A little over a month ago, I finally sat down to make myself a case to hold my knitting needles. Personal, handmade storage for needles has been on my to-sew list ever since I started knitting. I originally drew up designs for holding mostly straight needles. But I’m glad I waited since I pretty much exclusively use circular needles now. And although I love my Knit Picks Interchangeable Circular Needle Set, I’m not a big fan of the case they came in. This new design considers places to store my cables, needle tips, double pointed needles, fixed circulars as well as a zipper pocket in the back for the small, loose items you need, like stitch markers, scissors, cabling needles, etc. My original intention was to share a tutorial on how to make this and I actually have the photos to do so, but although I like mine and am so glad I don’t have to dump everything out just to find one cable, I’m not sure I have the design quite right. Fellow knitters, what do you think? Did I forget anything important? Would you ever want to see a tutorial for something like this?
I am officially halfway through The Twelve Hats in One Year Challenge! This month, I chose a baby bonnet to use up some more of my Lark yarn and fit it in between my many other projects. It’s a pixie style hat that looks so much cuter when worn than lying flat. So be sure to check out the photos at the pattern page!
Pattern: Little Heaume
Yarn: Quince & Co. Lark in Frost
Needles: sz 8
Final Verdict: Easy, well written pattern. Quick, fun knit. And adorable end result.
Ravelry project link
My adventures with natural dye continue! We had a storm come through last week that, unfortunately, knocked out our power for about 17 hours and took down trees and branches elsewhere, but luckily for me, scattered a ton of walnuts to the ground. Ever since early August, I’ve been attempting to gather and store walnuts properly to dye some yarn this fall. I thought I could get some here and there until I had enough but every attempt to store them left me with moldy walnuts (which must have been the humidity since I was keeping them upstairs in the barn.) But after this storm, I was able to forage for all I needed and dye with them in one day.
And as you can see by the resulting color, I had plenty enough to get a rich brown shade. I did the process almost exactly like I did the onion skin and beet dyes, except I skipped the cream of tartar. In my travels I read somewhere that the purpose of it was to ensure an even color throughout the yarn. I figured I liked variegated yarns and was open to experimentation so I skipped it. Hopefully it will add a little interest to the final knit. Now I have about 1,000 yards of a worsted weight yarn and I actually know what I’m going to make with it! But first, to finish some other knits.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a post asking for some feedback and opinions on what to do with the onion skin yarn. I can’t seem to make up my mind on that one!
Important Note: Walnuts splatter a lot when you crack them open. And, obviously, they stain! It reminds me of henna—deceptively light at first, then grows dark, then a fades a bit and sticks around for a week or so. Be sure to wear sturdy gloves, goggles and an old long sleeve shirt. Maybe even a mask on your face. I had a brown thumb for a while and now I have tons of walnut freckles on my arms and some on my face and neck. A simple internet search will provide you with all kinds of helpful links explaining the walnut dye process, particularly here.
Introducing the Liesl Made Weekender Bag Tutorial. Finally, it only took me two years! This bag is the perfect size to carry all you need for an overnight trip or weekend getaway. It also makes a great gift (and the holiday season is coming up.)
Here are the links to download the PDFs for the instructions and the pattern. (EDIT on 9.15.13: the first link I posted wasn’t the right PDF. It should be four pattern pieces on ten pages. If you don’t know how to, this article explains how to use print-at-home patterns. For mine, the letters are where you line things up. Also, the bit about doubling the length of the one piece means that pattern piece should be a total of 25 1/4″ long. You can either print or copy two of them and tape them together to create one full length piece to use as your pattern piece or simply place the one 1/2 length pattern piece on a fold of the fabric. But note the grain line since it is sewn to curved piece.) As I said in the PDF file, this tutorial is for an intermediate sewer. It’s not that complicated but it is better if you’ve had some experience sewing zippers and curves. I did not go into specific details or steps I assumed an intermediate sewer would know. However, if you have any questions, feel free to email me or comment below.
A few notes: I made the photos in the PDF small so you wouldn’t have to waste too much ink if you print it. If you want to see any of them larger you can see them at this flickr set. Also, the 1″ scale square is on the last page of the pattern PDF, so it would be smart to print that first and measure it make sure it’s accurate. You may need to adjust your printing options to get it right.
And if you make one of these yourself, I’d love to see it!
Pattern is offered for free and intended for personal use only, meaning you are not permitted to sell or distribute the pattern, instructions or any finished bags made from this tutorial.
Back when I shared a how-to for the paper bag mailers I make, the post was featured on WordPress’ “Freshly Pressed” page and that brought in a lot of traffic, traffic that was only here because I was featured not because my content truly appealed to them. This included someone who commented along the lines of: Why not just buy a mailer and save yourself the trouble? It reminded me there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who DIY and those who don’t.
This business card project that will only appeal to someone who derives joy from making things themselves. It’ll be awfully time consuming if you need a hundred cards but it’s great if you are a small operation and only need a dozen or so cards at a time. And if you’re like me and love the look of brown paper and lace.
I originally made these brown kraft paper and lace doily business cards back in December of 2011 and since then, that post has been one of my more popular non-tutorial, non-recipe posts. So, I figured a little more info on how I put mine together might be nice. Plus, since reopening my shop, I realized I was in need of some business cards. There are fancier ways of constructing these cards but I like that this uses the things I have around the house. I have a lot of small pieces of brown paper left over from projects and a big stack of paper doilies bought at a yard sale. As you can see in the original ones, I hand stamped each letter but this time, I wrote the letters out. Clear contact paper might be nice but since packaging tape is in the house, packaging tape it is.
1. Gather your materials:
2. I traced the business card on my kraft paper. If you are using brown paper bags, be aware of any graphics printed on them that you might not want on the back.
3-4. Then I cut a piece from the paper doily to fit in a pleasing position on the card—it looks good on the side, top or corner.
5. Apply a thin layer of glue to attach the doily to the paper. The main area of concern is the solid white part, which can peel back if not glued down.
6. Add any words or graphics to your card, either by hand or with stamps, etc.
7-8. Lay the tape down. My tape width is a little smaller than a standard business card, so I lined it up evenly between the top and bottom lines.
9. Now trim down to the business card size—again, if the tape is smaller in width, cut along the tape line rather than the line you traced earlier. Your cards might be an 1/8″ or so shorter than standard cards.
All done! Repeat from more cards, getting clever with your placement of the doily.
Obviously, you can use this as springboard and use all kinds of other papers and stamps.
My original cards were stamped with Inkadinkadoo stamps (like these but lowercase.)
My main goals for this month’s hat were to use up more of my synthetic hand-me-down yarns and to practice stranded colorwork (in hopes that someday I can feel confident enough to knit a whole sweater—maybe like this one.) The end result is a hat I don’t personally want—the style doesn’t suit me and, although the color is nice, I don’t care for acrylic yarn. But, my goals were met and it was a fun knit.
Pattern: Norwegian Star Earflap Hat (free)
Yarn: Brunswick Windrush in teal heather and off-white unknown acrylic
Needles: sz 8
Modifications: Removed one star pattern repeat out of fear of it being too big. Also knit the hat body first, then picked up and knit the earflaps later.
Final Verdict: Fun, but not my style. Passing it on to a friend if I can. I recommend going up a needle size when doing the color work.
Raverly Project Link
I’ve been on a finishing-up/using-what-I-have kind of high. Like I mentioned in my Gratitudes, I have resisted buying any new sewing supplies, since about January 2012. Granted, I hardly sewed last year but since at least March, I’ve been hitting road blocks in projects, realizing I needed something to continue on. Instead of running to the store, I have been making do with what I have and enjoying the creative solutions it forces me to think up, like shortening zippers and using glue sticks.
But now I am officially at an impassable road block. I’m using my very last universal machine needle and I don’t think I’m going to be able to find an alternate way around that one. Here are some of the things I’ve been finishing lately, only with supplies I have on hand.
The most exciting thing is that I finished is this weekender bag! I know some of you have been waiting years (!) for me to share this pattern. Back in 2011, I actually did a tutorial, taking photos and notes and right near the end, I realized I made a mistake in my measurements. It took me a few more tries to realize there were two measurements off. I think I pinpointed the errors and have it all running smoothly. So I’m going to make another bag, take photos of the process and make a pattern PDF. I’m hoping to have it up within the month.
These nine items are now in the shop.
This month’s hat was chosen via your vote. It’s called Scrollwork. Overall, I’m happy with it. The only problem I have with it is that it lies awkwardly somewhere between slouchy and beanie, so when just slipped on my head, it can look a bit conical. I wish I had made it longer so it definitely had that slouchy look or else didn’t stretch it so much when blocking it. There are easily four or mistakes I made in the cabling but luckily the pattern hides them well.
Other than that, it’s soft and warm and the cables are so pretty. It was a fun challenge knitting it up. Come cooler weather, I’m sure I’ll fall in love more. (Notes can be viewed here.)
All the rain we were having left me feeling perfectly justified to spend time in my studio. I was sewing all kinds of stuff but the sun is back and there is now so much to be done outside. This is as far as I got:
I made a nautical themed Popover Sundress from Oliver + S. I highly recommend it, especially for a beginner.
Lots of make up bags. My goal is use up only what I have and thin through my fabric stash. Since I have something like three or four dozen 9″ zippers, I figured I’d go ahead and make up some make up bags.
And there are two secondhand items I’m trying to rework into newer pieces. (One seen above. The other in this previous post.)
Plus I’m slowly but surely sewing a folky dress but I cut it last summer when I was quite a bit smaller. I’m going to have to stop this daily heaping spoon of peanut butter and hefty sprinkling of chocolate chips if I want to get into it. (Sneak peek in this previous post.)
Have you been sewing anything lately?
We are just over the halfway mark for June and I’m happy to say my hat for the month is done. It’s a baby bonnet so that accounts for a lot of why I finished it so quickly. It is called the Eppie Bonnet and is from Literary Knits, which features patterns inspired by classic literature. I’ve never read Silas Marner (where this pattern draws it’s inspiration) but have a general idea of what the story is about. I just thought the pattern was sweet in it’s simplicity. Though I do think it would have been cuter to use two colors as the pattern suggests. You can see more of my notes at the Ravelry page.
I want to say thank you to those of you who, pardon the pun, threw your hat in my hat vote. The winner is Scrollwork by one vote (Sitka being second.) I’m sure I’m eventually going to make both at some point during the challenge (I still have eight more hats to make!)