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November 14, 2007

in which we excavate the crazy

New yarn, peeps:

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hello. we are mauvelous.

Things you should know:

1) This yarn is for this vest.
2) It is fingering weight.
3) I have never knitted intarsia before.
4) There is intarsia on the front AND the back.
5) I am going to modify the pattern.
6) It is a Christmas gift.

No problem-o, right?

In other news: Kricket wants me to show you the Corpse Bride costume I made her for Halloween because she craves fame and stardom. Who am I to deprive her? See? The costume is made of Mum's old nightie, an old bra, two of Dad's old undershirts, some lace, gauzey stuff, a bit of stretchy white fabric, and some ribbon. Krick used a dry-erase marker to do the blue details. All thrown together the afternoon before we left Seattle.

September 19, 2006

Finished: More Needlecases

Christine's DPN Case:

If you think way back to last month, you may recall the birthday contest. Well, I finally got my act together this weekend and stitched up the promised prize. Christine (who, I might add, has the patience of a saint) chose this yummy lotus print:

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Specs: fabric by unknown designer, vintage button, black ribbon (helpful hint: if you paint the end of the ribbon with clear nail polish before trimming it keeps the cut end nice and neat.)

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Thunk is on the way to the post office to mail it off as I type!

Gnomatic DPN Case:

This one was finished way back at the beginning of August, and has already made its way to Philippa as part of a swap package.

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Specs: Munki Munki fabric, vintage button, white rickrack.

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Both cases followed approximately the same recipe I used for the original toothy dpn case.

p.s. If you're looking for your very own dpn case, go visit Megan!

May 15, 2006

Free is good...

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For those of you who are big on Amy Butler but think your sewing skillz might need a little boost before you're ready to drop 12.95 for a pattern...check out her free downloadable pattern selection here (click on the link in the lower right corner). There are a few patterns of the simpler variety, including that pillow pattern there, and one retina-frying quilt pattern for the more advanced sewists. All patterns are 100% guaranteed to make you want to run out and buy her fabrics.

In knitting news: the minisweater has been done for days but I’m having a bit of a button crisis. Button shopping is scheduled for Tuesday night. In addition, the rain and general gloominess have sapped my crafty powers. The extended forecast looks like at least five more days of the same. Anybody want to invite me to come and stay with them in some sunny corner of the globe? Perhaps someone out there has a spare tropical island? I am willing to swap yarn.

May 4, 2006

Finished: Weekender Travel Bag

The bag, it is finished!

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The Specs:
-Pattern: Weekender Travel Bag, by Amy Butler
-Start to Finish: April 24 to May 3
-For: me (sewed along with the Sew? I Knit! crowd).

My opinion of the pattern? The pattern was all you could ask it to be: cute, and well written. I was a little surprised at how complicated the whole operation was (lots of shopping, measuring, cutting, basting, pinning, ripping, resewing, and hand stitching involved there) but it was worth the trouble. I’d recommend it for any of you sewey types out there. Just watch out for that piping. It’s a doozie.

How did I do? The finished bag is a bit lumpy, but in a charming way. I'll be the first to admit that it was filled with laundry and pinched and prodded into submission before its photo shoot. In real life it’s a bit more schlumpy and casual. I was right in thinking that the pattern was a little above my skill level, but I learned a lot and I’m really glad I tried it…sometimes you just get lucky and things work out.

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Final Verdict: Yes, oh yes, we like it!

And for those of you who want to know...

The Damage:
-Sewing machines required: 2 (sometimes you just need a different zipper foot).
-Number of times I cleaned and oiled one of the above machines hoping that it would magically improve my sewing skills: 3
-Sewing Machine needles sacrificed: 2 broken, 1 bent, 2 blunted.
-Spools of thread: 3.5 (by the end it wasn't even coordinating).
-Number of times I said "Ow!" while making this bag: 2,541 (pins, rotary cutter, needles, iron...sewing is a dangerous sport)!

May 1, 2006

So where's the bag?

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I spent the weekend sewing away like a madperson on my Weekender Travel Bag for the sew-i-knit! bag-along (which ended yesterday) but I'm not quite finished yet.

Aside from realizing that I’d blown through all my thread before I was halfway through the project, things are going really, really well. Piping may be my nemesis, but yesterday I conquered and subdued it (with the help of lots and lots of thread). I do fully realize that my sewing hubris may cause the lining to spontaneously combust on me, but I’ll take my chances and say that this is looking to be the best sewing project yet…finally knocking that camouflage dress I sewed in college out of the top spot.

Tonight's Assignment: To stitch a couple more bits of the lining together and get it to go inside the bag. That’s it!

Of course, being in hypersew mode, I didn't pause to take any pictures. You get more vintage needles today, ok?

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April 25, 2006

6 months

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Yesterday marked six months since I started blogging here. Time flies, eh? I'm not going to get mushy on y'all or anything, I just thought I'd rest on the old laurels and get away with posting pictures you've already seen. To be perfectly frank, I'm a little surprised at how much I've accomplished in my spare time.

On the Weekender Bag front: I'm. Still. Cutting. Out. Pattern. Pieces. Last night I could possibly have finished all the cutting, but I accidentally slashed myself with the rotary cutter (these things tend to slow down production). Don't worry; I didn’t bleed on the fabric. I mention these things purely to elicit sympathy. At any rate, I hope to have something to show for it soon.

p.s. Thanks for all the sweet comments about the Apricot Jacket! I expect you all to go out and make one now. Send me pics.

p.p.s. A big thank-ewe to Thunky for all the programming/proofreading/photographing he does for me. It's a thankless job being the man behind the knitter. Yes indeed.

April 20, 2006

Back at it

I'm back at work after a nice long weekend with the family. I didn't take a single picture the whole time I was in Michigan so you'll just have to conjure up your own images of familial easterly bliss. We shopped, we crafted, we watched movies, we ate lots of yummy food...all the important stuff.

Over the weekend I located the last few things I need to make the Weekender Bag for the sewalong. I finally decided on some coral fabric to coordinate with the bird fabric I want to use. It isn't what I'd originally envisioned (I thought I'd go green), but I think it'll look pretty cool for the piping and the lining.

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Once I got home and looked at the pattern a little closer, I realized that I need to go out and buy yet more stuff (heavy duty sewing machine needle, fabric marker, different pins, a yardstick...). I've never seen a pattern that called for so many materials! Who knew these bag things were so complicated? I see in the instructions that there is even a "false bottom." Geesh. I may have gotten myself in over my head here.

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but it's so cute...

In knitting news: I finished the sleeves for the Apricot Jacket. They are blocking contentedly on the living room floor and should be dry by the time I get home tonight. And yes, I am fully aware that I messed up one of the eyelets on the right sleeve there. You can chalk it up to Mr. Darcy...I was knitting that bit while we watched Pride and Prejudice.

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The next question is...should I seam the sweater or start working on the bag?

April 4, 2006

Ships and Shoes and Sealing Wax

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There are exciting things afoot at Chez Elliphantom including, but not limited to:

-The Indiana Fleece Fair is on Saturday! Plans are to meet up with Wendie and (try) not to spend too much money. It's not Rhinebeck, but it's ours. Anybody else going to be there?

-I joined the Sew? I Knit! bag-along. Yes, making the needle case woke the sleeping seamstress within. Don't worry. I'll be making a knitting bag. Well, technically, you could argue all my bags are knitting bags. I'm sewing the Weekender Travel Bag by Amy Butler. Hugely ambitious, possibly disastrous, but oh so cute!

-I bought some vintage grosgrain ribbon at the thrift store this weekend (see pic above) and want to make something cool with it. Anybody have any ideas? I may possibly make a belt, but (horizontal stripes about the midsection not always being the wisest fashion choice) I'm open to other possibilities.

-Progress continues on the Apricot Jacket. Unfortunately I don't have anything to show since I had to rip out two evenings worth of knitting today. It should be noted that, when one copies down errata, one should copy out ALL of it. Not just some of it. Bah.

But I am very upbeat about it. Yes indeed. Over and out.

March 19, 2006

Finished: Toothy DPN Case

I’ve been planning to make myself a dpn case for a while now. Saturday morning I came across some nice heavy green cotton at the thrift store and it was just the nudge I needed to get things going. Always a fan of dental hygiene, I decided to pair it with some tooth fabric that I picked up for a dollar a yard last fall.

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I spent more than an hour trying to figure out how on earth these things are constructed before I got smart and did a little research. I ended up loosely following the instructions for the “roll-your-own needle case” from Stitch ‘n Bitch (resizing it to be shorter and wider) and, taking inspiration from the Organized Knitter, I decided that mine should fold, not roll.

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Being a “collect all five!” type personality, I stitched the pockets in my case to fit exactly one complete set of dpns with an extra pocket on each end in case of dpn emergency (are there size 1.75 needles?). As I am not yet the proud owner of a set of size 11s, I’m using that pocket for my needle sizer.

Final Verdict: I love it. Love it, love it, love it.