Thursday, August 27, 2009


yeah i know, not the most inventive title, but at least its relevant to my newfound love of sewing ^-^

the story goes:
my mom gave me a sewing machine for christmas last year in hopes that i would finally learn how to use one. until now i've been sewing everything by hand which translated into me not doing a whole lot of sewing. but my mom is pretty handy with a sewing machine, she used to sew all our halloween costumes by hand; and these were highly extravagant costumes. one year my brother was the Energizer Bunny, and she sewed a brother-sized bunny suit, without following a pattern mind you, out of this really really thick, furry pink fabric.

so a few weeks ago i finally asked her to show me the ins and outs of machine sewing and as my first project sewed this poorly constructed little practice purse:

my main reason for finally wanting to learn machine sewing was because i had this grand idea to make a handmade project bag and circular needle holder for my swap partner Sarah for our 10$ Swap on Ravelry. it was a perilous journey, complete with many stops, starts, ripped seams and re-sews. but in the end perseverence prevailed and i did manage to complete both patterns i found in the original Stitch n' Bitch book by Debbie Stoller.

the bag (yes that;s my hubby's arm holding it ^^):
the needle holder:
they both involved the use of iron on transfer paper for the patch on the bag and the numbers on the needle holder, which complicated things a bit more. when trying to sew the patch onto the bag the presser foot on my machine caught on the stickiness of the iron on patch and kinda ripped up a little peice of the design, and while trying to iron on the velcro for the needle holder i damn near transfered the numbers to my ironing board >.<
but all in all i'm glad i finally learned, and managed to make myself this cute little cover for my knitting journal below:

i'm not completely thrilled with the finished project, i'm thinking about ripping up the pocket and making one out of solid black fabric to have a little contrast and make it easier to see. also, it almost didn't fit on my journal so i may rip out the flap seams so i can add a bit more of an allowance. but all in all i'm still mighty proud of my accomplishments to date. considering i haven't sewed anything by machine since i was in Jr. High home ec, i think my projects so far are not too shabby.
and speaking of swapping, my swap package arrived last monday!!!!!
the theme of the swap was "all one color" and as you can see my favoritest color is GREEN!!!
i got a wonderful green (in more ways than one) tote, some cute froggy paper clips, honey-ginseng green tea, assorted green apple candies, green tea lotion, a green graph paper notebook that i'll probably need since i'm taking math this semester (yuck!) this really delicious looking home-made chip dip, and some beautiful stitchmarkers and hand-dyed yarn that Sarah dyed herself! color me spoiled xD
thanks again to Sarah from The Student Knitter for sending me such a lovely swap package. i've already used the stitch markers and marveled at their loveliness :)
oh yeah and on a last note, i am STILL working on my submission to Knitcircus Magazine, which was origianally due the 15th, but the deadline was pushed back to September 1st. since i had some extra time i decided to test knit the pattern and boy am i glad i did because i found a few really big problems with it that i've been able to correct. but it's got to be done before tuesday so be on the lookout for a new post with details on the finished pattern.
nighty-night knitters

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Knitcircus here i come!!

so it's official....

i'm going to be submitting my first pattern to a magazine, Knitcircus, for publication!! i'm really excited about it, even if my pattern doesn't get picked getting my first rejection letter/email will be like my formal entry into the world of designing. i really think i have a decent chance though, since i'm utilizing a technique for this pattern that i've not seen used anywhere before. i can't say too much about it though, i don't wanna give away all my secrets! but i'm sure the observant knitters eye might be able to guess at it ;)

the design is called ladylike and it's a pair of delicate eyelet gloves pictured below:

it's funny because the inspiration for these came to me one night a few months ago just as i was lying down to go to sleep. i've seen a lot of bulky fingerless gloves (and knit quite a few pairs) so i wanted to design something that would be dainty, well fitted, virtually cuffless and cute enough to be part of an ensemble, not just something to keep your hands warm. i was also inspired quite a bit by vintage design, i love that women used to wear gloves frequently, not just for warmth, but for fashion as well. i think we need to bring gloves back in style and i'm doing my part to help them make a comeback ^^

owing to the fact that i live in southern california and it doesn't get very cold here i also wanted to design something that i could wear comfortably in virtually all seasons, thus ladylike was born. knit in Crystal Palace Yarns PandaSilk (52% bamboo, 43% machine washable merino wool, 5% combed silk,) they are designed to stretch a bit to accomodate multiple hand sizes so the pattern is only writen in one size. also, so that they would be perfectly fitted at the bottom without the use of boring old ribbing i knit a slit into the bottom of the glove to which i attached a simple button and crocheted loop closure pictured below:
and closed

i'm a big fan of fingerless gloves, i think it's the one individual item i've knit the most of. i'm i've actually got a pair of them on the needles that i'm knitting for my husband that have been pushed to the back burner while i finish up ladylike. the deadline is fast approaching for submissions, i only have 3 more days yikes! if anyone has any comments on my gloves, whether or not they think they are Knitting Magazine-worthy, please don't hesitate to leave a comment on this post. any feedback from the knitting community would be greatly appreciated :)

but in the midst of all the designing work i'm excited to be joining my first swap evar the "10 $ swap" !!!! my swapartner and i have so much in common i think it's going to make for a really cool swapping experience. AND she dies her own yarn so i'm hoping she just might send me some of her handdyed as part of my swap package ::crosses fingers::
i've never had the pleasure of knitting with handdyed yarn so it would be a real treat.

she blogs about her dyeing exploits on her blog here so go check out her lovely collection :)

well i've gotta go get knitting for this swap, i'm making her something special in one of her favorite colors, i hope she likes it ^^ (i can't say what it is here because she's currently stalking my blog to get ideas for HER swap package, so you'll just have to come back to my blog once the swap is done to find out what it is >:) ::devious smirk:: )

Saturday, August 1, 2009

it's a bird! it's a plane! no it's....a tiny golden cow!!!!

yes thats right, a tiny golden cow, or petite vache dorée for those of you who speak a bit of french. this little heffer was made with golden DMC embroidery floss for Potions class in the HPKCHC. sadly, the competition ended yesterday ::cries:: and i didn't manage as many classes as last month, but it was still the most fun i've had on Ravelry so far. i'm still not sure if i'm going to participate next term or not because i have 3 or 4 designs that i'm trying to get finished.

here you can see the cow in the works, and you can also see how tiny the stitches are (and yes my dpns are golden too ^^)

i'm currently planning a black and white cow as well as a brown one and then the patterns for all 3 will be uploaded to Ravelry for sale under the name trois petites vaches (three little cows in english)

also, as promised in my last post here is the finished orion's belt choker:

it didn't turn out quite as flat or stable as i'd have liked, so when i get a chance i'm going to sew a fabric lining in the back and adjust the tie closure. i'm still not sure whether i'll make this pattern available or not as there didn't seem to be much interest in it in the HPKCHC. but i may still put it up here on my blog as a free pattern.
and finally some pics of my 2 biggest upcoming designs: Rowena sleeves and sycamore parasol

i featured these sleeves a few posts ago and as you can see they've grown considerably since then. i'll probably finish these up before starting on the sycamore parasol seen below:

this one was another attempted class project that i unfortunately didn't have time to finish (i seriously thought i'd be able to design and knit an entire parasol in just a few weeks? what was i thinking?)
this is probably the design i'm most excited about right now because it's the biggest and most complex thing i've undertaken so far.
and on that note, it's time for me to get clicking! check back with the blog for more pictures of my progress on my new designs and for information about when they will be released.

peace & love to all,