Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Stitched Ornaments

Well, the title pretty much tells it all.

I made some Christmas decorations. Embroidered, of course. I don't know what's with me and embroidery. It seems to have taken over my craft world.

First up, a pattern from WeeWonderfuls, the
Elf Stitchette. I made mine about the size of a credit card. That's why the details are a bit bleh. Also the reason why the Elf has no hands.

The ornament is from linen, with a layer of red felt between. Cut with pinking shears for decorative effect. And to stop the fabric from fraying.

And for a Doctor Who fan on my list - a Cyberman. Actually, just his head. Right in time for this years Doctor Who Christmas Special, which features the Cybermen. That was kind of a spoiler for the episode, so if I've completely ruined it for you, I'm sorry.

Now I'm off to do some baking. Have a merry and crafty Chistmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


OK, OK, I did the sleeves :-)

Presenting my Buttony sweater, all finished. I only made some minor changes to the pattern, like adding a buttonhole on every 16th row instead of 10th. I also didn't decrease for the sleeves, which shows you just how lazy I am.

I admit, the sleeves are a bit too wide, but it only shows if I wear a short sleeved t-shirt under it, but considering this is a winter sweater, I don't really plan on doing that.

Here it is, with a nice view of my neighbors completely covered balcony.

The technical details:

Pattern: Buttony sweater
Yarn: GGH Davos, 8 skeins
Needles: 6 mm
Time it took: a month and a half

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mushroom Cupcake Embroidery

I'm still on an embroidery kick. These are my latest and greatest. Cupcake pattern is from Pimp Stitch, and the mushroom cottage is an annieoakleaves pattern. They're really small; the embroidery itself is about the size of a coin. That doesn't mean it was a quick craft. The mushroom took almost half a day of stitching. Ouch, my back.

I turned them into little ornaments, just to give them some sort of purpose.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Here are two little fimo keychains I made for my friends. First up, for a Doctor Who fan, a TARDIS pendant. I used scrap clay for it, then painted and varnished it. That's why it's so shiny. Too much varnish ;-)

Your basic polymer clay cake. No varnish here.

And a simple coffee cup. It took me ages to shape it, and it still doesn't look like I wanted it. It's about the size of a coin.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dead Bunny Pinscushion

I'm still working on perfecting my embroidery skills. It's fun. So fun actually, that I'm totally neglecting my knitting. I'm way past my deadline to start knitting Christmas presents. Looks like this year people will be getting store bought stuff. Or embroidered stuff ;-)
My latest creation - dead bunny. Done is split stitch for the outline, and satin stitch for the heart.

Later it became a pincushion. Voodoo bunny.

Things I learned form sewing this:

  1. It's hard to sew a bunny outline with a sewing machine.
  2. Next time, sew a little farther from the embroidery, otherwise it'll be too close to the edge of the pincushion. Like shown on the picture below.
  3. Choose a non-fraying fabric for the back, because if you don't, your stitches will come undone, and it will look crappy. Like not shown on the picture below.
  4. Sew the opening shut using the same thread color as your front fabric. Don't be lazy and just use the thread that was already on the needle.

But still, a functioning pincushion for my pretty shiny pins. Maybe now I won't end up finding stray pins on the floor day after I'm done sewing something.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Brought to you by the letter U

I'm trying out a new craft - embroidery!
I already had a hoop, originally bought to be a stencil fram
e. And I went and got some floss. Just look at the pretty :

The embroidery itself isn't really that difficult. Sure, my hands were killing me when I was done, but still, worth it.
I traced a letter from a dingbat font, called Old Car. The letter U was this cutie below. Don't ask me what king of car it is, I know as much about cars as I do about brain surgery.

I started with 6 strands of floss, then got smarter and separated it, to use only three. The entire image is done in backstitch. As you can see, I have some troubles with straight lines.

I'm planning on sewing some sort of pencil/cosmetics case out of it. Someday.

Quick Buttony sweater update: half a sleeve done, one and a half sleeve to go.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Buttony sweater

After many a days knitting, this is how far I got with my Buttony sweater. And then I stopped. I can't seem to find motivation to start the sleeves. Which is a damn shame, cause it's getting really cold and I could use a warm sweater.
Well, here it is, in all its unfinished glory. I did the buttons on every 16th row, which may prove to be a mistake once I try to wear it. It'll probably look weird.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

7 things

Incoknito tagged me to write 7 things about me.
  1. I will only buy cereals if they come with a toy inside. I'm such a child.
  2. I hate spiders. I dislike all insects, but spiders especially. I tend to scream if I see a really big one ;-)
  3. I'm addicted to TV shows. I watch a ton of them every week. It's affecting my knitting time.
  4. Large groups of people make me nervous.
  5. Impatience is my virtue ;-) I like things to be done fast, I don't like waiting.
  6. I love the smell of paperback books. I always smell a book before I buy it. Then I look around to check if anyone saw me do it ;-)
  7. I've only had one pet in my entire life. It was a goldfish I got for my 9th birthday. It jumped out its tank and died the very next day after I got it. I really want to get a cat one day, but the goldfish thing makes me question my pet-keeping abilities.
There, done. I'm not tagging anyone, cause it seems everyone had already done this meme.
As for knitting news, I'm working on a Buttony sweater for myself (who else). It's coming along rather slowly, but it's not like I'm going to be wearing it anytime soon. It's unbelievable warm outside, hard to believe it's November.

Monday, October 27, 2008


My Nutkin socks are finished. They've been done a while now, I just never got around to posting a picture.
This was a great pattern. Very easy to follow. I'm quite happy with the final result, despite the fact that my short row heels look crappy.

Pattern: Nutkin
Yarn: Deltex Hilda (skein and a half used)
Needles: 2 mm DPN
Time it took: about 15 days

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Nutkin and a bag

Wow, it's been a month since I last updated. I don't have much to show, lately I seem to be the world's slowest knitter.

I finally finished my Monkey Market Bag. This thing stretches like crazy. It's bigger on the inside, so to say. It just expands and holds a ton of stuff. I'm a little worried about the handles being able to hold all that weight, but I've used it to carry books and besides the bag stretching practically all the way to the floor, nothing else seemed wrong. I just might make another one for groceries.

Monkey Market Bag
Needles: 3 mm circ
Yarn: Mirabela mercerized cotton in green and orange (or gold, as the saleslady called it. Looks orange to me.)

I also started some socks. The pattern is Nutkin, top down, with short row heel and toe. What I've learned from this one is that my short rows definitely need more practice. I keep ending up with holes.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Red Green Gable

It's done! Just in time for crappy, cloudy, looks-like-rain weather. Hence the lousy photos.

This was a really simple and easy knit. I used different yarn, so guess that's why my collar is higher than the in the original pattern. I also added a few rounds of stockinette to the sleeves. Following my great tradition I bound them off a little too tightly - but it's OK, I still have circulation in my arms.

It's not blocked yet, I'll have to wait for sunnier weather, otherwise it'll take days to dry.

Pattern: Green Gable
Yarn: Lana Grossa Estate
Needles: 4 mm and 3.5 mm
Time it took: 15 days

I also ordered new yarn! Online yarn stores will be the death of my wallet. But look at the pretty. It's Davos by GGH. The color is called petrol, it's a kind of dark turquoise. I bought 10 skeins, now I have to figure out what to do with them.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Works in progress

I've never been one of those knitters who work on several projects at the same time. I've always just stuck with one until it was finished, and then I moved onto something else. Lately, I broke my rule. Two projects! Gasp! ;-)
I started the Monkey Market Bag, with a single ball of Mirabela mercerized cotton I'm trying to get rid of. I used up half the ball, and I'm nowhere near the end of the bag. I don't want to buy more of this cotton, cause I'm knitting with size 3 mm needles and all the k2tog are making my hands hurt. I got this far, and then started knitting something else.

Green gable. Only in red. The yarn is Lana Grossa Estate, weaved cotton. It's knitting up quite nicely. I'm actually almost done with this one, I knitting furiously trying to finish it before fall weather, so that I can wear it at least once this year.

And a lone sewing project. I started the bag without a real plan, sewed it up and then went to look for handles for it. I was hoping the local stores would have something wooden, shaped like the letter D. No such luck. So this is still a WIP.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rose's Wrist Warmers

In the middle of summer I'm knitting wrist warmers. And for a summer birthday no less. I'm continuing my streak of knitting Doctor Who patterns - these are for a friend who only recently became a fan. The pattern is fantastic, with an easy-to-follow chart. Color coded. Awesome.
I used smaller needles and different yarn than in the pattern, but I'm super satisfied with the result.

The only trouble with this project was finding the right colored yarn. I bought 4 different shades of pink/purple/plum before deciding on this color. Still not the same as in the show, but closest, given the choices I had.

Pattern: Rose's Wrist Warmers (also known as Doomsday Wrist Warmers)
Yarn: Iva, 1 skein and a little bit more
Needles: 3 mm DPN
Time it took: 10 days

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Spring Fling

After a long time, a finished knitting project! I used some sort of cotton, bought at the Unitas factory shop in Zagreb. There was no name or yardage on the label, but I bought 6 skeins (600 g) and for this project I used about two skeins (actuall, more like one and a half). 4 mm needles and almost a month later here it is:

Pattern: Spring fling from Knitty
Yarn: some sort of myster Unitas cotton
Needles: 3.75 mm and 4 mm
Time it took: A month of on and off knitting

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I seem to have forgotten about my blog ;-)

Almost two months without a post. And to my great shame, or maybe excuse, there was nothing to blog about. I've done absolutely nothing creative these past months. Well, almost nothing. I did manage to knit a simple cell phone cozy with some mystery cotton yarn. I plan to use the yarn to make myself a summer t-shirt or a cardi. I'm still deciding on the pattern, but judging by my laziness lately, I'll get around to knitting sometime in October ;-)

This picture is also a great example of the crappiness that is my camera. The towel is supposed to be white, and the cozy is slightly bluer than pictured.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm waving at fat!

Quick and cute project from the fourth season of Doctor Who - it's the Adipose baby! Pattern by mazzmatazz, it took me about five hours altogether. I only used up half a ball of white Merino Mix (Schoeller+Stahl) I had in my stash. This is by far the cutest thing I've ever knit.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Britannia Finished

My Britannia is finished. I can't really say I'm happy with it, I clearly made a poor yarn sub for this. The pattern calls for a bamboo yarn, and I used wool/acrylics. I made this in size XS,and I guess the fit is OK, but the length could be longer.
I also did a crappy job sewing up the seams, and somehow managed to pick up only 75 stitches for the collar, instead of the 123 the pattern calls for. Hence the weird looking, hardly existent collar.

Pattern: Britannia by Berroco
Yarn: Ispe Padova Duetto, 6 skeins
Needles: 3 mm and 4 mm
Time it took: a month?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Britannia in progress

Whoa, I've been neglecting the blog! But not the knitting!
I started working on Britannia by Berroco couple of weeks ago. I'm using Ispe Padova wool/acrylics blend. It's going well so far, really easy cause it's mostly stockinette. But it rolls, so I guess I'll have to block it before I sew the seams.
I'm done with the front and back, now all that's left are the sleeves and picking up stitches for the collar. I'm kind of dreading this step, picking up stitches is truly a pain in the ass.
Anyway, a progress shot of what I have so far:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I finished the first socks for the Sock Knitters Pentathlon challenge.
This was my first time doing toe-up socks and here is what I learned:

Magic cast on on DPNs is hell.

Knitting double wraps for the short row heels ain't all that easy either. I
didn't do the best job on the heels. The stitches are a little Frankenstein-like.
The bind off needs to be super stretchy. I had to rip, because I bound off so tight I couldn't pull the sock over my heel.

Cool things: No picking up stitches for the gusse
t, no grafting, you can just knit until you run out of yarn.

Pattern: Jacobean
Yarn: Deltex Hilda, exactly 70 g for both socks (in a color far too dark for this pattern)
Needles: 2.5 mm DPN
Time it took: CO March 1st, BO March 12th.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sock Knitters Pentathlon

A while back I joined the Sock Knitters Pentathlon. To honor the 2008. Olympics, during the course of the year, competitors in the SKP will knit 5 pairs of socks in 5 different styles.
The pattern for the first sock was revealed yesterday. It is the Jacobean sock. Magic loop, toe up. Yikes!

I've never done either of those. In fact, I don't even have 2,5 mm circular needles. I do have 2,5 mm DPNs however. So yesterday I learned how to do the Magic cast on for a toe up sock on double pointed needles. I used Knitty's tutorial. It took me 3 tries to get it right, but I finally did it.
The first row was such a pain in the ass, that I think I'll go and buy circs and learn the damn magic loop.

Behold, the beginning of a toe up sock done on 5 DPNs:

Of course, I'm way behind - somebody already finished! Two socks in a day, that must be some mad knitting skills.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's a stretch

My latest knitting creation is an extremely improvised coffee cup cozy. Made from scrap yarns, with a crochet border along the bottom. As you can see, it's not exactly the best fit. And those are some ugly buttons.

I also tried embroidery. Without a hoop. The result was this pouch. My try at the backstitch. I clearly need more practice. I embroidered half of the sentence before it occurred to me that I can separate the embroidery threads. I also failed to trim the thread on the wrong side before adding fusible interfacing. Go me!
The pouch was sewed by hand, and still need some sort of lining.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Woohoohoohoo Camouflage

As promised, an FO pic of my Jaywalker socks. This was the second time I used this pattern, I just love the ridges and the way the stitches kind of zig-zag.
They're done on 3.75 mm needles, using Ispe Padova's Hobby yarn.
It took me maybe 10 days of on and off knitting. But I'm really happy with the result, because these fit better than any other socks I made for myself. And they're warm and comfy.
Action shot: Air socks! It's really hard to take a good picture of a pair of socks when you're wearing said pair. This shot provided me with more exercise than I got in the last two weeks :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I love STAMP

My mission to try out every hobby known to man is progressing just nicely. This week: Rubber stamps. Carved out from erasers, using tools such as an x-acto knife, nail files, linoleum carving thingies and my nails. These are very beginnerish, my technique sure needs some work, but they're fun. And kind of messy.
Things I learned: stamp ink stays on your hands. If you store the stamp pad upside down, there will be too much ink on your stamp (but if you store it normally, the ink just sinks to the bottom - what to do?). It's a good idea to clean the stamps after use. Really good idea.

I also love LOST. Best tv show in the world, really.
Pictured below is my Dharma stamp, the Hydra station. It's supposed to be an octagon, but it's a bit rounded. I need better carving tools. And bigger erasers. I'm going to Dharma-stamp the hell out of everything. This is not the last Lost-related craft you'll see on this blog, I can tell you that.

And because this was once a knitting blog - I have been knitting, I swear. I'm working on Jaywalker socks for myself. Still have about 10 cm to go and then I'll post a pic of the finished socks.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The simplest bag

Simple white canvas bag. Decorated to make it pretty, but it's still simple. Inspiration for this hit me after listening a report on the radio about how they're banning plastic bags in Paris. And how soon it might spread to other countries. I thought I should be prepared :)
So, like I said, white cotton fabric, some colorful fabric scraps cut in circles and glued on (and then sewed around with zig zag stitch) and hand embroidered stems. My first embroidery. It's fun. And makes me want to buy an embroidery hoop for future projects. But I think I'll save my money for yarn.
The bag was made to be a shopping bag, but one experimental trip to the store proved that it can barely fit a loaf of bread and a cornflake box. Note to self: shopping bags need to have a wide bottom.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

In which I make paper...from paper

With all the paper crafts I've been into lately, making my own paper was only a matter of time.
The process: Tear up old paper, fill a plastic Tupperware bowl, boil water in your trusty water boiling device (sometimes referred to as a tea kettle), add some of that hot water to the paper filled Tupperware, and stir a little (just for the fun of it). Leave the room and eat some cookies, while waiting for the paper to soak. When your patience runs out (mine ran out after 20 minutes or so), take your trusty squishy stuff maker, or as I like to call it -
The Stick.
I suppose you can use a normal blender too, but hand blenders are more fun and easier to clean.

Stick The Stick into the Tupperware paper mixture and blend until it gets all squishy and you can never tell in a million years that it used to be torn up paper. You want something like a thicker milkshake consistency. Add some cornstarch and blend some more.

Take a towel and place it on a flat surface, with a plastic bag, or something waterproof under it. Take a tea towel and place it on the towel towel. Using a spoon spread your paper paste on the tea towel, trying to get an even layer. The thicker your layer of paste, the thicker your paper will be. I applied mine pretty thick, because a) I had no idea what I was doing and b) I had no idea what I was doing. Level the layer a bit, and cover it with another tea towel. Place yet another towel towel on top of it, and pat with your hands, place a heavy book on top of it, or use a kitchen roller to absorb the water. Heavy book or roller are a must anyway, because you want you paper to be flat. Remove the top towels and leave to dry. This is going to take forever.
Options to speed up drying: blow dryer, ironing it, or placing it on a heater (which is what I did, and got curled and wavy paper).

The end result is pictured below. Its thickness is somewhere between a postcard and a cereal box. And I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to use it for.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Blog redesign and Fetching

I'm waiting for spring, so I thought I'd hurry it up with a new blog design. Call it pre-spring cleaning, if you'd like. I fiddled around with it for the most part of yesterday, exactly during the time all the links from foreign domains decided not to work. Google services included. Thank you, T-com.
But all is fine now, and I have a nice new blueish design. Sorry if anyone was visiting during the uploading of the new theme. And sorry if you're using Internet Explorer, I can't get the design to work nicely with it. Maybe you could try Firefox? :-)

On the knitting front: I finally made Fetching. I don't know what took me so long to try it, the pattern is really easy and quick. I finished both gloves in two days.

Pattern: Feching from Knitty
Yarn: Ispe Padova Duetto (I love this color), 1 skein
Needles: 4 mm DPN
Time it took: Feb 3rd - 4th 2008.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Calendar pages

I got a really cool calendar with images from upcoming book editions. They are all illustrations that are going to appear on books Algoritam publishes. Pretty, but I have no use for it as a calendar. So I went and made some notebooks. These are really thin, they only have one signature and about 12 pages. I tried to be all fancy and played in Photoshop a little, to add something to the pages. Ended up with plain old lines and some swirly brush ornaments.
Front and back:

I like the back of these two better than the front. Too bad they don't fold to the right.

And open,with little ornaments on the pages: