::Look what I’ve got on the mail::

A month ago or so I participated in Jessica’s giveaway for one of the 2 beautiful Braided Weave Belts she had made. She has the very creative blog Me Sew Crazy, where she shows her work as a sewist and crafter.

I love her work, so I decided to comment on the kids belts she was offering to give away and I won the navy blue!

It is beautifully made. I really like her idea of using thick rope or piping for the braid and the colour she used, a pretty navy blue, with the ends in a solid cream cotton, is a really nice combination. I am planning to give it to Little T., my niece in Toronto this afternoon, when we will be celebrating her 5th birthday, as one of her presents.

Visiting crafters’ blogs, who are also mums, always inspire me to make stuff for kids and babies, which I love! And with Spring coming soon to Toronto -well… yeah… officially it IS Spring, but we have a chilling -13 degrees Celsius right now-, there are plenty of pretty cotton fabrics I will be using to make clothes for the kids around us!

Here are a couple of pictures I took as soon as I received the package. Thank you Jessica for the beautiful work and your generosity!

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::Steeking is next, but there will also be some sewing::

I’ve finally finished knitting my sweater-soon-to-be-cardigan, that I will be steeking to do the conversion.

You can be honest: what do you see is kind of odd, when you look at it?

Yeah… it is really tight! This Létt-Lopi yarn is so warm, that the sweater is really cozy, but even though I’ve knitted it to my size, it turned out to be a bit small. I washed it and left it for a few hours in water and Eucalan, then the yarn is a lot softer!

It is a good thing that I had plan this to be my first ‘steek’ project, so what I am planning to do next is, after I cut it in the middle front, I will be adding 2 strips of fabric on either side of the zipper and the edges. At least the body will be a bit more comfortable, and I will have to live with the sleeves turning tight… oh well…

This is a detail of the colourwork on the yoke, which as I said before, is a bit dull, as the green kind of looses itself in the surrounding grey:

But anyway… I am happy with the idea of having a grey cardigan that will be the result of steeking a sweater with colourwork. Now I am off to find a pretty fabric that matches to sew on the front!

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New lunch bag

Hi there!

I am so in love with Amy Butler’s designs for fabrics, that I got a set of half yards a while ago from Mimi’s Etsy shop, and used 3 of the fabrics in the set to make a fully-lined small lunch bag. I wanted something pretty and practical and I added a cover that closes like a drawstring bag on top.

Here is a view of the complete set of fabrics I had purchased:

 

Half yards of Amy Butler fabrics

After I cut all the pieces for the bag I ended up with this:

 

Cut pieces for lunch bag

And this is the finished product:

I really like the result, the only thing I would do different if I were to make another lunch bag is to try one a bit larger, so I would not only have space for my lunch, but also for my reading material I usually take on the subway with me when I go to work!

And of course, there is no need to mention that I thought this could very well make a perfect knitting project bag!

 

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Needed some mindless knitting

Remember this super wash merino fibre I got at the Black Lamb?

Super wash merino
Super wash merino

Super wash merino winded

I had this yarn in my stash and as I wanted to start an easy ‘mindless knitting’ project, I decided to make a pair of ‘Mitered Mittens’ by Elizabeth Zimmermann. You can find the pattern on her ‘Knitter’s Almanac‘.

I like the simplicity of the design. I did the i-cord cast-on using 4mm double pointed needles, and will continue the mittens using 5 mm needles:

I-cord cast-on for Mitered Mittens using handspun yarn

Detail of the handspun yarn

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Some progress on my Hela cardi

News on my knitting world are that with the freezing temperatures in Toronto this days -yeah… I know it’s winter after all-, I’ve been progressing on my Hela cardigan. Here is a picture and some comments:

Knitting the yoke of my Hela cardigan

I think I should have used a different colour for the yoke, other than the green, a more contrasting colour, I mean. Even though I love that green, when used on a small part of the yoke, it looses itself into the gray.

What you see under the armpits are stitch holders, not some kind of crazy ornament…

I am excited though about knitting a very warm gray cardigan, which will most probably have a zipper after I steek it! This yarn, Létt Loppi is supposed to be one of the warmest wool yarns in the world.

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Baby gift set for a dear friend and how Wilma would have made it

Today’s temperature in Toronto made me want to stay home all day, with a windchill of -35° degrees Celsius, imagine that! So I am spending our Sunday updating my blog, knitting with warm yarn, and possibly watching a movie on TV in the evening.

I attended the baby shower of my dear friend M. yesterday, and gave her a baby gift set I made for her soon-to-be-born baby girl, Virginia. Here are some pictures:

Virginia's baby gift set - Swaddle blanket, bib, 2 burp clothes, diaper pouch

Virginia's baby gift set

Then, while browsing the Net I’ve found an image that made me chuckle and I am sharing it with you. I would love to see that little bird in action doing a zig-zag stitch!

Isn’t it lovely?

Wilma and her avian sewing machine

Have a great Sunday, wherever you are, and if you live in Canada… stay warm!

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One knitting set back and a new WIP (work in progress)

I had started knitting Laura Chau’s ‘Monday Morning Cardigan‘ and got to the point where I stopped knitting the body, which has a bottom up construction, to start the sleeves. I was half way the first sleeve when I doubted my memory and went to see how much yarn I had left.

I should have done that before! The pattern calls for about 1,320 yards in size 3 (out of 8 different sizes) and I discovered I only had about 1,210 (11 skeins of Knit Picks ‘Wool of the Andes’ which comes in 110 yards per skein)… darn! The thing is that I wanted this cardigan to have full length sleeves, so I could not cut down in the size of the sleeves to make it up for the lack of yarn.

For some reason I thought I had 14 skeins, but I never checked to realize the bag only contained 11… what a silly mistake…

On the positive side -probably the only one I see- I am thinking of restarting this cardigan going 2 sizes down, as I found it comes really big, larger than I had planned if using the measurements of the sizes described in the pattern, and I think that after blocking it, it will stretch a bit because of the yarn. Also, if I do that, I should be able to use less than the 1,100 yards that are called for size 1, as I want to make the sleeves narrower, the pattern is written in a way that makes the sleeves really big. I would still like to have full length sleeves though.

Oh well… I need to remember to re-check how much yarn I have BEFORE starting any large project!

I had this, before ‘I saw the light’:

Now that I finished unraveling it, I have this:

Right now I think I will leave this project aside for a while, as I’ve started what will be my first ‘steek’ project -I had been wanting to try this technique, where you knit the piece in the round, then use a sewing machine and do a good 2 rows of straight stitch on both sides of what will become your cut, then do the actual cut in the front, turning it from a sweater into a cardigan. My knitting readers will most probably know what ‘steeking’ is, but if you are not a knitter and would like to know what I am talking about, check out this video from YouTube. In this case, the cutting of the sweater is very impressive, because the whole piece is done in colourwork, using several different yarns… yikes! Also, the knitter says that instead of using a sewing machine to ‘reinforce’ the stitches before doing the cutting so the sweater does not unravel later, she did a crochet reinforcement.

I’ve chosen the ‘Héla – 2 and 3 colour Cardigan’ from ‘Ístex Online Patterns‘, a website specialized in patterns for Icelandic yarn. I had some Létt-Lopi yarn remaining from my ‘Owls’, remember?

The finished Héla cardi might look a bit similar to my Owls, because I still have more gray than green, and I am planning to do the colourwork in the yoke following the pattern, but that is not an issue, as I want to have a gray cardigan anyway.

This is what I have so far:

I am now in the not-so-exciting part of plain stockinette stitch for the whole body, which is bottom up until you reach the sleeves. Then, after knitting the sleeves separately, there is where the fun part begins, the 2 colour yoke and then the steek/cut.

I’ve always found this yarn a bit harsh to the skin, but as it happened when I knitted ‘Owls’, after washing the sweater in Eucalan, leaving it for a few hours in the water, and a good blocking, it turns to be pretty soft and the yarn is indeed very warm.

Stay tuned for more as this WIP progresses!

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