Friday, April 29, 2016

Me-Made May 2016: My Pledge

I'm doing this.  I've been debating about it all month; things are sort of insane right now and I can't even let myself into my sewing room to finish my skirt, never mind taking on more right now.  But I've been working on culling my wardrobe and trying to come up with a plan for my wardrobe, and this might help me figure out what I want to be wearing instead of what I'm wearing because it's there and handy (even if those pieces often makes me feel like crud).

So with that in mind,

'I, Heather of, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment or accessory each day for the duration of May 2016.  I will also use this opportunity to (finally) reassess my current wardrobe, clear out all of the duds I'm not wearing, and come up with a cohesive wardrobe plan by the end of the month'.

And I refuse to commit to this part, but I'll also try hard to track my progress on here on my blog, probably on a weekly basis.  NOT promising daily photos, but I'll try.  :)

Anyone else doing this? 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

wip Sweaters!

So I'm accidentally knitting a sweater.

Really!  Uh so I started knitting the Daelyn Pullover months ago, but the short rows at the neck back defeated me.  Seriously, I tried it 3 times and by the end of it my pride had gotten involved, there was tears, and a rage-filled scream when I threw the last attempt into a corner and literally stomped on it.

But I don't think I'm good at failure when it comes to knitting.  It nagged at me at the back of my mind, and I didn't understand why I couldn't get the short-rows to work.

So while packing for my trip to Vancouver at the beginning of March, I stuck a ball of yarn, needles, and the Daelyn pattern in my suitcase.  After finishing my toque, it was the only project I had on-hand for the trip back home.  I pulled it out while waiting for my flight and worked my way through the short rows.

I was SO PROUD when I finished that section!  I happily continued knitting on the flight home.  Then continued to knit it at home.  And then before I knew it, I was separating the sleeves and continuing down the body.

You may not believe me, but it only hit me then that I was actually knitting another sweater.  Hehe, oops.

I only have...erm, 3 other sweaters on the needles?  But one of them is being ripped up because I don't like the fabric, so lets say only 2 others.

wip: The Accidental Sweater

wip: The Accidental Sweater
Granted, I stuck my Daelyn aside while I worked on Christmas in April gifts.  Plus I wanted to rip back about 4 inches or so to put in some shaping in the back, since I didn't do any of the modifications I normally would (narrowing the back, for one) when I plan to knit a garment.  The night before leaving for Manitoba though, I picked it up again, ripped out those 4 inches, then knit an additional 6 inches of the body.

wip: The Accidental Sweater

wip: The Accidental Sweater
And then on the planes back to Manitoba, I got most of the rest of the body done.  Back short rows and the ribbing was finished while visiting relatives.  And I picked up the sleeve above on the way home.  I've only spend a couple hours on it since, but I've got most of the first sleeve done.  Shouldn't take too long to finish this one up!

Swatching Miss Jane
Or it wouldn't, if I didn't just cast on a neon red short-sleeved cardigan for the Tops Tees and Tanks KAL over at Very Shannon.  Erm, sweater number 4 (5?) anyone?  :D

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

fo: Warm Woolies for my Big-Little Brother

Hefty Woolies for my Bro
Merry Christmas everyone!  Haha no, this isn't a 4 month old post.  As I mentioned last time, my family celebrated another Christmas last weekend when I was back home, and that totally included a (real!!) tree, a huge turkey dinner, and gifts!  And these socks was the only one I made specifically for one person in particular (the rest were generic gifts for anyone to choose).

Last year, I made my cousin a pair of socks.  My brother, on seeing my cousin rockin' those awesome socks, strongly hinted that he'd like a pair himself.  I'd planned to knit him the ugliest pair I could make, but I lost oomph on them when I discovered an epic mistake.

Then our LYS put on a two-at-a-time sock knitting class (I blathered a bit about it here), and I jumped on that like a fox after a mouse in the snow.  And I loved knitted two socks at a time!  I've since knit a pair of fingerless mitts using that technique, and I only didn't knit the sleeves on my latest sweater that way because I forgot to pack the second ball of yarn in my carry on when I was flying home.

Sadly, I messed up the calculations, and the socks were long enough to fit a size 14 foot (considerably longer than my brother's size 11s).  I'm not a fan of toe-up.

Hefty Woolies for my Bro
This is his "I'm a Pretty Princess" pose. Goof.
But anyways, once I got that solved (and it was just as well, or else I would've run out of that green yarn) the socks flew off the needles, and I got them done in plenty of time for my brother to unwrap them.  And by that I mean I blocked them the morning of our "Christmas Eve" and used a blow-dryer to get them dry enough to wrap.  Oops.

He loved them, btw.  They're going to be his ice-fishing socks (though no more of that this year), which is good because they're the densest and most warmest socks he'll ever own, I swear.  He even let me take some photos of him modelling them, though he started off being a brat about it.

Hefty Woolies for my Bro
He's lucky I love him anyways, the twerp.  He says "hello Sister's geeky blog", btw.  Ignore him, he's a brat. <3

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Christmas in April!

Christmas in April 
I've been living in Whitehorse for nearly four years now, and haven't managed to make it back to Manitoba for Christmas since I moved.  It's sort of sucks, especially since Christmas has always been such a family thing for us.  Usually, we just mail gifts to each other and chat a lot during the holidays.

This year though, we were all sort of running late with our Christmas shopping, and I just wasn't feeling it.  I wanted to celebrate with my family.  So I proposed doing another Christmas in April, and everyone thought that was a fantastic idea.

I thought it would be fun to do some local or homemade gifts for everyone, and have been working my fingers off trying to get them all done.  They'll be part of a game that involves stealing whichever gift you're interested in and hoping that someone won't steal them back!

You've already seen the Moustachio'd Coffee Cozy, but here's some of the other gifts I've made up.

For these boot cuffs, I used the Helmikuu Boot Toppers pattern with some left-over yarn from this old sweater.  I modified them a bit based on some project notes, decreasing the width by one pattern repeat (mostly because I used a thicker yarn).  I can't wear them without almost over-stretching them since I have some pretty hefty calves, but they look awfully cute one others.

Christmas in April
Peekaboo Mitts Ravelry Link
The fingerless mitts I made last year for a family fundraising thing were pretty popular, so I made a hefty pair this time, meant to fit larger hands.  I used the Peekaboo pattern again, which will probably remain my TNT for most mitts cuz the pattern is so easy to follow and modify to your liking.  I bought this lovely skein of very rustic and sheepy Cestari Traditional Collection Wool.  I loved working with it, but it did leave a lanolin waxy residue all over my fingers.  I'm a little concerned about having enough gifts for the men in my family, although I have a feeling the women will be fighting over this one too.  Although I was smart and made a women's pair too.

Bonnet Fingerless Mitts
Bonnet Mitts Ravelry Page
I'm pretty proud of this pair - I created the pattern myself, even if the basic mitt part is really simple.  I'm considering writing up the pattern though, since it's quite charming with the wrist strap and buttons.  I just finished these mitts the other day and my Mom is already plotting to claim these ones!  Basically I designed these around those cute little wooden toggles - I've been looking for a project to use them since our LYS brought them in a couple of months ago!  I used one of my favourite yarns, Drops Nepal, and I've called them Bonnet Mitts, mostly because I've made them out here in Lac du Bonnet.

Grocery Bag!

Grocery Bag!
Crummy photo, but I also threw together a fabric grocery bag the night before I flew back to Manitoba!  It was seriously easy and used up 3 fat quarters, so I definitely need to make up more of these.

Grocery Bag!
I basically just cut out a plastic grocery bag and used this tutorial - so easy!

Christmas in April
This one's a little more boring after everything else, but you can't really go wrong with a set of dishcloths!  It's my favourite pattern and my go-to for dishy gifts!

Christmas in April
Christmas in April
I knit up this cowl in an evening using Drops Cloud, and it's gloriously soft!  It's another one that I sort of came up with the pattern, but that basically just meant doing a gauge swatch, measuring out how wide I wanted it (24"), and knitting it in stockinette with 4 rows of  2x2 ribbing on both ends.  Granted, it wound up being 26" long, but oh well.  I need to make one of these for me...

Christmas in April
This one isn't me-made, but I'm pretty stoked about it anyways!  It's a skein of yarn dyed by a friend of mine from natural products she collected in the Yukon.  The gift includes some circular needles and a couple of possible patterns for the receiver to make up themselves.  The gift also includes me winding this into a ball and teaching them to knit, if necessary.  What can I say, I'm a filthy enabler.

Christmas in April
There's another cup cozy (this Owls cozy) that I've yet to take photos of, but the rest of the presents include mostly Yukon-unique gifts I've found all over Whitehorse.  I really love that dream catcher I found at the Indian Crafts store on Main Street, and those are some pretty good books there.  One of my favourites though is a glass from the Yukon Brewery plus two bottles of some of the beer the Brewery produces!  That's a cool gift for sure. 

Granted, my gift count is only at 17, and there's about 24 people going.  When I started there was only supposed to be about 10 of us.  Oops.  Ah well, I'll find some more interesting gifts to add to the collection tomorrow.

If you could pick any of these (and fight to defend them from other family and friends), which would you pick?  I'm thinking there's going to be quite the fight over the beer gift, the fingerless mitts (both pairs), and that Good Time Girl's book...

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

fo: Moustached Coffee Cozy

Christmas in April
"I moustache you to please use me to keep your coffee cup cozy"

Like the coffee cup cozy I just made?  It was a quick and fun little project that used up almost all of my left over yarn from this sweater.  Woohoo stash bustin'!

I just used this basic cozy pattern, but then duplicate stitched on a moustache I charted out from this cute little hat pattern (must try making that one someday!).  And to round out the Ravelry links, here's one to my project page for this little moustachio'd cozy.

Christmas in April
Please forgive my lovely hair.  It's been a day and I didn't feel like finding a brush to smooth it out!  :) I thought that the cozy looked way too small to fit on a cup, but I tried it out on this plastic cup that's about the same size as to-go cups and it's a perfect fit!

Anywho, this was just a quick post for today.  Things are sort of crazy right now and I'm working on something that's going to be a really big adventure.  Not able to talk about it yet (sorry!), but I'll tell you as soon as I know it'll work out.  ACK vague much, Heather?  Haha sorry.  For now though, I'm just trying to fit crafty stuff in between the crazy, and thankfully this project was a quicky!  Sometimes those are just needed.

Hope everything is good in your world!