Friday, August 29, 2008

Finished February Lady!

I could not love this sweater more; I even took the time to block it and counted down the hours until it dried! (No, I don't usually block my handknits - I know, I know, I really should!) Then with some of my great-grandma's vintage buttons, I finished it off and had to wait till DH came home to model it for the camera. Now, I just have to wait for the weather to get cold enough to actually wear it.

And I had another thought: wouldn't it be sweet to have our baby announcement picture with Baby wearing it's handmade sweater, and me wearing mine? I'm not sure what DH would wear (the sweater I knit for him when we were engaged could fit a giant; he's tall, but not that tall!).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ideas Please

I have this gorgeous pile of patterned silks on my sewing table waiting for inspiration to strike. There is about a yard of each pattern, but I'm reluctant to make anything with them because they are so special. These fabrics came hand-picked from China by a dear friend as a wedding present; what a great wedding present, huh?! I could not have asked for anything more perfect! (As a matter of fact, I did ask for her to bring me some Chinese fabrics:)

So, I am wrestling with what to make with them: it needs to be useful, or beautiful, and something that I can always remember my friend by. Any thoughts?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Handpainting Yarn

These are some handpainted yarns that I made last year in my kitchen using just food coloring, water, vinegar, and heat. It is so fun and easy, and you can use the dyes to make multiple skeins for a large project. Click on the post title to link to the article that taught me how to do it. (I used the cold pour method she teaches in the article.)

Knitting Kindnesses

Well, this has slowly morphed into a knitting blog; just while I'm taking a little break from bookbinding...

My sweater problem is solved: yesterday, I was given a great kindness by a new friend in Minneapolis who is kindly allowing me to use her stash like my LYS. I now have enough yarn to finish my Lady Sweater! I am pumped, this may just be the best sweater I have ever made. I tried on what I had so far last night and it fits; amazing!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Progress...and concern

I am now this far on my February Lady Sweater and loving it. yarn is getting used up much quicker than I thought it would. I have 7 skeins of Classic Elite Lush, with 124 yards per skein, so total about 868 yards. Which technically should be enough for the sweater. In this picture I'm about 1/4 of the way through my fourth skein.

So, any ideas for what to do if the yarn runs out? My plan is to continue working the body for as long as I want the sweater/as long as the yarn holds out. If I have any left, I'll add it to the sleeves. They may end up as cap sleeves. Or, what do you think about adding a new yarn to finish the sleeves? Good idea or bad idea?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

February in July

As a means to using up my yarn stash, I've started on a February Lady Sweater, with some rose colored Classic Elite Lush. I think this picture communicates just how soft and fuzzy this yarn is. It is lovely to work with, beautifully soft, but it sheds something fierce! I have to remember not to work on it when I'm wearing black, or white. Today will be perfect as I'm wearing hot pink (a nice hot pinky color, not a fluroescent one!).

And I've been working on my partner's purse for The Great Knitted Purse Swap on Ravelry and having so. much. fun. This is a sneak peek of part of the purse (and a little blurry at that), but I don't want to give it all away, even though my partner doesn't know who I am.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Great Knitted Purse Swap

I'm participating in my first knitting swap on Ravlery with a knitted purse swap. This is my completed questionaire so everyone knows my knitting likes and dislikes!

Do you knit, crochet, or do both? For how long?
Knit, for about 13 years

What are your 5 favorite purses in your queue that you would like to recieve? or would you like your swapee to surprise you and get creative?
Surprise me! If you want a hint, I really like Noni felted purses; but don’t feel obliged, I really like surprises too!

What other crafts do you do, if any?
I am a bookbinder and have a small business selling my work. I also sew a little:)

What are your favorite colors? Colors you loathe?
I love jewel tone colors, and pinks, greens, blues. I don’t like browns or neutral colors, or fluroescent/neon colors.

What type of purse would you like to recieve? (knitted, crochet, felted)
I would love a felted purse; otherwise knitted.

Are you allergic to anything?

Favorite yarn brands? Fiber types? Yarn you can’t stand?
I love lots of yarn brands; my favorites are Rowan or Manos del Uraguay. I love natural fibers, mainly wool!

What is your favorite type of item to knit/crochet?
I really like to make sweaters, but I’m also knitting baby things now. And I’m getting into washcloths/dishcloths.

What kind of needles do you like? (i.e. circular, straight, metal, bamboo, etc.)
I love my Addi Turbos, otherwise, any kind of circular. But I would love a pair of beautiful wood needles.

Any knitting tools you lack but crave?
I can’t really think of any. I don’t have any cute stitch markers, or a good gauge.

Patterns you’ve been dying to get but haven’t yet?
Can’t think of any. I am knitting more baby things, so something baby-related would be nice.

Do you drink coffee, tea, cocoa or add to water beverages? Flavors you love/hate?
I drink decaf coffee right now, and I love decaf fruit teas.

Favorite sweets & snacks?
Anything chocolate!

What kinds of books do you like to read? Favorite authors or genres?
I read classics, or classic mysteries, think Agatha Christie. I’ve pretty much gone through all of hers though. Hmmm…Now I’ve started on Margery Allingham, she also writes classic mysteries.

What type of lip product do you use?
Clinique Sweet Honey lipstick; but I always like a subtle lip gloss, of any brand!

Do you collect anything? (besides yarn! LOL!)
Just old books, I guess. I also love vintage textiles and buttons.

What, if any, are your non-craft related hobbies?
Cooking, reading

Scents you adore? Scents that make you gag?
Hmm…I get smell headaches pretty easily, so I’m not much for scented things.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It Really is the Best

The best granola that is. I was pretty skeptical at first, but after eating it for breakfast, mid-morning snack, mid-afternoon snack, and before-bedtime snack, I'm convinced. The recipe is Andy's Fairfield Granola, from the "Feast" cookbook by Nigella Lawson. DH loves it too, and diminishes my supply rapidly by large handfuls. Today's batch is really for him, because he's been working so hard; we may go through the whole supply in front of the tube watching the Olympics!
The granola, as one of my new favorites, is destined for Christmas presents this year. Now, I just need to start collecting some pretty little containers to wrap it in.

Really, do try it, it will become a habit.

I'm taking a little break from bookbinding while I finish up this quarter's Masters classes, so I'm enjoying some extra cooking and knitting in my breaks. What I should really be enjoying is some extra cleaning...oh well!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A new skirt...and a new gifting philosophy

This is my newest summer skirt, finally finished after as DH said, "almost a year." Well, not quite, more like 8 months, only 2/3 of a year; so there! It is the Sasha pattern by Louet knit with Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Linen and I love how it turned out. But now I'm too pregnant to wear it. So I've just been admiring it on the hanger. I thought about making the elastic band in the waist a little larger to fit under my belly, so I might play around with that. Right now I'm just content to gaze at it.

As I was wrapping my friend's wedding presents in homemade fabric gift bags, I was pondering my plans for Christmas presents this year. I'm giving all handmade items (mostly handmade by me; yes I'll be busy:), and I'm going to wrap them using items I already have on hand. The fabric gift bags are a great way to use up leftover fabric, and, since I save all the wrappings people give me, I have quite a stash. Yet another way to recycle, be good to the environment, and get more stuff out of my house!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Crafting Fool

Last week, I had two major projects due for my Masters program, so of course, all I wanted to do was craft. But, I restrained myself, and waited until the weekend when I was surprisingly productive. First, I made the Sketchbook Wraps for the shop shown in the last post.

Then, I tackled my first project for Baby; a Five-Hour Baby Sweater.

I think it turned out really cute, perhaps a bit too large for a newborn though. Now I just need to hunt down some sweet vintage buttons. Since we're going to be surprised and wait to find out whether it's a girl or boy, I'm going to bring a pink and blue sweater to the hospital.

And lastly, I made the pile of cloth napkins above as a wedding present for a friend of mine. She registered for red, yellow, green, and blue Fiesta Ware for her everyday china, and I though some re-usable napkins in complementary colors would be nice. They're really bright and cheery, I hope she likes them!
All in all, I'm pretty proud of my productivity (how's that for alliteration!)!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sketchbook Wraps

My newest project, created in an effort to combine all my scraps of material with bookbinding somehow. Ever since I got pregnant I've had this strong desire to clean everything extraneous out of the house! Not so easy when you're sentimentally attached to almost anything and everything:)

But, it's easier for me to part with supplies if they're transformed into something useful, like a book. Hence the Sketchbook Wraps to use up all my bits and pieces of Kaffe Fassett fabric. Who wouldn't want to draw or doodle in a book covered with these fantastic prints? And I think the vintage buttons add a nice touch on the cover fasteners. There's just enough room in back to slip five shortie colored pencils too, so no good idea goes unrecorded.