Thursday, 30 May 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like...




... a sweater? Meh. Maybe not, but give me another 1000 hours and it might!

Operation Cape Cod is underway. Not without some tears and frustration. Tinking (that's un-knitting for all you noobs) back 100 odd stitches not once, but twice, including lace and increases. That was surely a bitch pain.

But things are now going fairly swimmingly and if I could just increase my pace from 15 minutes per round (knitting in the round, not flat) then we might see this sweater completed this side of the current millennium. Yeeha!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

SEWN: Lookie what we have here...





What's that? What's that cool envelope thing there above? Why it's the result of my first ever SELF DRAFTED PATTERN! Squeeeeee! Too many caps? Sorry, I'm pretty chuffed right now.

Remember P put in an order for an iPad sleeve after my totes bonanza? Well here 'tis.

I kind of knew what I wanted right off the bat. I also knew it couldn't be too hard to work out and I really didn't want to get sucked into Google land for another several hours looking for a pattern. It seems like it'll make your life easier, but man, Google is like a vortex to me. It sucks time like no tomorrow. I find myself obsessing over finding the very best example of something I want to make rather than just getting the hell on with it.

So I got the hell on with it.





It's super simple - an envelope. One long piece of fabric folded twice and then sewn down. Well there's a bit more to it, but you get my drift. For this, I used a cool retro print Buzoku cotton duck and red drill lining. It's so tough to find masculine prints it's insane, but the stars aligned on this one and I came across this right away at my local Spotty.

I also used some Vilene Iron On Lightweight Fleece between the lining and outer fabric to give the case a little body and the iPad a teeny bit of protection. I'd have loved to use a magnetic snap to close the case, but you cannot find those things for love nor money at any fabric stores near me. So Velcro it was. Happy enough with this, but I would prefer the finish of a proper snap closure





The pattern turned out great, the iPad fits with a bit of extra wriggle room - essential, if like P you intend to throw in a wallet or phone from time to time. And best of all, P is stoked. Yay, me!

Now I'm off to make another special order ballerina tote bag. And that's it, I'm done with accessories for a while.

And my yarn arrived. Yippee! It's knittin' time.

Friday, 17 May 2013

SEWN: Totes crazy about totes!

Oh lord, the crafty bug has hit with a vengeance here at Casa SewJIllian.

Oooooh pretty
Can I just say I have never in my life been attracted to sewing "accessories"? It's just not me. I often feel that they end up looking home made, and that obviousness is not me at all. At least I try to ensure my makes do not appear cottage crafty, if you know what I mean?

But look what happened! Eek - it's a tote bag bonanza.


























I have been waiting this week on my yarn to arrive for my next project. And for the first time in a long time I've had a bad case of the itchy fingers. No, not some horrible form of dermatitis. An itch, an urge to create something.

I really am not much of a winter sewer. I'm not known for my patience with technical makes and I always see winter garments as way too demanding - think trousers and jeans, jackets and shirts, lions and tigers and bears oh my!

Waiting on this yarn gave me an idea. I seem to have found my winter craft groove... well at least for now. Knitting - makes perfect sense. It's cold, I want warm stuff, I'll knit it. And I love that knitting is totally portable. I can steal a moment on a train, waiting at M's ballet class, and just get on with it. Lovely...

But you know I'm gonna need something to tote around my knitting projects and associated paraphernalia. I'm kind of sick of using those ugly supermarket eco grocery bags. You know the ones I mean. Functional, but not that attractive. Enter stage left, a simple reversible tote.

I did think of simply drafting my own pattern (not that you really need one), but that earlier mentioned laziness set in and I found this tutorial. Super!

I used it as a basis for the two girly totes above. Both bags use drill and/or duck cotton as I wanted some stiffness and durability for these babies.

The Pucci inspired print is my knitting bag, lined with an awesome vintage couture newsprint fabric.


I also love me an internal pocket for keys/credit card/ tape measure etc, so I chopped out a square of the outer fabric to create a patch pocket for the lining.

The ballet print one is M's obvs. Upon seeing mine M demanded her own "library bag" and so it was done.

Check out that patch pocket. Awwww cute ballerina.









Happy model

Then the lovely P was so impressed he asked "How about a cool sleeve for my iPad". Well P, how could I say no? For this I think I'll draft my own pattern. Squeeeee!

And now I am totes toted out. Ok yarn, where the hell are ya?

Monday, 13 May 2013

KNIT: Oops, I did it again!

Thought this knitting lark was a passing fancy? Nah, I'm hooked. Get it, get it? "Hooked"! Ummm, actually that would be crocheting, and crocheting and I are not friends.

But me and knitting? We be buds, best buds, BFFs and everything.

So I was forced to do it again. A lovely Swirl Hat for my darling M's 3rd birthday. This was my first attempt at "lace" and it's surprisingly easy.



That there above is a pic of the blocking process. But it turns out that balloon was a bit too big and stretched out the pattern a little more than intended. It's lost some of its bounce, its zest for life, its all a bit flat really. So I'm gonna have to re-block. If I can get it off M's head...

Nawwww, how cute is that face?














She's really quite taken with it!


















Another success. Boo-yeah! And with that success firmly in hand, here goes.

Turn away now if you are a hard and fast sewist, only I'd hate to bore you.

Project number 3, an adult sized garment. A real actual piece of outerwear! The Cape Cod Sweater by Thea Colman. Well, I had my heart set on that and the yarn is in the post.... but I really don't wear pullovers very often. Sydney winters are just not cold enough and I tend to swelter. But now a cardigan, that's a different matter. I live in those babies, so what about the Miette by Andi Satterlund or Caramel by Isabell Kraemer? I do love me a good wrap cardi. Hmmmm, what do you think? 

You know there is a definite potential developing for me to become a winter knitter and summer sewist.

Oh, and all those links to the patterns are via Ravelry: an awesome site for connecting with other knitters and crocheters and a ridiculously amazing resource for all things knitting. I am not sponsored by the site, just personally recommending it.