23 December 2010

Want Tutorials?

So, I wanted to clue you in on the two crafty things that I did discover this Christmas season. 

One, I've figured out how to turn my multitude of wrapping paper into paper bags.

Paper Bags

Not the most useful thing this year (except it works for cookie deliveries), but I suspect that when I have a child at grade school, it'd be neat to send in lunches made out of wrapping paper or such at Christmas time.

Two, I finally learned how to make a damnable bow out of wired ribbon.

Wired Ribbon Bow

For years I've lusted after this ribbon, only to reject it, because it was nearly useless in my wrapping efforts. Now, I buy this ribbon ALL the time. That's my new Christmas wrapping rule.

Any one want tutorials on either of these items? If so, let me know. I think I'd enjoy putting those online.

09 November 2010


My creation

Ugh, so much to say here that I feel overwhelmed! So, this is the choo-choo shirt I bought material for about eighteen hundred years ago. In fact, when I originally planned to make it, it was going to be size 2T. Guess what? I made it 3T!

Bad Ass Look

Why do I have so much to say about this shirt? Because, it is my sewing introduction to many things such as collars, buttonholes, plackets, and setting in sleeves! I mean, I just learned so much about sewing and so many things I did with this shirt came out well.

The pattern is from Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing. I am going to admit that I like the finished look of this shirt, but this pattern was kind of a bitch. The collar was all kinds of messed up and you can tell when you look at this shirt!

It took me four or five tries to get that collar done and I'm still not pleased with it. Also, though I did not find any errata, I could not at all get the collar and shirt to line up. I had to undo the sewing I did on the collar and cut it up prior to attaching it to the shirt correctly.

And the drawings Ross did in the book don't really look like the pattern pieces. Occasionally, I'd look blankly at the instructional drawings and just pause and examine the pieces I cut out. I'd re-open the pattern pieces to make sure I had really cut everything correctly!

In other news, I'm not recommending this pattern. Try to find another button down shirt pattern for young boys. I hear Oliver + S is offering one, and I'm considering buying it since I do love the look of my son in a button down shirt that I've made him.

Cute Pose

I am pleased with the sleeves since this was the first time I've set in sleeves! I was most worried about doing that and I flipped out while pinning since I was sure that my machine was going to walk the sleeve faster than the body of the shirt such that I ended up with too much sleeve. However, it all looked great in the end. I think the sleeves might be the nicest part of my work on this shirt, though the placket also turned out pretty.

Outdoor Hanging!

I'm rather tired right now, so I'm going to cut this a little shorter than I originally expected. I finished the work on Sunday while Nathaniel was awake. He was fascinated by my sewing machine, begging to sit on my lap. He talks a bit about the shirt, telling people that his mommy made him a choo choo shirt. In fact, one evening after a nap, he woke up and stared at the scraps of fabric I had thrown away, and he panicked! He said to me, "Choo choo shirt!" I had to reassure him that his real shirt was in the living room, waiting for him to wear it.

Bribed By Candy Corn

I really enjoyed sewing this, but I'm getting a little gun shy about sewing from this book. I think it might be time to move to some Simplicity patterns.

I Finished Something But This Isn't About That

I promise that I'll be posting about my finished (sewing) project this week, and I might even have teaser pictures tomorrow, but I have a link to a great tutorial for hand picked zippers today. I've been hearing a lot of my dressmaking blogs talk about hand picked zippers and I'm always made WTF face at my computer screen trying to figure out how you would even do one.

Turns out Sewaholic could practically see my WTF face and she decided to tutorialize the heck out of the sewing!

Oh, I can't resist a grainy, blurry teaser pic of the finished project that I shall parade before you later!

Oh, Mom!

Do you appreciate the way that my son is already hideously embarrassed by this all?

05 November 2010

Coming Out Of Hibernation

To tell you that I'm excited about three things.

Japanese Washi Tape Lovely Pinks

One is my new secret obsession. Japanese washi tape. I mean, I'm obsessed with office supplies in general. However, the cuteness that is washi tape kills me. Seriously, the store Cute Tape is making me flip out. It sells cute stickers. And cute labels. And cuteness. It might as well sell kittens.

Oliver + S is going to publish a book of patterns. I'm no secret admirer of Oliver + S. I think the children patterns they put out are adorable, modern, and sweet. I just can't justify the cost of one or two or EIGHT BILLION when I don't sew enough.

Turtlegirl has posted a tutorial for an adorable twisted garter cuff for a sock. It makes me want to knit that pair of socks right now. Maybe if I didn't have two pairs of Cookie A socks on the needles right now.

28 September 2010

Let's Not Lie To Each Other

I've disappeared. I'd like to blame my son's asthma (which flared) or my cats (who got fleas and colds and liver problems) or my mom (who decided that she hates surgery and will let her knee fall off). However, the real problem has been laziness, weird weather, a slight cold of my own, and Vampire Diaries. Have you people even seen that show? It's like crack. You know, if crack were deliciously handsomely evil with gorgeous eyes. I'm going to recommend you all watch it if you like teen dramas (and that includes all you Veronica Mars and Buffy fans). Power through the stupid first three episodes, with all their Twilightesque silly drama, and get to the part where crazy stuff goes down.

Anyway, every night I say to myself, 'I should sew', or 'I should knit'. Instead, I check out my computer, watch an episode or two of television, and then go to sleep. Well, I've been reading more sewing blogs. There are so many gorgeous ones our there with people making clothes that make me weep with envy. And I've been surfing Gilt Groupe and ModCloth. Actually, I've been avoiding ModCloth, otherwise, I end up with roughly thirty some tabs open with dresses like these.

My creation

Darn you, ModCloth! I want ALL of your dresses because they make me weep with joy. Either way, all that awesome dress web page surfing makes me want to sew, but I need more incentive! Well, I got that incentive today. I have had the fabric for my son's train shirt sitting on our dining room table for months now. Today, my son saw it and went crazy over the fabric. "Choo-choo! Choo-choo!"

I asked him, "Do you want a choo-choo shirt?" His enthusiastic reply was all I needed to feel a little energized. So, I wanted to say hello again before I cut out my fabric. I hope to talk to you soon. (Maybe I'll start processing my digital photos again so I can show you the cute new sweater tights I bought to go with my imaginary ModCloth dresses.)

14 September 2010

What Do I Want To Do

As you know, I'm already working on a pair of socks and a blanket (both super slowly right now due to my latest obsession), but I'm planning ahead too! I want to knit other things, so here's the first of my hopeful queue.

1. Monkey Socks

I'd like to make these for my mother-in-law out of the pumpkin colored Gloss sock yarn I have.

2. Auto Vest

For my darling Nathaniel.

I'll add to this later, but isn't that vest the most darling thing ever?

08 September 2010

I'm Crafty, For Reals, Plus WIP Wednesday!

So, it's crafty.ninjakitten.net! Thank you for the feedback, and you should see this in any feed readers you use due to my new found love, Feedburner.

Are you bored by that blog business? So am I! Here's my "What I Did On Summer Vacation -- Crafty Edition" essay. Well, as I think I might, or might not, have mentioned, we went to the shore last week. (For those of you who don't live local to Philly, the shore is synonymous with the beach in my area. It normally indicates the Jersey shore, but I visited Ocean City, MD instead.) Thinking that I'd just knit knit knit all night, I brought along the nub's blanket and a lot of yarn. I don't know why I thought I'd knit so much, but mostly I slept every night because I was so darned tired. I did get some knitting done, though.

For The Nub

And, because I love to ask for trouble, I visited Salty Yarns while down at Ocean City. They bill themselves primarily as an embroidery shop, but what right minded person names their store Salty Yarns and doesn't sell any yarn? Not the owner of Salty Yarns, luckily. I wasn't going to go in, because they did have an extremely sparse yarn collection, but I spied something special through the windows. That's right, Lantern Moon needles! They had Sox Stix! The next trip to the boardwalk, I was there to purchase myself a nice set of size 1 needles in rosewood. I know it's extravagant, but they make me so darn happy when I'm knitting and that makes a difference. (As an aside, I got pretty indifferent service at Salty Yarns. Perhaps it was because I came in late just prior to Labor Day, but I was not greeted especially warmly, and the person who was at the register seemed both unaware and uninterested in what Lantern Moon needles they had available.)

Excited by the needles, I came home and wound up some very special yarn for a pair of socks I've been wanting to try from Cookie A. I'll leave the particular pattern nameless to surprise you all later! The super special yarn was Sundara Sock! I've been dying to try either that or my Madelinetosh, but when asked, Paul said he thought the pink of my Cranberry Mousse colorway worked better with the pattern. He helped me wind it and my heart sunk like a stone as we did. It went from being beautifully pink and cream in the skein to being a tiny bit like...

My Newest Socks In Progress

Grape juice vomit. I wanted to cry as I stared it, but I held myself together and decided I needed to use it anyway. I asked myself, somewhat crazily, what drew me to grape juice vomit yarn. I was angry at Sundara who was 'supposedly' a great dyer. I was cranky and tired and mean when I cast on, but what a difference a few rows can do.

Only half an inch later, I was back in love.

My Newest Socks In Progress

The yarn slid easily and beautifully from sharp pretty needle to sharp pretty needle. It knitted up tight, but not too dense. And, best of all, it was knitting up into a pretty petal pink. Some areas are slightly lighter, others darker, but it's as if it was a flower petal, all gentle flows of color. I apologized to whomever Sundara's dyer is, in my head. This is the reason people camped out on the Sundara website to try to get a skein. It was perfection.

So, now I'm knitting two different items for the first time in a while. I've mentally committed myself to working on the blanket half the time to try and crank it out, and working on my other stuff, including some sketching once again, during the rest of the week. We'll see how this all turns out.

Bye-bye, from one crafty ninja kitten!

07 September 2010

Fabric Stash And My URL

Okay, first up, prior to my boring you with my babbling about how awesome my husband is. I finally managed to figure out how to change my damnable URL for this blog to use my personal domain without losing all my feed traffic and readers. It only took me a year. Anyways. I am using blog.ninjakitten.net for my family blogging. (You know, the stuff that would bore you so I shunt it off onto some sad sack blog.)

That leaves me looking for a URL for this blog. I was just going to go with crafts.ninjakitten.net, but I was wondering if crafts sounds too... 'arts and crafts' as in macaroni and popsicle stick stuff. Then I thought, brilliantly, crafty.ninjakitten.net. Then I was worried that was lame. knitting.ninjakitten.net is out since I sew. clothing.ninjakitten.net seems a lie too since I'm not really discussing clothing so much as my making of items that might or might not be clothing.

What do you all think? Any suggestions? attack.ninjakitten.net? i-am.ninjakitten.net?

Anyways, let's forget about all that for now. Let me soothe you with some delicious silk my husband picked up for me at Mood while he was in New York city. Again.

Interestingly, my husband got me a yard of each which has left me browsing for cute, but short skirt patterns and for tank type tops. I bought a few Simplicity patterns during a Joann sale, but I'm too afraid to cut into silk!

Three Silks From Mood

That's actually much hot pinker in person. While it's my least favorite pattern of the three, I suspect it would actually be the most versatile made into clothing. Just goes to show that you should shop with other people and that you should consider what the finished item will look like.

Three Silks From Mood

I really love love this stripe, but with one yard of it, I'm at a complete loss. I mean, I've never matched up stripes before. Maybe I should use this as the bodice of a dress? Or just the short skirt of a dress?

Three Silks From Mood

The second I saw this one, I fell in love. Paul was mystified about what made this my favorite. I think that I like that it is slightly whimsical while still having a deep red to it. I am saving this one for last for use because I love it the most and am most afraid of it.

While picking up patterns at Joann, I also picked up some corduroy for myself.

Could Not Resist

How adorable are those owls? I definitely want to make a skirt out of that fabric and wear it every where. Because that would be the definition of autumnal fun -- wearing that skirt with my cute new J Crew tee and a cute pair of shoes that I do not currently own. Perhaps I could wear it while picking out pumpkins for the display I am planning for my front porch.

Okay, so, peeps, get back to me on that URL, please? Also, try not to mock me for having the fashion sense of a ten year old. I like my whimsy, okay?

06 September 2010

Winter Hat In August

Wow, I'm back from vacation and better then ever. Why, you ask? One, the iPhone is revolutionizing my life. I take more photos and videos nowadays than ever before. My Facebook wall is getting updated all the time with new pictures of my son. Two, for my birthday this year, my in-laws and Paul splurged on me and got me Photoshop CS5. I'm not going to lie, I didn't want something so fancy before getting it, but now I'm in love. (I mean, I can actually post the pictures I've been taking.)

Well, let's get on with the program. I knit something in August!

Hi, Photoshop CS5

Project: Kitten's Awesome Winter Hat (ravel it!)
Pattern: Feeling Fuzzy from the Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits
Yarn: GGH Soft Kid
Needles: Already Forgotten

The things I do for you, peeps. It was eight hundred billion degrees out when I took these photos, but do you see me? I'm wearing a hat and a hoodie to make it look more authentically cold out.

Adjust Hat

We're all lucky I didn't die of heat stroke getting that photo taken.

I'm going to come out and say this about the hat of awesomeness. It's awesome. I love love love love it. It's soft, it's warm, it's pretty, and it's a gorgeous color. It's a hat I would not think to buy, but would be pleased to receive as a gift. It's luscious. It makes me think of winter berries and snow and happiness. I am probably going to use the heck out of it too because it's just so versatile with my wardrobe. The only way this hat could have been better was if it had been knit in the round instead of seamed up the side. I don't know why the Yarn Girls had me seam it, but I followed their advice unfailingly.

If you get a chance to knit this hat with this yarn, do it. You'll end up with an adorably awesome hat.

Don't wear it in the middle of August heat though.

My New Knitted Hat

23 August 2010

I'm Very Confused Right Now

Pro: Got my iPhone and my new laptop.

Con: Lost my use of Photoshop due to the fact that CS2 can't be used with Windows 7. This means no new photos for the blog unless they're kind of crappy iPhone photos.

Pro: Sewing and knitting a bit!

Con: Lots more stuff I want to sew and knit and cross-stitch.

Con: Not enough due to this new laptop.

Pro: Saw Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. It rocked my world.

Con: No cons on this one besides it'll be a while before I see another movie I like as much and I can't go to see it again immediately as I'm a responsible parent.

Pro: I'm going to the shore next week. Lots of knitting time for the nub's blanket!

Con: The yarn I am using, while reasonably soft and machine washable clearly has production issues. The most recent skein I've used had three knots and a weak spot that broke when I tugged on it. Each of those knots was cut out and I just started with the remainder of the skein so that there would be no knots in this darling baby's blanket. That means an extra eight ends to be woven in for that single skein. Stupid Bernat Cottontots. That'll teach me to get yarn because it looks nice yet not overly expensive.

Pro: I'm going to Helen's tomorrow for baked brie.

Con: I always have a hard time leaving our house when my son is awake.

Well, until I decide if I'm going to break down and buy another copy of a more recent version of Photoshop, you might be getting less frequent photo updates of my life. Because, as we all know, why bother if you don't have photos? (If you read this and don't use photos, please excuse my jerkiness. I probably still love your blog, and at least you know you have good content.)

17 August 2010

Babies, Autumn Is In The Air

So, I'm back to blogging now that I have a working computer that is mine, mine, all mine once again. Perhaps, if you follow me on Facebook or Flickr, you've already seen hints of how busy I've been recently, as I received my iPhone a full two days prior to receiving my laptop. Sadly, my post today will be forced to make use of my iPhone photos since my gorgeous new laptop is unable to use my mother-in-law's copy of Photoshop quite yet, which means that my new hat will continue to go unblogged. Let's ignore that sadness, and get going!

Since I've been Crafty McCraftsAlot while I was gone, I got back into sewing. I know, I know. I'm finally going to make use of those eight billion fabrics Paul bought me, right? WRONG. I finished up a project I was working on eighteen billion years ago, instead. I'm normally a one project (in a particular craft) type of girl. I can't help it. I wanted to do new stuff, but that bag was taunting me. It was saying, "You last worked on me when you were a YEAR younger, Kitten. What up with that?"

Weekend Away!

Check out the gorgeous low quality of that photo. I decided to whip the finishing of the bag out, but that didn't really happen. Though sewing is, indeed, faster than knitting, it's never as easy as I think it will be. First, I got to get my sewing area ready, then I need to pull out my ironing board and iron and clear a space on the always dumped with stuff dining room table for that ironing board. Then, after all of that, I always am pinning. I know some people hate pattern cutting, but my least favorite part of sewing is the obsessive pinning. I must have pinned that bag together about eight hundred different ways to make it work and you can see all my shoddy workmanship still. Also, it kind of looks like a boring toaster cover in that last picture, no? But, surprise!

Interior Of Bag!

Cute bag interior! That's the same fabric as I used for the awesome boxers. Back when I originally intended to make this Weekend-Away Travel Bag from Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing book, I had also meant for this bag to go to Helen as well. My disappointment in the bag's finishing (and its lack of interior pockets) means that it will stay at home with me instead. Sorry, Helen. I'm working on something else for you, though! The only thing I am proud of with this bag is the slip stitches I did on one side of the bag. The other side, however? Let's not speak of it.

Lastly, remember, Helen's baby requires a pretty blanket. Knowing Helen's rather decisive nature regarding items, I let her pick both the pattern and the color of the finished blanket. I might not have started it promptly, but I'm already a skein and a half into this eight skein blanket!

Baby Blanket

Lovely, no? I'll keep you all updated. So, hello again. Let's hope my computer is back up to what I consider normal soon.

06 August 2010

Definition of Irony

You are probably wondering why I'm so silent after being so chatty on this blog for a couple of months. It is not the normal reason of me losing interest in crafting or writing or gardening. My computer is down and out! I'm using our television computer (I'll explain that at some later date) to write this post.

The really humerous part of this is that due to the fact that I have no easily usable computer to read blogs and surf Etsy and view pretty pictures on Flickr, I've been crafting up a storm, so I have a ton to blog about! I have new fabric to show you, a new finished hat I've knit, and a new baby blanket that's been started. PEOPLE. I need a new computer stat. They better be building my laptop right now.

If the situation gets really desparate, expect some new iPhone blog entries. No, seriously. My husband ordered me an iPhone. I'm getting a laptop and an iPhone in the same month. It's like I'm finally catching up with the technology of the naughts.

Well, as soon as my new shiny red laptop gets here and I install Photoshop, Firefox (or is it time to move to Chrome?), and Flickr Uploader, I'll be back to this blog. Maybe. That might be the week I go on vacation! :)

30 July 2010

Admiring The Master

My husband and I currently play at gardening, but my mom is killer at it. Come spring, the flowers start to flow in, filling her yard with bright colors such as tulips and daffodils and lillies. Her bushes start to blossom and she starts buying truckloads of dirt for her little property.

My creation

Then, come summer, she hits her stride. The flowers start coming fast and furious and she is busy planting, weeding, re-arranging, and complaining about my rather hideous gardening. ("Do you ever water your plants, Jennifer? Do you weed?" No, and no.) Her vegetables and peppers start to hit in late summer, and that's when I just am shamed.

Mom's Garden

Mom's Garden

Mom's Garden

That right there is a tiny collection of her pepper plants. My mom grows enough peppers, mint, and green onions such that she never ever buys any. You might not be impressed with that, but consider this -- she eats five to six peppers with every single meal she eats at home and her patch of green onions is continuously harvested spring through autumn. For a while, she was also fulfilling her watercress needs by growing that in the creek in my backyard!

Normally she also grows all the squash and pumpkins she can eat, as well, but this year, there's been a small land war with a bunch of groundhogs living underneath her neighbor's shed. She has been extremely bitter about this, blaming them for everything including the ruining of her pea plants. However, don't worry, once autumn comes around, she will forget them when it comes time to renew her enmity with her old foes -- the squirrels.

See, years ago, my mom planted a chestnut tree, and that sucker has thrived. But, in the early years, the squirrels would kick my mom's ass when it came to that tree. They'd harvest it night and day, and she'd come out to find empty chestnut shells littering her driveway. This led my mom to leave a giant stick next to the tree which she would beat the tree with. This would both scare the squirrels away and drop the chestnuts whole onto the driveway for her to stomp and peel.

I would laugh except for the fact that I'm a die hard chestnut fan and I eagerly await the bags and bags of whole unroasted chestnuts she gives me each year. Last year, she gave me five gigantic ziplock bags and I'm hoping for more this year. Look at them!



Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, indeed!

But, in the meantime, if you're ever around Trevose, PA, and you need some hot or sweet peppers, let me know. I can hook you up.

26 July 2010


Pretty Close Up

Project: Fingering Weight Toast (ravel it!)
Pattern: Toast
Yarn: Koigu Mori
Needles: Size 2 DPNs

I'm a t-shirt person. I wear t-shirts all year long, even in the dead of winter, though I do occasionally layer them then like I'm Dr. Sheldon Cooper. In fact, I might wear as many superhero t-shirts as he does, which is a little embarrassing. Not that this will stop me from wearing them.

However, I don't always want to wear layers in the winter, especially when I'm just typing away on my computer or watching television. So, I decided to knit myself a pair of Toast to wear while I do things like type or watch television or drink coffee out of doors like I'm some sort of person who stands casually out of doors.

Various Action Shots

What a lie. I hate the outdoors. It's filled with bugs and dirt and yuckiness that might get in my coffee. The 'great' part of the 'great outdoors' is a lie. (At our next house, I'm considering a deck, which I might go out onto simply because it's outdoors, but higher up than the ground, so it's sort of removed from the part of the outdoors I hate.)

I'm partially pleased with these arm warmers. They are a nice fit, and they are super super soft and silky, but they kind of look like grape juice vomit, which is the second time that I've had this problem. They aren't as grape juice vomity, so I think I can wear them out with no problem, but I'm really tempted to kick any variegated yarn I have to the curb.

I'm pleased that I knit them as long as I did (the full eleven inches) because I used up all my yarn and they will keep my full forearm warm in the winter. I am not pleased that I knit them as long as I did because it prevents me from pretending more fully that they're Wonder Woman's golden bracers.

Various Action Shots

I do that a lot. I'm reflecting bullets, in my daydreams, left and right.

If I had a little girl toddler, I'd probably knit her a pair of legwarmers using this yarn and this pattern, but adding a little ribbing at both ends. I mean, look how adorable this is on my baby.

Leg Warmers?

Want to see a close up of the face he's making?


Haha, pout all you want, son, but you're still being made a photographic subject for my crafting blog. Sucker, that's what you get for being born to me and your Daddy who is not going to stop me from exploiting your adorable face for this blog and any others I might write on!

Will be back soon with stuff I've cast on. Hopefully!

22 July 2010

No Pictures, But...

Remember how I said that sometimes I do not rock at estimating? Apparently when I did that, irony decided to come down on my side for a change! I have no pictures of it, yet, but I finished my pair of Toast armwarmers with only two inches of yarn left and they are the same size! When I got near the end of where I needed to be, I guessed based on the "four times your row" rule how much yarn I needed to bind off and it worked.

For those of you new to knitting, or just unaware of the rule in general, if you ever need to guess if you have enough yarn to do a row of knitting, you should basically make sure that you have roughly four times the length of the round/row you'd like to knit with your remaining yarn. It has always worked for me.

I am going to give them a gentle Woolite wash when I get home and then gently block them and there should be photographs at that point. I would photograph them now but I am sans camera at my mother's house for several days. Sorry, peeps. Just know I'm thinking of you all!

(This whole crafting and finishing things promptly feeling is making me want to sew, knit, and cross stitch like mad. As is the roughly eight hours of sleep I managed to get in the last twenty-four hours. Sleep, it makes me both headache-y and energetic.)

20 July 2010

How Much Sock Yarn Does It Take?

During my last WIP Wednesday, I made some noises about not having enough yarn to finish my pair of Toast. This is looking to be true, though the difference might be half an inch, which I can easily pull out of the first finished arm warmer.

A daily blogger I've been following quite a while, because she's a heck of a seamstress (and now a knitter too), Mermaids, asked:

"i am in the same boat in terms of hoping i have enough a yarn to finish a pair of socks. with fabric, it is so easy to tell if you have enough. how do you do that with yarn?!?!"

Peeps, this is the first time ever that someone has asked me a knitting related question on this blog. How can I refuse to answer? What type of person would I be? Would anyone ever ask me a question again about knitting? Let's go through how you can know.

Now, as the wise Ms. Knitpicky mentioned in her own comment, the ideal way to handle this is pre knitting anything. And considering she knits roughly a mile of yarn a month, she should know! You can, if you are worried, split your yarn into two equal yardage balls prior to ever knitting a darned stitch. Just wind those center pull balls and weigh them. Do they weigh the same? If so, get knitting!

I, normally, never run into this problem because I usually knit the same pattern for the same size feet (my own) all the time. Thus, I know exactly how much yardage I need to do that standard pattern. I guesstimate based on that yardage for other people's feet and other patterns. Sometimes, I guesstimate wrong. For instance, when I knit Helen's socks, I was only partially sure that I'd need two skeins of Lorna's Laces because when I knit myself anklets, I use less than one full skein. It turns out that when the person you're knitting a pair of knee high socks for size ten feet, you need to go the extra distance with your yarn purchase. Alternatively, I was absolutely sure that my purchase of yarn (roughly 430 yards or so) for Paul's normal height socks would leave me wanting more since he wears extra wide socks. I had enough left over yarn to make my baby a pair of tiny booties that matched! So, guesstimating only works well if you're knitting for yourself and for a pattern that's roughly the same height as you usually wear.

But, wait, you're saying! I knit a darned sock already! I need to know if I have enough yarn to match this first sock. Well, remember that scale that Ms. Knitpicky would have pulled out prior to even knitting? Yeah, go get it. Weigh your first sock. How much does it weigh? Note that! (I use my husband's kitchen scale for this task since it can tare out weights and it's really accurate.) Now, weigh your remaining yarn. If you have the same number or a heavier weight, you're good. If not, you might want to shorten your first sock now.

Hmm, I didn't include any pictures in this post. Nathan finds himself displeased with this post for that reason.

After Swim Starbucks Run

19 July 2010

More Mood

Bumble Peacocks

I've come to the conclusion that if I have nothing to blog about, then I should just buy more stash, because at least that looks good in photography here. Okay, not really. If you know me, you know I have a very small box of yarn and very little 'real' fabric. However, this month has been brutal. It's been bad news after bad news, hit after hit. It's been hot, and miserable, and down right unpleasant. People I love have been made unhappy by the news July continues to bring.

I try to keep the bad news and downer complaining from this blog, because I'm generally not a very down person. At least, I'd like to think I'm not. I might be filled with spite and anger and evil plans, but I'm generally kind of cheerful about it all. Heck, I weathered five years at a full time customer service/technical support job with barely a dent in my permanent happiness levels. (We won't talk about my view of humanity, however.)

Some of the bad news has not been mine, as you can see from Helen's blog post about her friend Amy. I've had my share, though. And this last week has been the worst yet. On top of some devastating news regarding my husband's family, my baby had yet another asthma attack. In the middle of summer. Due to bronchitis. What started out as a mild cough and runny nose quickly became full out coughing, hard breathing, and a lot of medicine and throw up. What is worse is that when he's that sick, he sleeps next to me (or not at all) and hits me and kicks me and generally fights sleep, so I have had to basically stay up at nights trying to lull him back into fitful sleep. Then, to top it off, when my fears get up about his asthma, my own body starts to rebel and I get nauseated. Then, to top that off, my husband was away for the full week again.

Paul has been pretty apologetic about not being around during this time, but, as he rightfully points out, when I decided to be a stay at home mom, I kind of signed up for dealing with vomit and sick babies. I think a good counterpoint to that is that I did not sign up to be a single mom to sick babies who keep throwing up on me, which is what being alone all week kind of feels like. In fact, if you're a single parent and you're reading this blog, my hat is off to you. You're probably the hardest working person on Earth and I can only admire you. If I had to go full time to a job and deal with this, I think that my plans to be a super villain would be much further along.

So, all this complaining aside, Paul wandered home last week from another work trip to NYC with another bag from Mood Fabrics. Nathan, finally somewhat better, decided to help me with the photo shoot this time, instead of sabotaging it.

Helping Me

It's another sheer woven cotton fabric with tons of drape and softness. As you can see from the picture at the top of this post, the pattern is reminiscent of what would occur if you crossed a bumblebee with a peacock.  I adore it even more than the previous fabric Paul brought home, but I still don't have a pattern for either of these fabrics.  Seriously, folks, any recs for a dress or skirt I could make from these super sheer fabrics?

14 July 2010

WIP Wednesday #4 -- More Toast

More Toastiness

I'd like to say a big "in your face" to WIP Wednesday which has soundly defeated me for the last several months. While it has kicked my butt several months in a row, and while it sent out a virus to my son to try and take me out of the game, I still managed to beat it about the head by putting up this picture of my Toast.

You will note several things about this picture of a pair of armwarmers in progress which I'll more fully discuss in my finished project post (which will hopefully come soon), but I'd like to point out two of those things here.

One, you'll notice that I'm using a mish-mash of number 2 DPNs for this project. Three of them are Lantern Moon rosewood needles which I love with a passion. The other two are Brittany bamboos which I like but do not love. Both sets have been devastated by my cat Inigo, broken into pieces and splinters. While I love her, she's an evil kitty who's hell on my yarn and knitting implements.

Inigo in the Shade

Secondly, that leftover yarn I have to knit the remaining inches of the second armwarmer is pretty lean. Let's hope I can make it to the end, because if I have one and a half of a pair of armwarmers, I might scream in frustration.

12 July 2010


As some of you might or might not know, my husband occasionally works out of town for longer periods of time. When he recently went to New York City, I got pretty excited and told him to eat dessert at ChikaLicious and to buy me fabric since he was working directly next to the fabric district. He ignored me on the dessert front, but like a great husband, he wanted to get me something for my crafting.

As with everyone on Earth, we have both watched Project Runway so he decided to hit up Mood. Or, at least, he tried to! The first night, he spent roughly an hour and a half wandering NYC in a heat wave, only to fail to find it. When he told me that, I told him that any fabric store would do and that he should not worry about it if it was too hot.

He never mentioned another word about it during the week, so I assumed he had not had time and did not ask. When he got home, he told me he had a surprise for me, but I had totally forgotten about asking him to get fabric, so I think I thought I was getting something from the hotel he stayed at. (No lie, we once got a pillow case embroidered with his name from one of the hotels he stayed at.) He told me to give him a kiss and hug, but I wimped out in the heat and gave him a sort of half kiss and then a sort of half hug. I know, I know, what kind of welcoming wife was I? The extremely overheated and exhausted kind.

Luckily, he gave me the bag from Mood anyway, and told me what had gone into getting the fabric. He had asked employees there what type of fabric to get me based on the fact that I am a beginner fashion sewer, and they told him to get me a cotton knit and they referred him to a certain section. (What?!) He asked me if he had gotten a cotton knit.


I told him that he had not, but that was okay since I had never worked with a knit before and would be afraid to. I was happy to have gotten a woven instead, and it was cotton, but very sheer and very soft and very drapey unlike the quilting cottons I was used to. He said they suggested two and a half yards, which I agreed was a good amount since I could probably make a dress with that.

We immediately ran for a photo shoot in the dying light, but my baby decided he wanted to 'help'.

Involving Nathan With Photoshoots

We quickly derailed from there, so today while he napped, I snapped a quick photo of the non-washed, non-ironed fabric.

Close Up

I kind of love the fabric, but I've never worked with such a sheer fabric before and I've never lined anything. Anyone have recs for a dress pattern that has a lining but is also instructional on sewing? Should I just sew something simple and use a slip?