Thursday, February 27, 2014

Nice to meet you: A Blog Post written by an in-progress Skirt

Hello.  Nice to meet you.

I am Marisa's DIY Skirt (in progress) and she asked me to write a guest blog post for her today about my life as a half finished skirt.

Let me start by saying that I am really thrilled that the entire back half of me has now been stitched and all the cut-outs are complete.  I'm feeling really confident when people admire me on that side.

The front of me, as you can see from the above, has been progressing slowly but surely.  There is still a long way to go.  One of the front quarter panels is almost done, and the other one is almost started.

Marisa does not neglect me, so please don't think I'm trying to throw her under the bus here when talking about my half completed state.  She puts new stitches on me each day although she's busy and at times only works on me for 15 minutes.  I'm still feeling the love, and I know that she will eventually complete me.  I'm not getting the feeling she will give up on me.  I am admittedly complicated...a project that cannot be rushed.

I hope that your long term complicated sewing projects find inspiration from this blog post and that you can also empower them to write in your own blogs.  It isn't every day that a Skirt gets to write a blog post.

Best wishes to you, and perhaps I'll come back and write again when I'm almost complete.  I'm really looking forward to getting out of the house.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Stitches West 2014: Recap

Stitches West is a knitting convention in San Jose, California.

They have lots of vendors and tons of classes so for me it's a great chance to pick up some cool new yarn and take a class or two.

This year I took the argyle sock class with Anne Berk.  She was an awesome teacher and everybody in class learned a ton.  Class was especially fun because three of my best friends took it with me and we had a serious blast.

The above photo is of swatches that we all made in class.  Mine is the aqua colored one near the lower center.  

I'm looking forward to making some fun socks with what I learned.  I may even make some mitts for the kids.  That would be even faster to finish.  

Spring is coming though, so time to knit faster is here.

I got some yarn from this vendor Plucky Knitter.  They have their own yarn base that no other vendor uses, it is made strictly for them.  It gives you amazing stitch definition and I think that may be due to it having more twist in the yarn.  Either way, their yarn is hard to come across so the booth was wall to wall people.  I did work my way in though so plucky socks are on the horizon. 

I also got some Bugga! yarn and started in on a shawl called Catkin.  It may take me a zillion years to finish it.  Maybe more than a zillion.  I'm still very focused on my DIY Alabama Chanin skirt, so the knitting is happening a certain pace I guess.

Oh and I tripped over some stitch markers by Neese's Pieces that were made out of hand blown glass.  Very unusual and pretty.

Next year I hope I can take another class with my buddies.  I cannot remember when I've ever had so much fun.  See So Sue's blog post about it here, and check out my friend Sharon's blog Knits are for Kids too!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Stitches West 2014

There are only two 'events' in the quilting and knitting universe that make my pulse rise.

PIQF (of course!) and Stitches West.

Last night was the Stitches West market preview, so I took a run over there in the evening to check out the yarn and take advantage of the late hours.  It was a real hoot.

I ran into boat loads of podcasters, including the Knitmore Girls, The Yarniacs, and Never Not Knitting's Alana.  I also had a sighting of the Knit Lit Chicks but they were on the go so we didn't get to chat.

It was fun to see all the latest goodies in the yarn-land.  I ended up with a couple more balls of sock yarn because, well, one can never have too many socks.  Right? 

My family may be sick of all the hand knit socks I make them but they have yet to ask me to stop and the kids are growing out of them at times too.  I have a bit of a more is more approach to socks.

The most fun I had was of course in the A Verb For Keeping Warm booth where I could have just stayed all night, but resigned myself to a couple of yarn balls  (including what you see above) and headed home.

I'm taking an argyle sock class all day tomorrow so wish me luck with that.

Have a great weekend.  If you're in the California Bay Area, stop in at stitches...the colors are amazing and it smells like clean sheep!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hot Air: Airplants Like to Listen to Rock Music

I won't show you photos of the plants in my yard because they are more or less hibernating and looking rather sad.

It's nice and toasty inside so my little air plant is happy as can be.  I play rock music for it - recently Tame Impala's release called Lonerism.  Well, suppose I play it for me too.  Pretty addictive.

Our little kid has been fighting a bug this week.  No fun for him and no sleep for parents.  I'm sure you probably know the drill.  He seems to be on the mend, so perhaps our week will get back on track. 

We took a casual 7 hr drive (each way that is) this weekend to LA for some fun with the extended family.  It was a blast and I made good use of time on the road.  Amazing amounts of progress were made on my skirt.  It's actually almost done!

Ok, it's nowhere near done.  Sorry to excite you.  I did work on it a lot, at least 5 or 6 hours in total and I did get almost all the cutting done on the 2nd of the 4 panels.  As soon as I'm done with that it will be all down hill (pun intended) from here.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Hand Handspun

I tried on the handspun wrist warmer I knit ages ago.  

When I made it I thought the colors are too wild for my taste so I never made the 2nd one.

It hasn't been cold enough here so far this winter to need them really, but the more I look at the the more I like it.

Am I starting to lose my mind?  Look at all this wild color!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

When Quilters Make Garments: Nani Iro Jersey

My quilting needles have been bumping into the squishy-ness of cotton jersey lately. 

It feels like trying to nail jello to a tree when you compare it to the act of working with quilting cotton. 

The Alabama Chanin DIY skirt that I'm making is still on the front burner and it is progressing but it seemed like a tank top to match would be a fun project.  I cut out a corset top from the pattern in her book and made it with jersey Nani Iro that I got from awesome online shop Superbuzzy.

It's my own person Japanese twist on this cool process.  I have a few more alterations to make and I'm even toying with adding a few beads to it.  I might also put some of the gray fabric used on the skirt around the neckline and arm holes to tie it together. 
Either way, it's looking good but not done yet. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Knitting Homework & The Fine Art of Procrastination

Getting ready for my argyle sock class...

There is a tiny bit of homework which seems to be knitting up quickly.

I'm looking forward to class more so because some of my best friends will be taking it with me.  If I never learn how to knit an argyle sock, I'm not sure it will matter much.

I put the homework off as long as I could and there is some small sick pleasure to the art of procrastination. 

It's looking like it will end up coming together before the class.  Sweating = done!  Ok, mostly done that is.