One for the road.

Hello!

As the end of Me Made May approaches, I thought I would post another sewing project.

Sewing: mmmay plaid dress

I would consider this a semi-successful project. Perhaps you can tell by the look on my face. I bought this fabric during a trip to Seattle a couple of years ago. What can I say? The grunge years were formative and I have never gotten over my love of plaid flannel.

Anyway, this is the 2246 Simplicity pattern: The Traveler Dress. I got the pattern a few years ago from Raystitch in Islington and don’t know why it took me to so long to get around to sewing it. It is a simplified version of a classic buttoned shirt, and wasn’t a difficult project.

That said, it came out rather shorter than I expected.

simplicity 2246 traveler dress

This is not passing the finger-tip test of my school days. We tried to take some pics illustrating the perils of bending over in a dress this short. Though hilariously unflattering, this is a family blog and I had to decide against traumatising you with that image. I suppose the solution is to wear it with jeans or leggings rather than the heels and bare legs modelled on the pattern envelope, which I still like for a autumnal look with boots.

After the I Knit Fandango, the lovely Bogga of Knitting in France has been publishing some profiles of fellow vendors, including a really sweet blog post about myself and Kettle Yarn Co.’s Linda. Bogga has also started a Beetlebum shawl which is going to be beautiful!

Knitting in France's Beetlebum shawl

If you aren’t familiar with Knitting in France, have a look at the Etsy shop and her blog–Bogga hand-dyes lovely yarn, makes beautiful jewelled stitch markers and has an interesting range of crafty notions. Thanks so much for the mention Bogga!

Happy crafting,

R.

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Something for the weekend

Hello!

Have I mentioned how much I like twin sets?

marc jacobs fall 2015

Marc Jacobs Fall 2015 photo courtesy of Style.com

While I can’t actually say I own any, I aspire to great things in the twin set department. It isn’t just the retro feel, although that inevitably plays a significant part of the attraction.

Chanel Fall 2015

Chanel Fall 2015 photo courtesy of Style.com

I think what appeals to me is the idea of an outfit that is so well considered, it matches itself. It is like some sort of standard by which all other outfits will be judged.  You may think that there would be a plethora of twin sets available for your hand knitting pleasure, and you would be correct, if you wanted to knit from a vintage pattern.

Cosy twin set from Australia Women's Weekly

There are some beauties available, including this one originally published in 1942 and now available for free. I was surprised to find a dearth of anything more contemporary.* Maybe this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I kind of thought it would be a good idea for designers to publish multiple versions of a single design. Maybe I should do it. Or, possibly, there is a good reason they are not available. Either way, when I saw the Josephine Cardigan by Rohn Strong, I thought it would make a beautiful twin set, although, it really doesn’t need anything, and I think would look equally great cropped and worn buttoned up without anything underneath.

Josephine Cardigan by Rohn Strong

Happy knitting,

R.

*I didn’t consider patterns churned out by the big yarn companies; I have my prejudices.

I did the Fandango

Hello!

I knit fandango set up

This weekend past I was at the I Knit Fandango, a fibre festival held in the Royal Horticultural Hall in London. I was there as First Minion to the lovely Linda of Kettle Yarn Co., a position I have taken on with some frequency in this Year of the Sheep Festival.

I knit fandango

The light in the hall was beautiful and it was great to catch up with all the knitting people.

kettle yarn co at I knit fandango

The hot ticket at the show was certainly Wollmeise and the stand was incredibly busy. I haven’t knit with Wollmeise, perhaps because I came to the whole hand-knitting thing a little bit late and missed out on the first wave of mass hysteria, so I wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about. But there is only one way to find out!

fandango yarn and book

So this is some of my cache from the Fandango. Very restrained, I am sure you will agree.  I got some yarn to try out, and I got Sue Blacker’s book about breed specific yarn, which I have been wanting to read for ages. I also came home with a terrible headcold, so will carry on with the good knitting and drinking loads of tea.

Happy knitting,

R.

Not quite #mmmay15

Hello!

**First of all: Next week the ‘knit your first cardigan class begins at Wild and Woolly starts in East London.  Please pass it on to beginner and improver knitters who may like to take the class!**

There comes a time for most crafters, I think, in which it becomes common knowledge amongst peers, family & friends that you make stuff. This knowledge may have ramifications, such as people asking you to make things for them, or, in my case, being regularly asked if I have made the clothing I am wearing. I would certainly like to have made more of my own wardrobe, and not just to thwart the disappointment people unintentionally express when I admit that I have not made what I am wearing, but that too.

So, although I would very much love to properly participate in me-made-may 2015, I am not there yet.  I am working on it. I have finished a few sewn projects and will share them with you over the next couple of weeks.

First up: This is a dress I made recently from material I found somewhere.  It is a bad habit of mine to pick things up in the hope that they will be useful someday in the future. Mostly they aren’t. This fabric is an exception to that rule.

mmmay dress (1 of 1)-2 mmmay dress (1 of 1)

The pattern is one I made.  I have some blocks in my size, and I simplified it as much as possible–no closures (it is just big enough to go on over my head), pleats for waist-shaping, and binding at the edges.

mmmay dress WIP sewing

 

bias binding sewing

I suspect sewing facings on is an easier option, but there is something elegant in the simplicity of binding. Minimalist craft. Could that be a thing?

Happy making,

R.

Cardigans for ALL! But especially beginners…

Hello!

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Saturday at your local yarn store for Yarn Shop Day. I was at Wild and Woolly in East London, stuffing myself with cake and drinking all the prosecco.

yarn shop day

I love all the London yarn shops, but Wild and Woolly has a special place in my heart as I happened to meet Anna before she opened the shop and I’ve had the pleasure to watch the shop take shape over the past year. I really enjoy the feeling of community that is growing up around the shop and am so pleased to be able to participate in it.

One of the ways I am taking part is by teaching some classes, and the next one is for beginners and those who would like step by step help with making their first cardigan. I designed the Cyclamen Cardigan for this purpose–a simple, top down cardigan with garter stitch trims and optional extras.

Cyclamen Cardi pattern by EastLondonKnit

From the description:

Knitting your first adult-sized garment can be intimidating. Over 11 weeks we will go through the knitting of a cardigan together step by step, helping each other along the way and in the end you will have a new cardigan and the confidence and knowledge to knit your next garment successfully.

  • Week 1: How to Choose the Right Size: Preparation
  • Week 2: How to Begin the Cyclamen Cardigan: Yokes
  • Week 3: How to Work the Body: Shaping
  • Week 4: How to Work the Sleeves: Decreases and Length
  • Week 5: How to Knit and Attach Patch Pockets
  • Week 6: How to Finish Your Cardigan

You can sign up here.

I would be really grateful if you would pass this on. For the class to run, we need it to be full, so I would be forever in your debt if you would tell the beginner knitters in your life (or any knitters you think would be interested) about the class.

Cost: £120 (does not include yarn)
Dates: Wednesdays 20th, 27th May, 10th, 24th June, 8th, 22nd July 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cyclamen Cardigan Pattern pocket (Small)To book: Email or call 020 8985 5231

Happy knitting,

R.

Something for the Weekend

Hello!

Spring is sprung and it’s time to get your summer knitting on the needles.

I am a fan of Jean Paul Gaultier. Though famous for pointy bosomed bodices and men in skirts, every collection has something of interest for me. This lacy tee suggests the idea of using different lace stitches in light spring colours.

gaultier couture spring 15 knit tee

gaultier couture spring 15 knit tee full length

Gaultier Couture Collection SS 15 Photo courtesy of Style.com

The overall ball gown is, of course, optional, though surely the headgear is a must….

Gemma hand knit pattern by Andrea Black

 

The Gemma Pattern by Andrea Black only uses one lace pattern, but creates a similar lovely delicate Spring-time feeling with a light colour palette, mesh on the upper yoke and simple details.

Cancun boxy lace top hand knit pattern by Erin Kate Archer

 

For a less structured look, Erin Kate Archer’s Cancun Lace Top Pattern plays with multiple lace stitch patterns in a simple shape.  It looks like a very cool knitting sampler and really wearable.

It is a bank holiday weekend and I hope you enjoy some quality knitting time!

R.