No Frills by Petite Knit Pattern Review

This is my entry into the Bougie Sweatshirt Knit Along hosted by Kacie from Young Folk Knits It’s also my first finished sweater of the year. I cast this on for my birthday (and then proceeded to redo the neckline 2 more times…) and finished it at the end of February. I’m in love with the finished product, learned a lot from my mistakes, and am still amazed by the magic that is turning a piece of string into a sweater.

///The Stats///

Pattern/size: No Frills Sweater by Petite Knit in the size small

Needles used: US 2 1/2 and US 6

Yarn used: Madeline Tosh TML+Copper in the colorway Horn and Rowan Kid Silk Haze in the color Pearl

I bought this yarn last summer at a local shop when I was visiting my inlaws in Georgetown, Texas. If you’re in the area, I recommend popping into The Knitting Cup! An adorable shop with wonderful sales associates that can help you pick your yarn for your next project. I went in knowing I wanted a No Frills in a more neutral color palate and I was well guided.

As I said, I cast this on for my birthday (December 1st) and had to redo the neckline twice. Once because I tried to use a different needle size, then went ahead and ordered the size recommended, and the second time because I had trouble with the start of the German Short rows.

This sweater is a top down raglan and like the name suggests, it is pretty basic in design. The thing I’m finding with Petite Knit patterns is that though they look very simple (and a lot are!), there is great thought in putting the garment together and little details that set them a part from other patterns. I think the reason so many people love this pattern company goes beyond the brand’s aesthetic (blonde, minimalist chic?) and is because the patterns are truly well written and you end up with a lovely garment every time.

I started the pattern and then set it aside for some other projects but picked it up and worked intensely on it for most of January. After the raglan shaping, it is mostly knitting stockinette in the round, but I enjoyed the whole thing. The yarn I used is incredibly soft, and incredibly fluffy!, and just speckled enough to keep it interesting as I went through the pattern.

The only modification I made to this pattern was to increase the number of stitches that I picked up in the underarm for the sleeve by two. This just gave me a fit I prefer. If I made in the future I might lengthen the arms and body an inch or two. I like the fit now but a little more length might make it perfect for me.

The end result is a beautiful, basic sweater for my wardrobe. I do have some laddering for the short rows that I’m going to have to embrace, but otherwise I am really happy with this one. The fit is relaxed and I’m happy with the size I chose. I am wondering if I prefer a folded neckband, I think the next sweater I’m going to cast on will have this and it will be something to consider in picking patterns moving forward.

I can wear this sweater casually with jeans and also dress it up with trousers or skirts. My goal is to have it be an everyday sweater and not be too precious about it. I think I would make this pattern again when I need a basic raglan. I like the looseness of it and the sleeve shape is comfortable.

Overall I’m incredibly happy with the sweater I made and it has me excited to keep on knitting!

Closet Core Nicks Top Pattern Review

I did not do a lot of sewing this past fall and winter due to my sewing space being a part of our big remodel. Since we moved back in, I’ve been working hard to get my space organized and inspired and I’ve found myself making quite a few things. I’ve got some things I’ve made for my winter capsule that I would love to begin reviewing and sharing in this space again.

First up is this beautiful blouse. Here are the initial stats

Pattern/Version made: Nicks Dress and Blouse by Closet Core Patterns. I made version C, the more simple of the tops.

Size made: Size 6 with no alterations

Fabric used: This Rayon Twill that I bought from Style Maker Fabrics

I bought this fabric without any specific plans for it. I was drawn to the colors and also the graphic design. I don’t wear too many prints so when I fall in love with one, I tend to grab it. This is a rayon twill and it has a lovely drape while still being a bit more substantial, meaning it can hold pleats well and wouldn’t be too breezy to where during the colder months.

Closet Core Patterns has a big sale every year between Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving and I bought a few of their patterns that had been on my list for awhile. The Nicks Dress I picked up specifically for the dress. I think it would be gorgeous in a lot of different fabrics, and I loved the idea of a dress with sleeves for the spring and fall in Colorado. When I got the pattern in the mail I also had my Winter Capsule Guide from Everyday Style in front of me and one of the pieces was a ‘dressy black blouse.’ I knew I had found a perfect use for that fabric, and it also just so happened to work in perfectly with the color palette in this season’s capsule.

I chose version C. I think the peplum top would be really beautiful in the warmer months, but for this fabric to shine I decided the more simple version was the way to go. There are two size ranges for this pattern, 0-20 and 14- 32 and they rank it as an intermediate level sew. The trickiest parts would be the gathers, the facing, and the elastic. For the other versions you would also have buttons to deal with.

This came together very easily for me and I’m really happy with the final top. There is a lot of ease in this garment and it can feel like the shoulders fall forward a bit more than they are supposed to, but otherwise the fit feels good in the bust. I love the sleeves, they could possibly be lengthened but I like where these hit on me for practical use.

The fabric was a dream to work with, easy to press and manipulate, and the only modification I made to this pattern was to use bias tape on the hem. I don’t know that I love the topstitching that the facing brings to the neckline, but that is my only complaint about this pattern.

I look forward to making other versions in the warmer months and have been wearing this with jeans and my pietra pants and loving how easy it is to throw on and what a big impact it has with the bold pattern.

Knitworthy///Shawl for my Mom

Earlier this year, when I was really starting to enjoy knitting and wanting to plan ahead for a few projects, I had the idea to make my mom something for her 70th birthday. Now, I get asked a lot, “Oh could you make me…” or “Could you teach me to make…” and the answer is usually “no.”

Not because I’m a selfish, crotchety person, or not mainly because of that, but because very few are actually worthy of receiving handmade gifts. Making hand made clothes takes so much time and energy and then it needs to be taken care of once you give it away. So please know, the few that get handmade gifts from me are absolutely what I would call knitworthy and no one more so than my own mom.

My mom doesn’t knit but she does needlepoint and she’s been around me knitting enough to appreciate the time that goes into doing a craft beautifully. I wasn’t quite ready to knit a sweater for another human being yet, it feels like there’s a lot that could go wrong there?, but I thought a shawl might be the way to go.

Now, maybe you hear shawl and picture a little white haired lady with lace moon shaped garment draped over her shoulders. No shade to that lady, but shawls can be a whole lot more than that. I decided to go with the Find Your Fade Shawl by Andrea Mowry. I loved how this pattern plays with color and how it’s almost the size of a blanket. You can wear it draped over your shoulders, wrapped around like a scarf, or cozy up with it on a couch. I could just picture my mom bringing this along with her to the opera in Santa Fe and went in search of yarn.

I am still a little intimidated buying yarn, especially online, and was nervous about getting the color choices right. I searched kits for this shawl and found some gorgeous options over at Miss Bab’s. I settled on a blue, periwinkle set and absolutely love how this turned out. I loved working with the kit because you know the colors play nicely together but you can still experiment with placement and the fade itself.

As for knitting, this shawl was not difficult but the size did get a little intimidating. I was working on a deadline with my mom’s birthday coming up and I did get a little stressed that I wouldn’t make it! I love that there are plain garter sections to just mindlessly get lost in and then a fun lace section that was easy to memorize by about the third go around. It’s got me thinking having a shawl or a blanket to slowly work on all the time might be a nice idea in the future.

In the end, actually giving it to my mom was the best part. She immediately understood the love and care that went into every stitch and it looks fantastic on her! I hope she wraps herself up in it for years and celebrations to come!