To me, there’s no place in the world more beautiful than the coast of Maine – even when the spring has been unusually cool and slow to arrive! My oldest daughter and I spent a week exploring to celebrate her successful completion of her freshman year of college 🙂
My luck is hit-and-miss finding store-bought patterns that fit me well, so I’ve started hacking my own patterns from ready-made clothes in my closet. I recently bought a boxy linen pullover that I thought would make a good model for a tunic. I drafted the pattern and first experimented on some apparel fabric in my stash, bought years ago – I thought I’d use this just as a test subject, but I liked it so much that I ended up adding it to my wardrobe! Unfortunately, I have no notes on what the fabric is or where I got it.
Next, I used the “main event” fabric – 2.5 yards of Japanese yarn-dyed cotton that I purchased recently at Fiddlehead Artisan Supply in Belfast, Maine.
For both tunics, I used the neckline and sleeve fit from the ready-made inspiration piece, but I lengthened the body, loosened the cuffs on the sleeves so that buttons weren’t necessary, and added pockets (because what tunic doesn’t look and wear better with pockets!) I was really pleased with the fit and how both of these (very different) fabrics.
Another summerweight mohair shawl from By Hand Serial Lookbook No. 9, this one is knit by alternating lace weight merino (held double stranded) and adding in a strand of lace weight merino/silk (for a total of three strands).
Two new shawls, designed for By Hand Serial Lookbook No. 9 – both use a combination of mohair/silk and fingering weight yarns to create a soft, beautiful fiber that is both light and warm. I love how mixing different yarns in the same color family results in a color that has so much layering and depth to it!
After hacking the tunic pattern, I wanted to see how it would look if I expanded it (with a few tweaks) into a dress. I lengthened it further, but also started it sloping outwards in an A-shape from the waist downward. Instead of patch pockets, I added interior pockets along the side seams. I shortened the sleeves (but kept the cuff as edging).
The fabric is another impulse buy from Fiddlehead Artisan Supply – 3 yards of linen Hokkah sheeting. As a facing, pocket lining, and an edging along the hem, I used .5 yards of Galway Indigo linen.
I think that the shape works so long as the hem is fairly high – it’s loose, not overly fitted, but still flattering, and a comfortable, lightweight staple for the summer.
This is one of my patterns from the newest issue of By Hand Serial: Lookbook No. 9. I think it might be my favorite – it is, in my opinion, the perfect wear-anywhere, wear-with-everything, three-season cardigan! Knit in fingering weight yarn, it can take on just about any look you want, showcase any yarn you love, and it’s never too heavy or bulky. I already have a second one on my needles 🙂
This yarn came to me all the way from Poland – it is created in small batches by a talented dyer named Marzena Kolaczek. Her saturated tonal colors are stunning, and I love how they look so beautiful together, they almost glow! This yarn base is a blend of merino, cashmere, and silk – the result is the perfect drape and incredible softness. This piece has become my new favorite go-to shawl, just because it feels so good around my neck and it was so much fun to knit up all of the different colors.
Sweet Sounds Bias Wrap
Width: 18” Length: 74”
Chmurka Goat on the Boat (70% superwash merino/20% silk/10% cashmere, 437 yds per 100 g) 1 skein each of five colors (I used Sunny Honey, Valadilene, Cogs, Patina, and Foggy Night)
US 7 (4.5 mm) needles, tapestry needle
18 sts and 25 rows = 4” in Stockinette stitch, blocked
Hold yarn double-stranded throughout. Scarf is knit on the bias from one short end to the other, with large stripes separated by one garter stitch ridge. Scarf begins and ends with K3, P2 ribbing.
Using C1, CO 108 sts.
Ribbing: Row 1 (RS): (K3, p2) to last 3 sts, k3. Row 2 (WS): K3, (k2, p3) to last 3 sts, k3. Row 3: K3, kfb, cont ribbing pattern as established to last 5 its, k2tog, k3. Row 4: K3, cont ribbing pattern to last 3 sts, k3. Rep rows 3 and 4 until scarf measures 2” from CO edge, ending with a WS row.
Body: Row 1 (RS): K3, kfb, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3. Row 2 (WS): K3, purl to last 3 sts, k3. Rep rows 1 and 2 for a total of 30 rows.
Garter Rows: Next knit two rows in garter stitch, continuing the increases and decreases: Row 1 (RS): K3, kfb, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3. Row 2 (WS): K3, k to last 3 sts, k3.
Cut C1 and change to C2.
Rep Body section in C2, work Garter rows, then change to C3.
Rep Body section in C3, work Garter rows, then change to C4.
Rep Body section in C4, work Garter rows, then change to C5.
Rep Body section in C5, work Garter rows, then change to C1.
Rep the same sequence with all 5 colors.
After completing the second C5 section, continue with C5 and rep Ribbing section.
BO all sts in pattern.
Block scarf to measurements.
BO bind off CC contrast color CO cast on k knit kfb knit into the front and back of the same stitch p purl rep repeat RS right side St st stockinette stitch st(s) stitch(es) WS wrong side
I love how this one came out – so soft and snuggly, what a warm and wonderful cardigan! I think it’s likely that the yarn is going to pill – it’s not spun very tightly – but I’m going to enjoy it as long as it lasts 🙂
Notes: * I had plenty left over, so I should have made the leg several inches longer – I see the appeal of toe-up socks, you can just knit until you’ve used up half of the skein! These are too short for my liking (as it is, I did two extra 4-stitch repeats on the left, but it is still too short).
* The fit is a little small overall, as well (I swatched for gauge, but it’s always possible that I ended up a little off!) The yarn is fingering weight and the pattern calls for sport weight, but it seemed like a very plump, round and relatively heavy fingering weight, and I was able to get gauge when swatching, so I hoped that it would work. I wouldn’t advise going up a needle size, because it would make the stitches too loose – probably just not the best match of yarn and pattern.
* I love this yarn and would definitely knit with it again – the structure is wonderful, and the botanical dye creates such a soft, beautiful hue. However, the yarn dyer doesn’t sell directly – only through yarn stores – and almost all of her retailers are in Canada and difficult to order online. I was lucky to find a few skeins of the fingering weight Aires at Starlight Knitting Society.
The pattern was free, and while simple and easy to sew, it had some nice details – for instance, french seams make the interior of the apron as neat and clean as the exterior. I love the deep, angled pockets!
If it was a little less apron-like, I could wear it as a pinafore over the dress – that’s what I was hoping for. But unfortunately, I think if I wore it out in public, people would say, why is she wearing an apron? It is, indisputably, an apron 🙂 So I guess I’ll keep it to wear around the house to protect the dress.
This coat is my newest sewing pattern, designed for Lookbook No. 8 of By Hand Serial. Believe it or not, it’s incredibly easy! There’s only a few pattern pieces, no fiddly or difficult parts to be sewn, and you don’t even have to finish off the seams, thanks to the miracle of Pendleton fabric and blanket binding.
Best of all, this coat is a perfect excuse to use beautiful Pendleton fabric! Or, if you prefer, it would be beautiful sewn up in boiled wool or any other heavy coating material.
I love the big hood – perfect for keeping my ears warm and the rain out of my eyes – and the toggle buttons, which leave the rest of the front open for that flattering, swingy A-line shape to the body of the coat.
I’d love to see photos of anyone’s finished Sierra, and I’m always happy to answer any questions you run into while you’re sewing it up!
I think this is absolutely beautiful – warm but light as air, it could be worn in any season. It’s wide enough to wear as a shawl or wrap, but it easily compresses around my neck as a scarf. If only I had a patience, I’d knit more of these in a range of colors 🙂
I made several quick and easy dopp kits from Pendleton fabrics at a great Klumhouse class right before Christmas – we even had a chance to do a little leather stamping. I love the leather and metal rivet details on these kits – it adds a little zing to them, and makes them seem more durable and professional.
Inspired by all things Pendleton, I took a trip to our local Pendleton fabric store and bought some yardage off the bolt. I reupholstered our living room pillow, but I left it up to the professionals to create a cover for our leather chair. I really love the look of the Pendleton fabric with the time-worn leather!
A beautiful, snowy week in Montana with my oldest daughter – finally, a little cold and a lot of snow! We toured Yellowstone by snow coach, hiked the geysers on snowshoe, spotted bison, trumpeter swans, and coyotes, did a lot of nordic skiing, and spent even more time in our cozy cabin in front of the wood stove. We stayed at Lone Mountain Ranch and had a fabulous time, thanks to their friendly staff and wonderful meals. Hopefully, we’ll make this an annual trip!