Friday, January 23, 2015

#stylinghandmade 01.23.15

I'm a big fan of brown and blue together. I don't wear brown a whole lot, but I try to mix it up occasionally when I get tired of black and/or gray. I sewed this shirt ages ago. I can't find any reference to it, so I don't think I ever blogged it but I know it was a vogue pattern. or at least, i'm think it was. I wear this shirt quite a bit but i haven't sewn another button-down since this one.

The skirt was created on my most recent sewing binge. I got the Hollyburn skirt pattern from Sewaholic and used some chocolate wool gabardine and bemberg rayon that i bought ages ago from fabric mart. I sewed the size 6 but it turned out just slightly large. If I make it again I'll need to sew between the 4 and 6 to get the proper waist fit. b/c it's too big it's also too long. I believe I cut out the shortest version and made it a little bit shorter b/c skirts look best on me above the knee.

The hat also turned out ok, but it's not my favorite. I made the Fuego hat which I picked up during the giftalong and used some of my naturally-dyed worsted MCN. i dunno--there's nothing wrong with it, but it has a kind of mushroom-y shape to it that i'm not crazy about. it is nice and warm though so I do wear it.

Fuego Hat | Pattern
Pearl necklace | MimiLouJewelry
Self-Sewn Shirt in pinstripe stretch cotton shirting | ??? Maybe Vogue
Bow Belt | Modcloth
Hollyburn Skirt | Pattern
Wool tights |
Fitzwell Boots | similar

Thursday, January 22, 2015

January Spin-stravaganza, Part III

Who knew that I could be so productive? Spinning every day has really enabled me to plow through some of my fiber stash. Thankfully yarn takes up less space than fiber. i really need to organize my stash, but that's a post for another day.

Fiber Optic Merino/Silk Handspun

I dug into last year's Rhinebeck purchases with this braid of Fiber Optic merino/silk. These days I rarely keep my handspun but I knew that this one was staying with me. I spun it worsted style in a chunky weight and chain-plied it. I've already knit it into a thick winter hat.

Stormy Seas Handspun

This skein was some alpaca/merino/silk from Three Waters Farm that had been in the stash for awhile. I've been trying to actively spin up some of the older braids in the stash as well as the shiny newer ones. This one's a worsted weight 3ply, spun woolen from the fold. it's soft and shiny with a ton of drape.

Rainforest Handspun

I made a recent purchase from Juliespins. This is bouncy targhee, spun worsted-style as a 2ply. It's a DK weight and thanks to Julie's supersized braids, I ended up with about 340yds from 5oz. These are not normally my colors, as I don't really like pink and green together and I'm not a fan of orange, but there's something about this skein that appeals to me. maybe it's the contrast with the dull dreariness of winter that we're experiencing right now.

Retirement Community Handspun

I love this skein. it was my first time spinning Pigeonroof Studios fiber, but it won't be the last. I like the more random dyeing style with pops of white. This one is a fingering weight 2ply superwash merino/nylon and it would be ideal for one of those garter stitch sock yarn shawls, like the Hitchhiker.

All of these skeins (except for the first one) are in the shop.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Personal Sock Club + Mysteries

I've gotten into watching a few knitting podcasts lately. Apparently it's popular with the podcasting set to do a Personal Sock Club, where you pull 12 skeins of sock yarn from your stash, put each one into a brown paper bag at the end of the previous year, and then the first day of each month, you pull a bag at random and knit a pair of socks with whatever's inside.

As a person who has quite a bit of unused sock yarn in the stash, this sounded like a good plan. I want to knit more socks this year, for both me and Spicy, because a lot of my older pairs have gone to Sock Heaven, and Spicy wears through at least one pair of socks a month it seems. I pulled some skeins that I'm super excited about knitting and also some that I've fallen out of love with, so throughout the year it should be like belonging to a real sock club since there will be occasional disappointment. LOL

January personal sock club

January 1 was one of those disappointing moments. A few years ago I bought a bunch of sock yarn from a mystery destash. Basically I gave someone money and she blindly sent me a bunch of yarn from her stash. Not all of the skeins were to my taste and this was one of them. It's COULROPHOBIA MOONDANCE in Barbie Goth Hoar. I like self-striping yarns but I've learned I really need more than 2 colors b/c it gets boring after awhile without that "what color comes next?!" feeling. I'm also not overly fond of sparkly yarns but for socks they're fine and the sparkle definitely goes with the color scheme.

January personal sock club

I did my normal rounded wedge toe, with an OMG heel and an 8 inch leg with 3 inches of ribbing. I used #0 needles on 64 stitches. This yarn was a little thicker than my last pair, so 64 sts was just right.

Through the Loops Mystery Sock

Eventually I decided that 12 pairs of socks for the year aren't enough. My real goal is to knit 26 pairs, or a pair every two weeks. Last year I had a blast doing the Follow Your Arrow KAL, so I signed up for another mystery pattern, this time the Through the Loops Mystery KAL. For this one I'm using some of my hand-dyed Dwarf Sock in Orchid. I finished the first clue over the weekend and I'm excited to see what's next.

Friday, January 16, 2015

#stylinghandmade 01.16.15

Today's outfit was greatly inspired by Rachel Lately. Her combo of leopard print and the color wine was perfect.

There is absolutely zero chance that I will ever sew a blazer. It just seems way too complicated to get the fit right. I bought a petite blazer from BR and of course the sleeves are too long and the shoulders are a little too linebacker-y but what can you do? it's good enough for government work.

For this outfit I pulled out some pieces deep in the archives. My More Classier dress, which is usually reserved for warmer temps, and my Adele shawl, which I have never actually worn. It's knit from some lovely Juliespins MCN yarn. I'm glad I was reminded that I own this shawl and hopefully I will pull it out and wear it more often.

BTW, in case you've started to notice that I wear the same shoes all the freaking time, well it's because I really like these shoes and they go with almost everything. in another 3 months or so the weather will warm up and I'll eventually start wearing footwear other than boots.

Adele | Pattern
One Button Soft Blazer | Banana Republic
More Classier Dress | Pattern
Belt | Loft
Wool tights |
Cobb Hill Alexandra booties | Zappos

Thursday, January 15, 2015

January Spin-stravaganza, Part II

Funny thing about selling yarn. Spinning is not the hard part. The hard part is waiting for wet yarn to dry in the wintertime, and reskeining/measuring/weighing, and finding enough daylight to take pictures, and carving out the time to list it in the shop. There's always a bit of a delay and so all of these yarns are yesterday's news in my mind. However, they are all freshly available in the shop.

FatCatKnits mixed blessings club 12/14

This is BFL/linen dyed by fatcatknits. It was a really interesting blend to spin. The finished yarn is surprisingly soft and bouncy while the linen gives a structure to the yarn, as well as the undyed fiber lending it a slightly marled appearance.

Gandalf handspun

This one is merino/silk by Stone Edge Fibers. I bought it at a Finger Lakes Fiber Festival awhile back. I'm trying my best to spin up some older stash this month as well as the new and shiny additions. The top had lots of blended colors giving it a heathered appearance that looks solid blueish gray from afar.

Cotton Candy handspun

Cotton Candy had me experimenting again with my blending board. I bought some Malabrigo Nube from my LYS that was compacted and difficult to draft. I combined it with some seasilk and English Angora from my stash and plied it with a thin tussah silk single. The resulting skein is very lightweight, soft, and poofy with a nice texture.

Nebula Handspun

This one's my favorite. it's polwarth/silk/sparkle fiber from fatcatknits. The sparkle doesn't show well on camera, but in real life it has a nice subtle shine--perfect if you like sparkle but don't want your yarn all bling'd out. I really like the dark moody colors and the bounciness of polwarth remains one of my favorites.

All of these skeins (with more on the way) are in the shop.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Final FO of 2014


During holiday travel I brought a simple pair of socks to work on. I managed to finish them right at the end of December, so they're my last finished project of the year. I used the OMG heel for the first time. at first I didn't really like it but I find it's growing on me. I've used it for 2 more pairs since this one.

I kept these as anklets so I could wear them with my black ankle boots. It's way too cold in the winter to go sockless. I used wandering cat yarns mcn. these 64st socks on #0 needles are a little tight. if using a similar weight yarn in the future i'd definitely go up to 68 sts.

Friday, January 09, 2015

#stylinghandmade 01.09.15

Looking at these photos and realizing that it was only last weekend that I could walk outside with no coat on when today it's like 4 degrees outside is so bizarre. Weather is weird, yo.

Today there's a twofer of handmade. Over my winter break, I needed something mindless to knit that was just for me after finishing all those gifts. I chose a skein of spunrightround sock yarn and knit a Hitchhiker shawl. I'm pretty sure everybody in the knitting world has made at least one of these by now, so I will spare you the details, other than to say that I really enjoyed knitting it and I think I will make at least one more out of handspun.

My second handmade piece is Cake Espresso leggings using girlcharlee vegan leather. Here's the funny thing about this exercise. I had decided to buy a bunch of new clothes because I don't really enjoy sewing clothing all that much. And then buying new clothes made me want to sew again because storebought clothes don't fit me very well. I bought this pattern and made 4 pairs of wearable leggings (plus 2 more that ughhh, i don't wanna talk about). Mostly I wear leggings around the house because they are comfy and are a nice stand-in for sweatpants. I had genuine intentions of wearing these in public, but the fabric was not as stretchy as my other pairs and they aren't the most comfortable pants in the world. They have exclusively lived in a drawer outside of these pictures so far.

Hitchhiker Scarf | Pattern
Boyfriend Shirt | Old Navy
Espresso Leggings | Pattern
Cobb Hill Alexandra booties | Zappos

Spicy said I looked like an artist in this outfit which, I guess is a compliment? I'm going to take it as one.

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