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“Hello ladies and gentlemen. Don’t I just look dashing in my new scarf”
This scarf was knit for my stepdad’s Christmas present. The criteria that was given to me for a good scarf by my stepdad was a good color, not too busy or flashy, not top long, warm, and heavy enough to hug the back of the neck and keep the warmth in. I grappled with what to knit and finally settled on Shifting Sands. It has been a project on my list for some time and I am glad I made it because it is a very, very good pattern. I can’t wait to make one for myself 🙂
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease in Forest Heather Green
Inspiration: Grumperina’s Shifting Sands
Needles: Size 7
Yardage: about 1.5 balls
Modifications: Cast on 37 sts and knit until it was long enough to just hang on neck
Enjoyment Factor: 9
Knit Time: 2 weeks in between holiday knitting and crafting
- I love all the cables. Mainly because they were so darn simple and yet created such a complicated look. I was originally intimidated by all those cables but when I finally got started I felt like the queen of the world by conquering my fears.
- This pattern also works up pretty fast because of the simplicity of the repeating cable pattern.
- I like the fringe that I added to the scarf. Originally I was just going to leave it be, but I saw the slight curling on the edges and it started to bother me. Once the fringe was on I felt much better and it gave the entire thing some added weight.
- The scarf is just long enough to hang on the neck but still long enough to wrap if desired. My stepdad normally only drapes it around his neck so I did not go for a super long length.
- The yarn. I can’t really say it was a bad because I love the heathered color and it will be easy to take care of. But I cannot say that I am in love with the Lion Brand Wool Ease yarn. It felt quite soft in the ball but was squeaky when I finally knit with it. A little like fingernails on a blackboard. And for some reason this yarn did not feel as warm as wool.
- No uglies on this pattern. It knit like a dream and produced a wonderful wonderful scarf. I can’t wait to do it again…and again…and again 😀
Yet another Christmas present done and gifted. This was given to a friend who admired my first two DS Scrap Wraps I made earlier in the year. Since this was not the first time I mad this scarf it went together very quickly. One thing that I changed was that I made it thinner and longer – 63″ x 5.25″. All the pieces are from my stash which was great and I love the little accent of green mixed in with the primary colors of the turquoise blue and chocolate brown. The best part was that the recipient loved it! I couldn’t have asked for a more enthusiastic response.
No good, bad, and the ugly for this post because really it was just all good. Great instruction, easy to make, wonderful results, fabulous to wear. I can’t say more, except I wish it was mine 🙂
This is a box bag set that I made for my secret swap partner in my knit group. She was a burgeoning sock knitter so I thought she could definitely use a small project bag. I filled the inside with sock yarn and sock knitting notions for her to get started. She seemed to like it so…mission accomplished.
Fabric: Marimekko fabric found at Crate and Barrel Outlet, Suede fabric
Inspiration: Box Bag Tutorial on Drago[knit]fly
Modifications: The dimensions mentioned on the blog did not produce the size I was looking for. I had to remake the bag using 15.5″ x 15.5″ dimensions.
Enjoyment Factor: 7 – mainly due to dimensional issues I had.
Time: .5 days
- I bought quite a bit of this Marimekko fabric on discount and finally got to use it. I really like the color combo
- The bag is actually very handy for small projects so is perfect for sock knitters. This is exemplified by the abundance of these bags on etsy.
- I really like the suede fabric. I justed in on the back of the handle and the little zipper pouch. I can’t wait for the Christmas crafting to be over so I can finally make myself a bag with this material.
- I used a zipper that was too long and it actually worked out perfectly because I did not have to worry about stitching around the zipper head when topstitching the opening flaps. I just trimmed them later. It definitely made for an easy and clearer line.
- The dimensions on the pattern are for literally a box shaped bag, but the picture shows one more similar to mine or at least rectangular instead of square. This was probably both a function of the 16″x12″ dimensions given and the sizing of the final stitched triangle that creates the sides (see pattern for clarification). Either way it was too small for what I had intended so I had to make another using 15.5″ x15.5″ dimensions and making sure the triangle was much smaller.
- I didn’t like how the pattern left you with exposed edges so I bound the cut edges of the bag with some extra wide bias binding from my stash. It really gave it a more finished look. Wish I had a picture to show you, but alas it is gone now.
- The first bag left so much to be desired. I wish I had a picture but it was just BAD. The size was off, the sides were crooked. But in the end I learned a lot and was able to do a MUCH better job on the second round.
The name explains it all. They are wee and boy are they wonderful!! May I introduce Olive and Kitty from the Wee Wonderful line. They were a blast to make and I love them so much
I can’t don’t want to give them away. I had been eyeing them on the website for a while but when I say the kitty pattern at the Craft Inc. fair last month I just had to have it. The next day I made kitty. The very next day after kitty, I bought the pattern for Olive and made her. If it hadn’t been for the need to make other Christmas gifts I would have continued until my whole world was populated by Wee Wonderful creations.
Olive is a Christmas gift for
me my niece. I really loved making this doll and will probably make her some of the accessories when I have more time.
Fabric: Random Corduroy and Polyester Felt (not recommended)
Inspiration: Wee Wonderful Olive and Archie Pattern
Modifications: I added little ponytails
Enjoyment Factor: 10!!!
Time: 1.5 days
- I love the result from such a simple pattern. Everything was pretty inexpensive or from stash and the construction was easy. I hightly recommend this pattern!
- This was my second time doing embroidery (the first time was kitty). I really like how the stitching brings like to the doll. Adding the little white stitch to the eye was the final touch that made Olive come alive!
- I added a little ethnicity to Olive because my niece is black and mexican so a slightly darker skin tone was needed. Also she has curly hair that is often worn in ponytails so I added that too.
- Since I added to the hair pattern, stitching around the wisps of Olive’s hair and the ponytails was a bit of a chore.
- Stitching those arms and legs in was no joke. It was quite a bit of work to get those in.
- The arms came out a little low. I thought I measured the correct amount from the neck, but I guess the stitching pushed them down.
- I couldn’t find and didn’t really know about Wool Felt when I was making my Wee Wonderfuls. I wish I had because the quality of wool felt versus Polyester felt is noticeable. Polyester felt does not wear as well as the wool felt and therefore will pill (as seen on kitty below). I did read in Sew Stylish Magazine, Gifts issue that if you can’t get wool felt you can control the pills by:
- preshrinking felt in hot water, and drying it in the dryer
- Then misting the dried felt with water and ironing it dry. However, ironing typically causes the felt to melt but preshrinking should eliminate this problem according to them.
Kitty is a Christmas gift for a family friend. Kitty was the first Wee Wonderful ever made and was quite a learning experience. I
made a lot of mistakes learned a lot of techniques about embroidery and felt on Kitty. But either way she still is cute!
Fabric: Polyester Felt (not recommended)
Inspiration: Wee Wonderful Put Together- Book #1
Enjoyment Factor: 10!!!
Time: 1 days
- Kitty is a great beginner pattern for the Wee Wonderful line. It was very easy to assembly and cut everything and it goes together in a flash.
- Since I bought this pattern in person, I really liked the presentation of the booklet. It is a high quality print and worth the money.
- I like the yellow buttons I had in my stash for the eyes. They look like really cat eyes to me.
- Polyester Felt!! See above for why I don’t like it, but see below for the outcome. You can really see the pilling on Kitty. However, the upside is that kitty is a cat and therefore it just makes her look furry.
- The embroidery on kitty is less than stellar but it was my first time so it doesn’t look THAT bad.
I have been a crafting machine over the past few weeks, and producing some pretty kick ass gifts if I may say so myself…which of course I do. Not only am I crafting for the upcoming Super Holiday of Christmas, but there are also some birthdays and baby showers sprinkled in there for good measure.
So for my friend’s birthday gift, she wanted some aprons to wear when she has a booth at craft fairs. She specifically requested a Christmas and a Spring season color apron set. So here are the details…
Springtime in Craft land Apron
Fabric: Urban Chicks “Summer in the City” Fabric for the middle and birds on the edges, JoAnn’s fabric for front side panels
Inspiration: McCall’s 3979 Vintage Aprons
Size: X-Large (20-22)
Modifications: Added side seam pockets
Enjoyment Factor: 9 – love the construction details
Time: 3 days
This was definitely my piece de resistance in apron making. I have loved this pattern since I saw it made in black and white oil cloth material. I had yet to make it since, although I love aprons, I have very little use for them. So when my friend asked me for aprons I knew this one would be topping the list.
- I absolutely love the unique design of this apron. It was so revealing to make. Every time another piece came together I would say to myself…”ta da!!”. I just love new construction techniques.
- I like the color combo which was inspired by the bird print that my friend likes so much. This is definitely not a color combination that I am used to working with so it took quite a bit of mental massaging to keep going and know that it would look good when finished.
- There is a secret addition to this pattern that I made. I added in-seam pockets between the second and third panels of the apron! My friend specifically asked that the pattern be a full body apron and have pockets. So after racking my brain for a few days I thought “a ha”. Only thing is that I had never done an in-seam pocket, let alone made significant additions or changes to a sewn pattern. So when I actually pulled it off it was probably the biggest “TA DA!!!” moment of the sewing process.
- Figuring out the proper size. Yes, this apron pattern has sizes but no measurements to tell you how to determine which you are. Does it use modern sizing or vintage sizing as the name would imply. Either way I knew I would need the biggest size to err on the side of caution because both me and the recipient are quite boodyilicious.
- The 1/4″ seams they asked for were to big and were not covered by the double-fold bias tape when it was applied. I even double checked the pattern to make sure it didn’t require Extra-wide double fold bias tape and it didn’t. So I sewed the seams at 1/8″ and the applied the bias tape and sewed over it again. Unless she is making all her craft sales in quarters and putting them in the pockets of her apron, I think the seams should be fine. Just need to make sure you sew at the VERY edge of the tape so that you capture the most fabric.
- I did notice that one of the seams for the side ties had come loose so I repaired it and then reinforced the ties my sewing another line of stitching right outside the edge of the bias tape. I highly recommend this to add stability.
- Sewn binding is an unforgiving mistress that points out every flaw you make along the way. It may actually be IMPOSSIBLE to sew this stuff straight. I tried people, I TRIED and still it looked a little drunken at the end. Oh well, if you are looking that close at my friend’s body you may want to buy her a drink 🙂
Christmas Sparkle Apron
Fabric: Christmas Fabric from Micheal Levine
Inspiration: Kwik Sew 2311
Modifications: Deleted single pockets and added one long pocket unevenly divided into two.
Enjoyment Factor: 7
Time: 1 day
I was not much into the idea of the traditional Christmas color combo of red and green. In fact, I kinda don’t like those colors together when they are put on your body, so I had to break it up with some gold and a more sophisticated print fabric to liven it up.
- This was kind of a nostalgic moment for me because I made this same apron pattern as one of my first ever sewn object in last year. It went much faster than the 4 weeks it took last time 🙂
- I added a bigger panel style pocket instead of the tiny hand pockets so that it had more uses than holding change. Plus the xmas panel was too beautiful to cut up.
- Used the label method in Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. It was simple, fun, and effective. I will definitely be using it again on future projects.
- Super fast.
- Same binding tape issues as above.
This cute little elephant was knit for my 2 year old nephew for Christmas. I can post it now because I doubt his internet skills are that developed yet.
Yarn: Queensland Llama Seta for Eli and scarf, Gray mix Paton’s Merino for eyes.
Inspiration: Ysolda’s Elijah
Needles: Size 2 (2.75mm)
Yardage: about 1.75 balls (154 yards)
Modifications: Knit on 2.75mm instead of 3.0mm. Unintentionally knit the ear backwards on one side
Enjoyment Factor: 8
Knit Time: One to Two weeks
- Love, love, love the pattern. Ysolda did a knock out job of making a wonderful looking toy without all the seams that most knit toys ask for. It was amazing how everything blended as you knit it. I love all the beautiful swirls on the head, feet, and hands.
- Ysolda’s pattern detail was impeccable. She gave you everything you needed without the guess work, even the direction to pick up the stitches. There was one problem found with the ear, that she has since corrected.
- This is a real stash buster. If you’ve got stash, bust it on this pattern because it is well worth it.
- I had to add the hand knit scarf because one I love the color combo of the light green Eli with the purple scarf and the fact that everyone deserves a hand knit scarf, even a knit elephant.
- I like how you stuff the elephant as you go. It did make it hard to knit around sometimes but I liked the fact that when you were done you had a uniformally firm stuffed toy.
- I love how there are lots of places for my nephew to grab on to when carrying Eli around. The trunk, the arms, the ears…perfect for a 2 year old.
- Ysolda was also holding a contest for Elijah Adventure stories which helped to motivate me to get this done quick. The story of my Eli and pictures can be found here. In the meantime, here is a sneak peak at some of his antics.
- OMG my hand hurt the whole time. Knitting yarn that is supposed to be on size 6’s on size 2’s is like knitting with the hardest cotton you can imagine. Let alone the increases and decreases…OUCH! The pattern did call for 3.0 mm needles, but those odd sizes are hard to come by if they are not already in your needle stash, so I trudged ahead on my 2.75mm’s because I cannot imagine that the 3.0mm needles would have given much relief. Besides I wanted a think fabric so the stuffing didn’t poke through.
- The time. Because of the hard to knit fabric, I had to take quite a few breaks to give my hands a rest.
- Not really bad, but more of a challenge was the French knot eyes. It was not about the technique, which I googled and found a great video tutorial, but more about getting the right size and shape. Thank goodness I had done all the embroidery on my Wee Wonderful, so I felt quite in control when it came to the eyes.
- I couldn’t figure out how to knit one of the ears. I am very bad at visualizing how things go together so I struggled to figure out what direction to pick up the stitches. I must have knit the ear 3 times – once upside down, once with big nasty purl ridge, and lastly backwards. The fact that I was fed up, you really can’t tell that it is backwards, and it was made for a 2 year old helped me to come to terms with the backwards version being good enough.
- Due to the thick fabric, I would highly recommend metal needles for this project. I started these on Brittany needles which are wood and kinda blunt. Bad idea! Two needles were sacrificed for the birth of Elijah. I am not too heart broken though because I didn’t like them that much anyway. Now those Susan Bates metal needles…now those were right on the money. The problem was that I only had 4 instead of the 5 needles your need for this pattern. So since the breakage on the tip of one Brittany needle left it with a sharp edge, that became my 5th needle that I used gingerly when the time came.
All in all a wonderful pattern that is highly recommended.
Like my paparazzi picture?? Hee hee, who said you can’t learn anything from America’s Next Top Model 🙂 !
Yarn: Knitpicks Palette in Bark and Apricot
Inspiration: Eunny Jang Endpaper Mitts
Size: 8.5″ Hand Circumference
Needles: Size 0 and Size 3
Yardage: 174 yards of Bark (3/4 ball) and 115 yards of Apricot (1/2 ball)
Enjoyment Factor: 9
Knit Time: One Week!!
- Free yarn!! Yup, Free!! I got it from a lovely woman on Destash who wanted to get rid of some unwanted stash. Since I have been itching to learn colorwork, but didn’t want the Anemoi mittens to be my first foray into unknown knitting country, I decided that the endpaper mitts would fit the bill.
- Quick. Very quick. This set of mitts took me exactly one week to complete. Maybe it was because I couldn’t put them down but it was quick nonetheless
- I learned a variety of new techniques – Italian Tubular cast on and bind off, colorwork, and did some knitting continental style.
- Since this was my first colorwork project the second glove came out a bit tighter due to improvements in my technique. I luckily had no problems with terribly uneven fabric.
- I got a little bit presumptuous on the second mitt and mistakenly skipped over a step with the tubular cast off so I had to go back and retie my yarn since I had cut it already. Its not a visible issue for anyone else, but just goes to show how easily the pattern instills you with confidence so that you think you know everything and cut your yarn without referring back to the patter. BAH!!
- I did make a mistake on the first glove right around the wrist area because I obviously wasn’t paying attention. Therefore, the gloves are no longer interchangeable and the mistake glove will forever be the left glove unless I want to reveal the mistake to others.
Ok, so the weather turned out to be cold today (yes, 64F is cold to me). So I got to wear my Bradshaw today. Of course I was teased a bit about wearing a parka, but I went to lunch with a coworker yesterday and sat in the shade. It took me 2 hours to warm up again. Poor blood circulation? Maybe, but now I got Bradshaw to keep me warm!
My obsession with Bradshaw began when I bought the Noro Knits book for the Butterfly pattern. The contrasting collar and cuffs caught my attention straight away and possibly even more than Butterfly, if that is possible. As soon as I got it home I google searched this baby to death and only came up with one other instance of the sweater at HPNY knits. How could that be?? Such a wonderful sweater going unrevealed. Well, that is when I google search the yarn…the rest is history, or at least to be continued later in the post
- Noro Iro, 80% Wool and 20% Silk, color #63
- Valley Yarn Berkshire Bulky, 85% wool/15% alpaca, color Red Purple
Inspiration: Noro Bradshaw Sweater from Noro Knits
Needles: Size 10.5
Yardage: Approx. 1048 yards or 8 skeins of Iro, 3 skeins of Berkshire Bulky
Modifications: Knit the body to 29″ instead of 34 3/4″, knit the collar to 9″ instead of 14″, only increased sleeve cap stitches to 60 sts in an effort to reduce the bat wing effect in the underarm.
Enjoyment Factor: 8.5
Knit Time: August 24 – September 29
- Sale Yarn: I cannot stress enough how imperative sale yarn is to my knitting. As I was saying above, I google searched the yarn and Holey Moley was I surprised at $20.00 a skein for the base yarn, Noro Iro, and $17.00 for the recommended Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Super Chunky!!! That makes this sweater nearly $275.00!! now I like the sweater and all but nearly $300.00 is pushing the edge of knitting sanity. That is when my faithful partners Little Knits came on the scene with 58% off Noro Iro, and WEBS produced the suitable substitution yarn, berkshire bulky, at an economic price. All in all, the sweater cost me a little less that $100.00. Pricey yes, but have you calculated your knitting projects lately?? You will be surprised at how much we could save by going shopping 🙂
- Both yarns were wonderful:
- Noro Iro: despite being 80% wool, is really softened by that 20% silk content. It is not scratchy at all (disclaimer: I do find Kureyon to be scratchy but not prohibitively so). The knots were horrendous, but wonders of spit splicing made me less angry with the situation. When blocked it really did not grow that much, nothing to change your knitting needle size for.
- Valley Yarn Berkshire Bulky: I love this yarn. I used it on my Doctor’s Bag and it fit perfectly as a sub for the DB Super Chunky. It is soft and a pleasure to knit with because it slides through your fingers like butter…mmmm silky soft. It is a loose spun yarn so some pilling, haloing, and stitch definition should be factored in. However, my Doctor’s Bag still looks really good so I knew it would stand up on my sweater. Note, this yarn grows like a chia pet. My garter stitch gauge swatch (read: my sleeve bottom because I was too lazy to make a gauge swatch) grew by about 1.5″ in width and that was without any extra stretching so beware.
- Knits up pretty quick, except for the garter stitch. One month for a knee length coat sure isn’t bad.
- I really like my buttons. I also used a backing button for more stability. I highly recommend this as the finished result is amazing.
- I love the contrast color I chose. Every time I look at it, it makes me want to put it on
- Beware of the measurements. I know that every knitter is different but if I didn’t have the issues with Butterfly I might have knit on this blindly. Surprisingly I didn’t have a problem with the sleeves as I had thought I would, they actually came out perfectly in length. What I did change was the finished sweater length. I am 5’5″. If I hadn’t cut off that 6″ of length I would have had a trench coat. I was going for a shorter length but this one is fine.
- The sleeve hole size. When I finished the sleeve cap, I pinned it in and noticed quite a bit of extra material right in the underarm area. Huh?? what is that used for outside of giving me those dreaded floppy underarm bat wings. I didn’t really know how to fix it so on the second sleeve I only increased sleeve cap stitches to 60 sts instead of 66 in an effort to reduce the bat wing effect in the underarm. Since it was ribbed stitched I didn’t think that would be an issue. I think it helped quite a bit but I still have some extra room in the arms.
- I am not a drop sleeve gal. Good to know ones personal style preference and I am definitely putting this on the list of things to avoid in the future. I really like this sweater but the drop sleeve makes me feel like it is falling off, plus I just don’t think it is that great a look. Don’t get me wrong, it won’t keep me from wearing this sweater, but I will steer clear of them in the future.
- Garter stitch, garter stitch, garter stitch. I won’t repeat it here, but I think I summed it up pretty well here.
I will apologize ahead of time for the crappy review of this project. It has been finished for quite some time and I only remembered it because it was cold enough to warrant the donning of knitted accessories today. Besides, the blogging fodder as been in short supply due to my continued exhaustion and the endless nature of my Bradshaw sweater, which I hope to have finished this weekend…*crossing fingers*.
Yarn: Blue Heron Rayon Metallic in Mossy Place colorway
Inspiration: Montego Bay Scarf
Needles: Size 8
Yardage: 550 yards
Modifications: After knitting the skinnier scarf I casted on for 65 stitches, approximately 1.5 times the stitches, it wider and shorter
Enjoyment Factor: 6
Knit Time: Ummmm….hmmm..about 2 weeks? Guess I should have blogged about this before not, eh?
- The pattern really show cases the yarn.
- It is really light and soft so it is made for that not quite hot, not quite cold in between weather.
- It is a great, simple accessory piece that I thinks I will love due to the softness of the yarn. I also love the slight bling bling from my yarn choice.
- Knitters Ego! It gets you every time. You think you know the pattern, it is simple right? Ahhh, you forget to knit 3 instead of 4 stitches on the end and that is when the pattern starts to go haywire and your knitting starts slanting in the wrong direction.
- Monotony. This pattern is definitely a filler knit. It is that project that you pick up when you need a mindless knit, but definitely cannot serve as you primary focus
- Nothing really, or at least nothing I can remember so I guess that is pretty much the same.
In conclusion, there really is not much that can be said about this project. Pretty much, just knit it! In the end you will have a finished object you love!