magic marker socks

remember my little color dilemma from the 4th of july? i finally sorted it out by casting on 48 stitches and using the simple sock pattern from madeline tosh. well. "i sorted it out" i guess is somewhat subjective, if you call the resulting christmas-elf-striped-sock "sorted out."
i'm easy to please i guess, because i still like them. i happen to think that what they actually look like are white socks that some colored stripes on with magic marker, and for some reason i love that.
however, if i were to tell the truth, i actually wanted them variegated sort of like the heel below, but that seems to happen only if you knit back and forth. very few back and forth sock patterns out there though...
i did use reinforcing thread on the heel and toe and my sob story of the day is that i ran out of thread with ONE INCH left of the last toe! what?! shouldn't one spool be enough for a pair of socks? this was a sunday, and i was thrilled to think i had finished these socks in 10 days. i could not get to an open yarn shop that CARRIED reinforcing thread until the following thursday, and then four minutes later, my socks were finished.
i love foot modeling as much as i love clothes modeling. not a little bit.


knitting breakthroughs

look at this contraption! a knitting breakthrough. a DIY yarn swift. i loves it.
store-bought yarn swifts are not in the budget, so i used this tutorial to construct my own, easy and good. along with this tutorial from knittinghelp.com (a website that is another knitting breakthrough unto it's own) on how to hand-wind a center pull ball, i'm feelin' pretty self-sufficient.
if you are currently hanging skeins of yarn on chair backs, laptops, and your boyfriend's hands (i may have done some of these) this will change your little knitting life.


a refashion from my nonna

taking a cue from granny chic week at C+C i pulled out my nonna's handmade dress that i had started and then put on "hold" for 2 1/2 years, back when i was starting to figure out how to sew. refashioning isn't something i'm very experienced with, and using my grandmother's dress is important to me, so i guess that's why i sat on it so long. i got scared.
i forgot to take this "before" picture before i dismantled the sleeves, but they were longer and wider. the theme of this dress was "conservative."
much to my amazement 2 1/2 years later, i did a pretty good job tailoring and waist-shaping, and when i discovered a zipper on one side, it took me a long time to realize i did that way back when. i didn't know i knew how to do that back then! not bad!
this week i finally shortened and narrowed the sleeves and hemmed the dress. the cool thing about the hem....
... is that i discovered this nifty little technique i guess my grandmother used for hems... and i got very excited because i have a box full of this type of hem tape (?) that i found when i was going through her sewing things last year, soooo....
... i thought it would be nice to pay a hidden little tribute to her dress and her sewing legacy and such, and i tried the same in purple! (although my whipstich doesn't hold a candle to hers).
thanks to Lizzie from C+C for the nudge!


useful things

inspired by this post and a former coworker's idea, i decided to make good use of my scraps and make reusable sandwich* bags.
i machined through them, cutting 7"x7" and 7"x4" squares from my scraps and using ripstop nylon for the linings and velcro for the closure. they are machine washable, but, word to the wise, turn them inside out before you wash them.
i used my favorite fabric (above) and now have a tank top, pillow, sandwich bag, and cat toy from this fabric. i'm unstoppable. i need to take a picture of the ensemble, yes?
* these bags can hold an array of items other than sandwiches.



i finally finished it! look, i'm so happy.
this is kakomu by kirsten johnstone (this is my second knit of hers, i made tetsubou back in february). i knit mine with plymouth earth hillside linen which has such a nice drape to it.
this was a labor of love. i knit the back in one week in april... and i just finished seaming this week. funny story, i've been sitting on about two INCHES of seaming for a couple weeks, and then, this morning i wanted to wear this to work. i grabbed it, a tapestry needle, and some yarn, and finished it up in a meeting this morning and wore it the rest of the day. i guess i needed a little extra push.
i ran out of yarn for the ties, so i switched to the light grey schoppel-wolle i used for these mitts for the tips and i really love the two-toned color combination. other modifications? here:
  • i knit the armhole decreases in such a way to make the armholes smaller (let me know if you want to know what i did and i will give you more detail).
  • i knit the neckband much shorter (about 4 inches between the last armhole decrease of the first side and the first armhole decrease of the second side). i probably should have added another inch or so, because it didn't sit quite right when seaming, but fortunately i have no problem doing a hack job in the eleventh hour.
  • i didn't understand the length of the front, so since i knit my front longer, i made this funny little gather on the bottom edges (see below). i kind of like, it although it does give the silhouette more hips. i guess the "silhouette" would be me.
as you can see from above i've given up on my attempts to a be a brooding, pensive model like other bloggers and i tried smiling. i'm gonna go with it. in no small way influenced by the picture below which makes me laugh out loud every time i look at it.
apparently i'm just a grouchy little girl.
p.s. i apologize in advance if this post comes out jammed together with no lines between paragraphs and many spelling errors. lately blogger will not allow me to go back and edit, if i even get to publish the post at all. blogger really is a &#$*# of @*&$.


kitcheny apron

i guess most aprons are kitcheny? that is the word this pattern makes me think of (maybe more like kitsch-eny). i LOVE it and have a ton of it, that i already made a tablecloth out of. why not match your tablecloth?
i basically made a 2" wide band and unfortunately had to sew two lengths together because i didn't have enough yardage. mental note for next time. the square of fabric for the apron was something like 25"x 18" and i gathered the top middle, leaving 4" on each side flat. the ruffles were cut on the bias so i could keep the edges raw. i sewed them a little crooked but i kinda like it.
i like it! it is now 5th in my apron collection. i may make a little change though - because the top edges sort of angle up because of the gathers in the middle, i sewed them into the band that way, and i think it wraps around me too much. i may re-sew them not at an angle. does that make any sense?
vintage fabric from rocket to mars, one of my favorite places.
p.s. re: the post below - i tried to add an addendum but blogger wasn't having it. like most things blogger won't let me do. i fully realize that gauge is more important to sizing than making your sock yarn pattern in a pretty way. :) and i found out that 48 st works for both reasons... more to come...



the closest to red, white, and blue you'll get from me...
i love these colors!! but they're pooling and even though it's in this cool swirly-kind of pattern, the swatch had such a nice variegated pattern, that's what i expected for my sock. this is sock yarn. this should work, right? i CO 60 stitches initially and then, because of the pooling, thought i'd try 56. maybe i should try 64? the swatch was 34 or 36, i can't remember.
non-knitters just went to a happier place about a minute ago. i have a ton of stuff i've been working on lately, so more to post. the biggest obstacle to blog posts is certainly not a lack of projects, but taking the photos. i hate doing it because they never look good or come out the way i want, which i can partially blame on my cheap point-and-shoot camera with peach juice on the lens. since there's no expensive camera in my near future, i have to just keep plugging away and exerting patience. my deepest flaw.
geez, enough bitching now, huh?