Whip those WIPs

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Whip those WIPs

Take that, Works in Progress! You are now Finished Objects.

Sporto sweater pattern, free from Knitty.com. I used 550 grams of a clearance yarn from work. It’s a worsted weight acrylic and is very warm and cosy. I wore it all day today. https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sporto

Zeb-the-zebra pattern, not free, from Ravelry here https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/zeb-the-zebra

I’m usually cheap and prefer free patterns over paid, but sometimes it’s worth paying a few bucks for a good pattern.

Looking at the designer’s pattern photos, I realise I forgot to embroider his nostrils!!

But I think he looks good in rainbow stripes.

So I am back to zero active WIPs, though I do have an ongoing dishcloth project and of course I can’t forget that I have four baskets of yarn downstairs earmarked for sweaters. Patterns yet to be decided.

Happy mail!

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(Edited to remove my address)

I trudged tiredly up the stairs after work today, wiped out from a day of constant action. And then suddenly I was animated by the sight of these two large parcels from Wool Warehouse.

Yay! My order arrived. It took 3 weeks to get here but the important thing is that it came before December 1st.

So what was in the parcels? Ten balls of Wendy Husky in the Peak colourway. 100 grams, 100% acrylic, super chunky, and enough to make a sweater.

Eight balls of Scheepjes Truly Scrumptious, an aran weight yarn, soft and squishy, 100 gram balls, 50% acrylic, 50% recycled plastic bottles. The colour is Spirulina Bites, which was a huge gamble, because I was trying to get out of my comfort zone and was worried it was going to be too bright a green. But so far, bearing in mind I haven’t seen it in daylight, I love it.

In addition, I bought two balls each of the same yarn in Açai Bowl and Honeycomb Crunch. I asked Mr Fixit for his input in colour choices and I think we nailed it. So those will become another sweater.

A Scheepjes Softfun colour pack – this is the Rich one – which contains 12 x 20g balls of cotton/acrylic yarn.

And a Rainbow one.

A Snoopy fat quarter bundle. Nuff said!

And finally, some safety eyes in two sizes (6mm and 9mm) for future crochet fun.

Thanks to a generous gift from my friends, this lot only cost me £25! Because apparently I was unable to stay within the budget.

A great day for boosting the stash!

A new onesie for me…

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A new onesie for me…

And for a toy dog!

I built a new display at work this week. I have a mannequin sitting at a table, supposedly sewing. My old Janome is in front of her and she has a pet dog on the table which I have dressed appropriately.

It’s a proper dog coat for a not-very-big dog, complete with hood and pocket – very cute!

It took me four hours because it was fiddly in places and, oh boy, did that fluffy backing shed everywhere or what!

I made it in the evening after work and was up til midnight.

The next night after work my eyes were drooping by 8pm.

So today being a day off, I made the next item on my To Do list. A fleece onesie for the mannequin. She is currently getting chilly in just a T shirt. The fabric is a red and black buffalo plaid fleece, which is probably the most popular print that we sell. It screams CANADA!

I made this in my size as it will be mine once the display is taken down. This took about 4 hours too. The zipper gave me a bit of grief!

Both of these garments are from this pattern, and I made the large size in both.

Bowl cosies are not for me!

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After my first bowl cosy turned out to be a big disappointment, I went on to make another with two solid pieces of fabric.

Hmph, sadly my topstitching was crap and any ideas I may have had for making a bunch of these were dashed on the rocks. Bowl cosies and I have broken up!

Mt Fixit and I are using them, though, as they are handy when you want to have a hot bowl in your lap.

We had a bit of a flood in the kitchen over the weekend. The Berkey countertop water filter was overfilled (son #1 filled it then Mr Fixit topped it up without realizing it) so by the morning water had leaked across the counter and onto the floor and had, rather unfortunately, soaked two bags of flour.

What do you do in that situation? Use the damp flour to make bread, of course. I ended up with five fresh loaves from the wet flour bags which I think could be considered a win!

A more successful sewing project was this pair of PJs made with some fleece-backed knit fabric from the store I work at. Super-easy to make and they will be perfect for winter nights.

I have enough left for a cowl too.

And this is my current crochet project. It’s a rainbow zebra! The pattern is one I found on Ravelry – Zeb the Zebra. https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/zeb-the-zebra

I’m using stash yarn, DK weight, and a 3.5mm hook, and so far I’ve completed the head, ears and neck, and made a start on the body.

I’m off to make hot chocolate now. Some Dandies vegan marshmallows are calling my name!

Scrap play

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Ah heaven! An unprecedented three day weekend off! Today I spent a couple of happy hours playing with quilt cotton scraps. I pulled out red and green fabrics from the stash, red and green threads, and some batting.

I built up two blocks from the centre, sewing the strips to the batting as I went. I cut the batting at 11 inches square, then trimmed them to 10 inches once covered in fabric.

I’m not usually a fan of classic red and green for Christmas, but I thought these worked out okay.

However when I made the two squares into a bowl cosy (from a random tutorial on YouTube) things went a little awry.

This is my first bowl cosy and I should probably have just used two basic squares rather than pieced ones, because the bulk at the edges made for some very messy topstitching. Also, I rounded the corners but now think that right-angles would have been easier to get neat.

Oh well, lesson learned. I can use this myself and perhaps practice making some simpler versions for gifts.

Snow, sew, and stash

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Winter has arrived!

We’ve had a fair amount of snow in the last few days and as usual it feels like it took everyone by surprise. The roads are icy and not everyone has their winter tires on yet!

I just had a couple of days off and made sure that one of those days was a Sewing Day which I totally embraced by wearing my Hello Kitty fleece onesie ALL DAY!

I sewed three zipper pouches and three drawstring bags (they don’t have strings yet) out of some really cool nylon or polyester fabric that my son brought home from work one day, ages ago. The fabric panels used to hang in a computer store and have some great colours in them.

I also made this Reader’s Wrap from a ribbed velour. It has two pockets and since taking this photo I have added a label embroidered using text on my sewing machine. It’s for my mum who is having a bit of a health crisis right now.

And the stash has been enhanced with the addition of some Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn in autumnal colours. A friend just had a holiday south of the border and she asked me if there was anything I’d like from Hobby Lobby or Joann’s and I suggested this yarn. I’ve heard it mentioned a lot online. It feels pretty nice and I can make something 70s inspired or some fall decor maybe.

My Wool Warehouse order is on its way which is very exciting. When it arrives I’ll be able to put together this year’s Advent collection for myself.

Falling into winter

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Falling into winter

What a difference a day makes! Top photo, the large walnut was still glowing yellow. Today, with a dip in the temperature below freezing, the leaves went Whoomp! Yes, that is a technical term.

I had a good long walk around the neighbourhood yesterday and couldn’t resist whipping out my phone for some photos.

Loving the fall colours.

Tonight Mr Fixit and I went to the gym for a class. There were a few snowflakes blowing around when we arrived but by the time we came out it was a blizzard. It’ll be interesting to see if it sticks overnight.

I am pleased that I remembered to make my Christmas mincemeat already. This lovely mixture of dried fruit and spices is an annual essential for me and the recipe I use calls for you to make it 6 weeks ahead.

So that’s what I did!

Now that I have a good supply of dried fruit in the pantry, I wonder if it’s too early to make a fruit cake 🤔

Shades of grey

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Shades of grey

I’ve been working on two grey projects this week.

One is the Sporto sweater which I’m knitting with clearance yarn from work. I’ve completed the body section from the armholes to the waist, which incorporates a few decreases at centre back, unusually. https://www.ravelry.com/projects/NicolaKnits/sporto

And now I am to knit a few more inches, increasing back up to my original stitch count, but at a faster rate. This WIP was put on hold for a week while I crocheted a little side project.

The other grey project is this:

Meet my new rat friend. The pattern is free on Ravelry. It’s called Peachy the Rat. I’ll link you to my project page over there so you can see my note about a small error in the pattern, in case you decide to make it. https://www.ravelry.com/projects/NicolaKnits/peachy-the-rat

The tail gave me some grief. Crocheting tiny circumferences is hard! I managed to get past round 4 on my third attempt.

Fall proper has arrived in our neck of the woods. After weeks of warm days, cool nights, sunshine and zero rain, we are now enjoying a bit of wet and windy weather. The thermostat is up indoors, the beanies and scarves and mitts are starting to see some use, and today…………the flannel sheets were put on the bed and the mega granny blanket has been added on top.

Love it!

Everyone needs a little tie dye

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Everyone needs a little tie dye

I love this fabric. When it came in at the store where I work, we all loved it. Tie dye on one side, stripes on the other. Basically a double knit jersey. Not too thick or warm, just right for when you need more than a T shirt but not quite a woolly sweater.

There were some flaws in the bolts, though. So they ended up as “damaged goods” and I got to bring some home.

I decided to turn this red/orange colourway into a top based on a commercial sweater I already own.

It has a pretty wide neck (too wide, really), set in sleeves, and a ruched section at the front.

When I folded it in half and drew around it on paper, I planned for the front and back to incorporate the sleeves so I didn’t have to cut them separately or sew them in. I curved the underarm to make a dolman shape instead.

I laid the paper on the fold of the fabric, and cut around it, adding seam and hem allowances.

Sewing the seams and hems was super easy. And the ruching was achieved by adding a long rectangle of fabric behind the left front, sewing along the sides and centre, threading the ties through, then sewing across the top of the casing to hold it all together.

I finished the neckline with a folded binding, but using it wrong side out, so it’s stripey rather than tie dye.

I wore it to work the next day, and I’m wearing it again today, accessorized with the shawlette I made with the stripes of pink, orange, lime and turquoise. Eye-popping combo!

Sunshine, sweaters and slapdashery

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Sunshine, sweaters and slapdashery

October has looked like this every day. Sunshine and blue sky. Nights are getting down to single digits but days are warm and we haven’t needed to turn the heat on yet.

This crocheted basket full of yarn is slowly being transformed into a sweater. I had 10 balls. The beanie took part of one. And I’ve just finished the yoke of the sweater and started the third ball.

The sweater, Sporto from knitty.com (link in previous post), is knitted from the hood down. The above photo was taken after the hood was finished and the stitches picked up for the yoke.

This is an in-progress photo from yesterday. Tonight I reached 292 stitches and a length of 9 inches from the neck. Time to try it on and see if I can divide for the sleeves next.

I’ve been watching The Coroner on Netflix which helped get me through those loooooong rounds.

The slapdashery part comes with these placemats. No fancy binding or careful stitching here. Slap them together with some batting, stitch around, turn right side out and topstitch. They are reversible for fall – orange gingham on one side, black on the other. And the free-form pumpkins are black thread on the orange side and orange thread on the black side.

I made 8 square placemats and had enough from a metre of each fabric to make a rectangular hotpad for the centre of the table as well. I used cotton batting and doubled it up for the larger one. My machine had a hissy fit when I tried to topstitch the first one so I had to fuss with the needle and the tension to get it to work happily and stop skipping stitches.

I think they coordinate well with my white harvest truck print fabric.

These Christmas-themed placemats went a lot quicker. I used a poly batting which was easier to sew, and didn’t add any extra quilting. The nine designs are all from a quilt cotton panel (last year’s stock so it was marked down) and the backing is a coordinate from the same range.

They would have looked a lot more professional with a contrast binding but I didn’t want to bother with that. More slapdashery!

I’m just happy to have spent some time communing with my sewing machine this weekend.