Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Miniature Projects

For me, the hardest part about blogging lately has been photos. I either forget to take them, am too lazy to take them, take bad ones I don't really want to share, or can't remember to take them off the camera. I've been pretty busy this summer, but also pretty lazy. The knitting is picking back up after a few months of just not really wanting to. I'm also learning how to share knitting time with the other hobby I've picked up and not talked much about: my dolls.

At some point I told you there were more than the one. The first one is gone, living with my step-mom now as a special thanks for all of her work on our wedding. I have four total, two I often forget to count  because they are small and unfinished. I think the important ones are complete enough to share now, though.

Lenore arrived in December. I painted her face and gave her gorgeous eyes and full eyelashes this spring. I've acquired a few bits of clothing for her, but she's a really odd, not terribly popular shape, so I'm looking forward to sewing things for her.

Aileen came to me in February, I think. She was pre-owned, so she came painted. I might redo her face at some point, but it suits her for now. I've had her in a few different wigs (I made this one myself out of the suri alpaca from a previous post), but haven't quite found the right one yet. I'll make another one out of a really neat wool that I think will be just about perfect. These aren't the eyes she'll keep either. I have a couple pair on order and I hope one is just the right green.

I also knitted her a sweater last month. I'm really proud of it! It has pockets! I hope to make a me-sized one someday. Her wig here is my favorite yet, but I hope I can get just a little closer to what I want.

They have been a lot of fun. I have so many projects planned for them, but everything takes time and sometimes research. Some things, like the wig and Lenore's face, I was able to do in short spurts. I'm hoping small sewing projects will be a bit more gratifying and more instant than the weeks and months other projects have taken me. Knitting the sweater only took a couple days. I can handle that. :)

Friday, I'll share one of those photos of me that I don't like just so I can bring the blog back to life a bit. I just finished a gorgeous sweater that needs photos and I need to show you the sweater I'm working on now as well! I'll just schedule photo-day and take care of all my blog picture woes in one fell swoop.

How have you been?! How is summer treating you?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Good Stuff

As you might have noticed Monday, I got post-writing happy last week and started scheduling posts, (but forgot to put pictures into Monday's...oops). Lack of blogging is largely due to wanting to talk about things in a certain order but not being the least bit ready to do it that way, so I'm tossing order out the window and going for topics I've got the photos for.

That said, here's what I'm sure you've been waiting for: the knitted wedding dress!

Complete with me-made crushed tulle underskirt and me-crafted ribbon belt. "Crafted" is maybe too strong a word for the belt. I literally pinned two flowers to a piece of ribbon. It looks gorgeous, though.

Yet, that is not the limit of my craftiness! Oh no! Naturally, we needed a personalized cake-topper. I whipped it up super quickly, super last-minute with the help of the clay stash of my friend Ali.

Aren't they the sweetest? We think so too. :)

And that is as far as I've delved into our wedding and honeymoon pictures. There are a lot of them. :P I can understand why photographers charge so much to take, evaluate, and edit photos. It's going to take us years at the rate we are going....

Coming soon: what I'm working on and a new FO!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Meet Steve

I'm happy to announce that we have welcomed a betta back into the Bunnies & Bettas household! His name is Steve. Or The Captain. Or Captain Steve.

I've missed the bettas more than John has and managed to talk him into* getting one on a short stop into Petco for some litter. I've really enjoyed watching him. He likes to hang out in a cave in his aquarium just like Ophelia does. I think they might be related. ;)

John has advanced from bettas to angelfish to discus. I keep asking him to write up some fish posts, but he is resistant. He's been busy working on a million other things, so I can't blame him. Discus are stunning and huge and colorful. I'll ask him for a discus post so you can see our new additions. (He has tentatively said yes, so get excited!)

*I picked one out and said we were going to buy him.

Saturday, June 20, 2015


My vision was to finish this top in Oregon and model it on the beach and make a video with those pictures set to the song I named it after. Alas...I stood at the sort of yucky, artificially blue pond near our house amidst the gnats and only got two decent photos. Just imagine how great the vision was as you read.


PatternHélène by Veronik Avery
Yarn: Knit Picks Lindy Chain in Sagebrush
Needles: US 4
Project Page

This is one of those rare instances where I am sort of glad patterns age in my queue much longer than I anticipate. This pattern was released in 2011, when there was one color of Quince & Co. Sparrow, which also happened to be one of the very few linen yarns on the market. Now, in 2015, I had the choice of many Sparrow colors and also this much cheaper, much more colorful, Lindy Chain, among other various linens and linen blends. Naturally, I had to go with a minty green. It's sort of been my jam since last fall, though I don't know if that's shown in my knitting or not....

The pattern is a piece of cake and (I know there are sleeves but) NO (knit separately, then attached) SLEEVES. No sleeves might by my jam for a while too, she said after already starting one or two sweaters sleeves first, ignoring the pile of sweaters without sleeves >.>. In fact, this pattern is so great that even after swatching and half-checking my gauge, I knit the whole thing at a gauge that was entirely too small (row-wise, the only gauge that matters and the only part of my gauge I didn't check) and it still fits me perfectly. Magic? I think so.

I really want to recommend the yarn to you. I do. I mean, I knit a top out of it and it's great. It hasn't fallen apart, didn't spontaneously combust, or anything. But, it's a chain construction and it snags sometimes, even with dull needles. The snags are pretty easy to fix with a bit of tugging, but it's obnoxious. It also didn't soften like I expected. I might toss it into the washing machine, but I don't expect that to help much. It's an alright yarn. Great for the price, really. I can't give it 5 stars, though.

Have you knit anything with linen? If so what? Which yarn(s) have you used that you would recommend? I'll probably give Sparrow a go. People talk highly of it. What do you think?

Ah! Almost forgot the music link. Named for one of my all-time favorite songs. It's by a country duo no one has ever heard of that I still think is absolutely genius. It's one of Spike's favorite songs too. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Well, I got an unexpected day off today, the house is clean, and I had to frog my knitting project to go down a needle size (*grumble grumble...swatching, I know...grumble grumble*), so let's write a blog post, eh?

We're married! Yay! It's honestly not that much different than it has been for the last 5 years. I'll get to the wedding in a future post (the dress, most importantly, I'm not the kind of girl to bombard everyone with wedding pictures, but I can't not share the knitted dress). Today, let's talk about what I brought home from our honeymoon trip:

Yarn, of course! Lots and lots of it, haha. We drove from my hometown in Idaho to the Oregon coast (another future blog post) and ended up in Portland, where I met some fantastic Ravelers who took me on a mini yarn-shop-hop. I left with all of this scrumptious wonderful stuff! At first I had planned to buy colors that would remind me of my trip. Then I decided local dyers would be a good choice. And then I went off the rails altogether.

We went to three yarn shops, all gorgeous and all brimming with the most amazing yarns. First stop was Twisted. I was going to be good and buy for my queue if I bought anything. The first thing I bought was this Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Sagebrush. I've heard people talk about it, the color was gorgeous and reminded me of the ocean, it was soft, would work for a sock pattern I've been wanting to make. Done. I should have bought the amazing local stuff they had, but I couldn't match it to a pattern and I couldn't choose my favorite colorway. :P I'm going to have to order it, though, because now I feel I can't live without it, haha. I'm still very pleased with my regional buy, though.

Next, at Happy Knits, I scooped up some Black Trillium Fibres Merilon Sock in Hedwig because it was local, gorgeous, Harry Potter-related (I was with HPKCHCers), kinda reminded me of the Oregon fog and rocks I saw a lot of, and would make John some happy socks (to distract him from the other yarn I was buying).

Finally, we stopped at Yarntastic. There was a sale on my favorite yarns AND a locally-dyed yarn in a Harry Potter-related colorway dyed exclusively for this shop, so I did a bit of both: a sweater quantity of Rowan Felted Tweed for Stasis (I mean right?) and the Potions Master sock yarn from Nerd Girl. Yum!

Some of you will say I shopped with great restraint. Some of you will think I went a bit overboard. I'm at peace (though there was a moment trying to cram it all into the suitcase where I was not). Vacation yarn is a must, I think. And when I've got friends showing me the best of the best, well...who can say no?

I had a fantastic time meeting these ladies and hanging out with them for a day. I really loved Portland and would love to go back. I think there are about 30 more yarn shops I have to visit, so I just have to visit again. :)

Friday, May 8, 2015

It Ain't Easy Bein' Green

At long last, here's what I've been referring to as my Slytherin sweater (Caligula would have been Slytherin, for sure!):

A Viper for the Roman People

Pattern: Grace by Jane Richmond
Yarn: Countess Ablaze Viscount of Spark in "Caligula always found some cause for envy"
Needles: US 4

I tried to be really smart with my yarn-buying last year because I'm trying to destash quite a bit. I've been largely successful, but I have to buy up yarn from time to time. Just have to. Last year, one of my favorite indie dyers, Countess Ablaze, was dying special monthly batches based on the 12 Caesars using quotes from Suetonius' biographies of the Caesars as inspiration. I'm a classicist, so I can't turn something like that down. I jumped at the chance to grab some Caligula-inspired yarn and matched it to Grace, which had been in my queue (and in a book on my coffee table) for a while.

At first, I was a little apprehensive about making myself a sparkly green sweater, but if one is going to have a Caligula sweater, one must absolutely go nuts and embrace the insanity! I'm glad I did! I'm also a Slytherin through and through, so green and silver is a necessary wardrobe staple, eh?

I will never wear this buttoned. The bands are too flimsy to sustain that kind of wear. If I ever change my mind (it is kind of cute), I'll have to sew some ribbon to the bands for stability. In all other ways, this is the perfect sweater! If you haven't made yourself a Grace cardigan yet, you need to! I'm going to wear this thing to death!

If you are interested, this year's journey with the Countess is through Homer's The Odyssey. The yarns have been really, really stunning. I haven't had the opportunity to get any, but I plan to. :)

I don't think I've mentioned, but I am getting married very, very soon! That's part of the reason for my blog flakiness this year. It'll be the reason I may go silent for the next month or so, too. I'll try not to! I have lots of freshly finished things to show you. :) If I can find the time in the next week, I'll get those lovelies scheduled. Then, when I come back, I'll be able to show you the wedding dress and lots of other cool things!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ranting and Rambling

We are well beyond the bounds of the "Friday-ish" sweater and still no post! Until yesterday, it needed three more buttons and some ends re-woven in. I had an argument with a button and its placement in the promised week, which ended in undoing the bind-off of one button band and binding off a tad looser. Turns out, it wasn't the poor button's fault, but a problem I've always had with yarn-overs paired with directional decreases.

They are smaller paired with one than the other, which means the lace detail across the top of the cardigan doesn't match up when I button it because it's lower on one side than the other. Aggressive blocking might do the trick, but it takes a hell of a pull to get them to line up, so I'm skeptical. The worst part is, it will never matter because I don't intend to wear it buttoned, but I still care SO MUCH! In any case, it is officially done and ready for pictures.

In other news, I have in my possession quantities of yarn for two coveted summer tops (i.e., sleeveless, a nice break after the Winter of Sleeves) and it is KILLING me that I can't cast anything new on until I have finished a significant number of works-in-progress. It's supposed to be motivating me, but it might be having the opposite effect. I haven't knit much in the last couple of weeks. Only 2.5 sleeves left.

I broke down and swatched the minty stuff last night. I'm going to start that top tomorrow, in-progress sleeves be damned.

I basically wrote this post to rant about all the stuff I'm not doing. I feel better about it. Your turn! Rant here or forever hold your peace! You can rant on your blog and I'll happily go read it there too. :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Flannel Dress

Lots of people have been asking me how the dress turned out, so it's really time I share, eh? Well, see for yourself!

My verdict: not too shabby. A couple of minor details like:

Meh. Minor things. I fixed the hole (it was a sewing missed that bit...nothing sinister). If I can retrain John to use dryer sheets, problem #2 will also be a non-issue. The reigning opinion is: cute, it's like a pajama dress! Not exactly what I was going for, but it is super comfortable and made from flannel, so I can't fault them that opinion. I find a belt helps dispel the pajama opinion a bit. This is a photo-heavy post, so my apologies, but I'm pretty proud!

It's my first sewn garment, so there was a lot of learning to do on a tight curve, especially given the pattern format (Japanese patterns are super minimal), but I don't remember thinking anything was particularly hard. Buttonholes gave me the most trouble, but I have an amazing friend who helped me with that. Thanks, Codi!

This is pattern V from Stylish Dress Book: Wear With Freedom. I plan to make quite a few more dresses from the book, just not with flannel or until I can take a proper class on sewing garments. :S That said, I have sewn a skirt in the last couple of weeks and my grandma and I as a team figured that sucker out with very few problems. The biggest problem is that my grandma doesn't like it, lol. I'll get some proper pictures of it and you guys can tell me what you think. I'm on the fence. Crushed tulle might not have been as great a choice as regular tulle....

There is another sweater for Friday! The blog is back! Woohoo! I'll try to actually get it up on Friday, but I make no promises. It will go up Friday-ish.

Are you sewing anything? Does it look totally professional and amazing? I know you can do it, though I certainly can't. ;)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

I love Easter! Not just because bunnies, but because you can celebrate religiously or not! It can be about Jesus or chocolate and Peeps. How ever you choose to celebrate (if you do), I hope you have a gorgeous day.

Love Is...

Pattern: Meridien by Joji Locatelli
Yarn: Sundara Yarn Petite Sock Yarn in Cool-Mint
Needles: US 2.5 and 3
Project Page

This sweater, like all the sweaters you will see in the coming weeks, was a bit long in the making. I started it about 11 months ago. It worked up quickly enough, I simply got hung up on a few things (you'll see that sleeves are a theme). The first was that I couldn't get the armholes and back neck to fit me comfortably, so had to keep taking the thing apart to add short-rows. Once I got it mostly figured out, I then started the sleeves, found they were way too big when they were almost done, and put it in time-out for a little bit.

In any case, it's done and it's really lovely, isn't it? I adore Sundara Yarn. I loved this color when it was a monthly color two years ago, I think, but I didn't get it for some reason. I lucked out and it reappeared at the end of the year in just enough quantity to eek out this sweater! I have a skein in aran too, destined to be a Rosebud.

Besides the short-rows I added at the back, I don't think I changed much. The sleeves and the peplum are a bit shorter than called for because I was a little worried about the yarn situation. I shouldn't have shortened the sleeves. Twenty inches seemed too long, but after wearing it, the current length is more like 3/4 sleeves. I don't mind it, but they aren't full sleeves. I used German short-rows on the sleeve caps. I gauged, via Instagram, interest in a video on how to do that. It will happen! The next short-row sleeve cap pattern I have uses a different (better even, perhaps) method, so I'll demonstrate both.

The details are so gorgeous. Joji outdid herself! I can't believe how pretty it is. It has to be the prettiest sweater I own! Will any other sweater ever measure up? Well, I guess I'll just have to keep knitting to find out. :)

I named it for the lyrics in this lovely song by the one and only Kenny Loggins. I'm curious how many of you my age grew up on his lullaby album too.

The buns, John, and I wish you a very, very happy Easter!

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Hi! I swear I don't mean to lapse into weeks of silence. In fact, I wanted to post last week just to warn you (for once) that I wasn't going to get a chance to post last week week, but...well...I didn't get a chance to post! The last two weeks have been CRAZY. Fortunately, things are starting to slow down a little bit and sweaters are being finished, spring is in the air!

Last week, I said, "NO!" to all my obligations, and started on something for myself. I'd been knitting (am still knitting), but that's always for myself and all the sleeves were really starting to kill me, so I did something that wasn't knitting sleeves for a few nights. It's only mildly interesting, at best, I'll bet, but I'm going to show you because I need to write some blog posts!

I bought some alpaca and some special wool to make wigs for my dolls. Dolls plural. I haven't talked about them for a while, so last you knew I had one. I'm up to four! D: They need outfits, wigs, and/or painting, which is why I haven't shown them yet (and the lack of posting anything...). Soon. When I get a life again. Anyway, I bought unprocessed suri alpaca and wool and spent a few minutes here and there the last week washing and brushing the alpaca. The alpaca will by my first wig attempt. I'll work out the kinks and prepare myself for the wool, which is the perfect color for the one girl who really needs a wig. Suri alpaca wigs look much more realistic and natural than other wigs. Since I can't find a wig quite the right color for this girl, I decided to make one. I hope the wool I bought will be as nice as the alpaca is turning out.

Suri alpaca is so incredibly soft! I always thought my own hair was pretty soft, not compared to this. Maybe I'll make myself an alpaca wig too. ;)

I'll keep you updated, but get back to my knitting focus, first. I have at least three sweaters in the final stages of finishing. I took pictures of one today, so there will be an FO Friday post! I'm writing it and scheduling it now, promise. I super promise not to let any of these sweaters fall into the pit that is my cobwebby blog. :)

It was incredibly hot today, but I didn't mind because it's been so cold since the beginning of time! I wish things would come alive, though. What does spring look like where you are? I hope you have spring! I like to know about fall too, you southern hemispherers!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Knitting Again!

Hey all y'all! I've missed you! Yesterday I checked off a major box on my to-do-list, which is a load off everyone's mind. That means we can breathe for a second and I can update the blog. :) Then it's back to the grindstone. :P

I've been knitting, but it's all been so slow-moving, there hasn't been much to share! I think I do still have a pile of FOs to show you from way back in December and maybe beyond, but I promise they will appear soon!

I've been finishing lots of WIPs from years past. It feels amazing to finish the things, but working on them has been nothing short of torture. This is mostly because I'm also trying to be monogamous(ish) with the projects and they are almost all stockinette sleeves. Ugh!

This week marked the end of endless fingering weight stockinette sleeves and the beginning of some worsted lace ones. The difference is magical! I can't believe how fast this sleeve is working up! If you have an amazing memory, you might recall that I frogged these sleeves about a year and a half ago in the interest of a well-fitting sweater. That sweater should be realized as soon as this weekend (you know, 6 years too late...)!

Friday, I'll reveal either a newly finished minty sweater or a finished-a-couple-weeks-ago flannel dress. Or both! The sun has decided that staying up later than 5:30 is the cool thing to do, which I really appreciate. :)

What are you guys working on? Are you snowed/iced in? I've enjoyed many knitters' Instagram photos of snowed-in knits. I'm hoping for a snow day tomorrow myself, but it will take more than 6-9 inches to get the university to throw in the towel.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

My Go-To Sweater

I've been so busy trying to keep all of my resolutions this year that I haven't had time for any of the blog resolutions! It has me fuming, really. I'm working my butt off and I'm still behind on everything. :P I owe you some knitting FOs, my sewn dress(!), a video tutorial of German short-rows on short-row sleeve caps (we have to wait until the next short-row-sleeved sweater, but it won't be long! And the sun will exist by then!), and more teasers about the up-coming not-so-hard-to-figure-out special event in May.

So in the interest of curing my angst and not disappearing completely off your blog feed, I'm posting a midnight post with pictures you've probably seen before. They are weird ones too. Sorry about that. :S

This is prompted by a blog post from Karen Templer of Fringe Association. She wanted to know earlier this week what knit her readers couldn't live without. It was a particularly timely post because that very same day I was wearing a sweater I never thought I'd wear much. I didn't particularly like knitting it because the wool was super unpleasant and the sweater pattern isn't especially drool-worthy, just functional and clean. I'm a bit of a knitting show-off sometimes, if you haven't noticed. I need some pizzazz!

Yet I wear it all the time. I often stand in my closet and think, "I want to wear a hand-knitted sweater. Which one?" And it wins probably 80% of the time. It isn't fussy. Some sweaters I'm always tugging or fluffing the collar or adjusting the sleeves but this one just...fits.

As terrible as the wool was to knit with, it's absolutely comfortable to wear even without an under layer (it's too hot for a layer). It is scratchy, but not uncomfortably so. I am not particularly sensitive to scratchy wool, though. Except when knitting with it, I guess.

Here's the original post with the Ravelry project page linked if you want yarn and pattern info, though the pattern is heavily modified, if memory serves.

What is your go-to sweater? Did you know it would be your wardrobe staple or did it just happen to grow on you?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Schedules Bringin' Me Down

School started yesterday. Trying to figure out a new schedule to accommodate all my resolutions for the year has been a bit stressful, but I'm on the right track. I think I just need to hit the point where I have a million fewer things to do and then it'll be smooth sailing! My goal for that day is Friday. Wish me luck....

Last week I was away and too busy with my family to remember to post anything. I can totally show you what I was working on, though. My grandma was helping me sew! I'm starting with the most complicated pattern ever, but between the two of us, we figured out most of it and got my pieces all cut out. I just need to tend to some knitting before I dive in. I'm hoping this weekend will be a sewing weekend.

I've enjoyed the process so far. It's like a puzzle that I only theoretically know how to put together. It's very philosophical, the more I think about it. And describes most everything I know. I can tell you how to do things, but that doesn't mean I've ever done it before. Like entrelac or those Beekeeper hexipuffs: I've never done it, but someone explained it to me once, so I get it. I could do it. I think. Right?

Weirdly, it's figuring out how to transfer important marks from the pattern pieces that's holding me up. Fabric pen? Pins? just sew through the pattern pieces? That and deciding whether I trust my machine to baste. Those are dumb things to hold me back, but I get hung up on the small stuff all the time. In any case, I hope to have an update or an upset to share with you next week.

What do you think: knowing how to do something and having done that thing...the same thing? Should we maybe all try those things we think we know how to do just to make sure?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy New Year!

I know it was a week ago, but still..I'm hoping it's a great year for you. :)

This is where I would normally do a year-in-review type of post, but last year wasn't really my proudest as a knitter. Something weird happened last summer and, despite my May KAL, I doubled my WIPs and the number hasn't diminished much even now. This year it'll all change. I turned 29 yesterday and I'm looking to shape up in many ways this year, get myself in order before I turn 30. There are lots of things I need to check off the list this year, so here are my resolutions (knitting first, then personal):

Finish the WIPs!
Become a monogamous knitter again (a little cheating might be allowed)
Continue stashing-down
Get rid of the knits I never use

Get into a religious blogging habit
Extend the blog to either a podcast or YouTube account
More knits and more bunnies on Instagram (tie it to the blog better)
Work before play (a.k.a. take care of business, as John says: T.C.o.B.)
Get in shape (run/work-out)

This is going to be a big year. I know it in some sense, but feel it in other ways. I want to step up my game to reflect the bigness I feel. I hope I can rise to the occasion. :/

I've been off to an awesome start this year as far as the knits go. I've completed four projects (all monogamously knit) since the first and I should have a two-year-old (and two-year-old's) blanket finished by Monday. The momentum I've built just in those small victories really has me amped up to finish things and finish them quickly. I do want to start some new things, after all. :)

Only a skein and a half left now!
Monogamous knitting will help me manage all the other hobbies I've picked up and juggled poorly in the last few years: blogging, the dolls, sewing, photography, and (most importantly) school. I'll need the extra time to organize a big surprise John and I spontaneously decided to schedule in May. :)

I can't wait to continue sharing the making with you all this year and to share the rest of my big year with you all! Thank you all so much for your continued support over the last and previous years. It really means the world to me. I hope any enhancements I plan make for the blog will make Bunnies and Bettas a really great place to visit moving forward!

Here's to the new year!