Wednesday, February 21, 2007

An Inspirational Adventure

On Monday, Helen and I went on a craft/inspiration adventure. We didn't end up buying much crafty stuff, but I did get some needed cable needles at school products (I still can't believe I was able to restrain myself and not buy yarn since I didn't "need" any :o) and I got a cute new shirt and sweater on sale at H&M. We did have a great time wandering around in the cold and getting inspired though, and she ended up with a cute pink wool/mohair sweater from goodwill for recycling purposes.

We enjoyed the container store:

wouldn't those wrapping papers make fabulous fabrics?

Discovered a cute Japanese boutique on 19th St:

too bad the fabric was like $9 per fat quarter... I was tempted though... especially by an adorable little print with bunnies. Well, now that I know it's there, I can always go back ;)

who on Earth would blow their nose on these?? So pretty!

And the best part: Since we were in the area, my mom let us raid the "trash" pile at her office... she is the president of a textile mill! We set aside piles and piles of gorgeous upholstery fabric to add to our stashes. I already have 2 specific projects in mind. Since it was heavy, we left most of the fabric there for her to UPS back uptown (or to Queens in Helen's case) but I took my favorite piece home with me:

It's fairly soft for upholstery fabric too... though I haven't decided what to do with this particular piece yet. There were also a ton of great paisleys, florals, and geometrics patterns, including one other print with birds (peacocks I think) which I claimed and a smallish amount of a great print with strawberries which Helen and I are sharing. I foresee I lot of bags and pillows in my future! Any tips for other good upholstery fabric projects?

Otherwise, besides working, hanging out, and doing my vacation homework, I've been working on a lot of stuff for swaps and I've reached the 13th repeat of my mom's branching out. I think my goal is 30... *sigh* it's going well though, and is much more interesting to knit than a plain scarf!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Branching Out

So, feeling a little guilty for starting my February break a day early, I turned on two hours of PBS's supreme court series, while finally biting the bullet and starting the branching out for my mom's birthday. I'll admit I was terrified to try my hand at lace... but, while it's challenging, it's not terribly hard at all, and I'm really happy with how it's going so far. After frogging the first repeat 4 times, I finally got in to the swing of it, and haven't had to frog anymore since (though the lifelines are there just in case) I know there are a few mistakes, but I don't know where they are, and I think the pattern looks great anyway! I've completed three repeats and am excited to keep going, though I may take a break now to work on something for a swap or clean my room. I am using recycled, kool-aid died merino wool from my first recycling and dying projects ever for this knit :)

Anyway, here it is:

and stretched to look more like it will look after blocking (I assume):

The colors are truer in the second picture, but neither are very good. You can get a better idea of the yarn used in my post about the recycling project itself.

Oh, and the pencil cases were a great hit with my friend :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The magic of Goodwill

On the way home from rehearsal last night I stopped at Goodwill for a quick look around, to see if there was anything worth my while. There was! I got two pieces of 'fabric' and a lovely yellow, wool sweater.

When I got home, I set to work fixing a pencil case my friend gave me. She got it in China and loves it, but the zipper was pulling apart and one of the ends came apart as well. So I unpicked the whole thing, added a new pale pink zipper (it had a white one before, but I liked the pink) and sewed it back together:

you can see it on top of the first piece of 'fabric' I got at Goodwill, which turned out to be a shower curtain when I got home. I really liked it, and so contemplated putting it up, but instead made another pencil case for my friend (It's her birthday today):

I used the shower curtain fabric and covered it with clear vinyl so that it can be wiped off when it gets dirty in her bag. I made it in the same style as the one I fixed, but after I finished I realized my zipper isn't as nice because I didn't fold over the edges, ah well, I'm still quite happy with it, and it was my first time working with vinyl, so it was a little challenging, but not as scary as I expected ;)

Here is the other fabric, actually intended to be fabric, that I got at Goodwill:

I had also picked up a sweater, and when my Dad came in to tell me Guys and Dolls was on PBS, I turned it on, and started unravelling. I only did the front panel so far, but it's such a large sweater- I know I'm going to get a lot of nice things out of this!
Right after unravelling:

Drying in my bathroom this morning:

My partner for the owl swap also received, and so I have some things to show off from that:

Bag lining and applique:


key chain, mini-bag, and stamp:

This was my first two times carving stamps, and then stamping fabric (the lining and mini-bag) and also my first time doing applique. It was a great swap! :)

anyway, I think that's all for now. Only a week until February break when I have so much to do, so many people to see, and so much to craft! <3

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Found the Camera Cord

It was hardly hiding, just under my desk, though I'm so sure I looked there. Anyway, what's important is that I can post pictures again.

So, the kittyville hat. I finally decided against the ears, it makes it more wearable. Though I have a blue and pink monster fur hat with bear ears that I found very wearable for a long time, it just doesn't go with my new winter coat, haha. Anyway, I like it how it is, and I can always add the ears if it strikes my fancy. Done in the suggested mission falls, it's much purpler than it looks here:

excuse the pjs and the toilet in the background, it's hard to take pictures of yourself ;P

As a mentioned, I also did some yarn recycling. 100% fine merino wool, recycled from a $6.99 thrift store sweater. The dyed skein is a much richer cranberry in the darker spots and pinker in the lighter spots, except a few where it stayed rather grey.

It doesn't look like much, but that's because the yarn is a pretty fine weight, I would say probably fingering weight. The entire back panel of the sweater is still un-recycled and I had to get rid of some of the sweater since I didn't do an amazing job of getting it apart at the seams (especially on that back panel, which is why I haven't tried to recycle it yet, haha) Anyway, the grey ball is from the sleeves, and the red skein/blob is the front panel, died in the microwave with 3 packets of kool-aid. The color's not all that evenly distributed, but I'm happy with it- especially considering that this was my first time both at recycling and yarn dying!

Oh, and the fingerless gloves were received very well :) She said her mom complimented them too!

I also just received the happy hooker from amazon- one copy for me and one for Helen, who already knows how to crochet, time for me to learn another craft!

Last night I did my first cable, inspired by Helen who brought her first cable swatch to school on Friday- what can I say, I have to keep up, haha. Even though it's just a little swatch I think it's given me the confidence to attempt a project with them... when I get some of my current WIPs done... or not... we'll see ;P

Instead of starting on my mom's birthday gift, or the knit pear I promised Laura, or my first pair of socks, last night I started a t-shirt quilt!

After taking this picture I cut out all the designs with a 14"x14" template I made from file folders and started to iron on interfacing. The facing isn't cooperating though, it just won't stick, I don't know what I'm going wrong :\ Ah well, it stuck in a few places and if worse comes to worse I can always sew the rest on. I have a lot of time to finish this one though, I just want it to be ready for college next year. I'll probably need some more t-shirts, but I have some more from shows I've been in, though some I actually wear so won't cut up, and want to get another t-shirt from my school to chop. I vow to finish this project, even if it doesn't happen until the summer.

I think those are all the updates in the craft world for this evening. I think I'm staying in tonight as I'm kind of cranky with the friends about supposed spring break plans, and Mike has his job until 9 anyway, so maybe I'll get more done. I should do homework, but crafting is the greater good... or evil ;)