Category: knitting

weeks 337-338

Two weeks later. So many thoughts going through my head. Hopefully, wherever you are, reading this, that you’re safe and sound. Until the beginning of this week, I couldn’t focus on anything. Still can’t focus on anything for long periods of time but am slowly returning to being able to cope in my own way. It’s just an odd time as the whole world is affected.

Some knitting happened. I’m using up the yarns my cousin gave me, and adding a bit of white. This is only half of one of them.

Purple knitted back with a row of white

So…spent the last three days, on and off, trying to open a jar of gesso. Alternately used a hairdryer and tried to pry it open with a nail file. Neither worked. Then, finally caved and ran hot water over the container for two minutes. I recorded my reaction because frustration and was so relieved, when it finally opened.

Canvases. One layer of white gesso on left, leftover dyed canvas on right

One layer of gesso on the left canvas. Also I applied some of the gesso while it was on the glass. Luckily the dried on gesso easily came off.

I’m starting to return to clothing. Also, I know it’s cost effect for patternmakers to do this for books, but trying to trace the pattern pieces needed was a bit confusing. (The bit of hair at the bottom is Dylan.) Fyi, all the hospitals near me refuse handmade masks and I don’t have anything they truly need to donate to them.

weeks 325-327

Christmas and New Year’s has passed and we’ve rolled into 2020. I planned on posting on New Year’s Day but between December 30 to January 1 was an emotional rollercoaster. If we’re going to continue into the year, from what was happening at midnight, in two separate time zones. According to Brisbane time, I’m going to be angry and it will be full of misunderstandings, and I will definitely be single by the time the days reset to one when 2021 comes. (By the way, him and his family is safe, away from the fires.) According to California time, it will be listening to music and struggling through emails, and not single, maybe. So, I guess it will start off rocky then smooth out towards the end. I just want to be less stressed out about everything.

I didn’t get much done between that limbo space of Christmas and New Year’s because, really, the rare person does. After the year reset, I’ve decided that I need to do things a bit differently. Every month I will start and finish a project. Instead of having multiple projects going on at once and quite a few unfinished, it will be easier to focus on fewer. Three seems like a good number, instead of indefinite. I also need to finish the various other WIPs. So, instead of starting more, I need to play catch up.

I’ve been wanting to make a tulle circle skirt since my son turned nine. And finally got brave enough to pull out a certain fabric that’s been sitting on a hanger in one closet. The end goal has always been a dress. And I’m nearly at completion. I didn’t use a pattern, drafting pieces using my measurements, and it’s coming out nicer than I hoped. Either way, I’m crying at the result. I didn’t feel like fussing with buttons or zippers, so made it slightly larger so I’m not struggling pulling it on and off, because none of the material is stretchy.

Top of lace dress
Skirt, hem trimmed but not fix

I need to fix the neckline then attach the skirt to the top then fix the six (lace, four of tulle, and lining) skirt layers.

The funny thing is a few times, while it was in the closet, I would whisper to it,”Soon, my precious.” This month I saw a hashtag on Instagram #sewtheprecious which is to celebrate the special fabric you’ve bought and stashed, to actually use it so you can wear it.

The next project after this is the red velvet suit, which I want to wear on my birthday in April. Perhaps with a fascinator. Still want to wear a sequin shirt with it but will most likely be something else.

Not much else beyond focusing on the dress, but in the process of frogging the purple pullover. I didn’t make it big enough for my shoulders, which is the widest part of me. Shoulders should not be four inches wider than my hips but my body is my body. Top down evades me, so always start bottom upwards.

Purple yarn being turned back into cake form

weeks 322-324

This blog is turning into the Once a Month project, geez. Not sure why I haven’t been blogging weekly, but it probably has something to do with wanting to do other stuff than looking at a blank laptop screen. Haven’t done much writing either.

One weekend was spent crocheting a long red circular scarf, and finished it quicker than expected. Planned on taking photos wearing it along with various people with me, but didn’t get that far.

Black scarf on left, Red crochet scarf on the right

I’ve made progress on a few other things.

The orange vest needs the button placket done, and have put them on straights.

Using up all the purple yarns in my stash, and some grey to make a top. It’s top down, with the top crochet then the rest is knit.

I counted the stitches and it’s 312 for sleeves and main body.

Purple yarns,  minus the grey yarn

Oh a few more rows of moss stitch (on an odd numbered row) on the blue pullover, so about three inches done. Two more inches before stockinette stitch.

Then there is this future scarf. It will include knitting and crochet. It’s stockinette until that yarn is over then switching colours, then repeat for the other side.

Oh, and I got fabric for a future suit. The outside will be a dark red, while the inside is a heavily pink coral taffeta. I have so many sewing projects that need to be finished ASAP but still want to start this as soon as possible. My goal is a gorgeous dress and this velvet suit; at least one by Valentine’s Day and most by my birthday in April. Still need to buy interfacing and lining for the dress.

Coral two tone taffeta and dark red velvet fabrics

I did a bit of baking over the past weekend and plan on making more next weekend. Just have to remember to buy more Molasses. Icing biscuits has become a bit easier. There is this baker who is local, that basically told me, don’t follow the directions on the Wilton container, but mix the confectioners sugar and meringue powder together then add the water and mix until stiff peaks, then add tiny bits more water, this isn’t including the gel colouring, according to whether it’s for outlining or flood icing.

Badly iced sugar wreath and fish shaped biscuits

weeks 320-321

I’ve come down with a cold this week and it sucks, so posting this from the phone, while forcing myself to rest, although it’s impossible to sit or lie there and do absolutely nothing.

Made a wide cowl, or infinity scarf. Black yarn is a pain to work with but luckily it wasn’t also laceweight mohair or alpaca. I want to make a mohair sweater and add pearls then add a layer of tulle at the bottom but have so many things that need to be done before getting anywhere started on my dream sweater. Don’t have the yarn or any other material for it.

Black crochet infinity scarf

Some progress on the orange vest. Few more rows before binding off for the top, of the second front part.

Orange vest, second front progress

Had some time on my hands and decided to knit a simple scarf with that yarn I got the other week. I originally had it on straights but just reached for a circular pair and just doing regular stockinette

Simple  stockinette stitch scarf

Made another fascinator although it doesn’t exactly lay flat on angle against my head. Still have a load of ribbon flowers that were never used, so attached grey ribbon flowers to a felt base. Should have steamed the base so it was more rounded but it still looks nice.

Selfie with grey fascinator.  So many freckles on my face

weeks 318-319

So, I’ve been having issues keeping up with weekly posts because there are so many things that need to be done that don’t involve staring at a white screen. I’m sorry about that but lately, I’ve not been okay and distracting myself.

The big canvas is waiting, after four layers of gesso applied, but I’m unsure where to start. It’s hanging on the wall on thumbtacks waiting to be painted, because there is no other space to keep it. Areas are taped off but haven’t gone further than that.

blank canvas primed with four layers of gesso and taped up

In the meantime, I’m experimenting with paint and just doing awful small scale work and nothing’s really working. Even though if you really like colours and try to mash them together, there is no guarantee the end product will be good.

These two for example.

I love the green one, when it was just green, but the yellow brown on it makes it look horrible. Maybe if I stick gold glitter all over the poop yellow it might be better but the more I look at it, the more it’s horrible.

two canvasboard: left has yellow in the top half, the second one has green and yellow shapes, the yellow is over gold marker which came out brownish
yellow, pink, blue shapes that make no sense together

The one that started off promising is just as bad. I keep adding on to it in hopes it would look better, but gets worse. The blue lines are tape and have been removed but it’s just poo. How does one destroy canvasboard?

The black bit in the yarnbowl has grown a few more rows, but still looks the same.

That’s what’s mostly been done these past two(ish) weeks.

Started again on the orange vest or cardigan. If there is leftover yarn, I’m going to knit a hat for Dylan.

finished orange front panel and back for vest or cardigan

weeks 315-317

These past three weeks have been extremely unproductive. Especially last week, for personal reasons.

I’ve started another crochet shawl, and have started and frogged twice. Erratic crafting leads to questioning your decision making.

It looks okay now so will continue with this.

black crochet shawl, beginning

I picked up the oddly cabled colourful cardigan again, and knitting the shoulders before binding them off. I still have sleeves to knit, then the bit for the buttons and not buttons. Used a small needle, because those needles are being used for something else. I’ve decided the rest of the year will be spent finishing up as many projects as possible. There’s too many, and really need to stop starting too many to handle.

one shoulder knit seam

Finally applied the last layer of gesso, using a brush. I applied three layers of gesso with a roller and it didn’t full cover it, as patches of the canvas peeked through.

It took longer to open the container, than apply the fourth layer. The hairdryer trick worked except it happened after watching the episode of SNL with Chance the Rapper and alternating between the hairdryer and an X-acto knife. The episode was over for two minutes before I was able to open it successfully. And after using it, I closed the container without wiping off the excess on the lid, so will have to do it again, when I next need to apply gesso.

gesso canvas

Finally put the small weavings in a frame. The white background was glaring, so washed a layer of pale grey on the white.

small weavings framed

weeks 309-311

I purposely didn’t post anything for the past two weeks. First, I was focused on making sure every bit of paperwork was turned in for Dylan’s triannual IEP last Friday. That, and have been working on a dress and wanted to finish it before posting anything about it, but it’s not finished and I’m still going to post about it since I’m nearing the finish line.

Various projects have weaved in and out of my hands.

The knitted vest, I’ve reached the point where I start binding off various stitches for one front panel, and keep calculating how much to bind off on each side.

orange knit vest back, with one of the front panels

While waiting for something to happen, wanted to keep my hands busy. It was circular but the stitches were twisted. Ended up frogging that, only to start this. I’m going to use this yarn and experiment, so unsure what the end result will be.

starting of another knittng project

Yet another thing to use up yarn, I started crocheting a shawl, but have since picked up stitches and want to either make cables or lace. This picture was (obviously) taken before transferring it onto knitting needles.

So..the dress. I’m a very avid Instagram user and post regularly. Sometimes every day, sometimes much less. Peppermint Magazine had a long-running stint with a company called In The Folds and I had one of their free patterns, #peppermintpeplumtop, as something I was following. Of course, myself likes to make things more complicated.

First of all, I prefer sleeves to sleeveless. I wanted to try my hand in making the top. I was using the top as an excuse to relax, and instead stressed out more and just kept adding steps to the whole process, which please don’t do that. I made the top into a dress and made a lining for the dress, which is way more than a simple sleeveless top with a ruffled bottom. I didn’t properly measure how long for the ruffle, and at first it was way more fabric than I can handle, so ended up taking off about three inches on each side, which made it much more manageable. Also, added a really long belt and some belt loops, although one got partially mangled while sewing the skirt to the top. I didn’t add any interfacing so it probably won’t last as long as it possibly can, but it still looks amazing.

This is what it looks like, as it is now. I have to sew the necklines together then the sleeve hems, hang it for a day or two, then hem the skirts separately. There is a picture of the dress, before sewing any of the lining together on my Instagram feed, along with a lot of pictures of the process, and I’m pretty chuffed about it. This is a horribly blurry photo but there isn’t much space between where it hung and where I stood. I’m not a selfie blaster that takes hundreds of pictures at a time, and will take up to five and usually the first one is the good one. In this case, also. It does look like it needs a bit of the lining trimmed but that’ll be after everything is sewn up.

By the way, I have about enough material to make one more top. And maybe that scene from Garden State, which has yet to be done.

dress hanging on a hanger with the inside lining on the outside