28 Mar 2015

Finally there is a new green shade in the drops baby merino yarn collection!

As you might know the drops 'baby merino' is by far my favorite fingering weight yarn. Great quality for a good price. I love to use it both for my vintage knitting projects and for my knitted baby garments as well. I really missed a nice green color though, besides the only, rather bright green they make. I just discovered they are going to add this gorgeous moss-green color to the collection in may/june this year. Can't wait!

27 Mar 2015

Most used baby knits of the past months!

The wool baby items I knitted get a lot of use during the winter months and the cool spring days. For our daily walks I use my nice and warm baby blankets in the stroller.

currently we use on a daily basis:
(both: picture above)

during our walks in the winter months:
(both: picture below, you can just see the edge of the blanket!)

26 Mar 2015

easy baby hat (fits newborn to 2 months old) - free knitting pattern

Are you tired of all baby things yet?
This is a basic baby hat pattern I knitted a few months ago. It took me one evening. I didn't use a particular pattern and just a sewn, knit fabric baby hat to measure against. I think the most important thing is the right shape of the crown. Often patterns end up with too pointy crowns which don't look very flattering. This pattern has a nicely rounded crown and a double brim for softness. It has stocking stitch on the inside of the brim and K2, P2 border on the outside. The stocking stitch edge is folded back and secured with catch stitch to provide elasticity. You could add colorwork to it if you wished or use different stitches for the stocking stitch part.

material & sizing:
I used my favorite, fingering weight drops baby merino yarn and metric size 3 needles (size 2.5 for the brim)
Finished size will fit approx. 36-38 cm head circumference, height measured from brim to top approx. 12 cm.

Not all baby-heads are the same! To make sure your hat fits well you need the following measurements:
1. head circumference, right above the ears
2. to calculate the height you need measure from ear to ear (imagine an old fashioned headphone) and divide by two
For a larger size you could add a multiple of 10 to the amount of stitches (for larger circumference) an add extra rows to the brim and to the first, straight part before starting to decrease (for more height)
Using sport weight yarn with larger needles is another option.
the pattern:

K = knit
P = purl
K2TOG = knit two together

- Cast on 80 sts
- Knit 10 rows in stocking stitch (K on right side and P on wrong side)
- knit 10 rows K2 P2

start row counting after knitting the brim:
- row 1-10 continue in stocking stitch (you can add a colorwork pattern here or for a larger size you can add extra rows here!)
- row 11 *K8, K2TOG* repeat between ** (72 sts)
- row 19 *K7, K2TOG* repeat between ** (64 sts)
- row 23 *K6, K2TOG* repeat between ** (56 sts)
- row 27 *K5, K2TOG* repeat between ** (48 sts)
- row 29 *K4, K2TOG* repeat between ** (40 sts)
- row 31 *K3, K2TOG* repeat between ** (32 sts)
- row 33 *K2, K2TOG* repeat between ** (24 sts)
- row 35 *K2TOG* repeat between ** (12 sts)
- row 36 *K2TOG* repeat between ** (6 sts)

- Cut yarn leaving about 30 cm in length.
- Pull yarn through final 6 stitches and make a knot to pull together the top of the hat. Pull the yarn to the inside and use it to sew up the sides.
take a look here for the flat seam method
- Fold brim lining (stocking stitch part) towards inside and secure with catch stitch.

24 Mar 2015

The Great British Sewing Bee - season 3

Have you watched?
Wow, this season was loaded with the toughest sewing challenges ever! Looking back, the season 1 challenges seem so easy!
This time, besides the pattern challenge and the transformation challenge the contestants had a made-to measure challenge with models in every single episode. They had to work with slippery, sheer fabrics, lace and leather, they even had to sew a traditional, pleated Scottish kilt! Also the pattern challenges included more complicated designs, like a child's waistcoat or a boned corset.
Interestingly, there were more male contestants than in the previous seasons and two of them even made it to the top 3.
Who was your favorite? I think the most talented sewer was Neil, who's accuracy and not only neat, but also fast sewing paid off in most of the challenges.

episode 1
PC: women's trousers with an invisible zip
MM: summer dress

episode 2
PC: a child's waistcoat (fully lined and with welt pockets!)
MM: children's fancy-dress challenge

episode 3
back to the 50's, the contestants had to work with old-fashioned sewing machines
PC: the famous walk-away dress (with meters of bas binding)
MM: 50's blouse in sheer fabric

episode 4
PC: boned corset
MM: a traditional (Scottish) kilt

episode 5
PC: satin lined lace pencil skirt
MM: a leather jacket (in 6,5 hours!)

episode 6 
PC: asymmetrical japanese top, made from one pattern piece (no diagram suppied, only written instructions. This intricate pattern is published in the book 'drape drape' vol.2)
MM: an avant-garde dress

After the first and second season I thought I'd definitely be able to complete all of the challenges. This year? I really don't know. I guess the best is to stick to my Lessons learned from the Sewing Bee" I wrote back in 2013.