Friday, October 23, 2015

Pattern Give-Away: Coiled Cables & Ribs

UPDATE: Julie S. Congrats on winning! Thanks to all those who participated in this give-away!

Happy Friday, Everyone!
In the spirit of fall, and holiday happiness...I am running a give-away contest this weekend.
The contest is open Friday October 23rd-Sunday, October 25th at 9pm (central US time).
One winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, October 25th between 9-10pm (CT). The winner will be announced on my Facebook Group Page first, and later on my blog if I don't receive a reply.

TO ENTER: Answer on THIS blog post in the comment page: 1.) What is your favorite fall knit type (shawl, hat, gloves, etc.) OR  2. what is your fall tradition (besides Halloween & Thanksgiving) that you must do every year.

IF YOU WIN: Please privately contact me with your Ravelry ID or email address (if you don't have a Ravelry Account). You can message me on Facebook or email me at knittingupastormATgmailDOTcom.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Reyna Shawl

I'm super pumped that I finished my "impulse" shawl: the Reyna Shawl.

I really cast on this shawl in the middle of knitting my fall cardigan (which I inevitably put on hold during that time), but I'm more pumped that I started and finished this shawl without hibernated it. In under a month! (23 days.)

Like, I actually worked on it ALL the time, Scoob.
(Sorry, my kids have been watching a lot of Scooby Doo lately.)
I used my handspun wool that I finished spinning several months back. It was just too pretty to stash forever. I'm not sure how many yards I used, but I went through two skeins, and the largest of the two skeins pretty much went the whole span on the shawl.
It took me much longer than expected because I knit extra rows. Like, 22 extra rows! I wanted to make sure that it was able to wrap around my neck completely...and I'm glad that I did, because even after heavy blocking, it still isn't as wide as it could be.

So, if you see this, and MUST make it, do a lot more mesh rows and garter rows toward the end.
Are you soaking up the fall leaves lately? Make sure you get out and take it all in before the end of the peak!
Pattern:  Reyna by Noora Laivola 
Yarn: Handspun in fingering/sport weight in "Midnight Tides" (400-450 yds?)
Needles: US4 (3.5mm)
Start: September 23, 2015
Completed: October 15, 2015 
This was an enjoyable knit. Very easy. It was about 4 rows of actually patterning, which is only 2 rows per type: mesh or garter. Easy Peasy.
Enjoy. I hope that was enough knitting eye-candy for today. Happy knitting.
P.S...I'm finally on Instagram. :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Knitting Project Bags!

Meet a project bag prototype.

It was created after me lusting over knitting project bags from knitting podcasts and the like.

These handmade bags are normally $25-$35 online, so I decided to dabble with the sewing machine again to make my own since I had leftover fabric from all sorts of things.

Then came ambition.

I decided to scour the Walmart fabric section to see if, by chance, they had a pattern for the type of project bag that I've been seeing.

They actually did! And I took the last one. (Ok, well, two different pattern packets...but more on that another time.)
Meet Simplicity knitting bags and organizers 1079. It's a 2015 publication. I figured, it's "simplicity," so it must be relatively simple for a neebie, like me.

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.
I had to figure out how to cut out the fabric correctly, so the pattern wouldn't be upside down. That's a learning curve all on it's own for someone who hasn't really done many patterns (or at least a sewing pattern in a long time).

I managed. Eventually.
I couldln't resist making a Halloween themed project bag. It also gave me that extra nudge to finish it quickly, since Halloween was 2.5 weeks away.
I was stumped pretty much at the first couple of directions. A huge part of why it took three solid days to finish this was because of me being careful, making sure I was cutting them out correctly, or reading through all the instructions first (the knitter in me) and trying to get a generally idea of the construction since there are a lot of parts to this bag (surprisingly).

The pattern photo left out a few important details, like: it has an "outside" pocket! Or it has a divider! These are nice, but unnecessary features for me that confused me in the end without a clear photo visual.
The pockets really challenged me, but after ripping it out a few times, I finally understood how to sew the shaping on the bottom. That pinching in shaping is used three times for this project, so luckily I practiced on the darn pocket first!
I'm really proud of this feature, which was my idea. They wanted me to just sew a cord. This looks so much more professional. I'm still working on finding that perfect handle to clip it on to. I figure, I can also clip this onto a backpack or purse.
This bag is very spacious. I can easily store 4 balls of yarn or a sweater project (which I plan on doing).
I bought this ring puncher, but it actually destroyed the fabric on my bag and didn't crimp together correctly. I am very dissapointed in this, and hope it doesn't get pulled wrong and fray around the ring. The center is too jagged for yarn to pass through. :(  However, this bag is only going to be used around October and was my "guinea pig" bag for future ones.
I love the denim on the bottom. My next bag will have more of it; it looks so polished.
I hope you like it! I am super proud of myself.
I'm back to knitting though, my brain needs a rest! I'm not used to thinking and scratching my head so much while doing patterns! ;)

Here's a funny thing. I decided to sew my own bags to save myself money. How much money did I spend on tools, hardware, different fabric, etc.?  Um, probably 4-5 times the amount of a bag sold online! Life of a crafter, I say.