Thursday, May 31, 2007

airy scarf

i finally finished a knitting project! it's been...way too long. like, the beginning of april i think. yikes! but i haven't finished rusted root, the project that really should be done by now (i'm almost there...i just got a little tired of all that stockinette in the round). instead, after my trip to portland where i picked up last-minute knitted gifts, i sort of decided one afternoon that i'd take a quick detour and make the airy scarf from the book. it's quick, it's short, it's light - perfect for this time of year, when the weather is warm, and my knitting attention span is even shorter than it normally is.

i used some habu textiles silk/mohair that my friend aruni sent me back in february. i have loads left of the cone she sent me, so i may have to make a few more of these as gifts at some point. the habu is a little finer than the kidsilk haze called for in the pattern, so my scarf is slightly narrower and shorter, but it's still the perfect lenght for tying around your neck for a little decoration without a lot of warmth.

i knit this up on size 10.5 needles, and at first the little yarn/big needle combo was so fiddly, i never thought i'd be able to finish! but i persevered, even when the scarf was only a couple of inches long and looked like a really bad toupee. i think it looks a little better now.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

our lovely pacific northwest, in song and picture

i finally finished the cover for my sound swap cd, and it should be in the hands of its recipient here shortly. i finished the cd weeks ago! i don't know why i took so long to do the cover, but i'm pretty happy with the end result. the cd is all (well, mostly...) songs by artists from this neck of the woods. i hope my swap person likes it!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

market bag

another sewing project, this one much more successful! this is the market bag from the crafter's companion. i've been looking forward to making this bag since i got the book, and it ended up being really fun to make.

the fabric is from my favorite online fabric store, superbuzzy. i picked the pear fabric out first, then had to choose something that matched for the lining and top part of the outside bag. i like the one i chose, but it doesn't quite match - i kind of wish i'd gone for something a little brighter. does anyone else think that the hardest part about sewing is the cutting of the fabric? it takes me forever and totally stresses me out. but...this was my first time adding piping to a sewing project! this thrilled me to no end when i sewed up those two outer pieces with the piping sandwiched in between, and saw when i was done sewing that it worked! it's not completely even and the piping is probably a little thinner than it should be, but i'm still quite impressed with myself for learning that new skill. also, i learned how to make a bag gusset. i seriously stared at the instructions in the book for like an hour, and kept putting the outer bag and liner aside to do other parts of the bag, because i could NOT figure out how to do the gusset. then, i woke up the next morning and magically had figured it out. i love when that happens.

and look! the coolest thing about this bag:

i really, truly think i should have an honest-to-goodness finished knitted object by the end of the week, though it might not be the one you're expecting to see (oops!).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

i love the city of roses

this weekend we went to portland! i love portland so much - and luckily it's only a 2.5 hour drive from seattle, so we can go often (though we usually don't...but we should!). we planned to visit with some friends on friday and saturday evening, and drive back up on sunday afternoon. however, my hubby made it clear to me that during the day on saturday, i was on my own, as he had plans to hit up ALL of the city's record stores. fine with me!

after breakfast at the
tin shed, we parted ways and my day of fun-ness began. first up was bolt, a fabric store i'd heard of but hadn't gotten to try yet. i went a little nuts in there but it was fun! things i'd only seen online before were right there in person. i love this paper crane fabric:

and also this:

then i went to the yarn store next door (i'm sorry - i can't remember its name!), and it was great, but i didn't buy anything. they had some pretty fancy yarn - the jade sapphire cashmere, in particular, caught my eye. but i wasn't in a yarn-buying mood, so off i went to the pearl district and checked out powell's. i bought last minute knitted gifts (am i the last knitter in the world to own this book?) and a few used novels, and then just wandered around the area for a while. i went to saint cupcake for an afternoon treat and had these three mini cupcakes:

that's red velvet, carrot and coconut cream. yum!

i saw this little bunny graffiti:

then i headed over to hawthorne and rummaged through the red light and buffalo exchange. i was on the lookout for the perfect pair of vintage sandals, which of course i didn't find, but i did come away with a weird little bead necklace and a pretty bag:

that was about it for the day...we met up with one of my friends and we went to hotlips pizza for pizza and on-tap blackberry soda.

it was a good weekend (we also went here for breakfast on sunday...the chocolate chip banana pancakes were SO good), and we got home exhausted sunday evening. but now i can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

an apple a day

i feel like such a lame blogger of late. i've been a busy bee with other stuff, so i don't really have much knitting progress to show. but i guess i have a few thing of interest to report, so here goes!

first off, despite my whinging about my bad sewing skills in my last post (thanks for making me feel better, by the way), i still continue to buy fabric and sewing books at an alarming rate. it seems that in my head, sewing skill is directly proportional to the amount of fabric in your stash. at least i look like a real sewer with all these piles of fabric! anywho...i got the lotta jansdotter book at last, and there are several cute little projects that i can't wait to make (why am i SO excited about making a draft snake? i don't know, but i really, really am). i picked up some fabric from sarah's new etsy shop, including some of the new denyse schmidt katy jump rope fabric. it's so pretty...i feel like denyse schmidt can do no wrong as far as her fabrics are concerned.

second, progress continues to be made on my rusted root - i need to do probably another four pattern repeats, and then the neck and sleeve ribbing and then...i'll be done! but i've had to momentarily set it aside while i make yet another pair of fetching (my third pair, to be exact. that's crazy!). fetching just makes such a great gift - all three pairs that i've made have been gifted. but hopefully i can finish rusted root by early next week. that would be almost exactly a month since i started it, and i think that's pretty respectable.

rr however has gotten too big to carry around with me to work, so i've started a lunchtime project - a pair of socks, my first knitted with magic loop, which i'm loving. i'm doing the oak rib socks from nancy bush's knitting vintage socks, and using some yarn pirate in apple. so i'm calling them my oak and apple socks - i know, i'm so clever! i've barely started, but you can see that these not only fit in perfectly with project spectrum, but they're like spring personified (or sockified?!). i really like how they're mostly green, and actually lots of different greens, with the thin stripes of bubblegum pink and rosy mauve thrown in. love!

alrighty! i have to go get ready for the craft night i'm hosting tonight - jenna and shannon will be there, as well as all my other crafty-though-blogless friends. good times!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

the ugly apron

oh my. i think i hit an absolute low point in my crafting career last night. i had admirable intentions, inspiring materials to work with, and there was the potential for everything to work out okay, but somewhere along the way, things went seriously pear-shaped.

i picked up this pillow case at the thrift store a few months ago, with the pillow case apron from the crafter's companion in mind. i washed it and ironed it, and didn't get much further than that until this week. i have several other little crafty projects in mind for the next few weeks, so i thought i'd get this one out of the way first. plus, it's pink - so project spectrum! i love aprons, i love the crafter's companion - what could go wrong?

well for starters, i have very limited sewing skills. i don't think that can be over-emphasized here. obvious issues:

  • the pocket i created is noticeably crooked
  • the pocket is made by sewing a zig-zag stitch through two layers then carefully cutting down the center of the zig zap to create a slit. i did this, but the result was a very sloppy, uneven looking pocket. it looks like a giant gash in the fabric - like a mistake with the rotary cutter. not like a pocket, though it certainly can function as a pocket.
  • because of the pillow case's weird dimensions (it's a king size pillow case, so it was a lot longer than normal, but not wider), i folded it length-wise instead of width-wise as the pattern calls for. this made sense to me at the time but now i have no idea why i did it! the result is a really long, REALLY skinny apron
i think that's about it, but it's enough. the whole thing is just funny looking. the good news is that it was my first time making little darts, where the apron ties are sewn to the apron body. those worked out fine!

ugh...please ignore the clutter in my apartment. it's always like that.

for all that went wrong, i'm not actually too sad about this project. i mean, it's an apron! i now don't have to feel bad about getting it really messy, right? and if i really hate it, it means i have about a pillow case worth of cute, pink flowery fabric. i guess it's projects like this (this was supposed to be a really easy project, damn it!) that keep you humble, and i'm definitely feeling humble right about now, for sure. better luck next time!