Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Knitted Brow

Opinions sought: Sausalito (see promotional photo - NOT ME - at left) is bubbling along. Front left, check. Back, check. Front right, check and check on the first sleeve.

Two issues. One is that...heh heh heh...can you imagine? I'm going to run out of yarn. Who does THAT? So I bought more from a nice lady in London via eBay, and it's on its way. Of course it's not the same dye lot, but I'm hopeful that because A) it's Rowan yarn and B) it's a cotton/acrylic blend, the colors will be fairly close. Really really hopeful.

The question related to that: Should I wait until I get the new yarn to start the second sleeve, so that I hold any color difference just to one part, rather than blending two dye lots in one piece? Or should I go ahead and start the second sleeve with what I have?

As I type that, I know in my heart the answer is, "What are you, an IDIOT? Of course you should wait for the new yarn!"

Nasty voices in my head tonight.]

OK, second issue. I think the sleeves should be longer, I really really do. As it stands now, they are just below the elbow, and the whole thing is reminding me a little of Granny's bed jacket. They are, however, quite loose sleeves, and I'm wondering if I'm going to look like a bulky Renaissance maiden if I go for full-length sleeves. I'm further wondering if it'll throw off the look of the thing.

So I ask for knitters' thoughts. And in the meantime, I will learn to crochet the cute little edge around the front.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bucket Bag (Or: Better'n a Poke in the Eye)

Two good friends' recent laments about not knowing how to sew inspired me to (finally) make something so simple the mind boggles. As always, fabulous fabric helps cover a multitude of sins. This is made out of almost free (garage sale) decorator silk and a little batting.

My friends are both accomplished knitters, so I *know* they're creative, crafty, tenacious types. C'mon, girls, it's like falling off a log! You just start, and see where you end up. If your fabric is cheap enough, the worst that can happen is you throw it away, or make hot pads. (Mmmmm. Silk hot pads. I'm thinking, "yeah!")

This bucket bag is wholly imperfect, with unstraight lines and the silk does not want to un-crease, as you can see. But the fantastic fabric means it will be a fun-with-blue-jeans bag, going with browns and blacks and blues and even sea green.

So grab your machine and scissors, find some fabric you think is cool, and start! Copy something you like from a magazine, or get a pattern, or make a square tote bag or throw pillow or curtains for that funky bathroom.

In other crafting news, I report here that after watching Little Miss Sunshine last night while re-learning how to knit the long-abandoned bow knot pattern, I am just 1 and one-half sleeves and a crochet lesson from being done with Sausalito, and gosh DARN, it looks like it might fit!

[Bonus: it'll look awesome with this bag.]

Saturday, January 27, 2007

New Chapters

I haven't written, I haven't called...

I'm lately reduced to reporting banal facts about my life rather than showing cool things I've made, and I empathize with my readers. It doesn't often make for entertaining reading, nor living!

The truth is, I am uninspired creatively right now. The garden is starting to call, as it often does when we have a warm spell in January, and I hope to pick up knitting needles this evening for the first time in almost a month. But mostly I'm distracted by other things.

I have decided that I am going to apply for graduate school this fall, at the advanced age of 46. This idea has been brewing for a long time, and I appear to keep getting older, so it seems time to act on it. I'm looking at a master's degree in public health, emphasis on epidemiology and biostatistics. My pre-kids career was in educational research, and the best parts of my job were analyzing data. I'd like to transfer those skills to medicine and health. So most of my free time lately has gone into studying for the GRE, which I hope to take in March. Wish me luck.

The other bits of free time since Christmas have gone into planning a fabulous homeschoolers' field trip in which we re-lived the life of a Civil War soldier on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay (yep, there really was a Civil War Union Army fort there, one of four surrounding the bay, including one on Alcatraz).

The J-Man, Stefaneener's Thing 1, and 22 of their friends made fabulous privates and corporals this week, learning to drill, bake in a brick oven and cook on a cast iron stove, signal with flags, peel potatoes, and keep night watch by the light of oil lamps, all shown here.

J-Man will be joining the Teen Princess at school this fall, and that will end my 10 year career as a homeschooling mom. This trip was bittersweet - it was the last giant field trip I'll organize, and I'm glad to turn over those responsibilities to younger, fresher, saner hands. But I'll miss these special events - they have been, for our family, the core of our homeschooling. There will be other great things (we've already had some great Ultimate tournaments with the school, and the J-Man gets to do a fabulous camp with the other new 6th graders in September), but it'll be different.

We're all ready to move on from home-based learning, but like all "they're growing up" moments, I get a little misty. I've spent the majority of my mothering years with kids learning at home - I remember the first day after I took the TP out of The Bad Kindergarten: I had a bag of colored plastic bear counters and a chalkboard slate, and we dove in. I intended to finish out the 4 months left in the school year at home, and then put her back into first grade...but I forgot.

It'll be different. But probably in a good way.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Holiday Highlights, Crafting Lowlights

I think I need to change my blog title...

No sewing this week, no knitting, heck, I didn't even get thank-you notes done. But this weekend I did get the J Man's room cleaned top to bottom while he's away visiting his Grandma and Auntie. And I did install a new computer in the family room and get the whole network thing working correctly. And I did fix the Roman shades in the family room, which required a trip to the craft store and a needle...does that count?

Now I'm embarrassed, which ought to be enough impetus for me to actually CREATE something before I post again...yeah, that's it! Public humiliation as a motivational technique!

In the meantime, I leave you with a December family recap.

Christmas morning, at...uh...5:48am. Isn't one supposed to be able to sleep later once the kids get older?
On a late-night stealth mission to decorate some neighborhood statuary on Christmas Eve.

"What? That's IT?"

The very best part of Christmas day.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Just Another Morning

8:00am this morning. Look closely - in addition to the octopus and dog, there are two children in the photo. There were two adults on the floor, too, but the siren call of caffeine at 7:00am was too much for them.

I want to do a 2006 FO retrospective, as so many other craft bloggers have, and reflect some on the year past and the one just begun. But for now...those mattresses look appealing.