My dress is coming together…

I have altered my dress to fit better. First I turned the dress inside out, then another friendly person attending the sewing class pinned it together along the seams to the altered shape, while I was wearing it. After tacking the altered seams together to check the fit, I machine sewed it together. It is still a ‘shift dress’ shape so not too fitted. I have also attached the patch style pockets and sleeves. The pockets are simple rectangle shapes with the edges turned under and hemmed before attaching to the dress. I’m going to add beige cuffs to the short sleeves for an extra bit of detail 🙂

The shoulder opening allows me to remove the dress over my head easily. I’m still trying to decide whether I should close it with cute little buttons, press studs or velcro? As I have decided to lower the neckline and add a ‘Peter Pan’ style beige collar detail, buttons may make it a bit too busy. The collar is in two halves – purely decorative and only attached to the front of the dress. The collar finishes over the left shoulder where it opens so will need to velcro onto this area to be pulled back when opening. I drew the collar shape freehand on tissue paper. When I had a shape I was happy with I added the allowance for a hem and cut two pieces – reversing one. Next step is to cut two pieces in fabric for each side of the collar

making shift dress with shoulder opening and patch style pocketsdress opening on shoulderpeter pan dress collar pattern

Geometric sock pattern

The sewing class was cancelled last week due to snow so I have put my dress on hold until I can get some advice on making alterations.

I like to have lots of projects on the go so decided to design a simple sock pattern. Although the design would be a lot more visible with plain yarn I have some lovely self patterning yarn in my stash that I really wanted to use so I’m using Drops Fabel sock yarn in 903p. The yarn print colours are so nice that I knew the socks would look lovely. Also I can use the leftover yarn to make more squidgy hexipuffs for my quilt 😉

This isn’t suitable for a beginner but anyone who can knit in the round (maybe you’ve tried the hexipuffs and want something more challenging). The goemetric pattern texture is made simply from alternated knit and purl stitches, the heel isn’t as difficult and fiddly as many patterns and they are knitted from the toe up so you can try them on for size as you go!

knitting toe up geometric pattern sockknitting toe up geometric pattern socks design on DPNsclose up knitted geometric sock patternGeometric pattern socks

I am knitting with 100g Drops Fabel sock yarn (2 x 50g balls) or you can use 100g of any 4 ply yarn and a set of 5 double pointed needles size 2.75mm/US#2

My socks fit a medium size woman 8inch/20cm circumference unstretched and 11inch/28cm stretched. The foot can be knitted any length to fit

To make these socks I have used Judy’s magic cast on for the toe and Judy’s surprisingly stretchy bind off for the cuff of the socks

These are really useful techniques to know. Click on the highlighted techniques above to link to videos on You Tube

You will also need to follow a chart for the geometric design. As you are working in the round and always face the right side of the sock you will read the pattern from right to left, travelling up the pattern as you work on each row

Start at the bottom right stitch. The chart is for 7 stitches so repeated  i.e knit stitch 1-7 of the row then start at 1 on the same row again and repeat these stitches as many times as needed for the patterned area

The abbreviations used are:

DPN – double pointed needle

K – knit

KFB – knit into both front of stitch (as normal Knit) then also the back of the same stitch (increases by 1 stitch). This creates a stitch with a bar across mimicking a purl stitch then a knit stitch from one stitch

M1L – make 1 left to increase by 1 stitch. Use the tip of left needle to pick up the horizontal strand of yarn before the next stitch to be knitted. Pick up front to back of strand and knit through the back of this new stitch. Makes a left leaning stitch increase

M1R – make 1 right to increase by 1 stitch. Use the tip of left needle to pick up the horizontal strand of yarn before the next stitch to be knitted. Pick up back to front of strand and knit through the front of this new stitch. Makes a right leaning stitch increase. You use M1L/M1R to increase and get a symmetrical look

P – Purl

P2tog – put tip of right needle through the front of the next two stitches and purl together as with a single purl stitch

SL – slip a stitch. Use tip of right needle to pick up the stitch as if to knit/purl but just slip it off the left needle so it has been transferred without working on it

St/sts – stitch/stitches

SSK – slip slip knit to decrease a stitch. Slip the next two stitches as with slip stitch so they are on the right needle then push the left needle through the front of these stitches from left to right and knit both of them together

Both socks are identical

Toe

Using 3 of your DPNs cast on 24 stitches using Judy’s magic cast on method. You will have knitted into the front of 12 stitches on the 1st needle and the back of the 12 sts on the 2nd needle for one row. Transfer 6 of the stitches from each needle onto another DPN being careful not to twist them. You now have 4 needles with 6 sts on each and now ready to start the toe increase

Row 1 – KFB. Knit rest of stitches on needles 1 & 2 until the last stitch on needle 2 and KFB on that stitch. Repeat on needles 3 & 4

Row 2 – Knit all stitches

Keep repeating these 2 rows 7 more times. You will increase by 4 sts each repeat and finish after row 2 with 56 sts

Foot

The first 28 sts (needles 1 & 2) form the instep of the sock and the remaining 28sts (needles 3 & 4) the sole

Pattern chart

geometric pattern knitting chartWork the 7 sts of the pattern 4 times over the instep stitches and knit all 28 sole stitches. Continue, repeating the chart pattern after row 14, until the foot is 2 ½” / 6½cm shorter than your foot length. Take a note of the amount of rows worked to ensure the other sock matches

Heel Gusset

Row 1 – Continue pattern across instep stitches. On sole stitches (needles 3 & 4) K1, M1L, knit until last sole stitch, M1R, K1

Row 2 – Continue pattern across instep. Knit all sole stitches without increasing

Repeat these 2 rows until the sole has 52sts, ending after row 1 of repeat

Continue pattern across instep stitches. The shaping for the heel is worked only on the sole stitches

* Take note of the last row of the pattern you worked as you will need to continue from here later

Heel shaping

Start from 1st stitch of sole. Row:

  1. K27, SSK, K1, turn
  2. SL1, P3, P2tog, P1, turn
  3. SL 1, K4, SSK, K1, turn
  4. SL1, P5, P2tog, P1, turn
  5. SL 1, K6, SSK, K1, turn
  6. SL1, P7, P2tog, P1, turn
  7. SL 1, K8, SSK, K1, turn
  8. SL1, P9, P2tog, P1, turn
  9. SL 1, K10, SSK, K1, turn
  10. SL1, P11, P2tog, P1, turn
  11. SL 1, K12, SSK, K1, turn
  12. SL1, P13, P2tog, P1, turn
  13. SL 1, K14, SSK, K1, turn
  14. SL1, P15, P2tog, P1, turn
  15. SL 1, K16, SSK, K1, turn
  16. SL 1, P17, P2tog, P1, turn
  17. SL 1, K18, SSK, K1, turn
  18. SL1, P19, P2tog, P1, turn
  19. SL 1, K20, SSK, K1, turn
  20. SL1, P21, P2tog, P1, turn
  21. SL 1, K22, SSK, K1, turn
  22. SL1, P23, P2tog, P1, turn
  23. SL 1, K24, SSK, K1, turn
  24. SL1, P25, P2tog, P1, turn
  25. SL 1, K27 (28stitches)

To re-join the heel to the instep without creating a hole at the join you need to pick up a stitch between the last heel stitch and the first instep stitch as in M1L. Instead of knitting the stitch alone, knit it together through the back of the loop along with the next instep stitch. This will count as the first stitch of the instep row

The pattern for the instep will continue from the last row * before the heel shaping.

After completing this instep row (28stitches) pick up a stitch as in M1L and knit it together through the back along with the next heel stitch. This will count as the first stitch of the heel row. Knit across the remaining heel stitches (28stitches)

Leg

Continue knitting in the round across ALL 56 STITCHES IN THE PATTERN REPEAT until the leg is 4” / 10cm long (or desired height if you have enough yarn). Take a note of the amount of rows worked to ensure the other sock matches.

Rib (K1 stitch, P1 stitch – repeated over 56 stitches) for 2 rows

Bind off using Judy’s surprisingly stretchy bind off  technique

I have started making my dress!

I started making my dress last week 🙂

I have chosen to make the main body from the green fabric, the sleeves from the pink and the pockets from the light beige.

easy dress pattern cut

I cut the pattern pieces - pinning them all to the fabric first to make sure they all fit before cutting any. I also made sure the direction of the grain markings on the pattern matched the fabric. After measuring myself and checking the pattern measurements, the nearest size is the 'M' medium size pattern markings

dress pattern cut and marked

I marked the points to match up when assembling with a tack stitch in contrasting colour thread. There are also notches on the edge of the pattern that will line up with the other pieces when attached

front of dress tacked to be altered

As you can see, although I have hand tacked the dress body pieces together as the pattern is marked, I need to make some alterations to fit me. At this stage I look like I'm about to perform surgery!

back of dress tacked to be altered

The back is in two pieces (the left side has the extra fabric for buttoning on the shoulder) so tacked together down the centre. This is ideal as it means I can alter the dress on this seam

dress darts stitched

I machine stitched the darts on the front piece before temporarily assembling the body, making sure they were stitched accurately so they sit correctly

dress neckline to alter

The neckline will be a little lower when hemmed. I still think it will be too high so considering altering it before cutting the interfacing to match (this is a lining inside around the neckline). I also think it would look better with a peter pan style collar in beige so will need to draft my own pattern for that!

Small knitting project to do when travelling – or feeling unwell

My head has been so foggy and in pain for the last week with a sinus infection so I needed an easy small project and decided to start on the Beekeepers quilt pattern that I purchased on Ravelry last year. You can pick it up and complete a quilt piece when you feel like it. The finished quilt is so pretty and great for using up an odd ball or the remnants of 4ply yarn from sock projects!

beekeepers quilt travel knitting kit

All you need is 4 ply yarn, 3 dpns (double pointed needles), a crochet hook, some filling material and a small bag to keep the items in. This makes a nice little 'kit' for knitting on the go!

small sqidgy hexipuff knitted quilt project

So satisfying to complete each cute squashy piece quickly and easily - and you get plenty to practice on 😉

You will need to increase and decrease and each squidgy (as I seem to be calling the ‘Hexipuffs’) is knit in the round, so not a beginner’s project, but great for practicing these techniques when you’re ready. There are lots of knitting video tutorials to search through on You Tube. Here is a good one from the Dummies.com series for increasing or decreasing. Each squidgy is quick to make, very cute and very satisfying to see the collection of them build up quickly in a box! Take a look at Tiny Owl Knits site for more information 🙂

hexipuff knitted quilt pieces in box

Before you realise it you have a pile squidgies overflowing from a box. They all look different and it's going to be fun arranging all the different coloured peices for the quilt!

Want to make clothes so why not join a sewing group?

I haven’t made any clothes on a sewing machine for many years and really want to get back into it – especially since my partner’s mum gave me her sewing machine 🙂

Needing a little confidence boost to get started I decided to join a group at a local community centre. I can get some extra advice and avoid any obvious mistakes. It’s also nice to have other crafty people to chat to and see what they’re making!

My ‘easy’ second hand pattern (no zips and I like the buttons on shoulder detail) is ready for the meeting tomorrow, along with plain (no patterns to match and cheap) polycotton and interfacing. I have checked all the relevant pattern pieces are there and using the dress pattern in the centre. I have green fabric for the main body with biege and pink for the sleeves and pockets. I love dresses with pockets!

fabric to make easy dress with pocketsmaking dress second hand easy pattern pockets

Update on growing mushrooms

Just look how much the grey oyster mushrooms have grown over the weekend!

Home grown oyster mushrooms ready to eat

Home grown oyster mushrooms ready to eat! Next to a teaspoon

grey oyster mushrooms growing

They've grown so much over the weekend

oyster mushroom rissotto home grown grey

The grey oyster mushrooms just tasted amazing in a rissotto 🙂

yellow oyster mushrooms home growing

The yellow oyster mushrooms are catching up too! I think they'll also make a tasty rissotto 🙂