Knitted Set of Hat, Mitts, and Neck Warmer

Been in a knitting mood of late and with all of this cold weather and snow (8″!) here in Nashville I decided I needed a nice warm set of winter wear. I started off just needing a new hat and then saw this neck warmer designer by the same designer and decided, well I need mitts too, ;). First I began with the Fisherman’s Wife Beret by Kalurah Hudson on Ravelry as a free pattern. Love it! Overall it’s a pretty easy and quick make using Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn and size 15 circular needles.

The hat starts with a tubular cast-on, this took me about an hour to figure out but this YouTube video was super helpful. Just don’t do what I did and try to cast on with a knit 2 purl 2, haha. Does not work! In the video she explains how to cast on using a knit 1 purl 1 method and then how to switch it to the K2P2 of the pattern. Once I figured it out it was pretty easy. You do some basic rib for a bit then switch to an easy cable pattern. Looks great! I did go ahead and put it over a dinner plate to shape it and it helped so much. Before I did that it was pretty stiff but washing it softened it up a bit and putting it over a plate helped it to keep it’s shape. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in the color Fisherman.

Flat Beret

 

And the hat flattened out.Hat

 

And on! I get so many compliments on this hat, :). And it’s so warm!Wearing the Hat

 

This same designer also has a matching neck warmer. She actually designed the hat to go with it from a customer request. The scarf was also a quick knit, done within 3 hours, :). I made the size medium and the pattern can be purchased on Ravelry here for $4. Such a beautiful design and so easy to wear. I used the same yarn and needles as the hat and purchased the buttons from Wal-Mart.

I blocked this out per the pattern and I am just so in love with it.

scarf

 

And last but not least, matching fingerless mitts! I used the same yarn but this time I switched to size 10 double pointed needles. These were made using the pattern Green Giant Fingerless Mitts available for free on Ravelry. I made the size small and added a couple rows for the thumb as I have long fingers. I liked how well the cable design went with the rest of the accessories.

Mitts

 

And all together! I have a bit of a cables obsession… ;). More info can be found on my Ravelry projects page: Fisherman’s Wife BeretThe Fisherman’s WifeGreen Giant Fingerless Mitts

The Whole Set

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Busy Month!

Wow, this past month has been crazy busy between making stock for craft fairs, final papers for my graduate class, and preparing to move. The first craft fair I did was a first year event here in Nashville called Crafty Nashville and I did ok. There wasn’t a lot of foot traffic but I made back my booth fee. The second one which I was expecting to be my cash cow flopped. The event was called Piccadilly Square Christmas Market, 2 days in Franklin. The event was well advertised and overall done really well, had a lot more foot traffic than the other one but just not much interest in faux leather purses or cotton pouches. I told a couple of my wallets. So I am now in the process of putting all of my stock up on Etsy. I did get a card for an art gallery to set up a small booth during one of Nashville’s Saturday art crawls, definitely worth looking into.

I have created a few new pattern designs. I have my fun leather backed wallets with geeky cotton linings, a simple bi-fold wallet with a main pocket for money and two card pockets. So far I have done a few Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, the Nashville Predators, Big Bang Theory, and The Walking Dead. So fun to make! The leather I  up-cycle from leather jackets.


Then I have my color blocked purse line. I created my own simple foldover clutch pattern using two different colors (including a fun Star Trek and Star Wars versions!). I use one fabric for the inside and added a zipper pull too. Each measures about 10″ wide and 7.5″ tall when folded over.

Black and Gold Clutch

Black and White Clutch

Star Trek Lining
Then I hacked Deby’s Date Night Wristlet pattern into a color blocked design. I took her main pattern piece, split it into fourths, and added 1/4″ seam allowances. Then after putting the pieces together I top stitch each seam for looks and also to lay the seams flat. On the inside I use a solid color for the main side linings and the middle credit card slots and a fun fabric for the divider and top and bottom credit card slots. Each one measures about 6″ by 8″.

 

And the final faux leather item I had been working on was a faux leather, black and white color-blocked, Star Wars hobo style purse! The initial pattern was McCall’s 6045. I use the color blocking of purse C with the handle of purse A with some of my own adjustments. Turned out great! Even has self covered Star Wars buttons, ;). Measures about 14″ wide and 7″ tall.

Black and White Star Wars Purse

And then of course I had to make an entire Star Wars black and white set. I use high quality faux leather that has an amazing buttery soft feeling.

Black and White Collection

My other original design is a simple pouch measuring about 6″ by 9″ using 100% cotton fabric and sturdy interfacing. My favorites so far are my Marilyn Monroe and Sewing Notions pouches. I have a My Little Pony (vintage version) in the works.

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Majority of these are available in my shop on Etsy and I also accept custom orders too.

 

I also see I have reached 50 blog followers! Thank you! I am working on creating a free pattern PDF as a thank you for all of your comments, likes, and support. :).  Would you rather have a simple bi-fold wallet pattern or a running arm band pattern? Comment below with your preference!

New Clutches!

So I’ve decided to do a craft fair or two this holiday season and have revamped my line a little. Instead of making the larger purses which take awhile to make and quite a bit of materials, and as a result a higher price tag, I am focusing on my smaller bags.

I’ve taken Deby’s Date Night Wristlet pattern and made a few changes. I use a shorter zipper (only 9″), put in 6 card slots instead of 8, I don’t add any fleece lining, and I make the exterior out of faux leather (aka vinyl) purchased from various vendors or leather from jackets I find in thrift shops.

Honestly I got tired of switching stuff out of my wallet into a smaller purse for going out. So now my wallet is my going out bag. I don’t keep my checkbook in it, but that’s what the big purse is for, ;).

And they look fantastic! The first one I made was out of a thick dark brown faux leather found in my shop here that I lined with some leftover dark blue silk. It holds quite a bit! some tips I have learned on working with vinyl are:

  • You can use pins if they are place in the in-seam but clips work best. I actually just bought some binder clips. I’ve used paper clips and they work ok but not great on thicker vinyls. Clothes pins didn’t stay on very well but binder clips stay on great!
  • I used my regular medium fabrics universal needle for these but leather needles work so much better! There are two sizes but I went with the 90/14
  • Trace out the pattern rather than pin it to the vinyl
  • Mind thick layers, my machine doesn’t handle too many very well. I also only have a Brother cs6000i. Not technically made for these materials
  • Use a 4mm length when stitching



The second I made out of leather I cut up from a jacket and then lined it with the lining from the jacket! I put in my own zipper and used some bought clips, but other than that it’s fully re-furbished jacket, :). That one is here. My tips for working with leather:

  • Many are the same as vinyl: wonder clips rather than needles, use a leather needle, trace and not pin pattern to fabric…
  • With this particular leather my Brother cs6000i had no issues sewing it even with a regular universal woven fabric needle
  • I used a 4mm stitch length and polyester thread. Cotton will break down over time.


And my most recent is a white faux leather made from a vinyl I found at Jo-Ann’s. It feels so soft! I lined it with guitar fabric and it looks fantastic.


Have so many more to make!

And don’t they just look so cute in front of our gnome?

Outfit Along 2015: Finished!

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I have finally finished my Vianne cardigan!!! Actually, I finished it a few days ago, just finally got around to compiling and taking photos, ;).

This was my first knitted garment beyond scarves, hats, and mittens. I guess this was kind of like a large mitten with the adding sleeves. Andi at Untangling Knots had great advice as did the online forum over at Ravelry.

Casting on took me two tries due to my counting issues…but overall very proud of my sweater, :). Once I had the upper back completed I had to learn how to pick up stitches to start the fronts…took some time but I figured it out. Yay!

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Some photos of the work in progress. Once I had all the pieces (upper back, upper front left, and upper front right) I started knitting it all as one piece. Once I sorted out the usefulness of stitch markers life got WAY easier! I would put one right before and after each 9 stitch panel section which helped a lot once I started increasing and decreasing the regular knit parts in between panels.
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Was so excited to start the sleeve caps! I’ve never done short rows before so the technique scared me but once I started it turned out to be really easy…as long as I kept count. Had to undo a few rows here and there. And yes, I am holding a ball of yarn, was still a work in progress, ;).

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I also had to redo the first shoulder cap as I had gotten a couple rows off center and knew it would bother me. It’s always sad when one needs to undo several hours of work but it was worth the effort.
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As was the need to redo my sleeve. I followed the pattern but the sleeve was too loose for my preferences so I undid it up to the sleeve cap (the short rows) and redid it much smaller, even smaller than the XS size. Wow, so much better. Something someone advised me of is the nature of silk is to lengthen…so perhaps not the best material for this particular project but it still looks and feels nice. I used Classic Elite Avenue yarn in Carnation, a merino/silk/rayon blend. As can be seen below, the sleeve in the left side of the pic was much looser than the right side.
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And voila, finished! I was so excited. For the buttons I decided to fabric cover my own using the cotton voile from the dress I made to go with this cardigan. Took a few tried but I found the right bit to use. This first photo is of the front. Love the pattern.

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And the back, which looks amazing with the dress.
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Had to get a close up of the buttons, ;).
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Which means I finally got to learn how to block a sweater. Lots of great tutorials out there. I decided to go with foam backed poster board and just use my regular sewing pins. Once measured out and pinned I put it under a fan for a few days. That was when I discovered the nature of silk versus wool. It doesn’t really shrink, it gets longer. So my waist crop top sweater is more of a regular length one now.

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But it looks great with the dress!
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See what I mean about the back?!?! Just beautiful.
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And all together on me, :). These were taken right before I went out to Nashville’s Red, White, and Zoo. Was great! Got unlimited red and white wine samples and even some food. Plus I got to see a few animals, :).
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And so versatile! Looks great with my new dress too! Which I will blog about later, ;).

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Overall I rated this pattern medium in difficulty for myself as it is my most challenging project to date but overall wasn’t too difficult. The pattern repeated a lot and I had prior experience in knitting ribbing and in doing lace work. The hard bits for me were picking up stitches and keeping track of my counting. Now I have a handy stitch/row clicker counter!

So Sew Easy’s Date Night Wristlet

I’m always looking for clutches I can use to hold my essentials for those days I don’t want to carry the kitchen sink and Deby’s Date Night Wristlet at So Sew Easy is perfect.

It has a padded pocket for your phone, removable wrist strap, and 8 credit card slots. I made mine without the strap being removable because I couldn’t locally find the right size swivel clasps

 My first one is purple batik with a brown batik interior using 2 fat quarters total. I didn’t have fusible fleece so just sewed in some regular fleece which worked great for me. Love it! I made this up in a couple hours from cut to finish.

  

Then I decided to try my hand at quilting. I went to a summer camp that had an honor system where you participated in different activities to get emblems. It was a Camp Fire camp. There were three top honors: Gypsy, Voyager, and Vagabond. Vagabond is the highest and is represented by a dark blue pataran, aka star. Hence the background on the design. I grew up at this camp so this honor holds a very special place in my heart.

Was trial and error but I figured out what size pieces to cut out and put them together into a block.

   
 
I then appliquéd this to a rectangle measured out to the pattern main piece dimensions. Beautiful!

  
Then I put the purse together per Deby’s directions with only one other change, quilting the back main piece.

  

 
Finished my first quilt block!!!

This second purse turned out even better than the first, :). Overall a pretty easy pattern and the perfect size for a day or night out.

   
  

Simplicity 2600 in Faux Leather


I am so happy with how this bag turned out! I’ve seen the Simplicity 2600 pattern around on the internet and was debating on making one when I saw this bag done by TrishStitched.  I thought it looked fantastic! So I did some research and ended up with this beautiful dark brown fleece backed vinyl for the outer portion and pretty clock themed cotton for the interior from Jo-Ann’s. My boyfriend also has a slight obsession with clocks, ;). I have never sewn anything like this before so went back to Google and discovered I needed a walking foot made for vinyl type things so it wouldn’t stick when sewing and a denim universal needle so it could puncture through the fabric. This post by Sewing Parts Online was so helpful!

I made a few changes and added a few things to make the bag just right. First of all instead of cutting out 2 separate pieces for the front and back parts of the main duffle I cut out one piece and instead of one front pocket and one side pocket I cut out a front and back pocket and made pockets on both sides. I also lined these with the cotton fabric to cover up the awful fleece on the back of the vinyl.


Then for the handles instead of making one large loop and attaching to the bottom I made 2 pieces and attached them from the bottom of the pocket to about an inch above the pocket.

Instead of trying to fuss with turning the handles inside out, I folded over the 1/4″ seam allowance to the inside and top stitched the straps on both sides. During this whole process I found the use of paper clips instead of needles for the vinyl to work wonderfully!


I am so proud of my shoulder strap! I cut out a long piece about 60″ long and 3″ wide. I wanted a strap that was 1 1/4″ wide after I folded it in half and sewed up the seam allowances. I also made loops for each end of the bag so the shoulder strap could be detachable. The tricky part was adding the slider to make the strap adjustable. I managed to do all of this without breaking my machine or a needle! I have a Brother cs6000i sewing machine. I doubt I’ll be sewing with thick vinyl again anytime soon as my machine isn’t really made for this kind of work but glad it all turned out so well. He was super surprised!


And using a tutorial by So Sew Easy I made my own bias tape out of the lining fabric. I sewing it into a tube though, oops! After battling with bias taping one side of the duffle I cut the bias back in half and the other side went way smoother and looks so much better!


I also made a matching faux leather luggage tag, :).


So impressed with how great this bag looks and overall how easy it was for the most part, :). And large! As seen by the last photo it can hold a lot!


    

And a pic with the birthday boy!

So Sew Easy’s Shrug

What’s better than a simple, easy pattern? A free one! I’ve been looking everywhere for a bolero style shrug to wear over my shoulder baring shirts in the cold office during the Spring and Summer.

  
Her pattern can be found at Deby’s site here.

It’s only 2 pieces and 3 seams. It really did take longer to print and piece together the pattern than to put it together, :). I used a soft 60/40 cotton/poly blend from Jo-Ann’s. Unfortunately for me the greatest direction of stretch was the wrong way and I had to cut about 2″ of length from the sleeves. I think I’ll use 4 way stretch next time.

The back was a bit looser than I was looking for so I took it in about an inch on the bottom back line and worked well. I also lettuce leaf sewed the sleeves, first time! And hemmed the edges due to the nature of the fabric I chose.

Overall super easy and will definitely make more!
The side:


And the back: