Friday, 23 October 2015

Handmade Hand Warmers -Very First Knit Project

'Look Ma, I can knit! ...a little'

No really, this is photographic evidence for my mother to show that the hours spent painstakingly trying to teach me to knit as a youth were not in vain (eventually!).

I really did try several times but never had the patience to practise and persevere with knitting. I ended up with miscellaneous holes, accidental increases / decreases and it never quite grew quickly enough to keep me inspired.

We had a couple of days away in Lyme Regis on the south coast last week to recuperate after a particularly grueling few weeks so I thought I'd make the most of some down time to finally get to grips with knitting with the help of several videos on 'Creativebug'.

If you've not come across it before it's a subscription based website full of video tutorials for all sorts of crafts -yarn based, sewing, paper, cake decorating, you name it. There's currently a free trial offer! I'd recommend it if you're looking to dip your toe into a new craft but I personally found many of the sewing based options quite basic.

I watched several videos by Debbie Stoller of Stitch Nation including 'Knitting and Purling' and 'Knitting Cast Ons' to remind me of the basics then I set to practising. I love Debbie's warm and fun manner in her videos which are really clear and helpful. She's not at all stuffy!

' put on your big girl panties and get ready for some purl on purl action!'

My hand warmers are just a basic 40 stitch square swatch started with 6 rows of knit / purl ribbing, followed by striped stockinette rows then 9 rows of knit 2 / purl 2 ribbing to finish.

I say hand warmers, strictly speaking it's just the one... can you spot the rookie error?

Noooo! I counted 4 rows instead of 6 so one's too short darnit! Whether I'll get around to unraveling or knitting up a fresh one I'm not sure but I'm super pleased with the first! It's the furthest I've got to date!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Monochrome Grainline 'Scout' Tee

Hello! I'm on the tail end of a grueling few weeks. It's been totally non-stop so I'm extremely thankful to have finally had a little down time to get back to some sewing and generally recharge the batteries!

Enter the Grainline Studios 'Scout' tee. It's a woven t-shirt pattern by Chicago based indie designer Jen and it's been on my sewing agenda for, goodness, forever! I've finally made number one and number two is already in progress!

(Excuse the rubbish pre-work early morning photos. With my current track record better to just get it done than wait for better light).

I wanted a few more 'Non-Knits' in my wardrobe for teaching when I want to feel a little more put together. This one was made using a monochrome viscose from Fabricland. It's really soft and drapey and even better it was only £3.99 for a metre which is all I purchased (the envelope suggests more but for fabric economy I tend to cut flat rather than on the fold).

The pattern is super simple -no darts or fastenings, just 3 pieces with a bias bound neckline so it came together really swiftly. I opted for a size 2 and didn't make a single alteration as I was feeling lazy and in desperate need of something straightforward to get stuck in to. Double thumbs up! It's a little wide in the shoulders as the seam sits slightly off the shoulder (less noticeable here with the print) but totally wearable. Super pleased.

The fabric is a little shifty but handles ok and presses like a dream. I applied the neckline binding at super speed with barely any pins and it lays totally flat and smooth. I'm trying to take more care with the internal finish of garments so used french seams (aside from the armholes which are overlocked).

I can see many more of these in my future not least of all as they're so quick and satisfying to make (much like pants!!). Definitely recommend it... Now back to Scout number 2! Watch this space.