Friday, November 30, 2007

Corny Crafting

I was procrastinating. I didn't feel like picking up the Cardigan last night, but I wanted to make something. So, I just started pulling out these fat quarters I bought on sale at Joann's. I didn't plan any of it. Just wanted it to be spontaneous.

Well, I liked the spontaneity of it. But, the finished product is just a wee bit too... I don't know... Xmas-y? Corny? Basically, it's just not very me.

But, it was fun. It was fun not planning it all out and just randomly using whatever I had around. And now, I've got some holiday stuff. And really, isn't all holiday stuff kinda corny?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Keep on keeping on...

I didn't plan to knit this cardigan just yet. Almost out the door, on the way to the airport, I had to start something... anything. And, all I could think to grab was yarn that was already wound into balls. So I grabbed my Rowan Felted Tweed and my Interweave Fall 2007 issue and started the Tangled Yoke Cardigan at Gate 65 at JFK Airport.

It is definitely a project that fits my still very novice criteria of containing something I've never done before. I've never done a yoke sweater from bottom to top, so the attaching of sleeves was new and different. And, I decided to take those training wheels off and not use a cable needle. It's really so much faster and easier, even though I have to talk (out loud) myself through the steps.

So far, so good. I just know the process will slow now that I'm home.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

kinderful tote

I've been drawn to old-fashioned european-style trinkets lately. I've bought a few of those wooden i-cord makers and have even pulled out a few of my Sigikid Moonshine Gang members from back in the day. Love those cuddly guys! So when I decided to make the all-day tote from Lotta Jansdotter's simple sewing book, I wanted it to be quaint and bavarian-esque. It could also be Lotta's scandinavian aesthetic rubbing off on me.

So, I chose a natural white cotton canvas for the exterior and grabbed some fabric I had in my stash. Voila! An all-day tote is born.

I decided not to include the front pocket as I don't read newspapers and I don't like folding magazines.

And I added a little decorative top-stitching around the top edge to remove the starkness of the solid natural canvas. I liked that stitch as it was simple and reminded me of those simple leaf and vine textile prints.

I think in the future I'd like to do more to the exterior before putting it together. Maybe some hand embroidery or applique.

And I like the little key ring and interior pocket detail she included in the pattern. Very useful.

Personally, my favorite part is the exterior side pocket. It's perfect for my MetroCard and my work id. It's important to have easy access when traveling about NYC. I think next time I'll add pockets to both sides.

Lastly, I f'ing love my sewing machine. It stitched through six layers of canvas like a hot knife through butter.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hand pieced blocks

I started my Quiltmaking By Hand class at Purl Patchwork last week. After an exceptionally grueling day at the office, it was nice to sit in a cozy store, surrounded by beautiful fabric, learning a new craft. The construction of hand pieced blocks is quite different from machine pieced blocks. I was happy to learn that precision was not necessary when cutting out the fabric, so long as it was outside of the drawn sewing line. That seems to be my achilles heel in machine piecing. The evil combination of that rotary cutter, rotary ruler and layers of fabric make every block of mine more than slightly imperfect. I always get those hills and valleys in my long strips... but I digress.

I wanted to learn this form of piecing and quilting so I had something more portable. Of course, I find all this incredibly ironic since I just upgraded my sewing machine to some superduper sewing machine that could probably fly a jet plane, but I haven't had time to figure it all out yet... but I digress again.

Anyway, those are the first four blocks I've hand pieced. Six inch blocks. Various fabric from Yuwa, Lecien, Joel Dewberry and Quilt Gate.

To be covered in the next class: triangles.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Good Times

It seems I'm fitting a lot into my weeks these past few months, but it's also making me feel like a certified nut job. Working seven days a week between Corporate America and the sweetest knitting store on the Upper West Side, Knitty City, I'm feeling like a Type-A when in fact I'm really like a Type-Z. My Corporate America job allows me to do the things I love, and Knitty City is actually doing the things I love. I can't complain. However, I can pass out as soon as my head hits the pillow these nights.

So instead of myself looking back at this post wondering what all those things were, skipping all the extraneous words, I'll simply list some highlights:

1) Met Eunny Jang at her appearance at Knitty City. What an impressive individual. Yes, even more so in person.

2) Got my first professional knitwear job. I was asked, and paid (woo-hoo!) to knit a custom fit sweater for a teacup poodle, Emma. What a great time. She still hasn't come into the store to model it for me. So, here's a pic of the pouch I made for the sweater, but no pic of Emma actually in it yet.

3) Another friend of mine is pregnant and I jumped on the opportunity to knit baby a little itty bitty sweater.

I used a pattern from Knitting For Baby by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas. And I used Mission Falls merino wool as it's superwash.

4) I finally finished the knitting of the Shibui Half Circle Cardigan, but am still finishing it. There's lots of finishing.

5) Will be starting my Quiltmaking by Hand class at Purl Patchwork tomorrow! I am SO excited I can hardly contain myself.

6) One of my best friends just got a brand new Baby Lock sewing machine, and another just started taking a quilting class. (Love converting those closest.) Since I stopped socializing and only sit around crafting these days, it's important to get friends in on it. Am I right?!

7) And one of my biggest accomplishments: RESISTED buying a Baby Lock Imagine Wave Serger. Yes, that's right. It was on sale and I walked away from dropping a load of cash for it. For those that know me, know this - that is a big big deal. I'm terribly compulsive.

As soon as I finish the Shibui, I'll get some pics up. Damn that finishing. I don't mind it - there's just a lot.