Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sew Difficult

Well, I really wanted to sew a garment that I can be proud of. You know, the ones that no one can tell you made yourself? This is why I decided to enroll in a sewing class at one of our local sewing centers.

I was soooo excited the day before my class. I had purchased everything on our supplies list, well almost, and I was even taking each item out of my new little sewing tote and playing with it. I felt like a Kindergartener on her first day before school. I was actually excited over scissors ya'll. I got the titanium kind. :) Well, one of the items on the list was swiss tracing paper.

The instructor requires us to trace out our pattern and then cut it out so that we can pin fit it. Well, this makes sense to me but it adds another element of labor that I was not prepared for. My shoulders and my wrists hurt from sketching out all these details. The scissors work great by the way. But, I've sewn together as much as I could on my own and now I'm stuck. Do I have to sew on the colar of my top to pin fit it or can I leave that off? Do I have to sew those stitches that are supposed to help you gather the fabric at certain points.

Teacher lady took the wind right out of my sails with this assignment.

Here's my fabric and here's what I am hoping to make.

These are both 100% polyester. The pants have orange and gold undertones and actually match very well with the gold silky solid intended for the top.

I have still been crocheting and knitting of course. I'm just too lazy to post pictures of those new projects right now. I made a girls Ballet T-Shirt (size way too small for Teddy Bear), and I'm working on a Butterfly Garden Square toddler bed size blanket for her. I'm also working on a Razor Cami for me.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Squares for Nessa Update

Alright, however many squares I have are all going into the mail on Monday. I hope Lesa can use these and has time enough to stitch them all together.

Here's the link to Chris Simon's Butterfly Garden pattern.

Summer 2008 stuff 021

Baby Daddy

I rarely get "this is your day" gifts. I was about to say never, but that's not completely true. My big brother may send me some cash every once in a while on my birthday or mothers day, and this year he had the nerve to send me some dresses. He gets bored in stores and ain't good at being the man who sits and waits. I like two out of three of them and even get compliments. I've always thought my lack of gift receiving had something to do with me, and it probably does to an extent. But, when I met a single father who didn't even get a father's day gift, my feelings were hurt all over again for some reason.

I designed this hat for him, and named it Baby Daddy. In part because that's who he his but also impart to Michelle being called Barack's baby momma and all the fuss it caused. The terms Baby Daddy and Baby Momma ain't all bad. Many of us are just really good parents (the one who stayed) who don't even get gifts on Mother's or Father's day. Well I wanted to do something about that.

I made a wine sock out of the extra yarn.

wine sock

I really am lazy about blogging about the yarn, needle and pattern details, but if anyone wants to know I'll comment about it. I may even write the pattern down if you want me too, even though ownership of the design was part of the gift.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Big Daddy

I had this thick lock in the back of my head kinda toward the top/middle. It was twice as large as most of my other locks and 3 times as large as those around my hair line. I called it Big Daddy, but now that I think about it probably should have been calling it Big Momma. Oh well. I've heard about folks splitting their locks and thought I'd give it a try.

At first I was going to start at the tip of the lock, but that seemed to risky. So since there was about 2 inches of unlocked hair at the root (this is why it was a problem, it was so thick it wouldn't lock as quickly as the others, this was the only problem besides the fact that it wouldn't hold a curl if I should choose to curl it), I decide to cut from there. It seemed too thick to slice straight down the middle with my craft scissors. I know, I know, but these were the sharpest ones I had. So, I decided to try to scrape off enough for a brand new lock and leave the rest of the hair to hold on to the old one.

I quickly realized that this was a bad decision and just cut the rest off.

This is what I got. About 6 inches of a perfectly good lock (besides the diameter of course) I will keep it forever because it is a good example of how clean and healthy my locks are and it smells good because I just washed my hair. Oh well. I wouldn't have tried this if it had been located anywhere else on my head.

Crossover Strap Mary Janes

I have blisters on my fingers from crocheting hemp cord. Ouch!! But I really wanted to make these cute shoes. The designer's are really cute, but I don't like the way mine came out. I wish that I could figure out how to close the weave on the shoe a little. These didn't take that long, but I have to take a break to let my fingers heal. Maybe I'll try using Jute to do the sole next time, it supposed to be easier to work with.

Click the image to be taken to the location of the pattern. The designer is currently on maternity leave but keep checking back.

I used Sugar and Cream cotton yarn from Walmart. Turn around 180 degrees and look down to find the 3mm hemp cord over there by the jewelery making stuff.

I felt like I was doing some intricate trapeze work when working in the round for this odd oval shape whose sole was resistant against my pull. The pattern is very clear and even color coded for you. Making a shoe can be tricky but this designer's method of pattern writing makes things easier. It all worked out when I put them on but I just wish that I could have done a better job on my shoe, and I can't jump right back on the horse because my fingers hurt. That's what I get for not working on Nessa's squares all weekend.

I gotta get my priorities straight.

Here is my right shoe...

Squares for Nessa

One of the blogs I frequent is a mom with two sweet little girls she loves crocheting stuff for. Sound familiar? Well, that's why it gripped my heart to learn that one of her girls suffers from liver disease or some condition which affects her liver, I'm not sure. Anyway, her precious baby is now on the liver transplant list and mom is doing what dedicated mommas do, stressing, hustling to keep the house and routines in order, and doing her best to make her little princess comfortable.

She promised to make her baby a blanket to take to the hospital with her but doesn't know when she'll be able to fit this in and wants to make sure lil mama has it before her new liver comes I'm sure. That's why she called out for some assistance.

Learn more about Lesa and her babies and how you too can donate squares here. I'm sure I mentioned earlier how terrible I am at achieving gauge. This is why I ended up with an 8 inch square instead of a 6 like she asked for.

Hey, the fact that I can successfully shrink grown up patterns down to a perfect fit for Teddy Bear is pure luck every time.

Here's my first square...Those are butterflies. Maybe I should make enough of these for a blanket border and Lesa can fit whatever left over 6 inch squares she has in the middle.


I'm still chugging away on my Oz.

Click the above picture to get to the original pattern.

I couldn't get my gauge right lengthwise so I simply resigned to knitting more rows. This means I had to use 4 skeins of the main yarn instead of the 3 recommended. It seems like it's going on forever and I hope I'm not doing something wrong. According the Kamika's instructions, my sleeves will be about 24.5 inches wide before stopping. I made the body a little t0o long becaue I wasn't pulling the fabric tight before measuring (the bigh stitch is very poofy), but that's okay. I have enough bedunkadunk to compensate for that (wow, something is wrong with my spell checker because it didn't flag the word bedunkadunk).

I'm using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (which I love and trust) in the colorway Nymph. I have Thaki Dream and Berroco Bonsai waiting for when I get to the trim. Bonsai is bamboo by the way and I think that is sooo cool to knit with fibers that grow besides cotton.

Here it is...

Shrunken Jacket

I just wanted to provide and update on what I'm working on. Look inside the book here.

I'm doing the Cropped Sweater with Lace-Up Closure next.

This is the Shrunken Jacket from Double Stitched by Erika and Monica Simmons on Interweave Press. The think the designs in the book are great. Some classic, like this, and some edgy or more hip.

I'm using Elegance from Knit Picks (70% Alpaca, 30% silk), and I love it. I ran out of the main color :( and can't fork over the $50 to avoid the shipping fee right now. I would say the patterns in this book are for the intermediate and up group. This is because there just seems to be a lot of ambiguity with this pattern so far. I'm able to keep consistency because of my experience, but I could easily see the novice getting frustrated to tears and giving up. Look out for errata. Also, I think my ruffle is a little too ruffly. maybe if I rip back to try to correct that I'll have enough yarn to complete it. Probably not, but it does not hurt to dream. I just want to avoid making this great garment look tacky.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

My New Favorite Thing

I've still been working on a few things. I'm doing the Shrunken Jacket from my Double Stitch book by the Simpson sisters. I just ran out of yarn last night. Dang, cause I got it from Knit Picks and I hate to pay that shipping fee just for one ball of yarn and spending $50 to avoid it ain't in the budget right now. So, I'll guess I won't be able to wear my jacket it this weekend.

That's cool because I'm still working on my Oz by Kamika King. I think I'm almost done with my sleeves. I might be able to finish this by Friday if I focus. I'm not planning on blocking it and my family gets started late for any activities so that gives me 3 whole knitting days.

But, I wanted to show you my new Kathy Van Zeeland bag. I picked it up at Marshalls for $40 bucks. I'd seen it there previously and since it's totally not my style I'd overlooked it, or better yet, talked myself out of getting this gaudy purse. My mind couldn't shake it. They had this silvery colored one, a tan one and a pink one. Which of course was gone by the time I went back to get it.

See the bling? Those are charms hanging from a key chain.

It has so many pockets. One side for regular purse stuff, a middle pocket for cosmetics, and one side for, you guessed it, my yarney fetishes. Just as good as and way cheaper than those other stylish knitting bags. I can fit a whole hand full of crochet hooks in that bling-bling pocket up there.

On what I call the regular purse side, there's not just a cell phone pocket, but two pockets for i.d.'s and credit cards! No more wallet needed. By the way Blogger flipped these pictures for me. Thanks alot, NOT!

And yet another pocket that I use for my loose change. I love this bag.

I know that since I got this bag from Marshalls it's most likely from several seasons ago. I don't care. If I find it in pink, or red or something, I'm getting another.