The Daily Skein

All the craft that’s fit to make.

Scaaaaaarf!! October 31, 2008

Filed under: Musings — Cailyn @ 10:50 pm
Tags: , ,

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I did it! I did it!  I finally figured out how to make this scarf! I’ve knit nearly 3 feet and I’m still happy with it!  Well, I’m at least sufficiently pleased enough to be able to ignore the voice in the back of my head saying “Are you sure this is good enough?  Wouldn’t you rather rip it out and redo the snowflake section?  It’s only half a skein of Cascade 220 brown there…”  The said snowflake section badly needs to be blocked to really bring out it’s beauty (the swatch looked great) but I figure I should wait and block the other end at the same time.  Although, I have no idea where I’m going to block something this long.  I’m aiming for about 5 feet long.  I don’t really have a good blocking solution.  I’ve been using some left over foam floor tiles from our exercise area to pin things down, but that’s not really ideal.  For one, it’s too easy to stick the pins all the way through and end up with a very spiky backed tile.  For another, I only have two tiles and I accidentally warped one when it somehow got under the iron set to “steam.”  No idea how that happened.  I’ve been looking into Knitters Block from Cocoknits, although I’m trying to wait until after Christmas to buy it.  (What hint?  There’s no hint there.  I don’t know what you’re talking about.)

 

As far as the scarf goes, I’m pretty pleased with it, voices notwithstanding.  It’s knitting up crazy fast.  I mean, I only really started knitting it on Thursday night and I’m about halfway done. I love the snowflake lace at the bottom and I think I’ll use that pattern for some lace-top socks.  The brown and blue sections are a great pattern.  The scarf lays flat, no curling, and the texture is wonderful.  It creates a very similar look to My So Called Scarf, but using yarn overs and slipped stitches instead of knitting into an almost-slipped-stitch.  Here’s a close up of the texture:

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The cloth that the scarf is on is for my next sewing “project.”  Seeing as how I’m so proficient at making those shopping bags (the actually sewing only takes about half an hour now, which seems quick to me) I volunteered to make a couple for my brother-in-law for Christmas (I don’t think he reads my blog.  If you do, STOP READING!)  Seattle has started charging a nominal fee for plastic bags, which isn’t a big deal to us because we don’t really shop in Seattle, but it’s a good excuse to give everyone reusable bags as gifts.  The law might come over to the east side of the Sound at some point too, so it’s good to be prepared.  Personally, I always saved the plastic bags to use for cat litter, etc, but we have such a backlog that even having not gotten a single plastic bag in months, we’re just barely beginning to make a dent in the collection.  Oy!

 

Anyway, Lowell kindly accompanied me to the fabric store to pick out some fabric yesterday.  The one in the pictures is my favorite, it’s a pale green with just a little gold sparkle in it.  It’s really nice.  Almost hate to give it away… This fabric is going to be paired with a tan fabric with black kanji, and then there’s a red/gray wave pattern to be paired with a black/gray kanji fabric.  (Sense a trend here?)  They should be both beautiful and manly.

 

I can’t tell you how glad I am to finally have this scarf figured out.  Nothing seemed right while I was banging my head against it.  I hate not having a project to work on in the evenings; I can’t believe I just sat and watched Mythbusters without doing something with my hands!  It was actually stressful.  And I couldn’t start something new while I was wrestling with the scarf, even though I’ve thought of, like, eight sock patterns while looking through my dictionaries.  I even came up with a pretty scarf pattern- but not the scarf that I needed! (On an inspirational trip to the LYS, I may have purchased some incredibly soft un-dyed baby alpaca yarn.  I thought I might use it for my sister’s scarf, but it’s too soft.  I can’t live without it.)  I like designing, but designing for a specific person is very hard.  I’m never sure if what I’m knitting is what they had in mind.  Certain people, it’s easy, because you see them often enough or they’ve commented on your knitting, but some people it’s darn difficult.  For example, I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on Lowell.  (It’d be pretty sad if I didn’t, eh?)  But my sister?  We hardly see each other, because I’m in Seattle and she’s still in school in Virginia.  So I have really no idea what she’d like besides what she told me, “a brown scarf with cream and blue accents.”  I’m hoping that she’ll like this and I won’t have to appease her with my future alpaca scarf.  The pattern will be up as soon as I’m finished; hopefully a few days.

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Bag Lady June 13, 2008

Filed under: Sewing Projects — Cailyn @ 8:11 pm
Tags: ,

The sun finally came out today! So after my much-needed yard work (blech!) I spent some time taking pictures in the sun.

First I took a few pictures of the lupines growing on the other side of our driveway. I love lupines. These are the inspiration for the pair of socks that I’m currently working on. Unfortunately, the half-finished socks didn’t get their picture taken in the sun. I was too busy taking pictures of these:

I made these reusable shopping bags for my grandmother. Queenofdiy has a great tutorial over on Craftster on how to make them. I don’t add a pocket to mine like hers, but I think they’re still awesome. (And take less time to make!)   The four fabrics are batiks from JoAnn. My grandmother has a dress that looks very similar to the lower right bag and the other 3 just cried out to me. I hope she likes them!

I also made a little “scrunchy” to hold all the bags together on the way to the store. See how small they fold up? Folded, they’re about as long as my hand and stacked they’re about as tall as my hand is wide. So about 7″ishx5″ or 6″?

People are always amazed at how much these bags can hold. I filled one up with some groceries to prove that there’s tons of space. I never use all five of my bags at the store; I end up using just three or maybe four if I’ve got a lot of big things. I used to being 6-7 plastic bags home.

These bags are pretty fun and easy to make, which is lucky because I have to make 4 more very quickly. The handles are a little tricky the first time through, but trust in the tutorial! (Edit 10/31/08: There’s a good tutorial here on another way to do the handles.  I think it’s much easier.)  Once again, freezer paper is my savior. It’s great for so many things, stenciling, quilting, and just general sewing. I have one freezer paper bag template that I’ve used to make all my bags; I just trace a fresh template onto more freezer paper when the first one runs out of sticky.

Hopefully the Lupine Socks will be up some time next week. Until then, I’m going to enjoy the sunshine this weekend!