Monday, December 31, 2012

Getting It Done - Jan 2013

Like most people at year's end, I've been considering my goals for this coming year.   

Judy's challenge to post on the last day of each month four goals you'd like to accomplish during the next month is a great inspiration.  I decided to list one goal for each of my crafty interests.  If I concentrate on one per week, I shouldn't have any problem getting them completed.  

If you are curious about what other bloggers have on their lists, check out Judy's post at Patchwork Times.

May you have a very blessed New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

On The Needles - Dec 28, 2012

 Not much knitting going on this week.  I do have pics of the gifts I made for Christmas presents.

These fingerless gloves/mitts are a combination of several patterns.  The free pattern I got when I bought the yarn at The Yarn Garden was just too complicated for me.  I started over five times before giving up.  I found Fern Lace Arm Warmers by Cynthia Parker at Hand Held Knitting on the internet.  I basically incorporated her lace pattern into my generic fingerless glove pattern. 

For both sets of gloves I used DK Merino Superwash by Plymouth Yarns and size 4 US needles.  I knitted in the round like I do with socks, using two circular needles.   I really liked working with this yarn and will make sure to use it in a future project. 

Currently I have a pair of fingerless gloves on my needles.  This pair will be for me so they won't be lacy.  I'm just not a foo-foo girly type.  I chose to do a faux cable pattern on the top of the gloves.  I also figured that I could do both gloves at once, so I loaded the stitches onto my circular needles like I do with socks and knitted away. Now the only thing left to do is to pick up and finish knitting the thumb stitches.  

Faux Cable Fingerless Gloves
Be sure to visit Judy L's blog, Patchwork Times, and check out what others have on their needles this week. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sewing A Knit T-Shirt

I've been wanting to sew myself some simple t-shirt tops and finally got inspired by one of the three new classes I gifted myself for Christmas.  Craftsy had a sale......need I say more.  

Anyway, I started watching the video lessons for "Sewing With Knits: 5 Wardrobe Essentials" with Meg McElwee.  Meg is really sweet and provides in-depth explanations on most every aspect of sewing knits on a domestic machine.  

The first big tip, which I never thought of before, is to use a walking foot instead of my regular presser foot.  Duh!!!  Combine that with reducing the presser foot pressure by turning the pressure dial to 1 (on my machine) made a huge difference in how the fabric feeds through the machine.  I also tested all my machine's stretch stitches to see how they work.  I've had some light-weight t-shirt knits in my stash for years so I tore through the sewing room and found what I had on hand.  I also found some sweatshirt fleece so I may be making a hoodie soon.

I have tons of short-sleeve t-shirts but I really prefer the long-sleeve version which can be worn under sweatshirts or layered with other tops as well.  Meg provides pdf patterns for the garments in her class and soon after I traced the pattern I was cutting it out on the dining room table.  This t-shirt is really simple and easy to sew.  I took my time and tested my stitching on scraps so I could get the width and length right before sewing on the garment.  

All in all, I'm pleased with this pattern which fits well and the neckline lays flat like it should.  I forgot how much nicer knits fit compared to woven fabrics  (at least on me).   

I hope that you have had a great Holiday Season.  Merry Christmas and may God bless your New Year, too!

Friday, December 21, 2012

On The Needles - Dec 21, 2012

Faux-Cable Fingerless Mitts

This week's knitting project: 
      two-at-once fingerless mitts

Now that the Christmas gifts are done, I started on making myself a pair of fingerless mitts.  Not wanting to do yet another lace pattern I searched my knitting pattern book and sock patterns for something simple to work on the top and wrist areas of the mitts.  

I found a nice faux-cable pattern 
included in a free sock pattern, Snake River Socks, by Judy Becker at Persistent Illusion.  Even though I have enough stitches to do more than one pattern repeat I decided on just a single cable design.

For these mitts I'm using Bernat Satin, plum mist heather, yarn which is 100% acrylic and two circular needles size 6US.  Up to this point I had made mitts one at a time, but thought I'd try two-at-once like I do with socks.  So far, its working out well.  With the wrist sections done I'm getting ready to begin the thumb gusset increases.  
Be sure to visit Patchwork Times blog for links to other great projects!

Friday, December 14, 2012

On The Needles - Dec 14, 2012

My needles have been clicking away all week.  Unfortunately I can't show you the pics of two of my projects because they are Christmas gifts and I don't want to spoil the surprise for the recipients.

I can show you the two hats I made.  I saw the Kim Kardashian Beanie designed by Christine Rosen on line and decided to give it a go.  The cream colored beanie was made with acrylic worsted yarn I had in my stash of left-overs.  I used the recommended needle sizes from the pattern.  It turned out slouchy and a bit flimsy around the band which is k1p1 ribbing.  

For the bright plum hat (again, acrylic worsted yarn from my stash) I used one size smaller needles and did the band in a moss pattern.  This hat is much smaller with no slouch, but I like it on me a lot better.

Be sure to go over to Patchwork Times for links to other great knitting projects.  

Thanks for stopping by.   

Friday, December 7, 2012

On The Needles - Dec 7, 2012

This week I've worked on a couple of projects.  

First up, I knitted up two old-fashioned washcloths.  In recent years I've seen a lot of novelty dishcloths, but was pleased when I found this pattern.  For some reason I prefer the older-styled knitwear.  

These washcloths were made using size 8 US needles and cotton yarn.  For the red one I used Peaches & Creme, burgundy, worsted 4-ply, 100% cotton and for the pastel one, I used Bernat Cottontots, Wonder Dreams.  The Cottontots is really soft and squishy.  

I threaded two different colored ribbons through the lacy border.  I will probably add some bath foofoos (like a nice bar of soap and or small lotion) inside and cinch it up with the ribbon to make a simple hostess gift. 

My second project has been to test and develop a fingerless mitt pattern I can use for gifts or myself.  I had in mind to make a pair with lace pattern on the top and solid for the palm side.  I used WoolEase and size 6 needles.

The mitt on the left has a ribbed arm and one lace pattern on the top.  The arm fits nicely and is long enough to go under my sleeve.  I used a lace pattern from my big knitting book which has lots of stitch patterns.  

For the middle mitt, I used a lace pattern from a pair of mitts I found on line.  I didn't make the thumb correctly.  It's too big and kinda looks like a cactus arm. 

The final test mitt turned out better and with refined pattern in hand I cast on with the real yarn and needle size I planned to use.  Last night I finished the left-hand mitt and started on the right-hand mitt.  No pictures.....sorry. This pair will be a Christmas gift.       

Thanks for visiting.  Be sure to stop by at Patchwork Times to see what others have on their needles this week.  I saw a lot of really nice projects!
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