Wednesday, 4 October 2017

This Last Month

So for about the 100th time in the 10 years since leaving school I have just finished moving again. One day I would like to settle into my own house and stop moving but until then I will enjoy what I can.

Thankfully we have moved into a house with enough space for a craft room.... unfortunately it still looks roughly like this!


Of course it won't stay like that but I kinda have to focus on trying to get some uni work finished at some point very soon. My mid semester exams are all finished and my group assignments are due in the next couple of weeks. Because of uni ramping up craft has taken a bit of a sideline. I sneak in a project or two mainly to keep myself sane but it often only gets a couple of stitches done.

That said I am constantly carrying around this lovely shawl in my bag and I work on it when I can. Mainly a little bit at lunch and when I'm waiting for stuff to happen. It's going to be beautiful when finished and I'm going to enjoy wearing it next winter as we don't have much of this year left to wear it in!! It's the cascade clusters shawl by planet june. I will share more information when I have it finished.


Just before moving I visited Lincraft for a little treat and to get some supplies for upcoming projects. The fabric on the left is to make a giraffe for a friend. Her daughter and son fight over the one I gave him so I'm making another for her. The green cakes are for another rainbow ripple blanket for another friend's baby. 


Being roughly what I'd call a 10ply yarn or worsted weight (depending what system you use) it is working up really quickly considering the lack of time I've spent on this so far. It is my pick up and do in the evening when I have 5 minutes spare before falling asleep project. With all the moving I have been collapsing to sleep really early. My friend picked out the cake out of a selection I showed her but I'm also glad that I like working with this yarn.
 

I also have another baby blanket I should be working on but it just requires too much thought at this point. After my assignments are finished I should have time again and thoughts. We shall see!! 

Last weekend we escaped the crazy and I took the kids into see riverfire. It's a firework display in my city where they have barges in the river and also points on the buildings. We were there from mid afternoon and had our spot saved a couple of hours before the fireworks started. It gets really crowded but at least they have some entertainment before hand. They had army helicopters doing manoeuvres and the jets come through and even a C-17 fly over. It makes it more enjoyable to wait. 

 

I will leave you now with my stories from this month. Hopefully next month will feel a lot more settled and I might be able to actually achieve something.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin 

Monday, 28 August 2017

My new Beret

I have thing for Berets. I seem to prefer them over beanies. Often because they are smarter to wear than a beanie and when I wear them most is for work. This beret was made to match my cowl I made for work. It is actually a matching pattern (by the same designer with the same lace pattern). I have also planned to make a pair of fingerless gloves to match as well. She hasn't got a set of gloves but I found these on ravelry that look similar enough to be able to work with.

So here is the pattern I used for this beret. The beret de printemps.

 I tried to get all artistic and get a fancy photo. I think it turned out alright :D But you can really get an idea of the stitch. Also I know I've been lazy and haven't bothered to block it but honestly the moment it was finished it got placed on my head.... it's hard to block something on my head!

 I just think it looks so awesome on my head that I can't take it off for very long!

 I do like the interlocking lace in this stitch but it did take a long time to work up.
And here you can see the side of my head. It has a slight slouch as should a beret without being slouchy and plays up my hair rather nicely.I also love that I can be lazy with hairstyles while wearing my berets. So much easier to style my hair!!

So expect at least one more post eventually in my navy blue installments as I will be making some sort of glove and maybe even a different type of scarf. I have enough yarn to play around with and make a pile of different sets, whatever works and I can combine different types.

I'm also torturing myself by teaching myself combined knitting ... which is continental with a couple of changes. I'm slower with it but I think that in time I will be MUCH quicker than I am with English style. Though I'm finding it confusing holding the yarn in the left hand. Oh well we shall see if I change styles or keep it the same in time.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin


Thursday, 24 August 2017

Lekala 4345 Dress

I am sooooo excited to finally be able to show you guys this dress. I finished it over the weekend and it's been a journey and a half.

I will start this by saying NONE of my issues have started with the pattern itself. I found the pattern easy to work with but I didn't read the lekala instructions I just worked it like I thought I should. I also didn't use any facings. I also didn't add the cap sleeves as I figured it was more versatile without them.

To start with I used a cotton broadcloth in brown. Why I picked brown I'm not quite sure as it really doesn't fit with the colours I seem to be working with more and more but I do like how it looks. (I just seem to be heading towards navy not brown). It took me AGES to cut out the fabric. It sat on the floor of my craft room for ages. Also being a broadcloth I had to adjust how the pieces sat on it as it's not as wide as a normal bolt of fabric.

To make sure I had enough room for this zip (as lekela patterns are notorious for only having 1cm in the seams) I added another cm when cutting out all the fabric onto the back seam on all bits. Just something to be aware of and I'm glad I did.

I sewed all the bits together then I prepared to sew in the zip. I started by pinning it and then I tacked the zip in figuring it would make it easier.

 Here is the disaster it became!!

I am usually a better sewer than this but this is what I managed. It was puckered and pulling and I couldn't sew straight to save myself!

So unpicking I did go. Not my idea of fun sewing. Then I tried again. Eventually I pulled out the tacking and tried pinning again instead. It's still not perfect and no I'm not showing you what it looks like now. But believe me when I say it is a LOT better than above but NOWHERE near where I love it. I'm actually debating adding some embroidery down the zip just to hide it.

Of course I found out that I probably should have added interfacing onto the fabric and that would have helped with the way it was pulling and puckering. This was only after the third time and I had had enough of the bloody zip.

In case you were wondering how I finished all the hems, I use my grandma's method. Overlock around all the hems and then just fold under by the overlocked part. I have used this method any time that I don't add binding to a hem. It really is so quick and easy.

So after all this talk here is the finished product.

 I love love love the fit and flare aspect of this dress. It's not a really tight dress but it is comfortable to wear.

I may need to fiddle the back of the neck section and add a couple of darts. Not sure as I don't want it too tight.


It's still technically winter here so I'm still wearing my summer dresses over leggings and long sleeved shirts.
Of course I love the skirt of this dress. It has the right amount of up when turning in circles.

Oh and those people with beady eyes will notice the beret I'm wearing I will need to write up a post for that one too. Just not today. But I may manage to finally get a photo of it today.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Monday, 21 August 2017

Simple knitted gloves and beanie

I needed a simple easy pattern to use a chunky yarn that I picked up at spotlight about a month ago. So I created this glove and beanie set. I have included a partial pattern below. (It is really only a series of instructions I didn't exactly follow a pattern just a feeling.)


I used a 1x1 rib stitch and Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Cast On and Bind Off. If you haven't done this method of cast on and off I highly recommend it for this purpose. It wouldn't suit a scarf but for this it was required. I found out how to do the cast on by searching you tube and watching a couple of videos to get an idea.

I used size 9 needles with this chunky yarn shown above.  I could have worked the beanie in the round but didn't because I didn't have circular needles that big and I wasn't buying any.

To make the gloves:

I cast on 22 stitches and then used a 1x1 knit / purl pattern for 26 rows. I then cast off. (You could keep going to make these longer if you wanted)

Next you fold the glove in half and sew it together leaving a hole for the thumb. They are that complicated!

I'm actually halfway through another pair for my boy. These ones are using 3 strands of dk weight mill end yarn I bought.  Everything else is the same.



To make the Beanie:

I cast on 60 stitches and using the 1x1 rib again did 8 inches of knitting. I then decreased basically every second stitch then as it got smaller every stitch.

When I had 8 stitches left on the needles I gathered them all onto a sewing needle and fastened them off. I then sewed the beanie together.

So they're not the most sophisticated or fancy gloves and beanie but they do one really important thing. They work! They are lovely and warm and comfortable and my girl likes them.

If you want me to explain better I can but it really was a hodge podge to make as I wasn't measuring everything out. You may find you want to cast on different amounts and that doesn't matter as long as the stitch count is even. This style is very forgiving and would work in any size/type of yarn. I'm going to use a dk yarn and smaller needles and make a set for myself it will just take longer.

Happy stitching,
Caitlin

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Cleaning my blog list

I'm sitting here today thinking that it's been a while since I updated my blog list. I've been going through it and realising I still follow hundreds of blogs that haven't posted anything for 1000 days.  That is almost 3 years ... all they're doing is clogging up my feed.

I have noticed the cross stitch blogs I used to follow a lot have died down. Some of the people I still follow via Facebook or instagram, they just don't blog anymore, and some just fell off entirely and I assume life just got to crazy to share anymore for whatever reason.

It is refreshing just cleaning everything out and having an up to date list in my feedly. But it's also had me thinking about why I blog. It started as just a way to share my projects and stay a little bit accountable to someone other than me. Then I found that as time went on I had something to share and things to teach others. I am self taught with some skills but also collect information on many crafts.

I was doing only cross stitch and it's become about every craft that I do with a couple of random life stuff thrown in. For those still following me I hope this is alright as it really isn't going to change anytime soon. I love all crafts and as life happens I change what I work on at that time.

Recently (in the last year) I have gone back to university so time is limited and often my crafting time is actually sitting in lectures so my projects are often small and easy to work on. I also consider how relevant that project is and whether the time I spend on it is worth it. So knitted and sewing items for work get priority over something made just because. It's the problem with multiple crafts they all pull at me and something ends up suffering.

I often use instagram to share as it's so much quicker but then again blogging allows me to tell more of the story and to collate it all together better than instagram does. Also as much as everything gets shared to my Facebook page it's not my favourite way to communicate. Very like instagram in that it's only small comments.

Now what is the purpose of this post? Well I'm spring cleaning and this caused thoughts to go around in my head.  But in the end I came to the conclusion that I'm going to continue to blog and share my thoughts and trials as I learn. I'm not perfect or an expert on everything but I'm willing to teach and share what I do know.  I have something to offer and still feel that this is the best way to do it.

Now I need to work out what projects I still need to share here and expect some photos soon.

Happy stitching,
Caitlin
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