Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!

Let me introduce you to my new friend. He's a small dude, only about 11 cm tall. He's not all that talkative, but if he was, he'd probably say something along the lines of: Do you smell carrots?

His, um, genetic code came from Lion Brand, as did his wardrobe. His accessorizes color choices were greatly inspired by this:

(he's a bit of a copy cat ;)

My amigurumi friend and I have a message for you all, dear readers.

We wish you all the best in 2011! Happy New Year!

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's raining and I can't think of a catchy title

The latest thing to come off my needles are super warm socks, made for my aunt. She's the person who really made my knitting possible.

I learned the knit stitch from my grandma, learned the purl stitch from a book, but it was my aunt who taught me that you alternate the two in order to get stockinette. Before that, I was just doing the knit, purl and then more purls, and was freaking out why it's not coming out like in the pictures. So my aunt deserves all the thanks in the world for clearing that out for stupid me. A pair of socks is the least thing I can do for her.

She also knits, but not so much anymore. She used to make slippers for my mom, my brother and me. This is her work:

As for my work, I'm still knitting the Basic Black.

Or 'The never-ending cardigan of never-ending neverendingness'.

I've been at it since September. I have no idea why I'm so slow with it, it's a simple stockinette cardigan. I still have the sleeves to finish, and then block and seam the whole thing, and pick up stitches for the button band. Like I said, never-ending.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


My friend Sandra has a birthday tomorrow, and as she once expressed a wish for a crochet Snoopy doll, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to make that wish come true.

Thank God there was a pattern for Snoopy on Ravelry, otherwise I'd be in deep trouble.

He's done with a 1,5 mm hook and Mirjana no. 5 cotton thread.
My God, those tiny stitches were a total pain. Especially the black ones. And
removing the stitch marker (a tiny safety pin in my case) at the beginning of every round, and then making a stitch and putting it back in - Worst.Task.Ever.

But in the end, I'm pretty satisfied with the final result.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Orange Global Warming

I've been away from the blog for a while, knitting like a maniac.
Since it's October, and pumpkins are everywhere, how about a pumpkin colored sweater?

This is Global Warming. Great pattern, done in the round, bottom-up. I chose it because of the puffy sleeves and the pocket on the front. Loved the fact that it has a pocket on the front.

Who knew the fricking pocket would be so hard to sew on?

This thing you see above is my first and last time of sewing something on the front of anything I knit.

Global Warming was knit on 3,5 mm needles with GGH Wollywash. It's a great yarn, soft and easy to knit with. I used almost six skeins on this little sweater, which is just about the amount I had.

I'm still working on Basic Black, I just have to knit the sleeves and seam all the pieces together. Looking forward to that as much as I would look forward to walking barefoot on broken glass.

In other news, remember that one
hundred time I said I would not buy more yarn until I use up my stash? You see where this is going, don't you?

Ta da! Brought to you by my lack of willpower: GGH Wollywash, for the Caitlin Pullover, which I've had in my queue since January of 2008, and Marija for ... something. Any suggestions?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why did Bono fall off the stage?

He was too close to The Edge. ;)

Any U2 fans out there? My friend is a huge fan. Huge as in willing to pay massive amounts of money to see them live in various European cities huge. Me, I like some of their songs. But let's get back to the friend. Huge fan. Last summer she was all about The Edge. That's the guy that plays the guitar. The one with the hat. All her emails and SMS were about how awesome Edge is. So this year for her birthday, I decided to make her an Edge doll. And apparently, I wasn't paying enough attention to her messages, because she now no longer likes Edge the best.Now she likes Adam. The other guy that plays the guitar. It's like we're twelve and get a new crush every week.

I don't get it, when I was into Take That (and mind you, th
at was 10 years ago), I stayed true in my adoration of Gary Barlow. If I had to choose today, I would still pick Gary. Take That is back, after all.

Anyway, back to my Edge problem. I still haven't sent her the gift. I'm deciding between mailing him to her and delivering him personally, waving him in front of her and saying in an Irish accent: Why don't you love me anymore? I think she'll change her mind when she sees how cute he turned out. I mean, really, Adam who?

Amigurumi Edge is done in Mirabela cotton, on a 3mm hook. I based him on Nerdigurumi Link pattern. His arms and legs are stuffed with pipe cleaners, so they are bendable. The hat comes off. I wanted to add some embroidery on his shirt, but after the terrible job I did on his shoes, I gave up on that.

But I did make him a little felt guitar. Here he is with my ipod for a size reference.

Now I just have to present my friend with this amigurumi version of her SECOND favorite U2 member. I really should pay more attention when she talks about U2.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I just want to sleep...

I've been sick this past week. Still don't feel like myself. The weather is terrible, it's only 9 AM and it's completely gloomy and gray. It's raining like crazy and it's cold. The kind of weather that makes you want to go back to bed. Or at least curl up under the blanket, a hot cup of tea nearby and a book in your hand. Or your latest knitting project.

Good thing my latest project is a pillow. Perfect timing.

It's a crochet granny square with sewn cotton back. The yarns I used are Mirabela by Unitas and Camilla (Madame Tricote). My square didn't turn out exactly square, maybe it's the different yarns or my lack of crochet practice, but I don't care.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go test my new pillow.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Don't laugh - I made a skirt!

I'm not one for feminine clothes. I never wear skirts. In fact, I practically only ever wear jeans.

But this summer I came across a nice tutorial on how to make a shirred top skirt, and it was summer and hot, so I thought why not. Mostly I just wanted to try shirring.

I didn't want to buy new fabric, so I used some bed sheet material I already had and ended up with this:

(Excuse the wrinkle, I sat down in it. That's just one of the reasons I don't like skirts.)

The shirring turned out great, and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.
It doesn't fall all that nice, but that's just the super starched sheet fabric doing its thing.
So now I have something to wear around the house in these warm summer days. I say around the house, because I would never ever wear this in public. Ever. Like even to take out the trash or open the door for the postman.

I'm only showing it to you, Internet. Don't laugh.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Look, grandma! A square!

I have finally dared to try my hand at granny square making. Following this amazing tutorial.
Turns out, crocheting granny squares can be quite addictive. I made four. And then I didn't know what to do with them, so I joined them together using slip stitch. And still didn't know what to do, so I added a border. And now I have this crochet granny square and no idea what to use it for. It'll be a potholder, I guess.

I also did some amigurumi-ing. If you can call it that. I bought this nice little book of patterns, called Amigurumi. The designs in it seem simple enough for a beginner and they're pretty much all small toys that can be done in a couple of hours.

I made Sidney Snail. A learning experience, you might call it.

I learned that I need to practice my color changes, my sewing of body parts and most of all, the invisible decrease. Dc2tog creates stupid looking holes.

So I practiced the decrease, using this tutorial as my guide. Worked like a charm. See?

Actually, you don't see because the lower half of the head is not visible in the picture, but even if you could see where I decreased, you wouldn't be able to. If that makes any sense.

Love the Frog head keychain (or charm, the pattern intends it to be a cell phone charm), not so sure about the snail and I'm super proud of my new granny square skill.

Amigurumis and granny squares are basically the only things that appeal to me in crochet. I see more squares in my future. Maybe even a blanket. I just need to learn how to join the squares in a prettier way.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Firefly

I often wondered how designers name their patterns. What is the inspiration?
I'll tell you what's mine. TV. I like to knit while watching TV. This is why I really like stockinette stitch - it's boring, true, but I can knit it without paying attention to my knitting, and focusing on the TV screen instead.

I sometimes find myself thinking about my past projects in connection to whateve
r was on the TV while I was knitting them. Like, my Twsirl. I could probably call that one "The Wire Season 1 tank top".

This summer, I had a little
Firefly re-watch. Amazing show. And during the time I watched, I was knitting a short sleeved cardi, the pattern of which I sort of (or, um, completely) based on this one. But since it's not really the Babydoll cardi, I had to think of a name for it. Firefly seemed like a logical choice, it is after all, shorter than 'that cardi I made while I was watching Firefly in the summer of 2010'.

It still needs something to button it up a bit. I'm thinking about a hook thingy, or something similar. Not really sure what. Maybe I'll just add some crochet ties.

Sorry about the glaring, blurry picture.

This was done top down, on 3 mm needles. The yarn is Mirabela, mercerized cotton.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


After spending two weeks in Zagreb, I'm finally back home. I was a good girl, I only bought six skeins of bright cotton while I was there, to use for amigurumi. Only six, that's not so bad, right? Right?!

Ahem, well, moving on. I did do some knitting, it's drying on my floor as I write this. Pictures are coming as soon as I get the cable that connects the camera to the computer back from my brother.

Meanwhile, here is something I did before leaving for my vacation. As soon as I saw this fabric in the store I had to buy it. I mean, it has cows on it!

I made a bag.
And since the cows seem to be all about some sort of kitchen activity, I also made a potholder. Want to know how to spell 'disaster'? B-I-A-S T-A-P-E. That's how.
Freaking bias tape and my freaking bias tape binding skills. It went fine on the one side, but when it was time to sew on the other one - crap. I probably should have hand-stitched it all around with blind stitch, but that seemed like too much work.

So I got this. Still usable, just not all too pretty.

Also, pieces of thread poking around everywhere. But I love the cows.

I'm trying to decide what to knit/sew/embroider next, but to be honest, it's too hot to do anything. 9 AM and it already 34 C. Too hot!

Friday, June 11, 2010

When life gives you one skeins, make amigurumi

So, according to Sandra, the best way to solve the one-damn-skein problem is to make amigurumi.
So I did.
I give you Amigurumi Mouse Doorstop. Only mine isn't a doorstop. And to be honest, it doesn't look much like a mouse.

The face of a cartoon, nose of a rat, ears of a koala and the body of those plastic eggs inside Kinder surprise. And a bit asymmetrical too. A Mousekoalarat only a mother could love. Which I kind of do.

I also fiddled a bit with my blog look. Don't worry, that header is not going to stay up there for long.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Swirly Tswirl

Finished! Before summer! Yay!

This was a stash-busting project. I'm on a mission. No more new yarn until I use up all that I have. Or at least until I free some storage room, so that I can put the bag of yarn I keep on the floor somewhere else.

I still have a skein left though. Perhaps I should gather all my one-skeins and make a sweater. It would probably be ugly, but it would rid me of those lonely skeins.

I like the way the pattern came out, love the swirl. But I should have done it with a lower neckline. While I was knitting it and trying it on, I kept thinking it won't cover enough of my um, boobage area. So I lengthened that part. And now it covers too much. I just can't win.

Here's the back. I plan to wear this with a different tank top underneath, obviously. This one was the first one I grabbed for the purpose of modeling.
I also plan to cut those damn ends that are hanging from the straps. Obviously. How did I manage to miss that?

Pattern: Tswirl
Yarn: Lana Grossa Elastico
Needles: 4 mm circulars (and 3,5mm for rhe ribbing and the straps)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Guess I'm in a blue mood

As the warmer weather approaches, then leaves again, and comes back for a day, only to be scared away by torrential rain, I find myself pulling out shorter sleeved shirts from my closet.
Like this dark blue one, with half length sleeves, perfect for not quite so warm days, but sunny days nonetheless. The only problem with it - it was kind of plain.

So I stenciled it, using a lace paper doily.

A couple of dabs of white fabric paint and a few smudges later I had this:

Also, i finally finished the crochet bag I started ages ago. This was mostly improvised, I started with a pattern, then I messed up, and gave up on the pattern, slip stitched the bottom shut and added the flap for closure.

I'll probably need to line it, because it stretches like crazy.

And here's a blurry shot of me wearing it. The strap is long enough for the bag to go across my chest. The bag itself is 18 cm wide and 24 cm long (yes, it stretched way too much under the weight of my wallet and cellphone - in retrospective, I should have seen it coming.).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This post is about Lost

My favorite show is coming to an end. Only one episode left. This makes me sad. Very sad. Lost, in addition to making me happy, sad, frustrated, confused and generally leaving me with my mouth open saying huh?, has also inspired a lot of my craft projects.

So it’s only fitting that I should say goodbye to the show with a craft project. This is a cross stitch of the first quote that popped into my head when I was thinking about stitching something from Lost.

Live together, die alone is mentioned several times throughout the show and I think it captures the spirit of the show nicely.

I also added the numbers, obviously, because what is a Lost cross stitch without the cursed numbers?

And the six symbols represent the six seasons – like the show, I too am all about symbolism.

From left to right: Oceanic airlines logo (very proud of how it turned out), The Island (meh, it needs a polar bear. Or a fuselage. But it’s too tiny to have all that), Dharma logo (the plan was to embroider the word Dharma in the circle, but again, too tiny), Ben’s time traveling bunny, the ankh from the giant four-toed statue, and the “Now you and I are the same” wine bottle (or Evil trapped in a bottle, with the cork as the island, if you’re into symbolism).

I still need to iron it, and have it framed.

I realize that this post makes absolutely no sense if you don’t watch Lost. So I apologize, my dear blog readers. And I promise that after this Sunday, I will go back to my knitting.

But you can expect more Lost related crafts from me in the future. Because Lost is very quotable. And awesome.

Last week most of us were strangers. But we're all here now. And God knows how long we're going to be here. But if we can't live together—we're gonna die alone. (Jack, White Rabbit, Season 1)

Monday, May 10, 2010

All Works In, But little Progress

From a person who always works on only one project at a time, I somehow became the person with four works in progress.

This might be a little more than I can handle - the minute I grab one of them, I get the urge to work on another.
The overall progress seems to be nonexistent, at least to me. I can't decide which is better, one project that's done fast, or several different ones, to keep things interesting.

Oh, well, I'm off to grab a needle. Or needles. Or a hook. See what I mean?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

An apple a day...

The pretty much only reason I wanted to learn crochet was to make amigurumi toys. Cute little things that you have no idea what to do with, but they're cute, so you make them anyway.
I'd like to say I practiced and practiced, mastered the art of crochet and THEN tried amigurumi, but I'd be lying. I'm far too impatient for that. So I chose a simple pattern, and grabbed a hook. And this is what an inexperienced crocheter's amigurumi looks like.
Not too bad, no?
The pattern is Amigurumi Apple by Lion Brand. Simple and quick. I did mess up in a few places, of course. I dropped my paper clip marker couple of times and after that I couldn't tell where the beginning of the round was.
So it's not really symmetrical as far as decreases and increases go. But that's okay, real apples aren't symmetrical either.

And here's a work in progress. Redwork cross stitch. This will probably go on my wall when I finish it. Red to match the color of my couch.

Edited to add : It has been brought to my attention that my apple looks more like a pear. I wondered why that is, and I'm ashamed to say it took me a while to realize that I SEWED THE LEAF AND THE STEM ON THE WRONG END OF THE APPLE!!

Obviously, this is how an apple looks like. The sad thing is, I didn't even notice, until romantales pointed it out. Sometimes you just don't see things that are staring you right in the face. Thanks romantales!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sexy (Vesty) Time

Finally finished the Sexy Vesty. It feels like I've been knitting it for ages. Turns out it took me a month. Way too much time for a sleeveless vest. I blame the black. And the rainy weather we've been having. All that squinting in poor light, trying to see what I was doing with small black stitches can't be good for my eyes.

I don't think I'll be knitting any black stuff anytime soon. The pattern doesn't even show, it's hard to take a decent picture and you almost go blind while knitting.

But the vest is done,it looks okay and sadly it's not for me. All that's left now is blocking and a trip to the post office, so that I can send it to my friend. I just hope it will fit her. A warm 100% merino vest, just in time for sunny 18 C temperatures. Well, better late than never, right?

Pattern: Sexy Vesty
Yarn: GGH Merino Soft, 4 skeins
Needles: 3 and 3,5 mm
Time it took: about 30 days

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Brown eyed girl

It's been a while since I did any embroidery, so I thought it would be a good idea to try a quick project, you know, so that I wouldn't forget the craft.
I choose a cute little girl Chef, that I found on Hoop love.

I failed to think it trough - I was bored with it before I even finished the outline of her dress. The plan was to fill everything in with thread, but I gave up on that one, trying to just be done with it. Enter crayons.

Why do you have such big brown eyes, little girl? It's because somebody couldn't find black embroidery thread. Couldn't that somebody outline your eyes with only one strand? Why, yes, that would have looked so much better. Sadly, somebody is too lazy to fix it now.
You're just going to have to look freaky for all eternity, little girl. Or until moths eat the fabric you live on.

Meanwhile, the project I should be working on is going nowhere. I just can't find the motivation to knit. I blame it on spring and the sunny weather.
Still, got this far, hopefully I'll finish it this year.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fabric yo-yo's are cute

A colleague from work asked me to make her a bag. She picked the fabric, and asked for a round bottom. She left the rest to me.

This is what I came up with. The entire bag, including the lining is made from the same material. Some sort of cotton mix, that is impossible to iron. As you can see. When I was done with the body of the bag, I thought it looked too plain, so I added a fabric yo-yo flower. To accessorize an accessory ;)

Honestly, this little yo-yo is the best thing about this bag.

And like all projects of mine, this one also has a mistake. Proof of my stupidity. I'm not talking about uneven stitches, or the fact that the bag could be a little wider.

No, on this one I used my new tailor's chalk. Pink tailor's chalk. I marked the right side with really big X's. That's right, the RIGHT side. And then I ironed all the pieces about a zillion times during sewing, completely forgetting about the damn chalk.

It's now set in the fabric. Pale pink X's that are not visible from afar, but are sure damn visible if you look closely. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I tried brushing the fabric, tried plain water, and now I'm about to try washing it with fabric soap and stain remover. Hope to God that removes the marks.

I think it's safe to say I learned my lesson. Never again will I mark anything on the right side of the fabric.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sea Urchin

First off, finished the Fetching. This was a stash-busting, birthday knitting project. But I still have one skein of the yarn left in my stash, and I still haven't seen the recipient, so that I can give them to her. The longer they stay with me, the more tempted I am to keep them ;)

I made them longer than the original pattern requests, added a different thumb shaping and did a crochet border instead of the picot bind off.
The yarn is Oscar by Deltex, pretty soft and has a nice color. The whole time I was knitting this, I kept saying to myself - This is a nice yarn, maybe you should go buy some more. In different colors. Lots of different colors.
Argh! Temptation be gone!

Next up, a Sea Urchin hat. Great pattern, the finished thing actually looks like a sea urchin. Without the spikes, that is.

The yarn is Tempest by Rosetti. It knits up kind of weird, I mostly bought it cause I liked the blue in it. It was meant to be a scarf, but it looked awful in stockinette stitch.
So I turned it into a slouchy hat. Not too sure this is my style, the jury is still out on that one. But the pattern was great, it knit up fast, and any mistakes were my fault alone.

I doubled the yarn and used 7 mm needles for the body of the hat, 6 mm for the brim. The brim is a little loose, so I'm afraid I can't wear this in strong wind, or it will fly away.
Still, not too bad for a quick project. I think I might try this pattern again. In solid color, so that the pattern shows.