Monday, October 26, 2009

Warm Feet!

I finished the 2nd sock!

Proof that I do not have Second Sock Syndrome at this time. :)

The 2nd one came out a bit lumpier than the first. I'm not sure what I did different.

Either way, they are being laundered at the moment to finish them off.

There is another sock pattern I want to try, but I've got something else started right now, which is probably going to be a gift, so you won't get to see it for a while.

But since when have I ever only crafted one thing at a time?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shirt #2

So this time I remembered to take a before picture....


two seams and it becomes this:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When Spontaneous Crafting Goes Very Very Right

I love my boyfriend. He also has good taste in clothes (in my opinion).

Boyfriend cleaned out his closet this weekend, and decided to rid himself of a few shirts that I snagged before they hit the Goodwill bag.

Boyfriend is a larger person than I, so in order for me to be able to wear these few shirts (comfortably), I need to do a little modification.

One is a button down, which will require some thought, pinning and tailoring. There will possibly be a post about that when I get to it.

The others are t-shirts.

I decided on the spur of the moment tonight to go ahead and sew up one of the shirts. (It was so spur of the moment, there is no before photo for you!)

So just imagine...regular 2XL men's t-shirt, moderately worn.

A little tracing paper and two big serger seams later...

Yes, I still need to tend to my seam ends, but I am so pleased with the way it came out that there was a little bit of squealing and jumpy giggling (but not too much, it IS 1:30 am, and there are people sleeping). But I am much happier than I look in the photos. (did i mention the timer on the new camera is LOUD?)

I can't wait to do the other shirts!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Look Out Behind You!

Because you might get attacked by a mini ninja!!

He's done!

The pattern has him with a little throwing star, but I didn't have the yarn for it (i know, weird, right?) so he just got a black belt.

Besides, truly adequate ninjas don't NEED throwing stars. :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ami is older than you think...

The first book on amigurumi I checked out of the library was Amigurumi, by Elizabeth Doherty. I just wanted to take a look. On one of the pages, she's got ami cookies! And it occured to me...wait, I've seen those before.

Where? On my fridge.

I have an oreo magnet, made by my grandmother or one of her church ladies. I've had it since I was a kid and got it at the church craft bazaar.

Mmm, delicious yarn cookie....

I also have a butterfly:

The big Ami trend really hit in the last 5 years, but I've had these for at least twice as long. My grandma and the church ladies were ahead of their time...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pet Safety (A PSA)

I'm bringing you this very important safety message - not for you, but for your pets.

Crafting can have lots of obvious hazardous materials like paint, stained glass solder and sharp knives. There are also threats that you wouldn't normally think about which can be just as harmful.

You know how there are all these stylized cards and pictures of a cat with a ball of yarn?

That's BAD. ANY kind of string is very bad for ANY animal when eaten because it can possibly get tangled up in their intestines and can block them or even cut them. It can be FATAL. I'm not joking - it's bad stuff.

This is a constant battle for me, as my Crafty Cat Joe has a string addiction. Seriously, it doesn't matter what it is, if it's long and stringy, he wants to chew on it. My other cat couldn't care less, but Joe is determined enough for the both of them. This includes yarn, twine, ribbon, and thread. In 2001 he had to have surgery to remove a length of thread that he somehow snuck out of a sewing basket I had (which did have a lid).

This weekend Joe (who has been seen earlier with his blankie) for some reason decided that he was going to climb up on my craft desk and get into my serger thread. On a normal machine this wouldn't have been an issue, but sergers have the spools out in the open.

I thought I got the thread away from him in time for him to not eat any, but apparently I wasn't quick enough. Sunday he was throwing up all day, and the morning after that when he wasn't eating, we took a trip to the vet, where he got exams and x-rays. Not knowing all the factors in the situation, we came up with a plan of action and came home.

Tuesday he seemed much better but after we had eaten dinner, he vomited again, which according to the guidelines from the vet meant another trip, this time the emergency vet, since it was out of business hours. After another set of x-rays and some more medication, we came home again to do more waiting.

It's been two more days full of isolation and sticky medicine, but he is FINALLY out of the woods and fine again. He finally passed the thread tonight (5 days since he ate it), thankfully all at once and without incident. And he ate a LOT - way more than I thought he had. We are EXTREMELY lucky that it's ended this well, as the damage could have been very very bad, and I might have lost one furry best friend. :(

So please, please, PLEASE keep thread and yarn away from your pets. It's more dangerous than it looks.

A secure container for your stringy items, and covers for your machines are a whole lot cheaper than vet bills, trust me.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


One of the things I decided I wanted to try this year was amigurumi.

I looked at a book from the library a couple weeks ago, and last trip in I found this book:

It is Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden.

I LOVE this book, even if for the pictures alone. :) They are really so creepy and cute!

I'm making a ninja. So far all I have done is the body, but I'm sure I'll have some fidgety time later to make the head...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lengthen Your Sleeves - A How To...

One of my wonderful genetic traits is long arms. I get it from my mother's father's side, and while I loved Pop dearly, it's kind of frustrating at times. My arms seem to be about 2 inches longer than "normal" so it's very hard to find sleeves that are long enough. I spend a lot of time rolling them up so I won't get irritated that they're not even coming down to my wrists. There are some tops I've found that have extra long sleeves lately, but they're not always easy to find.

{I also have really broad shoulders so trying to find shirts in most stores these days is ridiculous because apparently everyone is supposed to be a stick with no muscles or anything. Whatever.}

Back to the sleeves. This can be helped in some instances, and I'm about to show you how.

I have a fleece jacket that I like, but lo and behold the sleeves are too short:

See? Isn't that ridiculous?

I'm going to make these sleeves longer, and it won't suck.

Feel free to follow along. If you need a closer look, clicking on the pictures makes them open up slightly bigger.

I'm working with black fleece that matches my jacket, but if you want to do this with an accent/contrast instead of a match, that's entirely up to you.

You're going to need a seam ripper, your extra fabric, and your item to be lengthened. You can sew it by hand or machine. I'm kind of addicted to my serger right now, but a regular sewing machine will work just as well.

[Editor's Note: I apologize for the crappy photos, but I was doing this late at night when there is no good natural light....]

Here is the Before of the end of the sleeve, just for reference (complete with cat hair):

First step - Remove the "hem" of your sleeve cuffs. Take your seam ripper and pull out whatever crosswise seams are pulling it down.

Second Step - You're going to want to separate the lengthwise seam up the sleeve about an inch or two. The only reason I'm doing this is just to make the assembly sewing easier.

Now you'll need your fabric. I'm using black fleece to match my jacket. If you're doing the same (fleece to fleece or other stretchy fabric) make sure that you're cutting to have the stretch go ACROSS the sleeve, not up the sleeve. You need to have your fabric the same width as your opened sleeve, so if you wait to cut to size until this step, it's probably easier.

Also, I'm using a complete fold over of fabric so I don't have to make a cuff later. If you want to do that, go for it. If you want to just use enough and then hem it later, that's all up to you.

Now for the assembling....start pinning your new fabric to your opened sleeve. Make sure that you stretch either (or both) enough that your ends match and you don't have a bunch of puckering in one section.

All ready for stitching:

Now sew it up. If you're using a serger like me, you'll be on the edge, if you're on a standard machine, you'll probably want a seam allowance of 1/4 inch probably. That's up to you.

Knot/weave in your ends, however you choose to do your hanging thread housekeeping.

Ok, we've gone crosswise, now it's time to go lengthwise.

Turn your garment inside out (some of you may have done this earlier, and that's cool, too).

You can pin your edges together or just hold them, but sew up the length of the new cuff and up past the part of the original sleeve that you opened.

Your end result should look something like this:

Again, housekeep your dangling threads, and turn your item right side out again.

Double check that you don't have any holes or wonky-ness going on at the seams, and you're done!

Repeat on the other side if you haven't done so already.

So remember that ridiculous sleeve from earlier? Look at it now!

No more chilly wrists!

Let me know if it works for you, or if you've got any ideas on the process....