Friday, February 29, 2008

organising my circulars

Remember I once said I didn't have a good solution for storing my circular knitting needles ? Well, a few weeks ago my needle bag (a small necessaire where I would throw in all my circulars and other assorted needles) was such a tangled mess I couldn't find anything inside. And when I did, it was hell to untangle the needles I wanted. So I decided something had to be done. I went online and researched several needlecase designs, and I really liked this one by the wonderful people at purlbee, but unfortunately I couldn't find a suitable binder (although I'm still looking for one, and will eventually make that). So I opted for making a larger pocket version of the normal needlecase, and it actually doesn't work so bad. I can store all my circulars inside it (and I own quite a few) and quickly find the one I'm looking for, which was what I needed. And now I'm off to enjoy the weekend, which promises to be a sunny one for a change !

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

shop update

The first batch of notebook sleeves flew out of the shop so quickly I decided to make another one. There are more available here now

and here's a custom order, a taller version for the bigger moleskines and suitable for A5 notebooks as well

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Storm is done and I love it.

I ended up choosing the reverse stockinette side, as in the pattern, and it turned out quite nice after I seamed it. Because I knit this with a smaller needle size it's more fitted and shorter than the original design, and if I were to do it again I'd probably add an inch or two to the length, but otherwise it's perfect.

Pattern: Storm, by Kim Hargreaves (from the Heartfelt book)
Yarn: Brancal Manchester
Needles: 8mm
Size: L (to account for the difference in needle size)

The pattern itself is quite easy, and this is knit in once piece so there's only seaming on the sides and a bit on the collar. However, there are a few minor mistakes (like in the buttonholes) and the chart is only useful for the first 18 rows or so of the pattern, so I had to make a few notes in order not to get lost. That said, I love most of Kim Hargreaves designs so I'm sure I'll be making more of them in the future.

Changes I made on this one: different needle size, because I really wanted to use this yarn so I used 8mm instead of 12 but knit a larger size than my usual; added 2 sts to the collar rib and 2 sts to the sleeve rib; changed the position of the second buttonhole to be a bit higher.

I've now started on Tilted Duster and Gathered Pullover, two popular Interweave items I had on my wish list since the beginning of winter.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

inspiration .. mci spring 08

Just picked up the new spring issue of Marie Claire Idées. It's still grey and rainy outside, so this is just the thing to make me think of sunnier days to come.

A few details that I loved, like this obi style belt, and the Orla Kiely rain boots.

This crocheted clock and an article on watering cans

These are lovely too, especially the patchwork abat-jour

there's an article on cabbage related crafts ... kind of peculiar, if you ask me, but this one was cute

But my favorite article must be the kitchen one, I love everything about it

Most especially this refrigerator

... and the recycling corner

And last, some quilting inspiration (which I really need, if I'm ever going to start working on one for myself)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

the shopping tunic

Ok, so here's a project that I really considered frogging when I was more than halfway through ... now it's grown on me and I've reconsidered ... and with a few changes I think it's actually wearable now.

This is the shopping tunic, by Wenlan Chia, something me and some friends fell in love with at first sight, so much that we decided to purchase the pattern book between us at once.

As for the changes .. well, there were a lot of them. I didn't have the appropriate yarn in my stash, but I really wanted to use something I already had so I decided to use this Brancal Manchester double stranded. Not enough to use the 15mm needles though, so I used the 10mm instead and had to make some calculations to get the pattern right. My first time doing this, and it didn't turn out too bad.

My biggest problem was the collar, I had to redo it 3 times at least ... I made it according to the pattern and it turned out huge ! Way too big, actually, it was slipping down my shoulders. Then I made a few more decreases and it still was huge. I got it right on my third try eventually. I also didn't make the pockets according to the pattern, a) because I didn't really like the pockets that much and b) because I couldn't make much sense of the instructions at first (later I searched on ravelry and found the explanation). In the end I had some yarn left so I made a kangaroo pocket which is more to my taste, and although it turned out a bit wonky it still adds a cute touch.

My biggest issue was the yarn itself. When I first tried on the tunic and although I was wearing a shirt underneath, it itched like crazy. Then I washed it, and it softened considerably. I'm always amazed what a good wash can do to a hand knit garment.

Anyway, now it's soft and because I used the yarn double stranded it's also quite warm.

Pattern: Shopping tunic, from Twinkle's Big City Knits by Wenlan Chia
Yarn: Brancal Manchester (used double stranded)
Needles: 10 mm
Size: L, to account for the different needle size

Now on to the next thing on my list. I'm making Storm, by one of my favorite designers Kim Hargreaves. It's from her Heartfelt book, which is full of beautiful and yet very wearable designs. I'm almost done with it, I just need to seam the sides and block it, but I'm unsure of what side should be on the outside. The pattern says that the reverse stockinette side below is the right side...

But then the stockinette side also looks so nice (and the eyelets so much nicer and more defined). So help me out here, what do you think ? I'll decide in a couple of days I think, because I really can't make up my mind right now.

Monday, February 18, 2008

notebook sleeves

the first batch of notebook sleeves were finished yesterday, unfortunately not as many as I wanted to but more will be available next week.

sorry about the lousy photos, but yesterday the weather was just too horrible to even speak about, and definitely not the best for taking decent photos. And today was just the same, so these were taken during lunchtime, inside the car (and that red is my raincoat as a background ... one must improvise when it's needed, right ?)

these two below are already spoken for, but the rest is available at the shop

Friday, February 15, 2008

this and that

Almost one week without posting ... oh well, I'm so sorry but I really haven't been able to get back on track since the ski trip.
I know a few people are waiting for the next shop update, which I had promised it would be this week, but I've done very little sewing lately. I will try to finish those pencil sleeves this next weekend, so they should be available on Monday.

I've been knitting quite a bit, and have one finished item and another on the way to show you. But mostly this week what I did on the very little spare time I had was this ...

Planning our next trip already. And to Iceland, of all places. We've been meaning to go there for the longest time, and this year it seems we'll finally manage to. We're only going in June, but I've read that it's best to book our accommodation in advance, otherwise the best and cheapest places to stay tend to be fully booked quite early. It's a very expensive place, I had no idea, so we're staying in self catered cottages and cabins whenever we can. And if you have any suggestions for me, please let me know.

And now for some eye candy fabrics ...

These I got from IKEA a couple of days ago. They were so bright and cheerful I couldn't resist.

And these below are a selection for the pencil sleeves. I'm going for a japanese theme, if you haven't noticed.

To Glaucia and Mimosa... a big thank you for saying I make your day. You girls make my day as well, along with everyone else that reads this blog. So thank you, to all of you.

And finally here's Maggie to wish you a great weekend as well. She's so grown up, not a small kitten anymore but still causing mischief as always ...

Thursday, February 07, 2008


some balls of yarn that are looking so pretty on my desk ... I plan on using them all during the next weeks, I love working with thicker yarns. And yes, red is one of my favorite colors.

but what I wanted to show you were my new japanese sewing pattern books.

[ISBN 4418074112]
This first one is called Robe Rouge, and it's already a favorite. Maybe because the designs are so simple and mostly in linen

[ISBN: 430928115X]
And the second one is similar to "Favorite black clothes", although not as good, in my opinion. Still, there are a couple of things in there that I might want to try ...

And because I have this thing about dresses, here's a couple more things out there that I'm loving at the moment:

floral dresses by Gudrun Sjoden

and the ruffle cotton dress by Boden