Italian yarn cowl

I am so far behind on my blogging that I might as well go back to a wintery project. I bought this lovely yarn in Italy back in December.  I didn’t have a lot of yardage to work with so I kept it simple and chose this pattern for a basic cowl. I bought some big bamboo circular needles and it was a snap. 

The cowl came out great! Simple to wear and cozy for the extended frigid winter we had.  
It’s about as half as tall as the one in the pattern which is a comfortable height for me. I’ve put it up for now because we finally thawed out but I’m looking forward to wearing it again next year, after an appropriately warm summer and not-to-chilly fall!

zipper pouch addiction

Want to sew something quick and satisfying? Try a zipper pouch.

They are quick and easy to sew and don’t take a lot of fabric.

Here are some I’ve made since my blogging hiatus started last fall.

This first one is using the noodlehead open wide pouch.

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I bought some bags of scraps on Instagram over the summer and those have made for some fun scrappy pouches. It’s also a good project where you can use a little bit of pretty fabric when you can’t bear to part with the whole piece at once. I’m sure there will be more to come as I always find myself coming back to making zipper pouches!

arrowhead lace infinity scarf

I participated in the handmade scarf swap hosted by Sew Caroline and Sewbon and made a scarf I quite liked.

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I followed a free arrowhead lace scarf pattern I found on Craftsy and made it an infinity scarf. I used Jiffy Lion Brand yarn in light gray and 10.5 needles instead of the size 13 listed in the pattern. My scarf was a tighter weave then the pattern picture, but I would recommend sticking to the larger needles in the pattern.

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And here it is all done.

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I sent it off awhile ago but forgot to get tracking. I haven’t heard from my partner so I’m not sure if I will, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be making another one of these for me.

And here’s the scarf my partner made me. Owls and foxes! It will be a great weekend scarf.

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sewing machine cover

For years I dreamed about a sewing machine cover. I bought the fabric to make one over Easter weekend 2013. And it sat on my shelf for a long time before my summer craft room reorganization brought it back to my attention.

When I’d think about making the cover, I would research different sewing patterns and then draw my ideal cover out, trying to figure out a design. I wanted a pocket. I wanted it to go around the cords so I wouldn’t have to unplug. I wanted it to slope with my machine. None of the patterns had what I was looking for.

So I would decide it was too hard and would put it aside again.

Then a revelation came to me, as it often does with sewing. Nothing makes sense until it makes total sense. So I realized I could trace my machine, and it wasn’t that hard after all (just two side pieces and a middle piece) and I had myself a reversible sewing machine cover start in finish in less than a day. I attribute the cat bed construction process with helping me realize how to put the cover together.

Here is an in-progress shot of the lining construction, making sure it would fit.

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And here’s the finished cover. I love it.

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I didn’t quite come together how I thought it would when I drew it up in 2013, but you know what? It’s functional, colorful, fun, and most importantly, complete! I’ve been trying to get over my concerns about things not turning out by just going start to finish and getting things done. That is certainly a confidence booster, when things turn out and they weren’t as hard as you made them out to be. (I’ve been enjoying my cover since September… Just found this post in draft!)

I had picked out a different fabric for the lining, but I decided to go with the same Wildfield fabric I used for the reverse side of my sewing machine mat. I bought several yards and love it, but still have plenty leftover. And when I’m feeling super matchy, I can have a matching mat and cover. (The original lining for the cover found a place as a lining for the bag I made to take to Italy.)

Anyway, what have you been thinking about making for way too long? Or have you completed some long awaited projects lately? If you haven’t made yourself a sewing machine cover, I definitely recommend just doing it!

super simple crochet shrug

This shrug kind of took forever. My mom bought me some yarn for my birthday back in September and shortly after I started this Lion Brand shrug pattern.

My first attempt was no good. The gauge seemed good but my stitches were way too tight and when I had gone through a whole skein I only had a few inches complete. I only had three skeins, as per the instructions, and it’s supposed to be 40″ tall when finished.

My second attempt was working with a very loose stitch but doing back loops only in a super simple rectangle that’s 32″ wide was so boring.

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I got distracted by several knitting projects along the way, but took the half-finished shrug along with me to Italy since I knew that there’d be plenty of downtime (at least 8 hours flight each way and bus time).

I could have finished it up on the flight back but foolishly thought that I’d met the height requirement. I finished out the rest of the third skein of yarn back in Kentucky, stitched it up and was surprised at how pleased it was with the result.

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So here it is all finished. Considering the whole thing is just one giant rectangle, it’s really quite flattering. And warm!

infinity scarf of loveliness

The best way to “get back into blogging” is just to do it, right?

I enjoy blogging and I’ve thought about it often over the last few months, but with my graphic design classes and making stuff (and Instagram, I’m photosarahcrafts!) and traveling to visit family and friends it always seemed like there was something else to do instead. So I’m going to try to stop overthinking it and just do it.

Here’s my latest completed project.

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I am modeling it along the Tiber River in Rome. I got to go to Italy with my parents over the holidays and it was awesome!

It snowed and the roads weren’t good one morning so I had some time to catch up on my knitting while we were waiting for our bus to get to the hotel.

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It was pretty cold the whole time we were there so I was glad to have another scarf option. I used Madeline Tosh Sock in Modern Fair Isle and I only needed one skein to make this infinity scarf. I used Purl Bee’s Checkerboard Lace scarf pattern because I wanted a pattern that was subtle but still interesting.

I am in love with Madeline Tosh yarn. I had a bit of a splurge before Thanksgiving and am working my way through it. I am halfway through one hat/cowl set and just cast on another infinity scarf last night.

So anyway, back to blogging, keeping it simple and just getting it done! Hope you all are having a lovely new year so far.

secret tote swap round 5: made

For round five of the Secret Tote Bag Swap hosted by Lia’s Handmades, the theme was the 241 Tote by Noodlehead. I was quite excited about this theme and decided to order some fabric online instead of just heading to my local Hancock Fabrics. (I’d like to go to a local quilt shop, but their hours aren’t often day job friendly.)

I like the availability of options at Hawthorne Threads but couldn’t decide, so I created a collage of fabric options and got some feedback.

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The first options (my favorite) were popular, but I thought my partner might prefer #4 which was also getting some good responses. I couldn’t commit to two as I just didn’t like it even though some others did. Was I overthinking my fabric selections? Perhaps. As the mailing deadline got closer, I realized I better go ahead and order something.

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So I went with the Joel Dewberry and paired it with some white twill and a unused belt from the boyfriend as a strap. I had a metal and navy zipper that  went right along with it and even though I was nervous about making a zipper pocket like this, it went together easily.

And I did buy some of the fabrics in option one for me. 🙂 Couldn’t resist!

For my extras I made a zipper pouch with some leftover charm squares. I reorganized lately and found a bunch of things I forgot I had.

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And made a key fob too. I ordered some more hardware after running through the first 10 pieces pretty quickly.

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And then threw in some buttons and cupcake ribbon to round out the package.

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So all in all here’s what I sent.

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My partner said was happy with the package and it looks like I picked the right fabrics for her. Success!