Month: June 2013

beachy-keen: a quick cover-up

I’ve been on a bit of an organization drive lately.  I am a big subscriber to UFYH (heads up: some NSFW language is prominently displayed on the site), and with its motivational help and handy tips, I’ve been slowly un-destroying parts our apartment after a rather long-term guest moved out of the living room.  In my most recent attack on a closet, I found some pretty cool stuff: some beautiful glass beads and a stack of men’s size XL t-shirts.  Now that summer is upon us, I figured I could refashion some of the t-shirts into beach cover-ups (or, let’s be honest, things in which I can schlub around my apartment when I don’t have to go anywhere).

Never mind that as I write this, it’s only 61 degrees outside and we had to wake up in the middle of the night to turn off the fan.  This cover-up will someday see the light (and sand) of the beach, but not until Chicago decides it’s ready for some consistently summery weather.  Until then, I guess I’ll just have to settle with showing it off on my blog (:

I used this video tutorial, which was very well done.  The whole project took less than an hour.  If I were using this as a dress rather than a cover-up, I’d recommend using a t-shirt in sizes XXL or larger if possible – this was mighty short, even for my stumpy legs.

Photo on 6-19-13 at 4.36 PMNow that I’ve finished this uncharacteristically short/young/hip sewing project – back to knitting!

 

WIP wednesday and some crowd-sourcing for a knitting question

I am be-sleeved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Photo on 6-18-13 at 8.24 PM

(Be-sleeved in a singular sense, that is.)  I originally wasn’t going to post until I finished the sweater, but I just got too excited.  After starting on Saturday and finishing Tuesday evening, I would say that the sleeve was pretty painless, as far as the rest of the sweater went.

Photo on 6-18-13 at 8.25 PM

The armscye bit and the sleeve width are a bit strange to me, though – the armscye seems weirdly baggy (which may be my fault because of the weird trouble I had with the simple counting of the raglan increases at the beginning), while the rest of the sleeve seems pretty tight.  Hmm. Overall this was supposed to be a baggy sweater and I began it knowing that it full well might not turn out okay, so I am surprisingly alright with this ill-fittingness for my first attempt.  Then again, it might be because I have placed all of my eggs in the care of the blocking basket, and I’m just hoping that much of the weirdness is solved by blocking.  Or maybe… I could just pick up everything from under the armpits, save that part, frog from the underarms up, re-knit the shoulders/raglan increases and kitchener stitch the two ends together?  Has anyone done that?  Would that even be a possibility?  I’d greatly appreciate y’alls thoughts because at this point my cat could probably comfortably hang out in the armscye this baby. Thanks for your wisdom and advice in advance! (: 

Photo on 6-18-13 at 8.26 PM

simple knitting needle case tutorial

Hi everyone! I just whipped up a very simple case for my knitting needles the other day, and since I took pictures of the process I thought I’d walk y’all through it.  The project is a very simple fold-over booklet with two rows of pockets, one for taller straight needles and a shorter set for DPNs and circulars. Ribbon or button closure is optional.

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I used some canvas-y IKEA fabric with a charmingly overwhelming pattern, and some red cotton pique to break up the print (I probably wouldn’t have gone with pique in this instance but I was stash-busting and didn’t want to buy fabric for such a small project).  Once you’ve chosen your fabric, make a pattern!  It can really vary based on how many needles you have (or plan to have!), but I made mine 18″ high and 24″ wide, with 2 rows of 2″ wide pockets.  (Note: I am not including seam allowances in my measurements and I won’t really mention them here, so don’t forget about them when you measure/cut!)

For cutting your fabric: you’ll need two chunks of fabric the overall size of your case.  One will be the backing, and the other side will be the part to which you affix your pockets.  Cut the tall pocket in your contrasting fabric (if you have one), and then the shorter pocket in your original fabric.  If, like me, you have an assistant, then I recommend making sure your assistant is less hell-bent on the destruction of the tape measure than mine is/was.

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  1. Roll under and press a seam for the top of each pocket piece. (Here comes the repetitive part.) Lay the tall pocket on top of the pocket lining piece and measure and mark the desired width of the pockets all the way across the fabric (don’t forget seam allowances!).
  2. Sew in straight lines.  This gets boring.  Beer helps with the boringness, but not so much with the straight lines.
  3. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the smaller pocket piece.

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Almost done!  Place your two pieces (back and pockets) right sides together and pin.  If you want to do a ribbon closure, now is the time.  Position the ribbon so that the long bit of it is on the inside of the project.  Sew around the edges, leaving some un-sewn space for you to turn it inside out.  Clip your corners, flip it inside out, and ladder-stitch the unfinished seam closed (you can topstitch around the edges if you wish as well). You’re all done!

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stash city

I used to think that I had a lot of yarn/fabric, and then I started looking at other people’s knitting and sewing blogs. Hoo baby. They featured gargantuan stashes, all very cleverly organized and color-coded on some sort of IKEA furnishing.

Luckily for my wallet (and my boyfriend), seeing colossal stashes didn’t inspire me to procure my own.  However, it inspired me to do something about the disastrous state of my own craft storage.  This has been a gradual process (because crafting is way more fun than organizing craft supplies), and I didn’t think to take pictures of the before/during process (of course), so here’s just what I’ve come up with to remedy the chaos.

First, I separated all the craft project families – no more drawer of shame, full of fabric scraps and yarn and findings to the bursting, and no more mysterious containers stashed in corners (downside: no more pleasant surprises of finding little shoeboxes full of yarn under my bed).  We just bought a comforter so luckily I had one of those awesome see-through zip bags to become my new home for fabric and patterns. It fits quite nicely under the bed and there’s room for it to grow, which is definitely important considering my hoarding tendencies.

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The yarn got its own big drawer and is separated using handy cardboard dividers based on yarn weight.  At one point the stash did have room to grow, but then my birthday happened and I broke my six-month yarn embargo in the most delightful way – through a frightfully large Knitpicks order.  I think that this is a sign that I’m ready to be done with my sweater – all I can think about is the super-soft yarn I have waiting for me in that drawer.

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I’m still on my slightly manic sewing glut, so I made a case for my growing knitting needle collection.  I used some IKEA fabric I bought a while ago.  (The fact that IKEA sells fabric is almost too much for me.  That place is already a giant SSO (Swedish Sensory Overload) and then they throw craft supplies into the mix and it nearly sends me into a paralytic fit.)  I took pictures of the process so I might post a DIY later. Ta-da!

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All organized. Now if only I could find the motivation to do this with the rest of my apartment.

popsicles!

Chicago is not having a very summery summer.  While I could complain about the coolness or the frequent and unpredictable bouts of rain, I would be ignoring all the positives – I can go outdoors without getting ill! I can comfortably sleep in a bed with another human being, a blanket AND a cat! The world is full of non-sweaty possibilities!

Just because it’s cool outside doesn’t mean that we’re not enjoying the spoils of summer – I may turn into a giant berry, Violet Beauregard style, if I don’t stop shoveling fruit into my mouth. About a month ago, I read this Buzzfeed list of delicious popsicle recipes.  Since then my brain had been absolutely full of longing for a popsicle mold set.  Lo and behold, I found one last week at Marshall’s.  It was fate.

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david models the mold.

The first mixture we tested was Trader Joe’s strawberry non-fat Greek yogurt mixed in with about 1 lb of blended strawberries.  There’s something incredibly satisfying that comes out of enjoying a popsicle and getting 6 grams of protein at the same time.  (:  (Also, to answer your question – yes, all I do is lay around in my messy apartment in a sports bra eating popsicles and torture my cat with people food.)

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wip wednesday – purl, look at that body

The sweater returns and the body is finished!  It’s been a while since I last posted a WIP Wednesday, mostly because all my cardigan progress was just like “Hey guys, look! I’ve knitted ten inches past the armpit! That’s a whole four inches more than I knitted last week!” up until very recently, when I hit this milestone.  I’ve got two words for you: aw yiss.

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Honestly, I think the fit is a bit weird – not sure where I screwed up but it looks a little balloon-y in odd places, and there are definitely large chunks where I must have been like “lalala what’s gauge” before snapping back to it later on.  A part of me that is very full of wishful thoughts wants to think that at least some of this oddness will all be resolved when I block, but that remains to be seen.

Anyway – next stop, sleeves and collar!  Yay (:

Just in case you didn’t get my title pun.  I laughed out loud to myself in a lecture when I thought of it.