Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Excuses, Excuses

Hello Chickadees!

I am so sorry for the silence around here. I've been dealing with some health issues for the past few months which have left me exhausted and stuck in bed or on the couch. I'm slowly working my way back to health, and I promise there will be some new, exciting posts soon!

Being sick means that I haven't really had much time to sew anything, because I haven't been able to sit at my sewing machine for very long, and my brain has been too fried to trust myself to use scissors without causing a great disaster. So I've been knitting. A LOT. Expect to see some more knitwear up on the blog.

I've been "Instagram-ing" fairly regularly, so if you'd like to keep up with me there, feel free. I also try to update my Ravelry projects page, so you can keep an eye on what I'm currently working on. 

Much love,

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Acorn Trail

Hello Chickadees!

I'm here to share the first finished project of 2015- my Acorn Trail sweater!

This is Amy Herzog's Acorn Trail pattern. This pattern has been on my list of favourites on Ravelry for quite a while. I finally decided to take the plunge and start it, and I'm so glad that I did! It was my first Amy Herzog pattern, and I really love the way it was written. It was really easy to follow the pattern, and everything went together perfectly.

 I knit this using Knit Picks City Tweed, which is a merino/alpaca blend. It is so snuggly and warm! I am usually freezing, and this kept me warm the entire time during the shoot. The cables on this are my favourite part. I have grown to love knitting cables, because it gives me something to look forward to while I'm knitting each row. 

This is my very favourite handknit project so far. I love the yarn/pattern pairing! I've worn it every day since i finished it, because it's just so cozy!

More sewing projects are coming soon, I promise! It's just been very cold and dark and wet, making it rather hard to get decent blog photos!

I'll leave you with this picture of me getting excited about ducks.

What are you guys working on right now?

Monday, January 5, 2015

What's in my Queue?

Hello Chickadees!

Now that Christmas knitting is all done, I'm very excited to have some time to work on some projects for myself. I am constantly cold, and the thought of new warm garments makes me very happy!

First up and already on the needles, Amy Herzog's Acorn Trail Cardigan. I've been drooling over this pattern for months, and I finally decided to knit it up. I love the combination of cables and lace, and I think it's going to be very warm for the following chilly months.
Acorn Trail
I cast on for this sweater on the 30th, and I've already finished the back and the front pieces. It's a nice quick knit, and the mix of pattern and stockinette keep it from being too painfully boring. I'm using KnitPicks City Tweed in the colour Romance, which is a merino/alpaca blend,and it's so warm and cozy once it's been washed. I'm very excited about this!

At the end of October, I started watching Outlander. For those of you that don't know, it's mostly based in Scotland in the mid 1700's. The costumes in this show are fantastic, especially the knitwear. I love the sort of "rustic" feel that some of the knits have, and I wanted that for myself. I decided that I needed to knit up a giant shawl in some warm brown tweedy yarn.

In my head, a shawl should be like a blanket that is socially acceptable to wear out of the house. I stumbled across Brooklyn Tweed's Ashby, and it really fits the bill. Lots of texture and cables which help to keep the heat in, and it's huge! The wingspan on this thing is about 66", which is pretty awesome.
This will be knit up in KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Tweed in the colour Reindeer Heather. I love the mixture of colours in this yarn! I can't wait to snuggle up in this one.

I always have some sort of smaller project on the go to keep in my purse. I need something that is boring enough that I can knit it while still holding an actual conversation. I just cast on a Multnomah Shawl using Knit Picks Gloss in the colour Doe. I plan on making it larger than specified in the pattern, because I'm all about the giant shawl/blanket things. I'm still working on the endless garter stitch section, so it's still a great project for when you're on the bus/car/waiting for food/at church/anywhere where you'd need to keep your hands occupied. It's great!


What are you guys working on, now that the Christmas Crafting Craze is over?


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Big Post of Christmas Knitting

Hello Chickadees!

I hope you all had a lovely holiday season! My Christmas was full of family and food, and it was lovely!

My favourite part about Christmas is coming up with gifts to give to each of my family members. This year I decided to make all of the gifts for my family, which was quite fun! I made mostly socks, with a few cowls and hats thrown in there.

My mom always has frozen feet, just like me, so I knew right away that she'd appreciate a nice warm pair of socks. We were yarn shopping in Comox, and she commented on how much she like this yarn, so I bought it secretly and knit up a pair. This is the Online Supersocke 4 fach Sydney Color in colourway 1631.The yarn is self-pattening, and it was fun to knit up because they look fancy even though they're just plain stockinette.

My dad is very understated in his sock choices, so I found this great black and grey striped yarn. It's simple, and durable, which is just what he needs for socks. I knit these up with a plain stockinette foot and a 3x1 ribbed leg for maximum stretch and comfort. These socks took FOREVER to knit, but in the end, it's worth it.

I know I wanted something crazy for my brother Jarrett. He loves bright and strange colours, so when I saw this fluorescent yarn, I knew I had to get it for him. This is Regia Fluormania Color in the Neon Ocean Colourway. I used the Making Waves pattern to break up the chunks of colour a little bit. I need to lenthen the leg on these, because right after I cast them off, he was lamenting about his lack of long socks to wear with his Docs. Sigh.

Jarrett's girlfriend Sam loves bright colours as well, so I thought it might be fun for them to have matching socks. I managed to find the Neon Rainbow colourway of the same yarn, and knit these up using a chevron pattern. This yarn is so bright that I could knit in the dark while riding in the car with no problems at all. Crazy!

My brother Riley loves whacky and warm socks. I wanted to do something for him that he could use for bumming around the house or out on his hikes. These are knit up in Regia Sentimento in a crazy bright yellow/green colour. I used the Randle pattern for these, and they came out nicely! (please excuse the weird wrinkles. I don't have men's sock blockers, and these would not lay flat on the blocking mat.)

I knit up two cowls for christmas, and did not get pictures of either of them! Silly me. But I used the Gaptastic Cowl pattern, and it's great!

I also knit up two hats last minute for my little cousins. My youngest cousin, Eva is in kindergarten, and I thought she'd look cute in this cream coloured hat with gold sparkles!
My other cousin, John, loves Star Wars, so I stitched up an R2D2 hat for him.

Did you do any Christmas knitting or crafting?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Baby Boy

Hello Chickadees!

Last week a couple from our bible study had a precious little baby boy. Since it's winter, I thought that a fitting present would be a baby sweater and booties.

I knit the Baby Sophisticate pattern, which is free on Ravelry. It was a lovely quick knit, and quite fun. Baby knits are awesome because they're so tiny, they hardly take any time at all! And they are incredibly adorable!

I knit this up using Loops and Threads Ringspun, which is a cotton/acrylic blend. It's machine washable, and super soft. It is a little finicky because it splits very easily, but I didn't mind knitting with it, and it was easier on my hands than some other cotton yarns I've used in the past.

Since it's sort of a "grandpa-style" sweater, I was hoping to find woven leather buttons, or something similar. I managed to find the perfect plastic buttons in my stash!

They loved it, and while it's a little big on him now, he'll grow into it quickly.

Do you make any baby presents? Do you have any favourite patterns to use?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My Sewing Space

Hello Chickadees!

Wow! The entire month of November has flown by, and I have only posted once! Whoops!
I promise that I'm still alive, but there have been so many secret projects in the works that I haven't been able to blog about. I'm so sorry, but I promise that I'll show you all the finished products as soon as they gave been passed around by the christmas elves to their various recipients. It really is killing me to keep them all a secret!

This past November, Amanda from Bimble and Pimple started the November Sewing Photo a Day challenge. It was genius. I loved getting a little sneak peek into the "behind the scenes" of my fellow sewing peeps. Unfortunately I was not able to participate because I was away for a bit of the challenge, and had not had enough time to prepare posts. Womp womp.

One of the daily "challenges" was to show your sewing space. So I thought I'd do that here. To make up for the lack of blog posts... So here is my "Sewing Space", or as my husband calls it, "The messy dining room table". Normally it's a bit of a creative disaster, but I tidied up for you guys. Don't say I don't love you!

I sew at the dining room table. And although it's not the ideal sewing situation, it works for now. It has the bonus of an extra "shelf" in form of a windowsill. I keep all my feet and machine accesories in the box on the right, topped with my bobbin case (which was passed down from my grandma. It's fantastic. THANK YOU GRANDMA!) and needles. I have a cup that holds my scissors, a small ruler, and various marking tools so they don't go missing, and a small tupperware to store all my cut threads and scraps. This has greatly decreased the amount of time I spend cleaning up after sewing, so YAY! Next to that I have a little kit of serger bit and bobs (I still have not read all the way through the manual to match the items to their uses. Oops...) and my collection of serger cones that I "borrowed" from my mom. But I figure if I have the serger, she won't need the serger cones!

This baby, to me, is the most exciting part of my sewing collection. I've only ever had hand-me-down or borrowed machines before, which I don't mind at all, but it's something so special to have a machine that is all my own!

Meet Janie the Janome! Mom and Grandma gave me this amazing machine for my birthday/Christmas present combined. I've only used her a little bit, but I am so incredibly pleased to have a machine that works properly and sews whatever I feed it. An added bonus is the magical One-Step Buttonhole! This is the first machine that has made nice looking buttonholes, and it's very exciting! I can finally stitch up some durable shirts for Mister!

Next is my serger, Birdie. She squeaks no matter how much I oil her, so I've learned to embrace it. Birdie is temperamental, but she generally gets the job done. It's nice to be able to finish seams quickly! She was passed down from my Mom, and some day I'll get her to sit down with me and show me how to work some of the fancier stitches on this thing.

Lastly, my beautiful iron! For the longest time I was using an old iron that was passed down to me when my parents upgraded. The old iron had a broken steam function, and had taken a few swan dives from my ironing board. It was in pretty bad shape, so I decided it was time to replace her. I decided on the Black and Decker Classic. I loved the retro shape, and I loved that it was nice and heavy. I like my iron to actually help press the wrinkles out! This one is great, and I've had no complaints so far.

How do you guys set up your sewing space? Do any of you guys name your machines? Are you guys doing any christmas crafting for your loved ones?


Monday, November 3, 2014

A Mermaid Tale

Hello Chickadees!

Well, Halloween has come and gone, and in the hubbub, I forgot to write a blog post about my halloween sewing! Better late than never I suppose?

A while back, one of my friends approached me about doing some sewing for her Halloween costume. She told me that she wanted to be a mermaid, and sent me a few pictures for inspiration. I was super excited to work on this, cause I LOVE making costumes.

The one thing that she really wanted was a two-tone fin skirt. Luckily, my local fabric store had a large amount of super sparkly dancewear fabric, with several different shades of green and blue. We settled on dark green, and I found some aqua sparkly organza for the "fin" part. It had lots of body, which meant that I wouldn't need to add a crinoline or any other layers.

After getting her measurements, I traced off a copy of my current go-to pencil skirt pattern. I had to trace in between sizes in order to be roughly her size, but since the main "skirt" fabric is a very stretchy dancewear fabric, I didn't need to be super precise with exact sizing.  I scooped down the centre front to be more like a mermaid tail, and added a waistband just to make it a bit more secure.

For the lower "fin" portion, I decided it would be easiest to just gather the organza to the bottom of the skirt portion. I added a gusset in the back as well, to make sure that she was able to walk, and add a bit of extra drama.

We had originally thought of finding a shell bra, but my go-to costume place did not stock them this year! So instead, she brought me an old bra that she didn't care about too much, and I draped a bra pattern on it. I wanted it to have three sections so that the seamlines would at least look like a shell.

I didn't want to mess with closures in the back, so I made it with ties like a bikini. I added ribbon guards in the back to keep the straps secured to the bikini.

After it was all done, it was time for embellishments! I had a bunch of fake pearl beads, so I added those to the centre of the cups.

All in all, it was a pretty easy costume, and it looked so cute on her!

Sorry for the blurry photo. It's hard to get a nice photo when it's dark in my house!

Did you guys make any costumes this year? Do you like making costumes?