Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Watson 2

I might be obsessed. After breezing through sewing a Watson bra, I couldn't help but want to make another. So I ordered a new kit, this time with scuba fabric, and churned out a second Watson bra!

The second is a different size and fits much better than the first (turns out, you should measure yourself for these things) but I think some of sewing was better on the first one. In particular, I'm not happy with how the cups meet the center of the cradle on this Watson. Otherwise, it turned out fine and I can't stop wearing it.

While I would love to make more Watsons, I'm ready to tackle a new challenge in Cloth Habit's other bra pattern, Harriet. This one has underwires, so wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


I love learning new things. However, I admit that learning new things can be daunting. Case in point: sewing a bra.

The bra in question is the Watson bra. It's a great entry into making your own lingerie because it's a soft bra without anything more complicated than having the right findings (which I bough alongside the proper fabric in a kit). Still, a bit intimidating for a first timer.

It turns out that I didn't have anything to be worried about (though it probably helped that I read through the pattern about 5 times before starting). I was able to start sewing and complete the bra in about 2 hours! The joy of whizzing through a satisfying craft project in a small amount of time has no equal.

For as much as I loved this project (and find the final bra to be very comfortable), I can't wait to dig into my next Watson and make a couple tweaks. Next time, I'll adjust the sizing, be sure to baste my layers by hand, and use non-lace fabric for the cups. That said, I could not be happier with my first bra-making experience.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Surprise Mittens

Every once and a while, I think of a craft project so nerdy that I just have to make it. The impetus for my most recent of these projects was HiKoo's Abracadabra color-changing yarn. And my brain naturally made things more complex by insisting that I use this yarn in a fair isle project.

However, the result is just amazing, as shown in the following video when I expose a "fresh" side of a mitten to sunlight. I just love the way that the zigzags appear from nothing.

Hulda Surprise Mittens - In Action!

What's not being said is that in doing color-changing fair isle, I ended up doing "two"-color, white-on-white knitting. Thankfully, the color change yarn was very shiny against the wool, but it was still much easier to knit these mittens outside on a sunny day. For reference, here is the indoor view:

Oh, and did I mention the pattern was in Swedish and modified? The book I have has since been published in English, but I managed to make my version work by inferring Swedish knitting words and using the provided chart.

So, yes, sometimes I like a good challenge. White-on-white, color changing fair isle modified from a Swedish pattern was a crazy idea, but I think that the awesomeness of the results made it all worth it.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Almost There, Christmas Edition

Last year in December I blogged about finishing 2 placemats from a long-time work-in-progress. I wrote in that post about how the pattern is from 2013, the fabric 2014, and it took me until 2016 to finish 2 of the 4 placemats (and let's not even talk about the table runner). I'm happy to report that the set made it to 4 finished placemats this year, just in time for Christmas.

It was wonderful to use all four of these at once over the holidays, especially when we had family visiting. I particularly like how festive they are but that each is slightly different due to randomly mixing the patchwork fabrics.

My goal for next Christmas is to finally finish the table runner so that I will have a complete set. Not that my table is larger enough to fit the table runner and 4 placemats on it, but finishing is a goal in and of itself. As I've already machine-sewed the binding into place onto the table runner and now just need to handstitch it down, it's looking very likely that this long term project may finally get finished for Christmas 2018.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2017 In Review

I realized, in clearing the backlog of projects that I've yet to blog about (I have a few things still to show off), that I actually accomplished a lot of crafting in 2017. It probably had something to do with my new year's resolution to spend an hour per week crafting. So it seems (seams?) worthwhile to recap this amazing year, despite being well into the next.


I sewed a lot of clothing this year. Most of it was done on my trusted Janome, but I also played with my new/old Singer mechanical (see the Tiny Pocket Tank below) and purchased a serger (see the Lark Tee below).


Relatively little knitting happened this year, though I did create one large and stunning Pi Shawl and went on a tincanknits spree. Also, it seems like the 2017 knitting color of the year was grey.

Reflections on 2017

I'm continually amazed by how far my sewing skills have come. I'm feeling  very comfortable with my Janome and definitely want to refine my serging/sewing with knits skills going forward.

I sewed a lot of great clothes in 2017, but need to start focusing on basics in neutral colors to get the most out of my handiwork. There's a reason that my Pi Shawl has become my go-to shawl at work and it's because of the neutral color (though the beauty, size, and warmth are also major contributing factors).

I'm not entirely sure what crafting 2018 will bring but, based on the last year, I'm really looking forward to it!

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Double Gradient Shawl

It's no secret among my knitting friends that I'm a fan of Fiber Optic's gradients. I've amassed a small pile of them over the years from stocking up at Wisconsin Sheep & Wool. Two in particular that I was sitting on and trying to figure out what to do with were Smoke on the Water and Ebony to Holly. I finally decided to jump in and use them together in a striped shawl.

The shawl pattern is Grain, another one from tincanknits' Simple Collection. It was perfect because I wanted to let the stripes shine and didn't want to use a complex pattern. Plus, a simple pattern was great for travel knitting during a big trip I took earlier in the fall.

The stripes were central to my plans for this yarn, as I love the way these two color progressions play against each other. You often only notice the change in one gradient at first glance and I love the added complexity from the second gradient.

Overall, I love how this shawl turned out. It's simple in execution but complex in color. And I think it makes these two gradients really shine.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Simple Knits for Toddlers

At some point this fall, the kiddo transitioned from baby to toddler. It's a pretty noticeable difference, filled with new abilities and many more opinions. It's been keeping Mama on her toes, but I've still managed to sneak in a little bit of knitting.

Most important was to get a new hat and mittens for the munchkin. We've already had lost mitten issues and he keeps outgrowing hats. (My kid has a seriously large noggin'. Case in point: his adult uncle is wearing his hat in the photo below. The result is that I knit an adult small hat for him this winter so he has a chance of being able to wear it next year too; it's a little too deep but fits just right around his head.)

Enter in the Simple Collection from tincanknits. I've recently become a big fan of tincanknits, having knit four of her patterns in the last year. Her Simple Collection is beautiful and the patterns come in a wide range of sizes. Barley and Maize where just perfect for the kiddo's winter needs.

The munchkin seems to really like his new hat. We're still working on loving the mittens, but at least I used a long i-cord to connect them together so we won't have to worry about losing one when kiddo decides to actually wear them. If you aren't aware of the Simple Collection, I highly encourage you to check these patterns out!