Friday, May 27, 2016

fo: Daelyn Pullover (aka Accidental Sweater)

fo: Daelyn Pullover
Please allow me to introduce one of my new favourite garments, my Daelyn Pullover aka the Accidental Sweater.  I've been teasing you about this one for a while - I finished it on May 1, it was dry by May 3, took pictures the following weekend and worn it a bunch of times, and am only now getting around to blogging about it.  There's a ton of photos here because I'm in love and I couldn't weed them out.  No regrets.

Pattern: Daelyn Pullover, by Isabell Kraemer
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca
Needles: 4 mm and 4.5 mm
Size: 38.5" at neckline, grading to 41" at the bust with a bit of extra stitches here and there
My Ravelry Project Page

I'm so excited to have finally knit one of Isabell Kraemer's patterns.  That woman creates some of the most gorgeous sweaters, and I need to make more.  The pattern itself was relatively easy (other than the short rows at the neck, which nearly defeated me), and it was just so lovely to knit.
fo: Daelyn Pullover
I'm particularly pleased about the fit of this sweater.  Raglan sleeves can be difficult with a larger bust - since pattern designers just have you keep doing raglan increases until you get the bust width you need, but often the armpits wind up closer to you waistline than your armpit.  Annoying.  There's a mod I usually use to help alleviate this, but it sort of worked/sort of failed this time.  More on that later.

Anyways, this pattern seems to avoid some of the pitfalls of a larger size raglan sweater, though I'm not sure if I can put my finger on the why just yet.  It might have something to do with the
fo: Daelyn Pullover
I only did two mods on this sweater, and the first worked out really well.  This is supposed to be a boxy sweater, but boxy doesn't always work so well on me.  Especially with a snugger waistband.  I have a prominent butt, which tends to cause fabric to pool at the small of my back.  To eliminate that, I added two darts to the back of the sweater about 1/3 of the way from each side.  See how it shapes the back nicely?
fo: Daelyn Pullover
It's so hard to see the darts with the garter stitch though.  I marked the location on the left side, and tried to point it out on the right with an arrow.  Can you see them?
fo: Daelyn Pullover
Yeah, I barely can.  It sure does make a nice smooth and shaped back though.  The front is still boxy (maybe too boxy) but the back is just lovely.
fo: Daelyn Pullover
The second mod was to add some width at the bust without having to continue the raglan increases, and I did that by casting on more stitches at the sleeve divide.  I've done this before, and it usually works out.  In this case, it didn't so much.  Oh, it gave me the width I needed for the bust, but it also gave me way too much fabric in the whole area.  See how the fabric gets pushed away from the underarm area when my arms are down?  Classic example of too much fabric at the bottom of the arm scyth (?? I'm too lazy to look up the spelling here).
fo: Daelyn Pullover
See what it does to the front?  I get these big folds of excess fabric in front of the armpit.  Oops.  Ah well, I don't actually care.  Live and learn.
fo: Daelyn Pullover
One of the little details I love in this pattern is how it has you do the finishing.  All ribbing ends with a row of knit stitches, then bound off knit-wise.  That leaves this pretty straight line of stitches at the end of the ribbing, like on the sleeves above.  It's a pretty little detail that I'm in love with.
fo: Daelyn Pullover
The pattern also has you do some short rows at the back of the sweater before starting the ribbing (you can see how the ridges are truncated by the ribbing along the right side).  This is to give a bit more length at the back, since garter stitch tends to be shorter than stockinette.

fo: Daelyn Pullover
Man, I just love the simplicity of this sweater.  Really makes the contrasting texture of the garter stitch (ridgey bit) and stockinette stitch (flat bit), and the lovely heathered yarn, sing.

fo: Daelyn Pullover
I think the only thing that I'm not pleased with this sweater (other than all that extra fabric above the bust, but that's not the patterns fault at all) is how high the neckline is.  I'm not used to necklines this high, so I find it a bit...constricting? against my throat.  But it's not too bad, and I'll just keep that in mind for the next sweater.  I think this pattern would look really good with a v-neck though, and I might have to consider knitting this pattern again in the future with that mod!

fo: Daelyn Pullover
And I'm hauling it along with us to Haines Alaska this weekend.  Which we're leaving for in...1 hour and I still have to pack and shower and figure out what knitting I'm bringing.  We have tickets to beer fest there (YAY!!), and you never know if you'll need a cozy warm woolen sweater while adventuring/sampling all the beer!

Friday, May 20, 2016

#MMMay16: Days 16-20

Yeah, you saw that right, I've skipped Days 7-15 (with one exception below) because I didn't take any photos at all and I'm sort of forgetting what I wore.  I SPECIFICALLY DIDN'T COMMIT TO DOCUMENTING EVERYDAY, so there.  :P  Haha oops, sorry folks.

I did wear me-made garments every day...except last weekend.  And I'm giving myself a break this weekend too.  Guys, I don't have the me-made garments that can handle camping, and we're out of town and camping in the woods for 3 of the 4 May weekends.  I'm giving myself a break on those days.

Though I did bring me-made socks and some undies, so I'm trying my best with what I have.

Alright, moving on to THIS WEEK.

Day 16:

MMMay16: Day 16
This was fun!  I made this Pavlova Top by Cake Patterns in March 2013 (posted about it on my old sewing blog), and only wore it a hand full of times before it made its way into a storage bin.  I was trying to hunt down a rouge sweater when I found it and promptly put it on.  LOVE IT!  It's a little short since it's meant to be worn with a high-wasted skirt or pants, but I made it work with a tank top and my favourite jeans.  And it had good range of motion which was good because I went and helped a friend do inventory at her store this evening and boy do you have to move a lot doing that.  I was cooking by the time we were finished though, so this top can be quite warm.  Still, I really enjoyed wearing it, so it's going back into the wardrobe rotation.

Thanks for that, MMMay!

Day 17

MMMay16: Day 17
Oh hey look, it's the purple Linden.  Again.  And the green scarf.  So creative, Heather.  But I guess it shows that it's one of my go-to tops, and I should probably sew up more of those.  I love the green scarf with it, btw.  It makes my little Donatello-loving heart so happy!  :D

And as you can see, I wore my Cuba Socks.  If I look very precarious in the photo, it's because I am and yes, I did fall down almost as soon as the shutter clicked.  Oops.  I was good though, no worries, and it produced what will probably be a contender for the Best Photo of my MMMay16 adventure!

Day 18:

MMMay16: Day 18

AND here's probably one of the worst pictures, but whatever.  I was about to go for a run and snapped a quick photo before changing (btw, totally need to sew some running gear).

See that grey vest/top thing?  Another rediscovered sewn garment, though much older than my Pavlova.  It was actually one of my very first (successful) sewn garments and one of the few to last this long.  It even pre-dates my Sewing on Pins blog and was made somewhere between late 2009 and early 2010.  It was actually traced from a knitted vest I'd found at a thrift shop, but was too thick and warm to wear as often as I would've liked.  I googled how to duplicate garments, traced out a pattern onto newpaper or something, and then cut it out in this grey knit fabric.  The neckline has a nicely done band, but the sleeves are unfinished.  Oops.

It's lasted this long in my wardrobe because it's actually a wonderful layering piece in the summer, and despite not getting worn that often, always sneaks through on wardrobe purges.  I see why though, because it's so easy to wear and goes with everything.  Definitely going to put it into rotation more often, though I might need to do a quick turn-over hem for the sleeves.  It bothers me now...

Day 19:

MMMay16: Day 19
Well hello there, Avana shrug!  I love this little garment, because it's easy to toss over a t-shirt and jeans and go.  Feels like clothes in this outfit, but I admit, it feels way too dressed up when I pair this shrug with a dress. 
MMMay16: Day 19 (toesy bonus!)
The only other thing I have to say about this outfit is that I wore my Cuba socks again this day.  What can I say, the greens in it matches well with the scarf!

Day 20:

Erm, I don't have a picture of today's outfit, mostly because I'm still in pjs - and not even self-stitched pjs either.  See, Darryl left last night to make sure we get a camping spot for the weekend, and I'm staying behind because I have some Very Important Work to get done.  And since that work involves writing in my living room (this post is a break *coughprocrastinationcough*), I am not putting on real pants. I am wearing some me-made undies though, and I'm cozy in these hand knit socks, so I'm following the letter of the challenge if not the spirit.


Now, the only outfit picture I took last week was on Day 11.  I'm really glad I did, because I've learned something important.

MMMay16: Day 11
Heather, do not wear those brown tights with that dress (Tiramisu by Cake Patterns) ever again.  Or that sweater (Common Ground).  I don't care how comfy the outfit is, just don't do it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Running Running Running (from Zombies!)

I just finished week 2 of my 5k training program, and man do I feel good!  Well, my legs are wobbly and my face still looks like a tomato a half hour later, but SO PROUD.

Okay I know this isn't crafty related, but whatever, it's my blog and I'll post about running if I want to!

I think I mentioned it before, but I started the Zombie Run! 5k Training program.  Guys, this is so much fun!  It's like you're dropped into a RPG, and I'm so excited to go for a run every day.  I have to force myself to only go every other day so I don't hurt myself, but I'm literally stoked every time I get to go out to run!  I just want to know what happens this time and this time and this time.  :)

It's sort of important that I get trained up because I uh...signed up for the Klondike Road Relay this year, where we run from Skagway, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon.  No, I'm not running the whole 175 kms myself, just Leg 1.  Sound easy?  Here, look at Leg 1:

Why yes, that does indeed say 442 m/1450 ft elevation mostly in the last 10 kms.  Oh hell.  I'm committed to run the first 4.2 km, and will likely walk/crawl/drag my ass up the rest.  Could be worse though; I could be running Leg 2:

Sunday, May 15, 2016

wip: Sock With a Side of Twist

The weather in the Yukon was glorious this weekend.  Clear blue skies, just enough of a wind to keep the bugs away, and temperatures in the 20s Celsius (70s Fahrenheit).

Which of course meant nearly the entirety of Whitehorse abandoned the city and went camping.

We didn't go too far, just out to a campground less than an hours drive from the city.  We'd normally go further, but a group of Darryl's friends were there and saved us a spot, and we just wanted to camp so weren't picky.

wip: With a Side of Twist
Between trying to wrap up my work at my current job - which is ending in June, and trying to work out my next adventure, I've been very busy and very stressed out.  On Saturday, I Gave Myself The Day Off, and basically parked myself in front of the fire, read my book and knit two thirds of a sock.

It was also glorious.

wip: With a Side of Twist
Here, you can see the progress I made.  This was sort of an accidential sock.  I'd wanted some plain knitting for all of the report reading I do at work (does anyone else find it easier to focus on boring writing if you keep your hands busy?  I comprehend dull reports much better when I'm knitting...), so I grabbed some sock yarn and needles.  But then forgot the pattern.  Then I went straight to knit night at our LYS after work and decided that, screw it, I'm making up my own damn sock pattern.  I feel like I've done enough now (2 pairs fingering weight and 3.4 pairs worsted weight) that I can wing it.

Granted, I was sort of grumpy at knit night, so I didn't make much progress before I tossed it aside and pestered everyone else instead.

Anywho, the pattern is inspired by Socks on a Plane, which was my original plan for this yarn.  However, as I discovered on my brother's pair of socks, I really don't like toe-up, and those are toe up.  So I figured I'd just do a basic top-down sock and add a cabled twist down one side.

wip: With a Side of Twist
Here's my twist.  It's different than the pattern above, with a bit more movement in the cable strands.  The basic twist in the Socks on a Plane pattern would've been easier, but I wanted the cables to grow from the ribbing at the top, and this is what happened.  I like it though.  It doesn't look very open here, but the socks are a little snug on me, and the open up beautifully on my leg and foot.

Okay, that's a lot of babble about a sock.  I owe you guys a MMMay update, but I was slack about taking photos last week, so I'll have to come up with something to show those.  We'll see!

How was you're weekend?  Was the weather dreamy in your neck of the woods?  I know it wasn't in Manitoba - my Mom is half-tempted to move out here with me right now.  :D

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

fo: Lacy Crocheted Tee

fo: Crocheted flowery top
Okay, this post has been a long time coming.  I showed you a sneak peak of this top during the week 1 round up of MMMay, but honestly it's been finished since I got back from Cuba in February.  In fact, we took a bunch of (poorly lit) pictures of it on the beach one of our last days there!

fo: Lacy Crocheted Tee

fo: Lacy Crocheted Tee

fo: Lacy Crocheted Tee

fo: Lacy Crocheted Tee

fo: Lacy Crocheted Tee
Aha.  It was nice of him to take these, but I definitely should've given Darryl a bit more direction on them.  Oh well, he got some good ones!  You can see how short the top is though.  It's worse in the pictures above, just cuz these were taken right after I'd sewn it all together and it hadn't been blocked there.  Wasn't going to be blocked there, because everything took 12 days to dry there.

fo: Lacy Crocheted Tee
Despite how cute it is, I've only worn it once or twice between February and now - and not only because hello winter you're too cold for a lacy crocheted top!  (Although to be fair, one of the ways I wore it was over a white long-sleeved blouse...)

I just wasn't sure how to wear it.  I'm sort of liking the outfit I pulled together for MMMay though, and I'm going to experiment with more layering options for sure.  Cuz it's way too cute to leave languishing alone in my closet!

Here's the dets:
Pattern: BR-10223 Flowery see-through V-neck
Yarn: Nice & Knit Fingering in Lobster Pot (I was super lucky and won in the Very Shannon Summer Sweater KAL last year)
Mods: None?  Except changing yarn and hook size - needed to get a bit more width in this one-sized sucker to fit me.
Challenges:  A LOT.  This pattern is written entirely in Japanese.  It's charted really well though, so if you're able/willing to learn how to read crochet charts, it's well worth trying to get your hands on this pattern.  Honestly, I didn't fit it that hard once I got the hang of it, but I've been crocheting for...erm...twentymumble years.  Your mileage may vary.

fo: Crocheted flowery top
Uh, what else.  Anything?  Nope, I think that's all I got right now.  Forgive me, I'm anxious to get this post done so I can get out the door.  I just recently started a new running training program, the Zombie Run! 5k Training app, and I've never in my life been more excited to run.  I forced myself to take a day off to give my body a break, but dammit I wanna know what happens next!

So uh, I'm going to go do that.  Wish me luck outrunning the zombies!

Friday, May 06, 2016

#mmmay16: Days 1-6

Hey folks!  So despite a surprisingly few amount of me-made garments in my wardrobe that still fit me, I've been able to meet my own personal challenge of wearing at least one me-made garment or accessory every day this week!  ...So far...  Let me tell you, I'm not at my best in the mornings and it got real challenging the one morning - I was 10 minutes late for work in fact - but I mostly blame that on my unwillingness to get out of bed after a painful arm workout the night before.  I'm pretty stoked about the combo I came up with that day though.

And surprise surprise, I actually took pictures everyday too!  Not always...good pictures, but whatever.

Day 1:

Nice face there Heather. My friends were just pulling up so I snapped this real quick before they caught me.
I was mostly a lazy bum all day, but I did wind up meeting some friends for a walk around the airport, and that required something comfortable and a bit warm because of the cool weather.  I thought at first I was only stuck with dresses, when I remembered my purple Linden.  A t-shirt underneath and a pair of jeans, plus my Haines-Hampton hat, Rock Paper Scissors SHOOT fingerless mitts, and a scarf, and I was all set for a couple hours walk with friends!

Day 2:

BLURG MONDAYS.  Thankfully, my brand-spankin' new Daelyn pullover was finished blocking, so I wore that with jeans and was cozy all day in the office.  Yes, I owe you a blog post about this, just as soon as I get some decent pictures.  Yes, it fits perfectly and is the new knitted love of my life.

Sorry Henri.  I'll love you again once I find the oomph to wash you and wait the week it takes for you to dry.

Day 3:

Okay, that's a lie, because I totally love my Cardboard Cafe more than the previous two sweaters, entirely because it helps me make up outfits like this!  Seriously, this combination of dress, tights/leggings, and sweater NEEDS to be my "uniform".  So easy to pull together and SO EASY TO WEAR, and I feel so SO awesome in it!

The dress is one of three I bought in the same style from Superstore, if you believe it.  I was just looking for fit inspirations, but these dresses fit me perfectly and I LOVED them!  I even scoured the whole store to see if there were any other colours.  I need to replicate this dress like, yesterday.

Day 4:

Erm, hello again purple Linden.  So in the spring time, volunteers come out in droves to clean up all of the garbage that accumulates in Whitehorse over the winter.  Our entire office was doing a power 15 minute spring cleaning in the area around our building this day, and there was no way in hell I was wearing a dress.  Again, Linden was the easiest thing to throw on over jeans, so there we go.  I wore a different scarf though, does that count?

Day 5:

This was the day I struggled with.  Nothing was comparing with Day 3's outfit (I need more lightweight cardigans) and I wasn't feeling my other dresses.  But this top (which I still have to blog about - yikes!) was being worn by my dressform, Mable, so I ripped it off of her and tossed it over a favourite navy dress.  Wasn't sure how I felt about it, but looking at the picture here, I'm actually pretty happy with it!  It's a little too short to wear with jeans, but it's perfect with a dress.  WIN.

Day 6:

Today was sort of a crummy day, and I like to wear these teal pants on crummy days.  I don't know why, they just make me happy.  I normally wear a boring black 3/4 length sleeve henley shirt with it, but since none of the things in that outfit are me-made, I pulled out my first grey Linden instead.

This is a cute outfit, and I still like this top objectively.  But...there's just something off about the fit.  I nailed it with the purple Linden, but this grey one makes me more self-conscious of recently expanded waistline (I've been feeding the Stress Beast a little too hard of late).  I don't know, I think this is one of those Wardrobe considerations that's leaning more towards "donate" than "keep".  It doesn't make me feel awesome - in fact, it counteracted my awesome pants - so it should probably go. 

How's your May going?  I know not many of you are doing MMMay this year, but are you enjoying seeing everyone's attempt?

Monday, May 02, 2016

Attention Yarn Crafters!

Hello you beautiful yarny folks!

I have a favour to ask of you.  I'm helping a friend gather some information on the purchasing habits of yarn crafters (knitters, crocheters, felters, spinners, etc).  If you like playing with yarn and yarny supplies and are willing, would you please go over and fill out this ridiculously short survey?  It's only 4 questions long and should only take a moment.

And if you know anyone else who'd be willing to fill it out, I'd be tickled if you passed it on.

Heather <3