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11  Warm & Cozy Blanket Sweater in Crochet: Completed Projects by Mistress Jennie on: February 27, 2017 01:21:34 PM
I recently participated in the Warm & Cozy swap, with the lovely LadybugsAndBumblebees (henceforth referred to as Lb&Bbs) as my partner.  She had the Light Frost Blanket Sweater on her Pinterest, and I was intrigued by it so I decided to give it a go.  I picked up some bulky yarn in a colorway Lb&Bbs liked and got to hooking.  I noticed a picture in her profile that showed us to be similar in size and shape, so I felt pretty safe making a garment for her, without benefit of a fitting.

The pattern is very simple, and does go together quickly and easily.  (Basically it's a rectangle that has its corners folded together to make a wonky diamond shape.)  Sadly, I really didn't like the pattern once it was done.  When reading the blog post, the author indicated that the sweater is 'probably a small', and that if you are bigger than her, you could 'add 10 stitches' to bring it up to a size large.  Since the pattern was so new, at the time I started it there were no other projects of it on Ravelry, not even the author's own!  (Now there are 4.)  Hence, there were no other notes to reference about size.  Yeah, adding 10 stitches did NOT make this a large.  Once my rectangle was complete, I basted the edges together as indicated and tried it on.  Nope.  It basically fit like a wad of yarn across your back, with partial arm holes.  Actually, it was kind of like having a blanket hold your arms behind you, so that when you look in the mirror, your own body shame can sucker-punch you in the gut.  Not good.   Angry

While I'm not the most experienced crocheter in the world, my experience in theatrical costuming paid off.  I could easily tell that the outer circumference of the garment needed to be much bigger in order to fit around my shoulders, and my butt.  But, that the back of the garment didn't really need to be any different.  So, I hooked up two wedges, 36 stitches wide at the base, and 3 stitches wide at the top, 15 rows tall.  I inserted these into the seams, and tried it back on.  Now it was closer to being a sweater!  The gussets alleviated the tension around the shoulders and hem, but it was still a bit short, and the neckline was an odd height.  Too tall compared to the original design, but not tall enough to turn down into a shawl collar.  So, I added 5 or 6 rows around the circumference, that incorporated the body and the gussets, increasing by 12 stitches in each row.  That was enough to let the hem fall to just below the bum, and the collar to turn down.  This made it a cross between the original design, and something like a circle sweater.  

(In this picture you can see the gussets, which are inserted between the bottom of the bust, and the side of the hip.)

Since the sweater didn't have any sort of closure, I decided to try my hand at making a shawl pin to go with it.  You can see the results HERE.  And while it was a rocky crafting process, in the end I'm pleased with how it came out, especially since Lb&Bbs seems very happy with it.  Cheesy

*Note: I'm not trying to be down on the author of the pattern.  The sweater she designed looks great on her body shape, which happens to be tall and thin.  I try very hard to be body positive, but no matter how positive someone is, there are just some things that look great on one body, that don't look good on another, and vice versa.  (I'm fairly my curves rock a fitted sweater in a way she doesn't!)  My point in explaining what didn't work for me in this pattern, is to help anyone else who wants to give it a try, not to bash the author.  Smiley  
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12  Quilt As You Go Rainbow Mug Rug in Quilting: Completed Projects by Mistress Jennie on: February 27, 2017 12:47:48 PM
A quick little project for the recent Warm & Cozy Swap.  My partner LadybugsAndBumblebees likes bright colors, so I created a cheerful little mug rug to brighten the end of winter.  The fabrics were all from my stash, and I used the Quilt-As-You-Go method to make it faster.  I can't remember where I first learned to do it, but you can find a tutorial for a similar mug rug HERE. I'm really pleased with the bright and happy color scheme, and am tempted to make another one for myself. 

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13  Re: Warm & Cozy Swap Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Mistress Jennie on: February 27, 2017 10:27:25 AM
I'm so glad you like your goodies Ladybugs!  Here's a pic of me in the sweater.  I got DH to take it for me so I could avoid the unflattering light of our bathroom, and selfies in general.  Wink

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14  Re: Warm & Cozy Swap Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Mistress Jennie on: February 17, 2017 01:47:26 PM
I received an amazing package from LadybugsAndBumblebees

First, check out all the beautifully wrapped pieces!  I love when everything matches.  Wink

Onto the crafted goodness.  The first thing I opened was a stunning Luna Lovegood Scarf in some of my favorite colors.

Next, I found some lovely teal fingerless gloves.

Here they are on!

And next came a very fun ruffle scarf.

LadybugsAndBumblebees spoiled me rotten with tons of extras!  The goodies include tins of dairy-free hot cocoa & cookies, a Gryffindor magnet, tissues, crochet hooks, skeins of fun yarn, and some very pretty gift tags.  I think I'm going to use the yarn  to make more pussyhats for friends!

Thank you so much Ladybugs!  This has been such a fun swap, and now I'm ever more determined to finish your package up this weekend and send it off to you.  Cheesy
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15  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Ostara Term 2017*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: February 14, 2017 07:02:58 PM
Challenge: Floo - Store
House: Gryffindor!
Project Name: French Press Cozy

Brief Description: My husband loves coffee.  And even more than that, he loves coffee made in his French press.  So for Valentine's Day I whipped up a gift for him.  A quilted cozy to keep his coffee piping hot, while he hangs out at home on the weekends.  It's filled with insul-brite, which is a batting that reflects heat, and is used in ironing boards and coolers.  Cheesy
Project Picture:

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16  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Ostara Term 2017*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: February 11, 2017 05:18:55 PM
Class: DADA
House: Gryffindor!
Project Name & Page Link: kittykills pussyhat

Brief Description: This project is to help a friend stay woke, in our current political climate.  Constant vigilance!
Project Picture:

Class: Herbology
House: Gryffindor!
Project Name & Page Link: MissingWillows Pussyhat

Brief Description: My homework for Herbology is something for the head...  another pussyhat!  This one is for MissingWillow.
Project Picture:

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17  Re: Crocheted Cat Hats for Pussyhat Project in Crochet: Completed Projects by Mistress Jennie on: February 11, 2017 05:06:46 PM
After making several pussyhats for the Women's March on Washington, two of our fantastic Mods mentioned wanting hats of their own, so I made up a few more!  For both I used the Crocheted Pussyhat that I used for Audrey's hat, but tweaked the pattern a bit by stitching the ears to give them more definition from the hat, like in the Messy Bun Cat Hat

kittykill's is made from Caron Simply Soft Party, in fuchsia. 

MissingWillow's is made from Caron Simply Soft in blackberry. 
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18  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Ostara Term 2017*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: February 05, 2017 05:28:48 AM
Challenge: Detention - February
House: Gryffindor!
Project Name & Page Link: Valentines Button Art

Brief Description: I made my first Valentine of the year for gigglygirl in the I Love Valentine's Day Swap.  It is some shabby chic button art for her home.  There are about 90 buttons in the 10"x10" piece, and one antique key, gifted to me by AugustBell in a long ago swap.
Project Picture:

Class: Flying
House: Gryffindor!
Project Name & Page Link:  Birds & the Bees Pendant

Brief Description: This 'hodgepodge' pendant was also made for gigglygirl.  It contains lots of different bits and bobs, including an antique key, charms, crystals, pressed flowers, and jewelry findings. 
Project Picture:

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19  Birds & Bees Antique Key Pendant in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by Mistress Jennie on: February 05, 2017 05:22:55 AM
This piece was created for my partner gigglygirl in the I Love Valentine's Day Swap.  It was inspired from a few different projects on her Pinterest, including some antique key pendants, and a piece with flowers encased in resin.  Because the theme was Valentine's Day, I wanted to put some love related references in it, but still keep it subtle enough that she could wear it throughout the year.  There's the Kiss charm, as well as a bird (owl), and a bee, as well as some Swarovski crystals.  The key came to me as a swap extra from AugustBell

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20  Valentine's Button Art in Valentine's Day by Mistress Jennie on: February 05, 2017 05:15:29 AM
I made this for my partner gigglygirl in the I Love Valentine's Day Swap.  It was inspired from a few different pieces on her Pinterest; this canvas button art, this piece of antique key art, and several shabby chic bits and bobs that she had pinned.  Aside from the frame, everything came from my stash!  The fabric is linen embroidered with rose vines that I had leftover from a quilt, the plum & pink buttons were leftover from creating a button wreath for my front door a few years ago, and the key came from AugustBell, as a swap extra.  The frame is 10"x10", and there are approximately 90 buttons in the piece!  Even sewing them on with a few strands of embroidery thread, it still took several days to get all the buttons on there.  I'm pretty thrilled with how it turned out.  Smiley

And a head-on shot that my partner took...
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