I got the idea in my head a few days ago that I needed to knit myself some slippers. I saw several patterns I really liked, but after reviewing several of them, I realized I have no idea how to read a knitting pattern that’s written as a diagram. Then I found this patter, the Parkspin Slippers by Joan Janes. The instructions looked really simple, the slippers are knitted flat in one piece, and I figured there was no way I could mess them up unless maybe my gauge was off or something.

details
Because slippers matter that the size is right, I did knit a gauge swatch and found with the yarn I was using (a black based bulk buy yarn from Joann’s that looks like some assorted neon colors puked on it. I think it was a regrettable purchase when I saw how it knit up, but Mattie loves it.) knits up the stitches in the right width when I used I think it was size 10.5 or 11 needles, but the length was a little short. I ended up doing a few more rows then the pattern called for in the first part of the design to get the right length, and in the second half, I stitched about an extra half inch than what was called for since it was for a ladies’ medium slipper and my feet are pretty big. Other then that, I followed the directions to a T. Stitching them up was super easy, and I did choose to add a felt sole to them which in hindsight I will need to find sturdier thread to sew them on better, but overall I am quite pleased with them.

fronts

 

I’m calling them my Ugly Granny Slippers on Ravely because honestly this yarn is just awful, but its sturdy and since this pattern calls for two strands of yarn, doubled up its pretty thick.

sole

 

There’s really nothing special about them other than the fact that they will keep my feet cozy and warm, and I left off the pom pom, and while I did add the fold over edge to them, I did not actually fold it over. I like it better up. The best part? I am not a fast knitter at all, and t took me about 4 hours to knock out both slippers including sewing on the soles! So quick and easy!

sides

 

And and check out (what you can see of) my new monster pants! Adorable monsters and they are having a dance party! I made those yesterday. 🙂

Thursday Mattie’s Dad and brother came by for Thanksgiving dinner. We had tons of food, good things to drink, and lots of pie for dessert. Normally I am all for them visiting, but after five hours of the TV volume being really high, I ended up retiring to the bedroom, and shortly after slipping out to Michael’s to take advantage of their holiday shopping Thursday night sale. They had a 30% off everything coupon, and a lot of the store was marked down as well.

I looked up the regular prices of things after I got home, and I got out of there with what normally would have been $53 worth of stuff (yes, I know they are over priced) for $29. What did I get? All sorts  of stuff. I walked out with….

  • 2 strands of beads, reg price $3.99 at 60% off
  • 2 5″ x 5″ stapled canvases, reg price $7.99, 70% off
  • 5 2 oz blocks Sculpey III clay, reg price $2.79 each, 16% off for buying 5
  • some weird plastic rings to use at stitch markers in my knitting, reg price $2.99
  • 2 skeins Bernat Softee Chunky yarn, reg price $3.29, 31% off
  • plastic 6″ embroidery hoop, reg price $3.99
  • small pair scissors, reg price $1.79

Plus I also had a 30% off reg. and sale price items, so that brought it down to $29 and change out the door. I pulled the regular prices off of the website and I think some are slightly different than in the store, but it gives you an idea.

crafthaul

 

The yarn is a lovely orangy-brown color and the beads are green and purple. I grabbed some clay colors I don’t already have, plus black, because I always seem to be using black, and the one other thing I wanted was a very thin, fine paint brush, but I was 1) out of money, and 2) couldn’t find the ones I really like anyway.

I’ve also made some other trips to Michael’s in the last few weeks as well, and have come home with a few items each time. So many things I want!

Now, what have I been working on you ask? I finished a pair of fingerless gloves I will keep for myself for sure in black with rainbow eyelash trim. Right now I’m working on another pair in lettuce green that are longer, and without the eyelash yarn edging. After this is done? I’m thinking of doing a scarf- a scarf I will want to actually wear, not the scary mess I made when I was first getting the hang of things. Hopefully I will have photos of both soon.

Friday I decided to work on a project using the scant remains of a skein of yarn I had. The knitting bug has bitten me hard to say the least but I’m having so much fun with it! This yarn was the leftovers from my very short lived attempt at crocheting, and it also made up some of the stripes (about 1/4th of them) in my practice scarf. There wasn’t a lot left, so I decided to make a preemie-sized baby beanie with it. Apparently I judged the size of my project well because there was literally only about 18″ of yarn left after I finished it!

It turned out really well and I’m quite pleased with it. I’ve added it to my shop for purchase , so you can see it by clicking the link above. I plan on doing another one Saturday while Mattie is out with his dad and probably while he is playing video games or if we watch TV. Its such an easy project to do and doesn’t take a lot of effort to do it.

I did need some help is figuring out how many stitches I needed to cast on as well as the size of people’s heads at different ages, but I found these two really helpful pages.

Bev’s Size Charts, which gives head dimensions by age and sex, as well as finished item approximate dimensions. Super helpful!

Earth Guild’s Simple Hat Calculator,  which has a handy chart for how many stitches you need to cast on depending on your knit size and the size head you want to fit. Its really easy to adjust the chart downwards into the preemie sizes mentioned in the first link as well with simple subtraction.

I told my friend Christy she helped create a monster in answering all my knitting questions so far. I’ve officially completed two projects, and I ordered some yarn from Amazon Thursday night as well as another circular needle all of which will be arriving over the next few days.

Like to haggle? Now you can make me an offer! If its within a range I’m willing to accept, it’ll be added to your cart automatically! It couldn’t be easier, or more fun!

P.S. For those of you who think I don’t charge enough for my work, your offer can exceed my asking price. You’ll be helping me pay down my debt, put food on my table, buy good quality food for my pup, and maybe send me back to music lessons!

 

capeletI did a lot of sewing the last few days, but unfortunately, I can’t share the most exciting parts of it with you yet and that’s driving me crazy. I stitched up my prom dress for Joann’s party in November with only a few weeks to spare, plus I whipped up a really quick capelet using my leftover dress fabric, plus some other stuff in my stash to line it. I will show you the capelet though, as it doesn’t give away anything about my dress except color and fabric.

I based the capelet off of McCall’s 5006, view G or H, but I only went as far as cutting out the fronts and back piece using the pattern and ignored the rest. I had a few small pieces of black velvet ribbon in my stash which I used for the ties, and I used some gold satin that I have no memory of buying from my stash to line it. Its one of those fabrics I want to use up to get rid of it, but can’t think of many applications where I’d actually want to wear it. I also made a small gold clutch, and am going to go with gold sandals.

I also cut the pieces of the pattern out for the polka dotted top I showed you a mock-up of in this post on Sunday, and put it together on Tuesday. It turned out really cute, and I love it- its exactly what I expected, even though I altered some of the construction methods to finish off the neckband and armbands in a way that would be nicer than what was called for. This shirt was super easy to put together, and it took me about an hour and 40 minutes from start to finish. Part of that time was me ripping out a seam because the upper shoulder edges and center back edges on the back of the shirt are almost identical, and I stitched them together wrong and had to rip it out. I also had to restitch my sleeve cuffs on one sleeve twice as I completely missed snagging the cuff’s fabric on the inside of the sleeve when I stitched it in place.

I finally remembered to check and see if I have a matching zipper for the maroon dress I made months ago because after trying the dress on after I made it, I discovered the zipper sticks really bad, if you can zip it up at all- obviously that is not conductive to wearing it. Unfortunately, despite the fact I have literally 200 zippers of varying sizes and colors, I do not have one in a wine or maroon in the right length so will have to actually go out and buy one for it some time.

Anyway, here’s the top I did today, in a horrible dimly lit mirror shot. I can’t remember if I mentioned it or not, but my camera took a crap on me, so right now its pretty much cell phone pics (sadly mostly in the mirror) unless I can get Mattie to take them for me. The fabric is actually navy blue with light blue dots, though its hard to tell in this awful photo.

I also did some new mock-ups this evening for a new pattern I recently picked up- I love leggings, and while I have two pair, I feel like I could use a few more. The pairs I have are black and grey, wit the black ones having huge metal grommets all over them and the grey ones are studded up the side seams. The grey ones are more versatile of the two, but the black ones can be hard to wear because of the grommets.

The new leggings I will be making fall into two places- calm and quiet, and crazy and wild. View A from McCall’s 6173 features a waistband and zipper, as well as zippers at the ankles. I chose two crazy fabrics for that view, with black and purple zebra stripes, and bold leopard print that channels my inner Peg Bundy.

The other view I like has an elastic waist, and no additional detailing. I’ve chosen a plain black rib knit for one pair, and a tan and brown houndstooth pattern for the other pair. There is a third view in the envelope, which features extra length so they are bunched up around the ankles. I don’t really care or that view.

4I also did a mockup of a mini-dress I have in my stash that I initially purchased for the top variations. But I’m thinking the mini-dress will be a great with leggings (its too short for me to wear otherwise- I’m not comfortable showing that much leg) and the teal colored rib knit I found will be great for it. I could wear it with either of the tamer leggings I’ll be making, as well as the two pairs I already own. Really trying to give myself some wearable Winter options that are still cute and fun while hopefully not freezing to death.

Tomorrow I will see about working on another of the tops I have had fabric for for a while and maybe knock something else out of my stash.I’m thinking of working on one of these variations of Simplicity 2365 View D as I really like the shirt I’ve already made form this pattern, though I did a different view- the one with the short sleeves. I’m not sure which fabric I want to dive into first though I do know the next time I do this pattern it will turn out better then before as I have a better understanding now of some of the finishing techniques used in it after making Mattie’s dress shirt.

I’d also like to see what I have in the way of bigger knit scraps that might be usable for other small projects and see about maybe listing them on eBay. Figure if I sell off some of them, I can make a few bucks and clear some room out in my fabric drawers. I need to pick up a few Priority mailers from the post office when I mail out patterns I sold tomorrow and see how much I can fit into one of them.

 

 

 

What I did on Tuesday… in pictures.

dressshirt

IMAG0174

patternsbox scraps superpurse

I did a few other things as well Tuesday, like separating my buttons roughly by color, and today I’ll be deciding what to do with another small box of patterns I dug up in my craft room while I was cleaning up, as well as finishing up the twin to the comic book purse, cutting out my cousin’s daughter’s tablet case pieces, and working on re-doing my friend’s Kindle case that I screwed up. I also may be making a clutch from a new pattern I just came up with, but not sure yet. At the very least I’d like to do some cutting for future sewing.

My friend Joann asked me to make her a new purse a few weeks back, and we made a trip to Joann’s fabric store to pick out what we needed. It took a while, but finally decisions were made and we had four fun fabrics, two for each side of the purse. Of course it took me way longer than it should have to get it down because of a multitude of things going wrong (bobbin not winding correctly and continuously breaking, I sewed a few pieces together backwards… )but its finally done and it turned out really cute!

joannspurse

 

Depending which side is out, and which way its turned, its like having four purses in one! There are four pockets, two inside and two outside, and there’s enough room inside to hold quite a bit of stuff without being a monster. I have one of these I made for myself that I use most of the time and I love it even after a few years. Its also completely reversible.

If you’d like to make your own version of this purse yourself, just let me know! You can buy a copy of the pattern for $5.00. You’ll need a printer to print the pages (standard letter size) and some tape to stick the pieces together, but its super easy! You can also buy this one already made form my shop, or this one, which is just a little bit different.

fauxtiegreen-256x3001-256x300I’ve been spending small bits of time sewing since you saw me with the brown top, but what have I been working on? I’ve been using up scraps left over from other projects! I’ve also ripped two past-made items apart and re-sewn them
in a neater, nicer fashion. I will be working on doing that to a few other items this week as well, starting with a purse I sewed a few years go in much too much of a hurry and did a sloppy job of cutting it as well. Here’s two of the 6 new items in my shop as of today!

There are now 7 faux-ties in my shop in various colors and patterns in the Accessories section, and probably will be a few more added in the coming days. Faux-ties are $4 each. I’m trying really hard to use up some of my larger scraps to some degree, though I know I will still have plenty to send to my friend Donna in a few short months. There is one other plastic bag dispenser in my shop as well- a pink one, both of which sell for $8 each.


greenbagcaddy

 

The purse I mentioned above has nearly been reconstructed, but it still needs a few small details put in place, namely the closure. Its still not quite perfect, but it was the best I could do to fix it up, and honestly, the small imperfections are unlikely to be noticed at a casual look from other while you walk around with it. It will be discounted in my shop though because as I said, its not quite perfect.

I still need to add my purse pattern to my shop for those of you who’d like to make your own, and maybe I will create a quick how-to on making these faux-ties. I saw a tutorial somewhere for them years ago, so I can’t say its my design, but its a very basic design and super easy to put together in a few minutes.

I told you I made something else with that fabric I used on the skirt, right? The scraps I had left over were big- way too big to toss out, but small enough and oddly shaped there was no way I could make anything big out of them. Remembering this purse pattern that I drafted myself (I’ll be adding to my shop for a few dollars soon if you’d like to make your own) uses about 1 yard of fabric and can be made with 4 fat quarters, I decided to see if I had enough left in big enough pieces to make one.

purse1

As you can see here, I obviously had enough fabric, and the cool thing about this purse pattern is its completely reversible, and only takes about an hour and a half to make. Its super easy and super fast!

purse2

 

I have one of these purses I made for myself several years ago, and I still love it. I get a ton of compliments on it when I have it with me, and people always ask where I got it. :biggrin:

 

One of the things I like best about this purse design is it sits close to your body- long straps make me worry someone will try to snatch it off of my side because it makes them so accessible to anyone around you.

 

The closure is really simple- its just a small fabric tube made into a loop that a button fits through. Its quick to fasten and unfasten, but it won’t stretch out over time like an elastic tie will, which I have on a purse I purchase don Etsy ages ago. I still love that purse too, but I need to swap out the elastic for a sturdier fastener loop someday.

You can buy this purse in my shop here for $23.00. I may have a few other small items made up in this fabric over the next few days until its gone.

I’ve been working on my UFOs the last few days trying t finish them up. What’s a UFO, you ask? A UFO is an Un-Finished Object, something us crafters probably deal with more than most other folks. In my case, I’ve only got a few, but its more than I want to have and my goal this week is to catch up and get all of them finished!

Most of my UFOs are clothing-related. I had a dress I attempted to make abut 3 years ago. I gained weight. I realized almost every piece of it was cut wrong. I gave up with it half constructed and threw it behind my sewing table where it sat until Thursday.

I had a skirt I cut the pieces for in September. It also sat, collecting dust, and not getting anywhere near done. I finished it on Friday, and despite having lots of buttons (my personal sewing bane) I made it through easily and pretty quickly.

I had a bathrobe (technically not a UFO because I never started on it) that I planned even before the second skirt. I cut and finished it on Saturday, and it turned out lovely! I love it!

And what did I do today? I finished the mate to a pair of pot holders I made (the first one of the pair) about 4 years ago. The style is really cute and very retro, but to be honest, its also a huge pain in the butt to make them, which is why I made one and never finished its mate. Its done too now. I honestly had an easier time making it then I thought I would though and am contemplating making a few more to try to sell. I’ll get a photo of it tomorrow.

I also made the mate to a pair of earrings I started a few weeks ago before being hit with the Christmas season beading rampage getting things ready for gifting. Those I will be photographing and adding them to my shop tomorrow some time in the Flowers & Plants section. They’re a pair of Stargazer lilies, in two shades of pink and white. They turned out pretty nicely but they aren’t my favorite earring creation to date.

I did some other sewing too for one of my Mom’s Christmas gifts, which I hope will work out- I asked her for measurements (its a coat for her fat little dog) and I had to modify the existing pattern quite a bit, but I think it will be fine. I did the coat in two shades of blue (both cotton prints) as blue is her favorite color, and used ice blue thread for the top stitching. I’ll try to remember to bring my camera out to her house on Christmas Eve and get photos of the dog wearing it.

I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring for me out in the craft room, but I’m thinking of trying something new this time. Maybe fleece mittens?