Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Ruffles ~ Un jupon pour l'été

English version: click here
Version française: cliquez ici (et décochez l'autre case)

Hello, all!
Finally, pictures of my current favourite skirt to wear.

(EDIT : Seriously, what is up with Blogger pictures at the moment? They upload fine and all, and then they look all crappy and pixelly on the blog. Been going on since at least April. I'm resorting to Flickr for now, but that is not the most practical solution IMO.)

The flowery fabric is a Lecien lawn print; the bottom ruffle is linen and I love the weight and body that the stiffer linen adds to the skirt, as the lawn by contrast is thin and airy.
(Pictures taken on a walk along the River Lez)
If you want your own ruffle skirt, I wrote a tutorial a few years back.
I had a matching hat back then as well. :)


Bonjour à tou-te-s !
Voici des photos de la jupe qui est devenue ma chouchoute pour cet été.

L'imprimé à fleur est un linon de coton de chez Lecien. Le volant du bas, carmin, est en lin, et sa rigidité ajoute une bonne tenue au linon léger et fin.
(Promenade le long des rives du Lez)
Si vous voulez vous faire un jupon pour l'été, j'ai écrit un pas-à-pas (en anglais, mais avec schéma) il y a quelques années.
D'ailleurs à l'époque j'avais déjà un chapeau assorti à la jupe. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fluffy Fibers Podcast: Episode 02 - Shared Joys

In which I talk about sharing the delight of textile crafts with friends - new summer projects that make me happy - Amanda, a constantly inspiring sewing adventurer - experiencing a blissful communion of feeling with Dorothy Richardson's heroine Miriam - and the joy of starting your day with handmade, healthy and tasty granola.

You can download the episode (42:07 minutes) here, or listen directly from the embedded player below (if it works on your browser).
Here is the direct feed for the podcast, and you can also find the podcast on iTunes.

Podcast Powered By Podbean

~Episode 02 Shownotes~

Intro; 1. Projects; 2. Inspiration; 3. On my Bookshelves; 4. Something Natural, Something Seasonal.

Intro and chit chat:
- My ravelry page: KittyStitches.
- Fluffy Fibers group on Ravelry.

1.a. Sewing Projects (5:52)
- I finished my Lecien ruffle skirt in cotton lawn, and share a tip on using regular sewing thread on a serger. No pictures yet.
- I started on the Monique Dress.

1.b. Knitting projects (9:52)
- I share a formerly secret project, which initiated me to the joys of lace knitting: the 192 Yards of Heaven shawlette, in Malabrigo worsted.
- I finished Miette; it only needs blocking
- My skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino light in Baltic, a birthday gift.
Madelinetosh Light Merino in Baltic
Currently being knit into the Mothed Sweater by Mags Kandis. My Ravelry project page.
- A Malabrigo treat in Abril:
Malabrigo Sock in Abril
Bought in a darling new yarn shop in Nîmes, La fille du Tailleur.
Yarn is already being knit into Ysolda Teague's Damson shawlette.

2. Inspiration (22:35)
Amanda's Michael Kors polka dot dress - and her daughter's matching dress.
If you don't know Amanda's blog yet, do yourself a favour and go get inspired by her great taste and creativity.
(I also mention a retro polka dot dress I made in the past.)

3. On my bookshelves (26:08)
I have embarked on the reading of Pilgrimage, by Dorothy Richardson. The first novel in the series is Pointed Roofs (published 1915).
Leave a comment under this post if you wish to be entered in the giveaway for a copy of Pointed Roofs. I'll be drawing a name for the next episode, so the giveaway will close on July 4 at noon (GMT + 2 time).

4. Something natural, something seasonal (36:37)
My recipe for handmade organic granola:
Something so obvious for me that I forgot to mention it, is that this is the kind of recipe where using organic produce is definitely a must. It will taste much better, and be safer, esp. as regards the whole grains in the recipe (the husk/hull of grains being what gets most of the chemicals used in non-organic farming).
You will need:
- 300 grams / 10.5 ounces / a little less than four cups of oat flakes = oatmeal for those of you in the US
- 50 grams /1.76 ounces / 5 tablespoons of whole sesame seeds
- 100 grams / 3.5 ounces of hulled sunflower seeds
- then I use a fruit and nuts mix from my organic foodstore, which has sultanas, hazelnuts, almonds, cashew nuts. I use 250 grams / 9 ounces of it.
- 200 ml / 6.7 ounces apple juice
- 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
- optional: cinnamon and/or spice mix (cloves, ginger etc.)

Credits: Music: Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, mvt. 3 by Joseph Haydn, played by Mario Ajero.

Friday, June 17, 2011

210 Yards of Pink Hugs / 200 mètres de bises en rose

English version: click here
Version française: cliquez ici (et décochez l'autre case)

210 yards of pink hugs
J'ai voulu faire un cadeau à mon amie Julie. Comme elle adore le rose, tout a commencé avec cet écheveau...
Malabrigo Worsted in Pink Frost
... Et j'ai décidé de me lancer dans mon premier ouvrage en dentelle.

Modèle : J'ai choisi un modèle gratuit très populaire sur Ravelry, 198 yards of Heaven, qui utilise un écheveau de belle laine.
Taille d'aiguilles : US 10 - 6.0 mm
Fil: 1 écheveau de Malabrigo Merino Worsted en coloris Pink Frost ("Givre Rose"), acheté sur la jolie boutique en ligne Eat.Sleep.Knit.

210 yards of pink hugs

Le patron n'est pas conçu pour les débutants et j'ai eu du mal à démarrer (j'ai refait 6-7 fois les premier rangs...). Mais une fois que j'ai eu compris le truc, ce fut un pur bonheur du début à la fin. Ce châle s'est fait en 2 jours ! Si j'avais su, j'aurais acheté un écheveau de plus pour le faire deux fois plus grand. Mais comme j'ai acheté l'écheveau sur un site américain, et que j'allais bientôt revoir Julie, ce n'était pas possible...

Comme il me restait pas mal de fil après avoir terminé le modèle, j'ai ajouté des rangs à la bordure ; pour finir, il m'est resté à peu près 30 cm après avoir rabattu les mailles. Ouf !

210 yards of pink hugs
La couleur, rose poudré, est vraiment jolie, et convient bien je crois à Julie :)

210 yards of pink hugs
Comme toujours, la P'tite Mignonne a fourni une aide précieuse pour comprendre le modèle en dentelle et pour mettre le châle en forme.

210 yards of pink hugs
I wanted a treat for my best friend Julie. She's a lover of pink, so it all started with this skein...
Malabrigo Worsted in Pink Frost
... And I decided to dive into my first lace knitting project.

Pattern: I chose a free pattern on Ravelry that uses one skein of luxury yarn - 198 yards of Heaven.
Needle Size: US 10 - 6.0 mm
Yarn: 1 skein of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Pink Frost, bought from the lovely Eat.Sleep.Knit website.

210 yards of pink hugs

The pattern is not geared towards beginners, and was a bit tricky at first (I had to frog the first few rows 6-7 times). Once I’d figured everything out, however, it was a pure joy from beginning to end. I cannot believe how quickly this knit up! Had I known, I would have got a second skein and made it in twice the size. But since I got the yarn from an American website, and since Julie's visit was imminent, it just wasn't possible.

I did add a few edging rows as I had some yarn to spare; after binding off I was left with less than a half yard. Phew :)
210 yards of pink hugs
The colour is a lovely, subtle powder pink - which I believe is just right for Julie. :)

210 yards of pink hugs
As always, P'tite Mignonne was a tremendous help in figuring out the lace design and blocking the finished object.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A huge thank you

Hey everyone,

This will be short but I had to give a huge thank you for the wonderful response to my first podcast episode! I am blown away by all the comments and kind emails you friends sent me. I was obviously feeling a bit uncertain about it - although I did immensely enjoy recording the first episode - and your response more than encourages me to go on.
Thanks to your enthusiasm I am therefore aiming for a biweekly schedule.

Merci beaucoup for listening, and for the super kind feedback!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Introducing... my Podcast! Fluffy Fibers: Episode 01

Hi everyone!
Here's the exciting stuff I was hinting at in my previous post.
Podcasting is something I've been wanting to do for quite a while, and I am so excited to give it a go! I hope you too will enjoy this twist from my regular written blogging.
You can listen directly from the embedded player above (if it works on your browser - I am looking up better options), or download the file (32:40 minutes) here; the feed is being submitted to iTunes as I type. EDIT : here is the iTunes id.

~Episode 01 Shownotes~

Intro; 1. Projects; 2. Inspiration and Pattern Spotlight; 3. On my Bookshelves (and in my ears); 4. Something Natural, Something Seasonal.

- My ravelry page: KittyStitches.
- My friend Rebecca's blog and podcast. Many thanks (and hugs) to her for encouraging me to finally take the plunge! I wouldn't have done it without you Rebecca.

1. Projects
- My tutorial on how to make a ruffle skirt
- Lecien Fabrics
- The bias skirts from my own pattern, which was published in the One Yard Wonders book:

- One Yard Wonders Sewalong on Pink Chalk Studio.

- Miette Cardigan on Ravelry, a beautiful free knitting design by Andi Satterlund (who is not American as I say in the podcast, but Canadian! Sorry Andi).
- Rowan Belle Organic by Amy Butler (I'm using the Aran weight in the Aubergine colourway).

2. Inspiration and Pattern Spotlight
- Kim of Cotton Creek Sewing's beautiful Monique Dress.
- Serendipity Studio - designs by Kay Whitt.

3. On my bookshelves (and in my ears)
- The Librivox website
- Far From the Madding Crowd, a novel by Thomas Hardy, wonderfully recorded by Tadhg Hynes.
- The Bostonians by Henry James, a work in progress over at Librivox. This is a novel I've been re-reading as I am contributing to this project; it is not among the most popular novels by James but I recommend it for its subtle irony - and its historical interest, in the way it deals with the feminist movement in late 19th-century America.

4. Something natural, something seasonal
Recipe for a simple yet tasty courgette pasta sauce.
You will need:
- 2 courgettes/zucchinis
- 1 onion
- a few basil leaves
- (optional) wheat germ to sprinkle over the sauce
- (optional) white almond powder
- olive oil to cook the courgettes and onion in
- your favourite type of pasta :)
- Something I forgot to mention: if you are not a vegetarian, try and add some blue cheese to the sauce. It will add creaminess and lots of flavour to the sauce. Just be careful to put it towards the end of cooking the courgettes, otherwise it will melt entirely and lose some of its flavour.

Music: Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, mvt. 3 by Joseph Haydn, played by Mario Ajero.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Spring Garden Tee - Le haut Jardin de Printemps

English version: click here
Version française: cliquez ici (et décochez l'autre case)
Ce haut a été un pur plaisir du début à la fin. Le modèle et superbe et les instructions étaient très claires. Le fil de bambou est tout doux ; et par-delà le plaisir à tricoter ce haut, j'adore le porter. Grâce au fil de bambou lisse et frais, c'est une façon idéale d'être à l'aise par temps chaud tout en demeurant élégante.
En plus, le bambou est une fibre plutôt écologique grâce à ses besoins pauvres en eau et à sa vitesse de pousse. C'est vraiment idéal, non ?
Modèle : Spring Garden Tee de Alana Dakos, la créatrice de Never Not Knitting
Alana est aussi la créatrice derrière le modèle de petit châle ourlé de feuilles de cèdre, le Cedar Leaf Shawlette que j'ai fait pour ma grande soeur. J'adore son style - les motifs végétaux qu'elle inclut dans ses créations font forcément vibrer ma fibre écologique ;) Ses patrons sont beaux et très pédagogues.
Taille: J'ai tricoté la taille 28" (71 cm, la plus petite), pour obtenir une aisance négative (= un haut ajusté), et ma tension était un peu plus serrée que celle recommendée. En fait, j'avais commencé à tricoter le haut dans la taille du dessus, 32" = 81 cm, mais quand j'ai joint sous les emmanchures je me suis rendu compte qu'il était trop grand. Alors j'ai tout défait, et tout recommencé dans la taille inférieure. Il faut savoir que le bambou s'étire pas mal, donc il vaut mieux prévoir une bonne taille en-deçà de sa taille habituelle.
Fil: Origins Bambou par Bergère de France. Le bambou, c'est forcément un peu embêtant à tricoter parce que les fibres ont tendance à se diviser ; c'est particulièrement pénible pour les augmentations/diminutions, et pour la dentelle. Mais le résultat en vaut la peine je trouve. Ce haut est si doux, et légèrement satiné. La teinte, méditation, est un joli bleu ciel.
J'ai utilisé pile 5 pelotes (400 m).
Aiguillles: 3.5 mm (US 4).
Le seul changement que j'ai apporté à ce modèle, c'est l'ourlet en dentelle pour reprendre celui des manches. Je dois dire que ce n'est pas mon idée au départ : c'est en voyant qu'une tricoteuse sur Ravelry avait eu cette idée que j'ai voulu faire pareil.
J'ai rabattu les mailles en faisant des mailles serrées au crochet : c'est désormais ma méthode préférée pour rabattre les mailles, c'est stable mais quand même avec une certaine souplesse, et ça va vite !
J'ai aussi bordé l'encolure avec des mailles serrées pour un aspect plus fini.
Et puis, ma version est beaucoup plus courte que sur le modèle original : ça convient beaucoup mieux à ma petite stature de même pas 1m55.

Je n'ai pas été bien bavarde dernièrement pour cause d'emploi du temps ultra chargé. Mais les choses commencent à prendre un rythme plus humain, et je vais même bientôt partager une petite surprise bloguesque avec vous :)

This top was a joy from beginning to end. Great pattern, lovely bamboo yarn; and I cannot tell you how much I enjoy wearing this top. Thanks to the smooth, cool bamboo, it is a perfect way to remain elegant while being comfortable in hot weather. Plus, bamboo is a sustainable fibre. What's not to like?
Pattern : Spring Garden Tee by Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting
Alana is also the designer behind the Cedar Leaf Shawlette that I made for my sister. I love her style - all the plant motifs she incorporates into her designs  are bound to appeal to my green side. ;) Her patterns are beautifully laid out and very clear.
Size: I knit the 28" size to get negative ease, at a slightly smaller gauge than recommended. (I first started in the 32" but it was too big, so I started over in the smallest size).
Yarn: Origins Bambou by Bergère de France. Bamboo is bound to be splitty, which is a pain when increasing/decreasing or knitting lace, but the results are worth it IMO. This is super soft, and has a lovely sheen to it. The shade, Méditation, is a lovely powder blue.
I used exactly 5 skeins = 435.0 yards (400 m).
Needles: 3.5 mm (US 4).
I really enjoyed working on this. The only change I made was to add a lace hem as an echo to the lace sleeves.
I bound off using single crochet bind-off (now officially my favourite garment bind-off!), and finished the neckline with a single crochet edging.
Oh, and I made my version much shorter than the original - this is better suited to my petite (read short ;)) frame.

Sorry I haven't been talkative lately. The end of term has been absolutely jam-packed. Things are getting better, though, and I'll soon be sharing a little blog-related surprise with you. :)