Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Episode 55: Ms. Fixit

This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

There's an SUV camper bed DIY at timestamp 42:44

My question for you:
Giant sweater body pillow- yes or no? And what summer knits would you like to do? Any good crochet recommendations?

There's an SUV Camping Bed DIY at the end of the video timestamp 42:44

Stuff I mention in Episode 55:
The #RecycleReknitRemake make along on instagram:

My recycled knits this week:
Windsor Headband by Tara-Lynn Morrison:
My High Cliff Hat by Melissa Schaschwary:
Kapsel Cardigan by Shannon Cook:

Patterns for your recycled knits:
Felix Pullover by Amy Christoffers: 

Good for T-shirt Yarn:
Piazza Shoulder Bag by Wool and the Gang:

My other Dresden Beret by Tara-Lynn Morrison:
My Boxy V-neck Vest by Katya Gorbacheva that will actually be a vest:

Summer and/ or crochet patterns:
My Lace Sweater "Villanelle" by Olga Grishina:
All Around Summer Towel by Knits and Knits by AME: 

Some Youtube channel Recommendations:
Alexandra's Industrial Living Room Makeover:
Paige's tiny Chicago Apartment tour:
Picnicamp's Range Rover camping video:
Living Big in a Tiny House:

For SUV camper bed DIY:
a 0.5" thick pc of plywood, cut to 45" x68"
4- 2" diameter PVC pipes, furniture grade
4- 4 way pic connectors
4- 3way pvc connectors
1- 5way pvc connector
9 pvc end caps, all pvc is 2" diameter
a 1"x3" board, cut to 36"
wood screws
gorilla glue
a camper mattress, mine was about 53" x74"

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Illusionist Infinity Scarves

In 2021 I knit a couple of Illusionist Infinity Scarves by Two of Wands. The two color cowl looks very similar to brioche, which I have done, but without the headache of having to look up Andrea Mowry's brioche video and rewatch it so I won't goof it up. I found the whole process very chill. And knitting in 2021 was all about chill evening time relaxation. 

There were no big, difficult projects for me that year- basically no podcasts or blog posts. I was at home, like everyone else, but also in my own little world of making. And it was okay. I've heard from a lot of crafters who backed away from screens after almost a year of pandemic. It's like the world was collectively burned out on information, ads, news, crisis. 

I knit much less than in previous years. I mean, I had just moved and was organizing, purging, and refreshing things, but it was more than that. I just needed some quiet time to think. Instead of knitting I did a lot of walking. I moved from a situation where I was feeling cooped up to having trails in my neighborhood, so I took advantage of them almost every day. Most weekdays I didn't see anyone on them. I would take photos of cactus and dogs and pray and just rest my soul.

Details: Each one of these cowls used two skeins each of two different colors and size US 10 needles. For the first one, I used a color combo I had wanted to try since Lion Brand announced it's Hue and Me yarn line: Shadow and Love Song. (Remember that song by the Cure? Least. Liked. Cure. Song. Ever.) This version was my favorite of the two.

The second cowl was knit in Desert and Werewolf. It is an extra vivid contrast and the one I thought my daughter might choose of the two. I secretly thought the Love Song version fit her wardrobe better, but I gave her the choice as a bonus Christmas gift. You can see that it really suits her. 

The fisherman's rib is a fun stitch and extra special when knit in contrasting colors. It also makes a nice reversible knit. 

I will probably make another one next Christmas as a gift for someone. I'm thinking of the Peacoat and Juniper colors.

(more images on my Flickr)

So how did you guys rest your soul in the last couple of years? How did you do it? Was stepping back from the phone part of your strategy? 

Details on my Illusionist Infinity Cowls on Ravelry: mine and my daughter's

On the youtube channel Episode 50: So Much Hue and Me

Monday, March 21, 2022

Perfect Hats for Winter Dog Walking

As I mentioned in my blog Episode 50: So Much Hue and Me, I knit a crap ton of patterns in Lion Brand yarn over the last year or so, mostly designed by Alexandra Tavel. Why so many? I have a few reasons. The obvious one is that I like her designs, and when you see one that you like from a designer, you often see another to queue, etc. Aside from that I like approachable, affordable designs. The samples are all knit in the same yarn most of us who make them will use. It is easy to source and easy on the budget. 

I also like that she offers so many of her designs for free on her blog. I know that it's a smart business move to have freebies, but it is also making crafting accessible for everyone. And wether I was recycling old sweaters to get yarn or choosing from a stash, I've always appreciated designers who keep that in mind. 

So the first one I made was a Seafarer's Cap in the Hue and Me Shadow color and size US 10 needles. It's a favorite color in that collection because it's not quite grey and not quite brown and almost has a plum look to it. I had one skein of it left after knitting Alexandra's Keaton Vest, which I have yet to blog about. I have so much to post about! Ugh that's why all of these posts may seem listy and sparse. 

I wore that Seafarer's Cap in Shadow some of last winter and most of this winter to walk my dogs in the evening. It is the right weight for when it is cold here and if it gets sweaty or falls on the car floorboard, becoming coated in chocolate and white fur, it's washable. 

In Episode 50 I share the story of how I became neighborhood comic relief in my cap. It is my hat of choice for neighborhood romps, as exhibited below.

The next iteration I made was in Arrowwood. It was a leftover ball from my Harvest Throw, yes another Two of Wands pattern, to get the depth I like I used just over one skein. 

Arrowwood is probably my very favorite Hue and Me color, which means I save it for fancier dog walks. Ha! not really, but sort of. I'd wear it to go out too. It looks really good with my peacoat and black wool blazer.  I  can see making more of these whenever I have leftover Hue and Me skeins. I am so glad Lion Brand started selling a wool blend bulky yarn, sort of like Wool Ease Chunky, but in an updated palette!

The last walking hat I have to show you is my Sophie Bucket Hat. It already has the Go for Faux fake fur, so no need to lint roll it before heading out. It's very trendy, with the bucket shape and the faux fur going on, but I'm not sure it's very me and that's okay because I planned to give it away. I used size US 10 needles and two skeins of yarn in the Bear color to knit a size 3, but I didn't swatch. The resulting fit wasn't too tight, just too tight for me. I have this thing where I get headaches if I feel even the slightest weight or pressure on my head by a hat or headband... or sunglasses... sigh. So I only tried it on for a fake dog walk. 

Fake walks are what I do most of the time with my little, old cow dog. He can't really handle a lot of walking on his joints, but is heartbroken if he gets left behind. So I walk him for 10-15 minutes slowly down the street then back. I then walk the big one for 30-40 minutes. I can attest to it being super warm. It seemed almost like the real thing. 
I'd say I knit each of these hats in two or three sittings, maybe in the time it takes to watch a movie. Not bad for a gift or last minute wardrobe necessity. 

(more images on my flickr)

Check back for posts on the Harvest Throw and Keaton Vest I mentioned. I am super pleased with both of them.
More details about my Seafarer Caps in my Ravelry and on the My So-Called Handmade Life channel in Episodes 50: So Much Hue and Me

And a striped version in this blog post.

Graduate Scarf and a Scrappy Seafarer's Cap

This scarf comes from a collegiate themed collection by Alexandra Tavel. Think Ali McGraw or Felicity.  The inspiration for her collection brings peacoats, pleated skirts, and new, pristine notebooks to mind. 

It's an easily memorized pattern, so it doesn't require looking down too much, which is why I watched tv the whole time I worked on it. Slipped stitches do keep things a bit more interesting than a plain striped scarf. Despite all of the Keri Russell and Love Story vibes, I watched Seinfeld while working on it. (Weare going back and watching all the episodes in order, because we are healthy like that.) 

Details: The Graduate Scarf takes two balls each of two different contrasting bulky weight yarns. I used two balls each of Hue and Me yarn in the Salt and Arrowwood colors. I already had a hat in Arrowwood so I ordered a kit in the sample colors to complement it. Now I have a matchy matchy, school colors kind of thing going on. I thought I'd use most of the yarn, planning to knit it until I ran out, but I stopped a bit after the directed length because it was already massive. 

With the remainder of each color and US size 10 needles, I knit a striped Seafarer's Cap as a gift- another pattern with school color vibes. I just striped randomly, no real plan except to use up all of the yarn. Lately I've been trying to use every last bit of a yarn  that's left over from a project before moving on. Sometimes I make socks with it, or put it in the scrap crochet blanket bin. This time I knitted an accessory as a gift. 

Have you tried Hue and Me yet? I think it is my favorite yarn for gift knitting, other than super wash sock yarn, as it is easy care and works up pretty quickly for someone like me who often waits until the last minute to decide I'm going to make a gift. 

Some other patterns from Alexandra's collection that I'd like to try are the Library Wrap and the Campus Cardigan. I already have Lion Brand Just Hemp that I can use for the Rec Club Backpack, which I hope to make sometime for summer. 

So I think we are in season 4 of Seinfeld at the moment. The more I watch, the more I am convinced George is the most horrible, and therefore, the best character on the show. Other shows we've been watching weekly are Raised by Wolves and Severance. Severance has an old fashioned mystery/thriller feel to it, sort of like Homecoming. We are always disappointed when an episode ends. Also, I adore Patricia Arquette. 

(more images on my flickr)

I'm not sure what to think of Raised by Wolves. I love sci-fi, the storyline seems all over the place but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sci-fi shows that constantly introduce new "world rules"can sometimes get silly. Same goes for shows with heavy religious imagery (This is supposed to be based on the Book of Enoch. Have you ever read that? I haven't.) Religious caricatures in sci-fi are so often cornball, but it's good so far and I'm invested, even though I'm tired of Travis Fimmel's wild-eyed Ragnar expressions. Sidenote- the opening animation and theme song is so very good. As I watch it, I'm reminded of my son's thoughts on Dune: that it was peak me.

See more on The Graduate Scarf in my Ravelry.
and on My So-Called Handmade Life Podcast Episode 51: Hopeful, Episode 52: Sneaky Extra, and Episode 53: Recycle Reknit Remake.

And more of my striped Seafarer's Cap on Ravelry 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Episode 54: My Pets Run the Show

Enjoy the meditative soundtrack at the end of this episode and experience craft the way I do at home. :)

Join in for our #RecycleReknitRemake make-along on instagram by using the hashtag on projects you are currently recycling.


My Question for you: What types of DIY projects do you like to watch? What channels or tv shows?

Stuff I mention in Episode 54: My Pets Run the Show:

We Welcome:
My Boxy V-neck Vest by Katya Gorbacheva:
in Textures Yarn on Etsy, Wool Blend Boucle Cone:
and Wool of the Andes Sport, Midnight Heather:

Kapsel Cardigan by Shannon Cook:
knit in Patons Classic Wool in older version of Natural Mix colorway

My Innisk├┤r Slippers by Chelsea Berkompas:
My Eastwood Cardigan by Allyson Dykhuizen:
All the patterns I showed swatches for are in my Ravelry:

Ideas for recycled scrap knitting or stashbusting:
Super Simple Summer Sweater by Joji Locatelli:
A blanket or throw from all of your swatches:
Dibiasky Sweater by Claire McLean:

David Sirota's Daily Poster:

Things you mentioned in the episode:
Turtledove sweater by Espace Tricot:
Erin Halvorsen's youtube channel:
fiberandtwigs on Etsy for recycled sweater sewing patterns:
East Coast Swing by Elizabeth Smith:

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Episode 53: Recycle Reknit Remake

Episode 53: Recycle Reknit Remake
This is where I record the eleventy billionth knitting podcast.

In this episode I plot my rip out and remake projects. I also share your recycled knit ideas and show the most affordable boucle sweater. My husband joins us in a grainy phone video to talk about the bookshelves he made.


My question for you: We are having a knit/make-along so let me know what you will make and leave suggestions for recycled projects here for everyone else.

My Birch by Pam Allen:
from Plain and Simple:
knit in Patons Classic Wool in Moss Heather and Aran: 

to knit in Red Sock Blue Sock Yarn: 

Things to reknit:
My Oh My Bear Sweater by Tiny Owl Knits:

Things to recycle with old yarn:
by Good Night Day knits, Durand Cowl:
(Already made by Good Night Day):

To totally remake:
Possible sweater to mittens method:
Easier Sweater to mittens method:

Couldn't find Ashley Martineau's  Recycling Sweaters blog post, but here's her youtube version:
and her whole process video:
My old blog post bout reading Ashley's now-defunct blog post on it:

T shirt yarn rug- Circle of Fun Rug- Modern Daily Knitter:

Boxy V-neck Vest by Katya Gorbacheva:
 knit in Ella Rae Eco Tweed: 
Louise's Awesome Reknit on instagram:

MWAWoodworks on youtube:

Your RecycleReknitRemake ideas: Give them away, felt pieces and sew together, use sweater yarn to reknit in another size or another pattern, cut t-shirts into yarn to knit or crochet into something, use recycled yarn for weavings that allow for yarn weight differences, can felt the woven pieces too, use old unfelted sweaters for laptop cozy, cushions, bags or mittens.