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.
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.
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!
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.
I have a new top! This gorgeous polyester jersey had an interesting print which I positioned just so. I made sure that it lined up on the back, front and sleeves.
It’s Burda 6990 again, an easy raglan top with only three pattern pieces and six seams. I still haven’t perfected the hemming but that just gives me an excuse to make more, right?
I love projects that I can make in an afternoon. I’ll wear this to work tomorrow for sure.
My current yarny WIP is this batwing sweater. If you think 1980s when I mention batwing sleeves, that’s great! I’m crocheting this as part of the Totally Tubular 1980s KAL in the vegan group on Ravelry.
The pattern is a paid one – Stash to Treasure Batwing Sweater by Dora Does. I’m using the blackberry coloured Cygnet Chunky (let’s hope it doesn’t get frogged a third time) and the Knit Picks Brava minis that I bought myself last year.
It’s easy and I intend to have it done by the end of June.
And finally…the sad goodbye is to an old and huge pine tree that stood between my house and my neighbour’s. They had it cut down this week. No idea why, it was perfectly healthy.
We are still getting used to the wider view and extra light but we are sad for the squirrels and birds that called this tree home, or used it as a route around the neighbourhood. And this summer we’re going to have to sort out more screening for our deck because that tree provided much needed shade.
A great shame to see how many trees have been lost to the dreaded chainsaw in the last few weeks.
I haven’t washed this yet, so the stitches are still somewhat uneven in places. It took just over six weeks to complete though if I had been a little more focused it could have taken way less.
I did try it on and I have to say I’m not 100% happy with it. It fits ok but I was anticipating it being more roomy. Guess I should have made the larger size. Could have been a little longer too, and the neck doesn’t sit smoothly probably because it’s a funnel-type neck with no neckline shaping. If I made it again, I would make it bigger and wider, add length below the armholes, work the ribbing without changing to smaller needles and do the short rows at the back neck. Hmmm, that’s a lot of changes!
Well, this is a bit of an adventure. WordPress have decided to give me a new blog-writing functionality. It’s not completely different from the old one but no doubt I will find some things require some extra thought.
Firstly, I hope you’re all doing well and that wherever you are you’re enjoying your crafting. Maybe even more crafting than ever! Maybe less. A lot of people have more time on their hands because they haven’t been at work, so their crafty productivity has soared, whilst others are suffering from COVID apathy and if and when they make something it has to be as simple as possible.
I’ve been back at work for two weeks and have noticed that every shift seems like 16 rather than 8 hours. One week in, Head Office mandated masks for everyone, staff AND customers, and so we have the physical distancing, the sanitising, the one-way aisles, and the clear barriers, plus the wearing of masks. Masks get hot when you wear them most of the day – my face gets pretty sweaty – and if I walk too fast around the store I get breathless.
I’ve seen many reports of negative effects of mask-wearing, the main one being that you’re re-breathing your exhaled carbon dioxide. This means that breathlessness and brain fog are quite common. However, in order to keep my job, I need to wear one, and I also have to enforce customers wearing a mask or other face covering too. Some people object to this quite strongly but until the Government decides to lift the restrictions I guess we’re stuck with it. It’s a minor inconvenience to wear a mask for a short time during your shopping trip, really.
The best thing to do is to immerse yourself in something you enjoy, and crochet gives me a great sense of satisfaction and calm. The back and front of my Ocean Breeze sweater are done. It’s a cropped sweater so it’s waist length. Once I reached the last colour in my chosen group for the body, I started on the sleeves. These I am working from the cuff up, but flat rather than in the round like the pattern states.
The sleeves have all the remaining colours of my Scheepjes Stonewashed/Riverwashed XL minis and now I’m up to the part at the top which is just a few rows of the Moonstone. The only colour I’m not using is Black Onyx, so there will be 49 colours total in this sweater.
The only sewing I’ve done in the last week has been an experimental couple of masks from Craft Passion. It’s a shaped mask with a pocket for a removable filter and an outside channel for the wire so it can be removed for washing. It’s probably a bit easier to sew than the one I’ve made lots of, but I was using a work T shirt of my son’s to see if I could incorporate his company logo. The first one was ok, but the second one was better – I interfaced both layers and it made an effective mask with some added body to it. I have bought some extra elastic and interfacing in case he wants more, or if his co-workers ask him about it.
Also, I’ve been patching this old quilt.
I made this in 2003! Can’t believe it was 17 years ago, but I made a label for the back so it’s true! At the time, I had been quilting like crazy for about 5 years and was starting to get back into yarny pursuits. So I made this scrappy nine-patch using bits of fabric I had left over from making all those other quilts. I decided it would be a beach quilt and would get used, and it was. It was dragged to homeschool park days, beach days, out into the garden, left in the sun, tromped on, wrapped around cold kids, it got wet and dirty and was tossed into the washer and dryer.
It’s huge, and when I constructed it I did it in four sections which I then joined together after quilting.
The fabrics faded and in time actually started to wear out, and I have had to patch areas of it before. Last night, I started patching over the holey areas that have developed since the last round of mending. It’s very quick and dirty patching – the stitching is messy and a lot of the edges are raw. I think what I should do next is lay it out in the sun for a while so that the new fabrics fade a little to blend in more with the old ones.
My gym is opening June 1st and I really need the exercise. I’ve been getting lot of steps in at work, but I need to lose weight and get those muscles lifting weights again. I’m off the oil again – no fried foods, no margarine, no oil in salads, no vegan cheese – and I’m also off Yorkshire tea (sob) and coffee because I have a touch of acid reflux which I’m convinced I can control with tweaks to the diet and a loss of the spare tire around my middle. Dr Greger (nutritionfacts.org and How Not to Die) says that the valve at the top of the stomach is relaxed by a fatty meal which allows the acid to leak back into the oesophagus. I’ve read what this can do long-term and it isn’t pretty. I’m not going to take antacids because those just mess up your digestion and weaken your bones. Of course, stress plays a part too, and the last couple of months have certainly brought new stressors (promotion and the dreaded virus)!
On that note, it’s time for me to get off the computer and make dinner. Take care, and talk soon.
Well, since I tidied my sewing room, I have tested out the new arrangement. It works great. I decided to make a Car Diddy Bag from SewCanShe.com. It’s a medium-sized bag with a long strap that can loop over the gear stick, it has a main compartment, front pockets and a hidden zippered pocket.
I do love these Patrick Lose fabrics. As you can see, it does what it’s supposed to do…sits in my passenger seat footwell, looking pretty. It even has a strip of hook tape on the bottom to stop it from slipping around.
That made, I also went on to cobble together this drawstring bag. It’s a dodgy bag! The rayon fabric was left over from a skirt I made a year or two ago. It doesn’t behave itself at all. But I had this rectangle which was just the right size for the outer and lining, and I used some sew-in fleece in between the layers. It probably would have worked better with a fusible, but never mind.
That was one afternoon’s sewing.
As you’ll see, the backdrop to that photo is my pack of Scheepjes Stonewashed and Riverwashed XL minis. Big news! I finally decided to crack them open and actually make something with them.
It’s been over a year of wondering what to make, wanting it to be wearable rather than another blanket or something, and I finally found a sweater pattern which seemed like it might be compatible. The Ocean Breeze Sweater is an easy project. Mostly double crochet, simple shaping, and a clear pattern. I have 250g of the yarn in Moonstone (the cream colour) and a total of 750g in the pack of minis so the plan evolved on the hook.
I started the front and worked 14 rows, and then started the back and worked 14 rows, and joined the shoulders.
Then I played around with the minis in the hope I could get a pleasing gradation from light to dark for both the body and sleeves.
I have added a few rows of the lighter colours now:
As I said on my FB post yesterday – this will either be a huge mistake and get frogged, or it will be my most favourite sweater ever. The jury is still out! Fifty colours is a lot for one sweater, after all!
Whilst the body panels are worked flat and seamed, the designer says to crochet the sleeves from the cuff up in turned rounds. But because of my intended stripes, I would rather crochet them right on to the side of the body and work down. Wish me luck!
Today was the first day that I’ve had to wear a mask for my whole shift – well, except for breaks. After the first hour, it actually wasn’t so bad. But I’ve been up since 6.30, because I woke early, and now it’s only 9pm and I’m fried.
Hope you’re staying well and enjoying some crafty moments.
This week I’m featuring a sweater I made for my youngest son who, according to my project notes, was 9 at the time (he’s 21 now). He was mad about the Deltora Quest books so for Christmas I thought I’d knit him a sweater with a Deltora theme.
Featured in the books is the Belt of Deltora, a steel belt which holds seven gems, the first initials of which spell the word Deltora. I made the front, back and sleeves on my Bond machine and hand knitted the ribbing and duplicate stitched the gems across the front.
I can’t recall him wearing the sweater very much. He wasn’t a very cold-blooded kid, and even now he rarely wears a sweater, and doesn’t bother with a coat much either, unless he’s snowboarding.
I see I bought the yarn at Zellers – that’s a throwback right there – all the Zellers stores closed down years ago. I did like having that store in town, as it was a handy Canadian alternative to the dreaded Wally-world Wal-mart!
My usual morning routine is to glug down a big glass of lemon water and make myself a huge cup of Yorkshire tea, then head to the couch with my laptop to catch up on emails, Facebook and Ravelry. Emails and Facebook can just be a few minutes each; Ravelry can take longer, depending on what interesting topics have appeared overnight and whether I want to contribute.
I replied to a thread this morning which had me looking back at an old project, so I had this idea for Throwback Thursdays. Pick an old project to talk about that stands out for me.
The oldest projects I have listed are from 2006, but the photos are dull and there is not much detail on them as they were made pre-Ravelry. Things start getting more interesting in 2007. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wishes Ravelry had been around for 50 years so we could have kept good notes on everything we’ve made.
Today’s is this one with the uninspiring name Top Down Raglan. (Link to my Ravelry project page.)
I don’t have a photo of me wearing it, but it did fit me well. It was my own design, constructed top down, seamlessly, and I added in a cable design from somewhere, and did folded hems. The yarn used to be a favourite of mine – James C Brett Marble DK. I actually made two sweaters from this yarn, which amazes me now because I am not a patient person when it comes to yarn, and prefer the thicker end of the spectrum. According to my Ravelry notes, it only took a couple of months to knit.
My project page says I bought the yarn at Fun Knits on Quadra Island (which is in BC, Canada) which immediately takes me back to the time I bought it. We were on holiday, Tai Chi Man, the three boys, and my in-laws, and the comment my MIL made at the time was that the colour was “dull.” (She spoke her mind, that one!) Admittedly, I do tend to wear brighter or stronger colours than this now, and it ended up going to a thrift store one year, after a seasonal closet clear-out. I wonder where it is now. Hopefully keeping someone warm.