Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Crafts

First up: A walnut shell advent wreath, idea stolen from Unikat. I painted mine silver, because that's the only color I had. Gold would have been a much better choice, but I didn't want to buy extra paint. The shells are hot glued on a cardboard circle covered in newspaper. I added tea light candles,and some mini red balls to jazz it up a bit. It was boring without it.
I also made some snowflakes, as Christmas tree decorations. The idea is from Martha Stewart.Yup, Martha Stewart made me buy glitter. My
snowflakes look nothing like hers. Maybe it's because I'm too stingy to use two kinds of glitter. This was completely messy, there was glitter everywhere. Plus, it falls off from the snowflakes - I'm thinking it won't be long before they go totally bald.

Next: Fabric drawstring bags, big enough to fit a pair of socks. I did a terrible job sewing these. I guess I lost my sewing mojo. Not that I ever had all that much mojo to begin with. I stenciled them with silver fabric paint and,wait for it...stamping ink. From a stamp pad. Why buy green fabric paint, when you have a little stamp pad? Because the damn ink bleeds, that's why! Overall, using ink as stencil paint was a stupid idea.

On a more happier note, one that doesn't involve crafty disasters - it's snowing. Not much, but still, snow ;-)

Monday, December 10, 2007

I went on Jaywalking...

I finally finished the Jaywalkers for my friend Sandra. I made them for my foot size, or actually, a centimeter longer than a perfect fit for me. I really hope her foot is about the same size as mine. I think it is, but I don't know for sure. And it's not like I can go and ask her: Say, would you mind measuring your foot length? And while you're at it, how about the ankle width as well? That would totally ruin the surprise.
I'm pretty satisfied with how the Jaywalkers turned out. They leg part is a little tight, so it takes some stretching to pull them over the heel, but they do fit great around the ankles. At least for me.
I also finished the socks for Lea. I improvised the pattern for her,2x2 rib for the cuff, k4, p2 for the actual pattern. I messed up the pattern after I divided for the heel - I was left with purls on only one side of the instep. I improvised a bit on the other side, added stitches, purled where I should have knit, so it worked out in the end. They're not quite symmetrical, but it's not you notice at a first glance.
Again,these were also made to fit my foot, but they stretch a lot,so it shouldn't be a problem. For next year, I'm going to make all my friends fill out a scrapbook/memories book thingy. What's your favorite food? Color? What are the measurements of your bust? :-)

I also got my invitation to Raverly this Friday.Whooo! I spent the whole weekend adding projects, and taking pictures of my yarn.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Time for some knitting

Not to make this blog all about paper crafts, because it is, after all, a knitting blog. Says so in the title. I went and bought some yarn, featured in the extremely crappy out of focus picture on the left. It's 100% wool. Shrinkproof, the label proclaims. Lovely colorway, made for 4 mm needles. I don't have 4 mm needles, and I wanted to turn this yarn into socks. So what the hell, I went and made socks on 3,75 mm needles (at least I think they're 3,75. Could be 3,5 mm). I finally made socks following the Jaywalker pattern. I must be the last knitter on the planet to knit these. They're really easy too, I had no bigger problems with the pattern, except for the fact that my kfb increase is a little looser than I'd like. The sock below is for my friend, a gift for Christmas. I think that's what all my friends are going to be getting this Christmas - the gift of socks. I better get knitting!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Yet another coptic book

I think I'm really addicted to making these little coptic journals. They're actually quick to make (a day at the max), which is a plus for the impatient craftster that I am. This one is my favorite by far. I spent all day yesterday working on it. I wanted a distressed look, and pretty paper inside. Alas, I only had regular printer paper. So I used that. I soaked it in coffee (gotta love Nescafe instant coffee - great for crafts), all 24 pieces of it. My entire room smelled of coffee. I dried the pages on some string tied to my closet handle and my lamp. It took about two hours for everything to dry thoroughly. For the back cover I used some human spine illustration I found online, and the front is a screencap from House m.d. credits. I love that show!
Anyhoo, here are the front and back.

Open coffee colored pages. I sewed them together with white cotton embroidery thread, soaked guessed it, in coffee. The pic on the right shows the back inside cover. I glued coffee filter paper to hide the glued mess that is under it.

Coptic spine show off shot:

The entire journal smells like coffee, with a slight scent of acrylic matte varnish I used on the cover, to protect the ink jet printed image.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Expanding my crafty horizons

It seems that lately I'm more into paper than yarn. I was looking for ideas for some cute and easy gifts for my friends for Christmas, in case I decide against knitting scarves and hats, and whatnot.
Enter bookmaking.
It's not as hard as I thought it would be. To make this book I used regular printer paper, some flower stationary I had around, and coptic stitch to sew it all together. I sewed it with embroidery thread, and my stitching needs some work, but overall it's not all that bad. The dimensions of the book/journal/notebook, whatever you'd like to call it are 11 x 15 cm (4,4 x 6 inches).
My little book opens. And closes.

This whole bookmaking business is so addictive that I made two more. These are 8 x 11 cm (3,2 x 6 inches). Small little notebooks that fit in your hand.

And a pretty shot of the spines:

I also covered a matchbox with the same stationary paper. It's one of those boxes for the long matches. I have no idea what to keep in it. Sewing kit, maybe?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Winter ready

A couple of days ago we had our first snow this year. And I was without a hat. Actually, I had plenty of hats, just not a new winter hat. Or a scarf for that matter. In order to rectify this, I went out and bought 5 skeins of this virgin wool/acrylic blend. It doesn't say what color it is on the yarn label, but the website claims it's "rust".
I made the Banana Republic knockoff hat, and in my infinite wisdom I BO for the flap on the wrong side. Go me. The hat was done on 5 mm flat needles (for the band) and 6 mm DPNs.
I also wanted to try the drop stitch, so I made the scarf. It went really quick, on 7 mm needles, I was done in maybe a day and a half. Plus, the drop stitch turned out to be really simple. Of course, by the time I finished these two, it stopped snowing, the snow melted and now the weather is just bleh.
Anyway, pic of scarf and a blurry close up of the stitches.

I improvised with the pattern for the scarf:

CO 23 stitches, knit 6 rows in garter stitch.
Next row: K1, *yo, K1* (repeat across from *)
Next row: Knit one row, dropping all the yarn overs.
Knit 4 rows.
Repeat these last six rows until you reach desired scarf length, knit 6 more rows in garter stitch, bind off.

Needles: 7 mm
Yarn: Wonderwool (Schoeller+Stahl), 51 %wool, 49% acrylic

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Picture a box

"Picture a box. You know something about boxes, don't you John? Now picture a box that you can wish anything into. What would you say to that?"
(Ben to Locke, Lost)
Well, I don't know about Locke, but I'd wish for lots of yarn. I'm kind of feeling the need to knit again. But until I decide on a project and buy the yarn for it, I'm crafting with shoe boxes and paper napkins. Also known as decoupage. The result is in no way a magic box, only a wrinkled, decorated...erm, box.
I have yet to decide what I'm going to put in it. Too small for yarn, too big for knickknacks. It would be great for gift wrapping (or is that gift boxing?) come Christmas.

Top of the not so magic box:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My Thermal is finished! Finally!

After exactly 30 days of knitting, I finished my Thermal. It wasn't a difficult pattern, but because I used a different yarn than the one in the pattern, it involved a lot of math and me worrying over the way it's going to look once it's blocked.
I did have issues with a couple of things though.

The sleeves. All the sweaters I made so far (lol, actually the only sweater I made so far, Thermal is my second long sleeved s.) were top down raglan - no sewing in sleeves. I'm pretty sure I messed up somewhere while knitting the sleeve cap, it ended up a little too big. And the sewing is pretty crappy and makes the sleeves sit funny on my shoulders. This is after I tried to fix it, by ripping and re-sewing about three times. No more.
The placket definitely needs another button, because it parts too much at the top. The button holes are too close to the edge and far too stretchy. I blame the pattern for this one.
This sweater grew after blocking, so it's not a perfect fit, but still not too bad. The sleeves, however, stretched a bit too much, they practically reach to my finger tips.

Action shots to demonstrate the placket issues, the right shoulder problem and the too long sleeves.

Still, I'm pretty satisfied with the final result.

Pattern: Thermal from Knitty
Yarn: Franca, 100% wool, 8 balls
Needles: 3 mm circs and DPN
Time it took: CO October 4, 2007 - BO November 4, 2007.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Taking a break from Thermal and knitting needles and replacing them with some paper, scissors and glue, of course. Can't do anything without glue.
I decorated my "old but never really used" spiral notebook with some decoupage paper I got in a magazine. Casamia, I think. Well, actually Le idee di Casamia. It's an Italian home decorating magazine. My Italian sucks, and I only buy it for the freebies inside, such as the mentioned decoupage paper.
I completely forgot how badly I suck at decoupage. Everything came out wrinkly when I applied a coat of varnish over the glued paper pieces. Either I didn't put enough glue, or I out too much. Or I didn't wait long enough for everything to dry.

Like I said, wrinkly:

I also made a bookmark form a magazine ad. Again, wrinkly. No varnish on this one tough. Clearly I have glue issues.

I guess I should go back to my knitting now. The body of the damn sweater is done, I just need to knit the sleeves. Can't seem to find the motivation tough.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Thermal progress and some cozies

After exactly 10 days of knitting in waffle stitch, this is how far I got with my Thermal. I passed the placket point, put the front pieces on hold (thank you, scrap yarn for finding a purpose for yourself), bound off for the armholes and I'm about to start knitting the back. The only problem is that I've just about had it with the damn waffles. The thought of sleeves terrifies me. And I'm not so sure I'll have enough yarn. So far I've used up 4 and a half out of 8 balls. Meaning the sleeves better need only one ball, 1,5 max. Otherwise I'm in trouble, because I'm not so sure I'll be able to find the exact same dyelot of this thing.
Not to make this post all boring and all about Thermal, I present all the iPod cozies I made for my nano. Only 3 away from having one for every day of the week. Shown in the picture in the order they were made. From knitting flat, to knitting in the round, to colorwork (my first) to the one that's supposed to have some sort of closure, but I never get around to finding a button for it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Currently working on Thermal. I bought 8 balls of this turquoise wool and had no idea what to do with it. I finally decided on Thermal, mostly because I love the neckline placket on it. I might make mine a bit higher though, it just seems to open for something that is basically a winter garment. Or should I leave it as it is, and wear it with a scarf or something?
Best part of this current project of mine is the fact that I'm working with 100% wool. My first wool. Turquoise is actually the only color, and brand of 100% my LYS carries (well, this and black). Everything else is just some sort of blend. So far I like knitting with this and I'm absolutely loving the fact that I can do a felted join. No weaving!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Shamrock dishcloth

Still trying to de-stash, even if it means I'm knitting stuff I'll probably never use. Really, I can't seem to grasp the concept of a dishcloth. I tried using one and it's way too slippery. Plus I don't trust its scrubbing abilities. I'm sticking with my Vileda sponge.
But I must confess - dishcloths make great stashbusting projects. And they're quick. I got the pattern for the shamrock cloth here. This used up 30 g of the 50 g skein of cotton I had lying around. Which means I might have to make another cloth. Smaller, of course. Maybe a coaster?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Knitting from my stash

These socks were the result of my attempt to get rid of some leftovers in my yarn stash. I actually don't have a big stash, which is fine, because I wouldn't be able to put in anywhere. What I do have are some odd balls of this and that leftover from my past project. For some reason, almost everything is green.
Anyway, mission 1: Get rid of the dark green/ light green acrylic blend that I used to make my Sheldon with. Mission 1 ended with a pair of Sheldon colored sock, and only a meter of yarn left - effective stashbusting indeed.
I knit the socks on size 4 mm DPN's, took me maybe a week. I combined instructions from Silver's Sock class with the ones I found in a book called "Pletenje" (Knitting). And voila, some nice socks to wear around the house.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The purple-ish cardigan

I honestly have no idea what color my cardigan is. If you look at it in direct light, it's purple. Other times it looks maroon. Whatever, I'm just glad it's finished and that it's wearable.
The whole time I was knitting it, the weather has been horrible. Cold and rainy. Of course, now that it's done, the temperature has gone up and it's sunny and way too warm for my worsted weight creation. Figures.
The cardigan was knitted as a top down raglan. I didn't use a pattern, I sort of improvised, especially around the waist decreases. But I find that it's extremely hard to mess up a top down anything. The collar could have been a little higher, but I guess I'll survive with the way it is. The collar, cuffs and all the borders are done in twisted k1p1 rib. I picked up stitches for the button band. And there the problems began. I frogged the damn band two times on each side, trying to figure out just how many stitches I need to pick up. I still have no idea.
So the side with the buttons has more stitches than the one with the holes. I'm so not fixing it again. It's not like anyone will notice, none of my friends knit. But next time I'm going to knit the sucker separately and sew it on.
Anyhow, here is the short version:

Pattern: Your basic top down raglan cardi
Yarn: Adamo & Eva (Ispe), 60% merino, 20% acryl
Needles: 6 mm
Time it took: 10 days

Some weird pose action shots:

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Things from felt

I've been busy crafting with felt. Actually, trying to get rid of some of the felt sheets I bought ages ago. I only had three colors, yellow, blue and green, so I tried to combine them the best I could.
I don't know why, but when I think of felt I always imagine something cute and small. That's why all the stuff I made is tiny. This didn't help with my "get rid of felt" mission. I still have plenty of it left, and no idea what to do with it.

Anyways, onto the felt stuff:
Some random circles that could be used on hair clips or possibly other projects.
A book for my sewing needles - about 7 cm tall.

A notepad made form scratch. I used an old cereal box for the notepad covers and some printer paper that was only printed on one side for the...erm, paper. I cut it all up to match the size of my felt dino cover and assembled it together. I used white glue to hold the paper together. So far so good.

Kanzashi flower. It's not felt, but it's cute and small. I still need to add a button to cover up the messy center. I have my mind set on yellow. Sadly, there are absolutely no yellow buttons in my collection. I'll have to go out and buy some.

As for knitting news: My purple-maroonish cardigan is finished, blocked and waiting for me to take some pictures of it.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Needs a sleeve

I started this cardigan last Friday. This is my progress so far.
I'm using 6 mm needles and heavy worsted yarn. Or maybe it's chunky, I never know the weight. It's either going to be super warm or super uncomfortable to wear. But it's my first time knitting anything that has long sleeves and I'm just proud that I managed to produce a whole sleeve on DPNs without any ladders.
The cardigan is knit top down with raglan increases for the sleeves. I still need to knit the other sleeve and add a button band.

Friday, August 24, 2007


I finished the Ribbed Lace Bolero and I'm not at all satisfied with how it turned out. It's way too big for me. Guess I swatched wrong or measured my shoulder span wrong. It actually fits my brother (yes, I made him try it on) rather well, and he has much broader shoulders than me.
I made it from Schoeller Stahl 100% cotton, and washing it only made it stretch even more. I tried to fix it by sewing it under the armpits, but that made the lace part gather around the sleeves.
Now I'm facing a dilemma - to rip it or just leave it as it is. Right now it doesn't look all that nice. Which is a damn shame, beacuse I love, love that lace pattern. At least that turned out pretty.
Oh well, I won't be wearing it much anyways, the summer is practically over. Guess the decision what to do with it will have to wait till next summer.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Knitting in the car

We took a family trip to the National Park on the river Krka yesterday. I did some knitting while sitting on the back seat. I'm working on the Ribbed Lace Bolero, using worsted green cotton. Now that I look at it, I'm not sure about the color. It's... too green?
Oh, well, I think I'll live. I only need to finish the bolero while it's still hot. Not much point having it around for fall. It's too lacy for the wind and the rain.
Here are some pics of Krka I took yesterday. All the green matches my bolero. Sort of.

Friday, August 10, 2007

For Tori Amos fans

This bag is part two of the gift for my friend Lea, whose birthday is this Sunday. She is a huge Tori Amos fan, so I decided her favorite singer should be the theme for the bag.
I made it from black and white canvas, lined it with white cotton material, added a zippered pocket in the lining, and a zipper to close the bag. The dimensions are 32 x 28 cm, with a 7 cm wide bottom. Took me about 4 hours total to make.
Now for the fun part: The white stripe with the lyrics is just white canvas, and the lyrics are there thanks to the great magic that is Avery Iron-on paper. I copy/pasted random lyrics from various Tori songs, some from the ones my friend told me she loves, and the others that I liked
. My favorite song of hers is China, which I'm told "real" Tori fans hate. Oh, well, I had to put it in there. Besides, my friend likes it, and if she's not a real Tori fan, I don't know who is.
Some not so clear pictures of the finished bag:

Fun part number two: I also lined the bag with lyrics. He he, that sounds cool, lined with lyrics. I took a black fabric marker and just wrote lyrics on the lining before sewing it together. It's the entire China and little of Cool on your island on the part with the pocket, and on the right it's Sleeps with butterflies.

Lining pre-sewing and on the finished bag:

If anyone cares, here is the list of all the songs on the front stripe: Bouncing off clouds, 1000 Oceans, China, Northern Lad,Playboy Mommy, Mrs. Jesus, Snow Cherries from France, Bliss, Talula, A sorta fairytale, Silent all these years and Crucify.