Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ticking off the boxes

Okay, I am doing it! I am getting items done, no more lazy knitting for me - although I don't feel that bad as most of my knitting over the years was charity knitting or gifts for friends. First on the list is socks for my cold tootsies. I made a pair from an intermediate level book but I didn't like that it left 2 seams along the heel, I can't imagine that being comfortable as the day goes on. So I searched and found a pattern on Ravelry that I liked and went with it. I'm almost done, just need to finish a bit of the ankle and go up the leg a bit and I can see where I may have made mistakes and I can try the fit of it. So far I'm extremely happy with this pattern. This is the heel:
There are no odd seams on the heel and a special stitch is used (I really need to learn the technical names) on the bottom of the heel to strengthen it. PLUS this turn that goes up the back of the foot is gorgeous and surprisingly easy. I have a feeling that I didn't make the foot long enough and I'm thankful that this was a test round with cheap, acrylic yarn. I became a little too impatient and just started the heel :-) The pattern isn't made for all sizes, it was a free pattern and her specific measurements are too her foot which seems to be a few inches larger than mine, which isn't surprising as I'm only a size 6 and 1/2 foot. I just made sure to read the pattern thoroughly as I don't want to bother making ANOTHER practice sock. So that is why the heel starts way too soon, I needed to knit the foot part a little bit further past my arch (no need to show pictures at this point).
I went to Urban Yarns near UBC last week to get some supplies and information on making socks. For someone who has been knitting their whole life I sure sounded like an amateur to them. I'm really happy I'm taking this next step and teaching myself the advanced techniques of a skill that I already kick ass at. Plus my feet are cold, getting older doesn't bother me that much except how easy it is for me to get cold, each year it gets worse. So I need wool socks and why not make them myself. My first real pair will be done with this gorgeous merino wool from Spud and Chloe yarns which probably just looks dark. It's a wonderful brown that has a hint of metallic in it. I'm so excited and I know I'll be working on them this weekend! After that it will be fun, colourful, patterned SOCKS!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Shirt into a Skirt

I went to the Plenty warehouse sale last year and picked up a tank in red and white stripes.  I already owned it in black and white but I couldn't pass up the $3 price for a good quality shirt.  Yes, it was a medium with a sewn on bra look to it but I didn't care, I thought it would be great under cardigans and sweaters.  I haven't worn it once, even under closed tops it makes my chest look hilarious and awkwardly spread out.  I tried it on again last fall and noticed that it was very long and thought why not turn it into a skirt!
This is the original black and white (and I really hope the stripes aren't showing up on your screen all warped, it's doing it at my work computer but not at home).  I took the shirt, cut it in half (making sure it wouldn't be a micro mini of course) and took the top half, folded it (took off the straps and made the front cleavage area into a straight line) and sewed it to the bottom half.  I used this American Apparel skirt as the pattern.  And voila!
A simple skirt for all seasons that cost $3 and an hour or 2.
This weekend I'm going to turn a vintage full length dress into a mini-dress.  I feel a bit bad for cutting up a vintage item but it's also going to look so great.

Ugh, I really hope these aren't all squiggly on other computers, a bit difficult to see the details.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Finishing Projects

I'm starting the year off right. I'm working on projects that I've thought about for a long time and I'm just going ahead and making them. First off, here is my Christmas gift from my mom and it was well needed. A homemade knitting needle case! I've been using rubber bands but keeping them organised to see the different sizes just wasn't working and it doesn't help that rubber bands disintegrate over time. Gross.
It's absolutely perfect!
So, Project number 1. For years I've had issues with my feminine products, as in I have to make sure they are hidden in my purse, make sure I have some and how do I carry them in my gym bag because I'm always riffling through it and they are getting damaged. It's at the point where I'm throwing out more unused damaged ones as time goes on so I started carrying them in a ziploc, I know, just so pathetic AND they were still falling out of their individual plastic protective cases. During class this past fall I came up with the perfect idea, a little pouch made with fabric that is also lined with cotton batting so the products aren't getting damaged. I was changing my bags everyday, going from school one day to the gym the next and the ziploc really wasn't cutting it anymore. I measured the fabric to the size of the zipper and made sure it would be able to hold the larger pads and a few at a time. This is what I made:
I'm really happy with this as it didn't cost me much and it's sized specifically for the products that I use. I knew that if I looked for something like this it could have taken me months and it just wouldn't be right. The only problem is that I didn't use a pattern and I haven't worked with zippers in YEARS so it took an extra hour, and there are a few little bumps in it. But at the same time it's getting thrown around with my gym shoes so it's the perfect "back into the sewing game" project.

Next up, knitted socks!!!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Knitting Machine

These are the few little projects I was able to do on the side while working full time and going to school part time. Simple knitting projects. The first one is a tea cozy that I made for a new friend, it looks a little baggy but it fits her taller pot very well.
These are the many of mittens that I made for the Vancouver Sun charity. I have one more pair to finish and hope to drop them off next week. Looks like we have some clear skies coming up which means COLD. Perfect timing!
Oh and the weird purple squiggles are yarn that attaches the mittens to each other, I just tied them in a bow and since the yarn is crinkled it looks really odd.

And finally I made a circular scarf (that doesn't need to be twisted twice around the neck) that's chunky and GREY! I needed a darker one in my accessory pile. I wasn't too keen when I finished this, the first time it looked like a neck brace, the second time it still didn't look that great but now that I've worn it more than a few times it's relaxed and it's so cozy. It was the easiest scarf to make but I love that it's totally unique and no one else out there has it.
I also chopped the bob off but this picture was taken post workout/shower, have to show it when it's not flat on my head. It's the most amazing cut for my wild, thick and wavy mane.

After finding local wonderful knitting blogs, such as Nook, Sewaholic  , luvinthemommyhood and Miso Crafty Knits I've decided I need to challenge myself even more for this next year. I'm going to perfect the hat, finish a sock and make a cardigan or sweater, in that order. I have done all three but I'm impatient and just haven't been motivated to master them, but now more then ever I want to take the time to really see what my little hands can do.