Shop Update :: Reclaimed and Hand-dyed Yarns

There are a few new items in the shop now, including some Recycled\Reclaimed Yarns and a few skeins that have been hand-dyed by me in Indigo. I have been working on getting these yarns into skeins, weighed, labeled, and photographed over the past couple of months, and I am very excited about how they have come out. 

See them by clicking here or visiting the Shop section of my website! 

Me Made May 2016 and a Spring Makes Update

All of the things I made this Spring that weren't part of my plans! Oops!

All of the things I made this Spring that weren't part of my plans! Oops!

I thought I would start off by making my pledge to participate in Me Made May 2016

I, Megan, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade item four days of each week for the duration of May 2016. 

I had such a great time doing this last year that I wanted to participate again. I learned a lot about how the things I make can be incorporated into my wardrobe, and how maybe sometimes I make things that aren't really the sort of things that I wear. It has helped me to try to be a little more thoughtful with my making. And, since my handmade wardrobe has expanded some, I thought I would shoot for wearing a handmade item at least four days of each week for the month of May. And I am totally allowing repeats because I too am a serial outfit repeater! I am planning on posting photos for each day that I wear something handmade on my instagram account. You can find photos from other participants by following #mmmay16 on instagram.

And, I have a little update on what I had planned for my Spring Makes. My knitting plans are going quite successfully, but apparently I have been slacking on my sewing plans...

I finished my Lila pullover by Carrie Bostick Hoge and I love it! I could wear this sweater everyday (and might this month)! I knit it out of Swan's Island Pure Blends Worsted in the Oatmeal colorway. I am debating ordering more in the grey color because that is how great this sweater is! 

This sweater also happens to be the only one that I took decent progress photos of, so I thought I would include those here as well :)

This was part of a little knit-along with my friend Jen! #JenandMegknitasweater

This was part of a little knit-along with my friend Jen! #JenandMegknitasweater

I also finished my Lesley pullover by Hannah Fettig from her book Home & Away. I knit it out of Wing & A Prayer Farm's yarn Emerald Peace, a Shetland Mohair blend dyed by Tammy with Walnuts and Indigo. This sweater is seriously warm. Like, I don't need a coat warm. It is the perfect example of why wool is the perfect fiber (sorry Angora Goats, mohair is wonderful too!)! 

As for my Imogen Cowl,  also by Carrie Bostick Hoge, I am about one skein in with two more to go. This one is going a little slower because I have to pay more attention to the pattern. And I really like knitting projects that I can relax on the couch (or in bed) with at the end of the day and not really pay much attention as I knit. So, for this project I kind of have to be in the right mood to work on it. It is just not as conducive to my normal routine of knitting/binge watching Netflix as I would like, but it is a very fun pattern to knit! I should have it finished this month!

My modified Wiksten Tanks are all cut out and just need the neck and armhole bindings (and some ironing!) before they are finished! I am hoping to get to that this week! 

And finally, I have dyed my fabric for my Sailor Top

Some of my sewing projects have been on hold because I have been putting off figuring out how to use the serger that my mom gave me. I tried once before to use it with mild success. I really hate unfinished seams and I don't like the idea of making french seams on everything or bias binding all the raw edges. So, I would really like to get this serger thing figured out before I sew up a bunch of new garments! Also, you might have noticed that in the first picture of this post there were quite a few things that I have made that weren't part of my plans. Well, sometimes I just get too excited about a project that I just can't help but make it! This also did not help with my sewing productivity, but I am going to try to focus on that in the next couple of weeks. I will try to post another update then. 

Wood Island Watch Cap :: Baby's First Pattern Release

After quite a lot of work my VERY FIRST PATTERN is now available on Ravelry and in our etsy shop! It is happening a bit later than I had originally planned. Here in New England we are finally feeling spring, but there are still chilly nights ahead. So, I figure it's never too late to put this pattern out into the world! Some of you may have seen this hat available as a finished object in our shop, I still have a few left that are knit up in yarn that I naturally dyed myself. These will still be available until my yarn supplies run out. But, incase you have not seen this hat before or are interested in knitting it yourself, here is a little information about how I came up with the pattern: 

The Wood Island Watch Cap was inspired by the traditional knit caps worn by Lighthouse keepers, fishermen, and seafarers. My original inspiration for this pattern came after a visit to Wood Island Light, the Lighthouse near my childhood home in Maine. There, I saw photos of the generations of Lighthouse Keepers and their families, and I began to think about all of the knits that serve a life at sea. My father wears his own Navy-issued watch cap to this day. And I wanted to create a pattern that was just as timeless and functional, a cap that could keep you warm in spite of salt sprays from stormy seas. So, the Wood Island Watch Cap is knit in a Fisherman’s Rib, which adds warmth and a traditional look. 

If you are not familiar with the Fisherman's Rib, it is a stitch that created a very thick fabric with a lot of squish and stretch. Perfect for keeping warm! The Wood Island Watch Cap is designed to be One Size Fits Most, but because of its stretchy fabric should fit many sizes. It uses two skeins of Quince & Co.'s Lark a worsted weight 100% wool yarn, and is shown here in their colorway Lichen. It also features an optional pompom (but when given the choice between pompom and no pompom, I always choose pompom!). 

AND! If you subscribe to my newsletter by Friday, April 22nd at noon EST, you will be getting the pattern for FREE!

If anyone has any comments or questions about the pattern, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. As I said, this is my first pattern, and I would really appreciate any feedback! 

Spring Makes :: Planning

Spring is starting to feel like it is just around the corner here (despite some flurries today), the days are getting longer, and the air is feeling much less winter-y. It has me starting to think about what additions I'd like to make to my handmade wardrobe for the season. I participated in Me Made May last year for the very first time, and found it to be a good exercise for someone who loves to make garments and accessories, and generally just wants to make everything I can. It forced me to wear some items that I loved making, but found hard to incorporate into my wardrobe. And it made me really think about things that I both want to make AND want to wear, which don't always overlap. And while I think that it is still good to make things that just bring you joy through the process of making, I want to make sure I focus my efforts things that bring joy AND have purpose. So, I decided to put a little plan together for what I want to make for spring. I am hoping to do this for each season in some capacity, but we will see how my spring makes go first. 

Wiksten Tank & Tank Dress

Wiksten Tank & Tank Dress

First, I am planning to make two Wiksten Tanks, one in Liberty of London's Tana Lawn in Emilia's Flowers - Blue and one in Emilia's Flowers - Red. I am also going to make a Wiksten Tank Dress in Liberty of London's Tana Lawn in Poppy & Daisy - Pastel. I purchased all three of these fabrics from Purl Soho. I have modified the pattern slightly to make it fit me a little better, I found that the first one I made gapped at the back of the neck and was a little low in the front. I am also planning to lengthen the tank slightly since I like my shirts a little on the longer side. I was inspired to make these by Madder Anthology I , a book of beautiful knits. I loved how well these prints paired with hand-knits, and I think they look so spring-y! 

Sailor Top

Sailor Top

I am planning to make one other top for spring, the Sailor Top from Fancy Tiger Crafts. I bought some Robert Kauffman Brussels Washer Linen from Purl Soho, and was gifted some Quebracho Red dye from A Verb for Keeping warm by a good friend, Kaitlin. I always seem to be looking for more warm weather tops, specifically short-sleeved tops, so I think this will be a good addition to my closet. You may have seen some of my photos of the dye process pop up on my instagram recently. 

Fen Dress

Fen Dress

I am also hoping to make a Fen Dress from Fancy Tiger Crafts. I bought the fabric from Fancy Tiger Crafts as well, though it doesn't seem to be on their website anymore. I have not decided yet if I will go with the crew/scoop neck like I drew above, or if I will go with the v-neck version. 

Endless Summer Tunic

Endless Summer Tunic

The last sewing project I have planned for spring is the Endless Summer Tunic from A Verb for Keeping Warm. The Fabric is Robert Kauffman Chambray Union - Indigo Dot that I purchased at Nido a while ago. I made an Endless Summer Tunic last summer out of quilting cotton and found that I didn't love the way it draped, so I am hoping that this light gauzy fabric will really suit this pattern. I think that it will work well as a layering piece, and on its own as the weather gets even warmer. 

Imogen Cowl

Imogen Cowl

I will be knitting just one accessory, as I don't usually wear too many accessories. I think that the Imogen Cowl by Carrie Bostick Hoge will be the perfect accessory though, and it should pair well with most of the other things that I am planning to make for spring. I will be using Quince & Co.'s Tern in Oyster, purchased at Nido. Also, I just love the Frost Flowers stitch pattern so this is one of those items that I will love both making AND wearing! 

Lila Pullover

Lila Pullover

Next on my list of makes for Spring is a sweater that has been on my list for quite a while. It is the Lila Pullover by Carrie Bostick Hoge. I will be knitting it out of Swan's Island Pure Blends Merino/Alpaca Worsted yarn in Oatmeal. I have been wanting to make this sweater for a long time, but after seeing the super cute versions from Marlee of Have Company and Ani of Close Knit, I knew I needed to make it a priority! 

Lesley Pullover

Lesley Pullover

Lesley Pullover

Lesley Pullover

My last make for Spring is the Lesley Pullover from Hannah Fettig's Home & Away. During my visit to Wing & A Prayer Farm I saw a beautiful yarn hand-dyed by Tammy with Walnuts and overdyed with Indigo. It is a pretty, bulky Shetland/Mohair blend made from wool from the Shetland sheep: Padme, Winky, Wendy, Aisling, Argyll & Angus, and fiber from the Angora goats: Trillium, Lupine & Samson. After seeing this yarn, I knew I needed to make something with it, and decided on a Lesley. A perfect pullover in a perfect yarn. 

Sadly, this morning I learned that Samson, one of the angora goats that gave his fiber for this yarn, passed away. And although I did not know him well, I know I will be thinking of him and of Tammy as I knit this sweater. This is not something that one would normally think about when knitting with a yarn. But, it is an important thing, I think, to recognize the hard work and hardships that come with farming. If you don't already know about Tammy and Wing & A Prayer Farm, Tammy is the shepherdess/proprietress of the farm. One of her missions is to share her experiences on the farm and to educate people about fiber farming. She is an incredibly sweet person and loves the animals like her own children. This love and passion for what she does comes through in the yarns that she creates. 

So, to say the least, this sweater will be a special one for many reasons. 

 Just one more of those reasons is that I am knitting it with a good friend of mine, Jennifer (of Never Just Jennifer). It will be her very first sweater (Yeah Jen!)! You can follow our progress on Instagram with #JenandMegknitasweater. 

Finally, I will be accessorizing some of my spring makes with jewelry from my little sister's next collection (see below). It will be coming to our etsy shop very soon!  

Spring Collection coming soon to  SALT AIR Art & Textiles Shop. 

Spring Collection coming soon to  SALT AIR Art & Textiles Shop.