A blog about my life, knitting, and other stuff.

August 31, 2007

Instant Pikafication

After I finished the tea towels my younger son announced that he wanted to embroider Pikachu on one of his shirts. We went out and got all the supplies. I showed him how to make a running stitch and had him draw Pikachu on his shirt.

He lasted about an minute and a half. Then the whining and demanding that I do it kicked in.

Newly remodeled shirt

Close up

I have to go play Monopoly. Younger son is sick which is putting older son in a terrible mood. He doesn't like being stuck at home.

I'll have a finished quilt later today to share and hopefully I'll be able to slip out to buy yarn to knit the hem facings on my Seamless Hybrid because that's all ready too.

August 30, 2007

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

I'm trying to stay calm to keep from hyperventilating. Gina has sent me a treasure trove of fug so deep and vast I can't get my head around it. This will have to be a two-parter. Maybe three.

The following designs come to you from Bulgaria with love (apologies to Russia). For the first part I'd like to emphasize the risk of overheating due to mohair.

Ventilation is key.

You can begin with a little underarm ventilation.

Or a little overarm ventilation.

Then the full arm, back, side ventilation.

Then the full arm, side, leg to the ground ventilation.

And lastly the all-over ventilation.

You can also forgo a shirt.

Or pants.

Without these vent-holes the model will overheat and start to find other ways to cool herself.

Coming next week: Something for the men!

August 28, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different

I suddenly got the urge to embroider. Jenny Hart's Stitch-it Kit has been sitting on my office shelf for nearly a year. This is such a fun, instant gratification project.

August 27, 2007

The Ramones as You Have Never Heard Them

Sung a cappella by a seven year old with a very loose grasp of the lyrics.

Things are Coming Together

The Seamless Hybrid is coming together. The sleeves are now joined to the yoke and my favorite part begins--the raglan decreasing.

I got a surge of energy last night and put the doll quilt together. I pieced the backing, basted the whole thing and started quilting. I ran out of steam with only a tiny bit left to do. Word to the wise, don't start free motion quilting after midnight. No good can come from it.

I've been catching up on Netflix lately.
Weeds, Season 2: What a well done show. The cast is great. Incredibly entertaining.
The Shop on Main Street: Czech drama set during WWII, a very gently told dark story with lovely flashes of humor and tenderness.
Last King of Scotland: Maybe everyone has already seen this. Forest Whitaker is riveting as Amin. The narrative feels a little rushed.
Extras, Season 2: Ricky Gervais's style of squirm-in-your-seat comedy isn't for everyone. I happen to love it. This series is hilarious. I woke the kids up from laughing so loud. The guest spots this season are killer.
House, MD, Season 1: Nope. Didn't like it. Couldn't get into it. I love Hugh Laurie but the writing is so weak in the first few episodes. Wes and I were completing everyone's sentences because the dialog was so obvious.

En route, Rome, Season 2 and Dexter, Season 1!

August 24, 2007

Lazy Friday Night Post

Just a little update on what I've been doing lately.
My Seamless Hybrid has a body and nearly two sleeves. I didn't take a picture because a) it's boring and b) all three parts are in different rooms of the house and I don't feel like gathering them all together.

I started to quilt County Lines. So far I've just done a little stitch in the ditch. I need to do lots more and then I think I might do a bit of free motion in the rectangles.

I've made more half-blocks for my foundation-pieced quilt. It's called Shadow Star. I have 24 half-blocks done.

Sorry for the crummy photos, it's dark!

I've been wondering what to do with the billions of scraps this quilt is creating. Then the Doll Quilt Challenge posted it's September challenge. Perfect! I dragged out my scraps and started cutting. I've got all my half-square triangle squares stitched.

This sucker comes together quickly. It's a tiny quilt. Mine will be slightly larger because I misremembered the square size. Doesn't matter.

I'll be working all weekend. Have a good weekend everybody!

Irony is Lost on Children

The kids are in the kitchen right now singing Beat on the Brat.

August 23, 2007

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

I wonder if the designer would have stopped if one of these had been red.

This one definitely should have stopped.

And my back hurts just looking at this model's pose. Were they aiming for the least natural stance possible?

I hope someone alerts this model that her sleeves are making a run for it.
Perhaps off to join the bottom half of this sweater?

August 21, 2007

As Seen at Fort Worden

A guy with a homemade dog trailer on his bike.

A free chair. Very tempting, isn't it?

Okay, this one is only funny if you're a twelve year old like me. I walked by and saw the text "Meeting Soldiers' Everyday Needs" and "Plus a Bit of Fun" with the picture of a woman. And I thought, "Boy, she must have been tired."

More Only in Seattle News

Oh yeah, this used to happen all the time when I lived in New York...*

*Please note use of sarcasm.

August 20, 2007

Vacation Knitting

We made our annual trip to Fort Worden this weekend. It was a lot cooler than usual and a bit gray. I prefer this kind of weather.

I finished my Unst socks.

I had a hell of a time taking this picture. I spent a long time trying to straighten the columns of lace. Tug a little this way. Tug a little that way. Tug tug tug. Tugtugtugtugtugtugtugtug! Screw it. My legs, ankles and feet are not made of straight lines.

I also finished the body of the Seamless Hybrid to the armholes. I used my current favorite sweater as a measuring device.

Wes and I have been married 13 years today. We're having a nice dinner tomorrow because today we are too pooped.

August 17, 2007

Friday Night Video (Early)

We're heading out for the weekend so I'll leave you with this great music video from Weezer starring the Muppets.

Have a great weekend!

August 16, 2007

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Let's turn from the Big Ass Knit pandemic this week to focus on my true bĂȘte noire, out of control fringe. I don't object to fringe outright but one must be judicious in its use or one will look like a chubby chandelier.

A bit of fringe at the cuffs? Okay. A bit at the collar? Sure. Lots of fringe at the cuffs, collars, widest part of the hips and knees? Too much.

Placement with fringe is crucial.

Or it will looks like your epaulets are making a run for your southern border.

And see how far they ran?

Okay, enough about fringe. I found out what happens when this outfit gets older.

When will it end?

August 15, 2007

Do You Like Ice Cream? Do You Like Knitting?

The Seattle Knitters Guild is hosting an ice cream social tonight! Sitting around talking to knitters and eating free ice cream. What could be better?

7 pm tonight in the basement of the Wedgwood Presbyterian Church, 8008 35th NE, Seattle.

August 13, 2007

It's Like the Karl Rove of Sewing Projects

It turns out I'm more persistent than I thought. I took the stupid desk organizer apart for the third or fourth (fifth?) time, trimmed the Timtex and sewed the whole thing back together. I got it to a point where it was still a total mess but I felt I could live with it. Time to sew on the handles. While sewing on the last handle I broke a needle. I replaced it and promptly broke another needle this time getting hit in the face with needle shrapnel just missing my left eye.

Meet the face of evil.

I stuffed it full of fabric (my original inspiration to pick this project back up was this) to create a rectangular-ish appearance.

The sick thing is I keep trying to think of how to do it better the next time. Next time? What am I? Fucking nuts?*

Fabric: Nature's Whimsy by Northcott and Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt

*Seriously, if you've sewn one of these devil-boxes please email me and tell me your secrets. I'm feeling pretty defeated.

Welcom to Satan's Sewing Room

When I got Amy Butler's In Stitches I thought many of the projects were too complicated for me. So I settled on the Desk Organizer. It's just a box. How hard can it be?

Well it turns out that it's really fucking hard. I have ripped and resewn (and in one instance actually ripped straight through the fabric) so many times. This pattern is evil. I was physically worn out from wrestling with the Timtex in my machine. And when I finally got it to a point where I thought I could live with it (even though it still looked like crap) I found a section along the top where I didn't catch both the interior and exterior fabric in the top-stitching. So I will set this aside and when I'm ready to rumble with it again I'll rip that out and redo it.

It's evil, I'm telling you. Evil!

Does This Mean He'll Now Revert to His True Form?

No one this evil can just sail off into the sunset. I'm waiting to find out what he's really got planned. Perhaps another war?

August 12, 2007

So What's New?

I accidentally left my knitting bag at work last night so I started a new quilt project.

More foundation-piecing. I love the effect but could live without all the stitch, trim, press. You hop up and down so much making these blocks it's nearly an aerobic activity.

I've also been working on a Gypsy Shawl, by Evelyn Clark, at work. It's in Cashsoft 4-ply.

It's not looking like much yet.

Then today we were headed downtown and I needed something to work on. I briefly considered starting the Tangled Yoke Cardigan but I didn't have time to wind the yarn and I also think I want to *gasp* swatch before jumping into the project. Instead I grabbed a skein of Cotton-Ease and a needle and cast on for a Seamless Hybrid by EZ.

It's also not looking like much yet.

We all went to the art museum. We haven't been there since it reopened in May. I love the changes. They've made it even more family-friendly. There is a children's area on every floor. There's a Gee's Bend quilt in the permanent collection. The kid's like the cars. Lunch in the cafe was really delicious. Not super-overpriced. And the children were remarkably well behaved.

Then we headed to Kinokuniya and it's overwhelming assortment of craft books. I didn't see anything in knitting or quilting that really grabbed me but lots of incredibly wonderful felt books. I didn't get one though. It's not like I need to start any new projects these days.

Lotus Charm Quilt

32" x 40"

Fabric: Amy Butler Lotus Collection
Notes: I had a set of charm pack squares which I made into half-square triangles, then added 5" borders and bias-binding. I like the barber-pole effect of the stripes on the bias. The border, backing and binding is also from the Lotus Collection. I did simple stitch in the ditch quilting with triangles on the border.

August 11, 2007

Knitting Lace Triangles

Evelyn Clark's new book arrived in the shop earlier this week. It's a great little volume that provides four lace pattern that you can mix and match to create a lace shawl in any size or gauge.

If you'd like to order it from the Fiber Gallery you can call us at (206)706-4197. You should also be able to find it locally at shops that carry Fiber Trends patterns.

August 10, 2007

Baby Quilt

The center squares were foundation-pieced using the "Peter's Quilt" block from Quilt Block Bonanza. The fabrics are from Peas and Carrots by American Jane and Aunt Grace 15th Anniversary Collection.
Machine-pieced and quilted.
19" square.

What Qualifies as an Emergency in Seattle

On Wednesday night as Wes and I were lying in bed I heard a siren. This isn't unusual. We live off a major arterial and emergency vehicles go by all the time. But the thing was the siren stopped just as it got to us. Then another siren and stop. Another and stop. I got up and looked out the window and could see red, white and blue flashing lights with more cars arriving. Hmmm, that's not good.

I could hear someone screaming, "You're a killer!!! You fucking killed me!!!!" over and over.

This went on for some time. I didn't sleep well, concerned about what had occurred just outside my house.

Well, we found out what it was.

Only in Seattle.

August 9, 2007

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Try as designers might to put an end to What the Hell is This? you can't stop me!

Granted, after this week it's going to get a whole lot harder. Where can I go after this?

August 8, 2007

Sockapalooza 4 Straight from Guernsey

How lucky am I? Janine not only knit me a beautiful pair of socks but she spun the yarn herself with me in mind! Wonderful, no? And then there's the 300g (significantly less now) of chocolate that came with it. And a calendar with pictures of islands of Guernsey.

Thank you, Janine, for a wonderful gift!


You know that thing I do when I ask for all of your opinions and then I just do whatever I want instead? I did it again.

While you all thoughtfully weighed in on which block arrangement I should do I just went with #3. I was worried that all the tiny bits in the corners would be lost in option #1.

It's just 19" square, backed with a stretchy terry kind of fabric I got ages ago for who knows what. I did some simple stitch in the ditch quilting. It made a cute design on the back.

And now for the dreaded binding. I still haven't stitched down the binding on the Lotus quilt. I'm kind of mad at it still.

August 7, 2007

And Knitting Too!

Unst is still coming along. I had another bout of stitch, curse, rip, repeat last night at Purlygirls while working on the sock. I can't seem to focus. Must focus.

(I'm dying to start the Tangled Yoke Cardigan from the new IK. I just happen to have a full bag of yarn that will be perfect for it. Squee! Focus, Jessica! Focus!)


I finished three more foundation squares last night. (I'm tossing the one I accidentally cut too small). They're 5.5" squares. I'm just doing the four and adding some borders. It's for a little baby gift. So now that the squares are done I have to decide how to lay them out.

Possible setting #1

Possible setting #2

Possible setting #3

What do you think? I was thinking #3 but now I'm leaning toward #1.

August 5, 2007

Do I Know How to Party or What?

Wes and the boys went off to visit my in-laws this weekend. I went pretty nuts.
First, on Friday night I went to spinning at the shop. I'm ashamed to admit that it was the first time I touched my wheel since the first Friday of last month.
Then when I got home I tried to tackle continuous bias binding for the Lotus quilt.

It's a little mind-bending. Then I spent a very, very long time trying to make the two ends of my binding meet at a nice 45° angle. There was a lot of cursing and ripping out. I finally just fudged it. It looks fairly shitty in that one spot. I can live with it.

On Saturday I went to Bainbridge Island with six other Purlygirls. We hit the sale at Churchmouse, visited the farmer's market, got lunch and went to the fabric store. When I got home with all my fabric goodies I saw that I really have a problem. There was a fat quarter bundle waiting on the front porch that I had mail ordered. I had just bought a fat quarter of one of the fabrics. Then I realized that I had already bought one last week. This is the third time in the last few weeks that I've purchased fabric only to find that I already own some. At least my taste is consistent.

Before Wes left I asked him to turn the water heater all the way up. After nearly killing myself getting in to the shower (hot!) I knew the water was hot enough to clean some fleece. I pulled out the corriedale I bought this year at Black Sheep. It got two good, long, hot soaks. It came out very clean. This evening I cleaned the rest of the targhee I bought at Oregon Flock and Fiber. It came out very clean too. Mostly. It's very clean, fluffy and white with hardly any grease left but there are still patches that are unspeakably filthy. I don't know how to best deal with this. I guess I'll collect up the grossest parts and send them back in for another soak. The entire house smells sheepy and warm right now. I think it's wonderful. For Wes and the boys, not so much.

So Saturday night Wes snuck back to Seattle and we went out for dinner at Tilth (so delicious) and we saw The Simpsons Movie. If you like The Simpsons you will love the movie. I laughed very hard. Wes then had to slink back to his parent's house. I stayed up way too late sewing the borders on the County Lines quilt and piecing the backing.

Today I had to work. But first I ran to Jo-Ann's to get batting for County Lines. A word to the wise, don't buy white batting in a dark colored shirt. I spent the rest of the day covered in white fuzz.

I started a Gypsy Shawl for the shop out of Cashsoft 4-Ply.

Even thought I'm on the really easy part of the shawl right now I made some strange little error that I tried and tried to fix. I finally gave up and ripped but then realized after knitting several rows that I hadn't ripped back far enough. I did this over and over. I left work with 3 rows fewer that I had at the beginning of the day.

Evelyn Clark stopped in the shop today so I got to show her the quilt I finished last week. She'll be delivering copies of her book to us on Tuesday!

Then tonight I made my first attempt at foundation paper piecing. The first square went pretty well.

Messy foundation block

All clean!

The second block was like the shawl. Stitch, rip, curse, repeat. I finally got the damned thing finished and accidentally trimmed off the seam allowance on one side. Shit! I decided I'd just trim them all down and I'd have blocks that are half an inch smaller. I may change my mind tomorrow and just scrap that block. I'm only planning on making four or six to make a little baby quilt. We'll see how I feel about it later.