The machine-knitted long cardigan is officially finished, right down to the wash and dry to soften it up and even things out.
Evening photos, so not particularly good lighting.
What would I do differently if I were to make it again? Modified drop sleeves to minimize the lumpiness at the seam, a bit less neon on the sleeves, and add stripes to the front for a more cohesive look.
However it was a good result in that it’s warm and wearable, and it fits.
Last time, I showed you a simple quilt of squares that was made for display at work. This week I made another quilt with a panel, not surprisingly called Red Truck and Sunflowers. I kept it simple and just free-motion quilted around the sunflowers.
I learned a valuable lesson with this. After I sewed on the binding I decided to trim the seam allowance so that the binding would wrap more neatly around the edge. I made a rookie error – I trimmed all the way to the corners which meant my mitered corners were wrecked. I had to do some wrangling to get them to look okay, bearing in mind it was going to be hung up at work.
Fast forward to my next two-day break from work and I spent some happy hours in my sewing room again.
Easter fabrics are highlighted in the store’s flyer this month so I picked some cute ones and a green flowery contrast and constructed a large bag/basket. The squares are 4 inches finished and the green strips are an inch wide so you can tell how large it is.
I used a lofty polyester batting inside but didn’t do any quilting on it. The lining is more of the green.
I was fortunate to receive some yarn from a co-worker who is decluttering to get ready for moving house. There were a few different yarns but the ones I’m most excited about are the Berroco Modern Cotton in six colours. Some were handwound into balls so I wound them into cakes with my yarn winder so they could relax.
And lastly for today, here’s what I did to my grey Sporto sweater from a few months back. The ribbing at the end of the sleeves was only an inch and I was finding the sleeves too short. As it’s a top-down sweater, it was easy to unpick the bind-off and rip out the ribbing and replace it with a longer cuff with thumb hole.
I haven’t made much progress on the three garments but hopefully next time I’ll have something worth showing on at least one of them.
I present to you my WIPs or, if you prefer, PIPs or MIPs (works/projects/makes in progress).
The green Sporto sweater hasn’t changed much this week because I’ve been focusing on the grey/neon cardigan.
Said cardigan is machine-knitted on my somewhat old Bond. I used keyplate 3 to give me a nice gauge with the Craft Smart acrylic from Michaels.
Making a gauge swatch is awesome on this machine because it literally takes 5 minutes. Once that was done, I drew up a schematic so that I could figure out stitches and rows. The back, fronts and pockets were easiest as there was no shaping. The sleeves were a little slower as I had to decrease every 4 rows to the cuff and on the second sleeve I forgot to change colour halfway down and so there was much cursing as I took the work off the machine, frogged some, and rehung it at row 50 to start the neon.
It only took 4 hours over a couple of days to make all the pieces. It probably took the same again to add the handknitted ribbing, bindoffs, and seams.
It’s at the point now where I can try it on. I would have preferred it to be a bit bigger widthways but I’m not redoing it. Next, I’ll add the handknitted ribbed bands around the front and weave in the ends. And sew on the pockets, which I don’t even want to attempt while there is still so much curl in those front sections. The dropped shoulders look a little bulgy when wearing, but I’m hoping that a trip through the washer and dryer will smooth and relax things.
As for the crocheted Elevation cardigan, I have now received the two extra skeins of I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby in Burnt Pumpkin.
Tonight I’m frogging the sleeves so that I can remake them with the new yarn because I just wasn’t loving the look with the lighter orange for the sleeves. I’ll get an up to date photo of that another time.
One last thing…a camping themed quilt for display at work. Quick and simple, just to show off the fabric. It’s small, 24 x 36 inches. The first of many I’d like to make.
It’s a long weekend here in BC, with Family Day on Monday, and I have the rare treat of having all three days off.
I’m enjoying knitting more on my Sporto sweater. Here’s a better pic which shows a more true version of the Spirulina Bites colourway (yarn is Scheepjes Truly Scrumptious).
After I’ve finished the yoke, I’ll be doing the sleeves so I can incorporate some colour-blocking with my two contrast colours. Then I’ll do the body.
Yesterday I had a play in my sewing room. It needed tidying after Thursday (I just dumped everything back in there after our sewing day, having carried it all upstairs for the event). I made a giant pompom which came out ok so I ran up a quick fleece hat to attach it to. There’s a snap on the pompom so it can be removed for the hat to be washed.
The pompom is heavy but the toque fits snugly enough on me for it not to slip off. And of course it matches my crazy buffalo plaid mishmash hoodie.
Today we have a potluck with friends so I need to get my arse off the couch and start prepping food. I’ll need a walk tonight to burn off some of the excess calories!
Ah, February. The third month of winter. I have this quirk where I consider winter to be December, January and February. Spring is of course March, April, May. Summer, June, July, August. And fall/autumn is September, October and November.
The actual weather doesn’t always cooperate with my ideas, as often we will have snow in November or March and then the seasons get blurred.
But generally things follow a predictable path. And predictably, many of the people I interact with at work are moaning about the weather and itching for spring. They see a bit of sun and get impatient.
There’s an incontrovertible fact about weather. We can’t control it. So my view is that you might as well accept it and make the best of it.
One of the podcasters I watch is Ali from Little Drops of Wonderful (and also the vlog This Little Wonderful Life). She has a type of seasonal affective disorder that’s opposite to most. Rather than getting down in the winter, she feels low in the summer. She can’t stand the heat (which thankfully is not usually too extreme when you’re in England).
I can relate a little. Summer is nice for a lot of reasons but being hot and sweaty and unable to sleep comfortably makes it less fun. Spring and fall are comfortable, temperature-wise, and seeing nature’s changes is wonderful.
But there’s something about winter that’s so comforting. Obviously it relies on the beauty of a well-heated home. But as nights draw in, days grow shorter, and I get to add more blankets to my couch and bed, I feel very content!
Yarn crafts in winter are ideal. Especially if they keep your lap warm at the same time. This sweater isn’t quite large enough for that yet but I did just reach the point where the stitches fit nicely around the cable. This is another Sporto sweater (from knitty.com), this time with the Scheepjes Truly Scrumptious yarn that I bought last year.
It’s a little grayed out in this light, but the colourway is Spirulina Bites and is a pleasing shade of green. It coordinates well with the Caspian interchangeable needles!
The yarn is an aran weight and I’m knitting it on 6mm needles. I am hoping that as the sweater progresses, I’ll have an Aha! moment and figure out the best way to incorporate the two contrast colours.
Over the winter our “hygge” group has been meeting quite regularly and there is usually some craft content like knitting or crochet.
Today we had a special get-together, where a few people came to my house and we set up our sewing machines at my dining room table. We had an ironing station and a cutting table.
We had a teacosy theme, though one friend sewed on a different project. My first finish was a tall sleeve for my French press. I opted to cover the whole thing but left the top open for the plunger which sticks up while the coffee brews. The fun kitchen appliance fabric was a gift in December.
The second finish was a basic cosy for my large teapots. One friend had brought a template and I enlarged it a bit. Maybe too much. But it’s pretty.
The third was tougher.
I have a smaller teapot and chose a style that has a circle for a base and two rectangles for the sides. The cosy can stay on while pouring the tea. Sewing the sides to the base was a challenge and even though I added bias binding to the exposed seam allowances it was somewhat messy. I sewed a drawstring from the dachshund fabric and decided to add grommets to cinch up the top.
It’s not perfect but it’s cute.
I think I’ve waffled on long enough for today. Enjoy your February!
The DK acrylic stash was tipped out onto my sewing table yesterday so that I could wind it up into magic balls. I excluded the fairly intact cakes of Lion Brand Mandala and two balls of Bamboo Pop, and the cottons.
It took me hours. Maybe six? A couple of hours in the morning, followed by a walk and a coffee at a local coffee shop, then another couple of hours, then dinner, then another couple of hours. I even recaked the ones I had wound previously so I could retie the magic knots and detangle.
The very satisfying result! 30 cakes of varying size weighing a total of 2440 grams. This equates to approximately 7173 metres of yarn!
The bird bag I showed you last time was very gratefully received by my coworker. And the buffalo plaid hoodie is comfortable and cosy and I was wearing it constantly the last couple of days.
I have now added another garment to my wardrobe….
This is a mashup of a sleeveless summer top that I invented a couple of years ago and the dolman sleeved top with the ruching from last year. I literally taped the two homemade pattern pieces together and ran this up.
The flared hem drapes nicely at the sides. I narrowed the waist area slightly and made the sleeves three-quarter length.
I accidentally started cutting the front neck without a seam allowance so the neckline is a bit deeper too.
Note the new haircut – shortest sides ever – a proper undercut! And professional colour!
My other finish was a backpack made from fluffy pink chenille. Not your average bag! I had a remnant of it, and paired it with a fleece remnant for the lining. Pulled a couple of coordinating zippers out of the stash, and some curtain grommets. The only thing I needed to buy was a couple of large silver D rings.
It took me a while to figure out the best number of grommets and I was concerned that the two thick layers might be a problem, but it all came together well. There are two very large inside pockets so that everything doesn’t just get mixed up in there.
My last conundrum was a strap and in the end I decided to use some acrylic DK yarn, made into icord with my little machine, and crocheted into a chain with my biggest hook.
Following my knits blitz on the weekend, I successfully achieved one of my goals. I frankensteined a hoodie from three different types of buffalo plaid.
It was so freeing just picking pieces that were big enough to lay a pattern piece on and cut something out without worrying about it being perfect.
Another finish today was this bag. I bought the fabric this week for this project as it’s for a coworker and the bird print will be perfect for her. I just happened to have a piece of vinyl that was the right size- all I had to do was square it up.
It’s lined and has a pocket with an attached D ring, which is handy for a knitter’s project bag to hold stitch markers.
The crochet cardigan is on hold for now. Did the front bands and half of both sleeves and tried it on and decided I wouldn’t wear it with the light orange and yellow. So I’m going to frog back to the shoulders and hopefully get more of the burnt pumpkin colour. It’s Hobby Lobby yarn and they don’t ship to Canada but I’ll work it out somehow.
Working the next three days and hoping I feel better. Haven’t felt right since Sunday and work was an effort. Tummy still over-sensitive. Wish I could just carry on making stuff!!
It’s been an enjoyable weekend. Last night we went to our first hockey game in years and had a good time. Unfortunately our local team didn’t win but the visiting team did deserve their victory, in our opinion.
Today, friends came over for a potluck lunch. The theme was Asian, because it’s Chinese New Year so I thought that was appropriate.
I made General Tso’s tofu, rice and stir-fried vegetables, our friends brought potstickers and soup with noodles, and we had two desserts as well. Our monthly potlucks always leave us stuffed to the point that we often don’t eat dinner!
I used the recipe from Nora Cooks for the tofu and it worked out well.
This evening I spent a couple of hours in my sewing room. I pulled all the fleece/chenille/jersey knits out of the cubbies and sorted them all.
The photo above shows it all dumped on the floor!
That massive pile is made up of (a) remnants that I brought home from work (when we get to the end of a bolt and there’s less than a metre left, we roll them and discount them by 75%), and (b) remnants from projects that I’ve made, which means that those pieces are odd shapes and sizes.
Once I had sorted them, the chenilles and knits went back into their cubes and the fleece was heaped on my cutting table. I then took a look through my sewing patterns to see whether I could Frankenstein an actual garment from it all.
I reckon this might work:
View C with the short shaped hem, pocket and hood instead of collar. I’ve made this pattern more than once now so I’m familiar with it. Can you see the back and front in the large check with the sleeves in the smaller black and white and the hood and pocket in red? Wacky maybe.
I’ve also grouped some pinks together, and some red/black/white, and the peace sign print with two solids, with a view to making something usable. I think the pinks would make good PJ pants.
I’m too sleepy to actually start sewing tonight but the next chance I get I may start on that buffalo plaid sweatshirt idea.
It’s a gloriously sunny day today. The last couple of days of sunshine have been very welcome after the fog and cloud of the previous couple of weeks.
Work was quiet today and I got to leave early so I unexpectedly have a free afternoon.
So, how should I spend it? I guess I could add to the Elevation cardigan which has a sleeve and a bit left to do.
I think that each time I change to a new colour I have to get used to it and get over the thought, “Does this work or does it look terrible?!” So I don’t always want to crochet on it.
I could go for a walk in the sunshine. My logical brain is saying that’s what I SHOULD do.
I could go downstairs and play with fabric.
Or lift some weights.
Before I make a decision, I’ll show you what I made with the coffee-themed fabric from the stash.
Each bag has two coasters, a bag of coffee beans and a bar of chocolate inside. I had to fussy cut the fabric just right so didn’t bother looking up a tutorial. I’ve made a lot of bags like this before.
Looking forward to a fun weekend. We are going to a hockey game for the first time in years. And friends are coming for a potluck on Sunday. Hope your weekend is awesome!