Vanessa Cable Cardi

I completed this sweater in December using the Vanessa Cable Cardigan pattern from MillaMia Sweden.

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I’m a tad disappointed because I had dreams I would look like this woman…

Milla Mia Vanessa Cable Cardi

…complete with cool neon yellow trim. But I would’ve had to buy neon yellow yarn and knit with it, as opposed to choosing burgundy yarn. I guess I didn’t really think that part of it through. πŸ˜‰

It was a pretty long project as the front panels were comprised of endless amounts of cabling. On one of the panels are a few rows of tight, kinda messed up knitting, which will be my everlasting reminder of that time I was knitting while watching the Season 5 premiere of the Walking Dead.

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I’m also a bit bummed because I thought the neck might be more like a funnel neck, but the collar just lies flat. Note to self! — don’t be fooled by models holding up collars in the pattern photo! I have been fooled by this more than once (see my asymmetrical moto jacket).

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It’s a lovely warm sweater, and the cabled fronts are extra warm as the texture makes the fabric thicker and seems to trap body heat.Β  I used one of my favourite yarns: Sandnes Garn Mini Alpakka for the taupe sections (colour #2650). It is soft and a bit fuzzy and lightweight yet warm. I love it. The burgundy contrast is Garnstudio Drops Alpaca in colour #3969. This is a very similar yarn but not nearly as soft and fuzzy.

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This is the third pattern by MillaMia Sweden I have knit (see my Annika cardigan and Erika cardigan), probably because I can’t seem to get enough of their use of colourblocking and contrast trim on their designs.

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This might be next on my MillaMia hit list (but how many cabled cardigans does one compulsive knitter need?). It’s a free download…click the image to get it.

MillaMia Livia Adult Cardigan

MillaMia Livia Adult Cardigan – free download

Or perhaps this:

MillaMia Bella Jacket

MillaMia Bella Jacket

Goin’ out in my birthday suit, courtesy of Vogue 8998

V8998 dress

Last month I had a birthday (um, 29th, of course) so I decided to ‘treat’ myself to a new me-made dress. I put ‘treat’ in quotation marks because somehow I never seem to remember that sewing takes longer than I think it should, and that having a hard deadline — a birthday party starting at 8:30 on the Saturday night on which I was trying to finish the dress — is really NOT such a good idea for avoiding stress and remaining gracefully serene…y’know, like I usually am. πŸ˜›

V8998 dress

Nonetheless, my alter-ego Sewzilla got this done with minutes to spare, and her tension was soothed with a hard shot of liquor gingerly handed to her by her awesome husband when the hem was finally done. Knock it back, and ready for the party!

I made View A of Vogue 8998, a pattern I was drawn to because of the amazing colour of the dress on the cover. That yellowy-green has got to be my favourite colour of all time. What do you call that, anyway? Chartreuse? Limeade? I’ve had several unfortunate incidents with wall paint in that shade — I’m a deliberately slow learner when it comes to wall paint and that colour — particularly that time I painted the bathroom. It’s hard enough to face the mirror each morning without also having a bonus sickly yellow-green cast on my face. Much better used in clothing!

V8998

V8998

I made the dress with a fantastic embossed scuba-like fabric I found at Fabricland. Sorry about the grainy pics — it was too damn cold to go outside for better light.

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I made a couple of modifications to the pattern: I omitted the zipper since this fabric has great 4-way stretch, and I took away some of the fullness of the skirt by folding a triangular ‘slice’ out of each of the skirt panels, like this:

I folded out a triangular slice of each skirt panel piece to reduce the overall fullness of the skirt. I folded from where the panel starts to flare down to the hem.

I folded out a triangular slice of each skirt panel piece to reduce the overall fullness of the skirt. I folded just from where the panel starts to flare down to the hem, so as not to screw up how the skirt fits to the high waistband.

V8998 dress

When I cut the pattern pieces I modified the back bodice to be higher (I was worried I wouldn’t like the low-cut back), but once I put it together I cut the back lower as the pattern calls for and I loooooove the look of it.

v8998 dress

My only tiny regret is that I forgot to centre the fabric pattern on the front bodice piece when I was cutting. It’s no big deal, but it would have been a nice touch to have the pattern sitting symmetrically on the front. I made no attempt to line up the pattern otherwise or even ensure it was running in the same direction on the skirt panels. I don’t think it matters with this pattern.

V8998 dress

I used just about 1.75 yards of fabric for the dress, which means I have enough left over to try to rip off this cute design by Ted Baker, and save myself about $170. We’ll see…

Ted Baker Jacquard Top

The dress survived a fun evening at a rock n roll bar with friends mostly intact (the dress, not the friends, although they’re mostly intact, too). I had this ‘great idea’ to take an ‘After’ shot, and use the hundreds of empty liquor bottles we had in the house — we were doing a bottle drive for charity, really! — for a shot of me in the dress lying amongst the scattered bottles passed out. But, I’m afraid you’ll have to use your imagination on that one, as my fear of such a picture making the rounds in my professional circle won out over my desire for an awesome laugh. Maybe I should’ve had a few more drinks. πŸ˜‰

2015 Prediction Comes True: 3D Printed Jewelry Was, In Fact, In My Immediate Future

In my 2014 round-up post I predicted that 3D printed jewelry was in my immediate future, and I was right!

Ok, it’s true that as the person actually planning to make the 3D printed jewelry, I did have some insider information…so don’t go recommending me to friends seeking a future-predicting oracle. Unless, of course, they’re gullible and have lots of money.

As part of a fundraising initiative, I was involved in the design and manufacture of these cool little 3D printed pendants.

3D printed TNT molecule pendant

3D printed TNT molecule pendant

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3D Printed Dopamine Molecule Pendant

I’m taking a group of my students on a volunteering trip in a couple of weeks to Honduras, the second-poorest country in the western hemisphere. We will be volunteering with El Hogar, a home and schools for orphaned and underprivileged children who might otherwise be living on the street or involved in gangs. In order to raise funds to donate to El Hogar, we planned a couple of fundraisers including selling these necklaces at school. Dopamine is the chemical that activates the pleasure centre of the brain, and TNT is, well, dynamite. We also made them in glow-in-the-dark blue!

3D printed glow-in-the-dark dopamine molecule!

3D printed glow-in-the-dark dopamine molecule!

In addition to pendants, we made wooden keychains using our laser cutter. Being a media school, I thought depicting the sound waveform of various phrases would be a hit, and it was. We had keychains with the name of our department, as well as some that said “I Love You” and, in honour of our Spanish-speaking destination, some that said “Te Quiero”.

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Our group managed to raise about $900 for El Hogar over the course of four days of selling these in the lobby of our building at school. Overall, we’re getting very close to our goal of $2,500.

If you’d like to know more about our trip and our projects, check out rtahumanitarianmedia.wordpress.com.

My next prediction: lots of marking papers as well as dithering about what to eat for dinner then finally ordering pizza is in my immediate future. I’ll let you know if that comes true. πŸ˜‰