14
Dec
2015
0

rabid speed demon monkey

in perfect accordance with the recent upward spiral of events, i have yet another happy surprise to share!

my astonishingly popular speed knitting classes are back!

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i’ve partnered with the lovely folks at wet coast wools to offer a thoroughly improved version of my class. we’ll be going through three weeks’ worth of updated insider secrets on what it means to be a rabid speed demon monkey knitter like me, and how you can become one too! it’s loads of fun and only occasionally riddled with bad jokes and my trademark finnish awkwardness!

there’s only a couple of spots left for the first cycle beginning in january, so head on over to the sign-up page to secure your seat! and while you’re waiting for january, there may just be a sneak peek video up on my instagram too!

i expect to see you all next year for some serious speed knitting action!

6
Dec
2015
0

post-traumatic dress

out of all the many faces i’ve been known to have, this is my HOLY-SHIT-I-MADE-A-DRESS-AND-I’M-CLEARLY-WEARING-IT-WHAT-THE-FOOK-IS-GOING-ON-I’M-ENORMOUSLY-EXCITED-BUT-ALSO-A-LITTLE-SCARED face.

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yeah, something truly bizarre is going on here. i’ve never made a dress and have rarely been seen sporting one. i’m a die-hard pants-and-a-t-shirt kind of girl. or no-pants-and-an-oversized-sweatshirt kind of girl, to be more exact. so imagine mine and everyone else’s astonishment when out of all the things one could move on to after a few wikstens and two alder shirt dresses (of which i will eventually make a big public hoohaa, i promise), i picked this butterick 6086 dress pattern and then just made it. like no biggie. fully lined, you know, with no raw seams anywhere, and gathers, and POCKETS.

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and WTF is that headband thing there? with golden leaves and shit? I LITERALLY NEVER.

i also now own a pair of heels that are covered in GOLD GLITTER. i can’t take a picture of them because my camera would spontaneously self-combust due to all that GOLD GLITTER. did i mention the GOLD GLITTER? GOLD GLITTER, ANYONE?

i’m moderately certain the only reasonable explanation for this is the fact that after all the aneurysm-inducing traumatic crap i’ve had to endure this year my body’s in some kind of reboot mode. like “dude genetically you’re a girl and you’re still alive and doing well enough so how about you just go forth and procriate or whatever but not with babies but with like girly things and self-confidence and shit.”

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i picked up this fabric from my go-to fabric haven, spool of thread. it’s a luxurious cotton sateen from kokka fabrics – devastatingly expensive but so lovely to work with that money simply loses its meaning. for the lining i used a cheap black cotton voile from dressew with a side of their exquisitely bad service, but i knew what i was getting into so can’t complain too much there. i was tempted to get something more slippery for the lining to make the skirt drape better, but decided to make things easier for myself by picking 100% cotton so the two layers would be easier to sew.

i made the smallest size and only had to tweak the bodice a little by lowering the waistline by an inch, taking in the shoulders a bit and losing a little excess fabric in the upper back as well as the boobage area. to answer everyone’s most pressing question, YES THE GIRL WHO DOESN’T SWATCH MADE A MUSLIN. i’m as scared as you are. thanks to the mods the fit is almost perfect, apart from those weird front shoulder puckers and a bit of wrinkling at the back armholes, although the front puckers didn’t appear until after having had the dress up on a hanger for two days, so i feel like that must have stretched the neckline somehow. but with just a few more tweaks i can just keep using that same bodice for ALL THE DRESSES because switching the skirt portion to different lengths and shapes is almost guaranteed to be an easy enough thing to do.

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this dress also called for inserting the longest zipper i’ve ever worked with, which was rather daunting at first because the pattern instructions were completely unintelligible and i had no idea whatsoever what they we’re wanting me to do. but i took a deep breath, put on some ride the lightning and just did it in a way that made sense to me – which was to sandwich it between the two layers of fabric with the raw edges folded inside and then just baste and sew. it’s not super neat but it successfully holds a dress together and again has all the raw edges hidden inside so i’m absolutely calling it a success. what you also might not see in the picture above is how perfectly the colour of the zipper matches the birds. the birds are not black. they’re very very very dark purple. and somehow i managed to find a very very very dark purple zipper. it’s just sheer perfection all over.

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but perhaps the most important thing about this dress is that i already wore it to the outside world and got all the free drink tickets much warranted compliments for it at our office christmas party last week. wait. no. that’s a lie. the most important thing about this dress is that i’ve already ordered enough fabric to make two more dresses. then there will be nothing but dresses. dresses. dresses. heels. nailpolish. heels dresses headbands earrings HEELS DRESSES DRESSES DRESSES LIPSTICK HANDBAGS DRESSES PLEASE HELP ME

many thanks to ashley for the photos!

28
Nov
2015
1

pomme de pin

if my emelie was a desperate attempt to appear conventional, this next piece of westian colourplay was the much-needed woolly counter-offensive to put all that beige back in its place.

GET IN THE CORNER, BEIGE, AND DO NOT SPEAK UNLESS SPOKEN TO.

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the pomme de pin by amy christoffers is a divinely wearable sportweight cardigan that, when finished, looks and feels as heavenly elevating as any knitted item should. sadly, the pattern itself is easily one of the sloppiest pieces of garbage i’ve seen in my many years of knitting. don’t try this at home unless you’re fine with re-working size calculations, trudging through errors and missing information, and generally having no idea if you’re anywhere near the right track as you go.

but you know, if you’re into that sort of BDSM and get through it somehow, then you’ll have a sweet cardigan, and some bragging rights, i suppose. only yours is not going to be as obnoxiously pink as mine because I OWN THIS COLOUR.

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thanks to the lovely allover pinecone lace pattern, this is one of the very few instances where a mad tosh yarn didn’t need to be alternated between skeins. the lace is open enough to spread out any dyelot differences and dilute the overall chance of pooling or striping – which, along with the notorious bleeding of dye, we as a community generally allow for this particular brand with an angelic song in our hearts, because the colours are just so magnificent. as someone with a rather weighty history in being disastrously anal about quality i feel like it’s quite the feat for a brand to successfully maintain the loyalty and amazement of half the planet despite so many things going directly against them. but  as we all surely know, being spectacularly beautiful has a tendency to make people overlook coinciding jerkface personality traits. which is kind of sad for us ugly people.

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once enough time has passed for me to forget how much i hated making this cardigan, i’m going to make more. in a gazillion other colours. an entire rainbow! and never once shall i alternate, out of principle, because us ugly people win at integrity, and also life.

much thanks to miss ally for the photos!

click here for more project details

18
Nov
2015
2

channa

OMG YOU GUYS. IT’S HERE.

it’s been debilitatingly hard not to say anything about this. seriously. i’ve had to do some pretty mean kegels here not to spill the premature beans. but today’s the day when this magnificent piece of news goes public!

the new twist collective winter issue was published today, and you will be pleasantly surprised to find my brand new sweater pattern there.

SAY WHAT?

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the channa sweater started out as an attempt to make the sweater i knew i wanted but couldn’t find anywhere. i wanted it to be casual enough to be thrown on for errands, but with potential to dress it up if necessary – basically the sweater that’s good for anything, kind of like that one perfect, magical pair of shoes you can wear with everything without thinking of colours or pant lenghts or weather conditions, except those shoes don’t exist, but this sweater does. thanks to me. you’re welcome.

then there was planning, and scheming, and lots of fumbling and frogging and researching at the national what-in-god’s-earth-am-i-doing library, and eventually this sweater emerged, and then the lovely people at twist were like, “yo liisa, let’s dance”.

and i was like, “cool”.

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named after a very dear friend of mine, channa is made with a soft, DK weight alpaca blend from the fibre company, which is simply divine for winter layering, and has a magnificent sheen to it while still being simple and rustic. if you’re feeling adventurous, i imagine a lofty fingering-weight would work really well too. be sure to check your gauge though, which is not something i really ever do, but you should, because you’re smarter than me (they say).

head over to twistcollective.com for some gasp-inducingly positive comments from none other than clara parkes herself, and ravelry for more photos! and once you get makin’ be sure to tag your progress with #channasweater so i can stalk you!

that’s it! class dismissed. teacher needs to go eat ALL OF THE CAKE.

(all photos courtesy of and with much thanks to twist collective & crissy jarvis)