Grainline Lark Tee in Liberty Knit

Remember when I said I had another Lark Tee to show off? Well, here it is! This tee is one of my favorite makes and gets heavy rotation in my wardrobe due the amazing fabric. We were fortunate enough to get a small cut of this Liberty Wiltshire rayon  jersey last year and when we cut the last piece for a customer, a small half to two-thirds of a yard was left. It was pretty small and I was unsure what I was going to use it for, but I was NOT going to let it go to waste. It went into my small (yet ever-growing) pile of hoarded fabric and sat for a few months. I finally decided that I could squeeze a Lark out of it, if I did the cap sleeves. And, so…my shirt was born.

I didn’t do anything different this time around with the pattern, except for using the cap sleeves. As I mentioned last time, I could have (and probably should have) shortened it, but I didn’t. It’s still fine, but next time around I will shorten it. I have my eye on a few knits that we have that will shortly make their way into my stash.

This rayon jersey was a bit slinkier than my last shirt and I did need to exercise a little more care with it during certain steps. It was prone to excessive shifting during the cutting stage, so to combat this, I did not cut the back or front on the fold, but instead opened the fabric out into a single layer and matched up the center front/back. I also had to really play around with my stitch length for the twin needle until I found a look I liked when finishing the neckline and hem. I don’t remember having so much trouble with my last one. It might be possible that since this was Liberty, I was being a bit fussier than normal. Haha!

I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating:  if you are looking for a great introduction to knit sewing patterns and wear t-shirts all the time, this pattern is amazing. Four different necklines plus four sleeves equals endless sewing and wearing enjoyment!

I also want to point out that this post will mark the end of my pink hair. You can probably tell that some of my posts were in a crazy order, since my hair went from brown, to magenta, to pale pink, back to brown with regularity. Those who have visited the store know that I had the pink for quite awhile, but that is all gone now. I loved having it, but the upkeep was a bit much at the end. Our backlog of photos and posts have now been exhausted and we are back to our regularly scheduled hair color. At least for now. 😉

So…have you sewn the Lark yet? Have you ever sewn with Liberty knit? Does your hair match your shirt?? Do tell! 🙂

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography

Polka Dot Grainline Scout Tee

Have you ventured into the land of garment making yet? Are you scared? Think it will be too hard? Let me tell you, if you have made enough tote bags or pillowcases to last a lifetime (or are pretty comfortable with your machine), you are ready. Need a pattern to get your feet wet?

Here at the shop we use Grainline’s Scout Tee as one of our intro to garment making classes. The pattern instructions are easy to understand, there are only two big hurdles in the pattern, and it creates a great easy wardrobe staple in a matter of hours. It is one of my personal favorites.

The fit of the Scout is on the boxy side. There are no darts in the shirt for shaping. This is great for a nice drapey fabric, or soft cottons. This does not help if you choose to make your Scout out of something on the stiffer side. Not to say that you can’t use a firm linen, just know going in that the shape of the shirt will be more pronounced. It all depends on the final look of the shirt that you want. If you poke around the internet, you should see examples of all sorts of fabrics. I made this version with fabric from my stash. Since I am surrounded by fabric every day it is really hard to shop my stash, but this cotton and silk blend was a perfect match to the pattern.

I talked about the two big hurdles from the pattern, and I am sure you are curious what those are. The first is setting in sleeves. This is something that is super daunting to people. The trick is to go slow and be really aware of what you are sewing. I have seen many students sew half a beautiful sleeve, to find out that the other side has been sewn to the body. Double check you are only going through two layers.

The second hurdle is the bias binding for the neckline. If you follow the pattern it will be fiddly, annoying, and at some point (most likely in the trimming) you will want to quit, but if you do what she suggests, you will end up with a beautiful binding.  Trust me. Well… trust Jen from Grainline. She knows her necklines!

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography

I have had plans to make a few more of this pattern. One is to make it out of a nice wool crepe. Since we are heading into warmer weather, that project has now been moved to the back of the line. I also have plans to redo my current favorite black silk one that sees some heavy rotation. I wear it at least once a week and it is starting to look pretty sad. Hopefully you will see the new one, but the old one, alas, will soon see the bottom of the trash bin. 🙁

Have you sewn the Scout? Does this post make you want to? What would be your ultimate fabric for this pattern? Do tell!

Swans Island Twisted Cowl

This time of year is tricky. One day it’s warm, the next freezing. It really makes it difficult to dress in the morning, not knowing what will happen within the course of the day, weather-wise. My solution: the knitted cowl. It’s something that can add a nice layer of warmth, and since this one is made from Swans Island Natural Fingering, which is 100% merino wool, it is warm when it needs to be warm, but not too hot. This pattern also works well with this type of spring-or-winter layering technique. It has a nice loose lace-like quality, so it doesn’t feel overly heavy.

Have you knit with Swans Island before? If not, you should give it a try–their yarn is heavenly. And it is made right next door in beautiful Maine. I traveled up there before the shop opened and was completely smitten with their yarn and the people that ran the company. Should you ever be up in the Camden area, please do yourself a favor and swing by their dye house. You will see how they get their array of stunning colors and get a weaving demonstration of their amazing blankets. I feel like I’m overusing adjectives in this paragraph, but once you see and feel this stuff in person, you will completely understand!

The pattern for this cowl was created by one of my instructors. It’s a riff on a traditional lace pattern and really makes this yarn shine. The nice part about the pattern is that you can adjust the dimensions to be whatever you prefer! The pattern as written will use up most of the yardage of one skein of the Swans Island, but if you wanted to use up leftover yarn, this would be a great pattern for that. I love patterns that you can customize yourself. I think the difficulty level is not too high and as long as you can do the required stitches, you should be good to go! We are offering this pattern free with the purchase of one skein of the Swans Island Fingering, which comes in a great array of colors.

Do you have a particular way to dress with this weird spring-maybe-still-winter weather? Are you a layer-er like me? Or is there another way? Do tell!

 

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography

New Block of the Month Club!

We love creating new things for our customers! We had the Mystery Yarn Tour Club last year for the knitters (we will do it again this fall if you didn’t get on board last year!), so we thought it was time to create something for you quilters out there.  We have bounced around the idea of doing a Block of the Month Club for awhile. I tried looking at ones that other shops used, and there are *a lot* out there. None of the ones that I saw had the right feel for our shop, however. I reached out to the extremeley talented Caitlin, of Salty Oat, who had created our Row by Row last year. We talked and she created something for the shop that we are both really excited about! It is modern, clean and fresh. We hope you will love it too!

Here’s the skinny: next week we will open up the registration for our new Block of the Month Club. Club registration is $75 for six months. Starting on the 1st of April and after that on the first of every month you will pick up your monthly block kit which includes instructions and the fabric for that month’s block (we can also ship!). Each month’s block will be constructed with different techniques, so there will be a lot to learn. This is a six month club, so when you are done you will have six blocks completed (15″ finished) and the instructions for placing them in a beautiful quilt which you will now have the complete pattern for. What if you decide you don’t want to join for all six months? You can purchase each month’s kit individually for $15. Here’s the catch with the individual kits: you can only buy that current month’s kit. If you miss a month you will have to wait until ALL the blocks have been released to catch up.

To make things even more exciting, we decided to create three colorway kits for you. All the quilts will be a contemporary grey and white with one contrasting color. Your options for contrasting colors are the following, all coming from the amazing Cloud9 Cirrus Solids Collection: Fuchsia, Grass and Amazon.

Here is a peak at what the blocks will look like, but for the full reveal, you should sign up and join us on Sunday, April 2nd, when Caitlin will be here! We will have the quilt here for you to see in person and Caitlin will hold a demonstration on the techniques used in the blocks. After that we will have the official kick-off party with tea and cake, and (of course!) prizes to win!

Since we like to keep things a surprise, I only have a digital mock up for you so you can get an idea of what is in store. I have chosen to show only the fuchsia option in the mock up. And remember, some monitors are not completely accurate with rendering colors, but with the names of the colors, you be pretty sure it is hot pink, a turquoise and that nice, current green-yellow.

 

If you have any questions at all, leave a comment, ask us on Instagram (where we will post this as well) or shoot us an email. Who is ready for this club to start?!?!

From Norway With Love Hat

All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography

As I post this, the weather is slowly starting to warm up. I don’t know if we are actually seeing the end of winter around here. If I remember correctly, this is the time of year that we all start thinking it is going to get warm because of one or two warm-ish days, but this is just silly. We live in New England—it will snow again. And when it does, my head will be toasty warm with this new shop sample that Jenny knitted up!

We really wanted to have something on the shop floor that was fun, bright and cheery and this fit the bill! The pattern is called From Norway with Love, and it’s by Anna & Heidi Pickles.  If you haven’t seen their line of patterns, they are super cute. But out of all the hats, how could we pass up this adorable multi-color, heart-laden beauty?!?!?!

 

The hat was knit using Cascade 220’s fingering weight yarn. This yarn is 100% wool which is easy to knit, and there are a wide range of colors. The most difficult part of the pattern process was trying to decide on colors for the actual hat! We went with a bright and colorful palette on a neutral background. We also chose to hold the yarn double since the pattern called for a dk weight and this put Jenny right on gauge. The price point on these skeins is very reasonable at five dollars per skein.

Our version of this hat is extremely warm, perfect for those days of shoveling mountains of snow. With the yarn held double, plus the floats inside from the colorwork, this hat will keep your head toasty warm.

At first touch, it seems like this yarn would be itchy to wear, but I haven’t had a problem with it while I have been wearing it. Those that are more sensitive might want to do a sensitivity test (I usually rub it on the inside of my wrist) to see if it will work for them. If you feel it might be too much, you could also knit this in Swans Island Ecowash merino wool, which would be super soft. Even though you could knit this out of anything, I love the natural breathable qualities of wool. Wool for the win!

This is the perfect project for those last days of winter or for those who like to plan ahead.  Have you made this pattern or tried Cascade 220?  Tell us all about it!