Thursday, 26 September 2013

Made: A "Gap-tastic" Cowl

I actually made something! I know, it's been aeons since this blog had anything other than rambling on it, but I finally did manage to finish something.

Actually, I say "finally", this was actually a stupendously quick and easy knit. I'd been thinking about doing a very easy project just to take a break from the never-ending purple jumper, and a friend recommended I try to find a chunky (bulky) knit pattern and yarn as she thought I would find it quicker and easier to knit than the DK sweater I am working on (and will probably still be working on a million years hence). I had a ton of errands to run last Friday and in my search for a post office happened across a little row of shops that included not only the chemist and post office I was looking for but also Winnie's Craft Cafe, which is a little yarn shop/cafe in Booterstown not far from the university campus. I bought 300m (4 balls) of Sirdar Click Chunky with Wool in charcoal fleck. You can just make out the multi-coloured flecks of wool in different colours in the photo below.

"Gap-tastic Cowl"
 The pattern is the Gap-tastic cowl (Ravelry link, won't be viewable unless you're logged in), which has to be one of the most popular patterns on the site. It's an infinity scarf in moss stitch, basically, and it's really really easy but produces a really nice finished product even if you screw it up. You can also just about see where I went wrong at the start of the scarf (at the bottom) but didn't realize until I was miles further on.

The fibre content is 30% wool, 70% acrylic. I went out with the idea of getting cotton or 100% wool, but although Winnie's was adorable and I was very happy to support a small local yarn shop, the operative word here is small. The choice wasn't terrific and the chunky choice even less so, especially since I had it in my head that I wanted some kind of variation in the yarn rather than a solid colour.


So, knitted item #4, and it's super easy and quick as well as being yet another scarf but I still feel a great sense of accomplishment for having made it at all. I'm back to knitting the sweater I've been working on for months and months now, and eventually I will one day have that to show off as well.

Meanwhile, here's another project I am slowly working on. For about 10 years now I've had this jacket hanging in my wardrobe:

My olive green leather jacket
It's an olive green leather jacket, and I have never worn it as much as I thought I would for 3 reasons: (a) it's really boxy, even with the sides cinched using the attached strap/buckle arrangement; (b) it had HUGE shoulder pads in that did my big square shoulders no favours at all. I actually only just recently took them out to see if it improved the way the jacket hung on me, and the answer was: not especially. Overall, the shoulders were just too big on me; and (c) the lining was a really cheap non-breathable acetate that meant the jacket retained heat and moisture in an unpleasant sort of way (note to self: when making jackets in the future, use really nice lining fabric.

This one shows the colour a little better
I had a look at selling the jacket but decided that it was quite likely I'd get a whole bunch of nothing for it if I listed it on eBay. Therefore: time to try bag making with leather! I've disassembled the jacket to some degree to get the largest possible usable area out of it -- took the sleeves off and unpicked the seams, so that I have the full piece of sleeve, which should do for straps and unpicked the collar piece and opened up the shoulder seams so the whole back and front is a single flat piece; and took out and threw away the lining. 

Now I am just left trying to decide what kind of bag to make with it. I'm not sure I have enough usable fabric to make something complex like an Evelyn, which was my first idea. Also, I don't know that my machine would cope with some of the bulkier seams that would be involved. So then I was thinking maybe a Michelle Patterns Messenger Bag or one of her older patterns, a Cross Body Bag, which is more slouchy. I keep wondering if there's a way to keep the welt pockets intact, but actually the pocket bags are really rough and the leather has discoloured badly on them vs. the rest of the of jacket, so I'm not sure if I really want to.

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