Wednesday, May 16, 2007

here i am

Ha, fooled ya! I was gone for awhile there, but I guess I'm back. I will just be blogging a bit less frequently than I used to, especially for the summer. Of course I say that now, but as with everything I decide, it is subject to change at my whim. :)

Anyway, it turns out blogging was good for my project self discipline. Egads, have I fallen off the wagon or what? Witness:

I've been starting stuff like a freak on speed. And not finishing a heck of a lot. I guess I need to feel accountable to my invisible internet posse in order to keep my projects under control.

The good news is, I didn't buy anything new to do these projects...oops, not so. I bought a few skeins of yarn for the afghan, but hang on, we'll get to that.

First up: the knits.

I finished my Sitcom Chic sweater (Cotton Ease in the blueberry colorway) a few weeks back and have even worn it a few times, but I forgot to photograph it. I'll try to have Hubs take a picture next time I'm wearing it. After finishing it I got a serious case of start-itis.

Pictured above are some socks for Hubs' birthday (in July but I figured I should get going on these...he has big feet). I am knitting them to a pattern in the vintage Botany book you see in the photo. It was a gift from my internet BFF Karen and it rocks. The only problem is that everything in there is for a size 32 bust...anything bigger is labeled as "matronly...but smart!" Gee, I'd never thought of myself as matronly before. But the sock patterns are just fine and hold up very well 60+ years after publication. I'm using Knitpicks yarn (sock memories, I think), which is a tad thicker than many sock yarns in my opinion, so I chose a pattern that uses size 1 needles for ribbing and size 3 needles for the rest of the sock. Have I mentioned that Hubs has some big feet? Yeah, size 3 needles help with picking up the pace!

Directly underneath the sock is a sleeve for a very basic zippered cardigan knitted in moss stitch. It's from an old Family Circle Easy Knits magazine (2000, maybe?). I'm making it partly because it's a pretty awesome simple sweater that I will wear a ton, and partly because I had enough natural wool-ease in stash to make it. I'm trying to stick to stash as much as possible these days because have I mentioned I'm poor? Crap keeps breaking in and around my house and car. Doesn't leave much cash for crafting (the sound you hear is me, sobbing and petting my precious yarns). Anyway, more about that cardi as I get more done.

Top right in the photo is the feather and fan shawl. I am just over 100 rounds into it, and just finishing up my first ball of yarn (Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud). Two things: one, I am halfway done as far as number of rounds completed goes; and two, I have only used one ball of yarn. Those two things are hilarious because being halfway done with the chart doesn't mean squat when knitting a circular shawl, and the pattern calls for a total of 6 balls of yarn. That means I should go through 5 MORE balls of yarn at 440 yards apiece while knitting the second "half" of the shawl. Bwaaaaaa! It boggles the mind. And it makes my head hurt thinking about it, so I put it aside for a week or two. Also, I was making mondo mistakes for some reason...I will blame allergy meds for that one. Just needed a break. It's coming out super duper gorgeous though. I can't wait to see the finished product. Some day.

Just below the shawl you see a barely-begun Chicknits Chickami. The yarn is called Sinfonia and is 100% cotton...something I didn't realize when I bought it because I was blinded by the 39 cent price tag. I can't resist clearance yarn. So I wish it was a blend, because I worry about the elasticity (or lack thereof) of 100% cotton, but we'll see how it goes.

And just below that is a Debbie Bliss cabled pullover that I started eleventy billion years ago for Daughter and then kind of forgot about it. It's just some wool-ease sport weight that I picked up for a great price at a Tuesday Morning store after it had been discontinued. I like the sweater but it doesn't set me on fire or anything, so I'm working on it slowly. Also, like all Debbie Bliss patterns, the child's size 3 would practically fit me, so there is no rush. (Dear Debbie Bliss: why are all your toddler patterns so humongous? Seriously, WHY?)

And onward to some sewing:

After making many things for Daughter's summer wardrobe, I was a little burned out on the sewing. That black blob is the last thing I worked on earlier in the spring. It's a black and white polka dot circle skirt that's finished except for the hem. But it's a really gigantic bias hem and I seriously don't want to sew it. I will, because I want the skirt, but I should have thought more carefully about the pattern before I threw it in my shopping cart. Thatsalotta bias.

The three things on the right are khaki pants, extremely lightweight striped cotton pants, and some kickin' purple corduroy overalls, all for Daughter, all cut out and ready to sew. Check out that groovy 70s pattern for the overalls. It was my mom's and she used to make these overalls for me. Neat! I'm hoping to alter them a bit, though, as the original pattern calls for the pants to snap open and I just want them sewn shut. Stay tuned on that one.

These fabrics were in stash with the exception of the striped cotton - that one came from the dollar fabric bin at WalMart. Seriously, if you are a sewer on a budget like I am, you need to be checking the dollar fabric bin at Wally World. There are some treasures in there, I'm not even kidding. And the khaki linen blend...I am embarrassed to say that was actually a pair of pants I made for myself many, many years ago. They fell into the category of, uh, palazzo pants? I think? They were very, very, very wide and to add insult to fashion injury, they were pull-on with elastic waist. I think I completed them, tried them on, screamed, and stuffed them back in the fabric bin to be dismantled at a future time. Well, that time is now! Hooray for recycling!

And here we have the project I did on mother's day. That pattern ease pile is every single piece of Simplicity 3897 in size 1. Yes, size 1, even though Daughter is 2, because she is skinny, skinny, skinny. Guess what? There are A LOT of markings for this one little pattern. I traced all the dress pieces and all the coat pieces and all the sleeves because I want to make one of everything this pattern has to offer. I'm betting the size 1 will be perfect, but I lengthened all the pieces because my child is not only skinny but freakishly tall for her age. Ok, not freakishly, but 98th percentile. Pretty stinking tall.

The floral fabric is a sweet little poly-blend print I couldn't resist...also from the dollar bin at everyone's favorite discount superstore. Fun! I don't know which dress that will become, but it was sitting there when I took the photos so there you go.

To clarify, I didn't actually SEW anything on mother's day...I merely spent an eternity TRACING the pieces. Not a quick step, but very much worthwhile.

And finally...

Wait, what is THAT?

Your eyes do not deceive you. That's a crochet hook, my friends.

My baby sis just found out she passed the NY bar exam. YEAH BABY!! And her birthday (26th, I think...gulp! That means I am very old!) is coming up in a few days. She has been dropping not-so-subtle hints for years about wanting an afghan, so I figured this is a perfect time. The problem is I only had about a month's lead time on this, so I chose to crochet instead of knit. Yes, I prefer the look of knitting to crochet, but this was all about speed, people, speed! Baby sis will be here for Memorial Day weekend and I want to give her the blanket at that time. I have 4 of 5 panels finished, which leaves one to complete over the next couple of nights of bad TV, and then a week to assemble and add the fringe. Or not add the fringe. Still thinking about that one.

The pattern is from a Leisure Arts book (A Year of Afghans, 1996). I love Leisure Arts books. They're delightfully cheesy, but the patterns are accessible and simple, and I've rarely found mistakes.

The yarn is just Red Heart Acrylic (I KNOW, disGUSting, but the sis, she is messy, and this will end up on the floor, and be chucked in the washer and dryer, etc.), and I have a major beef now with Coats and Clark. Something is awry in the QC department, because this yarn is discolored throughout the skeins. It isn't obvious while working with the yarn, but when the strips are laid out on a table, you can clearly see color changes within the skeins (and they are all the same dye lot, I checked carefully at the store). When I discovered this I was halfway done and almost cried. I showed my mom and she said it isn't that obvious, and that I should just finish it and not worry. But I want the company to know that I am really dissatisfied. I will be sending a letter and a label from one of the skeins because they do not accept emails from customers. How lame is that?!? It's 2007, C&C. Catch up.

Actually, I can even see the color difference in that photo. Can you? Some of the cream is more yellow, and some is more tan. Ugh. What a bummer.


So that's about it on the project front. There's probably more, but I don't want to go searching for half-finished stuff. There's tons going on these days, from graduations to weddings to birthdays to regular old house stuff like landscaping and fixing stuff. But I've already blown naptime by writing this much, so all that will have to wait for another day.

Daughter says:



Pam said...

Ok, I'm totally tired just from reading all that you've accomplished!!!

I patched so many jeans that I lost my urge to actually sew...but now it's back - thanks!

Karen said...

Sigh . . .

It's so nice to have you back and sharing your crafty wonders.

I can't wait to see all of the Simplicity pieces made. I've got that one too but haven't made it yet.