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...

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2014 - resewlutions

How is it possible another year has gone by?  There was a lot of crafting in 2013 (along with work and some personal stuff that took most of my focus), and I predict 2014 will be filled with more of the same.  I wanted to talk about some of the things I have in mind, not only to keep you informed, but also as a way to keep myself focused and accountable.

Here goes...

I've been sewing since I was 10 and learned to knit at 14 (though I didn't fall in love with it until later).  I also have a tendency to start a lot of projects and just let them sit and pile up.  Multiply that by a few years and well, I have a lot of UFOs in bags and boxes.  So, my goal this year is to do 52 projects in 52 weeks.  That can be anything from finishing up some of these UFOs to starting something new (I can do a simple skirt in just a few hours, a Tova top in under five hours, so this is not an unattainable goal).  I also give myself permission to completely screw this up and not finish this lofty goal (boring for you, less pressure for me).

The 52 projects will include any type of crafting including (but not limited to) cross stitch, needlepoint, quilting, sewing, knitting and crochet. 

Where applicable, I will also be including patterns and tutorials so you can join me on this journey (I did mention I had a few things in mind, right?).

So, jump in, clear a space on your work table, pull out your knitting needles, crochet hooks and sewing machine and settle in for some crafting fun.  Even if you don't craft, I hope you at least enjoy my musings on my makings in 2014.