Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Change of craft

Dear Laura,

Well, the knitting progress around here has been pretty dismal lately. I have started a cute little vest for my nephew, and I've also started a thrummed mitten made with *silk* thrums (SO SOFT) for my allergic hands - but therein lies the problem. My arthritis is acting up and my hands hurt and that means knitting hurts. So my knitting is pretty much just acting as decoration for my living room right now.

Don't despair, though! I've been doing some mad sewing and have lots more projects in mind. Just thought I'd share some recent creations with you!

I needed a new bag for dragging all my stuff too and from work. I was trying to come up with something that could be bag and purse all in one, and after hunting in the stores for months, I finally just sat down and sketched out what I had in mind, made up a pattern, ordered some fabric on eBay, and went to work.

Here's the result:

The fabric is by Kaffe Fassett - I know! Here we've been thinking he was just a knitter and it turns out he designs wicked fabric on the side. Here's a close-up:

I think the print is called "planets." Cool, eh? The bag is lined in purple and it has a bunch of pockets inside which I forgot to take pictures of. It's a little more vibrant than I might have chosen - it's always hard to tell how blinding something is when you're looking at photos online, but trust me, this thing is BRIGHT - however, the brightness is growing on me.

Next up: tablecloths. When we moved here, I picked up a cute little round table to put in the corner of our kitchen. It's just a nice size for the two of us to eat at, although we have crammed four people around it once or twice. My dad even refinished the table, so it looks lovely. Of course, with a nice new finish on it, I'm always afraid it will get damaged so I keep it covered most of the time. Or I'd like to, if I could find a tablecloth that would fit. I have hunted high and low and just can't find any that are the right size, a nice fabric, and reasonably priced.

It took me long enough, but it finally dawned on me that it might be neat to make my own tablecloth! (I know....slow.) I decided circles were to hard, so I chose to make two square tablecloths in coordinating fabrics that could be layered, at a 45 degree angle to each other so that both layers show.

I saw my friend Pamela this weekend and she was mentioning Len's Mill Store in Waterloo as one of her favourite fabric stores so I decided to check it out when I was in KW today. Holy moly. That place is unbelievable. And they have yarn, too. Did you ever check it out when you lived there?

Here's the finished product, hot off the sewing machine:

Close-up, you say?
And the bottom layer is plain old ivory cotton. I'm just tickled pink about how well they turned out.

I also got two coordinating Christmas fabrics - hopefully I will manage to make those into tablecloths before December! Oh, and I got a quilt pattern. And a charm pack which is currently spread out on my living room floor. I think a quilt is taking form.

What have you been up to lately?


Currently reading: Hary Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (I'm on a re-read of the whole series. I'm enjoying it immensely.)

Currently listening to: These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder (I'm into books on CD in the car these days. This is a huge blast from the past which I haven't actually started yet - just got it from the library tonight and can't wait to listen to it tomorrow morning!)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Slow knitter

Dear Nikki,

It turns out that when I don't watch tv very much, I don't knit very much. Also, when I'm in the middle of a few projects that I'm not that excited about any more (read: projects that are almost done but I'm kind of sick of but feel I should finish anyways), I don't knit very much. And when both LYS around here are closed on Sunday, I can't buy the new yarn I want at the time I want, so I can't start the fun new projects I want to knit. So, all in all, very little knitting news to report.

One thing though: Remember the Morderne-esque baby blanket? Well... how much do you think it matters if it's lopsided?

Other than that, I'm just enjoying checking my Ravelry wait list position (only about 3000 people ahead of me... I can't wait!), and not watching tv. Much. I'm trying to just watch programs I actually want to watch rather than just staring at it for hours on end.

While I'm not watching tv, I have managed to discover my local library. So, the books I have read recently (some from the library, some not) are:
  • Bellwether, by Connie Willis. Still awesome.
  • Stitch in Snow, by Anne McCaffrey. I picked this up at the library because I loved Anne McCaffrey's dragon books, and this was a novel with a main character who knits. Sounds great, eh? Unfortunately, it really didn't turn out to be all that great. But it was a very quick read, so that sort of makes up for it.
  • Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon. As per your recommendation, I'm considering reading this series. It's not super-fantastic, but it is definitely a page-turner, and it kept me interested, so that's all good.
  • and I'm currently reading Passage, also by Connie Willis. Also, still awesome. Although, I must admit, as I recall, I didn't fully understand the end last time I read this. Maybe this time will be different.
What have you been up to lately?