Thursday, August 12, 2010

Altered Cardigan

Altered cardigan - crochet band

For a long time now I've been thinking about making a cardigan with crocheted button bands out of one (or more) of my long sleeved t-shirts that are a bit too tight (ehem). On the August long weekend I came across the stash of no-longer-optimal-fit t-shirts and decided to give it a try.

Altered cardigan - crochet band

I used a v-neck shirt with 3/4 length sleeves that I really liked but was a bit too small (don't have ANY idea how that happened)(ehem). I measured and drew a line down the center of the shirt and cut. Then I folded over about 1/4 inch and stitched a line of straight stitches to tack the facing down. I stitched a line of blanket stitch down each edge to give me a foundation for the crochet bands. I used some crochet cotton I had (I lost the label) in a color that in some lights is an exact match for the shirt.

Altered cardigan - button

I worked 6 rows of single crochet and then a scalloped edge. The crochet curled on the corners so I did a line of single crochet across the tops & bottoms to help tame it a bit. I added a button (from the stash I found in my Mom's knitting bag) which fits perfectly in the space in the scallop edge.

Altered cardigan

I'm really happy with how it turned out. I have plans to do another one or two. I love that I am able to extend my wearable wardrobe by reusing items I thought were no longer wearable.

Altered cardigan

Predictably the day after I completed this cardigan, I saw a similar project on one of the craft blogs! Does that happen to other people or just me? I find it really interesting that so many people can come up with the same basic idea (or variations on the same idea) independent of each other.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Mom's Knitting Bag

This past weekend I needed to find something in my closet where I keep mostly craft stuff (aka "The Closet of Doom" or "Don't open that door!"). I ended up hauling everything out because I couldn't find what I was looking for. This led to me finding stuff I had forgotten about which led to ... let's just say it's like when you click on a link that takes you to another link and that takes you to another link and 4 hours later you can't figure out what you've been doing or how you got there.

Anyway, this impromptu cleaning out session unearthed a pile of t-shirts that were not good enough to give to Salvation Army but not icky enough to throw away (who am I kidding? "throw away?" nothing gets thrown away. Hence the Closet of Doom). I sorted through them pulling out shirts for a blanket project I had started (more on this soon, it's almost done) and set aside a couple to try making cardigans, which is something I've always had in my head to try. (more on this one soon too. Forgot to take pictures).

Anyway (i do this alot. sidetrack myself and then need to bring myself back around)... After all that, I needed a tiny crochet hook for the cardigan making. I knew there had been a set of teeny tiny steel hooks in my Mom's knitting bag so I had to go off on another search through the closet, the bag was in there but it hadn't turned up on the first go around. I eventually found the bag and the second I opened it... I burst into tears.

These are the knitting needles and crochet hooks I learned on. It was like a Mom museum exhibit, complete with the last thing she was knitting before she started deteriorating. I had myself a good cry and decided to document the contents. I want to try to find the pattern she was using for the baby sweater. I'm not sure if I have the yarn she was using (it's probably in the closet of doom) but I'll give it a shot.

knitting needles

Most of the knitting needles are in the old Canadian sizing (British? My stitch dictionary lists the sizes as "Canadian" meh, who knows). The huge needle at the top was for "Condo Knitting" which was apparently the rage at some point in time. (too lazy to google at the moment)

crochet hooks & stitch holders

I learned to crochet with the colorful plastic hooks. The tiny ones were my Granny's I think. The wooden crochet hook was made by my Mom's Dad.

crochet hooks

hand whittled crochet hook

teeny tiny crochet hook

I'm pretty sure this teeny tiny hook would pierce skin. I kind of think I know that from experience...

buttons and...  eyes?

8 red buttons, only 2 of which match. I think the pink buttons were intended for the project she was knitting. I have no explanation for the bag of eyes. I think she was making crocheted "worm" bookmarks or something. Maybe that's it.

baby sweater in progress

Baby sweater WIP. I think this was probably intended for one of my 3 year old nieces when they were babies. It made Mom really sad and frustrated when she couldn't concentrate on knitting or crochet anymore. I would really like to finish this sweater for her if I can find the pattern & yarn.

pattern books & magazines