New Pattern & Request

Introducing, Itty Bitty Butterflies Baby Hat: a soft beanie-style hat featuring a row of delicate little butterflies and a cable ribbed brim.

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The pattern includes a both written and charted patterns and a step-by-step photo tutorial to guide you through creating those unique butterflies which, unlike a standard butterfly stitch pattern, have a lacy underlay to make them stand out and appear a true butterfly shape.

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This sport weight knit is worked up in Berroco Corisca, a 90% cotton, 10% cashmere blend to cradle the tenderest new skin in luxury.

Itty Bitty Butterflies is available in sizes premie, newborn, 3 months, 6 months, and 9 months.

I designed this upon my husband’s request for a baby gift for a coworker when he foolishly asked, “Do you know how to knit a baby hat?” Perhaps he missed the fact that I knitted all of our baby boy’s hats and practically everything the child wore for the first weeks of life or that I’ve been knitting and designing non-stop for years. Or perhaps it was just his clever way of getting me to consent to knit a baby gift for someone I don’t even know by insulting my ability so I would prove him wrong.

In any case, I designed this hat without personally knowing a little baby who could model it for me – my big guy at 18 months is the size of a 2 year old. And that’s where you come in. If any one out there personally knows a tiny baby who could model this hat, please email me vinthill (at) hotmail (dot) com [written as such to avoid spam but you know how to type it correctly into email format] and I will send you a free copy of this pattern for you to make as well as a free copy of another pattern of your choice from my Ravelry shop in exchange for the use of a photo of your little one modeling your finished product. The photo does not have to be professional but something better than a simple snapshot. It needs to have decent lighting and background (plain is fine, just not clutter). I will need a photo use release signed by the parent or legal guardian of the child as well as the person who took the photo which will allow me to use the image in marketing the pattern via blog and Ravelry.

If you agree, I’ll first send you a contract of the terms, then upon receipt I’ll send the hat pattern. Once you send me the photo and releases, I’ll send your final payment of another pattern of choice from Vint Hill Knits.

Hopefully you or someone you know has a little baby girl (or a boy, who am I to judge?) who would look darling in this hat. Please share and send this link to anyone you know who knits.
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The Itty Bitty Butterflies Baby Hat pattern is now available through my Ravelry store, Vint Hill Knits so even if you want to knit it up to give it away and can’t help with the model request, you can still pick up your copy today.

 

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Beachy Butterick 5901

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When my dear Hancock Fabrics closed, I picked up this piece of heavy but slinky floral knit. I haven’t a clue of the fiber content but I’m sure it’s all synthetic. It was a factory remnant and had a few large areas where the printing ink was smeared terribly but I knew that with careful cutting there would be enough of it for a little wrap skirt to wear as a beach cover-up or just hanging out in our favorite little island town, Chincoteague on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, home of the famous wild ponies (The ponies actually live on Assateague Island just across the little channel but everyone knows them as the Chincoteague ponies.) I have a few wrap skirts in my vintage pattern stash, each not much different than the last but I decided to try out one I’ve never worked with before. Butterick See & Sew 5901 is undated but based on the envelope design and photo styling, it’s solidly a 1970’s pattern.

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It’s multi-sized M, L and XL. I didn’t realize it when I hastily saved it for myself from a lot of patterns destined for my shop but the original owner slashed and spread it to enlarge it about 4 inches above the XL size. Since I was going for the medium, that meant it was just easier to use the pieces as a rough guide to trace my own. If I’d realized that I was going to put that much effort into this pattern, I never would have kept it and would have just stuck with one of my other wraps skirts – perhaps even the pattern first piece of clothing I ever made.

In any case, I traced it off and made major adjustments including chopping about 15 inches off the bottom and cutting what should have been on the fold as two pieces to fit on my damaged fabric.

Aside from seaming the center back, the only construction change I made was omitting a buttonhole in the waistband for the tie to thread through. I didn’t want to fool with a buttonhole on a spandexy knit fabric and I don’t think it made much styling difference in the end. I did, however, construct the whole thing on my serger and finish the edges with my coverstitch. Oh, I also left off the interfacing on the waistband and ties. Ok, ok. so I made about as many construction changes to a wrap skirt as one possibly could. Haha!
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It was a lovely quick project for the most part and tremendously satisfying. I know I’ll get lots of wear out of it on our frequent weekend getaways to Chincoteague.  In fact, I donned it at least 5 times this past weekend alone. DSC_0620
Thanks to my 6 year old for his photography skills since the kids and I made this beach trek without Daddy and I didn’t pack a tripod. Also, enjoy my North Pole tan. LOL!

 

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Here’s the quick little top I promised you two weeks ago. I’m still catching my breath and catching up on “me time” after sending a herd of kids back to school.
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This is burda style 6764. I made view A and will never, ever make view B, as it makes even the size negative 2 model look broad shouldered. I imagine I’d look like a linebacker in it with my actual wide shoulders.

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Anyway, this was a pretty straightforward pattern to work. I adjusted the flat pattern before cutting, shortening it between the shoulder and bust apex, as usual. In this case, I took it all out just under the armpit so as not to interfere with the gathered yoke.

I did all the sewing on my serger and coverstitch machine. Following the pattern, I stabilized the neckline. I used strips of fusible interfacing though it said to use Vilene bias tape. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Vilene tape is readily available in the U.S.. – at least not anywhere I shop.

Much of my time was spent switching back and forth between machines, as I only have the table surface for either the serger or coverstitch and must trade them as needed. Often this requires swapping out thread, too, since I only keep 4 cones of each major color I work with, but this time I used 3 regular spools of black in the coverstitch, as I happened to have plenty of those.

Aside from swapping machines, it came together  very quickly and easily. The yoke gathers gave me a little trouble and are less evenly spaced on one side, while very pretty on the other. I wish I had basted them in place prior to serging the seam. But at that point it was too late and wasn’t awful enough to rip out all that serger thread!
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I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the horizontal seam that runs across the back where the yoke joins the body but in this dark gray knit fabric it’s hardly noticeable. I considered altering the pattern and cutting the yoke and back all in one, but soon realized that the yoke must be separate to finish the armhole edge and still provide seam allowance for the back to join the front at the side seams.

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While the interfaced neckline holds shape and doesn’t exactly gape, I found myself a bit exposed when bending over with kids all day simply because it’s low cut. I wore a safety pin where the neckline crosses and you can find it if you look closely where the center front is pulling. I think I’ll tack the center front together before another wear. In fact, it’s sitting all freshly laundered on my sewing table waiting for a tack right now.
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On a completely separate note, check out the new necklace I made! DSC_0577

Isn’t it cute? I dabble in jewelry making and came across these little sewing charms a few months ago. I usually stick to making more “from scratch” pieces of jewelry rather than “slap and dash” things, but I loved these little guys too much to leave them behind. From your left to right there are a thimble, antique sewing machine, scissors, button, and spool of thread.

See you shortly with a beachy make!

 

A Fresh Start

It’s been far too long since I wrote a blog post! I’ve spent the past three months plagued with medical issues from shingles to plantar faciitis so bad I couldn’t walk for weeks to a lovely spring cold with nagging cough and then a concussion.

I’m FINALLY back to feeling well again but the mean time, I haven’t been totally useless. Not even a major contagious disease or minor brain damage could zap the creativity out of me. I’ve basically sat on my butt for three months knitting. It would take me ages to write a proper blog post for each so I’ll just give you an overview. If you want some scant details, click through to the Ravelry links.

 

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Red Brick: another of my fave Brick sweaters. This one’s yarn is reclaimed from a thrift store sweater that was three sizes too big. Unfortunately I accidentally snipped many of the plies of yarn while deconstructing it so I have lots of little ends that poke through. Its a comfy slouchy cotton sweater that’s perfect for bumming around the house though.

 

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MacIntosh Dress:  This is a design prototype I was working on to publish but it has too many issues. The gauge is off too far compared to the yarn. It’s a bit too see-through and will have to be worn with a full slip. I’m going to have to start from scratch but I do like the panel in the front. This feature will certainly make it into a future design.

 

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Announcing The Lineweaver Hat! This was finished with testing and went live while I was in the midst of my being in agony so it’s not getting it’s own proper post, either. There it is. The second pattern from Vint Hill Knits. My Southern Hemisphere friends, indulge in a lovely, quick winter knit. Northern Hemisphere friends, go ahead and queue it up on Ravelry so you won’t forget how much you totally want to make this come September.

 

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Test knit for the Phryne Pullover: This is a test knit I did for Taiga Hilliard Designs. Basically, it’s awesome. I highly recommend it. You should see all the beautiful pieces that have been made with this pattern already! The big release for the pattern is sometime in the next few weeks so you should go ahead and queue it up now. I’ve worn this thing about 700 times in the past 2 months!

 

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90th Birthday Sweater: My dear Grandmama turned 90 in April so to celebrate, I made a trek to NC to visit and brought along a handful of cardigan patterns for her to choose from. Then I asked her to pick the yarn color. I made a little stop at the local yarn shop there and started the pattern while I was visiting her so she could see it in progress. Then I mailed the finished sweater to her two weeks later. I had to make a little embroidered tag for the inside because her assisted living staff requires that all garments be labeled with the resident’s name and care instructions. Grandmama didn’t mention it but I’m sure she was ashamed of the poor embroidery job I did, as she was the one who taught me to embroider at age 6!

 

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Purple Socks: I don’t know where I went wrong here. I started this pair of socks shortly after I finished my 12 in 12 challenge back in January. Then I lost the little project bag. 4 months later I found it had fallen behind the TV. I whipped up the rest of the first sock and then its mate, not paying much attention to the project as I went along. After all, it’s pair number 9 (?) of this pattern. I wove in the ends and slipped it on my foot and went AHHHH!!! They’re HUGE! My gauge somehow became waaaay too loose in the 4 months that the bag was MIA. I tried washing and drying them to no avail. I think I’ll frog them but it makes me cry to think about it. For now they’re just sitting in my laundry room taunting me, making me a bit afraid to try again since this was already on size 0 needles!

 

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Baby Butterfly Cardigan: A gift for a friend who is expecting. I used the pattern’s “6 month” size and it ended up big enough to fit my 4 year old! It meets the gauge and measurements stated in the pattern. Not sure who thinks a 6 month old needs a 23″ chest sweater! Guess I should pay more careful attention to finished garment measurements before beginning something. Forgot to photograph this before I gave it away so I’ll have to suffice with her cell phone snap.

 

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Baby Flower Cardigan: After the giant Butterfly Cardigan I sized it down another one to actually fit a 6 month old. Ahh. That’s better. 🙂 Forgot to photograph this one, too, obviously.

 

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Minty Baby Cardigan: A gift for another expectant friend. This time I tried steeking for the first time in hopes that it would all go faster. The steeking worked out very nicely. Then I tried picking up all the trim in the round and working mitered outside corners. That went fine as well, except I was so focused on the mitered corners that I accidentally picked up every stitch along the front and didn’t realize my error until I cast off. The result was a slightly frilly front band. My friend didn’t know if she’s having a boy or girl so I felt this was a little too girly and not gender neutral enough. Turns out she had a boy but the week before he was born, it was still a mystery, so….

 

White Baby Cardigan: I made her another one in white, this time working the bands flat and NOT picking up too many stitches. Forgot to photograph this one, too. Gah! Unfortunately there’s still no photo because my friend was busy giving birth and all that important stuff.

I also managed to sew a few things…

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Refashioned Men’s Shirt using McCall’s 2213 from 1969. I picked up an XL men’s dress shirt from the Salvation Army Store and basically used it for fabric. I did, however, use the front button band by placing my pattern pieces appropriately to keep the button band attached. I did the same for the sleeve placket and curved bottom hem. The rest of it was fresh new cuts and seams. It looked fabulous and I really loved it but when I wore it to court (I was on the right side of the law!) I couldn’t raise my right hand very far for the swearing-in because the dang shirt was too tight across the shoulders. I guess that’s what I get for using a 34″ bust pattern even though there was plenty of ease in it to accomodate my 37″ chest. It was also incredibly tough to drive while wearing it. I grudgingly gave it away to a friend with the same chest size but narrower shoulders. Will certainly have to have another go at this refashion, though.

 

 

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Zebra toy using Simplicity 4915 from 1954. I gave this to the 4 year old birthday girl and forgot to photograph it. That seems to be a running theme with my illness makes. :*( Imagine that cute little horse made using that awesome zebra fur leftover from my son’s zebra costume. This is the second time I’ve used this pattern. The first was to make a kitty cat for my niece’s 1st birthday. I love this pattern and will keep it around for last minute gifts for many years to come. The pattern is carefully sized so that they can be made using scraps but it’s not too tough to turn tiny corners. They all finish 7.5-9″ tall. Perfect for cuddling with kiddos.

 

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Twisting Tilly Top from Style Arc. I made this one up in a flash – just a few hours to cut and sew. I was really, really happy with it and wore it the same day I completed it. Then I cooked lunch and splattered grease from the pan all over the front of it. It won’t come out. WAH! :*( Anyone know how to get beef grease out of a rayon jersey? I will definitely be remaking this one. I want to try a lace panel stitched to the side seams in lieu of a camisole underneath because that neckline plunges waaaay too low for me.

 

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Mother’s Day skirt from New Look 6899. Just realized I don’t have a full length picture of it. I picked up this fabric on a road trip to NC a couple years ago with the intent to make a skirt for myself. I fell madly out of love with it as it sat in the bottom of my stash. As I was cleaning my stash, searching for the above mentioned zebra fabric, I found it and thought, “This looks like something my mom would wear,” and BAM! It was my mom’s Mother’s Day skirt.

Well.. I wish it had been that easy. I measured my mom, not telling her exactly what I was making for her. I compared measurements and decided on a size. Then I very carefully cut and sewed the whole thing except the bottom hem, as I wanted her to decide how long it should be. I presented it to her on Mother’s Day and much to my dismay, it was so loose it hung down past her hips.

I had a damn near perfect zipper insertion that I was not about to mess with so I took all the excess on the right side seam. I painstakingly picked out the hand sewn waistband facing and the french side seam, took it in about two inches and reattached the waistband. I finally hemmed it after it hung on the dress form for weeks waiting for the hem while I nursed the cough and cold my kids gave me for Mother’s Day. Then a few weeks after that while it waited for me to frantically finish Mom’s birthday knit top to match the skirt.

Speaking of… that top of which you see a tiny sneak peek is the next big thing from Vint Hill Knits. It’s out for testing now with my lovely group of Sit N Knitters from my LYS, so stay tuned for the big release (and my other two tops from this pattern!) in the next few weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Still Alive…

Sorry for the radio silence lately. I have been down and out with stress-induced shingles since the end of March. The only blog post that went up was already written and scheduled.

I’ve been hurting too much to move more than my elbows down. All of my sewing machines have been sitting silent. My TMS March challenge Miss Bossy Patterns is almost done – it’s been hanging on the dress form waiting for the hem, buttons & button holes, and belt since March 24.

All that I’ve accomplished is a whole lot of sitting and knitting. I’ve knitted a sweater, a hat, a short sleeve top, and a long sleeve dress plus I have one more sweater on my needles. All waiting until I feel (and look) better to photograph!

I promise as soon as I don’t look like a medical mystery photo, I’ll get back to pinning, posing, and posting.

 

 

Results: Which Wool Will I Make in March?

It was clear from the very beginning which wool would win for March. Out of 56 votes, the Butterick shirtwaist dress took 53.57% of the vote with 30 individual voices saying “Make it! Make it!” How could I resist? However, … Continue reading