Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sweater success

About a month or so ago I started my first knitted sweater. I started knitting with the goal of making clothes and I'm so happy that I made it. I found the Mandy cardigan on Knit Picks and after reading some reviews on Ravelry I decided to give it a go. 

It was a pretty easy pattern to follow, especially for a beginner. I finished it a couple weeks over my spring break. I'm pretty happy how it turned out. It is a really light and breezy sweater. I had fun and learned a lot in the process of knitting this up. I have to admit that once I got into the sleeves I was ready to be done with it. I can't wait until the weather warms up a little and I can start to wear it out and about. 

Have you finished any projects lately?
Jess

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It looks a little bit like a sweater.

After finishing my hats I was itching to start my sweater. I have been working feverishly on it the last 2-3 weeks. It was a little hairy getting started. I had to start over once because I really screwed up the shoulder detail. Other than that it has been pretty smooth sailing, a couple little hiccups but they are pretty small (and hopefully unnoticeable, I think they are). 


Now that it is looking more like an actual sweater, I've been a little obsessed with wearing it. (Hopefully that isn't weird, haha) The more I work on it the more anxious I'm getting with wanting it to be finished so I can wear it. It seems to fit pretty well so far. I did have a dream that I finished it and when I put it on it was all kinds of crazy. I'm crossing my fingers that doesn't happen. My goal over my spring break is to finish it and maybe start my next project.

What have you been working on lately?
Jess

Friday, March 14, 2014

A hat knitting fool


I've been trying to find some knitting projects that will take me down the road to knitting a sweater. That's my ultimate goal, and I am determined to reach it. I found this hat from on Pinterest and really liked the scalloped stripes. The blog was in Dutch and the little bit that Google translated seemed that the pattern was for a child's hat. So I took to Ravelry and found the Varia hat from Dull Roar. In a split second I added that pattern to my cart and the next day headed out to the yarn shop. I decided on Cascade Pacific because it was easy to take care of and it's super soft and plush. I started on my hat that night. I was a little nervous about the color change. I had no idea how to do it, and charts in patterns freak me out. I worked the first band pretty quickly and saved the rest for a craft day, aka Crafterday, I had planned with a couple of girlfriends. My friend Hillary is a more experienced knitter than me and figured that she could help me. It was actually really easy. I finished the entire hat in only a couple days. It was so easy and fun to make!

This is actually the second  and third one I made because the first one was the wrong size and way too big. I decided to add a pom pom to the top cause who doesn't love a pom pom? I feel like Edward Scissorhands when I trim it. Maybe next time I'll try some topiary with them. My hat seems a little bit floppier than in the pattern picture. I don't know if it's the addition of the pom pom or if my gauge was off. I measured it but I don't really know what I'm doing so it's a definite possibility that gauge is the problem. My hat was hardly off my needles and my sister requested a hat for herself. She wanted a purple pom pom instead and I kind of like it better than the beige one on mine. I've made 3 so far and could probably get another one out of the yarn I bought, the pattern doesn't use much at all. It was so fun to make I ordered Weekend Hats in hopes of making some more.My next project is the Mandy Cardigan in a pretty gray/purple color.Wish me luck!

Jess  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

An actual finished knitting project!

 I have been wanting to get on the knitting bandwagon for quite a while now. I drool over all the beautiful sweaters, shawls, and accesories wishing that I could make the same items. I was always afraid to take the leap from crocheting to knitting. I was mostly scared of mistakes and not being able to just pull the stitches out easily and try again. Mark bought me some knitting classes for Christmas a year or so ago and I really enjoyed it. I started umpteen little projects that I never finished and just hoarded patterns of things I hoped to make one day. I think that I was wishing that I would magically become an amazing knitter and beautiful items would just fly off my needles effortlessly. Unfortunately I don't live in a perfect world and the only way to get there was to start an actual project and gain some experience. My sister, Tracy, bought me some yarn this Christmas and I decided that with one ball I was going to knit and actually finish a project. After browsing through my stacks of saved patterns I decided on this scarf. Purl Bee has the most lovely patterns and this one seemed pretty basic for a beginner. It took me a few tries, needless to say I have gotten really good at long tail cast on. After I figured out that I need to slow down and take my time with this new craft things went much more smoothly. Believe it or not, I finished my first real knitting project!! I was so excited that I finished and it looked like the picture in the pattern.

I used Lion Brand bulky yarn. I wish my wallet allowed me to use the Purl Bee yarn suggested but that will have to come after my days as a student. I bought some Soak wash and it softened it up quite a bit and it smells really nice and light. It's a cozy scarf that is nice to wear under a jacket since there is no bulk in the back. The short rows had me scratching my head a bit but after some you tube videos and my kitting book it didn't take too long to get the hang of it. I can see where I went from stockinette stitch to straight knit stitch. My purls are so much looser than my knits.  Now, I've been hit by the knitting bug and can't wait to get some more projects going.  

Have you tried any new crafts lately?
Jess

Monday, February 24, 2014

On a highway back to Olympia


Technically we were on the freeway, but that's neither here nor there. Last weekend my friend Heidi and I decided to take an overnight girls trip to Olympia, the state capital. It was really fun to get out of town a little and see some new sites. In true Washington fashion it rained the entire time. We did a little shopping before we went and visited the capitol building. We wanted to go to Bigelow House but unfortunately it was closed for the season. 

All the benches in the downtown area were all painted. These were a couple of my favorites. 

A couple of state buildings downtown.
It might make me a bad Washingtonian but I haven't been to the capitol building before. It was really beautiful. Everything was so ornate and detailed. Every time I looked there was something else to see. I knew it was a big building but I didn't realize how massive it actually was.
There was marble from floor to ceiling. It wasn't busy so Heidi and I snuck off and explored on our own, secretly hoping to be able to get in some where we shouldn't be. But we were foiled at every turn. 
Rumor has it that if you rub George Washington's nose then it will bring good luck. Let's hope it works.
Gallery. We were surprised how messy most of the desks were. I guess these guys know what their doing (in theory I guess).
After the capitol we headed back to the hotel to relax before getting some dinner. Then we just hung out and chatted that eventually lead to the usual dance party. With all the stresses that come along with school it was a nice weekend to forget, at least a little bit, about all that and have some fun. 
Jess









Friday, February 7, 2014

A cozy cowl


A while back some friends and I went to a new yarn shop that opened up. I knew that I wanted to crochet a big chunky scarf and found this pattern. I haven't really made anything for myself and never bought fancy yarn. I decided that I wanted to make something really nice for me, so this beautiful Malabrigo yarn was it. The second I saw and touched it I knew it had to be mine. It's so soft and plush!
The pattern itself was a little weird. It wasn't coming out as big as I wanted. So, I improvised a little so I could wrap it around a couple times. It was super easy to make, just alternating single and double crochets. It crocheted up really fast, I think it took me just an evening of my boyfriend playing video games to finish it. The nice thing was that the yarn is so bulky and variegated that if I made a mistake the yarn hid it and I didn't have to tear a bunch of stitches out. I'm a lazy crocheter like that. 
I really love how it turned out. I haven't worked with a variegated yarn before so I was a little nervous, but was really happy with the way it turned out. The colors are my favorite part, the blues and purples are so pretty.
It's been really cold here that last few days so I've been wearing it all the time. It was a nice little project that had a big payoff in the end. I hope to get to make more with this lovely yarn. 

Are you working on any cold weather projects?
Jess

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Secret Santa

Emma over at Life is Peachy put together a Secret Santa exchange this holiday and of course I jumped at the chance. I'm not going to lie that it was a little nerve wracking making something for a total stranger and hoping that they like it. We went through a really cold snap for a couple weeks so the only thing I could think of to make was something to help keep warm. I found this crochet finger-less gloves pattern over at Sandra Cherry Heart and I had an old ear warmer pattern that I cannot find online again for the life of me. I sent mine over to Katie in England. I found a cute little picture frame ornament and some Reese's trees. (Everyone knows that the holiday Reese's are the best!)

She just got them and I was so happy that she liked it! Whew. 

I got a really cool paper cut picture from Caro. I am always in awe of paper cutting. It's so intricate, I think that I would end up just ripping it to shreds.
I love how she personalized it with my name. I can't wait to hang it up. Thanks again so much. This was a really fun swap and I hope to do more in the future. If anyone is around Emma host a really great twitter chat-#craftblogclub on Tuesdays. Stop by and say hi.
Jess