Saturday, February 27, 2016

03/52 - a beanie hat for another

I wanted to acknowledge that I have been a bad, bad blogger.  Work and life have gotten in the way of documenting my progress here (though I have been keeping up on Instagram).  C'est la vie.

For most of my crafting life, I've been a a selfish crafter.  Not everyone I know is craft-worthy!  So part of this year's list is to make stuff for other people.  I've realized I enjoy the process almost as much as the finished object (occasionally more!), so this should be an interesting experiment for myself.

Project 03/52 is the simple snug hat by Sarah Hatton.  It took very little time to make - I want to say an hour, but I can't remember now!  For sure I started and finished the same day.  Very straight-forward knit (would be great for a beginner who wanted to learn decreases) and only takes one skein of Rowan Big Wool (or comparable chunky yarn).  It's knit flat and then a seam is sewn up the back.  I like that construction, but if you don't, you should easily be able to convert to knitting it in the round.  I'm not a huge fan of pink, but know someone who is and thought she would enjoy it.  I made it in January and still haven't had a chance to give it to her, but I'll report back after I do.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

02/52 - St. Germain beanie

A couple years ago, Anthropologie had a hat on their site called the St. Germain beanie.  I immediately fell in love with the style - a spiral design with beads - and decided to recreate it using Paton's classic roving in a sunshine yellow (minus the beads - I'm not really a bling kinda gal).  I love that thing!  At the time, I wrote up some notes with the idea to publish a pattern and then got busy with life and let it sit.  Cut to now and I decided to do just that.  I bought another skein of Paton's classic roving and test knit my notes (and recreated part where I just figured I would remember what I did - oy, when will I learn?). 

So, project 02 of 52 is the test knit of a pattern I'll be publishing on ravelry soon!  My friend, Sandra, was the first to say she wanted it when I posted a pic on Facebook, so the sample will be hers (or she can pic any color she likes and I'll knit her one because she's knit-worthy like that).

Here's a pic of the latest version (there are two lengths - one is skull cap length and this one is floppy beanie):

01/52 - Noro Cardigan (Design 16)

I finished the first two projects on my list last weekend and have only just had a chance to sit down and blog about them.

The first project of the year was Design 16 from Noro Collection #3 by Jenny Watson .  I used Noro Kureyon sock in shade 220.  I'm a fan of Noro and their colorways, but the Kureyon sock was rustic feeling (which I like) and thick and thin.  I happen to love that about their yarn, but others prefer to knit with something softer.  I was able to match the fronts and the sleeves, but it wasn't easy.  A couple of my skeins had knots where the colors would make a sudden change and I had to get creative to keep things matched.  Pretty irritating for a yarn that isn't cheap.

No matter, for all the stockinette and ribbing on teeny tiny needles, I love the end result.  It will, however, be awhile before I knit a sweater with such small needles again (in fact, I may have something going on size 15s as a palate cleanser).

Here is the finished product - I just need to pick out the buttons and sew them on before I wear it.

I have plans to make a Burda a-line skirt in denim to go with it.  I think it will be very Boden-esque!

Sunday, January 03, 2016

52 Projects in 52 Weeks - Handmade Wardrobe edition

About a year and a half ago, I challenged myself with a project called, "52 projects in 52 weeks" in order to get over a crafting slump (and finish some UFOs I had laying around at the same time).  I ended up completing the projects in nine months (bit of an over-achiever here).  At that time, I took some time off from posting daily outfits and FOs on Instagram and Facebook because I wanted my next project to be purposeful and a tiny bit planned (enough with the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants crafting!), which brings us to the beginning of 2016 and the idea I had for my next project: 52 projects in 52 weeks - handmade wardrobe edition.

The idea is just as simple as it sounds: I am going to make 52 projects over the course of the next 52 weeks (aka all of 2016) that will be incorporated into my wardrobe (I might throw a few pieces in for my boyfriend because he's pretty awesome and craft-worthy). 

Some backstory: a lot of my wardrobe is already handmade by me, so this isn't some unattainable idea I have (where would be the fun in that?).  I always tell people, "Set yourself up to succeed, not to fail."  And that is what I am doing here.

The idea for me is to make the things I need in my wardrobe rather than buy them.  I've needed a new winter coat for the last 3 years, so that was a natural.  I also need a new raincoat.  And so on and so on, etc., etc.

Here is a sneak peek at the list I'm putting together.  I fully expect this will change organically over the course of the year and after my last challenge, I do not expect to end up keeping everything I make (sometimes the idea of something is better than the reality).  Either way, I look forward to the challenge and hope you'll join me on this journey.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Easy Peasy Gumdrop Necklace

Got a couple minutes to spare?  All you need is some organdy ribbon, wooden beads (I went for the colorful ones) and a few minutes.

Got a couple minutes to spare?
Cut a length of 45" off the organdy, arrange the beads how you want them (I start in the middle with the biggest and then balance them out with the smallest on the ends).  Go until you run out of beads or ribbon, then knot the ends together (trim if necessary) and voila`! Finished necklace.

Easy peasy necklace.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hemlock Tee - a review

It's been nearly a year since Grainline released their free pattern for the Hemlock Tee and I just made my first one.  I was so impressed with the pattern that I decided to write a review for it.

Full disclosure: I've made several downloadable patterns from various independent pattern makers and aside from one bit of user error (more on that below), the Hemlock Tee has got to be one of the most well-drafted patterns I have ever made.

I downloaded the pattern here and printed it out on my new printer.  I was lazy and didn't print the test sheet first.  When I measured the 3" square, it was more like 2.875" square.  I nearly chucked it and reprinted (wasteful!). In fact, I did bin the paper and then pulled it right back out when I remembered that the pattern is meant to be over-sized.  I figured the worst that happens is it's a touch more fitted, and you know what? It worked out better than I could have hoped for.  The end result is a nice slouchy tee shirt that is comfortable and not sloppy. 

I had some fuchsia and orange striped tissue tee fabric in my stash that I used (again, figuring no great loss if it didn't work).  I bought it off and it was a lot brighter than expected so it's languished while I was looking for the right project.  The fabric was made for this pattern.  I matched up the stripes and in a case of serendipity, when my arms are at my sides, the stripes line up beautifully from the body to the sleeves.  I couldn't have planned it better. 

Now to the pattern itself.  There are three main pieces to cut out (back, front and sleeve) and then you draft your own neck band separately.  I sewed the shoulders together and then inserted the neckband (twice, I might add, since I initially put it in backwards, le sigh).  There is no armhole curve per se, just a notch where the sleeve ends.  I wasn't sure how that would go, but everything lined up beautifully.  Once I sewed the sleeves to the body, I stitched both side seams/underarms closed and checked the fit.  I breathed a sigh of relief at this point.  Next, I turned up the hems for the body and sleeves, zig zagged them and that was it! Finished top.  I finished it last night and wore it out today.  It's comfortable, cute and I will be making more.

Hemlock Tee - grainline

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Spring Has Sprung (Skirt) - 08/52

After finishing the socks, I pulled out a few UFOs.  I've made some decent progress on one of them - finishing a pair of sleeves in 4 days.  I've now learned the only thing that makes sleeves feel like a fast knit are a pair of socks.  I should probably mention the sleeves were knit on size 15 needles, which would help explain their rapid growth over a pair of socks knit on size 0s.

In addition, I went to Gallifrey One yesterday (why yes, I do love Doctor Who, thank you very much) and got in some good knitting time in Hall A.  That project is on size 8s, using bamboo tape yarn, and I am feeling the results of that in my shoulder now.  Meh.  There's a reason that project's been sitting.

Here's a sneaky pick of Arthur Darvill (Rory) I took yesterday:

Finally, I finished project 8 of 52 this evening!  Work has been taking up a lot of my time, so I'm happy/relieved to be able to stay on track with this crazy goal of mine.  The pattern I used was New Look 6107 and the fabric is the last of some stretch sateen I've had for awhile.  I've previously made two blouses out of it, but today I had the bright idea to make a skirt out of it for Spring/Summer.  I blame Pinterest for inspiring the idea, as I saw a vintage Anthropologie picture with a dress made from landscape fabric.  Anyway, the end result is quite cute and I think it can be dressed up or down.  The shape is a classic pencil skirt, and the pattern itself is quite well-drafted (everything went together well).  I changed the back vent to a slit and sewed the side seams in 1/2" instead of 5/8" seams (I'm right in between a 12 and 14 and this worked out fine).  I'll definitely be making this skirt again.  Here's the finished skirt:

And here's Clancy being a good sport while I cut out the skirt (I call this series, "Scraps on my cat"):

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Let there be socks!

Sorry I haven't updated the blog with my projects, but I am happy to say I am more or less on track with the 52!  Projects so far include, a black and white striped tee (which I need to fix, le sigh), a cardigan (Copine), a hat (my own pattern), a navy and white striped tee, a brown and white linen skirt, a beige linen top, jodphurs and a pair of socks.  That's right, I finished a pair of socks!  I used the fine sock pattern from Paton's Next Steps Four - Socks and Slippers and highly recommend it.  I modified the pattern a touch - shorter cuff (20 rows), smaller needles (size 0) and shortened the body of the foot for the ladies 7/8 to 6".  I also decreased to 12 stitches and then ran the tail through the live stitches to close the toe. The only way I could be happier is if it didn't take me so long to knit them.

I even took a picture, because all words and no graphics make a boring blog:

I've had them on all day and find them very comfortable.  They haven't stretched out like my last pair, either.  It will likely be awhile before I attempt my next pair (just because knitting socks on size 0 needles takes me a really long time!), but the experience wasn't so bad to put me off them forever.  Maybe I'll use a heavier yarn so I can knit on size 2s - that should make it go a little faster.  We'll see...