Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I figured out how to use my sewing machine! Because all I need is another hobby and the ability to find vintage fabric on ebay....
I'd been threatening to figure the thing out for a few years - it's an old Singer a neighbor friend gave me. No insructions or manual, but it works when you turn it on. I just wasn't sure how oto thread the thing until I found an amazing web page with at title that says something like :
"Do you own an old Singer Sewing Machine you got at a Garage Sale for $5 and do you need to know how to use it?"
Why yes I do.
And Maya's birthday party is this weekend, so the need for a mermaid tail was what put the wheels in motion - her Dress As Your Favorite Magical or Mythical Creature Magical Mystical Birthday Party. (yes, that's what the invite says)

Don't judge me too harshly here. This is a retro fit mermaid outfit. We took a pair of Bea Arthur-esque palazzo pants from a garage sale (is that what those are called?), cut off a leg, sewed up the crooked crotch hole and added the seaweed and fins. the fins cover most the bunchy seam stuff, but those pants were HUGE. Best of all, we had so much fun in the fabric store finding seaweed and fins. The seaweed is also now bejeweled, thanks to the Scrapbooking aisle.

She also has a bunch of accessories to jazz it up, but I figured you all only care (assuming you do, even) about the sewing project part. With the whole shebang going on, she looks pretty groovy. And most importantly, she's feeling pretty groovy.

Otherwise, back to knitting at home again. I have one finished sock from the Cape, a cocktail and a new project in the works. The cocktail is a vodka and apricot -mango spritzer and the new project is the Ella Rae cardigan pictured below. I am going to leave off the bobbles and use some vintage buttons on it. (since I have how many now??) The yarn is the Louisa Harding Nautical Cotton, which is exactly on gauge.

behind Ella's photo, you'll see a pattern for a great shrug, which I found on RAVELRY. Am planning to do it out of the leftover Cotton.

But Ravelry - I got in past the waiting list, thanks to a friend who sent me the invite - and gotta say, I'm hooked. what a great site. Set up amazingly to browse for ideas and patterns and see what others have done. I'm only scratching the surface so far, but am really intrigued.

Am afraid DSS may have to step in when the kids are wallowing in their own filth, but in the meantime they seem happy to be ignored and I'm happy to surf away.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Back from vacation, with some knitting done, but honestly, not so much.

I brought a small project in yarn I really love. Planned on a little time catching up on my reading, since I had just seen the new HP movie and was getting ready for book 7. And we had a whole bunch of these little gold cans to keep things fun.

I finished a sock as the days went on - mostly at night. And a little on the beach.

I was too easily sidetracked by stuff like this:

and new (beer fueled?) creative outlets like this:

I got through the re-read of Book 6, and we found Book 7 , which I just finished off. I won't ruin it for anyone by adding details, but it was GOOD. I finished it in less than 48 hrs, and didn't miss the socks one bit.

But i think they need me now. As do the 7 loads of laundry downstairs...

Friday, July 13, 2007

They might not be pretty, but I love these because

A. I USED my really soft and gorgeous sock leftovers

B. I'll wear them under boots and no one will know they look funky.
C. they're finally done - and quite comfy.

Truth be known, the frankensock is my favorite. Much nicer than the other, since Artyarns, Interlacements and Jitterbug beat Regia in softness by a long shot. Many thanks to Amber for planting the phrase and/or idea in my head a while back.
And here's the other reason I love my frankensocks (below).
I can knit with one of these next.

We're off for a little vacation on the Cape, am thinking the blues (Sophie's Toes in Waterlily) are nice and beachy - and portable. So for anyone who's gotten used to my posting so often, you may see me heading back to my old ways for a bit. We will have the computer with us (since DH will need to check in with the office) but I'm hoping to ignore it for 7 whole days.

We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Maybe not, because it's an INVISIBILITY SHAWL....
I've been working on this a few days, but decided to wait till the big HP Release to blog about it. A great, easy to memorize lace pattern - in a size that's really wearable! I'm knitting with a special-dyed-for-me laceweight yarn from Dani of Sunshine Yarns. I love it.
For those of you who aren't Knitsmiths, our friend Alison has published a really fun book of Harry Potter themed knitting projects. Charmed Knits - hats, mittens, scarves, sweaters and other imaginitive stuff. And she'll be doing a special signing this weekend (7/15) at Webs in Northampton. Go!
Besides the Invisibility Shawl, I've been inspired by another friend - Carol, who's just knit a lovely Montego scarf out of some silky blue summer yarn. It reminded me that I have this stuff.... Tilli Thomas SeaSilk - am about to wind it and hit the pattern books!

And lastly, an ode to blocking - I spent about 5 minutes with an iron on these babies and they look amazingly better! Must manage to do that more often.

now they're off in the US mail, speeding their way to North Carolina.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

odds and ends

A few things off the plate.

New baby and sister hats, modeled by Zoe.

And after a long wait in the closet, a tank top I'll wear.

much better than the crocheted flowers!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Are what I've got going on. Baby hats waiting for more yarn, frankensocks almost done, a shrug I should wind yarn for, and a couple of sweater ideas swatching around....
But here's something that's been hanging out forever that I'm hoping to fix up and get off the list. Like my new strap idea? It's a ribbon from the craft store - pretty sturdy, made of a thin cotton ropey yarn. Just might work.

But now I have to sew. Not my strongest suit. So.... to get it going, an Apricot Mango Spritzer from Whole Foods is about to find new life as some sort of cocktail!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Just two days and .... one baby hat for an old High School friend. She was promised something pink and knitted.
I used leftover Cotton Fleece and my Knitting on the Edge book to make this up. Only took a few tries to decide on a pattern idea. It's one repeat of Cable and Lace, and stocking stitch for the rest of the hat. I was inspired by Alison's little lace number and had a desire to make something frilly and feminine.

I thought about adding some of my vintage buttons to the edging, but seems like I'm gilding the lily here....
She has another little girl, so see hat #2 below.
Sister Hats! This one gets two repeats of the pattern, so you can see the cables forming. But alas. I'm running out of yarn and don't want to change the color. That gratification might not be so instant after all.. The Knitting Room is closed till next week.
For anyone else thinking of a baby gift, have you seen Johanna's new booties?
She'll be selling them on Etsy ... check em out!

Perhaps back to the Frankensocks? Nope. I have an old tank top I want to revisit. I never did like the straps, and I have a batch of cream cotton perfect for the job. You can see it here. Weird little crocheted flowers. http://www.flickr.com/photos/babycocktails/230062271/ I think I'll be fixing that up next. It could be a good frequent flier. Nice and basic.

And here's Josephine out on the town. I am sooooo happy with this!! OK.... well, not OUT on the town. but in public anyways. Really, there were more adults in the other rooms.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Pictured below, my finished Josephine - out of 7 skeins of Rowan Glace. I think I'd have knit pretty much anything out of this yarn in this color, but I loved making this pattern. Just enough lace and details to keep it interesting but easily memorizable for knitting on the go (most the time).

I was concerned it would be too big - but it turned out OK. Not fully sure why, I think it has to do with the tie and the drape of the yarn. I find that the tighter I tie it, the skinnier I look. cool

Although much less interesting, here's the back.

I'm too busy to flip this now that I see it's sideways - but you can see how it fits below. We're about to go to the beach (note the bathing suit straps!) and the idea of going back upstairs to Maya's room is way too much to handle. It's the room with the best sun. Can you tell I'm sitting up but down on my knees? - she has the top of her mirror covered in stickers.

And on the beach, I plan to begin a pair of girly sister hats for a friend who's just had a baby girl. Thinking I'll use some of the leftover Cotton from Zoe's Rainbow Blanket. Maybe that will make up for the Louisa Harding and Rowan purchases in terms of stash reduction? Then onto either a lace scarf or Craig's scarf. And two more baby gifts. Blankie? Sweater? hmmm

Looking for some instant gratification after a good run of adult sweaters.

Yep, those poor frankensocks never will be finished.

Monday, July 02, 2007

No finished Josephine. Been in Maine.

For those of you waiting to see it finished, you've got another day. She was too big to bring, and we had 5 kids between us, so there wasn't much chance for concentration.

Instead, I got out those back shelf socks again. I did run out of the Regia, so I'm going off the grid and making some Frankensocks (to quote fellow Knitsmith Amber) I did save a little of the original stuff, so I'll add it back a few inches before the toe - in the meantime, we're working through a little leftover Interlacements here on 95 in the passenger seat.

I did manage to work on Josephine last night after the unpacking and the laundry and the putting to sleeping. All that's left is the neckline finishing and an i-cord! By the way, she did seem huge while I was working on the panels, but seamed up, it's a fit. So hoping the same is true for you, Lisa B. Will see you guys next Sunday, i'm thinking.