Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Couple of Works in Progress

This is a simple seed stitch scarf from the Malabrigo Worsted, worked the long way, in which I intentionally induce pooling.

This is a Kauni Surprise, worked with Jamieson Spindrift. Stay tuned on that.

Owen and I went to the Digger's Outlet over the weekend. I found this sign on the wall amusing.

It appears that all the $5 wedding dresses are currently sold out. I wonder how many Madison area brides have been married in Diggers Outlet dresses. (photo courtesy of Owen, who took it with his cell phone.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Some of My Recent Stash Acquisitions

Yesterday was nice enough that I actually took some pictures of some of the yarn I've bought over the last couple of months. And I even added some yarn to my stash list on Ravelry. I absolutely do not aspire to have a thorough and complete stash inventory on Ravelry or anywhere else. I don't want to spend the time and energy and I don't think I really want the world to see just how bad it is. Plus, maybe I don't want to really know, myself. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, as they say.

Anyway, here's some yarn-ography of a few recent acquisitions:

Malabrigo Worsted, colorway Stonechat, bought at the Knitting Tree in Madison.

Yarn From the Barn, from Rainbow Fleece Farm. These have 400 yards in 4 oz, work up at about sport weight. I think they may become a stranded hat and mittens.

Also from Rainbow Fleece Farm, 85% Targhee Fleck Wool/15% silk. I have 9 oz in all, at 350 yards/4 oz

Shokay Yak Down. I splurged on this at The Sow's Ear's spring sale. Even at 30% off, it was still an indulgence.

LittleFreak Sport from CableFreak's ArtFire shop. These are organic merino sport weight wool. They are two different purples, which I thought might be more different than they turned out to be. It will be more challenging to make them work together in one piece than I originally hoped, but I have ideas about that. The base yarn is wonderful and her dyeing is terrific.

Now, I should actually go knit or something, eh?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tightwad Sewing

About a month ago, my friend Leslie and I hit the Diggers Outlet for a morning of thriftshop recreation. One of the things I grabbed was (apparently) a tablecloth made from this fabric. It's a home-dec weight, maybe not quite upholstery weight, but kind of thick. It was pieced to make a large circle and clearly a home-sewn project. I used about a third of it making this bag. The brown cotton webbing was already in the house, though I didn't have enough to make the shoulder strap, too. I'll have to see if I can find more at one of the local fabric stores. I had multiple packs of black piping in my sewing cabinet, too, so didn't need to buy that, or make my own.

I used a pattern from Terrific Totes & Carryalls: 40 Bags to Sew for Shopping, Working, Hiking, Biking, and More , by Carol Parks. I check this one out of the library about once a year and haven't actually sewn something from it before. This bag is the small duffle.

The pattern instructions call for stiff interfacing on all the major pieces, which I skipped. I thought the fabric had enough structure. Now, I kind of wish I had used it. The pattern is not lined, though I'm considering making a lining and adding it. It just seems not quite complete without it.

Because this fabric has a directional pattern, I also modified the main section and large side pockets to have a seam in the center bottom. Otherwise, the elephants on the other side would be upside down.

The bag is about 14" long and calls for a 12" zipper. I wanted to finish last night and didn't want to run out on a zipper errand, so I substituted an 11" zipper I found in my sewing cabinet. It makes the opening a bit tight, so probably if I make another, I'll try to use a 14" zipper and really run it to the edges of the top.

One thing I would definitely do differently is make the handles a bit longer. I wonder if there was a typo in the book, because it said to use a 75" length of webbing, leave 20" loose for each handle, and attach the webbing in one long continuous loop, with the ends lapping at the bottom. 75" just wouldn't have done all that. Next time, I'll allow 85".

The other modification I'll make on any future versions is to attach D-rings with webbing sewn into the top end seams. The pattern instructions say to just sew the webbing onto the bag itself, but I think it would be stronger and more elegant to catch a loop of webbing into the seam.

Overall I'm very happy with this and can imagine making more bags along these lines.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Catching up a bit...

A few weeks ago, Jaala and I took our kids to Rainbow Fleece Farm's Spring Shearing Day. I took Owen's little camera along, rather than my big one, and didn't get my pictures off of it until just now. So, somewhat belatedly, here are some highlights of that trip.

A very strange looking set of horns on this dude!

Some adorable spotted lambs.

A black sheep getting her haircut.

A Black hen!

My little guy with each of Jaala's kids.

I may have bought a little yarn there. The kids enjoyed lamb brats and playing with a visiting puppy. I bought some meat to take home: about a pound of brats and a half-leg of lamb. The lamb brats were ok, but the leg of lamb was amazing. So much better than the ones I get at the supermarket that have been vacuum sealed in some solution and schlepped from New Zealand. Fortunately, Rainbow Fleece Farm sells their meat pretty regularly at one of the local farmers markets, so I don't have to drive all the way out there next time we need a fix.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Preview of a few items from Knitcircus #6

Goth Gauntlets by me.

Roughhousing Vest also by me.

Orchid Lights Shrug by Jaala Spiro.

Pivot Shawls by Michelle Miller

Spring Daisy Cardigan by Jenny Snedeker

More to come... Stay tuned!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Little Finished Object!

The younger son wanted me to knit him a Sackboy for Easter. Never mind that I've been trying to get away from turning everything into another gift-giving occasion. It was something I could make from things I already have lying around the house. Except the metal zipper.

Sackboy Pattern by Alan Dart.
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lambs Pride Worsted, color Wild Oak (had in stash forever).
Needles: US #5

Stuffing was from a toy Sponge Bob my husband eviscerated to make a Sponge Bob suit for one of his robots (don't ask).

The buttons were in stash and the embroidered details are from odds and ends.

The hat was one I made years ago from some cheap-o acrylic in a thrift shop grab bag. I thought I might make baby hats for the hospital, but then Owen got a hold of the hat for a stuffed bear, and it was buried in his room for about 12 years. The hat surfaced in a recent purging. It fits Sack Boy very well.

In addition to this, I've been working on a new stranded knitting project, which I hope to finish up for the August 1 Knitcircus (Issue 7), and I've been assembling Issue 6, which should get mailed in very early May.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

More sewing...

So, here's another project for the 5 People/5 Things Note on Facebook.

I sent Erica H. in the Bay Area this double point needlecase. Seems like I just mailed it and she got it already.

She told me she likes pink. We got that covered.

Happy knitting, Erica!

Kate Cardigan Knitters

I just wanted to make sure everyone gets the word. There's an errata sheet available for download here.

Sorry for any confusion and inconvenience.