Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lacework cowls

I have been pulled down the slippery slope of knitting lacework. It's just so pretty, and impressive looking, and totally worth the claw fingers of doom, hahaha.

It started with this gift for a friend, my first proper lace pattern, with fingering weight yarn and tiny needles. I'm facinated by how a series of relatively simple stitches, organized in the right order, can create a complex looking pattern.

Unfortunately I didn't get very good pictures of this one before handing it over, because I only see the recipient once a week, and it took longer to block than anticipated. I didn't want it to wait another whole week just so I could get pictures! Funnily enough, her mother was visiting from out east shortly after, saw it, and has now commissioned me to make a similar one at some point. And here I thought I was almost at a point of making stuff for myself...

Then I found out that another friend was having a birthday i two weeks, and since I already had this yarn sitting around, waiting to be made into something for her, I hastily selected a pattern and got to work!

I'm actually rather amazed that this finished up in two weeks, although there where a few days when I thought my fingers would never straighten out again. And I really need to find a better way of photographing tubular lace, maybe a piece of white cardboard to slip in the middle so you can actually see the pattern...

But she loved it, so it was worth the hand cramps and couple of late night :). Oh yeah, and as usual, all the notes and everything are over on my Ravelry page.

My guy says that the lace pattern looks like penises, and now I can't unsee it...

Saturday, March 8, 2014


After making my superhero dresses, I ordered a few more sheets with nerdy, but non-comic related prints. One of them was Land Before Time! And in a fit of lolita fever, I made it into a big fluffy skirt :)

I also bought an outlandishly full white petticoat to go under it, hahaha. The skirt was actually finished months ago, but I had to swap out the elastic in the petticoat, and only got around to it today. Notice also my adorable lolita shoes and matching rose belt. Look at Sarah finally learning how to coordinate subtly :P. (Don't worry, I don't plan on doing it often. Not when clashing is so much more fun, hahaha).

I love a contrast ruffle, so after a little searching at my favourite fabric shop, came away with some teal cotton that almost perfectly matches the leaves on the dino-print. Aside from the ruffle, the skirt is just a big rectangle with an elastic casing at the top. It looks a little frumpy without a belt, but I like belts, so that's not a great hardship. Look at those faces!! True story: I still cry when Littlefoot's mother dies. Every single time.

I made the shirt too, from the christmas fabric I got from my mom. The purple is cotton, and the white is a deliciously soft bamboo knit. The pattern is a rub off from a t-shirt I quite like, with neck, arm, and waist binding bands that are just doubled over strips cut to 2/3 the length of the holes they where being set into. Still getting the hang of shirts, but I really needed some new ones that where cute and comfortable, but not t-shirts. Not that I don't love a good nerdy t-shirt, but sometimes one wants to feel a little more fancy :).

And nothing says fancy like knocking things off the shelves at work with your skirts, hahaha ;).

Friday, January 17, 2014


Ok, so I know this is theoretically a sewing blog, and here I am posting even more knitting, with nary a new sewing project in sight.... but, well, that's why I put the "etc" in the title, to cover my obsessive yet ocd crafting bases, hahaha.


I started this cowl for a friend last saturday, and by sunday afternoon it was done and ready for blocking! Go chunky yarn! It was so fast, easy, and satisfying, that I figured I would make one for my grandma too, as I'm seeing her on the weekend.

It looks wider than the first one, but it's actually just shorter. The yarn came in 90 yard balls instead of the 110 called for, and there was only one ball in this colour, so I cut out some of the rounds from each section to make it work. I think it was actually a super bulky weight, so the stitches are a little more dense, but it's just as pretty, and so very pink! I hope she likes it :).

And speaking (several paragraphs ago) about blocking, I finally started doing it, for the first time(s), with these projects, and I will never go back to unblocked knitting. Look at how much less amazing the first cowl looked before being blocked:

It's all lumpy and bumpy and misshapen, nothing like the sleek drapy beast it was to become.

I'd like to be able to say I have lots of sewing in the works to show you, but really I'm just plotting all the new things I could knit, hahaha. Prepare to be inundated! (very slowly, because that's normally the speed at which I finish knitting projects :P)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

awesome presents

My dad is super handy with woodworking (and lots of other things), and has been making me awesome tools this year as presents. They're so neat I thought I would share!

Remember how I took a drop spindle class in the summer, and (theoretically) learned how to make yarn? Now I can use the same technique on this baby:

It's a spindle style spinning wheel, with a foot petal and three swappable spindles so that I can make two strands, and then ply them together :). I'm excited to try using it, but also a little wobbly kneed about how much a learning curve they will probably be. But once I get good, I'll have an excuse to buy more cool craft supplies! Yay, colourful roving!

And for christmas, a fancy point presser/clapper! I've been vaguely eying these up for ages, but it just didn't seem like the kind of tool I would use often enough to warrent the expense; now I'm prepared for just about any pressing situation! It's so smooth, I can't even describe it (my christmas present to him was a fancy new sander, and conveniently, this was slightly late enough to take advantage of it!).

So yeah, stand in awe of my super cool dad and his handymanish support of my crafting hobbies :P.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

undies and the dreaded eyelash yarn

I just finished a scarf using the most obnoxious yarn I've ever worked with, and I'm so happy it's over, hahaha.

 The pattern wasn't even challenging or interesting to knit, but after a little while I was ok with that, because it was so hard to make sure not to drop stitches or pick up extra ones. 

I was gifted the yarn by someone who decided not to learn how to knit after all, and I would never have picked the colour or the yarn on my own, but I think another friend of mine will quite like it, so it's being gifted again. And just in time for not exactly Christmas! She wears almost nothing but neutral and natural colours, and she's always cold, so this is perfect for her :). (also she's one of the sweetest people I know, and it gives me the warm fuzzies to know that I'll be able to help keep her warm and fuzzy too!)

So anyway, the bag of yarn I was given had two hanks of this stuff in brown, so basically I just wound it all into one big ball and knit until it was all used up. The pattern was the one from the ball wrapper, a row of perl with 3 knit stitches on both ends, a row of knit, repeat. 

 Also, undies! It's funny, these are basically the story of how one justifies letting anxiety run a little rampant. I used to buy my boring practical undies at Zellers, which closed and got replaced by a Target. And then I needed new undies, but I haven't been in the new place, and I'm feeling unreasonably uncomfortable at the thought of going into a store I know nothing about. So instead of forcing myself to do it and get over the newness of place so that I can function in it in the future, I told myself I'm a seamstress and should be making these things anyway, bought two meters of cotton jersey on ebay, and whipped these babies up!

Semi poor reasoning aside, I can't say I'm sorry, because these fit much, much better than any rtw underwear I've ever had. Just like with the tank tops, I used So Zo's free pattern. And fold over elastic, I love fold over elastic. These aren't actually all of them, I made three other pairs first, gave them a few weeks of test driving, and then used the rest of the fabric for these five, but with an added 2cm of hight at the top to go over my delightfully gigantic bottom ;).

Anyway, enough of posting pictures of my underthings on the internet, got to get back to staying up to late, hahaha. See you guys in the new year!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

tops and knitting

...namely, not a lot, actually, but I've gotten a few things made, and a couple of those even photographed.

Light blue wrist warmers for a friend, with a ruffly arm cuff. I'm actually pretty pleased with the ruffle, I sort of franken-patterned it onto the original wrist warmer pattern, and altered it to be garter in between the lacey parts instead of the original rib.

And the same pattern, minus the added on ruffle, for a different friend. She gifted me a bag of yarn when she decided not to learn how to knit after all, and I was never going to use camo yarn for myself, so I made these for her, and the rest is being made into a little matching hat for her soon to be baby :).

And then I used Zoe's free camisole pattern to make a bunch of tank tops out of my boyfriend's old t-shirts that didn't fit him any more. Except for the top one, which he bought for me at a thrift shop because he knew I was having fun making nerdy shirts into Sarah tops (how cute is that!).

Right now I'm super interested by lolita style, so look forward to lots of ruffles and silliness in the future :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

seasonably inappropriate knitting

The nice thing about learning to knit in the spring is that I have lots of time to get decently good at it in time for christmas presents. The silly thing about it is that I now have a matching neck warming collar thing and fingerless gloves, just in time for summer...

it pulls over the head and snugs up like a squishy neck corset. my guy says it looks like a neck brace, hahaha, but I think it's cute.
Out of the eight knitting projects I have either completed or am currently working on, only one besides this set is actually for me. Which is weird, because with sewing I am totally a selfish seamstress. It might have something to do with my current skill level not matching up yet with most of the things I want for myself though, so we'll see if I'm still this generous once I get good, hahaha.

isn't the lace edge pretty?! not supper lacy compared to, you know, actual lace work, but enough to make me feel fancy about wearing (and having made) it.

 The blue bit at the top of the last picture was my rather confused attempt at a provisional crochetted cast on, which didn't end up working quite right, but got the job done. Somehow I got confused while starting to knit out again from that point to finish the second lace end, and ended up offsetting the pattern by one stitch. With the confusion of the lace and the way the top flops down a little when wearing it though, I don't think anybody is really going to notice.

standing up like this, it kind of reminds me of illustrations of how wormholes (probably) work... and now I want to learn some recreational physics.

I had two balls of this yarn, and the collar took slightly less than one, so I needed some other smallish project to go with it. Seeing as my hand are always cold, some mitts sounded like a good idea, and since I'm always wasting time on the computer, fingerless ones fit the bill nicely; you can't skill mash wearing mittens :P.

I made the finger end ribbing longer than instructed for extra warmth.
I like the way they turned out, although they are slightly too large around the wrist. Which is, I'm sure, not generally a problem with this patter, as I usually wear children's store-bought gloves and really should have made the child's size of this as well. Really, it's a little freaky how small my hands are compared to the rest of my, or a normal person. One of my friends can fold his first two knuckles over my fingers if our hands are palm to palm; granted, he's a foot taller than me, but still!

during the day, the only place in my apartment that gets enough light for decent pictures is the floor by our patio door.
I got to learn increases for these guys, and stockinette stitch; neither of which are difficult, I just hadn't run into them before. I've finally learned enough that each new knitting pattern I look at is only 75% gibberish, hahaha. Anyway, once I had my very own coordinated mitts finished, I decided to give away my first mitt attempt, because one only needs so many of these things.

this picture demonstrates the oddly small difference in size between my wrist and hand, and why bracelets often fall right off.
I made these chunky blue fellows mostly to use up the leftover yarn from this cowl, and so when they became obsolete to me, I gave them to the friend the cowl went to. Now she has a matched set too! I feel very lucky that my co-workers don't knit, because they get really excited and amazed by the things I give them and will never notice any iffy bits :P. And it makes me happy seeing them enjoy things I made for them, like a big vicious circle of love.

Now I've ended up with three knitting projects on the go, although only one is particularly urgent. A friend is going through a rough patch right now, and with nothing helpful to do besides supplying hugs and moral support, I thought pretty new gloves made just for her might at least provide a little cheering. So now I'm trying to knit some up as quickly as I can without making loads of mistakes; the pattern I'm using is so cute I might just have to make it again for myself once I've learned enough to add actual fingers.