Cupcake Blouse

I made an adorable little Blouse over the weekend and just had to share!

I found the Pattern here on BURDASTYLE. I’m a huge fan of this site because the patterns are very current, reasonably priced, and you can just print them and assemble at home. Plus they are in you account forever so if you misplace one small piece you can always re-print.

Anyways this Pattern is Short Sleeve V Neck Blouse 05/2014 #131B

I really like it – after wearing it on Monday I just need to move the snap button closure a wee bit and then finish the snap buttons down the front. Also I chose not to add the cuffs because I’m lazy.

XXX
GFK

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ABRACADABRA!! HELIOPATH KAL REVEAL!

ALACAZAM! We have reached the end of the Heliopath Knit-Along road. Can you believe it? I have to say I am way impressed with everyone’s epic knitter-wizard skills. Seriously, talk about some effing talented crafters – I have never been so motivated and inspired by a group of knitters in my life!

ta-da!

So I’ll briefly breakdown my ‘finish’ of the Heliopath and then we can talk about the good stuff – THE PRIZES.

For the armholes, I had to keep trying my vest on – I know we still had to block, but I typically get nervous leaving the entire ‘fit’ up to blocking. I ended up knitting past the recommended 6″3/4 mark to almost 8″ and then did the three needle cast off for each side. Now instead of using DPNs and knitting the ribbing I chose to go totally out of order here and block now. Why did I do this? Well, for starters I was convinced this thing was not going to fit right. I know blocking can be a miracle-worker, but I spend the last two weeks in a wee-bit of a panic about if I had just spent ~$85 and over a month on something that will fit one of my petite friends not me. I even dropped an extra stitch under the arm because I was FREAKING OUT. Seriously, I kept stretching it (even considering the pattern ‘give’ measurements) and just getting more and more and more worried. Especially once I had opened up almost every stitch it was very worrisome and I ended up making the last minute decision to open up and extra stitch under the arm. Anyways, I digress… blocking before ribbing. Why else did I want to do this? Well I honestly wanted to crochet every finish on and i wanted it to not be ‘too tight’ or ‘too loose’ when it was all said and done. Plus, let’s be honest I can never just follow the damn pattern 100%. There I said it. So here it is.

So for the PRIZES! There is so much and we plan on picking the winners over the next few days as we make sure to tally and include everyone who participated. I will be sending messages out to the ones on Ravelry and Instagram who participated to confirm their entry. There is so much to win!

Black Market Wool!

ewe<3ewe yarn!

JustRunKnit! 4 Skeins!!! Enough for another Heliopath!

Pattern by ewe<3ewe yarn!

Pattern by the lovely Emma Welford!

So we will pick the winners and announce on Tuesday April 15th!

ABRACADABRA MY STITCHES!

XXX
GFK

Humpz Dayz

Is it just me or is this week kind of dragging? Maybe because it’s supposed to be Spring, but the weather still stinks? I mean I can’t complain that much – it’s been above freezing in Chicago so that’s like heat wave status.

Anyways – I’ve had a pretty great week so far albeit a little quiet and slow.

First: Been really enjoying my gym time. I go 4-5 times a week now and just feel like I’m killing it there. I’m still amazed that I have lost no weight, but the overall shape/tightness of my body is radically different. Don’t believe? oh look a before and after! My favorite! (haha). I have been going between 2-4 miles a day and as of last weekend have been using intervals and inclines to keep me on my toes.

after on left 3/14 – before 12/24 on right; same weight 160.

Second: I FINALLY found a great dentist here in Chicago. I had avoided the whole ‘check up’ thing since I moved. I take insane care of my teeth now (after root canals, LANAP surgery) and so I knew I wasn’t going to have any cavities or major plaque issues. I did have a consult done on my ‘root canal-ed’ teeth that are in the front. I’m nervous, but incredibly excited to move forward with that. To say that I have adjusted my lifestyle and smile to accommodate my always graying teeth would be an understatement. It’s a major bummer to look at photos and have it make my teeth look misshaped or worse look like I’m missing teeth! So that’s an endeavor I’m about to journey through and am excited to move past.

Third: I scheduled my GMAT exam. I know what you are thinking “Brianna, you just graduated with your MA last year.” Well, you all know it’s a goal to get my PhD and this stage of my life would be the best time to just ‘get ‘er done.’ So I have 9 weeks to study my face off. I’m not too concerned about finding time and I bought the Manhattan study prep kit so I think I’ll do just fine.

Fourth: I beefed up my sewing skills with a simple skirt class. The highlights were learning the ‘french seam’ and some nice hemming techniques. I’m excited to begin sewing more especially since I’m at the size I want to stay.

pattern and fabric.
little ‘faux fur bag’ i made the cats. the safety pins make the cover/lining removable (i.e. washable) they LOVE it. both fight over it.
adorable yarn draw string bag i made. i actually did the inside with french seams and practiced my casing skills haha.

Fifth: GREAT progress with the Heliopath KAL with socalmeaghan. I’ve seen quite a few followers/fellow KAL friends are WAY ahead of schedule. I am right on track. It’s taking me about 4 hours (!!!!) to knit the 16 rows of the cable lace pattern over 151 stitches. (That’s 2416 total stitches if you wanna think about how much work in a different sense). The pattern is easy, but tedious and as soon as I start getting tired I have to stop because I start fumbling and it gets scary with all the YO / K2TG / P2TG and cables.

4.5 inches of pattern / 2 inches of ribbing. sigh.

So there was the weekend/first half of the week. I’m ready for spring. I feel lonely and whiny. Lois is coming to visit Friday so I’m really excited to be around family.

xxx
GFK

WHERE’S THE CRAFT?

I know what you’re thinking… where are the crafts?!

Well oddly enough I have been covert-crafting. This means I’m making gifts! Therefore I cannot post what I’m up to on here as it would ruin the surprise! Duh!

But I will share the next big knit project I’m about to start. It’s 100% selfish knitting. I found a marvelous pattern book of vintage knits a few weeks ago and have been going gaga over this sweater. The Perfect Christmas Jumper by Susan Crawford. You can buy the pattern for exclusively this, or her book Vintage Gifts to Knit is available for purchase and download.

The reindeer body is worked in intarsia whilst while the legs and antlers are done in fairisle.
The reindeer body is worked in intarsia whilst while the legs and antlers are done in fairisle.

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You know GFK will pop this pose the ENTIRE time I wear this.
You know GFK will pop this pose the ENTIRE time she wears this.

I know isn’t it AMAZING? I’m going to do a ‘plain’ version without the reindeer to start. I got all the supplies and am ready to start it probably this weekend. I always enjoy ‘working’ the pattern first before I dive into the ‘real project.’ Kind of like a Muslin for sewing. I’ll post progress here. I’m hoping to bring this with me to the MIDWESTKNITFEST – who knows maybe I’ll go full on knitter-machine and be able to work on one with the reindeer pattern there instead. Basically Susan Crawford is a vintage knitting GODDESS. Check out more of her work on her website.

Would you wear a Christmas ‘jumper’ like this? What does everyone think about the sleeves/shoulder area on this garment?

DUN DUN DUN.

xoxo
GFK

Finish Chevron Meh Cowl – Sewing Projects On Deck

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Another craft update!  I finished the Chevron Pop Cowl.  I’m not sure if it’s the colors or what, but I feel ‘meh’ about it.  I wish the yarn was a little more structured as well, so I’ll try that with the next one I make because I loved the pattern it was so simple and fun to knit.  I’m wearing it today to work.  I would say that would tell me what people thought, but my co-workers are not really observant about this kind of thing.

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Last night after I finished the Chevron Cowl, I took Mister Lee out and saw that I had several goodies arrive!  First, I got a Starbucks Gold Card – which is long overdue, but I only started registering my gift cards a few months ago! (D’oh!) Second, I received a BUNCH of patterns I ordered on Thursday from McCall’s because they had a $2.99 pattern sale last week.  (I HAD TO HAVE THEM!)  Third, I ordered the most adorable ‘cut and sew’ witch named Winnie from Ebay.  I’m excited to put her together – I love little cut and sew panels they are my favorite – check out a bunch here on Etsy.  I laid all the flare out to get a picture and of course my Baby Boris got right in the shot – how cute! He’s like “MOM! I’m new and fun too!” I have noticed I’ve had to spend extra time loving on each of them, because they let me know when I’ve been crafting ‘too much’ for them.

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I have a few other small sewing projects I’m going to do this week that I am excited for.  I need a few hours away from knitting just to re-charge.  I still need to finish the sock portion of my baby moc-soc set that I have in progress. I just needed to step away from that little project though.  It’s really small and I kept dropping 1 tiny stitch over and over and over.  I hate when that happens!

Anyways – what are you all working on?  Any holiday/season inspired crafts?

Saturday!

So I had a pretty fun Saturday!  First,  I took Mister Lee (Leopold) for a walk and he was super happy about it.  I’m continuing to lose weight and am down about 19 pounds.

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I’m feeling good. So I’ll force you to look at this selfie. LOOK!  No I’m kidding. But, I’m happy that I’m successful on my eight millionth attempt to lose those last twenty-five-ish pounds.  I’ll do a blog about my weightloss in a few weeks so hold tight for the details.

Then, I cleaned my living room and basically sorted all my crafts and hobbies into their designated zones…. It’s getting kind of cluttery so I NEED to address my nightmare guest room closet that I have been carelessly making more and more disorganized since I moved here in December.  This week/next weekend I’ll get that all organized too.  I need to think about how to organize it properly though as there is no hanging rod or built in shelf so I’m going to have to buy something to act as a structure.  Any closet organizing help?  I don’t wanna spend A TON, but I want it to be sturdy.

Gosh that was boring okay now onto the fun stuff!

I took a class at nina – which is a fabulous knitting and yarn shop on Division here in Chicago (right were the Renegade Craft Fair was last weekend).  It was for a Chevron cowl – I mainly took it so that I could socialize with other knitters and get out of my habit of ‘solitude-knitting.’  Well it ended up I was the only one in the class which I was more than over-qualified for.  The instructor who was a total sweetheart felt bad, because I knew how to knit it by just reading the pattern so she didn’t have any new information to offer.  I did however have a great time chatting with her and found out they do a knitting group every Sunday so I think I’ll start going to that to make some friends.  Here is the chevron pattern that I ‘learned’ how to knit.  It’s actually really fun and simple.  I’m always amazed at how people discovered techniques to manipulate the yarn like this.  Damn knitter geniuses.

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Then of course because I was there, I bought some amazing yarn from Knit Collage – which is a magical yarn company.  Their yarns are just so unique and beautiful – I fell in love with them all, but chose this one.

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It’s so beautiful if I had dreadlocks I would want them to look just like this yarn…. le sigh.  Yes, thats a AAA magazine – didn’t know I was so cool did you?  I digress….. I’m pretty sure I’m going to do something similar to their bandana pattern available on their website for only $3.

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You know you all want one now…. go to their website.  Do it. Do it now.  You can ‘thank me’ aka ‘scold me’ for showing you this little gem later! 😉

I also started a really fun baby bootie knit project on Thursday.  I did a ‘tester’ bootie as a trial run and I loved the way it turned out.  I was so angry none of my mean animals would let me try it on them 😦 – what good are they if they won’t model my knits!?

Step one:  knit till a little area for toes emerges….

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Step two: then knit the rest of the shoe……

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Step three: add the inside sock and TA-DA! A baby moc-soc!

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Okay, okay, so it took more than three easy steps.  It did however only take about 3 hours (I’m not a beginner though so use your own judgement here).  Here is the pattern it is only $5 and there is a coupon available on that Ravelry page with the pattern.  The designer is so creative and amazing! This is what her moc-socs look like.  (I used left over yarn (recognize the red/white/blue from Leopold’s Sweater?!) so that is why mine is ‘crazy’.)

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I’m glad I did a test run on them though.  I have a few little tweeks I need to address just based on my knitting style so that it mirrors her finished product a little better.  Overall it’s a wonderful pattern and I am going to love making a lot of these little guys.

Gosh I’m exhausted and it’s only 9pm! Tomorrow I’m taking Lee to a Fall Frolic with other pugs.  Hopefully he can try to make some friends too.  I’m not holding my breath though.

Happy Weekend Friends!