One Button at a Time…

Tuesday Night Craft Experiment

Knitting, Jewelry, and more knitting January 12, 2011

Filed under: Completed Projects,Jewelry,Knitting — danabeguerie @ 12:24 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

The end of 2010 saw the completion of three projects: a hat, a necklace, and a scarf. Let’s work backwards.

My roommate Joe’s mom saw the scarf I made for him and requested a lady version of her own. I used Lion Brand Hometown USA in Portland Wine. It’s a beautiful bright eggplant color. I knitted the scarf the same way as Joe’s – so they can be twins.

This necklace I made on New Years Day while watching The Larry Sanders Show marathon on IFC (one of the best shows ever). I was antsy and needed something to do with my hands so I rummaged through my bead box and came across these fake wood pieces I had bought at Michaels for $1.99 forever ago. After consulting with Joe, it was decided that I would use all the pieces to make a pretty draping necklace of fake green wood. Love it!

Lastly is a knitting project that I have had in my ravelry queue for almost a year. It’s called the “Robin’s Egg Blue Hat”, but I call it “Pretty Button hat” because it is not blue (minus that hot button!). It is a very easy pattern involving only knitting, purling, and simple decreases. Its knit from the top up which makes it easier to switch to double pointed needles at the end.

Mine came out a little big with the brim left down, so I folded it up and now its a tad small. I have a weird head. I’m going to play around with it because I absolutely love the colors and style. I knit it using Malabrigo (my favorite!)

 

Sorry for the insanely large picture. It’s either coming out teeny tiny or super huge. I swear I’m like an 80 year old trying to use a computer sometimes.

 

Aside from the numerous personal New Years Resolutions that I have, I’ve made crafting ones as well. I want to become more involved in the crafting community, learn cables and intarsia, take more care in my projects and not be so hasty. Mostly I want to start to be creatively creative. For a musician its the difference between writing your own music and having the ability to perform others. I want to write my own music with yarn, beads, and fabric.

2011 is my year!

 

Learning to Crochet! December 30, 2010

Filed under: crochet,Knitting — danabeguerie @ 12:28 pm
Tags: ,

Recently, I spent two Sunday afternoons at Stitch House in Dorchester, Massachusetts learning how to crochet. Stitch House is an awesome local yarn store (LYS) that carries all of the most popular yarns as well as my new yarn obsession: Stimulus Package yarn (unfortunately, it’s $70). They offer classes in knitting, crocheting, and sewing.

Everyone says that crocheting is easier than knitting. Their justification is that knitters use 2-5 needles and crocheters use one hook. At first I I found it challenging. You need to hold the yarn different, make different hand movements, and adjust your tensions. I felt probably like Tori Amos did after she picked up a guitar for the first time. Only I didn’t smash it against a wall and go back to the piano, I stuck it out.

It did get easier. One of the positives is that if you make a mistake, it’s easy to rip out and fix without destroying your work. If you make a mistake early, you have a to rip out the whole thing instead of doing repairs like in knitting.

I liked that I only need one crochet hook for the entire project. If you’re knitting a hat, you need double pointed needles (dpns) and a circular needle for the project.

You can also use the same hook on multiple projects. When your crochet project is dormant, you can take the hook off the loop because you don’t need to hold the stitches on something, you just need to be mindful of that one stitch. With knitting, all the stitches are live and need to be kept on a needle.

Unfortunately, I’ve ripped out both of my crochet projects and used the yarn for something else (that you’ll see very soon) After I watch some more youtube videos on how to crochet various stitches, I’ll attempt an easy crochet project. I’ll keep you in the loop*

 

 

*get it?

 

Completed Project: Joe’s Scarf! December 21, 2010

Filed under: Completed Projects,Knitting — danabeguerie @ 1:11 pm
Tags: , , ,

I promised Joe a few weeks ago that I would make him a scarf for the winter. I’m trying to make good on my “Yeah, I’ll make you one” promises and have things knit by the time winter ends. It was hard not to be shocked myself over the fact that it is December 21st and I finished this. I missed the first snowfall by hours, but he was able to wear it today. And he reports that’s super warm and pretty cool.

The scarf was knit with two skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick. It’s a nice soft wool for the winter that doesn’t shed. The color is hard to see in the photos below, but it’s a charcol color with tiny hints of white peeping out. It’s long, wide and perfect for the winter.

Since I wanted to make good on my promise this scarf was knit with the stockingnette stitch – which is just knitting each row. I like making scarves this way because it looks the same on either side and is easy peasy. I used size 15 knitting needles even though the yarn suggested size 13. I went with what I had and it really didn’t make much of a difference.

Here is Joe modeling the scarf:

Sassy!

 

The Aristocrat

Bundled

 

Sadly, I did not make the hat, but I am hoping to take a workshop this winter that will teach me intarsia. It’s my dream!

 

Fabric Covered Buttons December 15, 2010

Filed under: hair,Jewelry — danabeguerie @ 10:31 am
Tags: , , ,

For the first time ever One Button at a Time actually has a post about buttons!  This is the first time I have branched away from fiber and household items in a long time.

Someone asked me where my inspiration for projects comes from. I wouldn’t label it as inspiration, but rather I see things I like and I figure out how to make them for myself. Recently, I watched a craftster tutorial on fabric covered buttons and decided that it looked so simple, I could do it and not destroy it.

I went online to the i craft for less website and picked up an assembly tool for a measly $2. I bought the button pieces to match and bobby pins that have a place for me to glue the button to. I used some scrap fabric that I had in the attic for my demo button.

I gathered up everything I needed which was only the fabric, tool, and button pieces. I expected to try and fail at this a million times before I made one that came out perfectly. Watching the craftster tutorial is better than my explanation, but I am going to do my best.

Cut out a piece of fabric about 1/2″ bigger in diameter than the size of the button you are covering.

Put the fabric in the tool facing out.

Press the button piece in the tool.

Push the excess fabric down behind the button piece.

Put the other half of the metal button on top of the fabric. Make sure all the fabric is tucked in.

Press the other half of the tool against the back of the button

Voila!

The first time I tried it, my button came out perfectly. It is absolutely beautiful!

I put it on a bobbie pin, but I plan on getting different sizes for the buttons to use to make earrings, rings, bobbie pins, and regular pins.

 

Lace Ribbon Scarf December 14, 2010

Filed under: Completed Projects,Knitting — danabeguerie @ 10:23 am
Tags: , , ,

It’s creation was over three years in the making.  The Lace Ribbon Scarf (or LRS) and I have been through so much together. We went to Ft. Myers, Florida together with my family. It was with me when I had a broken ankle and should’ve been knitting it, but opted to watch the Game Show network instead. It was with me during various overnights at a group home where I was called every bad name you can think of for 22 hours. The LRS and I have had good times and bad. I should’ve turned to it more often to ease the pain, but doing a set of 23 rows of that beast was a 45 minute ordeal and “I just don’t have the time!” or so I would often tell myself.

Now, three years later, here we are. It sits on my desk begging to be worn. I’m slightly embarrassed because I missed up on the finishing (of course), but its not that noticeable*. I’m not going to let a little mistake like that keep us from being together. I love you, LRS, despite my dropped ladders, not purled into yarn overs, and weird bind off.

It wasn’t just the fact that I chose a fairly tedious, yet slightly complex (read: easy to make mistakes) lace pattern for a scarf, but I chose an interesting yarn as well. I chose Artyarns Ultramarino 4, a gorgeous, but heavy,  fingering weight yarn. In retrospect, I should’ve picked a lighter lace weight yarn that would’ve been easier to block and would hang nicer. This one tends to curl in a little on itself. I already had the yarn laying around. If I were to make another one, I would pick a yarn that would better show all the detail – it’s lost amidst the purple and gold.

the intricate lace detail (apologies for the huge picture)

Still, I love the pattern. I love the way that it looks. And I hope I get to wear it soon.

*yes, it is.

 

Highlander Cowl December 13, 2010

Filed under: Completed Projects,Knitting — danabeguerie @ 10:07 am
Tags: , , ,

This winter my biggest obsession is cowls. They’re much quicker to knit than scarves, they hold their shape better, and  I don’t find myself constantly stepping on their ends and tripping over them. Oh, and they are much warmer and cozier too.

During the Red Line Yarn Crawl a few months back, I purchased some beautiful yarn on sale from Stitch House in Dorchester. It’s a Super Bulky yarn from Germany called Gedrifa Highland Alpaca. I had no idea what I was going to make when I purchased it, but I love the bulkiness of it as well as the color. Last season I had to say goodbye to my green wool toggle coat that I’d had for almost 8 years. I miss it more than I anticipated.

I began researching what I was going to make by searching for projects made by this yarn on ravelry. I came across a pattern I loved and had enough yarn for (3 skeins), but it was private. I emailed the anonymous ravelry user and she provided me with her improvised pattern. I was thrilled with how easy it was to make. Due to the dropping temperatures in the area, I needed a snuggly cowl.

Ta-da! Here it is. It took me about 5 hours over a few days to complete. The trickiest part was not having a blunt needle wide enough to accompany this yarn so all the finishing and weaving was done with my hands.

I love it!

 

French Market Bag – I’ve Made a Huge Mistake December 1, 2010

Filed under: Completed Projects,Knitting — danabeguerie @ 10:16 am
Tags: , , , ,

Now that my homegirl, Lace Ribbon Scarf, is complete (post soon), I’m finally getting to the top of my ravelry queue. This knitty pattern has been at the top of my queue for over a year now. I’ve daydreamed of the day that I can peruse the farmers markets, french market bag hanging gingerly off my arm, and filled with tomatoes, cheese, and a loaf of french bread.

I chose Cascade 220 100% wool for this project because I needed a yarn that would felt up nicely. I also used this yarn for my felted bowls and I loved the way that they came out. The yarn doesn’t pill when it’s felted and it maintains a really nice shape for a worsted weight wool yarn. The only problem I ran into was my finger tips turned blue from the dye on the yarn.

While I was knitting this bag I was a bit surprised at how small it was turning out to be. Since math and I don’t really get each other, I didn’t know that the dimensions listed meant “smaller than you think, Dana.”

After knitting/felting I realized that I should’ve made this bag deeper. I had a whole other skein of this yarn I could’ve used, but now that it’s felted, there is no turning back. 

Before felting…

looks like a sports bra

Details on the increases

So, after felting I ended up with this collapsed, weird star looking thing that cannot be used as a bag. I didn’t even bother to take a good picture of it this morning.

I’m bummed.  I loved this bag and the pattern is great. Will I attempt to make another? I don’t know…I’d need to buy another skein of this yarn.

What did I learn? I learned to go with my instincts in this crafting adventure. If it doesn’t look like chances are, it’s not right. I can read and understand patterns and charts better. I should’ve made this bag deeper and that would’ve been very easy to do.

I will say that despite my problems, this pattern is yet another awesome pattern from knitty.com. Every pattern that I have used has been creative and accurate. The directions and charts are always thorough and clear. I highly recommend using any of their patterns.

Note: I’m very excited about my next project. It involves mustaches. I’ve said too much.

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.