Summer Sweater Knitalong – Offer Code!

luvinthemommyhood sskal

The 2013 Summer Sweater Knit Along hosted by Shannon of luvinthemommyhood started yesterday!

Shannon’s plan is to encourage us all to keep knitting through the summer months and then your sweater is ready to wear in plenty of time for winter. Brilliant! No more finishing up your cosy jumpers in April and having to wait till the following winter to wear them.

Sign up info and rules are in the Ravelry group.

To celebrate, I’m offering 10% of my ‘Maturin‘ pattern (Ravelry shop only) until 31st July! Just enter the code sskal at checkout.

Maturin

I’m probably going to keep my goals manageable for this one, and just knit something up for my baby nephew!

Follow along with everyone’s progress across all social media with the hashtag #sskal.

Happy knitting!

View from Athabasca Glacier

View from Athabasca Glacier by Áine Ryan
View from Athabasca Glacier by Áine Ryan

I took this photo during a trip to Canada in September 2010. We hiked up the Athabasca Glacier with Ice Walks instead of taking the bus. I cannot recommend them enough! It was amazing.

You can se lots more pics from that trip in my Flickr album O Canada.

Wiksten Tank Triple Threat

The Wiksten Tank pattern is mega popular, and it’s easy to see why. Simple, fashionable, customisable and great for beginners. It doesn’t use a huge amount of fabric either, which makes it great for showing off precious fabrics or remnants. It’s been blogged about countless times already and you can see loads of lovely examples in the Wiksten Patterns Pool on Flickr.

Wiksten Tank by Áine Ryan // knitahedron

So far I’ve made three! All from fabric remaining from previous projects. The fabric in the version above was used before in my Sleeveless Floral Shirt. I adore this fabric and I’m sad it’s all gone now. 😦 My mum asked if it was Liberty, but no, just some bargain find in the department store! A cotton voile, light and airy and perfect for summer.

Wiksten Tank by Áine Ryan // knitahedron

The second version is made from the same woven viscose that I used in my Sureau. I was a bit short on fabric for this one, so the hem is straight instead of curved.

Wiksten Tank by Áine Ryan // knitahedron

Finally, (for now) I made a jersey version, from the remaining viscose jersey from my Floral Burda Dress. Even though this version is exactly the same size as the others, the weight and stretch of the jersey make the fit a lot looser.

Wiksten Tank by Áine Ryan // knitahedron

I made a few minor adjustments to the pattern. In the pic above you can see that I scooped out the armholes on the back sightly to give a hint of a racer back. I didn’t want it too pronounced though, just enough to cover bra straps. To achieve this, I had my design assistant (ahem, husband…) draw the outline of my bra straps on the muslin while I was wearing it – green lines below. The inner / lower pink line is the outline of another top I own, which is too revealing, included for comparison. The outer / upper line is then where I sketched the new armhole that I wanted. I also scooped a little out of the back neck because I found it a little high, but it’s not drawn here.

Wiksten Tank by Áine Ryan // knitahedron

I brought the front armhole in a little too, as you can see below. I found the original neckline too low and ‘U-shaped’ for my taste, so I raised it and made it a bit more scoopy. I’m especially glad that I did this for the jersey version, because the weight of the fabric pulls even the revised neckline quite low.

Wiksten Tank by Áine Ryan // knitahedron

In terms of sizing, I originally cut the muslin in size M, but found it a bit too loose, particularly on the bust. The second muslin (shown below) in size S was way too tight, especially on the armholes and of course the bust! In the end, I used the size M, but took the bust in a little, but perhaps too much. It pulls a little across the chest in the woven fabrics. In contrast though, if I make another jersey version, I’ll do that in size S.

Wiksten Tank by Áine Ryan // knitahedron

The above pic of the second muslin also shows my neckline workings. The cut neckline is my first revision, but it came out too high even discounting seam allowance. The purple lines are where I really want it to be.

Wiksten Tank by Áine Ryan // knitahedron

I was short of fabric for the jersey version above, so had to do the back in two pieces. It’s seamed somewhere below the bust line but with 100% zero intention, I think it is actually pretty imperceptible! Win!

Wiksten Tank by Áine Ryan // knitahedron

I really enjoyed making this pattern and will definitely make more. It was (shock!) my first time using french seams and since then, I have used them in everything! If you’re a beginner or advanced, I highly recommend this pattern. In just a few hours you get a lovely summery top!

I’ve posted about all three over on Kollabora too, where I’ve included (with the Breezy Tank version) a little more detail on the alterations.

Floaty Floral Réglisse Dress

Réglisse by knitahedron / Áine Ryan

This project was a whole load of firsts for me! First time sewing with slippy, sheer fabric. First time lining a garment. First time working on the bias. First time matching prints. Phew! It was a steepish learning curve but well worth it. Réglisse by Deer & Doe is a breeze to sew and even easier to wear. It took me a bit of time only because of my ‘ambitious’ (for me) choice of fabric.

Réglisse by knitahedron / Áine Ryan

I bought the fabric (once again) last Summer in the local department store sale. Despite it’s synthetic (I think) content, I was just completely drawn to it. Of course then it languished in my fabric drawer for nearly a year, waiting for me to build up the courage to attempt to sew it and / or find a suitable pattern. I don’t recall what the label on the bolt said, but a flame test confirmed it’s plasticy content! It’s a very light, sheer, loose woven polyester chiffon with a crinkle.

I had my eye on Réglisse since its release, but was nervous about the full skirt. I held back on buying the pattern until a number of other, braver souls had tried it out. Looking through all the finished dresses in the Deer & Doe Flickr group, especially after the Réglisse sew-along, I knew my fears were unjustified. Réglisse looks amazing on all body shapes and especially in light, drapey fabrics. I think it was Eléonore’s wedding dress version that finally convinced me! Realising that the polyester chiffon would be perfect I hesitated no more!

But first, a muslin!

Réglisse by knitahedron / Áine Ryan

The muslin is made up in a unbleached cotton (Ikea’s Bomull – top tip for muslin fabric!). Heavier than the lined chiffon, but sufficient to test general fit. Having previously made Sureau in size 38, and realising now that it was a smidge too small, I checked the pattern piece measurements for size 40. Given that it’s a loose fitting dress, without a zip, I decided that size 40 would be perfect. I sewed up the muslin super quick and then nervously tried it on. Any sewer will know that feeling – you’ve spent hours and possibly many monies on sewing a garment, only to try it on a realise that it just looks awful on you! No such sinking feelings here! It looked great and the skirt wasn’t too puffy on my hips! I did decide however, to remove the cap sleeves and the tie from the collar, because I thought they looked a little too girly on me, especially since the fabric was already pretty feminine and floaty. 🙂

Réglisse by knitahedron / Áine Ryan

Now to the scary part – cutting out slippy fabric. Turned out to be a breeze with my rotary cutter and many cans of tinned beans as weights! What was going to be tricky though, was matching the print. At first I thought that the print was small enough to avoid doing that, but then I noticed how the flowers were in stripes, so given the central seams, I realised i was necessary. On the first attempt I matched the pattern beautifully to give a continuous pattern, only to realised what I wanted was chevrons… The crinkle in the fabric caused some problems with stretching and when two pieces were matched up pattern wise, there weren’t actually the same size. Argh! I got there in the end, and although it’s not perfect, I’m pleased with the results.

Réglisse by knitahedron / Áine Ryan

Next up – choice of lining. There was no way I was going to line such a lovely dress with icky acetate lining, so my original plan was to line it with a 100% viscose or cupro lining fabric. In the end, during this summer’s local department store fabric sale binge shop, I found some lovely, light cotton fabric in an off white. It was labelled ‘Gewebe’ which is somewhat ambiguous – my online dictionary translates it as anything from simply ‘woven’ or ‘fabric’ to more specifically ‘gauze’ or ‘mesh’. It’s certainly a ‘blouse’ fabric, and probably similar to lawn. Either way, it was light enough to use as a lining and the right colour!

Réglisse by knitahedron / Áine Ryan

I decided, given the sheerness of the fabric, combined with the darts and the centre seams, to ‘interline’ the bodice. In other words, I treated the layered fabric and lining as one piece of fabric and seamed them all together. To do this, I basted each pattern piece of the bodice and waist band in the chiffon to it’s corresponding piece in lining. I didn’t do this for the skirt, in order to keep the two skirts separate for free swishing and so that they would hang better. I then sewed everything together with french seams.

Réglisse by knitahedron / Áine RyanThe armholes and hem are finished with homemade bias binding from the lining fabric. I removed the tie ends from the collar and sewed the ends into the centre seam. If I did this again I would cut the collar on the fold at this front point and have the seam at the back, so that the front point was all one piece and not attached to the bodice. I did scoop some fabric from the armholes and shoulder yokes to make them narrower, but I think I needed to take more from the yokes. The armholes are a bit gapey, but that’s not obvious in the pics thanks to my strategically positioned arms. 😉 You’ll notice that the waistband isn’t very gathered in my version. I tried it out with having the elastic shorter, but whilst the pulled in waist looked better, it made the skirt sit higher on my hips puff out a bit too much for my taste.

Réglisse by knitahedron / Áine Ryan

All in all, an awesome pattern. The loose fit makes it summery and feminine and the zip-free, chuck it over your head construction makes it so comfy and easy to wear! I’m currently searching for the perfect fabric for an autumn / winter version.

Floral Jersey Burda Dress

I actually made this dress last Summer, but it has been packed away since last September or so and has been optimistically unearthed for this ‘Summer’.

Jersey Burda Dress by knitahedron

The pattern comes from the June 2010 issue of Burda Style magazine, but the photo in the mag doesn’t show the shape of the dress so well, so I had to rely on the technical drawing.

BM1006_burdasty_1__1_188_original_large June_109_tech_drawing_large

I quite liked the look of it nonetheless, and although the featured fabric was no longer available I had been lusting over the fabric I did use for some time. I spotted it early in the Summer on the My Stoffe site, but wasn’t in a position to buy it straight away, so I kept nervously checking the site to check that it hadn’t sold out! Eventually, I bought it, at which time it was a reduced remnant. Yay! It a light / medium weight viscose jersey with no manufacturer details, but I suspect it may be from Hilco or Toptex.Jersey

The pattern is actually described as a ‘Jersey Body-Con Dress’, but you can clearly see that my version is quite loose-fitting. This was from the days where I followed the manufacturer’s sizing rather than actually measuring the patterns pieces to compare to my own measurements. I may make another, slimmer fitting model this year.

Jersey Burda Dress by knitahedron

It was my first time sewing with jersey, and I was initially nervous. I don’t own an overlocker, so I reinforced the seams with iron-on seam reinforcer as per the instructions and used the ‘stretch stitch’ on my Janome. That all worked out fine, and I wore the dress loads last Summer. So comfy and very cool on hot days. (Here’s hoping!)

Summertime Sureau

Ok, so the title of the post is more hopeful than anything else. The weather here in our corner of Germany is still far from summery nevermind even springlike, but we’ll get there… 🙂

Sleeveless Sureau by knitahedron

Deer & Doe patterns are just so lovely. A perfect blend of feminine pieces that aren’t too fussy and are easily dressed up or down. I’m pretty late to the Sureau party and you can find so many beautiful interpretations on the Addicts blog (in French) or in the Flickr group.

Since I’m in Germany, I ordered my pattern directly from the Deer & Doe site, and within a day or two this beautiful envelope winged its way from Eléonore’s studio in Paris.

Sureau Pattern Envelope by knitahedron

I couldn’t find a zip with a good colour match so I went with mint for contrast. Zips still remain my nemesis, but yesterday I read (somewhere…) about this free class on Craftsy on zippers. Must watch before my next attempt!

The buttons were originally self-covered, but I nabbed them for my Peter Pan Blouse after I couldn’t find anything suitable for that. I would have preferred if the buttons and zip were closer in colour, but I’m still pleased with the outcome.

Sleeveless Sureau by knitahedron

My original plan was to make the dress with short sleeves, but when I tried it on during construction, I quite liked how it looked sleeveless. The fabric is very light too and I realised it was really going to be a ‘very warm day’ (fingers crossed and thumbs pressed…) dress, and so sleeveless was best.

Just like my Sleeveless Floral Shirt, I chose to face the armholes rather than make binding. Since the decision to go sleeveless happened after constructing the main body of the dress, I now have multiple facings to attach… Next time, if I goes sleeveless again, I’ll face the entire bodice at once.

When I made up the muslin to check the fit, the skirt was a bit too full and puffy for my hips, so I reduced it by pinching 2″ out of the centre of the skirt pieces. It still retains some of the original lines with the gathers whilst being a little more streamlined.

Sleeveless Sureau by knitahedron

The fabric is a very light woven viscose, from an unknown manufacturer, that I bought in my local Karstadt department store. I reinforced the seams with iron-on seam interfacing.

I like how it looks with this mustardy belt, but it’s obviously too loose for the (sucks in tummy…) *just fits* natural waist ;). Also, if I look like a crazy person in the photo below, it’s because I am – I was, um ‘interacting’ with the cat… Sleeveless Sureau by knitahedronThanks for reading! Do please visit Deer & Doe for more gorgeous patterns.

RSS Readers

Google Reader is all but dead and I have been using Feedly quite sucessfully so far. I thought I’d give Bloglovin a roll too for the sake of comparison. It’s appears to be quite popular with craft / design bloggers.

So this post is mostly for the sake of ‘claiming my blog’ whatever that’s about!

So if you like, you can Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

(Anyone else just think of McLovin everytime they see Bloglovin? 😀 )

Or just add the RSS feed to your preferred reader:

feed://knitahedron.com/feed/

Thanks for reading!

 

Avoca Handweavers

On my recent trip home to Ireland, I paid a visit to the Avoca Handweavers Mill in Avoca, Co. Wicklow. I have vague memories of visiting it as a child and was keen to visit again.

Avoca Mill by knitahedron

These days, the Avoca name is better known as a lifestyle brand, with a very popular chain of shops and restaurants. It’s origins however are as a weaving mill, Ireland’s oldest in fact, as proudly proclaimed in the photo above!

Shuttle at Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

Most of the weaving today is done on power looms and there are only two remaining handweavers employed. You can read a little more about the history of the mill and the company on their website.

Blankets at Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

The weaving rooms are open to the public and you are free to explore to your heart’s content. There are information signs to guide you and explain the various processes.

Yarn cones at Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

At entrance there’s a small museum type space with memorabilia and a few antiques along with a short video documentary running on a loop.

Blankets at Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

The memory that stayed with me from childhood was the smell, and it’s still there. That lovely sheepy, wooly smell of lanolin and spinning oil!

Sheep at Avoca Handweavers

We chatted briefly to the two handweavers who told us that demand for the blankets is still high in both the traditional Irish loving markets of Germany and the US along with the emerging Japanese market. The Japanese love their aran jumpers!

Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

I have to confess that I was so busy snapping away, that I neglected to read all the info signs! However, as far as I know, these lovely, stringy, complex contraptions are used to line up and wind the wool onto the giant spools for the weft threads.

Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

If you’re ever in that neck of the woods, do pop in. I’m going to leave the rest of the post to the pretty pics and you can find even more in my Flickr album. Enjoy!

Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

Avoca Handweavers by knitahedron

‘Louise’ Cardigan by Deb Hoss

I finished this cardigan back in January but partly due to the miserable extended Winter, I only got around to taking the photos recently. My mum was behind the camera on this occasion, and the lovely backdrop is the weathered wood of her studio.

Grassy Cardi by knitahedron

The pattern is ‘Louise’ by Deb Hoss and is knitted in Lang Yarns Merino 120. I made the sleeves full length instead of 3/4 as in the pattern, by just knitting two extra repeats of the diamond lace pattern before beginning the increasing. I suppose I could have made the cuffs a little narrower to compensate, but they worked out fine 🙂 .

Grassy Cardi by knitahedron

It’s the size M (40″) and is probably a bit big for me (37″ bust), despite the apparent gaping on the button band. The neckline is wide and loose and with my gauge / this yarn it’s a bit stretchy causing the shoulders to fall a bit. Looking at the pics, I could have probably adjusted the positioning of the buttons to help the band overlap better – they are sewn centrally. The pattern includes short rows in the garter buttonband to compensate for differences in gauge between it and the lace. However, with my gauge, this appears to have made the band too long and caused some puckering.

Grassy Cardi by knitahedron

I have worn it pretty much constantly from finishing it until when Spring finally broke a couple of weeks ago! It’s a fun, well written knit and the lace is simple enough to memorise and keeps things interesting. Deb has lots more similar lovelies on her site, Deb Hoss Knits.

Grassy Cardi by knitahedron

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