Friday, December 21, 2012

FO Friday: Inspira Cowl

Finals are over! I got home this past weekend and I have finally had some time to work on updating. It was a little sad leaving school because I won't be going back for the semester that I will be abroad, but I'm going to head to Boston one more time before I leave to visit my friends (and pick up my visa :O !). During break, besides packing, I plan on focusing on getting a lot done for my blog and spending some time with my family. I've only been away from my parents for no more than five weeks before, so it will be weird to be gone for  four whole months.

Anyway, here is my finished Inspira cowl:




Project page here
Ravelry pattern here

I've had this finished for a little while now. The pattern instructions were oddly confusing for such a simple pattern. I remember reading them over a few times trying to figure out exactly what it was I needed and where the instructions actually began.




I chose the 'Mesa' version, and once I got started I loved knitting this. Seeing the way the colors worked with each other on their own made this a quick knit for me (given how busy the semester was).




I used Lion Brand Amazing, and I lost the labels for two of the skeins, but I know used the Aurora colorway for most of it (it was the brightest and most fun to work with). If I find the other labels I'll be sure to add that information.




The yarn also wasn't as itchy as I thought I would be. I'm not going to lie, it's not the most comfortable softness-wise cowl I own, but it's so bright and colorful I can deal with a little itch.

I hope everyone has had a good holiday season so far, and if you celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas! Hopefully the Mayans were wrong about today ;)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Finals..........



It's been awfully quiet around here. Though I have plenty of FOs (Inspira, external hard drive cozy, and some others), I just haven't had the time to take pictures of them. I will be done with school in 10 days, so hopefully I'll have something to show you soon!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Big News and Old News

I'm doing a WIP Wednesday post on a Sunday, but I wanted to share my progress with you guys. Hurricane Sandy is coming this week so I'm anticipating a bit more time for knitting, and I wanted to post these pictures before they became irrelevant. The reason I forgot to post this Wednesday is that I've been working on my study abroad plans for next semester! I'm officially studying in Granada, Spain this Spring and it hasn't really become real for me yet. I'm very, very excited, but I am definitely going to have some separation anxiety from my friends at school and from my family. I'm hoping I'll just be having too much fun to have time for homesickness!



I also need to scope out some knitting stores :)

***


In the meantime, I am trying (once again) to design my own sweater. I bought the Fishermen's Wool and decided on a bottom-up chunky cable knit. I haven't decided yet if I want to do raglan sleeves (I recently bought Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman - My knitting life has officially been changed) or set in sleeves.

Here's the swatch:




I definitely had an issue with my gauge calculation. I based it on my stockinette swatch instead of my cable swatch (gaahhhh!) and got this far before realizing I definitely hadn't cast on enough stitches:




Well, I ripped it out and started fresh, but all I currently have now is the ribbing.

The second WIP is my Inspira.




This is incredibly fun to knit and I see myself wearing it all the time (as long as the Lionbrand Amazing isn't too scratchy).

I hope everyone had a great pre-halloween weekend!

Friday, October 19, 2012

FO Friday: Infinity for a Friend #2

It's been very busy at school the past few weeks. I've started a few new knitting projects (including my own designed aran sweater - it's very exciting! Expect pictures Wednesday!) and am still chugging away on my Amiga. However, I wanted to share another FO that I completed just in time.

I don't know if you all remember this post from a few weeks ago, but I was able to finish a purple version of my Blues Infinity Scarf for my friend Candace for her birthday. She has graciously allowed me to use a photo of her wearing it (and looking her fall-best)!




Happy birthday, Candace!


Interested in knitting this scarf for a friend of yours, too? Blues Infinity Scarf is a free pattern of mine that only takes one skein of yarn to create! If you've already made one, I'd love to see pictures, please send them to me!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, October 12, 2012

FO Friday: Laminaria Shawl

I finally finished the shawl that caused more headaches than happiness, which is always sort of disheartening. It really had nothing to do with the pattern and more to do with the fact that I'm a distracted, impatient knitter.

Nevertheless, despite the mistakes I'm sure exist in the shawl it looks pretty normal. I'm not normally one to wear shawls and will probably attempt to wear this as some sort of scarf, but the binding off on a shawl and watching it grow when blocking is just my favorite thing.




And it seriously grew:




I literally had less than three inches left of yarn at the end. I don't think I've ever cut any knitting project so close.




I'm not super crazy about the motifs, and I'm not super crazy about the way it looks as a scarf. But the experience I gained while knitting it will hopefully be worth it. The only difficult thing about the pattern was that there were double yarn overs and triple yarn overs, but, eventually, I was able to handle them correctly.




Also, I always have trouble at school finding a suitable lighting/background situation that doesn't involve me (embarrassingly) taking pictures of myself outside in front of every passerby... I'll try to work on that. For now, enjoy the fake wood of my closet door:









Monday, September 24, 2012

Made it By Monday: Paper Flowers

Well, this is my first real post on my new domain space. Unfortunately, I think I lost a few of my readers in the transition from wordpress, but hopefully they'll be back soon. In the meantime, welcome to all the newcomers and I hope you enjoy this tutorial!

I think paper flowers are my favorite craft. They work for a dorm room, for gifts, and are a great craft to do with kids. There is a ton of room for variation and the result is always beautiful even if there were some small mistake along the way.




This tutorial is for the very basic paper flower.

Materials:
1. Tissue paper
2. Dental Floss
3. Scissors
4. Yarn or string (optional)
5. Pipe cleaner (optional)

Step 1: Cut the tissue paper

I cut my tissue paper into 4" x 5.5" rectangles. From my experience, the bigger the rectangles, the less 'fluffy' the flowers will look. this means you'll have to add more layers of tissue paper.




Don't worry about how even your rectangles are. As long as they sort of line up, you'll be fine.

Step 2: Stack tissue paper

My general rule of thumb is five sheet per flower. I use this especially when I'm working with a big group and want to make sure there is enough. But if you're doing this just for you, add as many layers and as many colors as you like.




Step 3: Fold the paper

The accordion fold is used for paper flowers. It's the same fold that is used to make paper fans. First, fold up from the bottom about .25", flip stack over and fold up again. Continue this process until you get to the end.






Step 4: Tie off middle

With paper flat, cut a slit on either side of the middle of the paper. Then, tie a piece of dental floss around the middle




Step 5: Round ends

With scissors, round the ends of the flower while it is still folded




Step 6: Lift up petals

Carefully so that you don't rip the paper, lift each layer of tissue paper upward toward the center






Now you have a finished flower and there is a lot you can do with it!



Option 1: Make a bunch more and hang them up

Using the ends of the dental floss, tie the flowers to a piece of string or fishing line, then hang them up above a window or in a corner (wherever!)






Other ideas:

-Before lifting the petals, fold a pipe cleaner around the middle to make a stem

-Paper flowers make great gift toppers!

-Attach the flower to a headband or clip

There really is so much you can do. If you guys make any of your own I'd love to see what you do with them!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Welcome to the new Wiseknits

Hello everyone!

To those who followed me here from wiseknits.wordpress.com, thank you so much for making the move with me! Your support means the world and I hope you continue to read, comment, and subscribe. I've got a lot of great posts planned so you definitely won't want to miss out!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Laminaria Shawl, Infinity Scarf, Amiga

School is starting to get busy, but I have had a few moments to work on some of my knitting projects. The one taking precedence right now is the infinity scarf:




I making this as a present for my friend's birthday which is this coming Monday. I'm using my Blues Infinity Scarf pattern in a different colorway I thought would suit her.

Next is my Laminaria Shawl. I'm having difficulty with this project. I think it has more to do with me not paying close enough attention and less to do with the pattern. I've had to fudge the numbers a bit on certain rows. I'm also attempting to do this with only one skein of Cascade Heritage Sock. Hopefully I won't regret only buying one skein.







Lastly is my fingering-weight version of the Amiga sweater. I saw this modification of the pattern in a lace weight and I thought it would be a great way to use up some of my unmarked (I think) fingering weight yarn I was given.







It's also great because it's just straight stockinette, which is perfect for the subway/reading and knitting/tv knitting.





What are your current WIPs?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Made It By Monday: Striped Cork-boards

Since I'm back at school, the summer MIBM series is officially over :( But this plain-old-regular MIBM has a lot to offer too! The end of my freshman year, I was in Staples and saw those packs of 4 cork-board squares. I got them for like $5 or less, and I am now convinced that you should always go dorm-decorations-buying in June. I used them last year and succeeded in accidentally chipping paint off when I tried to take them down (as well as ripping off a corner of one of the boards). Make sure you don't use the stickies they give you! Use something like Command poster strips.

Before I came back to school this past week I decided to jazz them up a bit (and also cover the up chipped corner). I pinned this picture up on pinterest a while ago, and I decided to use it as a bit of inspiration.




Materials:
1. 4 cork-board squares
2. Scrapbook paper (I got a pack at Christmas Tree Shop for super cheap)
3. Modge Podge





Step 1: Measure your paper strips



Average scrapbooking paper is about the size of the cork-boards, making it easy to cut. First, draw a line down the center of the paper going diagonally.





Next, measure 1 inch out on both sides and draw parallel lines. The strip is 2 inches wide.




Now move out 1.5 inches out from each line, draw another line. This will be the second strip. Make this strip 2 inches wide as well. Measure out 1.5 inches out again and draw a line on each side. This time, the strip is only going to be 1.5 inches wide.


|- 1.5"-| 1.5" |- 2"-| 1.5" |- 2"-| 1.5" |- 2"-| 1.5" |- 1.5"-|

Step 2: Cut

Lay four sheets of paper on top of each other and cut all paper strips at once.

Step 3: Position

Line up the paper strips on board and make sure they line up.




Step 4: Glue

Using modge podge, put glue on bottom of each paper strip and then over the top of it once you lay it down.




Step 5: Let dry flat

The boards can curl when drying, so put something heavy on top of them.






Monday, August 27, 2012

Made It By Monday Summer Series: Freezer Paper Tshirts

Summer is almost over and I can NOT believe it. The idea that a week and a half from now I'll be sitting in a classroom thinking about all the work I have to do is not a good one. When I'm working all those hours in the summer sometimes I think 'school is easier,' but looking at it from this end of the summer I'm not so sure.




This tutorial is very easy and is a great way to add a personal touch to anything in your wardrobe. Plus it uses very few supplies.

WHAT YOU NEED:



1. Tshirt (any color and really any fabric will do, though I recommend  100% cotton or a cotton blend in a light color)

2. Freezer paper

3. Iron

4. Fabric paint

5. X-acto knife

6. Paintbrush

7. Piece of cardboard

8. Pencil

9. Computer paper



Step 1: Create your design

I drew mine with a sharpie, but you can also print out an image you like from the internet. Make sure to use something that is easy to cut out and doesn't have too many thin lines.



Step 2: Trace your design

Using a pencil, trace your design onto the freezer paper.



Step 3: Cut out your stencil

Using an X-acto knife, cut out the insides of your stencil.




Step 4: Iron the stencil to your shirt

Shiny-side down, iron the freezer paper to your shirt, making sure to center it.




Step 5: Paint

I chose to just go with black paint, but different colors and an elaborate stencil could really bring this DIY to the next level. I just used an old paintbrush from a kid's craft set.



Put a piece of cardboard (I used an old cereal box) between the two layers of fabric so it doesn't bleed through. Be sure to evenly paint inside the stencil, and take your time.





Step 6: Let dry

The directions on my bottle of fabric paint said 4 hours, but it was blazing hot and super sunny the day I did this, and 1.5 hours was definitely enough time. Just wait for it to completely dry.



Step 7: Carefully peel off the freezer paper and wear!






This is a method that allows for a lot of variation and personalization. If you try this at home please post a picture!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Angora Rabbits?

I was able to see some of my family from Texas this weekend, and a cousin of mine reminded me that I still owe him an earflap hat (chullo). He had asked me before while he was living here in the Northeast, but he moved back to Texas recently... and I forgot. He's a funny guy and insists that I make him an earflap hat with llamas walking across that are actually made of llama, a braid on each earflap, and a 'snowball' on top. (He also suggested I line it with baby seal fur.... joking of course)

I tried to convince him that llama can be scratchy, but he insists. I started searching online trying to find a good llama/something blend that wouldn't smell bad in the rain and that is relatively soft. In the process I started googling what the difference between llama and alpaca was, and one thing led to another until I google image searched 'angora rabbit.'

WHAT.



I had no idea these animals existed. I have heard of angora before, but I never bothered to figure out what it actually is.




I can't decide if they're cute or strange or both.

In any case, advice on a good llama hair blend or a chullo hat pattern would be much appreciated.