Sunday, March 24, 2013

...And sometimes my pants are on fire

Quoting from the end of my last post over three weeks ago -

"As busy as I've kept myself, there are still too many neglected WIPs in the basket. The two getting to me the most are my Sherlock blanket (so many awesome squares just begging to be knit) and my nieces' playmat (after such good progress starting out I have totally stalled over the past month)

I'm promising myself to give them both (along with my other WIPs) a little more attention before starting anything else new."

Soooooo that ended up being a lie. Mostly unintentional, but still...

Instead of doing either of those things I started two entirely new things. Whoops?


For a done-in-a-day project I sewed a WIP pouch using the easy-peasy idiot-proof tutorial here.

I wanted to make the most of the materials I had stashed, without wasting any or running short. This tutorial shows how to lay things out and where to sew them together, while leaving the exact measurements up to you. It might be a no-brainer for someone who sews a lot, but for a fraidy-cat beginner like me it was perfect! While I feel reasonably confident winging mods on my knitting, I'm not a great sewer and fabric still scares me a little.

I used the fabric leftovers from the two box bags I made a while back - used every bit of the lining, but I still have some of the outer fabric left over. I'm sure I'll find something to do with it (Pinterest is always good for finding ideas, even if it is a major time suck LOL) The zipper had been sitting in a drawer for as long as the fabric. I had bought it because I liked the color, but it was longer than I really wanted for those box bags. This style of pouch has a large opening, so I was able to use it and ended up trimming off only a small amount.

I wanted this pouch to coordinate with that box bag, but wasnt trying to just make a larger duplicate. I didn't make the corners stand up by themselves, but I did round them off to 'fancy it up' a little. I top stitched (I think that's the term?) by the zipper. Still not exactly straight, but I'm getting better!

Here's some pictures, the first including my box bag for size comparison. The new pouch is about 10x15 inches, pretty good sized for an average project.

So now I have a lovely lined project bag that I can use when I start up some of those Sherlock blanket squares like I said I would.

I also started knitting a new project. Not something small either, another short sleeve cardi - the heathered hoodie vest. Well, it might be hooded when I finish, I'm undecided. I've seem some projects where people have replaced the hood with a 2x3 ribbed collar, and I'm considering doing the same.

I've had the pattern and yarn for this project since 2011, so it's not like I started on a whim BUT it definitely doesn't go along with my goal of wrapping up WIPs at all! That said, I'm glad to finally be working on it, and am looking forward to when it's finished and I can wear it. Starting it now means there is absolutely no reason why I shouldn't have it done by fall, right? Right?! As of now I'm 2/3 of the way done with the back panel, moving right along.

The color has been tricky to capture, but is more true (maybe still a little too dark) in the close up here -

Just a warning if you get the pattern from the Best of Knitscene book like I did - There is some very important errata you can find here. Four out of the six cable instructions were wrong, and I had to find out by looking through the comments, because it wasn't on the Rav main pattern page notes. Even though people in the comments had suggested it be added. Yeah, you can probably guess that irritated me a little. Still, I like the cardi so it's not like I'm going to let a few typos keep me down for long.


Oh, and then BFs nephew and I put some time into doing this knitting themed puzzle. I say we did it, but once the border was done, he pretty much was too. I couldn't walk by without putting a few pieces in though, so after a couple nights it was done. I developed a sock yarn crush on that green at the top. And the pink towards the middle. Yarn in puzzle form isn't nearly as much fun to pet though.

(Ignore the scrap of material on the gingerbread man bit,

I didn't realize it was there until after the puzzle was taken apart so no chance to resnap a pic)


The only attention my WIPs have gotten lately is the 5 inches I added to my gypsy scarf and the few leaves I've done on the embroidery project. Neither one is far enough along to even warrant updating pictures, so instead I'll (once again) close a post by promising myself to do better next time. Who knows, maybe this time I actually mean it!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Catch of Having a Crafty Blog

Either I'm in a creative slump, have tons of time to write a post, but no projects to talk about. Makes for very regular posting, but not all that exciting reading


I'm keeping myself so busy I have tons I could talk about, but no time to string together the words and pictures it takes to make a post.


Since it's been over a month since my last post, I'm pretty sure you can guess which applies to me right now.

I'm taking the time now though, so scroll down and see what I've been up to.


First, some of the WIPs from last time have become FOs. I think all the links are in the last post, but if not let me know and I can point you towards the patterns.


My fancy washcloth - Soft and Sproingy, still loving the Dishie.



The HurlyBurly was finished in time for BFs nepjew's birthday and he loved it.

Edit - I forgot the picture!


Flower power - A test knit, will be a gift for my younger niece. I think it looks like it could have come from the Plants vs Zombies game, so I borrowed BFs little zombie doctor for photo time.


Baby Surprise Jacket - which now has a baby-to-be in mind, BFs older nephew and his GF are expecting. I'm calling it finished, but I'll still have to sew on the buttons once I know whether the baby is a boy or girl. Once that's done, I'll take the final project pics and then gift. For now, you can have my preseaming pics -

Lumpy-looking mess

And all folded up, front and back


And for my last FO, Charlotte's sweater. This one wasn't a WIP on my last post, in fact I finished it in three days. This is the second wurstwärmer I've knit, and that helped it fly by a little quicker. I knit the size small again, but at a tighter gauge and longer length. After a year of wear, the last one was starting to be both too saggy and too short, so hopefully those changes will help the new one fit her better for longer. I also went from Hikoo Simplicity to the (sadly discontinued) Felici Sport. I love how the striping turned out, and was happy to see it has a higher nylon and still feels just as soft.

Here's a picture of it laying out, to show the short row shaping that works perfect for these types of dogs

And a shot of her modeling it begrudgingly. Charlotte just isn't the camera hound that Sadie is.


Now to the continuing WIPs -

My gypsy scarf is still moving along. After a mishap where I had to reknit it several inches, I decided to play it safe/smart and throw a lifeline in at the halfway mark.



Related to that little mishap I just mentioned, I decided something more mindless was needed for knitting while watching Walking Dead. So, the hexiflats for my barely started BeeKeeper's quilt are now not just for car rides anymore.

Here's a recentish picture of what I have so far -



Aaaaaaand for brand new WIPs -

Because I have almost zero willpower when it comes to New Things I picked up another couple of craft books and a few supplies to get me started with them (three cheers for tax refund time!)


Doodle Stitching Embroidery and Beyond by Aimee Ray

I know this sounds crazy, being that I constantly whine about hating sewing but when I saw the cute little mushroom pincushion on the cover I got drawn in. By the time I peeked inside the book knew I had to have it, and that me and sewing were going to have to make friends just enough for me to get the hang of this style of embroidery. Seriously, if you are at all crafty, and need a high dose of in your face adorableness, you need to check this book out.

Being that I'm an absolute embroidery newbie, with far more enthusiasm than skill, I'm not expecting all that much out of myself right away. I picked up some plain white fabric out of the remnant bin, one of those handy 100-some odd colors of floss packs (which was only $2 more than a 30 pack - huh?!?). I still had a couple of the hoops I got at the thrift store back at Christmas time, so once I transferred the pattern to fabric using the super high tech technique of tracing against a window (flashback to elementary school days there!) I was ready to start.

I decided to start with the family tree. Not because I particularly want to make a family tree (in fact I plan to leave the name circles off) but I loved the tree scene and it seemed like a good sampling of stitches to practice.


To say I'm slow going at this would be an understatement, but in my defense I just barely started working on it. Another month or two ... or three and I might actually finish!


Slow moving, yet awesome brings me to the other book I bought


Extreme Double Knitting by Alasdair Post-Quinn

I've done a few double knitting projects before- a potholder, bookmark and a panel for a tote bag. I wanted to learn more though. How to make nicer edges, do some shaping stuff like that. This book should help me with that and more. More colors, cables, different patterns on each side ... So much packed into this book.

Warning is that these patterns look like they are concentration heavy. I'm planning on using it for when I want a challenge, definitely not chatty-knit-group or TV watching friendly (at least not yet!)

I've starting knitting a trivet using one of the exercises on two pattern double knitting and some cotton from my stash.


I'm only a little ways in, but you can already see the pattern coming out. I'm not sure I like the idea of twisting the stitches on purpose, but I'm trying to reserve judgement until I'm done since I'm not going to switch partway through! After all, a trivet is a pretty easy thing to experiment with, it's not like looking imperfect would really hurt anything.


I had a few other things going, including spinning and a dye experiment. I'm going to save that for my next crafty dry spell though, because this post has gone on long enough (in fact, I feel like I should offer a gold star to anyone that reads this far!)


As busy as I've kept myself, there are still too many neglected WIPs in the basket. The two getting to me the most are my Sherlock blanket (so many awesome squares just begging to be knit) and my nieces' playmat (after such good progress starting out I have totally stalled over the past month)

I'm promising myself to give them both (along with my other WIPs) a little more attention before starting anything else new.