general adventures in craftiness

Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Yay! The cherry dress is finished. As I mentioned earlier, I started out with the Vogue pattern, but just didn't like the fit of the bodice, so I went back to one of my favorite patterns, McCall's 3243. I've already made two dresses from this pattern, including the Camille halter dress. The dress I made was supposed to have ruffles on the straps, but I omitted them for plain straps. I really like how it turned out. The only problem I had was readjusting the straps after I had already sewn them in. Thank heavens for the seam ripper!

Monday, April 29, 2002

Restaurant Reviews
Located in the Pearl District, Fratelli offers an honest, simple Italian menu. The restaurant is a long narrow space with a high open ceiling. Very earthy, unpretentious atmosphere, yet also hip and happening. We were seated at the corner table opposite the entrance, which was perfect because we were away from the noise. We started with the antipasti plate, which included small samplings of salads and meats. The salads included one with eggplant and sundried tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts (a straight stalk, not curly), roasted green and red peppers, marinated fontina cheese, and marinated fennel. The meats included marinated chicken with chevre and a beef and spinach salad. My entree was the ravioli special of the night. I can't remember exactly what was inside the ravioli besides cheese, but it was sauteed in a brown butter sauce with pancetta and fava beans. It was very delightful. Bart had the seared halibut with a rhubarb puree and roasted asparagus. The sweetness of the rhubarb nicely complimented the fish. We ended with a strawberry crostata, which was fresh and light. The entire meal was under $45, but we didn't have any drinks because we were going to a cocktail party immediately afterwards. I would highly recommend this restaurant. The service was excellent, the portions were just right, the prices are about average, and the atmosphere was right on.
3 out of 4 stars

Tacqueria Nueve
This is an always crowded place located on the east side. Bart and I had tried this place for the first time about a year ago and only thought it was okay, not really that good. On the advice of friends, we decided to give it a second chance. We didn't order any appetizers this time. I had the wild boar enchiladas and Bart had lamb shanks in a posole sauce. We enjoyed our meal a lot more this time around, however, my problem isn't with the food, it's with the atmosphere of the place. For me, eating out and having a dining experience is all about atmosphere and service. The service was fine, but the atmosphere lacks something. I think it may be the generic, nondescript Mexican restaurant decor. I am probably being a little picky, considering there was a huge group of people waiting outside to be seated. I would recommend the appetizers, but the rest of the menu seems pretty standard to me, though you can get exotic meats in some of the dishes (wild boar, shark).
still 2 out of 4 stars

The new Apple eMac.

Well, the weekend here was beautiful. I thought it was supposed to rain. I still was able to find some time to work on knitting and sewing though. The front of the frilly sweater is about three-quarters done, I crocheted more granny squares, and I finished my cherry dress! Well, the dress is almost finished. I just need to sew in the straps and then it's done. I started out using the Vogue pattern, but didn't like how the bodice was fitting, so I scrapped it and used a different pattern with the other half of the fabric I had left over. It took only about an hour and a half to complete the entire dress because there were five pattern pieces. I'll post pictures later.

Blazers Swept by Lakers in Three It's the same old story.

Friday, April 26, 2002

I wonder when netcomments will come back. Soon I hope.

I started in on a couple of projects last night. First I cut out the pattern pieces for the Vogue 2429 dress. This is the same pattern Mena used for the Revolt Dress. I'm using the white pique embroidered with cherries. I love this fabric! I had made a coat out of pique last year and it turned out rather well. It's easy to work with though it sheds lots of little threads everywhere.

Then I started in on the frilly sweater. I was a little nervous about the picot edging, but it wasn't that hard at all. You knit a couple rows of stockinette stitch, do a row of K2 togethers and yarnovers, then a couple more rows of stockinette. You insert a thin needle into the foundation/cast on row stitches and fold the wrong sides together. Then you knit through the stitches on both needles, and voila! You have a cute little scalloped edge that is automatically hemmed. The bell sleeves also have the picot edge. I will probably also add a little length to the body because I don't want it so cropped. I am still trying to decide on whether or not to add the frills to the front of the sweater. That may be a little too much for my tastes, but we'll see. The Rowan Kid Soft is a dream to knit with. It's merino wool, mohair, and nylon. It hardly sheds at all and the fibers stay on the yarn really well, so if you need to frog stitches, it's not a pain to deal with.

Thursday, April 25, 2002

I just had an intriguing thought...what if I added a little embroidery to the Claudia sweater? Some little flowers would be lovely near the bottom or along the side. Yay! How great is that to integrate a new craft with my knitting!

I stayed up a little late last night to finish the Rowan sweater. It's done and very cute! I love it! I really dig the raglan sleeves too. I could have gone up to a medium, but the small fits perfectly. It's snug-fitting and very shapely. I thought this pattern was super easy and didn't take nearly as long to complete as I thought it would. I want to wash it once to even out all the stitches. Now when can I wear it?

bagatell has great easy-to-follow pictures for how to purl continentally.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

I may have to skip the knitting circle this evening because of the lovely weather we are having here. The Rowan sweater is almost completely done! I only have to knit the neckband and then sew the sides together. I sewed the sleeves on last night. The granny squares are going by quickly. It's nice to be able to finish a square in only 15 minutes or so. I need to begin work on the frilly sweater too. Lots of projects going on...

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Yay! Sew Wrong is finally up and going again after a long hiatus. It's now a group blog that has also been redesigned. It looks fabulous! I love reading about all the different sewing projects. Mena's current project is the Sweetheart's Row Dress.

Monday, April 22, 2002

I got lots of knitting done this weekend. I am working on both sleeves of the Rowan sweater now. I hope to have this project finished by the end of the week. I also got some granny squares finished too. I have eleven total. I think I will make the skirt shorter than the pattern calls for and omit the last row of squares.

Lakers Begin Title Defense by Smothering Blazers I am hoping the Blazers have an answer for Shaq and Kobe in game 2 on Thursday.

Friday, April 19, 2002

I can't even believe Abercrombie & Fitch wouldn't think these t-shirts are offensive! Some of the shirts are for sale on eBay. This particular shirt was going for $159 last time I checked. [via NextDraft]

Check out these cool and hip embroidery iron-on transfers from Sublime Stitching! I especially like Viva Las Vegas and Rock-a-Billy Swing. Embroidery is another craft that my mom and grandma taught me when I was very young. I was thinking about doing some embroidery on dish towels or something simple like that. I have all my embroidery threads packed up in an old cookie tin in a closet.

Here's the gift project I finished last week. It's a little bag with a flap made with the Grignasco Nature. The pattern is from Vogue Knitting on the Go: Bags and Backpacks. You can't really tell in the picture, but the bag has a nice basketweave stitch. This is for my friend Jill whose birthday is on Sunday. Happy Birthday Jill!

Thursday, April 18, 2002

Had a productive time at the weekly open knit night at the Yarn Garden. Bought lots of yarn for two new projects. I bought some Rowan Kid Soft in an icy blue for the Rebecca frilly sweater and I also got some Gedifra Wellness cotton/acrylic yarn in black for the Granny Square Skirt. I crocheted two granny squares last night and they look pretty decent. They should keep improving as I do them. I only need to make 58 more squares!

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

I think the frilly sweater, from Rebecca #22, will be my next project. It uses picot edging, a technique I've never used before. Should be fun to knit. I'm going to check out possible yarns at the Yarn Garden tonight. I also want to knit the Granny Square Skirt from Knit It magazine. I like the idea of doing it all in one color as somebody (I can't remember who!) in the Knitblogs group did.

Movies I've seen recently
Joy Ride
A slightly lame someone's-chasing-us thriller. The plot was predictable and the ending was a little disappointing.

Life as a House
I remember when this movie first came out it only got lukewarm reviews. So with my expectations pretty low, I ended up really liking this movie. Kevin Kline and Hayden Christensen gave good performances. Make sure you have lots of Kleenex on hand for this one.

Riding in Cars with Boys
Not as good as I thought it would be. I was expecting a romantic comedy. It turned out to be neither romantic nor a comedy. More of a bittersweet life story.

Sexy Beast
I don't know why, but I didn't like this as much as I thought I would. Maybe it's because I happened to be knitting at the same time during the entire movie. It didn't have my full attention. The best scene happens right at the beginning and the ending left me thinking, "Is that it?"

I love Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. So, I am sorry to say that I really didn't like this movie. I didn't even think it was stupid funny. The characters just got on my nerves. It seems people either love it or hate it. I fell asleep. Zzzzzzz.

New Releases
Death to Smoochy
A dark comedy just like it's advertised as. Edward Norton is great. It's nice to see Robin Williams in a more devious role, though his character is a little too over the top. But he's always over the top. Reminded me a little of Being John Malkovich. But maybe that's because Catherine Keener is also in Smoochy.

Panic Room
Jodie Foster does a great job as the lead character. Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, and Dwight Yoakam are excellent supporting players. The cinematography was also good. Not too scary, but tense.

Just talked to my dear friend Rich who lives in NYC. He said it is 94 degrees there. Right now. It's April. I can only imagine it will get hotter. Ick. If I had to choose from obscene heat and dreary rain, I almost always would choose rain. The heat is just so unbearable to me. I am almost done with the Rowan Claudia top. The back is finished and I'm about halfway through the front. I am going to do the sleeves at the same time. I've never tried that, so I'm looking forward to learning something new!

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Comments are down until Saturday. :-(

Monday, April 15, 2002

I finally got my second issue of ReadyMade! Yay! There's a great article featuring local designer Susan Beal and how she started her own business. Check out her site Susanstars for cute clothing. I'm going to order the lampshade skirt!

I haven't counted, but I think I have over 40 needles of all different lengths, sizes, and brands. RIght now I have them all stored in the top of this sewing organizer. Underneath the top insert is space where I put all my knitting magazines and books. I wanted to sew a needle caddy with pockets this weekend but didn't get around to it.

Friday, April 12, 2002

The Phobia List contains more than 500 names of phobias. Who knew there was a fear of vegetables or the color yellow? Be sure to check out the Notes section for the Most Wanted List of phobias. [via the NY Times]

I'm going to a Pampered Chef party this weekend. I have no idea what to expect. Maybe I can score some cool cooking stuff.

Yay! I finished the project with the Grignasco Nature last night. The piece is being blocked now. All I have to do is sew some parts together and I'm done. Pictures will be posted soon. I am also almost finished with the front of the Rowan Claudia sweater. All that knitting done on #2 needles has gone by surprisingly fast. With all the talk of dangerous chunky wanting to learn to knit continental style, I had to try it last night. It was slow going, but I'd like to continue to see if I can do it.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Yesterday evening I went to the Open Knitting session at the Yarn Garden. It was really fun to chat and see what other people were working on. I finally got to meet Shetha too! She was binding off the blanket when I got there. Yay! It looks great. You can see her finished Lucky Baby Layette here. Of course, while I was at the yarn store, I couldn't help browsing for patterns and yarn. I got some skeins of heathery, tweedy gray Grignasco Nature (alpaca and merino wool) for a gift project and Rowan Magazine 29, the Rowan Summer Tweed Collection, and patterns for a capelet and shawl.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

I want to knit a very simple shawl or wrap to go with the dress below. Any ideas on patterns?

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

The new Knitblogs group is certainly motivating me to maintain my blog on a more regular basis!

Well, the rain is back in full force. All the more reason to knit, sew, craft, or curl up with a good book! Here's a picture of the dress I just finished. I used McCall's pattern 3243. I haven't actually tried it on yet. It would have looked better in the picture if it was on a live model I'm sure. But the dress back is very cool. The zipper only comes up to the waist and then the back is open except for the drawstring that ties at the neck. I don't know when I will wear this, but I am excited about it!

Monday, April 08, 2002

It's gorgeous outside! And just think, it will stay sunny out until about 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 07, 2002

So after knitting and watching five movies during the course of two days, I decided to take a little break from knitting and work on some sewing, one of my other favorite hobbies. I am sewing a halter dress. The exact pattern wasn't online, but it looks similar to the picture I posted. It's a little shorter with an empire waist, no keyhole neck, and a drawstring rather than a collar. It should be finished this afternoon. I used this great fabric I got from the Reprodepot Fabrics retail store called Camille. It's an abstract cotton black and white floral design. Then it's back to the knitting! My current project is from the spring/summer Rowan 31. It's design 14, Claudia, a little cap sleeved sweater. I'm knitting it in white. I thought using number 2 needles would take forever, but it's going along rather nicely and my hands aren't cramping up as much as I thought they would.

Thursday, April 04, 2002

Here's the completed vest and hat set! I really like how it turned out. This project was my first working with cotton and I didn't think it was as bad as some people have said. Sure, it didn't have much give, but that didn't bother me. I used Rowan Handknit DK. My colors are slightly different than the ones in the book because they don't have those anymore. I was supposed to put some chain stitching on the decreases of the hat in red, but I skipped that part. I hope Salvatore likes it!

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Knitting update: I am currently knitting a striped baby vest and hat set from Monkeysuits. I'm using Rowan Handknit DK in red, orange, and lime green. I should be done this week. This is a gift to some college friends who just had their third baby. Welcome Salvatore!

I must agree...The Osbournes is pretty funny.

Clamming this past weekend was a blast! We got to Long Beach Friday evening and had about an hour and a half of good light to clam by. We got 17 clams. We woke up at 5 a.m. on Saturday and headed to the beach again. There were already tons of people digging away. The clams were everywhere! We got our limit of 30 (15 each). You can spot the clams by looking for "shows," quarter-sized dimples in the sand. I used a clam gun and Bart used a shovel. It was hard, but satisfying work, especially when you actually got a clam. We've already made some chowder and some fried clams. Yummy!