Wednesday, May 25, 2011


My partner left for Prague on the weekend on very short notice, and I have been slightly out of sorts. (The trip is for an interesting and cool reason, not a sad one, but still! Prague is very far away! It was a strange few days of planning and scrambling around.) To console myself, and without anyone else's television-watching preferences or sleep schedule to take into consideration, I have been sewing noisily at all hours.

The weekend's project was getting started on a collection of plain black shirts to give as a welcome-back-from-Prague gift. I found a nice lightweight linen blend on sale at Fabricland, of all places, and went to town. J. prefers loose-fitting shirts with slashed neck openings and long, wide sleeves and no buttons, which are terribly difficult to find in a store; Folkwear #104 is basically his Platonic ideal of a shirt, though, so I cut out pieces to make three of them. (I did make another a couple of months ago from IL019, a slightly heavier linen. No pictures are forthcoming because he has barely taken it off since I finished it, and right now it too is in Prague.)

Cutting out the pieces seems to take only a little less time than sewing them together. Assembly is basically sewing in straight lines—those excellent square armholes!—so most of the seams are flat felled seams, which makes me feel good about their longevity. (However, the sewing-in-the-bottom-of-a-bucket effect when you try to flat fell a sleeve seam so stresses me out that I didn't bother; the sleeves have French seams instead.)

Plain black shirts in the evening half-light are so impossibly boring to look at that I almost didn't bother with a picture, but here is one neck:

Black neck edge

I was timid about notches at first, but now they are my favourite part, because they really reward bravery. It is a joy to carefully clip perilously close to the stitching line and end up with a slash that doesn't pucker.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


My blogging ambitions have been a bit confounded by relentlessly gloomy weather, knitting I cannot show you, and a bunch of slightly longer-term projects that are taking me a while. Here's what's on my mind and coffee table this weekend:

Scalloped hem

Topstitching around a scalloped hem;

The numbers

and cross-stitching some fan art.

(I'm not kidding about the gloom—it's twenty to one in the afternoon, the table is next to a huge west-facing window with the drapes thrown open, and it's distinctly shadowy in here.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Now that we've had a full week of dreary rain-and-not-snow, and now that it is almost the middle of May, I am comfortable acknowledging that it might finally be spring.

And I can show you a springy thing I worked on in the fall for Hélène Magnusson's new webzine The Icelandic Knitter:

A top-down triangular shawl worked in garter stitch is the quickest thing to knit, if you want a cheery accessory in a hurry. This one is reversible even though it's striped because the colour changes are disguised in the eyelet rows (no rows with 'blips' of the new colour mixed with the old). The edging can be added on after any stripe, so you can keep knitting until you run out of yarn or patience to have a shawl of any size.

The yarn Hélène sent me to knit the shawl with is very special, and I'm excited that the pattern is also offered as part of a kit. It's Icelandic wool dyed with plants to yield colours that are rich and earthy and slightly mottled, and it was a joy to knit with. The pattern PDF by itself is €6, or the kit is €47 inclusive of shipping; you can order either from this page.