Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fixed Knitting Needle Case

Remember ages and ages ago I bought a case for my knitting needles and crochet hooks? Well I finally got around to adding the Velcro that I wanted to hold my circular needles.


Which means that all my circulars are stored in a row, instead of in a tangled mess in one of the pockets.


But circulars aren't all I keep in here:


And after everything else was loaded up, I felt much more organized :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Updated Blanket 5

Here's a little update of the Circle Blanket:


The yarn I added is the very little I had left after making the Cup Cozy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Needle Case Embellishment

This is one of my knitting needle cases (with my most complete sequence of needles-- 1s through 13s, only missing 11s and 6s!), and a friend gave me this Jack Skellington patch ages ago. I had never done anything with it, but I wanted it to be somewhere where I could see it often (I love the Nightmare Before Christmas).

  I went ahead and used a stretchy stitch, so that the patch would be ok when the case was rolled up or laying flat. I like how it turned out :) Plus, it only took me about fifteen minutes to do.

Alternatively, the patch could have been hand-sewn and ironed on. But I liked the stitches showing :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More Ex-Sweater

Remember the (still unfelted) Ex-Sweater Bag? After I finished knitting it, I still had sweater yarn left over, so I made a Mini-Ex-Sweater Bag to go with it!


While the big bag was made from the base up, this one was made from the top down. They turned out looking very similar, though, so I think they make a nice matching pair. This way, Mom can, for example, take her school things to work, and then just take the small bag with her wallet and keys in when she stops by the store on her way home. Very handy. 

This one also needs to be felted. Updated photos when it's finished.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thank you, Jan!!

I was spoiled (spoiled!) by Jan, from my old knitting group for the one year anniversary of our knitting group being created!! See?:

Here I am ready to open my package with my knife!!

This is my "ooo" face, because Jan made me a bracelet with her super cool swirly metal work!! And it has tiger's eye in it! It's super pretty.


My favoritest snack ever (this will come in handy on this weekend's camping trip) peanut butter filled pretzels.

GREAT yarn: cotton soy blend!! I'm really excited, I've never worked with soy before.

Cool boxes! I love boxes :)

Aaand this:


Jan said she wanted me to have something that would keep me warm in the blizzards up north, and keep me from starving! So here we are: pretzles AND a headband!! But to avoid bird attacks I had to remove the pretzels :(


But gosh darn it, I look pretty dang cute in this :)

Thank you, thank you Jan!!

Found Blouse

I found this blouse on the ground (yes, the ground) and here you can see it folded in how I think I'm going to change it so that it is younger-looking:


I will update when it is finished :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Updated Crocheted Apron

Remember the apron band? Well just like I said I would, I spent part of the money my boss gave me on crochet thread. So now I'm here:


And out of crochet thread again! So when I have a yarn budget, I'll be heading out to buy more. I think I'll just try to find colors that coordinate. It's too hard to try to match them exactly.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies...

...with dark chocolate Hershey's kisses!


Such a classic and so easy! I used a store bought mix, cooked according to the directions on the box, and when they came out of the oven pressed in the kiss! I made three dozen of these and a horde of three men finished them off in a weekend! Next time I guess I'll have to make double...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cup Cozy

So for my graduation present, my boss gave me a gift certificate for a local yarn shop, the Yarn Boutique. Part of what I bought is this beautiful yarn that I knew was not going to make it very far. So I decided to find a small project that I was still going to be able to use a lot. Here's what I came up with:


I see cup cozies a lot, and I kind of feel like they're these pointless little things...but it doesn't change the fact that I love mine! It's something pretty that I get to see every day, and it reminds me of my friend back in Southern California (which is great).

I pretty much followed the pattern, except that instead of doing yarn over button holes, I made i-cord button loops instead. I should have stopped about an inch shorter than I did, because the loops kind of made it too big, which means it fits my biggest mugs (which was the point) but falls off my smallest ones. I'm thinking maybe I should make a few more... :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lace Flower

I still had lace weight yarn left over from the Mini Scarf, so I thought I'd find a pattern that took very little yarn to do to finish it off. I ended up choosing a flower pattern, and thought three or four lace flowers sewn onto a bag or top or something would be really cute. And then...


...I got bored after the first one. This flower is currently pinned to my corkboard, and the rest of the yarn is tucked in with my embroidery supplies. Maybe the real problem was that I just didn't care for small, simple projects?

Thursday, June 17, 2010


So for the past two months or so I've been learning to spin! I use a drop spindle instead of a wheel, which is slower, but a better way to learn. I picked my spindle up for eight dollars, but went ahead and splurged on the fiber-- four ounces of brown wool at a reasonable price, and four ounces of bamboo at sixteen dollars (ouch!).

I learned from a friend (my wonderful wonderful previous boss) on some spare wool she had that she doesn't like. Then I moved on to my own wool, and recently... first single!

It was kind of hard and it took me awhile, but I love it! Now I'm working on the bamboo. It's easier to get the bamboo to have an even thickness, but I've found that if I'm not careful and get too much twist in it, it snaps off as if someone took a pair of scissors to it. However, it's absolutly beautiful, and it has a great shine to it :) 
love love love :)

My plan is to ply a strand of the bamboo and a strand of the wool together, and then make it into something where gauge doesn't matter (I've been sucking at getting the wool to be even) like a cowl or a scarf. I'm very excited!

When I'm done with this yarn, I do think I'll start another spinning project. I wasn't sure at first, but I love the idea of making my own yarn.

My next dream: learn to weave!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Updated Blanket 4

How long has it been since I updated on the Circle Blanket??


I put it on a bed this time, so the size shows. I clearly have a lot to go!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Purple Bag

So today, I am sharing something that I didn't make. My boyfriend wanted to make something by hand for his Mom for Christmas, and I had taught him to knit awhile back (his first project was a scarf for me for Valentine's day :) so he decided to knit her a bag.


This is a close up on the pattern and the variegated yarn. He did such a good job!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wine Bottle Candle Holders

I have always, always wanted to set up tapers in wine bottles so that the bottle is eventually covered in dripping wax. So now that I have my own place, I've set some up! (Yes, I have really only bought two bottles of wine since I've moved here. Shocking, right?)


I'll post more pictures as it gets more awesome!

P.S. It's troubling how few tapers are marked as either drip-less or not. This is something that should be clearly marked, right?!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Joys of a Sewing Machine

I'm not going back on my belief that sewing is not my strong point, but I am glad that I have a machine anyway because it has been amazingly useful in the last month I've been living here. There are some amazing things I can do that would have taken me hours by hand sewing.

For example, I've had this black shirt for years that has a tear in the hem that I've just lived with, because of my irritation at sewing. But I had the machine out the other day, so I just decided to fix it anyway.


See? The seam isn't even visible from the outside of the top, and I used the stretchy stitch, so it stretches with the rest of the hem. I don't plan to go ahead and make every garment I need from now on, but it is nice to have a machine for what I need.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stressed Jeans

My boyfriend is very good at wearing his jeans to bare threads. He has one pair of shorts he loves that he wears all the time, and they had a fist sized hole in the back, and a quarter sized hole in the crotch. Awesome.

I couldn't promise him pretty fixes, but I did promise him fixes, so here they are:


Honest, I just zigzagged the heck out of the holes. And I will continue to do so until he has a pair of shorts made entirely from zigzag stitch. I would like to see that.

And distressed jeans are in style right?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Ex-Sweater Bag: Almost Finished!

So the Ex-Sweater Bag is very close to completion:


The only thing it needs now is to be felted, but since that's a technique that requires a washing machine, the whole project is on hold until I visit my Mom next.

P.S. This will be my first felted piece ever. I'm very excited.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

An Update on the Ex-Sweater Bag

So the sweater yielded this beauty:


That's right: a yarn ball the size of my head. I'll show you the new creations soon!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tiny Scarf

So after my previous lace projects, I still had some lace yarn left over. I decided to use them for this mini scarf pattern, which originally was in garter stitch with stripes in it.

The first problem I ran into was the cast-on. The pattern called for a cable cast-on, which I had never heard of. So I learned how to do it, hated it, and redid it in my regular long tail method, on two sizes bigger needles (which allows it to stretch with the rest of the piece).

Next, I decided to skip working in garter, because it is so much harder to work in garter with lace than stockinette.

And of course, I skipped the stripes, because I only have one color of lace and don't want to buy more.

The last problem I had was with blocking. I've always wet blocked my pieces before, but I had a really hard time wet-blocking the Emily Shawl, so I decided to take the pattern's advice and steam block instead.

And, it really didn't work. I'm not sure if I did it wrong, or if my yarn isn't suited to steam blocking, but the stupid thing still curls.


Honestly, I wonder if the problem isn't that I just don't enjoy working with lace. Which is a shame, really, because lace ends up being some of the prettiest pieces! I think if someone buys me lace, I'll use it and love it, but I probably won't buy any myself for awhile.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Top Shoulders

So here's another sewing project that went awry. My Mom gave me this top, which was a little big for me. So I decided to just take in the shoulders by about an inch, which was going to be super easy. This resulted in...:

Yup, seams on the outside. Stupid, stupid move on my part. Later, I might take the stitches out and redo it, but for now I'm too irritated with myself to fix it. I feel smart.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Skirt Band

Not all sewing jobs are glamorous :p I just wanted to show you this one (and one other) because of the stupid things I did thinking it would be an easy project and not doing a lot of thinking. This skirt was about two sizes too big for me, so I was just going to open up the waist band, pull in the elastic, sew up an inch or so of it, and then sew the waist band back up.

Turns out, the skirt was made really well, and not only was the elastic tacked down every few inches to prevent it from buckling, it was also stitched into the edge of the waist band, so I would have had to undo the whole thing to get at the elastic. So (out of frustration-- as usually happens with my sewing) I just folded the waist band and sewed it down.


It doesn't look that great, but since I wear long shirts it will never show, so I'm fine with it. I just wanted you to see that not all sewing projects are successful, and that that's ok!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Ex-Sweater Bag

I hope you don't hate in progress project posts, but I thought this was kind of fun. My Aunt brought my Mom a sweater home from Greece when she was studying abroad in the 80s, so of course Mom can't wear it anymore, but also won't throw it away (of course).

So in order that she keep the gift still, I'm going to unravel the sweater and make her a bag with it :) Here's the sweater mid-unravel:

I really love the idea of unraveling sweaters to reuse the yarn, especially when the piece can't be worn, is stained, or torn and can't be fixed. The offending yarn can be cut away and the rest reused for other projects. I even found a knitted beanie on the ground the other day-- free yarn! It's a really nice way to reuse pieces that you either can't or won't give away :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Disaster Cake

Now, everyone has been trying very hard to convince me that Disaster Cake isn't so disastrous after all, but that's the name I gave it while I was working on it, so that's the name that stuck.

Here's how it went: It was my birthday, and I wanted to bake a cake (I really like baking). I didn't want to bake a cake so badly that I wanted to do it from scratch, though, so I decided to use a boxed cake mix and canned frosting. So I baked the cakes and set them to cool while I walked over to Whole Foods to buy a can of frosting (Whole Foods is only two blocks from home, so it's pretty logical. When I got the frosting home and the cakes were cooled, I cut each tier in half to fill with preserves, and then stacked them to frost with what Whole Foods apparently thinks is frosting.


But I was not fooled by Whole Foods trying to tell me that this was frosting. It is clearly (clearly) glaze. And why they would market glaze as frosting is beyond me.

So I was pretty dissipointed, but I figured I could save the looks of the cake by buying regular white frosting and spreading it over the weirdness to disguise it, so I walked to Walgreens (about six blocks from home). Then I discovered the Walgreens only sells chocolate frosting (really?).

So here is the finished, "saved" birthday cake: