Knitting – Intarsia Design

Hi there:) It’s a long weekend here in Ireland, and for once I don’t care that the weather is dull and dreary – I’ve spent it indoors, studying (or cramming to be more truthful!).   I have exams coming up and I cannot wait for them to be over, and for normal life to resume. Sorry if you come here for sewing – it will resume soon -I promise! Unfortunately, the only sewing I’ve done lately has been in my dreams.  There are a few knitting projects on the go – very slowly though – they were a way to unwind over the last few months.

I have a knit tee that I have wanted to copy with a while.(It’s the larger orange top below).  I made an attempt once before , but it derailed into a completely different top – (that would be the much smaller yellow top below!).   The yellow top is still being worn – sometimes knitted clothing magically grows along with the child wearing them!



I’m planning a second attempt, this time with better calculations and more suitable yarn!

Intarsia designing


These are some of the colours I’m going to use –



I’m going to do some type of intarsia design on the front (mixing in different coloured yarns). A quick guide to doing intarsia can be seen here – Intarsia instructions . If anyone has some links to modern/geometric intarsia patterns, please share – I haven’t been able to find any beyond some dodgy eighties styles!

I haven’t found any charts online that I like.  So in typical D.I.Y fashion… I’m attempting to make my own chart. First I knitted a sample swatch using some of my yarn – and counted my rows and stitches over 10cm.



I used my knitting gauge to choose the best size paper.  Ordinary graph paper isn’t suitable for making Intarsia charts, as knit stitches are short and wide instead of perfect squares. Knitters Graph paper can be downloaded for free here- Sweaterscapes Knitters Graph Paper . .

Intarsia design on Knitting graph paper

Intarsia design on Knitters graph paper

It’s a very rough draft – I want to knit a sample to see the actual scale, before I plan it properly.

Plotting an intarsia design

Adding more colours

I’ve cast on another swatch to try out the triangles and see if I like the size – hopefully when I get some time back, I’ll start to make some progress.

Ps – I’m not the only one working on an Intarsia design of my own – another example can be found here :)

Finally Finished – Chunky Cardi

WordPress tells me that it has been 3 months since my last post….! The weeks have flown by, with only a little making going on. I’ve been sidetracked by a college course that I threw myself into last September. The timing seemed right (or at least as right as it will ever be!) but it has been all-consuming. It’s a Business I.T  course which is a complete change from my original Art & Design qualification.  Lately the more time I spend in front of a computer doing assignments, the more I want to run and grab some paint or fabric or wool and start making!

Since I last posted, I did manage to find my needles and finish my Chunky Cardigan …..



So far it has only been worn a couple of times.  It’s cosy, but it feels like the neckline needs a bit more height, or a collar maybe.  I made the sleeves extra long as always, to cover my freakishly long arms! I’ve noticed my long-sleeved tees wear out at the cuffs from my constant tugging at them, so I always make sure to add extra length to any tops.



Extra-long sleeves are my favourite ! 


As far as my knitting goes, I’ve only just started to get a good idea of what I should be making for myself.  I prefer looser styles, and although I have avoided knitting with light weight yarns, I think I would get more wear out of lighter knits that could be layered up. So that’s what I’m going to focus on if I ever get time to knit again!

Oh and I have been sewing too….college interviews showed up a gap in my wardrobe. I was able to quickly make a wrap Burda top, which I will post as soon as I find the Burda Magazine I used….Yep things are a bit scattered round here thanks to my brain reaching full capacity:)



Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone,  I hope your 2016 is off to a good start.  My year is off to a very slow start, I spent the first week mostly sleeping as I had the flu. In a positive light, maybe I’m just getting any illness out of the way early!

Being confined to bed, I thought it would be a good time to work on any unfinished knitting – like this cardigan I started in August:



The safety pins are holding it together so I could try it on!


It’s a chunky knit, made with 10mm needles and Byzantum Double chunky yarn. The pattern is from an old Woman’s Weekly Magazine:




The reason it sat unfinished for so long, was that I thought I’d lost the pattern. It turns out that I had put it away safely inside a large book on knitting….and then forgot completely! But now I’ve lost the needles I was using……ffs!  So while I try to remember which safe place they’re hiding in, I started an embroidery…….




Yep it’s a cut-up shirt…..times are tough!

It’s ages since I hand embroidered anything, but I have a ton of embroidery transfers from old magazines (this elephant must be twenty years old!)

So that’s my New Year off to a thrifty start, I look forward to seeing what everyone else makes this year. xx

Quick Christmas Gifts to make



It’s late enough in December that any notion I had of sewing or knitting great gifts can be forgotten! With that in my mind I’ve been looking for some fast and effective handmade gift ideas.

I’ve been collecting old coffee tins with the plan to eventually do something with them. These covered tins are a great way to use up interesting fabric leftovers.


What you need:

  • Fabric Scraps
  • Washed Tins
  • Glue gun (or craft glue)
  • optional – interfacing and sharp knife


I began by interfacing the pink fabric as it was a little light and cutting a rectangle slightly larger than the surface of the tin.

I pressed the bottom edge and one side edge with an iron. Then wrapped it around the tin and glued the bottom edge in place :




After gluing the back seam and the top edge, I cut off the extra fabric using a sharp blade



For the floral and the green tin, I folded top and bottom edges of the fabric before gluing in place:

And there you have it – a  quick and easy Gift !

Ps.- if you’d like to make some quick Christmas star decorations, have a look at the ones I made last year

star 1

Cardboard Star Decorations


Vogue 1316 – A dress made from jeans

So here it is …. Vogue 1316 – the dress I made from old jeans.  It has been worn twice already and,thanks to the small amount of stretch in the denim, it’s very comfortable.


Vogue 1316 – Made from old jeans!

I really enjoyed making this, despite the large amount of pattern pieces.  I don’t buy many patterns any more – after more than a few years sewing, I’ve got a pretty big collection of Burda Magazines, and a few boxes worth of paper patterns. After a while you start to see that the pattern companies rarely offer something new.  Added to that is the fact that Vogue patterns are not the cheapest around… but this one was worth every penny for the complexity of the design.

The panels were a great opportunity to use scraps and oddly shaped pieces of fabric cut from jeans.  The bands at the underbust wrap around to the back panels in a very interesting shape.  (Although my panel matching could be better here!)

Vogue dress side view

Side view


I hadn’t intended to line it, but in the end it was the quickest solution, as it saved me having to bind or face the edges.  The lining makes it more comfortable and less likely to cling to tights in the winter too!

I had to alter the panel at the upper back – there was a bit of gaping. It was the only part that I found difficult as I had to get help with pinning, so it held up finishing the dress for a while.


I took a little from the upper centre back and some from the back yoke panels, and it now sits nicely on my upper back. (Although the only photo of the back is obscured by my hair, so you’ll need to take my word for it!)

 I used a regular centred zipper, because I didn’t have an invisible one and I really wanted to get it finished in time for a meetup with some friends!

It seems like it took forever to make, but that’s just because I made it in little bursts as and when I found time!  Hopefully I’ll be able make some time for sewing when I get a break over Christmas, I’ve been eyeing a few new fabrics as a Christmas present to myself!


Vogue 1316