Chunky Rib Stitch Cowl

Since I can feel that summer is fast coming to a close, I decided to make myself something to keep warm on the drafty buses out in SF. I have been knitting this cowl for a month or so, mostly exclusively at the meetup group, and it came together really fast and easy (that's about 4 days in total). The yarn (Paton's Rumors) did not go as far as I thought it would and I only had one ball in my stash. I went to a bunch of craft stores to try to find it again and I was disturbed by the lack of variety at Michael's. They used to have so much yarn, now the stores are being overrun with scrapbooking supplies and all they have is boring old Red Heart worsted, some Lion that gets about as interesting as the Homespun stuff, and a little Paton's. Booooring. So I had to go online to find another ball and of course the dye lots didn't match. Oh well, it looks like they don't make that yarn anymore, but since it is for me and not to sell I don't mind the color change. So if anyone else out there would like to make a quick and easy cowl (they would be great gifts for the hipsters in your life), then here is the extremely simple pattern:

Size US 10 knitting needles
2 balls of your favorite bulky-weight yarn
Small crochet hook
Yarn needle

1. Cast on 100 stitches.
2. For this row and every row onward until you run out of yarn, *knit 2, purl 2* until end of row. This makes the nice deep double rib stitch, which is very stretchy.
3. When you are out of yarn, bind off. Be sure to leave a long tail, and sew the short sides of the rectangle together. That's it!

I told you it was really simple, lol!

If you have found this or any of my other free patterns useful and would like to help me keep creating them I accept PayPal donations!


Toiling away.

Sorry it's been a while since my last crafty post! The new commute out to San Francisco has taken some getting used to, but I think I've got the hang of it now and I have been making more room in my schedule for some much-needed crafting and such. Today my roommate and I are having a girly day, sitting around listening to records and sewing little things. I keep catching the side of the back pocket on my jeans on an old door latch on the kitchen entry, and I have torn big holes in two of my favorite pairs, so I patched them with big squares of awesome fabric today. But mostly, I wanted to show off this sewing project that I am really proud of...

Take one super soft shirt that I got from my mom for my birthday. It fits great and has 3/4 length sleeves which I adore, but it is a little boring all on its own. Add to the equation a ton of inspiration from the girls at my weekly stitch n' bitch meetup and you get this:

One of the girls who comes every couple of weeks is a fabric sales rep and she is always sharing old samples with us. Last time she brought a lot of apparel-type fabrics for us and I took quite a few squares home. And then yesterday one of the new girls brought this amazing book to share and I fell in love with a skirt with little raincloud appliques. So all I did was cut out 3 little raincloud shapes from a few of the t-shirt type fabric samples and sewed them to the shirt. You don't need to worry about the edges fraying since jersey knit fabric doesn't unravel. The hardest part is adjusting the tension on your machine so it won't eat the fabric. Also, there will be a lot of lifting the presser foot to turn around those curves, since the fabric will stretch and won't turn well. But if you are patient, you can do this in any shape to any shirt. I added some lines of wide zigzag stitches as rain coming from the clouds, and for interest and balance I did three lines on the opposite shoulder too. I will be doing this to more of my t-shirts for sure.

Tomorrow I have a neat finished knitting project to share, and a free pattern that is great for beginners! See you tomorrow!


New Toys...

Well, I had to work yesterday (normally my day off), so I had no time this week at all for crafting. And I just realized I forgot to take pictures of the cute zip pouches I made for all the giveaway winners. Oh well, they will get a surprise then! I worked yesterday because my bosses opened the new toy store in San Francisco! So yes, finally I am taking Bart/Buses to work in the city! It's an amazing shop, full of life and color, and in a really great neighborhood to boot! We are on the corner of Fillmore and Lombard streets, so come by and say hello if you are in the area!

Another big announcement is that I finally got a record player! I have been wanting one for a very long time, and this one was brand new on Amazon for $40.00 plush shipping! It reminds me of the one my parents had when I was a kid. It's very compact, actually smaller than a 48 record so that the top has cut-outs where the record sticks out as it plays. Very simple, no-frills, with built-in speakers (though I connected my good speakers from my rarely-used old stereo), and a radio. I adore it! Every record shop around here has miles and miles of one-dollar-record bins, and I found out that you can use a cable with a headphone jack on each end and some free software to transfer the music to a digital format. Woot! So anywho...

The first brand new record I bought was Lisa Hannigan. She is amazing, and it has become the record I listen to over and over again while I'm crafting. Watch her cute music video for "I don't know" here. If you haven't heard of her, she's a crafty girl as well and her album art was all hand-stitched and knitted by her, and her music videos have very artsy-craftsy themes too. And her music is right up my alley; slightly folksy and extremely cute and romantic, I would say she's the adorable daughter of Feist and Glen Hassard, if that makes any sense. And when I bought this record ( it was only twelve bucks - Oh Amazon how I love thee), sure enough it's a nice 120-gram and it came with a full CD of the album! I put it on my computer already, but I don't think I need both, so I thought we could play a game and the winner can have the CD!

Here's my idea: I have yet to give a "nickname" to the record player. My sewing machine's nickname is a string of obscenities, and the vintage machine I have yet to get fixed up is called "the Buick". So, leave me your idea for what to name my new record player and whoever comes up with the best one will get the CD! I'll keep the contest going for a week, or until I find one I like, whichever is longest!

*Edited to add: So far we have the Duke, Jukie, and Lola. Any favorites?


Well would you look at that...

Whilst I was rummaging through my closet, going through my old purses and looking for things to go into the "garage sale box", I happened upon this little fluff ball:

I clearly remember my sister giving me this neat-o handmade purse for my birthday some years ago, but it looked to be filled with unfinished crochet projects I scarcely remembered. As I started pulling them out of the bag it all came flooding back...

Unfinished crocheted flower brooches, cupcakes, acorns, wrist warmers, aminekos, business card holders, and various other nearly-finished amigurumi came pouring out. I know that the black amineko was supposed to be a Christmas present for my mother a couple years ago. I vaguely remember that this was the bag I kept all my projects in. I think it must have gotten lost in the fray when I moved out of my old apartment. I feel like such a heel for abandoning all of these projects right when they were so close to completion. But I will make it up to them... I guess I know what I will be doing at the stitch n' bitch meetups for the next few months! I really dislike the finishing-type steps, especially sewing ami's together. It just takes so long and is an all around pain in the tucus. I already have a little sheep done which is s-l-o-w-l-y being assembled, and I just finished a neat project for the shop that needs some blocking and ends woven in. But of course, it's needed that for weeks and I have yet to do it. Oh well. I will bring them to the group on Tuesday and hopefully get something done! Send me good energy so I can get things done, okay?

Ooh, did I mention I got my hair cut/dyed again? Does this count as a hobby since I seem to do it so often? lol! (The little mushroom brooch is from Jill over at the Minnow and the Bee etsy shop!)