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!

upcycled cashmere cowl

When Crystal was here in September, she left a few things. She was taking some clothes to a consignment store on the second part of her trip, and let me have my pick first ūüôā

A couple of items I can wear as is, but I was stumped by this purple sweater for a few months. I didn’t take a regular “before” picture but it was a lavender,¬†short sleeve, scoop neck cashmere sweater with in-seam pockets.

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I let Jackson mess around with it at first because I was thinking it could be a cozy cat bed but he preferred attacking it and dragging it around the house to laying on it.

He’s done this before with cashmere or angora sweaters. I think he thinks they’re alive.

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A couple of weeks ago I got the idea to turn the sweater into an infinity scarf.

Not surprisingly, the cat mauling caused a few holes that I had to cut around or sew closed. Since the bottom of the sweater had in-seam pockets, I just sewed the pocket openings closed and let them be a design element in the scarf.

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I didn’t have enough width for the scarf to wrap around my neck twice, but I was able to make a decent cowl out of it. I just cut off the bottom of the sweater below the neck, sewed the top and bottom edges together to create a tube, and then sewed the ends of the tube together with a slipstitch.

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You can see the edges of the pockets on the front of the scarf, but they aren’t very noticeable.

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The cowl is really cozy. I finished it yesterday morning and have already worn it out a few times. ¬†It pairs well with a warm sweater…

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and with my new (Black Friday!) coat that I’ve been wearing a lot these last few weeks.

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Columbia outlet for $70! I’ve been needing a real winter coat that actually keeps me warm and dry for a while now and I love it!

After this Friday, I’m off work for two full weeks so be on the lookout for more posts soon. Hope all of your Christmas crafting is turning out like you’d hoped!

crochet blitz

Trying to catch up on some crochet projects here.

I quite like this star washcloth I made in yellow Lion Brand cotton for the nephew. I saw the pattern over at Creative Pixie and started making it within a few days.

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It took a few tries to get it right, but I love how it turned out. The free washcloth pattern is from Crochet Spot.

I took some random chenille I got at a yard sale and put it with some brighter purple I Love This Yarn to make an interesting cowl.

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I gave the cowl to my mom, but it might be a bit too interesting for her. I figure it will at least keep her warm as she walks around the neighborhood this winter.

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A couple of weeks ago I made some mitts for a friend at work. I used leftover red wool and double crochet ribbing to whip them out quickly. They’re pretty much just rectangles with a hole for the thumb.

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My friend Christine has been crocheting up a storm and following her on Instagram has made me want to crochet more and more lately.¬†I’ve recently crocheted a rug and a shawl, and have been doing some knitting that I’m pretty excited about as well. I’ve been sewing and thrifting too. Pretty much everything but blogging ūüôā

With the incoming winter storm this weekend, it looks like more knitting is on the agenda! I’m really hoping these mittens I’ve been making turn out well. I love the yarn (Malabrigo green/blue) and the pattern too! I’ve posted a couple of pictures on Instagram¬†and am really looking forward to the final reveal. I also just finished a simple scarf for a scarf and cookie exchange with friends. We’ll see if the weather permits us to actually hold it!

Well, I’m off to knit some more! Hope everyone’s enjoying their Christmas preparations!

blue and gray array

I have a few posts ready for this week, but since there’s snow swirling around outside I’m picking the cowl I finished several weeks ago, but just got around to photographing.

I was on a roll with my knitting mid-winter when I decided to take on the Array cowl. For some reason I interpreted the picture as being more of a grid stitch than straight up and down lines, so I was a bit surprised after the first few rows. Also, I initially read the pattern at k 1, s 11 instead of sl 1 because of the font used in the PDF and was very confused until I realized there was no way the project could work out like that.

It was a mindless project to work on. Mistakes were easy to spot, but make sure you slip your stitches purl-wise with your yarn in the back!

The project notes on Ravelry¬†I found to be true. The fabric is dense, the cowl curls at the bottom even after blocking, and the project does take forever because of the slip stitches (and I only cast on 160 because I didn’t have long enough needles to hold 320!).

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Unfortunately, I didn’t read the notes on this particular cowl¬†until I was about halfway done. She notes that 160 stitches is too big for a single wrap, but not big enough to go around twice. Which is exactly what I found when my cowl was done.

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before blocking

Oh well, I thought,¬†I’ll just block it and see how it looks.

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It looks even bigger and still rolls up at the bottom.

So this project will almost certainly be frogged at some point. I liked these colors together (Vanna’s Choice in Linen and Colonial Blue), but this thing is massive and kind of eh. And I didn’t like the way the colors looked together as skinny stripes. Maybe more of a colorblocked look would work?

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this picture, despite being blurry, perhaps best shows just how much it is swallowing my neck and head.

The shape in that last picture reminds me of Purl Bee’s bandana cowl. Maybe some of this yarn will become that instead.

I did like the concept and could see myself making it again with some adjustments. I learned some new knitting skills and felt like I did well with the pattern, even if I didn’t like the end result.

faux fur cowl

I’m venturing into the world of fake fur. I bought 1/4 yard to make a fur cowl after seeing one at Adventures in Dressmaking and another version at Cotton & Curls.

I wanted to put my own spin on a fur cowl because I don’t like slipping things on over my head. I decided to add button closures so I could easily fasten it around my neck.

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It’s actually upside down in this photo, but this is the best shot of the lining.

I used a pale green satin remnant for the lining and some wooden toggles and leather jewelry cord as fasteners.

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My loops were slightly oversized so I tied an extra piece of leather cord on to slide near the button and keep it in place.

I attached and secured the leather loops while sewing one end of the cowl closed, and then sewed on the buttons. I moved the top button further over so the bottom would flare out a little bit and fit well with a coat.

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I was so glad I decided to tackle this project last weekend. It’s been in the teens and low 20s this week and this cowl has kept my neck toasty. I can even wear it over another scarf when I need to layer my outerwear.

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It’s a little tall, but I just fold the top down and it works out fine.

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I wasn’t sure I would get a lot of use out of it when I bought the faux fur a few months ago, but I picked the right weekend to make it! I’ve worn it several times already this week and even gotten a compliment or two. I do think it’s a little over the top, but I’ve been enjoying that it makes my simpler outfits and coats feel a bit more luxurious.

My next fake fur project will be a vest based on this vest I found on Chic Wish. Hopefully I’ll get it finished before the weather turns warmer.

twisted snood

In keeping with my goal of knitting more things, I made this twisted cowl from Why Not Make It? for my friend Crystal. She lives in Chicago, so she needed wintery things far more than I did these last few months. I think I may have twisted mine twice which is why it looks like this.

It was easy and kind of fun to work up. This was my first time working with circular needles, and I will definitely do it again. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it might be. I lost track of what stitch I was on a number of times (which is why I don’t knit more) but overall I was pleased with how it turned out. I think the twists are more visible in this photo here. The yarn is Lion Brand Homespun.

Crystal liked it, though she told me she tried to untwist for awhile when she first got it before figuring out that’s how it was supposed to look.

I’m slowly posting my backlog of winter projects though it’s 80 degrees outside. But I’ll be interspersing spring/summer posts as I work on more warmer weather items. I made a breezy pillowcase dress the other night (from an actual rummage sale pillowcase!), so hopefully I’ll get some pictures and be posting that on here soon.

Other notes:

– Yes, I am a professional photographer in my day job. I know most of the pictures on this blog so far may not convince you of this, but my goal is that going forward is to take better pictures of my projects to post on here. My “real” photos are at sarahdudik.com.

–¬†Shout out¬†to Laura, who designed the “Photosarah Crafts” header that you see on the top of this blog. I’m quite jazzed about it.