Blocking Acrylic Yarn: You Can and You Should

I admit that I can be a bit of a yarn snob and really only like to work with wools and other natural fibers.  I just don’t like how acrylic feels under my fingers and I can usually knit a sweater with a basic wool like Knit Picks WOTA for less than the cost of lunch out for me, I don’t even bother with acrylic.

That said, I sometimes have to reach for an acrylic or a blend every now and then for specific projects like this cowl.  I found a really amazing stitch that I thought would make a pretty cool cowl or gaiter and went about figuring out how to knit it in the round.  After about 3 inches into the project, I realized that I’d have to block this sucker and it would be a bit harder than just soaking it and laying it out on a towel in the corner of the living room.

Let’s look at the before.  It’s cute but not at all what I envisioned.

I dampened the cowl slightly and pinned it to my ironing board and got my iron ready.  To merely block the cowl, turn on the steam (or use a garment steamer but mine has somehow grown legs and walked off a couple of weeks ago.  My house is not that big; there are only so many places it can hide but I can’t find it anywhere…)  You want to hover over the piece WITHOUT touching the iron to the piece.  You don’t want to melt your piece to your iron.  I don’t know what would be worse – messing up your iron or messing up the piece you just spent hours making…  Pat your piece into place.  If I have areas of texture like this guy, I like to pinch the areas that need a little more definition.

Blocking Acrylic Yarn
I’m hovering over the piece without touching the iron to it.

Now let it cool and dry overnight.  Look at how that opens up the work, evens everything out and just finishes off the piece!

If you want to KILL your piece, (that term is just so scary but the process is pretty painless), you can place a piece of fabric between your iron and gently touch the iron down on the piece.  I do not put any weight on the piece but tap and lift, tap and lift.  “Killing” the yarn removes the elasticity from it and makes it permanent (by essentially melting the yarn slightly).  You get a much softer and gentle drape to the finished piece by killing it.  Killing your finished piece gives it more of a commercial, “store bought” feel so keep that in the back of your head when you’re knitting for those tweens or older kids who are too cool to be caught dead wearing something homemade (even though the stuff we all make is WAAAAYYYYYYY cooler than anything you can get in a store…)


Call for Testers: The Dadaïsme Dress

Squeee!  I can’t believe how excited I am to introduce The Dadaïsme dress!  Inspired by the Dada sketches on the side panel of prototype dress, this high style dress features a center panel that extends all the way to the hem and pleated side panels that give shape and fullness.  It would look great in a simple solid, color blocked or patterns.Dadaism-0034 Dadaism-0045 Dadaism-0056 Dadaism-0057 Dadaism-0061 Dadaism-0062 Dadaism-0064

Unlined, The Dadaïsme Dress has a simple button and loop closure in the back.  Whip up one in under 2 hours.

Use poplin or lawn for a warm weather dress or in a wool suiting for cooler temperatures.  Sized 12m to 12y.









The Call is closed.  Please check back as we will soon have a pattern ready for you!

FREE Tropisch Dress Sewing Pattern!!!

A staple of any summer wardrobe should be a simple shirt style dress.  Last summer we were in Alabama and everyone was wearing shift dresses.  A lovely woman we met while dining on schnitzel under a giant rocket explained that everyone wears dresses because it’s the least amount of fabric touching your body.  It’s resting on your shoulders but then just sort of skims the rest and hopefully you’ll get a bit of breeze and keep as cool as possible.


I decided Girly needed a few shift dresses in her life.  And the more “tropical” the print, the better!  I love the center embellishment to break up the flat plane of the front.  You can stay thrifty or you can find crazy expensive trim.  The yellow flower trim was from one of the local big box stores for super cheap.  I ironed on some fuseable bonding web (stitch witchery) and then painstakingly poked each and every hole out between the flowers before ironing it to the front of the dress.  Time consuming but so worth it!

The Tropisch Dress FREE Sewing Pattern

This free pattern is only available in sizes 3-6 for now.  I will draft more sizes in between other projects as I get time.

Grumpy child wearing retro dress


BTW, Girly was “in a mood” on the day I needed photos for this dress and I got a total of one.  One grumpy image.  She likes the second and third dresses from this pattern I made for her so hopefully I’ll be able to come back and edit this post with more images very soon!

Call for Testers: The Picknick Dress

Our newest pattern is here just in time for warmer weather.  The Picknick Dress features a full button front, ruffle collar and ruffle sleeves and POCKETS!  The skirt hits just above the knee and is perfect with a petticoat underneath or without for a more casual day dress.  What a perfect little outfit to run to the grocery store, then the playground and then the park for a summer picnic!  Easy to move in, yet perfectly pulled together.

Sizes range from 12m to 12y.

Testing will begin on Monday April 4th and end Thursday April 14th.  Testing places an emphasis on fit and quality of our written instructions.  Testers need to have at least 2 posed and styled images that highlight the dress by the end of testing.


The Picknick Dress Sewing Pattern
The Picknick Dress Sewing Pattern

The Picknick Dress Sewing Pattern

The Picknick Dress Sewing Pattern

The Picknick Dress Sewing Pattern


Our first BOY pattern! Testers needed!

Tester (1 of 2)

€ (we call him “E Money” and thought it would be funny to write it like the Euro sign) has been asking me to make him something one of these days.  We’ve all been couped up in the house this winter break and I decided it was the perfect time to make him something boyish and simple.  His favorite color is lime green and picked out the charcoal and green knit jersey and requested the funny little green gussets in the underarm.  I think they’re the perfect little shot of color in an unexpected place.

The collar is simple with a facing that leads to the button (or snap in our case) placket.  The fit is slim but has enough ease to run and play and stretch (without looking sloppy or bulky).

Testing for sizes 6mo-12 yr.  You will need approximately 1yd of cotton jersey or interlock and .25 yrd cotton interlock or jersey for the accents.

I will starting testing this pattern on 1-11-15.


Tester (2 of 2)