Thursday, June 26, 2008

With dial-up, no one can hear you scream... for at least ten minutes...

Whups, forgot to post the last two days. And man, is dial-up slow! (We have dial-up at home. I'm usually dropping a post before I clock in at work, since we have a T1 there. Yay, really-high-speed-thingy!1)

Anyway, I've been working on:
  1. The Sekrit Projikt (knitting);
  2. My Ninja Mittens (I've done the right hand, now I've just got the 150+ arm rows, and the entire left mitten);
  3. "A Small but Ferocious Beastie" (cross stitch);
  4. A mini-sampler for my sister, who just got married - NOT her wedding sampler. This one says "May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face and may you always find the perfect pair of shoes".;
  5. The Forget-Me-Not shawl in hot-pink merino (ooo, it is so the pretty!);
  6. ...and five or six other things that held my attention for a combined total of fifteen minutes.
Hey, I'm on vacation until Tuesday. I won't be posting until then, most likely... because MAN o MAN, dial-up is slow in this town!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Happy Ending Story

Okay, so, last week was all about the Sewing. This week, it's gonna be all about Cross Stitch.

Knitting, while immensely portable, and while I tend to actually knit more than anything else these days, isn't my primary craft. I'm actually a cross-stitcher that knits a lot (and, as it turns out, doesn't cross-stitch that much). So, let me tell you a story...
Once, long, long ago, there was a wonderful woman named Thea Dueck who designed all sorts of lovely cross-stitch patterns. More than cross-stitch, her samplers were full of all sorts of lovely specialty stitches. She offered to help people with the tricky bits via on-line "Cyberclasses", and even in person during special Stitching Retreats.

One little CraftyGryphon dipped her paw into the world of Victoria Sampler, even going so far as to take several Cyberclasses, go on at least one retreat (thousands of miles away), and, in a panic the week before her wedding, order EVERY SINGLE DESIGN Victoria Sampler had published up to that point from a local needlework store, plus all the specialty floss kits to stitch those designs. (They *still* talk about that one up there.)

Anyway, early in 2007, Thea announced that the Very Special Project for the 2007 Stitching Retreat that fall would be a special Twelve Days of Christmas bellpull, or, if one wanted, twelve little ornaments. The little CraftyGryphon just about swooned, practically deafened her husband with all the squealing, and signed up immediately, despite the fact that the new roof wasn't paid off quite yet, and the doors hadn't been installed in the back of the house.

Events (and construction) intervened, and the little CraftyGryphon couldn't go on the Wonderful Trip to Victoria to stitch her very own Twelve Days of Christmas bellpull. Oh, the wailing! The sadness! The incessant whimpering! How she suffered! (How her husband suffered! He, after all, had to listen to all of it. He was very good about not rolling his eyes more than once a day, though.)

Then, in 2008, Thea made an announcement. There would be a Twelve Days of Christmas Bellpull Cyberclass! Cue the squealing, the spinning around in happy circles! Cue the charging of the credit card! Within a week a box from Canada arrived, full of fabric and floss and a lovely red folder for class notes. Each item was carefully removed, patted, sorted and placed back in the box, awaiting the beginning of class...
Class finally started on June 5th (with the fabric being prepped on June 4th, in the middle of a huge thunder/tornado storm). All the available lesson files were promptly downloaded, and a welcome message was posted in the class board (which, sadly, managed to post itself almost a dozen times. Hopefully, one of the moderators will be able to fix it!).

Next time: Actual Progress!

Friday, June 20, 2008

And now, a word from our sponsor


That will be all.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quilting Break!

Okay, break from sewing. Here is a truly fabulous quilt from the Quilter's Expo: it's called "NASA Wind Tunnel", it's banner-sized, and it's SOOOOOO cool. I wish I could make stuff like this. (Eventually, I will...)

And this is the stuff I got.

It's blurry, but there are two patterns, one for a lovely table runner-of-stars, one of two bunnies with some celtic knotwork in the background. There's one little tiny stars foundation-piecing foundatons in muslin - the whole quilt will be about 8"x12"!!, a cord winder, a dayglo-green seam minder, a template that makes a thumbprint, some new scissors, and some lovely coordinated cloth in Peter Rabbit colors (guess who that's gonna be for?). Lots of fun was had!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Practice Suit

This time, it's the Practice Suit. We have bolts, bolts and more bolts of this odd lavender/blue gingham that we used to cover all the porch furniture at my grandmother's house in the 70's and 80's. When everything moved out of that house, part of "everything" was bolts of this cloth. We use it for our pattern mock-ups and fittings, rather like most folks would use cheap muslin.

Anyway, here's my practice suit: Three quarter sleeves, the length is good, and I like the way the jacket sits on my shoulders. The drape of the actual raw silk of the actual suit will be smoother, of course, but we now feel safe cutting up the Really Expensive Stuff.

We also have the Practice Top. I opted for a sleevless-with-straps, since there is NO way I'm wearing sleeves under a jacket in FLORIDA. Not after how hot the weather has been here, several hundred miles north!

So, we know what we need to do with a whole suit. And, at the point the practice suit was finished, we had approximately ten days (only two of which weren't work days) to finish the two REAL suits. Yikes!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What we're trying to accomplish...

Just so you know, this is the dress style we're attempting to copy. We did find commercial patterns that were "close enough" (i.e., that Mom liked better that would work, more or less).

The only part I'd have trouble with are the buttonholes, since I've never tried to make one (and have no real desire to do so). So much easier to make them when knitting or crocheting, really...!

Monday, June 16, 2008

New clothes, I hope...

Since I'm on vacation, the knitting blog will be on vacation as well, and turned (briefly) to a more topical subject: what I'm wearing to my virtual-sister's wedding. Two Sundays back, amidst all the knitting, mom and I decided that we weren't finding dresses we liked for my virtual sister's wedding mid-June. So, we headed off to JoAnns, and found this:

It doesn't look like much now, but just you wait! Mom's got the blue, the deep peach (NOT orange; I was forbidden from wearing orange) is mine. The gingham (we have a ton of old gingham, which we use instead of muslin) master pattern got cut out, and fitted it tonight. The really cool thing is that, for the most part, Mom and I can wear the same size, my stuff just has to be a bit longer (which is all of a three-minute hemming job). So, if she fits it on me, we can both wear it. I *could* fit it on her, but I seem to be able to be jabbed with pins with less jumping around than she does. I think it's because I've been the pincushion for the past ten years...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Shoulder News

Well, come to find out, I could've been doing most of my strength exercises for my shoulder with free weights. This would've worked MUCH better for me, since I have a full set (or two), but they figured I wouldn't have them, and didn't want me to have to pay for equipment.

The PT just about tripped over herself trying NOT to say "well, you don't look like you own exercise equipment", but that's pretty much what was implied. Yes, dear, I know I'm heavy. I wasn't always, and I've been doing free weights for almost two decades when I can. I can't right now - or so I thought - because of my shoulder. They're sitting patiently in front of my chair, waiting for me. If I'd bleeding known that "regular activities" included my workouts (you said no gym machines, OK, and when I asked about weights - what did you think I meant??), my shoulder would be all better now.


"Fat" doesn't mean "completely unfamiliar with Not Fat", kid.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sockitechture photos

Unofficial Sockitechture Photos. At least I now know what doesn't work for a Good Sock Photo. Including not pulling said socks up all the way...

Low Angle

High Angle - Low angle is better.

Look! Ribbing!

obligatory artsy sock photo.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Photos, at last!

Today, it's all about photos. First, Knitting with George: the Sockitechture test socks.

Next, the COOLEST BAG EVER. I'm totally getting it on Thursday night if I get to go to knitting group.

And some of the loot from the Quilt Show last Saturday, blurry though it may be...

More later!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Still hot.

Okay, where's the thunderstorms that are supposed to break this heat wave? I want a weather refund!

Managed to knit about 30 of the 70 leg rows this morning waiting for PT and on the (nice, cool, air-conditioned) train downtown. Did NOT knit on the transit bus - no AC. Nice, shiny blue box of HEAT.

No lunch break today, due to PT, so no more knitting.

Will resist buying two skeins of nice, crisp WHITE Mississippi 3 after work today. Really.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Too hot!

No woolly goodness today. It's too hot to even THINK about knitting any of my woolly things. I'm wearing a store-bought ribbon tank I reknit when it tried to shred itself (yay!)... and that's as close to knitting as I'm getting until the temperatures are back in the 80's where they belong!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

More Sockitechture

See? This one got finished late Thursday night, which is two days for a sock (figure 3-4 h of actual knitting time, maybe 5, tops?), which is blazingly fast for me. The second sock, as of Noon on Friday, was already halfway through the foot. Betcha by the time you're actually *reading* this, it's done!

If that's the case, then there should be a Very Simple Pattern up here on Monday or Tuesday. Yay!

Also, I am now comfortable with sock construction. Now I just have to see if any of my Sekrit Projikt ideas actually function in the Real World!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

... the yarn snuck up on me and attacked. Really.

So, that new sock yarn I told you I got the other day? It's Katia "Mississippi 3".

And it kindasorta got joined by three new balls. (Let's hear it for all the socks I can make for under $20!!)

Katia Mississippi 3 sock yarn, in
Blue (#799, lot 09304), Orange (#785, lot 09307) and Green (#784, lot 04805).

I think the blue will be the center-motif from LabCat's scarf (which I need to find and get going on again), the green will be feather-and-fan, and I'm going to see if I can come up with something that looks like flames for the orange. Debating fancy cables up the sides, lacy fold-down cuffs, and other design elements that I probably won't decide on until I'm actually knitting.

Today's challenge: Finishing my Sockitechture socks before starting any of these!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thinking about Sockitechture

So, rather than work on any of the other projects I've started, or playing with the newest yarn I've bought, yesterday morning, I pulled out one of my balls of Kuryeon and started knitting up a very basic sock, hoping to understand the Sockitechture of my foot, and what will make socks fun for me. By I-really-should've-been-in-bed-an-hour-ago, the sock had gotten this far:

I'm amazed at how quickly I can do one of my-style short-row toes/heels, given I haven't done many of them, and the basic knitting math isn't too bad, either. I'll be taking progress photos of the second sock, writing up the instructions, and posting them here. Yay!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My Army of Tiny Crocheted Pepsi Logos...

So, while shopping for my husband's b-day present (unbeknownst to him; as surprises go, it worked great!), I was viciously attacked by a large herd of crochet cotton. A *huge* herd. Which, of course, led to the creation of my Army of Tiny Crocheted Pepsi Logos!!

V. cute, v. deadly... but actually going to be my second Inga's Haekelbeutel, as is more readily apparent from this photo:

Yay! Another totebag!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Fairy Tale Sock Club - #1 almost done!

Ooo, they're looking pretty, those Fairy Tale Socks! I'm not done quite yet, but ooooo.... look!

A window...


A thorn!

Hopefully, these'll get done this week!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Storage Capacity...

So, the vast pile of current projects was threatening to overrun my sitting area, so it was consolidated into those giant slighlty-broken bins-on-wheels I sweettalked the guys at [unspecified organization store] into letting me have for free. They're, um, about 7.5cf each.

Yeah, I know. My definition of "current project" is kinda broad... at least they're not on the floor any more?