Saturday, July 31, 2010

{Hey Teach? I'm DONE!}

You guys are never going to believe me.  The Hey Teach cardigan I've been knitting since.... (looks it up on  Ravelry) JANUARY 23!  I finished it!!

There is nothing like a deadline and some to-do lists to inspire me.  I just LOVE crossing stuff off!  Most of the pieces were done, it was just the fronts that needed some help, then of course the sewing. The button hole band was cast off last night in time to snap a few pics.

Don't you guys think that that it needs some Harmony buttons???  I adore the toggles, but maybe the little flat ones would fit better. 

So... the Projects to do list....  Almost done!

1. Accounting Class
2. Icarus Shawl
3. Zen Cable Socks - these are coming on my trip with me!
4. My First Quilt Top
4.5 - Get the top quilted and do the binding
5. Paper Dolls Sweater
6. Mary Poppins Scarf- Mailed!
7. Wrap Skirt Experiment- ugh.  I see giving up in my future here. lol
8. Blue and Yellow Bag
9. Modern Log Cabin Blanket
10. Hey Teach

This is  my last post before I leave for Vancouver!  Maybe I'll do some posting while I'm gone but I'm really not sure I'm going to get the chance. Packing is pretty much done and it's just last minute cleaning things that need to happen before we leave now.  Love you guys! I'll miss you!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

{The ENTIRE To Do List}

You guys know that we're leaving on vacation in two days.  TWO DAYS! I'm very excited.  It's times like these I become a nutso with to-do lists.   To keep me honest, here's what I have to do before I go:

1. Pack
2. Laundry, including sheets (for a clean bed when we get home!)
3. Get Mr. Pie to try on his dress clothes, see if they need pressed and/or dry cleaned
4. Clean out the refrigerator
5. Cut and Marinate the beef
6. Dry said jerky
7. Ball up a bunch of cashmerino for Nympheus, print out the pattern
8. Paint and put in the mail the Niddy Noddy for Liz
9. Get the scarf in the mail for my sister in law

10. Make appointment for an oil change
11. Drop off library books
12. Clean the bathroom 
13. Meet with our cat sitter
14. Pay rent
15. Clear all the trash/compost out of the house and kitchen
16. Pack the passports and the green card.  This one's a biggie!!
17. final dishes/ cleanup
18. change the kitty litter and feed Popeye

I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting. Ugh. lol

edited at: 12:15 on thursday.  added more, crossed some off. Does that put me ahead or behind?
edited at 5:30: bunch more stuff crossed off! yay!
edited: 11am Friday: Weeeeeeeeee! Almost done!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

{The To Do List Is Going Down!!}

I knocked two more items off the list yesterday!!

The Paper Dolls Sweater was cast off yesterday and I grafted the underarms and did a lot of weaving in ends.

I'm not sure I'm 100% okay with it.  I like the colours I chose and the pattern is an easy one to follow, for sure.  It didn't stop me from screwing up the decreases on the neck. lol  I tried to do continental for the knitting and my usual English for the purling and consequently, my tension in the yoke wasn't very even.  Also, I'm pretty sure it's not going to fit it's intended recipient.  We'll know for sure when I go home for my visit.  If it doesn't, there's another little girl who will be happy to get it for Christmas, I'm sure. :)

And of course the bag pieces that I cut out when I made the first bag.  I knew I would make two so I just cut out twice the fabric pieces.  Then they sat.  Silly right?  So last night I just did it.

 I wanted the second version to be the more sophisticated older sister of the first trial bag, and there were definitely some mistakes that I didn't want to repeat.  The bulky seams for instance. But then I made some new mistakes (of course!).  I tried to avoid turning under seams and creating extra bulk that way, but I ended up with a mess on the inside of the bag.

This one is lined too, where the first one wasn't, so I guess it's a trade off.  It looks nice from the outside, though. :)

So, the list, yet again.

1. Accounting Class
2. Icarus Shawl
3. Zen Cable Socks
4. My First Quilt - Top is done! (can I cross this one off if my part is done?)
5. Paper Dolls Sweater
6. Mary Poppins Scarf -I just need to mail this one!
7. Wrap Skirt Experiment- ugh.  I see giving up in my future here. lol
8. Blue and Yellow Bag
9. Modern Log Cabin Blanket
10. Hey Teach

Monday, July 26, 2010

{Anothe WIP Complete!}

To follow up my spectacular Saturday of sewing, I put the border on my quilt top on Sunday.  I love the sage green colour that we picked!

This baby measure 46 x 76 inches and I only have to cut the fabric for the backing before I can send it off to the lady who is going to quilt the top for me.

(That's Mr. Pie's Feet! tee-hee)

Here's the backing fabric, which will also be the binding.

It's going to cost a little bit for the machine quilting and the batting, so this may have to wait for a little bit before it gets done.  I think I just want a normal meander pattern because it's kind of organic looking.  What do you think?

So my WIP list is shrinking!

1. Accounting Class  - Done! Took the final on Friday!
2. Icarus Shawl
3. Zen Cable Socks
4. My First Quilt - Top is done!
5. Paper Dolls Sweater - Blocking as we speak!
6. Mary Poppins Scarf
7. Wrap Skirt Experiement
8. Blue and Yellow Bag - gonna work on this one as soon as I get up from this blog post.
9. Modern Log Cabin Blanket
10. Hey Teach

Saturday, July 24, 2010

{Slightly Obsessive Sewing}

I'm sometimes a tad obsessive when I get an idea in my head.  Not only can I not wait to get started, I will NOT wait to be finished.  If things don't go the way I suspected, I have a tendency to just muddle through until it's complete and I'm completely drained of all mental and physical energy.  I forgo all kinda of human necessities in the search for an end product, such as: eating, peeing, drinking, and chocolate.

This idea I had floating around my head for a little while started after I saw a totally covetable needles case designed to hold your interchangeable knitting needles along with all your other goodies at Erin.Lane Bags and More on Etsy.  They are in such beautiful fabrics and you can just tell they're beautifully made.  Unfortunately, the price is also beautiful at $95.00.

I knew I didn't need quite that much space, as I don't crochet much or use double pointed needles, but I loved the space for my Harmony needles and all the paraphernalia one needs while traveling.  I knew I had fabric that would work, I just needed some interlining which I happened to grab at Walmart.  So when inspiration struck me at 2:00 this afternoon, the obsession began.

To start out I listed everything that I wanted to be able to hold in my pouch and what kind of storage it wanted.  I sketched a little, then made a mock pouch out of Newspaper (Thanks Mr. Pie for the idea!) in order to test out all the sizes and shapes to see if I'd be happy. 

Turned out it actually had to be a lot smaller than I thought I needed it to be. Score!

I cut out all those tiny pieces, sewed and sewed and cursed and picked out seams, and then sewed some more. I probably cursed again after that.  Now, at just about 10 o'clock, I have a finished project to show you!

In the end, I'm really happy with it and it's going to be super practical.  I'm proud of the fact that I saw something I liked and figured out how it was put together and then just did it.  Quite fearlessly I might add.  It is certainly FAR from perfect, though.  There are strings everywhere, places where the top binding stitching missed a layer or two, and you'd be hard pressed to find a single straight seam. 

Since these photos were taken just before dark you don't see the button I've added with an elastic band that closes around the button to secure everything.  I also added some velcro to the little pocket inside because when I was sewing on the button the entire contents fell out. lol

Tonight was also my first time using fusible interlining! Or any interlining for that matter! I think I'm in love. :) Maybe, if I ever try again, I'll learn from my mistakes.  But it's gonna be a while before I touch the sewing machine again.

Friday, July 23, 2010

{Vacation Knitting}

In a little over a week Mr. Pie and I will be headed home to this place:

Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada

From where I am now that means a four hour car ride, 7 hours in two different planes (with an hour layover in between) and then another hour and a half in a car once I've landed.  Then the same a week later, only backwards. What does this mean?  I LOT of knitting time!  The paper dolls sweater is looking like it'll be complete before I leave, so I'm thinking ahead now to what I should be casting on for the trip. 

I realize socks are the classic choice, preferred for their portability and their non-fussiness.  I even have a pair of socks on the needles, but I'm worried that two circulars will be awkward while traveling, that my knit picks needles may be confiscated (even though says they're fine...) and that the ribbing won't be interesting enough to keep me engaged and occupy my brain.

Here's a few options on the short list of possibilities.

pros: super cute, it's a free pattern, and I already have the yarn that's called for! Between the lace and the shaping I think would occupy the brain just fine. (why aren't there more people making this project? it's super cute!)
cons: pieces will be annoying, I'm sure. 

pros: also free, super cute and wearable (come winter), I have some malabrigo in a chocolate colour that's gonna be perfect for this. a very manageable size.
cons: I'll probably be done before we land in Vancouver. lol Wait... is that a con?

pros: I would finish the socks I have first, and then maybe start on something more complex? definitely portable. This pattern is free, or I could bring either of my two sock books with me, I definitely have some sock yarn I could use.
cons: balancing a book or pattern on my knee in the air plane, the fussiness of the needles, as I stated before.

pros: small, interesting, portable, but complicated enough that I might stay interested.  I have some noro that's REALLY bright, but might work nice against some white for a little fake-isle knitting. This pattern has been in my favorites forever, too.
cons: charts, two balls of yarn, two sizes of tiny needles, getting me back to the problem with the socks.

So yeah, you can see I'm kinda torn about this.  I would LOVE to hear your ideas, experiences and wisdom!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

{The Green Pepper Problem}

Namely, we have too many!  You guys haven't seen our tiny backyard garden for a while, have you?  It's really taken off!

First came the cayenne peppers and the grape tomatoes, but Mr. Pie has been keeping up with those pretty consistently.  They're starting to all ripen at once now so I imagine some tomato sauce or salsa or something is in our future.  The jalapenos are coming slowly and steadily, not quite out of hand yet, and we're still waiting on the large tomatoes and the carrots to fully ripen and grow.  BUT.  The green peppers are totally out of control.  We have them coming out of our ears!

Here's the close up of the bowl:

So here's our dilemma: we can use tomatoes for tons of things, and the cayenne we've dried and ground to powder for cooking... but what the HECK to we do with 3 dozen green peppers??  We've bbq'd a few for dinner, but didn't like that as much as we like the zucchini or squash the same way.  We've stuffed them and baked them a few times, but you can't only do that so much. 

I haven't braved canning just yet and don't really have the money at the moment for those supplies. So I'm looking for ideas either to preserve them somehow, or maybe bake them in something ala zucchini bread... or is there another meal that you like using green peppers?

Thanks in advance!
-Drowning in Produce

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

{Websites I'm Obsessed With}

I know you guys know that I've been branching out in my crafty endeavors.  It's like I'm a sponge!  Here are a few awesome blogs where I've been spending countless hours these days, because you know... misery loves company. hehe Too bad I can't read and knit at the same time.  (I'd also really like to discover how to knit and exercise at the same time. Any ideas?)

Here's my updated list of my ongoing WIPs too, not just the knitting ones that I list in the sidebar.

1. Accounting Class - JUST ONE MORE CHAPTER! Then the final Exam. I'm thinking THIS week!
2. Icarus Shawl - You guys saw this one done! YAY! I want to take some pretty pictures today and do a real summary post.  I realized that I originally meant for this blog to be more of a documentary style when it comes to my knitting, not just show and tell.  I'll work on that today.
3. Zen Cable Socks - no progress, but I did get the yarn divided in half for the first sock. 
4. My First Quilt - y ou saw the top sewn together!
5. Paper Dolls Sweater - Mucho progress! photos to follow.
6. Mary Poppins Scarf - still needs ends in.
7. Wrap Skirt Experiement - still languishing
8. Blue and Yellow Bag - no change, still in pieces.
9. Modern Log Cabin Blanket - been working on this a little, long ways to go.
10. Hey Teach - no change, and no foreseeable progress. lol

Saturday, July 17, 2010

{Quilt Progress Continued}

I've got the long strips of my quilt sewn together now, just no borders yet.  I decided to go without sashing because I don't have any solid colour fabric on hand and I was getting antsy to work on it. lol Plus, it's long enough already, so the sashing would have just made it longer.

What do you think? :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

{Fat Quarter bundle Pack?}

Hey my sewing friends out there (do I have many of those yet? hehe)  I found this cool blog called  They happen to be having a sale on Mystery Bundles of fat quarters.  12 of them for $15 to be precise.  Is that a good price? Shipping is about $5 more.  What if I get all ugly fabrics that I don't like?  I'll feel stupid for having wasted $20. 

I'm on the fence about this one.  What do you guys think?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

{Icarus Shawl is DONE!}

I can not begin to tell you guys how puffed out my chest is with pride right now.  The Icarus shawl is blocking and well... it's stunning.  I can't believe I'm going to give it away!

I'm pretty sure that this is my very favorite thing I've ever knit.  Ever.  I love the yarn (malabrigo sock) and the colour is a warm, autumny, rusty, red colour.  Oh, and did I mention it's HUGE!?  I haven't measured it yet, but that's my queen size bed you see it on in the first photo!  Blocking wire would have been helpful on this one. lol

Edited to add: 70 INCHES ACROSS!

Oh, and I made an awesome carrot soup for dinner too, so watch out world! I'm on a roll!!

{ALL the Current Works In Progress... }

So I think I've figured out why the posting here has been lighter as of late.  First off let me tell you this: it's not from lack of time.  Heaven knows that with summer here, no job, and just the one class I have nothing but time on my hands.  I've been keeping pretty regimented about going to the gym every day, and with changing and commute time that's usually takes about two hours.  Then the class usually takes up 4 hours or so during the day, usually in spurts... but it's like the stress of the dang class is worse than the actual work.  It's a LOT to learn in such a short amount of time and if I don't "get" the material right away, I get frustrated and walk away and I procrastinate going back. 

This seems to lead to startitis.  During this procrastination period I don't really do much of anything of use. Because doing something of use means I'm NOT doing the school work I should be doing. lol Sitting having a cup of coffee and blog surfing... well... that's just "Taking a break." For two hours. lol  I know it makes no sense.  So today I am listing all my works in progress as a way of making me face up to them all!  I think they are stressing me out as much as the class is!  I hate having so much unfinished laying around me. 

So, on my list of WIP's I'm going to put my Accounting Class as #1.

1) Accounting Class.  I have two more weeks to finish 4 chapters of material, including discussion questions, online long answers, and then the quiz for each.  The third week will be the week before I leave on vacation and it will be for preparing for the Final Exam.

2) Icarus Shawl

Three. Rows. Left.  Then cast off, then blocking.  I can not TELL you how excited I am.

2) Zen Cabled Sock (modeled after the Zen Mock Cable Sock)

I haven't done anything more on these since you saw them last, but I did manage to split apart the yarn roughly in half.  I don't *think* these will end up being a Christmas present, unless I can think of someone who wants some crazy hand knit socks.  These may languish for a while until then.

3) My First Quilt

I'm getting antsy on this one because I want to see it done, dammit!  Those are all the strips piled together as you saw before and then the pile of the other scrap fabric.  I have a bunch of odds and ends in that grey/green you see on top which I may try to piece together to make a small border.  It's more canvasy though ... can you use canvas?  I want to make some fun blocks for the backing out of the fabric that's left.  I need to get some solid colour fabrics for at least one more border and the backing, then I found a lady who will machine quilt the top for me for 1 cent per square inch!  Can't beat that.  I'm not ready to tackle the free-motion quilting thing yet.  I still haven't figured out how to change the foot on my machine! lol

4) Paper Dolls Sweater

I cast this one on during the doctor's visit last week. Remember I bitched about mentioned the i-cord cast on? hehe  It's moving along fairly well in the size 2 version, which I hope will be big enough come Christmas time for the little girl I have in mind for it.

5) Mary Poppins' Scarf

This is for Chris's niece's Halloween costume.  It's done, I just need to weave in the ends and get it in the mail to my sister-in-law!

7) Wrap Skirt Experiment

So after trying to find a pattern for a wrap skirt that would work with this fabric, I just took the plunge and starting cutting.  I've got the bias tape around the top pinned in and ready to sew, and I have that cute eyelet lace ready to become a small frill at the bottom. I have no idea if it's going to work and/or be wearable in the end.  We'll see.

8) (this is getting depressing. lol) Blue and Yellow Bag

Pieces are all cut, just need to be sewn.  Not sure I even remember how I did the first one. lol

9) Modern Log Cabin Blanket

I've been working on this one since New Years Day folks.  It's terrible! lol  Yet again the colours are totally off.  My friend Hope can attest, it's actually a pretty shade of dark purple, taupe, light purple and white.   I need to pay a little more attention to this one if I want it to be a Christmas gift too.

10)  Hey Teach Cardigan  (seriously??? 10???)

Does anyone even remember this one? I had to dig it out.  This is the entire back, I have both arms done and JUST need to do the fronts. Seriously.

So that's it I think.  I dug WAY in to the corners to get some of these out to put them on the list.  I would love to finish them all before School starts back in on September 1st.   Hopefully I'll have some FOs to show you soon!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

{A Non-Update}

I understand if you don't really want to click on this post and read it from your blog feeders. There's no pictures... just me lamenting. hehe  I've been making some serious headway on my Shawl, but of course no photos, and some other projects are getting done too.  TOMORROW I want to take pictures of all my current projects so you can see what kind of insane I am.   Why do I have so much going on at once?  I'll go search my nooks and crannies for all the projects bags stuffed around. lol

See you tomorrow!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

{Taking the Plunge}

Yesterday on our big trip in to the City of Roanoke we make a stop at Michaels and a stop at Joann's.  I had two 50% off coupons for Michaels and bought a 24"x18" cutting mat as well as a 6" by 24" acrylic ruler for measuring and cutting fabric.  Then the next stop was Joann's to pick out the patterns for my VERY FIRST QUILT!

This is what I came home with:

This is 1/2 yard of each of 6 fabrics.  I was pretty pleased with the over all look of the fabrics together.  When I got home I immediately started searching for a pattern to use.  I know I probably should have done that first.  I've learned my lesson. lol

I wanted a pattern that would be pretty quick and easy just so I could get a feeling for the very very basics of quilting - sewing that 1/4" seam, the rhythm of pressing, measuring, matching, sewing, and pressing again, not to mention the actual cuts.  Also, I didn't buy a rotary cutter this time because I only had two coupons and they weren't on sale or anything, so I didn't want a pattern that would require the utmost precision.

This is the pattern I found here:  August Fields Duvet by Amy Butler.  It's a super duper simple, BIG, pattern but looks smart.  A few alterations were necessary, firstly because she calls for **19** different patterns (!!) and because  like I didn't want a duvet, just a blanket.  Also, I didn't want it to be that big so I made the blocks 6 inches wide instead of 8 inches, then took 2 inches off all the other lengths she specifies.

Okay, ya still with me?  I've been sewing all day and now I'm at a crossroads.  Do I want the quilt to have a big wide strip of solid colour between the blocks? Maybe one that's less wide? Or none at all?  Here are a few photos to help you see what I'm seeing.

 The colour is really bad on these photos because I didn't drag all the fabric outside to photograph again.  The strips across the width are sewn but they aren't sewn together so they would have blown around a lot. lol

Okay so this is what I'm envisioning if there are no solid colour strips in between each patten strip.  I will definitely do a couple different borders if this is how I go.

Or maybe I'll use a skinny strip of solid between each patterned strip? Or maybe I'll do an equal width like the pattern uses?

White muslin is the only solid colour cotton I have on hand (only solid colour anything, actually) and I happen to have enough of it to do strips and the backing if I'd like. (Can you even USE muslin in quilting? Is it too thin?)  Anyway... I wasn't sure I even liked the white.  Maybe a moss green to help achieve a more earthy feel and a better balance of colours and patterns?

Alrighty, what do you guys think?  I also have about 1/3 of the fabric I bought left over so I think I might put some fun squares together for the back so it's kinda two sided.  Or I could use it for the edging/binding.  I'm having fun playing, even if I have no idea what I'm doing. :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

{Now I Know I'm Crazy}

I'm done teetering.  I think I've just fallen off the edge.  This summer I just seem to have a voracious appetite for all things crafty.  If you remember not too long ago I decided to try stenciling (loved it). I thought that it's maybe just ONE other thing.  That's not too bad, right? 

Then embroidery snuck up on me and made me love IT too!  Now I'm kind of obsessed with making these, in linen like shown, but in red and green thread for Christmas tree ornaments:

THEN I get my sewing machine from my Mr. Pie as a birthday gift.  I started small and played with bags and such.  You've seen those already.  I didn't ask for a sewing machine to sew bags with... I had in a teeny place in the back of my mind that I might someday want to QUILT.  

I see these gorgeous, modern, beautiful quilts around places and just think it would be amazing to have hand made quilts around the house. Not the fussy kind made of lots of teeny pieces and pastel colours!  I like the bold quilts with large motif.  Something like this to start, maybe?

And of course, graduating to other more complicated patterns once I have a handle on these.  I LOVE the idea of giving quilts as gifts!  They won't be in fancy quilt-store quality fabrics or anything, but that's okay.  I would want them to be used and loved, not to be hung on walls or something, ya know?  

But that's not the end of this new crafty-spaz I'm having.  I'm also thinking I want to make my own soap.  Not that weird melt in the microwave stuff, but seriously like Lye and Fat together (The Cold Pour method) with other neato organic add ins and VOILA! Soap!   I'm inspired by this Etsy Store here:

I've been spending a LOT of time blog surfing looking at different quilting blogs and soap making blogs.  The soap making I think is going to be a pretty big start up cost because you pretty much have to buy the fats by the 5 gallon tub, and the essential oils and things are pretty pricey.  Not to mention we have to find lye somewhere local because you can't get it shipped. lol  The hardware store carries 100% lye for cleaning out a kitchen drain... wonder if it's the same stuff?  I figure all the other instruments I'll need I should probably pick up from garage sales... things like a stick mixer and a plastic bowl dedicated to the soaps and such. *sigh* :)

Not to mention I have three (count 'em THREE) Christmas projects on the needles right now.  How in the world am I going to handle this once I'm back at school? Who's with me in this schizophrenic crafting spree?  I want to do it ALL! It's like I have crafty-A.D.D!

Has anyone tried any of the above techniques and would like to impart some wisdom? or point me to a great website to help me get started? :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

{Givewaway Winner!}

So it turns out this giveaway is not only celebrating my 100 followers, but also my One Year Bloggaversary!   Crazy, right?  I totally missed the date! July 5th, 2009 I wrote my first introduction post.  Crazy, am I right? 

I used to choose a commenter for me and the winner was....

Liz in Ypsilanti
Congratulations! You win the Niddy Noddy made by yours truly!  Send me an email by the end of the weekend and I'll get it in the mail to you!
Thank you so much to everyone else who reads and comments regularly.  I LOVE what this blog has done for me in the past year.  I've made tons of great friends and I've learned more than I thought possible, considering I wasn't really trying.  You guys are just fantastic inspiration to me every day! 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

{Inspiration Fast and Furious}

I've been half-assing it on my blog lately and I apologize! It's just that inspiration to do creative things has been taking me fast and furious and I'm barely able to keep up!   I didn't even draw names for my 100 Follower Giveaway on the 4th like I said I would!  Just to make this totally and completely fair, if this whole giveaway thing is news to you...

Enter my Giveaway for a Niddy Noddy made by me by clicking
HERE and leaving a comment!

I've been very distracted.  There's a totally new, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants sewing venture that's in the works right now.  I cast on a new sweater this morning and I've been seriously researching ANOTHER new crafty obsession that may come to fruition.

But then there's these bags! The reversible one I showed you yesterday came together in about two days and then this one I'm about to show you was conceived, planned, cut and sewn all in one day.

This bag reminds me of my sister.  Yellow is her favorite colour and I believe that blue like this is second on her list.  It's a fun and energetic bag, like my sister, but still totally functional, like what she needs with two kids and a baby.  The pleating was the new skill that I tried out with this one and they totally worked. I adore it!  It's not 100% perfect though, as I did make a pretty critical error right at the end.  It's also not lined, but the fabric is the same canvasy type that I used in the last bag that's heavy enough to stand alone.  I made the handles longer and wider and I'm much happier with them than I am with the last ones.

The inside:

I have the contents of my next Christmas sweater projects in here for the photo.  I totally didn't carry it to the doctor's office or anything.  Muwahahaha.  If Meli likes this bag I have enough fabric to make her another one.  And this time I'd probably set in the handles before the very last step so I don't have to fight with the bag and the sewing machine to sew over the gigantic side seams.

I'm going to pick a commenter with Thursday
morning!  Sorry for the wait, guys!

Monday, July 5, 2010

{Sewing Excursions}

I think of my current sewing projects as more of an excursion or a journey because I don't really seem to know what my destination is when I start.  Just like how I once chose knitting projects that had one skill that I wanted to learn, I'm challenging myself with sewing projects that have one element I haven't done yet.

Today that one element was a box bottom for a bag - I just think they are so much more practical than a bag with pointy corners.  I used a bag I saw online as an inspiration, plus some heavy printed canvas material that was in my (very tiny) fabric stash, and then just started cutting!  I had to finally find a you tube video to show me where to sew to form the boxy corners. hehe

And here's my finished object!

It's a reversible bag!   There are about a million things I'd change when I do my next one.  I'd make the whole thing shorter and then make wider bottom, I'd make longer and wider handles, and I'd sew the pockets on BEFORE sewing the bag together. lol  And oh yeah, I'm still working on the whole "sewing straight" thing. Pfft.

My favorite thing that I did though was the hand embroidery on the white pocket that mimics the leaf detail (top image). It's a nice size for carrying books or magazines for maybe a small overnight bag or beach bag. The thing I like about the reversible bag is that there is always one pocket inside and one pocket outside!

I've already finished a second bag in the same fabrics too, just a totally different shape.  I'll show you that one tomorrow!

Friday, July 2, 2010

{My First Real Socks}

All the socks I have made up until this point have been on worsted or larger yarn, so they're more like slippers than socks when they're done.  After I swapped for some very pretty sock yarn called "Zen" I decided to put my Christmas present to use and pick a pattern from Socks From The Toe Up.

I picked the Mock Cable Socks because it would balance out my other current project, the Icarus lace shawl.  I went to cast on literally about an hour after I finished the cabled scarf and I just didn't want to mess with a cable needle again for a while.  I decided to take the same patten but not cable it, making instead an interesting ribbing.

I liked this pattern too because in the book it used a heel that I've never done before.  I think it's called a slip stitch heel.  It looks like this:

I love this heel!  I love that you don't have to pick up stitches to make the gusset.  It's so clean looking! I also really love how the slip stitch pattern works with the stripey yarn like this. Totally cool texture.

And here's the front of the sock:

(please don't adjust your monitor, I really am that white.)

I like how the stripes are falling so far except for that one bit of flashing right there at the base of the leg.  It's weird how it worked out, isn't it? Just that ONE spot.  But otherwise, these are looking way cool.

So, we come to my dilemma.  I do not want any of this yarn left when I finish this pair of socks, meaning each sock has to use 1/2 a skein almost exactly. I don't know any other way to be sure of this except to weigh the sock with a kitchen scale.  I don't own a kitchen scale.  So this sock is waiting for next pay to continue knitting so that I can acquire the appropriate tool, weigh the sock, and then continue on carefully knitting and weighing until as close to exactly half the skein has been used.   Unless my lovely knowledgeable readers know another way? :)