general adventures in craftiness

Friday, May 31, 2002

Personal Yarns
School days, school days, good ole...

Where did you attend school as a child? (the first 6 years or so...) What do you remember about the building and the playground?
From kindergarten through second grade I attended the Metropolitan Learning Center. It's an alternative school in the public district for K-12. I remember thinking it was so cool to have such older kids around. My cousin (who also went there) and I would go to math class, music class, art class, and spend hours reading in the library. We also took swimming lessons. There were tons of murals all over the school and in classrooms that are still there now. The playground, which is next to a park, had this great wooden play structure that I loved.

Do you remember your first day? your teacher's name? best friends? your favorite activity?
I don't remember my first day, but the two teacher's names I remember are Sally and Gail. My cousin and I enrolled at this school at the same time so we could be together since we were only a week apart in age and she was an only child. We practically grew up together until middle school. My favorite activities were going to the library and art class. In art, my big project was chiseling a whale onto this totem pole.

What sort of lunch box did you have? What was usually in it?
The lunch box I had was from this cartoon called Kids something. It was about this group of kids that hung out together and had a club or something. The main character wore glasses and was sort of nerdy. Any one else remember it? For a long time my lunch was always a scrambled egg sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise and lettuce and salted apples. Sometimes I had chips or a Slim Jim, which were special treats!

Describe yourself as an elementary school student.
I was a really good student. I loved school and always listened to the teacher. I had friends, but was always pretty shy.

Thursday, May 30, 2002

I'm so jealous--Meg went to the French Laundry.

Over the weekend I went to this party and was talking to this woman who plans on opening a children's clothing store. She's a mutual acquaintance of several friends and she knows I knit. She asked me if I wanted ot make things for her store! I said I'd love to! It should be opening in August. So, last night I headed to the LYS to buy some Rowan Handknit DK to experiment and design a line of hats. I spent most of the night knitting a hat in the round with a motif in the center. However, I couldn't get the color changes/twisting the two colors of yarn to work out right. I finally realized that it wasn't working because I was knitting in the round and not turning my fabric. Duh! I started over again (for the fifth time) on straights. I also want to design a line of sweaters to mix and match with the hats.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

I was browsing in another one of my favorite boutiques and found this perfect knitting bag. For only $20, I had to snatch it right up. If you look closely, you can see that is is entirely woven with skinny plastic strapping! So that means it's waterproof and fairly durable. It also has a nice flat bottom so it will stand upright. It's about 17" x 12" x 9". That's roomy enough to carry a couple of projects plus magazines, books, needles, etc. It's made by a company in Seattle. They also make some other sized bags using other colors.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

I actually took a bit of a break from knitting this weekend. I worked a little on the fulled pillow, but decided to watch movies and hang out with friends instead. Bart's parents were in town too, so I spent a couple of days with them.

I taught someone to knit this weekend! This woman saw my felted bag I was carrying and asked if I gave knitting lessons and how much would I charge. I told her I'd do it for free. She caught on quickly and hopefully, she'll be working on her first project soon. I recommended something easy, like a dishcloth or headband.

Is summer coming soon?

Friday, May 24, 2002

I stayed up late again to finish this project! I like how it turned out though. It looks much better when all the squares are sewn together and the edgings are added. I omitted the last row of squares, so it's a little shorter than it's supposed to be. I used Gedifra Wellness, which is a cotton/acrylic blend. It feels pretty durable, but not as pliable and smooth as wool would have been. Maybe I just need to wash it a couple of times. Before I wear it though, I need to make a little black slip. No peep shows here!

Happy 3-day weekend!

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

[yawn] Just one more granny square...just one more granny square...with a sore left forearm and a tingly right hand, I finally finished the last granny square at 12:04 a.m. Now they all need to be sewn together and then the edging can be added.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

I went into one of my favorite boutiques to browse at lunchtime and saw the cutest handbags created by a local designer! Check out these Purselets by Coco Creative. So chic!

Yay! Here's my finished daisy mini tote. I had a lot of fun knitting up this bag. Once you knit the outside of the bag (in grey), you finish up by purling one row where the bag will fold and then continue knitting stripes in the various colors that will become the lining, and what ultimately ends up showing through the eyelets in purl stitch. I stayed up until about 1 a.m. doing the embroidery of the daisies. Everytime I would finish a row, I would want to do another because I was so close to finishing, so I figured I should just finish the whole thing. The finished bag is about eight and a half by eight inches.

Monday, May 20, 2002

You Can't Judge a Book By Its Coverage
In the age of marketing, this was a sure thing. Sylvia Ann Hewlett's book Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children got all the right pub. It was featured on 60 Minutes and the cover of Time. Several major papers discussed the book in their editorial pages and if that weren't enough, Oprah plugged it. Then the unexpected happened. Almost no one bought a copy. [NYTimes link via NextDraft]

I finished knitting the body of the daisy mini tote last night. It looks great and the pattern was very easy to follow. I just need to knit the straps and embroider the daisies. Pictures to follow later this week...

Friday, May 17, 2002

The projects I'm mainly working on are the granny squares and the daisy mini tote, which I started the night I bought the yarn. It's going pretty smoothly and should be finished some time next week. The pattern is very clever with the striped lining creating the colors that show through the eyelets. I have 10 more granny squares to go.

I love this crocheted star quilt from Family Circle Easy Knitting. If I had seen that in there when I flipped through it, I would have bought a copy! [via squiBlog]

Thursday, May 16, 2002

I bought lots of yarn yesterday at open knit for two new projects: a daisy mini tote and an embroidered fulled pillow. Both are patterns from Vogue Knitting on the Go books. The mini tote is on the cover of the Bags & Backpacks book. It's very cute. I am using Lite Lopi for that. The bag will be grey with red, yellow, teal, purple, and lime flowers showing through the eyelets. The pillow will be purple with green stripes. There are little flowers embroidered on the purple sections with some cross-hatched stitching on the green stripes. It has a button closure on the back. I'm excited about these projects because I will get to do some embroidery on both. I've been itching to try that. Needless to say, I never got around to adding embroidery to my white Claudia sweater.

I'm also keeping my eyes open for another good spring/summer clothing project. I'm leaning toward Rowan's Maggie or Breeze, or something with cables.

And just as i was getting ready to leave the yarn store, I snatched up a copy of Toy Knits by Debbie Bliss. Lots of really irresistable patterns. I couldn't help myself after seeing Becky's fantastic ostrich!

I only have 15 more granny squares to crochet and then I can sew the whole thing together.

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Here's the Unfrilly Sweater from Rebecca #22. I love how this sweater turned out. I decided to forego the frills just because they weren't really my style. I can always knit them to see what they look like and add them later if I want. I ran out of yarn for the picot edging on the neckband, but was able to get more quickly since it was in stock at the LYS. This Rowan Kid Soft yarn is fabulous. Super soft and not the least bit itchy against the skin. It's still rather cropped even though I added about two more centimeters to the length. The bell sleeves turned out well and the seams look great too. I can't wait to wear this finished object!

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Just got the Rowan Junior book. More great designs from Kim Hargreaves for babies and kids.

From My Little Blue Dress by Bruno Maddox:
She was attractive I decided, though in a musty-looking sort of way. Her skin was pale, hardly glowing with health, and her clothes were fairly drab, from bottom to top: canvas shoes, faded blue jeans and a tight white T-shirt curling up at the lower hem to bare the merest sliver of midriff. Frumpiest of all was her cardigan, grayish purple and woolly, possibly homemade. It threw me slightly, that she was wearing that cardigan. Not only was it easily eighty degrees out there in the street--though she wasn't sweating--but people in New York don't usually wear items of casual, almost whimsical knitwear, even in winter. People in New York tend to dress either grittily or glamorously, and her cardigan was neither, about as jarring against the urban backdrop as my baggy black sweater had been back in early twentieth century rural England.

Monday, May 13, 2002

All the pieces of the frilly sweater are ready to be sewn together. I think I will skip the frills though, mostly because I have just about run out of yarn.

I saw Spider-Man this weekend. I loved it!

The Tag-Board is not working right now. :-('s okay. Anytime I change my template, it gets screwed up and I have to delete the code then reenter it. Sheesh!

Friday, May 10, 2002

I've been playing around with Tag-Board, an interactive message board. I've been trying to put it on my right sidebar and sometimes it's fine, but then after about 15 minutes, everything else below it disappears. Very weird. It's a great concept and I'll keep tweaking it to see if I can make it work.

Right now, the Tag-Board is located at the bottom of the sidebar. I like the idea of letting people leave messages that aren't related to any posts. So far it's working okay. Cool! Leave me a note.

I am quickly starting to see the addictive qualities of the Tag-Board. It's just like instant messaging, but funner because you don't need an IM app. It's all in the comfort of a web browser and the refresh button.

Fresh Baked Goods has updated its site. There's a sale area now plus lots of cute, but spendy, dresses.

Finished sleeve one last night and sleeve two should be finished this weekend. I can't wait to put this sweater together. It's still chilly enough here that I can wear it at least once!

Thursday, May 09, 2002

Here's the skirt I got yesterday from SusanStars. I got one with pink daisies on it. I'm ready for summer!

Finally made it to the knitting circle at the Yarn Garden last night. It was fun to chat and see what everyone else was working on. And Shetha gave me some of her soaps and peppermint lip balm. The soaps smell amazing! Thanks Shetha! I actually refrained from buying any new yarn. I don't know exactly what kind of project I want to work on next. I do have some flannel that I was supposed to use to make pajamas, so maybe that will be my next project.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Shetha helped me realize what the problem with the sleeve was. I was thinking that I had to mark every 12th stitch anew on every sixth row, when in fact, once I marked them the first time I should have left them alone! Duh! So now, the sleeve is progressing nicely and is almost done. The front and back are being blocked. I am already looking for a new project to start.

I think I will buy the Sweater Wizard and Stitch & Motif Maker software. I downloaded the demos and played around with them and they're pretty cool. The Sweater Wizard has a choice of different necklines and sleeves that you can put into your pattern and then further customize. It creates diagrams of the pattern, as well as text directions. I want to start making my own patterns, but I'm a bit intimidated, and using this software seems to be a good way to transition into that. At least for the way I think and do things. I feel that I could sketch out what I want and then actually create it using the software. Once I see that translation several times, I think the overall process will be easier for me.

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

I was up to row 30 on the sleeve last night, the last row of decreases. Then I decided to frog back to row four. The decreases still were not working out and I want to get it right. Here are the directions as I remember them:

I have 87 stitches cast on. Then on every sixth row, decrease six stitches five times as follows - work edge stitch, then mark every 12th stitch six times. On the first decrease row K2 together (the marked stitch with the preceding stitch). On the second decrease row, slip the marked stitch, K1, PSSO. Then repeat these two decrease rows again plus the first row for a total of five decrease rows spread out over every sixth row, which equals 30 rows total. That's not where I'm having problems. I'm having problems with marking every 12th stitch six times. After the third decrease row, I will only have 69 stitches and, therefore, will only be able to mark every 12th stitch five times instead of six. So, here is my final solution. On every decrease row, I will start out by working the edge stitch and marking the 12th stitch, then I will decrease my markings from 12 (first decrease row), to 11 (second decrease row), to 10 (third decrease row), etc. I think then the decreases will be more evenly spread out. Does this sound right? I hope I don't have to frog stitches for a fourth time!

Monday, May 06, 2002

DO IT is a manual of artist's instructions for you to actualize. It's a very interesting site. There are over 60 artists listed including Matthew Barney, Paul McCarthy, and Yoko Ono. If you participate, by realizing your own version of the artist's instructions, you can send in documentation of your project and be in the manual. [via caterina]

I had a slow knitting weekend. Worked some more on the first sleeve, but the decrease directions were a little weird, and I had to rip out about 12 rows. We'll see if it turns out or I have to frog rows again. I hope not!

Friday, May 03, 2002

Thanks to Urban Gypz, I found out that YACCS was accepting new users. Yay! Comments are back. I would have liked to stick with netcomments, but their upgrade was taking forever.

I finished the front of the frilly sweater last night. Just started one of the sleeves. I'd like to do both sleeves at the same time, but my needles are too short. The pattern said I would only need 175 grams of yarn, however, after finishing the front, I only had three-quarters of a skein left, so I thought I better buy more. Luckily the Yarn Garden had two skeins left and they were even the same dyelot.

Shock Rock Fans Needle British Knitting Circle A ladies' knitting club in Britain is reeling after fans of shock rock group Slipknot bombarded its Web site with threatening e-mails.

Thursday, May 02, 2002

Knitbloggers, thanks for all the birthday wishes! I have had a very pleasant day, relaxing and actually getting some knitting done before 8 p.m. As a present to myself I bought some very expensive blue mules. A woman can never have enough shoes! I am about halfway through the front of the frilly sweater. I never made it to open knitting last night. I was doing errands beforehand and time just got away from me. I'll try to go again next week.

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

I finished the back of the frilly sweater last night. I am starting in on the picot edging of the front. I plan to get a lot done at open knit night this evening. That is, if I don't get distracted by all the yarns, magazines, books, and patterns.