There have been a lot of garage sales in my neighbourhood over the past few weeks. And with a lot of the homes in the area having been owned by a family for generations, some interesting things can collect in attics. I happened across a woman selling some sewing patterns amongst her things. I offered her $1 for the two that I wanted, but she gave me the entire collection! The condition of the patterns vary, but some of them are quite old – one lists a printing date of 1921! Then a couple days later, Kat came across a whole bag full of patterns that someone was giving away and brought them home for me. Not all of the patterns are things I will make, but it was fun finding such treasures. I’ll keep the ones I like, then the rest will probably end up at the local Good Will. Or, the garage sale woman suggested another alternative to me for some of the patterns I don’t intend to use: vintage recycled wrapping paper.
Kat’s also been working on some crafts of his own. He has been learning to use my sewing machine, and made a large furry pillow this weekend. He was pretty excited to have finished a project. Our cat Muffin really enjoys it.
As promised yesterday, here is my second post this week. I have five more knitted sample squares to show. If you have been keeping track, I have been working through Margaret Hubert’s book “The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting” and making a sample square of about 5″ x 5″ for each pattern. Eventually I will have enough squares to sew together for a blanket. Previous sample square posts can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Here they are!
Last week, I spent most of my spare time reading instead of crafting, so I didn’t get anything posted. To make up for it, I have two posts planned this week! First up, I made a super cute card holder, following a pattern in “Cute Stuff” by Aranzi Aronzo. The book has so many adorable patterns, and is even written in a cute way.
I made mine in bright colours, with a little orange kitty and my blog name on the front, and hearts on the back.
Now I have something to carry a few business cards, my driver’s license, or even some cash when I go on errands. Excellent.
Please check back soon (probably tomorrow sometime) for the second post this week: More Knitted Sample Squares.
I have six more knitted sample squares this week. If you have been keeping track, I have been working through Margaret Hubert’s book “The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting” and making a sample square of about 5″ x 5″ for each pattern. Eventually I will have enough squares to sew together for a blanket. Previous sample square posts can be found here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
The directions supplied in the book for this pattern only described the lower half of the medallion, even though the photo clearly showed that the medallion had a distinct upper half. So, I determined a way to complete the pattern, and I present it to you, as a free knitting pattern!
- Cast on a multiple of 8 plus 2.
- “m1p” = put the yarn from between the two stitches below onto the left needle, then purl into it. This is similar to the make one stitch, only you purl instead of knitting.
- Row 1 and 3 (RS): K1, p3, *k2, p6, rep from *, to last 6 sts, end k2, p3, k1
- Row 2 and 4: K4, p2, *k6, p2, rep from *, end k4
- Row 5: K1, p2, *k2tog, yo, ssk, p4, rep from *, end last rep p2, k1
- Row 6: K3, *p1, k into front and back of next st, p1, k4, rep from *, end last rep k3
- Row 7: K1, p1, *k2tog, yo, k2, yo, ssk, p2, rep from *, end last rep p1, k1
- Row 8: K2, *p6, k2, rep from *
- Row 9: K1, p1, *m1p, ssk, yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog, m1p, p2, rep from *, end last rep p1, k1
- Row 10: K3, *p2, p2tog,p1, k4, rep from *, end last rep k3
- Row 11: K1, p2, *m1p, ssk, yo, k2tog, m1p, p4, rep from *, end last rep p2, k1
- Row 12: K4, *p1, p2tog, k6, rep from *, end last rep k4
- Repeat Rows 1-12 for pattern
Spring is perfect weather for cloaks. It is nice to have a warm, blanket-like piece of clothing to drape over your shoulders in protection from the wind, and an open, loose bottom to keep from over heating in the sunshine. This week I made a cloak, that I think is perfect for adventuring through parks. I used the pattern for the Red Riding Hood Cape, but made a few modifications to my taste. The pattern only suggested lining the hood, but I liked the look of lining the entire cape. The lining also allowed me to sew in a multitude of pockets for treasures. I attached the pockets at a bit of an angle so that I can lift my arms up in the cloak without my belongings falling out. As for the hood, I used fleece for the inner lining as well as the outside because it is so soft, and only used the lining fabric as a decorative trim. This project a full day of sewing to complete, but was well worth the effort. The only thing I might change is to use a button or clasp closure instead of ribbon, because I am finding it a little bit challenging to keep the knot tight enough.
I’ve been back at work on the knit sample squares, as in these previous four posts: 1, 2, 3, 4. The book I am following is Margaret Hubert’s “The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting”. I’ve got five more patterns/textures this week, plus a few observations about knitting and this book.
Working on the patterns, I came across a couple of misprints in the book I am using. I’ll share my findings and corrections where I can in case anyone out there is using the same book.
- Page 60 & 61: The picture supplied for “Stockinette Seed Diamonds I” is actually created using the directions for “Stockinette Seed Diamonds II”, and vice versa. The pictures and directions are simply reversed.
- Page 69: The Bells pattern creates the bells by casting on 5 extra stitches to make a three dimensional opening, but only decreases by 4 at the top of each bell. This would create an increase of 1 stitch per bell before the pattern repeats again, which would interfere with the “Cast on a multiple of 8” direction. To fix this, I replaced “Row 10: Knit” with “Row 10: K2 *k3, k2tog, rep from * end k6.
- Page 70 & 71: The directions for “Fence Posts Blocked” and “Fence Posts Not Blocked” are identical. The pictures supplied are only slightly different, with the one on the left (Fence Posts Not Blocked) appearing to have the stockinette lines bend towards the garter ridges a little more.
This difference did not seem substantial, so I simply followed the supplied directions, calling the pattern “Fence Posts”. Maybe with some thought I could have puzzled out the change in pattern, but it did not seem important.
As for my personal observations this week, my bind off rows still need some work. I can’t seem to make the tension of the bind off row the same as the rest of the work – usually ending up too long and stretching the work, or too short and squishing the end.
Does anyone else have a problem with starting a project, then never finishing? I find that I get so many fantastic inspirations, and start a craft full of enthusiasm, but often lose steam before finishing. By that point, another exciting idea has caught my eye. Hopefully I can make this summer a summer of completing prior commitments. Just check out this drawer full of things that I’m “working on”.
Among the things present in the drawer (a non-exhaustive list…) are
- Knitted sample square afghan
- Fleece scarf with pockets
- Mini placemats
- Sequence board game
- A clock in a jar
- Lacey Dress
- Purple skirt
- Felt fireplace
- Basketball shorts
Each of these projects are in varying states of completion, from only one seam left to finish on the mini placemats (I need to get more orange thread) and the basketball shorts (I became concerned at the last moment they might be too small), to completely unstarted for the clock in a jar (I have only collected the materials so far). My intentions are positive for each of these projects. I still hold the desire to finish each one. Now for the follow-through…
The overflowing contents of my unfinished projects stash contributes to the excitement I get from making progress on any of my crafts. I have been slowly knitting away at the wolf sweater that I promised my brother. The pattern is complicated enough that it keeps me interested despite the slowness of the work. I have finally made it into the body of the wolf, which puts me just a little less than half done this part of the pattern.
Much to my excitement, I got some treasures in the mail this week from Megan Hiatt. She creating an embroidered wall hanging for me as part of the Wild Olive Stitch Swap. She picked a really cute and playful design of a flying paper airplane. The LBK is short form for the town in Texas where she lives. And she was thoughtful enough to include a gift of some beautiful spring colours of embroidery floss, and a little card. Awesome!
As for the rest of the week, despite forgetting to make this post on Tuesday like I had intended, it has been pretty quiet. I have been working on some of my unfinished projects, and doing a lot of cleaning. Seems like the right kind of activities for spring. I’ve added a few inches to the wolf sweater I am knitting, from here:
I have also mostly finished a second mini shawl / capelet.
This one uses the same needles as the last one, but a thicker yarn, so the weave has come out looking a little tighter. Looking good so far… except for the scraggly dried grass bits I picked up while knitting in the park. I guess the joy of being outside during nice weather is worth the work of cleaning off the grass. Maybe I could also learn to be more careful!
As for the spring cleaning, my favourite two things tidied so far have to be my reorganized bookshelves, and my embroidery threads all put together. They used to be just mushed together in a small box, but now they are all wound and sorted in order.
Except for these four. These four, I think look really nice together and I am inspired to keep them separate until I decide what to stitch.
Happy Easter & Happy Spring!
I haven’t got much crafting done this week because I have been sick and visiting family for Easter. I did however, finish the cute rainbow fingerless gloves, just in time to keep my hands warm for the mild spring weather.
In place of my craft pictures, enjoy some pretty rainbow Easter eggs:
And for extra fun, crafted rainbow art! Embroidery, and an awesome melted crayon piece.
I have completed and mailed my 4″ embroidery hoop for the Wild Olive Stitch Swap. It is the first time I have finished a hoop to be prepared for hanging. I think it looks nice. I was stitching for Shannon at “I’m Working on a Project” (http://colorsquiltscrafts.blogspot.ca/), and she said she likes bright colours, flowers, and geometric designs. This is what I came up with.
I used bright pink felt, and my Marmalade Smileshine initial label to finish off the back.
I also sent with the hoop a cuff bracelet that I made, that says “inspire”. The two snap sets allow the size to be adjustable, and I finished it off with my small label on the inside snaps, and a cute embroidered heart between the outer snaps.
I had a lot of fun designing and creating this project. I am excited to see what I will receive in the mail from my partner in the stitch swap.
I also took my first attempt at knitting with double pointed needles this week to make a set of fingerless gloves. So far so good! :) It took a bit of time to get used to working around the extra needles, but the process is actually quite quick and simple.