I hope you all had a good time over the Easter weekend, I had a MARVELOUS time in Cape Cod. Since it’s only April, we could barely take our coats off, let alone swim in the ocean; but even if we couldn’t swim, we saw beautiful landscapes, cute and quaint little villages and we could walk barefoot in the sand. Isn’t bliss? If you’re interested to see the pictures, just click on the the one just below, and you’ll be redirected to the album.
On our way back, we got stuck in traffic in Boston for 2 hours because of a accident that left a semi-truck in flames on the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge. I can tell you we didn’t expect that. Although it was very unfortunate, it also allowed me to put the last stitches on the sweater I couldn’t finish before we left for Cape Cod, so it made the whole process a lot more bearable 🙂
After washing it, the sweater is a perfect fit and it is SO VERY COMFORTABLE. I’m so proud!!! There are a few oopsies here and there and I’m not super satisfied with the neckline, but for a first try (and without a pattern!) I think I really came up with something good. I must say, I’m also very happy that the sweater made it fine through the washer and dryer cycle. Oh I can hear you scream from here… YES, I did put my hand knit sweater in the washer and dryer. “Why”, you say? Because… well… I’m lazy. All my clothes (and I’m weighing my words here) ALL my clothes go washer and dryer. And I know that if I make an exception and buy (or knit, or sew) a sweater that needs to be hand washed, I simply won’t wear it.
So because I know that, and because I really want to wear the things I make, I simply choose my yarn and test swatch knowing it’ll go in the washer and dryer. And it works! Look at that!
Hey-ho Fellow Crafties!
Today, I want to talk to you about my latest adventure : the Oh-my-god-I-want-to-knit-myself-a-sweater adventure! It started a few weeks ago; the weather has been warming up a lot here recently, and the snow is slowly melting away. It smells more and more like spring every day, and the warmer days inspired me to retire my winter coat for the season and use lighter and more colorful clothes to match the nice weather.
That said, I have been CRAVING a hand knit sweater so bad that I just couldn’t resist when I saw the most scrumptious blue balls of Bamboo Pop yarn I found as I was out shopping, so I bought 4 balls, and set off on a new adventure! Now, I must mention that I have never in my life knitted a sweater. I sew a sweater once or twice, but never have I actually knitted a piece of clothing other than a shawl, a scarf, socks or hats. I have never knitted a swatch either, because size has never really been an issue. Who cares if a scarf is 9 or 10 inches wide, really? And to top it all off, I had so many unanswered questions, like how exactly am I going to shape the shoulders? Or the neckline?
To give myself a better idea of what I was getting myself into, I first started by looking at sweater patterns, but I quickly realized it probably wouldn’t be a very good idea because I (very honestly) couldn’t visualize how it would come together. I really felt that if I just blindly followed the instructions given on a pattern, the sweater I would make wouldn’t fit as good as it should because it wouldn’t be adapted to my own body and measurements.
After coming to that conclusion, I instead decided to look for videos or tutorials on how to make your own sweater from scratch, and I found this very helpful series of videos from Knitpicks on YouTube that showed me exactly what I needed. You can find the first video of the series here.
I learned in that series of videos how to swatch, calculate my stitch counts and how to shape the sweater according to my body measurements and my knitting gauge. Strong from all this new information, I grabbed a pair of needles and my yarn and I started the project. Instead of making the sweater bottom up like they suggest in the video, I decided to adapt it to make it top down. I have never made a sweater before, so I have no idea if I have enough yarn to make a long sleeves sweater or not. By doing it top down, I can simply adjust the length of the sleeves the match the amount of yarn I have left at the end, so I figured that would be the most appropriate way to do it in my case.
Knitting a sweater is obviously a very slow process, even more so because it’s my first one and I’m not entirely sure of what I’m doing (Who am I kidding, really… I have ABSOLUTELY no idea what I’m doing!). I know I made a lot of mistakes and some spots look kind of weird in my opinion, but I have learned a lot in the process, and I know for sure that my next sweater is going to be a lot better. So far it seems the general shape and the measurements are right, so whatever I did was surely not entirely wrong 😉
I’m going to Cape Cod for the weekend to let off some steam and relax so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to finish it before we leave or not, but if I can’t, I’ll make sure to update this post later to show you guys some pictures of the finished product.
On that note, that’s all for today folks, I hope you’ll all enjoy your Easter weekend and spend some quality time with your loved ones 🙂
Last December, I visited family in Ohio. We had a really good time with everybody; good food, good times and good laughs, but one of the things that I was the most excited about was that I got to try my hand at weaving. I have never tried weaving before, not even once in my entire life, and although I have been sewing for 10 years, to me the art of creating your own fabric from scratch has always been cloaked in mystery.
My relative spent 2 days showing me the basics of weaving. As I had absolutely no idea what I was embarking myself in, I couldn’t imagine what the finished product would look like, and chose the loom, the yarn and the pattern I was going to use a little haphazardly. Based on her advice, I used a Leclerc counterbalance loom, a variegated, fuzzy purple yarn and a twill pattern.
And I set off! Little did I know though, how strenuous warping a loom is. Holy crap on a cracker! For a 12 inch wide scarf, warping the thing took an entire day! I couldn’t believe it! Ok, part of the reason why it took so long is because I’m a newbie and I had virtually no idea what I was doing, but still! I was so exhausted by the end of the day that I swore I would never touch a loom ever again. hahahaha the irony!
The second day, I started the actual weaving, and much to my surprise (after the warping hell the day before) I really enjoyed it! I weaved for 5 hours straight, and just like that, I had a brand new scarf! I just couldn’t believe how fast it goes once the loom is warped and threaded. And that is when it suddenly struck me : even though warping takes a long time, if I do it once and weave multiple projects, Oh THE POSSIBILITIES!!!
So here starts the loom saga. I was so excited by my new discovery that as soon as I came home, I started shopping for a loom. Soon enough, I found a decently priced one, used but in good condition. A lady that lives an hour away from my place was selling it to make room for a different one. I was so excited to have found a loom so fast that I drove there on the weekend, and I bought it on the spot. The funny part starts as I was reaching for my purse to pay, and something suddenly struck me : the loom is a Leclerc 60″ counterbalance, and it comes with a bench; my car is a small Yaris. How am I going to bring it home? Well, if you’ve ever tried playing Tetris, I can tell you that a real life version is far more challenging (not to mention entertaining!). We spent 2 hours taking the loom apart, taking pictures and carefully labeling all the pieces, and we (somehow!) managed to fit everything into my small car (I heaved a sigh of relief).
When I got home I was still pumped and excited about my new purchase, and I took all the pieces inside. Then, I took a moment to take good look at it. The loom is home, that’s great and all, but now… I have to put it back together hahahaha. It took a good 2 hours to make sense of it all and get it together, but I finally did it! For those who are interested, here’s a “before” and “after” photo, I can tell you I have never been so proud of my construction abilities!
After finally putting it together, I tried a few things and made a few test pieces, I understand now a lot more about weaving, fabric construction and weaving patterns, I have been experimenting a lot with different colors, different types of yarn or thread and different patterns, very much so much that it starts looking like a weave-a-thon. But I’m enjoying myself, I feel creativity flowing and ideas keep popping in my head, so much I can barely sleep at night! But I’m really proud of what I can do now, and I get the feeling it’ll only get better and better. This whole saga just really shows that starting a new craft isn’t always easy, but as long as passion is driving you, you can really make the best out of it and make your learning experience worthwhile!
On that note folks, I’m out! Enjoy your crafting time 🙂
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Hi, my name is Stephanie. And I’m addicted to crafts.
Seriously, don’t laugh!
I cook, I knit, I sew, I crochet, I weave and I catch onto any kind of craft as I go. “That’s great!” you say, “Nothing wrong about that!” you say, but I do so much of it that I sometimes catch myself thinking that reality (a.k.a. everyday day life) is a serious hindrance to my craft life. I’m not unhappy, nor am I an awkward or socially inapt person. I have a wonderful life filled with friends, and laugh, a handsome boyfriend, and a job I like, but you see… I like crafts. No, that’s gotta be an understatement. I LOVE crafts. So today, I decided to create a blog to to share the love, so we can all become craftaholic together. 😉 Every so often, I’ll update this blog about recent projects, share the love on different types of craft, show you pictures and tips, and provide links to my ravelry projects so you can check out the details of every project.
So since we have to start somewhere, I think I’ll start by talking to you about my favorite. See, I love to knit, and I love delicate, creative and unique handmade things. And the best thing about those is that I can do them all at once when I knit lace.
Lace knitting for me is like an exciting adventure, first you have to choose your destination, then you choose your gear, and then you set off. Why is lace knitting so exciting, you say? It’s because the possibilities are endless per se! A change in the yarn, or the needles, or a small adjustment in the pattern can make a project look so uniquely different, you’d never guess where it came from! Every work is a piece of love delicately put together with concentration, patience, and creativity. There’s something distinctly rewarding about giving someone a beautiful and special gift you spent so much time on. Even if it only cost you 8$, it’s worth a fortune in that person’s eyes.
On that note, I think I’ll leave you here for today. Have fun, find inspiration and CREATE! 🙂