Monthly Archives: June 2015

Bonita Apple Protector

For a hot minute I was constantly whipping up these little netted bags for apples. The cotton helps shield the apple from getting bruised along the way to work or school. Plus, it’s cute. My personal favourite is red cotton netting with a green I-cord. If you embroidered an eye it would look like a worm (fun for kids?).

appleguard

I used Bernat Cotton Natural, but any worsted weight cotton will work. A softer yarn helps protect the apple from bruising if it gets bumped around in your lunch sack, but a washable yarn is recommended. The Bonita Apple Protector only requires a partial skein [exact yardage yet to be measured]. Great for left over yarn scraps.

  • 6mm/ US sz 10 double pointed needles (4)
  • 4mm/ US sz 6 double pointed needles (2)
  • Yarn needle (optional)

Guage is not so important, as the draw-tie closure helps make the protector fit any apple.

Abbreviations:

CO = Cast On

K = Knit

K2tog = Knit 2 stitches together

YO = Yarn Over

St/sts = Stitch/stitches

Pattern:

Using 6mm/Sz 10 needles, cast on 24 sts using long tail method, and divide evenly on 3 double pointed needles. Join to work in the round, careful to not twist sts

Row 1: k all sts

Row 2: *k2tog, yo* repeat (careful to not let any YOs at the end of a needle slip off)

Row 3: k all sts

Repeat rows 2 and 3 eight times, or for 16 rows.

Row 20: repeat row 2

Row 21: k2tog (12 sts total on needles)

Row 22: repeat row 2

Row 23: k2tog (6 sts total on needles)

Row 24: k all sts

Row 25: break yarn and draw yarn through the knitted loops, draw together, and secure. I like to use a yarn needle to weave in the ends, and secure the bottom by weaving the yarn through the loops a second time. You can also use the needle to weave the yarn through the loops while they are on the needles as well.

I-cord tie:

On double pointed 4mm/ Sz 6 needles, CO 3 sts:

K 1 row

Do not turn the work. Move the sts to the other end of your needle, and pull yarn across the back to the right side of the work to begin a new row

K the next row

Repeat, and continue on until you have an i-cord of your desired length. I knit my ties to approximately 14”/35cm to create a bow. Ends can be knotted, and you can use the yarn needle to weave ends inside the tie.

appleguard2

If you knit one of these I would LOVE to see it!  #Bonitaapple, or @gypsyfusionknits on Instagram.

You can find the pattern on Ravelry under Bonita Apple Protector 

PDF: BonitaAppleProtector

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Unicorn mane yarn and how I wish all children dressed completely vintage

I’m working on a baby gift at the moment. I went shopping for the yarn last week ’cause the 200 balls of yarn I had already just weren’t right. I knew I wanted a fibre that was washable, as anything else for babies is impractical. I opted for a super wash merino in grey for a cardigan, and a soft cotton for another Entrechat (I told you I liked that pattern!).

The cotton is so soft to the touch I find myself disbelieving my fingers. Perhaps it’s really a blend of Easter Bunny dreams and fairy peach fuzz?  It’s so lovely. The Entrechat, although incredibly fun baby knitting, may require a fibre a tad lighter than the cotton I chose. The Cotton Supreme yarn may be a bit dense for this knit. If someone smarter than I could come up with the same pattern for a finer yarn I would be all over that.

  
  

The other cardigan pattern I selected is bottom-up construction, which is new for me. I have only knitted top-down raglans until now. The yarn is not scratchy at all, but it definitely is not the spun angel clouds I was working with previously. I also gapped out and bought a yarn for 5 mm needles, when the pattern calls for 4.5 mm… so the sizing will be off as I also didn’t swatch (for shame!). The cardigan is more outerwear anyway, so it should all work out. *Fingers crossed*. I selected the Thea Cardigan because it looked quite modern and rustic at the same time. I’m just knitting the sleeves now and will have to let you know how it all comes together. Part of me thinks this type of construction might be best suited for creating Frankenstein than a baby sweater. You know, all that stitching together.  Sorry, I am obsessed with Penny Dreadful lately and the gothic horror metaphors are slipping into this post about innocent baby knits made of cruelty free care bear fur (surely they shear in summer?).

    

I love knitting cardigans for babies. Part of me wishes all children still dressed like it was pre-1950, and wore hand made everything, perhaps with patches even. I am also planning a handmade stuffed owl toy for this gift. I saw the stuffed toy at Baaad Anna’s when I picked up the yarn, and went looking for the pattern on ravelry. I will try to make a smaller version of Purl Soho’s Big Snowy Owl in some leftover baby yarn I have in my stash.

So, in closing I do admit to slightly exaggerating the softness of the cotton, but I couldn’t help myself.

My Fashion Rules

When you write a blog, you read blogs, and I’ve read more than my fair share of fashion blogs. Since I’m described as plus size I marvel at the options thinner women have. How do they decide amongst all that choice? No wonder there are so many instructional posts and inspiration boards. As it is I just pick out what fits at the store that offers my size, so I don’t get to really make these choices. Even with a smaller pool to cast my net, I do have some fashion rules for myself and I thought I might share them with you.

1. Don’t buy white. White T-shirts always conjure barbeques where I am compelled beyond my control to have extra mustard. I’m just going to stop that game before it starts.

2. Don’t buy boots that have open toes, and sweaters with short sleeves.  There is simply no weather combination that makes those choices valid.

3. Don’t look at mass production retail for style inspiration. That stuff isn’t in style any longer than it lasts. I think fad items self destruct the instant a new fad comes onto the market, much like Kleenexes are replaced in the box. One crocheted top falls apart in your dryer as mom jeans simultaneously hit the racks at H&M (Not that I can shop there, but I wanted to keep the metaphor relatable).

4. Big boobs mean nothing with a low neckline. I spend 80% of the time out of my house at work (10% transit, 10% yard maintenance) and I forget that boobs are placed under my face and not professional looking, even when framed in a V. I think you need more serious boobs for work; ones that don’t wiggle when someone tells a joke.

5. Pay whatever it costs to have a pair of jeans that  a) does not slide down all day b) does not gap out so far at the back that it appears I am trying to funnel rain water down my ass crack c) does not choke my ankles d) has more resilience than crepe paper between the thighs  e) has a zipper that stays the eff up already, and f) actually looks good.

6. Colour is for people with joy in their hearts. Stay with what you know and keep it in the grey to black range.

7. If it’s made of plastic, it’s never worth more than pocket change. Coincidentally I just learned that it is the plastic content in tampons that puts you at risk of TSS. All cotton tampons don’t do that to you. Plastics just don’t care about you like natural fibres do. Wear more hand knitted stuff your friends give you…  he he he

On that note, I shall get back to my knitting…

fashion knits

I think those may be cotton tampon earrings on the far right. A smart choice.

Get yer Mom to build a rock wall, and then dress like Charlize is your BFF

My mom came over early Saturday morning. She is probably the best person to call if you ever have a project you need to get done ASAP. If moms had a tagline, my mom’s would be something like, “Why wait to do work you can do right now?”  I like to casually mention any big project plans to Mom in advance that may require some mastery and stamina. Things like sewing curtains, making atriums, repairing furniture, painting, and gardening – she did all the cool stuff in the seventies before the hipsters knew about it.  I have yet to present an idea to my mom she hasn’t tried before. This weekend after a trip to the plant store (I wanted all the things!!) she suggested we build a small rock wall to help reinforce the flower garden along the side of the house. It was a job I knew would eventually have to be done, but perhaps another day?  When the dust settled we had a small rock wall to reinforce the soil along the side of the house, and all my plants were in the ground. I love my new flower garden, and most of the great things about it were my mom’s suggestion.  I am so excited for everything to start growing.

Besides gardening, my other obsession the last two weeks was Mad Max. I loved Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa! The movie was something I might not have anticipated loving so much, but the action was so intense that my heart ran fast for the entire movie, and the fact that the kick-ass hero was a woman really won me over.  If Charlize was kick-ass, her stunt double blows my mind.  Check out this article about Dayna Grant, who did all the dangerous stuff, plus met her husband during filming.  Inspired by so much awesomeness, I thought that in the same spirit as my earlier posts matching InStyle editorials with Ravelry patterns I would list some knitting designs that may have fit into the movie. I have always felt knitting was a post apocalyptic life skill so this seems right on a few levels.

I have followed Morphe Knitwear on instagram for some time and these designs were the first thing I thought of when contemplating designers. The Nix Vest pattern is available on Ravelry, or through the Morphe Knitwear site. Check out the lookbook style collection photos on the site too, like: Ash, Blood, and Bone. Really gorgeous designs, with more cool factor than I could ever hope to pull off, but I really like the whole aesthetic. The garments are made with holes, and I think probably the best fit for a Mad Max clothing item that wasn’t leather. Admittedly, nothing posted here will save you from road burn. You’ll have to stay off the war rigs in these.

NixVest

Nix Vest from Morphe Knitwear

I actually found a whole book of knitting patterns called “Doomsday Knits: Projects for the Apocalypse and After” edited by Alex Tinsley. I especially like the Oh Bondage! cowl, and the Rattlebone gloves, but the book is so well executed! The cover image gives you an idea about how committed the book is, but all the patterns are very wearable. I think these designs could easily fit into other dystopian movie costume sets as well. I can see the Hunger Games and Divergent in the styling. Perhaps it would be more Mad Max-esque if you sprinkled lots of dust on them, but this is the best collection of dystopian future knits I could find.

AlexTinsley Oh Bondage

Oh Bondage! © Vivian Aubrey

Rattlebone

Rattlebone © Vivian Aubrey

oxygenate

Oxygenate © Vivian Aubrey

Alex Tinsley has more of her designs on her website dull roar. This Sharona Redux scarf got me thinking about actual Mad Max fibre recommendations. “Glazed Pecan” by Madeline Tosh might be the perfect Mad Max colourway. Perhaps mixing in some “Graphite” for balance?

Other links: