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7 days – 7 things

This is an idea I nicked from a friends blog, look here for the german blog. It is about making all those creativ things you do in a week stand up proud for all to see, may it big or small.

So hopefully there now will be a regual installment about my crafts over the last 7 days.

I always was very creativ and crafted all the time. Even in Kindergarten I much more prefered to paint and draw then to play outdoors or listen to books being read.
Later I took up cooking, baking, crafting stars from straw and paper (yes my mom has lot’s of decorations for christmas), and now I’m deep into knitting, crochet and spinning.

So here the first overview over the last 7 days.

 

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I finshed the little doll of the 11th Doctor. I started this last august for a friend. But a mix of no-motivation-what-so-ever, some bad news about my other dolls, and just uhhh-shiny-distraction made him a UFO for a long time.

 

 

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The next FO! Socks this time. These “only” took about 2 month. Yes not my favourite project either to work. Not even sure why, there were neither complicated to knit nor too boring, and even for me. But they fit and look pretty much like I wanted them to look, always a good thing with designing.

 

 

 

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I sketched, charted the main part and swatched a new design for a shawl. To early to post a picture of the design, but looks like there will be a Doctor Strange shawl in my comic book collection.
The picture is of all the comic book characters I have pattern ideas so far, from the already published once to just sketches.
The socks from above are the first point in “generic”.

 

 

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This year I started my gardening slightly earlier then last year. Hopeful the seeds will grow.
I use egg shells as planters; easy to use, free and they come with their own holding facility.

 

 

 

Brioche

 

 

Thanks to a rather funny thread on Ravelry about brioche, I made lots of that this week. Well the bread kind, I can’t stand the knit stitch! The latest version has Nutella-filling.

 

 

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After finishing some longterm WIPs I started clue 2 of Follow Your Arrow 2. My coinflip choose version A. I use a lace weight in a just gorgeous green and guess the shawl will end up more like a shawlette.

 

 

 

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And last but not least, I finished this blouse. Sewing on buttons is not my favourite part of any craft, I just can’t be trusted to be around sharp needles I’m way to accident prone.

 

 

So until next week with some more and some already seen crafty things.

All tangled up, or not!

If you’re ever wondered, why I don’t go insane when working my Das Waldhaus socks? I use a similar technic with my current design. It is like so many lately inspired my comic books, the panels to be precise.

I just push all contrast colours in the sock. So when working, I knit continental style with my main colour and when I come to a stitch that needs to be worked in contrast colour I just pull up the yarn a bit and throw the stitch.

All tangled up

This way no tangling up of main and contrast colours. Even tho the contrast colours build up a nest you only need the lenghth of 1 stitch untangled, something that is achieved while pulling up the yarn for knitting that stitch.

Here the finished socks, fresh from the needles and I even woven in the ends. Yes I don’t always weave them in with socks …

Comic book panel socks

The joy of buttons

Well before I bought my sewing machine last year I inherited a button collection.
These were intended for my knitting but with taking up yet another hobby these will be for sewing as well. This month sewing project is a blouse. I’m so thankful for the new Nerdopolis challenge were sewing or other non-Ravelry crafts, count.

So I spend some time sorting through the buttons, not that I found what I needed for my blouse, but it was fun.

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Now I have to find patterns for some of those buttons I really love :)

Lady Sif

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As some may know I’m a comic book nerd. I read comic books now for most of my life, I started “reading” (ok let’s be honest, looking a pictures) when I was around 4.

One of the female heros I always loved is the Lady Sif from the Thor series. She is on hell of a warrior and still female.

So when I started my brain storming about knitting patterns inspired by comic book heros, I just needed a pattern with her iconic armor.
I must admit that I’m somewhat of a fingerless mitten addict, so combining the two was a logical step for me.

Lady Sif Gauntlets

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Her warrior skirt and body armor build the cuff and hand portion of the mitten, the garter stitch on top are a nod to her diadem.
The mitten are worked with a lateral braid, which give the pattern a certain look, but is easier to work then it may look. I even provided a little photo tutorial with the pattern.

This first page of one of her books describes what I like about her best:

Lady Sif Gauntlets

And hey, even with a sword and warrior gauntlets I can’t be serious or silent while doing a photoshoot. Yes my friend and photographer complains a lot about the fact that I just can’t keep my mouth shut.

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Love and Hate

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Sometimes there are designs I love, but still hate so much while working on.

My current shawl design is one of those. I really like the look so far, I liked the look of the parts I frogged (now twice!), I really love the yarn. But now I had to frog the boarder twice! Boarder, that part of a shawl that usually has the most stitches and in this case lace.
The lace is a not even complicated chevron lace, which gives a great contrast to the stockinette stitch and colourwork of the main body of the shawl. But I buggered up the stitchcount twice(!) for the chart. And let’s face it, a jog of even one stitch is very noticable in a geomatrical pattern like chevron ;)
I now made the third chart, which is not that uncommen for designing, but usually I have a working chart without such math problems before starting.

So now I have the stitches just before the lace back on the needles, and start something else, written by someone else, to give my knitting brain a rest.

So this girl is off knitting the Snpadragon flip-tops for a friend/model :)

Here she is in a behind the scene from our last photoshoot she is trying on MY favourit cardigen ;)

 tangled yoke cardigen

Meet BristolIvy

As part of the indie designer Gift-a-Long on Raverly, I interviewed BristolIvy.
The GAL is a group of indie designers on Raverly, it’s a way to kick start the holiday knitting, be it a gift for someone els or for you. As a bonus we discount our patterns until the 21.11.2014.

Bold are my questions and comments, and Texknitters answers are in regular font.

What is your design process and what influences your design?

Designs often start for me by seeing a ready-to-wear piece, and then figuring out how I would knit it through my own style.  I’m a big fan of non-traditional constructions, so often inspirations that might be straightforward in their original form end up following a completely unexpected direction! I also love designing based on technique: building a piece around a new concept or a specific way of shaping.  A lot of my work has grown organically from “what if?” moments.  I tend to sketch these, chart the shapes on graph paper, or plain old stare out a window and think them through before starting; I rarely swatch more than once for a shape or idea because I’ve spent a lot of time figuring it out mentally beforehand.  From there, I write out the pattern, and get knitting! A lot of the time I’ll make edits as I go, changing the pattern as the fabric and shape develops.

What do you love most about designing?

I love that knitting is a visual representation of conceptual logic and geometry.  Designing for me is an endless manipulation of those things: if I do this, then that; if I use this angle based on these increases, those angles result.  Then I love taking those concepts and making them wearable!

What is your favorite item you designed so far, and why?

Oooh, that’s a hard one.  I can only narrow it down to four: Hrim, Devlan, Winnowing, and Thorn.  The shawls are all explorations of technique and an idea, and I love that it worked out better than I could’ve planned.  Devlan has some interesting construction techniques to it, but it’s also probably the item in my design catalog that’s closest to my own personal style.

And Devlan is really cool!

Does anything intimidate you in knitting or crochet?

Complicated stuff! I tend not to have the attention span at this point for intricate stitch patterns, so I’m always so impressed by people who do them effortlessly.  Most of what I do has very basic stitch patterns to better show off the construction, but some days I wish I could let rip with something really crazy!

When you want to learn something new (or need to refresh it) in knitting/crochet, where do you look it up and why?

That’s a great question! It depends–if it’s a stitch pattern or technique, I’ll google it, or refer to the TECHKnitting blog.  If it’s construction-based, I’ll check out my bookshelf: Elizabeth Zimmermann, Maggie Righetti, Shirley Paden, and Catherine Lowe books all live there and they’re all invaluable for discussing the bigger picture.

Do you have a favorite LYS?

Yes! KnitWit, in my hometown here of Portland, Maine.  They’re wonderful!

Do you collect WIPs/FOs or do you work only on one project at a time?

I am completely monogamous! I actually get anxious if I have more than one project going, so I just try to zip through a single one at a time.

Are you a selfish knitter or do you knit mainly for other people?

Most of what I do right now is for publication, but I miss civilian knitting! When I was doing more of that, let’s be honest, I was pretty selfish. My family is super knitworthy, though, so I try to knit for them when I can.  I’ll be knitting my dad a long-overdue sweater as part of the GAL!

Is knitting a seasonal activity for you?

Nope! I’m year-round, and actually often busiest in the hottest months of the year.  There’s something a bit wrong with that. . .

What makes you buy a pattern?

Something that makes me sit up and say “WOW”.  There are so many amazingly talented designers out there, and it’s so great to see how they all approach the knitting world differently.  I love it when someone comes along and publishes something that I’d never even conceived of!

What do you most enjoy about knitting or crochet?

The way it feels in my hands after a long day at work.  Even when I’m working on it towards the goal of publishing the pattern, it’s such a centering, calming activity.  I love it!

Meet Texknitter

As part of the indie designer Gift-a-Long on Raverly, I interviewed Texknitter.

Bold are my questions and comments, and Texknitters answers are in regular font.

What is your design process and what influences your design?
Most of the time my designs are driven by techniques that I want to play with, but I am also very influenced by the visual world around me. There are times when I will notice a pattern in nature or in architecture, and see the whole knitting project in my mind.

What do you love most about designing?
I love seeing how a design comes together, from the inspiration to the techniques I choose. I like making it fun for the knitter.

What is your favorite item you designed so far, and why?
That’s like choosing your favorite child, but my favorite is generally whatever I am currently working on. Right now it’s the Mercado Shawl, because I love the drape of the bias shaping.

Does anything intimidate you in knitting or crochet?
Nothing in knitting intimidates me any more. What is the worst that can happen if I mess up? I rip back and fix it, or start over. No one gets hurt.

When you want to learn something new (or need to refresh it) in knitting/crochet, where do you look it up and why?
I have (cough, cough) a lot of knitting reference books. Of course the Internet has made it easy to learn all sorts of new techniques, through Ravelry, You Tube, and just searching.

Do you have a favorite LYS?
I am fortunate to live in an area with lots of yarn options. Most of my time and yarn dollars go to Hill Country Weavers in Austin, and The Happy Ewe in Jonestown.

Do you collect WIPs/UFOs or do you work only on one project at a time?
I always have a simple project in my purse, and I try to have a few projects at different stages on the needles. That way if one needs thinking about, I still have something else to be working on.

I may have to add Strawberry Fields to my never ending collections of travel knitting, just looke at it:

Are you a selfish knitter or do you knit mainly for other people?
Several years ago I looked back over a year of knitting and realized that I had nothing of my own to show for it; it had all been given away. Now I mostly knit for myself, although I will knit anything that my children ask for.

Is knitting a seasonal activity for you?
Knitting has no season! Living in a warm climate, I do knit smaller projects during the summer months, but I knit every day, all year.

What makes you buy a pattern?
Cool techniques keep me interested, and I am a sucker for pretty shawls.

Did someone say pretty shawls? I may as well have an addiction there as well. I personally like her Mercado Shawl


What do you most enjoy about knitting or crochet?
I love that knitting can be as simple or as complex as I want it to be. I get to spend time doing something I love, and I get something cool at the end.

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