Monday, May 14, 2007

Brain Candy

My friend Aimee recently scolded me for my lack of posts. I wish I could offer up some fantastic reason, like a sudden week long vacation in an exotic location, but in reality, I've been dog tired and suffering from lack of ambition. All of that gym going and sewing and running around caught up to me and I crashed, unable to get out of my own way for several days. So I gestated on the couch for a while and finally got up the gumption to do something other than work out and surf for fabric online.

The last time I posted, I had started the Surplice Lace Top from Nashua Handknits Designer Collection No. 4. Well, I frogged my first attempt, went down a needle size, and so far so good. The back is done!

I just love this yarn (Dale of Norway Svale)! It drapes beautifully and the color is one of my current favorites. I am mildly concerned about running out of yarn, but I am getting gauge (even with the smaller needles) and I have about 20 yards more than the pattern calls for. I've made a slight modification to the pattern, opting to knit the back in one piece rather than bind off the bottom and seam the bodice afterwards. We'll see how well it works when I knit the front the same way. I can visualize how to do it, so cross your fingers! It had been so long since I'd knit anything that I forgot how much work it is. After the first evening, I couldn't believe how tired my forearms were! Who says that knitting isn't exercise?

On Saturday, after returning 990 soda bottles and cans to the redemption store (how the hell did we drink that much soda?), I finally took the time to play with fabric and made a new belt with a buckle that recently arrived in the mail, courtesy of jcaroline creative. Doesn't it look like sherbet ice cream? These belts are fast becoming the scarves of my summer wardrobe: I know that I don't really need another one, but I just can't help myself.

Last weekend I went shopping with my mother and found the cutest little quilted travel case for jewelry. It was offered as a "free" promotional gift by Vera Bradley - as in free if you spend $60. I figured that it would be silly to spend that much just so I could get the gift, so I studied it for a while (after seriously considering a new duffel bag for the gym) and viola! My version:

I call it the "Jewelry Taco".

I always take off my jewelry before I work out and frequently shove it in the pocket of whatever bag I am carrying, later panicking because I can't remember where I put it. This is my first try, and I can already see some things that I would do differently, but I used it tonight and found it really handy.

I may not have been crafting very much lately, but I sure have been thinking about it. I let my subscription to Interweave Knits lapse, and then had to run out and buy the new issue so I could knit the Josephine Top. I even have stash yarn: Ambrosia by Knit One Crochet Too or Elsebeth Lavold's Hempathy. So far, I'm leaning towards the Ambrosia because I love the color, but I'm not sure that it's a summer weight yarn (alpaca, silk and cashmere). On the other hand, it's already freezing in my office and it's not even summer. Today I thought that it was time I knit myself a summer cotton cardigan. Maybe with some of the Lion Brand Cotton comes in so many pretty colors. I'm really glad they brought that yarn back. If you've never tried it, you should. It's really nice to knit with. I think they carry it at Michaels. Gosh, I'm nattering. This is how my brain works all the time. No wonder I can't get anything done!

While thinking about sewing, I managed to buy some fabric online - amazing how that happens. I think about it and it just arrives on my doorstep (I wish).

The Fat Quarter Shop is one of my new favorite sites to visit and drool over fabric. I finally procured some half yard cuts of the new Anna Maria Horner collection, Chocolate Lollipop. Don't you just love the packaging? Inside that vellum envelope (love love love vellum), are 29 5 inch charms squares - the entire collection. Ahhhh. Thinking about these keeps me up at night.

Speaking of things to think about all night, Aimee, Lori, Porsche and I are planning our Yarn Tour 2007! Last year we went to the Classic Elite Mill store in Lowell and then several other shops on in Lexington and Cambridge. This year, we are going back to Lowell and then off to the great mother ship of discount yarn: Webs in Northampton. Since it's a 4 hour drive from here, we are spending the night in Holyoke (for some bizarre reason, every room in every hotel in Northampton is booked for the weekend of June 23rd. What's up with that?).

Yep, lots of things are going on. I'm going to go think about it now.


Lisa said...

All your projects look great! Love the taco lol.

Aimee said...

Great post! I'm so glad I could be the harpy, um, catalyst that motivated it :-)

My surplice is almost done! Finished the neckline. Attached the bodice pieces to the lace panels last night with 3-needle bind-off.... in the case of the front overlap, it was 4-needle bind-off for 22 stitches. Kind of tricky, but it came out well. Now to just set in those sleeves... bleh...

Yarn Coffee said...

The jewelry taco! Hahah, i love your clever ideas!

Instructions please!