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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Custom document storage on: January 26, 2014 09:45:12 AM
Our home office is fully constructed using Ikea EXPEDIT gear, but something is seriously lacking in this collection: organised document storage! Since I couldn't find what I needed, I just created what I needed instead!

I used the largest size KASSETT box, SUMMERA hanging files, two rather fine screw-threaded bars and eight matching bolts to make my own custom filing system.

I've since filled up the hanging files!

This replaces the ragtag system we had before:
Binders, accordeon files (one of which had a broken closure!) and assorted folders. It looked so messy and wasn't practical at all!

Looks a lot neater now, right?
2  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Cat bed above the radiator on: January 15, 2014 12:34:05 PM
Our cats like to lounge on the wooden windowsill above our radiators because it's nice and warm, but those windowsills don't look too comfy. When I visited my mom, I noticed she had a piece of folded polar fleece on her windowsill and her kitty absolutely adored that part of the windowsill. I immediately decided I needed to make a comfy lounger for our cats too!

It was a great opportunity to finally try out a ripple pattern, I'd never done one of these before. We'll find out how the cats like it soon enough Smiley

And an action shot:
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / An artsy shelf on: December 22, 2013 10:01:11 AM
One of our organising weapons of choice is the ikea expedit shelf, of which we have two 2x2, two 2x4 and one 4x4 shelf. They work great for all our books which are nicely displayed, but when it comes to the home office, stuff gets messy and cluttered. Since the largest part of our appartment is basically one long space, the home office is separated from the living area on one side and the dining area on the other side using the expedits as space dividers. Which meant that in the dining room, you would always be facing a messy shelf. But no more!

The cubby holes in these shelves are about the size of a vinyl LP or most square art calendars. We had two old calendars by Linda Ravenscroft lying around, and we found LP cover frames for 4 apiece. I took the cutting machine to the calendars, picked out the 16 nicest pictures from the 24 prints, framed them, screwed in 32 screw-in hooks and tah-dah, one messy shelf is now a tidy art-display!

4  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Doctor Who Mug Part 2 on: December 06, 2013 02:03:26 PM
So, it's been 359 days since I posted my original Doctor Who Mug, which I made as a Christmas gift for a friend. At the time, my then boyfriend requested I make one for him too. I kept him waiting! He has since become my husband and today, he finally got his wish granted: I made a second one!

This one has one more feature the original model didn't have: I painted the TARDIS's name on the top of the inside of the ear. It says SEXY. Just like the BAD WOLF on the bottom, it's something you'll hardly ever notice, but I liked the idea, so I added the extra touch  Smiley
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Stringy wall-art on: December 06, 2013 01:54:50 PM
I have been on a crafting spree the past two days! I made six pieces of string art as an early Christmas gift to adorn a friend's wall. She recently moved in with her boyfriend and their new place is comfy, but in their own words: "Still rather devoid of personal touches and character." I made them two sets, a Christmas themed one for the oncoming season, and an animal themed one in light green, the established "pop of colour" in their decorating palette.

6  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / My first sweater - modified Corona on: December 03, 2013 12:14:32 PM
My husband and I went shopping on the second of November, I needed more sweaters. However, we turned up empty-handed, what the shops had to offer just wasn't working for me  Undecided What's a girl to do but knit her own sweater? So I bought a bunch of yarn, looked for a pattern and started knitting Teresa Gregorio's Corona sweater. I made a couple of changes such as knitting a different cable panel, making full length sleeves and using two colours.

I knit an entire month before finishing the sweater today. Unfortunately, despite knitting a swatch to measure my gauge, the sweater ended up to be too big. It's a bit baggy around the arms (which would be a quick fix) but also in the back. No harm done though: it will go on to become a Christmas present for a friend whose clothing generally runs one or two sizes up from mine, I think it should fit her perfectly!

This truly upped the ante for me: up till now, I've knitted hats and cozies, and one pair of mittens, but nothing quite on this scale! I picked up new skills like knitting cables, intarsia knitting and grafting stitches together. It's been a big undertaking, and it feels like a huge accomplishment, I'm proud of this sweater, even if it's too big! I'm going to buy two shades of green next and knit the pattern one size smaller with modifications I found to make it a hoodless sweater. Yeah, knitting is knocking crochet of its pedestal as my favorite craft!
7  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / My first mittens on: November 01, 2013 10:45:48 AM
I thought it was time for a slightly more complicated knitting project, as up till know, I've stuck with hats and cozies, nothing that required assembly. So I decided to knit mittens to complement the hat&scarf set I recently posted on this site.

Yet again, I freehanded this piece. I guess at a certain point in time I'll have to start actually using patterns if I want to keep making more complicated things.

8  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / K3P3 top-down ribbed beanie - PATTERN INCLUDED on: October 27, 2013 07:09:56 AM
My handsome husband modelling the scarf and hat set I knit. The scarf was featured earlier this year, in March (I started knitting it last October!) but now that cold weather is coming around again, I decided to knit a matching hat!

One problem though: I couldn't find a good matching pattern. The scarf was knitted using a k3p3 pattern, and I couldn't find any k3p3-hats. I like a more chunky rib, so instead of using a k1p1 or k2p2 or k3p1 pattern, I designed my own k3p3 top-down beanie pattern. Sharing is caring, so here's the pattern:

Abbreviations used:
st: stitches
kfb: knit a stitch in the front and in the back of the same loop
pfb: purl a stitch in the front and in the back of the same loop
kfpb: knit a stitch in the front of the loop, and purl in the back of the same loop
pfkb: purl a stitch in the front of the loop, and knit in the back of the same loop
r: round

cast on 6 st
r1: (k1p1)*3
r2: (kfb pfb)*3 12st
r3: (k2p2)*3
r4: (k1kfb p1pfb)*3 18st
r5: (k3p3)*3

You now have three "ribs" on your hat. Starting round 6, you will start adding new ribs to the hat with the following six round pattern of increases:

Increasing pattern:
ry    : (k3 pfb k1 pfb [k3p3]*x)*3
ry+1: (k3 p2 k1 p2 [k3p3]*x)*3
ry+2: (k3 pfkb k1 kfpb [k3p3]*x)*3
ry+3: (k3 p2 k3 p2 [k3p3]*x)*3
ry+4: (k3 p1 pfb k3 p1 pfb [k3p3]*x)*3
ry+5: k3p3 all round

For round 6-11, x=0; 12-17, x = 1; 18-23, x=2; etc. Once your hat is sufficiently wide, just keep knitting k3p3 all around until you've reached the desired length. Use Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind-off, or, if you want a fold-up brim, add several rows of p3k3 for a more aesthetic effect.

It doesn't really matter what yarn you use or which size needles. I used acrylic yarn on 5mm circular needles (magic loop), and stopped increasing when I had a total of 15 ribs (90 stitches). I wouldn't go up a lot more in needle size, as I think you'll have very few ribs then, but that's all up to you to decide! You could knit a swatch in a k3p3 repeat pattern to calculate your stitches/inch, subtract an inch or two, maybe three of the circumference of the head you're knitting for, multiply that measurement with your gauge and choose the nearest multiple of 18, or you could just eyeball it.

Simplified example of the math:

Gauge= 5st/inch
Head circumference = 22 inches

(22 - 2 inches) * 5 st / inch = 100 st
Since 100 is not a multiple of 18, this number of stitches wouldn't give us the nice ribbed pattern. So look at the closest multiples of 18: 90 st or 108 st. If the hat were 90st, it would be 18" in circumference, where 108 st would translate to 21.6". I find that this ribbed hat is extremely stretchy, so I'd personally go with the smaller measurement, but let your swatch be your guide on stretchiness when deciding what number of stitches you pick. Or again, you can eyeball it, I did and it worked out fine!

Tip: I think this pattern is easiest to follow on double pointed needles, with three needles carrying the same number of stitches, and a forth "working needle". Do your increases after the first k3 of each needle. Alternatively, when working using the magic loop technique you can use 3 stitch markers to help you keep track of where to do your increases. In round 5, place a stitch marker after each k3. If you're skilled at reading your knitting, you don't really need these, but I found that they help a lot (especially since I like to knit in front of the TV!).

Because I didn't do any math in advance, I didn't know how many rounds I'd need for the desired length and I ended up with the black stripe slightly higher than I would have liked it, but not high enough that I could add a second black stripe. Still, I think it works really nice with the scarf, so I'm not complaining!
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Mint green and white diamond row baby hat (Pattern included!) on: October 14, 2013 05:34:11 AM
Baby hat I knit for a friend's baby, who is due next week.

Disclaimer: this hat was made by modifying this Stripe Knit Baby Hat Knitting Pattern from Red Heart. I think the changes are big enough to share my pattern here. Moderators, if you don't agree, I will take the pattern down!

I used cotton yarn, I think it was sports weight. I didn't make a swatch for my gauge, but this is what the original pattern calls for:
GAUGE: 22 sts = 4; 30 rows = 4 in St st. CHECK YOUR GAUGE. Use any size needles to obtain the gauge. Circumference: 17
My adjusted pattern is optimised for magic loop technique or knitting on double pointed needles. I'm sure you could also work it on regular knitting pins and seam it up later, but I'll leave the adjustments up to you!

Cast on 96 stitches.

Border, each round:
K3P1 in colour A (CA), until you have about 1 3/4 inch height. For me this was 14 rows.

Diamond pattern (stockinette):
You will join colour B here (CB). Carry your yarn on the back/inside of the work!
Round 1: knit solid CA - 96 stitches
Round 2: [3CA, 1CB] 24 times - 96 stitches
Round 3: 1CB, [1CA, 3CB] 23 times, 1CA, 2CB -96 stitches
Round 4: knit solid CB - 96 stitches
Round 5: 1CB, [1CA, 3CB] 23 times, 1CA, 2CB -96 stitches
Round 6: [3CA, 1CB] 24 times - 96 stitches

Knit * 3 times for a total of 18 rows. Drop colour B, leaving yarn tail long enough for weaving in your ends later.

Crown (shaping), solid CA:
Round 1: [K10, k2tog] 8 times - 88 stitches
Round 2 & all even rounds: knit
Round 3: [k9, k2tog] 8 times - 80 stitches
Round 5: [k8, k2tog] 8 times - 72 stitches
Round 7: [k7, k2tog] 8 times - 64 stitches
Round 9: [k6, k2tog] 8 times - 56 stitches
Round 11: [k5, k2tog] 8 times - 48 stitches
Round 13: [k4, k2tog] 8 times - 40 stitches
Round 15: [k3, k2tog] 8 times - 32 stitches
Round 17: [k2, k2tog] 8 times - 24 stitches
Round 19: [k1, k2tog] 8 times - 16 stitches
Round 21: [k2tog] 8 times -  8 stitches

Cut a yarn tail and bind all 8 stitches together to close the loop. Weave in your ends.
10  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / My lace and spring coils bouquet on: October 08, 2013 03:03:34 AM
My husband and I got married in September (friday the thirteenth!) and we had a steampunk marriage for under 4000. We put in a lot of creative juice! My mother and husband were the main creators, while I did most of the seamstress's apprentice's jobs like sewing on buttons and rings, drawing and cutting out patterns, pinning lace to fabric before sewing, checking all the seams to search for parts that were missed, cutting ends of thread, that stuff. All very important jobs in making sure something looks finished and pretty, but not the most creative tasks. (I'm happy to have done it though, the outfit collaboration will always be a fond memory!)

I did channel creative juices in my wedding bouquet! From the beginning, I had the vision of a dangling orb of flowers, one I wouldn't have to grip, but that could just hang from my wrist. I first intended to crochet the bouquet, but it was to crude, not elegant enough for a wedding, so I had to change plans! My mother thaught me how to make lace flowers and managed to find a fake buxus orb in the garden center and I created my bouquet.

Combination of vintage lace, vintage buttons or gears with felt and spring coils from old watches. And a bit of non-vintage lace: several flowers were made from the lace of brassieres from my grandmother, who passed away in May. It felt really symbolic to incorporate it, I was really sad that she couldn't witness this large event in my life and I still miss her very much. She was present in many ways in our wedding, the flowers made from her lingerie, but also the table coverings (we put many of her white doilies and lace tablecloths over chocolate brown table paper)  and centerpieces, which were also my something blue: she used to collect blue glass, and we used that for our focal points on the tables.
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