Blushy Lace Stole

After the better part of a year, I finished my first knitted lace piece: the Easy Lace Stole.

I actually really liked working with the Shibui Silk Cloud (in Blush) that I used for this scarf. It felt fragile and delicate at first, but after knitting this scarf over wood size 6 needles, this yarn is pretty tough. If I had worked on it more often, it would have knitted up faster (this pattern is quite easy). The one thing I didn’t account for was the cast-on row loosening up after the first stitches, and the cast-off row being too tight, so blocking it was rather interesting.

This scarf was done with one whole skein of Shibui Silk Cloud, so I have four left and am thinking of maybe making a pullover of some sort with it. Pretty nice length of scarf for one skein.

Definitely a highly recommended pattern for a first time lace project, and this yarn is so soft and fuzzy and nice feeling.

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Radio Silence

Yikes, it’s really been over a month since I last posted.

I lost my sewing motivation back in December, and have been struggling to regain it over the last couple of weeks. Fear not, at least I’ve been knitting.

Looks like a jellyfish

Looks like a jellyfish

Non-blocked lace doesn’t look like much, I know. Some of my friends say this looks like a jellyfish. I just hope it doesn’t look like this after I’m done knitting and it’s blocked.

The yarn I’m using is Shubui Cloud in the color “Blush”. I bought it on sale at KnitPurl in Portland back during the summer. It’s a very fuzzy, lace-weight yarn, and I’m just using one skein to make a scarf. I’ll have four skeins left over, and I’m thinking of making a pullover with the rest.

I made it back in my craft room the other day and surveyed what projects were laying around that had yet to be done. I managed to capture two UFOs (unfinished objects) in one picture.

Trench and quilt

Trench and quilt

I’ve been meaning to finish this trenchcoat for a friend. I like the pattern (an out-of-print McCalls pattern), but I didn’t like the fabric after I bought it (a laminated poly), so I decided to make it for a friend instead. I got to the point there I attached the sleeves to the body of the coat, and because the laminated poly doesn’t like to hol it’s shape, the sleeve cap is all gathered instead of a nice, rounded, smooth sleeve cap. I’ve just got to finish it.

Also, my Unicorn quilt. I’ve been wanting to start a new quilt for our bed, but mom encouraged me to finish the Unicorn quilt first, so I made it a goal this year to get it done. There’s still a bit to do on the boarder, but that’s it.

So I think the plan is (until the lining for a coat for Richard arrived) to finish the trenchcoat, then the Unicorn quilt.

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Austin City Crafting

This past week, I’ve been visiting my parents at their new home in Austin. Even though they’ve been down here for about six months, Mom hadn’t visited some of the popular yarn and fabric stores in the area, so that’s what we did on Friday. We spent all of our time on the south side of Lady Bird Lake around SoCo and Lamar. Here’s a couple highlights from our excursion:

Hill Country Weavers

Mom mentioned that this yarn store in SoCo was well recommended by some gals in a knitting meet-up group she attended. It’s right on Congress Ave and an easy stone’s throw away from some of the hipster places on the street. The store is a converted house, and every room has shelves and shelves of yarn. Yarn is tucked into just about every nook and cranny in the store, and it’s easy to get yarn-overload while in the store. I probably could have spent half the day in trying to pick out just ONE thing I wanted. (Fortunately, for our bank account, I already have two knitting projects in queue at home). Even though I didn’t buy anything, mom got a couple skeins of a super fine wool to make a shawlette.

Bolt Fabrics

When I looked up this place on Yelp, I didn’t realize it was upholstery fabric. If I had, I probably would have struck it from our list, but I’m glad I didn’t. Mom was able to see fabrics for some home dec projects she had in mind, and I found an awesome cotton print. The fabric weight wasn’t too heavy, but not too lightweight that I’ll need to line it. It’ll be perfect for a pencil skirt (maybe an A-line, but I’m thinking more pencil).

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TexStyles

Mom said she drove by this store every day on her way home from work, and always meant to stop in. Glad we did! I wish we had a fabric store this amazing in Seattle (Nancy’s comes close, but this place was beyond any I’ve been in, save for Mood). It’s a small room in a strip mall. At first, you wonder if they’ll have anything, and then you walk in to a sea of fabric. The owner drives to California to hand select the fabric he sells in his store (fun fact: Daniel Esquivel of Project Runway fame shops there) and instead of storing bulky bolts of fabric, he puts them on hangers, and has the walls covered in hangers of fabric. Makes it easier to sell a larger selection of fabric, in my opinion. Mom and I both walked out of there with something: I bought three-yards of a purple heathered knit that I’ll probably use for another sweater/t-shirt dress.

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I’ve strongly encouraged Mom to continue to visit her local crafting stores (because I would if I lived here!) I know it’s sometimes easier/cheaper to buy fabric online, but if we don’t support our local stores, they’ll go out of business and won’t be there when we want/need them.

Also, I finished my socks this week. Yay!

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Made It Monday: Tappan Zee Cardigan

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Yep, I’ve been lazy again. In fact, this is the worst laziness, because I actually finished this cardigan a couple weeks ago, and still haven’t blocked it or looked for buttons for it. I misplaced my “sewing mojo” somewhere, and even put aside a lace shawl I started knitting (and instead, took up knitting some socks for myself, because it felt like it would be easier). And look, I’m even cutting it close by not finishing this blog post until late Monday.

Oh well. I’m sure everyone gets off their game once in a while. (Kind of like the Seahawks were tonight).

Anyhow, I finished that cardigan! Yay! I still need to block it, so I made it look as nice as I could over the bird dress. I’ll have to try it on with the bird dress to see if I like it with it.

This might have been a faster knit if I didn’t get so bored with the 10.5″ (should have been 11″, but I didn’t know if I had enough yarn for another 0.5″) of stockinette stitch… that wasn’t in the round. It was definitely an easy knit, as the sleeves didn’t need to be sewn to the body, and it was all one piece. It was good for my second knitted garment. I think next, I’ll do a proper knitted pullover/sweater/jumper (depending on what you call it in your part of the world). And then I’ll tackle some fair isle! Weeeeeeee!

 

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WIP Wednesday: 4 Skeins into the Tappan Zee Cardigan

4 Skeins into Tappan Zee Cardigan

4 Skeins into Tappan Zee Cardigan

WIP (or Work in Progress) Wednesday is another scheduled feature post I’m going to try out. I have a lot of WIPs, so I can definitely spread them out over a few weeks, and eventually, one-by-one, they should make it to Made it Monday.

Immediately after I finished the socks, I made a swatch of fabric from this yarn (Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK) . I couldn’t use it for the first couple of projects I thought of using it for (wrong weight, or not enough yarn based on my swatch gauge), but I did find this free pattern on Knitty.com for a short sleeve cardigan call Tappan Zee cardigan. I really like the lace pattern on the cardigan. As you can see, I’ve already bound off the sleeves (which feel a little tight so far, but I’ve been gingerly trying the cardigan on so I don’t slide the yarn off the circulars), so I’m now working on 11″ of stockinette stitch… yikes! I have three balls of yarn left, so I think that should be JUST enough to finish the cardigan.

11″ of stockinette stitch is good for sitting-in-front-of-the-TV-knitting.

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First Knitted Socks

A couple weeks ago, I finished another knitting project: socks! They are one of the most popular knitted items ever, and definitely had a lot of new technique for me to learn like short-rows and heel-turning.

Socks for Shuan

Socks for Shuan

This pair was made for a friend who lives across the country. She said they fit a little small (her feet are much smaller than mine, so I couldn’t test them out before I sent them, unfortunately) so that was kind of a bummer, but the pattern worked out pretty well for me, otherwise.

The pattern I used was Red Heart’s Self-Striping Sock Pattern, and used their Heart and Sole sock yarn. This is my mom’s go-to sock pattern, so I figured it would be a good one to start with in case I needed to ask her for help. It’s a top down (as opposed to “toe up”) sock pattern that uses US2 DPNs, and was a good experience using DPNs (the hard part is casting-on so you don’t twist it!)

I think I want to make myself some knitted lace stockings after having tackled these, but I have another knitted project in the works for now (and a couple more in the queue too!)

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PDX Trip

Last weekend, I took a little weekend trip down to Portland, OR to hang out with a girl friend who was visiting from the east coast. One thing I like to do in bigger cities I’m visiting, is look for the local fabric and yarn stores. Originally, I looked up a couple fabric stores in Portland, but didn’t know where we were staying that weekend, nor did I know our transportation situation, so I didn’t put a whole lot of effort into looking for stores to visit before I went down.

We ended up staying pretty central to downtown Portland and without a car, and I didn’t feel like taking a bus all over town (although, we took one later that night to Pok Pok for dinner). Anyway, I found Josephine’s Dry Goods not far from where we were staying, and loved the fact that it wasn’t just another quilting fabric store (not that there’s anything wrong with quilting fabric, but sometimes it’s nice to go into a fabric store that sells fashion fabric). As my friend and I walked to it, I first saw KnitPurl right next door. I’m pretty sure I squealed in joy because there was a yarn store next to a fabric store.

We stopped in KnitPurl first, and wandered around snugglings the yarns and oohing-and-ahhing over the knitted sample garments. There was one sweater that was so unique and soft and delicate that I had to know what the pattern was and what it was made from. The yarn was Shibui Silk Cloud yarn, which is a kid mohair and silk lace weight yarn. It is extremely soft, and probably what a silk cloud feels like. I originally intended to get a couple balls of sock yarn, but I found five hanks of the Silk Cloud in the bargain bin (probably because the color has been discontinued) in the color Blush.

Shibui Silk Cloud lace weight yarn in Blush

Shibui Silk Cloud lace weight yarn in Blush

5 hanks isn’t enough (1650 yards) for that sweater, but definitely enough for a shawl/stole/scarf or two. I plan to make one for my friend I visited in Portland, especially since she was cuddling it when we got back to the hotel after shopping. :)  KnitPurl is a beautiful store, and I hope all Portland fiber artists visit it!

After KnitPurl, we went next door to Josephine’s. She’s got a wide range of fashion fabrics. I was excited about the rolls of silk and silk blends (all beautiful, but a smidge out of my budget). She had wools, denims, laminated fabrics, bridal lace, a huge array of buttons, and so on. There were even sample garments on display of a couple patterns I recognized. Just as we had in KnitPurl, we wandered around the store and petted all the fabric. Eventually, I found a cotton voile that was so lovely, so lightweight, and so luxuriant feeling, that I had to get it. I thought I might make a skirt with it, but the more I look at it, the more I feel like I should make it into a dress. I bought 3-yards of this Valori Wells fabric, which is definitely enough for a dress.

Valori Wells Wren cotton voile fabric

Valori Wells Wren cotton voile fabric

And look! It already comes with birds on it :)  There’s a Cynthia Rowley dress pattern in my collection of patterns that I think might just work for this fabric. I’ve got a couple other things that I’m working on right now, so it will have to wait, but I’m confident I’ll get around to it before the end of summer.

Josephine’s Dry Goods made me want to revisit Nancy’s Sewing Basket on Queen Anne. I haven’t been in there in a while, and it’s always been stocked full of great fashion fabric, but I think I have to wait until I get my crafting allowance for next month!

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Spring Garden Tee

I finally completed my first knitted item that wasn’t a rectangle of some sort. In fact, this one was more of a cylinder. :)

Spring Tee on me!

I like to call today “No Make-up Monday”, which may or may not last for several weeks.

I haven’t blocked it yet, probably going to wash and block it tonight, though. I tried not to over-think it while I was knitting it, and just went with the flow of the pattern. Everything made sense and came together in the end. Definitely a great pattern for a beginning knitter like me (been knitting for six months now!) Next project will be socks on DPNs!

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Starting the Spring Garden Tee

Now that I’ve finished three(!) knitting projects, I needed to make something a little more challenging than a rectangle (even if that rectangle turned into an infinite loop). I’ve spent a LOT of time on Ravelry (and any knitter or crocheter would probably attest to the fact that you can spend a lot of time on there) looking for my next project. I settled on the Spring Garden Tee–it looks like a fairly simple stockinette stitch t-shirt with a cute lace pattern on the cap sleeves.

I’m using CotLin (cotton/linen blend) from KnitPicks in Harbor for my shirt.

Three Skeins of Spring Garden Tee

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Ten-and-a-half Feet of Nerdiness

I’m finally done with my first knitting project ever, even though I started and finished two more in the same amount of time. Hah!

Takeaways from this project? Buy enough yarn up front and you won’t have to worry about colors not matching when you buy more, or running out in the middle of the project and then having to wait until payday so you can buy more yarn. (By the way, I used the KnitPicks worsted Wool of the Andes in colors suggested by DoctorWhoScarf [see below]).

I had anticipated a 11′ scarf, but after blocking, it was only 10.5′. Pretty close! I’m really happy with how it turned out, and this was definitely the best project for a [nerdy] newbie to have made. I hope to never knit a dishcloth 😛

Completed Doctor Who scarf

Completed Doctor Who scarf

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