Tag Archives: beanie

Full moon, face masks and a finished object

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I don’t know whether it was the full moon or not, but I was wide awake at 4.30 this morning. So was Mr Fixit. He is frequently wide awake at odd hours but usually I sleep like a log. However this morning we were both up before the dawn.

I was in my sewing room by around 8am and back to sewing face masks. A friend had requests to supply some and she didn’t have time to make enough so she sub-contracted a couple of us to help out. These ones took me two days to finish. Yesterday I did all the cutting out and fusing of interfacing, which was made more enjoyable by the fact that five of us had a video chat while we were sewing in our respective homes. I went back after dinner to do more, but had the hardest time getting the construction right because, whilst it was the same pattern as the previous batch, I was including the wire for the nose shaping and it wasn’t going well. I was headachey and frustrated and gave up in disgust.

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I even dreamed I was sewing masks!

Today, thankfully, it all went a lot more smoothly. I found that my regular sewing machine foot worked best to zigzag over the wire to hold it in place, and to topstitch sufficiently close to the wire once everything was turned right side out.

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Someone’s coming over to my house (well, the front door step anyway) tomorrow to buy some of these. I have to say, I have no plans to make more. Whilst there are some people who are making hundreds of masks at the moment (and making hundreds of dollars too) I just don’t have the stamina.

I finished the beanie too…

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I’m really pleased with the fit of this, and wrote down how I made it in the notes on my Ravelry project page so I can recreate it later. Worked top down, it’s just double crochet with a 5.5mm hook, and then some rounds of front post/back post double crochet with a 4.5mm hook to make a snug brim. Hopefully my friend will like it.

Today was our warmest day of the year so far. I did manage to squeeze in a bit of sunshine toward the end of the afternoon and even ate my (home made) pizza sitting outside on the deck. I would have expected my neighbourhood to be pretty quiet but no, there were lots of vehicles around, motorbikes roaring up the main road, neighbours talking loudly, music, and honestly you wouldn’t have thought that this Easter weekend was any different from usual.

As Easter = chocolate to me, I shall have to walk up to the store for some essential supplies tomorrow!

 

Sewing with a purpose

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Sewing with a purpose

As you know, recently I have been sewing up a storm because, well, you know, the disease-that-shall-not-be-named has created a temporary cessation of my day job. And I’ve never been so grateful for a stash in all my years of knitting, crocheting and sewing!

So what have I been doing since we last met? I made a second one of these:

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While I constructed this I took progress photos, optimistic that I had the math worked out and I could quickly get to the job of publishing the tutorial. Well….no. At least, not yet. I was about to sally forth and make Mark III but was sidetracked by a request from a friend. One of our mutual friends has recently had major surgery and so a group quilt is underway, as is a crocheted beanie and some face masks for the times that said friend has to go into the hospital for follow-up visits.

My contribution to the quilt (with materials partly my own and partly my friend’s) is this:

The beanie, after false starts with different yarn, different hooks, pattern or no pattern, is in progress:

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This is one of my souvenir balls of yarn from Yarndale – Louisa Harding Giardino in the colourway Lily del Valle. It’s a DK weight cotton/acrylic blend. It doesn’t need a fancy stitch.

And then my thoughts turned to masks and synchronistically a link on my Facebook feed provided the perfect pattern. I started making them and then suddenly I was getting requests. So far I have made 13 – I am saving one of the snowboard ones for Mr Fixit, but the other 12 have been claimed by a friend who works in the hospital (admin, not front line). I now need to make a few more,

though once my bias binding and elastic run out I shall have to be inventive about ties. I am also using a medium weight fusible interfacing on the outer layer for more structure and filtration properties.

This period of extended home time will be remembered for the hours of sewing and pounds of bread baked!

 

Another happy Sunday

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I feel very lucky to have had two weekends off in a row. This is unheard of! Not sure what happened with the shift scheduling, but I’m not complaining.

The narcissi that I bought last week are looking beautiful. Seven yellow flowers have appeared since I bought some plants last week. The hyacinth is growing but not showing any colour yet, and the violas have one more teeny tiny flower. Meanwhile, outside it’s been SNOWING!

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Both yesterday morning AND this morning we had snow. And fog. And sun. A bit of everything, really. Interesting weekend! Suffice it to say, it’s not spring yet.

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I don’t think I showed you this – it was a crochet pattern test for Hannah of The Cozy Cottage Crochet podcast. It’s a very comfy beanie that has a bit of texture and she has written it in four sizes and in three levels of slouch. This is the second pattern of hers that I have made and she makes sure that her patterns, which are paid for, are very clear and comprehensive. This is the November¬† Sky Beanie, but it’s not released quite yet.

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Another FO in the last week is this C2C crochet cowl. It’s long enough to loop around twice and used up a satisfying amount of Bernat Pop yarn. There was a little left which I have put in the bag with the knitted stashbusting blanket (which I haven’t worked on in ages).

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We had a potluck to go to today, a regular date with the same group of friends, and we take turns hosting. We always have fun, eat too much, and usually either play games afterwards or go for a walk. Unfortunately our host today felt like he was getting a migraine after lunch, so we left him to get some rest and headed home. I had some quality time with my sewing machine during which I ran up a quick little backpack for a certain little girl in my family. It’s hard to know how long to make the straps when the girl in question lives a long way away, so hopefully it’ll fit okay.

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I also made this very slapdash zippered pouch with a clear vinyl window in the front. This was probably my least stressful experiment with vinyl so far! Yesterday I watched a WhitneySews video on YouTube for making an I Spy bag. It’s very similar to this, but it’s sewn up instead of having a zipper. You fill it with rice and small trinkets for kids to find through the clear window. Nice idea but a bit heavy to mail. I considered sending one without the rice and getting them to add it at the other end, but then it could be too easy for the zipper to open and let the rice fall out. I shall have to think on that.

I’ve had a couple of very early nights and this is probably going to be another one! And tomorrow I really need to go to the gym and start making a concerted effort to burn off what I have been calling my “winter tires” – and I’m not talking about the ones on my car!!!

 

 

 

Nuts for bags

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Good morning! It’s a very foggy start to the day here. We still have snow on the garden, though most of the roads are clear as we haven’t seen any snowfall for a week now. Yesterday felt really warm – I think it reached double digits. My car’s thermometer said 10 degrees Celsius, parked in the carport.

Last time I posted, I had five project bags made. I now have five more.

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Still two to go to finish the set and then I’ll make more of a concerted effort to get them sold for CritterAid.

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In between making these bags, I made a denim one for a change of pace.

Same technique, no batting.

Much as I love my animal bags, I’ll be glad when they’re done. I did finish a child size beanie this week using Caron Cupcakes yarn…

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…which then led me to getting my swift and ball winder out and going through my yarns and tidying some up and turning some from hanks into cakes. I haven’t used any of my newest yarns, purchased last year. I suppose I’m thinking I should use up the older stuff first, but that could take a long time, especially at my current rate of production.

One technique I’d like to play with this year is double knitting, where you knit two layers at once using two colours and end up with a pattern on one side and the reverse pattern on the back. Like this Ampersand Dragon on Ravelry. I have printed the pattern and I think this will be my next knitting challenge. I have watched a few videos for cast ons and dealing with edges. Should be fun!

It’s a work day today so I’ll sign off here. Hope your day is wonderful, and happy crafting.

 

 

Throwback Thursday

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Today I’m looking back at 2009. There are finally some crochet projects in my Ravelry notebook, and also quite a few pairs of socks and fingerless mittens.

These two projects, though, are two of my favourites for the year. I don’t think I have the beanie any more, but I do have the mittens as they are warm. I even mended the end of one once when a stitch came loose from catching it on a keyring.

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My Ravelry project page is here. The pattern for this beanie is called the Fake Isle Hat and by using a variegated or self-striping yarn for the background it looks more complicated than it really is. It only took me two days to knit. This was, again, James C Brett Marble DK (the blue/pink) along with some Marks & Kattens Carolina (now discontinued).

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This pair of mittens took 10 days. Same yarns as the hat, but no pattern this time. I made up the Fair Isle patterns based on the way they divided into the number of stitches around the hand. I really like this sort of thumb. It’s easy, because when you’re knitting the tube for the hand you just place some waste yarn in the spot for the thumb (within the palm stitches) and then go back and pick up the stitches and knit the thumb later. I prefer the look and the fit better than a thumb gusset.

OK, that’s enough for this Thursday. Talk to you again soon.

 

WIP Wednesday

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It’s 9pm and I thought I wouldn’t have anything to talk about today as there hadn’t been much visible progress. However I added a few rounds to my Moe of Change tonight so here’s a quickie pic to give you an idea – it’s now 13.5″ in diameter.

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My phone didn’t want to focus properly! The other two blankets have had a few rounds added too, but the cardigan is still languishing.

Ooh, I just remembered, I did finish a hat. Tai Chi Man’s god-daughter had a baby recently, so I am packaging up the rainbow blanket (FO blog post here) along with a little pompom beanie made from Caron Cupcakes in Tutti Frutti. pompomhat

I confess to cutting out parts of the stripes to keep it to 9 rounds per colour. It’s only about 14″ in circumference and took about 20 grams of the cake. I ended up using US#4 needles which is skinnier than I would normally use for DK yarn but I was aiming for a certain tension.

Last Wednesday, I showed you my kitty ears. Well, here I am modelling them.

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The Hello Kitty outfit finally came together – I finished sewing the dress, bought the white turtleneck online from Old Navy, wore my Sweet Legs leggings, wore the ears and a pink bow, and went a bit heavier on the makeup.

I wore the ensemble on Monday and again on Tuesday, when I showed up for work with the added armwarmers that I made last year.

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So there you go. All caught up!

FOs, a WIP and prizes!

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The two crochet projects I showed you last time are done. The pompom hat counts as an OUT from the stash:

IMG_20190831_124901Yarn was Caron Cupcakes and in fact I only used about half a cake. I was surprised. Not sure what I will do with the rest of it.

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The unicorn lovey is now on display at the fabric store where I work (I forgot to take a photo at home, so this is it on it’s little pole – we try to pin things down so they don’t go walkabout with customers). This yarn is our own brand, Spindle Yarns Cuddle Buddy Crochet Kit. The pattern is on the ball band.

It comes in these other variations:

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Did I tell you about my new Counter Ring from CritSuccess? I saw some people talking about these on Ravelry and I just loved the rainbow one. My co-worker wanted one too so I ordered two to save shipping. The funny thing is that I ordered a size 11 and she ordered a 10, but I felt like mine was too big and she found hers a bit small so we swapped and everyone was happy! It fits well on my left index finger and I can track things while crocheting or knitting. Rows, increases, decreases, whatever. It’s meant to be for gamers, dice players, D&D types, but it works perfectly for anything you want to keep a count of.

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We are having a bit of a CAL/KAL in the Vegan Knitters and Crocheters group on Ravelry. The vegan groups tend to be a bit quiet, but one of the other members has been livening things up lately and suggested a #vegancraftalong for September. It took me a while to figure out what to make. Finally I decided on Christa’s design, the Party Cardi:¬†her YouTube channel is The Secret Yarnery.

It’s a cardigan which is started by making two granny hexagons, and when the folded hexagons are large enough for your arms you start to add length on certain sections, back and forth, for the back and chest. There are a few designs out there that are constructed similarly. The Campfire Cardigan is a larger version. But I wanted a fairly fitted cardigan that wasn’t too kitschy, I wanted to use stash yarn, and I couldn’t be bothered to knit it. I have three cakes of Lion Brand Mandala Baby in the Echo Caves colourway, which has lovely shades of blues and greens in it, and I’m using my 5.5mm Addi Swing crochet hook. I’m hoping those three cakes will be sufficient, but if not I am willing to buy an extra cake or two online. Christa’s cardigan is made with wildly coloured yarn and an eyelash edging – mine will be considerably more sedate!

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And finally, I won a prize in a Makealong (MAL) ages ago, and I missed hearing the announcement of my name. Ali of the Little Drops of Wonderful podcast had a cosy makealong, where people were making cosies for all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff. One of my entries into the Ravelry thread was drawn but I didn’t see that podcast and missed it, and Ali kindly got hold of me to let me know. I gave her my address and she mailed it and it arrived today, all the way from England.

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The Merry Christmas bag is gorgeous and squishy and will fit a medium sized project-in-progress, and she also sent a postcard (which I can colour), a Reese’s peanut butter cup (gave that to my non-vegan son), a mini skein of yarn and a teabag (which I have just brewed up to drink now).

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I think Ali was the person who coined the phrase “dodgy bags” because she was sewing bags and they weren’t perfect. Well, this little skein of yarn has the cutest little tag on it that says, “Dodgy Yarn, All pooling, bleeding and splodges included free of charge, Dyed Inexpertly in Kent, UK.” Fun!

As my friend Jeanette would say, I think we’re all caught up now. I think that tonight I shall have to watch another episode or two of the series I started watching on Netflix last night. Sex Education! It’s hilarious.

 

Friday fun

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I felt bad for Tai Chi Man yesterday. He’s on the verge of leaving for work and says, “Thank goodness it’s Friday!” and I had to break it to him that, actually, it was Thursday. Poor guy! At least he has a long weekend to look forward to – it’s Labour Day weekend.

So what’s been happening Chez Nicolaknits this week? Unpicking quilting stitches – yes, lots of ’em, and the job is not done yet. I haven’t done some every day, but I have amazingly had the patience for some long sessions with the seam ripper so hopefully the job will be finished soon.

There has been other sewing:

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This top is made from a pattern that a friend bought and sewed up, and she lent me the pattern a very long time ago to make one for myself. I finally got around to it. I started it yesterday morning before work, and finished it this afternoon. There are only a few seams, but the hemline is horrendously long and it took ages to do because I wanted to make sure it was done properly with no tucks or twists.

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I made View A, the easiest one!

Can I remember what the fabric is? No I can’t. I bought it recently from work, but didn’t keep the receipt. I think it’s a rayon. And it’s in the perfect colour to go with jeans. It has a very wide neckline so I’ll have to wear it with a tank top underneath.

I was having so much fun with the upcycled jeans ideas, that I made two more bags:

There has been a little crochet:

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This is a pompom hat I’m making with some stash, a cake of Caron Cupcakes in the colourway Strawberry Kiwi Pop. The cool thing about this is that I grabbed the cake of yarn in the morning and stuffed it into a project page with hooks etc, and later in the day after my errands were done I stopped at the tea shop and decided on the spur of the moment to have a strawberry kiwi iced tea (with no idea that that was the colour of the yarn that was in my bag)!

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Another project that I couldn’t wait to start was this one:

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New yarns came in at work and I was filling the shelves and deciding how to display these new little crochet kits for loveys (mini baby security blankets). Well, I couldn’t resist this unicorn one and I offered to crochet one for display and got the okay!

This is a pretty, soft, worsted weight yarn and the brand, Spindle Yarns, is Fabricland’s (Canada) own. They’ve added quite a few new yarns to the range including a cotton blend and a 100% bamboo, over which I shall have to practice my self control!

The rest of my day looks like this: decide what’s for dinner, get some prep done, sit and unpick quilt, eat dinner, go to gym!

 

 

 

Two steps forward and one step back

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The backing for the wonky log cabin quilt came together quickly, as I used chunks of the fabrics left over from the top. I bought a polyester batting from work – the cheapest thinnest stuff you ever did see – and pinned the layers together.

And then I quilted some of it…and hated it…and am now unpicking the stitches from the back with a seam ripper. It was too much quilting, too messily done, and it ruined it. I had quilted five squares out of the 25, used a full bobbin of thread on it over 1.5 hours, and it will take ages to pull out. However I will be happier with it in the long run if I suck it up and just do it.

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More happily, I have an FO! A pompom beanie crocheted with a cake of Caron Chunky Cupcakes in Jelly Bean. The pattern was on the ballband but it’s also available for free on the Yarnspirations website. Details on my Ravelry project page. It’s constructed using a sideways ‘ribbed’ brim, then you join into a loop and work along the side for the body of the hat. The main part is moss stitch, which in crochet is (sc, ch1) around, working into the chain spaces on the next round. It makes a nice fabric, and alternating both ends of the yarn cake gives you a variation in colour as you go. The pompom comes attached to the yarn, which is why it coordinates so well.

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a cosy Cowboy Fog

 

I’ve been mostly staying off Facebook lately, preferring just to post an occasional photo to Instagram. I spend at most a few minutes a day on Instagram so have more time to do better things! The above photo is from one of my visits to my favourite local tea shop. This book is from the library and I’m really enjoying the read, and identifying what is cosy for me. Certainly, one of my cosiest things to do is sit in Chai Baba and drink their awesome teas and either crochet, read or talk to the friends we bump into there.

Another cosy thing I like to do is take my breakfast outside to the deck. It’s cool and quiet and I can look at the sky, enjoy my breakfast, maybe wrap myself in a blanket or quilt if I feel a little chilly, and look out for birds and squirrels in the trees.

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morning muesli

It’s my birthday tomorrow and I feel like the celebrations are happening not just for one day but for half a week! Last night I went out to dinner with friends and we had a lot of fun. We’re all Brits so have the same sense of humour. Tomorrow I am working, but there is a potluck at my house in the evening with a different set of friends who we always have a laugh with. We usually play Mexican Train Dominoes, and there is lots of digressing and wordplay and puns. And Sunday morning we are off to brunch at another vegan cafe with a couple of our sons. I am totally making the most of turning 57!

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So while I was procrastinating on the quilt unpicking, I made these tote bags with some old stash fabrics. I made 12 in all but took the photo before I made the last one. I decided that as I have to work on my birthday, I will practice Random Acts of Kindness and give a bag out now and then throughout the day to customers who need one. It will save them taking a plastic bag and hopefully it will remind them to always carry a cloth bag with them when they shop in future.

And then I spotted the stash of old jeans on the top shelf of the sewing room closet, and this came together.

It’s a fun little bag made from upcycled denim. I sewed a little flower where there was a hole at the corner of the pocket, which inspired me to make the strap out of the same fabric and also applique another patch on the back. I loved it so much that I immediately started another, but it got to 4pm and I had to start cooking dinner. I could have carried on for hours!

Have you seen this nifty gadget? It was very useful today, for sewing over bulky seams and the parts where the tote bag straps joined to the top of the bags. It basically helps the machine to handle the thick seams without skipping stitches or getting stuck. Definitely a good investment.

Well, I really must get to bed. It’s been a busy day (including a 9am Cardio Barre class and a half hour weights session tonight) and I have to be up early in the morning, Have a great weekend!

Hikrochet!

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Hikrochet!

Hikrochet (Hi-cro-shay): to crochet while walking or hiking

OK, I made that up, but I had a good walk today and even went further than usual because I wanted to see how much progress I could make while on the hoof!

This…

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…is how much I did while walking. I had the yellow crocheted yarn-holder over my left wrist, fed the yarn from the centre of the cake out the top of the bag, and just started crocheting. A beanie seemed like a good idea, and I used double crochet in a spiral. The yarn is a partial ball of James C Brett Marble Chunky, a lovely soft acrylic, and the hook is a 6mm.

After I got home, I continued on, finishing the hat with a round of hdc and some embroidery that is supposed to look like cherry blossom.

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More stash busted, yay!

Another project which I worked on for the last three days is this market bag. I showed you a progress photo last time, but it is now done, steamed and ready to go.

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I still need to work on some squares for the Scrapsrific MCAL, but also have two other projects waiting in the wings: a pair of knitted socks, and some dishcloth/scrubby doodads that I will be making with these…

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It’s funny how things wax and wane – this time last week I had one WIP and now I have tons of stuff in the pipeline. Crochet on!