Frolic Bag




I upcycled a Benetton sweater that I wore back in highschool!

Just kidding. This is Kay Dahlquist's Frolic Bag, slip-stitched in Takhi Yarns' Classic Cotton and Knit One Crochet Two’s Ty-Dy Cotton. 

I was envisioning a grapic-Mina-Perhonen-organic-yet-polished aesthetic, and I'm optimistic that I'll  achieve that with careful styling. And the size will force me to finally let go of the diaper bag, now that I'm 13 years post partum. It holds my sunglasses, phone, wallet, powder, and lipstick. Possibly my Midori notebook too. 




The proof will be in the wearing. In the meantime, the colorway makes me happy. 

What size handbag (or murse) do you carry, and what's inside?

Wandering in the Desert


I have emerged from an 18-month, textile-fiber-eat-pray-love existential crisis (sans travel) and blogging hiatus. I return as a self-accepting knitter and occasional hand-sewer.

Sewing and fitting garments was starting to feel like emptying the dishwasher.

I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, I really only enjoy knitting and stitching. And that’s okay.


So here’s some show-and-tell. 

First up, Jane Richmond's Arika Cowl in Tanis Fiber Arts' Gray Label in the Ravine colorway. I almost skipped the fringe, but it really finishes the piece, and adds a little zing to my "anti-aesthetic" wardrobe. The guy at the car rental place complimented it before showing me his matching socks and tie. So there you have it. 




Made from TFA red-label yarn purchased during the same blood-bath etsy update, Stephen West's Westlake. Perfect travel project. 





Have you ever lost and found your creative mojo? When and how? 



Airbrushing My Alabama Chanin Project



Happy days since my last post on my Alabama Chanin project, a couched version of Sew Liberated's Aurelia Cardigan. Aside from "a spray bottle is not an airbrush," here's what I've learned about airbrushing so far:


1. Practice on a scrap of fabric first! The sample below was the third go-round. I achieved (relatively) precise results by pressing down on the stencil after I'd placed it on the knit fabric. Kinda like using those flannel-and-felt boards in preschool.







2. Be sure to mask any areas you don't want airbrushed. Duh. Note overspray in photo below.







3.  It takes *a lot* of paint to achieve uniform coverage. In my case, the painted shapes won't show on the final project. If they were, I would have spent a lot more time practicing and working on even coverage.



4. This should be *really* obvious, but be careful where you set those little spray gun parts after you wash them. Little springs have a way of bouncing off of the window sill and down the drain. Then you might have to wait several days for replacement parts to arrive. Or so I've heard.










Tessellating Lace Socks



Socks for me, me, me! Ah, knarcissitic knitting. The pattern is Kat Haines' tessellating lace sock; the yarn is Misti Alpaca Hand Paint in Birds in Paradise.  The background is our wrinkled bedding.

I started them on my 9" circular Chiao Goos but switched to DPNs with no problems once I passed the ribbing. No hand cramping, faster knitting.  Plus I look all fancy wielding 4 little sticks in Starbucks.

Back in my Baltimore appliqué days my fellow quilters used to debate the integrity of using a wooden skewer to turn seam allowances under. Is it still needle turn appliqué if you use something else to do the actual turning? [I was quiet during these conversations, as these women were 40 years my senior and I was desperate for some street cred.]

In the same vein, should I wear a scarlet "C" because I use circulars and DPNs to knit socks? Nah.



Springing for a Spray Gun



This is the unhappy result of Createx transparent gray airbrush paint sprayed through a "fine-mist" spray bottle.

My ever-supportive sweetie has offered to buy me a spray gun as an early birthday gift, so this is on its way:


Photo: Amazon.com. 


Instead of a compressor I ordered a 2 cans of propellant. It comes with a free "how to airbrush" booklet. Good thing!

Fireworks Socks






Okay, so really they're Father's Day socks for my sweetie. But the color way is kind of fiery, and I'm embarrassed by how long it took me to blog these.

The yarn is Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball Crazy Sock Yarn in #1537.  It was a real pleasure to work with, and one ball was more than enough for a pair of men's size 12 socks. Had I known, I would have made the leg longer!

The pattern is Adrienne Ku's Simple Skyp Sock. Will I ever knit a sock pattern that Jolene has not tried first? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know.


The balls themselves are little works of art. Photo from Paradise Fibers.




Making an Alabama Chanin Stencil

At long last, I'm going to embark on an embellished Alabama Chanin garment.

As the moocher of countless online tutorials, I thought I'd actually contribute some "instructions" of my own to the blogosphere.

I'm not posting anything revolutionary here--just using the techniques suggested in Natalie Chanin's books.

But I always learn something when others document their processes, so I'm hoping that this will help someone out there.

Alrighty.

I bought pennant felt from the Alabama Chanin web site,  as recommended in the books. Totally worth it. Stiff, light, and durable. One yard will be enough for several stencils.

The jersey is luscious, too.



I downloaded Anna's Garden from the web site, took a flash drive to Staples, and had them print it at actual size for me (18 x 24). A bargain at $1.92. I was probably the happiest person the Staples kid saw all day.






I cut a piece of felt slightly larger than the print, sprayed the back of the print with repositionable adhesive, and stuck the two together.

Do this outside!!!




I placed the felt on a self-healing craft mat (the kind quilters use) and am using an x-acto knife to cut out each piece. Did you notice how I switched to the present tense? 211 shapes to cut out. I'm hoping to have the stencil finished before I leave on vacation in 10 days.



Eating an elephant. 


I better go get some bourbon to chase that Kool-Aid I drank.