Tag Archive | crafting

Rainbow KAL?

Apparently Sarah Jane at Mildly Granola is hosting a Pride Sock KAL for June, and I’m ready for some bright rainbow-ish socks. Which should I use??

img_7830Neither are true rainbows, but they’re the closest I have. The top is a self-striping called Make Me Smile, and the bottom is named Born This Way, which seems appropriate for Pride Month. Which would you knit?

Also today was a very good mail day and I got my new project bag that I ordered from Orange Jellyfish Dream. They’re hand-dyed and extremely well-made. I think I’ll put my new sock project in it! They had other colors too. You can see them here.

EDF80659-D0D1-48BB-BB8A-4F84939E097C_1_201_aOh yeah, I got the matching pouch too. Oops.

A new craft!

When I was about 12, my mom thought I needed to learn to sew. With her help, I made a pair of white cotton shorts. They fit fine, but I didn’t love the process and didn’t sew anything else after that. For the next 20 years or so, the only sewing I did was sewing on buttons. Even when the girl wanted to learn to sew, and got a machine and all the tools, I was happy to sit back and let her learn from her aunt and grandmas.

But then I started crocheting and knitting, and I made some bags that needed liners. The knitting SIL, an accomplished sewist herself, walked me through the basics and I used the girl’s sewing machine to make a couple of simple linings, which I then hand-stitched into the bags. Then I got tired of that, and a few months ago, got rid of my fabric scraps because I didn’t have the inclination to sew more.

Oh, but then the evil pandemic began. First I knitted masks and hand-stitched linings in them, but that was a long process. I saw the simple pleated masks and figured I could manage those. It took me a while to remember how to use the machine, but I made a few with fabric ties. Then I made a few with elastic from hair ties. It was fast, and kind of fun. I ordered brightly-colored cotton and made a few more with elastic. But I hadn’t realized how much fabric two yards was, and I wondered what else I could make with all this fabric.

I remembered the little knot bag that Sarah Jane gave me a few months ago — it seemed pretty simple. She sent me the link for the pattern on Etsy, which is awesome and has three sizes. Since Sarah Jane made me a small one, I decided I’d try the medium size. A few hours later, I had a new bag, and it’s even reversible!

This is a perfect pattern for beginners, nice and simple, and I can’t wait to make another one. I might make another small one before I tackle the large size, which also has a pocket. And pretty soon I might need to start getting some fabric, because I only have three solids and I’m gonna need more than that!

Making it up as I go along

Many months ago, in the before-time when we were able to go places and look at things and buy them in person, I bought the neatest handmade oak cabinet for my pen accessories. Perhaps it was originally a jewelry case, as the top drawer is sectioned off and lined with red felt. The other drawers are unlined though, and recently I thought it would be fun to knit drawer liners with leftover sock yarn. There weren’t any patterns in Ravelry that were similar to what I had in mind, but there was a table runner in fingering weight with a width close to what I wanted. That gave me a starting point for how many stitches to cast on and what needle to start with.

After a couple of tries, I landed on a cast-on of 92 stitches with size 2 needles. I did a garter border but then as I started thinking about the body, I decided I wanted some kind of ridge to create valleys for pens to rest in. I did a few rows of k6, p2 / p6, k2 but that wasn’t creating a ridge on the stockinette side, so I switched to a garter ridge instead of a purl ridge. Nope, that didn’t work either, so I went back to the purl ridge. Though it created a dip on the smooth “right” side, it made a nice ridge on the purled “wrong” side, and I decided I just needed to adjust my thinking and switch right and wrong.

I kept knitting until I ran out of yarn and after blocking I ended up with a rectangle about 13″ by 4″. It’s a good length for the drawers but I want it deeper to fill the whole drawer, so I need about 40 grams to get a piece 13″ x 9″.

However, what I discovered is that 4″ is the perfect length for my Kaweco pens, and I happened to have exactly enough spots for all of them!

193A40E8-D799-4768-8C23-937BEF779B2FThis was a fun little weekend distraction, and I’m looking forward to making a full-size version soon!

Finished: Dowland Shawl

My Dowland shawl got blocked this weekend, and after the boy mowed the backyard I went out for a photo shoot. It posed beautifully, too. Prepare yourself for a photo-heavy post because it was hard to choose which ones to omit!

45957989-6B81-4A3B-BD04-6BAE994D1CBC_1_201_aI’ll start with the obvious: this is a huge shawl. I used all but 14 grams of my two skeins of Kitty Pride Fibers’ Ocicat Fingering in the color A Bonny Lass. The pattern says you can repeat section eight up to two times to use up more yarn, so I repeated it once. I didn’t want to risk running out of yarn, though I think I could have squeaked through just fine.

The last lace section gave me fits. I had to rip out thirty rows of lace the first time I knit it. The second time went better, but I still had three rows where I ended up off by one stitch, and I just fudged it. I couldn’t stand any more tinking or frogging. I did spot one of the errors when I was pinning it out, where the yarnovers didn’t line up just right, but no one will ever notice it while I’m wearing it, and it doesn’t detract from the overall beauty of the lace pattern.

After I had it all pinned out, I realized I did not pin the scallops correctly, so there are more scallops and they’re closer together than the designer intended. But by then, it was mostly dry and again, I wanted this shawl just to be done, so I’m calling it a design feature.

726BB99D-595F-4B7D-BBF6-78246BD7FF75_1_201_a

This was not an easy knit for me but it might be one of my proudest knitting moments. It turned out to be exactly what I wanted from my Bonny yarn, and I can’t wait to have somewhere to wear it to show it off!

Two Big Finishes

Painting the dining room didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would: I got it all done in one day! Two coats plus the edge by the ceiling on the six-foot ladder, which was definitely not my favorite part. Yesterday I pulled off tape, washed the trim, gave it a final vacuum, and called that room done.

We chose a slightly darker gray for this room and it’s really hard to photograph. There’s not enough sunlight and the hanging light gives off too much yellow. But I think this is a good approximation. Mostly I’m just delighted that it’s clean and patched and smooth. We’ll see how long it stays that way, what with three dogs and all.

My other big finish is the Dowland shawl! I bound off Friday night. I had three rows in the final section that were off by one stitch but by then I just couldn’t deal with any more tinking or frogging so I pushed through. I could see a couple of the spots as I was pinning it out, but they’re minor and I won’t notice them as I’m wearing it, for sure. I need to get outside to take some pretty photos, but here’s a preview of the finished, and massive, shawl. (Dog included for perspective. And because he wouldn’t move.)

DC6299FE-C771-49C4-8C01-33D6FC9BBB03After finishing the dining room yesterday morning, I really thought I was done painting for a while. It’s been hard on my back, elbows, wrists, hands — everything, really. But the work and the final products are really good for my mind, so by last night I was pulling pictures off the walls in the living room and starting to dust and spackle. I’m going to take it slow, though. I’ll do bursts of prep in between spurts of knitting today, and take my time. The boy asked me last night what I was going to do when I ran out of rooms to paint, and I had no answer. After the living room, I have a stairwell to paint, and that’s it for painting. I could be done by the end of the week. Then what?

Oh well. That’s a problem for future Bonny!

New Sock, New Room

My two days of rest were exactly what I needed. I worked on my Dowland shawl and even got past the point where I had to frog last time. I’ve only got eight rows left before the bind-off, I believe, and I’m so ready to be done with this one. For some reason, the lace in this last section is giving me so much trouble. I want to get back to the easier lace of my Penny sweater but am just stubborn enough to make myself finish Dowland first.

I also cast on a new sock, as predicted. I pulled out one of my new brightly-colored sock yarn skeins, Orange Jellyfish in Intergalatic Planetary, and cast on for a Vanilla Latte sock. It’s growing quickly.

It’s knitting up differently than I expected but I do love the bright colors. And the dog! 😉

But for now, the knitting is paused again while I resume my painting activities. I’m tackling the dining room now. Yesterday I patched and taped and dusted and sanded and vacuumed and patched and sanded and vacuumed. (There were some pretty serious cracks in the biggest wall.) The husband picked up the paint last night and today I’m ready to do the fun part: getting the paint on the walls! This is the biggest room I’ve done so far; it might take me a few days just for the painting.

Happy Friday, friends. Hope you have something fun planned for the weekend!

Well, THAT took forever

It feels like I have completed very few projects during this stay-at-home time. Ravelry says I have, a whopping six projects: two simple cowls, three pairs of socks, and several masks (which I guess could count for more than one project). But anyway, I finished a pair of socks last night and it felt like I’d just finished a marathon! I looked back and discovered I’d started these on March 16, the first day I started working from home. That’s almost two months ago, friends! Does it seem crazy that we’ve been doing this for so long? Sometimes it does to me, and sometimes it just feels like normal now. I’m so glad to have these off my needles finally.

The yarn is Leading Men Fiber Arts Showstopper in Complete Imagination and the pattern is Vestigial. I love the colors of the yarn and the gentle stripes. I carried the pattern down to the end of the gusset and after that I just wanted plain stockinette feet. And now I get to pick out a new sock yarn and cast on something fun…as soon as I clean off my craft room table of all the stuff it accumulated while I was painting!