Sunday, January 22, 2006

sometimes it's fun to let someone else do the sewing

this isn't about knitting or crafts, but i thought you crafty gals would appreciate it, so i'm posting anyway.

i'm super excited about the new custom handmade laptop bag i ordered from m. avery designs. you can select whatever fabric you like for your bag, and also the dimensions of the bag. it comes with an inside pocket that is custom-sized for your particular laptop, in my case my new 12" ibook. so it is more protective than a normal bag that lets your computer slide around inside.

it will be a couple of weeks before i receive my new bag, but this is my sketch of what it will look like. the flap will be in this really cool vintage-looking surfer boy print, and the rest of the bag will be in a matching red fabric. i think it will be the coolest laptop bag ever. she's going to send me the scrap surfer boy fabric so i can make myself a matching coin purse or cell phone cover or something.

they also sell many other kinds of bags that you can custom design with your choice of fabric. definitely check out the site, it's awesome. it's great for vegans who want an alternative to leather bags. and it's all handmade in new jersey -- no sweatshops. if you live near hoboken, they even have handbag workshops where you can learn to design and sew handbags yourself.

Friday, January 20, 2006

a little too pleased with myself

here are the finished eyelet legwarmers. not the best picture but i was running out the door to go dancing to 80s music. maybe cameron will send a pic of her wearing them.

also this week:

pants... hemmed.
blog... posted upon.
new ibook computer... set up and rarin' to go.
80s music... danced to (until 2 am i might add).
wingman duties for single friend... skillfully accomplished.
dog... bathed.
fun for tonight... researched and decided upon.
bookclub webpage... updated

so it's been a productive week and i'm very excited for the weekend. i want to spend a lot of time sleeping and watching movies, and cook my weekly big batch of healthy food. maybe i'll do some swatching for a new knitting project, tinker around with some other crafts. TGIF, folks!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

makin' stuff

i haven't been knitting but i have been makin' stuff. i finished one legwarmer and i'm very pleased with myself and my seaming skillz. i have to say that this legwarmer is the best legwarmer i've ever seen in person (though i bet the legwarmers michelle makes are better).

i've been cooking more than usual. friday night i made doggie cookies from a "recipe" i made up. my dog has food allergies and she can't have wheat, which is in most dog treats. so i make her vegan doggie cookies out of peanut butter, molasses, oats, oat flour, baking powder, oil, and carrot "chips." she adores them. i also made human cookies, but from a mix. saturday, i baked up a big pan of mexican style casserole.

here's my "recipe" for mexican style casserole: i layer the bottom of a big casserole dish with polenta slices drizzled with some olive oil. then i toss chopped zucchini, chopped broccoli, chopped carrots, corn, and pinto beans with salsa, hot sauce, garlic, cumin seeds, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. pour the veggies on top of the polenta, cover, and bake for about an hour until veggies are cooked. serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream.

sunday i started to hem a pair of pants for travis. he found a really nice pair of ben sherman slacks at tj maxx but they were way too long. it's taking me a while to hem. first, because i was shortening them by about 4 inches, i had to cut off several inches of fabric and figure out how to finish off the cut ends. i had never done that before, usually i just let out the hem and raise it like an inch without cutting the fabric. i have no idea what the correct way to finish off fabric is, and i doubt i have the tools to accomplish the correct method anyway. it looked like the end that i cut off had been finished with a serger and i definitely do not own a serger.

what i ended up doing is use the "zig zag" feature on my sewing machine to create a dense line beyond which the fabric hopefully won't fray (it was trav's idea) and then cut the fabric about a quarter of inch beyond the line. i hope that works. obviously, it doesn't look too pretty but no one will see it. then, i was kind of obsessive about measuring and pinning the hems correctly. so by the time i actually started hemming i didn't have time to get much done!

i still haven't found the yarn i need to finish my poncho yet. i will probably have to order it. while i was at ac moore looking for the yarn i bought size 8 needles and some lion jiffy to make a hat with. i want to make myself a really warm hat. none of my winter hats keep out the cold wind. the jiffy yarn looks super warm, and i want to knit it as tight as i can to make it dense and cozy. the 8s might be too small, but i thought i'd give it a try.

tonight i want to finish the second leg warmer so that i can give them to cameron on friday. i think now that i know what i'm doing, it will go much faster. i don't know why i was so scared of seaming -- as long as i remember to seam the correct pieces, it's actually pretty easy. later this week i want to finish the pants and swatch the lion jiffy for my warm hat.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

travis (who has never knit a thing in his life) corrected my knitting mistake

so, armed with emily's advice, i sat down to seam up the leg warmers. i had the book in front of me, good light, straight pins, yarn, scissors, a yarn needle -- all the supplies i needed. reading the directions from my book, i pin the two squares together, tack the yarn, and start seaming. i go slow, as emily suggested. i get about 4 inches done. it looks great! i'm so proud! i call travis over to show him my beautiful seaming. he looks at it like i'm sewing a sock onto a pair of underwear. "what's wrong? doesn't my seam look good?" he points out my mistake.

did you spot it? read the above paragraph again. i pinned the TWO SQUARES TOGETHER. i was doing a beautiful job of seaming the two legwarmers together! arg! i'm such an idiot. "aren't you supposed to sew each leg warmer to itself, not to the other one?" travis asks. why yes. so perceptive of you to notice. "or are you trying to sew one giant legwarmer that will go around both legs," he continues, chuckling and making exagerrated gestures indicating what it would be like to wear one giant tube around both legs. ha ha. i wasn't amused. "don't make fun of me! i just spent an hour an a half on that," i whined. at least he pointed out my mistake before i had finished seaming the whole thing together.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

proof! (and a bonus for being so patient)

here are those eyelet legwarmers! they are merrily blocking on the kitchen table as we speak. or write. or i write and you read. (note that the one on the right is upside down in the photo.)

i hope this cheap red heart super saver yarn takes the blocking as well as the linen blend i used for the christmas miracle scarf and hat.

now i have to figure out how to sew a nice seam. i haven't really done that before.

...and here is your bonus for being so patient. i took this photo from a moving convertible back in september, 2001 during our cross-country road trip. we were right outside of moab, utah, on our way to the moab jazz festival. that's how amazing utah is -- you can just aim a point and shoot camera out the car window and snap a picture and you can capture something as beautiful as this.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

i've been knitting, really

i've got one of cameron's eyelet legwarmers all knitted up and i'm knitting the second. right now, the finished one is just a blue rectangle; i haven't sewn it up yet. once i'm done with both i'll block them to the same size and then sew them up. sorry, i haven't had a chance to take pictures.