It’s been since November that I last posted and I’ve been trying for ages to make a new post but it keeps not happening. I’ve been getting past a yarncraft slump, where for months I didn’t want to do anything more than give some of my softer skeins an occasional squeeze. I’m past that now though, and have knitted a few things, and am currently working on the Good Vibes shawl from  wonderful French designer. I’m almost done with the big main color section and I will start the first stripe tomorrow when my other yarn color arrives.

Speaking of yarn, I’m currently cold sheeping. I’m hoping to make it through the end of the year without falling off the wagon, but we’ll see. My big goal is to get down to only 38 miles of yarn in my stash- I had 52, I donated 4, and now I just want to use up another 10. There are a few exceptions of when I can buy yarn, though for the most part, no new yarn is kind of the rule.

  1. I can use gift cards to buy yarn.
  2. I can accept yarn from swaps or as gifts.
  3. I can buy additional yarn to finish a project I’ve started.

Its pretty simple, but if you buy yarn like I tend to, its not easy!

I rearranged my craft room yesterday, and picked out another 3 bags of stuff to donate. This included all the sewing patterns I previously had listed for sale, so those are gone now, and I have more room on my shelf. Of course that shelf is mostly filled with large skeins of yarn… LOL.

The website also underwent a physical change a few weeks ago, getting a complete makeover. I like to think it looks more modern and on trend with what’s good today… Of course the 3 dozen emails I get in spam every day offering their design services seem to think otherwise! Ha!

I’m going through my inventory and while I have several items I’ve just added to the shop with more to come, there are also several that I am considering donating. So, if you want to score some free stuff (just pay shipping) check out the shop portion of the site and sort by price from Low to High. Or just click this link.

There’s a few scarves, a pair of ginormous slippers, some earrings that just aren’t quite up to par, and a pot holder that has too small of a hanging tab. These items are well-made, they’re just not moving well and I want them gone. So click on through and see what you can grab!

There’s also a few beading patterns, but those ones are always available for free.

I’ve sewn KS1425 before, twice, actually, but its such a comfy, casual style and I wanted to sew it again. I traced the patter sizes I’d previously cut out to a larger size (boo! weight gain!) and I started cutting. I was proud of myself because I graded things perfectly and all my pieces lined up just right. Of course this top has 4 pieces, plus the little strips across the back, so there’s not a lot to it. I didn’t take process photos but there’s not a lot to see in this one anyway.

Afterwards, I took some photos wearing it, along with the red pants from my previous post. The pants are kind of growing on me, and as I said, they are super comfortable. I’m thinking  after looking at these photos, maybe they aren’t so bad.

Here we go! Picture time!

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I’m still not 100% crazy about the fit in the front but I’ve gone over several fitting cheat sheets and there’s nothing super glaringly wrong with them. They’ve just kind of loose which I’m not sure to, though as I said, I like the rear fit okay.

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So, new top, and the final view of the red pants. I’ll hopefully be posting new projects soon. I have some crazy stuff in mind!

Some odd weeks ago, I was texting my good friend Nikki who now lives in Washington and I showed her a blanket pattern I was considering making. She commented that she loved it and the next thing I knew, I was crocheting it for her without telling her. It was a baby blanket pattern that I worked to a larger size, and it was so easy to make once I found a video explaining the instructions a bit better.

I didn’t get any good photos of it really as I worked on it, but I do have this close up of it that shows the colors really well. I worked it up in Red Heart Super Saver yarns in Black, and Blacklight, and I used one entire Jumbo skein of black plus 3 regular sized skeins of Blacklight. The colors in Blacklight are truly neon and super bright.

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Nikki shared this photo she took of the blanket after she received it (which is another story!) and posted it to Facebook where it got lots of compliments, which made me super happy! One of the points was a little odd center due to me not properly counting my stitches at the beginning but otherwise it turned out really well.

star2

 

I’m planning on making another star blanket, but with more points next time, and in different colors. I’m thinking Pink Camo, Light Raspberry, and Aran. I was dying to share this one with you guys for weeks but had to wait until after Nikki had received it.

I was super worried she would never get it though. I dropped it in the mail one night and only after it went into the chute did I learn her phone had auto-corrected her mailing address into a street that does not even exist so I had no idea where her package would end up or if it would find its way back home. Luckily her mail carrier is stellar and figured out the correct address and delivered it to her!

After weeks of sitting and being just a head, I finally got with it and finished up my weenie dog I started how long ago now? He’s super sad looking and done is just about every shade of blue I had in Red Heart Super Saver yarn, and after stitching him together, making felt eyes which I glued on with E600, and posing him for photos with Sashi, I can say he’s done and not too bad looking. If I made him again I would make the body bigger around and the head a bit shorter in length but overall I’m pretty happy with him. I’d also stuff the next one tighter as he’s a bit lumpy in the head and body but the legs and tail are nice and plump. I used a pattern I found on Ravelry to make him.

Ready to see? Here we go!

Bluedogtail

 

Sashi is very unsure if this is a toy or a monster so she gives him a little sniff and nibbles his tail a bit.

Bluedogblur

 

Maybe it’s alright. She’ll lay down next to it and see what happens. She knows I want her to pose next to it but she doesn’t really want to.

Bluedogunsure

Giving it the side eye. Mr Sad Blue Dog seems to be giving her the side eye right back.

As you can see this guy is pretty big and it took me about 2 days if I had worked straight through to make him. You can find me as inkdork on Ravelry here.

I donated some stuff to the thrift store yesterday, giving them some previous cut sewing patterns I had in my shop, as well as some large fabric scraps and remnants I had that I wanted to destash and weren’t selling. I figured I’d take a look around while I was there, and I picked up 11 sheets of craft felt (all different colors) for $0.10 a sheet. I’m not sure what I will use it for but sure it will come in somewhere.

I wasn’t quite ready to go home yet so I went to the thrift store in the outlet mall and I struck hilarious, wonderful gold. The first thing I found was an old 1960’s copy of Simplicity Sewing Book, which aside from yellowed and a few loose pages, is in amazingly good condition. Its full of helpful hints for basic garment construction, and tips and instructions for various sewing and finishing techniques. The book retailed originally for $0.75!

I also found 6 old issues from 1986 – 1987 of Knitting Elegance Magazine, and that’s what this post is really about. To say the sweater designs are dated is an understatement, and most of them feature big boxy shapes, wide, padded shoulders, and wild color blocking with a lot of randomly shaped patches of angora yarn. Apparently angora yarn was ridiculously popular as a luxe feature in sweaters.

Anyway, I took photos of some of the more crazy styles and I’m sharing them here with you. Let’s begin!

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This one features what looks like entrelac,though I honestly don’t know much about it and the patterns for most of these are charted, and I have no idea how to read the charts.

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Huge puffy sleeves? Check! Open “cold shoulder? design? Why yes! Angora fuzz on only part of the sweater? Absolutely!

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Crazy space-age props like metallic gloves and crazy updo’s and sunglasses? We got ’em!

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Wild color blocking and yet another appearance of the fuzzy angora yarn in random places.

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I guess this one isn’t so terrible, but with the dress it just stands out as… well, I’m not really sure.

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More color blocking, what looks like fake fur or some sort of novelty yarns, and Dolman sleeves. I’d honestly wear this one if it was a solid color.

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Another appearance of the angora yarn shoulder! Also, a lot of bangles. Many, many bangles.

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This is the only men’s sweater to make the cut. The coloration is just weird and trying too hard to be artsy, and that V-neck and no shirt underneath looks like this guy is a major… um… my professionalism prevents me from saying what on this blog. Sorry!

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This one I think actually has a nice simple shape but those cables everywhere kill it for me. It makes this girl look bulky and she’s not. The weird contrast around the neckline looks odd too to me.

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Last one. Big, bulky, square, probably padded shoulders, and is she holding something across her body or is there something really weird going on with her skirt? I honestly can’t tell!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this blast into the 1980’s and loved all its sweater glory! There are a few patterns in the Summer issue I do actually love and would like to try to make. <3

My thrift store finds, minus the 3 yards of pink floral fabric I got. Totally forgot to put it in the frame!
My thrift store finds, minus the 3 yards of pink floral fabric I got. Totally forgot to put it in the frame!

I decided Thursday morning I’d go thrift store shopping. I only know of three thrift stores off-hand, but the internet is my friend. I started off with the three shops I knew. I was looking for certain items- books for Mattie’s dad since I got him hooked on a new (to him) series and since they were very popular, I can find a lot of them for super cheap used, sewing patterns, and yarn. Above is pictured everything I came home with, except for the two books for Mattie’s dad.

Good Will

I did a quick walk through and I found the 9th book in the series I am slowly getting for Mattie’s dad. That was all I found but the store is nice and clean and people are pleasant.

American Way Thrift Store

This one was a bust of books, but I did find two sewing patterns I wanted.

Salvation Army

I didn’t find anything here at all. I wasn’t too upset though because they have business practices I don’t agree with. At this point I was starting to wonder if I was going to find any yarn at all in any of the shops I visited.

Thrift Shop (generically named and located in the outlet mall)

I found a sewing pattern here. I thought it was overpriced for being thrift store goods at a dollar, but it was brand new and uncut, just the envelope was torn. At this shop I did find a few skeins of yarn buried in the bottom of a tote full of fabric scraps but it was horrible cheap stiff and scratchy stuff and in two awful shades of brown. Pass!

New to You Thrift Shop

The patrons all reeked of vodka but the ones that were chatty were super friendly and nice, and obviously regulars to the shop, offering to help me find things. The alcohol smell was so strong I was afraid too breathe deeply for fear of becoming drunk! Haha! But I found two more sewing patterns, and a 3 yard by 42″ cut of fabric of a lovely soft pink fabric with roses on it that I hope is not damaged of stained that I want to make a blouse out of.

A to Z Thrift Shop

This place was the size of a closet, and run by people who barely spoke English. It was over crowded and honestly just looked like a storage unit packed full of stuff I didn’t want. Didn’t buy anything. I felt stifled and suffocated the entire time I was inside.

Grace Thrift Center

This was another one new to me, but it was clean, spacious, well organized, and they had craft supplies! I ended up leaving there with another sewing pattern, 3 skeins of variegated blue sock yarn, 1 hank of 100% Peruvian wool yarn in a bright lime green, and another book I needed for Mattie’s dad.

After I got home, I decided to go back and get the other Cascade 100% wool yarn and the other skein of sock yarn in a different color, and I also found another book for his dad.

So, all in all I got 16 items and I spent $16 and change. I’m pretty okay with that! Three of the sewing patterns are new and uncut and a fourth one might be- I’m not sure yet but I’ll examine it later.

I’ve been trying to dedicate an hour a day to crafting the last few days and I feel like I am making progress. It should be easy to do something I love but sometimes it feels like work, you know? Anyway, in the last few days, I’ve completed several new quilt squares towards my quilt I may or may not ever finish, made some bracelets, crocheted a scarf, and added a bunch of new items to my shop.

Not all of the items I added to the shop were created by me- there are two pairs of earrings that were created by another artist, and some yarn I won’t be using and would like to sell. I’m hoping to add more crafting supplies as time goes on and start to clear out my stash- as of right now I’ve got sewing patterns, some yarns, and some fabrics I’m not going to use any time soon. I figure if its been in my stash for years and its still untouched, I probably don’t need it.

So, click on through to my shop, look around, and find something that strikes your fancy! I’ve got a big variety of products to chose from!

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.

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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.

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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. 🙂

 

babydoll

Another Pinterest find, this babydoll negligee is too cute with all the ruffles and light, fluffy layers. You can find the directions to make this here, and her instructions are very easy to follow. This uses 8 pieces total, and 5 of them are just strips of fabric to make the ruffles. Chiffon is inexpensive and most of us have some soft ribbon around to use or the ties, so this is would make a gorgeous low-cost alternative to store-bought (and pricey!) lingerie. I’d call that a win!