Thursday, December 13, 2012

FO: Lace Drawstring Bag

I'm part of a Project-A-Month KAL group on Ravelry and it's quite new. It started in September, but so far, I've only been able to join two KALs -- the October one and this December one: the Lace Drawstring Bag.

Needles: 4mm
Yarn: Bernat Super Value Solids in black

Weird, the color's washed out here.

This was a very quick knit. A nice, simple pattern to practice yarnovers and decreases. The pattern was really easy to follow (and memorize), yet it wasn’t boring at all.

I modified one thing though -- I added an extra stitch on each side so that I could seam it up more easily using the mattress stitch.

Nice and snug seaming!

Sorry for the somber color. This was the only yarn in my stash that I felt was sturdy enough to be used in a bag. It’s actually black, by the way, not gray.

Here's the project on Ravelry.

And here it is, wrapping my small, stainless steel mug at the office:

I was hoping to show you the lace pattern better with this photo but... obviously, I failed haha. It's cute though! You should try it! It's a free Ravelry download.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Busy bee

It's been more than a week and I still don't have German measles. YES. Thank you, my dear immune system.

I still haven't blogged about that dress I finished last week.

I still haven't taken any nice photos, obviously, and also, I didn't learn any new techniques, really.

Well, scratch that. I did learn that I'm getting better at using facings -- I didn't have enough fabric to make bias tape for the neck opening and armholes so I resorted to just using facings again. I also learned how to adjust the settings on my sewing machine to make sure that the tension is just right for both the upper thread and bobbin thread. It took me the whole morning playing with the settings before I got it right, but it was all worth it :) I think I'm more confident with my machine now.

And I learned that sewing standard size patterns for myself is a pain in the a**. This weekend, I promise to make a bodice block! And it will serve as my base for all future dresses. I'm sick of having to tweak so many things for the garment to fit me. And they don't even end up fitting me perfectly either. Ugh.

And lastly, I learned that this cotton fabric is SO easy to sew. Sew easy (get it?). BUT, it wrinkles easily. I'm wearing it to work today and my daily commute created crease lines under my hips and at the seat. :p This is making me want to plunge into sewing with knits, which are more forgiving. Question is... Can I really do it without a serger? :O  Reading up on several tutorials for that. I'll also be practicing with scraps of jersey to get the hang of stretchy fabric this weekend.

December is such a busy month for me. And it's not even because I'm busy making handmade gifts or shopping for some! This is the busiest time of the year for me at work, what with most of the courses ending. I hardly have time to breathe, let alone find time to sneak in some knitting and swatching. And then there's all those fun holiday parties that are coming up, with friends and family alike. Our office is having our party this coming Friday and then there's a welcome-home party the next day for a friend who is studying abroad.

I don't have any big projects on my needles for now; I only have that tiny KAL for my Project-A-Month Ravelry group, which I think I can finish before the weekend. The only other thing on my needles is a swatch for a lace design I'm trying to get together. If all goes well, this will be my first ever pattern which I will be confident enough to actually put up FOR SALE. Woo! I hope I get it right.


I met up with some fellow-crafters last Saturday for the year-ender meet-up organized by Chumpling Crafts. It was nice to meet other people who are into yarn crafts like I am.

Bheng was there and I also finally got to meet Imeng in person and give her that book on felting that I promised her! :D

And here's something I got to bring home with me:

I can't wait til my week-long holiday!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pattern: Cable Braid headband

I've been seeing similar-looking headbands online and just had to try making one on my own. It seemed fairly simple, just a small number of stitches which you overlap with cables. The only difficulty I encountered was figuring out how many regular rows I had to knit between each cable row to make it all look even.

Here are the details!

Yarn: Excel EX991 in purple, which I got from Dreams Yarnshoppe in Glorietta 5. It's one of my go-to yarn because it's relatively cheap (90m for 95 pesos, though I think they raised the price slightly), and though it's acrylic, it's soft!

Needles: 3.75mm needles which I got from Bheng. You can use different yarn and different needles, depending on how thick you want the headband to be. Mine ended up being about 1.25 inches wide.

Other notions: cable needle (I don't really have one, so I used a thin crochet hook lol), tapestry needle, a 4-5-6 inch piece of garter, regular sewing needle and thread (for sewing the garter on).

Pattern: Cable Braid headband

Cast on 12 sts. I originally used a provisional cast on, hoping to knit the band all the way and bind off both ends together, but I ran out of yarn so I had to bind off regularly on both ends separately and sew in some garter instead. This actually may seem to be a better way to go if you want a very flexible band.

Row 1: knit
Row 2: purl
Row 3: knit
Row 4: purl
Row 5: cable 4 front (slip the first 4 sts onto a cable needle, keep them in front of work, knit next 4 sts on left needle, then replace the 4 sts on the cable needle back onto the left needle, knit those 4 sts), knit 4
Row 6: purl
Row 7: knit
Row 8: purl
Row 9: knit
Row 10: purl
Row 11: knit 4, cable 4 back (slip the next 4 sts onto a cable needle, keep them in back of work, knit next 4 sts on left needle, then replace the 4 sts on the cable needle back onto the left needle, knit those 4 sts)
Row 12: purl
Row 13: knit
Row 14: purl

Repeat rows 5 to 14 until work reaches the desired length, then end with a right side row (knit). My band reached 15 inches before I cast off (only because I ran out of yarn boo).

Finishing: Sew the garter on by folding the stockinette-stitch ends of the band over the ends of the garter using a regular sewing needle and some thread.
What I did was, I placed about half an inch of the garter in the middle of the stockinette end of the band, and then folded the sides of the band on top the garter. I sewed a line first along the edge of the band, and then criss-crossed over the half-inch of the garter inside the band.

That's it! If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment :)

Note: You can make and sell projects using my free patterns but please give credit where credit is due. A simple link to my blog would be great! If you do make one, please let me know. I'd love to hear from you!

P.S. Catyanna and Bheng, I posted earlier than I said I would haha. Ginanahan ako sa comments niyo, thank you so much!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hodge podge update

Wow, it's been a week since my last post. I know I'm not the most interesting blogger around, but I like posting every other day to help me document and process what's been happening.

And because I sometimes find it hard to note down details, I'm gonna use some photos as a guide for this post.

Last week, the day I finished my daisy stitch headband, my friend Mansy asked me to teach her how to knit. She already has a dream project in mind -- a hat/bonnet. But of course, I had to teach her the basics first, like casting on, the knit stitch, and the purl stitch.

Excuse the dark photo, this was taken at the office XD

She already has enough yarn and a circular needle :)

The next day, Selena, Marc and Russ had a quick practice/run-through in our bedroom (Selena's and mine) in preparation for recording.

View from my bed, where I was all blanketed up and ready to sleep.
This was kind of a spontaneous practice for them, so I wasn't prepared.

The weekend was a lazy one, where Marc and I stayed at home mostly. We only really went out just to visit our friend Ricca's booth at the St. James Bazaar and attend this month's Attraction! Reaction! gig.

It was a VERY beautiful afternoon at the bazaar.

Silvio was just as lazy as we were this weekend.
It's so funny how cats love to squeeze themselves into tiny spaces.

Oh, and I finished that dress!

Weird photo c/o my mom.

But it deserves its own post.

Marc and I had dinner with friends last Monday night. But we ended the night here ^^ because we noticed our friend Pen had rashes all over her body. Marc and I brought her to East Ave Med Center after dinner, where she was diagnosed with German measles.

It can't be denied that everyone at the dinner was worried about contracting it too. We appreciate having spent the evening in each other's company, but none of us wanted to get German measles. To be fair to Pen, she thought she just had allergies. LOL. German measles take about a week for the incubation period... So let's check back with me again in a week? HAHA.

And Cat Art c/o Boxer:

Poor tissue roll! Also, what a waste of paper!

And I finished another headband! It's a cable-braid headband:

This will get its own post too, like the dress, cos I want to post the pattern with photos of it being worn.

The week went by pretty quickly, but I didn't get much done. Well, by my self-imposed standards anyway. Dress and headband posts tomorrow!