I’m working on Jade in a nice dark brown. It’s going slowly, since I have the month off and, strangely, I do a lot of my “big knits” at work. You don't wanna know when I started this. Do please note the bought knit markers, as opposed to scrap yarn being used to mark where my increases go. I’m largely meh about them, but I bought them as part of a kit that included stitch holders that will come in handy if I ever finish this f&^king yoke. ¬†Ugh. I need caffeine.

 

 

 

 

 

In the meantime, I’ve been working on washcloths: Secret pattern is secret on this particular one.

The Hilja, she is done. IMG_1464
IMG_1466IMG_1462 Socks, too.

I’ve been doing a lot of sewing this summer. Sheet TunicFirst, I polished up an old project that had a previous life as a set of XL-Twin sheets from my freshman year of college. Since I will never own a twin bed, much less an XL one, again, I sacrificed this set in the name of Science. No, not really, but I did try out a “pattern” from a pattern-less book that was published circa 1977. The resulting dress was shapeless and baggy, so I tried polishing it up with some darts (okay, a lot of darts). Regardless of my fitting efforts, the dress was still hideous (might have to do with orange stripe overload), and it was shoved into the back of my closet. Fast forward a few months, and I decide to try to give it new life. I cut it off at the top of the hips, added a band and some tying ribbons, and trimmed the collar back. Add some side slits, and voila, this cute little tunic was born.

sewing machine cover While working on the tunic, I realized how dusty my sewing machine became while sitting around and doing nothing (which, admittedly, is most of the time). I tried out a measure-and-cut-it-yourself quilted sewing machine cover pattern from a book I checked out from the Library (Great Sewing Accessories to Sew by Carol Parks). My sewing is awful, but, for the moment, it serves.

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To the right is the pride of my summer’s efforts of sewing–a simple empire waist dress made from a New Look pattern. Very nice, yes? There were a couple of things I had to modify– side darts were a requirement (really, what were they thinking, putting 4 and a half inches of ease into the bust of a strappy dress?!), and the straps had to be shortened (even now they’re too loose, but they serve). I do like the pattern, but I think the company should take it back to the drawing board. It’s a multi-dress pattern, and I am planning on making another one from it with a different bodice. We’ll see.

bag one

This is the first bag I’ve made from a pattern. It’s from Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter. The first run on this one was okay, but I decided this bag was definitely meant for a heavier material than calico.

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Enter the completely adorable denim version! It’s currently serving as my knitting bag. I did make a few modifications with this version after field testing version number one. I made the interior pockets bigger, to better accomodate my Blackberry and the metric ton of little things I carry around. I didn’t have twill tape handy for the key strap as called for in the pattern, so I just used a strip of the lining material. I use a carabiner, anyway, so that was simple and practical enough.

IMG_1460 And check out the cute little pin on it! Found it in a box of paints that I’ve had since I was 11. Gonna add some more that have been languishing in my jewelry box.

In other news, I’m attempting to start a small-scale silk-screening operation. This is screen #1, as yet untested. It’s kind of sloppy because I attached it in a manner that would make the screen easy to rip off if it doesn’t work. IMG_1450

IMG_1437 What with all the sewing, my knitting has not gone ignored. This is the halfway point of Hilja, by Niina Hakkarainen (linked project is in the original Finnish–English PDF available on Ravelry). I’m making it with Cascade 220 Heathers in green. It’s so sooooft. My craving for a nerd vest may very well be intensely satisfied by this pattern.

The Spiral Socks are going well (no pictures until they’re done). I set myself a due date for them since I put them off for a bit to work on Hilja, but they should be done by Saturday. Other projects are currently napping.

In other news, here are the kids, snoozing in the office. IMG_1442

I’ve been thinking, and I’m more than about playing with yarn. I still draw. I sew. I even cook a little (that is not a guffaw you hear from DH). I dabble in dollhouse decorating, complete with handmade occupants. I’m considering picking up embroidery again. This is why I like this blog site–this blog can be more about playing with yarn, and it will be. I still love yarn, and always will, but there’s more to my craftyness than that. So, a little revamp there, some stitches there (wipe off the cake frosting, would you please?), and let’s see what I can do.

All hail my grown-up job, which enabled me to buy this today:

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The Boye interchangable Master Needle set, sizes 2 through 15. Drool. Worth every penny.

I finished a sweater. It’s a little too small:

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Don’t let the fact that I knit it with a needle size one too small stop you from knitting it yourself–the Mrs Darcy Cardigan by Mary Weaver is a beautiful pattern.

Casting on for either the Gilmore sweater or a Stephanie Japel pattern next. Which one? Also, socks. Monkey broke my heart, but I’m willing to try again with something more suited to a beginner. I’m thinking the Twisted Rib Kroy Socks by Patons. Progress updates later. Now, I’m off to play with my new toys.

Joined the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup on Ravelry and made this last night:img_0982

Which looks like a mild mannered coaster for your sweaty summer drink (Mojito, anyone?), but I made it with a specific purpose in mind:img_0981As you may know from reading previous posts, my first creative love was drawing. The problem with making the pencil drawings that I so love is the incredible amount of smudging that goes on, both on my hand and on the paper (particularly the parts that are supposed to stay white). So, when the prompt for the Defense Against Dark Arts assignment was Protego (something protective), this popped into my head.

I also made a sweater vest for my drawing manikin, Dr Frank Morris. img_0973

Made from recycled cotton yarn ripped from a poorly fitting store-bought sweater. There’s oodles of this stuff. I’m also using it to make the Ribbed Lace Bolero for myself. Dr Morris and I will make quite a cute couple, huh? And, as for that little blue thing in the background… Zen cosy! Made using a pattern meant for the iPod Nano. If I made it again, I would make it a little longer, because the flap won’t close when the headphones are plugged in. I made the button from an ancient play penny I found in a box of toys in Mom’s basement.

It was only a matter of time. Besides being nutty for knitting and crochet, I love to draw. How I got my start in drawing was like how many kids these days do–by drawing fan art. My poison was Dragonball (go ahead and laugh, I don’t blame you, but while you’re laughing, I’ll be over here playing with my Piccolo action figure). My love for Dragonball eventually became a love for all things Akira Toriyama, creator of not just Dragonball, but the Dragon Quest series of games. I fell in love with the Slimes enemy when I played Dragon Quest VIII (I’m somewhat of a latecomer to video games). Just look at that beguiling smile! Go ahead and chuckle, but when I found the Slime dish cloth pattern on Ravelry by arpelia, I squeed. [[Here is where the rest of the story would go if WordPress hadn’t eaten it. Argh!]]img_0940