Wednesday, September 26, 2007

FO: Charming handbag

Making that Artsy Clutch and getting all that fabric from Gramie really spurred my sewing mojo. Yesterday, I sat down and started making the Charming Handbag, also from Amy Karol's Bend-the-Rules Sewing.

All of the fabric is from Gramie's closet and the buttons are from her button drawer. Aren't they cute?

This is the most complicated thing I've ever sewn. I'm definitely a novice seamstress, so my seam ripper came in very handy yesterday. I must have sewn every stitch on this handbag twice. But you know what? I don't really mind. It was worth learning from my mistakes and I'm so glad I ripped the ugly bits and re-did them. It makes for a much nicer bag.

I had a little bit of trouble with some puckering around the "U" shaped top, as you can see below. I tried to keep the puckering to a minimum, but I wasn't able to eliminate it altogether. Any idea what I could have done to prevent it?

Verdict: I love this bag and I'm definitely keeping it for myself. Expect much more sewing from me in the future but don't worry, I haven't given up on knitting. I actually have a big project I have yet to blog about and I recently joined Ravelry! It's everything I hoped it would be. You can find me there as knittinging.

Stressed? How about some fibre?

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll remember when I saw this headline and nearly spit out my tea. Well, it seems the page editors at The Chronicle Herald have lapsed again:

This one just makes me roll my eyes and laugh.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Shopping at Gramie's house

I went over to Gramie's house this morning to look for a button for an Artsy Clutch I made from Amy Karol's Bend-the-Rules Sewing book, and came home with a whole lotta loot.

First, the button for the clutch:

Then, she showed me a quilt she's working on. It had some pink peacock fabric in it that she bought in Thailand. I told her how much I liked it and she told me she had some in blue. Not only did she have several yards of blue peacock fabric in her closet, but she had matching blue fabric to go with it!

She told me to take it and make some more bags. Awesome. Then she pulled out this flowery fabric with more coordinating green fabric. She threw it in a bag to take home with me. Wow!

And then, when I thought she had showed me all of her cute stuff, she hauled out this Inuit fabric. Holy shit. This is the cutest fabric I have ever seen. It's friggin' Inuits, people! With more coordinating blue fabric!

As if all this loot wasn't enough, she showed me a bed spread Nana (Gramp's Mum) knit in 1966 with gorgeous cotton yarn and Gramie pieced together in 1967. This is one beautiful bed spread. As soon as I got home, I pulled off my cheap bargain bin comforter and slipped Nana's bed spread on my bed.

Check out the detail. It's incredible. This is one of 120 squares.

I'm pretty sure it was knit with US1/2.25 mm needles. No wonder it took her a whole year to make it, and another year to piece it together.

Shopping at Gramie's is so much fun! And all I went there for was a button! Now you know why I frogged two mittens and a hat for the Summer Shawlette I knit for her!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

FO: Summer Shawlette

The illustrious Kenneth dropped by this evening to take some photos of the secret FO that I've been waiting to blog about. Believe it or not, (no, believe it) I have finished knitting my first Christmas present of the season. I've always been a gal who likes to be organized and ahead-of-the-game, but never before have I had Christmas presents ready this far in advance. It's safe to write about this FO because it's for my Gramie, who doesn't know what the "Internet" is and, even if she did, she wouldn't be interested in it. However, if you happen to see my Gramie, please do me a favour and don't let the cat out of the bag.

Pattern: Summer Shawlette by Sandi Wiseheart
Source: Interweave
Materials: nearly two skeins of Misti Alpaca worsted (colour #972)
Needles: US 10.5/6.5 mm bamboo circular needle
Started: August 31, 2007
Finished: September 9, 2007

After I saw this finished Summer Shawlette, I went ahead and started knitting it right away. I used bigger needles and different yarn because I wanted to make it a bit bigger than the pattern calls for. After a few bumps and hitches (could the beginning of the pattern be any more confusing?) I completed what I think is a lovely shawl for my pink-loving Gramie.

I only had one full skein of yarn to work with and I secretly knew it wouldn't be enough, but I told myself one skein would do. When I got a little bit more than halfway through and ran out of yarn, I regretfully frogged these mittens. I liked those mittens, but I had to sacrifice them for Gramie (she's very special). When I used up all the mitten yarn, I went back to my bag of winter knits and frogged this hat. Again, it was a good hat, but Gramie's just that special.

So, now I'm in need of some new mittens and a hat. Don't tell anyone, but the thought of needing to knit myself a hat and mitts is sort of thrilling.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Trellis, the model shot

Sherrie just posted a photo* of her baby son wearing the Trellis sweater I knit for him a while back. I am amazed at how great it looks on him.

I have a new FO to blog about, but I don't have any photos of it yet. Oh yeah, and I bought some yarn yesterday for a new project. I know I just posted about how buying a house means I can't buy yarn, but I caved yesterday while perusing the shelves at Have a Yarn in Mahone Bay.

*Warning: The photo is unbearably cute. Clicking on the link may result in saccharine sweetness convulsions.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Merci mille fois!

A little package of amazing-ness arrived in my mailbox this week! Here's what I found tucked inside . . .

A Resistance Is Futile t-shirt from Christy. Sorry for the crappy photo, but this t-shirt is so perfect! I want to wear it every day. You can get your own at her etsy shop.

The cutest clutch from Ashley. One of my weaknesses is handbags and I love this one. I should also note that it has passed my tough handbag test, which is simply making sure my EpiPen fits in it, so I'll definitely be carrying it around very often.

And what's that peeking out of the clutch? Delicious Claudia Hand Painted Yarn in "chocolate cherry" from Julia. My yarn stash is virtually nonexistent (I guess that's what happens when you spend all your pennies on buying a house), so I needed this yarn. Julia also sent me some embroidery patterns and floss. I've never embroidered before, so I can't wait to try my hand at a new craft.

As soon as I opened the package, I laid the contents out on my bed and admired them. I left the room for a few minutes to make lunch and came back to find Moustache curled up on top of everything. He started licking the t-shirt, then he licked the clutch and then dove into the yarn. But I swiped the yarn out of his paws before he could inflict any damage. He's definitely my kitty -- he loves all things crafty.

Un gros merci mille fois pour les cadeaux! Thank you so much for the package! I am over the moon.