2017 In Review

It’s that time of year when everyone looks back at what’s happened over the last year. Well, who am I to buck a trend? Here’s a look back at Kat’s Crafty 2017.

January saw the end of a six-year run of Iron Craft Challenges. We could so any craft we wanted and I chose to etch some glasses.

Iron Craft ’16 Challenge 26

Of course, there was also the January mitten KAL. This year’s mittens were called Under the Sea. I entered them in the Minnesota State Fair and they took second place!

Under the Sea Mittens

I also finished the Alzada shawl to wear to the Yarnover dinner.

I closed out the month with a trip to Iceland where there was a little yarn purchased! Though it wasn’t all for me I promise.

Icelandic Yarny Goodness

In February, I started planning for a large yarnbombing project with the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild at the Minnesota State Fair. I wrote two fair themed patterns for it.

Prize Ribbons

Corn Dogs

Through March I worked on my mittens for the Minnesota Twins’ Opening Day.

Opening Day Mittens

In April I made the HB2 sweater with some of the yarn I bought in Iceland.

June and July were spent getting the Guild’s yarnbombing put together. This is our finished horse, Pronto.

I also had to whip up a 10′ x 6′ backdrop, which took me a week of pretty much nonstop knitting.

In October, my Santa Pillow was released in the Knit Picks book Merry Knitmas. It was my first time having a pattern published in a book!

I also finished the Ravello sweater for myself.

June through November, I hosted the Wee Winter Woolens KAL. It was so fun doing another holiday KAL with my Ravelry group.

In November I started the Spooner sweater. I just love the colorwork in the neck.

I also taught myself how to do stacked increases and decreases so I can start working on Fox Paws. What a challenge!

I turned some cute flannel sheets into Christmas pjs for my husband and I in December.

And I started another yarnbombing project. This time I am knitting a five foot tall cozy for a lamppost in St. Paul as part of Saint Paul Cozy.

Wow, looking at it all like this, I’m really quite proud of all I’ve finished this year! I’m looking forward to knitting off 2018 with a new mitten KAL, Bloomin’ Happy Mittens. Have a great holiday everyone!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2017 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Project: Ruana Coat

Weekend before last, one of my favorite crafting partners, my cousin Jenny, came to visit me from Atlanta. We made a stop at REI to get her kids some snow clothes (apparently hard to get in Georgia!) and she fell in love with a wool poncho-type coat. After deciding it was too heavy for down South and just a little too pricey, we left it unpurchased. A few hours later we were in Target and she found this ruana.

(A ruana is a poncho-style outer garment typical of the Andes region of Venezuela and Colombia.)

The plaid was very similar to the coat at REI, but the fleece fabric was much lighter than the wool. Plus is was about ten times less in cost. We thought with a few snaps we could easily turn it into more of a coat like she wanted.

She thought it was just the right weight for “winter” mornings and had a great easy style.

Ruana Coat

Supplies:

  • lightweight fleece 56″ x 48″ or store bought ruana (You could use any fabric you wanted really and make it any size you want. This was the size of the one we bought.)
  • matching thread (optional)
  • small safety pins
  • dressmakers marker
  • 6 heavy duty snaps (or size for your fabric)
  • snap tool
  • velcro (optional)

1. (If you are using a pre-made ruana, skip this step.) If starting with fabric, fold it in half lengthwise. Mark the middle of one side. Cut about 2.5 – 3 inches in on each side from the middle, then curve at the fold for a smooth fit around the neck. (You can just do a straight cut down the middle without losing any fabric, but the curve will lay nicer.)

You can hem the fabric if you wish, but if you are using fleece it isn’t necessary.

2. Put the ruana on and use safety pins to join together where you want your snaps.

For the sides, we put two snaps which divided it into about thirds to create sleeves and close the sides. For the front, we crossed the ruana and put a snap at the top of where we wanted the neckline and towards the bottom of the front piece.

3. Use a dressmakers maker to mark where you want the snaps. Make sure to mark both pieces of fabric so you know where to place the front and back of the snap.

4. Attach the snaps using the instructions on the snap tool.

5. If you find the front piece underneath sags a bit, you can sew or iron-on some velcro at the corner to hold it in place. We didn’t think ours sagged enough to bother.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2017 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Kat’s 2016 in Crafts

At this time of year, just like everyone else, I like to look back at what I did throughout the year. For me that is a lot of crafts, especially knitting! Let’s take a look at my 2016 in crafts.
Crafts 2016
Starting from the top left…
1. Wooden Ball Candleholder – I love how this one turned out!
2. Birdwatching Mittens – For a friend in the UK.
3. Winter Snows Mittens – – Such a fun KAL!
4. Too Hot Coffee Sleeve
5. Little Sweater Girls – My tiny version of the Icelandic sweater.
6. Hang Dishtowel – No the most exciting project, but one we use everyday.
7. Cornwall Spring Mittens – Bunting!
8. Teeny Tiny Bunny Couple – One of my favorite projects of the year. I love making tiny things.
9. Tiny Knit Pig – An adaptation of the bunnies
10. Sharpie Painted Dishes
11. Yarn Ends Mittens – Using up all that leftover Palette for a Minnesota Knitters’ Guild Challenge.
12. Doctor Who Toile – Adding to the toile was so fun (and then I turned it into a project bag.)
13. More Drawstring Project Bags – These are in constant use.
14. Sarubobo – These make great pincushions.
15. Mini Mittens – I made about 40 of these this year to give everyone at my Project 365 house party in the UK.
16. Tiny,Knit Retro Swimsuit – A test for a bigger project you may see this spring.
17. Souvenir Hat – Using a pompom I bought on a trip to Germany and the handspun I bought in England.
18. Plaid Christmas Tree Skir
19. Arigurumi – My first attempt at crochet arigurumi
20. Go Blue Bear – My second attempt
21. Papercut Halloween Candle Covers
22. Pride and Prejudice Mittens – One of this year’s fair entries.
23. 12 Days of Christmas Mitten Garland – This KAL took half the year, but it was such fun.
24. MN Nice Mittens – A patten I design for a Minnesota Knitters’ Guild KAL next month.

I also took two ribbons at the MN State Fair this year, hosted two knit alongs and a design along, and had a project publish in the French book, Réinventer Lego.

In 2017, I want to continue to design more knitting patterns and I have at least two more knit alongs ready to go. I hope to have a pattern in at least one book and plan to try getting accepted to more things. I want to go back and clean up some of my older patterns to get them to a better standard. I also really want to knit myself a sweater, I say this every year, but this year I am really going to try! What are your craft goals for 2017?

 

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Iron Craft ’16 Challenge 25 – Ottoman Slipcover & Throw Pillow

This Iron Craft challenge was about using things you already had in your stash. This was good timing for me because I needed to sewing up some items for my sister reusing an old duvet cover and cushion cover. She wanted me to turn them into an ottoman slipcover and large throw pillow.

The throw pillow was easy, I just cut the appropriate sized pieces from the duvet cover to fit a large pillow insert I had bought awhile back. I made it even easier and used one of the seams from the duvet as a seam on the pillow, so I only had to sew three.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge 25 - Ottomna Slipcover and Throw Pillow.
The ottoman slipcover was a little trickier. She had given me the old slipcover to use as a guide and a cushion cover that was the exact size to fit the top of the ottoman. I while back, I had even bought the blue coordination fabric to go with it, but everything sat in my craft room.

First I used a seam ripper to remove the bottom of the cushion cover. This let me see what I had to work with. Then I cut lengths of the blue fabric for the skirt until I had enough to go around the whole cushion, plus 12 inches extra for each corner box pleat. I seamed those lengths together and hemmed them all to the right length plus the seam allowance to sew it on.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge 25 - Ottomna Slipcover and Throw Pillow.
(I don’t have and ottoman so show it to you on, so here is just a corner on my chaise to give you and idea of it.)

Sewing it on was a bit tricky as I had to make sure to get right up to the edge of the piping to make sure to catch it too. Luckily, I had the right foot for my sewing machine to do it! Also I’d never done box pleats before, but they were easier than I expected.

I think this project turned out pretty good and I’m happy with the way it reused the fabric my sister had.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Project: Quick Cactus

I had so much fun with my first fleece cactus that I went ahead and did another one.
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Quick Cactus

Supplies:

  • Fleece (scraps, or 1/2 yd if you are buying new)
  • fiber fill
  • Thread
  • Paper for template
  • Optional: Pot for display (labeled S 4 , this pot is 14.25 inches around the top and stands 4″ tall.)

Directions:

Cut out a strip that is 2″ wide by 18 inches long. At one end of the strip cut a slightly rounded point.

You will need 6 of these strips. Just to make it easy on yourself, fold the fabric in half so you can cut two at a time.

Line up the sides of the strips and sew two together using a small seam allowance. Here I tried to stay consistant at just under a 1/2 inch. Repeat this three times, so you have 3 pairs of strips sewn. (Note, the seam allowances are on the OUTSIDE of this project. They form the ridges of the cactus. ) Next you will combine the strips to form the tube. Carefully separate the layers you have sewn, and match them up with the “pair”  next to them. I started sewing from the “top” (the curved part) because it was more important that THAT line up, and not as important that the bottoms line up.
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Here are all the uneven ends.
Repeat that process 3 times and you will have a tube, open at one end. Stuff the tube with fiber fill.
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Then stick it into the pot. You are DONE.
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If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Updates from the Stitch Lab: Sleeve Report

We are cranking away as we steam towards Halloween. Just to refresh your memory, we are making the Schuyler Sisters from Hamilton, and a Lizzy Bennet Zombie. (among other things.) You can see some of what we started in this post.

Lets look at the Schuyler sister’s dress. “We” did the bodices out of muslin first and tried them on (with no sleeves). They fit well, so we proceeded to make the bodice as the instructions stated, boning and all. The girls dove in head first and produced the linings complete with whale bone channels. They are SO impressive. Next the linings got sewn into the beautiful outsides. And then we approached the sleeves.
Simplicity-7026_325x434-ID252102-fde1e12600b87ced1b5dcf743a8cad43
The sleeve in the pattern is not even to the elbow (before the bell ruffle) and it is mostly tight from the shoulder down. It is made by joining two very strange pieces together. Just to make sure we could even see our way into the sleeve, we started with the linings. Here is “Eliza”
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And here is “Peggy”
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Their questions were polite:  “Ms. Susi, are you sure this is right?”
Two issues needed to be tackled right off the bat. First, they are both just MILES too big. Second, we named them “camel” sleeves because they both had these strange bumps crafted into them. It is our belief that this was to make room for the bend of an elbow, but that is assuming the sleeve is so tight that a girl could not bend her arm without that extra room. And clearly that is not the case.

We ended up tapering the sleeve for Eliza and adding the lace trim to the bottom. For Peggy, we drafted our own long-sleeve pattern and just made it work. (Yep, we “Tim-Gunned” it!)

IMG_3578
Have a look here though. This beauty has done her own bodice here, and it fits her like a bespoke dress. If you look at the sleeve, it looks like we actually got it from the wrong pattern envelope. At one point, I thought we actually had it upside down, and that camel part was the cap of the shoulder. But no. The markings in the pieces were “right”.
We are ploughing ahead so fast. “tick tock” Halloween is coming!!!

 

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

 

13 Halloween Costume Tutorials and Ideas

costumes2015

Kristoff
Frozen Princess Dress
Bacon and Eggs
Evil Queen in three parts, dress, cape, headpiece and crown
Princess Towel Dress II
DJ Lance Hat
Little Bird
Dorothy
Word Girl
Godzilla
Mini Top Hat
Princess Towel Dress I
Rosie the Riveter

Oh make that 14! Don’t forget this years Zarina the Fairy costume.
IMG_6353

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Stitch Lab Updates: Candy Corn Sachet

Here is a quick little project that one of the student’s in the Stitch Lab created. Its a Candy Corn Sachet. Voila!

IMG_3647
The inspiration and the basis for the pattern are found on Chico and Jo right here. Here is how their’s looks:
candy_corn_felt_sachets_24-500x333

And here is ours:
IMG_3649

We crafted ours following the directions for the pattern as shown. But we made it out of fleece instead of felt. So our seam allowances are different, and the seams are different. So our finished sachet is smaller than the one on the web.
This was a great project for a beginner sewer. Fun, easy, and satisfying results.
Happy stitching!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

Project: Zarina The Fairy

In the movie “The Pirate Fairy,” Zarina, the main character, begins as an ordinary fairy in the Pixie Hollow community. My daughter asked me for a costume and she was very specific about how she wanted it to look, “I want to be Zarina, but not the Pirate, just the regular fairy girl.” With that request, I set off.

"THE PIRATE FAIRY" (Pictured) ZARINA. ©2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
“THE PIRATE FAIRY” (Pictured) ZARINA. ©2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

There are not many pictures to go by! So here is my inspiration. You too can create this costume for your unconventional fairy!

Zarina (before she was a pirate) Costume

If you are sewing from patterns I have not seen any “working in Pixie Hollow” type of patterns. There are scads of princess/flying fairy dresses, but not the kind of “villagers” that we were after.  If you are not comfortable making your own patterns, I did find this McCalls pattern that would take you 9/10 of the way there. You could modify the hem line of the tunic top and you would be pretty close.

Supplies:

  • Brown stretch knit cotton (for pants)
  • Brown “ultra suede” (for the vest)
  • Golden stretch knit (for the tunic)
  • Green “ultra suede” (for the belt and the boots)

Let me show you what I made, and what I used as patterns.
For the tunic I used a tank top that fits perfectly. I cut it longer than the tank top (but this one is really long to begin with) and I flared it at the bottom. I also gave the bottom a scoop shape.
IMG_5576
For this piece I did a simple (single turn down) hem at the arms, the neck, and the bottom. I got a little bit fancy at the neck line and did a little “cut” straight down. The way I attempted this was to make three sides of a button hole and then just cut down into it. The knit fabric tricked me a little bit, but hey, for this little costume, it is okay if the finishing was a little “rough”, because her actual tunic is a little rough in the movie.
I patterned the vest after a white denim vest that we have already.
IMG_5575
For this piece I used the brown “ultra suede. Here is the truth: you cut this out and sew the shoulders and the side seams and you are done. The “ultra suede” is so easy that it does not need to be hemmed. !! Just trim and go!
For the pants I used a little pair of shorts that we have as the pattern.
IMG_5612
These are not leggings or tights, so the results are the perfect pair of woodland pixie crop pants. These are “advanced beginner” in difficulty.
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I put the piece I want to copy onto craft paper and trace out a pattern. I cut the craft paper out, and usually I add a seam allowance while I am cutting. Here you can see that I have added the seam allowance as I cut (the blue line is my trace, and the fabric is cut about 5/8 inch away from that. ) Sew the leg seams, attach the legs together at the crotch. Then turn down a single fold at the waist, and insert elastic. For the bottom hem I made a funny cut. The hemline turns up and has a rounded slit on the outside edge of the leg. These are made of the knit fabric, so the good news is they stretch. The bad news is that they will look better hemmed.

And here I offer the finished look at a fitting (this is without the wings. We’ll get into that later. Let’s just say for now – go buy the wings.)
IMG_6353
I am happy with my little “not a Pirate” Fairy.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2015 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish

 

Iron Craft ’16 Challenge #19 – Plaid Christmas Tree Skirt

For this challenge we were asked to use one or more of this year’s fall fashion trends in our project. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do and then realized we needed a another Christmas tree skirt. (We got a second tree for our travel ornaments last year.) This was a perfect place to use one of the trends. Originally, I was going to do a black velvet skirt (velvet is a trend) with a plaid bias tape trim (plaid is another trend), but I couldn’t find the plaid I was envisioning for the trim in the right fabric. So, I decided to do a plaid skirt with solid trim instead.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge #19 - Plaid Christmas Tree Skirt
Sorry, I didn’t bother to haul the tree out of storage for my photo. As you can see, I have a little bit of the trim to finish, hand sewing binding on takes forever!

Making a Christmas tree skirt is really easy. Pick out your fabric, remembering the diameter of your skirt can only be as big as your fabric is wide. Have the fabric cut, so that it is as long as it is wide. My fabric was 44″, so I needed just under a yard and a quarter.

Buy or make bias tape to edge trim the skirt. It it pretty easy to figure out how much you are going to need. Multiple the diameter you are planning on making your circle by pi, 3.14 to get the circumference. Then add the the diameter to that total. This is the amount you need to trim the opening. Then divide by 36 to get the amount in yards. You will need about another yard on top of that number to trim the center hole and account for any overlap or joins.

Here is the math for mine.
44″ x 3.14 = 138.16″
138.16″ + 44″ = 182.16″
182.16″ ➗ 36 = 5.06 yards

So two 3-yard packages worked out almost perfect for me. I used a 1/2″ double fold tape.

Fold your fabric in half. Use a piece of string and a pen to draw out a half circle. You do this by putting a knot on one end of the string and pinning in the center of your folded edge.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge 19 - Plaid Christmas Tree Skirt
Attach the pen to the other end of the string one half the width you want your final circle. Make sure to hold the folded end down and in place. Pull the string taut and, keeping the pen straight up and down, draw a half circle on the fabric.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge 19 - Plaid Christmas Tree Skirt
Draw a straight line from the edge of the circle to where you string is pinned at the fold for your opening. Draw a smaller circle the same way using the same center point at the fold the size you need for your tree trunk.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge 19 - Plaid Christmas Tree Skirt
Keeping the fabric folded in half, cut out the large circle, the small circle and down the straight line.
Iron Craft '16 Challenge 19 - Plaid Christmas Tree Skirt

Now, all you have to do is trim all the cut edges with your bias tape. I say all, but really this is the most time consuming part of the project.

And there you go, a custom tree skirt.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://justcraftyenough.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact us at jcraftyenough AT gmail DOT COM. All patterns, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2005 – 2016 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish