Ghostfaceknitter Etsy Shop COMING SOON!

I have been quite the crafting fool lately. I have had several custom orders from people through Instagram and now with that momentum I have decided to open an Etsy store as Ghostfaceknitter!

Huzzah! I’m guesstimating in the next two/three weeks I will go live with that store – and you all will be in the know when I do – have the confirmed timeline. Let’s take a look at some of the items I’ve been stock piling, custom making for you lovely lovely GFK supporters.

red velvet cake
“Mind you drink the cat is an asshole”
geisha cat toy.
geisha baby plush.

orange dreamsicle cake
toddler pocket Star Wars bib.

What do you think? I’m think about cowls, sunglasses cases, different skirts/shirts/dresses, and of course more cakes! 🙂

toodles
xxx
GFK

Craft Attack MuthaF*****

Happy Wednesday! I’m quite excited today, because later tonight is my monthly craft night with my favorite ladies in StitchCraft! I found these lovely ladies on MeetUp.com which is a great social planner for people new to a city or just looking for new social events to attend. For a solo-crafter like myself I have so enjoyed meeting so many crafters, whether they are knitters, crocheters, wool spinners/dyers, seamstresses, quilters, paper artisans… the list literally could go on, because there are so many wonderful people doing AMAZING things out there now. I wanted to share briefly the things I have come across lately/am in LOVE with in the world of crafting.

1. American-Made / Organic Fabrics

Let me just go ahead and inform you that cotton is one of the most heavily pesticide filled crops that we come into contact with on a daily basis. Seriously, now think about your sheets, your clothes, your lady products, your toilet paper, paper towels….. AHHHHH. I am SO ELATED to see Joann’s jump on board with an Organic Fabric line and boy is it pretty. The patterns are just so unique and visually marvelous. They are $10.99-14.99/yard though, so definitely wait for a 50% off coupon to purchase. I have only seen these in a few Joann’s stores though, I can’t seem to locate them on the website.




I’m seriously getting that panicky feeling only other crafters know right now looking at those bolts. The ‘oh man, maybe I need to leave work right now and go buy them all because what if it sells out and what if I can’t add it to the already ENORMOUS pile of WIP fabrics I have at home… ANGST.” Joann’s is also offering an “American-made” fabric line that is stunning as well. With 27 different designs and patterns it is great to see such a large chain offer something that is important to the spirit of ‘locally-made’ and responsible crafting.

Daisy On Vine Blue

I know not everyone supports shopping at a large chain like Joann’s so please check out your local fabric and sewing stores, often the smaller local shops have the best quality and respond to consumer desires faster than a giant store. My local sewing spot is The Needle Shop on Addison and Lincoln in Chicago. They offer so many different styles of rotating apparel and upholstery fabrics. Every time I go in there I think I touch and look at each bolt for 5 minutes.

2. Yarn/Crochet/Fiber Arts

I mean, I can’t even begin to share all the wonders I see daily regarding fiber arts. I’m continually inspired and awed at how crafters are able to dye/spin/manipulate and then create a gorgeous fiber item. A few of my favorite people/shops/stuff/events are:

knitxmidwest 2 – they are having a second one this year! you betchyer ass i already reserved 5 spots!

heyjenrenee – equal parts rad mom and epical knitter (plus rowan ambassador, GAPTASTIC Cowl Designer, knitxmidwest founder, the list goes on)

YarnBox – a monthly yarn delivery service that lets you sample and knit with 1/2 skeins of indie and small batch yarn producers. I seriously have LOVED being a YarnBox member. There is a wait list now, but it is worth it. Last month I got gorgeous yarn from Switzerland for christ’s sake!

Susan Crawford – the retro knit goddess.

Plus, because fiber arts are booming – so many people are creating top-notch patterns and even giving them away. Check out Ravelry before you ever buy a pattern chances are it is on there. But, if you into supporting indie pattern designers, there is no bad karma in donating or purchasing patterns from their websites/etsy.com stores/ravelry. Pay it forward my crafters!

What kind of things are inspiring you with the season change? Do you find that you change your craft entirely or just augment what you work on? Further, if anyone would like to share their thoughts and opinion about organic fabrics and/or large chain consumption I would love to hear you thoughts.

xxx
GFK

Heliopath KAL – The Final Touches (Good Touch vs. Bad Touch)

helper kitten
helper kitten
vest finished up to arm hole finishes.
vest finished up to arm hole finishes.

Well friends… We did it. We knitted the Heliopath garment sans ‘sleeves’ and button collar. I seriously feel like I just finished my thesis all over again, expect this time I have something really lovely to show off and very unabashedly say I MADE THIS! ME! I DID IT! I find it sounds like bragging when I say ‘I have my masters’ *say it in that snooty New England rich voice, but this vest I might carry a sign that says ‘YUP HANDMADE BY ME – THE GHOSTFACEKNITTER’. Also I’m sorry my photos are so small – I am in Denver for the weekend and having major tech issues with wordpress. (FML)

Anyways, we really are not done yet. In fact, aside from making sure you did a splendid job on you vest base garment, the finishing parts are the most important. Let’s talk about the big finish by breaking it down. Oh look a handy list!

1. Overview
2. Tying up loose ends.. (har har)
3. Blocking
4. Putting it all together
5. Final Review – Press
6. Wear that SHIT!

Briefly, first we will want to re-read out pattern 50 million final times to ensure that we have indeed finished the pattern and can in fact cast off the garment. Second, we will tie up lose ends – meaning we will tidy up our work, any wonky stitches that need repair/ensure all drop stitches have fallen all the way to the cast-on/ etc. Third, blocking! There are so many ways, but if you chose a wool yarn you better be wet blocking! Fourth, add the sleeves/button collar and the buttons you chose. Fifth, look over the garment as a whole, if it needs light pressing go for it. Finally PUT THAT HELIOPATH SWEATER ON AND RAGE THE EFF OUT.

So instead of going into giant elaborate long boring detail here – I have found what I think are very clear and wonderful sites/explanations from other esteemed knitter wizards.

Obviously you can hit up the Ravelry Discussion Page for any last minute questions or clarifications – socalmeaghan has done a great job gathering all the info on the trickery parts of the Heliopath so please review any of those if you feel lost/confused.

Tying up Loose Ends – for stitch mending/manipulation I really recommend this page from the Twist Collective – if you missed some increases/decreases, have the wrong stitch count, effed the cables. Obviously if you made some mistakes at the beginning you’re S.O.L. now, but just remember the pattern is so so so busy that minor/even some major flubs probably won’t be noticeable unless you point them out. (PS I hate when people point out flaws of their work – especially if I compliment it and then they retort ‘oh but I messed up here’ it’s like ‘YUP YOU SURE DID IT SUCKS I RESCIND MY COMPLIMENT NOW – BARF’)

Blocking. There are many ways and words of wisdom. I would say start here. Vogue Knitting offers a great basis for ‘101’. Then graduate to the goddess status over on Purlbee. Blocking is the way to get the garment to look the way you want. In my case I have some extensive blocking to do, since well I’ll be honest…. I didn’t measure myself before I started knitting. There I said it. I’ll be making that eweewe Wooly Worsted work for all its pretty little pennies this next week on the blocking mats.

Putting it all together. Seaming flawlessly. We don’t have ‘too much’ to add this vest, but ensuring you piece together the garment properly will ensure durability and of course make it look it’s best. It’s easy to get lazy at this stage – and I would recommend blocking those ‘after-market’ pieces before adding on to the vest itself. If you choose to add them to the vest before either is blocked… that’s good, but I wonder the issues with blocking a seam….

The Final Review. Inspect everything, make sure buttons are secure and lay nicely when on/stretched, see if any other places need additional blocking or seaming. Then you can press the garment if you so choose. I think pressing would be rather, well pointless, here since the pattern allows for such texture and ‘bumps’ etc. The only reason I could see pressing occurring for this is if you have an odd seam fitting together – which you should fix not press out.

WEAR THAT SHIT. Basically I’m going to live in this vest. Like the only thing I will wear. SAY SOMETHING.

We are almost done! Yay for the Heliopath Vest!

XXX
GFK

Heliopath Week 3 – Case of the MindF*&k Cable Pattern

Fellow Heliopath knitters! Let’s all take a deep breath in….. and out…..

Well the simple ribbing is done and now it’s time for the big guns. THE CABLED PATTERN.

It’s funny because within the pattern there is very cute comment about how if she were knitting this, Luna would have made mistakes, thus the adorable drop stitches. I seriously know from being a Potter fan and Luna supporter that home girl would not have gotten past the first swatching for this bad-boy – Nargles and this pattern would be ridiculous. I digress. I’m really excited to actually begin the work on the cabled pattern now that I got over my emo-swatching issues. The most important part of this is the set up. I chose to knit the second size vest and therefore have 151 stitches on my needles. Based on the pattern and ‘borders’ on the button front of the vest, I will knit three (3) ‘side by side’ pattern pieces and due to my extra long torso of steel I will knit either 5 or 6 of the 16 row pattern. My gauge was spot-on for the swatching, but depending on how this piece looks and where it rests on my hips I will make that call when I get there.

jr. knit apprentices.
my two inch ribbing with markers set for cable pattern.

For the next two weeks we will be knee deep in this pattern – then comes the exciting dropping stitches and decreasing parts!

Don’t forget to hop over to the Unapologetic Knitter’s webpage to see how my instagram bhud SocalMeaghan is doing 🙂

CABLE4LIFE
xxx
GFK

The Crochet Virus

Last month I contracted the crochet virus. Sigh. It has been getting in the way of my knitting and aside from the Harry Potter Heliopath KAL I’m co-hosting, I haven’t touched my knitting needles in three weeks! (GASP) Anyways, here are a few pictures of the crochet things I’ve been working on. Overall, I think crochet is just so easy. I don’t wanna discredit it as a craft because I’m not into craft shame-ing, but it’s just mindless for me. Single, Double, Triple crochet is like the best/easiest way to make something so pretty and as long as you’re in the groove it’s way hard to mess up like knitting. PLUS my knitting projects have become quite complex in terms of patterning, so crochet in the round has been the jimmy jam for me lately too.

boris wearing a cowl as a robe dressed as mrs horowitz.
ghost face cowboy bandana single crochet cowl.
double crochet cowl in the round with phydeaux design yarn from the FEB 2014 yarbox
ghostfacecrocheter? nah.
first cowl. single crochet in the round.
the craft cult.

Together

Well it’s Valentine’s Day. It’s always a day full of such great expectations. If you have a typical Valentine good for you. I’m flying solo, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have awesome family, friends, and the tribe to send me love all year long. Plus…. Motley Crue.

Happy V Day. Whatever it means to you.

12520220434_e392e71f25_z

Love yourself the most.

xxxx
GFK

Fair Isle Goat Pillow DONE

Well, it’s done. It only took total 10-11 hours which is not that bad considering it was my first real Fair Isle project. I’m really pleased that I did NOT try this as the glove. I think it would have turned into a AMF knitting project (angry mofo), if I had tried DPNs with my first time Fair Isle. Anyways, there’s a few mistakes – it happens. I really dig this as a pillow and will be doing more pillow/tapestry designs in the future. I will however go a step further and knit in the round next time. All my mistakes were on the purl side (WS) so being able to see the knit side the entire time would aid in banishing those little flubs.

Finished pillow front being 'blocked' it's acrylic so it's not like that did anything.
Finished pillow front being ‘blocked’ it’s acrylic so it’s not like that did anything.
added some 'french knots' to cover up a missed black perrie. oops.
added some ‘french knots’ to cover up a missed black perrie. oops.
i really like the split in the goat.
i really like the split in the goat.
finished pillow. pug mildly impressed.
finished pillow. pug mildly impressed.
shhh mom, just shut your mouth.
shhh mom, just shut your mouth.
new sweater blaster - embroidered 'B" for the baby boris.
new sweater blaster – embroidered ‘B” for the baby boris.
one half of hall and oates. this is what i do on saturday nights people.
one half of hall and oates. this is what i do on saturday nights people.

Adventures in Fair Isle

Before the holidays, we had a secret santa at my work. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a Mastering Colored Knitting book for my gift. I still in fact have no idea who gave this book to me! They won’t fess up, but when I finish my more intricate pattern I’ll send an email thanking/inquiring again. Anyways, I’ve been just practicing a few little projects and I love it. Just like most knitting techniques, I’m mad I didn’t learn this sooner. SO FUN.

Just a simple one peeries for practice.
Just a simple one peeries for practice.
First heart project on modified sweater (no cable obviously) for Boris.
First heart project on modified sweater (no cable obviously) for Boris.
Baby B likes his sweater.
Baby B likes his sweater.
Gloves have inspired a pillow 'flat/larger' project.
Gloves have inspired a pillow ‘flat/larger’ project.
Slowed down by headache/cat kisses.
Slowed down by headache/cat kisses.
Almost done. Still have 15 rows to go - adding inverted cross to top right design panel. Red to left crisscross pattern as french knots too.
Almost done. Still have 15 rows to go – adding inverted cross to top right design panel. Red to left crisscross pattern as french knots too. I’m hoping some of the gathering goes away with blocking/pressing. Damn you tension.
Valentines Cards? Can I Fair Isle this?
Valentines Cards? Can I Fair Isle this?
This is for a child. I'm thinking it would look awesome as vest. (no one wants to knit sleeves - especially for my ape like arms)
This is for a child. I’m thinking it would look awesome as vest. (no one wants to knit sleeves – especially for my ape like arms)

Pet Projects: The Animal Knit Bible

After my ‘finishing faux paw’ (harhar) on Boris’s new sweater of sewing the arm holes closed I realized I’ve knitted too many pet sweaters to be making such a silly mistake! So I’ve been inspired to share a few of the patterns I’ve made here.

a cat straight-jacket is okay with me too.
a cat straight-jacket is okay with me too.

Obviously I knit a lot. I knit for people and of course animals. I have talked a little bit about the knitted items I’ve made for the animals before, but without a doubt all the patterns are from Pet Projects: The Animal Knit Bible. I can’t even tell you how many sweaters I’ve made for mine and others’ pets, but here are a few of the patterns and a lot of sweaters I have made from this book. (PS If you click the book link it takes you to the Ravelry page with other knitters’ works too!)

Despite his grumpy demeanor he's warm.
Despite his grumpy demeanor he’s warm.
This was for a furry friend. Too short for Vlad.
This was for a furry friend. Too short for Vlad.
All dressed up and no where to go - also ever since I took this photo I've wanted to make an all grey 'knight' suit for Lee.
All dressed up and no where to go – also ever since I took this photo I’ve wanted to make an all grey ‘knight’ suit for Lee.
My first sweater for Vladimir then it became Leopold's.
My first sweater for Vladimir then it became Leopold’s.
Although short, he prefers this sweater because he can run around.
Although short, he prefers this sweater because he can run around and you know grab a cup of coffee.
Pet bed, perfect for two.
Pet bed, perfect for two.
Vladimir's favorite summer spot.
Vladimir’s favorite summer spot.
"The Anti-Firework" Balaclava..... aka "The Laugh Hysterically at Your Animal Hat"
“The Anti-Firework” Balaclava….. aka “The Laugh Hysterically at Your Animal Hat”
Again "Laugh Hysterically"
Again “Laugh Hysterically”
I modified this hat to make Lee transform into RASTA PUG MAHN.
I modified this hat to make Lee transform into RASTA PUG MAHN.

They have a LOT of wonderful color pattern knits in this book too. I think I’m gonna turn the page from the sweater section and start making a few other fun animal items. Coveting it now? Buy it here.