Tag Archives: craft

A Winter’s Cap

Only 4 weeks into the new year and I have my first finished object! (I’ve also read three books already this year. Whoa!)

I was intrigued by the Volkstricken Neon Ski Bonnet I found on Ravelry over the holidays. I like my knitting projects to be a little extra-spicy, to help hold my attention. With cables, decorative wrapped stitches and pom-poms, I knew I had to try it!

IMG_0001

 

The front band is actually a tube, so has a double thickness. It was super warm on my -30C walk from the car to work this morning!

 
IMG_0002

 

I’m not 137% satisfied with this hat, even though I really do love it. The picture in the pattern made it look a lot bigger. I made the Adult Large, with needles one size bigger than recommended and it still ended up being quite snug, like a touque would fit. I was also hoping the pom pom would sit more on top of my head, but it ended up being more at the back.

Side bar – pom poms. Even if you don’t sew, knit or otherwise craft, get yourself down to Michael’s, plunk down $10 and get yourself a 2-pack (one large, one small) of pom pom makers. BEST $10 I’ve spent this year so far. Even if all you do is make a pom pom, throw it at your cat, and then have her trail it into the bed every night (like, hypothetically speaking), it will be SO worth it. But once you make a pom pom, you’ll start inventing reasons to put a pom pom on things, like that “put a bird on it” episode of Portlandia.

Anyway, I still love this hat a lot. From the side, it kinda reminds me of a pilgrim lady’s bonnet.

IMG_0006

The colour’s been difficult to photograph. It’s a real hot-pink, although it photographs kind of rosy-pinkish. AND it has flecks of glitter in it, so you know, win.

This photo shows the colour the best and the detail in the band.

IMG_0007

 

 

I have some other projects that I’m working on, and as long as it continues to be cold outside and I continue to be anti-social/depressed/broke and stay in on the weekends, I expect a couple more posts with finished objects soon.

Until then, take care of each other!

newsig

 

Christmas Fixins

I’m waiting for my hair to dry a bit before I go to bed, so I have just enough time for a quick update (never mind the fact that I should’ve been in bed an hour ago…). I touched up my roots and put a chunk of red in my hair tonight. Hopefully it looks decent when my hair dries!

A couple weeks ago, I made a super crafty wreath for my apartment door.

photoI also put up a “christmas branch” on my living room wall. I don’t have room or want for a tree, but I wanted to put up something evergreenish that  I could string lights and decorations on. I got this green centrepiece from Michaels and added some holly berries and pine cones (with real!pine smell). It’s the perfect size and has room enough for just a few favourite decorations.

decorationsHello Kitty! Snowmen! Silver Balls!

(by the by, this commercial for Pier 1 is my absolute favourite right now. “My foot’s smooooshed in a cupcake! … where we goin’?” too cute! )

I also got some big purple sparkly snow flakes that I put up at work. I guess now all that’s left is …. buy some presents! I’ve bought a few, but still need to get a couple more and make a couple.

I  also got this awesome TARDIS mug from my RedditGifts Santa today.

IMG_0014It’s SO COOL! I love it! The Reddit gift exchanges are always fun if you like super-sleuthing (re: stalking) your giftee to find them something perfect. I highly recommend doing at least one exchange sometimes.

My hair is nearly dry and the time between Right Now and my alarm’s set time is getting shorter and shorter. If you’ve done any holiday crafting lately, let me know in the comments!

Take care of each other and craft on!

newsig

Leopard Print and Monsters

Third post in one week! I’m back in the game, folks!

Just a quick post to show off a new creation. I’ve seen some deconstructed/upcycled denim skirts floating around the interwebs lately that I’ve wanted to try. Normally  the word “upcycled” makes me break out in a terrible rash and causes a vein in my forehead to stand out. I like clean lines and finished edges and well-installed zippers and hems.  But all these cute skirts I’ve seen lately, while they definitely had a “I don’t know what I’m doing!” feel to them, I felt I could use my skills to make them, you know, actually look nice.

I started with a pair of old jeans. They still fit and nothing’s really wrong with them, they’re just starting to wear a little. They are like 5 years old. I don’t even have a “before” picture of these jeans because they’re so nondescript and uninteresting. Just a standard, straight-legged pair of jeans from Penningtons.

After a couple hours of sitting on my floor with my cutting board, cutting bits of fabric, piecing parts together and trimming seams (which my poor back is paying for now, ow…..), I came away with a pretty sweet skirt. My friend even commented “that used to be jeans?! You’re so creative!”

So, voila:

IMG_0002

 

Two of my favourite cotton prints + an old pair of jeans = bitchin new skirt. (And I don’t usually say “bitchin”, but it just felt apropos)

IMG_0003

 

Details: Skirt, upcycled (cringe…) by me, originally MXM Jeans via Penningtons, 16 // T-shirt, Smart Set, XL // Cardigan, Sourpuss, XXL // Tights, Joe Fresh, C // Shoes, Alegria, 10 // Necklace, RapscallionDesign.com, bought at the True Knit Art Show last year  // Glasses, Derek Cardigan

428 details

 

I wore this to go to the roller derby season opener tonight and then out for birthday snacks/dessert/coffee (tomorrow, the 28th, is my bday). The game was great – I didn’t get a chance to go to many games last year as I was too busy, so it was fun to be back and see some people I hadn’t seen in a while. I love going to the games because I can show up in fishnet and leopard print and bright red lipstick and no one bats an eye. It’s almost expected. Derby people are my people.

But after hunching over a cutting board and sewing machine today and then sitting in a less than comfortable chair at the game tonight, my back and hip are kind of screaming at me. So it’s time to reheat this gel pack and maybe get into bed with a movie, or episode of Boardwalk Empire, which I’ve just discovered and am loving.

Be good to each other!

I’m Finally Done!

How has it been nearly a month since I’ve posted here again?

Part of it has been due to the fact that I’m actually on a half-assed regular sleep schedule, for literally the first time in my life. I’m sleeping 7,8, 9 hours a night! This has never happened before. I feel great, but can’t help but still feel like I’m wasting my time. Very rarely can I piss around until 1AM on a week night anymore. Now, I have to get everything done that needs doing by about 10PM, before I crash.

So between sleeping, and being busy with dance shows and other things, I just haven’t had time to blog! A friend has recently decided to start blogging and asked me for some advice. I figure I should lead by example and find time to update my own blog!

I have, however, had time to finish a project that was a looooong time coming.

If you’ve known me for any amount of time, you may remember this picture (or something like it).

5066437367_d6230fde0b_b

I had started knitting a siwash sweater (or a cowichan, to some people), using vintage Mary Maxim patterns that my gramma had used for decades.

One year when I was about 10, for Christmas I believe, everyone in my family got hand knit siwashes from gramma. My mom and I both got pink ones with a burgundy  diamond pattern on them. I wore it all the time.

After a couple years, I outgrew it and had to stop wearing it. Then one day, I was at my gramma’s house and it ended up being colder when I went to go home and I didn’t have a warm jacket. My auntie was still living at home at that time and let me “borrow” hers for the evening. Then I just kept forgetting to bring it back and before I knew it, I had worn that thing for 20 springs and autumns.

It’s still a good sweater. It gets a little bigger every year as I hang it up and it stretches out. But since I wear it, and this sweater is cream and light blue, I have permanent coffee stains on the sleeves and what looks like a car grease  stain on one part that just will not go away.

So in the fall of 2010, I was ready for a challenge. I wanted a new siwash and I wanted to make one myself. The hunt was on for The Right Yarn. The standard siwash yarn is Mary Maxim’s Titan yarn. But it’s acrylic. And anyone who knows me knows that I don’t do synthetic yarn (unless it’s a bit of nylon in sock yarn).

Then I discovered Debbie Bliss’ Como yarn. 90% merino, 10% cashmere.

Cassshhhhhmerrrrre……

Yarn.com had a pretty good price on it, so I did the math for how many skeins of Como translate to the number of skeins the pattern called for in the larger Titan skeins. I measured and remeasured and checked my math and placed my order. Soon, I had a big box of delightful wool in navy, ecru, and magenta.

I wanted non-traditional colours because – I’m not sure if you’ve noticed – I’m not a beige/brown/black/grey kinda gal. I also knew I wanted a traditional design, in that I wanted some kind of animal found in Canada. But I didn’t want the reindeer that the pattern called for, nor did I want an eagle or a fish. I also didn’t want the same diamond pattern I had as a child. So I altered the Owlie Owl Cowl pattern from Ravelry to suit my needs.

And lo, a surly owl siwash in blue and hot pink was born!

Well… incubating.

I was making great strides until I realised I was running out of wool. Oops! Didn’t do the math right. I redid the math and ordered more of all 3 colours. They arrived a couple weeks later and I carried on. After a year of knitting on and off, I was so close to being done, and I ran out of blue again. Crap!

No worries, I could just order more, right? Well, at that point, Yarn.com had discontinued my yarn. And I couldn’t find it anywhere else. I searched everywhere.

Discouraged, I just hid the project away for a while, feeling more and more terrible every time someone asked me of my progress. I had lots of ecru yarn and some magenta. I was literally half a sleeve and a collar away from being done. I really didn’t want to put an ecru collar on a blue sweater.

But I could dye the ecru yarn, right? Of course! I bought some dark navy dye and stashed it away for months until my lazy ass felt like doing something with it. 2 weeks ago, I got really gung-ho again, and got to work dying yarn on a Saturday afternoon.

After an hour of the yarn in the dye bath, it was still just a sad grey/blue.

IMG_0008

Well fuck.

Okay, plan B time. The collar, I decided, could be magenta. That would look okay. But the sleeves… what to do with the sleeves? One sleeve was already done, all in blue. The other was about up to the elbow, with no blue yarn left. So I ripped the completed sleeve out, down to the elbow and knit a pink stripe in the centre of each and then carried on with the blue. I had to do this a couple times, ripping all the blue out, adding more pink, then knitting the blue back in, until I had enough for both sleeves.

FINALLY. I was done knitting this thing.

After a lengthy phone call to my gramma about Just How Do I Sew This All Together? I was ready to start the hand sewing.

Have I mentioned how I loathe hand sewing?

I loathe hand sewing.

I spent a good hour on Thursday night sewing pieces together at the kitchen table until my back had had enough of that. I guess I wasn’t wearing the sweater the next day! Friday after work though, I finished the sewing. It took a good few hours to sew everything together, but I was determined that I was wearing this sweater the next day when I went on a road trip with my belly dance girls. So by about midnight on Friday night, I had me a sweater!!

IMG_0010

IMG_0011

(Obligatory horrendous 80s knitting catalogue picture)

IMG_0012

Lookit those surly owls. Aren’t they surly? With their half-lidded eyes?

Those owls say don’t fuck with me. I may be a sweetheart, but I regularly handle pointy sticks, so don’t fuck with me.

At least that’s how I imagine it in my head!

It definitely needs a little relaxing and stretching out, which always happens with a siwash after a few wears. I’ve already been “pet” a few times – everyone loves how soffffft the cashmere is.

This was a definite feat. A real accomplishment. I don’t think I’ll ever want to knit anything this massive again. It’s like Mount Everest. I’ve climbed it, proven that I can do it, but now I think I want to come down and just knit some socks. Or maybe a nice shawl.

I’ve got a couple more posts I’m working on that I can hopefully get out there soon. I’m off work all next week and since we’re still under so. much. snow, I’m probably not going to get to the couple of hiking day-trips I was planning. So I’ll probably be sticking around here, making some things, cleaning and hopefully blogging!

Be good to each other!