The Perfect Pairing

I knitted Teresa Gregorio’s newest sweater pattern, TPCT (The Perfect Crop Top), and I love it. It’s fun to knit, easy to modify, and look how cute!

TPCT

I’m wearing my crop top with Liesl & Co.’s Everyday Skirt, which I made with Essex Linen. It’s a great match, and all I can think about it what else I want to sew to wear with TPCT!

salon trousers empire waist trousers

Decades of Style Salon Trousers
1930s style trousers with a comfortable fit and high waist. I have this pattern and am just waiting for the perfect linen to show up for me to make them up in.

Decades of Style Empire Waist Trousers
These 1940s style trousers look like they might eliminate the belly gap that makes so many women nervous about wearing crop tops!

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Colette Beignet
I can picture this skirt in a solid fabric, paired with a TPCT in a gradient or with some colorwork in the yoke!

Colette Iris
I’ve never thought of sewing shorts before, and now it’s all I can think about.

roberts spin skirt

Marilla Walker Roberts Collection Dungarees
I’ve just printed and put together the coveralls version of this pattern, but I think I’ll make the dungarees (overalls) next. How cute would they be over a crop top?!

Sew Chic Spin Skirt Skirt
I have some cotton print set aside for this pattern, white with cherries, and I think it would look amazing with a red crop top!

A few other ideas: Colette Ginger, Sewaholic Hollyburn, Tilly & the Buttons Miette, and Megan Nielson’s Kelly Skirt.

Did I miss anything?

Fashion Revolution Week

I just found out it’s Fashion Revolution Week, like, this morning. So here are some hastily thrown-together thoughts on clothing and where it comes from. For more information you can check out Fashion Revoluntion dot org, the documentary The True Cost on Netflix, and #whomademyclothes on Twitter and Instagram.

I make my own clothes for a lot of reasons. The big one (pun intended) is that store bought clothing doesn’t fit me very well. I’m right on the line between ‘regular’ and ‘plus size’, my bust is significantly larger than the standard ‘B’, my waist and ribs are small, and my booty creates a sway back. RTW clothing is either too big around my shoulders, too tight around my boobs, or tent-like around my middle…often all three. When I make my own clothing, I make it to my measurements, not some industry standard that doesn’t match any real human bodies. (Also, I put pockets in my dresses.) I get to choose fabrics that feel good in colors that I love and styles that suit me, not whatever’s popular. And did I mention it fits?

A lesser concern (but not by much!) is knowing where my clothing comes from, and that it was not made in a sweatshop in a country with no workers’ safety regulations. Now, I am fully aware that I don’t always know the source for the fabrics and yarns that I buy, but I’m trying to be mindful there as well, and as more people do the same, I think companies who care will become more transparent about their sources, which will make it easier.

One of the best things about making my own clothes is supporting other women. I buy sewing and knitting patterns, fabric, and hand dyed yarns from small businesses. I will have suggestions over the course of the week, as well as some fun stuff. Tomorrow I will post about Teresa Gregorio’s new knitting pattern, TCPT, and my ideas for styling.

I wear something handmade almost every time I leave my home, and many days I wear all handmade. (Well, I haven’t made my own undies yet. Or shoes.) There’s nothing wrong with wearing RTW, of course! But for me, handmade is where it’s at.

Indie Designers Gift-A-Long

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If you knit or crochet, get yourself over to Ravelry post-haste and join the Gift-A-Long! A staggering 335 independent designers have gotten together to offer 25% off select patterns through Friday, November 27th. You can see a bundle of my eligible patterns here, and the complete list of designers here. All eligible patterns are 25% off with coupon code giftalong2015.

In addition to the discount, the gift-a-long is a regular craft-along, with games and prizes along the way. All of my paid patterns, and all paid patterns of the other 334 designers, are eligible. SO MANY OPTIONS.

Great Northern Knits

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Did you love Twin Peaks? I bet you did. I actually did not…but let me explain! I didn’t see it when it aired, but instead watched it in one marathon viewing ten years later. There was a lot to like, but the timing was bad. For one thing, I was just not in a good headspace. But more importantly, I’d seen ten years’ worth of film and television that came after Twin Peaks. Seeing the original was like looking at a prototype of a way cool invention before the inventor got it working right. (The exact same thing happened to me with Reservoir Dogs. I was unimpressed because I’d already seen alllllll the movies that emulated it.)

BUT ANYWAY. There is a lot to love about Twin Peaks, even if it doesn’t really work for me. Black coffee and cherry pie is my favorite meal. And of course, Audrey’s sweaters are perfection. In fact, the show is full of delightful knitwear (and some that is most assuredly NOT delightful. It WAS the tail end of the 80s, after all.)

I met Leah in 2009 when I started teaching at the local yarn shop where she worked. We hit it off right away and became close friends. She is also a knitwear designer, and we’ve worked together a lot. To my great sadness, we haven’t yet collaborated on a project, but we’ve contributed to each other’s projects in many way. We’ve photographed each other’s samples, and she makes most of my diagrams. We talk yarn and styling and bounce ideas off each other.

When Leah moved to Chicago a couple years ago, I was super bummed. But she has been busy and I’m so excited to share a project she’s working on with another lovely designer, Teresa Gregorio.

Great Northern Knits is a book of knitting patterns based on Twin Peaks. None of the sweaters are lifted from the show, but rather they are all inspired by it.

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LOOK AT THAT.

OH MY GOD.

GET ON MY BODY.

They are running a kickstarter campaign to help pay for printing costs. The rewards are FAB. Digital and print copies of the book, individual patterns from both designers as well as many of the best indie designers in the business (including yours truly), delightful yarn bundles, and more! I have backed the project and chosen the hand-painted tote bag reward, but I’m trying to talk Leah into making me a Great Northern mug for my damn fine coffee.

Won’t you please support independent designers and make this collection happen?

New knitting pattern, and a KAL

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First up is Obtuse, a top-down shallow triangular shawl that’s easy enough for a beginner but interesting enough for a more advanced knitter. I knitted most of the sample while watching TV, if that tells you anything much.

I bet you have a skein of variegated sock yarn sitting in your stash, quietly mocking you because what the heck can you knit with variegated yarn? Well, you can knit this.

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And in other news: I’m hosting a knit-along for Dragon Rider! I’ve never hosted a KAL before so I’m pretty excited. Check out the details here in my Ravelry group. There’s a discount code for the pattern, and there will be prizes.

A Tunic for Riding Dragons

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Sometimes yarn is a real pain in the butt. I was sent this gorgeous SweetGeorgia for a sweater idea I had in 2013, and I tried to knit it but it wouldn’t cooperate. So I set it aside, and one day–almost a year later!–it dawned on me that the tunic I kept thinking about would look perfect in this very yarn. So I made it instead.

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I’m not even sorry.

Dragon Rider is available on Ravelry. EU customers will be redirected to LoveKnitting.

Fireside Collection

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That’s Hot Cocoa on the left, Hot Buttered Rum in the center, and Hot Toddy on the right.

I am so pleased with the way this collection turned out, even if it took me a liiiiiittle bit longer than planned. (They were supposed to be ready for Thanksgiving, 2013. Yeah.)

I set Hot Cocoa aside for a long time because I’d been working on it the last time I saw Laurie and she gave me advice on some design elements and I just couldn’t work on it after she died. But it’s done now, and this spring I will wear it to the noir festival, which I’ll be attending without her for the first time ever.

So. I dedicate this set to Laurie. I miss you, lady.

Seraphina & Anjelica

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New patterns! Whoo!

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This is Seraphina. I originally came up with this design in 2011, and submitted it for publication with a third party. It was accepted, and matching bloomers were requested.

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This is Anjelica. The matching bloomers.

The third party publication fell through, and after two long years I got my publication rights and samples back. Ta-da!

The patterns are available on Ravelry individually or as a set.

A Storybook Knit

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I knitted this shawl because I wanted a basic wrap that is beautiful and functional. I chose a luscious alpaca silk yarn, Lorna’s Laces Honor, in a deep and subtle shade of purple-grey, and I named it after one of my favorite heroines of Colonial British children’s fiction, Susan Sowerby from The Secret Garden.

Here is the text from the pattern:

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was the first novel I read, approximately five minutes after I figured out that whole reading business. It has remained a favorite for nearly three decades, and was much loved by many others for a good 75 years before I found it. One of my favorite characters is Susan Sowerby, Dickon and Martha’s mother, who kindly looks out for Mary and boldly (but gently) interferes when Archibald Craven needs it.
I chose a lovely yarn that drapes around the shoulders to keep you warm on a rainy night, in a color that reminds me of the way the moors looked when Mary Lenox first saw them—grey, but not quite lifeless after all.

It is on Ravelry if you are so inclined.

New logo! Another one!

After Lauren’s amazing work on my Sew Noir logo (see it here), I asked if she could make me a new Noir Knits logo, too. And she did! Actually she made like two dozen of them, because I gave her a terrible description of what I wanted and she was kind enough to go through several versions to fine tune it.

WORTH IT. (Uh, for me. She is probably going into hiding.)

Noir Knits Shadow Square small

How fucking gorgeous is that?! Of course, now I have to decide whether to redo my pattern template AGAIN. It doesn’t currently have a logo on it, so I might not. [/lazy]

Also I have to redo my website. I have forgotten all the coding I once knew, so that should be fun.

…I’ve made a huge mistake.