Last summer I took a maker spaces class where I dyed yarn with kool aid, and I bought so much powder kool aid I felt like I was single handedly keeping them in business. Anyway, I wrote up the instructions and everything and I’ve been sitting with this super bright yarn that I wouldn’t otherwise use. (That’s not entirely true, a couple of the colors I had plans for, but the two brightest ones scared me.) After graduating, I’ve got all this time on my hands and finally decided I’d make some socks with the yarn. And I managed to make two pairs of socks in like two weeks? I was pretty impressed with myself.
I used the Rye sock pattern from Tin Can Knits, which is a really solid basic sock pattern, but the garter knit stripe adds a good amount of interest. And since it’s worsted weight, it knitted up really quickly. Overall I can’t wait to have these super bright and super warm socks for the impending winter. (Between being a knitter and living in Minnesota, all I think about is winter.) I have dubbed them the Rainbow Rye and Cotton Candy Rye.
Gauze swaddling blankets
Another late wrap up thanks to finishing grad school and attending graduations. I’ve made a whole bunch of blankets. The first set are the little swaddling blankets that I made for my internship supervisors as a thank you/new baby present (she had the baby). Got the idea from Dana Made It (which I guess is now Made Everyday with Dana?). I’ve always thought that these blankets are SO cute, but I haven’t had the sewing skills to make them, and then when I gained those skills I didn’t have a baby to make them for. After making them, I think these are totally doable for a beginning sewer. This kind of fabric is pretty forgiving, and you’re basically just hemming the edges. I was SO nervous about the color choices. I didn’t know the gender of the baby when I made them, and I didn’t want to go too stereotypical baby colors. And she ended up loving the colors! Win!
Tree of Life Blanket
The second blanket was the one I’ve been knitting for my sister since Januaryish? I told my sister that I’d combine her birthday and graduation gifts into one big thing, and I gave her some options of patterns and yarn so she got to pick everything out. She ended up going with the Tree of Life Afghan from Knitting from the Center Out with Knit Picks Mighty Stitch in Alfalfa. This blanket ended up being a little smaller than I anticipated (it was hard to tell because it was so bunched up on my circulars), but I think it’s the perfect size to have over your lap at your desk while studying. And it’s super super soft, and washable, perfect for a college kid. The pattern was easy to memorize, so I could just chill in the evenings and get some work done on it. Here’s the link to my Ravelry page about it.
This is a pretty late wrap up, but I finished my dress and wore it to graduation! And it was so super cute! It fit really well for the most part, the only issue I had was with the very top around the shoulders felt a little big, but I think that’s me being nitpicky more than anything else. Also it’s fully lined, which you can’t see here. Most people freak out a little and are really impressed when I say that I’m lining something, but it really wasn’t too bad. It took some extra effort, and it definitely would have taken less time if I hadn’t lined it, but overall I think it’s time well spent. I feel like with this project I can officially bring myself up to an advanced beginner sewer. Woop woop!
Bodice of the dress
Skirt attached to the bodice
So I missed last week partially because I was busy and partially because I don’t really have anything to say on the subject. Going small is something I struggle with. I don’t have a crazy number of clothes, but I always feel like I have too much. So I’m not there yet, but one of my long term goals is to switch to a mostly handmade, capsule like wardrobe. So small is aspirational for me, rather than a reality.
Now for week three we’re talking about loved items. And I’ve picked out a couple of things to talk about. It’s hard to choose because I love everything that I make! (Even the stuff that didn’t turn out so great.) Because I’ve invested the time into something, I get hard core emotionally attached. But I do have certain items that get more use than my other handmade items.
One is my backpack. Colette Patterns released the Cooper bag around the time I had been accepted to grad school. And it was perfect. I didn’t want to haul my stuff in my bright blue LL Bean backpack, and I wanted something I could eventually transition into my professional life. So, despite the fact that I had zero experience making bags and only a little experience sewing, I trucked ahead with making the Cooper bag. This was tough! While there’s no measurements to take, there’s still the fact that I have a basic sewing machine and was trying to sew through layers of waxed canvas (my sewing machine was not happy about that). And then after using it, I decided to make changes. It originally was a messenger bag with a cotton webbing strap, and the lining was ripstop nylon with pockets on the front and the back. I switched to the backpack layout, made new straps with waxed canvas, and replaced the lining with a basic cotton and eliminated the back pockets. I’m SO glad I made those changes because it’s much more functional now.
Another piece that I made that is well loved is the Avery scarf I made a few years ago. My mom had gone on a trip to Scotland, and I asked her to please please please bring me some yarn back and she brought back two skeins! It’s definitely the crunchiest wool item that I have and it totally smells like wet sheep if it gets damp. But that scarf has helped me survive some really cold Minnesota winters. When it’s -30 out, I don’t mess around. I pull out all my 100% wool items because it really does keep you warmer than anything else. I wasn’t sure what to think of the neutral tones at first, but now I love them tremendously. It goes with everything and is so cozy and is definitely a winter staple for me.
The last piece I will talk about is my Chrysanthemum mittens. (I don’t have a picture of them because I can’t find them right now! 😦 Oh no!) I started these one winter, and then starting putting them of because I figured winter was almost over and I wouldn’t be able to wear them anyway. Well the joke was on me because that year we got snow in May. IN MAY! Two years after that I finally finished the thumb that I had never gotten around to knitting (yeah for 2 years all I had left was ONE THUMB), and blocked them and they were wonderful! I love them so much and the bring a little bit of happy and pretty to the otherwise seemingly never ending winter. I also knit them from 100% wool, and as I’ve mentioned, that’s pretty crucial in places where it gets brutally cold. Plus it’s nice to impress people when they compliment your mittens and you say you made them.
So I am the queen of not getting presents done on time. I’m sorry friends and family. I am finally catching up on stuff, so here’s some belated mitts.
I made these for my mom for Christmas. And if you want to know how much I hate finishing projects, I actually had these completely done and just needed to weave in loose ends and only just got around to finishing them. They look kind of lumpy in the picture, but trust me they look like normal fingerless gloves when they’re one. These were super fun to make, they’re quick and easy, but they have a few different kinds of stitches to keep you interested. Plus it’s a free pattern!
These were supposed to be given to my brother for his birthday, and they are the second pair I’ve made for him. Through a series of unfortunate events, his first pair that he actually really liked are gone, so he asked me to make a second pair for his birthday, even though his birthday is in June. I thought I could get by with just one skein because I thought I had leftovers from the last pair I made him, but I accidentally ordered a different color. That’s what I get for not saving labels. So hence, the stripe in order to save the main color a little bit.
I’ve been finishing up some other things, so I’ll be posting more soon. But here are the Ravelry pages for my mom’s mitts and my brother’s if you want to see some details.