Finished Projects

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, but you know. Life happened.  The husband and I moved from the UK to the USA, and now I’m residing in Florida- the land where it’s far too hot knit proper things.

However, sometime between 2010 and now, I DID manage to finish off a few things.

Lakia is finally done!  Actually, she was done a year ago(ish), I just never got around to blogging about her.  I love her. SO SO much! I didn’t bother with the buttons because I rarely use them anyway (and didn’t have enough), but figured I could always hook and eye it later if I so fancied.

I’ve worn her loads, I love the colour, and all in all, I would make one again in a heart beat- something very tempting because I have 2 or 3 skeins of some very lovely Pixie Dragonfly yarn waiting for me- the only question is if I want to splurge on another skein.

Another project I just finished is one I started last year in an attempt to use up my stash.  I had a ball left over from Laika, and maybe half a skein of Knit Picks Gloss in lace weight that I needed to find a project for.  Turns out, I’m a sucker for going back to patterns I’ve already done.  Lace-weight Wicked? Why yes, I’ll have me another.  Problem was, I knew I didn’t have enough for a full jumper.  So I decided to do a few mods.

1) Use a lovely fingering weight yarn for the ribbing

2) Make the sleeves short

3) Throw in what was left of that yellow yarn when I ran out of green.

And so I started it in the UK as something to use up my stash while I watched my favourite Canadian TV shows.  Then we moved to the US and I found a knit group close by.  So I worked on it there, and before I knew it, it was done.

Now, serendipitously, it just so happens that these colours are the same exact ones worn by the local university, USF.  Where my husband works. So now I have some school pride to flash around.

It also grew like a mother when I blocked it, so instead of a tee-like top I thought I had, I now have a lightweight tunic that goes perfect over leggings.  WIN!

Something I can finally wear in the Floridian summer!


Whoa, I thought this was a knitting blog?!? Yes, it generally is. But I seem to be only able to knit when it’s proper freezing winter weather out there. Something about yarn, knitting, and dark nights that just go together. But now that the weather is lighter (bloody England, it’s been raining for a month straight!), I don’t feel like knitting as much. So I’m dusting off the ole sewing machine.

Today was a super crafty Sunday. There was sewing. There was gluing. There was the spending of a lot of money on crafts.

I woke up at 9, which meant one thing: I had 4 hours to make something on the sewing machine before my Honey woke up. Operation scour Pintrest. I’ve been wanting to refahion some old tee-shirts into a skirt for quite some time now, so when better than the present? I found this


And thought  “I have two shirts that I accidentally stained.  Let’s try it!”  Naturally the example is WAY nicer than what I managed to cut and sew together:

Two tee shirts to a skirt

I also decided to play with making fascinators.  I’ve been looking at various birdcage veils and fascinators, and didn’t see one that really stood out as what I wanted.  Plus, they were all crazy expensive.  Like, starting out at £40.  So I did some research and went to Hobbycraft, where I spent approx£10 on materials and voila, fascinator #1:


First fascinator

Now I’m just waiting for the veil fabric I ordered from online cheap fabric stores so I can work on the veil.  I haven’t decided if I want to make the veil separate and attach it to a comb, or if I want to attach it to the fascinator, or if I want to make the fascinator/veil combo a comb or clip.  Luckily, the flowers only cost £3, the combs £1, and I have enough feathers and diamontes to make probably 2-3 more.  I had and old fake pearl necklace break on a trip from Cambridge to Edinburgh, so I’m reusing those beads.   Heck, maybe after the wedding I can sell ’em!

Not much has been happening in the world of craft, but I did managed to finish a few projects.  The first one I am super excited about is the Central Park Hoodie.  I have been wanting to knit this pattern since I first saw it on Ravelry a few years ago, but I never had the right yarn (or enough of it).  And so the pattern, like so so many others, stayed in my queue and taunted me everytime I thought about what to cast on.

Then I found I finally had the magic trifecta: time, yarn, and pattern.  Voila. In 3 weeks I had all my hoodie bits and a week later they were sewn up.  Magic.

I love it, but I have to say, if I were to do it all over again, I would have made it a 36.  I did some investigating on Ravelry and it seems like everyone mentioned that this pattern ran a bit small.  However, I think I like my jumpers a bit tighter, and while this hoodie is cozy, it’s not quite form flattering.  Also, I have a feeling that this yarn (New Lanark) might grow a bit with wear, meaning I’m about to end up with closer to 4 inches of ease. Oh well.

But enough about knitting, what else has been happening?  Oh, just insane wedding planning!

Because I’m a masochist, I decided that I could HAND SEW everyone a goodie bag, and that I could then fill the goodie bags with Scottish related stuff.  Like a wee bottle of whiskey, some short bread cookies, and some other crap.  But this means finding a good pattern and have atting it.   Yesterday I tried out a sample one to see what it would look like:

In my wedding colours! Burgundy/merlot  with black interior and embellished with a cream ribbon in the same colour as my wedding invites (what what for making them all from scratch, bitchez!)

Not gonna lie- it took me forever to make this one.  Mostly because of the small things, like cutting the squares on my ironing board because I don’t have a table. Or changing the thread to match the ribbon before changing it again to match the bag.  So the new plan is to spend a day just cutting. Then just sewing the ribbon on. Then finally I can piece all the bloody pieces together into a bag. Because that? That only takes like 10 minutes.

1 down, 59 more to go!

This is an old project, but one I didn’t get the chance to share.  In November, my wonderful honey told me that he wanted a hand knit jumper for Christmas. Mind, this was mid November.  I should have said ‘no’ and bought him a digital gadget. But instead, since I had no job at the time and excited that my Honey actually wanted something that I could make him, I quickly ran online and ordered everything I needed from New Lanark.

I managed to get it down with 2 weeks to spare, but I could tell that things weren’t right.  I had to switch from following the Large instructions to the Medium because my Spidy-senses were tingling with danger.  And even having done that, the bloody thing turned out to be HUGE.

Now, this was a new experiment for me. I had never knit a patter that was bottom up until the sleeves, and then split to do raglan style sleeves. And I didn’t really have sleeves that matched the armholes. But I ignored that. The jumper was MASSIVE! He tried it on and I quickly saw that I would have to take out 8″ from the body and about 2″ from the sleeve width.  But how? Well I made that up.

I used mattress stitch to pinch 4 inches together on each side of the body and then cut out the tumor.  Upon reflection, I should have looked up how to properly steek, done that, and then mattress stitched up the side. But no matter. After I had cut out the excess fabric, I used a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine to run along the seam because I’m paranoid of it unraveling.  I had to be more creative with the sleeves, but eventually got them trimmed down, and managed to fold back and sew about 2″ of the shoulders without making it look like I had included shoulder pads (although it was touch and go for a while).

But the end result was a jumper that fits him and that he actually wears. Like, a lot.  And yet despite him wearing it ALL THE TIME, I have never managed to catch a photo of him in it. 

Pattern: Something from DROPS

Ages ago, when I was back in CA, I bought the most delicious skein of Malabrigo sock.  I knew it would be a shawl at some point.

So just before the Christmas holiday, I cast it on thinking it would be good mindless knitting.  Then I spent the Christmas holiday getting drunk and seeing old friends, and doing everything except knitting. I fished it out once we got back to Cambridge and finally got it all finished and blocked.  I LOVE IT!  The size makes it great to wrap around your neck as a ‘keep me warm like a scarf’, and the pattern was simple and easy to remember.

I can’t say enough about how much I love Malabrigo, and Malabrigo sock was every bit as pleasant to knit with as everything else it seems they do.

Pattern: Holden Shawlette

Once upon a time, I bought a sweater on sale from Uniqlo for £12.  It was 100% wool and the only white jumper in my closet.  I got to wear it 4 times.  Then my wonderful honey grabbed it when we were doing a load of lights and my wonderful sweater morphed into something that wouldn’t even fit a toddler.

You can't tell here, but it's TINY

But I’m poor and hate seeing clothes go to waste, especially if I didn’t get much use out of them when they were wearable. So out came the scissors and voila- refashioned into a pair of felted slippers!

I had made a pair of felted slippers last year by knitting some scraps up from my various finished projects, but this was the first time I had to figure out how to make a pair from an already felted jumper.  It’s not super pretty, but they’d def functional and more like felted socks than big thick slippers.  All in all, it took the majority of the sweater, with the back and front becoming the soles and top part, and the sleeves becoming the ankle section.

Once upon a time, I found an Etsy shop that made beautiful wallets.  And I wanted one. And I bought one because it was only £10 and did everything that I wanted a wallet to do, but couldn’t find in a shop. Plus it was handmade.

Then I found out that the wallets this lady sold were from a free pattern (a pattern which the designer said was okay for people to use for commercial use as well- a very rare find these days), but to my eyes, it was waaaaaaaaaaaaay too complicated.  But apparently that’s how I roll.

Let me take you back to when I first started knitting. I discovered a yarn shop in Edinburgh, bought some Alpaca yarn because it was soft, then went online to ebay and looked up alpaca mittens to buy. Because it was my goal in life to one day be able to knit mittens, and I thought somehow that having a finished pair would spur me on to actually replicate them. So what if my mental processes are a bit fucked up when it comes to crafts?

The point is, I bought this wallet knowing full well in the back of my mind that I would one day be able to replicate it. Somehow, some way.

Enter Christmas.

I found this amazing fabric shop in Cambridge (CallyCo) and said to myself that this year, I would sew people things rather than knit them.  I thought this would be cheaper, but then, as always when you start a new craft, the bitch is in all the wee bits and bobs you need to buy just to begin.  I think I spent around £200 on fabric, cutters, boards, snaps, clasps, buttons, ribbons, interfacing, elastic, etc, etc, etc. Cheaper….ugh.  But at the end of the day I finally had a finished project.

I give you, my x-mas pressies of 2010:

Kira's Wallet

Inside- note the card holders, zippered coin pouch, and two bill pockets

Claudia's Wallet

Mom's wallet

Roughly 40 hours of my life

Kira's Crochet holder

Crochet holder closed

All the bits

As you can see from the last picture, I ended up making 6 wallets, two coin pouches, a tote bag, and a make up case (on bookshelf) with attachable cupcake pin.   And I still have a lot of fabric left to make some other really cute things.

I’m not sure if I should do a few more wallets, or branch out and try to tackle a few different kinds of bags.  I’m leaning towards bags.  Things I discovered in this: Magnetic snap closures are freaking expensive for what they are.  Snaps are a lot cheaper, but a hell of a lot more scary to use. I did half the wallets with snaps and half with magnets. The snaps (once I destroyed several tabs trying to figure out how to make them work) were great- WHEN THEY WORKED! But for one wallet, it just didn’t stay put. I kept hammering, and it kept…hammering a hole through my fabric. Then the plastic snap thingy holder broke. Now I’m debating a snap tool thing, but am far too poor.  Also, the people at John Lewis don’t really know as much as you’d like. I asked them for the strongest, thickest interfacing (something I had never used before) and the lady gave me this light fairy gauze stuff that she said was really good because it had criss crosses on it or something for stability. I ended up with a very limp wallet.  Also, didn’t know that iron on interfacing sticks best with a wee bit of spray water on it. Whoops.

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