Archive for January, 2010

Lace Ribbon Scarf (Ode to Ravelry)
January 12th, 2010 | Link

Lace ribbon scarf in action

I’ve told many knitters this: if you knit, you should get on Ravelry. It’s not Facebook for knitters, it’s an invaluable resource of yarns, patterns and tips. Take, for example, the above scarf.

I purchased one skein each of Malabrigo Sock in Solis and Stonechat from Imagiknit. I knew already that I wanted to remake the Twilight Scarf I gave my sister two Christmases ago for myself from the Stonechat. And I’m sure the Solis would also be beautiful woven up, but I wanted a small knitting project. So I turned to the yarn search on Ravelry and searched for Malabrigo Sock, then searched within the results for Solis, just to see what other people had knit. There were quite a few results, but I didn’t want to knit socks and I only had one skein, so the Lace Ribbon Scarf particularly attracted me, even though the pattern hadn’t grabbed my attention when it came out on Knitty. (For those readers who already have Ravelry accounts, the pieces that caught my attention in particular were this and this. ) I love being able to see how a particular yarn will work for a project, and Ravelry is the best for that.

Lace ribbon scarf close up

And then I knitted it, and then it sat around for a month waiting for the (two) ends to be sewn in and to be blocked. Which I did on the weekend, yay! Finished project #2.

January 11th, 2010 | Link

sev(en)circle close up

In the spirit of The Year of Making it Happen, I made a concerted effort this weekend to clean up old knitting projects that have been lying around making me feel guilty for thinking about new (not necessarily knitting) projects. And I’m happy to say I finished all of my in-progress knitting, except for sewing the zipper into a cardigan I started a year ago. (Note: In-progress knitting should not be confused with projects I have not yet started but have purchased yarn for, of which there are still many remaining. But I had to start somewhere…)

Project number one was Kirsten’s lovely sev(en)circle pattern, my trip knitting for WordPress Portland last September. The yarn is Habu Textiles Silk Wool A-113 3/15, purchased at Knit Purl in Portland. It’s been in an almost-done state since October, which is in no way a reflection on Kirsten’s pattern—I only had to sew in the ends, it took 10 minutes, but I just kept putting it off. But now it’s done!

Long Time Sprouting
January 8th, 2010 | Link

Completed cardigan on a headless me

Thanks to Ravelry, I know that I started knitting this cardigan (a.k.a. Sprout) some time in 2008. Then it spent months and months in a cupboard until I finally brought it out and sewed in all the ends and attached the buttons in January, 2009. And then it sat in a pile for a bunch of months again until I finally blocked it last summer.

The yarn is Elann Pegasus, which is a handy worsted weight cotton/rayon blend that I’ve used for a few pieces. It’s a bit splitty to knit with but finishes up and washes pretty well, and the rayon adds a tiny bit of glamor. (And at $2.48/50g CDN, it’s inexpensive.)

I like the cardigan all right. From the pattern photo, I expected more of a scoop neckline, so that’s been a bit disappointing. I like the interest that the cables add to an otherwise basic raglan cardigan. If I were to do it again (probably not) I’d pick a more summery color, as the black—although my favorite—is more of a cool weather color than the short sleeves would seem to fit. I have a red and white spaghetti strap dress and I think this would be perfect in red or white and shorter sleeves for that dress. Black, not so much.

And, while I have the photographer…

Black pleated top on a headless me

I had some time off at the end of December (as you may have noticed) with which to further my adventures in Japanese sewing patterns. This is the ‘A’ top/tunic/dress in Happy Homemade 3, with the A2 neckline and pleat and the A3 sleeve. My terrible posture aside, I did have some (visible) problems with the gathering at the sleeve caps and some slippage on one side of the pleat. The fabric is a bamboo/cotton blend from that has great drape and is really soft, but I had some problems working with it. (I think the fault was mine, not the fabric.) The pattern doesn’t call for a jersey—most of the versions on the Japan Couture site are woven fabrics—but I think it works well. It’s really comfortable and a little more stylish than a basic t-shirt.

Robots Guard My ID
January 7th, 2010 | Link

Front view of card wallet: green and brown cartoon robots on linen

I’ve been using a duct tape wallet that Edmond gave me for a couple of years now, and it’s still holding up well but it’s hard to get the cards out sometimes. I decided to make another one for myself.

Inside view of card wallet: backing fabric is lavender polka dots

The fabric is a reversible Japanese cotton-linen blend from Superbuzzy: yes, it is reversible; the lavender polka dots you see on the inside are the back side of the robots! How awesome is that? The linen bias tape is also from Superbuzzy.

I used a 1/4″ radius for the corners, and found it difficult to do the stitching/turning/topstitching, so I probably should have used a 1/2″ radius. And it could probably benefit from a snap or some velcro to hold it together, though I haven’t had any problems with it flipping open in my bag.

It was super-quick to make, and I got six of them (with leftovers) out of one half-yard of fabric and one package of bias tape–one for me, and a bunch to give away at Christmas. I lurve it!

Bonsai Messenger Bag
January 5th, 2010 | Link

Last May I made a very practical, boldly graphic messenger bag that I’ve been very happy with and worn all over the place and loved dearly except for one thing: the awesome red and white fabric on the flap doesn’t always go with what I’m wearing. Usually, since I wear a lot of black, but not always.

(Brief interjection: last summer when I visited Portland I made two trips on consecutive days to Knit Purl, because I got overwhelmed the first day and wanted to look up some patterns on Ravelry before I purchased anything. When I went back the second day, one of the employees said “Oh, you’re back! I recognized your bag.” See, bold!)

So, I made another messenger bag:

Front view of bag

This one is almost identical to the last, except for the fabrics. For the flap, I used charcoal and black linen Bonsai fabric, designed by Lara Cameron and hand-screened at Ink and Spindle in Australia. For the body of the bag I used a dark blue denim that looks a lot like the denim I used on the last bag but isn’t stretchy and is a bit heavier. I also used medium-weight interfacing on the flap of the bag, so this one holds its shape more than the last one. And I used a black twill for the lining.

Front view of bag

Most other details are the same: the pattern is the Diana bag from Burda Style, with modifications to add an outside pocket and inner slip and zipped pockets and a key ring hook; and I used seat belt webbing for the strap and made it adjustable. I also remembered to add a magnetic closure before I attached the lining this time, so I won’t have to hold the flap down when I’m walking in the wind!

Recycling Ideas: Gift Cards
January 2nd, 2010 | Link

A jumbled pile of gift cards

Last Christmas, lovely Jane gave me a desk calendar where each month was a hand-printed card by a different Houston artist. I liked some of them so much that they got stuck up on my bulletin board for several months after the month on the card! So at the end of the year I couldn’t bear to toss them all, and I came up with this idea to give them a new life.

Gift card: Letterpress cross-country skier with embossed tracks

From each of the cards I liked, I cut a 2-1/4″ by 3-1/2″ rectangle from the artwork and rounded the corners. The ties are linen thread leftovers from all the bookbinding I did last year. (The card above is January: it’s a letterpress piece, and the tracks in the snow are recessed in the paper – beautiful!)

Gift card: barren trees in the snow, number one

I got multiple gift cards from some of the months, like December, where the design allowed for two cuts.

Gift card: barren trees in the snow, number two

(I also got two copies of December and a couple of other months, so I got to make two sets!)

Gift card: low-contrast rabbit screened blue on blue

I think the card above is March (march hare?) – it reminds me of the creepy bunny in Donnie Darko…

Gift card: bold line drawing of a fat toad

July? (Edmond thought this was Jabba the Hutt, but I think it’s just a toad.)

Gift card: April showers, including the text 'April'

I’ll have to save this one for next time I have a gift for my sister-in-law, April.

Gift card: Letterpress pumpkin face saying 'boo'

Boo! I think this one was letterpress too. I love letterpress.

Gift card: printed text saying 'baseball swimming soccer pool party sunset volleyball barbecue' and other words associated with June



My name is Shannon Hale. This blog is on indefinite hiatus, but it contains archives of the last 10 years of posts about bookbinding, knitting, sewing. and other random things in my life.


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