Monday, January 21, 2013

A Busy Three Weeks

               Pin Cushion

Trace the desired pattern pieces onto the butcher paper.
 So I decided to take the cover off my sewing machine, fully intending to finally finish the PJs I've been working on for a while. But then I went to the Tigard library and found a really cute book full of patterns. So I chose a pincushion to sew and decided on a red, black and white color scheme. Since I couldn't cut out the patterns in the book, I used the butcher paper method to copy them. If you have never tried the butcher paper method I heartily recommend it for copying patterns. Butcher paper has a light coating of wax on the back.

Trace the pattern pieces you need and just iron the paper onto the fabric, Once you have cut out the pattern you simple peel the paper off the back and you are ready to sew. Just be sure to iron the paper onto the back or you might end up with a slight coating of wax on the front of your project
The cut out pieces 
A fussy cut motif
 This method is ideal for fussy cutting pieces, allowing you to perfectly center a design or motif.

The completed project
 Here is the finished project. Usually I would give you the information on where to find the pattern but there were several problems with this pattern that lead me to not recommend the book. First, the instructions and pictures did not match up. It would say to make a seam and reference a picture that didn't illustrate the directions. But the biggest problem was that the pattern itself was flawed. I cut out 8 of the body pieces but only ended up using 7 and even then I had to do a lot of resewing. So while the finished project is cute, it is not worth the hassle.

Finished Shawls

Here are the shawls I was working on last time. I still need to give a slight press to the hem on the white shawl but on the whole I think it turned out nicely. The green shawl is ridiculously wide. The picture shows the back with the front wrapped almost completely around.

Angele's shawl
The lace weight shawl


200+ yards of handspun
 This is a blue face leicester/silk blend that was a dream to spin. I bought it at Flock and Fiber (see previous post for link) at the Dicentra booth. They are one of my two must visit booths at the festival. She always has the best colors and her fiber always spins up beautifully.

Blocking the socks


These are a pair that I started before Christmas. The pattern is from my very favorite sock knitting book, Knitting on the Road. Every sock I have made from this book has turned out beautifully. I have no idea where I bought this yarn but this photo doesn't really show the beautiful blues of the yarn. I'm not sure who will get these socks as they turned out a little small for the intended recipient. If I were to make them again and wanted to be sure they would fit one of my sons, I would omit the decreases in the pattern.

Close up of the twisted rib pattern

This yarn is quite fine, even by fingering standards. I changed my mind three times about the pattern I would use for the socks. I also went down to size 1 needles to get a fabric that I was happy with. This pattern is called Conwy.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My New Year's Resolution

Resolution Crafts: Dedicated to using up all of the craft supplies I have accumulated over the past several years.

  So it's 2013. A New Year with all the cliched possibilities. For me, it's a chance to work through some of my stash of crafting supplies that I have accumulated over the past year(s). Last year my sons challenged me to not buy any new yarn all year. I accepted that challenge with the caveat that I could buy yarn and fiber at Flock and Fiber, the amazing fiber festival in Canby, OR.  Visit them at And I made it until about 2 weeks before the FandF. But then I visited a local yarn store with a friend and bought some more sock yarn. Not something I needed but then it never is.
   My plan is to stick to the same resolution as last year with the same exception. I will post what I knit, sew, or spin along the way. I will also try to finish one UFO a month. I welcome comments and suggestions about new projects. I probably won't post any original patterns (not my gift) but I will give tips on what is and isn't working for me with my latest project.
So wide I will have to block it in separate halves.
The snag that resulted from the monster's claws.

The monster himself

Here is the first UFO of the year. I had intended to have this done for Christmas. However, a little monster with very sharp claws had other plans. I tried fixing the snag with a crochet hook but that only made it worse. So I ended up doing a lot of pushing and pulling until it looked better. I have reblocked it but you can still see where the beast left his mark. The pattern for this shawl is in Interweave Summer 2012. I knit it on size 7 circulars from some Knit Picks lace weight I had on hand. The method for adding beads was not too hard to master and resulted in a nice scarf. The only thing that I was not pleased with was how wide the scarf was in contrast to the depth.

About 24 rows from completion.

Those are little gold sequins!
 And here is what I am currently working on. The yarn was a Christmas gift from a dear friend. It is called Rozetti Polaris and is made by Crystal Palace Yarns. The pattern is a free one from their website called Panda Silk DK Shawlette.
The lace pattern is not at all hard to master and features yarn overs and knit togethers on the right side onnly. The wrong side is all purl. I would recommend paying attention to the yarn overs or you may end up tearing out a few rows like I did.

The cast on edge doesn't fit with the rest of the pattern. So I decided that I will seam it together to create a solid hem of ribbing at the top. (See next photo.)

Stay tuned for more adventures in using what you have crafting. Coming next week: either a pajama top that was supposed to be a Christmas present or an apron. Plus more knitting.