Knitting and Crochet Shopping

2008, so far

Don’t look now, but I’m closing in on post #100! 11 more posts after this one, woot! I should probably do something to celebrate, but I don’t know what–I’ll have to think on it.

I’ve been contemplating the new year, as I’m sure everyone has, and trying to decide what I want to try to accomplish this year, or if I even want to try to set goals. Let’s face it, few people actually stick to the goals they set on January 1st, and I’m no exception. Of course, 2007 was the year when I finally learned to crochet, so goals aren’t always useless.  I haven’t been over-the-moon happy with my life for a long time, so obviously something needs tweaking, so I’ve been trying to compartmentalize stuff to set specific tasks for each aspect of my life.

One of my new goals that’s near, if not at, the top of my list is to meet new people, and to that end, I’m going to try to go to the WeHo stitch and bitch group once I return to L.A. (I’m still in Massachusetts with my family.) I’m terrible at meeting new people, as it requires effort and I’m notoriously lazy (and poor), but the SnB group is near where I live, doesn’t cost anything, and, as an added bonus, I’ll already have something in common with the group. And hopefully, now that I’ve “said” it out loud, I’ll actually do it.

ION, yesterday I taught my friend Jane to crochet, one year and two days after I taught her to knit. We did chains and single crochet for awhile, then she pulled out my Happy Hooker book and taught herself to double crochet a circle. She’s getting on a plane in a couple of hours, where she will hopefully continue practicing her loops and chains.  I love sharing my crafts, and am very grateful to her for her desire to learn new stuff.

Earlier this week, I finished a wool hat for my brother-in-law–forest green knit cap with a ribbed brim and a stockinette body.  I’ve finished seven granny squares for a new scarf in UMass Amherst colors (maroon and white). I started a new sc scarf with a wool/soy blend from…Patons? Bernat? The yarn is on the table and I’m too lazy to get up and look. (Jane and I were at Michael’s a couple of days ago, and I couldn’t resist the 30% off all yarn sale.) It’s a self-striping yarn, ’cause I’ve been getting tired of working in solids.

And in completely non-yarn-related news, my face feels like it’s been sandblasted.  I hate having a cold.


Omigod sewing!

It’s still true–I hate sewing.

I braved Valley traffic to go to Jo-Ann’s last night after work, where I was rewarded with a renewed stock of magnetic snaps.  Woot! I, um, bought them all.  I had to! Three packages of three snaps each, for only $1.29 per pack?  Hells yes! I also bought three different fabric squares/remnants for possible liners, needle and thread, a thimble (so glad for that one!), a roll of stuff to iron seams instead of sewing (another woot!), a bottle of liquid seaming stuff to avoid sewing (didn’t actually use this one), a button I didn’t use (too small), and a crochet magazine.

I got home, had my yummy pot roast dinner, watched Jeopardy, and then pulled out the ironing board. And then dusted it, because it had been that long since I’d last used it as more than a hanger for plastic bags. The iron, also rarely used, still worked the way I vaguely remembered, so that was cool.

Then it came to the lining part. I’d printed directions from–they didn’t help much.  My first attempt failed, because my bag is oval, not square, so the liner was too small.  Good thing I bought spare squares! My second attempt went better–I layed out the fabric, put the bag on top, folded the fabric, then cut around the bag. Unscientific, but I hate measuring tapes. I folded seams, ironed that nifty stitch witchery stuff to glue them together (not a very strong glue, unfortunately), popping it into the bag over and over for a trial and error approach to getting the right size.  Got it close enough, then attempted to sew actual stitches over the glue, to make it extra strong.  Ha! Did one side seam, remembered why I hate sewing, and decided the second side wasn’t worth it.

A Date With Cookie Monster purseI added the magnetic snaps to the lining (woot! easy peasy!), then put the seamed up lining in the bag, and pinned the top to the inside edge of the bag–nearly perfect size! Woot! (Good thing in the end that the glue wasn’t that strong.) Then came more sewing, since I couldn’t just leave the pins in the bag–phooey. This is where I was very glad I’d purchased the thimble. In the end, the stitch was uneven and very ugly, but did I care? No! It was finished, the lining was attached, and I’d only lost one needle in the process! (I found it later.)

A Date With Cookie Monster purseThen came the shiny button embellishment for the outside.  The button I’d purchased was way too small, so I pulled out the pretty plastic “jewels” from last weekend and found a pretty blue one that worked nicely.  Then I had to glue it to the pin-back, except, I had to find the glue gun.  (It was in the storage box on the top corner shelf of my closet–joy.) I don’t know why I keep using glue guns, ’cause the glue rarely holds.  The jewel popped off the first time I tried to attach the pin to the bag, so I had to add layers and layers of hot glue around all the seams and along the top of the pin back.  It should at least last through the auction–I hope.

In all, not including the trip to Jo-Ann’s (where I didn’t buy yarn, btw–go me!), it took me 2.5 hours to line that stupid bag. OMIGOD do I hate sewing!

Knitting and Crochet

Adventures in felting

I felted three bags last night–woot!  I chose the purple/turquoise Little Coco, the first Pink Lady bag (I still have to kitchener the handle of the second), and a Burly Spun bag I knit, oh, forever ago, that’s been waiting for felting for a long time.  All the other bags still need some finishing before felting.

I learned a couple of things. First, apparently Cascade 220 takes forever to felt, because the bags I felted last night were done after two wash cycles, and really, they probably didn’t even need the whole second cycle. The second thing is more of a refresher–the knit stitch really does shrink more from top to bottom than side to side.  The Little Coco came out a little shorter than I’d planned.  Oops? It’s still a perfectly serviceable bag, of course, just….short.

Now they are drying, and then I’ll have to figure out if they need further embellisments.

Knitting and Crochet

Kristen's scarf

Kristen's scarfFinally, a month later, I can post pictures of the deliciously soft scarf I made for my friend Kristen’s birthday last month. Isn’t it yummy? Don’t you just want to pet it? The colors are perfectly Kristen, and she seemed to adore it when I finally was able to give it to her this morning. (She may be an excellent actress, of course, but either way, her reaction was mucho gratifying.) It made me so happy to pick colors and a fiber that I thought she’d like, and I hope it makes her equally happy to wear it. In fact, here she is wearing it this morning, when my friend Allyson and I brought it to her:

The Fabulous Miz Kristen

She’d spent her morning picketing outside FOX Studios (she’s a WGA member, and a writer for K-Ville), and had been freezing her butt off the whole time. (This week was weird–chilly Monday, roasting hot Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, chilly Friday.) I think it looks verra cute on her, IMHO.

Okee, back to work on bag #5–it’s nearly finished, so soon I’ll be moving on to bag #6!

Knitting and Crochet

I has pictures, let me show you them!

It feels like forever since I posted (recent) pictures, but it’s true! I downloaded them off my camera a mere three minutes ago, just to bring them here to you!

ClutchFirst, we have the turquoise and white clutch from One Skein, before felting.  Even the bottom is seamed, can you believe it?! I hardly can, and I did it. The colors remind me of something, but I can’t think what.  Something commercial.  Not Microsoft, not Apple…. They’re the same colors as my own employer’s logo, but I don’t think that’s it either.  Maybe it’ll come to me, someday.

Fire ScarfNext up in our show and tell is the “What a Difference Blocking Can Make!” scarf, done in orange and red cotton in feather and fan.  The cotton was purchased from Suss Design (at least, I think that’s the name of her shop on Beverly, but you know who I mean–there’s only one Suss!) with the orange and red already wrapped together.  Next time, I’ll separate them and ball them separately, ’cause it was a nightmare trying to knit them off the same ball with their slightly different weights and tensions.  However, the colors make my heart sing, and that’s really all that’s important, right?

In other news, I cast on the purple and turquoise Little Coco last night while watching Chuck and Heroes.  It took me the full two hours just to do the bottom of the bag.  The stitch isn’t standard garter or even stockinette; it’s something for which I don’t know the name, but looks awesome and creates a stronger felted bottom than you get from garter or stockinette. I’ve always intended to make a scarf with that pattern, but so far it hasn’t happened.  The other reason it went slowly is the yarn–I’m using Lamb’s Pride, double stranded, which is thicker than I expected, and more tiring for my fingers. It should be easier once I’m working in the round, though.

And just for the hell of it, I give you Jack, trying to nibble off a piece of a dead hydrangea: