Quick Projects

So on Friday I finished two more quick projects.  The first was another poppy (e.g. here) since there are people in my distant surroundings multiplying, seemingly voluntary. This one was made from a new flannel sheet. I’m debating making another one for myself (or adopting this one, still deciding).

For the first time I actually measured the distance between stitches for the hat, so this one is, I think, the neatest stitched one.

Project 2 is a bag. Well, it was not a bag, it was a top. Friends of mine gave me a top with a flamingo on it since it was an S. However, the arm holes were so deep that I would be uncomfortable wearing it. I decided to remove the neck binding and cut out the back as deep as the front. I then sewed the bottom together and added some corners. I also folded over the neck and stitched it down with a twin needle. This project has been half-finished for weeks. I just needed to get my act together and actually do the stitching, so luckily I managed to do that!

It is so deep that I couldn’t find anything that would stick out the top – seriously. I tried cutting boards, drinks, shoes? That’s why you get the ugly inside shot. Now on to using this cutie.

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Plaid Pants – Blue

So somewhere in 2017, I bought a length of black-blue-red plaid to make another set of plaid pants. I reworked my original pattern a little bit – slimming and straightening the legs a little and copying all the pattern pieces onto tracing paper since the original is still the boob-height pattern of the Helena Culottes. Now I have all pattern pieces that fit together well. Apart from one thing, but we’ll get to that.

Cutting out the pieces taking care to pattern match, where possible and sewing it together all went pretty well. I used the blue origami cats for pockets/waistband/zipper guard (I thought it was funny to have more cats behind the zip). The only problem was the waistband. I clearly did not use a well-fitting waistband so I had to make numerous adaptations. This is the one major aspect that I need to improve for the next version (there will probably be a next version).

I had worn it with hooks & eyes and the too wide waistband, but that was not a true success. So I shortened it a little, and replaced the hooks & eyes with a jeans type button – lesson 2: shorter shank next time. I also took more chunks out of the waistband to get it to fit better. Now it works really quite well, I finished it right before Christmas and I enjoy wearing it.

These new plaid pants also allow me to wear my red sweaters with them. My other plaid pants are green, and I don’t want to look like Christmas in July, so that was not an option. This was a large part of the reason for picking up the fabric. Also just because it is plain and I seem to have a fond liking for plaid. I still have a length of red plaid in the stash, but I was planning on making a jacket out of that.. We’ll see whether that ever happens.

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Isis Tailcoat

One of the first (possibly the first) knitting patterns I bought of Ravelry was the Isis Tailcoat from Kari-Helene Rane (here). This was July 2016 (yes, 2016), and I cast on immediately. You may ask, why are you only now writing about this then? Well… It was in the corner of shame for a long, long time. You see, the body knit up pretty quickly and easily. You basically knit a half circle and then put all stitches on needles and work your way up for the body.

This means that there is basically no way to fit this thing, no seams to take in etc. After I’d finished the body, it did not look good. Because of my sway back, it effectively looked like a potato sack. At some point I added a safety pin to take it in by 10 cm along the centre back. This improved the look, but the thing still ended up on a hanger in the corner of shame. It was quite sad, since I had finished the seaming and most of the finishing on the body, it only needed sleeves.

It took for the Christmas Break to finally get a move on. I cast on those damn sleeves together and knit them up in a few days. Yesterday, I had a pyjama day (hence the dotted pants) and finished knitting the sleeves and put them in. Finished of all the threads and left the collar loose. I stitched the back pleat down so it stays in shape. I do like it now that it is finished, however, I think this is probably a one of a kind thing and I will not be knitting up another tailcoat like it.

In any case, I hope you will end the year well and have a fantastic start to the next one.

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Hook Those Dragons Scarf

So after finishing the dragon shirt, I still had about 25 cm of dragons left over. I’d also been browsing Pinterest for the past few days for those super cool looking triangular scarves. There seem to be two camps: either the large triangle clipped by the corners, or a large rectangle clipped by its corners. In the end, I decided to go for the large rectangle with dragons and a slight nautical feel. All websites with instructions indicate that you need 1.5 meter wide fabric. I ended up having to cut of some bits for it to fit nicely so my scarf is only 1 meter long.

In the end I used:

  • about 30 x 100 cm of teal fleece (back)
  • two times 13 x 100 cm of dragon fabric
  • about 6 x 100 cm of other striped fabric
  • about 105 cm of dark blue nautical looking rope
  • about 80 cm of white with a black running stitch ribbon
  • a closure hook & loop – it’s not really a loop.

I did not want a full dragon scarf, since I’m technically supposed to be an adult (I think?). So I decided to cut the bit of dragon in half lengthwise and use the back of one of the pieces. I wanted an accent in the middle (and didn’t have enough dragon), so I found some striped stretch fabric (also used for shirts before) to put in the centre. I also wanted to emulate this so I cut 4 cm lengths of ribbon and attached those at 5 cm intervals to the dragon that would be backwards. I sewed it all together, adding stitching along the centre stripes and edges to help it keep its shape. Then I affixed the closure with the sewing machine and done!

I’ll test drive it in the next few days, I may melt since I think it could be extremely warm, but we’ll see!

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Dragon Shirt

For my birthday this year, I got a meter of stretch dragon fabric from my friend. It languished in the stash until the day before yesterday when I pulled it out to make a shirt. It was always destined to be a shirt because, one: dragons, two: limited fabric and three: stretch. I had located a new to me sewing pattern called the Supersnel Shirt (here). Only two (or three depending on how you count) pattern pieces and 8 pages.

It fit together well and I cut the size S from my dragons. The first attempt at binding was a disaster since the binding was way to short (and/or my shirt did not have enough stretch). Even after lengthening, the centre front still pulls slightly. However, the binding attachment method is very nice. I broke the twin needle I was finishing all the hems with so I had to wait until morning to finish all the hems and the neckline. It was still a fairly quick make. Next to the lengthening of the binding, I also added a small pocket to break up the dragons a little. Not sure if it works, but I liked adding the detail.

I need to wear it for a day before I can decide whether I need to grade to an M on the hips for the next iteration, it does feel fairly tight over there. Again that may be that the fabric has slightly less stretch than the pattern would like. I do think the dragons are totally cute.

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Ear Flap Hat

So, what do you do when you agree to meet a friend for a crafty evening but have decided to stay in town to get your hair cut? You buy a ball of yarn and circular needles and take those along. I had wanted to make a hat with ear flaps for a while now, since it is getting colder on my bicycle and my current hat (with owls) doesn’t cover my ears. So I cast on 50 stitches provisionally (I thought I had cast on 55 for some reason – counting is hard) and started knitting. I had about half a hat finished at the end of the evening. The next day I found the tasseled earflap hat pattern on ravelry and wrote my limited notes here.

I recalculated their instructions based on my row gauge and at that point determined that I had failed knitting 55 stitched as I thought. According to my calculations I needed 52 stitches, so I increased a little at the bottom. Then I knit the flaps starting with 12 stitches and decreasing one on each side every knit row. I ended up with two stitches and added a third one in the middle to make the bind of smoother. There were at least three different bind off attempts but in the end the super stretchy bind of was used (where you do a yarn over after the previous stitch, knit the next stitch and slip both over the last knitted stitch). Then I returned to the top, removed my provisional cast on an continued knitting. I decreased five stitches every second row until there were six stitches left over. Then I added a doubled strand of yarn through each of the left over stitches and pulled those tight.

The finishing touches knitting wise included adding the six strands to knit the ear flap closures, making a knot at the top, weaving in my 2 ends from the middle cast on and adding a tag for the back. The ear flaps are more to the back, so I needed to indicate which side needed to be at the back of my hat. I did this with a small bit of spare yarn. It works well!

After my first test drive, I determined that the wind does come through the knitting quite a bit. So I dug through my stash and found some matching fleece fabric to line the ear flaps with. I sewed it in and test drove my hat again on what felt like the windiest second day of Christmas I ever encountered. This was a significant improvement, so I was very happy with this decision. My hair also fits in it, it may not look pretty but it does fit. All in all, not bad for effectively 2 evenings of knitting and about an hour of finishing.

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Christmas 2017

So this year I endeavoured to make Christmas cards again. This time, there were three versions that ended up making the cut. The extended version, the ‘just the essentials’-version and the ‘I ran out of snowmen’-version. I cannot remember where I got the idea exactly, but it probably involved pinterest, snowmen and a written ‘super’ on a card somewhere. I also found a bunch of wooden Christmas trees that I figured I could incorporate a la this pin.

In any case, I figured I would make snowmen with capes, to signify the super I was going to use in the wording of the card. I bought some crepe paper in Christmas colours, and got to work by grabbing some coloured cardboard from some previous years cards.

Extended version

The extended version included a wooden Christmas tree behind a diagonally cut strip, a snowman with a cape, orange nose, broomstick arms and eyes and the text ‘wishing you 365 days with Super moments!’. The orange nose was a cardboard triangle, the broomstick arms and eyes drawn on with a felt tip pen. The snowman and his cape were made of crepe paper and a lot of glue was involved in the processes. I managed to ruin at least 5 cards by writing ‘whishing’ which I couldn’t sent, but some I cut op to only have the snowman and adding a new text.

‘Just the essentials’-version

For my colleagues at work I made a version with a smaller snowman on black paper. I also cut out a star with my special star-punch. These were received very positively. I must say I almost prefer these over the extended versions. I also think the text is better ‘Wishing you a Super 2018!’ and just completely ignoring Christmas itself.

‘I ran out of snowmen’-version

Right before Christmas I remembered that I was going to visit my family on Saturday, so had to make some cards for them too. I did not have enough of the other versions available, nor did I have enough snowmen to make another card. So this one got cute stars (i.e. the leftovers of other cards). I quite like these too, and I may incorporate something like this next year, perhaps.

So that was the paper crafts completed for 2017, most likely. In any case, I also hope you had good holidays and I wish you a Super 2018!

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