Friday, March 20, 2015

WIP's: Hat, socks, 2 sweaters

I have a pretty hefty backlog of knitting projects on the needles at the moment.  The oldest is probably my Hitofude cardigan which I am slowly making progress on.  I got stuck at the waist increases - and deciding whether I should modify the pattern at all or knit it as written.  I think that I have settled on a plan forward.

The hat you see above, Selbu Modern, is almost finished by now!  I only have the crown decreases to go and I'll post about my modifications and the final hat when I am done.

Also in the basket is an Icelandic-inspired sweater made with yarn brought back from Iceland from a family friend.  The color work and pattern are from Grettir (Jared Flood), but the shaping and final measurements are from CustomFit.

I also have completed one of these awesome green striped socks.  Just need to find the time for the second (and unfortunately I missed completing them in time for this St. Patrick's Day celebration). 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Zippers: Open Wide Pouch

For more practice with zippers I moved on next to the Open Wide Zipper Pouch tutorial.  This one has a liner and a different design from the boxy tote - this one stands upright and when open is fully open so you can see the entire inside.

This first one is made mostly from fabric I picked up on a recent trip I took to Japan to visit with friends.  Fabric shopping in Japan is similar enough to the US that I was able to request fabric off the bolt by the meter without a problem.  I brought home quite a bit, but it's never enough, right?  At least the prices were comparable to what I find here in the US so I don't have any regrets there - but the selection in the stores, oh my!  It was a treat.  

This first bag is already at home with my Sister-in-Law.

This design offers a full lining which was the next thing I was looking for in my search for zippered pouches.  I love this design so much - and was getting such great practice with my zipper foot - that I ultimately made six of these bags. 

Four are the large size and two are mini ones that I made with my nieces during a recent overnight stay with us.  I also cut up a pair of old jeans for the bottom of the exterior.  I think it lends a nice contrast and some durability to the final pouch.

I still need lots of practice with zippers but I feel more confident now about how to work with them.  My next attempt will be for a boxy tote with a full lining.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Zippers: Toiletry Bag

One thing that I still haven't mastered is placing zippers.  It's something that I have been wanting to tinker around with but I didn't have any zippers around to practice with.  After searching the web for a few tutorials for zippered pouches I found some ideas, went to the store to stock up on zippers of different lengths/colors and set to work with my scrap pile.

I really love this first boxy toiletry bag.  The tutorial is from Skip to my Lou.  It is roomy and a great size to store all kids of things.  And while I added a handle to one end to improve the functionality I don't care for the exposed interior seams/raw edges (if I would have made it with oil cloth/laminated cotton, like the tutorial recommends, then this would have been less of an issue for me).

I am not sure what will become of this one.  It might just hang around the house for a bit.  I'm sure one of my daughters will take to it soon enough.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pretty Little Things from Posie Gets Cozy

I am in love with these ornaments.  They are currently hanging in a row under the mantle - they fill the blank space left from putting away our Christmas stockings beautifully.

I went on a bender after the holiday and ordered four kits from Alicia Paulson.  So far I have worked my way though 6 ornaments (6 more to go).  Each one is impeccably designed and detailed.  I have really been able to hone my embroidery skills as I put together each one.  The accompanying writing for each kit adds to the whimsy I feel whenever I pull out materials to work on one.

What I love about these is that while I have stayed really close to the original design I do feel that I can take a bit of liberty with each one depending on my skill level and available tools.  For example, I didn't have the right shears for the detail work on the apron for the gingerbread woman so just adapted with what I had on hand.  I think it still turned out beautifully.

I have completed the ornaments that my daughters coveted the most (hot cocoa! a cute chubby mouse!) and am now working on the others as time permits.  Next up to finish is the ice skate and then the dreaming child.

These ornaments will certainly be a special part of our winter season from this year forward.  I'll draft a follow-up post when the other six are complete!  (Husband hint: Alicia does have two other kits as well -- maybe they will make their way into my stocking next Christmas?!)