Free: September 2010 Archives
Fall has arrived and with it brisk air, longer sleeves and an urge for apple cider and all things comfy. The days have not quite decided to be cool but in the early morning and evening there is a chill. A light shawl is needed to add the right amount of coziness and warmth for that stroll around the block, concert in the park or watching the leaves change color. I designed the September Shawl with fall in mind. I knew that some days I would need something to nestle around my shoulders (if I wore a shirt too light) or to wrap around my neck to just ease the nippiness. The September Shawl is also well sized for small children to wear if they forgot their coat, can't be wiggled into one or won't stand still long enough for you to wrestle them into it. With eyelet rows begging for light ribbons or icord to be woven through, you can coordinate the September Shawl with your outfit or change it up with some sparkle for date night. This is a perfect fast knit for Christmas presents too.
The September Shawl is knit with Filatura Di Crosa Zara, a DK weight super wash merino wool. It is soft and cozy with great stitch definition. Some techniques you need to be familiar with for this project are: increases and decreases, and reading charts. The September Shawl will also look great in a silk, cashmere or cotton. This shawl needs about 250-275 yds of DK yarn. The eyelet pattern coupled with the ruffle make for a feminine shawl that is both simple and elegant. Made in a glittery yarn or with some sheen the September Shawl is perfect for holiday parties.
I call this blog entry "The Witching Hour" because that's about as long as it takes to put one of the new free Hot Patterns Good Witch/Bad Witch hats together. Any good costume trunk needs a witch hat. My trunk has... a number I'm not entirely comfortable disclosing. (Truth be told, I have no idea how many witch hats I have.)
This pattern gets an A+ in the fun department. I love, love, LOVE it! I couldn't stop myself from making hats! It's a fantastic project to burn through scraps of fancy fabrics that you couldn't bear to toss, and it's also a great way to experiment with new fabrics.
I won't re-write the instructions for making the hats - the free pattern has got you covered there. I will give you my tips and insights, and a photo series of the making of one of the smaller hats.
Here are my tips/thoughts:
- -For the large hat, which I made using a home dec velvet from my stash, I found that to make the crumples sit the way I liked them, it took a little bit of hand stitching to tack things into position.
- -The smaller hats do require a bit of patience when affixing the body of the hat to the brim. This is especially true when working with vinyl. (The trim on the pink sparkle vinyl hat is there to hide some atrocious stitching crimes.) It just comes with the territory when you're working with small items.
- -After making several of the smaller hats true to pattern, I found myself wanting some variation, so I cut the next several with straight bodies instead of crumple bodies. To do this, I just traced the outline of the lower edge of the original pattern and used that as the base of my triangular straight pieces.
- -I didn't want to purchase a bazillion headbands for all my hats, so instead, I stitched elastic onto circles of fabric to create a channel, and then glued the circles to the bases of the hats (in the photos below, you can see the underside of one of the smaller hats to clarify what I'm talking about). This way, the small hats are interchangeable on one headband.
- -The smaller hats would make darling table centerpieces for a Halloween party. They're also so quick to whip up that if you're having a smallish party, you could make them as party favors. You'd surely be known in your social circle for having the best party takeaway EVER.
Here's how my jacquard fascinator came to life:
Cutting the interfacing:
Ironing the cut interfacing to the back of the uncut fabric (This way, the interfacing becomes the pattern cutting line):
The brim pieces stitched together:
The point of the body, stitched and clipped (I like to leave that little tail to give the point a teeny bit of support - your mileage may vary):
Clipping the interior edge of the brim once it's turned (you'll find this makes stitching a good bit easier):
Stitching the body and brim together:
Stitching from another angle:
Hat with stitching completed, awaiting crumple:
Three of my hats, crumpled and awaiting instructions:
The finished batch of minis! There's seriously no telling how many more of these will come to life between now and Halloween. I'm a hat junkie!
It is no secret that Halloween is my favorite holiday. I have always loved planning, designing and creating Halloween throughout the house, whether that be costumes or (my favorite) decorations. Costumes are one day of fun but decorations are a whole month long! It is this time of year that I am especially glad to be crafty. While I love shopping for Halloween goodies, I know my neighbors do too and at all the same places. It is no fun for every house to be the same so making my decorations if doubly fun. Here are some of my favorite patterns around Ravelry that I am planning on making this year to spook up my house and give that extra ghoulish factor!
Felted Pumpkin: I have made several of these over the years because they are so fun. They are also (say it with me) a quick knit, so when I get in the Halloween spirit I also run to my wool and make another. It is a yearly tradition. You can change the size to be as BIG as you want or as teeny as you want. It is knit in pieces so it is another great project to knit in the car on your way to the Apple Pickin' Jubilee. You might want to add some opposing increase/decrease to help your stem bendy and not look so excited, as mine does. Yarn Recommended: Berocco Ultra Alpaca light (plently of pumpkin colors to choose from)
Spider- Hey- let it not be said that I do not love our Crochet friends, I am just not a crocheter (YET). I love, love, love this spider. He is creepy and cute at the same time- very difficult to pull off. I suspect he is also quick to whip up and also the legs are flexible so the kids will love playing with him and bending him to their will. Yarn Recommended: Gedifra Angora Merino (this will give a good fuzzy spidery feel)
Scream felt Wreath- I almost died of Halloween excitement when I beheld this wreath. I am already a big proponent of wreaths and wreath-like crafts so this was right up my alley. It screams perfect for Halloween in every way. It is felted so it will last and mistakes are allowed. It is creepy. You can choose your own colors! What fun. Yarn Recommended: Rowan Cocoon (lots of Halloween colors)
Halloween Softies- Just plain cute and perfect for the kids. They can decorate their room with Halloween goodness that won't leave them with nightmares or wondering if that knitted/crocheted ghost comes alive at night and waits in their closets. They softies will bring some whimsy to those who prefer a cuter Halloween sans gore, demons and blood oozing down walls. Yarn Recommended: Lion Brand Wool Ease
Corn Hat- This is perfect for adults
forced lovingly walking their
children from house to house All Hallow's Eve. No need to dress up, one hat is
your costume. Plus you won't disappoint the kids with the lack of enthusiasm.
You can deliver the message of "don't worry; I won't be feeding all the candy to
my kids. At least half goes to me". Additionally, should it be cold where you
and your family will be haunting the streets, your ears will thank you for your
sweet, Halloween Spirit. Yarn
Everyone needs a sewing machine cover for, umm, business purposes. You know, for, umm, covering your business. Bah- who cares? If you really need to make an excuse for making a sewing machine cover than perhaps you have too much business. They are super fast to make (most of the time) and super cute. Just another way to drape fabric around your sewing room, nook, or desk. A sewing machine cover helps keep the dust at bay (dust can gather in your machine, messing up your tension), can keep little hands away, block spills, etc. but really the reason I made one- not that all those above reasons aren't correct and, of course, great, but that is not why I made one. I wanted to make my machine pretty. When non-sewers com over, as impressive as my machine is (and let me tell you, this baby is loaded) they won't notice or care. It will just be a sewing machine to them. Like a banana or a pot hole. Not "Wow what a great machine", just "Hey, you've got a sewing machine! So do you sew"? But now, it will be "Wow, that is cute, I love it". Plus it makes me smile every time I walk in the room. And isn't that why we all sew, to make ourselves happy! So if you want to carve up a little more happiness for your machine there are tons of tutorials out there: Patchwork, selvedge, ribbon. But I used a simple tutorial that I think all will love by Sparkle Power. Candace used 3 vintage prints plus the lining, which looks amazing. I just had about 1 yd of this retro, bird print that I have been itching to put in my room somewhere. So you can use this tutorial for as many prints as you want to use. Just follow the basics. Mine took about 30 min from cutting to topstitching. I was able to use some fabric I had bought from the Retro & Mod Section and I had some awesome grosgrain ¾ in ribbon. Unfortunately for me, I thought I was being clever when I measured my existing cover (that came with the machine) instead of the machine. I failed to take into account that the first cover was more/less free standing where as my new one would be more drappy so it is too long. I am going to say that I love the look regardless because I have no time to fix it. Don't try my clever route, measure your machine. Be sure and post your cover pictures on our Facebook page so all can admire and compliment.