Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Aprons Galore

So, I've hit the apron making insanity phase. I so love making aprons! They're fun, they're fast and you can learn all kinds of new techniques for sewing on something that is small and mostly inexpensive. I use a lot of fabric from Goodwill when I find stuff I like. I just got nearly 10 yards of unbleached muslin for $7.99 at Goodwill. THAT was a good find!

Here's my latest apron. The red is just plain cotton and the polka-dot material is left overs from Christmas projects. The patch is something I added on after I had already finished the apron. I embroidered the birds using four strands of embroidery floss and the tree with only three strands.

I also made one with some fabric from Goodwill. It's also the Mary Jane Butter's IdeaBook apron and I really like this one a lot.

I also made the Frenchy Shoulder Bag from Amy Butler and even used some fabric from her line. The inside lining is civil war rose print, but still matches well enough. The pattern is super easy and only took me an afternoon to cut it all out and an afternoon to sew it all together. I did get a little annoyed when I fell short of the exterior fabric by about 2 inches. I had to get another 1/8 of a yard so I could get the straps made. But otherwise, no complaints! I used the leftover scraps to create a wallet. I even put a zipper into the top flap so I would have a place to put loose change!

I've also done a bit of spinning, though I had to miss the January Spin-In at Ace's house. This is the merino that Janelle dyed for me at Christmas. I'm going to make Elizabeth Zimmerman's Mitered Mittens with it. I'm excited! The colors came out beautifully and the whole 8 oz spun up like butter. Next on my list of spinning is some 100% angora. I've never spun it, but I am going to try!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


So I finally found Small Meadow Press again. This site was a delight during my letter writing days and rediscovering it has prompted me to want to start this wonderful past time again. Lesley's creations are beautiful and functional. The Pigeon Holes make you want to get organized and the calling cards make you want to visit people you know won't be home just so you can leave them one. LOL! And when she sends the box with your lovely goodies, it is always wrapped so beautifully that you don't want to open it.

On a local note, The Dancing Ewe has a great web page that lists products and classes and will soon feature a newsletter. I have greatly enjoyed being able to hang out on Thursdays and during lunch hour with the local ladies and talk and knit. The owner, Kathy, has just brought in some great stuff, including a Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel and some sock yarn called Flatfeet, which is knitted on a knitting machine, then dyed, then you buy it still knitted up. You unravel one end and start knitting your socks straight from this. Clever, no?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

If money were no issue...

Taking my cue from the lovely lady at Bits and Bobbins Blog, I have decided to post what I might own if money were no issue. I really had a hard time thinking of things since I love to shop at Goodwill and yard sales, so the thought of spending lots of money on something not big (like a car or a house) seems quite weird to me. Anyway, these are the things I decided for.

First thing I thought of was that I would want an Irish Wolfhound. They are such adorable, gentle animals and they are HUGE!!!! I totally adore them with their whiskers and eyebrows and long faces.

I saw this sweater at Victorian Trading Company and fell in love with it. It looks so cozy and comfy and cute! I'm not so keen on the color choice, but I still love it. It's $169. Which is probably what it would cost for the yarn if I knit it myself. Hmmm...Tempting...

This dress is also from Victorian Trading Company. I fell in love with it about two years ago and I still drool every time I see it. The color is rich and the material is divine. Another expensive bit of clothing.

This sofa is from the same place as the sweater and dress. It's so fluffy and I love the miss matched fabrics. It looks like something you'd want to curl up on with a wool blanket and some knitting. :) It's $2995.

This ring is from Tiffany & Co. and is 24k gold with diamonds. I've been eying this thing since I first saw it in 1998. It's $16,000. Yeah. I haven't even bought a car that cost that much! EEK! I can't imagine owning a piece of jewelry that is so extravagant. But it is beautiful. And it reminds me of Lord of the Rings...

And of course last, but not least, I would SO own this spinning wheel, the Habetrot, from Golding Rings Wheels. The price is somewhere around $4,500. But with the beautiful craftsmanship of the wheel, I think it's totally worth it. I would love to just spin on one and see how it worked. If it spins as wonderfully as it looks. I love my Schacht, but it isn't very pretty...

So there's my list of things I might own if money were no issue. I'm sure there are other things, like cashmere yarn, and knitting needles in every size, and a Starbucks gift card that never ran out, but I figured I'd only list these. But since it is unlikely that any of these shall be mine, I am quite content with the beautiful things I find second hand.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Happy New Year!

Here it is January 2008 already! I feel like last year sped by far too fast. Besides having a wonderful Christmas with my family on the West side of the Cascades and a great New Year's Eve with my best pal, Mary T. and her family and friends from church, and a fabulous New Year's Day at the local yarn shop, The Dancing Ewe, with my other super cool friend, Janelle, I've gotten a lot of stuff done!

The trip to the west side was incredibly fun, if a little long. I took the airport shuttle because my car is on its last leg and I was very happy I did! The driver had to stop and chain up because the snow was so bad. And the cops were out making sure that those without chains got turned around and sent home! I've only had to put chains on once since I moved to Ellensburg and quite frankly I'd like to keep it that way! I spent a couple of days with my dad, Bill, and his wife, Doreen and enjoyed their company and their Direct TV. LOL! I got to go see my brother, Ben and his significant other, Sandy. It was the first time I've seen their apartment. It is a very awesome place! Then we went to my mom's, Marla's, and hung out with her for the evening. She also has a great apartment. We had a lot of fun just chatting and being together. Then on Christmas Eve I went to my Aunt Connie's and Uncle John's and got to visit my Grandmother Lorraine and my Uncle Jimmy. We had chicken enchiladas and spanish rice and refried beans. Not your traditional holiday meal, but it was very good! Connie had found my Grandma's diaries and a bunch of pictures from when she was a very little girl, so we spent some time just enjoying the pictures and letting Grandma reminisce on her life. Connie even found the pink silk bonnet that Grandma wore as a baby in one of the pictures! It was really cool. I got some fun gifts, but had more fun handing out the little journals that I made. That night I rode the airport shuttle home. We left at 11:30 pm which put me in Ellensburg at 1:30 in the morning. Mary's husband was gracious enough to come pick me up at the local Starbucks and I went home and crashed. The rest of the week I spent in bed with the flu. Oh well.

I managed to finish several projects that I've been wanting to get done. Mostly I met with success, though I had one rather disappointing failure.

I got out my sewing machine and made two aprons and a shirt. The first apron is the Sunday Apron from Vanilla House. The fabric came from the local fabric store, The Sewing Corral. It was very fun to make!
The other apron I made is the disappointment. Though it is incredibly cute and a bit more functional that the one above, it is a bit too small. The pattern is from Mary Jane's Farm Ideabook. Front


Close up of button and fabric. The buttons came from the local fabric store. The fabric I found at Goodwill.

The shirt I made is a Simplicity pattern. The fabric is from Hancocks and the buttons are made of glass and were found at the Antique Mall.

As far as knitting goes, I've knit a scarf, two hats, a cardigan, and a pair of socks! I didn't realize how much I've done since Christmas until just now! WOW! I don't feel like such a slacker anymore! LOL!

The scarf is just a simple garter stitch that I knit to go with the hat I made from the Viking Patterns for Knitting book by Elsebeth Lavold. The pattern is Ragna and it's the second time I've knit this hat. I want to make the sweater also, but haven't had a chance yet. The yarn is Cascade's Jewel.
The other hat is Jared Flood's Koolhaas from the Holiday Gifts 2001 Interweave magazine. The yarn is Malabrigo Pure Merino Worsted in Marron Oscuro and is soooo incredibly soft and bouncy! And I think that until my hair grows back, I'll be wearing hats quite a bit more. I can't believe how cold it is without any hair!!!

The cardigan I knit is from the Lion's Brand website. I used my own handspun for this: some Romeldale that I picked up at the Puyallup Spring Fair last year. It was such a joy to spin, but it took me quite a while to find a pattern I liked that was simple and would show off the yarn.
The socks were another pair of the Bazaar Socks that I adapted from a pattern by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. These went into the Dancing Ewe and have been so loved that I will be teaching a class on Fair Isle for your Feet in February (the alliteration was unintentional, yet catchy!). I've never taught a knitting class before and I'm quite excited about it!

This week I'm working on the Barcelona Layered Skirt from Amy Butler and a hat for a friend of mine at work. I'll hopefully be starting a pair of socks from some handspun Merino that Mary T. dyed. I'll use some Suffolk for the heel and toe so they'll last longer. Yeah for wool!