Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mid-Holiday Update.

Well, it's been an exciting week of visiting friends and family, sleeping on air mattresses, going to parties and receiving cool gifts. I think, even greater than the gifts I got from Nick and my family, was seeing people enjoy the gifts I made for them so much! All the cards, voicemails, comments and emails I received from my recipients meant a lot and made those weeks of non-stop knitting totally worth every stitch.

Now I am taking a break, working a little bit slower, and still enjoying all the visits I have in store. I am finishing up a felted bag and will hopefully put it up in my store at the end of the week. Then I have my mind on knitting these, probably just for me.

Off to the Vineyard tomorrow for the monochromatic party and some New Years fun. Happy 2008 everyone!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Very Merry Christmas!

The Christmas cards have all been sent...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

things I've finished and things I have not:

Well, today we begin our pre-Holiday visits and are headed to Western Mass to see some friends. I will be bringing these two baby hats with me that my friend will be giving as gifts. I made them with the same organic cotton that I made the first one and even used the same pattern for the one on top. The tan and blue hat, sans earflaps, is from the Stitch and Bitch Book, and also very fun to make!

As for the apron with the bias tape... thats going to have to wait and be completed when we get back. Making the tape is not that hard, just waaay more time consuming than I ever expected. No little gadgets for me! (why would I want to make life easier??) Just a lot of pressing and pinning and swearing (which is typical when I sew). But it does look nice as I start to put it on. I promise finished pictures when I get there, because I think it's coming out beautifully!

see you soon!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sewing on a Winter's Night

Well Nick arrives TOMORROW and that's when all the fun begins! Tonight I'm enjoying staying in and putting all the finishing touches on gifts, which is fun too. I am getting all my recent projects wrapped up (literally) for family members. It's a nice chilly night to enjoy a glass of wine and warm up to my sewing machine, though I wish I were curled up in the pillows like little Zoe here.

I'm working on an apron for my Grandmother. She wanted one just like her aunt had when she was growing up, so we found an old apron similar which I traced to make a pattern. It's only 5 simple pieces and a cinch to sew together. The trim is done with bias tape. I just read a great tutorial on how to make your own bias tape, which I will be doing. I have never even sewn with bias tape let alone made my own, so you can kind of see why putting this off to the last minute may not have been the best idea. I'll update in the morning to see how the finished piece came out. Here's what I'm expecting it to look somewhat like....

Monday, December 17, 2007

necessary accessory.

I made these fingerless gloves for my friend Rachael, hopefully she doesn't check the blog. Either way, she'll be getting them in a few days!
I designed them so that the top part is really wide and can cover your hand for added warmth, or flip back to free up your hands when you need to get something from your purse or god forbid smoke a cigarette. If I were a really good friend I'd make it more difficult for her to smoke!

I didn't use a pattern, just sort of made them up as I went. I am getting better at writing down what I do so that I can a) repeat it, especially in a situation like this where I need to make more than one and b) so that I can share it with you. Let me know if you are interested and I will type it up this week. I also found good pattern tutorials for making things like these on purl bee and knitty, as always.

I'm hoping Rachael likes these. When we lived in Boston she always wore fingerless gloves -- simply chopping the fingers off her mittens or making them out of old socks and tights! I figured she'd like her own, well made pair. It is true, living in the city these are a necessity. Digging out your bus pass with mittens on is nearly impossible. Plus not to mention all the pairs of conventional gloves I took off inside Dunkin' Donuts when I was paying, then, excited about my warm caffeinated beverage, I left them behind. I'd walk outside and when I would realize it, I'd also see the train coming... gloves, train, gloves, train? Usually train would win.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

podcast inspired.

It seems like this could be turning into a book blog. It shouldn't (because this book blogger does it way better) but after listening to Maira Kalman on Studio 360, I decided to add the illustrated Elements of Style to my long list of desired books. I think Rosemary has it, do you Rosemary? I feel like she told me about it once, but it wasn't until Kalman and Kurt Anderson roamed the streets of New York, photographing old mattresses and rabbits and talking about names of donuts, that she got my attention. Plus, the Strunk and White classic is always good to have on hand illustrated or not.

So... podcasts. Snowed in, knitting, who needs anything more than NPR? I don't. Well maybe a free lunch delivered to me in a picnic basket. That would be nice.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Island life.

I really miss the Vineyard since I moved from there in October. Somedays more than others. There is just something about being on the Island in winter that is unlike anywhere else. A strange, desolate, beautiful comfort that is nice to wake up to every morning...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Well, I'm back from the land of vinyl wallets, woodland creatures and silkscreened t-shirts that was the Bazaar Bizarre Boston this past weekend. I made out like a bandit at the repro depot table and jotted down lots of vendors to watch on etsy, but my purchases were somewhat conservative this year, I'll admit. There is just so much out there to choose from, it's hard to make decisions. Through one thing was for sure: I wanted to make more things! After about and hour and a half of looking at crafts my friends and I headed over to Barnes and Noble where we looked at craft books for probably another hour. I found a lot of good titles to top off my wishlist:

You can see that besides some experiments in knitting, I really want to get back into sewing again. Lotta's book has some great patterns to get started with and so does Joelle's, from the Purl Bee. Lots of great ideas for things to do with my fabric!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

How Bazaar...

Tomorrow is Boston's annual craft-stravaganza - the Bazaar Bizarre! If you're in town come check out the local vendors, do some shopping and enjoy some good live music + DJs.

12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
at the Cyclorama (Boston Center for the Arts)
539 Tremont St in the South End of Boston

Admission fee $1.00

I'll be there, waiting for the choreographed dance routine.

Friday, December 07, 2007


It's beginning to get reeeaally cold up here in New England and everyone's asking me to make them a hat! The purple beret I knit awhile back seems to be most in demand, so I have been trying to replicate it without a pattern. I made three versions so far this week, and they're all a little different.

This time I had the bright idea to write down what I did, so that if I wanted to do it again I could. I am really happy with how each of them came out and that they have their own personalities. I am looking forward to making a few more. but not looking forward to modeling them all. I think it's time to invest in a hat stand.

more detailed photos, if you wish to see, are on my flickr page.

Designer's Next Challenge

So far, I'm not quite as wowed by Bravo's Project Runway this season as I was season's past. That show used to be really amazing; brimming with talented designers and clearly all about fashion. Now I feel like it's suddenly all celebrity appearances and character conflict. Fight fight fight! There's plenty of shows on TV about that. I just want to watch people sew clothes!

I rented two movies from netflix to serve my fix for fashion design. Unzipped, which was my favorite in high school and fun to see all over again, and Seamless (same director, 10 years later). Sure they are both character portraits as well, but seem to document that creative process behind fashion design and couture that people buying and wearing fashion these days sort of forget exists. I just love watching Isaac Mizrahi have little epiphanies while watching old movies and that scene in the end where he reads his review in the newspaper. It reminds me that making clothes, accessories -- anything -- is a an artform just the same as painting, sculpting, music, etc, and not always a contest. Maybe the writers from PR just need to learn how to make it work...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

grey grey grey

Yesterday's grey December sky made it hard to shoot decent pictures of my newly completed bag. The end result required much more doctoring in photoshop then I was hoping to give. Still, here's an idea of my hand-felted completion.

I finally got to use this button I bought in a knitting shop in Northampton last year! In fact, I couldn't avoid using this button. It's perfect.

There's a bit of sunlight peeking through the cold New England clouds today. Perhaps I'll get a few more pictures. I also have a cute, cozy neckwarmer to shoot and some fingerless gloves I am finishing up for a friend. I have just been in a knitting frenzy lately, but I can't complain. Perhaps I'll post a weekly roundup of all the things I FINALLY get done!

I'm also working on several more shoulder-style bags. This one will be added to etsy soon, so keep posted!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

merry beary.

Every year I commit to making all of my holiday cards to send to family and friends by hand. I usually only send out about 20 or 30 cards, so its not a huge deal, just a lot of time sitting and cutting out many of whatever that years theme is decided to be. Last year it was Christmas trees, the year before, mittens on clothes pins (teeny, tiny clothespins) and the year before that, little colorful squares cut from patterned paper and finished with HAND TIED ribbons. Yes, as much as I love doing this tedious Holiday craft, there is always that moment when I find myself sitting at the dining room table late at night srrounded by hundreds of paper trees, mittens or ribbons to tie and thinking "WHAT on EARTH HAVE I GOT Myself into!!??" then I'll talk to a family member and they'll say "we can't wait to get one of your cards this year!" and I realize its all worth it.

This year I've cheated a little bit and instead of free forming my cutouts I decided to use this adorable paper from Paper Source. The bears are being cut out individually and assembled on the cards. I am thinking about maybe using tropical scenes with beaches and palm trees in the background to send a message of global warming, but that might be a little too much like a scene from LOST. I have plenty of time to think it over while I am cutting.

The reason I am cutting out so many is to hopefully make double the amount of cards I need so that I can sell them in packs on my etsy store this week. Just look how cute these little faces are. You know you'll want them too!