Follow us on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Beginning Knitting Project

by Tonya


I've decided to try knitting again. That's right, even though Stefanie is an amazing knitter (as is our mom, and as was our grandma), I am not very good at it. I always feel like the yarn is going to fall off the needles. I'm not very good at using chopsticks either; is there a connection? 

My mom bought me this beginners knitting kit for my birthday.

The kit includes the yarn, knitting needles, a yarn needle, and a nice instruction booklet. It is truly for beginners. You don't have to know how to do anything to use this; the booklet even tells you to wind the yarn into a ball before beginning. 

I successfully made the hat and one hand warmer (the other one is partway done).  


I'll tell you a secret: I still prefer to crochet! I feel like I have more control over the yarn. I also know how to get back on track if the yarn comes off the crochet hook, but I don't know how to rescue my work if it falls off the knitting needles. 

I really like my hat, and I'll finish and try out the hand warmers. Jason says hipsters wear them, so I don't know what to make of that. I've never used fingerless gloves before. Now's my chance! 

After I finish the second hand warmer, I'm going to try to improve my knitting and increase my confidence. Here's my plan:

* Use the biggest needles I have, and big, chunky yarn so it's easy to see the different loops of yarn.

* Drop some stitches and figure out how to pick them up correctly. I dropped one on my hat and my repair was not correct. It's no big deal, but that hat is not perfect. I like perfection. I can achieve perfection with crochet. I want to get there with knitting!

* Watch more videos and read more instructions about picking up dropped stitches. I looked at a few, thought I got it, and then it turned out that I didn't get it. 

* Then practice pulling out a needle and getting the yarn back on correctly. 

* Of course I should have done these things before making my hat and hand warmers, but I didn't want to wait! Without the pressure of trying to really make a certain product, I hope I can practice these techniques and become more comfortable with knitting. 

If you want the pattern for the hat and hand warmers, you can get it for free. Go to and sign up to receive their newsletter. They'll let you choose a free pattern to download, and this is one of the choices. Think you'll make some new winter accessories?  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Myrtle Dress from Colette Patterns

by Tonya

I finished sewing a new dress! I used a pattern from Colette Patterns. It's called Myrtle and they recently had a sewalong, where a teacher posts instructions and photos on a blog and you can make your dress along with her (plus ask questions). It's great because the teacher goes into more detail than the pattern about some steps, plus shows photos along the way. 

This sewalong also gave detailed instructions on making some fitting adjustments, which was awesome. And they have a Facebook group where people asked questions, shared their fabric choices, and discussed whether or not the dress's pockets added too much width at the hips. Based on the pocket discussion, I decided to omit the pockets on my dress (plus it made it that much quicker to finish the dress!). It was fun to sew as part of a group, and to post and see the finished dresses! 

My dress isn't perfect, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and I love how it looks with those boots. I really enjoyed learning more about sewing with knit fabrics. I learned some new techniques, like using a twin needle. I also got to use my serger, which I hadn't used much yet. (You don't need a serger to make this dress, though!)

I found my knit fabric on The Fabric Fairy. They have a lot of cute knits, and each fabric listing has a guide that includes the best uses for it. I love that part, since I'm still learning what type of fabric works best for different uses. 

Now I'm excited to make a couple t-shirt dresses. I have been looking for the perfect black & white tunic or t-shirt dress and have not found it. I will try to make it myself!

Do you make any of your own clothes? 

P.S. Do you remember that I mentioned my interest in minimalism a while back? Well, I'm going for it, in terms of minimizing my wardrobe. I'm using just 40 items of clothing for the fall season. If you want to see how I'm doing, come see my capsule wardrobe over at