Sister Gift – Charlie Caftan

My sister has had a shitty year. When her birthday came around I really wanted to make her something beautiful. While we were on vacation in Hawaii I hit up a local fabric store chain Discount Fabric Warehouse with the mission of finding caftan appropriate fabric for my sister.

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I was able to find a ton of cotton or cotton/poly blend fabrics, but the apparel options were tucked away against the wall. There were only about 20 options in rayon so I selected the print I though suited Kat best. She and I have very different taste when in comes to color. She inherited olive skin that tans easily and looks great in reds, oranges, and other warm colors.

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I wasn’t able to finish her dress before her birthday, but I was able to surprise her at our family reunion. I think she likes it!

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I used the Charlie Caftan pattern from Closet Case Patterns. I made a version for myself last year and found the insert extremely annoying to install. However, this time around everything went really really smooth.

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I measured my sister a few months ago and she easily fit into the size 20. I probably could have sized down, but a caftan is forgiving. I went extra dramatic with the deep sleeves and the only alteration I made was to lower the inset 1 inch so she had plenty of boob room.

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I think she looks absolutely fabulous in her new caftan and I hope she’ll be able to enjoy wearing it through the heat of summer and maybe even on her annual trip to Burning Man. I can’t take away all the crap life is throwing her, but I love my little sister.

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Sibella Sweater

Nothing says July like a hand knit sweater! Right? Right?

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Well to be fair I finished this sucker back in April when our morning temperatures were still slightly cool.

This is my new Sibella Sweater, a pattern I’d had in my knitting queue for 6 years! Of course for 4 of those years I was pregnant and/or nursing so pullover styles didn’t have a good place in my life. As a dress wearer, I’ve always struggled to incorporate this style. However in the last year I’ve made a few skirts and a pullover sweater works with skirts really really well.

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I started knitting this, but as often happens when I’m knitting in the round my gauge went wonky. Riiiiipppppp, start again.

Ultimately I used a size 38″ as my starting point and added extra stitches for the hips. Considering my bust is 42″ I expected the sweater to be kind of close fitting, but is ended up skimming more than form fitting in the front. The negative is the back bags out badly.

How to fix this? Well, I think in the future when I split for the sleeves I’ll put more stitches in the front and fewer in the back. This had been my plan, but for some reason I chickened out when the moment came. I’ll claim exhaustion from knitting late in the evening.

Probably partly because of the fit issues this sweater slides back on my shoulders over the day until it is choking me 😦 So much work put into it and it’s uncomfortable to wear.

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I’m sure I’ll wear it anyways because this sweater is just so pretty. And it is light enough to wear around the office without over heating. Plus I used some long stash lingering yarn and it would be a shame to see it unloved. I used Hermosa Fiber Company’s Hermosa Sport in the color Always A Bridesmaid. Hermosa has since stopped dying yarn which also makes this sweater a symbol of the changes in the yarn industry.

Several years ago there were lots of local yarn stores, but over the years they have closed down due to rising rents, competition from online retailers, and the yarn craze starting to wane. New yarn dyers come along all the time and it is hard to stay current in the world of fangirls and fanaticism. For some businesses the work just isn’t worth it. I can’t blame them. However I do love pulling those much loved skeins from my stash and knitting them into beautiful garments. Hopefully my current project will have a better fit.

Anyone know how the Canadian v. USA tariff situation will affect the yarn industry?