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Knit ALL the Yarns!

6 Apr


I showed the beginnings of it here, and it’s finally finished! Inspired by the beautiful multicolour pullovers that one of my lecturers knits, I made my own odds’n’ends magic sweater with all the 4-ply yarn in my stash. Mostly sock yarn, some yarn I spun myself, some I bought on overseas travel, and some my Mum gave me especially for this project. Knitted in the round from the bottom up, with a circular yoke. It’s amazingly light and drapey and soft, and I can’t wait for the weather to get cool enough so I can wear it ALL THE TIME.


So I got really tricksy and knitted the v-neck as a steek, which I then sewed by machine and cut afterwards. I did this because I didn’t want to  a) interrupt the circular yoke bands and b) I didn’t want to purl a single stitch! I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, as I had never steeked anything before, but using these instructions as a reference made it super-simple. The cut edges turned under just beautifully, and I finished the v-neck with an unobtrusive i-cord bindoff.


I-cord neckline


Finished and blocking


Now hurry up Autumn, I want to wear my magic sweater!


Find this project here on Ravelry.



Little Dala Horse Top

8 Dec


I get really hung up on details sometimes. Start out with a great idea, full of enthusiasm, pull out all my fabric, my patterns, my machines… get stuck because I don’t have the right colour thread. Or ric-rac. Or buttons, or some other little thing no one but me would ever notice.  I want so much for the end result to be perfect that I can’t even start for fear of not finishing!

This little top was made in about an hour out of some scrap fabric (just enough for midriff-length, no longer!) and a Dala horse stencil. Not thinking, no deliberating. I cut the fabric freehand around a pattern block, measuring on the fly and deciding necklines and sleeves as I went. The horses I stencilled on and dried with a hair-dryer, to prevent the project lying around waiting to dry. The neckline is bound with some calico bias tape I had lying around. Finished!



It was so refreshing, not *having* to think about every little detail. I didn’t have a clear image in my head of what I wanted to make, so the project was free to change as I went along. Does anyone else get so hung up on details that they can’t start? It’s an almost painful feeling!

Costume Flash // Queen of All Cosmos Cosplay

20 Nov

This one is going back a few months! The world of cosplay is not my natural habitat, but when you’re going to an anime & video game convention… you’ve got to blend in, right?!

The King and Queen of All Cosmos

The Queen of All Cosmos is a character from the Katamari series of console games. I’m not much of a gamer, but suffice to say the surreal wackiness and hyperactive colours in these games are something I can really get into! Basically, you control a ball (a ‘katamari’) that you push around a fantasy world and… roll things up. Really, it sounds silly even as I write it! Check out the Wiki entry (linked above) because there is no way to properly explain the addictive cuteness that is Katamari.

There are a few different ways you can approach cosplay, I think. Some costumers really like to create an outfit that is as close to the character as possible, and go to incredible lengths to make their costume as ‘realistic’ as possible. This can include wigs, spray painting on bigger ‘muscles’ and wearing coloured contacts. My personal interpretation is usually more ‘inspired’ than accurate. I like making costumes that suggest a concept, or a particular aspect of an anime or game. My Queen of All Cosmos maintains the colours and feel of the character, but I have played with the shapes of her costume to make it a little bit different.

I like to work out what elements make a character recognisable. Instead of making an oversized headpiece, I used a knitting pattern (available here) to make some earmuffs that suggest the Queen’s enormous head. Her son, the Prince of All Cosmos, is a very important accessory to this cosplay – so I crocheted him as well, from another pattern available online.

Crocheted Prince

Once you have these two important elements to establish the character, you can play around with the rest of the outfit a bit more. My version of the Queen is a skirt and jacket combo rather than a dress, with the skirt being shorter than the ‘real’ version. The top is a tailored jacket, with a scalloped collar embellished with gold buttons that echoes the shape of the original. I thought white thigh-high socks and sparkly pink sequin sneakers were an appropriate, though made-up, touch!

Queen of All Cosmos and King Kazuma

I can’t finish this post without mentioning my partner’s incredible costume. He is still fairly new to costuming in general, and he made this whole outfit (King Kazuma from the movie Summer Wars) himself! He is cosplaying a 6-foot tall anthopomorphic fighting rabbit, and I think he did an incredible job! The giant shoes and gloves are all made of foam, and the wig and headpiece/ears are one unit.

PS: If you are on Ravelry, find more details of my knitted/crocheted projects!


Prince Plushie

For the love of (leather) Bows!

24 Jan

Or, it is a rare fancy indeed that satisfies the inner vintage-goth.

Ever since I have seen these oversized leather bows around the internet, I have wanted one so badly. I love bows, they are such a cute way of topping off an outfit, and I love leather just as much. So these little items are just the perfect accessory to satisfy my inner vintage fashionista and my inner goth! Unfortunately leather accessories come with a leather price tag, so I flexed the crafty muscles and came up with my own version. This bow is made from a cut-up leather skirt and attached with a length of lightweight chain I had lying around. I used chain as it would lie well under a collar, or look a bit dangerous if I wore the bow over the top instead. The edges are topstitched for contrast.

So there we have it; my craving is satisified!