Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Other Crafts

I used to do a lot of quilting – belonged to a local guild and everything. Knitting kind of took over since it is much more portable for me and once I had a child, I needed things to do while I was doing other things – watching gymnastics lessons, waiting at piano lessons and things like that. You know – that multitasking thing we are all so great at!

Even though I am not doing a lot of quilting lately, I still love fabric. The colors and texture – you can get into it the same way you get into yarn. It’s all a tactile thing.

Here are some of the quilts I worked on in the past. An appliqued wall hanging:

A paper pieced pineapple (say that quickly 5 times):

We have a handmade quilt on our bed and another one on our couch. This is the quilt I am currently working on and I'm hoping to get it done in time for a Christmas present for my daughter.

I ordered a wolf print for the back. Yes, I know you are thinking – what do wolves have to do with monkeys? What can I say, my daughter is obsessed with wolves but there is no way I am scrapping the monkeys and changing to wolves so this is the next best thing. What do you want to bet that she will be putting the wolf side face up on her bed while the monkeys are no where to be seen. Just my luck!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm in love...

... with a sweater! It’s amazing what you can get done when you work on one thing. This sweater had been sitting around for a while with just the sleeves and the front ribbing to be done.

Whatever took me so long??!! I LOVE THIS SWEATER!!!

I apologize for the crappy mirror shot. The pattern is Mr. Greenjeans but I'm calling mine Ms. Pumpkinpants because of the color.

I now understand Norma’s love of her sweater and why she was wearing it everyday. I’m trying to fool people at work by wearing a different shirt underneath it each time I wear it, but I don’t think it’s working. Although yesterday a friend came up and told me how much she liked it - and she hadn't noticed that I had worn it several times this past week. So maybe I am safe.

This sweater is amazing. The fit is perfect; the yarn is soft and cozy (Jaeger Shetland Aran bought here a while back). It was great to make because there was really no finishing work to talk of when the knitting was done. A little bit of wet steaming with the iron, sew on the button and it was ready to be worn. And believe me, I am definitely wearing it!!!
On a different note, my daughter has another request for a handknit item. As we were watching one of the Harry Potter movies (it may have been Order of the Phoenix), she saw a hat that Ginny Weasley was wearing. Now, it couldn't have been on the screen for very long, but she drew me this picture:

The O's, W's and G's stand for orange, white and green and the thing on top is a pompom (apparently a very important feature). I looked through my stash and found a few skeins of Mission Falls 1824 wool and we went to the store to pick up the white/cream.

Now I have to start a hat to add to all of the other things on the needles around here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Love My Shoes

I heart my Professional Danskos. I originally started wearing them because they were the one shoe that I found where I could comfortably wear my handknit socks. And since I especially love to wear my handknit socks, I needed a shoe that would fit. Enter the Professional Dansko. These are usually my first choice when I run out the door. They are so comfortable that I even wear them in the summer without socks. Black is my basic pair

but I also have my own pair of blue suede shoes.

And now I ordered this pair, thanks to Cara and her contest. These will soon be arriving on my doorstep. Can’t wait!

Friday, November 14, 2008

How to Make My Day

... or even my week. Cara sent me the best email this past Monday morning. I had won the grand prize in her latest contest! Can you believe it!! She had over 600 comments and I won. I was sitting at my desk at work when the email came through and I had to control myself from screaming out loud. The prizes are a $100 gift certificate to onlineshoes.com and a $25 gift certificate from Blue Moon Fibers. I am definitely shopping for a new pair of the professional Danskos (maybe these) since I wear mine all the time. And what are the odds - I have been looking at these kits on the Blue Moon website, thinking about placing an order. I can't wait to go shopping! Cara, thank you so much for haing this contest.

And, on the same day, my girlfriend handed me this magazine. It's been out for a while and of course I decided that I wanted it. And as soon as I decided that, I couldn't find it anywhere. She found the last copy at a Joann's near her.

Talk about a great Monday. Maybe I should have played the lottery.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Child's Simple Request

As some of you long time readers may remember, I like to make my daughter a sweater every year. As she has gotten older and become more opinionated, she has definitely challenged me with her requests. This year was no different. The request this year was that she wanted a cardigan with a two way zipper. OK. The cardigan I can handle. The zipper was a different story.
We chose this pattern together and picked out the colors (Ella Rae Classic yarn). I modified the pullover version to include some extra stitches at the front. Hell, if I was going to do this, I may as well go all the way and do a steek also. This way I would learn two new things with this project.

The finished knitting –

Which then sat for a while since the next step was cutting. And all along I was researching what to do after the cutting step. To be honest, the cutting didn’t bother me so much since the whole zipper thing was my real roadblock.

Ok, so I knew that after the cutting, I would need to pick up the stitches and knit some sort of edging. I picked a seed stitch border that I saw on Claudia’s blog. Two of the sites that I found useful were Claudia’s post here and Bonne Marie’s instructions here. I also decided that I would probably go with Anne’s advice on hand sewing the zipper in since that would give me more control. I also liked Julia’s advice on knitting a facing to hide all the inside zipper stuff but then I read somewhere about sewing a ribbon over the inside part of the zipper and this seemed like the way to go.

I shortened the zipper and sewed the ribbon on the back. Then basted the front of the cardigan closed and basted the zipper to the inside of the sweater. Sewing the zipper to the sweater was a little difficult since I also had to be concerned with holding the ribbon out of the way – didn’t want to get that caught in the stitching since the whole idea of using the ribbon was to be able to hide all of the stitching which was holding the zipper down. Hand sewing was definitely the way to go as I think I may have been cursing the machine in this step. I stitched each side of the zipper down twice and then tacked the ribbon down which successfully neatened up the inside of the sweater.

And voila – isn’t it pretty!
It even works!

Now I laugh in the face of a zipper – I have conquered that mountain. Of course now I still have the pieces of this sweater to put together and guess what – I’m putting in another zipper!! Where’s my martini?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

349 - 147

I wish my mom was alive to see the results of the presidential election. I think I can safely say that she would have been proud of the choice that the American people have made.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Next in the ABC-Along

First things first - if you haven't voted yet - go out and do it! Now on to the next letter of my ABC Along.


Can you guess what one of my favorite colors is? I’ll give you some hints…

Green cup with orange swirls hand painted for me by my daughter at one of those pottery places.

Orange picture frame – hand painted by both my daughter and I (at same place, different time).

Orange sweater in progress.

Orange monkey socks – now finished and worn often.

My orange Wing of the Moth shawl – oh, how I love this one!!

Some orange yarn from my stash which may become this.

I think you may have guessed one of my favorite colors.