Friday, January 19, 2007

Bobbins, Baby

I'm really behind. I still have a few Christmas presents to show you.
But I thought I'd share something happening in real time. Remember that dino quilt I started last year? Last night I wound bobbins in preparation for quilting.
I *hate* having to stop and wind bobbins while quilting. So I suffer through winding a ton of bobbins before starting. This is just the beginning:

You can't really accomplish this if you only have a dozen bobbins or whatever came with your machine . So, years ago I discovered these handy dandy bobbin clips. I am usually pretty stingy with notions or gadgets, but every year when I went to the quilt show, I would splurge on a bobbin clip or two, plus some generic bobbins that fit my machine.

Eventually I built up quite a collection. It feels luxurious. I love having a ton of bobbins. I highly recommend it.

Photos of the quilting? Sure.

Ok, since we're talking gadgets, and again, I'm not a gadget girl, but a few months ago I happened to be browsing the quilting aisle in Joann Fabrics, (I had a 50% off coupon that was burning a hole in my pocket) and I saw these Fons and Porter quilting gloves.

I thought I'd try them and Man! am I glad I did. I used to use the latex surgical gloves to help get a grip but they'd get all sweaty, not to mention that they were hard to get off and then forget about getting those sweaty things back on again.

These are very comfortable cotton, nice and cool, easy on and off, and those little white dots are grippy stuff that helps you maneuver the quilt around.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Kiefer Baby, Here I Come

Ok, friends, admit it. I'm not the only one excited about the prospect of 4 hours of 24 during the next two nights, and all the great, speedy, adrenaline pumping knitting that will be involved.

Do you have your projects planned? Something mindless, so you don't have to take your eyes off the screen?

In anticipation, I started a new sock yesterday. I just found this new yarn at LYS this week and was drawn to the tweedy goodness, and the prospect of subtle striping without all that fake -fairisley-crap that I'm not fond of. (But I mean that in the nicest possible way.)

Lana Grossa Colortweed Color 104. Tweedy Goodness with a capital T.

As I was knitting away, I was vaguely reminded of something similar. Oh yeah, a Sophie's Toes sock from last year. Color Lily Pad.

Oh yeah, in looking for that sock, I found all those seven single socks up in my drawer from last year. Ooops. I think I made a vow sometime in October to finish those up.

So, feeling guilty, I cast on another new sock. More of my own yarn, color Dramatic.

Or, there is this project that has also been calling me for a few weeks, and I think it might qualify for mindless enough. It's The Central Park Hoodie, from the Fall '06 Knitscene. Classic Elite Skye Tweed, color 1295 (purple).

Give me a shout out and tell me if you are watching, and what you are knitting.

And have fun!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

All About Allison

My mom wasn't the only one who got fashionable neckwear for Christmas. The scarves were abundant. I guess that's what you get when you have a houseful of knitters.

Now, we turn our attention to my lovely and talented sister Allison.

This scarf was made for her by my knitting brother Tres*.

I have never been a big fan of the fur, but this scarf is seriously glam.

Is it because he knitted 2 rows of the plain yarn in between 2 rows of the fur, so it's not so furry? Or because the plain yarn is a slightly lighter shade of the same color, adding depth? Or because it is just so darn long and luxurious?

It is a mystery. But I like it.

And now, what I made my sis. Another project I was dying to blog about but just couldn't give away the secret.

I have to say, trying to be modest but I can't, I think is one of the best things I've ever made.
It's the Weekender Bag by Amy Butler. I got the barkcloth fabric at Reprodepot.

She just moved from the Midwest to L.A. and this carry-on sized bag is a big hint that I expect her to fly home often!!!! Get it girl--it's a HINT!

This is not a beginner sewing project. But it wasn't as hard as I expected from the buzz around the blogs. The worst thing was sewing through all those thick layers of heavy fabric, super-heavy interfacing, and piping. You know when the actual directions tell you to go slow, and be patient, that you're in for some serious sewing.

But it was oh, SO worth it. The sides and bottom are very stiff. This baby is a real suitcase. My kids couldn't believe I made a FREAKIN SUITCASE. It does make you feel like you could make anything!

And, I know I said this already about the smoke ring, but if you are disappointed that I don't have in-progress shots to blog about, be patient, because I'm going to make another one of these soon--for me.

*Most people know him as Tres. We--his sisters--call him Kenny. But his real name is Earl. I'll explain it all over a beer sometime.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Diaper Avengers!

(This is the first of several installments where I show you all the crap I couldn’t show you in December.)

I guess I wasn’t the only one who has taken it upon herself to clean up “diaper lady”. My mom went home last week with a suitcase full of new neckwear. Yes, I think we have banished the diaper forever, Thank God.

First of all, my sister made her this glamorous scarf.

Fleece artist. Pattern on the yarn package. It’s the same yarn I used for this capelet, circa 2005. Mom's scarf is so pretty, I may rip out my capelet and make one too. One cannot have too many lacey periwinkle items!

For my contribution, I made her a Flared Lace Smoke Ring. I was dying to blog about it, and if you’re wishing to see it in progress, I promise I’m going to make another one. Soon. For me.

She put it on as soon as she opened it Christmas morning, and was still wearing it at 10pm that night! I don’t think I’ve ever gotten such a good reception to a knitted gift, so I was really happy. Not to mention, that it looks smashing on her.

And besides that, I loved knitting it. It is a very clever pattern. I got my pattern at Elann and used my sock yarn - one skein - color Robin's Egg. Actually, it took significantly less than the 350 yds called for, but I did end up making it slightly shorter than the pattern.

And if that's not enough neckwear for ya, look! she even finished a neckwarmer for herself.

She was knitting a mistake rib scarf from Lamb's Pride Bulky, and after about 30 of the required 70-some inches, she was running out of steam. (And to be honest, we've been watching her knit this scarf for months, and we were all ready for her to move on to another project.)

So, it took a little arm twisting, a few complimentary rows and some buttonholes by moi, and we turned that puppy into a chic neckwarmer. I was really pretty thrilled with the way it turned out.