Knitting on my mind

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For a craft-loving student who’s busy preparing for seminars, hand-ins and presentations, knitting must be the perfect craft. It takes no time to get started, you just pick up your work and begin. You can knit while watching a tv-series, you can knit in a public space or even in bed before going to sleep – no matter how busy I am, I always find a few minutes here and there where I can pull out my knitting and work a few rows.

Lately, knitting have been on my mind a lot, more than usual. I have multiple projects at this moment and several I’d like to start with. About five years ago I bought this rainbow colored yarn in Tallin, I haven’t used it since its a yarn that only works with the right pattern, and I didn’t know which one. Until last week. I was looking through a japanese knitting book I bought several years ago, looking for inspiration. I saw this pattern for mittens with triangles in color work with one strand in multi-color and one in a solid. I immediately though of the Estonian wool and started knitting, and it is absolutely perfect! What’s even better is that I have lots of the yarn left and could make more mittens, or maybe a matching hat or cowl?

Back to What is it with knitting that’s so addictive? Is it that there is a clear start and finish, right and wrong (either it fits or not, looks good or not) unlike most work at school where everything blurs together into a big interesting but challenging mess?

One thing I love with knitting is how a string, the line, slowly turns into a fabric, the surface, that again can be unraveled into it’s original being. Knit and purl = endless opportunities.

Rainbow Dolphin Blanket

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I made a few baby gifts every year over the last years. I want to make things that would be used, practical things, as I don’t want to burden my friends with stuff they don’t need or won’t use very often. Sewing and knitting makes it easy to create beautiful and useful clothes and other textile goods. The first gift I made was a very simple baby blanket with fabric I found at a second hand shop. I did not know techniques for making nice bindings on the edges or how to prep the blanket before quilting to prevent it to pull and become misshaped. The finished blanket was nice, though it had character, and it was well received and appreciated.

Two friends of mine got a boy earlier this month and I wanted to make a gift for them. I decided to make another blanket as I had the opportunity to get help from my mum who’s skilled with patchwork and quilting. This time I also made a more advance design with a large scale patchwork on one side.

Patchwork is fun and challenging, as it deals with color and composition, and it can be nerv wrecking to find the right combination of fabrics that will work well together. I started with the rainbow dolphin print and wanted to use it in a interesting and modern way. I combined it with orange and turquoise fabrics in a abstract composition, for a happy and playful look. The back fabric is bright yellow, the same fabric used on the edge binding.

I hope the baby will find the triangles and bold colors interesting to look at, or at least soft to lie on!

Mårbacka Bralette

Mårbacka, Sweden's most popular geranium. Named after the house of Nobel prize winning author Selma Lagerlöf.23

My recent craft interest is lingerie. Often invisible, but oh so important for feeling and comfort. For me, finding the perfect bra seems like a mission impossible, there is always something that’s wrong; the band itch or feel too tight, the wires leave marks on my skin or the cups are too big. I’m also not very fond of the idea of wearing a bra filled with padding. Because of this problem, I mostly wear wireless bras which I like, but still, there are moments when a sport top or bralette is not enough to complete a look – no matter how tiny your chest is!

The thought of making my own bras has struck me before, but at that time I could not find any good resources or how to’s on the net, which made me think it might be too complicated to pull of at home with my Husqvarna. Now, a few years later, the sewing blogosphere is bursting with examples of hand made bras and instructions. So, what am I waiting for?

Before venturing out on the mission to create the perfect wired bra I decided to start of with an easier project, a bralette pattern from OhhhLulu. This way I could experiment with elastics and the notions used for the shoulder bands and back without the complexity of the cups, wires and bands. I worked with a silky fabric with a lot of stretch that simplified the fitting.

The pattern I started from is called Bambi, a bralette with a three-piece cup. I cut out and sew a lot of muslins in different types of fabrics (quilt cottons, jersey, lace) but I was not able to get a nice, smooth finish of the seam. No matter what I did they felt bulky. I noticed on OhhhLulu’s shop that no of the bra she sells are based on that pattern, can it be that it is not as good as the others? I decided to hack the pattern and change it to look like one of her other patterns. Having only one seam over the bust made everything look nicer, the seam also gives some support and shape as the shoulder bands pull the seam upward.

I will definitely make more of these bras with some changes in the placement of the shoulder bands and shape of the front part. Maybe next version will be in bias cut quilt cotton? For that project I will research more on nice, flat seam finishes, as the inside of this bra could look much nicer.

First post!

So it begins.. my first blog post! I want to use this blog as a tool to develop my sewing and knitting skills, and to document my progress of slowly building a personal, well-fitting wardrobe by hand.

It would be fun if you found it interesting to follow my journey too!