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

Monday, 10 July 2017

One Finished Cowl

My workplace is freezing through winter as it is a concrete block with nothing underneath so the breeze comes through and freezes from the bottom up. I decided that over time I will make myself a collection of sets of gloves, scarfs/cowls and beanies/berets that I can wear to work. I say sets because I have a couple of plain scarfs and stuff but have found that I can't match them with anything. I can wear the scarf by itself but don't have a hat for it or I have a beret with no matching scarf. I have enough of the grey yarn I made the meret beret out of to make a scarf to match as well which I am glad about. So at least I can match with that one.

So here is the start of my matching collection. I bought enough of this Navy Panda Magnum 8 ply acrylic yarn to make a set of fingerless gloves, cowl, beret and probably even a scarf if I wanted. I have finished the cowl so far.

I'm using this Pattern: Cowl De Printemps

For the beret I will be using the matching pattern which makes me happy. I will then work something out for the gloves to make it work.  Probably using the lace pattern in a rectangle and them seam them up.

I'm not doing that much knitting at the moment as it's my carry project but work is to crazy busy to knit much. But I had a day at a conference last month and I managed to finish my cowl while listening to the speakers.
But please excuse the bad looking photo. The dark blue is really really hard to photograph so in order to show the pattern I end up with a washed out photo.

To finish off this cowl I killed the yarn so that it was nice and soft and the pattern really shows up. I'm not going to be able to do that with the beret so hopefully conditioner will do the job.

But to give everyone a better photo I even managed to get a nice selfie of myself wearing it at work.


As you can see it's nice and loose around my neck which I like but I can twist it a little and it sits snuggly. I hope I can get the set done before winter is over so I have at least one set to wear but we shall see. I have a new project that I need to get done by January and I also have a dress that I have almost finished making. These projects aren't the most important on my list at the moment and honestly if they take me a year I don't mind as I can carry them easily on my bike to and from uni and work so I can enjoy them.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin



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