Today’s attempts at getting modeling shots with a goofy 12-year-old . . .
This is a nice one-skein project – perfect if you needed to make a whole bunch of hats for gift-giving.
My first time working with Plucky Groovy, Baby! . . . interesting construction, with a lot of spiral and twist to the yarn. It takes color beautifully, but I think I like Plucky Cashmere better – it’s definitely softer (even though this yarn is also 100% cashmere).
Pattern: Imposter’s Shawl
Yarn: Plucky Groovy, Baby! (100% cashmere) – 1.5 skeins (380 yds/ea) in color Livery
Needles: US 8s
Notes: Since this is a fingering weight yarn, I knit with yarn doubled. I completed the number of repeats as specified by the pattern, but didn’t do the edging as called for the in the pattern; I found the directions confusing, unfortunately. Instead, I just picked up all of the yarn-overs along the edge, then used a K1, KPK repeat, and then bound off. I like the effect just as well, and the difference is hardly noticeable when wearing the shawl. The color IRL is a darker purple in most light – it looks deeper and more interesting than it does in the photos.
This is great size and shape of shawl for wearing here in Oregon, where it doesn’t often get cold enough that you want something really warm – like cashmere – wrapped too many times around your neck. It’s big enough to keep you warm, but not so big as to make you feel like you’re drowning in it.
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Zest of one lemon
1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line a muffin tin with wrappers, or grease well.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, apple sauce, oil, vanilla, and lemon zest.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together until just combined.
Fold in the cranberries.
Fill each muffin tin 2/3 full with the batter.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed, firm, and golden brown on top.
Made for my middle daughter’s 15th birthday, per her request:
Yarn: Blue Sky Fibers Woodstock Worsted – 3 skeins Cast Iron (CC2) and 3 skeins Spun Gold (CC1) (123 yds/ea)
Needles: US 8s
Gauge: 18 sts x 24 rows = 4″
CO 54 sts in CC1
Knit 16 rows in 2×2 rib
Stockinette stitch 20 more rows in CC1, keeping 2×2 rib for first 4 and last 4 sts
Length is now 6” – change to CC2
Knit first row with CC2 w/o rib (to hide color change)
Purl second row w/ rib sts on first and last 4 sts
St st 36 rows total (6”)
Next row: change back to CC1
Work a total of 6 blocks of CC1 and 6 blocks of CC2
On last block of CC2, work 20 rows, then K2P2 last 16 rows
B/O in rib
While traveling around Lake Michigan for interviews and photographs for By Hand’s upcoming Lookbook No. 5, I took a little time to hunt for beach pebbles along the lake’s shore. I came home with a pocketful of rocks, not sure what to do with them. I didn’t want to just leave them, forgotten and dusty, in a jar on the windowsill . . . so I contacted Michigan jeweler Liz Saile, who creates jewelry from native Michigan stone, including stitch markers for LYS Wool & Honey. I sent her my rocks, and she polished them up and set them for me. I love what she did, and now I can enjoy them every day!
This “rock” is actually a piece of coral; Liz created a minimalistic pendant setting that holds it securely, yet still shows off as much of the piece as possible.
These rocks are Leland Blues – read about them here, it’s a fascinating origin story, and they can only be found in Leelanau County along the shores of Lake Michigan. Liz created jump hoops for them – I could now string them on a necklace or bracelet, or use them as stitch markers.
These final two are small pieces of quartz, that polished up beautifully.
I love this one – oh boy! One of the best combinations of pattern and yarn that I’ve ever knit
Pattern: Gramps Cardigan by Kate Oakes
Yarn: YOTH Daughter in Natural Vanilla (100% domestic Rambouillet and Merino blend) – 4 skeins (330 yds/ea)
Size: 40″ (this supposedly gives me about 3″ of positive ease)
Needles; US 7s and US 6s (ribbing)
Buttons: from Never Not Knitting’s online shop (not currently available)
I really loved working with YOTH Daughter – it’s got such a sheepy, wooly feel to it, but it knits up beautifully, as well – it feels soft, warm, and light, all at the same time! The color is so natural that it really goes with everything. My only thought is maybe I should have made the sleeves a little wider – they are a perfect fit when I’m wearing a t-shirt, but a little tight if I want to wear a long-sleeve button-down shirt underneath. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing about it!Pin It
This past week, I had the chance to travel all around the Puget Sound region of western Washington for interviews and photographs of the makers who will be featured in By Hand Serial’s upcoming Lookbook No. 4. As always, I was in awe of the natural beauty in this part of the world. The theme of the trip was definitely “water” – in just about every form you can imagine! Below is a visual tour of some of the wonderful places we stopped in our travels:
Salish Lodge, perched on the edge of Snoqualmie Falls, was our first stop of the trip.
We took a down day to photograph the natural beauty of the region – and escape the triple-digit temperatures – by hiking to Twin Falls, on the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River.
The next day, we drove to the small town of Carnation, along the Tolt River – the local park and campgrounds included this iconic big red barn, outfitted as a community gathering spot and sporting the most gorgeous array of wooden rafters and beams.
I took an early morning run in Snoqualmie before we headed out for the day and was rewarded with the absolute stillness of Mill Pond (above) and a chance to run along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and cross this retrofitted railroad trestle (below).
The Salish Lodge puts on an amazing farm breakfast, including this picture-perfect (and tasty!) coffee service.
Our next stop was Bellingham – we loved eating and shopping in the small Fairhaven district, and the path along Bellingham Bay, including this overwater boardwalk, was picture perfect.
Sunset on Bellingham Bay
We ended the next day in the small village of Langley, on Whidbey Island. These are both view from our deck – looking one direction to the sunset, and the other direction to the Olympics.
Early morning stillness made the waters off the coast of Whidbey Island as flat as a sheet of glass.
Langley is a lovely little town, complete with wonderful dining and shops – including the early risers at Useless Bay Coffee Company.
Before hopping the ferry to Port Townsend, we grabbed breakfast at Knead & Feed in Coupeville, where the best cinnamon rolls in the entire world are served!
We finished our whirlwind tour on the Seattle waterfront, where we arrived just in time to see the Thursday evening parade of sailboats.
Our window at Inn at the Market gave us a birds eye view of sunset over the Olympics.Pin It
Just a few snapshots from my recent trip to Michigan for By Hand Serial Lookbook No. 5 . . . the really beautiful photos will be in the book! Issue #5 will be published in late January 2018 (byhandserial.com).
Best breakfast in the trip at Red Spire – unbelievably located in what used to be an institutional hospital in Traverse City, now renovated to house restaurants and shops.
Sunset on the beach in Leland on the northern peninsula – we watched several intrepid souls surfing (they were wearing full body wetsuits, understandably!)
Early morning mist rises over one of the thousands of lakes in Michigan – this little one, which we had all to ourselves, is located halfway between Leland and Traverse City.
Perfect afternoon knitting on Mackinaw Island, on the patio of the Hotel Iroquois.
Sunset from Mackinaw Island – at this time of year, we could see both the sunrise and the sunset over the water! You can see the Mackinac Bridge in the background – an almost five-mile wide suspension bridge, the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the western hemisphere.
A glorious climbing hydrangea creates an entrance to one of the beautiful Victorian mansions on Mackinaw Island (once you got out of the touristy town center, that is).
Just one of the amazing meals we had at the Hotel Iroquois.
Lake Michigan was unbelievably clear and turquoise blue along its shores.
I chose this pattern from Brooklyn Tweed’s latest collection because it seemed simple, classic, and comfy – something that I could easily throw on with a pair jeans in just about any situation. Plus, it gave me an opportunity to knit an entire garment from BT’s marled yarns, which I think knit up beautifully in this basic turtleneck.
Pattern: Meyer by Veronica Avery
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter (8 skeins in colorway Narwhal)
Needles: US 7s and US 6s (for ribbing) – as usual, I had to go down a needle size to get gauge
Size: 39 1/2″ – theoretically, this should give me about 2 1/2″ of ease, which seems perfect for a cozy turtleneck that I want to fit comfortably, but not too oversized.
My only issue with the FO is that I didn’t block it very aggressively, so it’s not quite as long as I would like it to be; I think that can be cured by another blocking, but I decided to wear it for a while first and see how I feel about the length once it’s been out of my closet a few times. I can always re-block it when I need to wash it, I suppose . . .
This is one of my favorite sewing projects to date Cute and comfortable to wear, good in all types of weather, and different from anything in my closet! The secret is the fabric – perfect drape, some heft but without any of the stiffness that you’d get from quilting cotton, and a little slubby texture, to top it all off.
I wasn’t sure that the jumper would look good on me – it’s very shapeless and basic (which is what makes it easy to sew). I did decide to take the seams in at the waist for a little shaping, and I hemmed it well above the knee, so that it looks more like a jumper than a dress – I think that’s the key to counterbalancing the shape.
I was going to use some fun contrasting bias tape, but I ended up using the same fabric as the dress – glad I did, it is lightweight enough that it didn’t add any bulk, and it blends in so I don’t have to worry if my bias tape isn’t perfectly ironed under and sewn down
Pattern: 100 Acts of Sewing Dress No. 1
Size: Medium (38″)
Fabric: Ella Blue Outback Wife yarn dye blue from Fiddlehead Artisan Supply (I bought 4.63 yards but only ended up using about half of that – plenty left over for a shirt!)
Pattern: Clover Pants by Colette Patterns
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel Plain Weave in color Catcus – 3 yards (with about 1/2 yard leftover)
Love this pattern – it fits so well! And this fabric is wonderful – so soft and comfortable, with nice drape, and a beautiful woven appearance.
I spent the weekend recreating one of my favorite tote bags from Graf Lantz — a felted wool and leather tote bag that I use for my knitting projects (and just about everything else!) I may have gotten carried away with all of possible color combinations . . .
I sourced the 5mm felted wool from Filzfelt, and kept the cost reasonable by purchasing wool design felt remnants. The leather pieces were also scraps, sourced from Springfield Leather. I wrote out the pattern as I went, noting adjustments that needed to be made and sewing tips. I found that I was able to cut both the felted wool and the leather with a rotary cutter (sometimes using an Xacto knife to cut out stubborn corners).
I first tried using heavy-duty thread, but my sewing machine wasn’t having it, so I switched to Gutermann’s all-purpose thread and used a triple-thread zigzag stitch. I was able to get the felted wool pieces sewn together, but once I moved on to sewing leather into felted wool, I had to use an industrial sewing machine. Luckily, we have an amazing cooperative workhouse here in Portland called Klum House, where you can take some amazing classes, or learn to use (and then purchase time to use) an industrial sewing machine. As is so often the case, the right tool made all the difference, and I was able to sew through the various materials and thicknesses with no problem whatsoever.
The pattern is just for personal use, but if you sign up for the By Hand Serial newsletter, you can get it for free!
I love both the fabric and the pattern that I used for this project, and it gave me just the look I was going for! The fabric is from Fiddlehead Artisan Supply – Robert Kaufman Railroad Denim in Indigo (2.5 yards). The pattern is Blank Slate’s Oceanside Pants (size medium).
The patterns were amazingly easy to sew, and required few modifications. I really like the design of the pockets, and they’re very simple since they’re patch pockets. The pants are elastic waistband, but with the clever addition of drawstrings sewn to the elastic, for a little more of a finished look.
I did add about 1.5″ to the top of the waistband because I didn’t want the pants to ride so low on my hips, although once they were sewn up, I think they would have been fine even as called for in the pattern. I ended up taking about 2″ out of each leg from the knee down to the ankle, just because they were so wide-legged — I mean, I know that’s the look, but I could have fit a second person in there with me! And, I cuffed the pants and tacked down the cuffs. Otherwise, I didn’t make any pattern mods.
One of my impulse fabric buys from Fiddlehead Artisan Supply during my trip to Maine this summer was a fat eighth roll of Dupioni silk, in gorgeous blues and greens collectively named “Water” (which is exactly what it makes me think of Of course, I had no real plan for these silks, they were just too beautiful to leave in the store. I ultimately decided that instead of making yet another pillow or tote bag, I would sew them lengthwise into a skirt for my youngest daughter.
There are six silk pieces in all, each 9″ x 22″. I didn’t waste or cut any of the fabric – just sewed them all together lengthwise, then a small hem and a small roll for an elastic waistband.
Then, of course, she needed something to wear with the skirt . . . this tank is a modified child-size version of Athens, knit with two skeins (437 yds/ea) of Alpha B yarn’s Single Silk B (70% superwash merino / 30% silk) in color Hey Sailor. I wanted a yarn with some silk, to produce a sheen that echoed the fabric of the skirt, and I thought the the deep navy color went best with all of the “water” colors of the skirt. The tank is knit on US 4s.
I fell in love with these summery blue and white tea towels at Sugar Tools in Camden while visiting Maine this summer, but I couldn’t justify buying more tea towels – I’m already drowning in the kitchen tea towels I’ve bought from local artists, sewn myself, and received as gifts. However, I thought these would make the perfect throw pillows (although who am I kidding, I’m drowning in handmade throw pillows, too!)
I didn’t do any cutting at all – by folding each towel in half, I got perfectly sized 18″ x 13″ pillowcases. I sewed the long side closed and sewed one short side closed with an exposed seam and selvedge. On the other short side, I sewed six buttonholes and used these perfectly sized buttons from Purl Soho. I have to admit – I love how these came out, they’re exactly what I pictured when I saw the linens sitting on the shelf in Sugar Tools
I love the fabric I used for these PJs – found when I stumbled into the world’s greatest fabric store tucked away in the small coastal Maine town of Belfast. The store is Fiddlehead Artisan Supply, and along with so many other things, it has an amazing selection of apparel fabric. The teal PJ bottoms are sewn from 2 yards of Radiance (color Slate) and the top is sewn from .75 yards of Radiance (color Sage). The orange-hued floral PJs are sewn from 2.5 yards of Voile (color Rose) and 1 yard of Woodland Clearing (color Ivory). The fabrics are voile, lawn, and a wonderful silk/cotton blend that washes up beautifully. They do wrinkle a lot, but I think of it as “beautiful wrinkles” (kind of like linen
The pattern, however, I really didn’t like at all. It’s called Night Garden Pajama Set, and I sewed sizes small (teal PJs) and large (floral PJs). I skipped a lot of the design “extras” (like pockets) and kept them very simple, but the basic shape of the jammies didn’t fit well – particularly the pants. First, the pant legs are wide – I mean, fit-two-people-in-a-single-leg wide. They’re so wide that they make it difficult to walk. Then strangely enough, the waistband rides very low, making your tummy stick out and the fit tight in the crotch – two things you don’t want in pajamas! I had to alter the waistband substantially just to get it to fit, even on my on-the-skinny-side youngest daughter.
I didn’t use the adjustable straps part of the pattern – it seemed overly complicated for my purposes, and instead I just sized the straps on each of the intended recipients of the PJs. They’ll be comfortable enough, I suppose, nice and lightweight for summer sleeping, but I have to say that I wouldn’t use this pattern again.
I love fingerweight yarn knit on larger needles – it makes such soft, floaty fabric that is so lovely to wear! Julie Asselin’s yarns are particularly beautiful because of how the color is just varied enough to provide visual interest. Even though this simple pattern required a lot of stockinette stitch, it was a meditative pleasure to knit, and didn’t take much longer than a week or so.
Yarn: Julie Asselin’s Leizu Fingering (90% merino / 10% silk) – 3 skeins (420 yds/ea) in color Romance
Needles: US 5s (as usual, I had to go down a size or two to get gauge)
Size: 41 1/4″ (I don’t think this really gives me 3-3 1/2″ of positive ease – probably the finished sweater is closer to 40″. The fit is relaxed and casual without feeling too slouchy or baggy. This size was the second smallest, and I definitely didn’t think that the smallest size of any pattern would be a good fit for me!)
I’m in my “big shawls” phase now – no more tiny little shawlettes for me! I love how these big oversize shawls wrap around me in such a generous cozy cloud. That’s particularly true with this yarn, a single ply that epitomizes fluffy softness!
Pattern: Lakefront by Alicia Plummer
Yarn: Camellia Fiber Co. Flou (100% merino single ply) – 2 skeins (24 yds/ea) in Rainbow Sprinkles and 2 skeins in Ivory
Needles: US 7s
This shawl has all of the beautiful things: speckled color, ivory lace, and a marshmallow soft hand. It was fun to knit, and only started to feel like a bit of a slog at the very end of all of those long rows of lace
This time of year, it’s so easy to come up with quick and delicious baked desserts . . . we hosted two big pool parties this weekend, and that was enough of an excuse for me to bake. I used raspberries, blackberries, and marionberries from our garden and local peaches. So yummy!
The perfect summer-weight casual top!
Pattern: Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond
Yarn: Berroco Indigo (recycled denim/cotton) – 4 skeins (color Denim)
Needles: US 5s or 6s (oops – forgot to write this down!)
Size: 36″ (my gauge was a little larger than that called for in the pattern, so this is probably a final size of more like 37-38″, for about 1-2″ of positive ease)
Mods: Shortened the sleeve length – otherwise, knit to the pattern