Crafting Fail

So this has not been a good week for crafting.  I finished two knit hats this week (two!  I can't believe it!).  And apparently I'm not a super-tight knitter anymore -- because both of the hats ended up being too large.  Like, way too large. Maybe I have a freakishly small head?  They both came out really well too!  I guess I just need to find somebody with a large head. 

Then I was trying a sewing project today and that didn't work out too well either.  I'm not totally throwing in the towel, but I'm unsure how to get it back on track. 

What do you do when a craft project goes awry?

I Can Sew!

I've been wanting to learn how to sew for a long time.  When I was in junior high school, you could take Home Ec -- if you weren't in the band or choir.  I was in the band, so I never did all the fun sewing and cooking projects that everyone else did.  At the time, I didn't really care, but as I've been discovering my creativity, learning to sew has been high on my list.

So last week I finally decided to buy the sewing machine I've been eyeing for months.  It's the Brother CS6000i, which I picked up from Amazon.  I don't know that I could have found a better beginning sewing machine.  It's super easy to use; I had the machine threaded and was doing practice stitches within half of hour of unpacking it.  And it's a great value -- there are over 50 stitches and it comes with seven different presser feet, including a buttonhole foot.

I've been spending hours online searching for sewing patterns, and when I came across this pleated pouch tutorial, I knew I had to give it a try.  I suppose I should have been afraid of starting out with a project with a zipper in it, but I just decided not to be afraid of it!  A day after I received the sewing machine, I finished my first project.  Then I did another one a day later. 

My head is bursting with ideas -- can't wait to sew some more!

Knitting Like Crazy

So apparently whining works.  After lamenting about my poor knitting skills a few weeks ago, I've actually finished four projects since then!  They are all small, but significant for me, since I have now managed to do some real lace knitting.

The Honey Cowl was a pretty easy knit -- not that much effort for a really nice finished piece.  I just wish I hadn't chosen a wool yarn; it's kind of itchy.  Maybe someone will get this as a gift.

Next was this coffee sleeve, which I plan to use as a cuff bracelet.  Theoretically, it could be both, but I'm a notoriously tight knitter.  This might fit a Tall at Starbucks, but I doubt it would fit a Grande -- and that's the size I usually order. :)

Then I tried something truly lace -- these fingerless gloves.  I've dabbled in crochet, but not enough to want to do the beaded crochet lace on these gloves, so I just did more repeats of the pattern.  The yarn was so easy to work with, which made the project even easier.

Finally, the one I'm most proud of.  This Blue Leaf Handband had lots of different increases and decreases.  But it was actually a pretty fun knit and has really increased my confidence in lace knitting. 

Next up will be this beret.  I love Ravelry's feature that lets you search for projects by yarn.  So many good ideas!

T-Shirt Fun

Disappeared there for awhile, didn't I?  Had a huge work project that wrapped up last week, so crafting is back on the schedule!

Picked up a couple of plain t-shirts at Target today and then found some wonderful fat quarter collections at Joanns.  Add in a little heat-and-bond and I'll have some unique and adorable t-shirts.  Stay tuned for pics when they are finished.

And despite my hand-wringing about knitting a couple of weeks ago, I've actually been knitting quite a bit.  I'll get some pics of that posted soon too.

What are you crafting today?

My Love/Hate Relationship with Knitting

It took me awhile to teach myself how to knit, but I finally got it.  I've got the basic knit and purl stitches down, I've knit on circulars a couple of times and I've even experimented with cables.  I love buying yarn and have lost count of the number of projects I have on the needle.

But when it gets more complex, like a lace pattern, I just get lost.  I invariably wind up with too many or too few stitches when I'm done with a row, and the thought of  unraveling stitches to try to backtrack makes me cringe.  And even basic knitting can lose its allure; I'm not a fast knitter, so everything takes me quite awhile.

However, as fall descends, I ache to knit again.  There's just something about the cooler weather that makes me want to knit.  So I've picked up a scarf project I abandoned last year.  And I think I'll spend a little time on Ravelry browsing patterns that I'll probably never knit.  Oh well, a girl can dream.

Cheering Myself Up

I totally forgot to post this yesterday.  I was feeling kind of down, so I created a Treasury based on the kitchen photo I found last week.  The seafoam background with highlights of pink, yellow and red just kind of says "happy" to me.

I'm not sure the Treasury made me feel any better, but the comments I received just make me love the Etsy community that much more.