Wednesday, August 10, 2016

My Fall Wardrobe Wishlist

I have found the following jumpers on Ravelry which I really want to knit for fall and winter this year:

This is the one that I am casting on presently, but with different sizes of wool for more texture. In fact, one is a cotton yarn and the other is Merino. I am using Katia Mississipi 3 and DiVe Autunno, my absolute favorite yarn in the whole wide world. It is a lofty single full of bounce to the ounce. I plan to knit with size 4 and size 6 needles. As the pattern is from Trove, it requires re-formatting to read it properly, which I have done, so I will share it here. All text came from Trove. Here is the link:|||l-decade=195

Here is my formatting:

Knit This Jumper In Bright "Diagonals" BELOVED dressmaker sweater which behaves like a blouse, looks wonderful with a skirt or under a suit coat. This one has pretty stripes-would look superb in black and white. MATERIALS: 6oz Patons 3-ply wool in white or main colour 2oz in red or contrast colour 1 pr. each Nos. 10 and 12 needles. MEASUREMENTS: To. Fit bust 34in; length from top of shoulders, 21in; sleeve seam, 6in. TENSION: 9 sts. and 11 rows to 1in. NOTE: Do not pull wools tightly on wrong side of work. Throughout pattern read main colour for A; and contrast colour for B. ABBREVIATIONS: K- Knit; P-purl; st.-stitch; patt.-pattern; beg.-begin- ning; tog.-together; in-inch; inc.-increase; dec.-decrease.
BACK: With No. 12 needles and A colour wool, cast on 108 sts. and work in K1, PI rib for 3in. Inc. 1 st in last st. of last row. Change to No. 10 needles and pattern; 1st row: With A wool K3, * B wool K1,  K3, repeat from * 11 times (51 sts.), B K1, A K2 (P1 for centre st.), A K2, ** B K1, A K3, re- peat from ** to end. 2nd row: Purl, working A and B wools in same sequence of colour as sts. on needle, knitting the centre st. 3rd row: A wool K4, * B K1, A K3, repeat from * to 2 sts. before centre st., B K1, A KI (A P1, centre st.), A K1, ** B K1, A K3, repeat from ** to last 5 sts, B K1, A K4. 4th row: As 2nd row. 5fh row: A K1, * B K1, A K3, repeat from * to 1st st. before centre st., B K1 (A P1, centr st. ** B k1, a K3 repeat from ** to last 2 sts, B K1, A K1. 6th row: As 2nd row 7th row: A K2, * B K1, A K3, repeat from * (to centre st A , P1), "* A K3, B K1, repeat from ** to last 2 sts, A K2 8th row: As 2nd row. These 8 rows form pattern
Keeping continuity of patt, inc 1 st each end next and every following 5th row, un- til there are 141 sts When 4 extra sts are made, a new stripe can be started
Continue to work in pattern until 13 1/2 in from commencement Then with right side facing
To Shape Armhole: Cast off 5st at beg of next 2 rows, then dec 1 st each end of every row until 121 st remain Work straight in continuity of pattern until back measures 20 1/2 in.
To Shape Shoulders Cast off 10 at beg of next 8 rows Cast off remaining sts

With No. 12 needles and A wool, cast on 116 sts. Work in K1, PI, rib for 3in.
Inc. 1 st. in last row and work in pattern as for back, increasing to 155 sts. When work measures same as back to armhole, shape as follows:
Cast off 7 at beg. of next 2 rows, then dec. 1 st. each end of every row until 133 sts. remain. Then divide for front opening and work yoke as follows:
With right side of work facing, work in reverse of stripes, i.e., pattern as for second half reading from centre st., B K1, being worked 1 st. in front of B K1 of previous row. Work thus over 66 sts.
Place remaining 67 sts. (Right Front) on st. holder for the time being. Turn and proceed on former set of 66 sts.
For Left Front Opening: Cast on 3 sts. and work these 3.sts. in garter st. Continue to work in reverse pattern on 66 sts., plus 3 garter sts., until work measures 18in from commencement.
To Shape Neck: Cast off 12 at neck edge, then dec, 1 st. at neck edge every row until 42 sts. remain. To shape shoulders, cast off 10 sts. At armhole edge 4 times. Dec. 1 st. at neck edge of next two
Right Front Opening: Slip 67 sts. from safety pin on No. 10 needle, point to centre.
Join wool, cast on 2 sts. With right side facing, continue thus:
1st row: K3. Work in reverse stripes, i.e., B K1, being worked 1 st. beyond B K1 of previous row, reading pattern as for first half. Continue to work the 3 placket sts. in garter st., and 66 sts in pattern,
shaping neck and shoulders to match left side.
With No. 12 needles and A wool, cast on 88 sts. and work in'K1, PI, rib for 1 in. "
Next row: P9, inc. in next st., * PI6, inc. in next st
Repeat from * to last IO sts, P10 (93 sts.). Change to No.10 needles and work as 1st pattern row over 46 sts (PI, centre st.), pattern over 46 sts Continue to work in the S pattern rows increasing 1 st both
ends of 8th and every following 4th row until 113 sts are on needle.
When work measures 6in, shape Top thus:
Cast off 7 st. at beg. of next 2 rows, then dec. 1 st. both ends of needle of every alt. row until 66 sts. remain. Then dec. 1 st. at each end of every row until 36 sts. remain. Cast off.
With No. 12 needles and A wool, cast on 142 sts and work in K1, PI, rib for 2 1/2 in
Cast off in rib with No. 10 needles.
Press work (omitting ribbing) with warm iron over a damp cloth. Back-stitch all
seams, as close to edge as posisible. Sew in sleeves. Lightly stitch the 3 garter st. borders either side of front openings on wrong side. Work 4 button loops on edge of right side of opening, and sew buttons on left side to correspond. Stitch cast-on edge of collar round neck. Press all seams.

Saturday, July 23, 2016


{A Cowl Pattern}

  • Needles: US Size 6, 8, 10
  • Yarn:
    • Berroco Peruvia (Heavy Worsted Single/Aran)
    • Color #7137 (Burgundy)
      • (100% Peruvian Highland Wool)
      • 174yds/160m
      • 3.5oz/100g
    • Berroco Jasper (Worsted Single)
    • Color #3815 (Burgundy-red, Black, Grey, Tan)
      • (100% Fine Merino Wool)
      • 98yds/90m
      • 1.75oz/50g
    • Sirdar Romance (DK)
    • Color: Buff with gold metallic thread
      • (54% Acrylic, 29% Cashmere type nylon, 17% Polyester)
      • 120yds/110m
      • 50g
    • Bergere De France Begarene or Angel 50 (Fingering)
    • Color: Black
      • 72% Acrylic
        10% Wool
        10% Mohair
        8% Nylon / Polyamide
      • 175 yards (160 meters)
      • 40 grams (1.41 ounces)

  • Cast on 226 stitches with Black on size 6 needles. Carefully arrange stitches and join in the round.

  1. Knit             {Repeat Rows 1&2 3 times, then Knit 1 round)
  2. Purl
  3. With Romance and size 8 needles, Knit each stitch wrapping yarn around needle 3 times
  4. Switch to Black and size 6 needles. Drop YO stitches 4 at a time, crossing 2 right stitches over 2 left stitches, pass to left needle. Knit stitches in order with Black.
  5. Purl with Black
  6. Knit with Black
  7. Purl with Black
  8. Knit with Black
  9. With Peruvia and size 10 needles, Knit
  10. Purl
  11. Knit
  12. With size 6 and Black, Knit
  13. Purl
  14. With size 10 and Jasper, p1, Take right-hand needle behind left-hand needle. Skip the first stitch and knit into the back loop of the second stitch. Then knit skipped stitch through the front loop. The slip both stitches from the needle together; p1
  15. -16. Repeat Round 14 twice, but knit instead of purl for round 16.

17. With size 6 and Black, repeat round 14.

18. Purl
19. With size 10 and Peruvia, Knit.
20. Purl
21. Knit
22. With size 6 and Black, Knit.
23. Purl
24. Knit
25. Purl
26. Knit
Repeat rounds 3-26 twice more or as many repetitions as desired. When ready to finish, Purl one round and Knit one round, then bind off using Jeny's Stretchy Bind Off and size 6 needles.
If you do not get the same edge on the bind of as on the cast on, try the traditional loose bind off with size 6 needles instead.
Weave in all ends and block.

Arachosia ©July 2016 Autumn Williams. All Rights Reserved.

Please consult me before using this pattern on your own site/blog and receive my approval before attempting to sell products created from my pattern. This pattern is copyrighted.
©2016 Autumn Williams. All Rights Reserved.
<a target="_blank" href=""><img border="0" alt=" Registered &amp; Protected 
VD1Q-UV5M-C80P-XIPK" title=" Registered &amp; Protected 
VD1Q-UV5M-C80P-XIPK" width="150" height="40" src="" /></a>

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Unplying A Skein

I needed to un-ply a skein of yarn to get a DK weight from a chunky weight skein. I was trying to unwind Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky (On sale for $5.99), so the yarn was already wound into those oval shaped ball-skeins. The skein had 4 plies. I took 2 plies and placed them on my ball winder. I took the other 2 plies in my hand. I unwound about 2 feet of yarn from the skein and placed a chip clip to hold the strand in place. I then allowed gravity to untwist the plies, winding up the separate ends to keep them neat. Eventually, I was able to split the yarn into the 2-ply sections that I needed. I wound the hand-wound ball together with the center-pull ball on the winder. Altogether, I took a 153 yd. skein and turned it into 306 yds. If you are on a budget and want to knit socks, I highly suggest using this method to allow frugal use of yarn supplies. You can even split the plies into singles if you wish. It will be a lot easier to split the 2-ply sections after splitting them from 4-ply. If you think about it, you could get a total of 612 yds from one skein for $7. That means you could knit one full shawl or one pair of socks from a full skein of 4-ply chunky yarn. That sounds great to me, as many of the colorways I have seen are nice for men's socks, but look kind of goofy as a thick yarn.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Vintage Christmas Stockings

I had a request a year ago to knit two Christmas stockings for a lady who works with my Husband. She wanted me to copy her stocking from 1956. It took me a while, but I was able to find the pattern online and not make my own chart!
It has taken me a year to finish them due to school and illness, but the result is worth the wait. I think she could have had these done faster if she ordered from Siberia! Shhh!
I'm not a slow knitter by any means, but when life happens, some things get placed on hold.

Christmas Stocking Supplies:
  • 1 skein each: Red, Green, White Red heart Super Saver Acrylic Yarn (Worsted/Aran)
  • Small scraps of black, whatever skin color you choose for Santa's face, and blue yarn
  • Size 6 32" circular needles (Or size to gauge)
  • Stitch marker
  • Tapestry needle
  • 1 package assorted color sequins ($1.97 at WalMart)
  • Size 11/0 glass seed beads whatever color you choose (clear)
  • Bead needle or thin quilting sharp for darning and decoration

This pattern from the 1950's is a good introduction to intarsia knitting.

I actually used a stocking pattern from Knit Picks (Free Download: Holiday Stocking) for the conversion into knitting in the round. I personally did not want to knit these stockings flat and do a seam. I would have preferred kitchener if that was an option, but we are not working with any live edge stitches here.

The pattern suggests that you knit the stocking flat and purl across every 3rd row to "lock in" the colors. I only used the chart, not the written pattern. I cast on 60 stitches on size 6 circular needles.

I knitted 2 stockings and each turned out a little different. The first has a name on it, and the second does not. You can knit the name into the white band or the red part, or even duplicate stitch the name into it. I was going to do that, but the finished result looked crappy and uneven in the yarn I was using (Red Heart Super Saver), so I just knitted it in Fair Isle.

When changing colors, you will need to know how to do the twist. You can twist over or under, but make sure to twist the working yarn around the red yarn every 2-3 stitches to prevent gaping or tightening. Also, make sure that on the next row, you alternate where you twist. You will get the hang of it. If you don't alternate where you twist, you will be able to see the twisted color in a gap between the surface color.

Behind the scenes, it will look really messy. Make sure you keep those strands twisted and evenly tensioned. If they are too tight, you can always "faux steek" and cut all the yarn floats straight down the middle of the motif on the wrong side and pick/nudge the stitches into proper tensioned alignment. You can also go back and tether down any stitches that went awry on the motif edges. I used a needle and red/white thread and went all around the perimeter of my motifs to lock them down. I had some wonky gaping edges, but it turned out fine due to my secret finishing techniques.

To finish, you need to embroider two eyes on Santa's face and a smile if you wish, and then turn to the Christmas tree side and place beaded sequins with needle and thread.

The bead acts as an anchor for the sequin so it cannot move. To place sequins, pull the thread through the desired spot (I recommend covering wonky gaps and places where the branches look crooked)
Thread on the sequin dome-side up, then thread the bead on top of the sequin. Poke the needle back through the sequin and try to poke through the stocking where you pulled the needle out first.

Add a gold star or an angel or a bow at the top of the tree with more beaded sequins.

Finish by placing stocking on an old white t-shirt or white cotton fabric and trace around, leaving about 1/2" around the whole outline for a seam allowance. Stitch by hand or machine, leaving the top free. Make sure the liner is wrong side out, so that the nice smooth seams are inside. Loosely tuck the top under to fit beneath the top garter row. Tack by hand with a slip stitch.

The finished stocking should look something like this:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Shown is my hair after 7 days since the last henna application. The color has darkened into a rich blend of deep ruby and bright cinnamon tones with amazing dimension, as always when I use Rajasthani Jasmine. 
I know this is a long post, but I need to share my testimony as I am sure there are other very young women dealing with the same things. I want to thank Ancient Sunrise Henna for helping me solve two huge problems that have really affected my self-confidence for years: bald spots and gray hairs. I am 22 years old. My hair is naturally curly in waves and ringlets through the length, straight on the top 3 inches. I wash my hair in cold water every 3-4 days, put in a handful of conditioner on the ends, gently use a wide toothed comb and then a fine toothed comb to style/ remove excess product, towel dry, and let it air dry. My curly hair is made up of more dispersed darker, flat, coarse, thick strands and more plentiful translucent, round, smooth, fine strands. It breaks from any heat, even hot water. I thought combing my hair had something to do with my issues, but after 7 years of the same gentle routine, it was obvious that something else was the culprit.
The first problem, bald spots, had been going on for about 6 years. It got to the point where I could not tuck my hair behind my ear because my scalp would show, and I had to carefully comb the hair on the back of my head over a large, obvious bald spot in the very middle. I was about to buy an expensive bald spot filler/hair thickener fiber powder product and even used eyeshadow at times to cover the spots. The embarrassing issue arose for two reasons. The first was the hairstyles that I had to do for Colorguard, two different styles per year for 5 years. We danced indoors and outdoors, and hair had to be pulled very tightly against the scalp in very precise parts, teased for an underlayer of volume, and the overlayer of hair shellacked down with hair spray so the wind would not move a single strand. There were usually over 40 bobby pins needed for each hair style, which scraped against the scalp and lifted hair roots at a painful angle. Each year the parts in my hair were different, and each year I noticed that my fellow dancers and I had the same widening parts in our hair. All the pulling and parting and heat damage form hot rollers and flat irons, not to mention the sun and wind, took a heavy toll on our hair. The bald spots grew wider as my hair growth pattern thinned in those areas. When I put up my hair for internship/work or braided it, the bald spots would show in a way that made certain styles, even a ponytail, impossible without combing other hair over and adding a hair accessory, and that added additional weight that made the problem worse. 
The second cause was stress and (3 years ago) use of a bright green henna product from India that I eventually learned was the evil green sand stuff that has mineral salts added. One of my mother's students from India gave her the henna and I felt obligated to try it. It fizzed when I added lemon juice. Big mistake. All my hard work of using AS Jasmine was gone after my hair turned stringy, greenish, gummy, and lifeless. After that, I lost a handful of hair each day from only gentle manipulation of my then very thin brittle hair, and the bald spots widened. I tried to apply peroxide to my roots so they would match the rest of my hair after the green sand henna. I stopped using peroxide and went back to using only AS Jasmine henna from then on. 
The other problem is gray hairs. They are only in certain places right now: front section and temples. The Jasmine works great to cover them up. Now, they look like ruby red highlights. I went through a VERY stressful time last fall when a faulty doctor gave me diagnoses of leukemia and arrhythmia. After extensive testing and a holter monitor it was actually chronic mononucleosis. Also, my husband had surgery but the wrong lipoma was removed. My grades and finances fell as I struggled through my studies, internship, working, paying hefty medical bills and managing orders for my shop. I would scratch my head and come away with a handful of hair. The grays cropped up and haven't stopped since. Now, after using Jasmine henna every month and many prayers, I can share an update of how great my hair looks after a relaxing spring semester and summer. Over the past 6 months, the bald spots have filled in with new thick, shiny, silky hair, and many are almost gone! Thank you, Ancient Sunrise, for helping me fix these confidence-crushing issues! I look and feel better than I have in years!

Sunday, May 22, 2016


After much fear and trepidation, I have finally succeeded in sewing a vent extension without a hitch.
I sewed a dress from a pattern I drafted recently where the vent had to become a “design feature” to put it nicely, because the thing ended up like a box pleat. And the lining? Yes, it was put in as a box pleat in the back as well. Oh, the horror. To think that a lady who has sewn her own wedding gown that turned out magnificently had botched such a “beginner” skill. Guess what? It’s not! Vent extensions were not commonly used in household sewing until the 1930’s! Therefore, worry not, you can learn to sew a vent extension if you haven’t done one yet or have been reluctant to start sewing that pencil skirt because there is a vent in the back. It is scary, but it exists, so there must be a way to make it happen!
Take charge and watch these videos before you begin! Then, I shall explain the niceties of the vent.

FashionSewingBlogTV: Sewing lining to a Vent:
                                    Sewing a vent:     
ProfessorPincushion:     How to sew a Back Slit or Vent Extension:

Here are some things about sewing a vent that I figured out:

1) Do not finish edges of fashion fabric or lining when putting lining into dress. Do it later. The seams will be hidden by the lining anyway…

2) Work on the back of the dress/skirt first before sewing any side seams because it makes the process so much easier!

3) Some patterns have the curved underlap like Colleen shows in her video. Cut out the pieces as they are shown in your pattern for best results. I cut mine out both the same.

4) Fashion Fabric: You can baste the vent extension, clip the TOP LAYER and then press it to the RIGHT

            Then, you will do the same thing with the lining but press to the LEFT. Then TAKE OUT basting!

5) DO NOT SEW THE LINING VENT EXTENSION! Only sew the vent extension on the fashion fabric.

6) The DOT is all-powerful. Pay attention to the DOT. You will need it for EVERYTHING, so make sure you mark the DOT on the fashion and lining fabric on the wrong side of ALL PIECES.

7) The seam you will sew that encases the lining in the fashion fabric is ¼”, so you will need to stop sewing the vent extension on the fashion fabric ¼” from the edge. Don’t backstitch it so you can open up the seam edge and finagle it if needed.

Steps to sewing a vent:

1)     Take the back pieces of your pattern, sew in the darts and staystitch neckline and armholes.

2)     Line up the zipper you are using and decide if you are sewing an invisible zipper, All Purpose zipper, or a LAPPED zipper. Mark where the zip ends on fashion and lining fabric.

3)     Baste the 5/8” Seam allowance for the zipper from start to end. (Length 4, Tension 1-2)

4)     Stitch the area from end of zipper to the DOT with normal stitch (Length 2, Tension 3)

5)     Baste the area from DOT to HEM (Length 4, Tension 1-2) You may need to draw a straight line to make sure you sew with the same seam allowance throughout.

6)     On the FASHION FABRIC ONLY, stitch the VENT EXTENSION, or the part that slants DOWN away from the main body of the dress back. Make sure to stop stitching ¼” from the edge!

7)     CLIP the TOP layer of the seam allowance diagonal from the DOT, being very careful not to cut the stitching! A little notch will suffice. Do the same with the lining, even though you didn’t sew the vent extension yet.

8)     Fold the fashion fabric vent to the RIGHT and the lining fabric vent to the LEFT. Press along the basted line, then REMOVE BASTING from DOT to HEM.

9)     The name of the game now is to stay AWAY from the DOT. Do not catch it in your stitching for the next few steps.

10)  Take the TOP EDGES of the fashion fabric and the lining and match up the RIGHT SIDES, and pin along the edge. Get ALL excess fabric out of the way to avoid catching it. LOOK at the stitching of the vent extension on the fashion fabric. Line up your presser foot on the edge of the fabric for a ¼” seam. Manually turn the wheel while holding the threads. Go forward 3 stitches, back 3, then forward 3 again, then stitch down the line with the pedal.

11)  Take out the pins and trim threads, then do the same to the other side, but pin so that the seam is sewn from the hem to the DOT. Fashion fabric should be facing you again. Don’t catch excess fabric.

12)  Take out pins, trim threads, tack anywhere the stitching may be loose. The edges should line up perfectly in a little square between fashion fabric and lining.

13)  The Lining vent extension is not sewn yet. Put a pin in the DOT to avoid catching it. Then put 2 pins in the vent extension and line up the presser foot for a ¼” seam. Manually turn the wheel, backstitch, sew forward all the way to the edge without catching the fashion fabric, backstitch.

14)  Take out pins, Clip the lining on the other DOT edge, being careful not to trim the stitching line.

15)  The vent extension should now look like a V. Pull the lining up and look at the fashion fabric from the right side. The edges of the vent extension should overlap, Left over right. It should look perfect. Now you can decide whether you want to topstitch the vent extension. I chose not to because it looks nice and smooth just as it is. I may put in some invisible stitches to tack it down with white thread.

16)  BREATHE and PRESS the vent. YOU DID IT!!!

17)  Sew the side seams of the dress and lining, then put the lining into the dress!

18)  Viola! A lovely, professionally finished dress!

Why you should not share your designs unless you are selling them, and why you should make sure your designs do not fall into the wrong hands

Why you should not share your designs unless you are selling them, and why you should make sure your designs do not fall into the wrong hands

I will not share my designs unless someone wants me to hand-draft a copy of my pattern in one specific size and sell it to them for at least $32, because it takes at least 4 hours to properly size and draft a viable, usable pattern. It takes even longer to test it and make sure the fit is perfect, then adjustments must be made to the draft.
This being said, with all the work that goes into making your own designs and proudly showing the professional pictures you have taken of your work after you finish sewing your design, imagine how sickening it would be to find YOUR design, YOUR photos, on someone’s website, WATERMARKED AS THEIR OWN! That, my friends, is intellectual theft. People are evil enough to take screenshots or snips of designs shown on YouTube videos to use them on their websites, claiming that they can replicate the design shown. YOUR DESIGN! YOUR WORK! The best part is that once someone orders that product, the picture is no longer on their website just to make the site look good. It is now their responsibility to figure out how your pattern works, and the copycats will scramble to pull together a mediocre version of your design. This is not right, this is theft. It is ILLEGAL.
I advise upcoming designers to avoid sharing their designs, portfolios, or sketches with anyone, including potential employers or big pattern companies. Sure, Gertie got her patterns into the big leagues, but once they have your design, they OWN IT. It is NOT YOURS ANYMORE. This is especially sad since young designers work so hard, only to have their work ripped from them by a large corporation that specializes in replicating new trends. Then, they sell your pattern and design to the general public, who will appreciate what they see and what is available, but consumers will never know how much work goes into your craft.

This is why I cannot share any patterns, layouts, or sketches without a LOUD watermark that CANNOT be removed no matter how hard someone tries to photoshop it. This makes me sad, but at the same time, I will not stand for my work and my legacy being stolen from me. Only my daughters and granddaughters will have access to my designs unless purchased by consumers at a price that reflects the work I put into making the patterns and designs I have to offer. I am amazing, and my mind is overflowing with creativity. If someone wants to steal my ideas, they will have to pry them from my cold, dead brain.