Tuesday, June 27, 2006

My head is going to explode...or grow...or something

This "grow a head" was in my Easter basket this year. (Yes, I'm slightly over 30 and I still get an Easter basket from my mommy. My husband gets one from his mommy, too.) I uploaded this photo awhile back so I'd have something exciting ready for a time when I was too lazy to take pictures.

The past few days have been CRAZY. We had 5 people spend last Tuesday and Wednesday at our 2 bedroom condo. We did some touristy things while they were here. Then The Husband and I drove 4 1/2 hours to go camping with my grad school friends over the weekend. That was interesting because two babies, ages 4 months and 9 months, joined us this time. It went better than I expected. I suppose it will get harder next time when they are both more mobile.

I expected to get a fair amount of knitting done in the car, but I was either driving or passed out from complete exhaustion for the 9 hours, except for a mere 30 minutes when I was able to finish the heel of Spey Valley Sock #2. I hope to finish them this weekend.

I finished my Sew? I Knit! shirt before the craziness started. I still need to take a picture, but I have a couple of weeks before the deadline to do so.

I've been prepping for a very important event coming up this Friday. It's a secret for now. ;)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Michelle's Branching Out and R + V's Baby Bolero

Started: 23 April 2006
Finished: 15 June 2006
Needles: Sz 8
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool

My friend's Branching Out is finished! Since it was my second time making this pattern and I only did it for a few minutes a day with no distractions, I threw caution to the wind and didn't use a lifeline. I think my gauge was looser this time and I only got 25 repeats instead of 27. I really love this pattern and would use it again if the opportunity arises.

Baby Bolero
from One Skein
Started: 26 May 2006
Finished: 10 June 2006
Yarn: Bernat Cotton Tots, my baby yarn of choice
Needles: Addi Turbos, Sz 7 and 8

This little sweater is for a friend's baby, due in December. Yes, I'm done So Very Early! Yeah! I've had this book for a few weeks and was excited to get started on something so I pulled the yarn out of my stash and got to work. I was one of the first people who knew about the pregnancy, so I feel an extra special connection to this baby!

I won't have much time for blogging next week. I have family coming into town on Tuesday for a couple of days and then I'm going up north for camping over the weekend. I really need to figure out what I'm going to bring to work on in the car!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Amy Butler Bag

Pattern: Amy Butler In-Town Handbag
Started: 27 May 2006
Finished: 08 June 2006
Mods: Installed a zipper pocket and magnetic clasp (what good is a purse if your stuff is going to fall out?) and doubled the width of the handles. I also omitted the outside buttons and ribbon, but might add them later.

This bag went much more quickly than my first. Sewing really does get easier with practice. I flew through the zipper installation this time, and I didn't even have to look at the tutorial!

When I chose the pattern I liked the trapezoid shape. My finished product, however, looks more like a plain old rectangle. I used decorator fabric for the outside and 100% cotton lined with interfacing for the lining. Maybe if I use a lighter weight fabric for the outside the shape would be more of what I was going for.

Would I make it again? Definitely. It was a quick project, but most of all, I think I need to make it again to make the $12 pattern worth it! My materials for the bag cost far less than the pattern. I think my SIL might like one in some funky fabric that I am not bold enough to use for myself.

My next project is a shirt for Sew? I knit! I bought the fabric for two shirts today. One of them is rather wild...I'm trying to inject more color into my wardrobe. It's hard, but a good kind of challenge. Hopefully I'll get to working on at least one of them this weekend.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Shocking Discovery

I was trying to do a little cleaning in my sewing area and came across a poor neglected quilt project. I had started it in 2000, before I got my sewing machine. I had planned on finishing the applique by hand, then finishing the quilt once I got the machine. Of course I was easily dazzled by new projects and moved on. I was half done with the last applique block and all the pieces were cut, yet I just never got around to working on it. When I came across it the other day, I was overcome with the desire to finish the top, even though I don't like it as much as when I started it!

Of course it will probably take me another 6 years to actually do the quilting, but at least I made some progress. My husband used to call me a "quilt topper" rather than a quilter.

The problem I have with quilting is that by the time I finish the quilt, or see it languishing in a pile, I really don't like it anymore. My taste in colors or patterns changes more quickly than I can finish most projects. Oh well!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Weekend Update

Whoops. It appears that I was lacking focus last weekend. I went to First Saturday Knitting. Conveniently, it’s held in a LYS, and they happened to have the needle I NEEDED to get so that I can work on Rose again. Well, I’ve been eyeing the Trekking sock yarn (I have some ugly Trekking in my stash, but that’s another story) that stripes with the gradual color changes and that ended up in my bag as well. Must. Stop. Buying. Sock. Yarn. Although I realize that having yarn for 5 pairs of socks is not really a problem for most knitters, it’s stressing me out. That’s a LOT of sock knitting for me, especially when I a tempted to buy sock yarn whenever I go into a LYS.

Then I grabbed a sandwich to give me strength to browse at the needlework store. It was my second trip there, and I knew I needed food or else I was going to be completely overwhelmed. They have soooo many patterns there. You can easily lose an afternoon without realizing it. I got the rest of the floss I needed for my next cross-stitch project.
Oh? What’s this? A basket full of kits for 50% off? Before I knew it, three kits JUMPED into my hot little hands.
I had planned on being a focused shopper, buying only the floss and perhaps one pattern. So much for that plan! After I got home I realized that one of the “kits” doesn’t come with the 20 colors (i.e. ~$40 if purchased in skeins) of overdyed floss you’re supposed to use. Yes, it clearly says that on the package, but I didn’t look that closely. Luckily not much is required of any of the colors, and I have a lot of them from previous projects or can use a similar color from my stash.

I finished Spey Valley Sock #1. It's much better after starting over with sz 1 needles.

I have 5 repeats left on Branching Out and I'm almost done with a Baby Bolero from One Skein. Hopefully I'll have 2 FO's in the next week!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Knitted Snowsuit

"Let the wintry breezes blow -- inside this cozy one-piece suit your youngster will be snug and warm!"

Of all my grandma's knitting stuff I've looked through so far, this is by far my favorite thing. The knitted snowsuit. Head to toe Red Heart to keep the snow away? Is that really practical??? Thankfully I don't think she ever made one!

The pattern is from the pattern book Children's Knits, dated 1962.

I'm glad to see that people knitted dog sweaters 40 years ago. I wonder when the first dog sweater was made?

My grandma made several of these hats over the years:

I did take a few other pattern leaflets, but this one is by far the most interesting.