Friday, February 05, 2016

DIY Heart Garland Version 2

A couple of years ago, I made a large felt heart garland. I liked it, but wasn't in love with it. I felt like the hearts were on the big side and I didn't like the way it hung. So rather than "suffer" with it, I decided to make the same garland with much smaller hearts.  I like it so much better.  I will admit though, it takes a bit longer to make because you have many more tiny hearts to cut out.  But the method used to make this garland is exactly the same.  Click here for the tutorial.

The felt is from Michaels and I used 9 different colours.  They had so many to choose from!  I picked lots of bright spring colours as it's still cold here in February and will be until at least the end of May.

 When you bunch it together, it's a nice squishy ball of felt.

Right now it's hanging on an hook, ready to be hung in the kitchen after Chinese New Year.

Happy "Early" Valentine's Day,
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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Knitting: GAP-tastic Cowl

It's the GAP-tastic Cowl and it's all mine!!

When people ask me, "what have you been doing?", I think "what haven't I been doing?"  I have a lot of time consuming hobbies - sewing, baking, cooking, knitting, home improvement, gardening, photoshop design, this blog, etc..    I've always got multiple things on the go.   Those who know me, know that sewing is my #1 stressor and stress reliever.  But, lately I've been turning to knitting.  I made the Katy Cowl twice - one for my sister and one for a friend.  While I really liked both of those cowls, I also wanted to try knitting in the round.

I decided to knit a cozy cable cowl designed by Purl Soho.   So pretty.  But in hindsight, not very practical for me.  This cowl was my downfall.   But unfortunately I didn't know it until I was more than half way through.

As I continued to knit, I noticed that the cowl was getting very big.  I tried it on and this is what it looked like and I was only half way through the pattern.

I began to wonder if I should stop.  I even made hubby try it on (which he did - xoxo).  It was hard to wear under my coat, but also hard to wear above my coat since I have a hood.

I decided to undo the cowl after I had a nightmare about it.  #2 got his hands on my yarn and left me this yarn snowman.  That gave me the push I needed to find another pattern.

Enter the GAPtastic cowl.  It's one of the most popular cowl patterns on Ravelry and the designer made it available as a free download.  Thank you!

Again, I used the Wool-Ease in grey marble with size 13 needles.  I used 10 less stitches than the pattern called for as I wanted my cowl to be closer to my neck.  I cast on using the long tail method with a 150" tail (24" left over after cast-on).

It was easy doing the seed stitch and it wasn't boring at all!

I was done very quickly and bound off using a regular bind off.

I do regret not doing a super stretchy cast-on/off.

My join in the round needs work, but my bind off in the round was well hidden.  I followed this tutorial on how to neaten the last stitch.

So there you have it.  A cowl for me!

It was perfect for our day outdoors at Winterfest this weekend.  Check out this cool ice sculpture!

Feeling cozy,
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Friday, January 29, 2016

Knitting Project: Cozy Winter Cowl 2

You can't just make one cozy cowl and not want to make another. When I knitted my sister's grey cowl, it was bigger than I thought it would be.  I decided to make another one for a friend who also lives downtown and walks everywhere.   I modified the Katy Cowl pattern by casting on 17 stitches instead of  22 stitches as recommended in the pattern.  I figured going down by 5 stitches would make the cowl closer to 8".  (I was right!!).

It was actually much nicer having only 17 stitches on the needles.  Again, I did a provisional-cast on.   I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in "Fisherman's Wharf".  It's such a nice creamy off-white colour.  An added perk of dropping 5 stitches is that I only used 2 skeins instead of 3.

It was late when I did my Kitchener stitches.   I couldn't find my needle so I wrapped the edge of the yarn with some tape and fished it through the live stitches.

Due to me sewing up the ends late at night, I didn't notice that the sides were a bit wonky.   In daylight, it was so obvious that I should have paid more attention to the sides. 

But handmade is still lovely, even with slight imperfections.

My friend said she loves the cowl (yay!).  You can see that this cowl is still bulky but not as big as the first one.

I think it's time for me to have my own, don't you think?   I'm sure it would keep me toasty for sledding at the pond.

Keep warm!
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