Saturday, 16 February 2019

Cardigan, Bardigan

Hey loves,

    Since my new found love  (knitting, just in case you didn't know), I've been leaning more and more towards clothing.  I've been fortunate as a beginner to have been given the opportunity to test knit for a couple designers and so when a customer ask if I could make her a cardigan I was over the moon.

I sent her pics of the ones I had patterns for (not confident enough to design my own.... Yet);

@theeasydesign 

@expressionfiberarts

@hearthookhome 

She chose @hearthookhome's design (a classic cardigan), with yarn in hand I started to make her choice, but it just did not resonate with me (again leaning towards knitting), so I send her another picture (see below) and she loved it.  




Pattern ✔
yarn ✔
needle ✔

With the necessary tools in hand I did my swatch (honestly, don't normally do this), I didn't get a 4" square as I should, instead, I got 4.5". That's good enough for me.  I selected my size and got the ball rolling.  Cast on and then a bummer..... I thought I was following the pattern, wasn't I?  Panick was creeping in, but not today.  Sadly I had to 🐸🐸🐸🐸 (pull out) what I've done so far, but it was worth it.  The pattern started taking shape and as it grew so does my excitement level.

It was not after I basically completed the full length and cast off and was getting ready to do the sleeves, front panel and neck that disappointment sets in.... It's too big😫😫😫. I was going for a 39 bust for the finished product but mine was measuring 44" without the front panel being added.

Then I thought.... If I was doing the size M (39" bust) and got the size 2Xl... Then doing the XS might work.  I didn't" bother to frog the first one, I just cast on the other size with what little thread I had left.

I worked so hard to finish my cardigan, all while praying it turns out nice.  I completed the top and started the front panel... Following the pattern to the tee, but with the difference in yarn weight that would not work.  Instead of doing 2 full repeats and then the half repeat, I did only one.  After many, many, many hours of continuous work, its finally completed.

It looks amazing but felt sooooo bulky, then my eureka moment came at sometime after midnight.......

Steam press.... Awesome right....

I pinned the pattern in place, placed a cotton blanket over it and steam press and OMG, it felt ooooh soooo soft. It was at that very moment I felt the warmth of accomplishment.

I hang it on a hanger and went to bed, praying she liked it.



I didn't take any measurement, just asked for her bust measurement 

Look at this back, wow


The first one... Oh so big


This was how it all started.

She loved it, praised me for being almost accurate when I didn't take her measurement and just went by mere memory. 

This was such an accomplishment for me.







Saturday, 2 February 2019

Winter chills and spills and then some

Hi Loves,


    With the completion of my cowl and scarf, they were delivered.  At first, she was complaining (and my heart sank);

"the cowl seemed a bit big for his little neck" (I tried it on my 2-year-old, thinking to myself)
"the scarf rolls too much" (I blocked it and it looked nice, even so, it's going to wrap around the neck, also thinking to myself).

She took them, paid me and I was thinking so much for my first impression, she's a goner, then a few days after I received a WhatsApp message.

"Can you make the little hats with the ear flaps"
"yes, I can" (even though I have never even tried, but how hard can it be?)
"I want one for my grandson"
"sure"
"you know what, and one for my granddaughter as she would want one"

Thinking to myself (doing that quite often these days).  Do I have the material as I know that skein of the stripe was finished?.

I messaged her back;

"I have more of the yarn for the boys matching hat, but the scarf used the one skein I had"
"Can you find anything to match the colours"
"Oh, sure I can"

I started my research as I had the concept but didn't really know how to execute.  I watched two YouTube videos, one starting from the top down with it all worked in one and then seamed, the other made 2 ear flaps and then attach while doing the hat (oh, by the way, they were both knitted).  This is where it got tricky (if I had only crochet the cowl and scarf, this would have been easy peasy, lemon squeezy).

Did I tell you I wanted to make the hat and scarf with the same stitch pattern I used for the cowl and scarf? It's a set, isn't it?  After watching the videos I came to the conclusion that making the 2 ear flaps and then the hat would be easiest.  I started the little boy's hat.  It took me a few short hours to have a finished product.  Grinning from ear to ear, a ran to my neighbour's house to show her my lovely creation (psst, this was after 8 pm.  I felt so accomplished.

Now it's onto the most difficult one. sighs..... why, why, why didn't you crochet a scarf... No, you just had to knit with your beginner self.

After doing a bit of thinking, calculating and more thinking the idea was clear as mud.... Sorry meant day.

And after a bit of a challenge my hat was completed... Now the hard bit. Will my client like/love them....

They were delivered and she did (well I think she does as she hasn't made any complaints to date).


I used the same pattern as the scarf, I just had to modify it to work in the round.




Perfect Fit

It's not her size



Saturday, 19 January 2019

Winter Chills and Spills

Hi my loves,

    A conversation started while test knitting the Fereday Shawl by Petra Breakstone at a women's meeting on a Sunday afternoon.

Potential customer (PC):  Can you make the scarf that goes over your head and hugs your neck?
Me: Oh, a cowl, sure I can.
PC: It's for my grandson who is 2.
Me: ok. no problem.
PC: I'm going to need another for my granddaughter.  She's older so you can make the one that wraps around.
 Me: Sure thing. (all while thinking, here's a chance to really test your skills, Melissa)

My potential customer informed me her grandbabies live abroad (yes, yes, hoot, hoot, my work will be taking a trip, before I do)

No colour scheme provided, no delivery time but I was so excited I went home, search my stash and started thinking of what design should I use.  Should I search the numerous saved patterns I have, should I search Google, YouTube, Ravelry etc, then the thought came, why not make your own pattern.  I decided on the yarn I was going to use, and being that I have never actually made a child size cowl before, I reference YouTube and some patterns I had to assist with sizing.

I have been crocheting for over 20 years but took up knitting over a year ago (and fell in love), so when the option presented itself I decided I was going to knit my very own cowl.  I went for something simple, I cast on the number of stitches needed, did a bit of calculating to ensure my cables (yes I did say cables, and yes I said something simple) would be equally spaced.   To make it more interesting I chose 3 colours, army green, yellow and blue.

After finding my rhythm, in no time my cowl was completed. I felt like a child on Christmas day, sure its just a simple cowl, but I knitted it, without a pattern from someone else.  This was mine.



I now have the tasked of designing the little girls scarf.  I chose a skein of Red Heart super saver stripes.  I needed a nice pattern so decided to scout YouTube, still in the hopes of making my own design.  I stumbled on one of my subscriptions (Knitting Stitch Patterns), I browsed their catalogue and the Flame Chevron spoke to me "pick me, pick me", and so I did.

 


The video was watched and found to be doable.  I cast on the number of stitches needed for the width I wanted and just like that, knitting had started.  I worked on my scarf and within a day or two, it was completed.

Here it is on the blocking board.

I love the way it turned out and those colour changes.... wow.  There was only one issue I found after completing this scarf.  It rolls a lot (note to self....... do maybe a garter stitch edge).  With both projects completed, its photo time.  My baby agreed to be my model.

"Peek a boo"

"my neck is so warm"

"I know my hair is a mess, but my mommy made a pretty scarf"

To be continued........

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Bag, bags and more bags

Hey loves,

I was given the task to make a few circular bags, I was shown a sample that was done and was told it wasn't sturdy without being lined but the lining was out the equation for these. I was just to make them but the closures (buttons, velcro etc) will be done by someone else. The threads were supplied and I was on my way home to start creating.

I pondered how  I should really make them, yes, they should all be circular, but should I really make them all the same? πŸ€” πŸ€”.   Day 1, 2, 3 and counting... Then my creative juices started to flow and before I knew it, I had a dozen bags made.

The End!!!

Sounds quite simple right?  It really wasn't,  I had to decide which stitch to use, should I do single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc) or double crochet (dc)? I played around until a decision was made. Now that I've decided on the stitch/s I'll be using, the next step is deciding what I'm actually going to make, how should I start them, how should I end them, how should they be closed.  If you are a crafter you might have the same feeling I do when working with yarn. The yarn actually speaks to me, it tells me what to make with it just as the material to a seamstress/tailor or the wood to a carpenter.  Some give off a funky more upbeat vibe while others are more subtle.

I really had fun designing these and even though they are all circular (or half a circle in some cases) in design, they are all different.  The handles are different, the closures are different.    The bags are made by first crocheting 2 like circles (or hexagon as in the case of #1) and then the joining, closure and strap are all done in one go.

I really hope she likes them, I sure do.


These are what I came up with.

This army green yarn was so easy to work with, and the purse was even easier to make.  It just needs a contrasting colour button and you're ready for a night on the town.

This variegated yarn was the first one I made something with as it's so pretty.  This purse is the 3rd piece made out of the yarn.  Its design to close with a single small button at the centre of the front of the bag.

This yarn was my least favourite as it felt a bit rough.

With this design, I really wanted a little more dimension.

This bag was completed with the wrong side showing as I thought it gave the bag a more stylish look.

This yarn though pretty was my second least favourite as it too was a bit rough.

Now here's #1.  It's the very first one made.  If you look a bit closer you'll see its not really a circle it is a Hexagon. 

This one took me back to basic.

I really love how these colours compliment each other, what do you think?


Now here's our basic wristlet.

My Halfmoon.  This at the time was my favourite, until........

With the ease of the yarn to work with this became my ultimate favourite.

These pictures, though taken in natural light, honestly does not show the true beauty that they actually are.  I truly enjoyed making each and every one of them.  There's just something about seeing your thought/vision come to life.  They even brought other future ventures into perspective, so just wait and see...

The bags were delivered, she barely scan them and said "they are nice".... That left me wondering, does she really liked them?.... I left unsure.... But reassurance came when she sent me a voice vote.  I felt elated as she really liked them.

Now that's a crafter's dream.... To have others, not just themselves loving their creations.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Options, the 2nd Edition

Hi my peeps,

So it's yet another Glenda Winkleman's yarn review, this time it was about @knitcrate.  I've watched her review their yarn before with envy as I would love to try "premium, hand dyed yarn", heck why not?

However, this time was oh so different they were having a special, "subscribe to their membership crate and get another free just pay $5US for shipping". Now getting 4 skeins of hand dyed premium yarn for under $30US is a steal, (well in my eyes) as all hand-dyed yarns I've ogled over were anywhere from $24US up per skeins.  I thought long and hard should I really, "yes you should," says that little annoying voice in my head.

I did, and in a few short days two green boxes were delivered and I squealed with excitement when I finally saw and felt what "premium" yarn felt like.  This was the very first time I was seeing and touching fingering weight yarn.  "Oh so soft!".  I squeezed them, rubbed them on my face, showed my neighbour, I was like a child on Christmas day.

My very first fingering weight yarn

Just look at this colourway though.

I already knew what I was going to make with my fingering yarn, "I'm all aflutter". I went unto putting my yarn into a ball to start my top.  The yarn was so easy to work with, I couldn't get over just how soft it feels.  The top was completed and I just couldn't wait to try it on.  I live in the Tropics and I could wear this just about any day of the year. Do you wanna see my top? Do you really?

Halfway there

"Tell me you don't like it. you really can't say it, can you?"


I felt sooooooo darn hot, sizzling sexy in it

And with a stroke of luck or blessings rather I was able to keep my subscription for September and October as well.  Yes! Yes! Yesssssss!

September's box (this purple is sooo pretty)

October. 

I couldn't get the November box even though I wish I could.  I tried so hard to get the much-needed points to get the box free but fell short.

This is an outrage! For the first two months, I was asked to review yarn and earn points but none came for my October's box (this was what I needed to get my $25 off coupon), darn it. No November crate for me 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

You can get your November box though via  https://www.knitcrate.com/
happy shopping my lovies.πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“


Monday, 22 October 2018

Options, the first edition.

Hi Friends,

Being in Jamaica and doing crochet/knitting isn't easy as I have limited options regarding the types of yarn or thread I have access to here locally.  I have been yearning to try some of the different types of yarn that I see online or in my Facebook groups.  I have visited so many of the yarn websites and for the most part, they don't ship to my homeland Jamaica.  The ones who do, shipping is way too much.  I am used to Redheart yarns (even though they don't ship here when I tried their website) as that's what my retailer sells and she still doesn't supply all their yarns.

It was while watching one of Creative Grandma's (Glenda Winkleman) yarn reviews that I learnt about Ice Yarns.  I visited their website (www.iceyarns.com) and even though it's not free shipping and you have to buy in bulk it is somewhat affordable and ships right to my door.  I made my first order to try it out.

My order came in about 4 weeks (you do have the option of express shipping).  It was exactly what I ordered even though, honestly, I didn't know what I ordered.

Baby fine (looks familiar, just thinner than I'm used to)

But! What was kid mohair anyways?

This is πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

These are fine and they weren't crochet thread, get out of here.

Ok, you have new yarn, soft yarn, what are you going to make, πŸ€” idk!  Then the opportunity came πŸ˜€πŸ˜... The founder of my favourite Facebook group was looking for test knitters for her pencil skirt and I volunteered.

The baby fine is really easy to work with, it knits well and the finish is great as well.

Now, just look at this beauty. πŸ‘ŒπŸ’“❤

Now, there was the "kid mohair", what am I going to make with this thin fuzzy yarnπŸ€”πŸ€”. I have no clue.....

Two months pass and still no clue what to make... I tried a suggestion "use it with a thicker yarn together"

I came up with this pretty little flower, that was turned into a clip btw.

A few weeks pass and Petra Breakstone posted in her FB group "Yarnz2go Groupies" for an "All Petra Design KAL (knit along) / CAL (crochet along).  I thought this couldn't hurt, secondly, I'll be rewarded with patterns (now who doesn't love free patterns).  Which yarns will I use? And it hits me, why not use two skeins of the kid mohair, together πŸ€”πŸ€”.  So I did.....

Now, doesn't this look nice?

Even better.

To be continued........

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Bitter Sweet

Hi wonderful people,

I've been eyeing a knitted pencil skirt from the very first time I saw the designer (Jen Giuntoli) shared it in the group Yarnitude back in 2017.  I've been inquiring about the pattern and its always "not yet ready".  Then the most awesome thing happen in September 2018 ........ She needed test knitters for said skirt.  I gladly raised my hand✋✋, me teacher, teacher me, please pick me.

Guess what she did...... Yeeessssss...... She picked me as one of her test knitters.  (screaming yes, yes, yes 😁😁😁😁).

I got the pattern and it was not like any other pattern I've done.  No, no, no, this pattern requires measuring, calculating, and more calculating.

Ok Melissa, your size would be a large (don't judge me πŸ˜‚), Sani would be a medium.... Soooo, lets do Immi's as she's a small, her measurements would be easy to do..... And so I decided on the colour and yarn, measure her.... Did the calculations.

I was the first to complete my skirt.  She loved it and I confirm this with "mommy make more pretty clothes for me".  Aaawww, she melts my heart.


My first two cable repeat completed.

Almost completed

Fitting, yes... It fits perfectly.

I was pleased with it, now its time to tackle a size bigger.  "Sani, want one?", I asked. " yes" came her answer.

I knew exactly what colour I was going to use, Redheart Soft, in the colour Coral.

Measurement ✔ calculation ✔

Oooohhh lalala, 😍😍😍😍

I worked on the skirt following the measurement to the Tee.... It's completed, yes!
It's nice, right.

She tried the skirt, its nice but something wasn't right..... It's not as fitted as I would have liked.  I tried it on and guess what? I got my skirt after all (and you thought you couldn't do your size just yet, ha). It was as bitter SWEET moment for me.

It's fits like a glove.




Cardigan, Bardigan

Hey loves,     Since my new found love  (knitting, just in case you didn't know), I've been leaning more and more towards clothing...