piece for me. It had just the right amount of difficulty, nothing too complicated but enough that I felt myself learning. And, of course, in the end, I’m left with a beautiful garment that fits and that I’m definitely going to wear the crap out of!

I’m already working on my next sewing project while I wait for yarn to arrive in the mail. What should I make next? Have you sewn a Scout tee?

Tags: , , , , , ,

04
Feb

FO: A Selfish Sweater

Written by Sarah. Posted in FO, knits, sweater

Faro was off my needles pretty quickly! I actually was able to put the bottom ribbing on right before I went to Vogue Knitting Live! So I a lot of people saw it unblocked (meaning super cropped and hanging weird, whatever! She needed to be worn!). I finally got a chance to block it and I could not be happier.

You’re going to be seeing me in this sweater A LOT. Absolutely, 100% Faro has jumped to the number one spot of favorite sweaters! I decided to take some photos wearing the big floppy hat that I have no occasion for. Remember my inspiration photo? I am no model but big hats!

faro 2

First of all, I love the construction of this sweater. Knitting from side-to-side was really fun! There wasn’t a ton of shaping (really just the under-arm shaping) so it was really really simple (as in if you’re intimidated in any way by knitting sweaters, this is a great place to start!) but the lace/cables made this really fun to work up. The aran-weight Quince and Co Osprey made this really quick but totally satisfying. I could not imagine making this sweater with a different yarn. Also, there was no finishing necessary on the collar which is awesome. (I dread picking up collar stitches almost as much as I do seaming and weaving in ends.)

I’m completely obsessed with the stripes of cables and lace. Amy really knows how to make a handsome sweater. They play perfectly with the boatneck. And I must add that I’ve never really been a fan of boatnecks although I actually look pretty good in them. Note to self: more of that. The cropped length is really fun, too! I was afraid it was going to come out way too short (especially before I put on the ribbing) but it’s really just perfect all around. Trust the pattern!

faro 3

I think I mentioned before that I went with a three-quarter sleeve instead of the half. I just added a few inches in the chart pattern before I worked the sleeve shaping. I love sweaters with cropped sleeves and I think I’m going to do this with all of the sweaters I make myself. I almost always wear them over a button down with the sleeves rolled up. This way I can roll the cuff of my button down without getting the cuff of the sweater involved in that mess.

faro

I used to just knit sweaters that were patterns that I thought would be interesting and fun to make. This piece goes beyond that in adding functionally to my wardrobe. It’s not just a beautiful sweater, it’s a garment that I want to wear. This was the perfect place for me to step out of my comfort zone. Like I said, I don’t really wear boat necks often. I was really nervous about how that apricot color would look on me though I was drawn to it. I was scared that together it might be a little too much. But it all came together so perfectly. This is just amazing.

Long story short, I want to knit another one of these! I don’t think I’ve ever knit a pattern more than once (with the exception of the 12 pairs of knucks I’ve made) but this one I’d gladly make again!

What do you think? When are you casting on your own Faro?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

30
Dec

2013 in FOs

Written by Sarah. Posted in design, FO, knits

This year has come and gone so quickly. I can hardly believe everything that I accomplished and the new projects on the horizon. I went back and looked at the goals I had outlined for this year while I was taking a break last week. I just wanted to make a lot of stuff. I certainly did that (though not enough, NEVER enough). My mantra back in January was that 2013 would be my year. I was going to kick ass and take names, etc. I certainly think that I succeeded.

First of all, I’ve been working harder than ever to make this blog what you see. I certainly have lots of help and support and I need it but the time and effort has paid off. I have had so much fun this year hearing from readers and making my bonds with other knitters even stronger. I love being able to reach right to you all and I can’t wait for more!

I have a lot of lovely FOs this year. I think 2013 was about tying up loose ends (sometimes literally) in order to make new beginnings.

fair isle

2013 knitting FOs:
Linen Stitch Socks
Great Divide Shawl
Fluted Cowl
I-cord projects
Hurrication Sweater (above)
Poolside Sweater
#kollabsockalong Hermione socks

and the others:
Hamsa Embroidery
Boat Mobile

Most importantly, though, I really got started designing. Some wonderful editors and curators believed in my work and took a gamble on me. Designing is probably one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever taken on. I’m really enjoying it, though, and I look forward to more! Last year I wore the Maxfield cardigan when I met my knitting crush Amy Christoffers at Rhinebeck and one year later, I greeted her while wearing my first published sweater. I don’t think I’ll ever be in the same league as Amy, it would be silly to compare myself, but it felt really cool. That kind of sums up what a crazy time I’ve had over the past twelve months.

the crash style

The Crash
Olivia Hat
Michelle Collar
Libby Headband
Bobble Plant Cozy

And, of course, there are so many cool projects on the horizon. A lot more designing is happening! Am I doing this? I think I’m doing this, yes. Plenty of projects are happening that I can actually share with you right now and I have some cool ideas for keeping things fun and interesting in the new year. I don’t like to make resolutions but I do plan on making 2014 a killer year with BIG THINGS happening. (I’ll leave it cryptic, I’d hate to jinx myself.)

Thank you all, lovelies, for sticking with me through this fun year. I hope that you’ll stay on for the ride. 2014 is going to be fun. Happy New Year! I wish I could be popping a bottle with you all.

ps. 2012 in FOs

Tags: , , , ,

09
Sep

FO: #kollabsockalong

Written by Sarah. Posted in FO, knit-a-long, knits, kollabora, life, socks

You’ll have to excuse my few days of absence. Last week was one of those weeks where all you want to do is hide from life on the couch with a big cup of tea and some really good knitting, when you want to give hugs to everyone you know. When you’re feeling pain and sorrow, nothing can snap you out of it like a good sock. Of course, those rough weeks are also the ones that keep you too busy to sleep let alone get some stitching in.  The end of summer has been hectic for my family and I was hoping that it would begin to settle down after Labor Day weekend. I was wrong, I’ll leave it at that.

I still feel dizzy with all of the work that I left unfinished over the past few days, there’s just so much to catch up on, and of course, there are plenty of deadlines looming. But I’m excited to say that I’ll be filling up my month with lots of great projects. It’s going to be a heck of a ride and as much as I stress, I love the feeling of importance that comes from one too many commitments.

Anyway, where did we leave off?

sockalong

I finished the first sock just before the holiday weekend and immediately cast on for the second. I had so much time in the car and having a drink that by the end of Labor Day weekend, I’d already turned the heel and was working my way towards the foot. It all happened so fast. It was like an inverse second sock syndrome. The second sock just kind of happened like magic.

I finally turned to my knitting Friday night, just exhausted and drained, and was so happily surprised that I had just a few more inches to go before my sock was complete.

Together, they are so soft and comfy. These are definitely my new favorite sock and I look forward to purchasing more yarn from Jill to make a second pair. Maybe those will be gifted. Maybe.

#kollabsockalong

Knitting, my friend’s mother (a fellow knitter) told me in college, is something that control freaks love to do. We love being able to preside over every inch, manage the perfect fit, and obsess over tiny stitches. Sometimes when life becomes that blur, when things happen that we can’t change, when we are thrown those proverbial curveballs, it is huge therapy just to sit down with needles, to make something as perfect as we need them to be, and to feel that peace that comes with completing a pair of socks.

Did you finish your socks? Don’t forget to post photos! Judging starts tomorrow!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

30
Aug

FO: Boat Mobile

Written by Sarah. Posted in baby, baby, gift, sewing

Did anybody guess that the mysterious WIP I posted hints to on Monday was a boat mobile? It was a pretty tough one. In fact, making this thing, I was a little stumped myself.

boats

Jon’s brother just had another baby and I promised I wouldn’t make a big, time consuming gift. That lasted about five minutes.  I guess cruising Etsy got the idea of making a mobile stuck in my brain. Jon’s brother is obsessed with fishing so he loves nautical themes. (I’ll take a moment here to admit to the selfishness of giving a handmade gift. While putting lots of time and love into the things that I make for others is very very important to me, nothing beats that rush that you get when the giftee unwraps what you’ve made and likes it!)

I originally wanted the little fishes to be caught on the string by their mouths like some tiny people were fishing them out of their tiny boats but I think that’s a little morbid.

boats2

I picked up a pack of fat quarters in different blues at Purl Soho. I did a really rough template for the boats and just started cutting fabric and figuring things out. I ended up sewing all of the sails to the boats by hand. The more I worked on these boats (and by that I mean laying on the floor in front of my sewing machine wondering aloud, “How do I put these together!?”), the more I realized that I am nowhere near as good at sewing as I am at knitting. Sewing is terrifying and unwieldy and I am clumsy and backwards.

That being said, I think the whole thing turned out well and I’m especially pleased with the little anchor.

Putting this all together was a lot of fun. I like to think of myself as a crafty girl but I’m rarely gluing and repurposing things in the projects that I make on the regular. I hot glued cotton masonry twine to the inside of an old embroidery hoop. I like how the twine looks like mini ropes. I threw together some macrame to hang the hoop. I must admit that I never learned macrame when I was in camp. It’s so fun! I’ve been missing out. I decided to use figure 8 knots (and a dab of hot glue, naturally) to attach all of the pieces.

All in all, I’m happy with this guy. I definitely need more practice sewing.

Do you think garments are easier to sew than toys? What am I doing wrong?

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,