An autumn outift

dimanche 22 novembre 2020

 It's been so much fun to go back to knitting and sewing this school year. 

My hands were itching for fabric and soft textures, for repetivive movements and happy long lasting wearable results!

I planned a whole outfit of 3 pieces in fall colors and dived right in. 

  • I started with the Tender sweater by Mélody of Mandarine's 
  •  This boxy sweater is cropped which is perfect to wear with skirts and dresses.

I knit it in Cascade 220 because I love this thick soft yarn and I had used it to make a hat for my husband: it had aged beautifully. It was freezing when my daughter and I stepped outside to take some shots today but the sweater did its job really well and only my hands and nose were freezing!


Knitting in black wasn't an issue and the pattern was very easy to follow. The cute chevron pattern at the bottom of the sweater is an easy one and knitting in the round makes every stockinette ârt fairly fast to knit.

I made a size S and I am happy with the look of it. 

The only alteration I made to the pattern was to lengthen the cuffs to fit my long arms!

I started this sweater on September 9th and finished it on friday the 20th!

  • I also sewed myself this midi skirt that I adore! 

The pattern called "Poulette" is by Cousette, a french fabric shop which also creates beautiful patterns. You need to know the basics of sewing when reading the pattern but it is pretty clear on the whole.

 I used a beautiful viscose also designed by Cousette.

I love the buttons on the front although I broke in cold sweat a few times while sewing the button holes!

I made a few mistakes on this skirt but the pattern on the fabric is quite forgiving. I hadn't been sewing in such a long time, I felt like a brand new beginner and it was exciting!

I am very happy with these two pieces. 

Now I need to complete it with the Lake Street Shawl designed by dear Brienne Moody.

Brienne has been a long term internet friend and she is now creating beautiful knitting patterns. I love that she donated the proceeds of the sales to the LAke Street Council. Here is what Brienne writes about it:

"I finished it in the weeks after George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. In my home state. I had originally planned to name this shawl after the birds that inspired it. Instead, this shawl is named “The Lake Street Shawl” to mark what I hope is a dramatic shift in our attitudes and our actions around racism. The Lake Street neighborhoods near where George Floyd was murdered are working to rebuild their communities and businesses. All proceeds earned from the sale of this shawl will be donated to the Lake Street Council to support these efforts."

 Isn't she amazing?!

If you have any questions about both these patterns please feel free to ask! I have been missing the lovely interactions I had with my blog readers here !

I am leaving you with my cheeky Masha the cat, queen of the garden!

A boy and his new sweater

dimanche 21 janvier 2018

 Oh this boy... my heart sinks when I see him so happy to wear his new sweater!
Yesterday, as the sweater was blocking, he kept on going up to my studio,  to check if it was dry! and it took ALL .. DAY!!
When he finally put it on , he jumped up and down in pure delight!
This is why making handmade garments is so worthwhile!

 I really liked this pattern by Compagnie M, in that I was able to get a perfect fit according to my own gauge. And yes, it does fit him perfectly, although I allowed for a bit of growth when I made the sleeves. 
There are a few things that I think could be improved in the pattern. I think it is written a bit like a sewing pattern and less like a traditionnal knitting pattern, which confused me a bit sometimes. 
I like my knitting patterns to use abbreviations such as KFB or RS/ WS and these were not in the pattern. 
BUT on the whole it was a very easy pattern and I would recommend it to beginners. 

 The fact that it is knitted flat scared me slightly. But my wise friend Mel  told me that seamed garments are stronger and last longer. It provides a better hold to the whole piece. She told me to try and enjoy the process. It went all well until I had to pick up the neckline stitches and again , because I have very little clue of what I am supposed to do when "pick up and knit" is indicated... well I became slightly frustrated!!
But she also told me I could mend any little holes after blocking, which is what I did. 

SO in the end I am very happy with the result. 

  The wool is simply perfect: it is ecological, ethical and european! I love De Rerum Natura's wool so much!
This one is Gilliatt in Nuit. 

 The boy wanted to sleep in it last night! he loves it so much and he is so proud that his mam made it.

Not only do I enjoy making these handmade garments so much (and that in itself is a reward!!) but I find great joy in my boy's joy!

Christmas break and one little word for 2018

mardi 9 janvier 2018

Our Christmas break is over.
The whole 2 weeks have been some of the most restful in a very long time. I tried, as much as I could, to be present with the children, to fill our time with love and good things.
We had my family over at our house for Christmas day, and although that involved a lot of chaos, it filled me with great joy.
I took the kids skying the only bright day out of the 2 weeks and tried the new lense I got for christmas. It's a 50mm and I really need to get used to it, but gosh I love it!

Our Christmas morning was so great: lots of happy smiles !

My brother took his dog to our house on Christmas day: I have always wanted a dog: this one was ours for the day!!
Richard made friend with her immediatly... even through his nap, she never left hhis side!

Our lazy days involved morning in pyjamas and a lot of books!

So here is to 2018: a new year, a lot of possibilities.

My one little word for this new year is "DISCIPLINE" because:
  • I am hoping to be more disciplined in my "adult" life: with chores and paperwork..
  • I am hoping to set some good habits for the kids: music practice, reading time.....
  • on a deeper level , I want to be a better disciple: I want to be more like Jesus, learning from Him how to love others and be a better human. 

A Metamorphic dress and a Tegna sweater (and a maths tutorial!)

dimanche 7 janvier 2018

 So it is the end of our winter break and I am glad to say it was a slow and yet productive time for me.
i finally managed to find time to cut into these 2 gorgeous Tencel fabrics to make a Metamorphic dress and I had time to finish knitting my Tegna sweater.

#1: Metamorphic dress
it is a pattern by Sew Liberated. I love everything Meg creates and I really think she has the coolest style!
My version is made out of 2 Tencel fabrics. Tencel is a very soft drappy fabric that feels and looks like silk. It is a natural fiber.
I got one black and one kaki-ish that is stlightly marbled.
I made a size 8 and went down to 6 at the waist but next time I will stick to size 6 allover for a more fitted look although it is supposed to be quite wide as it is designed to be layered.
LOVE the result!

 #2: To go with that dress and a lot of my other dresses, I knitted a Tegna sweater.
Pattern is by Caitlin Hunter, honestly one of the coolest and most modern knitwear designers around.
The Tegna is a cropped sweater with dropped shoulders and a fancy lace panel at the bottom.
I used ecologically hand dyed yarn by Hey mama wolf. Colorway: Birch Bark.
I had just enough to finish the second sleeve! I wish I had enough to make the sleeves 3/4 but I couldn't, so I will have to wait for spring to wear it.. so sad!

  I knit quite tight so I had to do some maths to find the right size. I went for a size M knowing it would fit my small 34,5 " bust great. And it does. It is slightly longer than the intended design ( 2 inches more) but I like it so much like that!

A tutorial on how to choose your size when knitting!
at least that's how I do it, and so far its worked for me!

So here is how I do it:
  • My gauge was 23 stitches for 4".   
  • The patterns calls for 22 stitches for 4". It doesn't look like a big difference over 4 " but it does on the whole sweater. 
  • So I go to the pattern and find the place that indicates the number of stitches before we separate body and sleeves.
  •  I see in the pattern that a size M has 238 stitches where we divide for the arm holes: that is around the bust. 
  •  I do some maths and see that 238 stitches with my gauge will give me 41,5 " around the bust. 
I calculate:
4x 238=  952
952 / 23 = 41.6

 { the formula is:
4" (size of the gauge)  x the number of stitches around the bust in the pattern
the number you get / the number of your stitches for 4"   }

So with my gauge, if I knit a size M I shall have 41,6" at the bust.
I am 34,5 " and the pattern calls for an ease between 5" and 10". So it is fine to me! I will have about 7-8 "of ease. 

So that's all from me for now!
I am going back to my family and enjoy the last day of our break!

Contagious Creativity podcast /episode 1

mercredi 3 janvier 2018

So... I kind of took the leap and filmed the first episode of my podcast just before my birthday, back in early december.
I clumsily share about my knitting works in progress,  about the yarn I use, and why I love creating so much!

Here are some informations about my works in progress I talk about in the podcast:

pattern by Caitlin Hunter

yarn: ecological hand dyed yanr : Hey mama wolf on Etsy

pattern by Compagnie M
yarn is french brand De rerum natura: yarn is Gilliatt in Night 

 future project: the Zweig sweater by Caitlin Hunter in yarn by Mon sheep Shop.


going foxy: a knit and 2 sews!

lundi 1 janvier 2018

Hi there! happy new year !
today is the first day of 2018 and , in my own crazy way, I thought it was the perfect timing to blog about some of my 2017 projects! yeah, crazy like that!!

So this autumn I resumed my relationship with knitting, (and sewing, as a matter of fact :!) as I finally had enough time and sanity to find time to create!
As we were entering autumn, I was very attracted to foxy colors.

So here are 2, well actually 3 projects I made this autumn which all have the same foxy vibe!

#1: The Veronika cardigan

My only regret with this knit is that I did not make the size M! I love this version but I wish it was a bit more oversize.
I actually wear it a lot.

About the pattern: it is very easy and I recommend it to beginners. All you need is patience!

#2: The Driftless Cardigan
About the pattern: as is true for all Grainline patterns: very great fit, very clear instructions.

I used my normal sewing machine as this knit is quite thick and I find this garment needed some precise piecing. I love my serger but I always feel it gives me less accurate seams.

Nest time, the only alteration that I will make is that I will make the bottom of the sleeves slightly bigger. This version is quick tight aound my arms. So maybe goint up to size 8 for the arms?

I really like this top and I wear it a lot, with jeans as well as with skirts.

#3: the cleo skirt
pattern by Made by Rae 
size XS
fabric: rayon by Atelier Brunette 

about the pattern: love love this!
I made size XS with a 14" elastic band . I made a mix of version A and B, because pockets people ! Length is my own choice ! Fabric is French brand @atelierbrunette and it is a rayon that is very lovely !

SO! here you go friends! you probably had seen all these on Instagram, but I wanted to share them also in this humble space, just in case you needed help with any of these patterns.
I would recommend all 3 of them.

I wish you all the best for 2018! 

Slow fashion october

mercredi 4 octobre 2017

 Slow fashion october is a concept created by Karen Templer of Fringe association : here is how she describes it on her blog :

"I still think the best description I’ve ever given of this event is the one in the @slowfashionoctober profile: “A celebration of the small-batch, handmade, second-hand, well-loved, long-worn, known-origins wardrobe.” Slow fashion, to me, is all of those things — from the thrift-store find to the me-made to the special purchase, and everything in between. Slotober is meant to be fun, thoughtful, enlightening and challenging, and has been for the past two years, so I’m looking forward to this year’s conversation."

I don't think I even noticed this event in the past years, but this year it did strike a cord and I do want to be a part of it, even in my humble , very slow way!

This school year has started very differently from the last one, leaving me more time to breath and more energy to give to myself and my creativity. Time to think also, and wonder what I want to do creatively. And also time to be inspired by others, which is so important to me. 

One of the first topic for conversation given to us by Karen is "WHO?" :  here is how she puts it:
 "THE WEEK ONE TOPIC IS: WHO. As in not only who are you (i.e. introductions) but who has influenced or inspired you to think or do differently with regard to clothing yourself, and in what way? And if you’ve set any goals or plans for yourself this month, include them in your introduction!"

 And here is my answer:
I have been making part of my clothes and my children's for 5 years now. I find great joy in the process. I also started knitting 2 years ago. It liberates me, it empowers me and it heals my soul. 

However, I realized in the last 2 years, that I had not always "made" things for the right reasons: there was a lot of ego and pride involved, trying to impress others. It kind of burnt me out after a while. I used to spend so much time sewing all the new cool patterns, trying all the most recent fabrics.And blogging a lot.  But it took me away from my family. It took too much of my time. I am not saying it a bad thing to sew intensively or to blog regularly. A lot of other crafters do it brilliantly. But it didn't work for me: my job, my kids, our daily rhythms and my own personality are not fit for this kind of frantic creativity.

Now I knit and I sew when I have time. I  do it for myself, I don't always share everything I make. I do it slowly, one stitch at a time, 15 minutes here, 20 there. It took ages to put this outfit together. But I feel good about it because it didn't take time away from other important things. And it is still here, perfect as it humbly is. It reflects my style at the moment, my desire for comfort and beautiful materials, my love for oldfashioned designs and soft colors.

I also only recently became aware of the importance of considering what type of fabric or yarn I am using, where it is coming from and how much I am buying. I don't want my craft to be another source of ecological or economical burden.

I have became conscious of these aspects of my crafts thanks to a few ladies, mainly people I am inspired by online. To name a few:
- Ute  from ute_ig 
- the talented Hilary from entropyalwayswinsblog: she is a true artist and she creates every thing with meaning and thoughtfulness. 
- Ashley Yousling and her ever inspiring Woolful podcast
- the very talented and utterly cool Meg Mcelwee from Sew Liberated : her style, her patterns and her philosophy of creativity is a number one for me this year.  I actually found my "wardrobe sewing mojo" back after reading a few posts form her blog.
- of course and forever: my dear Rachel of Stitched together, for her love of making and the way she still finds time for her creativity in the midst of raising and teaching her 5 beautiful children.
 - and many others. Our fiber community is a beautiful one: there is so much talent and so much support. 

These women are such a great source of inspiration for me: they teach me that creating is not another way of consuming. They teach me that we can knit and sew in a thoughtful way, a way that is good for our world, our community and our souls. 

So here is my first outfit for Slow Fashion october:
  • a Cleo skirt: pattern by Made by Rae: as per usual a great pattern with great explanations and lovely details. 
  • fit: I chose a size XS because I was between XS and S and Rae recommended using the smaller size on her sew along. 
  • I used a 14 inches elastic and it works great for me
  • I used a french made linen that is so soft and oldfashioned looking, I am in love
  • I added contrasting pockets in Atelier Brunette Gauze
  • I made a view A but I lengthened it to under my knees.

 And I added this Schooltunic pattern by Sew Liberated, in gauze and the same linen:
  •  I really wanted to achieve the same kind of look as Meg's one , so I made a size 10-12 instead of my normal 6-8.
  • I chose the 3/4 sleeves

 I am wearing my old boots and a Top I bought years ago.

 I love that I look like a school teacher from the 19th century with the tunic and skirt layered.

Well that's it for me folks!
Have a great October, enjoy the weather and wonderful colors.
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