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My wish list of item that I always wanted to be able to knit was a really nice cardigan for myself. Something made to fit perfectly and out of some wonderful colored yarn. The only problem with this dream was that I didn’t yet know how to knit a sweater. It seemed like a complicated task and each time I heard people talking about sweater knitting it seemed all math and a lot of counting. But, I have to say that now I’ve completed my first tiny sweater making an adult cardigan no longer seems as daunting.

A friend of mine is fantastic with the crochet hook and recently started knitting to expand the projects she can do. It was her that found the baby sweater class at Ewe Knit and suggested that we take it together. I jumped at the chance because who wouldn’t love to make an adorable baby sweater.

I have had great experience taking classes to learn new skills and highly recommend it. Yes, Youtube videos can also be handy and are convenient to watch at home in your pjs but going to a class gives you that hands on learning and time to chat with other knitters.

As I mentioned previously I can be a bit of a keener when I take these types of classes. I arrived to the second class with the body of my sweater finished and was ready to learn how to knit the button band and the sleeves. The sweater body went so quickly thanks to the fact that a lot of it was just knitting and that I was dog sitting so was up early that weekend so I had some extra time to spend knitting.

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Knitting the sweater from the top down was one of the reasons why this project came together so quickly. At first it doesn’t seem like much until you take the sleeves off onto markers and then TA DA you really start to see the top of the sweater take shape.

So there I was knitting along when I hit a road block. The sleeves. Let’s just say that I used a few choice words when trying to teach myself magic loop on these tiny sleeves. I tried magic loop to avoid buying new DPNs but the magic loop went horribly wrong. In the end I purchased the DPNs and waited to start the sleeves when I went to a Ewe Knit stitch and bitch night so the instructor could help me start them off. Once I had them started they went by like clockwork.

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This top down baby sweater was a great stepping stone to making my own sweater and gave me the confidence to maybe try knitting my own this summer!

Pillow Lightroom final croppedThe day I took the photos of this pillow was one of the first days that really felt like spring. A proper spring with birds and sunshine and almost being hit by a soccer ball walking home. Walking home on this day the sun felt extra good. It was a spring day that seemed to hug you and bring you out of your shell. Ok, I promise to keep the weather talk to a minimum but it was just so damn nice out.

The pillow in question is the Pillow Set – Long Pillow and is from the wonderful Handmade Style book by Anna Graham. You may have noticed already that my project queue list includes a few of the projects from her book. They seem as though they would make perfect things to make on a rainy weekend (ok, last mention of weather). Something to make up for a gift for a friend or to use up ends of fabric.

You may also know that in my 9-5 life I am an infrastructure project planner. A co-worker of mine use to say that it always seemed like the small projects had the most problems. This statement is very true for this pillow and me.

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The pattern was nicely written, even came with illustrations. But my brain must have been out to lunch when I was cutting fabric because I had never ripped out more stitches in all my life! At first the strips were too wide so I cut it and then they were too short. So I ripped, and then sewed only to notice that I had to rip again. I’m not sure if it was that the fabric for this project sat on my book shelve for a while before I finally started to make it or what but one night I just had to get up and walk away from it.

The plus side is that I waited until the next time I was calm and had lots of time to finish it off before touching it again. The zipper went in much easier than I had expected it too and even though I had to add an extra row of strips it still looks great. I am so glad that I did because I’m so happy with the finished product!

I had some trouble finding a pillow insert in the size she suggested that wouldn’t blow the bank. She called for a 12×24 pillow insert and the best I could find was 11×23 which actually worked out very well. I’ve put the link to where I found the pillow insert for anyone looking to make this pillow.

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Stay tuned for more finished projects from this beautiful book!

Happy Spring!

Handmade Style Link Here: http://noodle-head.com/my-book

Pillow Insert Purchased Here: http://www.cb2.com

 

 

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I’m a big fan of meeting new people and an even bigger fan of meeting fellow fiber lovers! I’m so lucky that in Toronto there are a great big handful of wonderful yarn shops in the downtown core. There is never a shortage of classes to take, yarn to buy and stitch nights to join. So when The Purple Purl announced that they were doing a K-A-L of a pattern that I already had in my project queue I had to sign-up!

Something you should know about me is that I can be a keener when I take a class or in this case a K-A-L. I’m the person in the class that will show up on week two with a baby sweater almost finished (stay tuned for the baby sweater post!). I joined into the K-A-L the same enthusiastic way but this time it was hard not to because this pattern was so easy and quick to knit-up.

The pattern is from the wonderful Tin Can Knits and can be found on Raverly for digital download. I have to admit that I didn’t follow the pattern step by step, as had the added bonus of in-person direction at the store for this reason I can’t really say if the pattern is hard to follow or not. The Tin Can Knits are lovely though and she has some fantastic designs.

I made the blanket for a 3-year-old birthday gift and I was so pleased that he loved it so much. There is nothing better than giving (or receiving) a hand-made item.

Because it was for a little boy I went with an acrylic yarn so it would be durable and washable. At first I was worried that acrylic yarn would feel scratchy and cheap but this brand actually felt really nice. It was so easy to work with and since this K-A-L was in the summer I spent most of the weekend car rides knitting up squares while sitting in cottage traffic.

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In fact, I liked this pattern so much that I made a smaller one in January for a friend’s baby! The pattern is so interchangeable that I was easily able to adjust it to a smaller size.

Mini Fly Away Blanket from Rav Page

At the end of the K-A-L it was great to see what others had made and to chat about our projects. Keeping my eye out for another in-person K-A-L to join!

 

Front re-sized for websiteI recently attended a Sew Date Day at The Workroom here in Toronto and as people starting arriving with their machines I become quite jealous of their machine covers and carriers. My machine had traveled to the sew date on my lap in the back of a cab with only the plain plastic Singer cover that it came with.

As soon as I got home I began to research these wonderful sewing machine covers and carriers. That is where I came across a photo of the prettiest cover I had every seen! Enter…Caravan Cover project! The extra bonus for this project was that a lot of the materials I already had which would make this a cheap project for a weekend.

In Toronto our Family Day weekend this year was met with some -30’C temperatures. This frigid weather kept most people cozy inside – me included. When I did venture out it took a few layers of clothing and some big sunglasses to be able to make a trek to the near by grocery store. Knowing about this winter weather ahead of time I thought it would be the perfect long weekend to put together my Caravan Cover project. I was right and wrong at the same time. Mostly wrong because a long weekend does come to an end eventually and there might not be enough time to finish said project. But I was right to hunker down for the weekend all comfy and warm at home.

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The instructions for this project can be purchased and downloaded from RainbowHare who can be found on Esty. The instructions had loads of photos which made it easy to follow but there were a couple of steps that I had to take what I knew from the instructions and add in how I thought it should go. I could have used some more detailed instructions in some areas for example, with respect to the circle window that is on the door. There were also some materials recommended that can only be purchased online. I improvised here and used what I could find on sale at my local Fabricland store.

I sometimes want to cheat when a pattern says to hand sew and I do it on my machine. But when it came to putting on the windows and door I went for the hand sewing option. Hours and hours of hand sewing later (while movie watching of course) I’m thrilled with the result and that I went this route. They look much tidier than they would have sewn on a machine. Having said that, you could do either method but machine sewing especially comes in handy if you are in a rush to finish the project.

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I’m so happy with the result and it fits so nicely over my machine. Much cuter to look at than the plain cover that my machine came with. Making the bunting took a little longer that I thought but it was worth the time and really was the finishing touch on the piece.

The one section that I realized that I goofed on was the placement of the door and when I pinned on my bottom “background” piece I noticed that you would need to really jump up to walk into that caravan! But one of the joys of sewing and creating is that you can make adjustments and I made the change to create a little “step” up to the door. Unless you read this post you would never know it wasn’t supposed to be there!

I would recommend this project for anyone that it looking to hide from the cold for a weekend and wants to use up some of their fun fabrics. You really could use anything that you had for the different sections that makes each project unique and a lot of fun.

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