Mint knitted t-shirt

knitted t-shirt

I’ve recently finished this knitted t-shirt inspired by the lovely Juliet Tee by We are Knitters and the many versions I’ve seen around. It’s a bit different because the yarn is thinner than the original yarn from WAK; it’s a mercerized cotton with a bit of a shine to it and it’s also knitted more loosely than the original top.

What I like about it:

First of all, I am happy I made up the pattern myself. I wanted to simplify as much as possible, so I made this a longer rectangle, with a slit in it for the neckline. I then made a very basic crochet trim to give the neckline and armhole a bit of structure.

handmade knitted top sky turtle

It was also cool to learn the eyelet stitch, which the same WAK people were so kind to make a video tutorial of (below)!

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to wear it in summer. I was a bit skeptical about summer knits. For me summer is either: inside = freezing your arms off under the AC or: outside = everything sticks to your skin like you’ve been vacuumed inside your own bubble, so I wanted this to be layerable, in case it failed as a warm weather garment.

I was afraid it would look too boxy, but with the loose knit it drapes a little bit, so I am happy about that.

What I would have done differently/for next time:

I would have made this smaller! Like this it will look good over another sweater or a shirt, but I feel it’s a tad too big like this. Next time I’ll try something more close-fitting, now that I am confident I can finish a garment.

I was also thinking about knitting a sash/belt for this. Maybe cord?

 

A case for textile napkins + a tutorial

When we moved the new house, one of the things I wanted to do was to replace the paper napkins we were using everyday with nice, hand-painted, mitered corners ones. I like the idea of just washing these and so reusing an item for a longer period of time. We still use paper napkins at home, but try to do it as little as possible.

There’s something quite elegant about using nicely pressed fabric napkins, and they look so good on the table. The problem is, if you’re going to make white ones like I did, you are going to have to commit to putting them in soapy water after each use or else you’d get unsightly stains on them and that elegant feeling will turn into an “ew, is this clean?”.

In retrospect, next time I make fabric napkins (and I will make more) I will make them in a darker fabric. If you don’t mind the texture, you could make them in a cotton and polyester mix. I found one that looks just like linen, it doesn’t stain and you don’t need to press it. But it doesn’t feel like cotton or linen, or any other natural fibre either.

hand painted avocado cotton napkins

colour pallette for painting avocado

I painted these with tiny avocados and I used acrylic fabric with a fabric medium. At first I though these were going to wash away quickly, but I even boiled them (in an effort to make them pristine white again – it works, don’t judge!) and the paint didn’t run or wash off. So I pretty happy about that part. I just used half fabric medium and half acrylic paints.

how to paint your own textile napkins part 1

To make sure the avocados were even I made a little stencil, reusing an “offers” magazine. I first painted the green, creamy, flesh of the avocados, then the brown pit and finally I traced the outer shell with a darker green.

how to paint your own textile napkins part 2

For the mitered corners I used this beautiful tutorial from Coletterie. I wasn’t sure about them first, but they look so much more elegant than my usual folded corners.

What about you? Do you use fabric napkins in your house? Did you mother use to? How do you feel about them on a scale from “eew” to “never paper napkins”?

Here’s a little pin bookmark, if you want to keep this for later!

how to make painted textile napkins

My top five moments for the month of May

It seems that just a few weeks ago it was snowing outside and everything was sugar-glazed and yet my burned nose still remebers the knitting session by the lake a few weeks ago. I love how seasons change but I am mesmerized of how fast time flies. And it seems to just go faster as I grow older wiser.

In an attempt of recording some of the little day to day, seasonal pleasures that make life so beautiful I’ll introduce a best of post at the end of every month. It would be so cool if you would joing me in doing the same.

5. This scribbled poem on a library desk

I was working at the library the other day and I saw this poem scribbled on my old, wooden desk:

“Why ain’t it always summer?

Why must it end?

Who wants to put their shoes on?

NOT ME, MY FRIEND”

summer poem scribbled into old wooden desk

Hah 🙂 And what better time to see this than Spring, so you can really appreciate the coming of summer?

4. Not rushing through my knitting

When i work on a project I get this strong feeling of having to FINISH IT as soon as possible. Which makes treat things I like to do like a chore sometimes. So this time I’ve only picked up this project when i wanted to and only did a few rows if that is all I felt like it. A great inspiration for knitting is Jen, who I think might be responsible for my new found love of knitting.

work in progress hand knitting mint cotton yarn on wooden floor

3. Getting new, wooden needles

Since my new addiction passion for knitting, I’ve realised how important it is to have the ride size needles when working on an imagined project and how wonderful it feels to work with wooden needles. I love the texture and their soft toc-toc.

Hey, you, knitters out there, do you do anything to keep you wooden needles happy? Like oil or wax? Is it crazy to ask?

set of wooden knitting needles with multicoloured cords

2. Spring!

We moved to Canada a few months ago and it was strange to leave Barcelona in almost spring and then wait for it for so long. In one week everything exploded into green leaves and posh flowers.

blooming pink spring tree under a blue sky

1. Knitting in public

The best moment this month was knitting in public for the first time. I love it when Heidi talks about kitting and sewing in public transport, but it was never something I did. It was beautiful to feel the lake breeze (get a sunburn) and knit at the same time.

knitting by the lake a new summer tshirt

What about you? What was our favourite thing about this month?

Why knitting could be the secret ingredient to a better life

I really liked Christina Baker Kline’s piece in the New York Times about why she didn’t use to knit, or garden, or do anything that would keep her from her focus of writing and being a writer. There’s a touching paragraph about her beloved mother, who “moved from one passion to the next like a tornado moving across a flat landscape, sweeping up everything in its path and flinging it aside — astrology, feminist activism, organic gardening.”

“Knitting was no different. For a few years, skeins of yarn piled up in baskets around the house. There weren’t enough humans in my mother’s orbit to wear all the scarves and sweaters and hats she knitted. And then, as suddenly as she started, she lost interest, leaving needles still entwined in half-finished fragments.” writes Christina Baker Kline.

She then goes on to explain the strategy she created for herself to keep her focused on her work: basically writing everyday and not getting involved in activities that would create additional distractions and potentially keep her from her writing.

“When I start a new novel and find myself diverted by domestic activities, many of which I genuinely enjoy, I panic that I will never write another word. So, consciously and unconsciously, I have laid down certain rules for myself. I will not serve lunch to anyone in the middle of a workday. I rarely rearrange my furniture or cabinets; once I find a drawer for something, it stays there. I don’t garden. And I don’t knit.”

Christina then goes on and tells the story of how she did choose to pick up those needles and knit something new, but I can’t help but wonder: am I also procrastinating and not working on my true goals when I sew, knit, crochet or make?

A little. But that’s also a pleasant way to relax and unwind. There’s nothing more relaxing and more peaceful than counting stitches in your head or imagining the construction of a new pattern. It’s not quite meditating, but it’s the closest I got.

What about you? Is your making (be it sewing, knitting, crochet etc.) calming you down or giving you more energy? And why do you make?

How to knit a braided headband

For a few months now I can’t stop thinking about knitting. It all started with Teo (hello 😉 who mentioned We Are Knitters, then I remembered the effect this vest from Wool and the gang had on me when I saw it last year (I think?) and it all came down on me, like an avalanche of purled and knitted stitches, wooden needles and lots of types of new yarn. You might have guessed this from my latest post on knitting needs and wants.

Anyway, one day I saw this awesome headband, from Kelerabeus on Kollabora, who made this wonderful white headband and made up her own pattern:

After seeing similar headbands/ ear warmers all around the internet I decided that I simply must make one for myself! I also decided that I don’t need any pattern so I eyeballed the whole thing. And it’s pretty easy actually! The back part is knitted in the round using double pointed needles. For the front part the total number of stitches is split in three and then each section is knitted separately. When they reached the desired length I braided them together and then rejoined all into one again.

This inspired me. “I know almost nothing about knitting, but I can do this!”, I said to myself.

hand knitted braided headband in grey

Which is exactly what I did, except, I didn’t remember to make the total number of stitches divisible by three (it’s ok, you can’t tell the middle braid is one stitch thinner, can you?) and I used single-pointed needles and didn’t knit in the round, but made the whole thing flat.

I know it’s spring and I’m the only person who is still wearing headbands but I love this! I’m thinking about making one in cotton yarn for summer.

braided grey headbank hand knitted closeup

This is how I made this braided headband:

I started with a 18 stitches and did 1 row knit, 1 row purl until I had around 10 cm of knitted band (pretty much what I wanted to cover my ears), then I divided the piece in three and knitted the three sides of the braid separately.

Because I only had 2 needles, I made sure I was conservating those stitched by putting them on a piece of spare thread. This is how I did it: picked up the stitches with a needle and then made a temporary knot to secure them. Then I just knitted the three tongues of the braid, braided them, put them back on one needle and did another 10 cm of knit purl, knit purl.

knit a braided headband!

If you want to keep this in a to try board, here’s the pinnable image (I’ve saved this to my Knit me slowly Pinterest board, if you want to see other knitted things that inspire me).

Thanks for reading!

how to knit a braided headband

 

 

 

 

The confessions of a Craftsy class hoarder

my craftsy classes

This is the sad story of how I hoard sewing classes (because they are amazing!) and then how I never end up watching them (because I find out about other amazing things!)

I want to change. A little. At least finish one of my 5 Craftsy classes that I enrolled in the last few years.

Now, Craftsy is having a class sale this weekend and I hope I have enough strenght not to take the Jean-ius Reverse Engineer Your Favorite Fit class. Must have discipline!

The 5 classes I am enrolled in and a bit of context about each:

Pant Fitting techniques with Sandra Betzina
Pant Construction techniques with Sandra Betzina

I took these two classes because I wanted to master the art of pants-making. I am pretty good at making pajama pants and have been lucky with some pairs of shorts, but I would like to really, really understand pant-making and always be able to make my own perfect pair of pants, wherever I go, with any fabric I want.

I almost finished this class until my first pants turned out huge and – after spending many hours watching and sewing – I gave up. I still have the pattern from the class and I’d like to give it another try.

Beginner Serging

This class is really great and I wish I had the patience to follow it, as I am now only using my serger at probably 5% of its potential. Must find a really good reason! I mean, project!
The classic tailored shirt

The classic tailored shirt is something I really want to make. And potentially master. I even have the perfect chambray in my stash. I don’t have a tailored shirt pattern, now that I left almost all my pattern collection when we moved, but I do have the Collette negroni with me, and I might just use that!

Essential techniques every knitter should know

I took this because I wanted to learn everything I needed about knitting, turns out I am super stubborn and would rather make a million mistakes than listen to the soothing voice of this lady to can probably knit anything.

Please note that the link above are affiliate links, which means that if you want to commit the same sins feel as passionate about learning as I do, I will get a small percentage of the sale of that class. No pressure 😉

What about you? Are you a class hoarder as well or actually a doer? How do you do it? What do you do while you watch the classes so that you can be attentive but not get bored?

Hand-knitted washcloths !

hand knitted washcloth facecloth by sky turtle

It’s king of great that today is Earth Day and also the day I show you my first knitted washcloth. I know youre probably thinking, yeah, what’s the big deal, but for me, knitting is a whole new thing I can’t stop thinking about. And how great it is when you can make something useful and learn a new stitch or a new technique.

Washcloths are cool for various reasons: they are easier to care for and collect less bacteria than kitchen sponges (maybe beycause dry faster?). If you use them in the bath, the cotton bumps are textured enough to gently exfoliate your skin but they won’t scratch you. And they’re fun to make.

I love this technique because I learned how to knit on the bias, which is genius and I don’t know why it never occured to me before. The drape is beautiful and even just by knitting row after row, you end up with a nice pattern. And I also learned to yarn over, which for some reason was a big mystery to me. (I didn’t block these because I was going to get them wet and use them anyway, but if you’re making these as a gift, you could.)

hand knitted washcloths in 4 ply cotton made by sky turtle

To make these cute washcloths I used this tutorial below: it’s clear and easy to follow, even for a super-newbie like myself. I used a 4 ply cotton and a pair of 3.5 knitting needles and it took me around one hour (watching the video and all) to knit the first one and half an hour or so for the second, smaller one.

Learn to knit a dishcloth/washcloth

I also want to make a set of napkins and kitchen towels and reduce the amount of paper napkins and paper towels we use in the house. What about you? How are you keeping your house green(er)? Have you ever knitted your own washcloths?

12 interior decor tips from Ikea

Tiny homes can look airy and bigger if everything is in its place (leaving space for he occasional hat on the floor and stray sock on the sofa).  Easier said than done. Yet there are some fun ways you could create more storage and make your stored things look pretty.

Here are some ideas from Ikea. Some are old ideas with a really fresh interpretation, some are really cool, like the fabric sandwich headboard. So read on!

Follow sky’s board Interior design tips from Ikea on Pinterest.

  1. Are you tired of clear boxes and hat boxes and carboard boxes in your bedroom? Make your eyes rest on soft surfaces only by storing off-seasons clothes or things less used, such as beach towels, blankets, costumes etc. in tagged pillow sleeves.
  2. Have a piece of furniture that’s really pretty but just can’t fit another shade of brown in the room? Paint it a rich, dark colour, like these dark green side tables from Ikea. Or just paint a part of it, like just the top or just the legs.
  3. Make your shelves look pretty, by thinking of how they will look before you buy your organising supplies. Make a list of the items you want to store and imagine some ways in which you could store them in a way that will be pleasing to the eye, but also functional (so you don’t have to spend half an hour rearranging items if you need to take something out).
  4. I really likes this idea for a dorm room that Ikea presented and you could do this in your home too. If you have open shelves or an open wardrobe in your bedroom, hide them behind colourful, luxurious curtains in your favourite fabric.
  5. By far my favourite idea was the pillow sandwich backrest. The designer created a neat square of colourful fabric, folded it in half, and stuffed it with pillows. He made sure the back rest staus on the wall, he created loops in the fabric that hang neatly in hooks above the bed. So simple and so fun to make!
  6. This is not a new idea, but I like how ikea always finds a pretext for making things look pretty. So they installed more doorknobs than needed on the outside of the closet to keep a few ready-made outfits on hangers for busy mornings.
  7. Use a thin ladder and baskets to store tea towels and napkins
  8. Hang extra shower supplies in crochet baskets
  9. Install a rod in front of your kitchen window and hang fresh herbs in light hanging pots
  10. Can’t decide on which colour to paint a wall? Paint the light on first, then start adding the darker colour from bottom-up and leave the areas in which the colours meet unfinished
  11. Create an artsy entryway by hanging rope from the ceiling and hooking in a few hangers
  12. Design your bedroom starting with the colour of your bedspread. It’s the same as starting with a theme, but it will be just easier to find what you need. For example, here, in the budding bedroom feature, Ikea starts with the floral bedspread with just three colours: yellow, green and white, then adds as accents yellow side tables, transparent vases of yellow flowers over the bed, a pastel green floor and some other off-white accents.

What about you? What ikea tips have you discovered recently?

Featured image Ikea by rarye licensed under CCBY2.0

5 Inspiring knits to transition to spring

Hello readers! It’s been quite a while, I know. Many things have happened since, moved to a new country, moving to a new house and a serious case of wardrobe edit. Which felt fantastic.

One of the things I’ve taken up in the last couple of months is knitting. I can’t believe I stayed away from it for so many years. I’ve just finished my first sweater (I’ll tell you more about it in a future post) and I’ve made quite a few cowl neck scarves and even a (horrible and too big!) beanie for my boyfriend.

So, there’s still snow on the ground where I live now and I’m still layering 2-3 sweaters and pretty much wearing my winter coat and boots, but warmer temperatures are just a few weeks away, so it’s a good time to start thinking about new things to knit for spring 🙂

In the slideshow:

Cocoon Sweater by Wool and the gang

I don’t think I would make this pink, but I like the chunky texture and it looks like soemthing that could be knitted out of fabric strips; too tacky?

Ella Viscardi’s knitted top and backpack featured in Teenvogue

I love these two knits here. I especially like the backpack, and if you’d line it in fabric, it could even be practical. That sheer tank top is pretty as well, maybe to wear as a vest over a white blouse?

Kstylick’s open knit cardigan

I really like this chunky cardigan and I also like the bold red. It looks like soemthing you can knit in a weekend or two and it could replace a spring coat. Hmm…

Ravelry pattern by Veera Välimäki

I like this super light knit, I don’t know if I’d knit it as it is, but it’s a great inspiration for making a spring cotton blouse.

Hedvig Opshaug in a Stella McCartney dress featured in Harper’s Bazaar

I’m also thinkign about knitting a dress for spring in cotton and while I won’t try anything as complicated as this dress, I really like the fit (not too cloe to the body) and the dress lenght.

 

 

On bloggers selling e-books, courses, content

As a blogger creating content and, in the past, as an Etsy seller I’ve always been thorn between offering content for free and trying to monetize the blog by selling my own sewing patterns and even e-books. I love buying things from people I respect and admire: patterns from independent pattern makers, even more so if they are wonderful bloggers, books and e-books and even courses, but on my own blog I felt strange about linking to my shop, talking about a new purse I’ve just listed or even selling a pattern I thought people will like. Like I was betraying my readers. Like I was doing something wrong.

I don’t feel at all wrong about having a job where creating content is one or my main responsibilities, so why should I feel that with my own blog? But I do. So it was refreshing to read Holly’s blog post about bloggers who offer magazine quality content and should be allowed (by their readers, she elegantly says, but I read “by themselves” between the lines) to want to make a living out this, the same way they would do if somebody would hire them to do the same thing.

A blog doesn’t just have to be about sharing pretty things for free, day in and day out, with no financial reward for the effort poured into it. We all need to eat and pay rent. And most of us really do love blogging and feel a genuine passion for it first and foremost. Yet, when you add up the hours and resources involved to produce beautiful blog content, no one can keep at it post after post, year after year, without eventually needing to earn some money to sustain it all.

As you’ve probably noticed, I am currently taking my time to figure our what I want this blog to become; my interests have changed since 6 years ago when I started and I’ve learned many of the things that fascinated me about sewing and pattern making, I am no expert but I am at this strange point where I can more or less sew a good garment, can make my own simple and some not so simple patterns, but there are still things I “more or less” understand, such as fitting clothes for other bodies and I’ve still never made jeans :). I still have a passion for making things and learning new techniques, but I’ve also developed interests for other things, interests that compete with sewing and blogging.

What about you? Have your interests in sewing changed in the last year/s? Has your blog changed? Are you selling anything through your blog and how do you feel about that? It would be great to hear your thoughts.