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.