Friday, January 29, 2016

Knitting: Cozy Winter Cowl 2

You can't just make one cozy cowl and not want to make another. When I knitted my sister's grey cowl, it was bigger than I thought it would be.  I decided to make another one for a friend who also lives downtown and walks everywhere.   I modified the Katy Cowl pattern by casting on 17 stitches instead of  22 stitches as recommended in the pattern.  I figured going down by 5 stitches would make the cowl closer to 8".  (I was right!!).

It was actually much nicer having only 17 stitches on the needles.  Again, I did a provisional-cast on.   I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in "Fisherman's Wharf".  It's such a nice creamy off-white colour.  An added perk of dropping 5 stitches is that I only used 2 skeins instead of 3.

It was late when I did my Kitchener stitches.   I couldn't find my needle so I wrapped the edge of the yarn with some tape and fished it through the live stitches.

Due to me sewing up the ends late at night, I didn't notice that the sides were a bit wonky.   In daylight, it was so obvious that I should have paid more attention to the sides. 

But handmade is still lovely, even with slight imperfections.

My friend said she loves the cowl (yay!).  You can see that this cowl is still bulky but not as big as the first one.

I think it's time for me to have my own, don't you think?   I'm sure it would keep me toasty for sledding at the pond.

Keep warm!
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

DIY Flannel Baby Raq Quilt

Last year, I made about 5 large rag quilts. I never posted about them because when I was done, I was done.  There was fluff everywhere!   I never thought I'd be making another rag quilt until I found out that my cousin and his wife were expecting their first baby (a boy!).  I love the idea of making something that could be a keepsake.

I played around with the flannel bolts at Fabricland until I found some designs that I liked.

Cut cut cut

What's the best combination? 

All sewn and it's time to bind it all up!

I snipped the edges using my Fiskars spring loaded scissors.  Best $12 I've ever spent!

I tossed it in the wash/dryer twice using the delicate cycle.  The front is ragged and the back is smooth.  This gives them some choice as to which side to use.

 I made sure to find some "Canadiana" prints.

And tested it out with the stuffies.

Mr. Octopus won some alone time on the quilt.

I included some care instructions for the quilt and some toy leashes for when baby boy is a little older.

The baby shower was in December so I couldn't post any pics at the time.  Check out the oversized Christmas ornament on the neighbour's front lawn.  Pretty cool!

Love babies,
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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cozy Winter Cowl

It's been a long time since I picked up knitting needles. The last thing I knit was a baby kimono for a girlfriend's baby shower.  That baby girl is now 8!

I probably wouldn't have picked up my knitting needles if not for the fact that we got some snow.   It's been weird seeing green grass for the last 3 months.  Of course the kids were so happy to see snow.  Even if it melted within 2 days (no no no!!), we were able to make a snowman and go sledding.

There's nothing like snowy weather to get me thinking of warm and woolly scarves.  So I decided to go to Michaels and pick up some yarn.  I bought some Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick (Grey Marble) after seeing the Katy Cowl pattern on Ravelry.

Since I can't control myself, I also bought these (and some more)

The cowl was very easy to knit.  However, in the 8 years that I haven't been knitting, there has been a lot of new stuff (for me) on youtube.  I learned how to do a provisional cast-on by iKnits.  Although the Katy Cowl pattern says to do a standard cast on, one Ravelry member said she did a provisional cast on.  I had no idea what that meant, but it sounded like she knew what she was talking about.  I googled it and realized again, how cool the internet is for crafters.   A provisional cast on allows you to have live stitches that you can knit from (or sew up) seamlessly.  The key word here is seamless! 

I used 10mm (size 15) needles as per the pattern but the yarn label suggested 9mm (size 13).   Since I usually ignore gauge (bad bad bad),  I was hoping it wouldn't be a problem since this was a cowl.

It was truly an easy knit but as I was measuring, I only measured for length.   It turns out that following the pattern without checking gauge made my cowl 1.5" wider.

I forgot to take pics of my grafting but trust me when I say, it looked fantastic!  Only I could tell where I joined the two ends thanks to this handy video:  how to do a Kitchener Stitch for garter stitches. 

Overall, I do still think the cowl turned out nicely.  It took 3 skeins to make and at 6oz/170g per skein, it's a bit heavy in my opinion.  Definitely too heavy for my little model.

I gave this one to my sister who walks everywhere because she lives downtown.  This is what it looked like on me.  Seems like there's so many ways this thing can wrap.

See what I mean?

Onto my next project!

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Goodbye 2015 and Hello 2016!

2015 has come and gone and it's been a great year. I wasn't sure what 2015 would be like, but it started off with me missing the new year's countdown because I was in the bathroom.   It's a running joke that at the last minute, I am always in the bathroom or wander off at the wrong time.

Here's what I did this year:
  1. DIY - I enjoyed crafting for the sake of making beautiful things.  Without the pressure of documenting and blogging, I could really be in the moment and enjoy myself.  
  2. DIY Home - 2015 was all about painting, organizing, and purging.   I am very happy with our progress - even though it seems never ending.  My favourite projects this year were all related to organization:  a large hall console, a locker system to help keep the kids organized, a DIY media console/wall to wall bookcase, and a newly painted room dedicated for my sewing projects. 
  3. Somewhat Regular Exercise - This is the year that I actually committed to working out 2 days a week.  For many months, it was more than 2 days.  However, my goal was 2 days to keep it realistic. 
  4. Volunteering - I applied/received a position as a voting member for my city's public art committee.  It's allowed me to be with like-minded individuals who wish to see that their public spaces include art.  I also volunteered at school for special events.
  5. Career/Education - While I was pondering my next steps, I was mindful to be true to myself.  If it didn't feel right, was it because of fear or because it wasn't right for me?  I took a career course, did online training in Photoshop and designed our Christmas cards. 
  6. Family - This year we went on vacation with my extended family.  There's nothing better than seeing my boys grow up with their cousins.
2015 ended with me almost missing the countdown again.  However, this time, hubby made sure that we stuck together and we ended the year with the countdown and a kiss.  I think 2016 is going to be a great year!

Note:  If you're thinking this post is a little late, you're right!  That's because we just "took down Christmas" and I wasn't able think about 2016 with 2015 all over my house. 

All the best for a fantastic 2016!

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