Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This is not so much a knitting post...

So if you weren't aware, I am spending the fall semester in London. I leave in a month and so preparations are really starting to take up my time and focus. I am still working on the Demi sweater though, I'm a couple inches into the front now. But I keep having to redo rows because I'm not paying attention. There are so many different things to keep track of with that pattern! I am going to love it when it is finished though.

Check out these shoes! I bought them because I wanted cute walking shoes to tramp around London in, not gym shoes. They were only $50 at the Naturalizer and I am so pleased. Now I just need to finish my Pomatomus socks to wear with them.
But the biggest news of all is that I bought a new camera! It's a Canon Rebel XT and I am so excited. I usually use a Canon Powershot A520, but my sister has the Rebel and I was quite envious. And I'm going to Europe, I want the best pictures I can get. Here are a couple pictures that I took while out with my friend Hannah.

But this is what really has been taking up my time. For the past few years we've fostered kittens. When they come in from the wild or other places, we keep them in our house until we can find someone to adopt them. It's a great arrangement because we always have kittens and we never keep them long enough to become cats. But this time, we have puppies. Three of them actually, Bingley, Rigby, and Paco. This is a picture of Paco with my brother's shoe that he dragged out from the house. They are cute, but a lot of work and a constant reminder that I am a cat person!

I should have some progress shots next time. Oh oh and I also finally succumbed and bought a Flickr Pro account! So all my old projects should show up now. And I am not limited by space or anything so that is awesome.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fiber fair!!

So today my friend Hannah and I drove up to Crystal Lake for the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair and it was amazing! We had never been to any fair, so this was definitely an experience for us. I was on a yarn high for most of the day. There were rooms and rooms of wool all for the buying. At one of the first booths we came to, we were introduced to needle felting. I knew about regular felting, but for some reason, I had completely missed out on having any idea what needle felting was. This booth had a table where you could create your own felt keychains. Mine isn't very good, probably because I was distracted by the hole I put in my finger with those sharp needles. But Hannah was hooked and throughout the day we kept seeing amazing pieces of art done with needle felting, so she ended up buying some supplies for that.

Here are a few shots of yarn that I was able to get. Being outside was excellent for lighting. I should've kept my camera out more, but alas, I needed both hands to touch!

Highlight of the day was definitely seeing this yarn monster. An alpaca! Is it not the cutest thing you've ever seen? They made the most adorable little noises as well. I told Hannah that if she took care of the alpacas, I would spin her yarn for her in our hypothetical yarn farm.

This sign amused me only because Brooks is my last name.

It was a very hard decision to pick something to come home with. At first I was considering some hand painted yarn from Briar Rose Fibers, but then I decided on some alpaca from Enchanted Meadows. This large hank has almost four hundred yards of blueberry colored alpaca and I paid about 30 bucks for it. I have already decided to make Ysolda's Gretel beret with it, and perhaps some mittens. I wanted to make some fair isle Norweigan style mittens, and maybe I still will, but I would like a matching hat/mittens set.

And if all that yarn wasn't tasty enough, I leave you with my first homemade granola bars! Although not as healthy as it could be, it was quite delicious. I pulled off a few recipes from the internet and just ignored the ingredients that I didn't have in the house. The recipe called for a ton of chocolate chips, but instead I substituted most of the chocolate chips for dried cherries, crasins, and peanuts. Quite delicious!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Last post: 10 days ago. Not good.

It is halfway through July. Isn't that insane? I leave for London in 43 days. I've had some homework to do so unfortunately that's been taking up some of my time. Not nearly enough as it should however.

My crafting project lineup looks like this at the moment:

Duck skirt. I bought this skirt a few years ago at Goodwill with every intention of reconning it. Finally getting around to it now. It was originally a very full, very pleated skirt that was too small for me in the waist, unless it was worn directly under the bust. I liked the duck pattern though and I wanted to make it wearable somehow. My plan is to use a skirt that I have from Anthropologie as a model in making a kind of bubble skirt. There's a waistband (which I increased by a third), a middle section, and then a lower section that is ruffled and folded so that the crease forms the bottom. So far, it is going okay... I have no confidence in my clothes constructing abilities so I am basically just winging it. Today I worked until I got stuck trying to make darts by the waist. I really want a skirt that is wintery so I can wear it with my tights and boots, so hopefully this will be it.

However, my main project at the moment is Demi from Rowan's Vintage Knits. I'm working on the back at the moment, almost ready to start the armhole decreased. It took me a while to get a hang of all the cables, but now I know the pattern pretty much by heart. The fact that the chart repeats at two different speeds does not terrify me now.

I made a few mistakes as you can tell by some of the messy cables. I'm not going to worry about it. I am not a perfectionist in knitting at all, I'm not sure why that is. Actually, I'm exactly sure why that is. I hate doing things twice. If I don't catch a mistake for a while, there's no way I'm frogging and fixing it. But at least the bobbles have turned out nicely. I think they're cute!

I also have another tshirt embroidery project that I'm working on for boy. But that's a secret. I leave you with a picture I took in a neighboring town where I went to watch my boy in a parade. Good stuff.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

I've been sewing!

Well I've been using the sewing machine quite a bit lately. I'd like to think that I'm getting better, but I don't know if that's accurate. But I used the sewing machine to sew Hannah's bag and I think it looks decent! I basically just sewed a couple of rectangles together so it wasn't very difficult.

I really like the lining though, it's leftover fabric from the curtains in our den. I was a little concerned about the strap matching the bag, but I think it looks okay. Luckily from this photo, you cannot tell that I did not cut or sew a straight line whatsoever in making the strap. And sewing the lining to the bag was a bit difficult, the yarn kept getting caught on the foot of the sewing machine and whatnot.

Now this is a tote bag that I made all by myself. It is the second tote bag that's been made for boy and I's supposed tote bag making business. The dimensions are kind of silly because I didn't know what I was doing. It's probably not good enough to sell, but I think the design is cute. I'm proud of myself anyway.

And here's the cheesecake I made last week! It was a recipe from Cooking Light magazine and it apparently their best cheesecake. I enjoyed it. It was kind of an all night affair though and I don't have that much patience for baking.

At the moment I'm a couple inches into Demi. It's officially become difficult with this insane chart and cables every other stitch. I'm not good with charts, I prefer to have directions written out for me. It's too easy to lose your place when you have like 400 little boxes in one chart. It took me like two hours to knit like 5 rows. But I'm sure I will improve. And besides this is the back, mistakes will be okay.