Tag Archives: handmade

Slow Fashion, Knitting Edition

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A million years ago I remember that every woman I knew over a certain age had a shawl of some kind. Some were wispy bits of lace and fringe, some were gorgeous hand knit confections that just begged to be stroked. Over the years as we moved away from handmade wardrobes they seem to have fallen away from popularity. In the last 15 years or so I have mainly seen them at fancy occasions when a coat would be inelegant.

Recently they have come back into fashion as a Boho expression of style. As a new knitter I tempted fate with the first shawl, an easy granny square triangle in a silk wool blend that I picked up from a shop we visited on a trip last summer.

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I have worn it at the beach on windy days, on my deck in the chillier evenings, and once to a party with a linen shift dress. I have even recently kept in next to my bed to cover my shoulders as our evenings have gotten colder. I love it. The pattern is from this blog . I was not brave enough to do her edging but it would take it to another level for sure.

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Next came this beauty knitted in Bamboopop cotton/ bamboo fingering. Its a beautiful cream/ brown/ gold combo called Beachy Keen that looks divine next to tanned shoulders.  My local yarn shop has addicted me to this light airy yarn. The pattern is Marquise from Premier Yarns .

Its my first foray into lace work. Don’t look too closely at the spine! But it looks glorious on. My only change from the pattern was an icord bind off to give the hem a bit more oomph.

Of course I needed one more in the same yarn and pattern in blues and greys (also Bamboo-pop from Universal Yarns in Frosty Morning) !

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I have worn these to the grocery store, on errands, in restaurants to stay warm in frigid air conditioning.  I wandered a bit south to town to check out a small yarn shop in downtown Portland Maine and came away with a couple skeins of Juniper Moon Farms Zooey Linen/cotton  yarn. The colour is Luscious. No really, thats the name.

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This one is very light and perfect for summer days. I can safely say I can do this pattern in my sleep now! I blocked them on my clothesline with a gazillion pins. They grew just enough to be medium sized. If I can make these as a beginner there is no reason you can’t as well. Just take it slow. Did I mention what fab gifts these would be?

These beautiful wraps came out of a natural progression to move my wardrobe to entirely memade items. I have to say that having handmade items made from better quality materials feels good and makes me feel more confident. I think the only item that I most likely will not replace with slow fashion is my shoes and boots. But at least I am making even conscious purchases there as well.

Handmade Christmas 2016

This years line up of handmade gifts is heavy on the yarn. I learned to knit and crochet this year which was so much fun. It kept me off my feet when I was feeling poorly and kept me busy.

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I took a Craftsy class on circular knitting skills over the summer. The example pattern was this lovely neck warmer which I thought would look lovely on men or women depending on the yarn. I ended up making four of these. Can’t beat scrumptiously soft, warm, and expensive looking in a relatively quick knit! Lion brand Thick and Quick in Oatmeal worked up nicely on this one.  This picture is before I blocked it, I never would have thought that that would make such a big difference but it really does.

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I did this lovely crochet lap blanket for a treasured Aunt who had a very tough year. Winter white bulky yarn came out super soft. This Chunky Icelandic pattern from Mamainastitch.com came out beautifully. I was surprised at how easy the pattern was.   The recipient was almost in tears when she opened it. I know she will enjoy it for years to come.

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These hats were a huge hit with the teens on my list. They are made up with all the little scraps of yarn held with a bulky white. Used up a lot of bits and look fabulous. Super warm too, a must here in the Northeast. Pattern and tutorial from Swellamy.com. Pinks for the girls, greys for the boys looked very stylish.

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Really who doesn’t need cotton dishcloths? Simple Sugar and Cream cotton yarn done up in a simple single crochet stitch with a border in a coordinating color. We use tons of these around here so I know they are very useful and easy to clean. Nice gift for those people that stump you too. We gave them as teacher gifts with Meyers dish soap. Not very romantic but they were very appreciated.

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I did a couple simple ribbed neck warmers in this glorious handspun and hand dyed yarn from Cascade. I almost couldn’t give this one away! I recently rediscovered a local shop that carries fabrics and yarn. Double threat for me but full of these little gems of yarn.

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Another lap blanket. I really love the Lion Brand Thick and Quick for a relatively quick project. They come out so soft and squishy and warm. This was my favorite summer activity this past summer, soaking up the sun and knitting or crocheting.

That’s enough for this post. Part two will have some of the other gifts I made this year. I am so glad I finally got around to knitting and crocheting. I didn’t realize how many things we use that are made this way. If I can learn anyone can!