And just like that it’s August

What happened to July? The last I knew I collapsed in a breathless heap after stitching my little fingers off (figuratively!) for Indie Pattern month in June to meet all of my deadlines for the contests on TMS as well as a submission to a knitting magazine [which was rejected. Boo hoo :*( ] .

Then my household was suddenly plagued with summer illnesses – multiple ear infections, pink eye, strep, sinus infections, a stomach bug, and most notably – hand, foot, and mouth disease. My baby caught HFM first – probably when he went to the doctor for pink eye and then shared it with the rest of us. He was the only one who got it really bad – so bad in fact that his skin looked like he was a burn victim but it still left me with blisters all over my fingertips and unable to sew or knit a stitch, or type anything for that matter, for weeks.

Ok. Enough of the pity party. That’s not what this is about. After more or less recovering I have managed a few projects in the past few weeks that I’d like to share but first, a big THANK YOU to all who voted for my entries for IPM on TMS. I won two of the three contests I entered and took home some beautiful prizes.

For the New to Me contest I received three patterns: the Natalie Dress and Top from Muse patterns,
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the Bronte top from Jennifer Lauren,

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and the Sylvie Dress from Christine Haynes which I think will look great in a border print floral I inherited from my Grandmama.
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For the Hack It contest I won two patterns from Oki Style – I chose the Cinco men’s raglan shirt 

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and the Nandia coat.
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And I got my coveted London Coat Dress pattern from Sew Chic! Squeal! london_1

 

I’ve already stitched up a Bronte top because this had been on my pattern wish list (yes, it’s an actual list about 100 items long) for a long time and I couldn’t wait to get started on it. I’d also been ogling the London Coat Dress, but that’s a longer term project so I haven’t started on that.

To start, I have to give some major credit to Jennifer Lauren for making the pdf tile together separately for each pattern piece. I really hate pdf patterns because if you get one page just a hair crooked it messes up the whole shebang. This one doesn’t end up being a giant floor puzzle gone wrong, but rather 4 separate puzzles that are much more managable. It really made it much more of a pleasure to assemble.
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I used some leftover $1/yard dark teal knit from the clearance bin at Walmart that I picked up to make a self drafted pattern that I worked up this winter. I wanted something cheap for that project in case I really screwed it up. Spoiler – I kinda screwed it up, but a better version will be in the works next winter. I’ll share it then. But now…
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I had plenty of that teal knit left to make the Bronte and probably another top (or skirt?) later. I chose the cheap again because I always have to shorten patterns between the shoulder and bust apex but because of this fold-over shoulder I wasn’t the least bit sure how much to shorten it. I took a wild stab in the dark and shortened it an arbitrary amount. Again, I didn’t want to screw up an expensive fabric so here is my dark teal Bronte. The fabric is drapey and has a slight sheen and a bit of weight to it but I haven’t a clue as to the the fiber content.

I’m glad I didn’t cut into a precious piece of material because while my shortening guess worked it turned out too tight for my liking. While I love very close fitting clothes, I feel like a sausage in this thing. It’s not awful and it is quite comfortable but I don’t really like everyone to be able to count the hooks on my bra strap because my shirt is so tight.

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I certainly want to go up a size for the next iteration. I also need to adjust the shoulder tacks where the front of the shoulders cross. I tacked them together while it was lying flat but once it was on me, they pull too much – probably because it’s too tight.
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All in all, it was a fairly quick project. Just a front, back, sleeve, and binding. The longest part of it was switching thread spools back and forth between my serger and my new-ish coverstitch machine (!) because I only have 4 spools of each color. I serged the binding on, coverstitched it on top, serged the sleeves on, serged the side seams, and coverstitched the sleeve and bottom hems. So it was back and forth a couple times. But it still only took me two quick sewing sessions.

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I’ll be back again soon with another knit top I whipped up yesterday.

Disclaimer: Thank you to all the sponsors who donated prizes for IPM. I received these patterns free as prizes for the contests. I was not compensated in any other way and not asked to blog about them. All opinions are my own. However, give the sponsors some love and thanks for being an integral part of this awesome online sewing community.

 

Granville Shirtdress

Indie Pattern Month is in full swing around the globe. For The Monthly Stitch’s IMP Hack It contest, we were challenged to transform indie patterns and actually encouraged to frankenpattern! Though I’m not much for frankenpatterning, I do love to … Continue reading

Introducing The Shoals Top

Today I’d like to introduce the newest pattern from Vint Hill Knits: the Shoals Top. Perfect for a stroll along the seaside, the Shoals Top is a breezy, loose-knit blouse worked from the top down with a deep scoop neck, … Continue reading

Redskins Beanie

For my brother’s very belated birthday gift, I made a very unofficial Redskins team beanie, as he is a big fan. Since the NFL would have my house out from under me if I tried to sell the pattern for this, I’m offering it to you for free. If you make it, please link up the pattern on Ravelry. For a printer-friendly version of the pattern, download the PDF via Ravlery. Enjoy!

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Redskins Beanie

Yarn:

Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Solids in cranberry (MC) and mustard (CC)

Needles:

16″ circular US 6 (4.0 mm)

16″ circular US 7 (4.5 mm)

DPN set US 7 (4.5 mm)

Gauge: 

16 sts = 4″ (10 cm) on US 7 (4.5 mm) in stockinette.  Note: This yarn states 16 sts = 4″ on US 9 needles but I used US 7 to obtain gauge

Finished circumference:

21″ flat – fits average adult head with negative ease.

Abbreviations:

K = knit

P = purl

MC = main color

CC = contrast color

CO= cast on

k2tog= knit two stitches together

Directions:

With MC CO 84 sts on smaller needle. Join in round. Place round marker.

Work k2, P2 ribbing for 3 rounds. DO NOT break MC. Join CC. Work k2, p2 ribbing for 1 round. Break CC. With MC work 3 more rounds ribbing.

Switch to larger needle. Work in stockinette for 3 rounds. Begin chart at round marker. After working each row of chart, continue in stockinette with MC to beginning of round where you will begin next row of chart. You may choose to break CC yarn at end of each chart row and rejoin a new piece at beginning of next round OR carry CC around, catching floats every 4th stitch. Breaking after each row means more ends to weave but less bulk and floats to worry about. Remember if choosing to carry CC around to work loosely, as this beanie is fit with negative ease.

After chart is complete, break CC. Continue in stockinette with MC until piece measures 5″ from CO edge.

Begin decreases as follows, switching to DPN’s when stitches become tight on circular needle.

round 1: *k9, k2tog* repeat around to last 3 sts. k3.

round 2 and every even round: k all.

round 3: *k8, k2tog* repeat around to last 3 sts. k3.

round 5: *k7, k2tog* repeat around to last 3 sts. k3.

round 7: *k6, k2tog* repeat around to last 3 sts. k3.

round 9: *k5, k2tog* repeat around to last 3 sts. k3.

round 11: *k4, k2tog* repeat around to last 3 sts. k3.

round 13: *k3, k2tog* repeat around to last 3 sts. k3.

round 15: *k2, k2tog* repeat around.

round 17: *k1, k2tog* repeat around.

round 19: *k2tog* repeat around.

Break yarn. Use tapestry needle to draw yarn tail through remaining stitches. Secure tail on inside of work. Weave any loose ends. Enjoy rooting for your favorite football team or gift it to the big Skins fan in your life!

Chart:

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Remember to link your project to the Ravelry pattern page! If you find any errata, please email me at vinthill@hotmail.com.

Boy’s Cardigan

My son had a serious lack of lightweight outerwear that he could fit over his giant head as most of the hand-me-downs we received were over-the-head jackets with half zippers. I decided to knit him up a thick and quick cardigan to solve the problem.

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I used Lion Brand Hometown USA in Santa Fe Tweed, a super bulky weight yarn that works up at 2.25 stitches per inch, making it really fast to work with. which is a good thing as I ended up winging the design as I went, resulting in lots of ripping and retries. I should have just sat down with a pencil, measuring tape, and calculator to figure everything out but of course that would have made too much sense.

I started this project way back before the summer hit, but lost motivation as the temperatures started into the 90’s. I set it aside and picked it up again as the weather cooled off this fall and we tried to cram his head through necklines that just wouldn’t fit.

After countless restarts, I finally finished it up and he wore it a few times. Sadly, I made the fronts too big because I stupidly added the button bands in addition to the stitch count that equaled the finished width. That made for too wide of a neckline and it’s a little breezy.

I added shaped pockets to the front, which my son LOOOVES to jam his hands deep down into and straighten out his arms.

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I had some leftover yarn so I worked up a little beanie hat for him to match. It was so fast I was done with it in less than an hour, I believe. Bonus: I made the hat just the right size for his noggin.

He loves both pieces- enough to wear them out to play and roll in the leaves & moss. The final result is a way stretched out sweater that’s full of embedded moss and leaves (even after several washes) which is nearly useless and a lovely little hat that matches.

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P.S. – Sorry for the cruddy cell phone pics with my cracked camera lens! He wouldn’t cooperate in modeling when I had my good camera, yet when all I had was my cracked cell in my pocket, he said, “Take my picture, Mama!”