Archive for the ‘One Crafty Bitch’ Category

So I forgot to post about them, but I made a second pair of armwarmers after I posted last. I used the same pattern as before but worked elbow-to-fingers to balance the snugness of either end.

They came out really well, but the yarn baffles me (Patons Misty in Fawn Fur). One of them was a lovely mottled combination of tan and brown, and the other wound up striped. They’re just for me, so I don’t care much…just thought it was funky!

Not stripey... Stripey!

I also made some house socks with the grey version of the same yarn (Patons Misty in Granite Dust [discontinued]). After restarting the first sock 12+ times (I honestly lost count) to get the short row technique right, I finally got it finished after about a week. I then had to rework the bind-off because the technique I originally used gave me zero stretch.

The second sock was going great — finished in two days! — but after I had it all bound-off and the tails trimmed, I realized the heel-toe and heel-cuff row ratio (I just made that up) was off. Long story just a bit shorter, I had to work the second sock back before I started the heel in order to fix it. It turned out pretty well! This yard did the same thing the brown yarn did, though, and it’s even weirder because I used two skeins at once to do the socks; the colors had to line up just right not only within the skein but between two skeins.

Anyhow, here they are:

Top View Side View

Lola approves!

As expected, they’re soft and warm, but I seem to feel the stitches pretty distinctly on the soles of my feet when I walk in them. It’s a bit like getting a tiny foot massage, and not entirely unpleasant. The bind-off I used is a version of the one in the toe-up sock tutorial linked above.

Next project is one last pair of armwarmers (for now) using this pattern on Ravelry (you need to register for an account [free] to see it). The yarn I’ll be using is Patons Kroy Sock in Bramble Stripes.


I got the unexpected chance to wear my armwarmers today. We had temperatures in the mid-80°s last week, and it topped out at 44°F today, which happens to be the first day of Spring.

After wearing my armwarmers for reals during our daily dog park excursion, I’ve made a list of changes that need to be made in my next pair.

First, they’re pretty long. I thought I would like that — and the length might be good if I’m around the house in a t-shirt and my arms get cold and I don’t want to wear a sweater — but under a long-sleeved jacket, it becomes an issue. The tops(? I’m guessing the elbow end is the “top”) slip toward my wrist a bit and it’s a little awkward trying to scoot them back toward my elbow without pushing my jacket sleeve up too.

Second, the thumb hole is a little too big for me. It just seems to give the whole thing less of a reason to stay in place and not slip down a bit.

Third, the ribbing on the palm end is the same size as the ribbing on the elbow end, which as you can imagine, doesn’t feel quite right. When I stick my hands in my pockets, the ribbing rolls up, and then I have to wiggle my hand around in my pocket until I get it to lie flat again. I might omit the palm ribbing altogether on my next pair.

Anyhow, I’m going to work up another pair and see what happens.


Continued from Part 1:

Next up are some armwarmers! I got this tutorial from Melli’s Mish Mash via Pinterest. They are also not perfect (I miscounted my rows on one), but they’re cute and comfy and will come in handy (hah!) next winter. I only used one strand of bulky yarn instead of two (there are modifications in the tutorial for this), and they still came out great:

Arm Warmers Arm Warmers - Palm View

I found myself in need of a row counter after the armwarmers. I bought this Clover knitting register (row counter, made to slide onto knitting needles) and blinged it out to use on my looms:

Aww yeah.

And there you can see my first attempt at modifying a project! I wanted to make a little drawstring bag, but I didn’t want to have to seam the bottom. Enter the ingenious Kitchener cast-on. I mean, really, look at this shit:

NO SEAMS. That is fucking majestic.

So I made a zillion little bags (ok, four — so far):

Bag 1 (Knit Stitch)This first one was a simple 35-row knit with eyelets and a 2-strand I-cord drawstring. I tossed some dichroic glass beads on there for some pizzazz. It’s soft and stretchy, and I love the way the stripes formed as I knitted. Here, it’s holding my ~60 dice.

Bag 2 (Moss Stitch)Here’s bag number two. It’s 20-ish rows worked in moss stitch. It’s holding a 7-piece dice set, but there’s still room for plenty more. This is another one of those yarns that just need a simple stitch. The color pattern obscures anything fancy you try to do.

Bag 3 (Ribbed Stitch)Bag number three is a 30-ish row ribbed stitch. I love this charcoal color. There’s some very subtle striping in there, but mostly it just looks heathered.

Because all three of these bags were worked in “true knit” stitches, they’re all smooshy and have some “give,” so they will stretch out to accommodate their contents.

Flat vs TrueThis last bag is different, though. I worked it in U-wrap flat/twisted/single knit stitch, so the result is a much firmer, tighter material that holds its shape well. You can see in the pic that the flat stitch bag (left) is more compact than the knit stitch bag (right). Because of the tighter work, the striping effect is more dense and the top edge wants to curl over (which might be your thing, I dunno).

Here are some more pics showing the inside stitches and finer details:

Moss Stitch Detail Moss Stitch - Inside vs Outside
Ribbing Detail Ribbing - Inside vs Outside
Knit Variations Detail (Flat vs True) Knit Variations Detail - Flat vs True, Inside vs Outside


Been a while since I posted, but I wanted to share some crafty goodness I’ve been doing these days!

I got myself some round and long knitting looms a while back, and I’ve had a few skeins of yarn lying around forever. I mean, I can’t remember when or why I got most of it, other than I guess it was on sale/clearance and I thought it was pretty. Those are good enough reasons, right?

For some reason, I got it in my head the last couple of months that I really wanted to try loom knitting. I blame Pinterest. There are so many cute projects out there with free tutorials that I made time to break out my Loom Knitting Primer and a round loom. Here’s what happened:

Practice Project!

It wasn’t perfect, but I was happy with it for a first project. I made the mistake of picking a loom by the size of my head, but I realized that was a bad idea (AFTER I was finished, of course). I learned my first “Knitting in the Real World” lesson: Knitted things contract coming off the loom. Like, a lot. This hat might fit a small child.

Homespun by Lion Brand in PrairieSo, on to project 2! This was a slouchy beanie tutorial I found on Instructables. First of all, I am in love with this yarn, and I apparently can’t stop saying that to anyone who will listen. It’s Homespun by Lion Brand in Prairie. The swatch on the LB website doesn’t do this yarn justice. It’s just gorgeous and super-soft. Bonus: Machine washable! The only drawback to this yarn is because it’s already textured, stitch details get completely lost. Any project you make with this yarn needs the yarn to be the focus, not the stitch pattern.

Here’s the finished product, in all its horribly-lighted-bathroom-mirror-selfie glory:

Slouchy Beanie

My third project was a garter-stitch hat with the same LB yarn which I didn’t take any pics of because I screwed up one row halfway through the round and didn’t notice until the thing was already off the loom. I think I’ll reclaim that yarn at some point.

Continued in Part 2!


I’ve always loved making wreaths, and over the last few years I’ve loved displaying them as well. We’re not just talking the ubiquitous Christmas wreath; I mean wreaths for many holidays and every season.

I’ve started going bigger and bolder with my wreath designs, and this has caused unforeseen strife in our household: The wreaths obscure our apartment number on the door.

In a toss-up between decorating our front door and receiving deliveries in a timely fashion, the wreaths lost. As you can see, our spring wreath started out in a lovely position on the door:

Spring/Summer 2015 Wreath

…And as you can also see, our “E” is almost completely hidden. After only a day or two, Peter rotated it nearly 180° and shifted it upward so the “E” was visible again, but the symmetry of the design was lost in that position. Sigh!

Our exterior doors are metal, so when I wasn’t using the upside-down Command hook trick or a proper wreath hanger, I used a heavy-duty magnetic hook. That set off a light bulb in my brain.

Our doors are metal! Why not make a magnetic replacement letter?!

Using my Silhouette Portrait, some Silhouette magnet paper, and a bit of Silhouette matte gold adhesive vinyl, I set to work.

For the first attempt, I found a nice (readable!) script font that attaches each letter — Armonioso — and a serif “E.” I cut the magnet paper and the vinyl separately, then removed the backing paper from both cutouts and did my best to line them up. It wasn’t perfect, but I figured it was good enough:

Close enough!

The “Apartment” text was 6″ wide, and the “E” was a bit more than 2″ tall. Here’s how it looked on the door:

Take 1: Meh.


Now that I knew what I was doing (and what I was doing WRONG), I took another stab at it.

First, I tweaked my design in the Silhouette software and made a note of the final cut dimensions. I shortened “Apartment” to “Apt” and made the “E” bigger and bolder and italic-er. I cut a piece of magnet paper and a piece of adhesive vinyl to fit.

Second, I adhered the magnet paper and the vinyl to each other BEFORE sticking them to the cutting mat and running them through the Portrait. (No more mismatched cutouts! That was driving me bonkers!)

By your powers combined... So pretty!!

Here’s the finished product on the door:


Lessons learned:

  • Pre-adhering the magnet paper and vinyl is definitely the way to go. Trying to line two very sticky things up after they’re cut is beyond tedious, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll get a perfect match.
  • The default cut settings for the Silhouette magnet paper are Blade 6, Speed 1 (lowest), Thickness 33 (highest), Double Cut on. I recommend bumping the blade up to 7 or 8. The magnet paper is very soft and will easily tear if you haven’t cut deep enough and aren’t careful while weeding. I used the default settings and was just able to very delicately extract the cut shapes.
  • When editing your text in the Silhouette software, make sure to Modify > Weld to make your script letters all one word shape, and Modify > Crop to make sure your cut dimensions aren’t including any buffer areas around the letters. This will also ensure a more accurate measurement when resizing your shapes.

Before Crop After Crop

This was a fun project, and hopefully it will help save others’ sanity when it comes to holiday — or everyday — decorating. 🙂