Corvid Knits

A not-so-secret love affair with yarn

September 24, 2016
by Katherine

Astoria // Seamwork Patterns

I’m doing my best to really use my Seamwork subscription properly. I feel like there is so much potential there, it’s just a matter of actually making the things. This subscription is a solid way to build up a selection of basics and maybe learn a thing or two about construction while you’re at it.

I don’t really know what I’m aiming for most of the time. Some days I really feel like I would do well to go through the Wardrobe Architect modules and nail down my vision – other days I just want to sew fun things.

I figure getting some basics in there that probably match with most things is always a good bet. This week I decided to make up a pullover, the Seamwork Astoria.


Type: Sweater
Fabric: A sweater knit with undetermined fabric content.

Pattern Description: Cropped sweater with two sleeve length options. img_20160924_163857

Pattern Sizing: xs – 3xl. I made a large with a little shoulder modification.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Once I accounted for the too wide shoulders, yes indeed.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yup.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Likes – easy to make up, very few pieces to work with. Dislikes – the wide neckline meant that I ended up taking the shoulders in a little bit because it stretched out.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made a second pass serging the shoulders to take some fabric out.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I do have several ill fitting sweaters my mom gave to me that would be a great fit for this. I’ll see how much wear I get out of this first one though.

September 24, 2016
by Katherine

Kielo Wrap Dress // Named Clothing

A thing I’ve been doing while my fella is living away for the semester is powering through the pile of sewing projects I’ve amassed over the year. One that I’ve been really excited about is the Named Kielo Wrap Dress. The shape is really fun and I like the idea of maxi dresses, though I don’t always like them in practice.

I had bought a wacky looking knit fabric from my local fabric store – fiber content unknown, unfortunately. I went into this one without much thought and quickly realized that I had, perhaps, made a mistake in my fabric choice. There is just a little too much stretch in this and the sheer length of it doesn’t help the drag factor.

Construction wise, it was a fun one to put together. Even with the drag issue I enjoy the way it feels and will probably get a decent amount of wear out of it.


Type: Dress
Fabric: A weird knit with too much stretch!

Pattern Description: Maxi dress with an interesting shape and a tie at the waist.

Pattern Sizing: EUR 32 – 46 (US 0 – 14 / UK 4 – 18) I went with a EUR 42

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? More or less. My fabric choice was the big change factor here.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yup.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Likes – very comfortable to wear once it’s done. Dislikes – my fabric had too much stretch so it was a bit of a pain to work with.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: As always, I added a 1 inch neckband, partially so that my chest tattoo would be entirely covered, and 1/2 armbands. All of these also added a little bit of extra stability to the bodice so that things would stretch out less.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would make another using a sturdier fabric, maybe a nice thick jersey or something similar. I would recommend it for folks looking for a cozy dress that was interesting to assemble.

September 24, 2016
by Katherine

Moneta // Colette Patterns

My first order from Sprout Patterns was a partial success. The Lark Tee wasn’t my fav but the Moneta I ended up with is a delight!

For those of you who can’t get a good view of the fabric it’s a weird abstract bee and hives pattern in red and black/yellow on a grey background.

Type: Dress

Fabric: Sprout Patterns Modern Jersey 

Pattern Description: Knit dress with a fitted bodice, gathered skirt, and pockets.

Pattern Sizing: xs-3xl, I made a M with no alterations because I recalled reading a suggestion to go with a bit of negative ease for the bodice. 


Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Indeed.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Easy peasy!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Likes – a very straightforward sew-up! Dislikes – none.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None in terms of fit. But I did add a neckband because I like a slightly sturdier neck on my clothing.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I probably would, though nothing planned right now.

September 3, 2016
by Katherine

Manilla Leggings // Seamwork

Attempt one was a good experience but did not result in wearable leggings for me. I went with the large size in a scuba. The fabric was a dream to work with and it was fun to sew them up. The resulting pants did not accommodate my legs though so for the next pair I think I’ll just size the legs up to a 2xl and maybe add a little something full-butt-adjustment wise (thanks weightlifting*). These have gone to live with a friend who has a more lean lower body than me, I hope they are happy together.

(apologies for the garbage photo, it was taken just before they were given away and I had to make due with the poor lighting in my apartment. oops.)



Manilla Leggings by Seamwork

Type: Pants
Fabric: Scuba. My first foray into this type of fabric. I enjoyed sewing with it but don’t know of it is a thing I would really love to wear. 

Pattern Description: Leggings

Pattern Sizing: xs-3xl, I made a L with no alterations. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Indeed.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Easy peasy!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Likes – so quick and straightforward! Dislikes – none.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I did not make any, which was a mistake. Next time I will size up those legs. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I already have my next fabric picked out!

*Please do not take this to mean that I am complaining about the leg situation. My legs are getting so strong, which is rad, they just require a little bit of extra consideration when deciding on pattern sizes for fitted pants.

June 15, 2016
by Katherine

Lark Tee // Grainline // Sprout Patterns

So my first foray into Sprout is complete. I ordered several items; a bowtie for the fella, a Moneta because I want to have a go-to dress pattern that doesn’t make me feel like a lump, and a Lark Tee because I saw the Donut Cats fabric pattern and knew I needed it in my life somehow.

I have been making Larks since the pattern came out and I really want it to work. Based on my chest measurement I had tried making a much smaller size than I needed to suit my shoulders. I bumped up several sizes when ordering from Sprout and think I may have found something that works.


So Sprout has a really good thing going on here. If there is one thing I dislike about sewing it’s the tracing and cutting out a pattern bit. I know most folks would put taping together a PDF paper pattern at the top of the list, but I find that kind of a nice chill-out activity.


Ha, please ignore the litter box in the background. You’re never far from cats in this apartment. Cutting it out was easy-peasy and the fabric was very kind and didn’t fray or stretch out on me while I was working.


I honestly don’t know where I would wear this. It’s a bit over the top, even for me. The fella pointed out that the fabric has a strange sheen to it . . . like it doesn’t pick up shadows well when it folds. Something about it is strange, but I like it none the less. It makes me laugh every time I look at it, which is all I can hope for.

*Update. I have found that I can wear this to the gym on days when I want to make the fella laugh. It’s an active wear fabric after all!


Lark Tee by Grainline Studio // Sprout Patterns printing

Type: Top

Fabric: Performance Piqué – I picked this one in part because of the price point and in part because of it being made in the USA. I’m trying hard to cut down on my use of sweatshop labour and it’s haaaaard when buying fabrics.

Pattern Description: Slim-fit tee

Pattern Sizing: 0 – 18. I made a 12 this go round.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, this one was pretty spot on.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Easy as cake!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I’m not sure if it is the pattern or me (probably me) but I’m finding a bit of a weird fit along the shoulders . . . it’s pulling in a strange way across the front when I stand up straight.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I should learn how to use a twin needle for a cleaner finish – I usually just do a single row of stitching around sleeves, neck, etc.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This pattern is pretty great, I would say it’s a super intro into working with knits and making things with sleeves. I learn a new thing ever time I make one so I’d 100% tell folks to give it a go.


March 7, 2016
by Katherine

Things have been in a bit of a lull, creativity wise, for the past year. Turns out trying to get a business up and running again while working a part time job on top of it all really just wore me out and it’s taken a couple of months to recover.

Knitting, as of late, has been relegated to the once a week at knit night but I think I’ve gotten my mojo back. Conveniently just in time for me to be cat-sitting for my sister – a woman who has trained her cat to view all yarn as a toy that must be mauled and chewed upon. Don’t get me wrong, Dolly Parton is a nice cat generally, she just has one glaringly massive bad habit.

Sewing is taking a time out while I get my body back into some sort of consistent shape. I mean literal shape, not level of fitness (I’m still relatively fit). Over the past two months I’ve been trying to get food intolerances and my eating habits under control and that’s resulted in a slow comedown from a very swift 20 lbs gain . . . somehow all in my lower body which has made fitting into dresses hilarious at best. There have only been two major casualties and those torn seams look totally mostly reparable.

I’m taking the little break as a a chance to really define what my clothing aims are and how to go about getting there in the most sustainable/ethical way possible, a real pickle sometimes. I have a sneaking suspicion I’m going to get really into Sprout Patterns when I do start back at it. I know I have a habit of making much more icing than cake so that’s something I’m working on. It’s just a matter of convincing myself that there is a good reason to make basic skirts and blouses.



February 20, 2016
by Katherine

Curse you QuiltCon2016

So Instagram has been all “look at the quilts and the fun quilting event and doesn’t it suck that you’re stuck at home with naught but cats to keep you company?”. Why yes, Instagram, yes indeed.

I know I don’t need another quilt. We have several in good condition and in a variety of sizes. The dinosaur quilt small enough for just me that my auntie made me when I was 10, the burgundy quilt that just barely fits the top of the bed that my nan gave me about a decade ago, the moving to Toronto quilt I made in the wee hours of the morning the week before I moved. There is even a spare lap quilt in the living room that I made for the sole purpose of not having to throw away a good flannel blanket that was terribly stained (I used it as batting).

But these quilts, you guys. I want to make them so bad. So, so bad!

12744084_1008875732492094_8360913521596102907_nThis is one made by Jenn Rossotti that I’ve seen pop up in several folks accounts. The account I ended up tracking down is Me+You (by Hoffman Fabrics) and upon checking out their facebook page I might be in love a little bit.



The other one that caught my eye some time ago is the Tessellation quilt by Alison Glass. I’ve clearly gone and lost my mind over intense colour / pattern combinations and I don’t think I mind one bit.

So, under the guise of being a rational adult I’m not going to make a new quilt – yet. I have time but from what I recall of my last big quilt it’s a combination of time and money that is the tricky thing about quilts. I’m not one to half ass things so when I do make a new quilt I’m all in for making the best damn quilt.

When the fella is done school and decides on where we will live, then I will look back on this post and figure out which pattern to make and spend endless hours on the internet picking out the ideal fabric. When we start looking at a permanent residence in where ever we end up I will start the sewing. Hopefully, by the time we are ready to officially move to a new city or an actual house in our current city I will have a new housewarming quilt for us.

Until then I’ll just think about it in a way that may or may not be described as obsessive, depending on who you ask.


July 31, 2015
by Katherine
1 Comment

Pomme de pin Cardigan

I bought some yarn on my most recent trip to Vancouver. It’s outside of what I would normally have picked up but new-Katherine (as I’m calling her now) has decided to just jump in to the deep end with lots of colour and not worry about looking mature or relaxed or coordinated. While I appreciate the sense of adventure she’s decided to insert into my 30s, it’s a little stressful. New-Katherine thinks old-Katherine was kind of boring and should really be focused on finding her own distinct sense of style, and she cares not for the complaining about needing a nap because it’s all too mentally taxing.



Typically that pile of colour would send me running straight for a basic stockinette stitch pullover. “Not so,” said new Katherine, “we must pick something lacy and button up that you’ll put over all those bright dresses you have but never wear”.



I’m halfway up sleeve right now. It’s bright, but not overwhelming, and the pinecone stitch pattern is easy enough to memorize but fun enough to keep me from getting too bored. Hopefully I can get some nice sun and a picture of the progress later today.

June 6, 2015
by Katherine

Knit night socks

I don’t tend to work on anything too fun at knit night. There is always a lot of chatting and I’m usually a little bit tuckered from work earlier in the day, not ideal for my ability to focus. Lately it’s been sock time all the time. I recently finished the first of a pair, a delightful berry hued feather and fan sock. I’m starting to think I have this basic sock thing down!


The feather and fan also has the benefit of giving it a bit of stretch (thank you lace!) while breaking up the funky pooling that would happen otherwise.

The Detective is a fan, apparently. IMG_0319

May 22, 2015
by Katherine

Another bookish update

So there has been a lot of reading but not much off the reading list. I’ve fallen into two book clubs, of a sort, and can’t keep my hands off pretty much anything nice looking that crosses my path.

My fella has moved himself to another province for a while (oh, how very Canadian of us) and so we’re doing books and shows together over a distance. I picked the first one and went with Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I knew the basics of the case from some Iceland studying I did pre honeymoon and so to read a historical fiction based on it was quite interesting. Also, good to note that I still cry like a big baby at books.

Two of the dames from my knitting group decided I should join their lady author book club so I picked up a copy of Kindred by Octavia Butler yesterday. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m excited because it’s been on my to read list for years!

Outside of those I’ve read a lot of fluff and it’s been delightful. I do need to buckle down and get through some more Tolstoy this summer though. So much to read, so much time spent at work 🙁