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:

Yellow ugliness

So I finished the yellow ugliness that is my modified Antropologie inspired capelet.
I totally lacked motivation and enthusiasm while knitting this. And I think it knew,
and thus turned out so crappy. The only reason I finished it is because I didn't want this yarn in my stash. And I still have a skein and 2/3 left.
It's done on 6 mm needles, and I think I used 5 and 1/3 skeins of yarn.

The picture doesn't show it, but these are the reasons why I don't like it:

  • uneven stockinette
  • ladders on the sleeves (I seem to have developed DPN issues
  • ugly, scratchy, coarse yarn
I also finished NataĊĦa's drop stitch scarf, added some notebooks I made, packaged it nicely with a bow and presto! - present.