16 Dec 2014

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Grey Scarf

The (oh-so-slight) downside of getting your husband to go into fabric stores and yarn stores with you for a decade-and-a-half is that he will eventually learn that there are things there that he might like ... things that end up being projects for you to make.

In this case, a soft squishy ball of lovely mottled grey wool-silk blend became a request for a soft, light scarf. "Of course I can do that," I answer. And the giant ball of fingering weight yarn comes home with us.

Fast forward 7 months after countless swatches, needle size tests, calculations, and charts. It took me forever to settle on a simple linen stitch to show off the subtle bright patches in the yarn. I love the way the slipped stitches break up the colors and give the scarf a pixelated look, like the static of an old black-and-white TV

After the first 5 inches (seen here) I did a quick wet block. This yarn feels so incredible in linen stitch with a slightly stretched block (7 inches across became 7.5 inches). It will be a very light scarf, which is exactly what was requested.

I have put all my other knitting on hold until I finish this, which has lit a fire under me, for sure. In just 8 days, I've made it almost half way through the scarf! I set some aggressive goals for finishing it so I can be sure I'm not still knitting it over the holidays, because, although I'm happy to knit this for Andrew, plain linen stitch isn't very interesting to knit for 50-inches.

I calculated that this scarf will take 56,000 stitches and 31 hours to knit. I've never done calculations like that before, and I'm pretty sure I never will again. It's pretty daunting, to say the least.

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16 Dec 2014 1:00pm GMT

11 Dec 2014

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2014 Ornament - Tree-ception

I have a very good friend Pam who loves the winter holidays, so every year I make her a Christmas ornament.

When November 1st rolled around, I started brainstorming. Every time I had an idea I realized I'd already used the motif ... an owl, a pincone, a heart, and a star ... and I was starting to worry and then the cutest image popped into my ravelry pattern feed.

The Christmas Tree ornament (ravelry account needed for link) by beakaptur is so adorable! She hasn't published her pattern yet, so I did a ravelry search of Christmas Tree patterns (knit and crochet) and found Little Christmas Tree, and I loved just as much. Bonus, it is a free pattern!

My only modifications were adding random purl stitches to make the tree textured, and I crocheted the trunk because it's so much easier to crochet tiny things than to knit them.

I resisted an urge to sew every bead, bobble, button, and sequin I own to the tree; I kept it simple. In my imagination, I see the pearly beads and gold sequins as reflectors of whatever colors and lights are on the tree where it will hang. That way it will always coordinate and be a mini-me of the bigger tree.

A tree to hang on your tree = tree-ception!

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11 Dec 2014 1:00pm GMT

02 Dec 2014

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River of Doubt - Progress on Body

So much progress! The unblocked stitch pattern accordions into ridges, as you can see in the photos. Once it's blocked the fabric will be flat and the knit/purl design will be more noticeable. Right now it's hard to distinguish between the zigzag chevron lines and the diamonds.

Next step is to block it to make sure it's the right length (it should be a couple inches longer when it's blocked).

I'm thinking of doing a purl icord bind off. I will need to swatch that and see if it will look good.

Oh, let's not forget the arms!

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02 Dec 2014 1:00pm GMT

10 Nov 2014

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River of Doubt - The Source

I've started a new sweater named River of Doubt. It's come together from a lot of different sources:

I bought the pattern for Crazy Stripes Tee because I like the neckline (and would eventually like to make that sweater). I followed the directions for the top-down, seamless, contiguous set in sleeves. So fantastic!

I had to chart every row of the front, back, and sleeves so I could figure out where the diamond and chevron stripes should be so that they'd all line up once I got to the armpits and started knitting the body in the round. That took quite a bit of work.

And, about the time I got to the armpits, I realized I was making a sweater 3 sizes too big. My normal ... haha. So I frogged the whole thing, redrew the charts, and now things are moving much faster!

Here are photos of my progress over the last couple of months:

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10 Nov 2014 1:00pm GMT

15 Oct 2014

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Bermuda Triangle on Vacation

I made the sweater Bermuda Triangle (ravelry link) specifically to wear with this skirt on our vacation in LA this October. I assumed that it would be cool and a little extra warmth up-top would be needed to balance out this short skirt. Who knew that we'd visit right in the middle of a 90-degree October heatwave?!

Luckily, the sweater is cotton, so it was comfortable in spite of the heat. It was also nice that I departed from my normal tight-fitting hip-length sweater silhouette and created a billowy cropped top to show off the swingy skirt.

This is one of my favorite outfits now: a bright cropped sweater and a short swingy skirt with pockets. Never in a million years would I have guessed that I would even wear this combo. Live and learn!

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15 Oct 2014 1:00pm GMT

15 Sep 2014

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Golden - Finished!

I realized recently that I never posted an "I'm finished!" photo of this sweater, so I staged a mini photo shoot at the park. Golden took forever to make, but it was worth every stitch. I wear it to work once a week with this great purple v-neck. That's the only thing good about chilly San Francisco summers - perfect cardigan weather.

I love wearing this sweater. It's comfy and stylish. Those increase eyelets make it look designer. People complement the sweater all the time. If it's extra cold on my walk to work, I wrap the front wings over my chest and secure them with the strap of my cross-body bag. This pattern is highly recommended!

For pattern, yarn, and project details, see Golden on Ravelry.

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15 Sep 2014 1:00pm GMT

05 Sep 2014

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Bermuda Triangle

Somehow, I started and finished a sweater before I could even mention it to you! I still have to weave in the ends of Bermuda Triangle (ravelry link), but that's it. I hope to take some finished shots of it this weekend. I made it to match a new skirt because I was having a hell of a time trying to find a matching top. Woohoo!

All of these pictures come from my tumblr. If you're interested in seeing what I'm doing more than once every couple of weeks, check it out. FYI, you can't follow my tumblr with bloglovin because reasons.

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05 Sep 2014 1:00pm GMT

04 Aug 2014

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Fractured Arms

Just in case you don't already know, this sweater's name is Fractured. :) I didn't want you to worry I'd hurt myself!

One sleeve takes a little more than one skein of yarn.

I have a couple more rows to do of the left arm (the one on the right in the photo). I steam-blocked the body and will try it on after it is dry* to see if I need to frog back to the waist and redo the hip increases sooner. (please. god. no.)

*Or at some time in the future when I have the fortitude to handle the (potential) news that I have months-more work ahead of me to complete a sweater I started in January 2013.

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04 Aug 2014 1:00pm GMT

28 Jul 2014

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Introducing the Lucky Wristlet

There is at least one of you who has been waiting over 7 years for this pattern to be published! There are many more of you that have emailed over the years asking for this pattern. And now, here it is, the Lucky Wristlet, available as a free download.

I can't wait to see all the creative personal twists that you put on the pattern. There are so many ways to customize this using colors, materials, ribbons, etc. Plus it's a very quick project. You could have it done in a weekend. So far, no one's posted a project on Ravlery. Will you be the first? ;)

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28 Jul 2014 1:00pm GMT

05 Jul 2014

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Tutorial: Make a Ribbon Strap for the Lucky Wristlet

This is the photo tutorial for making a ribbon strap for the Lucky Wristlet.

The tutorial is broken down, step-by-step. Let me know if something isn't clear. I will be happy to help you out.

Detailed instructions (text is above its corresponding photo)

1. You'll need a crocheted Lucky Wristlet using my free PDF crochet pattern and one yard of ribbon.

2. Find the side of your wristlet that doesn't have a spike crochet "belt loop" for your ribbon. This side has a spike.

There's more! Read the full post -->

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05 Jul 2014 5:01am GMT

04 Jul 2014

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Tutorial: Make a Zippered Lining for the Lucky Wristlet

This is the photo tutorial for making a zippered lining for the Lucky Wristlet.

The tutorial shows, step-by-step how to make a zippered lining for the Lucky Wristlet. Let me know if something isn't clear. I will be happy to help you!

Detailed instructions (text is above its corresponding photo)

1. You'll need a crocheted Lucky Wristlet using my free PDF crochet pattern, fabric for the lining, and a zipper that is about 3 inches longer (or more) than your wristlet.


2. To figure out the size of the fabric pieces you need to cut, you need to measure your wristlet. Measure the width of the inside opening. In this photo, my interior wristlet width is 7.5"

There's more! Read the full post -->

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04 Jul 2014 1:00pm GMT

03 Jul 2014

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Tutorial: Crochet a Lucky Wristlet

This is the photo tutorial for crocheting my Lucky Wristlet pattern.

The tutorial is broken down by each teeny-tiny step. Let me know if something isn't crystal clear to you. I will be happy to help you out.

First things first: download the PDF pattern for the Lucky Wristlet.

Detailed instructions (text is above its corresponding photo)

1. Gather your supplies: yarn, ribbon, and your crochet hook. I highly recommend doing a gauge swatch, but it's not required. For this project, size isn't a concern, but you might want to make sure the fabric your yarn-hook combo makes will work for the wristlet you're imaging (not too thin, thick, etc).

Don't be confused by the yellow ribbon. I originally thought I'd use the yellow, but I ultimately decided to use the blue you see in the top photo. Luckily, grosgrain ribbon comes in standardized widths in a wide range of colors so it was easy to find the blue I wanted in a 1" width to swap with the yellow.

2. Start the foundation row of foundation single crochet (FSC) stitches. Never done FSC stitches before? Learn how from my FSC Tutorial.

After a I make a couple of FSC, I always put a stitch marker in the top and bottom of the first FSC. In the photo, I have put a pink stitch marker in the top of the FSC and a green stitch marker in the bottom or the FSC.

There's more! Read the full post -->

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03 Jul 2014 1:00pm GMT

11 Jun 2014

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Wristlet Pattern Coming

I have finished the photo shoots for the wristlet tutorials I need to accompany the pattern release. I've made a list of all the things I need to get done before I can post the pattern and the tutorials. As long as I stay on track, the pattern should be posted by the end of the month. Woo hoo!

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11 Jun 2014 1:00pm GMT

06 Jun 2014

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Fractured Progress

I've made quite a bit of progress on Fractured.

I thought I had about 10 more rows of body to do before I do a ribbed edging, but it looks like I'm done-done with the body.

But now, looking at these photos, I think I waited WAY too long to start the hip increases. I can see that my waist is about 2 diamonds up from the edge. That's where the slow curve out to my hips starts. I didn't start increasing until the start of the last diamond.

See what I'm talking about? The triangles are the increases. The dotted line is my waist.

Even more troubling is that this sweater isn't blocked at all, so it could grow even more. Wait ... maybe that could make everything A-OK.

Oh, and another thing I'm forgetting - once I add the arms, the whole thing might get pulled up higher. Arm holes on a top-down raglan sweater can stretch out a lot before they have a sleeve attached.

Whew! OK. I'm not going to make any rash frogging or bottom edge decisions. I think the next step is to add the arms and then reevaluate the fit.

My goal is to finish this sweater in June so I can wear it during the chilly San Francisco summer. It would have come in handy this week, for sure! Don't let our highs of 70 F fool you. It might be 70 F for about 5 minutes in the afternoon. The rest of the day downtown is dreary, damp, foggy, blustery, and bone-chilling.

I doubt I'll have it done in time for our mini roadtrip to Devil's Postpile this summer to see columnar basalt, which was the inspiration for the name of this sweater. I'm looking forward to seeing such a spectacular natural formation! I guess I won't need the sweater there, though, since it's normal summer temps once you get out of the city.

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06 Jun 2014 1:00pm GMT

22 Apr 2014

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Tip for Knitting Arms

For months, I've been wearing Golden saying, "I wish these arms were one-inch longer. This weekend, I did it!

Knitting Tip: When knitting sleeves, put the sweater in a bag or pillow case.

Sleeves are super-fast to knit and your sweater will be spinning like a top in your lap. The bag will not only protect the rest of your sweater, but it will also make it easier to turn everything.

Once I wash it and re-block*, I'll be ready to take some "finished for real" photos for you guys. :)

*I can machine wash and dry this sweater, which is awesome. Re-blocking is a quick spritz of the edges and an over-night dry on a towel on the kitchen table. Not a big deal at all.

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22 Apr 2014 1:00pm GMT

02 Apr 2014

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Fractured - Body Update

Decided to stick with one project until it's done. I picked Fractured.

I don't think I mentioned this before, but I had to start ALL OVER.

I know I said in my last fractured post that it fit ... but once I got another inch or so of body done, I realized it was WAAAAAY too big. I'd made an assumption about stockinette-gauge as it relates to dragonfly-pattern-gauge.

As luck would have it, half of a MFing sweater is a pretty fantastic gauge swatch. I did some measuring, I frogged that sucker, and now I'm making the exact right size. And, since I'm knitting about 2/3rds of the sweater I was knitting before, it's going a lot faster.

Woohoo, sweater! It's pretty warm for being 100% cotton, too.

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02 Apr 2014 1:00pm GMT

06 Nov 2011

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CRAFT Flickr Pool Weekly Roundup

Here are some cool things we saw in the CRAFT Flickr Pool this week: Day 3 Crane Mobile 2, by LaurenBrevner Galaxy of origami stars: starfish, by bloomize Miniature Knitting, by DJLDorset White Ukulele, by hine westie dog mobile: side,

06 Nov 2011 8:00pm GMT

Book Review: Textiles: The Whole Story

I recently picked up a wonderful book published by Thames & Hudson, Textiles: The Whole Story by Beverly Gordon. It covers the history of textiles, both as functional pieces, as an art form and it shows the portrayal of

06 Nov 2011 3:00pm GMT

Customize Your Crayola

Like a typical Target trip for me, I went for shampoo and ended up buying a lot of crayons. I got sucked in to the "Customize Your Crayola" display. Have you seen it? Packs of Crayola crayons, sold in

06 Nov 2011 12:00am GMT

05 Nov 2011

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How-To: Giftwrap Using Pipe Cleaners

I know they tend to be viewed as kindergarten craft staples, but I still have a special fondness for colorful pipe cleaners (chenille stems, if you're feeling fancy). I like these simple ideas for incorporating them into gift wrap

05 Nov 2011 7:00pm GMT

Printable Bias Tape Maker

Something magical happens when a scientist switches out her lab coat for a sewing machine. When creative sensibilities are combined with a scientific approach to problem-solving, you get ideas that are at once innovative and completely logical. This printable

05 Nov 2011 2:00pm GMT

Photograph Wall

This photo has been on Apartment Therapy before and I LOVE the concept. Taking an old (or new for that matter) photograph and making it an entire wall. Brilliant. This classic black and white photo works so well. Recently on

05 Nov 2011 12:00am GMT

Four-Level Super Mario Tower

When we were little, my sister and I wanted to play video games SO BAD. But our parents wouldn't buy us any! We were so hungry for the bright and exciting world of Mario that we ended up crayon-drawing

05 Nov 2011 12:00am GMT

04 Nov 2011

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Congrats to 3 Winners of the Craft Activism Book Giveaway!

Congratulations time! Last week we posted a red scarf project excerpted from the book Craft Activism by Joan Tapper. This post also included a book giveaway, in which 3 lucky winners were randomly chosen from nearly 100 comments. So

04 Nov 2011 10:30pm GMT

Amazing Bea Arthur Cross Stitch

Mr. X Stitch points us to this unbelievable cross stitched portrait of Bea Arthur by Adam Jon Moore. The detail is so astonishing that, at first glance, it almost looks like a photograph. I'm amazed by how much he

04 Nov 2011 10:00pm GMT

Calvin Nicholls' Incredible Paper Sculptures

I am always blown away by paper artists, and these paper sculptures by Calvin Nicholls are no exception. Incredibly detailed, they are all about texture. (Most of his work uses white paper alone.) I highly recommend checking out his

04 Nov 2011 9:00pm GMT

Chalkboard Cloud

Pinterest is so fun, and I have finally gotten a chance to get into it a bit. Last night I stumbled across this great photo of this adorable chalkboard paint cloud. What an adorable way to leave notes! I love

04 Nov 2011 9:00pm GMT

feedMAKE » Crafts

Portal Pumpkin!

A not-so-little slice of genius from Instructables user DracoGT. The legs and frame are PVC pipe and fittings, painted black. The eye is an inkjet printer transparency illuminated with an LED Tap Light. And the body, of course, is the predominant seasonal gourd, artfully cut to suggest armor plate.

04 Nov 2011 8:00pm GMT

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Stitches: The Art of Wool

Wow. I wish I could hop on a plane tonight to check out "Stitches: The Art of Wool" in Paris at La Maison du Danemark. Items included in the collection are either knitted or crocheted, showing the viewer that

04 Nov 2011 6:00pm GMT

DDWFTTW: Rick Cavallaro

Rick Cavallaro and his team at DDWFTTW succeeded in making a wind powered vehicle that travels downwind at a speed faster than the wind itself. The vehicle is at Maker Faire Bay Area 2011, having newly accomplished a feat

04 Nov 2011 5:30pm GMT

How-To: Sew Small Felt Details and Faces

I love working with felt because it allows me to applique details without worrying about fraying fabric or unfinished edges. But, especially if I'm working with very small pieces, it can be incredibly difficult to keep things properly aligned

04 Nov 2011 4:00pm GMT

Ballerina R2D2

Think Geek points us to this rad ballerina R2D2 costume created by Flickr user Leeloo (J!NX). Who would have thought R2D2 could morph so perfectly into a tutu? Related: Custom Knit R2D2 Sweater R2D2 Bike Helmet R2D2 Quilt Death

04 Nov 2011 3:07pm GMT

03 Nov 2011

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Creepy Homemade Funhouse is Creepy (and Epic)!

So I recently stumbled upon the work of Ohio-based maker Keith Corcoran, and I'm in awe. Halloween is over, but I'm wishing I could go back in time and make a trip to Keith's "Funhouse" to experience the totality of his "haunt." A cotton candy cauldron, spooky skeleton doling out entry tickets, and a really creepy clown in a rocking chair are just some of the props littering his lawn.

03 Nov 2011 11:00pm GMT

The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art

This page at the University of Oregon bills itself as "the world's largest collection of anatomically correct fabric brain art." Shown here is Dr. Karen Norberg's The Knitted Brain.

03 Nov 2011 1:00pm GMT

02 Nov 2011

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Reuse a Salt Container as a Pour-spout Jar Lid

Our own inimitable Laura Cochrane spotted this clever trick over at The Craft Patch. It may not be glamorous or sexy, but I love insanely simple stuff like this born of paying careful attention to what's right there in front of you.

02 Nov 2011 1:00pm GMT

01 Nov 2011

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Paper Plate Skeleton

I am not normally a fan of "cute," but I gotta admit, this skeleton door decorator made from cleverly-cut paper plates and bits of yarn works for me, somehow. By Instructables user kazmataz. [Thanks, Kelly!]

01 Nov 2011 4:00pm GMT

I Have a (Puzzling) Dream

MAKE Sales Manager Brigitte Kunde shared this amazing build with us, spotted online by a friend of hers. Pete Fecteau used over 4,000 Rubik's Cubes to create this 18′ 6″ x 9′ 8″ mosaic of Dr. Martin Luther King. Apparently Rubik's-based artwork is a "thing." There's Rubik's Einstein, Lincoln, Sitting Bull, Kathy Lee and Hoda(?). [...]

01 Nov 2011 4:30am GMT

31 Oct 2011

feedMAKE » Crafts

Using a Wire Saw to Carve Pumpkins

Great pro tip for meticulous pumpkin-crafters who just can't get the level of detail they need with knives. Courtesy of Instructables user Brna.

31 Oct 2011 8:00pm GMT

Perfect “They Live” Costumes

I think I just figured out what I'm going to be for Halloween next year. I love these masks of the aliens from John Carpenter's cult classic, They Live. On Kiersten Essenpreis blog, she has process photos of the build.

31 Oct 2011 2:30am GMT

28 Oct 2011

feedMAKE » Crafts

“Don’t Trick and Fly” Halloween Yard Decoration

A fun outdoor Halloween decoration spotted on Facebook (origins unknown). This would be pretty easy to create. I have a very similar costume cape and witches hat. If you're doing any halloween decorating, or other prop, costume, or food making, don't forget to enter our contest.

28 Oct 2011 9:30pm GMT

Make Glowing Kryptonite Candy

Learn how to make candy glow under UV by adding vitamin B2! In this Halloween episode of Becky's Workshop, we whip up some kryptonite candy, as seen in BrittLiv's Instructable.

28 Oct 2011 5:00pm GMT