WIP: Ben’s hat

Standard

A new project is on the needles and I’m following this pattern: BasicSimpleLazy! That’s a Ravelry link because it’s a free Rav download. It really is basic – most of us could probably make this kind of beanie in our sleep. A couple of inches of 2×2 ribbing followed by stockinette and traditional crown decreasing. The designer’s gauge was 6st to the inch, mine a little looser, and I decided I needed more than an 18″ circumference. I cast on 120 rather than 108 and I think (hope) it’s looking good.

With hindsight it would have been better to use a smaller needle for the ribbing but it’s too late for that now. I am into the stockinette section and have added a thin band of colourwork for interest. I love the jade with the chocolate – what do you think?

IMG_6451

The colours are richer than that in real life. (Deramores Studio DK, in Chocolate and Jade, 100% acrylic, size US5 needles.)

I had to take my car to the Toyota dealer today to get the brakes sorted out (expensive)! The courtesy shuttle dropped me off at one of my favourite coffee shops and I made some progress on the hat, but after a couple of hours I was antsy and needed to move. It’s a long road from the coffee shop to Toyota, but it’s flat, and the weather was sunny and windy and I was up for some walking. My downfall was that Michaels was on my way and I just happened to find this clearance yarn.

IMG_6461

It’s Loops & Threads Facets and I bought a couple of balls of the green/turquoise colourway (centre left) before, and then it disappeared from their shelves. I had browsed their regular priced stuff (twice) and was on my way towards the door when I saw the clearance rack and there was lots of this stuff. Such beautiful colours, and as it’s a bulky yarn it crochets up really fast for gifts. I haven’t given all of my co-workers a surprise gift yet (something I am doing just because, for no reason, in no particular order, with no deadline). Well, it was half price, and I bought 12.

I carried on to the dealership to get my car and made my way home, with the smell of new brakes trailing behind me!

I suppose I’d better start dinner, though my legs would rather I stayed on the couch!!!

 

FO: BSJ

Standard

Yup, we knitters and crocheters have our own code. Who needs html?!

IMG_6446

Today’s Finished Object is another Baby Surprise Jacket. I was very virtuous today. I decided to walk to the store where I work to get buttons so that I could get some exercise at the same time as getting the supplies to turn this into an FO! It took me 20 minutes to get there and 25 to get home (more uphill on the way back). The sun was lovely and warm, but there’s a coolness in the breeze still, so it’s wise to wear a couple of layers so that you can peel one off if you get too warm.

The yard is looking nice and green again, with the lawn growing, the daffodils, tulips and pansies adding a bit of colour, the apricot blossom full out and the cherry on its way. I think Spring is my favourite season.

The neighbours have had a small digger working in the backyard the last few days moving what looks like tonnes of soil to make space for a foundation for a carriage house. Tai Chi Man and I went to look over the fence earlier, and the guys were in the hole and have already constructed a wood frame for the concrete. The carriage house will be for the husband’s parents when it’s finished. I’m sure it’ll look good when it’s done – we had no objection to it – we’ll overlook it and still have our view.

I visited the dentist for a cleaning today. The hygienists at our regular dentist’s seem to have changed a lot over the years but I’m hoping the latest one stays for a long time. She is really nice and I actually don’t get stressed out going there any  more. Yes, even a checkup used to be stressful. She still scrapes away at my teeth but I know it’s going to be over quickly and she is careful. I don’t have any cavities but I am going back in June to have a little bit of in-filling done at the gumline where there’s been some gum recession. I have also asked for some tidying up to be done on my front teeth where they have been chipped multiple times. I have really crooked teeth (“British teeth” :-P)and have wanted braces for as long as I can remember, but it’s unlikely to happen, so making the teeth look better will at least help me feel a bit more confident about smiling at people!

Well, enough of my waffling. I hope your day is sunny in every way. Talk to you again soon.

 

 

You know you’re an addict when…

Standard

…you finish a baby jacket (except for the buttons, but that has to wait) and you go out for a Sunday afternoon walk and cup of tea but in the back of your mind you are thinking, “What shall I make next?” It gives me the jitters to think that there’s nothing on the hooks or needles!

So this week’s WIP (99% done because it just needs buttons) is the second Baby Surprise Jacket. This is what it looked like after binding off.

IMG_6440

Sort of a rectangle with lots of increases and decreases that doesn’t look like it could be anything wearable.

But the magic happens when you fold it…

IMG_6441IMG_6442

And once again, so many ends to weave in! Note to self: use self-striping yarn next time.

The first go around at seaming the shoulders left me with a teeny neck opening that looked like it would strangle a baby, so I unpicked the seams and redid them, then picked up stitches and added a row of garter around the neck. Much better!

These are shades of Stylecraft Special DK and this time I used US6 needles. It turned out quite a bit smaller than the turquoise one that I made with US8s.

IMG_6443

I need to take this to work with me and choose buttons because as usual my stash of buttons is mostly mismatched sizes, shapes and colours from dollar store purchases and I really need a set of five.

My itchy fingers last night led to me starting a BB8 hat (inspired by the droid from Star Wars’ The Force Awakens).  That’s a Ravelry link as it’s a free Ravelry download. The baby (now overdue) has parents who are Star Wars fans and I think they’ll like it. It’s probably a bit big for a newborn at 16″ circumference but hopefully will fit next winter.

IMG_6445

These yarns are mostly Stylecraft Special Aran, but the grey is Red Heart With Love. I wouldn’t recommend using these yarns in the same project, as the RHWL is a true aran weight while the Stylecraft is a worsted weight.

Of course finishing this hat (which was a really fast and easy project) has left me, once again, WIPless. What’s a girl to do? Go and dig in the stash and find some more yarn to play with, of course!

FO: tiered skirt

Standard

FullSizeRender (15)

Well, look at that! My rebounder is coming in useful for hanging clothes on. Maybe that is the fate of many pieces of exercise equipment that were bought with good intentions! Even though this mini trampoline has been plunked in a high traffic area of my living room for a while now, it’s not seeing much action. However it turns out it’s a good place to display the skirt that I just finished.

This is a Burda pattern #6666. It’s basically made from rectangles, so quite easy, but LOTS of sewing. That bottom layer? Miles of fabric, straight stitching and zigzagging!

It’s assembled from the hem up, but being somewhat of a shortass I had to hem it up another inch after the rest was put together. It might still brush the floor. But I do love maxi skirts! Cover a multitude of sins (or rather cellulite)!

IMG_6436

The fabric is a woven rayon with a tie-dyed look, with a pattern in white embossed on the surface. It’s a little slippery when cutting and sewing, but I felt that a 100% cotton would be too heavy. I would rather like to make another in a different fabric/colour.

I have one yarny WIP right now. Yup, only one! That’s surprising for me, I know, but with my crochet poncho being finished the other day, and this sewing project taking a chunk of time out of my week, a baby cardigan is all I have had time for.

It’s another Baby Surprise Jacket (Elizabeth Zimmermann design) like the turquoise one I showed you a few days ago, but a totally different look with denim blue, meadow green, pale rose and raspberry in the Stylecraft Special DK.

FullSizeRender (16)

Even though it means more ends to weave in, I am adding more stripes. The blue is being carried up the sides but the other three colours are being cut after every garter ridge.

Having a home day today, which isn’t all fun as I still have to do laundry and cook dinner! 😛

But I am making time for crafting, another German lesson and other relaxing pursuits.

FO: Baby Surprise Jacket #1

Standard

FullSizeRender (14)

The photo of my latest FO looked a lot sharper on my iPad screen than it does on this laptop. Anyhoo, this Baby Surprise Jacket is all done, buttons ‘n all. I tested out a few options at the store today, from turquoise tortoises to red apples, and these shiny red shank-style buttons seemed to fit best. They echo the red stripe and pop nicely on the turquoise background.

I think these colours would actually work for a boy or a girl, so if for any reason the ultrasound turns out to be wrong, then I’m prepared!

I cast on for the BSJ#2 last night and will show you that when a bit more progress has been made.

TTFN!

 

FO: Big Gypsy Flower Poncho

Standard

 

IMG_6431IMG_6432

The poncho (Ravelry project  notes here) is d.o.n.e. Yay! Yesterday when I was bemoaning the fact that I had so many ends to weave in, I had no idea that all I needed to do was plonk myself on the couch, put on Netflix, and just get on with the finishing off and it would be done in an evening. (Big Gypsy Flower pattern Rav link here.)

Unfortunately I didn’t have enough of the peacock colour to edge the whole thing, seam it AND finish off the neckline. The ball was looking rather skinny, so the neck ended up with a couple of other colours around it, along with some serious decreasing to make it less gapey.

It needs a wash and dry cycle to (hopefully) relax and smooth it a bit. It’s pretty snug around the upper arms, and because the yarn is double-stranded I think it will be very warm.

This afternoon I spent a pleasant few hours cutting out and starting the sewing of the tiered skirt. It has a lot of long seams so I think I will be picking up another spool of thread at work tomorrow.

Tonight – another Baby Surprise Jacket to be cast on.

 

What’s new?

Standard

IMG_6428

Hi, crafty people! What’s new?

I have been knitting up a Baby Surprise Jacket this week. It’s an Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern, and if you have been a knitter for a while you will surely know that she is (was) one of the geniuses of the knitting world. I have five of her books. I’ve been using the book, The Opinionated Knitter, to  make it, but I think it might be in Knitting without Tears too.

The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK and I had every intention of making it the smallest size possible by using 4mm/US6 needles. However I pulled out my supplies at a coffee shop while waiting for a friend last week, and for some reason my brain led my hands to screw the US8 tips on to the interchangeable cables. So instead of a potential gauge close to 6st/in, my gauge is more like 5st/in, so rather than fitting a teeny baby this year it will be more likely to fit next year. Which is a bit of a shame as the colours match the kitty fabric in the sewn outfit I showed you last time. Hopefully the dress and sweater will be wearable together.

So of course now that it’s almost done (you may have noticed there are no buttons yet) I just have to cast on for another. (The poor poncho is languishing yet again – ah, the thought of all those ends to weave in!) I will definitely remember to use the US6 tips this time and have picked out denim blue, along with meadow green, raspberry and one of the other pinks that has lost its ball band. It will be more girly at least.

One thing about a new baby in the family – lots of motivation to create!

I have bought fabric for a skirt for myself too. I have a Burda pattern (#6666) for a tiered skirt and found a lovely turquoise-y blue mottled rayon at work to make it with. I wanted to start sewing today but thought I’d better wash the fabric first, so it’s having a very short wash in the machine right now. It looks like an easy pattern, just a bunch of rectangles with lots of gathering along each top edge, and as my favourite maxi tiered skirt that I’ve been wearing for the last five years has started to disintegrate I’m hoping that this will be my new favourite. If it works out, I might want to make more!

Netflix watching, now that (sniff) Outlander has been suitably binge-watched, is Suits, recommended by a friend. Light entertainment while I get my knitting and crocheting done.

Piano practice has taken a back seat (less motivation to practice when there are no more lessons for a few months – ahem) and now I am excited about my Duolingo German lessons. It’s free (duolingo.com) and a friend is doing it too, plus I have three Facebook friends who are native German speakers (one is a co-worker). My hope is that one day Tai Chi Man and I will get to return to Switzerland to visit his cousins and I will not be hopelessly lost. We both learned German at school (and passed the exams to graduate) but heck, that was over 30 years ago.

Hopefully you are enjoying a wonderful Easter weekend where you are (and perhaps some chocolate). Tschüss!