Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Victory of the Dark Side

Have you ever looked at a lovely colorwork pattern and thought, I like that, but...nahhh? Sometimes colorwork just isn't what you want to do, or won't create the effect you're looking for, or you simply have a stash of one color you want to do something with, and stripes aren't in the cards.

I experienced a combination of these feelings when I came across the pattern for the Victory Jumper, found via the V&A Knitting Pattern Archive.

free 1940's Knitting pattern Your Victory Jumper
and check out that vintage telephone!

The Victory Jumper, one of many vintage knitting patterns I've admired and one that promises, right there in the photo, "Such an Easy Pattern." Who could resist? I love the shape, the long waist and lacy blouse, and the long slim sleeves. It's flattering and fun. 

So, I knitted it.

In black.

First, I swatched like the good little knitter I (usually) am. The lace pattern looks quite differentand simplerfrom a distance, but the single color also highlights the eyelets in the lace in a way the stripes don't. I decided to knit it with a somewhat slimmer shape to amplify that effect.

My gauge was a bit larger than the pattern required, so I adjusted the stitch count as well. The larger gauge also made those eyelets really pop.


It's fascinating (to me at least) how much adding or eliminating color changes can affect a garment's overall look. The scallops made so obvious by the color changes in the original design are virtually eliminated. If you look closely you can see the stitches sloping up and down, but the overall effect is if a vertical-striped lace.

I'm happy with the experiment and the result. The single dark color makes the top look less casual, more suited to a night out on the town than chatting with your girlfriends on your rotary phone...or whatever kids do these days.

classy and sassy

The dark side is victorious! And in this case, I don't mind a bit. Knit this sweater and you will probably be compelled to put your hands on your hips and strike a pose. There's really no way not to.

And one last pic where you can actually kinda see my earrings, just because this is literally the most I've ever matched in my lifeskirt, top, earrings, and lips. It's madness!

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Crafty Disney

The most popular items in the Etsy shop for Strung Out Fiber Arts are always my Disney princess wigs. Whether it's finished items, like my Princess Ariel wig for babies (a perfect photo prop I might add), or patterns like my Cinderella wigs for both babies and adults, if it makes you feel like a princess, it's going to be a hit!

Now Attraction Tickets Direct has been kind enough to gather a fun group of  disney crafts and activities into a handy article: Crafty Disney!

Of course, I can't help but be a fan with my picture right there in the cover image. *blush*

Get the pattern here: Snow White Wig

But there are plenty of fun things from other crafty types as well. I was especially taken with this free tutorial on Princess Aprons on the Gluesticks blog. The apron idea is really ingeniouseasy to put on and take off, and includes an adjustable waistband so the fun can last for years, even when your princess is growing like a weed.

Frozen Girlie Photos

A single base pattern can be altered to make 8 different princesses. Pretty clever, if you ask me.

Princess Aprons 8 in 1 Tutorial

Now that you're all dressed up with a wig and a fancy apron, sit back and relax with a Disney themed cocktail! Assuming you're of age, of course.

Cocktails by Cody has a Tumblr found here: but at the time of this blog publication it seems to be having some tech issues with the photos. You can still find all kinds of goodies on his Facebook page, though. Like this Peter Pan themed cocktail, Lost Boy, for those who'd prefer not to grow up. And that's all of us, isn't it?

And there are plenty more where that came from. Don't forget to check out the full article on Crafty Disney for even more fun ideas!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Uterus Bean Bag

As a follow up to my post on feminist Mother's Day gifts, here's my own contribution. It's definitely a little wacky, and probably wouldn't be for everyone, but for the mom with a sense of humor, consider this uterus bean bag! Give mom a hilarious paperweight or stress ball for the office, or just a bit of anatomical home decor.

I'd never actually owned or used a stress ball before this, but now that I've made a few of the uterus variety, I see the attraction. They are strangely comforting to squeeze, and have a nice heft to them. I can imagine really squishing it during those times when you're stressed out or when you just wish you could leave your own uterus at home (you know those times).

They're also pretty fun to make, and a nice stash buster that uses less than an ounce of yarn total. This one measures about 4" in height and 6.5" across. It's larger in the hand than most stress balls, but I think that makes it all the more fun to squeeze.

This one is filled with navy beans, which are just about the perfect size for the project. They're large enough that there's no danger of any escaping, but small enough to fit even in those skinny fallopian tubes.

The uterus can be made with or without the ovaries. I like how solid it is with the ovaries tying the tubes (no pun intended) back to the uterus body. Without the ovaries, the tubes stretch out further, and actually might be kinda fun to play with, now that I think about it.

it kinda looks like it's dancing

This pattern includes a few unusual techniques and so I've added more photos to the pattern than in most of my other designs which I hope will demystify any strange things I might be asking you to do with your yarn. Of course, I'm also offering free customer service as I do with all my designs. If you have a question, don't hesitate to ask.

It's a fun pattern and pretty quick to whip up as well. I'm offering the pattern for sale for $3 via Etsy and Ravelry. But, from now until Mother's Day, it'll be half price with the coupon MOMSDAY. Have fun stitching!

Finished uteruses can also be purchased if you're less of a crafter and more of a craft supporter: Uterus Bean Bag