Akleja Blanket

Akleja Blanket docksjo design

I have a new pattern. It is a wonderful squishy blanket I have knitted up two samples for us and for photography purposes. They’re just wonderful and in constant use.

Akleja Blanket docksjo design

The blanket is reversible and looks exactly the same on both sides to make it easier to use since it looks great without paying too much attention to it. It comes in 3 sizes so as to fit your particular needs and situation, the adorable baby in the pictures is almost 6 months and is playing with the smallest size, she was really fascinated by it and kept looking at it so focused on the stitches that she fell over.


Akleja Blanket docksjo design

The smallest size is a baby blanket size and the largest is a home adult sized blanket but the pattern also comes with an adjustment guide so you can change it in to any size you like, the guide also has a simple equation where you put in your numbers and it gives you a yardage estimation so you know how much yarn to get even if you are free styling the size, isn’t that great?

You can find this amazing new pattern in the store.

Alpakka leggings

paelas thigths leggings alpakka

I made a pair of leggings using some leftover red alpaca yarn. It was meant to be held double with the thicker alpaca I used for the red Saffran cardigan but in the end I only used the thicker alpaca and had this left over. I used Paelas Haverdags thighs pattern and made a 3 year size. They have a beautiful lace pattern going up on each leg that doesn’t show very well in the picture but they are really pretty and will be a great complement to all the sweaters in the chest with clothes for future children. The pattern features fold hems both at the waist and the ankles and I inserted clear elastic in the waist to ensure that they stay up despite running around and playing.

These are so nice I almost want to knit myself a pair of alpaca stockings, but knitting stockings for a pretty big me doesn’t sound that fun. Have you made anything like this in adult size?

Work in progress

As you probably know I’m working on a collection of baby/toddler wear, these are a few of the things I’m working on.

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The decision of focusing on baby wear came as a side track, but a love it and it will probably stay for a while. Everything is tiny, cute and there is always the challenge of making everything comfortable as well as functional. Did you know babies have really big heads and making tops go over the head without having an unhappy baby can be a bit of a challenge? The photo sections are also very interesting, if you happened to pick a good day, you have a laughing baby for a full hour of changing clothes and snapping photos, it the best day in the world. If it’s a bad day the newly ironed clothes gets vomited all over before we even get in to the shooting set up, but it is wonderful not knowing and working with what you have at the moment.

What you can see in the pictures, apart from the adorable model and child of a friend, is Akleja Blanket currently in pattern testing, Maskros T-shirt a 60’s inspired top, Tussilago Trousers adorable pleated trousers for everyday wear and Dagmar.

Hanna top

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I pattern tested for Wardrobe by me Patterns for you just before christmas and made this top, The pattern is now released and is the hanna dress but I made it shorter as a top. I made it in organic cotton jersey with 6% elastane that I got from my sister in law for my birthday. This top has a few fit issues that she should have resolved in the final pattern, the main one being that this turned out more like a maternity top then a normal sweater due to the low back and high bust for the bodice that tilt the skirt forward. It is incredibly comfortable and I love the yoke detail and will definitely use it again for other tops and dresses.

I’m thinking of putting this in storage for a future pregnancy (If we are blessed) but I have been meaning to do so for almost a month now but it is so comfortable that I just keep use it. Do you have any suggestions?

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Sustainable Friday | Veggie bags

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Living sustainable isn’t expensive, mostly it is about not buying, using and storing things you don’t need. Todays tips is to not use the disposable bags when buying fruit and vegetables. We have for the past couple of years used reusable ones that I made from scrap fabric. For me it was important that the bags where light, easy to close and didn’t take much space in my already overflowing backpack. I decided to only use leftover bits of fabric, only using leftovers restricted the size of the bags: some are square others more triangular and one is a tiny sort of triangular that is perfect to keep all the other bags in when they’re not used.

How to make the bags
– Cut out 2 mirrored pieces of fabric or one pice with a mirror plane.
– Sew with a straight stitch 7 mm or 1/4″ from edge so as to enclose all but one side.
– Cut the corners and press the seam open then fold it the other way and pin so that the cut edge in toward the inside. Sew again with a straight stitch this time 1 cm or 3/8″ from edge on the same edges as before. You have now made a french seam.
– Choose whether you want the french seam on the outside or the inside and press the bag accordingly.
Sew 2 buttonholes on the centre on one side of the opening 4 cm from edge, if your fabric is fragile you can add a patch or interfacing behind the button hole to reinforce them.
– Press the opening edge down 1 cm and then 2 cm to create a double fold, pin down. Sew a strait stitch along the entire opening just inside 2 cm.
– Thread elastic or cord through the first buttonhole past the second all the way around and through the second one this way there is a small overlap, cut the elastic/cord a little longer then opening and tie the ends together. To close the bag simply pull the string no knots needed.

Veggie bag docksjo design

At first I tried to make them approximately the same size that the disposable bags in the store are but using leftovers the size ended up being a bit different, some big other small and after using them for some time I love that they are all different sizes because I have a few small bags for raisins and dried mango, medium sized for onions and tomatoes, little larger for zucchini and cheese and big ones for potatoes, apples, oranges and bread.

You don’t have to wash them between every use, only when needed but you do want to wash them before you use them the first time if you haven’t already washed the fabric before. Fabric is often treated with things you don’t want near your food. Everything doesn’t need its own bag if you are buying one or two onions you don’t need a bag for that, but 20 oranges can be a little difficult for the cashier to manage quickly and easily so a bag is of better use for that.

Veggie bag docksjo design

Good luck with your continual improving sustainable home. If you have tips on smart solutions please leave a comment.

2016 Calendar

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I made a calendar this morning. I wanted a calendar to cross off my daily 15 minutes and thought that you might be interested as well. It is a plain calendar with week numbers and the dates to help you keep track for something or maybe just the week numbers. I use mine for exercise which is a bit of a challenge for me and I hope that this will help me a little, but you can use it for anything. It is in Swedish if you are wondering why I spelled January wrong, etc.

Download Calendar 2016

Holiday break knitting

With the new year coming I wanted to get a fresh start with my knitting and dug out my 3 long time work in progress to try and get at least one finished before the new year. I didn’t finish but I did make some progress. I have 3 projects in progress: my bohus sweater, a pair of kaprifol socks and the colour work cardigan I started this summer. All of these are for me and I have spent all my knitting time on new designs for the past months and these have had the back seat, but now that Peter is on Christmas break my motivation to work drained and I started looking towards my WIPs.

Bohus tröja

The bohus sweater got stuck because I needed to rip out the entire body and re knit quite a lot, it was a little tight to begin with and I have since then gained some weight. So I ripped it out and have knitted around and around on tiny needles and it goes quite well. I’m almost ready to start the ribbing on the body and have long since used up the curly yarn from the first version of the body and dug a big hole in a new cake of yarn. I’m afraid that I might have made it a little too loose this time, in fear of making it too tight but I’m not re knitting it again without a knitting machine. The yoke is so pretty and it makes me happy to work on it and imagine that I might have a spectacular sweater in a few months if I keep at it.

Kaprifol socks docksjo design

Kaprifol socks: these have been going with me on the bus, I don’t take the bus very often so the progress is slow but I’m now at the toe for the first sock and I long to have a new pair of socks in my drawer. I have said a few times that I don’t like wool socks that much and in my old gortex winter boots  that was true, but now in my new organic wool lined leather boots wool socks are the best. They are very warm and I haven’t been cold this year yet, so my feet get too hot and sweaty with cotton socks but wool socks keep my feet perfect.

The last project is my Oddvars penestre kofte, this is a beautiful colour work cardigan, but I regret my yarn choice and don’t know what to do with it, do I start over in another yarn or continue?

Say No to fast fashion | step 4 Going forward

Say No to fast fashion

Don’t try and change your entire wardrobe over night, the point of this was to be sustainable as well as to curate the perfect wardrobe for you. Make changes slowly, try to make everything new you make your new favourite and don’t forget to make those basics that keep the spectacular pieces going. Find the holes in your wardrobe and fill them one at the time. Try not to over stuff one section e.g. lots of dresses but nothing to wear them with. How much clothes do you actually need and instead of overstuffing your own wardrobe try to make a few special things for your loved ones, there is nothing that says I love you as much as a hand knit sweater.

How much clothes do I actually need not to run out of tops between laundry and still feel appropriately dressed and comfortable on lots of regular occasions.

I think my ideal is

  • 5 pairs of black leggings (only have 2 at the moment)
  • 3 sets of pyjamas (perfect)
  • 3 sets of active wear; 1 summer, 1 transitional, 1 winter
  • 7 tops and blouses mostly short sleeved – 3/4 sleeved
  • 3 shorts (perfect)
  • 2 trousers (This is something I’m imagining, I haven’t owned trousers for years)
  • 3 skirts; 2 warm 1 summer (perfect)
  • 2 light cardigans (perfect)
  • 2 medium warm cardigans (I have plenty, 4 regularly used and a few more, I love to knit sweaters)
  • 2 very warm cardigans (I often wear them layered with thinner ones)
  • 2 winter dresses; wool, cotton velvet (I have 1 that on it’s last run)
  • 4 transitional dresses (this category is good)
  • 2-5 fancy dresses with matching bowtie for Peter, one needs to be black (perfect, you might only need 2 but I love to make them and we always aim for spectacular when we get a wedding invitation or baptism comes along)
  • 1 dress coat (this is still on my list to make)
  • 1 rain coat (I have one but it’s not the best of rain coats)
  • 1 pair of rain trousers (could do with some)
  • 1 winter coat (thanks mom for the amazing coat you gave me)
  • 1 transitional coat (perfect)
  • 5 bras at least 5 well fitting (could do with a few more)
  • 2 slips (I have one in pale blue and a black would be a nice addition)
  • 4  tank tops for layering in winter, preferably merino (I have 3 cotton)

When working from home as I do, I normally wear leggings and a top of some sort usually something that is no longer nice enough to wear out. In one way it feels good to really use those old favourites until there is nothing left of them, On the other hand it would be good to be representable enough to answer the door if someone comes. I think that it is reasonable to be able to go 2 weeks between washes without running out of something nice to wear, we have the luxury of having our own washing machine something that definitely is a luxury where we live, but we just couldn’t go 3 weeks between washes only to have someone steal your time. Our kind parents ended up buying one for us.

This was written a few weeks ago and all the old and slightly misshapen tops went out the door, I only want to wear nice things and always wants to be representable.  This change feel so good now that it is done, so good.

Don’t make garments, make outfits

What I mean is to think of the piece that you want to make as a part of the whole wardrobe. What are you going to wear it with, is it practical for the season you are planing to use it in and so on. Having a colour theme have made this so much easier for me. You’re not left with a green blouse and a non coordinating green skirt at the end of the week since you have easy matching clothes and most, if not all coordinate. It takes time to coordinate your wardrobe I have been working on it for a couple of years. It is close now and I love to get dressed in the mornings. I have my black skirt and my forest green cardigan (current favourite) and all my blouses goes with it, it is wonderful.

This is not intended to offend anyone I hope that this might enable you to think about your habits and how you want to go forward. It might be a time in your life when making all the new pretty things is what’s filling your cup, it certainly was what made me keep going a few years ago fighting depression. If you are in that situation just go for it, having some feel good time is so important. Writing this series have been a great experience for me. I have been thinking about this for some time now but writing it all down has been really good for me, to question what I think vs. know and to go through my shopping habits.

Ornament Make Along

Ornament Make Along

I want to make christmas ornaments this year and thought that some of you might be interested in joining in (I hope.)

I’m going to be posting some inspiration posts here and then have some sort of link party at the end. I think that making ornaments can be fun to do as a holiday craft so the end date for the Link party will be in the beginning of January. So there is no rush, I just want to enjoy making pretty little things during this time of the year. We don’t have a christmas tree or rather, we have a tiny one in a pot, living in the city makes buying and disposing of a tree a bit difficult so we only have a tiny in a pot that lives on the balcony the rest of the year. For me it won’t be about decorating the tree, it already has 8 glass hearts in the smallest size I could find and there isn’t room for more, so the decorations will probably hang in the curtains instead.

If you want to join in use the hashtag #OrnamentMakeAlong and leave me a comment so I know there is someone more then me doing this. I think it will be really fun and have already started by cutting out grainline studios’s narwhal pattern.

I made a ravelry group with an inspiration board and a pintrest board filled with different DIY project for the holidays. I hope you enjoy this little project.

Say No to fast fashion | step 3 Recognise what doesn’t work

Go through your fails and pin down the reason for why it doesn’t work for you, all the things that only take space in your wardrobe and makes you uncomfortable when you think of them. I think that you deserve to feel good about yourself, your style, your clothes, your body and that the clothes that weigh on your conscience could go to someone else who might love and use them. Trading clothes with friends is wonderful, my old choir used to have days a few times a year where everyone brought the stuff they don’t use and some food, we all eat together in someone’s smallish apartment. There was the display show sort of like an auction where all the dresses would be shown and the size and then we had a fitting section all walking around in our underwear trying on stuff. If several persons wanted the same thing the one it looked best on got it and being caring persons, making sure that everyone found something was in everybody’s interest. We had a great time, got a few new things and left all that remained to the nearest charity shop. I highly recommend getting together and swapping away, being so many at a time required some organisation, only taking one category at a time, (accessories, jackets, dresses, trousers… ) but being 15-20 gave an amazing opportunity of finding some amazing stuff (once there was a pink 1960s silk chiffon dress fully lined and boned), and there was a few garments that made it trough half of the choir in a few years time.

For me what doesn’t work are

  • pencil skirts
  • low necklines; I just don’t feel comfortable
  • tight sleeves
  • cropped cardigans and sweaters
  • raglan sleeves on sweaters and cardigans
  • dresses without waist shaping
  • bodices without back neck darts or yoke shaping
  • bright red, I love it but it always fails when it comes to wearing it

Me made may Belcarra blouse and Pencil-skirt

Pinning down why something doesn’t work is really important when trying to prevent the same mistake from happening again.

As a maker it can be difficult to picture how something is going to look on you, but there is one way of getting a taste. Go and try a bunch of things on in a clothing store, there is no need to actually buy something but I think it can be amazing to go and try things you normally wouldn’t wear to see how a shape or colour looks on you. It is an opportunity to reflect on style and shape, and if you feel the urge to buy something: wait a week and see if you still want it in a weeks time.