27 March 2009

Tokyo Tie Bag

After I got my sewing machine last year, I also got a basic sewing book called Sew Everything Workshop.

I have finally made something from the book, and it's the Tokyo Tie Bag!

Tokyo Tie Bag

Sorry for the horrible photo, but I was at home, alone, and rushing to take a photo during Nathan's nap. I was lucky that I didn't smack myself in the face with the camera accidentally. I spent about twenty minutes trying to figure out the timer function on my D50 before saying 'EFF this' and just hanging the bag up and snapping a photo.

It's a cute bag made of corduroy both on the inside and outside. The outside is a black and white polka-dot and the inside a bright red. Originally I had intended the opposite, but Paul suggested that the other way would be better. I have no trust in my own fashion sense and went with his suggestion.

I like it, but I do not love it. I think I would have been better to go with a more Amy Butler-ish fabric on the outside. I was expecting a larger bag, and this bag is teeny. It also has no pockets on the inside. I'll use it, but... not much.

I am glad I made the bag since it allowed me to, for the first time: draft my own pattern, clip along a curve, grade seams, and try something called a French seam. I don't believe that it actually was a French seam compared to others I've seen online, but it was something different, at least.

Next up? Either a skirt or more napkins.

Tokyo Tie Bag

I had to show just one more photo!

23 March 2009

Knitting Podcast Update

Whoops. It's been a while, no? I thought I'd catch us all up on where my podcast listens now stand and what I've recently given a try.

First, I've given a try to a classic knitting podcast. It has over 90 episodes and it is a surprisingly mellow listen. It's almost always the same length, it comes out with astonishing regularity, and the podcaster's voice is a dream. It's Sticks and Strings! The man who does this podcast is an Australian high school teacher who also likes D&D! (You can never be too much of a geek for me, people.) I really do recommend this podcast. It's like the Snickers bar of knitting podcasts for me. I find it is satisfying to listen to, but it is also short, and it holds me over until my favorite podcasts release their latest episodes. Though, it's rapidly becoming one of my favorites. I haven't gone back to listen to all his old episodes, and I don't plan to, but I have listened to the last twenty or so. Be warned, the podcaster has an essay each week as well as music interspersed with his talking. I like both, but your mileage may vary.

I also gave a try to Destiknit. My experience with this podcast wasn't as great. I am probably not able to clearly indicate why that is, but let me try. I think the problem with Destiknits for me was that I was so hopeful about it. She started her first podcast with information about Custom Knits (my favorite knitting book to date, and one that I will review AFTER I knit something from it). However, after a while, I noticed that I didn't seem to love her content. There was just something about it that rang of advertising to me. The weird part is that she wasn't even advertising anything. I kept going with it until she announced that her husband's job with the military led them to the choice of either living in Italy or Japan and she pressured for Italy. Any person who chose Italy over Japan is probably not someone I should be listening to.

My third new podcast is Gives Good Knit. I know. It's not a great podcast title. Worse, she hasn't had a new podcast in a month. However, our tastes almost perfectly overlap. It is fairly rare this happens in podcasts, so when it does, I cling unless things go horribly wrong. Now, if you are reading my recommendations looking for something to try, I really have to warn you that this podcast is about fifty percent (or even sixty percent) content about literature. I love this, and her discussions of novels have even led me to add a few books to my reading list, but you might prefer pure knitting content, in which case you should give this podcast a skip. But... if you're a geek, you like video games, geek tv, literature, and knitting, it's a pretty good listen. She introduced me to the knit Spiderman blanket again (ravel it!), which I certainly plan to knit sometime in the future for the darling men in my life. I knew I was especially happy with her in the last podcast in which she discussed one of my favorite books ever (Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was), and she discussed one of my favorite current trashy television shows (Gossip Girl - The Complete First Season)!

For those who are new to these podcast reviews, other crafty I like include:

Knit Picks' Podcast
-- Informative and calming podcast from the owner(?) of Knit Picks.
The Manic Purl Podcast -- Friendly, casual podcast from a casual knitter/spinner. Very good, possibly my favorite.
Never Not Knitting -- Casual podcast with good sound effects/segments/intro song. The podcaster is a professional knitter, doing work for others and herself.
Sew Forth Now -- Only fashion sewing podcast I'm aware of that doesn't blow. The non-podcast blog of the podcaster is almost more interesting than the podcast, but the podcast has grown on me recently.
Stash and Burn -- Discussion podcast between two friends. Super popular, super on target, and super great. Love it.

Anyone have any recommendations for new podcasts for me to try? I'm going to give Knitmore Girls a whirl. If you're new to my blog, please do not recommend Lime and Violet or Cast On. I dislike both for various reasons even though they are probably two of the most popular knitting podcasts around.

Short Unsweet Update

Last week, Nathan ran his little walker over to my knitting area, picked up my Pomatomus socks in progress and yanked two of the needles out of them. Those socks has taken me like a month just to knit to that point and they were already fairly screwed up with some areas where I had clearly not increased at the right time or I had simple dropped a stitch and then picked it up incorrectly.

This was already after Paul told me that the yarn was so incredibly crazy that he could not see the pattern in them. Also, the socks looked like they would be incredibly tall and I hate incredibly tall socks. I got so depressed about the whole situation that I ripped the socks out.

I've already started a pair of plain stockinette anklets with the yarn, but the whole thing is super depressing. I don't think I like the incredibly variegated nature of most of the Socks That Rock collection. I still plan to do the Pomatomus socks one day, but with a different less variegated yarn.

Ugh, I'm off to be depressed now. Sewing success news on the morrow, hopefully.

20 March 2009

Baby Hat

So, quite a while ago, I decided to knit Nathan a little ribbed hat that he could wear this year or next. Haha on the 'this year' thing since it is now Spring, but since I knit a two by two rib, it's definitely good for next year. It is adorable. Nathan doesn't find it amusing, however.

Knit Hat

After approximately one photo, he was all, "Seriously, Mom! I just want you to stop taking photos!"

No More Pictures, Mom!

Then he decided that he was too good for the hat I knit for him. Sad!

That's It

I think it will be adorable on him next year, when I put him in his little Kenneth Cole black suede jacket, and I will have to get him some cute little jeans and a shirt with a deep red animal on it. I might also have to knit him a red scarf.

Project: Nathan's Red Hat (ravel it!)
Pattern: Improvised 2 by 2 rib.
Yarn: Crazy cabled superwash mystery wool.
Needles: Size 5 bamboo DPNs

I am starting to feel a crafting urge every night. I'm also feeling a drawing urge. Should I start a third blog where I post drawings?! No!

19 March 2009

Finished Object Post Coming Soon

I managed to actually finish a hat for Nathan last night. When he eventually sleeps tonight, I'll process and post the pictures of him wearing it.

In the meantime, as you all already know, I'm always willing to whore out my blog for gorgeous items. (I mean, if I'm willing to trade Nathan for a kitten, it's not like I'm not going to trade a blog entry for a chance to win something super cute!) Here's my latest link to a fantastic giveaway.

You can win yarn and a project bag! Go for it. This is one of the blogs that I subscribe to and I think her pictures are fantastic, so I'd even subscribe to her if I were you. She does both sewing and knitting, though I found her through a search for sewing blogs, not knitting blogs. Check out her other posts, such as this post detailing seams or this post detailing a gorgeous sewn shirt she made.

13 March 2009

Sewing, I Did It

As many of you know, because you read my blog, last September I received my first sewing machine. My sewing skills were as follows: "I can cross-stitch, and whip stitch. If pushed to."

Well, I did my first pattern, folks. It is a gorgeous little "Easy to Sew" apron from Simplicity. Here is a shot of Paul modeling it.

Simplicity Pattern 5154

It was made with a lightweight denim, and it fits Paul very well. This is great except for the fact that it was made for my very short mother. It does not fit her well and she has requested alterations I do not know how to make. Sigh. Either way, I'm pretty proud of it. The ties for it were a complete and utter bitch since they required turning inside out. Paul helped me with the task and he can attest to the fact that it was an utter bitch.

If you'd like to see my Sewing Pattern review, I just put it up. Sewing Pattern Reviews is a nice enough site, but I'd like Ravelry to include sewing, ya know?

I also made some napkins for Spring this year. I was tired of my very autumnal napkins being used all the time.

Spring Napkins

I used a medium-weight cotton, and I made the binding tape myself. That's why they look so crappy. If I were smart, I would have:

1. Washed my material at least two or three times to prevent shrinking later.
2. Made the bias tape on the bias even though the pattern said I did not need to.

I think next time I'm just going to wait for a Joann sale and buy the binding tape in bulk.

What have you all been doing?

03 March 2009

Pretty Pretty Petable Yarn

Guess what came in the mail a few days ago?

Sundara Yarn

Is that some Sundara sock yarn you spy? It is! I took it out back, in the pretty snow, in the fading sunset, to get some not very color accurate photos. I white-balanced as best possible, but I'm not sure of the accuracy still.

Cranberry Mousse

That lovely little number above? That's Cranberry Mousse. I'm still working on a good picture of the Bittersweet Chocolate, so you'll have to do with the photo I'm posting for now.

Bittersweet Chocolate