Saturday, February 24, 2007

For Dad

Post haircut

Now with bangs!

I'm working on a Harry Potter scarf for Chris right now, I'm almost finished. I have a few gifts to knit and a bunch of new fiber to spin. Still doing well on our vegan eating plan. Still blah about February. I'll be a better blogger next month. . .

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Crafting Blahs

The finished skein from last week's post

The doldrums of February combined with a very active January find me with NOTHING on the needles or wheel. I cast on a balaclava for Chris but ripped it as I was foolishly attempting to knit from memory and was doing k2p2 instead of k2p3 even though I had a ton of stitches. You'd think I would have been proactive enough to consult the pattern after an inch or so of thinking "Gee, that looks awfully big." But no I waited until I had 3 inches completed.

Instead I've been reading and sleeping. :) I do much of my crafting in the evenings after both children are asleep but now that I've given up caffeine I find myself going to bed an hour or so earlier. I guess it's good to be getting the rest my body needs but my brain is craving a bit more.

Reading wise I've devoured a bunch of cooking books -- Eat to Live by Joel Furhman, Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl. All three are good reads. I read the first two during the same week which made for an interesting juxtaposition as they are at the opposite ends of the eating spectrum. The former proposing a vegan, nutrient dense, low-fat diet and the other cooking offal in butter and cream. We're trying out the program outlined in Eat to Live and are doing pretty well -- we may be exhibiting a green tinge from all of the salad we are eating but otherwise feel satiated and healthy.

I do expect happy crafting days ahead of me as I have a large KnitPicks order coming my way with yarn for Chris's striped scarf, a surprise hat and a ton of dye for my Tunis roving. I also was lucky enough to have some spinning questions answered by a lovely and talented spinner. I can't wait to read the next post about drafting. I have more HPY fiber on the way as well as some other yummy stuff to spin and will test out her suggestions.

Thanks to the blizzard outside tomorrow will be our third day in a row home. Normally we are home on Tuesdays but get out and be merry the others. Today was surprisingly pleasant and hopefully tomorrow will be more of the same.

Lastly, I have to mention that my vacuum died the other week and I replaced it with the Roomba (for those that wanted a report, this is a Remanufactured Roomba Discovery) that my heart has been coveting. I LOVE it. It freaking rocks. I was doubtful that it would stand up to the fur but it does a great job even if I do have to empty it after every use. Now my only problem is figuring out how to keep Little Girl from turning it on every ten minutes. Hopefully the novelty will wear off soon.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Vivid Violet

roving with bits of lemon yellow throughout. Isn't it pretty? And oh so soft. Spinning is really an amazing thing -- time seems to evaporate when I'm doing it. I don't know if it's just because I'm learning and spend so much time thinking about what I'm doing or if it's just a magical craft in general. I've managed to solve my overtwist problem but now feel like I'm spending more time predrafting the roving than actually spinning. If you have advice please comment.

Pile o' baby hats awaiting to be delivered. (Babies have already arrived.)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Book Reviews

Remember way back when when I said I was going to sew? I bought very pretty fabric, prepped the fabric, cut out some patterns and then put it all away. I seem to have the best intentions to sew but then get stymied by some detail or another. However I really want to sew so I'm trying to find some good basic books sort of in the Stitch 'n Bitch vein.

While Amazon surfing I stumbled on Amy Butler's In Stitches and as I LOVE her patterns and fabric (to look at of course, haven't actually MADE any of them) I thought this would be a good book for me as it's supposedly a beginner book. Ha. The projects at first glance do look simple but when you actually look at the details they are much more complex than my new sewer self can hope to figure out. Luckily I found another that is much more suited to my needs: Sew U: The Built by Wendy Guide to Making Your Own Wardrobe This book rocks! It's for the absolute beginner and walks you through all the basic sewing stuff plus pattern modification. Three patterns are included with many details on all of the variations you can do with those three.

While reading through the how-to part of Sew U I figured out my sewing issue -- it's the fiddly nature of pinning and cutting out patterns. I get really annoyed when they slip or don't end up just right. (I don't want to discuss the zipper and drop-stitch cardigan for this very reason. Or rather the 4 failed attempts at proper zipper installation.) Wendy suggests using weights and a rotary cutter instead of pins/scissors. Hallelujah! I had a similar issue with gardening -- I grew up amongst gardeners but was never interested until I tried it while wearing gloves. That was the whole problem -- I hate the feel of dirt. Sew. . . here's hoping this is the launch of a new hobby. (Because I don't have enough of them as it is.)