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I started these mittens on March 6. I know I keep telling you the dates of things, but this one is actually relevant. I started these mittens in March, okay? They took about three days, so they were finished in March. Keep that in mind. Also keep in mind the fact that I live in usually-fairly-temperate Northern Virginia.
We’d been having a particularly cold winter this year with a ton of snow–over a foot one day in February alone. Having lived my entire life in Virginia Beach and points south, I wasn’t really prepared for that amount of snow or how to deal with it. I didn’t have a pair of mittens that was insulated enough for snow. I did have a ton of nigh waterproof handspun and some cashmere yarn scraps, so I figured I’d make some shoveling mittens (IN MARCH) and put them away until the next winter.
I BLOODY GOT TO USE THEM. We got another huge whack of snow in mid-March (MARCH), so they got a workout shoveling some snow. They worked as intended, so that was nice.
We won’t even talk about when it briefly snowed again in mid-April. We just won’t.
Anyway, the mittens are fully lined in soft recycled cashmere. The lining is a sort of ridiculous Frankenstein patchwork of scraps cause I had a ton I wanted to use up. They look sort of ridiculous if you pull the lining out:
They are super soft though, which is nice because the yarn is not. I didn’t use a pattern or anything for them, by the way, just sort of made things up as I went, as usual.
Fortunately, spring seems to have finally arrived in these parts. Though like I said, it snowed in April. Just after Joe and I were discussing freak weather. He said (at the time) that the snow was probably finally done and I say that it bloody well snowed in April, so I don’t believe that for a hot second, and then it turned out I was right. Unfortunately.
But it’s spring now, finally. I think.
Anyone who knows my thrift shop habits knows I am incapable of leaving cashmere sweaters on the rack, especially if they’re cheap. As such, I’ve amassed quite a collection. Mostly even in the same color palette. So I made a blanket:
It is as soft as a cloud and nice and big. There’s no sense of scale in the above picture, but it is the size of my queen bed. Perfect for wrapping myself in in the dead of winter. Or when the AC is too high. Y’know.
I made some improvements from the last cashmere quilt I made. Instead of overlapping the squares, I put them right sides together and sewed a proper seam. I also used a straight stick instead of a zigzag. This actually seemed to reduce the amount of lettuce edge I got. I also used squares of varying sizes. This was accomplished by doing absolutely no measuring whatsoever. I basically cut the biggest square I could from each sweater piece.
Different sized squares meant I couldn’t really sew them into strips. I ended up doing some kind of wonky log cabin thing, at least until the blanket got wide enough. Then I pretty much just sewed strips the best I could. I sometimes had to get a little creative when I didn’t have any squares that were big enough.
I have a fair amount of leftover bits of cashmere. I might piece together a pair of mittens and a hat. I would make a pillow but I already have way too many pillows. I might offer what’s left when I’m out of things I want to make to the Unravelers group on Ravelry and someone can use it for whatever. And then I will snuggle the hell out of my blanket. SO SOFT.
Here at chez StitchBrinnStitch, it’s all FOs all the time. I’ve got another one today: woven project bags.
I started with this and dyed yarn, colorway Kara Thrace and her Special Destiny (a Battlestar Galactica reference) plus some recycled Shetland, held triple:
I wove it up into some fabric:
And sewed the fabric into bags:
Reed: 5.5 dpi
Yarn: my hand dyed and tripled recycled Shetland
Pattern: plain tabby weave
I really like making these bags. They are an excellent use of hand woven fabric and weaving is an excellent use of hand dyed yarn. The goal is to make a bunch and sell them. Actually this time. I have some more fabric to sew up and god knows I have more yarn to weave.
The lining on these particular bags matches really well thanks to all the yellow and is from a fitted cotton sheet I got at the thrift store. The yarn is all recycled too, which makes these super green, eco friendly bags. I think I will advertise them as such.
These bags are also the first things I finished for the Stash Dash craftalong over with The Knit Girllls. I finished them basically on the start date, but I’ve been so behind on blogging my finished objects, I’m just now showing them off. My Stash Dash page is here if you want to keep track of my progress toward 4k.
So here is my most accomplished weaving/sewing project so far (completed several days ago and not blogged yet because of no good reason).
Aww yeah. Brown yarn is recycled wool from the largest sweater ever and the blue is Columbia Minerva purchased at an estate sale. I used my Easy Weaver, meaning a six dent heddle. I’m not sure if you can buy other heddles for that loom. Though since it doesn’t have side rails, I guess I could use any short heddle.
The gusset/strap is my first attempt at log cabin, and it came out pretty well if I do say so myself. Another color technique in weaving that’s just as easy as people say. I haven’t yet done more log cabin, but I definitely intend to.
The bag isn’t lined (only because I don’t have any fabric that matches. I sense a large Connecting Threads order happening soon) but it does have a closure and one I’m pretty chuffed about. Simple twisted cord, which I twisted by hand, and a big button.
I have several more weaving FOs coming up soon. I am also knitting, but that’s rather slow-going unfortunately. In fannish news, Joe and I are reading the Jedi Academy trilogy and are almost done wIth the first one. I’m watching STTNG and I’ve just started season six. Also, I’m going to Florida for two weeks with my folks at the end of the month, so that’s happening.
So I win at thrift store. I just do. Let me tell you why. The other day, after reading a bunch of posts in the unravelers Ravelry group, I decided to go to Unique to look at the sweaters. I found a bunch and then, thinking of my budget, thought I should leave maybe. But I thought I’d buzz through the crafts section, and there on the bottom shelf was this beauty:
That is a Harrisville Easy Weaver, which the Woolery sells for $90. That is the original warp that comes with the loom, meaning it was never used (or, barely; there was about an inch of weaving I cut out and replaced to even out the warp). I PAID FIVE DOLLARS.
I KNOW. Incredible. So you know I wove that right up. Found some recycled wool/nylon fingering and got to work. Couple days later, I had about ten feet of rainbow scarf. Cause there’s enough warp for two child-sized scarves, which explains why it felt like it was taking forever. I ran it through the sewing machine and got this:
Aww yeah. Simple weave, sewed two lengths side by side with a zig zag stitch. It’s lined with the same pink fabric I used to line the other two bags.
The string is from a sweater I got on that same shopping trip. It’s silk cashmere. So there’s no way this bag is leaving my hands. Plus the sewing is a little shoddy so there’s that.
I’m currently experimenting with houndstooth on this loom. It really is as easy as people say: two warp threads of each color and two picks of each color. I have a scarf warped up currently. On Vergere (yes, named for the Star Wars character cause that’s how I roll), I’ve been weaving just fabric and figuring out what to do with it later. Probably mostly project bags cause they’re fast and easy. And maybe I can put some in the shop. Whoo, weaving!
OMG. YOU GUYS. My Doctor Who swap package. PREPARE TO BE AMAZED AND JEALOUS. Behold, my awesome haul from stafaniegk:
AHH WALL HANGING I LOVE IT. Check out this GQMF, Donna:
AHH A CLOCK. We so needed a clock. And of course I will tell people it’s half past David Tennent. BECAUSE YES.
CHECK OUT THESE BOXES. I love boxes. This are covered with Doctor Who goodness. The one on the right is entirely pictures from The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances. YAY. The boxes are from IKEA and I had to assemble them (which was… interesting). I’m highly amused that there’s a rivet that had to go through Rose’s temple:
All the doctors! I am going to store all the things. Inside this fab box was this:
Basically a billion cards (with envelopes!) all with Who quotes. SO MANY QUOTES. Inspiration for my next embroidery project. Will be sending cards to everyone I know. : )
Laminated copies of this pic. ADORABLE. Hello, new bookmarks.
And the best thing of all:
YOU GUYS, STEFANIE MADE ME GUESS WHO. IT’S GUESS DOCTOR WHO. AHH. I love it. Look at the little character cards:
And as if that wasn’t enough (which, Christ), she sent everything in this totally awesome box covered with Who pictures:
EVEN THE BOTTOM HAS PICTURES:
So yeah. All the things. I can’t even word you guys. I’m just stunned and so very grateful for the awesome people I get to swap with. Just… OMG.
As promised, here’s what I made for the Doctor Who Swap on Craftster I participated in:
Pattern: TARDIS socks
Yarn: Lion Brand Sock Ease and some white and black scraps
Needles: US 1/2.25mm
Modifications: Well, they’re mitts and not socks soo….
I’m pretty chuffed with how they came out. They were a bit large for my hands, but I have small hands.
I made this zipper pouch, the fabric of which you will recognize from the drawstring bag I made myself.
This drawing of the Doctor’s name from his cot in “A Good Man Goes to War” (the second part; can’t remember what that one’s called). I actually traced it from my computer screen, though I did sketch it out more fully on my own.
I painted a notebook to look like River’s spoiler journal and coated it with mod podge. I drew this on the inside front cover:
It says “Spoilers” in circular Galifreyan. I love it.
I also made a card, but I don’t have a picture of it. I signed my name in circular Galifreyan thought. : ) My package should arrive sometime next week (excite) and I will definitely show that off.
Next time: What I received in the yarnies vs. hoopers swap. Because it’s awesome.
Soo hi there! Sorry for the radio silence. Anyway, I can finally show off one of the super secret projects I’ve been working on. This past weekend the boy and I traveled up to Pittburgh for our friend’s wedding. And I, being the crafty sort, made her gift. It is totally geeky, like the newly weds. So yeah.
Yarn: 50/50 wool/acrylic blends recycled from sweaters in pink and black. Also some scraps of grey and a tiiiiny bit of blue.
Needles: US 8/5mm
Modifications: I started with the base then switched to pink to work from the bottom up. I also knit icord for the plunger and gun arms. My bobbles are also a bit smaller than written. There is floral gauge wire in the appendages. Oh, and I used slip stitches in the neck stripes bit to make it look more like a classic Dalek.
I’m kind of inordinately pleased with the eyestalk and the little blue bit. Yay.
If I were more clever, I would have included on the care tag (which I made later and did not photograph) some sort of “Exterminate” or Dalek pun buuuuut I’m not so I didn’t.
I also sewed up a drawstring bag to package everything in. Because wrapping paper is for people who don’t sew apparently. IDEK. Anyway.
So yeah. Wedding present times. Whoo! More knitting/crafting FOs soon, I promise.
SO WHO SAW THE DOCTOR WHO PREMIERE? ALL THE THOUGHTS. So brain is basically DOCTOR WHO OMG and also ROGUE SQUADRON OMG because the boyfriend is reading them to me and ALL MY FEELINGS. Anyway, I’ve been knitting on some super secret stuff so I can’t show that just yet. I can, however, show you some sewing I did yesterday.\
First I made this zipper pouch to replace my old Halloween-themed knitting notions bag:
Pretty simple and I managed not to fuck it up too badly which is great cause me + sewing usually = mistakes.
The next thing is a project bag that is AMAZING AND FANNISH:
AHH TARDIS FABRIC. Spoonflower had a deal recently for a free fat quarter with $1 shipping. So you know I was all over that. I also made an *ahem* super secret project and I had about a five inch square left over. So it became this:
TARDIS hoop! For the hoop wall/door, obviously. : )
So remember that stack of cashmere squares I showed you a couple of weeks (months?) ago? They’re now a patchwork blanket that is delightfully soft and amazing.
That’s a queen sized bed it’s draped over, and it’s a little skinnier and a little longer than my UMW t-shirt quilt. I have it laid out over my bed on top of the sheet and quilt for maximum contact while I lounge about knitting and watching Charmed, as I am wont to do on the weekends.
The colors don’t really go and the sewing is… uneven to say the least. My approach to sewing is the same as knitting: Make it up as I go; “good enough” really is good enough; if it’s horrible, hide it in the closet. My blanket is suuuuuper soft and I loooooove it.
I overlapped the squares and zigzag stitched them together into rows, then sewed the rows together. I think I used about ten sweaters? It’s a little bumpy cause I used a regular sewing needle (use a special needle for knits? HA! I say) and there’s definitely a bit of unevenness around the edges. I ran a line of zigzag stay stitching around the whole outside edge of the blanket so it couldn’t stretch too much. Here’s a close up of my crappy machine sewing:
It actually only took two days of marathon sewing to finish. I’d cut out the squares previously, sewed all the big rows together one day and finished the rest of the sewing the next day. AND a cold front just came in today and the temperature dropped 20 degress, so right in time, I say!