Striped Circle Scarf

So, yesterday I was so excited to try this scarf on that I pulled out my winter jacket just to see how it would look. This is significant, because if you know me at all, you know that it takes a very good reason for me to go anywhere near my winter things – I spend most of my time in denial that winter exists. But I was so excited about this scarf that I made in two days in a fit of creative frustration that the winter jacket had to come out for modelling purposes.

I was inspired by Elise’s cowl and was more than happy to follow her simple approach. I tried making a complicated mini herringbone scarf a few weeks ago, and although it was a beautiful pattern, I kept messing it up. I was happy to make something with plain old knitting stitches. This was the perfect project at the perfect time – I had both colours of yarn left over from other projects, had the right sized needles, it was easy. I basically just went with it, figuring out things like switching colours every row by watching videos and by trial and error. Turns out I accidentally joined in the round while some stitches were twisted the wrong way, so my cowl has a permanent twist in it. For my purposes that works just fine (because I am looping it around my neck anyways) but I was really careful about joining in the round so I’m not sure how it happened. I’m blaming my midnight knitting start-time.

 None of my projects ever turn out the way I expect them to, but I always end up appreciating them for what they are. I can’t stand how this cowl is always curling in on itself (that’s the price I pay for knitting the whole thing), and it’s a bit smaller than I thought it would be so it’s a bit tighter around my neck twice. It also looks stupid when it’s not looped. But looped around twice? I love it.

I cast on just over a hundred stitches on 24-inch circular needles. In retrospect, I would have done more like 150-200 stitches. I joined in the round and then knitted every row, switching colours each row. I used the tips in Elise’s post, and this video was totally crucial – I watched it around 4 times.

This project was totally the result of me needing to make something with my hands. It’s (I guess) winter, so knitting feels comforting again. I might try my hand at making some socks. I only wish I had access to better, nicer yarns! Oh well. Now that I’m finished my midterms, I hope to use my time to create some more handmade happiness.

Happy Monday!

7/10: Striped Maxi Skirt

This project was pretty fun to make. And it still is fun, to wear! Also, lo and behold, it taught me several things – as these DIY projects are wont to do. I buzzed through this skirt, making my fair share of mistakes, getting justifiably annoyed (cutting fabric is a ridiculous endeavour) and fixing as I went along. I was left with a skirt! That fits me! It doesn’t fall off or anything!

Here’s what worked: it fits. It’s cute, comfortable, not too fussy to put on. I like to wear it around the house mostly, but I have worn it a couple times on the street. Mostly, my goal with this skirt was just to practice sewing techniques, so I’m happy even just to wear it for mucking around in the kitchen.

But there were a few things that didn’t work. First, I messed up my thread tension, so the side seam is a little bumpier than I might have liked, but it’s not too noticeable when it’s on. Also, it’s a little tricky to walk in, which might explain why I don’t wear it out much! It’s long, and not very flared, so I have to take small geisha-esque steps, unless I hike it up a bit. Next time, I would flare it quite a bit more (like this tutorial shows) so that it’s easier to walk in. And I ended up having to cut off a few inches because it was much too long at first.

I used this tutorial. For the most part, I liked it and it wasn’t too complicated. Then again, I had my fair share of frustration in making this skirt, so use at your own risk. (Although likely that was only due to my inexperience.) I used a simple jersey-like fabric that I found at the store, I have absolutely no specs on it whatsoever. It’s comfy and soft.

(I’m a goof. Did you know this about me?)

It was a terrific second sewing project. I should probably give you a disclaimer: sewing experts would probably shudder at my sewing. Objectively, I suck. But this is probably the easiest it gets (3 seams, that’s it), which means that if I can do it, so can you! Perhaps the process wasn’t that fun (at times – at others, it was!), but getting a finished product certainly was.

And with that, I’m finished 7/10 DIY projects this year! See the rest of them here.