I’ve done a lot of sewing this month and even made some stitch markers. All of the bags were a wedge style but one was lined with vinyl to be a make up bag. The make up bag and the kitty flower bag were gifts for friends. The fabrics are from Joann’s and the stitch marker charms are from fandom chart bracelets on Amazon. I’ve gone to using snaps on many of the project bags to eliminate yarn snagging on zippers.
Kitty project bag and notion pouch for a friend who was leaving to visit her significant other across the pond.
Vinyl lined make up bag – gift for a friend. I told her almost six years ago I would figure out how to make a vinyl lined make up bag and finally did. I applied the iron on vinyl to the lining fabric.
I found some more of the beautiful stained glass type Beauty and the Beast fabric. So many of the Disney fabrics are pink, pastels and downright girly. I previously made two bags out of this fabric as gifts but wanted one for myself.
Another not girly Disney fabric
Game of Thrones fabric
This might be fabric more aimed at little children but I fell in love with the pirate sea creatures
Space cats – enough said
And now some stitch markers – in order – Star Trek, Supernatural, Game of Thrones
My first crochet project – Ernesto the Bird!
I finally gave in and tried to learn crochet (like I can make four different stitches). My first project is an amigurumi bird, who my friend named Ernesto. It was kinda fun and I will likely make more animals as time allows.
Moving on to the details.
Hook – 4.5mm Clover Amour
Pattern – Jay the Bird (Ravelry pattern here) from Stacey Trock. I actually got this pattern as part of her Woodland Animals class of Craftsy. I previously started another “Learn to Crochet” type class but didn’t really like how the instructor taught. I viewed some of Woodland Animals class during Craftsy Unlimited’s free weekend (I didn’t subscribe to Craftsy Unlimited though) and really like Stacey Trock. The class includes about four patterns/animals. The individual pattern is $5.00 US on Ravelry.
Yarn – All of the yarn used is Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice, which is an aran weight acrylic yarn. The colorway for the bird’s body is Scarlet and the beak is Mustard.
I stuffed the bird with poly-fil and attached the safety eyes. My project page on Rav is here.
I started this a very extremely embarrassingly long time ago. And then it sat when I hurt my back and got my e-spinner. But I picked it back up this fall/winter and finally finished.
The Basics (Ravelry page)
- Hand carded batt from Tomorrow Farm, which is now called Camelot Dyeworks
- The colorway is Emma and was part of a Once Upon a Time Spin-a-long. Fiber content was alpaca, tencel, merino and faux cashmere
- 4.2 ounces unspun; 3.9 ounces spun
- 562 yards / 2313 yards per pound
- 21 wraps per inch (a very light fingering)
- Spun the singles on my Kromski Sonata, plied on the Hansen Minispinner Woolee Winder flier
I tore the batt into a long strip and then predrafted as I went. I had to stop frequently anyways to pull out neps and veg matter so it wasn’t a lot of additional stopping to predraft. This fiber combination did not draft out smoothly – certain sections had to be pulled apart with a lot of force. I spun the singles together as a two ply.
What Will it Grow Up to Be
I considered plying this with something else to get more yardage but didn’t want the barber-pole effect. So instead I plan to spin up some medium heather gray alpaca and make them into a two-color shawl.
I wish I could say this was a quick knit. Not sure if it was the cables, the length (slouchy rather than true beanie) or being distracted by finishing my cape that slowed me down but it took about a month to actually get this finished. I had finished a hat for someone else, and then lost my favorite gray and red thick hat, so I was in hat mode. It won’t replace the one I lost (it was so thick and squishy) but I love the cables on this hat.
Moving on. My Rav project page is here.
Pattern – Themisto (Ravelry pattern here) from Tori Gurbisz. This is a slouchy style hat worked in two colors by alternating row colors and working a cable panels in one of the colors (and slipping those stitches on the other color row). Two contrasting colors would work best. I liked that the pattern included charts and written out instructions – and the body pattern was very easy to memorize. You will need TWO cable needles for this pattern. Pattern is $5.00 on Ravelry.
Yarn – I used Leading Men Fiber Arts Box Office (Rav link) (Leading Men Fiber Arts website) in the colorways Poison Apple (red) and Darkest Hour (black). Box Office is a worsted weight 100% super merino plied yarn that is an almost solid kettle dyed. I actually love that is ISN’T solid because it gives each color some depth. The colors are very saturated and I did not encounter any problems with the yarn (knots, thin spots, etc.). I will definitely use this yarn again.
Pattern Mods and Notes –
1. Circumference – the pattern indicates a large will fit a 22 inch head. See notes below regarding the fabric look but this hat is a bit snug on me. I wish there had been one size larger since most men’s heads are even bigger than mine. I didn’t figure I could go in and create a larger size without loosing the nice decreases at the top.
2. I used 55 yards of the black and 87 yards of the red, which means I could get a second hat out of the two total skeins (one of each color) I bought. I wouldn’t even have to invert the colors.
3. Pattern calls for US 6 and US 8 needles. I could (kinda) get gauge with US 6 and US 7 but the fabric was nowhere near dense enough. I used US 5 for the whole hat.
4. I added some length. The pattern says to knit until you have 5 repeats of the body pattern but had I done so the hat would have been a beanie, not a slouchy. So I added an extra two repeats of the body pattern.
You would think a cape knit from chunky yarn would be a relatively quick knit. And yet somehow this took me a year. To be fair – I did stop working on it when it got warmer. Then I picked it back up this fall with the goal of finishing it by Christmas. I was close with that goal. I bought this yarn for myself as a Christmas present last year with the goal of having a warm heavy cape, especially for work.
Moving on. My Rav project page is here.
Pattern – I didn’t use a pattern for this cape – basically I just “winged” it. I didn’t take very good notes either. In general, I knit this as a top down raglan but without any sleeves. It comes down to just past my elbows. Somewhere past the shoulders I quit doing the raglan increases. Around the cast on edge (I cast on 50 stitches) and the bottom I did a seed stitch border (6 rows). After binding off I picked up stitches on each edge for the button band and knit about 10 rows (maybe a few more) of seed stitch. My pick-up ratio was 3 stitches for every 4 stitches on the edge. There are more detailed notes on the Ravelry page.
Yarn – I used Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky (Rav link) in black. Baby Alpaca Chunky is a bulky weight 100% alpaca merino plied yarn that is solid. It’s wonderfully squishy and soft, and does knit up fast. I used 538 yards of yarn.
I made a quick (and silly) Christmas gift for someone who likes pompoms.
Different colors of worsted weight yarn – I used acrylic yarn from a big box store to get the color palette I wanted. I could not find any gold yarn so I bought some golden yarn and held it double with some gold crochet thread.
Metal wreath frame – I used a tiny six inch wreath frame at JoAnn’s. This comes in multiple sizes and looks like the following:
Pompom maker – You can, of course, get by without this but I think it makes it much faster. I have two different types of pompom makers – the ones from Boye and the ones from Clover. The ones from Boye do not make well-rounded pompoms. I plan to do a comparison review of these two brands in the future.
I first made all the pompoms (30 in total). Mine were about 40% red, 40% green and 20% yellow. I did make mine all the same size so they would squish together better on the wreath. Also, I left long tails on each pompom. I then used those tails to tie all the pompoms to the inside two rings of the wreath. I didn’t use the outside edges of the wreath because doing so caused the pompom to spin around to the bottom of the wreath. After securing all the pompoms to the wreath (and squishing them very close to each other) I trimmed the tails close to the knots. Tada! Finished pompom wreath!
I’ve done a lot of sewing in the last few weeks. Some were gifts for others, some were holiday themed bags for me. Most of the bags are a wedge style and I’ve provided some links at the bottom of this post to tutorials for similar bags.
The first is a Star Trek pillowcase for my brother. He loves Star Trek (as do I) and I thought this would be something fun for him.
I also found a beautiful stained glass type Beauty and the Beast fabric. So many of the Disney fabrics are pink, pastels and downright girly. So I was excited to find this print at Joanns. I made two bags. The first didn’t have the exact placement I wanted in terms of the castle and Belle and the Beast so I made a second bag. The first bag has a good home – a colleague’s young daughter.
And some more bags. . .
This bag is different from the others in that instead of having a zipper closure at the top, it has snaps for the closure. I made this bag for me to see what I think of this closure in terms of usability and convenience. If I like it, I will make more bags in this way.
What a quick knit! I finished this in under a week and I’m ready to cast on one for me. Last January a friend mentioned she might like a Broncos hat. We looked at a couple different colorway combinations and then put the idea on hold since football season ended. After I finished my most recent shawl I needed a little “bite of chocolate” before switching back to my next large-ish project. A hat seemed perfect and so I ordered some yarn and figured out gauge. She also wanted a two-color pompom, which I did make. I had the project done and washed in a week and was able to give it to my friend in person (she lives in another state). I don’t have any pictures of her wearing the hat but she’s going to a Broncos game later this month and I hope she’ll take one then!
Moving on. My Rav project page is here.
Pattern – Botanic Hat (Ravelry pattern here) from Stephen West (website here). This is a beanie style hat worked in two colors by alternating row colors and slipping stitches. Two contrasting colors would work best. My only critique of the pattern is that, for the price of the pattern, there is only one size available. The designer states you can adjust sizing by using different weights of yarn but that’s pretty limiting. Pattern is $6.00 on Ravelry.
Yarn – I used Malabrigo Yarn Rios (Rav link) (Malabrigo website) in the colorways Glazed Carrot (orange) and Azul Profundo (navy). Rios is a worsted weight 100% superwash merino plied yarn that is kettle dyed. It’s wonderfully squishy and soft, maybe even moreso than the unplied Malabrigo Worsted.
Pattern Mods and Notes –
1. Circumference – the pattern indicates the hat will fit a 22 inch to 24 inch head. Even with the smaller needles I used, it’s a bit big on a 22 inch head. Not so big it’s unwearable but definitely loose.
2. I used 0.45 skeins (94.5 yards) of the orange and 0.30 skeins (63.0 yards) of the navy, which means I could get a second hat out of the two total skeins (one of each color) I bought.
3. Pattern calls for US 6 and US 7 needles. I could (kinda) get gauge with US 5 and US 6 but to get the hat smaller, and make the fabric look better, I used US 4 for the whole hat.
4. The pompom. I don’t particularly love pompoms. I don’t wear them and I was honestly surprised my friend wanted one. I made a couple test pompoms using the second smallest pompom maker out of my set of four. The pompom still seemed a bit lopsided, even after trimming. I finally quit trimming because I was worried there would be no pompom left.
5. I added some length. The pattern says to knit until you have 6 inches before starting the crown. I want hats to cover the ears so I went to 6.5 inches. Much better.
I actually finished my first brioche knitting project. I’ve had learning brioche as a goal for about two years now and tried learning via YouTube with no success. So, when a brioche class was offered the day before the Knitting Pipeline retreat started, I jumped at chance. Once I got the rhythm of brioche down it was actually an easy and fun knit. Only reason it took two months was because I had to stop in between and work on knitting for classes. But it’s done!
My Rav project page is here.
Pattern – Chromatic Cowl (Ravelry pattern here) by Amy Detjen (who taught the class). It’s worked in the round with two colors. I think its important to note that the pattern itself doesn’t teach you how to do brioche – it assumes you know this. You use a solid color to start and end with a curled border. Normally I dislike edges curling as an intended border but on this it works out well. Pattern is free on Ravelry.
Yarn – I bought a kit at the start of the brioche class that was designed specifically for the cowl. The yarn is Greatest of Ease from KnitCircus Yarns and is a fingering weight 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon blend. The kit included two 50 gram cakes, one in a solid (cream in my case) and another in a gradient (I bought the Over the Rainbow colorway). I really liked the feel of the yarn (squishy and soft) but I did have some spots where the yarn had frayed a bit (as in it was becoming unplied). The rainbow colors are very vibrant and it became “potato chip knitting” to get to the next color.
A little finished project – knitted knittens!
Tell me those aren’t the cutest? My boss in Colorado is a cat person but they don’t have any cats at the present time (multitude of reasons). So, I knit these kittens with the rationale that they don’t require feeding or litterboxes, don’t shed, are soft to pet, and don’t require care when she’s out of town. I sent them off to her with some brownies and muffins. The gray and white kitten is intended to resemble a cat named Jasper she had as a child. The pattern is for a solid colored cat so I knit the black cat first, then did some experimenting to get the white on the feet, belly (can’t see in the pictures) and face.
Moving on to the details.
Needle – US 2 or 3 straight needles
Pattern – Kitten Knit Pattern (Ravelry pattern here) from Amy Gaines (AmyGaines on Ravelry). I looked at a couple different knitted cat patterns and liked this one the best. There are a fair number of pieces (six) – I think the seaming and assembly takes more time than the knitting. However, it does sit up on its own and the knitting itself is pretty easy. Pattern is $3.00 US on Ravelry.
Yarn – I knit the black one out of Knit Picks Swish Worsted (merino wool), using the serrano color for the collar. I knit the gray one out of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted (blend of corriedale and merino wool), I think in the Lace Ice Heather color, but I’m not positive. Personally, I don’t think the Wool of the Andes very soft and wouldn’t use it for next to the skin, although the Swish was amazingly soft. A 50 gram ball of either yarn is 110 yards. I used the following colors: Cloud, Brass Heather, Chestnut, Bittersweet Heather, Firecracker Heather, Pink Posy Heather and Rouge .
I stuffed the kittens with poly-fil and attached the safety eyes and bell. My project page on Rav is here.