Knit vs. Crochet

The ongoing drama(?) of a girl torn between two obsessions with too little time.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Skull Heart Wristwarmers

I made these for the secret Friend of Craftster swap and never got around to posting about them. Unfortunately I've since forgotten most of the details about them.

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in pink and grey, and a brushed black acrylic from my stash.
Needles: Size 7 dpns
I essentially took the hat that my partner had on her WIST and morphed them into wristwarmers. Wristwarmers are an easy thing to design without a pattern--I just did up a quick gauge swatch, measured around my wrist and around my hand at the thumb (the narrowest and widest points) and did some math for the increases and decreases. I started and ended the wristwarmers with about a 1" band of ribbing for a cozy fit.
These were my first attempt at fair isle (I typically don't like the look of colorwork) and I was pretty happy with how the designs came out. I think had I used colors with more contrast the skulls would have popped out more, but I think you could tell what they were.

My first wrap skirt

So, way back when (say, 2-3 months ago), I got the idea to make a reversible wrap skirt, inspired (as usual) by someone on craftster. Of course, what I forgot was that said person had way more sewing skillz and most likely a sewing machine in working order (which I THOUGHT I had, but was mistaken.)
So off I go to the nearby thrift store (which, as it turns out, has really expensive prices for a thrift store) to get a record for another project, and end up coming across a convenient pattern for a wrap skirt. I go "WTH" and buy it for $1 or something and come home and start slaving away.
Ok, so first of, nobody ever told me what a pain in the a-- it is to lay out and cut pattern pieces. Maybe they did, but I was busy drinking, or my brain was ignoring it because, come ON, when am I EVER going to try to sew something? I lose.
The pressing and pinning and sewing together of pieces was actually ok up to the waistband, which I had (from previous experience with making a ribbon belt or two) decided to make out of contrasting 1" ribbon rather than bands of skirt fabric. During the sewing of the waistband, the machine stalled, and had to be taken apart/re-oiled/tinkered with by the boy. He claims he didn't touch the tension knob, but the machine just hasn't been the same since. The tension was wayyyy off and the machine was doing all sorts of hideous loose stitching, no matter what I tried to do to the knob (which hovered between stuck too tightly to the machine body to popping out on me). Also, the machine continued to stall (probably due to aforementioned tension issues) and I gave up on sewing the waistband and threw the whole damn project into a box, occasionally taking it out and attempting to sew hideously on it before giving up again.
I spent an entire day on Monday wresting with the sewing machine and got the skirt finished, in a manner of speaking. Here it is in all its glory:

Yes, it's reversible, and yes, it needs to be pressed.
Close-up on the best and worst of the waistband/tie stitching:

Incidentally this was made with Simplicity #7391 in case anyone's interested. The skirt ended up being rather heavy but pretty flattering (nothing like a wrap skirt to fit even after a week at an all-inclusive) and had it not been for my inability to fix the f--ed up machine tension I would have been really happy with how it turned out. As it is, I still might weat it but the stitching will embarrass the hell out of me.


I'd forgotten to post some stenciling projects that I'd made earlier this year (I had been waiting to post them so as to not spoil my secret for a secret Craftster swap)

A shirt I made for a friend whose nickname was "JuiceBox" and is a fellow AZN. Umm, yeah. AZN.

Here's a hoodie I stenciled for that secret swap--my partner had a hoodie like this on her wist. I was pretty happy with how well the guns came out.

Speaking of the secret swap, I also made a not-too-shabby looking ribbon belt for my partner, who liked hot pink and polka dots:

I sort of wanted to keep it, I was really happy with how it came out...

Summer Break

The short summer break (three weeks) between first year and second year has flown by and is rapidly coming to a close (we start orientation to clinical year next Monday, yikes!). I haven't actually had much time to craft/knit, being that I've been on various trips (mostly to beachy locales) most of the time. I tried to plan lots of trips so that the time would seem longer--days spent lounging at home fly by and blend into one another so much, despite being SO DELICIOUS. In what time at home I've had, I have been working on one big project pretty much exclusively, as well as coming up with a few new items for the Etsy shop, and finishing some sewing.
My newest venture was making a purse from one of those kits with heavy-duty double-sided fusible interfacing ("InnerFuse" in this case). I literally spent an entire day making this--mostly because I kept screwing up and needing to take apart my sewing machine, but also because I didn't know how to do half the things I needed to do to make it. Here it is in all its glory:

blurry detail of the inside:

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out considering it's the first sewn bag I've ever made, but I still don't know whether it's of a quality to actually carry out in public with me.
List of things I learned/fixed during the making of this purse:
-what satin stitch is. and that my machine would need a woman with more skills than I to make it look like it does in the kit's FO pictures.
-what tear-away stabilizer is. I'm not sure I needed it for the edges of this project, but I sure couldn't Google out a solution to doing satin stitches over edges without it.
-how to open up the top of the machine, and the bottom. and put them back together, too (important)
-how the bobbin winder works, and that it doesn't work as well with oil all over the wheel. (said oil being from the boy who seemingly emptied a gallon of the stuff inside the machine).
-how to remove a bent needle that's jammed into the bottom bobbin area (though not what to call that bottom bobbin area)
-how to get somewhat reasonable tension out of a totally f---ed tension know that's falling out of the machine half the time.
-to follow the instructions in order even if at first glance it seems clumsy (since I ended up having to sew a handle tab on by hand due to my reckless sewing on of the inside pocket earlier than instructed)
-that I'm never going to be able to sell handbags for fun and profit, because I just plain don't have the talent for sewing. thank goodness for those who do.