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My triumph over Evil Hat

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I found this post in my drafts, so I figured that since TWO MONTHS have passed since I finished this hat (which I first started on Columbus Day…jeez), maybe I could stop procrastinating and actually upload it.

I had the hardest time wrapping my brain around this hat. Sure, it came out super adorably (if I do say so myself), but it took me FOREVER to 1) cast it on correctly and 2) correctly memorize the 4 row pattern repeat. Yeah, I’m a little embarrassed about that, too. Still, I’m not terribly upset with the finished product, and have already had a request to make another one, so yay!

Sewing resolutions for 2012

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I don’t make real life resolutions, but I think it’s not a bad idea to set goals for what I want my 2012 sewing experience to be. I’ve slacked off on sewing, but that’s been more a result of having been sick for a while than anything else.

Still, I stocked up on sewing supplies this past Monday, and now I’m looking forward to expanding my repertoire.

  • I’ve made bibs before (which I just now remembered that I never posted about…bad Nicole!), but those were from a kit. I bought a pattern book of children’s items the other day, and although I think I’ll start with the bib to get myself in practice, I’m really looking forward to trying some of the other types of patterns in the book.
  • Before Christmas and the stomach malaise that never ended, I was hoping to make really nice canvas tote bags for my friends. I still have all of those materials, too, so I plan to make those and gift them throughout the year. What’s that you say?? Birthday tote??
  • Finally, I’d like to make holders for my crochet hooks and circular knitting needles. I have a handmade crochet hook case, and while it’s lovely and seems well-made, the thing that strikes me is that I could probably, even at my current novice status, make something at least as good. That’s a good feeling, and I may end up making a lot of these for the etsy business that right now lives only in my head.

One can never have enough sewing (or knitting/crocheting!) supplies, so I’m really excited about the Resolved to Sew giveaway over at Very Berry Handmade (home of this awesome chevron blanket that I’ve pinned to my Craftastic board!). The giveaway contains loads of gorgeous things, but I have my eye on the Erin Morris fat quarter bundle. Beside the fact that I love to enter contests of any type, I’d excited by the mere possibility of winning such a lovely looking bunch of fabric!

In the meantime, I’ll try to get my lazy carcass in gear long enough to post the things that I’ve finished recently¬†(including a crochet baby hat that has the MOST ADORABLE SKULL ON IT EVER).


The fabulous Carrie made me this gorgeous beer cozy. Well, she didn’t make it specifically for me, but I did have the good fortune to claim it in the gift exchange. Yay.

She also made the star ornament that was tied on the outside of the bag in which she had placed the beer (also known as a cleverly folded page from Sunday’s Times, a little worse for wear after being toted from NYC to my house.).

How awesome. One gift, many gift ideas!

Mistake Rib Sweater

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I made this sweater and gave it to the littlest Wagner, who is ADORBS.

I crocheted the flower pin to break up the mistake rib pattern. I learned a lot with this sweater: how to do a hood, how to convert a flat pattern to one worked in the round, and that I should have factored in the whole “stitch picking up” thing into my construction of the early part of this sweater. I also learned that I never ever ever want to do toggle button thingies again without somebody else’s meticulously-written instructions to guide me. I did the sweater in one piece until I got to the armpits (see, I’ve learned!), but from then on things weren’t 100% symmetrical. The problem with such a stretchy pattern is that the two sides stretched differently. I’d do a ribbed bottom for 6-8 rows to rein in this pattern’s tendency to spread.

Still, I’m getting better at sweaters, which can only be a good thing.

I think I’ll try to make this sweater again, and incorporate the things I’ve learned and the things that occurred to me after it was too late to do anything about them (i.e. MEASURE everything don’t just eyeball it).

I feel like I’m about ready to do a sweater with steeks (intentional steaks, not the kind that are placed as an afterthought when I’ve goofed).

I’ve made another bag. I let the shape of the fat quarters I used dictate its shape, so it’s much less square than the other bags I’ve made. It’s perfect for carrying a couple of bottles of wine. I don’t have one those handy separators that you get at the wine store, but I figure that if I’m going to sew the wine bag, I can take an hour and knit a wine cozy.

As with every bag I’ve made, this one is also reversible. On the whole, my seams are getting a little straighter, although for some reason this gray thread liked to bunch up in a way that no other thread I’ve used has (a new problem! This must mean it’s not my fault…right??). I like it, and I think it’s perfect for wine!

I’d planned to open the lovely looking muscato photographed here (the larger of the two bottles), but of course, I didn’t have a corkscrew at home. The best laid plans folks…

My first bag!

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Now that I made the reversible tote bag, I’m a little over this one, but it was still a nice way to get into sewing bags. I spent a ton of time on this bag, mainly because 1) I’m not so good yet at sewing straight and 2) I work slowly when I’m confused. Still, I think this came out reasonably adorable for a first effort.

Side 1. I didn't notice until just now that both sides have the same pattern in the same place on the top row.

Side 2.

I used the same pattern for both sides of the inner bag.


Reversible Tote Bag

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I made a(nother) bag. Since I didn’t post the first one I completed, you could be forgiven for wondering what I’m blathering about, but this is actually the second bag that I’ve sewn and finished. The first one is a cute little patchwork drawstring bag. And is also reversible. I think it’s pretty smart to keep making two bags at a time. In between, I started another bag, but I haven’t been able to find the perfect fabric for the other side of it, and so it remains unfinished.

Please forgive the weird cell phone photos that I took. They somehow introduced an icky-looking shadow that does not really exist on my bag (thank goodness)! I know that it would look better if I’d pressed it, but I was short on time, and as soon as I finished it, I had to dash out of my house for a knitting bar crawl. I know, I know. I lead a tough life.

I made the bag according to this very awesome tutorial. The only thing that had me scratching my head was when I tried to figure out how to pinch the corners, but eventually, I understood what she meant.

Edited to add better photos.