Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sea Cozy Tea Cozy (I hope)

Started a new knitting project last weekend while slumming it in a cabin in the Laurentians. Hot tub, pool table, fireplace and lots of big squishy couches perfect for curling up with a mug of tea and a crafty sort of project.

This is my first time knitting with two colours of yarn and it's turning out to be easier than I had expected. I've been knitting off and on for a good 10 years now, but it's been far more off than on, so I've accomplished little more than a few scarves. Knitting isn't my first, or even second or third favorite creative/crafty activity so it often gets pushed aside in favor of other things.

Eventually, hopefully, this will becomes a tea cozy. I'm using this pattern I found on Ravely.

I've added a few rows of single-colour garter stitch at the bottom on the recommendation of various Ravely people - apparently it keeps the strands that get carried across the back from peeking out.

Hopefully I don't have to frog this and restart - I'm worried about my tension now that I'm on the stripes. The pulling of the yarn across the back to make the ribs stand out seems to make me want to knit very tightly.

Yarn: Cascade Pacific
Colourway: 23 & 66
Pattern: linked above. 

Friday, 24 February 2012

When the weather outside is frightful....

.....let's sew, let's sew, let's sew!!!!!

This was the view across our backyard this afternoon. Normally at this time of year I'd be sulking, but we've had such pitiful snowfall (and too much freezing rain) that I'm almost giddy with excitement. More snow means more cross country skiing!

But you can't ski while most of the snow is still in the air instead of on the ground. So I did the next best thing and worked on my pajama top. Surprised myself by getting a good chunk done. Realizing I don't have to switch feet every time I switch between straight and zig-zag stitch has sped me up a fair bit (not that changing feet takes a noticeable amount of time, more that I think it does and end up futzing about when I should just be getting on with the sewings).

I made a pocket!

I attached a pocket (after several bad starts...I suck at edgestitching)

Attached the facings!

Made the collar!

"I like mah collah popped yo!"

"Less pictures, more pets plx"
Also got the big bits sewn together at the shoulders. That's a lot of progress for a glacial sewist like myself!

Hopefully I can finish this weekend, but that depends how distracted I get with skiing and nerdery.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

So Project: Pajamas has been moving forward at a glacial pace - although I suppose the eulogy I had to write and give last week is a legit reason to not be sewing.

After cutting out the pattern pieces on Saturday night, I left everything carefully laid out on my sewing* table for Sunday. When I went back to it Monday night I couldn't find the pattern instructions! Extremely frustrating since my sewing area** is abnormally clean right now - there are only so many places I even have to look, and I've checked those places multiple times.

I bitched.

I moaned.

I sulked.

I did all three over gmail chat with the ever patient Heather and she didn't disown me as a friend.

In the end I went out and picked up the regular-sized version of the pattern. I was going to buy it any way since the 1X in the Plus version was big on me - and I've lost weight since I bought it. I love this style of pajamas and fully intend on making many more.

I do feel like a bit of a sewing wuss for not just trying to put it all together myself as Heather suggested. This is my first time making a garmet of any type - I've never done sleeves or collars before. At all. So I kinda want the safety net of instructions to keep my perfectionist self from freaking out.

Well, I think that's enough justification, don't you?

Less justifiable, but I will share just the same: these two patterns just happened to come home with me too:

The one on the left looks exactly like a beach cover up I drooled over in Bikini Village last year - and didn't buy because it was $75. The dress/top on the right might not be perfectly in fashion right now, but it's a bit more interesting than other patterns that are suited to my skills, and gives me practice sewing with knits and coming up with creative fabric choices. I like the look of the red variation, the other two with the white banding - not so much.

* also thesis table, board game table, art table, plant care center and to the bunnies: Pedestale On Which The Most Honoured And Glorious Receptacle Of Noms Rests.

** also office, bunny room, games room, storage room, art room, wannabe greenhouse and lounge.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

A small step forward

Whew, finally got around to working on the pajama top. It's been a sad, stressful few weeks - just wasn't in the mood to tackle a sewing project. Particularly one whose next steps are my least favorite steps. Pinning and cutting out the pieces. Ugh. I'm anal retentive so all futzing and shifting and finger crossing you do to get everything lined up properly, pinned without messing it up, and then cut out, is just nerve-wracking.

So aimed low and accomplished a small goal today: cutting out and ironing the pattern pieces.

Tiny mission is accomplished.

Tomorrow I'm going to aim to get the pieces pinned to the fabric and cut out.

Or maybe some of them.

Just one?

Along the way I encountered a few wtf moments. Maybe they aren't anything worth commenting on to an experienced sewer (sewist?) but they gave me pause for a bit.

Like, why are the pockets different sizes? I get why patterns come in a range of sizes (duh) but why pockets? Does Kwik Sew think larger people need to carry more?

Ok, there is only one wtf moment. The other one I figured out as I was uploading the picture. Derp.

Have you had any wtf moments with patterns? Were they beginner mistakes or was the pattern designed by a flock of toucans hopped up on hallucinogens?

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Found it!

Woot! Found the missing crochet hook.

Was doing a Downward Facing Dog and admiring the upside-down view instead of concentrating on finding inner peace. Spied the little bugger waaaay underneath a couch. Yoga fail is a crafting win.

And now my anal-retentive self is no longer twitchy when looking at the gap in my crochet hook roll.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Fabulous scarf for a fabulous friend

Finished a birthday gift for a friend last night - only 9 months late! I really don't have any excuse, these types of scarves knit up stupid fast. I was just intimidated by this particular type of mesh, which is a fair bit finer than what I normally use (Katia Triana). Turned out not to be a terrible experience once I got the right needle size and tweaked the pattern. Don't think I'm going to make another anytime soon though.

In my excitement to give the scare to my very patient friend, I totally forgot to take a picture for this post. Silly me, not looking out for good blog opportunities 24/7.

Leftover yarn to the rescue!

Made a quick scale-model scarf this morning, worn by the surprisingly tolerant Nicnic.

Yarn: Estelle Frill Seeker
Colourway: 701 (such uncreative nomenclature)
Pattern: I started with the free pattern recommended by Estelle, but found it too dense. After some Ravelry-browsing  and examining a similar scarf my grandmother has, I modified the pattern to 7 knit stitches across instead of 9, and increased the distance between each stitch to 2-ish-inches. (The model scarf pictured is only 3 stitches across). This makes it more flowing and frillier.