Saturday, February 14, 2015

Upcycled: Cardigan to Strawberries and more

The little hand-me-down cardigan was worn by at least five little girls, including three of mine, mashaAllah, over the past decade. The tag on it, indicates it was originally a 18 month size, but with innumerable
 washes over the years, it shrank and felted to be a six month size. It also got misshapen.
So, when I needed some red felt for a project, it was time for this cardigan to be sacrificed. And some time later, I had a little strawberry pincushion. (Picture tutorial pinned on my pinterest board here.)
And because the little strawberry was ridiculously easy to make and cute, I made another.
 My kids wanted in on the action, so we made a couple more.
Now we had a complete harvest.
And I did not have the heart to throw away the embroidered part of the cardigan, so that got made into a case for my scissors.
I still have quite a bit of red felt remaining. Who knows what it will turn into some day.

On a serious note, I bumped my head into a preschool swing set, a few days back and suffered a mild concussion. The dizziness and headache still persist. I do not feel like taking on any new projects, (to be honest, daily housework is hard enough) until I feel better. Soon, inshaAllah.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

To Frog Pond And Back

Just as I suspected, in the case of my grandpa sweater, the tubular bind-off at the lower edge and front bands, did not hold up well with wear and stretched to much out of shape. So much so, that I decided to take the drastic step and frog back the collar bands and the lower edge ribbing. It took a significant bit of resolve to take off all the buttons and rip out all the buttonholes reinforced with hand-sewing, but it needed to be done, if this cardigan were to make my frequently worn list.
I redid the ribbings with smaller-sized needle and did regular bind-off in rib. I lost some yarn in frogging and decided to forgo the shawl collar, considering the little extra yarn that I had, was used up in the lower edge ribbing.  It was all worth it in the end, as the regular bind-off is much more stable and I do not miss the shawl collar much.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Blast From The Past: Crocheted Moccasin

This week, I took up crochet for a change and made a pair of moccasin out of the old patttern of mine. Even if I say so myself, the pattern was easy and fast. However these slippers are much heavier than the pair I recently wore out (I loved those), which demonstrates the difference between knitted and crocheted fabric.
The yarn was some Red Heart acrylic languishing in my stash I am so glad I found a way to use it up. I might experiment and get our local cobbler to apply a sole, if such a thing is possible. Maybe.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Snowflake Gloves

These days, my son is really taken with all things frost-related. So it came to me as no surprise when he wanted me to make him a pair of gloves with snowflakes on them. But it was taking a things to far, when he decided he wanted the color of gloves to be light blue. I tried to talk him into navy blue, but there was no dissuading him. Also, he handpicked the snowflake and all.
   Though not my first choice of color, the light blue has slowly grown on me and the finished gloves do look quite cute. And, of course, they make him very happy, so much so that he has worn them to school for two days straight (and brought back an intact pair).
By the time these pictures were taken, the gloves had seen two days of  wear.
 For the actual knitting, I took elements from a couple of patterns, with a bit of improvisation thrown in. The patterns are listed on the ravelry project page. I ran out of blue yarn with an inch of thumb left to be knit, and the extra few yards that I managed to get from the yarn shop, were not an exact match. So, I did a bit of striping, alternating both yarns at the left thumb, in an effort to blend them. All in all, this pair for a pleasure to knit, and I think I love knitting fair-isle more than the cables.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Grandpa Cardigan

In an amazing turn of events, I actually met the deadline of finishing this cardigan by the weekend. Perhaps the facts that pattern was easy to memorize, the WIP (work in progress) looked promising, and that I desperately needed for a new cardigan to wear around the house, helped move things along faster.
On the other hand, the tubular bind-off all over this cardigan, took much longer than the simpler bind-offs. Thankfully, I am not averse to Kitchener st, and managed to get it done.

 The finished cardigan looks quite nice with all the cables and has a nice fit too. The pattern was well-written and easy to understand. Sleeve construction technique was new for me but it went smoothly. I am a bit skeptical about the tubular bind-off, that it might stretch out of shape. It has not happened yet, after one evening of wear, but I am watching out for it. The other thing, I have doubts about is the collar, which amounts to only a semi-shawl collar. It works fine for me, but in case anyone wants a true shawl collar, one should add more short rows.
My little assistant helping with the photo shoot.

The yarn is our old faithful acrylic, warm enough for our weather and easy to care, (not to mention, inexpensive and readily available).
Next up, before I get back to the boring aran pullover, I hope to knit a pair of gloves. No more cables for now, It is time for some colorwork.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

KAL Update

All the slog over the past two weeks has paid off, and I am happy to report that I am done with the body of the grandpa cardigan and nearly half the way through the first sleeve. The tubular bind-off, at the lower edge of the body, took its time but gave satisfactory result. I hope to get this cardigan done by the next weekend, inshaAllah.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Grandpa KAL and more

The Winter brought with it, the seasonal illnesses into our household, namely cold, flu and associated respiratory problems. The youngest two members of the family were affected and last week consisted of hospital visits and caring for the little ones. Thankfully, they seem to be on a mend and I am again able to take stock of the world beyond antibiotics and bronchodilators.

On the knitting front, the aran sweater that was giving me trouble, continued to live up to its reputation as I ran short yarn. When all my efforts to procure more of the same yarn failed, I decided to take a risk and get some instead in the exact shade of color but different weight. I try to knit the sleeves with the lighter yarn, held double and hope for the best. Soon.
Meanwhile, I embarked on a KAL (knit-along) with my long-time friend Shells. We did many a KALs in the past, but none to recently. This time, we are knitting Grandpa cardigan. Although, the start has not been perfect, Shells finding the selected yarn a bit thin for the pattern (she bogs about it here and here) and I getting caught up in kids' illnesses, still I have high hopes for this KAL. Hopefully, it will provide us much motivation and fun.

At this point, I have managed to knit this top-down sweater to a point beyond the armholes. Ahead are long pattern rows with relatively little shaping, in other words, a slog. And that is just where I wish to be, knit-wise, at the moment.