Monday, January 6, 2014

How to tailor a hoodie

Hey, a post that's finally informational and useful and also not a recipe!

I live in hoodies. I regularly wear four and I want more. One of these hoodies is almost perfect, except for one fatal flaw--it doesn't fit quite right.

Lots of people like their clothes to be roomy because they find them to be comfortable, but I don't like to swim in my clothes. This is a problem when you're a size 1 because 90 percent of hoodies will be a little on the big side.

The thing about this hoodie is that it was made to be baggy. Really?

So I'm going to liposuction it.

I haven't used this bad boy in so long, I forgot where the on switch was.

Aforementioned hoodie. Who in their right mind would make a hoodie that FLARES OUT at the ends!? 

Put your hoodie on inside out. Figure out how much you need to take in by pinching the fabric on either side. Making sure the zipper stays in the middle and the side seam is in line with your side, pin to your shape.

If you want to make sure that you did a decent job (especially if you're a novice like me) you can find a hoodie that fits well and compare the pinning you've done to the shape of the other hoodie.

Sew a line that connects all your pins.

Before you cut any fabric at all, check your work. I left just a little bit of give on the sides so it wouldn't be skin-tight.

Cut the excess fabric leaving about a finger's width from the stitch. Normally you would press this seam flat but because I don't have an iron, I'm going to guide the seam under the foot making sure it's super flat.

But before I actually sewed that seam, I tested some of my zigzag stitches on my machine using the excess fabric to see which one I thought would work best.

So many choices. So many options that I will never use. Ever.

My sewing isn't the neatest, but it's functional. Here's the finished stitching on the outside.

And now all your hoodies can fit you. This is especially useful if you're like me and you'll buy a $5 clearance hoodie even if it's a little too big for you.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Stitch 'N Bitch: A Knitter's Design Journal, or a book that will ruin my haphazard knitting habits.

My not-mom bought me this:

Because she knows me too well.

She sees me at her Stitch 'N Bitch meetings with little scraps of paper that have my patterns on them.

She's seen me unravel a sweater for the 1396920th time because I'm too lazy to check my gauge.

I have a lot of commissions to do right now and because I respect the work of others by abiding their "don't make these to sell" rule which is attached to some patterns, this book is gonna come in handy.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Coconut squash soup and Captain Clumsypants

Some days I'm more clumsy than others. Today is a more than day.

I wanted soup.

This website has some fantastic recipes and I went with the coconut squash soup.

And of course my kitchen looks like this. Our dishwasher is broken.

I chopped up about a third of a sweet potato and a half of a squash which resulted in two pretty deep finger cuts because I'm dumb and slice things wrong. Said vegetables were cooked in the oven for 25 minutes along with garlic.

At least Ninja Turtles Band-Aids were on sale at CVS.
I heated the coconut milk and chicken stock (or bullion and water) together and added leek instead of onion and went to move my tablet to a safer location than the kitchen and this is when disaster fell.

While walking through the kitchen I tripped over Bagheera--yeah, I tripped over my cat--and dropped my tablet on my ceramic tile floor.

The screen is shattered.

I pureed the vegetables with the coconut mixture but removed the leeks before doing so and it turned out fine, but I'm making dumplings for it. Dumplings are just a sticky dough from flour, salt, and water. Pinch some bits off, boil them in water, and add them to your soup. Egg noodles would suffice too.

I'm so mad.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Hulk screaming at spinning wheels.

Remember how my spinning turned out so nicely last night?


I spun another thing of yarn, and all was well except for the unevenness that goes with all of my attempts to spin thick yarn.

 But then parts of my wheel kept falling apart and my strands of yarn kept breaking. So I adjusted everything I could on my wheel and it still happened so I gave up and started screaming all the profanities my momma taught me at it. Until I realized if I put Lazy Kate further away, all the problems stopped. Whoops.

I've ended up with probably enough yarn for an infinity scarf.

Spinny yarn!

And instead of sleeping because I have work, I'm spinning more yarn.

I know I just finished my mom's alpaca, but I've been dying to spin the roving I bought. In order to start that, I have to finish the Corriedale I have left over from my sweater (that still needs bigger buttons sewn on, whoops). Which is fine, because it's super easy to spin and I can do all kinds of fun things with it.

What I'm doing now is spinning a super thin strand and then a super thick strand and plying them together to form an uneven yarn that would look fantastic as a scarf. Which I might list on my Etsy shop.

Wow, my tablet takes better photos than my camera...
 Look at the color gradient I've got going on! This is also the most even thing of yarn I've ever spun. I really wanna keep going but I work at seven in the morning tomorrow. Goodnight!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I have an obscene amount of alpaca fiber up my nose right now.

I've been working on my mom's Christmas present since September.

It's the 17th, and we're celebrating Christmas on the 19th. Of course, I can't publish this tonight because my mother reads my blog. Hi, Mom.

I have about a fourth left to go.

I probably would have been done a month ago if it weren't for my job and class, but I'm working on getting a desk job where I can do my homework while earning money and thus have more time for yarn stuff. I'm planning on getting my Etsy shop active if this happens.

Anyway, I'm spinning an entire Alpaca fleece for my mother. That's two and some odd pounds of hair that I am hand washing, hand carding, and hand spinning.

Washing the fiber consists of stuffing fiber in a lingerie bag, stuffing that into a five gallon bucket and throwing warm soapy water on top of it and then air drying it on your unused dining room table because you don't have guests at your house, like ever.

Carding the fiber is my least favorite part of this endeavor. I usually catch myself with the pokey brushes and end up with tiny pinpricks all over my hands and sometimes my legs.

Raw fiber, plus Luna.

Yeah, you're unbearably cute. Now get outta there, cat.
Carding lines the fibers up so they can spin continuously. You want something that looks kind of like what comes out of the brush after you brush your cat or dog.

And then roll it up so you can hold it as you're spinning. This is called a rolag. Who knows why.

At this point the yarn is halfway made. The wheel spins the fibers together as I thin them out.

I'll finish another one of these, and then spin them together to make yarn.

Two strands of spun alpaca plyed into yarn. That thing at the bottom where the string is coming from is a Lazy Kate. I'm not really sure who Lazy Kate is, but she's the best.

Finished yarn wrapped around two chairs so I can wash it to set it and then wind it into a hank once it's dry. This is currently hanging from my shower right now.

This is the last of the alpaca I have to spin. It's 12:34 on Wednesday morning. I have roughly 35 and a half hours to get it done. I'll probably need 10. I have a few hours before I work tomorrow which I can use to get a couple skeins done. And then I get off after midnight, and so I will most likely be spinning until it's finished. Probably until 4 in the morning. At least my coffee stock is high.

I was right, I finished spinning at 4 this morning and they were dry when I woke up. 11 skeins of gray alpaca.

And she'll be opening it in two and a half hours!

Gonna try to get footage of my mother opening the package. 

Which I managed to do. But the video won't upload. So this'll be it for now, until I can figure out what the nuts is wrong with my devices.

Chocolate almond saltwater taffy, or a horrible sticky mess.

Remember how I Googled saltwater taffy to see if I could make it?
Well it's 1:51 PM right now.
I have to be home at 5.
I also have to drive 45 minutes to get there.
That leaves me with about two hours to get this done. I think I can manage. Recipe here but I adapted it to include almond extract, because believe me, it'll be better this way. Also I'm not gonna cook it for as long as suggested because I know it'll be better if it's softer.

Run to the grocery store because you're out of vinegar. Pick up some Kool-Aid while you're out, because you know you're gonna want it on your days off to play with your new fiber.

Get home and yank out your ingredients and then wait for this thing to show up, because it will. Always.

And then the other one shows up.

Not feeding you either.
Horrified, realize that you are out of wooden spoons. The last one not in the dishwasher was used to cook garlic pesto.

Scrub the living shit out of it.

It still smells like garlic.

Dump some vinegar on it.

It's a little better.

Dump your sugar, cocoa powder, and salt into that trusty pot that you've been using for the last few recipes.

Pour in about a cup of light corn syrup. Don't measure it. Then you'd have to clean corn syrup out of a measuring cup. The worst.

Don't really measure the water either because it says "1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon." Measure the 1/4 cup, then add about half of that. Should be fine.

...I drove all the way out for ONE TEASPOON of vinegar. Add the damn teaspoon.

Turn on your Fellowship of the Rings audiobook because goddammit, you wanna hear more about Lothlorien. <---spelled that without having to Google it.

Chocolate sludge reminiscent of homemade hot cocoa.

Add a candy thermometer and watch it until it reaches 250 degrees.

Take it off the heat and add your butter and almond extract and then transfer it to a greased pan.

Wait until it cools, and then get a pat of butter ready, because you're gonna need it. Clean your utensils and the entire stupid countertop because somehow your crap ended up everywhere.

Find that it's still hot. Stick it in the fridge because you're impatient.

Realize that you're starving because you haven't eaten yet. Eat everything.

Also tie back your super long hair and put on an apron because you're not stupid.

I didn't photograph the stretching process because there would be taffy goo all over my camera, but the taffy needs to be pulled until it lightens in color but not too much because then it'll turn into a fudge like substance. I made that mistake. The one closest to me is the way they should all look.

My mom should have some wax paper, and because I don't, I've rolled the taffy into a taffy scroll to take there so I can finish packaging it.

She didn't have wax paper. Oops.