I Dream Of Crafting Blog

the super cool stuff I make

Bobbins Magazine March 2, 2010

Filed under: Knitting,Pattern — IDreamofCrafts @ 1:58 pm
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Bobbins Magazine - Buy one for everyone you know!Bobbins Magazine is an awesome knitting/crafting magazine recently published by Rubbish Knitter (don’t let the name fool you, she is far from a rubbish knitter).

There are knitting patterns, book reviews, including one by me, a recipe, a tatting pattern, and other useful articles.  No need to feel embarrassed by your ridiculous crafting mishaps because Bobbins even includes stories of massive craft fails.  If you need help reading a yarn ball band, working out how much yarn you need for a pattern, and/or like ginger cupcakes, buy Bobbins!

A few of the contributors include, audreym, Creating Misericordia and of course, Rubbish Knitter.

You can buy Bobbins online and get it shipped anywhere in the world, or buy it from the Cornerhouse shop in Manchester or Skeins in Glossop.

If you’re on Ravelry, join the Bobbins Group, follow Bobbins on Twitter, and become a Bobbins fan on Facebook.

 

Has it been a month? February 18, 2010

Filed under: Knitting,Pattern — IDreamofCrafts @ 7:46 pm
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I’ve just realised it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything, though it doesn’t mean I haven’t been a busy beaver.  In the last month I’ve knitted Mary Weaver’s Mrs Darcy Cardigan and a little iphone sock.

From the moment I saw the Mrs Darcy Cardigan, I envisioned it in a bright red, but my LYS didn’t have a suitable colour.  Then, I found Cascade 220’s Christmas Red (colorway 8895) online and decided it was perfect!  Although the pattern calls for 900 yards of yarn, a little over four hanks of Cascade 220, I only used three, so now I have enough to knit a little shrug as well.

I added some length to the cardigan and made a few modifications; it’s still a bit shorter than I like, but perfectly wearable.  If I were to make another one, I would either add a few more rows of garter stitch, or maybe seed stitch at the bottom as it rolls up a lot.  While the crochet border looks nice and stabilizes the bottom, it puts the button holes off a bit.

The modifications are as follows:

16 rows stocking stitch and 19 rows twisted rib.

4 buttons/buttonholes

twisted rib:
Row 1 (RS): k1tbl, p1 to end of row
Row 2 (WS): k1, p1tbl to end of row

Right Front (knit last 3 sts for button hole band)
1-3: Knit
4-7: st st
8: p to last 3 sts, k2tog, yo, k1
9-15: st st
16: p to last 3 sts, k2tog, yo, k1
17-19: st st
20: (WS) begin twisted rib
21-23: twisted rib
24: twisted rib to last 3 sts, k2tog, yo, k1
25-31: twisted rib
32: twisted rib to last 3 sts, k2tog, yo, k1
33-38: twisted rib
39: begin scoop neck decrease

Left Front (knit first 3 sts for button hole band)

1-3: knit
4-19: st st
20-38: twisted rib
39: scoop neck decrease

Back

1-3: knit
4-19: st st
20-38: twisted rib

I haven’t got buttons for it yet, but it looks nice kept open and the sleeves and armholes are quite tight, so I’m not in a massive rush.  It also knit up really quickly, I just lost steam on the last sleeve and got distracted by the iphone (it was my husband’s Valentine’s present).

For the iphone case, I used Jennifer Small’s robot chart, knit back and forth and stitched up the side and bottom.

It stretches awkwardly because I used intarsia and there’s quite a bit of a difference in the yarns I used (King Cole Zig Zag and a random Secret Santa black).  It’s still better than a rip-off, store bought iphone sock.

 

Keeping Warm this Winter January 17, 2010

Filed under: Events,Knitting — IDreamofCrafts @ 6:05 pm
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If you’re in the Manchester area, there is a great opportunity to knit for the homeless on Sunday 24th January 2010 between 2-8pm at the Nexus Art Cafe.

The event is all about knitting scarves, hats and gloves for the homeless people who give out The Big Issue on the streets of Manchester. It doesn’t matter if you cannot Knit, just come along, show your support and we shall show you how!

The Nexus Art Cafe is in the Northern Quarter on Dale Street, just off Oldham Street; it’s a super cozy venue, especially for knitting.

Anyone that has made a New Years Resolution to get rid of some of your stash, this is a great way and reason to do so.

On a different note, I finally finished the Springtime Bandit shawl/bandit scarf!  The reason it’s taken me so long to finish is because after I added a 5th body pattern repeat, I thought I might run out of yarn.  Turns out, it was too short and I had plenty of yarn left over, so I ripped it back, but it was too much effort trying to pick up all the stitches, so I frogged it and started over.  By this time, Christmas crafts got in the way so I had to put it aside until the new year.

This is a great pattern for a first shawl and/or as an introduction to lace.  It knits up really quickly and it’s easy to remember the pattern once you get going.  I would definitely make one again in the called for worsted weight, but this is only a personal choice mainly because I got really bored with the body pattern after the 5th repeat.  The Dream in Color Stardust is so wonderful and perfect for this project, it was totally worth the boredom, frogging and extra time.  The sparkles are amazing and catch my eye when I walk past it in my flat or catch a glimpse in a mirror.  The pictures really don’t do it justice.

After spilling coffee on my Owling Fingerless Gloves at work, I’ve decided to make a work-friendly pair of fingerless gloves, Heart to Heart, out of Twileys of Stamford Freedom Gorgeous and Patons Smoothie DK.  The Freedom Gorgeous is 75% Bamboo, 25% Nylon and the Patons Smoothie is 100% Acrylic (very surprising because it’s really not horrible and cheap looking).

Despite the coffee spill, my Owlings are fine, but when I washed them, they made my bathroom and hallway smell horrible for the day and a half it took to dry out.  So, something more durable is required for everyday wear and tear, plus, they’re cute and I love hearts.

 

Christmas, New Years, etc. January 3, 2010

Merry Belated Christmas & New Year!  Christmas presents have been completed, which took a while since I was mailing some and decided not to bother with the post office until after Christmas.  But now that all presents have been received, here they are:

For my mom, I made Woolly Wormhead’s Mayrose hat in King Cole Mirage.  The stripes in the yarn worked out really well with the pattern and each stripe worked out almost perfectly with swirly pattern repeat.  It was hard to part with once I finished, but I have enough from the left-overs to make another for myself.*

I also made cross stitches, which seem to require a lot of explaining to everyone except the recipients.

This is a Buffy cross stitch from the episode Hush in Season 4 where Giles is telling the story of the Gentleman via drawn pictures on an overhead projector because everyone lost their voices.  Here is the original picture from the show:

The pattern came from a fellow Buffy Swap participant on Ravelry, so I can’t take credit for the awesomeness of the pattern.  The cross stitch was for my BFF and she put it on a book shelf in her living room at the cost of looking like a psycho to everyone but me.  Although, it might prove to be an excellent conversation starter.

My husband is a big Alan Partridge fan, so I attempted to recreate his face for this cross stitch – it could be worse.  Sadly, but not surprising, it would appear that Americans are not familiar with Alan Partridge, so the reaction I got from people at home could be summed up with, ‘Why is that man shouting Jurassic Park?’  Fortunately, my husband really likes it and could tell it was Alan Partridge and not just some man shouting ‘Jurassic Park.’

The Brokeback Mountain cross stitch was for my other BFF.  There are too many layers of inside jokes to explain and make sense of to someone who doesn’t know us, but I’m really pleased with the result, all inside jokes aside.

I also had time to make a hat for myself over the Holidays.  The husband and I were surprised treated to a trip to Chicago to visit some family, so I whipped up Woolly Wormhead’s Everglade hat in, big surprise, King Cole Mirage!  As the weather in Chicago is significantly colder than VA Beach in December, a warm hat was needed.

I also made my dad some Illini pajama bottoms, but forgot to take a picture of them; you would probably just be blinded by the bright orange anyway.

I don’t ever make New Year’s resolutions, but I’m going to kick off 2010 by only knitting from my stash and completing unfinished projects.  This isn’t a year-long resolution, but when the lease on our flat is up in 6 months, it would be nice if I didn’t have so much yarn to move.  Wish me luck!

*I feel like I should say that I don’t do mother-daughter outfits.  I probably wouldn’t make one for myself, except that I know we won’t accidentally wear them out together since we live on different continents.

 

A Handmade Christmas – Some Free Patterns December 13, 2009

Filed under: Knitting,Pattern,Sewing,Uncategorized — IDreamofCrafts @ 9:40 pm
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As Christmas is quickly approaching, I thought I would pass along some good free pattern/project sources to make handmade gifts.  I’m a big fan of  handmade gifts because they make for a nice personal touch and can be much cheaper than store bought.  So, these are the websites I use the most when I’m looking for free patterns and gifts ideas.

Amy Butler Design has some great free sewing patterns, a lot of them are quilts, but there are also some cute cushion and wall hanging patterns.  She also has some free paper craft patterns for cards and gift tags.

Jo-Ann has a whole project section with a large variety of craft projects.  They are generally pretty simple and the quality ranges from ‘that s**t looks homesewn’ to pretty cute.

I think the point of About.com is to get money from advertising, but whenever I type in ‘free’ it’s the site that usually comes up on the first Google page.  A lot of the projects are pretty common sense and the quality is generally ‘that s**t looks homesewn’; it’s really more of a ‘How To’ than a pattern, but it’s good if you are afraid, or don’t like to create your own pattern and want something simple like a basic bag, pot holder or apron.  I’ve also gotten free cross stitch patterns and knitting patterns from About.com, so there are a lot of other free things you can find on the site.

I also use Burda Style, but last year they stopped offering free patterns and changed the format, so I don’t really like it any more.  Nevertheless, it is a good source for patterns, there are very good tutorials and you can get a lot of great ideas from other user’s projects.  There are still free patterns, but as they are submitted by the users, they aren’t always good.

If you knit but aren’t on Ravelry, Knitting Pattern Central is an excellent source for free knitting patterns.

Hopefully this helps with your gifting this holiday, especially if you’re uber cheap like me.

 

Why I Hate Poetry November 22, 2009

Filed under: Events,Knitting — IDreamofCrafts @ 11:03 pm
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Can you spot the difference in these two pictures?

Picture A

Picture B

Admittedly, it’s hard to tell from the pictures and the colours are very similar, but it’s the letter ‘W’ in ‘Towering.’  Picture B has the letter I knit, which I saw in the reject pile at the Poetry Society’s Manchester viewing of the final knit poem.

Notice the 'W' in 'Towering' that is not sewn onto the poem

I  understand that more letters than needed were probably allocated in case people dropped out etc.   So, I would just like to start off by saying, thank you Poetry Society for wasting several hours of my life knitting that letter!

This afternoon, while my friends were pointing out their knitted letters with pride, I got to point to my letter in the reject pile and say, there’s my letter.  There was no pride in my voice, in case you’re wondering.  In fact, before I saw my letter in the reject pile, someone said, ‘The people who knit the letters over there must be gutted.’  That statement is correct.

For this letter, Poetry Society, I couldn’t even use up yarn in my stash because I didn’t have 100% double-knit for your oh-so-strict 100% wool, intarsia only knitting project.  And, Poetry Society, I’ll be damned if that bright red ‘T’ in ‘The’ is 100% wool because it looks cheap and horrible, like 100% acrylic often does.  There are also quite a few ‘N’s that were sewn on upside down and it looks ridiculous.  Not that I’m bitter or anything.

If I would have known my letter would end up in the reject pile, I would have at least asked for the letter ‘A’ so I could have taken it home with me today to dress as Hester Prynne for a costume party.  Because after today, I will always choose novels over poetry.

And that is why I now hate poetry.

 

I Remembered Remembered the 5th Nov! November 5, 2009

Filed under: Knitting — IDreamofCrafts @ 5:08 pm
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Big Ben/Parliment

Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

I remembered Guy Fawkes Day this morning on my own for the first time in 3 years!  It would appear that I am assimilating.

Last week I was in London, which is when the Big Ben/Parliament picture was taken, and bought some fantastic sparkly yarn, Stardust Dream in Color “Experimentals” from I Knit London.

Stardust Dream in Color

Dream in Color Stardust - Vintage Violet

The picture doesn’t really do the colour, or the silver flecks, any justice, but my digital camera is out-of-order, so I’ve been using the camera phone.  It is really gorgeous; the silver nylon sparkles are very subtle and glimmer really  nicely under the light without the ‘Holy glitter!’ reaction.

I bought Dream in Color to use for Springtime Bandit by Kate Gagnon Osborn.  I’ve wanted to knit this shawl for several weeks, but hadn’t found the right yarn until I walked into I Knit London and saw the hank of purple Dream in Color.

I started Springtime Bandit yesterday and the yarn knits up really nicely.  There are a few problems with the pattern, mainly the crochet Cast-On, which can be substituted, with the same effect, by casting on 2 stitches.  Then knit those first 2 stitches of the row and add 1 stitch at the beginning of each knit row by knitting through the back loop until there are 7 stitches.

Springtime Bandit

The Beginnings of Springtime Bandit

Also, the instructions don’t include the 2 edge stitches (4 edge stitches altogether), so when you finish the set-up chart, you actually have 55 stitches, not 51 like the instructions say.  I completed the first few rows of the body chart and the 55 stitches worked out with the pattern.

I also spent close to an hour looking up Ravelry advise on the pattern and it seems that several people casted on using the ktbl method to get 7 stitches and other people also verified that the 55 stitches is correct.  Other advise included substituting the SKP with SSK, which has the same effect, but I don’t think the SKP is any more or less difficult than SSK; it’s just a matter of preference to get the left slanting decrease.  If I have any more mods by the time I finish, I will be sure to post them.

Other recent projects include fingerless mittens for my sis-in-law and myself.  For the sis-in-law, these grey mittens from Knitty.com called Fetching by Cheryl Niamath.  I used the Sirdar Aran Super Wash we used for the MacMillan Cancer Blanket.

Fetching Fingerless Gloves

I also made myself some Owling Fingerless Gloves with Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK.  I only had one skein, so was concerned that I wouldn’t have enough, and took out one owl pattern (40 stitches casted on instead of 45) and they are a perfect fit.  It’s also done wonders for my self-esteem as it’s not very often I get to decrease the size to fit!

Owling Fingerless Gloves

Owling Fingerless Gloves

I loved knitting with the Alpaca Silk and the yarn is so soft and squishy and warm!  As I was knitting them, I swear the yarn smelled of jasmine, my favourite scent, but I was just imagining that because the yarn was so soft and lovely.  They don’t smell so nice now that they’ve gotten wet from the horrible Manchester weather.  Boo Winter!