Tag Archives: knitting

lately made

I have completed a few sewing and knitting projects in the last few weeks.  One was the lap blanket that I have been working on for quite a few months now.  A row or two whenever I got a chance was how it got done.  It is just what I wanted it to be.  Perfect size for pulling over your lap to read or watch a movie.  Perfect size to pull over little ones when they are sick and laying on the couch – and we had a lot of that this last week (luckily everyone is well or nearly well at this point).  This blanket has a great weight to it.  It is heavy, but made with a cotton linen blend that is warm, but not too warm.  I love the colors too: brown (from walnut shells), yellow (marigolds), natural, light green (goldenrod).  I just hope the colors have set well because this blanket will need to be washed fairly often, I predict – which means it is getting used and loved.  Just what I hoped.



I also made Anne a quick Easter dress the day before Easter.  I had a simple pattern by Figgy and some printed cotton voile and pink cotton twill in my stash – perfect for this dress.  Anne loved it, but it was a little cool on Easter morn to be sleeveless.  This dress will last all summer, though, and I love the print.  Thinking of what to make myself with that fabric . . .



And, I did make something for myself from the green linen I bought last year.  Watching spring emerge, and the indescribable green that the grass becomes this time of year, made me remember why I was attracted to that vibrant linen which I bought this time last year.  I am sure I bought it because it is the color of spring grass, which to me is a color of life.  Beautiful.

I envisioned a button up short sleeve shirt that I could wear all summer.  Linen would be perfect for this type of shirt and that green in a shirt will not overpower.   I went first to my grandmother’s patterns and found one that I thought would work.  I made a muslin, a few adjustments, and sewed up my first button up shirt.  I was easier than I thought it would be – even all those button holes, I found kind of fun to make.  I wore it on my birthday and am very happy with it.



Next project is jeans!  I have the pattern pieces cut out, but have been too tired every night since I cut them out to do anything with them.  I am also planning to participate in Kids Clothes Week again – next week.  I am planning a few things.  Thinking about t-shirt dresses for the girls, something for Hythe (because I think he felt a little left out when he realized I made the girls new dresses for Easter, but nothing for him), and something for Steven from that lightning bolt fabric  (he keeps asking about it).  If anyone is interested in sewing for children, you should check out Kids Clothes Week.  They have a huge listing of patterns, tutorials, ideas, fabrics, etc. that are great resources and inspiration.





Whew, it is cold out there today!  Second day in a row not going above freezing – quite cold, for here.  School was cancelled today when the heater broke, but my girls are outside playing right now.  They’ve been doing art, crafts, reading, and cleaning, and the boys are at their cousins house.

I’ve been swimming in work – soap business stuff, farm stuff, home stuff – I’m coming up for air for a few minutes!  The new year makes me want to set new intentions, schedules, and goals (not necessarily, resolutions).  I would like to be more organized and intentional with my time, efforts, and material things (I’d love to do a major purge of the house).  I was feeling overwhelmed today with the build up of clutter – the piles of papers, toys, books, clothes that need to be sorted, put away, given away.  Then, looked down to see the ultimate clutter-maker, Steven, pulling all the pieces out of a game, and I remembered that this is the time of life for it – super-full, busy, crazy, messy, but very important and wonderful.  Really, the only way to make sure it is wonderful, is to stop and treasure the moment.  Remember that childhood is fleeting, realize that the mess won’t be forever.  Do what I can . . . yes.  Stress over it . . .no.  (And, try to remember that!)

I’ve done a lot of sewing and knitting lately, and I thought I would report on it.

For, Christmas Eve, I made the boys pjs and the girls nightgowns.  I made them all (except for Steven’s pants) from organic knit cotton fabric that I had dyed this fall with natural dyes.  Fabric for the girls gowns was dyed with avocado seeds and skins.  It came out a very pale pink.  I wish it had been a little darker.  The “ribbon” on the gowns I made from fabric I dyed with black walnuts.  I also made Hythe’s pants with it.  It came out a beautiful brown.  For the boys shirts, I used a fabric that was a disaster in terms of dying.  I tried to use rusty nails and vinegar – thinking (reading) that it would give a dark brown, almost black dye.  It did not work for me.  I got a rusty, dirty looking fabric.  But, I thought it would be perfect for a boy’s t-shirt.  They can get it as dirty as they want and I don’t ever have to worry about stains.  For Steven’s pants, I cut up an old t-shirt of Williams.  All the patterns were self-drafted, except for Hythe’s pants which were from Oliver+S pattern.  I also made Hythe an entire outfit from that pattern.  He liked the pants, and even though he picked out the fabric, he won’t wear the shirt.  And, it is so cute!



I knit three hats for the oldest three children.  Of course, one is already missing – and I don’t have a picture of it.  But, they are all proud of their hats.  I knit Hythe’s hat from a variegated yarn he picked out at the SAFF in October.  I just finished the hat and he has no recollection of picking out the yarn, so he is not as excited as he was.  And, he’s confused about the stripes (from the variegation), but he likes it.



I finished Anne’s quilt a bit before Christmas, but haven’t gotten a good picture of it yet.  I love that she has a little special quilt for herself, made with lots of little scraps of favorite dresses.


Finally, I am making some things for myself.  I subscribed to Seamwork Magazine, a monthly on-line sewing magazine from Colette Patterns, and it provides some simple patterns for basic garments (and bags) that don’t take a lot of time to make.  I made a cardigan from a black cotton/bamboo/Lycra fabric.  It is fairly thick (not as thin as a t-shirt) and quite warm.  I love it.  I am planning an entire outfit – black leggings and a cute wool skirt from some fabric I got this weekend.  Hopefully, I’ll get around to it all soon.


William bought me some clothing labels.  He really wants me to label my creations.  And, I do like having a tag in the back of garments.  It is fun, too.


knit projects


My maternal grandmother knit, but sewing was really her talent.  Her mother (known as Nana), though, was a knitter.  It seems she was always knitting, annually turning out sweaters for all children and grandchildren.  I still have clothes hangers she knit covers on, and they are the best because they are thick, sturdy, and clothes do not slip off of them.   I have a small bin filled with little sweaters she knit for my mother and aunts, which my children have worn, and their children will wear.

I learned to knit when I was in college – from a friend of mine.  She taught me how to make hats and I never stopped.  They are such easy, quick projects.  I remember knitting with my grandmother during my freshman year spring break.  My grandmother seemed amused, but happy, that I was knitting.  And, she critiqued by technique – apparently I was a very slow knitter and if I did it the way she did, I would be faster.  I could not get my fingers to work like hers, so I went back to what I could do.  Over the years, I changed my way of knitting, or really of holding the yarn, to try to be more like what she did.  I don’t think I am there yet!

I put the craft of knitting aside for a few years when my babies seemed to grow faster than the sweaters I attempted to make for them.  But, occasionally I have made my children (and myself) hats to ward off the winter chill.  And, nearly every time I make a hat for one of them, it disappears within a few months, never to be seen again.  This has been discouraging, but I decided recently, that my job may be to make hats every year with the expectation that they will not be around by the end of winter.  Just enjoy making the hats, enjoy seeing them worn, keeping small heads warm –  just for a while.

So, I am getting back into knitting.  I’ve started on my first hat of the winter for Evva.  I also have skeins of yarn bought at the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair set aside for Hythe and Anne.  So far, I love this merino combo yarn by the The Verdant Gryphon.  It is soft, not at all itchy (a bit concern for Evva), and really beautiful.  But, dang!  Good yarn is really expensive!


I also, recently, finished a shawl for myself.  I have never had a shawl, feeling that it was too old-lady-like.  But, I really liked this pattern, got a bunch of nice yarn for very cheap and decided to try it.  I like it and I’ve even worn it once already.


My other knitting project is a lap blanket for our couch.  Made from 16 skeins of linen/cotton blend, 12 of which I dyed with natural dyes.  I am only only on color 2 right now (6 skeins in), so I’ve a ways to go.


So, for you knitters out there:  I would like to make a sweater for myself.  What nice, natural fiber yarns (brands, etc.) can I use that won’t cost a fortune?