There's a new Wiksten pattern in the shop! Cozy Purl Ridge Mittens. You can find it on Ravelry here too. These would make great holiday gifts, since they're so quick to knit up in the Aran weight yarn. Isn't there something lovely about the idea of warming the hands of your loved ones?
I love how these mittens fit, especially the "afterthought" thumb. I really prefer this thumb constructions to a gusset thumb because I just think it's more comfortable to wear. The purl ridges give these mittens a lovely cushy texture, but the simple pattern looks good in Stockinette stitch too (even better with stripes). Or you could always add custom touches of your own, such as cables, bobbles, or Fair Isle. Whether you're looking for a good basic mitten pattern to learn mittens for the first time or whether you're an advanced knitter wanting to add some design elements, this is a good place to start.
I've taught a couple of classes using this pattern over the last two months so I could test it out on some beginners and see what they had trouble with. I ended up adding some photos to the instructions as well to illustrate some of the trickier steps, such as getting the mittens started on DPN's and setting up the thumb.
Also, there's one pair of handmade mittens left in the shop! I'll be adding a few more goodies next week...
There will be two Wiksten holiday shop updates this year--one on Monday, December 2 with handmade mittens and mitten pattern for sale, and the second on Monday, December 9 with some other surprise goodies including a sale on sewing patterns. I'll be posting more info here as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and on the newsletter. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving!
I took these photos at Emily's home when I was in Minneapolis recently for a visit. Inspiring and inviting as Emily herself, the space is filled with warmth, color, plants, good people, and lots of knitting. Wish I was there right now, having a cup of tea.
top photo by Tamara Schlesinger, bottom photo from Mille
Wiksten is coming to Minneapolis! This Saturday, October 26, Jennifer Sarkilahti of Odette and I will be at the beautiful boutique Mille selling our fall goods. Come by for hot cider, fall treats, and shopping. I'll be bringing handmade knits in new styles plus maybe a few surprises. Check back here this week before the show for more photos of my work. See event details here.
Trunk Show at Mille
316 West 48th Street
Saturday, October 26th
Lena Corwin's new book Made By Hand came out this week! I created two new patterns just for the book--a dress/top sewing pattern and a sock knitting pattern. After spending months on these projects, I'm ecstatic to see how beautifully the book turned out. It's full of amazing projects by many different designers who taught classes at Lena's studio over the years. Each project has detailed instructions and step-by-step photos of techniques demonstrated by the teachers themselves, so doing the projects is almost as good as taking the classes in person. See more on the book's website, and check out behind-the-scenes videos here.
If you're in New York, there's a book launch party at the Mociun store next week.
If you're in New York, there's a book launch party at the Mociun store next week.
It's been awhile, let's catch up. After the Marguerite dress collection, Joe and I took a trip to Portugal. I loved it. Upon returning from my trip, I planned to finish and publish the Marguerite sewing pattern. However, instead I came home to find myself unexpectedly expecting. Yep, totally pregnant. I was shocked!
My life has been so very different since I found out. Plans changed. The first few months of pregnancy were pretty rough because I felt useless and awful a lot of the time--the nausea and exhaustion kept me from doing much that didn't involve me laying on the couch. I really had to cut back on my work hours and rethink everything. Luckily, now I feel so much better.
As of today I am 24 weeks along! I've been pregnant for 6 months. (I know you know how to do the math, but before I was pregnant I hated it when people spoke in weeks and trimesters--it felt like a secret language that I didn't speak.) Around 18 weeks I started to feel the baby move around inside me, which is such a weird and amazing feeling. Until then it was really hard to wrap my mind around the fact that there was a tiny creature living inside my belly. It just didn't seem real. And then about a month ago at our 20 week ultrasound, I found out we were having a girl. A GIRL! Cool. I really wanted it to be a girl, but I would have been pretty happy with a boy too.
I still want to get the Marguerite pattern published before I give birth (my due date is January 9), but in the meantime some other projects have come up that I've been working on as well. I hope to share them here soon!
My friend Helen is teaching a painting class at the Dobbin Mews in Brooklyn on August 4, and there are a few spots left. You can sign up here. The class will be held in Nicolette Owen's flower studio, surrounding the students in gorgeous inspiration.
I'm sure you remember me blogging about Helen and her beautiful textile designs before. I'm totally in awe of what she can do, and I wish I could take the class myself. There's nothing prettier than a floral print, and I'd love to learn how to create one. Plus Helen is super fun and always puts everyone at ease, so of course it will be a great time.
I just got a copy of Shabd Simon-Alexander's new book Tie Dye: Dye It, Wear It, Share It, and it's so good! I took a dyeing class from Shabd a few years ago, and I've been hooked on it ever since because it's crazy fun. In the class, Shabd taught us a scrunching technique that I used with some light blue dye to dye fabric yardage that I later used to make the dress pictured above. The book shares the technique on page 72, in the "Lightning Tee" project. I really love how my fabric turned out.
What's great about Shabd's designs and book are that they really modernize tie-dyeing in a way that's more subtle and sophisticated than what's typical. The color combinations are interesting and innovative. I'm dying to try out basically all of the projects in the book, but especially the polka-dot dress on page 92. The beautiful photos and clear instructions in the book should make it a breeze. I'm so proud of my friend for working so hard to create such an amazing book!
A collection of one-of-a-kind Marguerite dresses for the shop in a seaside palette. Apologies for the limited quantity and sizes. All are in sample sizes S and M, dimensions listed in item descriptions. Follow me on Instagram (username "wikstenmade") to see snapshots of Marguerite outfits. The dresses will be for sale starting tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, but you can preview them on the website now.
I've also listed some Wiksten fabric yardage in the shop. I designed the prints for my S/S 2012 collection, and I still have some leftover fabric. It was printed by Spoonflower, and I'm selling it at a discounted price so I can find a new home for some of my fabric inventory.
I sewed myself a Spring Tova Dress last week, using this glorious fabric by Anna Maria Horner. If you're wondering why the Tova looks so different, it's because I customized the pattern by making a few changes. First, I left the collar off and instead finished the neckline with a bias tape facing. My Tank Top pattern includes directions for finishing a neckline that way. I also applied a very lightweight fusible interfacing to the placket to give it more structure. Thirdly, I added length to the hem because it seems my super short dress wearing days are over. Last of all, I lengthened and tapered the sleeves and hemmed them instead of gathering them into a cuff, so I could roll them up. I think when it gets warmer I'll take the sleeves off and just do a bias facing for the armholes. This would make a great summer dress too. It's been awhile since I've made a Tova, but I'm so glad I did. There's nothing like having cheery new clothes for Spring.
all photos from Bailey Doesn't Bark
I'm obsessed with this new mini series of handmade ceramics, launched by Re Jin Lee for Bailey Doesn't Bark. Read more about it here. I've been watching the process unfold through Instagram, and it's so exciting to see the products fully finished and ready to go. I was pumped to be able to get one of the ring holders since that's something I've been needing, and I also got a tiny dish for teatime snacks. RJ is the coolest person and beautiful to boot. (Remember her as my hat model? The model with the short hair.) Her work is just lovely as well.
Introducing two new hat patterns I designed, now for sale in the Wiksten shop: top--the Jul Hat and bottom--the Ribbstickad Hat. It's still so cold and snowy here in Iowa at the moment. Winter's not over by a long shot, so I continue to knit a lot of hats. I have to wear them so often that it's nice to have a variety.
The Jul Hat requires DK weight yarn, with a gauge of 5.5 stitches per inch. There are so many good yarns you can use to make this hat. I've knit it in three different yarns so far. The red one I made for Christmas was knit with Blue Sky Alpacas Melange in Chili Pepper (the perfect red), and the grey one for Valentine's Day was made with Sublime Organic Merino DK (the best yarn, but sadly discontinued). This new rust colored hat was made with Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino, and it's so nice and cuddly. This is my favorite hat out of all that I've designed so far.
The Ribbstickad Hat is knit in chunky weight yarn (3.5 stitches per inch gauge), so it's a very quick project. I've made this a bunch of times and am in the middle of making one for myself and one for my husband. It's knit in Tundra, a yarn that comes in gorgeous colors, by the wonderful Fibre Company.
I'll be happy when it's warm again but so sad to say goodbye to hat knitting season.
Happy (late) Valentine's Day! This year I embroidered a bunch of little muslin treat bags, filled with sea salt + caramel chocolate, hot chocolate sticks, and pretty lollipops from France to give to my sweetheart and some of my pals. It was pretty fun since I was really missing being a kid and handing out valentines in class. Wasn't that the best, back in the day? I remember making a box in school to hold all the valentines from classmates. There's no reason adults can't do such things.