Category Archives: BLOG | army of PEAS

Sweaters, sweaters, sweaters

Heh. Yay! Just in time for summer!! I can’t control when an urge is going to take me over. So, if I want to make a sweater, I’ll make a sweater. I was actually just really keen to get my first sweater out of the way, but along my journey I discovered more patterns that I liked.

This is my current collection of sweater porn. I have big, big plans to make each and every one of them.

Tourist Sweater – making it now.

Knitting sweaters

I am embarking on a whole new sweater project. As of yet, I have never finished an article of clothing that isn’t a scarf or a hat. I have attempted two other sweaters, but felt the patterns weren’t so great and aborted the projects. I have two half-sweaters lurking in my Unfinished drawer. Good grief.

This new one gets me excited because I can see within the pattern that I can make adjustments that won’t cause too much havoc on the final outcome, i.e., longer sleeves, torso and neckband. I’m tall. I like things to be longer; otherwise, garments tend to look like I’m wearing something that has shrunk. Not pleasant.

Which brings me around to a memory I have of when I was living in New Zealand. I became friends with a girl introduced to me through a mutual friend. She taught me how to do some basic knitting. (It didn’t stick. And the lessons were over quite quickly.) My scarves were ridiculous. Around that same time, she had loaned me an angora sweater of hers, “It will look nice on you”. I washed it before I returned it. I was 18. I did not know what I know now about washing wool. It shrunk…like doll-size-shrunk. The friendship was lost even though I tried several things to rectify the sweater issue. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has reduced a woolen article to belong in a doll’s wardrobe.

So, here’s to hoping this sweater gets finished!

tourist sweater

I have learned a few new knitting techniques and have now managed to get most of the body and kangaroo pocket done. It’s really taking shape. I must say Joji’s pattern is very easy to follow.

Almost finished the body

17 March : DONE!

Sweater finished!

(Cat) Bowl

I say it’s a good place to put your cats, but you can use it without cats too!

This crocheted, double-walled bowl is perfect for…well, cats (and maybe small dogs) and pretty much anything you want to store or keep handy. I used one for my roaming-around-the-house-yarn-stash.

The bowls are available in my Etsy shop. 

Lois can’t wait for the bowl to be finished.

 

12 poufs to Australia

Unfilled poufs

Unfilled poufs

Finished pouf

Finished pouf

One of my clients requested a custom order for the Bums + Feet Poufs for her store in Australia! My biggest order yet!
It started as 10 poufs with four colours, but the colour she wanted the most was unattainable; however, I found it the other day! So, now I’m making two more!
It feels like all I’ve been doing the past few weeks is knitting, cutting, sewing and hand-dying. But, I love it.

You can find these poufs in my Etsy shop…in the Pillows + poufs section.

Efficiency + a marble

If I’m going to do something more than once, I usually like to find THE-MOST-EFFICIENT way of doing it any subsequent times.  I do not mind working a bit harder NOW to enable a speedier process later. No matter what means I employ or how many brain cells I utilize I’ll put the effort in…no problem!

I used to take things apart when I was a kid. Just to see if I could put them back together again. I like to know what makes things tick. I always want to know why. WHY?!

I sometimes wonder if I should have been an engineer.

Anyway, as I mentioned in a previous post about the compass, I had to make another one with odd increments. The first one was even measurements. So, yah, I got the drill out and did it all myself. Self-proud.  But I was still having a slight issue with the pencil movement. The end of the stick that swivels and spins around can dip up or down and makes the pencil go wonky. I thought I should find a mini-caster wheel. Not going to happen. Hmmmmm. A-ha! I super glued a marble to the wonky end and now, no slipping!

Marble on the paint stick evens out stick and glides along fabric.Marble on the paint stick evens out stick and glides along fabric.

So I accomplished that today and I made a pattern for the poufs I make and placed holes where I can mark out the seam allowance. Instead of measuring and cutting and measuring the same things all the time. Oh, the time this will save!!

In making a compass

My first attempt at a homemade compass failed. But I mulled it over for a day or two and with a bit M’s help, I made one today with a nail, a paint stirrer sticky thing, a drill, hammer, pencil and a small piece of round cardboard. The paint stick was the first idea, as it is sturdy, slim enough and long enough for circle-making.

Then, I (M) drilled holes in the stick that would fit a pencil, measuring 2cm apart. And a smaller hole at the end for the nail. My new sewing setup was put together by M and consists of two small sawhorses and an old door. Perfect. Originally, this table setup was not for me, but I may have encroached on pretty much the whole space. It is an excellent workspace. Mine.

homemade compass

homemade compass

So, this is where the nail bit comes in: I drove the nail through the paint stick and into the table top. Took it all back out of the holes, put a small round, hollow cardboard tube over the hole on the table, and then re-pounded the nail back in with the stick on top of the cardboard tube. This gave it the height needed to hover the stick over the fabric and to have a good distance between pencil and fabric. Now, I just fold material in half and swoop a half circle with my new gadget, cut the half-circle out, unfold and voila! Circle.

compass sm2

Cardboard tube between paint stick and table surface, with nail through the middle.

Cardboard tube between paint stick and table surface, with nail through the middle.

 

I can also make a full circle with the compass if I replace the nail with a small-pointed tack that can poke through the fabric and then swoop the arm all the way around the circle. Sorted.