Monday, January 13, 2014

Yet another Christmas gift

For Christmas I made my older sister a bag.  The actual crocheting wasn't too difficult, but it took FOREVER.  I actually began making it this summer.  I didn't expect it to take me so long, but I only had it finished a few days before Christmas.  For the most part I am happy with how it turned out.  I admit, given the amount of time I put into it I had expected it to fold up larger.  Alas.  

The folding part was pretty cool - the bag itself, minus the shoulder strap, was crocheted in a single long piece and then folded to make the bag.  If I had to do it over again I would probably try to find a self-striping cotton yarn - I don't advise making switches between colors.  Or, at least, my OCD tendencies don't like how that turns out much.  

The other problem I had with this, as you can see, are that the lines don't match up perfectly straight.  This was a result, I am sure, of the fact that my stitches probably changed tension over the 6+ months that I worked on this.  So when I sewed it up, they didn't match up as well as I was wanting.  Granted, when there are things in the bag, I am sure that no one but myself will notice.  One of the issues of being a novice and not getting this done in a reasonable amount of time!

Overall it didn't turn out bad.  Sure, there are things I would have wanted to be better and things that I would have changed, but it isn't bad at all.  I am making her a little button loop to go over the top and keep it closed for her - because it wasn't long enough to make the top of the bag narrower it tends to hang open a touch too much.  So, we'll see if that helps it out like I hope that it will.

Tea cozy and slouch hat

These I made for my almost sister-in-law.  The first is a cute tea cozy that has a simple, but pretty, "butterfly" design is what the pattern calls it.  I don't know that I would call it that, but it is pretty anyway.

It doesn't look quite right here, because I didn't have a teapot to put it on, but it fit her teapot perfectly.

She also got a slouch hat for Christmas.  She had gotten one from her family the night before, but mine was homemade, so I claim better hat!  Ha!

Best or not, I was really pleased with how it turned out.  I wasn't sure how the variegated yarn was going to look with this particular pattern.  But I think it actually worked quite well - better than I had expected.  It fit her well, and the pattern and the yarn colors ended up making this a really cute hat.  Can't complain about that!

More gifts

I made some absolutely fabulous mittens for a good friend of mine this Christmas, too!  She kept asking me after I gave them to her how I had broken into her house, found her asleep, and measured her hands because they fit so well.  Felt really cool to have her say those things, though, naturally, I had done none of them.

The pattern was pretty close, but I did add a couple of rows because I know how tightly I knit. I also knit these via magic loop rather than on DPNs - it is quicker and my fingers hurt less afterwards.  Because I knit so tightly, DPNs often hurt my fingers after a few rounds because I have to push the stitches around so much.

 As it was they turned out as well as I could have possibly hoped.  Plus, the color is fabulous!

They are 100% wool, I used Malabrigo's Rasta yarn, so the downside is not being able to wash them easily.  But they turned out really well and are very, super warm.  So I was, and am, thrilled with how they worked up and turned out!

Friday, December 27, 2013

And so begin the line-up of Christmas gifts!

Now that Christmas is over and I have given out all the gifts that I made, I have things that I can post again!

I made my nephew a hat for Christmas, but I couldn't find a pattern that I really adored.  So, I combined two of them to try to get closer.  I started off with a P1K1 pattern.  The pattern calls for me to continue this for the entire hat.  There are a couple of things I dislike about that.  First, I think K1P1 is crazy annoying for an entire pattern.  I like to be a bit lazier than that!  Second, I am afraid that all of the stretch that that creates might actually become a problem as the hat gets worn and slightly older - stretching out TOO much.  So I plain knit every other round, which ended up twisting the p1k1 more than I had anticipated.  Not bad, just not expected.

This was the finished result!

If you look really closely there is a change in the texture.  That was definitely unexpected, but I think unless you are actually looking for it, or if you know what you are looking at, you wont notice it while it is on my nephew's head.

I also knit a hat for my niece.  It is definitely too big for her currently, though she didn't pull it off immediately, which is a good sign.

I thought the points that this forms at the top were just too cute for words!

I will be posting more soon!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Working on Christmas presents

I have been working on Christmas presents lately!  Lots of fun.  I thought I would have a second one finished, but found out that I actually need a lot more of the i-cord than I had.  So, that increased my work load.

I have approximately 10 projects to finish between now and Christmas.  Aside from the bunch of i-cord I need to finish for that hat, I also need to just seam up a second present.  Most of them are knitting projects, I think I only have a single project that is crochet.

My little brother asked for a hat that is, sort of, like a knight's helmet with the visor that comes down. You know, the stereotypical helmet like you might find on a suit of armor.  Like the ones in Beauty and the Beast!  In any case.  The only patterns I have found online are patterns that I would have to pay for.  Since I am not interested in paying for that, I am making it up as I go.  It is just a basic beanie without the embellishments to start.  So, I am starting with that and I shall go from there and see if I can't come up with something that looks relatively close to what he is after.

Other than making up a pattern as I make the hat, I think all the other projects I have already have their patterns.  I just need to get to it!  So, with I go!

Monday, November 4, 2013


There are days that I would love to open an Etsy account.   But then I recall how little time I have, how many other projects I have going on, and my fear of not being able to fill or fulfill expectations and I never end up getting anything set up.  About a year ago I started thinking about making a profile to sell from - I bought the yarn for a particular pattern, the first pattern I had ever successfully completed, but the yarn is still sitting here in my home.

I did just pull out a skein, while writing this, and I would start, but I have to be at work in half an hour.  Perhaps I can at least get my beginning chain done so that when I come home I am more tempted to work on it - rather than having to start it.  Yes, I realize that a beginning chain is not really a "start" but sometimes it helps to get me motivated if I can say that I have already started something.  I know, that makes no sense either.  No one ever said I would make sense on my blog!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Spoiler: Christmas gifts!

So, this is my most recently knit toddler hat.  I used DK at the bottom and then a boucle yarn for the top to make it fluffy and soft.  My niece is currently at the in-between stage of hats - too big for a baby size but too small for an adult.  This, technically, fits over my  head.  It just looks odd and not very pretty.  However, I think that on her it will give it a nice slouch and gives room for any hair things she has going on that day! I haven't seen her since I made it, but I am hoping that it will be about the right size for her, plus some stretch for her to grow this winter.

This next piece is actually for her mommy.  She drinks a great deal of tea and asked if I could make her a tea cozy.  So I found a very cute pattern that has detail but nothing crazy.  This pattern works flat and you make two sides.  Now that I am this far in I was wondering how difficult it would be to adjust the pattern to work in the round next time.  It would save from having to seam, and it might give it a cuter look.  As well as being easier.  For now, though, I will complete the pattern as written and I should have it done in plenty of time for Christmas!

This is the chainless half double crochet that I was talking about the other day.  It has a tendency to twist and I am not sure if that is normal in these types of things or not.  I am hoping, and guessing, that as I add more rows it will even itself out and not be too much of a problem.  Anyone have experience with these and know if this is a common occurrence?  Or did I do something wrong?

And my final picture for the day.  This is just a straight double crochet piece.  I am making up the stripes as I go, mostly to add some interest.  Eventually it will be folded into a shoulder bag for my older sister.  The "Masa bag" pattern on Ravelry is what I am pulling it from.

That about covers what I am working on right now.  I have other things that I am thinking about starting, but I want to make sure that I have time to finish these items before I really get into too much else.  I would love to make a baby cardigan for Christmas, but I don't know that I am a fast enough knitter to start that now and have it finished in time.  But, who knows.  We will see where I get to on the tea cozy and the bag and I will play it by ear from there!