My friend Lizzie bought me an ice dying kit for Christmas (thank you!) and I’ve only just now found the time to have a go.
The results are pretty cool if I do say so myself!
I’d never heard of ice dying until she bought me the kit but basically you place ice cubes onto a piece of fabric, sprinkle over powdered fabric dye and as the ice melts it makes some really funky patterns depending on whether you scrunch up the fabric beforehand.
I think it’s supposed to give a kind of tie-dye effect.
I placed my fabric on a baking rack over a baking tray (I didn’t have a bowl or bucket wide enough for the fat quarter so I used a tray).
I also folded my fabric into 4 quarters and laid it flat.
Once the ice had melted I realised that on the bottom the baking rack had made a striped pattern which was quite interesting! All 4 quarters had different patterns, I’m just waiting for it all to dry before I decide what to do with it.
So, if you want to have a go at something different and easy to (you could do this with kids it’s so easy!) then this is definitely an option!
I know, I know, you were worrying about it only being cast on and no stitches done for quite a while now, but rest assured, you can breathe easy now! I’ve actually done some more on it!
I finished the moss stitch border at the bottom and am now on the main pattern part, which aside from the moss stitch sides is all stocking stitch on 4mm needles so is going a lot faster.
I wasn’t in the mood for much knitting or anything at all last week, all things considered (I spent the time recuperating after surgery) but this week I feel awake and much more mobile so I’ve been working away at the green top and even started a new crochet project!
But I’ll show that in another post. For now, here is what I have so far and a pic of what it is supposed to look like when finished…
Yes, it’s not a huge amount done, but it’s something! And there is absolutely no rush for it to get finished.
I’m finding that after a good six months of hardly any projects on the go at the same time, I’m really liking casting on a lot of things at once!
I could never be a truly monogamous knitter. I guess it’s shiny new object syndrome!
This is my first finished piece of the year. And it’s just a simple Granny Square blanket!
I was trying to use up some spare baby wool I had lying about and I used 2 colours of the same type of yarn. You can’t really tell though as it’s all variegated. It looks alright, if I do say so myself!
But everyone I know who has a baby has already received a blanket from me! So, this one is going to charity I think.
I started it and did most of it (until it got too big) at work on my break! So, I feel like I’ve done something productive in otherwise wasted hours…I know, I know, it’s not all about the productivity, but this was something to keep me sat at the table and feel like I was doing something, rather than just scrolling on my phone all the time!
Anyway…here it is draped over my desk chair!
I used a 4mm hook and maybe 5 1/2 balls of wool? I can’t remember the exact amount but it was about that and I lobe how it turned out!
Now, I just need to find a local baby donation centre to give it to, but I think I’m going to hold on to it a while and make a few other things with spare yarn too!
It’s been living in my knitting projects bag for the last few weeks (oh the irony-it’s not knitting, it’s crochet!) which incidentally you can get here in my Society 6 shop or the same design here in my RedBubble shop.
I think I might make a separate post about print on demand products I’ve designed and bought to do with crafting because there’s quite a few!
But that’s it for now, just a quick show and tell! Hope you’re all having a great weekend and getting lots of crafting done!
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It is the post you’ve all been desperately waiting on tenterhooks for! Don’t panic for it is here!
The Knitted Orange Jumper…is DONE!
Several years, 2 summers and mentioned in almost every blog post as that orange knitted jumper. I can’t believe it’s finally getting crossed off the list!
I still need to block it, which I’ll do this week sometime, but it looks like it is supposed to…which if you’ve ever seen some of my other attempts at following patterns, then you’ll know that’s not always a foregone conclusion.
And although I made a couple of silly mistakes on the back piece, the front is perfect and overall, there isn’t much actually wrong with the finished piece. I’ve actually sewn it together quite well too.
Can you tell how happy I am to have this finally finished?!
It fits, it’s snug and tight for a few reasons. Mainly I chose my size from the options instead of measuring myself. I think in future I’ll knit up a size or two as I prefer baggy/ slouchy sweaters to tighter fitting ones. It’s also a little shorter than I thought it would be when finished but again, I know for next time. But overall, it’s a success!
The pictures below show the neckline, the sleeve edging and the side seam, which I did using mattress stitch. I’ve always struggled with seaming and sewing items up neatly, but I’m chuffed with this! And the neckline I picked up in the right way so it all looks neat! 🙂
The pattern was from a magazine compendium and it was by Pat Menchini. Possibly called Cinnamon Spice, but I’m not sure.
I used 4 1/2 balls of wool. I bought 7, even though it suggested 5 or 6 balls. So, I have 2 1/2 leftover for another project later.
And the wool was really cheap from my local yarn shop. I used a different yarn to the pattern (in a similar shade) as my local yarn shop didn’t stock the one from the pattern and I was impatient!
I used King Cole Big Value Tweed DK in shade Rust (3029).
You can buy it here from The Knitting Network if you like the look of it (they might not have the exact shade but the other shades are pretty good too!). 🙂
So…yeah, I’m pleased it’s finally ticked off my list! That makes 2 jumpers completed this year (my first 2 ever!). I’m moving onto other things now, but next year a knitting goal is to try a top down sweater. I’m knitting baby clothes and blankets now, as well as a sock yarn shawl for me and I just cast on a pair of socks yesterday.
I’ll make a post with all my current WIPs together as I actually just took some photos today in the right light!
Hope you’re all having a happy and productive Monday! 🙂
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Last week was the week I sewed up all my outstanding sewing projects. I even managed to sneak a few small extra ones in too!
I had some fabric scraps leftover from a previous project and thought I’d make a headband. The fabric is quite stretchy, I’m not sure exactly what it is. But I love the colour!
I basically kept wrapping the fabric around my head and trimming a little bit off until, including seam allowance, I thought it was the right size to stay on without sliding off or giving me a headache. Not an exact science, to be sure.
I sewed up the long side, right sides together and turned inside out. I then tucked the end of the tube into the other end, folded the edges neatly over each other and then sewed it up. It took 15 mins if that.
And it’s my favourite make on the sewing machine yet! It’s practical, it FITS perfectly and it’s not too hot to wear in this heat!
If you look on Pinterest you can see lots of ways to make much more interesting ones, like a turban or knotted headband. I just made this off the top of my head (which is where it is currently!). And it used up scraps which would otherwise have been thrown away. I’m really happy with it!
The last week I have done more sewing than I have done in the past 6 months combined!
I now have space in my craft drawers as I’ve got rid of patterns that weren’t working/ that I will NEVER do again and I’ve used up lots of fabric too.
I had the pattern for a simple rucksack (simple…hahaha!) for a while and bought the denim fabric for it a couple of months ago. I already had the green lining fabric from a failed project years ago, as well as belt buckles, d-rings and other bits like webbing from other projects too. I had already cut out the outer pieces and the lining so I was all ready to sew last week.
What I thought would be an afternoon sewing the pieces together turned into Monday afternoon, Tuesday evening, Thursday evening and 2 hours on Friday.
I’m pretty much a beginner at sewing. I’ve done a few cushions, zip bags, a dress, a top, a pair of pj shorts, a skirt. That’s pretty much it apart from odd bits like hemming table cloths, Christmas makes like stockings, bunting, gift bags etc.
So, it really annoys me when patterns talk about bias binding without mentioning it on the list of things to buy! I haven’t bound the raw edges inside the bag, but apart from that, it’s done!
I had to add a red stripe on the front as my stitching on the zip fabric was atrocious! And I had to unpick the top zip as I went wonky. That’s why I didn’t do any more on Wednesday…I was DONE!
I also didn’t see I needed webbing non fray glue stuff…which I obviously don’t have! In fact, the sewing on the webbing for the handles and straps was the hardest part of the bag. I couldn’t get the cross in a square to look neat.
I had to unpick one of the handles as I didn’t realise it was ONE handle on each panel…I did so much unpicking for this project!
The bag as a whole doesn’t look too terrible from a distance…it looks like a bag! But I’m not so happy with the sewing up close. And some of the instructions could have been better too. I didn’t make a note of who it was by but it was a free pattern from a few months ago in the Simply Sewing Magazine.
I like the size and the shape and I love the denim fabric. This week when I made this and a denim tote bag is the first time I’ve worked with denim and I even changed the sewing machine needle to a denim one. The first time I’ve done that too!
I was pleasantly surprised that the denim needle managed to get through so many layers of thick fabric with little difficulty. Maybe I needed to change my needle anyway (I hadn’t done that ever since I got the machine oh…about 20 years ago! :O )
The eagle eyed among you will notice that the d-rings and belt buckles are silver and gold – I just used what I had on hand.
I didn’t topstitch once I’d sewn it together coz you know…I was so DONE with this project!
All in all it’s OK. Certainly better all sewn up than when I was preparing all the pieces.
It was hard to work out the pattern in places, but it was worth having a go. I’m still glad I had a try as now I have a better idea of how rucksacks are put together and I’ve learned a few new skills:
Changing the needle on my sewing machine
Adding webbing/ belt buckles/ d-rings
Making a zip casing (I can’t think of the proper term for the fabric around the zip!) and zipper tabs
Assembling a bag with a lining from a lot of pieces and using 2 zips in a project!
I still learned a lot from this project and it’s technically usable. It’ll go in a drawer or cupboard for now. I’m just glad it’s ticked off my list!
One of my great weaknesses is knitting and sewing magazines. Overpriced with naff freebies and as the years go by, the adverts get more frequent and the number of pages in the magazines go down.
Seriously, soon it will be £9.99 for about 10 pages. It’s ridiculous.
And I don’t even like all the patterns in them if I’m honest, although yes, I do realise they have to try and cater for everyone. But have you noticed how so many of the patterns are disgusting blue and green jumpers that look like two different patterns have been Frankenstein stitched together? Yurgh….just give me a normal pattern in one colour anyway. OK, stop whinging now!
It’s the freebies I wanted to talk about.
I’ve stopped buying issues with cheap plastic freebies out of principle – they go straight in the recycling or in bags for the charity shop. I can’t even give some of the freebies away as none of friends really knit a lot.
And then we have the yarn. It’s not ‘good’ yarn that you get free with any magazine. You rarely get a branded ball of wool that you would want to buy in a wool shop!
It’s cheap acrylic made in a factory in China and not enough to do anything decent with in any case.
It’s OK for small things like the free toy patterns you get with the magazines, the freebie yarn does tend to knit up quite tightly when I’ve tried some of the patterns out. And it does seem to be hardwearing and in bright colours, I’ll give it that!
I’ve thought about donating yarn to local schools, but they’re closing for the summer soon and I’m sure they could do without having to sort random craft items at this time of year. It’s hard to give these yarn packs to charity shops as they are branded and probably say something like ‘not for resale’ on them, which would mean they, in all likelihood, would get thrown away.
So, I decided that instead of wasting these tiny balls of yarn, I would use them in something sort of productive. They aren’t the best mix of colours, but that’s OK.
I am going to make Christmas decorations out of them and use up the yarn that way.
I do have a small ball of a fluffy white, which could be good for the top of a mini stocking. I was thinking of doing mini stockings, knitted paper chains, maybe some baubles and then see what I have leftover from that.
I could donate them to charities accepting knitted items or find a way to sell them for charity. I’m not sure yet.
I have enough knitted and sewn Christmas decorations from last year…I don’t want anymore at this time. I’m just thinking of a fun way to use up the little stash.
I’ve already started a grey and pink mini stocking- last night I got the top part done, just need to do the heel and the foot and then sew it up.
I suppose there is always things like coasters or placemats to make…but I probably wouldn’t use them anyway!
What do you do with the freebie yarn if you buy these expensive magazines?! I’m desperate not to send it all to landfill!
This was the first time I have ever used black Aida fabric and I gotta say, not a fan! The result of the colours I chose (I didn’t stick to the exact ones from the pattern) and the contrast between them and the fabric looks good, I think.
But the fabric itself was really difficult to use and my stitching ended up looking horrible! The fabric was stiffer than usual, maybe because it’s been dyed black? I don’t know, it was really hard to use, especially to see where the needle needed to go – I did make sure to have a white piece of paper underneath to help, but I found my fat sauasage fingers blocked the white and made a shadow so it was still hard to see!
I still have more of the fabric to use up! Eek!
Here is the finished piece, not sure where to put it as of yet, maybe I’l just pin it to a pin board?!
I have one more cross stitch pattern to go, but a much bigger one.
I’m loving using up my stash – all I’ve paid for so far are the digital patterns. So, a lot of the colours might be the same, but that’s called a cohesive and consistent colour palette, right?!!
Whilst knitting my Neon Fair Isle Bag I decided to have a go at French Knitting (also called Spool Knitting or using a Knitting Nancy) to use for the ties, instead of making a simple plait.
I bought a doll ages ago but have never used it. I think I had one as a child, but that was in the 90’s – pre Youtube! So, if you lost the instructions, you were kind of stuck!!
The one I have now didn’t come with a hook or a tool with it, so I’m using the little hook thing from my other hand looms.
There are quite a few videos on Youtube showing you how to use the French Knitting Dolls, they are basically the same principle as the round and straight hand knitting looms – wrap the yarn and lift it over.
Have you seen any of Arne and Carlos’s videos recently? They have a mechanical I-cord maker that you turn the handle by hand…much quicker than my way lol!
I did try with both black and neon yellow together but it was difficult to do with 2 yarns, so I think I’m going to use just the yellow…but I may change my mind!
At the moment I have about half of the back of the little bag to do, I haven’t done much on it lately as I’ve been messing around with design software on my tablet and creating silly colouring in pages (see previous posts) and I just finished the Loom Knit Cowl so the Neon Fair Isle Bag and the Crochet Shawl got put to the side for a bit.
I have a few projects on the go and a few craft materials leftover from previous projects that I have some ideas what I could do with. Here is what is on my needles/ in my project to-do list so far (as of January 2021).
On my needles at the moment are some pretty big projects. 3 jumpers and a shawl to be precise.
My first ever jumper is an orange, simple design I found in a magazine. I actually cast it on a couple of years ago, maybe at the beginning of 2018 or 2019, did a few rows of the rib at the bottom and then put it away and forgot all about it. Last year, I took it out again and managed to get the whole of the back done and I am now finishing the rib of the front. But whilst I wanted this to be my very first jumper, I cast on another one in September of last year for Christmas, which sadly I never got done in time to wear for Christmas Day 2020. I CAN ONLY KNIT SO FAST!!! So, I am alternating between this orange one and the Christmas one below. This one has a simple cable and eyelet pattern with lots of stocking stitch. (The pattern is by Pat Menchini and is in a collection of patterns called 100 knitting patterns. I think it’s a collection of knitting patterns previously published in Let’s Knit magazine, a knitting magazine in the UK. It doesn’t really have a name as such, it just says Cinnamon Spice and that it’s a long-line tunic.)
I am really enjoying knitting this up.
2. The Christmas jumper – this is a very simple plain stocking stitch jumper with three quarter length sleeves. I have done the sleeves and the back and am about a third of the way done with the front. I love the wool, it is called Glitz by King Cole (1698) and is a Double Knitting weight. The festive colours are soooooo pretty! I also knitted a bauble with some leftover yarn from one of the sleeves in this wool and it looks quite cute!
I bought the pattern (9181) for the jumper for £2.99 (I think or maybe £3.99) from an online store called Deramores and I ordered 6 balls, so hopefully after sewing it together and knitting the collar I should have some leftover for future Christmas knits later on this year. It is by Stylecraft and the pattern uses Cabaret yarn.
The only thing I don’t like about this pattern is the back – it’s a cardigan in reverse and looks really strange, so I am simply knitting two fronts instead and hoping they don’t look too weird once I sew them up.
3. Autumn knitted jumper – this is exactly the same pattern as above except in different yarn (actually using the recommended yarn but in a different shade) and I decided to do the cowl collar instead of the simple plain one. I am going to put this aside for a while and concentrate on the other 2 first as I am not sure on the sizing! I think I will see if the Christmas one actually fits before I carry on with one. If not, and I’m thinking of doing this anyway, I might just rip it back and make something else out of the yarn. I have five balls of it, so maybe a hat and a pair of mittens? I have never knitted a pair of mittens before so that could be something new for this year!!
4. Sock Yarn Shawl – I bought 2 balls of this sock yarn from John Lewis on Oxford Street, London, when I travelled down for a visit a few years ago. After realising I will NEVER be a sock knitter (I tried a few years ago and I managed ONE sock out of a pair and that took me 3 weeks so I gave up completely!!) I decided to make a simple shawl, BUT it isn’t the most softest of wools I have ever used so this might get ripped back as well. Who knows.
That’s all for the knitting WIP’s. I also a further 2 balls of sock yarn in orange so maybe an actual pair of socks (doubtful) or more mittens? Sock yarn is much thinner than I usually use so it takes me more time to knit up on smaller needles therefore I have less patience for it. We shall see with that. I also have a couple of balls of spare Christmas yarn (red and white) and a tiny ball leftover of white cotton and that is pretty much it for wool. The yarn is by West Yorkshire Spinners (WYS) I can’t remember the exact shade.
Last year, in 2020, I used up MY ENTIRE STASH of yarn. Of which I was drowning in, literally. Yes, literally. I can see the floor now.
And sewing? I don’t have that much on my list for sewing but here goes…
I have mostly cut out a pattern for a linen top with darts. I have never sewn darts or tucks or anything like that before in my LIFE! So, I am quite nervous. The only thing I am slightly worried about is the fact that I chose vertically striped fabric for the top, so the pattern may get a bit squished and wonky. That’s OK, I am still at the stage of saying ‘IT’S ONLY A PRACTICE!!’. Just need to cut out some edging and sew it together.
2. I have some leftover yellow fabric from the pencil skirt I made [see previous post https://woollyorbit.wordpress.com/2021/01/27/first-ever-skirt/ ] and was thinking of a knotted headband/ turban headband and some smaller projects OR a camisole vest type top. Not sure. Pinterest has some really good tutorials and ideas for knotted headbands.
3. I also have some leftover wool fabric from a cushion I made my Dad for Christmas. About half a metre to a metre left? I can’t quite remember how much, so something with that, not sure what exactly.
4. And finally, leftover from Christmas sewing which was manic last year, several tiny stockings and quite a few squares for which I was thinking a Christmas patchwork quilt, but it’s past Christmas now. Maybe that could be a project for next year. Except, I don’t like having a stash anymore – I want it all gone. I am trying to slim down all my possessions and don’t want materials and tools cluttering up the place, maybe that can be a project that I work on bit by bit?
That’s all my current projects for which I have fabric for. I have a really cute pattern for a small backpack which I think would look amazing in denim and I’m thinking of buying some fabric for that – in the far future, let’s get some of these projects done first. And I have a pattern for a long, wrap skirt which, even though I’m not really a skirt kind of gal, I could totally see me wearing. But I need to get fabric for that too.
Shockingly, I have NO CROCHET PROJECTS on the go at the moment! Yay!
I also have some other random projects on the sort of go. One of which is Lino cutting. I tried last year and cut myself so badly on the finger I bled all the way upstairs to get a plaster and stop the bleeding. Which kind of put me off lol! I would love to Lino cut and make some prints, I have all the materials, even the ink, just need to work up the courage (and work out how to do it safely) so that I could have another try.
Gouache is a new love. I am a terrible painter and artist and sketch artist. But there is something so therapeutic about smushing paint around a page. I just want to have a go and have fun.
I have a block of wax to use up and make a candle with. That is next on my list of odd bits to do.
Bath and body/ beauty products such as hand/ cuticle salves and body lotions etc. I have lots of oils and butters that I want to use up, especially shea butter. And it’s winter and we’re stuck inside so hopefully I should fly through them.
I almost forgot, I went on a workshop last year, before lockdown and all that jazz, to make a leather handbag. I learned how to do saddle stitch and I made a yellow and green dyed leather bag. Since then I have dyed another set (I bought a spare blank set of pieces to try myself) this time I dyed it pink (thought it would turn out a lot redder but oh well!) and green and everything is all ready to be sewn up – just need to spend a weekend doing that. It’s been a while, so I might need to refresh my memory about saddle stitch but I can’t wait to have that done and dusted.
I think that’s it. It’s a lot, but the bigger projects like the sewn top and the knitted jumpers will keep me busy for a while. I have decided NOT to start anymore new knitted projects until I finish what I have on the go at the moment.
Phew, this is a super long post! What’s on your needles right now? Something for yourself or for a friend?