Tuesday, September 12, 2006

It's about time!

Wow, I really am sorry it's been so long since I've actually updated this blog with anything knit or craft related, even when I've said I would. So it's about time I did. It's also about time to start winter knitting. I think one reason I've slacked off in the blogging, is that I don't really enjoy knitting in the summer, there are too many other things that draw my attention out of the house. But guess what? It's getting cold here in Boston, and since I don't have any of my winter clothes out here with me yet (when will I be getting those is the question) I've started realizing how cold I am all the time, and how much I could use a scarf and a hat and gloves! So, what else does this call for but yarn buying?! First off, before I show you what I just got, I'll show you what I actually was able to complete over the summer.

I purchased the awesome new crochet book, "The Happy Hooker" from the Stitch 'N Bitch author. There were so many cute patterns I just couldn't resist. I finished the "Fat Bottom Bag" and am planing to do the little lacy shrug next in this great orange color. Guess what? I've started wearing orange! So not me, but I actually really like it. It's a very fall color.

It looks kind of coral in this photo, but it's more pumpkin orange, in a very good way. The bag is turquoise Lion Brand cotton with bamboo handles. I think it turned out very cute, but I think I want to line it before I used it.

For my next projects I got some beautiful yarn. My first Debbie Bliss Cashmerino! So soft!
The cream and brown yarn are the DB Cashmerino and the dark aqua is cascade 220. The cream is going to be a cute cabled beanie hat of my own design, the blue is going to be this awesome wavy scarf and the brown is going to be "fetching" fingerless gloves, to keep my hands all toasty warm!

I started on the gloves tonight while watching a really funny, if not over the top cheesy movie. They are coming along nicely!

Since I don't have a set of size 6 double pointed needles, I've altered the pattern to do it straight and then seam them up. I would love for them to be seamless, but I don' really want to buy another set of needles right now. I mean, this is the biggest yarn purchase I've made in quite some time! We need to take baby steps! Anyway, that's what I'm up to in the crafting world. I'm planning on breaking out the sewing machine soon for some projects, oh, and I still need to get a good picture of the skirt I made this summer. I really love it.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Craftiness Coming...

Look for some crafting in this space soon! But for now, check out what else I've been up to. A book over here, and some fun over here! *as a hint, there are multiple projects involving both sewing and crochet!*

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bella Boston

Ok, so I finally got around to starting a Boston Blog. Hopefully I'll be able to update this with my crafty adventures, but check out all the fun things I'm doing while living in Boston at: Bella Boston!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Bean Town!

Boston was amazing! And guess what? I have good news already! I'm moving there next month. I got the job at Harvard that I interviewed for last week and I am beyond excited. So many things to do before then, so I'll probably not be posting much before then. I have tons of pictures to show too, but I just got them on the computer last night, so hopefully tomorrow. I'm also working on getting swap packages out the door. The Block Swap is due this Friday (I have just 3 more to make) and the CD swap is this week too. For now, I'll leave this fun little thing I saw on Stephanie's blog, Unwind.

Do a Wikipedia search of your birthdate, minus the year; list three interesting events, three people who were born, and three people who died on that day.

February 24 is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (see below). There are 310 days remaining, 311 in leap years. By Roman custom February 24 is the day added to a leap year, and the occurrence of February 29 is merely a consequence of this. *cool huh?*

1. 303 – Galerius, Roman Emperor, publishes his edict that begins the persecution of Christians in his portion of the Empire.
2. 1582 - Pope Gregory XIII announces the Gregorian calendar.
3. 2002 – The Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah end.

1. 1103 - Emperor Toba of Japan
2. 1955 – Steve Jobs, American computer pioneer *I love my Mac!*
3. 1966 – Billy Zane, American Actor

1. 616 – King Ethelbert of Kent
2. 1685 – Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Carlisle, English Politician and Military Leader
3. 1810 – Henry Cavendish, English Scientist

Kinda fun huh? Ok, pictures tomorrow I promise. Oh yeah, and the socks I was meaning to knit on my trip? Didn't really happen. I ripped and restarted, but didn't touch them for the rest of the trip becuase of this book, which I really enjoyed!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Wow, I have been missing for some time, but I have excuses. Well, not knitting excuses, but busy life excuses. That'll have to sufice. I've been getting ready to go to Boston, which I'm so excited for it's consumed everything else, even crafting really. Well, not really since I've been working on book stuff, but there hasn't been much knitting or sewing. But guess what?! I'm going to take some knitting on the plane with me! Wow! I know! I think the socks that I started back in December are the perfect plane project, and since I have layovers too, I'm excited to see what I can do. I'll probably be frogging what I've done so far since I think they look waaaay too big, so hopefully I can find a nice and simple pattern to use in my pattern stash.

Hey, anyone know of any good knitting stores in Boston? Of course I'll be checking this store out: Paper Source! I'm excited!

Oh, and guess what? It's finally spring here and all the beautiful trees are in bloom! It's my favorite time of year and I have no pictures to show, that's how busy I've been running around! No time to stop and smell the cherry blossoms! This weekend is going to be great though. And maybe I'll have a finished sock or two to share when I get back!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

All sewing, all the time...

It seems like it's been nothing but sewing around here for a while. This *was* a knitting blog you know! But I guess that's what happens when you get a new machine and join a bunch of sew-alongs and then your wrists starts hurting anytime you pick up the needles. So sorry if you were looking for something knitting related. It's not here now... I am kind of sad about that, because I really wanted to finish Clapotis before it becomes too warm to wear it here, but it's not looking good.
So, I did some sewing last night, imagine that! I started working on the blocks for the "BlockSwap" and got six done.

The ones on the bottom were done first, and I like them ok, but the ones on the top kind of just came out of nowhere! I hadn't even sketched ideas for those! This one's my favorite:
Well, I have four or more to do, so we'll see where the machine takes me, but we're getting there! I'm finding that the size 10.5" is a hard one. I'd like to try some different ideas, but the cutting and measuring which would be required is scaring me! I was surprised to see how far my fabric stash is going on this one too, which will be good when I want to put together the other blocks into some kind of a quilt, I'll be able to fill in with some fun stuff!

Oh, by the way, this is my 100th post! How cool is that? The week after my Blogiversary!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Blue and Cream Bag

Ok, so the new "Sew? I Knit!" project was announced last week and they've decided to make purses/bags. Of course I've made many, of my own design, and I was thinking I would branch out and actually use a pattern. That is until I found that there aren't any patterns out there that I like! So I was sketching out some ideas on Friday night and said what the heck, I'm just going to go for it! And here it is! It turned out just like I wanted it.

I've been taking the bus for the last 6 months and I keep changing bags, they are either too big, too small, not "professional" enough, or not the right color. Basically not perfect. I love bags, and I change them often, but lately I've just wanted something I can use everyday, that will hold my purse contents, iPod, cell phone, PDA, whatever book I'm reading at the time, my camera when I need it, and some lunch! That's a large order, but I didn't want it to be too big. So I started sketching and decided I wanted it to look good too. I'd just got some great fabric at Wal-Mart of all places, for $2 a yard, and I knew it would be great with any coat, especially my jean jacket. I really am so happy with the result, I put a zipper in (my first on a purse) with pockets inside for all my stuff, and it's got a shape I love, with a little pleat on the top. The dimensions are around 14"x10"x3". Not too big and not too small. It's funny, but I used an old belt for the handles. I can wear it over my shoulder, or it still looks good as a "handbag" type as well. I was having issues for a while on what to do for handles, whether to do them out of the same fabric, but when I went looking through my old belts this one was too perfect. After completing everything else on the bag, it just finished it off, so I sewed them on the next morning. (I was amazed that my machine actually sewed through it with relatively little problems!) Ok, enough already, here's another look!

Chic, roomy, with a place for everything! And I've been using it ever since I finished. I've gotten so many compliments too, it really is the perfect bag and I'm so pleased!

Friday, March 24, 2006

1 Year Old

Wow, I almost forgot that today is my 1 year Blogiversary! I can't believe I've been blogging a whole year. When I stumbled onto the world of craft/knit blogging last year, I was amazed at all the many talented people I found. I started my blog as a place where I could write my ramdom musings and basically keep my family up to date on what I was doing.
I still feel like I'm trying to find my voice in the blog world, but I do it for me. Not becuase I think someone might read it, becuase really, who does other than my Mom? But I'm really grateful for the motivation and drive it's given the crafting I do. I think about it everyday now, and I think it's changed me because of it. I've become more creative and it's influenced my "eye". I see things differently now.
With the start of 2006 I've tried to post more often and sometimes I get down about finding things to show or write about. I'm not witty and funny like so many out there, but I try to make my voice come through. I've done so many great things this last year becuase of blogging. I participated in the Knitting Olympics, which was such a great push for me. I feel a conection to so many others out there, although they may not know it, since I'm more of a lurker than commentor. Anyway, I guess I just want to say I'm really glad I started this thing and I hope that someone can get something out of it. I know I have!
And just becuase I hate posts without pictures here's something I did a while ago that pretty much sums my blog up!

Wives and Fathers, Daughters and Sons

One of my favorite period movies ever is Elizabeth Gaskells' "Wives and Daughters". It's just a long lovely movie, with beautiful costumes and of course the beautiful face of Roger Hamley... *sigh*. The book is great too, but I love seeing it come to life in such a faithful rendition. I joined a book club recently and this month we're reading "Fathers and Sons" by Ivan Turgenev. The title of course made me imediently thing of Gaskells book. I'm enjoying it imensley so far, the story line is subtly unfolding and sucking me in. That usually doesn't happen with a lot of classics until about 100 pages into it, but I'm only on about page 25 now! Since it's an older book I thought I'd look online for cheap versions first (before running out to Borders and just buying it). I found a free version online, translated from Russian of course, that had entered into the public domain and so an idea struck me! Why not cut and paste the whole thing into Word and print and bind it myself. So I did just that! It's not the most perfect binding job ever, but it works for me!
Yesterday I came home to a package from the Chicago Public Library that I've been waiting for and I'm so excited! I am entering an exhibit they are having later this year to celebrate 5 years of their "One Book, One City" program. They want submissions for the 10 different books they've done over the years so you had to request the one you wanted and guess what? I get to bind "Pride and Prejudice"!! The top 5 books for each title will be exhibited and there will be monetary prizes for the best of each title as well! I'm just so excited that I get to do Jane Austen. I was planning on binding this book anyway so now I have the chance to have it exhibited! They also sent me a reading copy of it, since I was one of the first to get my entry in, and it's a very nice hardbound copy. I'm not sure if I'm going to rebind that, or do my own, it depends on what I decide to do. It's not due until this summer but I've already started planning what I'm going to do. I'll be sure to share my progress as I go.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

More Fun...

Here's a look at the other bracelet I made this weekend. These are the Amy Butler fabrics from my quilt and pillow. I love the pink button I used on this one. I'm wearing it today too! These little things are going to make such great "last minute" gifts! So quick and easy to make, plus the high "cute factor". At least on my scale!

What with the Easter holiday fast approaching and all the "new-born" chicks and bunnies running around the grocery stores, I'm always reminded of this fun little web site: Peep Research. Be sure to check out the Medical Miracle: Quintuplets Separated! I always get a laugh out of those. It makes me as happy as actually eating the cute little things, which I happen to be doing at this very moment.

Sign Me Up!

Well, I find I've been joining a lot of swaps and "alongs" lately. I used to do a lot more, but I think I got kind of burned out with them after a while, and after having partners flake on me. But I'm feeling the need to give myself some deadlines for my crafting lately. So I signed up for the Music Swap that Lisa has set up. I love new music, and it's fun putting together a mix and sending it out in the world. I have some fun ideas for CD cases that I've been wanting to try out too, so now I have an excuse!

Monday, March 20, 2006

A Little Fun

This weekend I finally really got down and dirty with my craft room. I cleaned and organized the whole thing, so it's finally a place that's more conducive to creative thinking. I have so much craft *stuff* that it was getting pretty out of hand. But it's all organized and put away now, I even hung some artwork on the walls! Anyway, it inspired me to do a little sewing and knitting and general crafting. The knitting project isn't done yet, but hopefully I'll find some time this week to finish it up. I did finish some cute little bracelets based on this tutorial and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.

I didn't have a copy of the tutorial with me, I just kind of made it up from the general ideas I remembered. And instead of attaching something to wrap around the button, I used the button hole feature on my sewing machine and made it button up! I even sewed the buttons on with the machine! How handy! I didn't add any other embellishments onto these as I thought the fabrics were enough. I made another batch with left over Amy Butler fabrics later last night, but didn't have a chance to get a good picture so I'll share more later.

I got together with my sister last night for dinner and so "wrapped" one up for her with a little impromptu wrapping job. I just folded a piece of scrapbook cardstock, placed the bracelet inside and sewed it shut on the machine. I think it turned out pretty cute, although she was kind of confused about how to open it! It's just wrapping paper, you're supposed to rip it!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bridget Goes to Paris

Bridget the Bunny loves Paris. Here she is admiring "la Tour Eiffel" in Paris. Bridget is a true romantic at heart and loves the atmosphere of the "City of Love". Being the sentimental bunny she is, she enjoys strolling down the boulevards and watching "les Parisiens" from a table at a Cafe, making up stories for the interesting people she sees.

"Bridge", as she's known to her close friends, also likes to make time to stop and smell the roses in the "Jardin des Tuileries". She hopes to buy a beret by the end of her trip.

Here she is admiring the new "stash enhancement" that came in the mail yesterday. It's actually thanks to that (and a pattern at Wee Wonderfuls) that Bridget is even here today! Of course, she not quite so cosmopolitain as many other bunnies out there, but she's a small town kind of girl, who's drawn to the idea of sophistication. There may be the chance of love for her in the future, as I have plans for a boy bunny too, but you can't put a time table on love. She may soon be finding a new home with a sweet little one this weekend, but only if her "bunny boy" comes along before then, to go to another "little one".

She was fun to make (although a little tricky at times, especially the bottom) and I think turned out pretty cute. This is my first ever softie and I'm pretty addicted. It was fast and fun! Here's another look at the new stash fabric.

These are my favorites.

Bridget was made from the yellow of this group, and will her new bunny friend be from the blue? You never know!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Look what came in the mail on Monday! My first shipment of fabric that I ordered for the "Block Swap"! It's a little hard to tell what you're going to get from just a picture online, but I'm really pleased with most of these, plus it's always great stash enhancement! These are my favorites so far:

Of course, Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett designs in there. I think the Mint solid is going to look great with the two on the left as well.

This "Buds and Blossoms" is by Kaufman, which I love with the Nova solids... so perfect.
I can't wait to get going on these blocks, but I think I'll wait to see what the next shipment brings.
I saw a really great idea the other day (can't remember where) about using a fleece blanket tacked up to the wall as a design board, which I can't wait to try out! It's going to be really fun experimenting with lost of different colors, patterns and shapes. And it'd be so much easier if they were hanging where I could see them!
Oh yeah, these fabrics were all purchased from FabricDepot.com.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Knitting = Pain

I haven't been knitting very much at all lately, but my right wrist started really hurting last night, so I decided not to pick up the needles, but do some sewing instead. Maybe my "knitting muscles" are just out of shape from the Olympics, I'm not sure, but I knew "working through the pain" wasn't going to help last night. I've been planning and drawing what I want to do for my quilting, and thinking about the block-swap, so I figured I experiment a bit with the machine.

I did a bit of machine embroidery first, which was fun. I'm not super good right now, but a couple things turned out well, so I'm excited to try some more. After that I moved onto practicing quilting with the walking foot and by the end of the night I had this:

You might be able to see little dots where I marked with disappearing ink my stitching lines. I used invisible thread, and I like the look of it, but I'm thinking I might even like to try some white, or off white, for the quilt itself. My original plan before last night was to do a plain brown fabric on the back, with pink thread, so it showed up more and created a nice design, and with invisible thread on top so that it wasn't too busy with the patterns. But now I might do a neutral thread on top and keep the pink on brown for the underside. I guess I'll just have to keep thinking about it some more. For now, I'm pleased with my results for the pillow, and it's motivated me to keep going! Hopefully my wrist will let me get back to some knitting soon too, I have to finish Clapotis!!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Book Meme

I got this from fellow "Sew-Along-er" Jenni and thought I'd give it a go!

1) Name five of your favourite books. Pride & Prejudice, The House of Mirth, The Marble Faun, The Betsy-Tacy Series, The Harry Potter Series (I can't pick just one!)
2) What was the last book you bought? The Chronicles of Narnia
3) What was the last book you finished? from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy
4) List five books that have been particularly meaningful to you (in no particular order). The House of Mirth, The Marble Faun, Cheaper By The Dozen (as a child), Girl of the Limberlost, Lord of Rings Trilogy (because of memories of reading it while on study abroad in London).
5) Name three books you've been dying to read but just haven't gotten around to it? Vanity Fair, Mill on the Floss, Woman in White, The River Why, The Virgin Blue (ok, more than 3 but there's a huge list!)
I am tagging all who read this!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Sew Much Fun!

I finished my skirt this Sat. for the "Sew? I Knit!" sew-along, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out! This is a bad self portrait, but I had to hurry and take it on my way out the door. (Please ignore all the junk in the background.) It took me about 4 hours in total, so not too bad.

Project Specs

Pattern: Simplicity 5503, size 14 so it would sit lower on my waist.
Materials: Light Medium Weight Denim, Cotton Thread, 7" zipper (lapped zipper), hook & eye
Notes: I used the blind hem function on my machine for the first time and am so excited to have this feature! I didn't want an obvious hem line on it, plus I didn't have a lot of extra to turn up since I have a super high waist and wanted it to be below my knees still. The blind hem function was easy to use and worked well. I just hope it will be strong enough for the heaviness of the fabric. I don't think it would hold up in washing very well. I washed the fabric before cutting to compensate for shrinkage, but since I will probably only wear this once a month, unless I spill something I don't think I'll need to wash it very much at all. The zipper was a little tricky to install, and I wish I would have done an invisible zipper, but I got it in and it looks good, all on the first try.
I like the fit of the skirt and might try it again in a lighter weight cotton for summer. It's full but not too full.

They were having a fabric sale at my Wal-Mart this Sat. so I added to the stash. There are a couple more skirts in my future now, a brown corduroy and some great large prints. I'm thinking a simple a-line or pencil skirt with the corduroy and pleats with the prints.

Also, I got into the Block-Swap and so I'll be working on that this month, and I have a goal to finish quilting "Charm School". After looking through the quilt book, I've been playing around sketching what designs I want to do for the top. I think it'd be fun to use a colored thread on the back and invisible thread on the top. I'm going to play around and see what works best. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Unfogging the Future (and my randomness)

No, this isn't Madame Trelawney's Divination Classroom, but thanks to Crazy Aunt Purl's post yesterday on March's Hor-O-Scopes, I now know how to proced through the month of March:

PISCES (Feb. 19 - March 20)
While we're on the dance metaphors, I noticed we had a little internal hokey-pokey in Pisces this month. Ya'll are playing mental and emotional hopscotch: One foot left, one foot right, cross your fingers and hope everything works out. But why? Why are you doing this? Sing it with me: It's your birthday! It's your birthday! Go Pisces! Go Pisces! You have to take the lead this month, both pragmatically and romantically. I can't imagine you stalking your goals zealously, but I can envision you with treats in your pocket to attract some puppy love. I don't mind if you use stealthy and secretive ways to get what you want, as long as you finally start closing in on the prize. Life is short, nights are long, take a chance. Put your right foot in and shake it all around, that's what it's all about.

Thanks, I think I'll do just that! Funny how that relates dirrectly to what I was just thinking and feeling. I've been feeling more introspective lately, and this weekend I took a personality test that interestingly was spot on. It was a Meyer-Brigg's Type Test and I was dubbed an ENFJ, a "Teacher" or "Giver". Very interesting. It's fun reading something by someone who doesn't know you at all, let alone know of your existence, and having it be a perfect match, and after just a short little test (well if about 75 short questions is short). I'm interested in finding out more now. I think it's made me more aware of how my personality affects my interaction with others and the decisions I make everyday. I think self-awareness is important and I need to make an effort in pursuing it more.

Other Randomness:

This is a picture I took using the Macros button on my camera of the beautiful glass vase and flower my sister gave me for my birthday. It's actually a set and it matches my room perfectly.

I just found out about this great quilt block swap today. Hopefully I'll be able to join. I think it sounds like such a fun idea. Not only will we be helping make a quilt (or multiple quilts) for charity, but we'll also get 9 blocks from different people too, so we can create our own! And the colors are so pretty too! I'm excited to try out some of my new ideas from the last post.

I'll leave you with a fun little meme that Bronxie is passing on to anyone with an iPod:
Open up your MP 3 player, set it to “shuffle”/random play, and list the first 10 songs that come up. No matter what they are. Ready?
  1. I Woke Up In A Car - Something Corporate
  2. Meet You There - Simple Plan
  3. Cure for the Itch - Linkin Park
  4. Distance - Evan & Jaron
  5. This Will Be My Year - Semisonic
  6. Simonize - Pete Yorn
  7. Dry Country Girl - Rascal Flats
  8. I Want to Save You - Something Corporate (LOVE this one!)
  9. 3 AM - Matchbox Twenty
  10. Backyard - Guster

Well, there you have it! I just added a bunch of music (around 700 songs) to my iPod this week, so there's some new and old stuff on there. I used to be able to fit everything on my iTunes on my iPod, but now I have to be picky... I'm up to around 1,700 songs on iTunes and I think I can fit about 900-950 on my iPod. I'll also pass this on to anyone with an iPod!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Wow. That's all I have to say about my new quilting book, which came in the mail on Monday. I spent last night going through the first half of the book, which covers every kind of quilt you could think of. These heirloom quilts are just too gorgeous! Here are some of my favorites:

When I first turned the page and saw this quilt I literatlly exclaimed out loud! The optical illusion it creats is just amazing!

The pastels and curved lines of this one really caught my eye. The way the colors are aranged created fun intersecting lines too.

The dots and waves on these two quilts make a big impact as well. The colors are so simple, but they are just gorgeous and fun at the same time.

I'm kind of partial to this purple Hawaiian quilt just becuase of the colors, but the forms and movement of the quilt is just beautiful too. So modern, and yet there were made in the early 20th century!

Another Hawaiian quilt, although this is the most contemporary of any of these quilts, it was made in 80's but I love the color and the modern graphics.

Also impressive were the Thousand Piece quilts, made up of thousands of tiny squares and shapes! These women were amazing! To think that most of these were hand quilted too. I can't wait to try some of these ideas out, if I could ever make something half this impressive, I'd be happy.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My Gold Medal

Wow, just look at that shiny Gold Medal! I'm so proud! I had so much fun participating in the Knitting Olympics. I really pushed myself, not only did I complete my very first sweater, I designed it and did it all in 16 days! It was a learning experience and a lesson in perseverance. It feels good to accomplish a goal you set for yourself. So thanks to Stephanie, the Yarn Harlot, for her inspirational idea, and for all the competitors, for the support of Team Alaska, and to my parents and non-knitter friends, who kept asking about my progress. The encouragement I got from so many different people was amazing, and I'm sure it's what helped me keep going when my hands started cramping! Ok, that sounds like a corny "acceptance speech", but I really am grateful, and just had a blast.

Now to keep up the knitting momentum. I started a fun seed stitch hat on Sunday after completing my sweater, I really liked it, but couldn't get the decreases to work, so I frogged it and will maybe make another attempt when I can work out the kinks. I have a lot of unfinished projects on the sidebar over there. I need to get back to work on those. Also, my sewing and quilting books came in the mail yesterday. I'm going to have to finish up my quilt and get cracking on the skirt for the Sew-Along. So lots to keep me busy.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Photo Finish!

I finished my Olympic Knitting with a couple hours to spare last night, but for a while there it was looking close! So without further ado, here she is:

Pattern: My own
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver, only 1 and a half skiens!
Needles: US 8
Notes: Ribbing was done on same size needles because I couldn't find my smaller ones and didn't want to loose time going to get some. I think it's worked out, but it would look more polished with smaller gauge for the ribbing.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, I like it better with a collared shirt underneath because the back of the collar sticks up a bit. For my first sweater I think it's a success!

Next up: My skirt for the "Sew? I Knit!" Sew-along and finishing the Phildar Sweater!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Twenty-Six (26)

Well, today is my twenty-sixth birthday. I can't believe I'm getting so old. Ok, I know it's not really that old, but I thoroughly enjoyed being 24 and would like to stay that way, thanks very much. As you can see, I've been in denial for a year now, and it just keeps coming. In honor of the occasion, I used TypoGenerator.net to create this collage. It's a fun little tool to play around with and that's what birthday's are for, right? Hopefully there will be lots of playing this weekend. I plan on going to dinner and concert with a big group of friends tonight, then tomorrow maybe some family fun or dancing, and on Sunday we're having a little Alaskan get-together. I'm really excited for Monday, I get to go see Low in concert. My friend is a huge fan and so I've just been introduced to them, but they are really good. I can't wait.

Last night I finished the bottom of the sweater and started the first sleeve. I'm almost done with it so I'm very confident I'll be able to finish the entire thing even before Sunday! I've even been weaving in my ends as I go along. You know, it's funny but I love weaving in ends! I even enjoy seaming sometimes, too bad there's none to really do on this sweater, but there are ends to weave! It's just fun to be able to make them disappear into the sweater. Yes, I'm weird. If all goes well, meaning I can find the time between all the playing to squeeze in a sleeve and a half, I'll have a new sweater to wear on Sunday!

And just for fun:
Your Birthdate: February 24

You understand people well and are a natural born therapist.
A peacemaker, people always seem to get along when you are around.
You tend to be a father or mother figure to friends, even to those older than you.
You enjoy your role, and you find that you are close to many people.

Your strength: Your devotion

Your weakness: Reliance on others for happiness

Your power color: Lilac

Your power symbol: Heart

Your power month: June

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Gold is in reach

So I've made some progress on the body of the sweater. Wow, just plain knitting takes forever! It's hard to tell how much you've done. I have just two more inches until I can start the ribbing. I think I'm going to do about 3 inches of ribbing for a wider waist band. So I believe I'm a little past half done, which is good because the clock is ticking - literally - there's a countdown clock going on over at the Yarn Harlot that makes me nervous every time I look at it. But I think I'm going to make it! I think I'm going to be forced to buy a pair of size 7's or 6's though, I thought I had some, but after searching and searching they are no where to be found. They must have been in my imagination. But I'm not too happy with the neckband ribbing so I'm going to try a smaller needle size for the bottom ribbing, see how it goes and re-knit the neck band if needed.

I finally used a gift certificate to Overstock.com I got for Christmas. I ordered some sewing books. I debated whether to get knitting or sewing books, or even a magazine subscription. In the end decided to go with what looks like a really great sewing book, "The Complete Book of Sewing" and a quilting book, "The Ultimate Quilting Book". The sewing book looks great because it has photos of so many different techniques, plus a lot of the reviews said it was a really great book for both experienced and non-experienced sewers. I think it will be a great reference. I'm excited about the quilt book because half of the book is dedicated to the history of quilts with all the different types. I'm hoping I'll be able to get a lot of inspiration from it as well as some help with the different techniques. It also has full size stitch patterns, which is what I've especially been looking for so I can decide what exactly to use on my "Charm School" quilt. Now comes the fun part of waiting for Mr. Mailman

Monday, February 20, 2006

My Creative Family Tree

I come from some pretty creative stock. I don't get it just from my Mom. I have one grandfather who was an art major in college, became a carpenter, and now, in his free time, makes violins. My other grandfather is also an artist who paints in oils and watercolors and creates stunning stained glass pieces. Both my grandmothers were experienced seamstresses and dabbled in needle crafts as well. One was and still is an excellent knitter, who created gorgeous aran sweaters and suits and even argyle socks.

But going farther back, is Danquart Anthon Weggeland, my third-great-grandfather, who was the first of my family to come to America from Norway. He was a painter and studied in Denmark where he joined the LDS church. He later came to Utah across the plains with the pioneers, and we've mostly stayed in this area since. He is called "The Father of Utah Art" and was very influential to many of the early artists who emerged in Utah. A more in depth bio can be found here and here.

This weekend I was able to see a great exhibit at the Utah Museum of Fine Art called "Revisiting Utah's Past" (link to article), which was showing three of his paintings. I haven't seen everything he's painted, there's no compiled list as of yet, but I keep my eyes and ears open and in the last year have been able to see eight more of his paintings I'd never seen before, making the total I've seen around 12 or 13, one which hangs in our own home. I'm still amazed every time I stand in front of one of his paintings, admiring the skill, the brushstrokes, and just marveling that someone who's blood I share created it. Admiring a work of art is one thing, but admiring a work of art which you're conected to is something else. Especially when you see it hanging in a museum setting. Maybe people who are artists get this same feeling when their own work is displayed (or something like it) but it's strange. I hope to continue to learn about Dan Weggeland and his life, maybe I can be the one to help pull all the pieces together, wether works of art or details of his life.

Title: "Bishop Sam Bennion Farm, Taylorsville" - 1879
Media: Oil On Canvas, Size: 21" x 31 1/8"

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Show 'n Tell

It's Progress Picture Time:
I know progress pictures aren't the most interesting thing ever, but I wanted to show what I was able to finish yesterday on the Hipster sweater. I knit the neck band! It's almost more of a square shape than a scoop, but I like it. The only thing I don't like is how the cast off edge looks, I think it looks sloppy and thick, but for now it's the best I could do. I might do a little more research, or if anyone knows of a way that looks nice, let me know! I forgot to take a picture of it before I put it back on the needles, maybe soon I'll show you what it looks like on.

It snowed about a foot last night and it's supposed to keep snowing for the next 5 days. I'm really hoping we're not in for something like just happened to the East Coast! You know who needes the snow? Torino! Send snow to them! Those poor skiers, having to compete in such bad conditions. I guess it just means more bus knitting time for me! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Lingering Signs

It doesn't seem like it's been 4 years since the Olympics were here in Salt Lake City. There are still lingering signs of the games and the impact they had on the city. This structure is just a block away from my work. I've passed it almost everyday for the past two years, but now it's suddenly bringing memories back. I still can't believe I actually got to be a part of the Olympics, to witness the competition, see a medals ceremony, even just be in the atmosphere. It's amazing! I've been keeping a close tab on them this year, and it's been even more fun to feel like I'm a part of them with the Knitting Olympics.

The sweater is coming along. I'm still pretty confident I'll be able to finish it, I just need to keep pushing myself. I've already separated the sleeves from the body and once it has more to it, I'll take a progress shot. I think in a little bit I'm going to knit on the neck band, just to make sure I like how it looks before getting too far to frog. So maybe tonight I'll get to start on that, but I have some book stuff I need to focus on first.

I'm also still sick, which isn't adding to the fun. Trying to knit while hacking up a lung doesn't work too well. My friend who's a dentist (so I'm not sure there's a lot to trust there) thinks I have walking pneumonia. I've put off going to the doctor because I hate doctors plus I really don't think they'd be able to do much for me without it costing an arm and a leg... But I may cave in soon since I've had it for over a week now. For now, I'm hoping sleep and fluids will help!