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Monday, February 29, 2016

Ready. Set. Knit!

Tomorrow is the official cast-on for the TFA Arika Cowl KAL and I was having a really hard time deciding what colourway to chose. I've made 3 neutral versions of Arika and I love comparing the outcomes of substitute yarns against a neutral palate. The colourful side of this Gemini however, was dying to knit up a multicoloured version (have a look at the collage from my last post and you'll see what I mean!).

{ TFA Grey Label — in Sand }

On Friday I found at my doorstep a care package from Tanis herself that was suspiciously large. Faced with my colour dilemma you can imagine my excitement when I opened it to find not 2 but 4 beautiful skeins of TFA Grey Label! A perfect warm grey (above) and then there were these stunners (below), two skeins of Tartan!!! You'll notice in the photos that this yarn looks different from every angle—I can only imagine how exciting it will be to knit with!!

{ Tartan — copper, red, and rusty orange }

 { —greens }

{ ...and rich blue and red hues of purple }

Tonight I'll be swatching in preparation for tomorrows start date. If you'd like to join in, you can find all of the details in Tanis' group on Ravelry, the KAL thread is HERE. I hope to see you there!

And if you're considering casting on with us, don't forget that the Arika Cowl is 20% off from now until the end of the knit along to make it a little easier to join in! Just use coupon code TFAARIKAKAL during checkout on Ravelry. 

And don't forget to tag your projects #TFAARIKAKAL on Ravelry and social media to be eligible to win prizes from Tanis and myself!!!

...I'm absolutely smitten with the display from my Hellebore this winter, the flowers brighten up the garden during these colder months. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

IN THE GARDEN / Lush and Green

A quick photo update of the garden  

 { garlic that was planted on a whim }

 { lush green raspberry leaves }

{ velvety carpet of oregano } 

{ chard } 

{ hellebore }

I can't believe how lush and green everything is this time of year!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Knit Along /// TFA Arika Cowl KAL!

In less than a week, my talented friend Tanis will be updating her Etsy shop with a heap of her stunning Grey Label yarn. As if the update alone weren't exciting enough, Tanis has decided to host an Arika Cowl knit along to pair with her lovely chunky base!

I don't really need an excuse to knit another Arika (I've knit 4 so far!) and I'm dying to knit with Tanis' Grey Label! The hardest decision has been deciding what TFA colourway to use! I'm pretty partial to this cowl in a neutral, for me it's the most wearable but also the simplicity of the pattern paired with a natural colour really let's the yarn shine. On the flip side, Tanis has some incredibly unique tonals and multi coloured yarns that are a perfect match for this pattern. This version of Arika in the Tartan colourway just blows my mind!

{ Slate } 

{ Sand } 

{ Iris } 

{ Tartan }

Want to join in? Here are the details!

CAST ON -- Tuesday, March 1st at 12:01 am (in whatever timezone you live in).

CAST OFF -- Tuesday, March 15th at 11:59 pm (your timezone).

WHERE -- Join in over in the official KAL thread on Ravelry. 

The rules are simple, knit an Arika Cowl in TFA Grey Label anytime between the start and finish line and you could win goodies from both Tanis and I!!! Tag your projects TFAARIKAKAL on Ravelry and other social media sites to be entered to win! 

This cowl can be completed in just a few nights and is a super quick (and fun!) knit! If you've already knit one, take this opportunity to knit another in Tanis' squishy Grey Label! And if that's not tempting enough, I'm offering a coupon code to make it even easier to join in!

Use code TFAARIKAKAL on Ravelry to receive 20% off the Arika Cowl starting Wednesday, February 17th to March 15th.

To grab your special skeins of TFA, mark your calendars for Wednesday, Feb. 17th. The update happens at 12 pm (noon) EST and will feature loads of Grey Label and a few other bases in small quantities as well. You can find the shop here

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sewing -- Cheyenne Tunic and Linden Sweatshirt

Sewing -- Cheyenne Tunic by Hey June blogged on

Last week I completed two very challenging and time consuming tasks. Both, once finally complete, were incredibly rewarding.

The first, was a week and a half long slog through paperwork, bookkeeping, and ultimately tax preparation, ugh. It's a good thing I love numbers :)

The second, was a reward for completing the first task. Once my books were signed, sealed, and delivered, I allowed myself some much needed and long awaited sewing time. I don't break out my machines often since I tend to fall into a deep, deep sewing trance, spending full days and late nights sewing, with reluctant breaks for food and sleep. Knowing this about myself, I schedule my sewing time around my work and Elsie's schedule so that I'm not neglecting any of my responsibilities.

This session I tackled Hey June's Cheyenne Tunic after admiring it on my friend Mandy. The pattern was way beyond my skill level, but Mandy told me it was easy to follow and encouraged me to jump in. Because it had been so long since my last sewing session I decided to whip up a Linden Sweatshirt as a warm up. I scored a whole pile of 100% cotton jersey bedding at the thrift store and made a wearable muslin (aka night shirt) to get a feel for the pattern. It was fast and easy and the shirt is super comfy! I can't wait to make another Linden once I finally get my hands on some proper sweatshirting.

Sewing -- Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline blogged by

Sewing -- Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline blogged by

For the Cheyenne I used a flannel bed sheet from my haul with the intention of making a wearable muslin. This pattern introduced me to so many new techniques and there were many finishing steps compared to what I'm used to (whipping up tanks and tees on my serger). I actually got to use my sewing machine for the majority of it which was a nice change of pace. Because of this, the project took me a long time to complete. I also made many mistakes that had to be ripped out and redone. In the end, I finished with a very nice looking shirt. And despite the worn out, pilled flannel bed sheet, it's very wearable. I absolutely love it and plan to make many more! Because it is so labor intensive, my only regret was not splurging on proper fabric for this one.

Sewing -- Cheyenne Tunic by Hey June blogged on

Sewing -- Cheyenne Tunic by Hey June blogged on

Sewing -- Cheyenne Tunic by Hey June blogged on

This was my first Hey June pattern and I loved every minute. The pattern layout is clear and easy to follow and nothing is overlooked. Considering the amount of new territory I crossed (making a button placket and sewing buttonholes, using interfacing, making a collar and buttoned cuffs), this pattern is perfectly suited to new-ish, non-techincal sewers like myself and I highly recommend it!

I had a few scraps left over which I decided to use to make a matching set of zippered pouches (another project I'd never done!). I perused tutorials online to get the general idea of size and construction. I made my pieces 9" x 5 1/2" for the large bag, 9" x 4 1/2" for the medium bag, and 5" x 4 1/2" for the small bag. There are so many tutorials and patterns out there but this one just made sense to me and was the least fussy. I used this tutorial to learn how to install the zipper (another first!).

Sewing zippered pouches

Sewing zippered pouches

They were fast and fun to make (and a little bit addictive—I wanted to make a more!).

I adore sewing. When I sew it takes over the house (...our house is very small). I set up my 6 foot folding table for cutting, leave my ironing board out, and set up my sewing machine and serger back to back on my breakfast table. I don't take any of it down until I'm completely through—Elsie always shakes her head at the mess. I love getting into it and letting myself get totally swept up in a project.

...but it sure feels good to reclaim my space when it's all done!

Do you sew? If so, what was your latest project? What's your sewing style—do you let it take over the house? Do you have a craft room with a permanent sewing station?