Monday, July 30, 2007

New things

Whilst you are all in your own worlds--Kristen in Proposal Land, Amy and Patti in Oliver Land--I'll just keep sewing and posting and keeping y'all (hopefully) amused.

I may or may not have told you I bought the Bend the Rules sewing book. I really like it, but I'm not sure why. It's not like she says anything revolutionary or earth-shattering in the book, but she makes it all sound so do-able and unrarefied. And I think that's where I get stuck with sewing sometimes, that it's all got to be perfect and done a certain way (though goodness knows I don't actually follow through with that). And there are lots of neat little tips in it--like how she never prewashes fabric for quilts because then when you wash the final product it gets that neat wrinkly old look. Who knew?

All that to say that the book was my friend this weekend. Stacey, my friend Deb's sister-in-law-of-bug-quilt-fame, had her baby a month early so I was totally unprepared. Not that it's likely I would have been prepared if she'd gone on time, but.... So I whipped up 2 bibs from the bug fabric, with white-with-red-polka-dots flannel on the back.
What refused to be photographed were the snaps--they're set-in snaps, not sewn on. The book convinced me this was not hard to do, and lo and behold, it wasn't, so look for more snaps in the future.

Another project in the book was little zipper bags. I improvised and made a big zipper bag (12 x 14") for toting around knitting projects and broke out the zipper foot for the first time. Pretty nifty device! The bag also features the other new thing I've found--printable fabric. There's the fabric I printed before, as well as an ee cummings poem I just did this weekend. Both were washed and they held up fabulously!
It's even lined.

Who knows, at the rate I'm going, I might even break out the button holer in a few weekends!

And then hell will freeze over.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thank you!/ Me, indecisive? /Rockin' my world!

Thank you.
There are some people who always seem to do the perfect thing. K would be one of those people (I think she was taught well). I got home tonight to find a lovely little package waiting for me. Along with a yummy smelling bar of soap and a CD, there was this:
Now, here is the conversation I had with myself, just so you know what a ditz I am:
"Wow! what a lovely necklace! It's so cool! A little short though. But it should be OK. How do I put it on? What the...she attached the toggle to the rest of the necklace and forgot a loop for it to hook into. Well, I can fix that, but I'll have to take a picture and tease her about it......"


"....Erica, you're a dumbass. It's a bracelet, for christ's sake!"

And indeed, it is a bracelet. With lots of channeling of saints and good stuff, but that's a story for another day.
Me, Indecisive?
Remember the Hanami shawl I was going to start? And the yarn I picked out? Well Debbie Bliss Pure Silk pills like all get out, and was already quite pilly an inch into the thing. I just couldn't see spending all that time on a shawl to get a bit pill out of it. So I returned that yarn and got this:
Erica-blue cashmere. Fabulous and I was assured it wouldn't pill. I decided do it in this color, all cherry blossom symbollism be damned.

Well, at least until I went to Portland and went to Knit Purl. Wow, drool city! If you ever go to Portland, go here. Amazing yarn, they're so nice, they offered me iced tea and were just ready to chat all day. That's where I found Sea Silk. It's silk and Sea Cell, which is made from kelp. I got it in Pumpkin, but the pictures don't really do it justice.
It's more of a gold with a pink overlay. It's fabulous to knit with, shows of the pattern so well, and I just love it. So this is my Hanami yarn and I'm sticking with it!
Rockin' My World
You think this is just an ordinary sheet of paper, don't you? But it's not! It's a fabric sheet for inkjet printers! And this is a sheet of fabric that I printed from this picture.
All I have to do now is peel off the backing and wash it. Can I tell you how exciting this is? I can make labels, I can print out phrases... Woo hoo! I got it from Joann's.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A "See You Soon" gift

The Center for Family Research at GWU, where I worked through grad school and afterwards, is closing in the next month. This means that many old friends are moving on to new adventures. My dear friend Mignon, who was also our genius grants administrator, is moving to join her family in Texas. I made this for her so that she has something to hang on the wall of her new office when she gets down there.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Behavioral change

I feel like I need to preface this post by saying that I have NO explaination for my recent fascination with lace and shawls. There is NO good reason for this abrupt shift from bulky yarn and size 13 needles to lace weight yarn and size 5 needles (every project I'm working on right now is on size 5's.). None whatsoever. But I'm oddly thoroughly enjoying this odd change in behavior.

Here's one shawl I"ve been working on, from the Folk Shawls book. I'm using chocolate brown Helen's Lace that I got from Lint in Portland.
And here is what I just abandoned it for. At least you can be assured that my short attention span hasn't changed.
The pattern is from Pink Lemon Twist. I don't even remember how I happened upon her site or that pattern, but when I saw it I knew that it was the pattern I needed to work on now. It's called the Hanami shawl. Hanami is the Japanese word for looking at the cherry blossoms. Here's how far I've gotten.
Well, I did only start last night. It's this lovely lavender-grey silk that probably isn't captured at all in the photo. Can you see the beaded cast-on? That totally rocked my world and I wish I'd known about it for my brown shawl. But if you think I'm going to rip out all the brown to put some beads in.....

And a bit of sewing. After that 6.5 Stitches quilt that we all know and love.
Rob and I both think that the bare linen part needs something. I think I've figured out what, but just haven't had a chance to do it. I've been working on something for a friend who's leaving GW which I'll share with you in another post, or will add to this one later.