This purse came about because I was in one of those moods again like with the Pretty in Plaid Purse project ^-~ I saw this lavender printed canvas and had the urge to make a sweet, feminine little purse that had a darling shape. The word sakura is Japanese for cherry blossom, and it’s the first thing I think of when I see adorable springtime colors like this lavender. So I couldn’t help but want to adorn it with beautiful cherry blossom petals and flowers as if they were cascading down from the top of the purse. The purse is just big enough to hold the essentials, so it’s great for a casual date and would work perfectly in lots of different colors and patterns! I imagine a red and black version would look oh-so-sophisticated ^w^
Oooooh! Aren’t these just the fanciest things you ever did see? These are the Fingerless Gloves from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2009. Believe it or not, these gloves are made by knitting one large and one small star in the round, then sewing the points together into a shape that fits over one’s arms. I must admit they look a lot more complicated than they actually are – though they are still a bit complex.
I used Madelinetosh Pashmina yarn in Terrarium as a bit of a luxury splurge for myself. I’ve got an unhealthy relationship with Madelinetosh yarns. The color combinations of the handpainted yarns are so gorgeous, but so expensive ;A; Every once in a while I treat myself and buy a skein and sometimes the colors are as gorgeous as the picture and sometimes the store photo is a little misleading and the skeins aren’t so pretty. So I order the yarn again hoping for a better result and the never-ending cycle continues. While the gauge worked up to be exactly what the pattern called for, I thought the gloves turned out a little tight, so I would probably go with a stretchier yarn or larger needles next time. In addition, the skein was quite large, so I ended up with a ton of leftovers.
Vogue Knitting gives this pattern a full 4 out of 4 stars in difficulty, and even though the project goes really quickly, I would have to agree with them. The stars knit up fast, but they are a pain to work through. Like I mentioned, they’re knitted in the round, on double pointed needles, starting from a really small number of stitches for the center and working your way out. Once you get more stitches on the needles it’s not so hard, but those beginning rows are killer. I found it was easiest to work through them if I rested all my needles on a table and knitted that way rather than holding them up with my hands. Furthermore, they’re 5 pointed stars, which makes it difficult to keep track of how you’re repeating the pattern over the 3 needles. I would definitely suggest pattern markers and lots of them; it’s a little easy to get lost in the lace.
But, like I said, the stars are done in just a handful of rows, so the pain is over quickly. I personally probably spent 2 nights on these, and that was including starting over after the first star because I completely lost track of the lace pattern. As I mentioned, after the knitting is finished you’re left with 4 stars: 2 big and 2 small. The fact that they fit over your arm and hand seems almost arbitrary, as when you sew up the points and squeeze them over your hands it feels like it doesn’t belong. Your hands must work around the star shape, and not the other way around. Perhaps if I picked a yarn that was stretchier or at least bigger so the final outcome had a little more give it wouldn’t have felt that way. The main point here is the gloves are a little tight, and they’re a bit of a pain to squeeze into, but you wouldn’t know it when you finally see them on! They truly are a real show-stopper, and look incredibly fancy. Obviously they’re clearly not for warming your arms, but I can see these really topping off an eccentric outfit.
All in all, I would definitely make these again to see if I can get them to be more comfortable next time. If you can handle working in the round with double pointed needles and some confusing lace I would give them a shot. They’ll be finished before you know it and the pain won’t be too lasting.
It’s Miyazaki again! I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself >w< I started out with this fun dotted print and thought it would look adorable with some white contrast bits. I was particularly excited about the idea of corner patch pockets on the tote, and while I was doing white contrasts, the idea to incorporate the chibi Totoro came to mind. While I love big Totoro like crazy, the Susuwatari and chibi Totoro are my favorite characters from My Neighbor Totoro I think x3 I actually have a plush of a chibi Totoro myself that I keep on my desk. So I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put them on something. I think the finished tote is just the perfect size for a trip to the library or to the yarn store ^-^
Wow. This project took sooo incredibly long. But I think it was worth it. This is definitely one of those long time investment type projects. This project is the Anouschka Scarf from Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2010 issue. It’s a really cool looking scarf that has multiple looks depending on how you treat it. Pull on the inner cord and it scrunches up the bubbles into these lovely drapey ruffles, our leave the inner cord loose and you get to see the full waves of the bubbles.
I used Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace yarn in Gentle Violet, which just feels gorgeous because, again, it has alpaca, my favorite :B I had problems in getting enough yarn because I had to double strand to get the right gauge. I got about 2 balls, but then I planned to make the scarf shorter (again, being cheap). But I ended up completely running out of yarn before I could do the inner cord, so I ended up having to get a different color because the original was out of stock when I needed it! XD The second time around I went with Rowan Fine Lace in Era, which I thought matched nicely and added a nice contrast. I think if I had to do it all again I would save the effort in being cheap and just get more yarn than I thought I needed. That’s what yarn stashes are for, right? The yarns worked out very nicely with the pattern (notwithstanding the double stranding) even if I did have to use a ton of it
The general consensus at Ravelry is that this project gets a bit less than average on the difficulty scale. I would probably have to agree that the techniques asked for in this project aren’t so hard, but there are a few tricky parts to get past and of course the whole project takes an incredibly long time. The balloon pattern is made by working in the round from a very small size, then doing consistent increases (with yarn overs for the cute lacework detail) up to the full width of the balloon, then consistent decreases back down to the tiny circumference you see between the balloons. Those tiny circumferences are hard to work because they’re only about 12 stitches or so. It gave me a real headache. The largest part of the balloon was also a bit hard because there were so many stitches that they kept sliding off my needles. My needles were only so long, but evidently I needed longer ones The parts in between, however, are really relaxing. The consistent increases and decreases with stockinette stitch in between are perfect for working on while you’re waiting on things or during road trips. They bring some real zen, blood-pressure-decreasing moments.
I think the whole scarf is incredibly creative so I’m glad I took the plunge to make it. I imagine it would look so classy in just about any color, from bright to pastel, jewel-toned to neutral. But the biggest caveat of course is the amount of time it takes. I probably worked on this consistently every night for 1 to 2 hours, and I finished it in about a month. Just fair warning to those who are curious to try this scarf out. If you do, I wish you much patience and luck, and know that you’ll look so sophisticated when it’s done!
May the fourth be with you everyone! As all the nerds know, today is Star Wars Day, so I wanted to celebrate with this super-cute-squishy little Wampa plush I knew right away that I wanted to make a plush when I saw Star Wars day coming around, and while we’ve seen the classic characters in plush form all the time, I thought a stumpy little chibi Wampa with a bloody little arm was too good to pass up! The arm is even detachable for use in your own light saber battles ^w^
I made him with some long-pile minky that I had lying around that I thought suit him wonderfully; with just a scrap of red flannel and a sew-in snap, he came together perfectly!
Well, check this out I’ve gone steampunk! I realize despite my nerdishness that I’ve never actually gone out of my way to show how much I love steampunk. But here it is! Granted, this is a very simple rendition of my fandom, since I was limited to just using my scraps, but I’m glad I finally got to do something with an alternate-future flair ^-^ In truth, I’m a huge fan of old school science fiction and always have been from late elementary school, particularly H. G. Wells and Jules Verne. I love the whole aesthetic notion that high-tech science existed in the shadows of the Victorian world.
I’m so very glad that I was able to use up this scraps of fabric This bag is made from leftovers of a skirt I made back in early college, when I was going for this sort of bohemian look that didn’t quite pan out XD I always thought this faux suede was gorgeous and wanted to find the right use for it, but nothing ever came up because the scraps were too irregularly shaped. Beyond that, the fabric was incredibly hard to sew through despite being lightweight. It’s a strange sewing anomaly I encounter once in a while xB must have something to do with fiber content and thread count.
However, I think this turned out to be a really great looking messenger-style bag with a super-useful front pocket and awesome turn-lock closure. I hope you’ll give it a try with your favorite neo-Victorian fabric ^-~
Today I’ve got a tutorial that is meant to help out with tomorrow’s project! Consider it a little bit of a sneak peek to what it is ^-~
Most of the projects I create involve a lot of appliqué, a kind of embellishment that involves sewing small shapes of fabric to other, larger pieces of fabric. It’s probably my favorite kind of embellishment which is why I use it so much and it offers a lot of variations and options. However, it doesn’t always work with everything, and next favorite way of embellishing has to be with fabric paint. This method is a like a faux kind of screen printing, where you use freezer paper as a fabric stencil.
Whenever you see one of my patterns calling for an appliqué, a lot of the time you can swap it out for a freezer paper fabric paint stencil instead.